From the Actrix Online Informer April 2008

by Rob Zorn

Readers' Forum April 2008

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send us an e-mail with the word "Forum" in the subject line. I'll try and get an answer to you 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 also turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (


Gerard writes: I would like some information about increasing power for the internet. We have children in the Netherlands and Australia. Lately we installed "Skype" and you understand the disappointment. Not enough power for the internet! The sound quality and the picture quality was not very good! My question to you is do we need "broadband" or something else to improve the quality and what is all going to cost?

Hi Gerard, Yes, things like Skype don't work too well over a dialup modem, especially when you're using them to contact people overseas. You should probably look at upgrading to broadband. It is more expensive, and there are some set-up costs, but it really brings the Internet alive, and most people are glad they moved to something faster. In years to come, dialup modems will be a museum-based curiosity, I think.

Keep in mind, too, that using Skype is a lot cheaper than making toll calls, so if you're phoning overseas a lot, that could be a monetary saving to factor into the equation.

It's not so much about increasing power, as increasing bandwidth. Think of your connection as being like a pipe. The bigger the pipe, the more data you can send through it at once. Unfortunately, the technology around dialup modems can't really be improved on all that much, and the "pipe" it offers is very narrow.

We did a feature on moving to broadband in the January Actrix Online Informer, and you can access that article at Have a read of that, and then maybe give the help desk a call to talk over some options (0800-228749).


Maureen writes: The amount of spam coming through seems to have risen. What is Actrix doing to stop this?

Hi Maureen, The short answer is, "Everything we can!" Spam volumes alway ebbs and flow as spammers try new tricks in the code behind the emails to sneak them past the filters. Depending on how clever they're being, it can take some time to figure out a way to stop them. Eventually we do, and spam volumes decline until they try the next trick. It will also vary from user to use depending on how many spam lists your email address is on. We realise it's a nuisance, but trust you'll see an improvement soon.


Tony writes: Hi Rob, I like to play around with my computer and I keep losing stuff. When I first had it and logged onto outlook express to check my e-mails, down the left hand side I had a list of Inbox, Outbox, Drafts etc. Now I can only get Inbox. Also I have lost the programme that shows how much ink I have left in my cartridges. Please help. Tony

Hi Tony,
I can't really help you with the printer question. Every printer is different  and it's not really an internet-related question. However, the Outlook Express one is pretty easy. Along the top you should have a menu that says File, Edit, View, Tools etc. Click View, and then Layout, and you will have all sorts of tickboxes you can check and uncheck to add or take away things Outlook Express will display - including your folder list. There are probably things under there you haven't seen before!

Feel free to experiment by checking and unchecking. You can't do any harm and if you don't like something, Just go in and turn it back off or on.



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