Ask Rick Maybury 2012



Ask Rick 228 27/10/12


Apple Fool Bug

The calendar app of my iPad2 has a curious glitch. In Month mode I can scroll backwards and forwards until I reach March 2013, at which point the display freezes for two or three seconds then reverts to the main menu. In Day mode, however, I can scroll into and through March 2013 from either direction without any problem. Any ideas?

John Morehen, by email


This only happens when you have an event scheduled for April 1st 2013. Apparently it is a bug and is caused by next year’s change in Daylight Saving Time occurring on the weekend before April 1st. For some unexplained reason this confuses the iPad and is small comfort to users who have carried out a full reset to try and fix this problem. Unless Apple comes up with an update the only workaround I am aware of is to use the Day or Week view to remove any events on April 1st



Phantom Pictures

A couple of years ago, whilst setting up my daughter’s new computer, I downloaded her pictures on a memory stick and loaded them on to the new machine. Although I don't remember doing so, I apparently also put them on to my computer. I now have my screensaver set to show all my pictures and every so often it brings up my daughter's pictures. I would like to delete them, but the trouble is, I can't find them. I have Windows 7 and her pictures just do not appear in the Pictures Library. Where on earth could they be hiding?

John Martin, by email


Windows 7 has a powerful search facility and if you type the image’s file names or numbers into Search on the Start menu they should appear, along with their location. Alternatively, install and use the Windows XP Slideshow Screensaver, which has an option to display file location. All you need is access to an XP computer; simply copy the file ssmypics.scr from C:\WINDOWS\system32, into the same location on your W7 PC. One last suggestion; install Picasa, the excellent free photo viewer/editing utility ( The first time it runs it offers to catalogue all of the images stored on your computer and this should reveal where they are stored.



Recycle and Reuse

We are about to replace our old Dell computer running Windows XP with a Windows 7 PC. I understand that you can remove the hard drive from the old PC and connect it to the new PC using a caddy, with a USB connector, and hey presto, you have an external hard drive. My question is, how successful is this and would you recommend it? At the end of the day, it seems daft to dispose of the old computer when parts like the hard drive can be recycled

Julie Wells, by email


At around £10 to £15 a hard drive caddy is a cheap alternative to a dedicated external hard drive, and there are very few drawbacks, but first the plus points. It is a quick and simple way of transferring data and files from the old PC to a new one and once it has been moved the drive can be wiped and used for external storage, transporting files or backup. It also gets around one of the main problems of disposing of old PCs, namely, what to do about any personal or private information stored on the hard drive. As you may know this can be recovered, even if the drive has been re-formatted. Unfortunately few other parts are worth hanging on to; the CPU, memory boards, motherboard and power supply are rarely any use, except for repairing old machines, but most of the materials in a computer can be reclaimed so take it to your local amenity site. The only downside is that an old, well-used drive is more likely to fail, and you should avoid running it continuously; without fan-assisted cooling they can get quite hot, and this further increases the chance of failure. 



Motorised MP3s

Could you recommend an inexpensive gadget that I could download podcasts on to from my home PC, to then listen to via my car stereo system? This would make my commuting so much more enjoyable!

Gill Carter, by email


Almost any MP3 player will do, from a fancy iPod to the humblest budget models selling for less than £10.00. However, the problem is connecting the player to your car stereo. If your vehicle is less than two or three years old the in-car entertainment system may have an external input socket, which you connect to the player’s headphone socket by cable. With older car stereos the answer is to use a miniature wireless FM transmitter, which re-broadcasts the audio from the player on an unused radio channel. The quality can be a variable but it’s unlikely to be a problem with speech material and you may not even notice it in the noisy environment of a moving car. FM transmitters, which plug into the player’s headphone socket, are available for all makes and types of MP3 player; prices start at under £5.00. Another option worth investigating is an MP3 player with a built-in FM transmitter. Some models are designed specifically for in-car use and plug into the car’s cigarette lighter socket. You can find them on ebay and Amazon, with remote control, selling for under £5.00, including postage! However, be warned that some ultra-cheap MP3 players do not have any internal memory but rely instead on SD memory cards. These are the same as those used in digital cameras, so if you have a one spare this could be a very cost effective solution; even if you haven’t standard 4Gb SD cards, for example, typically cost less than £5.00 online.



Nexus Dongle

Further to your recent reply to a query about connecting USB devices to a Nexus 7 Android tablet, does it work with 3G dongles?

Michael Dalton, by email


Yes-ish... Some 3G dongles can be persuaded to work on Android devices using a free app from Google Play called PPP Widget but it’s a bit hit and miss. If you have a smartphone it’s probably easier to connect or ‘tether’ it to your tablet, or use a mobile wireless hotspot app.



© R. Maybury 2012 0810

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