Yearly Archives: 2002

Cat Products

I do a large amount of working from home and being the proud owner of two cats I quite often find that when my back is turned that they start interfering with my laptop so that upon my return I either find one of them perched on the mouse following the curser across the screen or ‘typing’ e-mails away quite happily to customers and friends.I have even had files I needed moved to the recycle bin before by ‘Smooopps’, the most menacing of my two moggies.

These constant disruptions to my work got me thinking that with the random nature of the Internet, what products would have been put together in order to discourage such eventualities from happening in the first place?A quick search in Google revealed a surprising number of related sites.

Step forward though as the site I Read the rest

Seasons Greetings.

Since we’re on the run up to Christmas I thought we’d take a lighthearted break this week from learning about Firewalls, Anti-Virus programs and LCD Monitors and instead I’ve decided to publish the following e-mail which landed in my inbox this week.Finding any computer related jokes that’s slightly funny is an arduous task but this one put a little smile across my face.With the business that seems to come associated with Christmas, publishing this e-mail will also save me the smallest amount of time that can be used to allow me to give one final push in order to get my customers machines finished and PC problems resolved in time for the big day.

A language instructor was explaining to her class that in French, nouns unlike their English counterparts, are grammatically designated as masculine or feminine.

“House,” in French, is Read the rest

Free Firewall Software

This week we’ll be discussion Firewall software after I recently received this letter from one of my readers from the Midlands.

You talked in one of your articles about Anti Virus software, and mentioned in particular the free product from Grisoft called AVG. Can you recommend a free Firewall product?Just for your information, my dad thinks so highly of your articles that he regularly sends them to me here in Hereford!

Mike Coleman, via E-mail.

For those of you who are not entirely sure what a firewall is, let me just briefly explain. When you’re connected to the Internet you essentially become a part of this worldwide network, which also has millions of others connected to it at any one time.The majority of these people using these computers will go about their own business quite happily but there are also those … Read the rest

Optical Mice

Some of you may remember a couple of weeks ago I was explaining the importance of having good quality components in order to interface with your computer – A good monitor for viewing the output of the machine and a good quality mouse and keyboard for inputting data.Without these essential components being up to scratch, even if you have one of the most powerful machines on the market, the experience of using the machine will not be enjoyable.

One aspect that is almost always overlooked by people looking to buy a new computer or to replace a failed product is the mouse; quite often users just buy the cheapest on the market as surely a £2.99 mouse does the same job as one that costs £25?As with most things in life, this is not the case as you do get what … Read the rest

LCD monitors vs. CRT Monitors

Whilst the PC industry steams forward increasing the specification of the machines that we use, giving us the fastest processors and the biggest hard disks which offer us the ultimate in efficiency to get our work done as quickly as possible, a lot of users seem to neglect one area of the PC – The user interface.

The user interface is generally regarded as the keyboard, mouse and monitor as these are the peripherals that you use to actually interface with the machine.If you were to present to me the fastest PC on the market with a small, hard to read monitor, an awkward keyboard and a cumbersome mouse I wouldn’t appreciate half as much as one that wasn’t quite as fast but a pleasure to use due to the quality of the user interface devices provided.

One area in particular … Read the rest

Readers Questions.

Once again I’ll take the take out this week to help out with any problems that my readers have been experiencing.

My question is that I have a Nokia 7650 and I am trying to find out the file extension that makes files the most compressed (smallest) as MP3s appear to be huge!The phone has 4mb of total memory but that’s to share with all other functions of the phone such as the calendar so there’s not much room really.I do have a .ZIP program for both my PC and Nokia 7650 and was wondering if this format could be used to compress the music.

John Mander, Torquay

The standard size for a file stored in a format that is readable by home CD systems is around 40mg, which is why you can typically only store one album on a compact … Read the rest

Readers contribution – BT Internet kiosks

After last weeks article relating to Internet access whilst on the move, I saw it fit to publish a letter submitted by one of my readers, Ian MacMillan who discusses the new BT Internet kiosks and call boxes that are popping up around the country.They offer you full Internet and E-mail access in the high street with additional facilities such as text messaging and obviously the ability to use it as a standard payphone.

Last December I wrote to you about the new phone boxes that BT were introducing in Torbay, which could send e-mails and text messages as well as making ordinary phone calls.

Since then, there have been some new developments in this area as BT is in the process of rolling out new Internet kiosks, which offer full Internet access.At the time of writing there are eight of Read the rest

Windows XP Service Pack 1

Several months ago, Microsoft released a major update for Windows XP home and professional editions, which was designed to correct the majority of issues that users had experienced since it was originally released.The update also added several new features and with many people in the bay taking the plunge and upgrading to Windows XP, I thought it time that I explain what these free of charge updates offer the average home user.

The ‘Service Pack’ centres on improving the general security and stability of the Operating System by bundling all of the previous critical updates together into the one file as well as a fair amount of new code.Those of you who run Windows Update on a regular basis will probably already have a large majority of the fixes already installed on your system but there are still a number of … Read the rest

Response to last weeks letters page.

This week I received a reader response regarding a letter I received off a guy called Eric who was having a little bit of trouble with his computer.Those of you who missed last weeks edition may like to acquire a copy of it to fully appreciate this weeks Click however, if not, to cut a long story short, Eric was receiving messages saying that e-mails had failed to be delivered to addresses that he wasn’t even aware he was e-mailing.The response written by Mrs S Potts is as follows:

It sounds as though Eric of Paignton has got Bugbear virus on his computer as this worm has recently played havoc amongst Church users in Brixham. One colleague passed it on, and it went round and round the computers until we all ended up having to use the Bugbear decontamination method.
Read the rest

Readers Questions Part 5

Once again I’ll take the take out this week to help out with any problems that my readers have been experiencing.

I’m using Windows 98 with Outlook Express 5 and from time to time I receive e-mails that include an invitation to reply to the sender to acknowledge that I’ve received their e-mail.I usually select to send the reply and think no more about it.About 3 or 4 weeks ago this happened and found that the reply I didn’t even realise I’d opted to send couldn’t be delivered by my ISP (Freeserve).On the first day I received the following message 17 times at various times during the day - “A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its recipients.This is a permanent error, the following address failed – message failed because it has an Read the rest