Ask Rick Maybury 2015



Ask Rick 351 07/03/15


No So Smart Phone

I have 11.5GB of unused storage space on the memory card in my Samsung SII smartphone, but when I attempt to add another app I get a message that there is no space. However, in Device Memory the installed apps take up 1.43GB and there is only 247MB free space remaining. It seems to me that the apps should be going to the memory card; presumably, I am doing something wrong?

Arthur Nicholls, by email


It is not your fault and this is a common problem on Android devices, which are rarely smart enough to automatically use the memory card when the internal memory is full. There is a simple workaround though, and most of the apps that you have downloaded can be manually moved to the memory card to free up space in the Internal memory. On the SII go to Settings > Applications and tap the Downloaded tab. Apps that can be moved will have a Move to SD Card button; start with the largest ones and work your way through the list. Afterwards you should be able to download new apps, and as soon as possible move them to the SD card. 



Man Trouble

I need to use LibreOffice for downloading Gift Aid claims to the HMRC. I have tried downloading the latest version of the application onto my Windows 8.1 computer. However, the download has a .man file extension, which will not install. There appears to be no easy way of asking a question on the LibreOffice website. What has gone wrong?

Geoff Crosthwaite, by email


For future reference LibreOffice has a very helpful support forum at: and this question has cropped up several times; simply type .man into the Search box to see the answers. The gist of it is there is a bug in Internet Explorer that renames the download file. There are two very simple solutions; either rename the file with the correction file extension, which should be .msi, or download it again, using another browser, like Firefox or Chrome.



Crowded Out

My Samsung S5 Mini continually loses my home Wi-Fi network, although the signal is shown as very strong and there is no problem with other devices in the house. Mobile roaming is switched off. Can you help?

Ray Jackson, by email


It could be channel overcrowding, with strong signals from other nearby Wi-Fi networks and devices on the same, or nearby channels, competing with your home router. It is not helped by the fact that many wireless modems are factory set to use channels at either end of the Wi-Fi band. An Android app called Wi-Fi Analyzer (free from Google Play) will confirm if this is the case. Select graphical view, which shows all of the Wi-Fi signals in the immediate vicinity, the channels they use and their relative strengths. If your modem is using a busy channel then consult your modem’s instructions, which should tell you how to manually change channels; Wi-Fi Analyzer will show you which ones are the least congested. 



Virgin Slowdown

Previously, my Windows Vista desktop computer, connected to Virgin’s 30 MB broadband service, took around 40 seconds to boot up. I recently upgraded to Virgin's Super Hub 2 and a new modem was supplied. The boot up time increased to 1 minute and 40 seconds and has been so ever since. Otherwise the computer works fine. Why is my computer now taking longer to boot-up?

Glynne Harrison, by email


The new modem is the prime suspect but the slow down could also be due to a recently installed program. This is easy to check, though and if the computer boots in less than a minute, with the modem disconnected then the problem may lie with the new modem’s DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server, which is taking longer than normal to assign the computer its IP (Internet Protocol) address. If so it may be a fault and this model has had its fair share of issues, but if you know your way around Windows you can try a simple workaround, before contacting Virgin. The idea is to give your computer an unchanging or static IP address. The procedure is basically the same for all version of Windows and in Vista the simplest method is right-click Network on the Start menu and click Properties. In Network and Sharing Centre, select Manage Network Connections, right-click on your network adaptor and select Properties. Highlight ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/Ipv4)’ and click Properties. Select ‘Use the following IP Address’. Enter an IP address that is well outside the range of any other devices you may have on your network; 192.168.0 20 is a fairly safe bet. The Subnet Mast should be and the Default Gateway for Virgin hubs is normally but check the label on the modem just in case. Click OK and reboot the computer and see if that makes a difference.



Excel Convert

How can I convert an Excel spreadsheet into a pdf file so that it can be printed? There are lots of options online but I want to be careful.

Michael Wilkins, by email


Try a freeware utility called doPDF, which you can download from: It is easy to use and works with most Windows applications, and that includes Excel. Incidentally, you can safely deselect the option to install the Microsoft Office add-in; it works perfectly well without it. Once installed to create a PDF from a spreadsheet and almost any printable document or image file, simply go to the program’s File menu and click Print. On the printer selection or Setup menu choose doPDF Creator and click OK. Check and if necessary change the filename and location on your hard drive where it will be saved, click OK and it is done. There is no risk to the original spreadsheet or file, which is not altered in any way.



© R. Maybury 2015 2302

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