Ask Rick 240 19/01/13
Having recently moved home the number provided
by BT resulted in numerous calls from collection agencies. The previous user
presumably had financial difficulties. We have now been given a new number but
unfortunately it belonged to a business that has ceased trading. However, their
name is still listed by Google and other search engines. I have contacted a
number of the companies identified by the search to correct the information. I
would like to contact Google but cannot find an email address or telephone
number. We do not wish to change the number again but the calls are becoming a
Michael M Holmes, by email
Phone companies routinely recycle numbers so
there is no guarantee that changing your number will work; it could even make
matters worse. Google won’t be able do anything if the company’s website is
still active and it is not responsible for the content of other websites.
Registering with the Telephone Preference Service (www.tpsonline.org.uk), may stop a
few rogue calls from UK companies and you should continue to
contact third-party websites listing your number and ask them to remove it.
Eventually the number of calls to previous users of your number should go down,
and call screening can help keep other nuisance calls under control. You can do
this manually with an answering machine and caller ID; if you don’t recognise a
number or it is withheld simply ignore it. Otherwise there is a device called
Truecall, which does the job automatically. It intercepts incoming calls and if
the number isn’t on your ‘friends’ list the caller gets a message asking them
to state their name and business, which you can listen to before deciding
whether or not to answer it, or have the device inform them that you do not
wish to talk to them. At around £100 it is fairly expensive but there is a
cheaper and simpler alternative called CPR Call Blocker (around £50 from online
sellers such as Amazon). You set it to only accept calls from numbers that you
have programmed and reject calls from withheld and unknown numbers. If you
inadvertently answer a nuisance call just press the Block Now button, the call
is terminated and the number permanently rejected.
Print Screen doesn’t…
On my Toshiba laptop I have enlarged a small
area from a photograph downloaded from my camera. I want to print just the
enlarged area only, as I see it on my screen. The print screen button does not
respond to anything I have tried. What other method can I use, or what software
Robert Heath, by email
Several readers have written in about the
apparently useless Print Screen (PrtScn) key recently so as we haven’t dealt
with this for a while it is time for a quick reminder. Print Screen is a hangover from the early,
days of computing, before Windows, when it actually did what it said on the
key, Under Windows the function of the PrtScn key has changed but the name is
so embedded that no-one dared to change it to what it actually does, which is
screen capture (CapScn…?). Pressing PrtScn takes a snapshot of the current
screen and saves it to the Windows Clipboard as a bitmap (.bmp) image.
Incidentally, if you hold down the Alt key whilst pressing PrtScn you capture just
the active window or dialogue box. To view alter or print the captured image
open it in Windows Paint by going to the Edit menu and click Paste (or press
Ctrl + V).
still, forget PrtScn and edit and print your photos directly in an image
editing program. If you haven’t got one your PC try the excellent Photofiltre (http://goo.gl/YG9NY). It is completely free and
has a vast range of cropping and editing tools.
A few months ago I bought a Dell laptop a few
months ago, and I frequently get a flashing shield sign towards the left of the
bottom bar. When I click on it a warning message appears asking if I want to
allow a program called jucheck.exe to make changes to my computer. I have
spoken to several people at Dell, and no one seems to know what this program is
and whether it was installed pre-delivery or not. Can you tell me what it is?
Alan Rigby, by email
Shame on Dell Support; it takes just ten
seconds to look it up on Google. Jucheck.exe is a Java utility that
periodically goes online to look for updates. The warning message is coming
from Windows User Account Control (UAC), which is doing its job and asking your
permission to allow the update to make changes to system files. By the way, Java
is a programming language, used to display multimedia content on countless
websites and also in games and applications.
iPad Without a PC
We are thinking of getting an iPad but have
been put off by the suggestion that we need to have a Mac or Windows PC. Our
system is Ubuntu Linux on a desktop PC, with no wireless router. Since the iPad
would only be used out and about for reading e-books and emails, is it true
that we can't proceed with our current set-up?
Hartley Heard, by email
It’s useful but not essential to have a PC or
Mac to partner an iPad, but as far as emailing, web surfing and downloading
e-books on the move is concerned, they are completely unnecessary as you can
connect to the Internet through wireless hot spots or dig a little deeper and get
the 3G-equipped iPad. However, I suspect that you will eventually want to use
the iPad at home, so get a Wi-Fi router (around £30 online), which connects to
your broadband modem.
There is no doubt that iTunes is handy for
managing an iPad’s media library or for transferring photos and files so on but
there isn’t as yet a version for Linux. All is not lost, though and there are
ways around it. You could, for instance partition your PC’s hard drive and
install a copy of Windows or if you want to stay with Linux, and know what you
are doing, try a free utility called PlayonLinux (free from http://goo.gl/fSj0). This allows iTunes and a
number of other popular Windows applications to run inside Ubuntu.
© R. Maybury 2013 3112