Archive for June, 2010

Toshiba laptop built-in webcam problems

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Toshiba laptop built-in webcam problems

Problem: Toshiba laptop Camera Assistant Software on Vista (or similar) is no longer working. When you try to run the application you get an error along the lines of:

‘Access violation at address … in module ‘CEC_MAIN.exe’. Read of address …’

‘Cannot open file C:\Program Files\Camera Assistant Software for Toshiba\NewSkin1\active.bmp’

This is a problem that only applies to a small amount of people but it’s one that is also difficult to fix as most of the information you’ll find from a Google search is confusing.

As always, make sure that you have backed your computer up etc. before attempting any of the solutions listed here. If you’re unsure about your abilities, please get an expert to do it for you. Also, I can’t guarantee that anything here will work as it uses third party software.

  1. Re-install the webcam drivers: Open ‘Control Panel’ and go to ‘System’ then ‘Device Manager’.
  2. Under ‘Imaging devices’, right-click ‘Chicony USB 2.0 Camera’ and select ‘Update driver software’.
  3. Select ‘Browse my computer for driver software’ then ‘let em pick from a list of device drivers installed on my computer’.
  4. Select ‘USB video device’ then click next.

This will re-install the drivers on your computer.

If this doesn’t work, try re-installing the Chicony Camera Assistant software:

  1. Download the Camera Assistant Software from the Toshiba website: http://bds.tjpntuw.updates.toshiba.com/Downloads/Production/tjpntuw/2009/10/03/035225_20.24.43.TC40054600D.exe
  2. Install the software and then you may need to reboot (don’t forget to bookmark this page first if you need to 🙂

Everything should be working again now 🙂

Written by Chris

June 25th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

How to speed up Vista instantly

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How to speed up Vista instantly

If you’re using Vista, you may have noticed how heavy it is in hardware-resource terms.

If you’d like a faster computer and are prepared to compromise on the aesthetics, here is a very simple and quick way to get things moving more quickly. This method will also give you the reassurance of knowing that you can undo any changes you make by following the same instructions:

  1. Click on the windows button at the bottom left of the screen
  2. Right-click on ‘Computer’ in the right-hand column on the start menu
  3. Select ‘properties’ from the new pop-up menu

    Click the Windows button then right-click 'Computer' and select 'properties'

    Click the Windows button then right-click 'Computer' and select 'properties'

  4. From the new ‘system’ window select ‘advanced system settings’ from the left-hand column

    Select advanced settings from the left-hand column

    Select advanced settings from the left-hand column

  5. From the new system properties window select the third tab labelled ‘Advanced’

    From the new system properties window select the third tab labelled ‘Advanced’. Select the ‘settings’ button under ‘performance’

    From the new system properties window select the third tab labelled ‘Advanced’. Select the ‘settings’ button under ‘performance’

  6. Select the ‘settings’ button under ‘performance’
  7. From the new window, under the ‘visual effects’ tab, you now have the options to:
  • ‘Let Windows choose what is best for my computer
  • ‘Adjust for best appearance’
  • ‘Adjust for best performance’
  • Or select the options individually yourself (‘Custom’)
Choose your performance options

Choose your performance options

Select the ‘Adjust for best performance’ then click OK. This may take a few moments while your computer applies the new settings. To revert to the original or default settings, follow the same instructions above but choose option ‘b’ in step 7

Written by Chris

June 21st, 2010 at 1:35 pm

The importance of having a website

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"If your website doesn't do what it’s supposed to do, it’s pointless"

The website pictured here is a perfect example one that provides virtually no practical function whatsoever - neither form nor function.

Introduction

I was recently commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce to write a short article about the ‘importance of having a website for small businesses’.

When I looked at the ‘subject’ around which to write an article, I have to say I was a little stumped. The problem is that I just don’t agree with that statement! You might think this is a little paradoxical seeing as I earn a living building websites; however, the reason I disagree is due to the omission of several important words.

On the one hand, of course I think it’s imperative that a business has a website. The problem lies in the fact that unless the website in question is built properly, they may as well not have one.

In my many years in the business, I’ve seen countless examples of pathetic websites that are either invisible to search engines, don’t communicate their message or are just so user-un-friendly that they will never fulfil any useful function whatsoever.

For a website to actually fulfil its function it needs to be properly built, to allow it to be found on search engines, its keywords and phrases need to be properly incorporated in order for the site to appear in relevant searches, but most importantly, before a site is started, it needs to be properly planned to make sure that it actually does what its supposed to do!

If anyone were to ask me for advice before starting a website, I would tell them that the first thing they need to do is sit down and list exactly what your website must do for their business and also what other functions they’d like it to fulfil. These are the primary and secondary objectives that allow you to properly evaluate whether or not your finished website site is successful.

Obviously, I think that it is important for a business to have a website, but that website must be a successful website. If it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, its pointless.

The importance of having a website

Getting yourself a properly planned and well built website may be one of the smartest business decisions you ever make, and I should know: My entire career I’ve been involved in helping businesses with their sales and marketing from start-ups and sole-traders to large blue-chip organizations such as the BBC, National Geographic and Motorolla.

A good website opens up a whole new world of possibilities for your business. It will work tirelessly for you, promoting your products and services twenty-four-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. It’ll save you money in print advertising and it’ll even help you break through geographical boundaries to reach people you could never normally have hoped to reach!

From a potential customer’s point-of-view, the internet will often be the first place they look to check your credentials! Your website will help you to quickly differentiate yourself from the cowboys out there by providing customer testimonials and a clear and open means of communication. Also, having your own domain name and email address @ your domain will show people you’re not a fly-by-night organisation.

Businesses who think they’ll be ‘just fine’ without a website run the risk of being left behind. Every day, people become more and more likely to use the internet as the first place they look for products, services, tradesmen and suppliers. That ‘over-the-fence’ recommendation is now an ‘over-the- internet’ one and the convenience a website provides to a potential customer has become less of a luxury and more of an expectation.

Over the past decade, business has changed, meaning traditional marketing methodologies have evolved.   A website means there’s a good chance you’ll be there at the right time, when your potential customers are ready to buy. Without a website, however, you run the risk of being, effectively, invisible.

Written by Chris

June 16th, 2010 at 10:11 am

How to create a screen-capture of a web page in Windows

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Example web page screen dump

Example web page screen dump

Here are a couple of methods to create an image of a webpage.

Method 1 (simple) – will capture the visible screen only

  1. Go to the web page you’d like to take a screen capture of
  2. Press F11 to go full screen
  3. Press the ‘PRTSC’ button (print screen)
  4. Press F11 to go back to normal
  5. Open up Microsoft Paint
    1. Either from the RUN box type ‘mspaint’
    2. Or browse through start/programs/paint
    3. Press CTRL + V to paste screen capture
    4. Press CTRL + S to save the image

Method 2 (complicated)- will capture the whole page if required

  1. If you’re not already using Chrome browser, download and install it
    1. I’d recommend making it your default browser by clicking the little spanner icon in the top-right corner (options) and then choosing options. Under the ‘basics’ tab there’s a button to make Chrome your default browser – you won’t regret it!
    2. Navigate to ‘http://chrome.google.com/extensions/’ and find ‘webpage screenshot’ (by Amina) and install
    3. Click the little camera icon at the top right of the page once the plug-in is installed
    4. Choose whether you’d like a full-page or viaible page screen-capture
    5. When the screen-cap if done, right-click and ‘save image as…’

Written by Chris

June 9th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous