... a bit Suffolk
fr 10 Jun
You start up your pc/laptop (or perhaps it restarts itself) and you get something like Operating System not found, perhaps you've left a memory stick in a USB port and the pc is trying to boot from that? Just remove it and maybe change the device order in which the pc's BIOS looks for the operating system, quite how you do this will depend on your particular pc, Google it.
sa 28 May
Windows 10's picture viewer Photo Gallery defaults to slide shows in that annoying Pan and zoom Ken Burns way. If you hover your mouse top left a Change theme pull down appears so you can change to slightly less irritating transitions but there doesn't seem to be a way to change the default, that's stuck at Pan and zoom.
In Windows 10 lots of the old favourites like Control Panel aren't immediately apparent, point the mouse at the Windows button bottom left (unless you've moved the task bar) and click the right mouse button (if you're right handed) to get this useful menu.
su 10 Jan
When we upgraded to Windows 10 in that American way it added a US keyboard causing ENG to appear bottom right on the task bar. (ENG lets you switch between keyboards.) No biggy but a bit annoying and another bit of the screen occupied for no reward. Removing the US keyboard is a little bit of a faff, we went Windows/C/Control Panel/Language, selected English (United States) and then clicked Remove above ... ENG gone.
we 4 Nov
fr 9 Oct
Americans eh? In Windows 10 it still takes three clicks to turn your pc off because our colonial cousins never do, it first assumes you have a US keyboard and there's no DVD player software because we're all going to have Netflix subscriptions ... except when we put Ghost World in and after a bit of clicking it did play in the Microscoft DVD player. Microscoft have really muddied the water over this but we upgraded to 10 from Win 7 and presumably got a free DVD player download. If this doesn't work for you try the free, open source and French VLC media player.
we 16 Sep
A useful new keyboard shortcut in Windows 10 is Windows key + X which pops up a substantial menu of system stuff and has underlined keyboard shortcuts. You can do the same thing by right clicking what's now the Windows 10 logo bottom left and was the Start button, the same menu appears and though keyboard shortcuts are not underlined they still function.
th 3 Sep
This might be a bug in Windows 10 and happened to us after we had to reinstall a scanner driver, when listing picture file in File Explorer there aren't any thumbnails. The fix is straight forward; in File Explorer click the View tab, click Options, click the View tab and make sure the first check box Always show icons, never thumbnails is unchecked.
mo 17 Aug
After updating to Windows 10 and not taking advantage of the installer's offer to change the file associations (they set which app opens when you double click on a file) you'll find pictures now open in Microscoft's viewer/editor Photos. If you want the old viewer back go Settings/System/Default apps and set Photo viewer to Photo Gallery.
su 16 Aug
03:11pm: We've done two backups, one to a USB drive and one to the NAS, taken a deep calming breath and about to start a Windows 10 upgrade on the main desktop here ...
05:30pm: Windows 10 installed, fairly painless though a number of forced power offs have been needed. Nothing that different from Windows 7 but still having to find our way round ...
we 5 Aug
Updating a struggling Vista laptop we should have followed our own advice and when some updates failed instead of trying to force it first do a reboot, which on this occasion sorted it out.
fr 31 Jul
th 30 Jul
Windows 10 installed at second attempt. It looks very flat and simple as is the fashion these days perhaps because it works better on a smartphone, a new browser named Edge no doubt without the definite article to prevention confusion with people called David, a thing called WiFi-Sense to manage and protect your wireless connections, and an impressive weather app which includes historical data.
we 29 Jul
02:25pm: Vista laptop finally updated despite Windows Upgrade's determination to install some Windows 7 upgrades ... no sign of Windows 10 won't hold our breath.
02:44pm: Ah, just found the Windows 10 download directory on the Vista laptop so the download has started ...
04:44pm: Three gig downloaded in the last three hours and still at it ...
05:29pm: The download seems to have completed at 5.2 gig but no email confirmation ...
05:40pm: The laptop seems to be Windows 7 I would have sworn it was Vista ...
08:50pm: Still no email but we tickled the install to start but it then failed with error 80240020. The Microscoft fix for this is to download again ... see you tomorrow.
th 23 Jul
When we're searching for a mislaid file we often find that the file date is a quick way to find it. Clicking in the Search Libraries text window will prompt a dropdown, click on Date modified: and a calendar for the current month will appear. What it's taken us time to find is click on the month at the top of the calendar and the months of the year appear; click on the year at the calendar top and more years appear.
th 22 Jan
Microsoft Windows 10 is due this year. (April? Hold your breath?) Despite the Beeb getting a mild stiffy over augmented reality and the speech interface Cortana, surely the most relevant news for Win 7 and Win 8 users is the upgrade will be free for them during the first year of release.
mo 28 Jul
You've got a laptop and smartphone, the laptop is logged in so you know the username and password but strangely they won't work on the smartphone. Log out on the laptop, confirm that caps lock is off and log back in again. If you can't log back in then you don't know the username and password do you don't.
th 22 May
Children eh? Little Mutterings matriarch Stephanie Trews has been emailed snaps of the step-grandchildren Olaf and Pixie-Dixie at their pre-forestry school near Oslo but Stephanie doesn't know how to print them out. Try pointing at a pic Steph and right clicking the mouse (the other button), reckon a menu should pop up including Print, look forward to seeing the pix in the telephone box when ... PC Catchpole unlocks it.
mo 24 Jun
As we all know nothing is important or interesting unless it's been on telly so having seen the adverts we tried PC Matic. Reasonably fast download, install and ten minutes to run before advising us of a modest 47 problems and 4 advisories one of which was to upgrade (not update) Windows ... but to do anything about it 30 quid was wanted. TuneUp 2013 also costs £30 but gives you a free 15 day trial. It took for ever to run on a desktop, reported 1,000s and 1,000s of errors and took forever to fix them. We rebooted, run again and though quicker it still took its time before reporting just 1,000s of errors. In the end we do think the pc was running a little faster. Bottom line? Thirty quid?
th 16 May
We still use Office 2000 because we don't need to schedule meetings with multiple yes persons and it doesn't have online activation so we can just keep on loading it up. Annoyingly recent Office versions default to the docx Word format. Office 2000 doesn't recognise docx but Microscoft have a Compatibility Pack so it will. As well as Office 2000 here we have Outlook 2007 because the Blackberry won't recognise 2000, when we installed the Compatability Pack it seemed to think it was upgrading Office 2007 and after installation Word 2000 still couldn't recognise docx. Running repair on the Pack in Add or Remove Programs inexplicably did the job. Now we can read those irritating attachments that should be in the body of your press release ... just saying.
we 24 Apr
In our experience the thing most likely to fail on your pc is the hard disc and when it does not only do you loose the family photos but possibly the operating system too. When you buy a computer you almost always pay for a licence to use the installed Windows. The Windows software may be supplied on a cd but it might also be on a separate partition on the hard disc, in that case lose the hard disc lose Windows. We've just paid Toshiba £30 for a disc to recover a netbook, bloody annoying when the owner has already paid once for Windows. Moral: Use the manufacturer's software to make a safety copy of the operating system and drivers.
th 11 Apr
Under All Programs you'll find the folder Startup where you or installer software have put progs to run when Windows starts. There's another whole bunch of stuff that loads at start up slowing things down and which isn't at easy to get at. Freebie CCleaner now has under Tools a very handy Startup editor. The bad news is it's often not clear what the progs listed do so perhaps firstly Disable and restart to try before Delete to prevent tears before bedtime.
fr 21 Jan
Perhaps obvious that you can restore a deleted pic/doc/file from the recycle bin as long as subsequently arriving stuff hasn't forced it out of the bottom ... so to speak ... sorry, reading Julian Clary's autobiog. Less obviously emptying the recycle bin is only a temporary fix to creating more space on the hard disc as it will just fill up again. A more useful ploy is to reduce the bin size, though this will make you more vulnerable the default 10% of the hard disc does seem overly cautious. Right click on the recycle bin icon, select Properties, adjust the slider and click OK.
mo 3 Jan
For reasons best known to Microscoft (possibly going back to DOS when hard discs were more unreliable) over time files end up split up and scattered over your hard disc (fragmented) slowing things down as the hard disc heads have to jump about to read a file. Speed things up by periodically running the defrag utility. Defrag usually lives in Start/Accessories/System Tools but if it's gone missing then whilst holding down the Windows key press R then type dfrg.msc in the Open: box, don't necessarily believe it when Analyze says you don't have to defrag.
mo 16 Aug
When using Word to print a series of A4 sheets to make up for example S/A/L/E, F/E/T/E or L/Y/N/C/H/I/N/G you might find that the pull down font sizes doesn't go big enough. Don't panic you just type in a font size ... and the next one rrrright in here please!
su 1 Aug
Avoid appearing a semi-literate paper pusher by NOT separating paragraphs with a blank line. Instead point at the paragraph in Word with your mouse, click the right mouse button and then select Paragraph. In the new window that appears set Spacing/After to say 6 and then click OK. Job done and what's more when you create a new paragraph by pressing return the new paragraph will inherit the settings from the previous paragraph.
we 23 Jun
If you point your mouse at an unoccupied part of the taskbar (that bar along the bottom) and click the right mouse button this menu appears. You might want to unlock the taskbar. Why? By pointing at the top of the taskbar and then dragging you can change the height of the taskbar, by pointing at an unoccupied part of the taskbar and dragging you can really confuse yourself by moving the task bar to the side or top of the screen but most important you can now change the size of the quick launch. Haven't got the quick launch enabled? You should have.
sa 9 May
On your pc is a hidden file called the registry containing info about the the pc setup and the applications. As time goes by this registry fills up with redundant and sometimes wrong info slowing down your pc because it takes the operating system longer to search the reg to find what it needs. Perhaps you've encountered on the modern miracle of the interweb very generous invitations to a free registry scan? Typical results are 2,345,612 errors in your reg and if you don't fix them your children will die or you'll be extradited by the US Committee for Homeland Security (they're a bit like your local council ... but more forgiving). The free scan offers to save you and your children for a mere $19.95
Eusing actually is a free registry cleaner (it does have nag screen) which is impressively small and tight and does what it says ... though despite fixing over 2,000 errors on this machine it didn't seem to significantly speed it up whereas the visual effects demon tweak did.