Ask Rick Maybury 2014



Ask Rick 325 06/09/14


Wayward Apps

I have a Nokia720 Android smartphone. When I try to download apps from Google Play Store, they are sent instead to an older tablet. I have opened a new Gmail Account on the Nokia but still cannot download to it. Can you tell me please how to refer apps to the new device?

Tom Thorpe by e-mail


You can manually direct apps to a specified device by logging into your Play Store account on a PC. Select Apps > My Apps. All of the apps that you have previously downloaded will be displayed, or you can select a new one using the Search box. Click the Install or Installed button on the drop-down menu then choose which of your devices you want it to go to and click Install.


Cloudy Outlook

My external hard drive is showing signs of unreliability and I am looking into replacing it, but what with?  Is the ‘Cloud' actually safe?  Where are the myriad hard drives that make up the Cloud?  In what countries are they set up? Are they fully protected from failure, power outage, virus corruption, sabotage, religious fanatics, you name it, whatever? 

R.M. Stephens, by email


To date Cloud storage has proved to be generally reliable and secure but because the server computers can be located anywhere in the world, and are accessible through the public Internet, they are vulnerable to all of the threats that you have mentioned, plus a few more besides. For example, a disruption to your Internet service could make your files unavailable and from a security standpoint you have to accept the fact that they could be accessed by government agencies and anyone with sufficient resources and determination. Cloud storage companies can and do fail, though thankfully this is still a fairly rare occurrence and hopefully you will have sufficient warning and be able to retrieve or move your data. The bottom line is that if you absolutely must be able to get at your data at any time and be assured that it is as safe as possible then the answer is to encrypt it and store it locally on at least two external hard drives, with the second one kept securely ‘off-site’, preferably deep underground in an earthquake-proof bunker... But seriously, nowadays hard drives from the major manufacturers are incredibly reliable and data can usually be retrieved, even after a catastrophic failure so in the end you will have to make the judgement on where to keep your files and backups based on their value, importance and sensitivity, because no method of digital storage can ever be one hundred percent safe.  



Old Master

I have Picasa 2 on my laptop and my wife’s computer, both running W7. I’ve now had to buy a new office computer with W7 but I do not want all the bells and whistles that the latest version of Picasa. Do you know if Picasa 2 is still available? If not, do you know of another program that is as simple, free and easy as Picasa 2?

David Hodges, by email


Although Picasa 2 is no longer available from Google, this and hundreds of other obsolete and discontinued programs can be found on the website


Tricky Tripadvisor?

How does Tripadvisor know the places I have visited? I have been a member since 2007, have submitted a few reviews and have ticked off on the website some of the places I have visited. However I have noticed recently that the website comes up with a far more extensive list of places which I have visited. Some are so obscure that I couldn't even remember the names of the places, let alone going there. But on checking I find that they are indeed all correct. Some of the places I visited as long ago as 1992, the year I bought my first computer and before the Smartphone was ever invented. I can say with absolute certainty that I have never knowingly provided this information.  

Dennis W Harvey, by email


It is doubtful that Tripadvisor operatives are mind readers, have hacked your computer or rifled through your holiday photos, so it seems likely that you or someone close to you put this information into the public domain. Did you put pins into Tripadvisor’s ‘Cities I’ve Visited’ map and forgot all about it? Do you have a Facebook Account and used the ‘Where I’ve Been’ app, as this owned by Tripadvisor? If you have never had a Facebook account then it is back to those conspiracy theories…

Pernickety iPad?

My husband and I are keen photographers and I was recently looking to buy an iPad Mini, mainly to use for showing photos to friends and relatives, rather than using our Macbook Pro.  We also would like to be able to transfer our photos as we take them, rather than wait until we get home. We both have Canon SLRs, my husband uses a Compact Flash card and I use SD cards, both cards are high-speed, Class 10. Apple sales staff said we would need a camera to iPad connector or a card reader in order to download photos directly from the camera but neither will recognize the high-speed cards. Is there some way around this problem or has Apple only designed the iPad for photos taken on phones etc.

Gail Barwick, by email


It should not be a problem and the iPad and Apple’s Camera Connection kit recognises virtually all types, capacities and classes of SD card. However there may be issues with some of the more exotic formats applied to some cards, in which case the simplest solution is to reformat the card using standard FAT 32, either in the camera on your Macbook. This may impact on maximum data transfer speeds but it will not be an issue for normal still photographs. If your husband is still having problems with Compact Flash cards he can use a SD to CF adaptor, widely available online for under £10.00.



© R. Maybury 2014 1808

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