Ask Rick 197 24/03/12
The Power of Radio
I have just bought a combined DAB/FM radio. I
usually have it in DAB mode, tuned to Radio 2 all day, but a neighbour tells me
it would be cheaper to leave it on FM. Is she correct?
Lee Hartman, by email
It is true that many DAB radios consume more
power than similarly specified FM radios but the differences are relatively
small and switching to FM, on a ‘combo model is unlikely to have any effect on
your electricity bill. As a matter of interest the annual running costs of a
typical mains-powered DAB radio works out at between £1.00 and £2.00 a year,
maybe a little less if you unplug it when not in use. A comparable FM radio
costs between half and two thirds as much to run. If you can decode your
electricity tariff and know the power rating of your radio you can get a more
accurate costing using the Electricity Running Cost Calculator on the UK Power
website at http://goo.gl/yj7uI. See also some
example annual costs of popular DAB radios, and many other household
appliances, on the Sust-it site at: http://goo.gl/okpXn.
I have a folder on a USB memory stick, which I
cannot delete. When I try to remove it I get the message: ‘Cannot delete
file: Cannot read from the source file
or disk’. I originally downloaded some music files from the Internet for use on
my Yamaha keyboard, which also refuses to delete this file. Is there another
Brian Kinson, by email
The file or the memory stick’s filing system
may be corrupt, in which case the simplest solution is to copy any files that
you want to keep to your PC then re-format the memory stick by right-clicking
on it’s icon in Windows Explorer and select the Format option.
I am trying to wipe clean the hard-drives on a
desktop PC before disposing of the machine. I have tried two freeware programs,
but neither of them seems to work because the machine apparently lacks the capacity
to open them. The programs download onto a memory stick as ISO files, which the
PC does not recognise.
Peter Browning, by email
You are almost there. An ISO file is a
container for a set of files. These are used to create a bootable disc (or
memory stick) that starts the computer, instead of Windows, and in your case,
runs the disc wiper program. There is one more step and you need a handy
freeware program called ImgBurn (download link at: http://goo.gl/TZGVU).
It is very easy to use, simply pop in a blank disc or memory stick, select the
ISO file from your downloads folder and click the Create Image File from Disc
icon. Once it has finished restart the PC and it should boot from the disc or
drive. If not you need to run your PC’s BIOS or Start Up program (see manual
for instructions) and change the boot order, so that first boot device is your
CD/DVD drive or USB drive.
Breaking the Export Embargo
I want to export some email folders, currently
stored in Outlook Express, to a USB device to pass on to my successor as
secretary to a Friends' Charity committee.
Anita Parsley, by email
Exporting or moving an entire Outlook Express
message store from one PC to another is fairly straightforward but moving a
single folder, or folders, is a little more involved. There are a number of
third-party programs that claim to be able to do this but I haven’t had much
luck with any of them. The method I suggest can be laborious, especially if
there are a lot of messages involved, but it does work. Open the folder and
highlight all of the messages that you want to export by pressing Ctrl + A. You
might want to do this in several batches if there are more than few hundred of
them. Now right click on the highlighted messages and select Forward and they
will be attached to a single email. You can now use SaveAs on the message box
File menu to save it on your USB drive as a .eml email message file; repeat as
necessary for the rest of the messages or other folders. With the USB drive in the
recipient’s PC double-click the first .eml file and it opens in their email
program. They can now highlight all of the attached messages (Ctrl + A) and
drag them en-masse them into a newly created message folder and once again
repeat the steps for any other .eml files on the USB drive.
Taming the Mouse
My wife has Parkinson's Disease and she is now
finding it very difficult to control the mouse.
Bob Fisher, by email
Research funded by the Norwegian Research
council (http://goo.gl/YQ9rp) suggests that a
significant number of Parkinson’s sufferer’s find trackball pointing devices
easier to use than a mouse. You might also be interested in a device, developed
by IBM and manufactured in the UK by Montrose Secam Ltd, called an Assistive
Mouse Adaptor (http://goo.gl/5QeRG). This
connects between an ordinary mouse and the PC and uses adjustable filters to
cancel out unintentional movements and multiple clicks caused by a tremor.
Booting Vintage Windows
I have three hard drives taken from redundant
computers, that I have converted into external storage using hard drive
enclosures. Each drive also contains the operating system I used at the time,
e.g. Windows 95, 98 and XP. Is it possible to boot my new PC from these drives?
John Thorpe, by email
The basic problem is that the Windows OS’s on
these drives are configured for your old PC’s hardware. Very few modern
motherboards are capable of running Windows 9x (95, 98, SE). The XP drive may
boot your new PC but I suspect that you will still have problems finding
suitable drivers for the motherboard, audio and video adaptors etc.
© R. Maybury 2012 0503