Ask Rick Maybury 2013



Ask Rick 254 27/04/13


Grey Area for iPhones

I have an I Phone 4S updated with the latest software. I am generally happy with it but for a while now  (I think since the iOS 6 update) the Wi-Fi does not function. It is either greyed out or constantly searches without success, even when I know my home Wi-Fi is functioning on other equipment. Googling the problem suggests that this is a worldwide issue, and yet Apple do not seem to recognise it. I have contacted the Apple helpline twice and reset the phone, reset Network settings, turned on/off the Airplane mode etc. but to no avail.

Mike Taylor, by email


As you say this is a widespread problem and it has been ongoing for several months, in spite of at least one update that was supposed to sort it out. I suspect that there may be more than one cause but there is at least one relatively simple fix that seems to work for a lot of people, but only if the connection glitch is confined to your home network so if you can connect normally at wireless hotspots or a friend’s network then it is definitely worth trying.


If so then it may be due to a conflict between your router’s automated configuration and the iOS update. You can usually clear the troublesome settings by going into the router’s setup menu and temporarily disabling security. If the iPhone then ‘sees’ and connects to your router, go back into the menu and re-enable security. If that doesn’t work then a more drastic solution is to reset the router to its factory defaults. Most routers have a hidden or recessed reset button, usually on the underside or on the back. Either way you will need to consult your router’s manual to find out how to access the setup menu through a web browser, and it is usually best to do this on a PC or Mac, connected to the router by a LAN/Ethernet cable.



Going Off Script

When trying to print any web page up pops a message...’An error has occurred in the script on this page... do you want to continue running scripts, yes or no’. Whatever I click nothing happens. I can just about get around this by using the Print Screen command, but this only prints the visible part of the page. 

Iain Stenhouse, by email


There are many different reasons for IE script error messages, and one very simple way to avoid seeing them is to use another browser. However this particular problem sometimes disappears if you reinstall your printer driver. You can do this by disconnecting the printer, remove the entry from Devices and Printers, and when you reconnect the printer the driver should be automatically reinstalled. It is also worth checking the printer manufacturer’s website to see if a newer driver is available for your model. Failing that, try this temporary workaround. When you want to print a page open IE by right clicking on its icon and select Run as Administrator.



Lost Radio Contact

In pursuit of my quest for a wire-free environment I purchased a Bluetooth speaker for use with my Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphone.  This works brilliantly when playing stored music, making phone calls, BBC iPlayer and web-based music sites. I cannot, however, get it to work with the FM Tuner. The Internet suggests that I need to ‘root’ the Android operating system to make it work. Cursory examination of the rooting process suggests that it is more like the start of a new career, rather than a quick fix!  Any suggestions?

Steve Dooley, by email


This smartphone, in common with several other models from manufacturers like HTC has a built-in FM radio that only works when ear or headphones are plugged in. That’s because it uses the cable as an antenna, and apart from the on-screen controls the tuner works independently of the operating system. This also means that the radio’s analogue audio output is only ever present on the earphone socket. It is hard wired and rooting the operating system won’t make a blind bit of difference. However, you can still beam radio stations from your phone to your speakers using a free web radio app called Tunein, available from Google Play. It gives you access to more than 70,000 stations, including all BBC channels and podcasts. Since it involves downloading data it is a good idea to enable your phone’s Wi-Fi connection when using it at home.



Missing Messages

I recently got an iPad and, although it is great for many things, its handling of emails has me confused. Everything works well, as long as I just use the iPad, but if I go on my computer, emails can disappear. I had 21 emails in the inbox on my iPad; I then switched on my computer to type a letter. While I was there, I deleted three of the emails. When I opened my iPad, all 21 messages had vanished. This has now happened several times, and I have no idea why. My computer uses Outlook Express.

Ken Richardson, by email


Outlook Express is a POP3 email client program and is set by default to delete messages on the server once they have been downloaded to your computer. I suggest that you change the setting so that messages are automatically deleted after a few days. This allows time for them to be viewed on your iPad, and also stops your mail server filling up with old messages. In OE by go to Tools > Accounts, highlight the account, select Properties then the Advanced tab and under Delivery check the item ‘Leave a copy of message on server’ and set ‘Remove from Server after’ to 3 or 4 days or whatever suits your emailing habits. 



© R. Maybury 2013 0104


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