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how to do technology in ten moves. (or less.) A Loose Wire production

How to Fix a Broken Nokia PC Suite

Sometimes you’ll find that you can’t synchronize PC Suite with your phone, or other weird things happen between phone and PC Suite. The best thing to do is reinstall PC Suite, but that’s not always easy. I found that PC Suite doesn’t uninstall fully (and forget using the option to fix an already installed version.)

So best, to go for a complete reinstall.

So back up your phone (if you can; if not, rely on an earlier backup.)

This is the icon to back up from (and to restore from):

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Just follow the instructions.

Once you’re done, then uninstall PC Suite entirely:

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Follow the instructions.

Once that’s done, you need to download another piece of software: The Nokia PC Suite Cleaner.

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This will

* Remove old or unnecessary Nokia PC Suite-related files from your PC to make way for a new installation
* Clean both Nokia PC Suite files and registry data
* Leave other content on your PC intact

But it won’t remove your old backup files etc. Go ahead and run the program.

And then reboot.

You should now be ready to reinstall the software.

A couple of notes:

  • Don’t use the phone when you’re restoring a backup, but do keep an eye on the screen as there might be some prompts. if the restore gauge on the PC sticks as a certain percentage, this is probably why. Answer the prompts and it should complete.
  • When the reinstall is done, and all your contacts etc are up to date, do another backup.
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Filed under: medium

How to Select Text in Microsoft Word Using the Mouse

You probably think you know how to select (highlight) text in Microsoft Word. And you probably do. But here’s a tip or two that you might not have come across.

Most of the time selecting text is straightforward: drag the mouse over the text you want to select. (The words need to be next to each other and on the same line. Obvious as that sounds, it’ll make more sense later.)

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If you want to select a word, double click the mouse over the word.

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(Note that this includes the space to the right of the word, which isn’t always what you want.)

If you want to select a sentence hold down the Control (Ctrl) key and click a word in the sentence.

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If you want to select a whole line, just click the mouse in the space to the left of the line.

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To select a paragraph, triple click (i.e. click three times in quick succession over a word in that paragraph, or else double click in the space to the left of the text (the left margin, if you will).

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If you want to select the whole document, then just triple click in the left hand margin.

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Freeform selection

Just one final tip: There may be times when you want to select a column of words that don’t appear in a Microsoft Word table. This sometimes happens if you’ve copied some poorly formatted text into a Word document, where the words are separated by tab marks.

Hold down the Alt key and drag the mouse over the text. This will select all text in the selection area, irrespective of word, sentence, line and paragraph.

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You probably think you won’t ever need this, but keep a note anyway. You never know.

In a later column I’ll talk about how to use the keyboard to select text. In the meantime, tips are always welcome.

Filed under: medium

How to Fix Drag and Drop Problems in XP

Won’t happen to many of you, but here’s what to do if you suddenly find that you can’t drag and drop stuff in Windows XP.

First off, don’t panic. There’s lots of pages out there suggesting you have a virus. Not impossible, but unlikely.

Second, check that you haven’t got your escape key stuck. Do this either physically—something may be wedging it down—or else virtually—a program may have set it as on. This has happened to lots of people, if this post is anything to go by.

If that doesn’t work for you, try this.

Download this ZIP file from here.

What you’re going to do is change your registry, so back it up first.

Open the files inside the Zip.

The one you need is the dragndropx.reg.

Once you’re backed up, double click on it, and select yes from the resulting dialog:

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Your registry should now be fixed.

Try dragging something—an icon, a file, some text—and you should be good to go.

(Note: I have a feeling this problem is caused by overzealous registry cleaners.)

If you’re still having problems, you may have something more serious: Run a good virus scan as your next step. If there’s still a problem, then it could be your mouse driver. Here’s some more (mostly inconclusive) chat about this.

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Filed under: hard

How to Set Vacation Email Messages

I’ve written elsewhere of the hazard of setting a blanket auto-respond email message in Microsoft Outlook. Many programs and services have ways for you to tweak these settings so that only your contacts—those people in your address book—receive these messages. (This does not remove the chances of revealing information you don’t want to bad guys, but it does significantly reduce it):

Gmail

In Gmail, got to settings

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and then scroll down to vacation responder.

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Make sure you check the button at the bottom of the window Only send a response to people in my contacts.

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Hotmail

in Hotmail, you’ll find the same option in Options/Vacation reply.

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Microsoft Outlook 2007

Outlook has something similar, so long as your account is on the Microsoft Exchange Server (usually meaning you’re on your office network). There you can also select whether the auto-replies go to people outside or inside your organisation, etc:

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Mozilla Thunderbird

There’s no in-built way to do it. Here’s a workaround, explained in more detail here, but it’s not pretty, and it depends on your computer remaining on and connected.

(My thanks to Brett Roberts of Microsoft New Zealand for suggestions.)

Filed under: medium

How to Remove Swear Words from Webpages

Here’s how, in an age when it’s impossible to view YouTube without encountering the profane and incoherent, to make surfing the web more palatable for grandma or the tykes.

Install Firefox.

Download the extension FoxReplace.

Once it’s installed (and Firefox reloaded), go to the options in Tools/FoxReplace:

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Select FoxReplace options…

You’ll see a window like this:

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Now enter those terms that you find offensive by clicking the Add button on the right.

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The top half of the window lets you decide whether you want to ‘censor’ specific webpages. Leaving this blank means all pages you visit will be affected.

Add the word you want sanitized in the text box next to Replace. This may be the only time in your life you get to type these words, so savour it. If you find a particular expletive is used in different tenses, just use the root. The suffixes—ing, ed etc—won’t look so offensive once the root has been cleansed. So to speak.

If you want to replace the word with something more acceptable, enter it in the right hand column. Otherwise leave it blank. I use [charming expletive] but this is merely my taste.

When you’re done thinking up the worst words you can think of, click OK.

You’ll now be back in the Firefox browser. Try visiting a page you know is full of ribaldry. You should see something like this:

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or this, in a Facebook group:

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You can set FoxReplace to replace these words automatically or manually. Select Auto-replace on page load from the Tools/FoxReplace menu. \

With many thanks to Amit Agarwal who goes into more detail about some of the functions of this extension.

Filed under: hard

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