Ask Rick Maybury 2014

  

 

Ask Rick 320 02/08/14

 

Signing Of The Times

Recently I recorded a BBC TV programme and sadly, for me, it was spoilt for by reduced picture size and the distraction of a lady doing sign language for deaf viewers. My TV is a 40-inch Samsung HD model. Should it happen again is there any way I can remove it?

Edward Fitt, by email

 

On most channels the inset image showing the signer is part of the transmitted picture and currently there is no way to remove it. The exception is YouView and you can disable the feature, but only on some signed programmes, by going to Settings > Subtitles and Accessibility > Sign Language. The Communications Act 2003 requires that UK broadcasters provide up to 5 percent of TV programmes with sign language. Most of these programmes are repeats and usually shown late at night or early in the morning so the easiest way to avoid them – unless you have a hearing impairment -- is to record the original broadcast, or check the schedule for signed programmes on the broadcasters website (for information on BBC programmes go to: http://goo.gl/odCZIV). 

 

Expanding The Galaxy

My Samsung Galaxy Y smartphone keeps telling me that I have low memory, full inboxes and waiting text messages but they can’t be downloaded.  I have emptied all of the inboxes, without success. This has happened before and a friend sorted it out but he moved away and didn’t say what he had done. I have heard this is a common fault with these phone.

Gill Smith, by email

 

The Galaxy Y does have limited internal memory so there probably is a space problem. One very easy way to find out, on this phone and most other Android phones and devices, is to install an app called Disk Usage, free from Google Play. This clearly shows what is on your phone or tablet, and where it is stored. An app called AppMgr II, also free from Google Play, will let you move some of the larger apps to the phone’s Micro SD card, hopefully freeing up space on the internal memory. Failing that there is an advanced procedure for rooting the phone and partitioning the internal memory but this is not for novices or the faint-hearted…

 

Making Tracks

There are a couple of music tracks on DVDs, not available on CD or from iTunes that I would like to download onto my iPod. One is a commercial recording, the other I recorded from the TV. Can it be done?

Tony H, by email

 

Several purpose designed DVD audio ‘rip’ programs are available but there is also a little known feature in the excellent VLC Media Player that does the job almost as easily. There is a link to the download and a simple to follow tutorial on the wikiHow website at: http://goo.gl/ezMSy

 

Pics to Pads

I would like to be able to download pictures from my Samsung WB30F Wi-Fi camera to my iPad but it tells me it cannot do this because it needs too much power. I have tried the Samsung camera app but the first time I used it a couple of photos downloaded then it crashed. I asked in the Apple store and a ‘Genius’ assistant found the same thing happened and he came to the conclusion that it could not be done.

Diane Lilley, by email

 

The Samsung camera app received some mixed reviews and it is not alone, quite a few transfer systems are kludgy or require a lot of tinkering to get them to work properly. In most cases the quickest and simplest method is to do it the old-fashioned way, either by copying the pictures to your PC and transfer them to the iPad through iTunes, or use an iPad Camera Connection kit (£25.00 from Apple Store; third-party clones are available online from around £3.00). These types of adaptor give you the option of connecting the camera directly to the iPad through a USB cable and adaptor, or you can pop the camera’s memory card into a reader module, or a card slot. If you have a fourth generation iPad you will have to get a Lightning to SD Camera Reader, also from Apple for £25.00, and again there are third-party Lightning Connection kit/card readers for considerably less online with prices starting at under £4.00. There is an issue with power drain when using a USB lead on some cameras and this arose after the iOS 4 update, but it can usually be fixed by connecting the camera to the iPad via a powered USB hub (from £5.00 online).

 

Resigner Labels

Having trawled through offers of so-called free CD and DVD label making programs, I have given up trying to find one that does not demand I install a toolbar or some other add-on. My old Avery Design Pro SE running on Windows 7 is like watching a snail cross my patio. Are there any genuinely free label programs?

Eric Hayman, by email

 

Almost certainly, but you should carry on with your research to find one that meets your specific needs and I do not think you should be averse to paying for software that does what you want it to do. I would begin with trial versions of popular commercial label maker programs, (see top ten reviews at http://goo.gl/yyllZE). You can try before you buy and upgrading to the fully functional program usually means you will be entitled to free support and future updates. A lot of free software is created by programmers whose only income and incentive to continue development comes from the sponsorship and fees from advertisers. However, those offers to install add-ons and toolbars are rarely compulsory and you can usually avoid loading them by choosing the Custom installation option; just pay close attention and untick the boxes when they appear. It is also worth investigating the wealth of Open Source software from sites like sourceforge.net. Usually there are no strings attached. Some programs may be at an early stage of development or buggy but users are encouraged to help in their development.

 

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© R. Maybury 2014 1407

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