Ask Rick Maybury 2012



Ask Rick 231 17/11/12


Conflicting Advice

I keep getting the following message on my Windows 7 desktop PC: ‘Windows has detected an IP address conflict. Another computer on this network has the same IP address as this computer…’.  I use a wireless router and only have one computer on the network so why I am getting this message? I do have a laptop but I haven’t used it since this message started appearing. I am especially concerned because a few days ago I received an email purporting to be from my son with a link, which appeared to be to some photographs. Stupidly, as I now realise it wasn’t from him, I clicked on the link only to see a message that Firefox could not find the relevant page. I am not sure now whether these two things started at the same time but I am worried that I might have allowed someone to have remote access to my computer.

Eric Hooper, by email


This is often due to a simple network configuration error and it is extremely unlikely that it has anything to do with that bogus web link. It’s probably just a glitch, though Microsoft security updates have been implicated in the past, but in a lot of cases all you have to do is switch off your PC and any other devices that connect to your router (digital TV boxes, smartphones, Kindles etc.) then switch off the router. Wait at least a minute; switch it back on again then switch your devices back on again one by one, starting with the PC. If the message persists try resetting your PC’s network adaptor. Go to Search (or Run on XP) on the Start menu and type CMD and in the box that appears type ‘ipconfig /release’ (without the quotes), press Return, then type ipconfig /renew and press Return once more.



Fire On TV?

I am seeking advice concerning the new Kindle Fire HD and its HDMI port. My TV only has a SCART connection, but I see from various sources that you can buy a HDMI to SCART converters. Would such a connection actually work and what would I loose in terms of picture or sound quality?

Keith Thompson, by email


It should work but there are a few points to be aware of. The HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connection on the Kindle carries digital video and audio signals, whereas the SCART socket on your TV is designed for a 625-line analogue AV input, so it’s more involved than just a simple connecting lead. This type of digital to analogue conversion inevitably involves a reduction in picture quality, down from high definition to standard definition, and basic stereo, instead of multi-channel surround sound. How noticeable the drop in picture quality is depends on the converter and you can take it as read that you get what you pay for. On budget models, costing less than £50, say, it is likely to be fairly disappointing. Incidentally, the Kindle Fire HD has a Type D mini HDMI socket and since most converters use the full size (Type A) connector, you will need a Type D to Type A adaptor as well; these cost around £5 to £10 from online sellers like ebay and Amazon.    



Wire Transfer

On holiday in the US I bought an Apple iPad, not the 3/4G type, but one that uses Wi-Fi only. My PC is connected to my modem by cable and so the iPad will not work at home. I accept that I need a Wi-Fi set up, but what about the PC as I would like to keep the PC hard-wired, just a preference, is this possible? 

Peter Brewer, by email


No problem, all you need is a basic, no-frills wireless router costing around £20.00 upwards from online sellers. This plugs into your existing modem, using the LAN/Ethernet cable that previously went to your PC. Once you’ve selected the connection on the iPad’s wireless setup and entered the router’s passcode, it should connect to the Internet. The PC simply connects, via a second LAN cable, to one of the spare Ethernet ports on the back of the router and no further configuration should be necessary.



Pulsing Investments

I try to track my investments using Excel and it would help if those figures that I wish to keep my eye on would pulsate. I know that I can use colours, boldness and so forth but nothing catches the eye like a pulsating figure. I seem to remember some years ago this was possible in an old DOS program.  Can this be done in Excel, either in XP or Windows 7 home edition? 

David A. Buck, by email


Yes it can and there’s a copy of the code at: and a demonstration of it in action on a sample worksheet at:



Group Therapy

I am about to relinquish the secretaryship of a club and I have a list of 120 members email addresses. The contact group includes information on names, addresses, telephone numbers etc. Although I can send out an email to all 120 members, so that my successor can click on the addresses and save to his contacts, it would not, so far as I am aware, give him all the other information.  Is there any way that all of the data held in a contact group can be sent to another user?

David Rogers


You didn’t mention which email client you are using – always handy to know – but most programs have a facility to Export the whole address book or contacts list, to a folder on your PC, it’s usually on the File menu or toolbar. Several different file formats are used but if you have a choice opt for .csv (comma separated value), which is basically a plain text file. However, some email programs won’t export Group Contacts in .csv files, in which case open the file in Notepad or your word processor and manually delete all of the entries, except those in the Contact Group. If the Group has been included, don’t forget to delete all of the other entries before you pass it on to the new secretary, either by copying it to a USB flash drive or sending it as an email attachment.



© R. Maybury 2012 2910


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