Computer Guide

How do I sort my Favourites?

by George Skarbek - 4 September 2007

To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here


Sorting my Favourites

Q: When I add a website to my "Favorites", I used to be able to double right click and then sort alphabetically.  However, that option seems to have disappeared - help!

A: You most likely have the Favorites panel always visible on the left-hand side of your screen and when it is there the right-clicking method is not available for some inexplicable reason, probably known only to Microsoft. The symptoms are that there is no Sort by Name option when you right-click.

The way to get around your problem is to open the Favorites from the toolbar where you have File, Edit, View and then Favorites. Then when you right-click on that list, you will have the sorting options and you will find that the list in the left hand panel is also sorted accordingly. Fortunately in Vista this idiosyncrasy has been fixed.

Playing my music on startup

Q:  Is it possible to play a music soundtrack automatically when you turn on your computer rather than the normal Microsoft sound effects? Also is there a good web site for sound effects?

A: It certainly is possible to alter the default sound and I am amazed that so many(or few??) users do this as when I have to re-boot a client’s or a friend’s computer almost all have the Microsoft startup sound. I prefer to have the first few bars of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony that I ripped from a CD as my starting sound. I used a program to edit my required section and saved it as a separate WAV file. For Windows to find and play your sound file it must be a WAV and not an MP3 or any other format. There are very many programs that can convert sound format files but Audacity from: is an excellent free program that has very good editing and many other options.

Having created your soundtrack and make Windows use it, copy it to the C:\Windows\Media folder. Then you have to click on Start, Settings, Control Panel, Sounds and Audio Devices, Sounds Tab and finally in the program events select Start Windows and Browse to select your track.

As for a site with free sound effects enter "free sound effects" into Google and you will find over 200,000 references. If you do not use the quotes in Google you will have over 45 million hits.


What is a M4A file?

Q: Someone sent me an email with an audio file attached. The file is an M4A file and I wish to convert it to a WAV file. Can you suggest an easy way to do this? I have done some research but with little success.

A: The M4A (MPEG 4 Audio) is a relatively new successor to the MP3 format that is currently very widely used to compress music. M4A has several advantages over the MP3 format including a better quality and smaller file size. Have a look at: for further information on this file format.

Fortunately there are a number of shareware programs that will convert M4A to MP3. See: for a selection or at


To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here