Asus A68HM-PLUS with Windows XP installed

AsusA68HM-Plus

There are times when someone asks me for a new computer and insist on having an outdated operating system on it. It may well be needed for an old program. Even so, some programs may still not install because of the hardware specs of the machine, anyway, I was recently asked to do just that. Actually finding modern hardware that supports Xp is not always easy but I struck lucky as I found this motherboard in a Zoostorm computer. After checking at the Asus manufacturers support site and discovering they listed drivers for Windows Xp I was happy to go ahead.

This computer has the USB3.0 drivers installed and Xp itself is installed on a 250Gb SSD (Solid State Drive). All of the drivers have gone in without a problem so I am very happy.

In this particular instance the computer was intended to run a game called ‘Fishsim‘ . Although this game will run on Windows 7 my client was adamant that a combination of his advanced years and the fact he had been using Windows XP from day one, he saw no reason to change now, and he just did not like Windows 7. For what it’s worth I had installed Windows 7 to begin with and got everything ready only to be told, “Don’t like this, I want XP!”

Daddy long legs spider – Pholcid – with her egg sack

Daddy Long Leg Spider with Egg Sack

This spider had got my attention because it’s abdomen seemed very bulbous and shiny for a few days. I don’t know whether it was replaced by the female or if it is the same spider but the next minute the spider was spinning the egg sack into silk and  then it placed it into it’s mouth and has held it there ever since. Fascinating to watch and next time I will try to video the process.                                         

One of the best budget smartphones in 2017 the Motorola G4

MotorolaG 4G

If you are looking for a phone that wont run out of juice in the middle of the day, or you love to listen to music through it’s speakers, you want the latest Android version then read on. I have owned far more mobile phones than I care to admit to and like computers I know what is going to work well and what is not. During the days of the solid performing Nokia mobiles I had a new Nokia phone each time my contract came to an end but at no point did I feel that my Nokia phone was inadequate, it just did what it was required to do. The trouble started when I was told that the new Nokia came with Windows – not the Symbian system I wanted, I got an iPhone instead and hated it. So after a short affair with Blackberry I bought a sim free android phone for about £50 and started to find out just how basic these things are. Fast forward to the Moto G4. I bought this late in 2016 after reading several good reviews, after all 2Gb of memory and 16Gb of storage seemed perfect and not too big at 5 1/2 inches with Android 6 plus it has an octa-core processor, a feature I consider essential with today’s phones.

Click here and check it out on Amazon

 

Setting up was no different to any other Android device but one of the first things that impressed me was the option I was given upon detection of the 16Gb Micro SD card was to format the Micro SD card as phone memory to increase the storage, fabulous. On older Android systems or just older phones the Micro SD card cant easily be formatted in this way leaving you to simply move photos or music and video files to the SD card in order to claim back precious space. Moving on there was the set up of a Moto account etc then just updating the software once I had connected to my WiFi. On previous phones I had used a torch app that enabled my to turn on the camera flash and use it as a torch, this phone has a Moto feature that once set up you can simply shake the phone twice in quick succession to turn the torch on – no extra app needed and the phone does not need unlocking at all, just take it out of your pocket or bag, shake it twice and you have a torch, shake again and the torch turns off – brilliant. On top of all of this I find that by the end of the day I often have over 50% battery left and sometimes less if I have been using maps for navigation etc. I’m not one to be constantly on my phone but I do check things over 10 times a day. To sum up this phone has upgraded to Android 7 and I just use it with no nagging back-thought in my head that there is something I don’t like about it, it even has a decent enough camera.

Activating EM Client

EM Client is a great choice to replace outlook if you don’t want to purchase Microsoft Office. Activation should be straightforward, here is a breakdown.

First go to the EM Client registration page HERE. Once registered your license number will be shown on the page and also emailed to you.

Here are screenshots of how to insert your license.

Menu - Help -License
Menu – Help -License

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iPad is only printing small pictures on my HP wireless printer

I recently came accross this problem and this is the solution I found.

  1. Go to the App Store and install the HP ePrint app
  2. When you start the app registration is optional.  You will also need to grant permission for it to access your photos etc.
  3. Once done you can go to photos via this app and choose the photo you want to print.
  4. There is a toolbar above the photo where you can change preferences before printing and one of these is paper size – in my case I changed it from A5 to A4.

Problem solved.

Printer Problems

There’s nothing worse than your printer deciding it won’t work. The humble, home, multifunctional printer has become very cheap and is rarely worth spending money on it to get it fixed. However there are occasions where an easy fix is at hand and I will share here the fixed I have used over the years.

If your printer is working but not printing properly then do the following:

  • Clear any paper jam
  • Use the maintenance tools on the computer. Hp has the ‘solution Centre’ or an icon on the desktop or a little shortcut for the printer. All printers have a software package installed that gives you tools to use to solve problems.
  • Also there is usually additional help on line. Go to the manufacturers website and search for your printer in their support section, there will be suggestions there to help you get going again.
  • If all that fails and you are still none the wiser perhaps a more technically minded friend might help. Otherwise you can always replace the printer and advertise those unused ink cartridges on your local freecycle site unless your new printer takes the same ones.

General Connectivity

Some of the small office printers have an Ethernet port as well as a USB port and more than once I have found the USB cable plugged in to to Ethernet port. It will go in but of course it does nothing, plugged into its rightful place the printer often bursts into life and produces multiple copies of whatever the owner was repeatedly trying to print.

Wireless

There are times when wireless technology just does is own thing. If you have had a good old fiddle and can’t figure why your wi-fi printer does not respond then try the following;

  1. Turn the printer off.
  2. Turn the computer off.
  3. Turn the broadband hub / router off and wait a good 30 secs.
  4. Turn the broadband hub / router back on and wait until all the lights have settled and it’s connected.
  5. Turn the printer back on.
  6. Turn the computer back on.

For some reason the Wi-Fi signal gets jammed or lost between the devices and this will usually restore it.