Houston We Have a Problem 11



Ask Rick 180 19/11/11


Chinese Cheats

Until recently I managed to avoid Internet fraud through a combination of care and good luck. However I became a little careless and ordered an item from a website with a .co.uk address, which I subsequently discovered was actually a business in China. I am worse off to the tune of £36 and accept that I will never recover this. My question therefore, is there anything I can do to warn others, apart from leaving feedback on the site’s review page?

Ann Walker, by email


Posting negative feedback generally only works if the comments page is unmonitored, otherwise it will probably be swiftly removed. You should certainly lodge a complaint with whoever you used to transfer the payment. Credit and debit card companies and PayPal, for example, have fraud investigation departments and if wrongdoing can be proved you may get a refund. They should also suspend their account, though dodgy websites have a nasty habit of popping up again with new identities. However, in the end, the onus is on you to be vigilant, before placing an order online. Even though a site has a .co.uk web address, it’s often fairly obvious that they are based overseas. Prices quoted in dollars and iffy spelling and grammar are warning signs to watch out for and the lack of a UK landline phone number or address should ring alarm bells. There are also ways to determine the location of a website and who owns it. The best known is www.whois.net; just type the site address into the box for a detailed report. If you are using the Firefox browser a free add-on called Flagfox (http://goo.gl/X0q7X) shows where in the world the site’s server is based and a number of safety and security checks. It’s also worth Googling the company name, along with words like scam and fraud. If they have been up to no good there is a fair chance that details of their activities will have appeared on web forums, and you may be able to add your experiences to the thread.



Getting Shirty With Word

I have created a message in Word that I want to transfer onto a T-Shirt. My problem is that I cannot find a way to create a mirror image to print onto iron-on transfer paper. I have looked online but the only suggestion I can find is to use the WordArt feature, but I can’t see how that will help.

John Harris, by email


Word Art will do what you want, all you have to do is highlight the text, select WordArt and choose a Text Style. The default selection is best if you don’t want anything fancy; if you don’t like the outline style use the Format Text option on the Edit WordArt toolbar to give the characters a black fill. Now you can reverse or distort the shape of the letters using the sizing handles. To flip the text box back to front just click on the handle on the bottom right hand corner of the text box and drag it to the left.



The Sixty-Four Bit Question

I am trying to get a new computer running 64-bit Windows 7 to operate my Canon LBP 5200 printer which, worked fine with Windows XP. Canon appear to offer a W7 driver, but when I double click on it and select Setup, I get a message that says it cannot run this driver on this system. Is there an alternative source of suitable drivers?

T Konwerski, by email


It sounds as though you have downloaded the 32-bit driver for this printer, which will not work on a 64-bit system. It’s an all too common problem and some peripheral manufacturers seem to take the view that if a device is more than a year or so old it’s not worth producing a 64-bit driver for W7, in which case you can be stuck with a useless piece of hardware. Don’t give up, though, and whilst it is unlikely that a 64-bit driver for this printer will ever be created there are a couple of workarounds to try. Sometimes 64-bit drivers for similar models will work, try the one for the LBP 5000 printer (available at http://goo.gl/TQST6), though there might be reduced functionality. Alternatively, if you have the Pro, Enterprise or Ultimate version of W7, running it in XP compatibility mode may let you to install the 32-bit driver (more details from Microsoft at http://goo.gl/TGD99). If that doesn’t work, or you are using 64-bit Home Premium, the same Microsoft web page has a link for downloading Windows Virtual PC, which runs a version of Windows XP inside Windows 7.



Missing Memoir

I have an 85-year-old technophobe friend who was persuaded to write his memoirs (he was a paratrooper). He laboriously typed in about 2000 words using Microsoft Works. He had just begun a new page when he backspaced to delete a word and for some reason, everything disappeared. I have looked in all the usual places and used a program to find deleted files but there is no sign of it on the hard drive. I am at a loss to know how this could have happened; have you any explanation or ideas for retrieving his work?

T.W. Williams, by email


It’s easily done but unfortunately his work has gone and once the program is closed there is no way to get it back. It’s impossible to say now how it happened but my guess is he may have inadvertently highlighted the whole document with an accidental click and movement of the mouse or inadvertently pressed the key combination Ctrl + A. Once highlighted the next key press zaps the lot. To avoid it happening again there are a couple of things he should do. Whenever something unexpected happens, don’t panic, just use the universal command, Ctrl + Z, to Undo the last action, and get into the habit of regularly saving his work, every 15 minutes or after every page, say.



© R. Maybury 2011 3110


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