Ask Rick Maybury 2012



Ask Rick 226 13/10/12


Good Riddance

I installed Photofun Studio 6.1 to use with my Panasonic digital camera. For various reasons I decided to uninstall it, then changed my mind and tried to reinstall it. I now get an error message saying ‘5005 0x800 70002 and the version I am trying to install is different to the one installed’. The program, which I thought I had uninstalled is still showing in the list of programs and I can’t get rid of it.

Greg Peat, by email


Trying to decipher obscure error messages and attempting to fix broken programs is often a waste of time. The simplest solution for this, and most installation problems is to start afresh, but bypass the program’s own uninstaller and use a dedicated software removal utility. Try Revo Uninstaller ( or Advanced Uninstaller Pro ( They’re both free and do an excellent job of rooting out all of the bits and pieces uninstalled programs leave behind, which are usually responsible for problems of this sort.



DAB Noise Annoys

Our DAB radio has started making an annoying interference noise, spoiling our listening. We recently installed a plug-in front door bell but I don't think that's the offending item as the noise persists when it's unplugged. If I stand by the radio the noise seems to disappear.

Paul Gibson, by email


Digital audio broadcasting was originally promoted as being less prone to interference and it is true that compared with AM and FM radio, reception is less likely to be affected by pirate transmitters, stations on adjacent frequencies or multi-path (reflected) signals. However, there is now a long and growing list of devices blamed for interfering with DAB radios and it includes microwave ovens, LED lighting, laptops and laptop power supplies, LCD TVs, mobile phones and power line networking, to name just a few.


Interference tends to be more of a problem in weak signal and fringe reception areas and the fact that it comes and goes when you stand near your radio suggests that it could be a factor in your case. Something as simple as moving the aerial, or the radio, or using an outside aerial may help. Otherwise, most of the devices implicated to date are mains-powered, and the chances are the interference is travelling through the mains wiring. You may be able to track down the source by switching things off, one at a time, until it disappears. If the guilty device cannot be easily moved, replaced or suppressed try using a mains filter plug or adaptor with your radio. In the end, though, it shouldn’t happen. If the interference is coming from an otherwise blameless domestic appliance, that’s not affecting any other audio or video products, then it may be due to a flaw in the design of the radio and you should complain to the manufacturer.    



Fickle Favourites

I have switched from Sky satellite to Virgin cable TV. My new service includes a Tivo video recorder, which has a lot of fancy features but in some ways is a step backwards from my previous Sky+ HD recorder. The remote handset is the daftest design ever; the rounded back means it spends more time on the floor than on the arm of my chair, but my biggest gripe is with the Program Guide. It persists on displaying hundreds of channels that I do not subscribe to. It can be adjusted to show just my Favourite channels, but no matter how often I reset it, it switches back to the All Channels list. I have searched through the menus but cannot find any way to make it stick, could it be a fault?

Mike B, by email


No, it’s deliberate and no matter what you do it reverts to the All Channels list after an hour or so. A lot of users are irritated by this behaviour and there are a number of theories as to why it happens, the favourite one being that seeing what is on the channels you can’t get encourages you to upgrade your subscription. Either way you are stuck with it, unless Virgin or Tivo issue a firmware update. I do have one possible solution though, which should also solve your unstable handset problem, and that’s to use a programmable remote control with Macro recording. Several mid-range models have this feature and it lets you program a sequence of commands and assign them to one button. So, pressing the Guide button displays the All Channels list as usual but then goes on to step through the commands needed to display just your Favourites.



Solar Snapper

I’m a keen digital photographer with a Sony Alpha DSLR, and I also like to travel and trek in remote locations far from mains power. The camera’s batteries are not charged through the USB connection and the supplied charger is mains-only. Do you know of a portable solar-powered charging device that I could use for my camera? I am also looking for a cost-effective means of backing up my SD memory cards? It would need to have two card slots, to copy from one card to another, or one card slot and one USB socket to copy from card to memory stick, or decent storage capacity of 32Gb or more.

J R Turpy, by email


Amazon and ebay both have a wide selection of chargers for your camera that operate on both mains and 12 volt DC supplies, and prices start at under £10.00. Solar panels designed to attach to backpacks and rucksacks with built-in panels are also widely available and again, you’ll find plenty to choose from online. Backing up your SD cards is also reasonably straightforward. Dedicated portable storage devices or photo banks, which use a 2.5-inch laptop-type hard drives tend to be fairly expensive, not much less than a netbook PC in fact, which would be my suggestion. The storage space on most models can be easily and cheaply expanded with SD cards, and you needn’t worry about the number of card slots, all you need is a USB card reader, to copy images to the PC or copy files to another card.      




© R. Maybury 2012 1708

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