Houston We Have a Problem 11



Ask Rick 163 23/07/11


Sky+ Upgrade

I am about to upgrade my Sky+ box to a Sky+ HD digibox. I have between five and ten hours of recordings on the old Sky+ box that I would like to save. Is it possible to transfer them to the Sky+ HD box or is there any way they can be copied to a DVD?

Alan Thomason, by email


You have two options. The first is to use the Sky+ box’s analogue video and audio (AV) output to copy the programs to a DVD recorder or your computer. This will result in a small reduction in quality. If you want to use your PC you will need an AV input module that plugs into one of the computer’s USB sockets plus some video recording and DVD burning software.


The alternative method is to copy the programmes from the hard drive in the Sky+ box to the drive in the Sky+ HD box using your PC and a free Windows program called Copy+ (http://goo.gl/4iYzq). There’s no loss of quality with this method but you have to remove the drives from both Sky boxes so it will almost certainly invalidate any warranties and it helps to be handy with a screwdriver. You will also need one or two USB hard drive caddies – to connect the drive to the PC -- these cost around £20 - £30 from online sellers.


If you use one caddy the data from old drive is temporarily stored on the PC, so make sure you have plenty of free hard drive space. Once that’s done swap the drives in the caddy and copy the programs from the PC to the new drive. If you use two caddies you can copy the programmes straight from one drive to the other. Whichever method you use you won’t be able to watch the programmes on your PC, though there are ways and means of doing that, as explained on the Copy+ website.



POP goes gmail

I want to temporarily reroute emails arriving on my home PC to my gmail account so that I can monitor them on my laptop when travelling.

Gavin Inglis, by email


All you have to do is open gmail, click the gearwheel icon in the top right hand corner and select Mail Settings. Choose the Accounts and Import tab and under Check Mail using POP3, click Add POP3 email account. Follow the prompts and type in the email address and password of the account you want gmail to check. Note that gmail leaves the messages on your POP3 server so they will still be there to download on your PC when you get home.



Psion of the Times

I have a Psion Revo organiser and using Windows 98 I have been able to transfer Word and Excel files to and from my PC. Now I have a laptop using Vista and it no longer works. Can you help? I am also concerned that my Revo, which is about 10 years old, could die at any time. So far I have not found anything to replace it. I am looking for something that will fit in a jacket pocket, has a proper keyboard, Word and Excel, and is compatible with Vista. Anything else would be a bonus. Any suggestions?

Malcolm Clark, by email


The last version of Psion’s communication software, (PsiWin v2.3.3), will run on Vista and Windows 7, though W7 need to be in XP compatibility mode. However, since most laptops no longer have serial ports you have to use a USB to Serial adaptor lead. The trouble is the Revo is quite fussy and not all of them work but one that usually does is the Startech ICUSB232, which sells from around £8.00 from the likes of Amazon.


The Revo and its popular predecessor the Psion 5 really were ahead of their time and there nothing really to compare with them at the moment, that meets all of your requirements. A Windows netbook comes close, though you’ll need fairly large pockets to carry it. Otherwise your best bet is an iPad, iPhone or an Android smartphone or tablet PC. They can all open and edit Microsoft Office files using apps such Documents to Go (around £15) there’s also Quick Office for Android, which costs around £5.00. If you don’t like on-screen keyboards there’s a huge choice of compact external keyboards for Android devices. There’s not so many for the iPad but they are available.



Openzone Hijack

If I wake up my Windows 7 laptop from sleep mode, it connects to BT Openzone, inviting me to subscribe. I then have to re-connect to my home Wi-Fi connection. If I start the computer from shutdown state it automatically connects to my home Wi-Fi. Why does it try to connect to BT Openzone from sleep, and how do I stop this happening? 

Dr Bijesh Patel, by email


This irritates a lot of people and it’s due to some BT wireless routers being used as Wi-Fi hotspots that can be shared by Openzone and BT FON subscribers. Incidentally, not all BT customers are aware that this is this is happening, or have forgotten that they opted in for this service, so check your agreements. 


Openzone and FON connections appear to Windows as public unsecured networks and it may be that at some time in the past you clicked on BT Openzone (or FON) and it has been added to your list of wireless connections. You can remove it – but don’t be surprised if it comes back – by going to Start > Control Panel > Network and Sharing Centre and click on Manage Wireless Networks. Right click on the BT Openzone listing, and any others that you do not use and select Remove network. Otherwise, if you want to stop it connecting again, do not delete the entry in Manage Wireless Networks but right-click on it, select Properties and make sure that ‘connect automatically….’ is unchecked.



© R. Maybury 2011 0407


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