Computer Guide

Australian English Spelling
by George Skarbek - 15 August 2006
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Q. Q: I have a question regarding the Spell Checker Dictionary. When I compose an e-mail the dictionary is always defaults to English (Aus) which is what I want but when I am replying to an e-mail it always defaults to English (US). Do you know how I can have my spell checker always default to English (Aus)?
A: There may be several factors involved. To fix your problem, Click on Start, Settings, Control Panel, Regional and Language Settings. You will find there are three tabs, Advanced, Languages and Regional Options. You need to have English Australia selected under all three tabs. Note that you have to include the Details option in the Languages window.

If this does not fix the problem then from Start, click Programs, Microsoft Office Tools select Microsoft Office XP Language Settings and then you will be able to select Australian (or UK). Caution: When you change the installation language as in the last step, your file is replaced and any changes you have made will be lost. This means that you will have to re-customise your settings in 

Q: Bearing in mind the present low cost of 1GB USB flash drives (about $40), is there any software which will allow one of them to be used as an external RAM.  eg I presently have 256 MB RAM and I would have 1.256 GB RAM. We used to have external hard drives!

A: Unfortunately this is not possible as the memory types and the controllers used in USB memory and the main memory are totally incompatible. The memory used in the USD drives is extremely slow compared to the RAM used for the main memory. The fastest USB drives are approaching transfer rates of 20 MB / sec but 5 MB / sec are more common in the lower cost devices, although there are exceptions. Typical RAM has transfers rates of 3,200 MB /sec but they can be twice that speed so you would slow down your computer by a factor of one thousand by using such USB slow memory if this was possible to achieve.

The main advantage of the USB memory is that it is non-volatile, that is will retain data after power is switched off. Typical values quoted for data retention is for over 10 years. By contrast, your computer’s RAM will permanently lose all information about 1/100 of a second after power is switched off or lost. This is why many users have a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to prevent loss of data and possible file corruption when there is a sudden blackout. A low cost UPS, for under $100 will keep the average computer running for about 15 minutes, more than adequate for over 90% of power outages that usually last only a few seconds during a storm.

Q: When visiting web sites in the past that require a login/password, I must have said no to save this info. I have now had a change of heart and would like to have the system remember the login details.....what can I do to restore such a function. I have auto complete enabled in my browser (IE6)

A: I find the AutoComplete a very useful and time saving feature. Use the following steps in Internet Explorer restore your AutoComplete history for Web addresses. From the Tools menu, click Internet Options, Content tab, and then Personal Information and click on “Prompt me to save passwords”.

I also suggest that you enable all the others including the Forms option as this will then automatically bring your details when filling out the same information, such as your name and address on other sites.

Q: I installed Flash Player 8 by clicking Yes and although there was no installation activity I find from Control Panel that it actually was installed. This is the only record of it being in existence on my computer, i.e. I cannot find any other reference to it.  There does not appear to be any effects on downloading from Internet Explorer, or wouldn't I know about it if there were?

A: It does not install like a conventional program therefore you could not it under Programs. However, there should be over half a dozen references to Flash in the Windows and sub-folders with several files located in the folder C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash.


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