I’ve got a trio of quick tips for you today.

By | July 1, 2012
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In the Computers newsletter this time:
  • Make your printer print better
  • When your computer loses track of time
  • For anyone who has a wireless router
Hello,

I’ve got a trio of quick tips for you today. Just quick ones because, well, it is Sunday and Alastair wants me to help him play with his Duplo – he’s getting really good at towers now but I have to help with bridges…

 

Tip number 1: Keep printer paper in the packet

It’s that simple, really. Keep the paper for your printer in the packet. If it’s out in the air it absorbs moisture and tends to print slightly blurry – and tends to come out of the printer more wavy than normal.

Of course keeping it in a sealed box or tin would be fine, too, but it’s easier to just leave it in the packet and only take out the amount you need.

 

Tip number 2: What to do if your computer loses track of the time

Occasionally, particular if you’ve had your computer for several years, it’ll suddenly lose track of the date and time. I don’t just mean lose a few minutes – it won’t know what year it is.

 

If you reset the time and date it’ll keep good time while it’s turned on – and go wrong again when you turn it off.

 

There’s a little battery like a watch battery inside the PC – and all that’s happened is it’s run down. If you have a desktop PC, they’re usually not hard to replace. You work out how to open the case (there’s often a catch at the back or the side), find the battery (it’ll look like a large watch battery – maybe the size of a two penny piece) and it’ll have a code number on it so you can order one that’s the same. Once you’ve got it, simply take the old one out, put the new one in and that’s it.

 

Important: do make sure that the computer is turned off and unplugged first. I’d always recommend unplugging it, then pressing the on switch on the front of the PC and making sure it doesn’t turn on – a handy way to make absolutely sure it’s not plugged in.

 

Or you could take it to a repair shop to replace it – shouldn’t take them more than ten minutes at most.

 

Tip number 3: If you have a wireless router

Don’t worry if you don’t know what a wireless router is – it’s the box you plug into the phone line for your broadband IF you have one with a little antenna on it so you don’t need to use a cable to connect it to your PC. (If you do use a cable between this box and the PC, it’s not wireless, which makes sense, and for some reason no-one calls it a router, either, just to confuse you.)

 

A lot of people tend to have the router next to the phone socket, since that’s where it plugs in. Makes sense. But often that’s also next to a wall – and that’s not so good for the wireless signal. It can reflect from the wall, then the reflection and the original signal can interfere with each other.

 

So if you can put your router on a table a little way away from the wall, you might get a better signal, which will make your internet access a little faster.

 

If you’re happy with the speed of your internet, then you don’t have to move it – but it’s worth knowing in case you find it’s not as fast as you’d like.

 

Oh, and make sure the cable isn’t draped across the room like a tripwire, especially if a speeding toddler might be charging about… our cable has had to stay fairly close to the wall!

 

Hope those help – Alastair’s managed one of his tallest towers yet and I think it’s going to get knocked down shortly…

Yours,
Tim Wakeling
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