Ask Rick Maybury 2014



Ask Rick 337 29/11/14


iOS 8 Bluetooth Car Crash

After installing iOS 8.0 and the iOS 8.0.2 update on my iPhone I can no longer make or receive phone calls via Bluetooth on my new Ford Focus. Apple support told me to go to my local Ford dealer for a software upgrade. The dealer said that Ford HQ had told them that the incompatibility was Apples' responsibility.

Stephen Sanderson, by email


Apple’s iOS 8 pre-release testing definitely could have been more thorough, but in the growing list of update glitches this one is usually fairly easy to fix. In many cases all you have to do is clear the iPhone’s network settings (Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings), however, be warned that you will have to re-enter any stored wireless passwords and passcodes, so make sure that you have a record of the important ones. If that does not work the other, slightly more drastic option, is to use the Reset All Settings option. You will lose any preferences that you have set, though stored media and files should be safe but you should carry out a full backup first. This is particularly important if you have any iWork documents stored by iCloud as there are reports of another iOS 8 bug that can result in them being erased.



Itinerant Icons

How can I lock my icons and shortcuts on my Windows 7 desktop? I’m sick and tired of them being moved or deleted without my permission.

Peter Vick, by email


This particular foible has been driving PC owners crazy since the earliest days of Windows and there are no end of tricks, hacks and Registry edits that purport to fix the problem. However, in the end there is nothing you can do to stop icons going AWOL and this is usually due to changes on the desktop, resolution settings and so on, and not forgetting those pesky gremlins. Fortunately you can easily store your preferred layout, and restore it, with just a couple of clicks. All you need is a free utility called Desktop Restore ( It is a Shell Extension, which means the program is incorporated into the Windows file management system. The next time your icons misbehave right click on the desktop and the options to Store and Restore your desktop will appear on the menu.



Vintage Video

Some years ago, I purchased a Sharp C-315H hand held portable TV, which in those days was set up to receive analogue programmes. Obviously, today the broadcasting is now wholly digital. Is there any way the system on the TV can be converted to receive digital or is it ready for the scrap heap?

Garry Petherbridge, by email


No, it cannot be modified but please do not throw it away. It was a classic design and collectors are showing a growing interest in late 20th century electronic gadgets. Whilst it might not be worth very much at the moment, one day, who knows? It is not totally useless either, and although it cannot receive digital TV broadcasts directly, it should be able to do so via a set-top box, and display analogue video signals, from a VCR, DVD player, or vintage video game, provided they are fitted with a TV aerial output socket. This indicates that it has a device called an RF modulator, which is basically a very low power UHF transmitter. You cannot connect your Sharp mini TV to the socket as there is no aerial socket but there is a workaround.  Find an old TV aerial lead, cut off the plug (male) end, pare back 20 – 30cm of the outer insulation, remove the wire braiding and wrap the inner cable around the TV’s telescopic aerial. The signal can usually be found by tuning the TV between UHF channels 36 to 44.  Incidentally there also used to be questionably legal gadgets called TV senders. These were slightly more powerful UHF transmitters, used to re-broadcast signals from VCRs and satellite tuners to TVs in other rooms and they occasionally turn up on ebay for a few pounds.



Bossy Boot

My PC has a 600GB hard drive with one partition running Windows XP and the other Windows 7. When the computer boots up, it always defaults to XP; I would like to be able to select the OS on boot-up. Can this be achieved?

Michael Grice, by email


Yes, go to Start > Control Panel > Advanced System Settings then under Startup and Recovery click Settings. At the top, under System Startup, you can change the Default Operating System on the drop-down and set it to display and change how long it displays the list of operating systems at boot up.



Driver Reviver?

I have just changed from a Windows XP desktop PC to a Windows 8 laptop. Unfortunately I cannot get my Canoscan scanner to work. I cannot find an updated driver. Do you know of one or is there another way to get the scanner to respond to the laptop.

Colin Price, by email


When manufacturers decide not to support an item of hardware, either because it is a few years old and considered obsolete or a new operating system has been released, then there is very little that you can do about it. It is always worth trying the most recent driver from the manufacturer’s support website and occasionally a peripheral will run on a W8 PC using the W7 driver, but on more sophisticated devices, such as multi-function printers and so on, some functions may not work properly, if at all.


There are two fairly exotic solutions that can keep your scanner running and they are to install Windows XP on a separate partition on your new PC’s hard drive, or use Virtual Machine software, which is basically a way of running XP inside Windows 8, but neither method is very convenient, straightforward, or suitable for novices. Sad to say that in the end it is often easier, quicker and cheaper to get a new scanner, or multi-function printer.



© R. Maybury 2014 1011


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