Terry via email asks: Hi Aunty. We will be travelling by camper van from Spain to England via Portugal, France and Germany and back. I want to take my laptop with me but how can I access the internet whilst travelling? Do I have to have a separate provider for each different country, or should I get one of those USB dongle thingies I keep hearing about. Aunty Says: How exciting Terry, any room in the van? These days you can simply pull into most towns and find either a bar or hotel advertising free WiFI hotspots, or failing that an internet café. You will be using their ISP (provider) so you don’t need to worry. Your laptop should indicate that it has found a network in range which you may need an access code for. I have a great little tool from Trust (20€ from ebay) that tells me if there’s a WiFi network in range. The USB dongles are still a bit expensive for roaming and can be very hit-and miss regarding a decent enough signal to surf the web.
Bob via email asks: Dear Aunty, great column, where would we all be without it? So please can you help me, but how I got into my situation heaven knows! For email I generally use Microsoft Outlook and I am on dial up. When I click Send/Receive a window appears with ‘Error 623 The system could not find the phone book entry for this connection' If I am already on line via Firefox then sending and receiving is no Problem. Also on Firefox my homepage does not come up. The window says “web page cannot be found DNS error occurred Server cannot be found, the link may be broken”. If I click on 'Go to URL' my home page will come up. I am on Windows Media player 9 and when I attempt to burn a CD from my library it says no CD or DVD burner detected and E: drive does not even appear on the drop down list. I can play and record from my E: drive without any problems. I have now loaded Windows Media player 10 but the same problems prevail. Do you think I have registry problems and if so I have C Cleaner and should I run it? Aunty Says: Hi Bob. The first problem is due to Outlook not knowing which connection to use to access the Internet to send and receive emails. The following may be a little different depending on whether you use Outlook or Outlook. Express and which version of Office you have. Go to ‘tools’ ‘accounts’ and click on the mail tab. Click on properties and you should see a ‘connection’ tab that will let you set the default connection that Outlook will use, in this case your dialup one. The Firefox problem could be simply your homepage setting under ‘tools’ ‘options’ ‘general’ but it could also be spyware or a virus interfering with things. Make sure you scan with an updated AVG9, SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes. The DVD problem is a little more complicated. Maybe try Media Player 11 and the free Ashampoo burning Studio from download.com, it may be that you have a faulty CD drive or device driver. I wouldn’t recommend running any registry cleaner, simply because they can cause irreparable problems.
Hugh via email asks: Hi Aunty, you published a letter in the latest issue of RTN whose Yahoo account had been hijacked and his contact list were receiving emails advertising everything. This is exactly what has happened to me except I have a Hotmail account. I have now changed to Gmail and deleted my contact list in Hotmail. However, I cannot delete the account. Hotmail has told me it will remain open for 270 days, Can you help me, please? Aunty Says: There is a way of deleting the account Hugh and I think it is pretty similar to the Yahoo email method. You first need to login and on the main page in the top right corner you can access your account management options. Under here is the option to completely delete the account. There is also a direct link to the webpage here: http://mail.live.com/mail/CloseAccountConfirmation.aspx but I don’t know if it works as I don’t have a Windows mail or Hotmail account.
Claire via email asks: I’m a bit confused as to what to do with some files I have been sent via email. The first one is some photos from my daughter in Canada and they are called photomum.zip. There is supposed to be lots of photos but I only have one attachment. The second is details of a property from an estate agent which is called callosa.rar, again I was expecting some photographs. Aunty Says: These two files you have been sent are what are commonly known as ‘compressed’ files. File compression is a way of containing a group of files in one single file that reduces size and download speed. Imagine you were sending twenty postcards to Canada and how much simpler and cheaper it would be if you could put them all in one envelope. By using a program such as WinZip or WinRar, your daughter has selected a load of photos and made the photomum.zip attachment that you have received. You are supposed to then reverse the process at your end by using a similar program. I find the free 7-zip from www.download.com one of the best free ones, but you can sometimes use the built in one that Windows has. The first thing you need to do is save the attachment to your ‘My Documents’ folder. Once there you can use the right mouse button to instruct Windows what to do with the file, i.e extract using 7-zip and which destination folder to put the extracted photos in.