Computer Guide

Video buffering when downloading

by George Skarbek - 19 February 2008

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Video buffering

Q: When I am viewing a video online i.e. MSN, it always stops for 10 seconds, then goes for 9 seconds, then stops again for 10 seconds etc.  Why is it doing that, and is there any way I can stop it?

A: The reason for this is that it takes a lot of bandwidth to display a movie and if it cannot be downloaded fast enough you will see a bit and have to wait for the next bit to be downloaded to your computer and so on.

As what you can do about it will vary on how you receive your Internet. If you are on dial-up there is probably nothing that you can do apart from going to broadband. If you are on dial-up then I strongly recommend that you consider this.

Even if you are on a cheap dial-up plan, say $10 / month and you make two calls a day (often because the line may drop out) then you are paying about $140 pa to Telstra for the phone calls, plus $120 pa to your ISP. Now for under $30 / month it is possible to obtain 20,000 kbps or several hundred times faster than a dial-up modem from GoTalk. This will also allow you to use the phone when you are on Internet and whenever the computer is on you are connected to the Internet. That plan will give you 3 GB per month of downloads which is more than adequate for most users, plus another 6 GB off-peak for downloading large movies.

If you are already on broadband then you must determine if the problem is with your ISP who is not delivering the promised bandwidth or is MSN overloaded and cannot supply the required bandwidth. There are a number of ways to test this but one good method is to ask a couple of your friends who use broadband to view a video that is giving you problems. If they do not have any problems then use Task Manger to view the Networking download speed when you are browsing other sites and observe the maximum speed. Right-click on the Taskbar to select and open TaskManager.


Setting the default mail program

Q: Whenever I try to email a file such as Word or PDF, the program defaults to Outlook whereas my default email program is Outlook Express. How can I rectify this problem?

A: You can set the default mail reader from Control Panel, Internet Options, Programs.

Sorting mail in Outlook Express

Q: Is there any method to have the incoming emails in Outlook Express all received in one block in my inbox? I have looked and I cannot find any method to have all incoming emails in one area filed by date received rather than scattered throughout the inbox. There must be a method to have the received emails put in date order?  It appears as though there is an alphabetical or similar sequence but I want a date sequence so I can quickly delete the spam received each day.

A: This is very easy to do. Just click on the Received heading to sort by date. Click again to sort by ascending order, depending if you prefer to have the newest on top or on the bottom.

If for some reason you cannot see the Received heading, then click on View, Columns and select the columns that you would like to see.


Browse Objects function

Q: I have a question about Browse buttons (Bottom right-hand corner of screen). After loading Word 2003 these buttons are black and are used to go to ‘previous page’ (up arrow) and next page (down arrow). If I use the ‘Find/Replace’ function, these buttons turn to blue and are used for ‘previous find/go to’ (up arrow) and ‘next find/go to’ (down arrow). So far so good. The problem is these buttons won’t go back to being ‘previous page’ and ‘next page’ (black in colour) without me shutting down the computer and starting up again. Even if I open a different Word file, or a new document, the buttons are in the find/replace mode. How do I get them to change back after I’ve finished using the ‘find/replace’ function?

A: This is done by changing the property of the Browse Object to being page up /down. Press Ctrl + g (Go to) and in the Page number enter a plus (+) or a number and now your arrows of the Browse Object section will move you a page at a time.


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