Ask Rick Maybury 2012



Ask Rick 188 21/01/12


Elementary My Dear iPad

I have no trouble downloading photographs from my camera memory card to my iPad 2. However, if I edit them with Photoshop Elements 9 on my computer they will not transfer, even if I put them on a clean memory card. Have you a solution?

T W Williams


It sounds as though you have been saving your edited image files in Photoshop Element’s native file format, which it does by default. This is so changes can be undone and there is no loss of quality in subsequent edits. However, this format is not recognised by your iPad so the answer is to save them to the memory card as standard .jpeg files.



Ripping Good Program

A few years ago I copied a VHS home video tape to DVD. This is now in DVD Video format and readable by both my PC and a standard DVD player. I now want to upload it to my PC from the disc. Is there a way to achieve this without spending a fortune on specialist software?

Roger Cliffe, by email


Presumably you want to be able to re-edit or copy the material on your DVD, and since there are no copyright issues, I suggest a freeware DVD ‘ripping’ program called WinX ( This can convert a DVD to any of the popular multimedia file formats, including .mp4, .wmv, .avi, .mov. mpeg and H.264. As an added bonus this also means that your video can be converted for viewing on a wide range of portable media players, smart phones and tablets.



Restoration Comedy

My XP computer froze recently and I tried to use System Restore several times using different restore dates. Each time it seemed to do the usual procedure but after shutting down and re-starting automatically the result each time was ‘Your computer cannot be restored…’ Is it possible to correct this?

Richard M, by email


Bad news, I’m afraid. System Restore works by taking regular snapshots of critical system files that change when you alter your PC’s configuration or install new programs. This message normally indicates that the chosen Restore Points (RPs) are corrupt and cannot be used. It’s not possible to identify which ones are causing the problem, so if all of your RPs fail, try creating a new one. If that doesn’t work the whole archive is probably corrupt and all you can do is clear everything and start again by turning System Restore off and then back on again (Winkey + Break to open System Properties > System Restore). Obviously this won’t help with the initial problem but at least System Restore should start working again.



Looking for a Letter

My TV has a facility to accept a hard drive via a USB port. I connected one and formatted it using the TV as instructed. I now no longer need it on the TV and want to use it with my PC. The PC installs it and announces it is ‘Ready to use’, but doesn't allocate a drive letter. Although the drive appears in all the various lists and is reported to be working properly, I can find no way of accessing it to reformat it for the PC.

Gus Blanchard, by email


Plug in the drive then go to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management. In the lower right hand pane scroll down to find your removable drive, right-click on the shaded area and select Change Drive Letter and Path, assign it a letter then go back to the right-click menu and select Format.



Tetchy Tablet

I have an Archos tablet PC, which was set-up to access my Gmail account. However, I have changed my Gmail password on my lap-top, which works fine, but I do not seem able to set it up to also receive them on the Archos. Whatever I do, I get either a message saying ‘user name or password is incorrect’.

D.J. Wilshire


You can’t easily delete or change Gmail account on an Android device without carrying out a full reset, which would result in all of your data being lost. To cut a long story short this is because Google developed Android, and you need an account to be able to access the Google Marketplace to download apps. However, there is a simple workaround and that’s to open a second Gmail account, using the new password. In theory you can then remove the old account, however, you may find that it deletes the messages and contacts associated with the existing account, so I would leave it alone.



iPlayer Irritant

I have an iPad2 running IOS4.3.5. It is a Wi-Fi only version and receiving a full strength signal from my router. I have installed the BBC iPlayer app, but whenever I try to download a programme, either radio or TV, I get a message telling me to switch to a Wi-Fi connection. My PC connected to the same router is able to download programmes without any trouble.

Shaun O'Sullivan, by email


Problems like this have been annoying iPad users for quite some time and a fix was promised by the BBC back in August last year. It still hasn’t been fully explained but it seems to centre on the strength of the wireless link and the speed of the Internet connection, if they fall below a particular level the app throws a wobbly. According to the BBC recent changes have been made at their end, and to the app, which should improve its ability to adjust the quality of the video stream to suit the connection. An update for the app is being deployed so it should be resolved by now, or in the very near future. If you continue to experience difficulties then there may still be a problem with your wireless or broadband setup; see what happens when you log on to iPlayer using another, known good Wi-Fi connection.  




© R. Maybury 2012 0201

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