Readers' Forum - January 2005

by Rob Zorn
from the January 2005 Newsletter

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send me an e-mail with the word "Forum" in the subject line. I'll try and answer your question by return e-mail, and will also post the answer here for the benefit of others who may have a similar question or problem. By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free. Please also note that questions and answers may turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (

Eric writes: I haven't received any new e-mails for the last couple of days; just the same three or four over and over again (at least three times now). What is going on?

Nick Staines from the Actrix Help Desk responds: Hi Eric, The problem that you are referring to is most often caused by a large e-mail "blocking" your download. If your e-mail client does not manage to download all of the waiting mail in one attempt, then none of the mail is deleted from your mailbox on our servers. Therefore you get the same messages coming through a second time, third time etc...

The fastest and easiest way to fix this problem is to log into Web Mail through My Actrix on the Actrix Homepage ( , and check what e-mails are waiting to be downloaded. Then you can read the message online. You can also save any attachments you want to keep here (it's probably attachments that are making the e-mail too big for your e-mail program to handle). Once you are finished with this e-mail you can then delete it to allow the remaining mail to arrive.

If this does not appear to solve the problem then you would be best to contact the Actrix Support Helpdesk so that we can check the settings in your email program with you (0800-228749).

Bruce Writes: Thanks for the last newsletter and the article about Firefox. I use Opera. I downloaded if after reading about security scares with Internet Explorer (IE). I enjoy using it. For eg, the Tab browsing feature sounds similar to the one in Firefox.

However, one thing I have found, and the real reason for this note, is that if you wish to access Microsoft for security upgrades as we are encouraged to do on a regular basis, you must do it with IE. On a couple of occasions when I have sought upgrades (we run MS ME) using Opera I have been required to close down and start up IE.

I suppose if I got real keen I could replace my operating system with something different but that's a bit too adventurous for me. Keep the newsletters coming they are good.

In 1954 Popular Mechanics magazine predicted what a home computer might look like in 2004. Click here to see what they thought.

Thanks Bruce. Yes, you are quite right about needing to use Internet Explorer for Windows Updates. You're also right that the only way to completely escape this necessity is to change your operating system and cease using Windows altogether. Plenty would recommend that, but you're also correct in that it is a lot more complicated to change your operating system than just starting to use a different browser. Perhaps it will become easier in the near future as alternative operating systems become more user-friendly.

Kathy writes: A little over a month ago [one of my favourite sites] was re-vamped and "improved" and since that time the words have been too small to read. There does not seem to be an address by which I can communicate. My question is, therefore, can I make any adjustments to my computer to enlarge the text on this particular site? It seems to be the only web site presenting this problem. I would greatly appreciate any advice. Kathy

Hi Kathy, This is quite a common problem, however can be easily fixed for most web-sites. In Internet Explorer go to View --> Text Size and select one of the sizes from the slide out menu.

A final option, and probably the most efficient, is to use the scroll wheel on your mouse if you have one. Hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard and scroll your mousewheel up or down to increase/decrease the size. In Internet Explorer this will take you through the 5 font sizes available.

Some web-sites strictly set the font size so it can't be changed, so the above may not work in some cases.

David writes: I feel this might be a really ignorant question on my part, but how do I read my e-mail when I am away from my home, e.g. at an internet cafe or at a friend's PC?

Hi David, It's easy to use your e-mail while away from your own computer. You can do it from any internet terminal, cyber café, or computer with internet access. Simply go to our home page (

At the Actrix home page, you will see the My Actrix login to the top right. Enter your Actrix username and password and click login. At the welcome page select Web Mail. Here you will be able to see new messages waiting for you. You can reply to these messages, forward them, and/or compose new messages and send them from your e-mail address.

Keep in mind, though, that the Web Mail interface will not be able to display any previously received messages that you have already downloaded to your own computer, and it will not have access to your own computer's address book.

More information about Actrix Web Mail can be found in an article written about it in the February 2003 newsletter. You can read that article here:

It might be a good idea to test and acquaint yourself with the Web Mail system before you leave, so as you can contact our helpdesk should you have any questions. The helpdesk is available on 0800 228 749 (menu option 3), or you can e-mail