Which barbecues are best – charcoal or gas?

Updated 25 May 2009

If you are considering buying a barbecue you will have noticed that they burn either solid fuel – charcoal – or gas. So what are the differences and why would you buy one in preference to the other?

That wonderful barbecue flavour Some […]

How can I find my mobile phone IMEI number?

You can easily find your IMEI on most phones by simply entering *#06# on the keypad. Some phones call it a serial number rather than the IMEI, which can be a little confusing. If *#06# doesn’t work with your phone there are a couple of other ways of finding the IMEI:

Look under the battery […]

How to fix the Thomson Top Up TV receiver ‘orange light stuck on’ fault

There have recently been a rash of problems with Thomson DTi6300 hard disk Top Up TV boxes. The fault typically manifests itself as a box that won’t come out of standby, usually with an orange front-panel light stuck on.

Thomson Top Up TV PVR

The first thing to try is to turn the box […]

How to check lip sync on your HD satellite receiver

There still seem to be audio synchronisation problems with some HD satellite receivers. If you have doubts about yours you can access a lip sync test signal on the BBC HD channel. A test card is available too, which has surround sound audio channel identifications.

When the channel is off-air the BBC transmits a continuous […]

How to force a Sky receiver to do a software update

Forcing a Sky receiver to do a software update is very easy. The process could be terminal for the box if the mains is interrupted in mid-update so please be careful that this cannot happen accidentally.

Here are the steps to trigger an update:

Switch the box to standby Unplug the mains or switch off […]

How to find the hidden Sky installer menu

Here is how to access the hidden installer menu on your Sky box.

Warning one – do not change anything you do not understand.

Warning two – even if you do know what you are doing, make a note of the existing settings before changing anything.

The installer menu can be […]

How to create a Windows XP Service Pack 3 disk (XP SP3 CD)

Want to create an XP SP3 disk? If you have every had to wipe a hard drive and reinstall Windows XP you will know how long your PC takes downloading and installing all the updates to the operating system. The downloads seem to take forever and the problem is multiplied if you have several computers […]

Why Blu-Ray players need better HDMI cables

HDMI cables do the same job for High Definition digital TV signals as SCART cables do for analogue TV. Not only do they convey the picture and sound signals but also some control signals. The original HDMI cable spec, Category 1, allowed for data rates of up to 75 MHZ, which is adequate for a […]

Clearing the Windows Media Player transcoded files cache

Running out of hard disk space? Found a folder stuffed full of large-ish files (maybe using that excellent utility TreeSize from Jam Software)?

If you have ever used Windows Media Player (WMP) with a smartphone or portable media player you will probably have found that it very usefully identifies the device capabilities and if necessary […]

Solving the ‘cannot find flash.ocx’ problem

Some people are being plagued by PC error messages saying “cannot find flash.ocx”. Often there is no indication of the program that has been looking for the missing file, so diagnosis is difficult.

Flash is an application that is great for providing interactive features on web pages. It is also used by screensavers and to […]