Ask Rick 156 04/06/11
Face Off for Picasa
I have a problem with Picasa in that it gathers
faces from all my pictures stored on my computer. This includes faces from
crowd scenes, as well as those of my friends and family. I trawled through 3900
pictures of faces and deleted them all and now to my disgust I still have
People Folder showing 3900 ‘Ignored faces’, which I cannot delete. I feel that
this is an unwanted intrusion and I would be most grateful for your advice on
how to really rid my computer of it.
K Widd, by email
This feature seems to have annoyed quite a lot
of otherwise enthusiastic Picasa users, and to make matters worse it’s enabled
by default and there’s no obvious way to stop it or delete the People folder,
but there is a solution. Step one is to go to Tools > Options, select the
Name Tags tab and uncheck Enable Face Detection and Enable Suggestions. Step
two, go to Tools > Folder Manager and on the Folder list select Desktop at
the top. Now go to the For the Current Folder box and at the bottom click on
Face Detection Off. Repeat this step for My Pictures, My Documents and C:\ on
the Folder List. Click OK and the People folder with the stored faces will be
I am learning to play an acoustic piano
accordion and would like to slow the tempo of music on CDs so that I could
practice playing along with them, hopefully increasing the tempo as I improve.
Do you know of any computer software that would enable me to do this?
Richard Bolton, by email
Not exactly, CD decks are designed to read the
data off the disc at a constant speed. A small handful of specialist decks have
a variable speed facility but none, as far as I am aware, are fitted to PCs.
There is an alternative, though, and that’s to copy or ‘rip’ the CD to your PC
using Windows Media Player and then play it back using the Audacity audio
editing program (free, download link at: http://goo.gl/hY2I5).
This program has a variable tempo option, or you could try the Winamp media
player (also free: http://goo.gl/Pzfcj),
which has an optional plug-in for variable speed replay.
That’s a Big Help…
Every week I order my groceries online from
Waitrose. If there is a problem I go to
Help and up comes 10 pages of instructions in very small print. To read this on
screen without hurting my eyes I use the zoom feature on my browser but I would
prefer to print them out in a reasonable sized type so I can refer to them whenever
I need to. But when I click the Print icon on the page the result is in the
original very small type. How can I print out the instructions in the same size
as they appear on my zoomed browser screen?
Michael Holden, by email
Printing web pages can be a real problem as
there’s no fixed shape or format and the text and graphics they contain may
include hidden formatting commands that can really mess things up. There is a
Text Size option on Internet Explorer’s View/Page menu (select Largest), but this
doesn’t always work. In most cases the simplest thing to do is to highlight the
text. If there’s a lot of it with no graphics just press Ctrl + A to highlight
the entire page, then press Ctrl + C to copy the highlighted text to the
Windows Clipboard. Next open a new document in Word or WordPad and press Ctrl +
V to paste in the text, which you can now edit it to make it more readable and
print out as a hard copy
Concerned at the high cost of ink cartridges
for my Canon printer, I started using cheaper cartridges obtained online.
Unfortunately one of them leaked, ruining the printer. So for my new printer I
only use the official cartridges, costing about £12 each. Given this high cost,
is it worth the risk trying again with a cheaper, compatible cartridge?
Steve Short, by email
My general advice is to stick with the
manufacturer’s original cartridges until the printer’s warranty runs out and
you can make significant savings by shopping online and bulk buying. After
that, by all means experiment with compatibles but avoid the very cheapest
Internet deals, it’s just asking for trouble. You are normally better off with
refilled original or remanufactured cartridges and high street stationers and
supermarkets are usually the safest place to buy them. The cost savings may not
be so impressive but they tend not to take chances with quality as they have an
aversion to disgruntled customers bringing inky printers into their shops.
Our son sent us some email attachments with a file
extension .mov. When I try to open them it elicits the message ‘This file does
not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an
association in the Folder Options control panel’. I can't see anything relevant
in Control Panel and wonder if you could tell me how to open the attachments?
Gavin Inglis, by email
That error message is a menace and confuses
many users into thinking that there’s a box they can tick somewhere that will
make the computer open the file. In fact it is simply saying that Windows
cannot open the file or attachment because the program needed to do so isn’t
installed on your computer.
For example, if someone sends you a Word
document, with the file extension .doc or .docx you can only read it if you
have Microsoft Word (or a Word viewer) on your computer. If you do when Word
was installed it told Windows to associate .doc and .docx files with Word and
when you click on one Word opens automatically and displays the document. The
.mov file extension indicates that it’s an Apple QuickTime media file, so you
need to install QuickTime on your computer in order to play them. It’s not a
problem, all you have to do is go to http://www.apple.com/quicktime/,
click the Free Download box and select the version you want (with or without
© R. Maybury 2011 1605