Word File Repair

From time to time you may notice formatting errors in a Word document or it may take a while to open. It is worth trying a Repair.

Before you do this, make a copy of the problem file just in case something goes wrong.

Start up Word, do File — Open

Choose Browse and go to the relevant folder.

Choose the file you want and drop down the Open button to Open and Repair

At this point, any problems diagnosed will be shown and Word will try to fix them. Close the dialog box.

Now, save the file. Ensure that you don’t save over the original file!

Close and re-open the saved file. Hopefully it will open a lot quicker. Visually check it to make sure that nothing is wrong or missing.

Emergency Wifi?

You’ve got that vital Zoom meeting and your usual broadband or wifi is playing up. Sometimes so bad that you can’t continue the meeting. What’s to do?

There’s a short term solution to this and it uses your phone. A technique called tethering. It works if you are using a tablet, laptop or wifi enabled desktop PC.

Here are instructions. These are for a Motorola G series Android but will give you the idea. With other platforms you may need to delve a bit for what you need.

Make sure your phone is charged up first.

  1. Go to Settings then the Wireless & Networks section.
  2. Choose More then Tethering & Mobile Hotspot.
  3. then Set Up Wifi Hotspot.
  4. You’ll be asked to enter Network name. You can use what is offered or choose your own. Like ‘Fred’ or somesuch.
  5. Enter a password. You can use the default one offered but it will be something like b0b5azaq44 which is impossible to remember. You may choose an alternative which is memorable to you but not guessable by anybody else.
  6. Accept default values for Security and Band and hit Save.
  7. Flip the Mobile Wi-Fi hotspot option to ON.

What has happened?

You’ve just created a Wifi Router.

On your laptop (or whatever) go to your wifi list, select the name you entered at 4 above and the password at 5.

You are now connected to mobile broadband via your phone!

It may not be as quick as your usual connection (though it might be) and I can’t guarantee that it will be more reliable (though in a good 3g/4g reception area it should be OK).

You’ll also accumulate data charges from your mobile provider if you exceed any free monthly allowance.

Good news is that you are back on the net and back into your meeting.

You can use your phone at the same time, by the way.

When you’ve finished….

Turn off the hotspot (see 7 above) to save on battery and also for security purposes.

Sales Commission

For most items which I sell on your behalf, I will take a commission of the final sale price per below. I look after packaging and dispatching as well. When I’ve made the sale and been paid then I’ll remit the net proceeds to you. If there’s a subsequent problem or dispute with the buyer then I deal with that – I won’t come to you for a refund. In other words, once the money is yours then it is yours.


Synology Drive

For those with a Synology NAS drive, such as the DS218, this is a way to access your files from anywhere.

Operating in a similar way to Google-Drive or OneDrive, the Synology-Drive app or program allows you to access your NAS files as if they were on your PC – wherever you happen to be. You just need an internet connection.

This means that you could create a file on the NAS and then read or modify it using your laptop, even if you are in a different building (or country). Once saved, then the updated file will find its way back to the NAS automatically.

Unless specified otherwise, the program will not download all of your NAS files to your device. This is good thing as the volume of NAS files tends to be more than a laptop can accommodate – and certainly more than a phone can manage!

The program uses the device’s conventional Explorer/Finder to show you files and folders mirroring those on the NAS.

Files are only downloaded when opened. A file may also be ‘pinned’ which means it will download without being opened.

Security/confidentiality can be an issue. The files will happily download to encrypted folders such as those maintained by the Windows native Bitlocker or 3rd party programs such as Descrypt. This means that should your laptop get stolen then the files will be unreadable.


Downloading and syncing are only possibly while the NAS is connected to the internet. This will usually be the case. There is no cloud copy of the files as there is on, say, Onedrive.

When working directly on the NAS, then Office (for example) will lock any file which you have open and no two people can use it at the same time. This does not apply with files accessed via Synology-Drive and there is a danger of ending up with two versions of the same file. Obviously co-ordination with ones fellow team members is essential here.

The first time you open a file or pin it then this may take a little while. Not unreasonable as it needs to upload from the NAS to the cloud then down to the device. After that it will open right away. It is also possible to unpin a file: the local file is deleted but the name remains so that it can be repinned or (re)opened.


There is no charge which is generous of Synology who must be dedicating a chunk of their network to servicing the Synology-Drive process.


The process has been proven on the following platforms. Others will be tested in due course.

Android Phone or Tablet

Works fine but many file types will need a specific reader or app to be installed. Word/Excel files are good example.

Windows 10 Laptop or PC

Works well, no problems noted.

Facebook message from a friend…

There have been a spate of these recently. A message from a Friend (and it is the actual account, not a clone) asks you to look at video (for example).

I got this twice from Friends. I experimentally followed the link with a fake account which I keep around for these situations. It craftily asks you to log into Facebook in order to see the video or whatever. Your email and password are then captured! This lets the scammer masquerade as you and get up to no good.

The Friends who apparently sent me the message had been caught by the same trick so it’s a chain reaction.

Implications go further. If you use the same password everywhere then they can get access to your email and more and get up to even more mischief.

ESET Licencing

If you’ve been running a Trial version of ESET then this how to complete the set up.


Locate the ESET icon in the tray (bottom right) and double click. ESET will load up.

Click on “Activate Full Product

(if you don’t see the Activate Full Product button then go to Help & Support then Activate Product)

Click Use a Purchased Licence Key

Enter or paste the product key and click Continue

Turning Computer Off?

A question I’m asked from time to time is whether computers should be left on all the time or turned off.

When left alone your computer should eventually go to sleep and often eventually into a state of hibernation – if it’s been set up properly.

Closing your laptop lid can have the same effect.

At these times power consumption is vastly reduced (zero in the case of hibernation).

Doing this means that your computer is quickly up and ready next time you use it instead of spending a couple of minutes going through the start up procedure.

I leave my laptop on all the time but it does hibernate overnight and during quiet periods in the day. To save energy and as a safety feature, I turn off the charger (at the mains) overnight.

Obviously if you are going away or out of the office for a few days or at the weekend – or indeed at any time when the computer is unattended for 24 hours or more – then I strongly recommend turning all equipment off both at the device and at the mains.

Also do not leave your laptop charging overnight.

Whatever you do, restart your computer at least once a week.

It will do no harm (and will save on power) to turn off monitor and printers when they are no longer needed for the day.

Free email – pitfalls

Many of us use free email addresses, common ones include @btinternet.com, @gmail.com, @outlook.com etc.

All well and good but a problem lurks.

If you get a problem with your email then, as a non-paying customer, you will be at the back of the queue when it comes getting things fixed. You’ll also probably be denied the best access to the email provider’s support team.

I recently helped somebody whose Blueyonder email went out of service. It took 9 days to get the problem solved. During this time they could neither send nor receive nor even look at old emails.


The answer is to get a ‘proper’ domain and paid-for email service. If you are a business then this looks smarter as well.


If you don’t want to go for the paid service then you can take a periodic backup using one of Microsoft’s Outlook programs (not to be confused with the outlook.com webmail). This will at least provide an email archive and allow (with a little help from A222) mail to be sent out even if it can’t be received.

Please contact us for further details.