Ask Rick 209 17/06/12
No Earthly Reason
My hobby is metal detecting and I have been
trying to print a copy of a Google Earth satellite image of a farm I want to
visit to get permission to detect on. I click on the Print icon but all I get
is a totally black half page. I have tried it several times but the result is
always the same
Peter Minshall, by email
The Google Earth display is a complex mixture
of layered images, graphics and toolbars so it’s not as straightforward as it
seems. There is a simple solution, though, and that’s to go to the File menu
and click Save > Save image and the image or map display will be saved as a
high quality jpeg in a folder of your choice. You can then open and print it in
the normal way from Windows Paint or your preferred image editing or viewer
Playback on iPad
I have a 1Gb video, in VOB format, on my
computer, which I want to play on my iPad1.
Can you recommend a free download, which will let me watch the movie on
Ian Hansford, by email
VOB, which is basically the file format
structure used on DVDs, isn’t supported by the iPad so you will have to convert
your movie, preferably to mpeg4 or avi format. As always it’s helpful to know
something about your PC, not least which operating system you are using, but if
it’s Windows the All Free iPad Converter from: http://goo.gl/fCphn
is the place to start. If you are a Mac user the freebie options are more
limited but there is an open source utility called Handbrake (http://goo.gl/u03Fk), and versions are also
available for Windows and Linux systems.
Is it possible to change the order in which
words are offered to you in predictive text on an Android phone? I find it
infuriating that some words I use a lot are towards the end of the queue, and
their position never changes to reflect frequency of use.
Fiona Buckley, by email
Android’s predictive text system should eventually
learn to give more prominence to frequently used words but it can take a while.
You can’t change the algorithm that controls how it works but you can sometimes
speed up the process by repeatedly tapping in the word and selecting the
predictive text suggestion, however, you might have to do it a dozen or more
times before it takes effect. Editing your phone’s User Dictionary can also
help. Add your chosen words to the list if they are not already there and
remove any misspelled or junk words. To do that go to Settings > Language
& Keyboard > Touch Input > User Dictionary.
I have occasionally purchased vinyl records on
ebay, and am now planning to sell part of my own collection. When you select a
vinyl item for sale on the ebay, it will usually be accompanied by a highly
detailed description of the artist and of the record in particular. As I don't
believe that anyone types this out
manually and individually, I was wondering if
you know where this information is sourced?
Brian Dingwall, by email
It’s a free service and when you create an
auction listing one of the first things that you do is enter the item’s title
or keywords that help to describe it. ebay then offers suggestions that help
you to specify the category and format plus a box with the pre-prepared
additional information, which you can choose to include with your description.
It’s origin and any additional copyright notices are shown at the top of the
I am trying to open ftmb and ged files with no
luck. Microsoft via the web suggested downloading SpeedyPCpro, which I have but
this hasn't helped at all. All it keeps telling me is to start a scan, but at
the same time it is telling me my computer is running perfectly!
Les Oxborough, Madeley
Are you absolutely sure the suggestion to
install that particular program came from Microsoft? I find that puzzling, as
this appears to be a very simple problem with file associations. Whenever you
install a program Windows adds to its database of known file types and this is
how it knows which program to open whenever you click on a file.
The ftmb file, this contains backup data for
the genealogy program Family Tree Maker, so you need to have this installed on
your computer in order to use it. Similarly ged or genealogical data files are
also used by Family Tree Maker to store and exchange family trees, so the first
thing to do is make sure that you have FTM on your computer. If you do, it is
possible that the file associations have become corrupted or lost. You can
easily reset them from the dialogue box that opens when you click on the files
concerned; simply select FTM from the list of suggested programs. Otherwise you
can set up the association manually. In Windows XP open Windows Explorer and go
to Tools > Folder Options and select the File Types tab. In Vista and W7 go
to Start > Control Panel > Default Programs and select ‘Associate a file
type or protocol with a program’. If none of these steps work FTM may be
corrupted so remove and reinstall it; your saved data should be safe.
I should like to copy the sound from YouTube
railway videos to a disc to use as background sound on a model railway. I
should be grateful if you could let me know the best way of doing this on my
Windows 7 desktop PC?
Nigel Bartlett, by email
This is a simple two-stage process involving
recording the video’s soundtrack and then burning it to a CD and I was a little
surprised not to have found any utilities that can do the whole job but it’s
not a problem. There are plenty of general-purpose PC recording programs but I
would try a freeware offering called YouTube to MP3 Converter (http://goo.gl/jy7uU). This makes life very
simple and all you have to do is copy and paste the YouTube link into the
program’s window and it gets on with the job of creating an MP3 file from the
soundtrack. When that’s done open Windows Media Player, select the recording
you’ve just made, pop in a blank CD and click the Burn button.
© R. Maybury 2012 2105