Ask Rick 213 14/07/12
With reference to your recent reply to a query
regarding 4G mobile phone networks, I am concerned that my 3G Kindle will
become obsolete. If, as you say, 3G may
be wound up in 3 years or so, how will I continue to download books?
David Pinder, by email
Three years was my guesstimate for the full deployment of 4G
networks in the UK. I have no doubt that 3G services will continue for several
years after that, allowing plenty of time for users to update their phones and
devices. Even if they were to go in such a short timeframe your Kindle would
still be able to download books from Amazon and other e-book services using its
Wi-Fi connection or via a PC. The question is, will you still have your present
Kindle in five years? Possibly not; there’s a very fair chance that you will
have upgraded by then, or it will have expired because you dropped it, sat on
it or the battery died and it wasn’t worth replacing. Who knows, you might even
abandon e-books altogether and revert back to those old fashioned text readers,
the sort that smell nice and don’t require batteries or Internet connections…
Multiple Choice Skype
I tried to contact HMRC using Skype; the quality of the
call was excellent, until the automated message asked me to key in a number for
the service that I wanted. How do I do that?
Brian Lawrence, by email
Old versions of Skype used to display an on-screen numeric
keypad but now you use the keyboard’s number keys, or the numeric keypad for
dialling. If you need to enter a number whilst in a call simply click the
keypad icon that appears at the bottom of the Call Phones window.
Larger Live Mail
I have recently had eye surgery and am finding it very
difficult to read my PC screen. I can adjust the size of the image in Word and
can use the Ctrl and + keyboard shortcut for zooming web browser windows but
cannot find out how to make text larger in Windows Live Mail. Have you any
Colin Bartlett, by email
Yes, and all you have to do is go to Tools > Options,
select the Read tab and the Font’s button and click Font Size. However, you may
find that a better long-term solution is to change the display settings for all
applications by going to Start > Control Panel > Display. Either select
Medium (125%) or use the Set Custom Text Size (DPI) adjustment. You can also
experiment with the display options available in the Ease of Access Centre in
Control Panel and if you are using a desktop PC and your present screen is
17-inches or less, upgrading to a larger monitor may help.
Missing E-Books on iPad
I have the Kindle app on my iPad and through
Amazon I bought five books. I clicked to download the books and the front
covers are displayed but I cannot open them.
What have I done wrong?
C Morris. By email
The likeliest explanation is that you initiated
the downloads but closed the Kindle app before they had completed. To restart
the downloads first make sure that you have a live Wi-Fi Internet connection;
double check by opening a web page in Safari browser. Now open the Kindle app,
select the Cloud tab and then the book that you want to download and it should
come through. Do not exit the app until you have verified that the book is on
I have five television sets in my home, all
served from the one aerial. Two TVs have built-in Freeview decoders and the
other three use digital set top boxes. One of the Freeview TVs receives BBC
& ITV south regional programmes, the other one picks up eastern region transmissions. Of the three TVs with set top boxes, two
receive programmes from the east, the other from the southern region. I would
like them all to receive the same southern region programmes. Re-tuning does
not change the reception status. Can you please explain why this happens and
what, if anything, I can do about it?
John Fraser, by email
Freeview tuners normally determine which TV
region you are in from the strength of the signals. It sounds as though your
aerial is picking up broadcasts from two transmitters and small variations in
the sensitivity of the tuning circuitry accounts for the different region
choices. You should first check to see if the wanted regional broadcasts have
been stored high up on the receiver’s channel list, typically channel numbers
800 and above. If so, and your receivers have the facility, you can re-order or
swap them with the unwanted channels. Another possibility on some receivers is
to delete all stored channels by carrying out a channel scan with the aerial
cable unplugged, then reconnect and tune the receiver manually. Drastic
solutions include changing to a more directional aerial and if all else fails,
and you have a friend that lives closer to your preferred regional transmitter,
load the errant TV and set top boxes into your car, take them around to their
house and retune using their aerial…
A Plug For Broadband
I am having trouble getting a reliable wireless
connection to my second computer in the part of the house furthest from the
Internet hub so am considering buying a Homeplug Ethernet adaptor. However,
this area of the house is on a separate ring main to that which feeds the hub.
I am unfamiliar with these devices so would this matter?
Mike Poplar, by email
These systems work by superimposing computer
data onto a high frequency carrier signal that travels through the mains
wiring. The signal can cross between separate circuits or rings, but only when
they are connected together on the same fuse box or consumer unit.
Incidentally, you may want to check that there are no amateur radio enthusiasts
living nearby, as there have been reports of these systems interfering with
short wave reception.
© R. Maybury 2012 2506