Ask Rick 273 07/09/13
Highs And Lows of GPS
I recently joined a walking group who use a
hand-held GPS together with Ordinance Survey maps to get around. At the end of
the walk we are all keen to know how far we've travelled but the GPS always
shows we have walked a little further, an increase of half a mile over distance
of nine miles, for example, compared with the OS maps. Is the GPS more accurate
than the maps, or is there another reason for the discrepancy?
Barrie Urwin, by email
Your GPS measures how far you have walked in
three dimensions. In other words it takes into account the small increases in
distance travelled bought about by changes in elevation. An OS map is a two
dimensional representation of terrain and cannot show the extra legwork
involved in traversing hills and dales. Accuracy of measurement is another
possible factor. On a map you generally calculate distances between waypoints
in terms of straight lines, which ignores all of the bends and curves in the
path and minor deviations from the plotted route. Sometimes it is only a few
footsteps, but they all add up.
My Google icon and search engine have been
taken over by something called Delta Search. I can work around it but what a
nuisance. Uninstalling Delta does not solve the problem. How can I get rid of
Mike Edmondson, by email
Delta Search is a particularly pernicious
browser toolbar that hijacks your homepage, redirect searches, display ads and
links and quite possibly tracks your web searches as well. It usually gets onto
your PC through software downloads; usually there is a tick box giving you the
option not to install it, but there are plenty of reports of it being loaded
without permission. Security programs often miss it and it creates a number of
Registry entries, which makes it difficult to uninstall manually but one
malware cleaner, called AdwCleaner does a very good job of removing it, and
many other common nasties. AdwCleaner is free and there is a link to the download
at: http://goo.gl/CMnbgb. Incidentally,
there are a number of fake and infected versions of this program doing the
rounds so be very careful if you download it from another website.
Chrome Looses Its Shine
I have a 3-year old Sony Bravia TV and a
Samsung Chromebook. As per the guide I connected them together by cable via
their HDMI outlets and found the correct channel on TV. The screensaver and
cursor appeared on the screen but when I clicked on an icon the Chromebook
responded but nothing happened on the TV. Any ideas?
Bob Miller, Skipton
There have been some issues with the HDMI
output on Chromebook, which appear to be related to a recent update that
changed the external display default setting from Mirror to Extended mode. The
first thing to try, with the Chromebook is connected to the TV, is click and
hold on the PC screen, ‘drag’ it to the right and it should appear on the TV.
If that doesn’t work the Chromebook display may be maximised, so press Alt – Fullscreen,
and try again. There have also been reports of Chromebooks not being able to
match the resolution of some TVs. One workaround is to boot the Chromebook with
it connected to the TV, which may force it to set the correct resolution.
However, this is a more deep-seated problem and you can add your voice to
growing call for Google to come up with a fix, and try some other suggestions
on the Chromium Project website at: http://goo.gl/t52u7Q.
I was recently sent some video clips in .mp4
file format and could not open them with Windows Media Player, which displayed
a message saying the file was incomplete or corrupt. I tried various remedies
as suggested by Windows Help but to no avail. Eventually I downloaded a program
called VLC Media Player and the files opened with no trouble. Should I have
received some updates from Microsoft to overcome this problem?
John Waite, by email
Windows Media Player doesn’t natively support
the .mp4 format, so you haven’t missed any updates. If you want an easy life I
suggest that you stick with VLC, which is very versatile and copes well with
most popular media formats but it is possible to get WMP to play .mp4 files.
You need to download and install a third-party codec pack, but be warned that
it is an unapproved procedure, and you do so at your own risk. The two packs
that work best are the Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP), which is free from
http://goo.gl/15DBY, and K-Lite, which is
also free, from http://goo.gl/Meknl.
I have a TomTom One Classic GPS and I cannot
get through to them to sort out my problem. I have emailed three times since
last November, (to the address from which all the offers come), to get them to
accept my change of email address. Each time it was returned as failed. I have
paid twice to acquire the John Cleese voice, but I cannot get it. Emails are
also returned as address unknown. TomTom’s phone number offers four options
seemingly related to advanced additions only, and the website doesn’t seem to
cover either of my points. The programmed Help assistant does not understand
the questions. How does one get help from them?
Peter Reed, by email
I am afraid that TomTom, like many large
organisations these days prefers to use the web, rather than humans and
old-school technologies like the telephone and email, to communicate with its
customers. In this case the solution is actually fairly straightforward. To
change your email details all you have to do is go to the TomTom home page,
click Support then My Account Details, log on with your old email address and
password and click the ‘Change my email address’ link.
© R. Maybury 2013 1908