ABC Tower   Weekend Show, 28 October 2007

Tips & Hints

Posted 28 October 2007

Weekend Show, October 2007

For the October show we were going to talk about shopping safely online, but we were distracted by some excellent listener questions and Simon's obsession with all things Mac.

The new Apple Mac operating system 10.5, or Leopard (we look forward to one being called Tiddles) has been released. Engadget have an excellent comparison of the features available in Windows Vista and Apple Leopard.

So far reviews of Leopard are good and Apple have a good record of their new products working well, but we still recommend holding back a few weeks before upgrading systems. In fact, if your system is working well we wouldn't recommend upgrading at all.

Listeners questions

Upgrading older computers is one of the questions we get every show and this was no different. As well as Lisa's Windows 98 computer, we covered plenty of other questions, including our regular spyware related problems.

As usual, we weren't able to get to all our callers. If you'd like to ask a question, please do so at our IT Queries website.

APDProxy.exe slowing computer

We thought our first call was a spyware related problem with John having a problem with apdproxy.exe eating all his system resources. It turns out this program is part of Adobe Photo Downloader which is not spyware but part of the Adobe Photoshop Elements package. The program tries to read all the image files on removable drives.

The best solution for this is to disable the program on start up. Click Start, Run type msconfig. In the System Configuration Utility screen, click the Startup tab, take the tick off ADPProxy.exe and click okay. When you restart the computer, you will be warned that you changed the start up settings, click the box and the okay button.

Opening multiple files freeze computers

Doug had a problem with his computer freezing up when he had multiple programs open. This sounds like a Virtual Memory problem.

To fix this, open the Control Panel from the Start Menu. Open the System applet, click on the Advanced tab, click the settings button in the Performance. In the Performance Options, click the Advanced tab and then "change" button. Set the Maximum virtual memory to 4000, click the OK tab and restart the computer when asked.

Buying computers from overseas

You often encounter some great computer deals while overseas and Tracey's husband had stumbled on such a bargain, she wanted to know what the risks are with buying a system.

The most important aspect is to check the warranty will be valid. You should also check things like voltages are compatible as many items are set to the US 110v, not the European 220v or Australian 240v. You also might be levied duties or GST on returning to Australia.

Our experience is that the additional costs and risks often don't justify the cost of buying overseas. You must check the prices closely and be aware of repair, warranty and tax costs before buying. Many people find the cost difference isn't that great anyway.

Upgrading old computers

Lisa called about upgrading her six year old computer as she's finding the odd problem with running software. Our view is not to bother as a six year old machine tends to be expensive. We recommend sticking with your old computer until it doesn't meet your needs and then buy a new system.

iPhoto can't find null file

We had a rare call about an Apple problem, Barry's iPhoto was coming up with an error "file null cannot be found" when trying to open photos. This sounds like a problem with the iPhoto library. You can fix the libraries by following the Rebuilding the iPhoto Library instructions from the Apple website.

If this doesn't work, you might need to repair the system using the iPhoto Library Manager tool by Fat Cat Software. Failing that, you can try wiping the settings by deleting, that hides in your User/Library/Preferences folder. This will wipe your existing library.

Ultimate Cleaner 2007

We couldn't go a show without a spyware question and Paul provided it. He had been lumbered with "Ultimate Cleaner 2007". This is junk and can be removed through the instructions on our IT Queries website.

Solitaire not displaying

Building your own computer is attractive to do it yourself types, but it can be frustrating when it doesn't work out as Aueul found when his home built system. One of the problems he has is Solitaire doesn't work properly.

Solitaire is actually a good testing tool for a computer's video card, if there is a problem Solitaire will behave like Aueul describes. This could be a card not fitted properly, incorrect drivers or a defective card. We'd recommend checking them in that order.

Attachments on email

We didn't get time to answer Margaret's question on air, but having strange attachments on emails is a common problem. This is often due to people sending Rich Text emails. Rich Text is a nuisance and people should avoid sending in that format.

Another possible problem is the free version of AVG's habit of "certifying" incoming mail. To turn off incoming certification, open the AVG Control Center through the Program Files, highlight the email scanner option and click Properties. In the email properties dialog box, click the Configure box. Under the email scanner heading, take the tick off "certify mail" boxes.

Upcoming shows

Our apologies to callers we couldn't get to. The next Weekend show is scheduled for December 9. If you have any comments or questions, please contact us or subscribe to our newsletter.
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