ABC Nightlife 13 June, 2003

Tips & Hints

Posted 16 June, 2003

Despite it being Friday the 13th, the show went without any disasters. We discussed what effects Microsoft’s withdrawal of Windows 98 will have on small business users and homes. We also answered quite a few listeners questions, including the following.

Tilde on the screen

The tilde, the ~ character next to the number 1 on a standard US/Australian keybord, is something we usually associate with temporary files. It is very rare to see it being used for any other reason. Ian called with a problem where a folder with just a tilde kept appearing on the screen.

Our first reaction was that it was spyware. However a search on this problem indicates it’s actually a Microsoft problem. Despite this not being spyware, it’s still a very good idea to regularly run programs like Adaware or Spybot on your systems.

Hotmail won’t open

A common problem we’re seeing a lot of is people having problems opening certain web pages. Bill was having trouble opening his Hotmail account. Hotmail relies heavily on Java, so our first thought is to download and reinstall the Microsoft Java program.

If that fails, a reinstall of Internet Explorer may be necessary. To do this, open Add/Remove Programs, select Microsoft Internet Explorer from the program list and click "Remove." In the next box, there will be three choices, choose the "repair existing installation" option.

Printer not working

We don’t often handle email questions on air, but Lynne had a good question about her printer. She had her drive reformatted after a virus infection, and now her printer keeps telling her it is out of paper.

Constant out of paper messages usually indicate a problem with the printer itself, but before replacing it a check of the printer port settings is a good idea. Most modern printers like the port to be set to Bi-directional, ECP or EPP. This usually involves changing BIOS settings, so we’d recommend getting a competent computer technician to do it for you.

Thanks to all the listeners and callers, as usual our apologies to those who couldn’t get through. Our next spot should be around 18 July. If you’d like to kept informed of our upcoming advice spots, subscribe to our newsletter.

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