Ask Rick 262 22/06/13
GPS Going Walkabout
I have been using GPS on my Samsung Galaxy S2
for some time for recording walks using OS mapping and ViewRanger app. It has
been brilliant but recently, and I cannot relate it to any software or other
changes, the distance recording has been overstating quite dramatically and the
logged speed shows spikes of up to 65 mph, which is a little more than my
normal walking pace! This is making the
records something of a waste of time. Do you have any idea what is causing it
and what I can do to resolve it?
Ray Lemon, by email
The prime suspect is a feature of the GPS chips
used in many smartphones, including the Galaxy S2, called Static Navigation.
Basically this is a filter that blocks spurious readings that can be caused by
reflected signals or a momentary loss of contact with the orbiting satellites.
On many devices, including some versions of the S2, Static Navigation is
disabled by default. This not a problem when using GPS whilst driving as most
of the time you will be in motion and minor deviations are masked by the
constant stream of GPS position updates, but if your speed drops to zero, or
walking pace ‘spikes’ in position and velocity readings become more noticeable.
The solution is to enable Static Navigation but unfortunately this is easier
said than done, as it is not a readily accessible option on the S2. The only
method I am aware of involves ‘rooting’ the phone, which is a potentially risky
procedure, and installing an app called GPS Control SIRF Star IV, available
free from Google Play (http://goo.gl/WQVMS).
However, it has received mixed reviews; for some it works well, but before you
think about using it have a look at this helpful article and the feedback from
S2 users who have tried it: http://goo.gl/47G07.
Waiting For Word
We have a fully legitimate copy of MS Office
2007, which does all we want. However, whilst Excel opens immediately, every
time we use Word we are presented with a screen headed Configuration Process
telling us to "please wait while Setup prepares the necessary files".
This takes several minutes and is surely not right?
Brian Donaldson, by email
It sounds as though Office is trying to install
or update a missing component and is getting stuck in a loop. The first thing
to try is the program’s built-in diagnostic tool, which fixes many problems of
this type. To get it started go to Start > All Programs > Microsoft Office
> Office Tools > Microsoft Diagnostic Tool and follow the prompts. If you
are still having problems there are a number of other possible solutions in
Microsoft Knowledgebase article 924611, which you can find at: http://goo.gl/n0oL9. It can also happen if you
have an older version of Office (typically 2003) installed on your computer. If
so either remove it, or if for some reason you need both versions, there is a
Registry hack that will allow you to do so at: http://goo.gl/lJjky,
but this is for advanced users only.
Can you tell me what criteria are used to
demand new passwords? I seem to be plagued with requests; I have had three in
the last 72 hours from Google and a further one from Skype. The issue is that
the security regime has now become so complicated that I have to resort to
writing them down, which of course destroys their unique identity, or am I
missing a trick?
A. Kerrison, by email
New password requests or resets generally only
happen when there have been multiple failed login attempts. Unless you’ve been
fumbling it, then it may be that someone, possibly even someone that you know,
has been trying to gain access to your accounts. They should remain secure,
however, providing you use a unique non-guessable password for each account,
preferably containing a mixture of 8 or more alphanumeric characters and
permissible punctuation marks, but that raises the question of how to remember
them all? A password safe or vault is the simplest option. These are small
programs or apps that store all of your passwords in encrypted form, and is
itself password-protected, so you only have to remember one password to edit or
add new entries. They are readily available for all operating systems and
devices. Many are free or included, and some of them can be configured to
automatically insert passwords when you visit selected websites.
Just lately, when I access the web on my
Windows 7 laptop, a page pops up inviting me to switch to Internet Explorer 10.
When I get rid of this unwanted offer I lose my Favourites bar and I don’t know
how to get it back. I have resorted to a System Restore but feel there must be
an easier way to deal with this?
Roger Bain, by email
I can’t be sure why the Favourites bar vanished
but to get it back, usually all you have to do is go to Toolbars on the View
menu and make sure Favourites Bar is checked. If the Menu bar is not showing
press the Alt key, to toggle it on and off, and make sure Menu bar is checked
on the Toolbar. It can also disappear from view if you are in full-screen mode,
in which case just press the F11 key.
My Hotmail account has been changed to Outlook.
Fine, but I used to be able to forward e-mails sent to me on to other people
and now I cannot. What should I do?
Rosemary Waring, by email
You still can, just click the down arrow next
to Reply, and if any other aspects of Outlook.com are eluding you, or appear to
be missing there is a quick guide and FAQ on the Microsoft website at: http://goo.gl/XIRBs.
© R. Maybury 2013 0306