Nightlife 15 October, 2004

Tips & Hints

Posted 20 October, 2004

On the 15 October Nightlife spot we looked at buying the right gift for the geek in your life.

With just over two months until Christmas, it's time to start considering what to buy those close to you. Before buying a Christmas gift for computer or the geek in your life, you need to know that snazzy gadget or software will work properly on your system. We've put together a checklist makes sure that gift will be a delight, not a nightmare.

We managed to get through a lot of callers, some of the questions included.

Converting vinyl records to CD

Many of us oldies have a lot of good music in our old record collections. Rather than spend a lot of money replacing perfectly good LPs with CDs, computers allow you to copy records to CD. Pat called to ask how you do this.

The mechanics are actually quite simple, the difficulty is with the software and getting a suitable preamplifier to boost the signal between the turntable and the computer. A couple of good resources are an article in the Melbourne PC Users magazine (this one is a little dated) and a very good, clear article at The Digital Audio Restoration Centre. It's a good idea to speak to your local electronics shop about a pre-amp. You may find they know of a local enthusiast that will do this for a reasonable price.

Old programs on new computers

Both Margot and Daryl called about old programs they want to install on their new computers. Windows XP has a compatibility mode that will allow older programs to run. Not all programs will work, and some take a bit of coaxing before they will run.

About Worm

One of the hardest pieces of malware to remove is the About worm. This beast hijacks your home page and is almost impossible to remove. A very good and free tool to get rid of it is available at Spychecker.

This is one of the hardest programs to remove, if you have ever had to clean up a bad infection, you will swear never to use Internet Explorer again, or even to switch to a Mac. Detailed instructions on getting rid of bad spyware infections is at Spywareinfo, but be careful, this is not advice for those new to computers.

As usual we had a full switchboard, so our apologies to those who couldn’t get through. Our next Nightlife spot should be November 19, but this is subject to confirmation. If you’d like to be kept informed of upcoming computer help spots, subscribe to our newsletter.

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