Ask Rick Maybury 2012

  

 

Ask Rick 223 22/09/12

 

Chrome Lacks Polish?

What has happened to Google Chrome? For the past week it has refused to open on my Windows 7 laptop. I have uninstalled and reloaded several times, but to no avail. Online forums indicate I am not alone?

Patrick Shanahan, by email

 

Chrome does seem to have had its fair share of problems recently and there’s quite a long list of software, hardware, network and plugin issues on the Support website (http://goo.gl/RlWIa). If you can’t find the answer there it’s worth seeing what happens when you disable or temporarily uninstall your security software, as there have been a number of reports of Chrome updates being wrongly identified as malware or a virus.

 

 

Sleepy Samsung

I have a Samsung laptop running Windows 7 and almost every time it goes into Sleep mode it will not connect to the Internet on re-awakening. If I select the troubleshoot problems option it goes through the network diagnostics, resets the adaptor and it works fine again.

Mike Blackshaw, Codsall, South Staffs

 

This is may be due to laptop’s the network adaptor’s own power saving options. It goes into Sleep mode but doesn’t restart when the laptop wakes up. You can override this in Device Manager; press Winkey + Break to open System Properties; click Device Manager then Network Adpaptors. Right click your wireless adaptor, select Properties then the Power Management tab and deselect ‘allow the computer to turn off this device to save power’

 

 

All-Seeing Android

Is there such a thing as a webcam for Android devices? I have a tablet PC made by Acer, it has a USB port and I would like to connect it to a webcam pointing out on to my garden. However, I can't find one that works with Android; user groups suggest that what I am trying to do is impossible. Surely not?

Alan Thomas, by email

 

Someone somewhere may well have developed one but there’s really no need as there is already many fine products on the market that do the job. Network IP cameras connect to a home hub or router network via a cable or Wi-Fi link and you can view the video feed on your tablet using an app supplied by the camera manufacturer, or one of the many free generic apps on Google Play. This kind of setup also means that you will be able to see what’s going on anywhere in the world on your tablet or smartphone, when connected to the Internet through a wi-fi hotspot or 3G. Basic fixed-view cable-connected IP cameras sell from around £25 whilst more elaborate models, with wireless connectivity, infrared night time illumination, remotely controllable pan and tilt functions and two-way audio cost from £40 or so. 

 

Navigating With Windows

I recently purchased a Satnav of Chinese origin, which uses WinCE as the operating system. The Satnav works well and WinCE is listed as a separate desktop item. It looks a lot like my Windows XP desktop, but I cannot seem to do anything with it, including loading programs. The instructions for WinCE are sparse and poorly translated and I cannot find help anywhere on the Internet.

L. Zimbler, by email

 

This is Windows Compact Embedded, also popularly known as Compact Edition. It first appeared back in 1996 and is a specially written version of Windows, designed for mobile devices with limited memory. Initially it was used on a range of pocket PCs, the forerunners of today’s netbooks, smartphones and tablets but nowadays it is mostly confined to single-purpose devices like satnavs. Access to the desktop is normally hidden and it spends its time running just the one program, with its own custom interface. Superficially it looks a lot like normal Windows but structurally it is quite different and it will not run standard Windows software. Microsoft produced Win CE versions of Internet Explorer, Office, Outlook Express and so on, and at one time there were a number of third party applications available but getting it to do anything useful on a satnav is going to be a struggle; if you want a compact portable computer you are better off with a smartphone or tablet and if you want the complete package, get one with GPS.

 

 

Page Turner

I have a large number of magazines, which I would like to store in digital format. Can you recommend any flip page software so that I can store each magazine and flip through the pages, rather than save each page as a separate .pdf.  The only programs I have found online are intended for use on websites.

Alison Coote, by email

 

All you need is a specialist pdf viewer with a flip page display. Have a look at Flip PDF Reader, it’s free and you’ll find a link to the download at: http://goo.gl/KYZsK.

 

 

BT Bargain?

For the last seven years I have been using a desktop PC, but it is getting rather tired and I would like to replace it with a laptop. My Internet provider is BT and its service includes anti-virus software and something called Ad Watch. What do I have to do to transfer the anti-virus software from the PC to a new laptop and how do I tell BT what I am doing to ensure continuity of service.

John Phillips, by email

 

There’s no need to tell BT that you are changing computers but you won’t be able to use your old anti-virus software on the new PC. BT now provides a McAfee based package called NetProtect Plus. It is free to users on Infinity and Total Broadband (options 2 and 3) tariffs, but Broadband Option 1 customers have to pay £3.49 a month for the privilege. Log on to your My BT account and follow the links to the download. However, NetProtect has received mixed reviews and there are rather a lot of forums with users reporting problems with installation, activation and billing issues. If you want to keep things simple I suggest that you try Microsoft Security Essentials (http://goo.gl/tdpPO). It’s a complete security package, every bit as good as most commercial offerings, and as an added bonus it’s absolutely free.

 

 

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© R. Maybury 2012 0308

 

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