Ask Rick Maybury 2013



Ask Rick 244 16/02/13


Virgin on the Impossible?

I am having trouble picking up emails with my recently acquired iPad. I am a Virgin Media customer, but I also need to be able to pick up messages from my old Orange account. Orange is not a problem but I have tried everything to get it to recognise my Virgin account. I am able to access both accounts on my Windows laptop and desktop PCs and my HTC Smartphone. Is the iPad somehow incompatible with Virgin, or is there some app or tweak that can make it work?

Peter Law, by email


Virginmedia and a number of other ISPs are keen to steer us towards IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) and away from the older POP3 (Post Office Protocol). To cut a long story short IMAP messages usually remain on the server so they can be viewed from multiple devices. POP3 harks back to the days when you only had the one PC and is designed for downloading messages from your mail server, to store on your computer. Problems can arise when you try to mix the two protocols, and it is compounded by the iPad, which favours the IMAP system. It can be done, though, and the trick is to start over. Delete the Virgin account on the iPad from Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar. Next, tap Add Account > Other > Add Mail Account. Enter the name and Virgin email address as before, but put in a false password and tap Next. The verification will fail, press OK, select POP and enter your Virginmedia POP3 and SMTP server and port settings, and this time, the correct password. Press Next and this time it should work.   



Quality High Street

Looking at HD televisions in retail stores, it is noticeable that the picture quality is far superior to that of my TV or those at friends and relatives homes. Why might that be?

Paul Williams, by email


It used to be the other way and TV displays in shops were invariably terrible, with the picture ruined by harsh lighting, careless adjustment and poor quality reception. Nowadays most shops display their wares in areas with subdued lighting, carefully avoiding reflections from windows and so on. However the real trick is their choice of source material, which usually comes from a Blu Ray player, showing specially mastered or carefully chosen recordings that show off HDTV to its best advantage.



Documents on Droid

You recently answered a question about using an iPad to write and print letters, could you do the same for an Android tablet, specifically a Samsung Galaxy Tab?  What word processor and printer apps do you recommend for Android? Talking to an assistant in a well known high street electrical store recently he advised me that the only way to create, edit, and share Word document files is to install Windows 8 on my computer and buy a Microsoft Surface tablet. Is that true? I don't think it was a sales pitch as apparently Microsoft is not releasing the Surface tablet for several months.

John Beattie, by email


I despair at the advice given by some retailers but let’s deal with the app question first. My preferred word processor for Android is Writer, which is part of the Kingsoft Office Suite and it is free from Google Play. It is fully compatible with Microsoft Office and also includes spreadsheet and presentation applications that can open, edit and exchange Excel and PowerPoint files. Printing from an Android tablet is not a problem either. The simplest method is to use Google Cloud Print, which works wirelessly with any Cloud Print enabled printer directly, or any ordinary printer connected to your PC or network. All you need is Google Chrome on your PC, and the free Cloud Print app on your Android tablet or smartphone.


As far as working with Word documents on a tablet or smartphone is concerned, you are definitely not tied to Microsoft products. There are plenty of word compatible word processors to choose from, for all popular operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android and iOS (iPhones and iPads) and many of them are completely free. 



Making Arrangements

I have recently upgraded from XP to Windows 7 and all my photos have been transferred into the Pictures Library. I am very disappointed to find that I can no longer sort photos within folders by dragging pictures either singly or in groups into the required order and then renaming batches. The program seems locked into pre-set and very prescriptive auto-arrange options, none of which is satisfactory. I can rename photos individually to force the order but this is awkward and very time-consuming. Is there an easy way to permit manual sorting?

Richard Whitfield, by email


That very useful feature was removed in W7 and replaced by the extended Sort By options. You can partially disable auto-arrange but it involves editing the registry so I wouldn’t recommend it for novices or those of a nervous disposition. However, I can point you to a reasonably safe method, using a simple .bat file download that makes the Registry changes, but it doesn’t work on Windows Library folders (Documents, Pictures, Music etc.). To get around that all you have to do is copy your image files into a newly created folder. Once the fix has been applied you can then drag and drop your files into your preferred order, create a group by highlighting the files then batch rename them by right-clicking on one of them, select Rename, type in the new name then Return and all of the highlighted files will be given the new name and numbered sequentially. You will find an easy to follow guide to the registry edit procedure with a link to the download on Sevenforums at: Follow the instructions to the letter, especially the advice about setting a Restore Point first, so if anything goes wrong you can undo the changes.




© R. Maybury 2013 2813


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