Importing items from China via Ebay and other online stores – customs duty, VAT and handling charges

It is very easy to make purchases direct from China when purchasing online. It is even possible to do so by accident if buying in a hurry – who would think to check whether a low-value item costing £2.88 inc postage would come from abroad?

There are risks in buying from China – an alleged […]

How to improve reception on the LG Google Nexus 4 Android phone

In common with many smartphones the orientation of the Nexus 4 makes quite a difference to reception. You can improve the received signal level on the Nexus 4 simply by rotating it. Looking at the front of the phone, rotate it 90 degrees clockwise, so the top is to the right. Astonishingly the received signal […]

How to use an external keyboard with your Acer Google Nexus 7 tablet

The Google Nexus 7 is a great mid-sized tablet. It isn’t over heavy and performance is snappy. The screen is large enough for the Nexus 7 to be used for taking notes, say in a lecture or meeting. You can use the on-screen keyboard but it isn’t ideal. The lack of a hardware keyboard turns […]

HTC Desire secret menu

The HTC Desire has a secret menu, which can be accessed by entering a special code as if you were dialling a phone number. The menu shows a wealth of interesting information including IMEI, phone number, usage statistics, wifi information, accurate battery voltage and signal strength (the latter being useful to see if you are […]

Add Google.co.uk as a search provider in Internet Explorer (IE8)

Microsoft seem to have been making it harder to personalise the search engines used by the IE search box. There is a process for adding any search engine but it doesn’t seem to be as easy to find as it once was.

To add a new search provider, simply click on the link below and […]

Spotify stopped working? – how to fix the problem

Due to a foul-up by securty firm Symantec, users of Norton anti-virus products found that Spotify had mysteriously stopped working today. The reason was that the security product had falsely identified the program – Spotify.exe – as a Trojan Horse and quarantined it.

It is possible to restore the program to its rightful place but […]

How to fix the Windows XP speech recognition SAPISVR crash problem

Got the message “SAPISVR 5 has encountered a problem and needs to close” and found that neither Windows speech recognition nor your Office programs will work? The problem is caused by your speech recognition user profile having become corrupt. You need to switch to the default profile or another users’ profile to restore system stability. […]

How to fix an unstable Thomson DTi6300 Top Up TV recorder

The Thomson DTi6300 PVR can become slow and unresponsive if the available free disk space falls below 15%. This easy to fix by deleting a few programmes.

Sometimes however these boxes can get their disks in a twist, which can result in flaky operation even when there is sufficient free space. In this case, the […]

How to install RealPlayer in Ubuntu

Real Player is a high quality media player, which is freely available for Linux operating systems. It isn’t included in Linux packages because it is not a fully open source program. There are .rpm and .deb packages available for RedHat and Debian variants but nothing that will obviously work for Ubuntu. Fortunately it is fairly […]

Fixing the Windows ‘low or out of virtual memory’ errors

Windows uses hard disk storage when the memory needed by the runnning programs is bigger than the amount of RAM memory your PC has. This ‘virtual’ memory is called a page file and is located in C:/pagefile.sys.

Sometimes the error arises because one or more of the applications has a ‘memory leak’ bug. When this […]