Ask Rick Maybury 2014



Ask Rick 307 02/05/14


Going Public

Is there a simple method to move photos between three users on a Windows 7 computer?  Since changing from XP to W7 I find that we can no longer share our files and two of us are prolific photographers. My local computer shop is not able to offer a solution.

Chris Sheppard, by email


Time to change shops? They should have known about shared Public folders, first introduced in Windows Vista back in 2009 and used to transfer files between user accounts. You will find them in C:\Users, or go to the Start menu and click Documents > Libraries. Simply copy your photos into C:\Users\Public\Pictures and they will be accessible to any other user logged on to the computer. By the way Windows 7 has another handy feature that lets you share files with specified users on a network, it is called Share With and there is a video tutorial showing how to use it on the Microsoft website at:



Hidden Hotspot

I have the BT Infinity Internet service and the performance is tremendous but of late I have noticed a number of cars parking outside my house for lengthy periods. You can see the occupants using their phones etc. I suspect they are piggybacking off my Wi-Fi, which does not bother me unless they can get up to any mischief. Can they? My system is password protected.

Jorge M, by email


BT broadband customers are automatically enrolled in a scheme called BT Wi-Fi (Formerly BT FON). Basically this means that your Wi-Fi router is moonlighting as a part time public wireless hotspot. It is one of more than 5 million in the UK, and there is another 7 million abroad, which you as a BT customer are entitled to use. It makes use of a low priority portion of your broadband connection and operates independently of your home wireless network, so it should not have any impact on your download speeds and is as secure as any other home network. If you have any concerns or those parked up users are becoming a nuisance you can easily opt out by going to Log in with your BT Internet email address and password and follow the links. However, if you do decide to leave you will not be able to use BT Wi-Fi, Openzone and FON hotspots. 



Getting The .msg

I am very pleased with my recently purchased Hudl tablet and the Kingsoft Office app covers pretty much everything I need to do, other than viewing Outlook .msg email files. Is there an app or facility to read them on the Hudl, without saving them in another format on the PC before downloading?

Stuart Lane, by email


I am not aware of any free apps, but if you do not mind splashing out £1.80, then Documento Office Viewer, from the Google Play Store, will open your files.



Farewell Favicons

I know it is okay to delete cookies from my temporary internet files, but is it also safe, in fact even wise, to delete Favicons? 

Edward Gregory, by email


Favicons are the tiny icons that appear in front of web addresses and displayed on the Favourites and Bookmarks toolbars on your browser. They are 16 x 16 pixel bitmaps, typically 1kb or less in size and whilst there have been rumours of malicious Favicons that can trick some browsers into visiting malware infected sites the actual threat is regarded as negligible. If you want to remove any or all of them go ahead, no harm will come of it.



Pad Printing

We have the little widget, which plugs into the iPad 2 enabling importing of pictures from SD cards and digital cameras. Can we use the same device to export images or text to a wired USB printer? We do not have a wireless printer I do not want to blow the iPad by connecting it to a printer

Morad Ghodsian, by email


The iPad Camera Connection Kit adaptor is a one-way device and can only import files from an SD card or USB drive into the iPad. Even if it there were a way to directly connect your iPad to a printer it would be unable to communicate with it, as there are no drivers available for iOS. Printing from an iPad, without an AirPrint compatible or wireless enabled printer continues to be a problem for many users but it can be done. The simplest method is a third party app like PrintDirect, available from iTunes, which allows the iPad to print to any printer, connected to a PC or Mac, that is connected to your home wireless network. 



Charger Overload

My phone is a Sony Experia Z1, my wife's is a Samsung Galaxy Note, and she also has an Amazon Kindle. We frequently fly, taking only hand baggage, which seems to be filled with mains adaptors and USB leads. All three devices have identical charger sockets. What we are unsure of is whether the three mains adaptors are interchangeable thus allowing us to only take only one of them for all three devices.

Keith Bailey, by email


The micro USB connector has become the de-facto standard, used by almost everyone except Apple, so you only need to take one charger with you. Most chargers will work on any mains supply, from 100 to 240 volts AC 50/60Hz and the output is a standard 5 volts DC, but the current they can deliver does vary, and may be insufficient to charge some devices. The solution is to pack the charger with the highest rated output. This will be printed on the case and is typically between 500mA (milliamps) and 2.5 amps. Better still get a universal USB travel charger with interchangeable mains plugs, for US and continental mains sockets. Some models also have commonly used device connectors, which may prove useful if you have a camera, say, with a mini USB charge socket. These are very widely available from high street stores like Maplin, and on line, with prices starting at around £15.00.



© R. Maybury 2014 1404

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