Ask Rick Maybury 2013



Ask Rick 275 21/09/13


Game Changer

I suspect that you have had many emails about the recent changes made to the Scrabble game. I enjoyed playing the game on my own, just testing myself but the most recent download is not what I want at all. Is there any chance the old board is going to be reissued?

Gilly Thorn, by email


I have had one or two quite tetchy emails on this topic… It all began in May when Mattel, who owns the Scrabble brand, passed the worldwide operating rights (excluding the US and Canada) for online versions of the game to Electronic Arts (EA). This includes editions of Scrabble played on smartphones and tablets and social media sites such as Facebook. Players were warned in advance that there would be some updates but a great many users have been angered and dismayed by the number of changes, which a lot of users say have ruined the game. The response so far from Mattel and EA has been muted, to say the least, it has promised some minor tweaks, but further pressure is needed and you may wish to join the forums, on-line petitions and letter writing campaigns asking for the return of the old game. A good place to start is the Bring Back Scrabble Worldwide and NewScrabbleDislike Facebook pages at and and you haven’t already done so, add your thoughts to the Customer Reviews section for Scrabble in the Apple App Store.



Lack Of Support

Due to a recent spike in the mains electricity I need to replace my Dell PC, but I have been told that I am not allowed to re-install my Windows XP on a new PC. Firstly is this correct and secondly, as it appears that Microsoft is withdrawing support for XP this year, what alternatives should I be considering?

John Bloom, by email


There is no problem installing a full retail copy of Windows on any computer that you own, as long as it only used on one PC at a time. However, your Dell PC comes with what is known as an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) version of Windows. This has a different licensing arrangement and is configured to only work with specific Dell models. There are plenty of shady hacks and cracks on the web that can overcome these restrictions but you may still run into problems with Windows activation.


XP has been a good operating system, and there is still plenty of life left in it. When Microsoft support ends in April next year it is not going to suddenly stop working and there is a wealth of knowledge and help on the web for when something goes wrong, but it was of its time and now is a good time to move on. Windows 7 and 8, if you want to explore the world of touch-screen computing, are faster, more stable, more secure and in many ways easier to use than XP, once you have got used to some fairly minor changes in layout and operation. If you choose to stay with XP, retail discs can be found for a few pounds on ebay, but eventually you will run into problems with peripherals that do not have the necessary drivers, and applications that either won’t run or have serious problems with XP.  



Canon Card Conundrum

I have a problem with a SanDisk 8Gb SDHC card. Although my PC can read the card without difficulty, when I put it into my Canon Ixus camera it comes up with a memory card fault and says the card is locked. The manual lock on the card is not on. I have other cards of lower capacities which work fine but I would like to use the higher capacity card for recording video clips on the camera if possible.

Nick Benton, by email


You didn’t mention which model of Ixus you have but from the sound of it, it is an early model that only supports standard SD (Secure Digital) format cards with a maximum capacity of 2Gb. SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards are physically identical and have capacities from 4Gb to 32Gb but they are generally incompatible with SD only devices.



Divisive Device

I have been given a HTC Cha Cha and want to download an app for walking which includes GPS. Whenever I get to the screen to download and tap Install Now, a note in red come up that says ‘you have no devices’. Am I being thick, but isn't the device in my hand? Do I have to log in to Facebook or some other social network to enable me to download anything?

Dave Winser, by email


It is badly worded and the device in question is the GPS receiver built into the ChaCha (aka the Facebook Phone). There are several possible reasons for that message. The app you want to use may be incompatible with the ‘Gingerbread’ version of Android used by the ChaCha, though this is usually mentioned in the app’s description in Google Play. There may be compatibility issues with the phone’s GPS chips, the GPS facility may need to be switched on to install the app  (check Settings > Location) or the GPS module is faulty.



Snap To It

I'm sure that I'm not alone having problem with a piece of malware infecting Internet Explorer called Toolbar. I have followed various remedies online but with no success, principally, I think, because the emphasis is on disabling the toolbars and not deleting them.

Alan Jones, by email


This can be a tricky customer and some of the remedies I have seen appear rather convoluted, and by no means certain to succeed. I suggest a three-step procedure; first go to Uninstall A Program in Control Panel and if there is any reference to Snap.Do click to remove it. Second, reset Internet Explorer to its default condition (Gearwheel/Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab). Lastly, to remove any leftovers still lurking in the Windows Registry carry out a scan with an excellent malware tool called AdwCleaner. It is free and you’ll find a safe link to the download at: Incidentally, watch where you click on the download site. On some browsers a sneaky ad for a paid-for malware cleaner appears above the AdwCleaner download button. This has a similar looking blue colour button, but the one that you want is clearly marked ‘Download Now @ bleeping computer’.




© R. Maybury 2013 2608


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