PC or Laptop Problems
Website and Email
I generally dislike Microsoft products with a passion – not because they are inherently badly written or user unfriendly but because they seem to exist purely to serve Microsoft.
Today I’ve been helping a client migrate to their new Windows 7 PC from an old XP laptop. They were using Microsoft Outlook 2003 and quite reasonably didn’t want to pay double the price for the version of MS Office 2010 that includes Outlook.
Would should be a straightforward migration – import the .pst – is a bit of a headache, mainly because once you have your emails on the paid-for email client, Microsoft don’t give you a way to get them off! The .pst is a wholly proprietory standard and MS prefer to keep it that way.
A quick disclaimer: Outlook Express will let you import a .pst, but some corruption in the registry meant I couldn’t do this without a lot more playing around under the bonnet than I wanted to do.
Here’s an overview of the workaround though beware this may be a bit intensive on your internet connection…
- Register a new Hotmail account
On your old PC
- Install the Outlook Hotmail Connector
- Add your newly created Hotmail account to Outlook
- Copy the emails from your Outlook folder (or folders) to your Hotmail folder (or folders – Hotmail supports nested folders)
- Sync…and wait… With a relatively small inbox on a fast connection, this took around an hour. It could be much longer
On your new PC
- Install the Windows Live Mail Hotmail Connector
- Add your newly created Hotmail account to Windows Live
- Sync…and wait…
- Copy the files from your Hotmail folders to your Windows Live Mail folders
- Delete the Hotmail mailbox from your new PC (and possibly from Hotmail, though it may be worth keeping as a backup archive) and forget all about it.
Voila, your emails on Windows Live without having to shell out £££ on Office Professional
Yesterday I was given a battered 14 year old Laptop: 196Mb
RAM, 5GB hard disk and a Pentium II CPU. This hadn’t even been powered up for the last five years, but actually started fine and booted into Windows 98. The stipulation was that I had to do a military grade wipe of the hard drive leaving me with a completely blank canvas.
I was looking for something to put onto a very low resource laptop and found the wonderful Browser Linux. Based on Puppy Linux, this is an extremely cut down implementation, fitting into an image of around 80MB which turns creaking old PCs into web browsing machines. It does other stuff too – I can play CDs for example or run Google docs for word processing or spreadsheeting. I’m also writing this blog post on it.
In all honesty, it still creaks a bit – more than 3 or 4 tabs open and it starts to slow down quite noticeably – but otherwise it’s a useful browsing machine and much better use than sticking into landfill. With so few options I think it would also be an ideal starter laptop for someone who’s not particularly confident with computers.
Next project is to turn another similarly low powered laptop into an awesome vintage gaming machine – watch this space!
I love this! A website which shows the details and realtime positions of the planes in the sky above you. We’re not on the flightpath for any major airports in Burwell, so I’m often curious about what is going on in the sky above when we get a bunch of planes going over. Now you can check. If you follow them on Twitter you also get live updates when a Plane “squawks” something interesting (a ‘General Emergency’ for example).
Select the link to see live realtime updates: flightradar24.com
To prevent confusion with the similarly named ‘Burwell Computers’, Burwell Computer Help is now Village Computer Help! Apart from that, nothing else has changed. We’re still running our Burwell Weather Station and we’re still providing unbeatable value for money!
Thought it would be useful to try out this android app for updating the website on the fly. Question is, has it worked?
My garden weather station is now updating this page once every 5 minutes. However, due to some recent damage, I need to replace the rain gauge and the anemometer (wind speed gauge). I will hopefully get that done this week.
Firefox 11 has just been released, and includes this amazing new tool for viewing a webpage DOM tree in 3D! A great tool to enable web developers or designers get a quick pictorial overview of a page construction without having to plough through pages and pages of code. Also great fun to play with! This image is a 3D representation of www.burwellcomputerhelp.com
Rightclick a page > Inspect Element > select 3D from bottom menu.
Well I’ve moved, and settled in, and ashdoncomputerhelp.com has become burwellcomputerhelp.com (I didn’t renew the ashdoncomputerhelp.com domain as Ilive too far away now, and it’s been hoovered up by one of those domain resellers who will charge about £50,000 to sell it if anyone wants it…).
So, I’m now available to help the good people of Burwell in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding area (Soham, Exning, Wicken, Ely, Newmarket etc.) with all PC, laptop and web requirements!
Just spent a thoroughly enjoyable 15 minutes winding up a scammer who told me he was calling from “the Service Provider for the Windows Operating System” because the national logging database had detected a virus on my Windows PC.
Two snags. There’s no national logging database and I don’t use a Windows PC (except my regularly rebuilt one used for test purposes which – believe me – does not have a virus).
The caller asked me to bring press <Windows Key>-R – which brings up the run dialog – and run eventvwr (a Windows utility used to view system logs).
Had we got any further he would have pointed out the inevitable warnings and errors in the system log, directed me to a website where I would have handed over control to my PC and they would have done something or other – probably damaging my PC – and then charged me for the privilege.
Instead, I strung him along for a bit, got passed to his supervisor who tried again and eventually hung up on me. Their collective knowledge of IT was so low as to be laughable (techie bit: when asked how to stop my Apache web server from the Linux terminal he told me to ‘click the X at the top of the window’).
The serious point is that you should never – NEVER – give a cold caller access to your PC. EVER. Microsoft will never call you about such a thing, there is no national database, there is no service which employs people to pro actively detect and destroy viruses on private PCs.
Now you know that, do have fun stringing them along…
Tomorrow night I’m DJing for my sister-in-laws 30th Birthday party (It’s a long story, I was a professional DJ for about 20 years whilst moonlighting as an IT consultant…). It’s an 80s night and to be sure, she sent me a dvd of 80s mp3s. I imported them into my meticulously maintained iTunes library only to find *shock horror* the tags are all in damn UPPERCASE. Argghhh!
After ten minutes of manually typing the names in the correct title case, I did a quick google and found MP3Tag – a free piece of Windows software (a rariety in itself) that corrects the case of multiple mp3 tags with two clicks of the mouse. It does much more as well, but my library is in such meticulous order, the finer features weren’t required. But so grateful was I, I thought a link and a mention to the marvellous mp3tag was in order.
Oh, and after writing this post, I deleted all the mp3s anyway, as would be required, quite rightly, by the applicable laws. *cough*