Ask Rick Maybury 2013



Ask Rick 255 04/05/13


Message Memory-Jogger

I have a LG android mobile phone, and I was wondering if you know of an app for text repeat notifications? My phone only rings once and I often miss them at the time of arrival, which can be a nuisance.

R Pethers, by email


You are spoilt for choice and there are several text reminder apps in the Google Play store that beep every few minutes until you open the message. However, as with any app, read through the comments and reviews before you click Install. There may be issues with some of them or conflicts with your model of phone or version of Android. Most are free or ad supported, like SMS Reminder Lite, Missed Call, Missed Text and Popup SMS. Try a few before you decide and when you find one that you like, consider upgrading to the paid-for or Pro version; they typically cost between £0.50 and £1.50, have extra features, and no advertising.


Office X-Factor

Can you tell me what I have to do to open Word documents with docx in the file name on my Apple Mac iBook running OS X 10?  I can read files in .doc format without any problems.

Alan Keeler, by email


From Microsoft Office 2007 onwards Word files are saved by default in the Internet-friendly XML (Extensible Markup Language) format with a .docx extension. It sounds as though you are using Office for Mac 2004, or earlier as most popular Mac word processors and office suites can open and read .docx files. If so then you need to download a free XML File Converter from the Microsoft website at


Smartphone Open Sesame

Is there an app that can be programmed to open and shut automatic garage doors and gates? My phone is a Samsung Galaxy Ace 2.

Graham Elton, Meopham Kent.


The short answer is yes, but it all depends on whether your garage door or gate mechanism can be connected to a box of tricks that communicates with your smartphone by Bluetooth or home wireless network by Wi-Fi. Check your garage door or gate manufacturer’s website, to see if such a device is available from them, or there is one that they recommend, and the app needed to control it.


Windows Mail on W8

I have just purchased a new PC with Windows 8 to replace an old Vista machine. I was very pleased with Windows Mail in Vista, but I do not get on with the email program in Windows 8. Yahoo Mail provided by BT is somewhat better, but still inferior to Windows Mail. I remember a while back you showed how to install Windows Mail on a Windows 7 computer. Is there any way of doing the same thing with Windows 8, or is there an equivalent program that I could download?

Alistair Spears, by email


The procedure is slightly more involved, and I wouldn’t try this is you are a complete novice but it is reasonably straightforward.


Incidentally, if you want to install Windows Mail on a W7 PC just follow these steps, but skip the part about taking ownership.


Step one, pop a flash drive into your Vista PC and in Windows Explorer first go to C:/Program Files and copy the Windows Mail folder to the drive. Next, go to C:/Windows/System32 and copy a file called msidcrl30.dll to the drive. Insert the drive into your W8 computer and paste msidcrl30.dll into the same location (i.e. C:/Windows/System32). Step 2 is to replace the Windows Mail folder in C:/Program files folder on your W8 computer with the one copied from your Vista PC.


However, Windows 8 won’t let you delete the old folder or copy the new one without ‘Taking Ownership’ of the folder. The easiest way to do that is to use a freeware utility called Unlocker, which you can download from (pay attention during the installation and decline the offer to install a browser Toolbar – unless you actually want it…). When that is done open Windows Explorer, go to C:/Program Files, right click on the Windows Mail folder and select Unlocker then Delete.


Finally, copy the Windows Mail folder from the flash drive to C:/Program Files and it is ready to use. To make it more accessible right click on the WinMail icon in the Windows Mail folder and select Pin to Taskbar or Send To> Desktop (create shortcut).


Giving Credit To Apple…

I am reasonably computer literate but I think I am losing the plot. We have just acquired an iPad Mini and I have been trying to install a free app called AVG Family Security. There was no problem installing the relevant versions on a Windows phone or Windows laptop. However, in the case of Apple, I cannot manage it or even contact Customer Support without giving them my credit card details. This surely cannot be right. I am of an age where the chances of my wanting to download games or music is zero.

Michael Sharman, by email


Of course Apple wants to get to know you and make it easy for you to purchase goods and services but your reluctance to allow them to let them get their sticky paws on your credit card is understandable. However, you can create an Apple account and access free apps in the App Store without giving too much away. Open App Store on your iPad and follow the instructions to install the free app. Agree to the terms and conditions and answer the questions about your location, email address, name, birthday and set a username and password; you should use a genuine email address but it is up to you how honest you are on the other items. Once that’s done you reach the Payment Options section, where you are asked to fill out your credit card information, and the trick here is to tick ‘None’. If you subsequently want to install paid-for apps or download media from iTunes you will have to bite the bullet provide them with your card details.



© R. Maybury 2013 1504


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