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About Batchfiles

  • Birthday September 3

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    Windows 7 x64
  1. I agree there are exceptions to every rule but I'm talking of romance as an adjective here. In just the way it is used in the love story. The chivalry of wooing. The physics of wooing in fact. I know men sometimes take the mechanics of a partnership for granted but that is not what I mean by or understand romance to be; and should that partnership break down we start all over again. We go on to woo and romance another. Women don't in general do this. Men "romance" the ladies.
  2. Yes I agree men do read books about killing things and dream about World of Warcraft but men are also romantics. Its men who do romantic things. Its men who instigate romance. Women don’t do that! They just passively receive romance from men. As hiyatran says there are two totally different mentalities. Men are actively romantic and as I said in my first post women just like to read about how romantic men are. My contention then is that women aren’t romantic.
  3. I've had enough thinking now, my heads hurting!

  4. I was in a second-hand bookshop the other day and all of a sudden I had an insight. In front of me was a huge pile of “Mills & Boon” romance novels and behind those a second mountain of similarly assorted love fables. Who reads these I wondered, and why? Obviously the vast majority of readers were women but why this overpowering interest in romance? After all, women aren’t romantic creatures! Men are the romantic ones not women! We do all the wooing and courting. We are the ones who bring the flowers and chocolates and organise candlelight dinners. We dote and praise and admire and mount on pedestals. So why do women read romance novels? It’s not because they are romantic themselves I think, it’s because they like to read about how romantic men are! Do you agree?
  5. It’s been a while since I offered one of my little tales to this forum, well, several years in fact, but I thought perhaps some of you might like to have a little chuckle at my expense and so below is an account of events that took place one summer’s day a few years ago. A cautionary tale of explosives! One summer Caz, my daughter had her Cousin Christopher staying with us for a week. She was then 11 and Christopher was 12, and they were the very best of friends. On one day of the holidays they were in the bottom field digging in the remains of an old Victorian rubbish tip. The farm we live in was built around 1840 and they just dumped everything in a corner of the field rather than cart it away. No dustbin men in those days! I went down to see what they were doing and they showed me the stone jars and bottles they'd found, along with some pieces of Quartz dug up with the soil. I told them that Quartz was very clever stuff and if the crystals inside were pressed together they could generate a small amount of electricity. They found this hard to believe of course, and couldn't see how a rock could act in the same way as a battery. If it could they reasoned Dad wouldn't have a shelf of batteries in the workshop he'd have a shelf of rocks! They would be cheaper! Later that evening I was slaving over a repair on the bench, and as I was using a cigarette lighter to soften some heat-shrink tubing onto a wire; I couldn't be bothered to go and get the right tool for the job from the drawer, I thought about the Quartz problem. I was using one of those lighters with what’s called electronic ignition. You know the type, they are about 20p each from the market and don't have flints. Here was my Quartz explanation in action. The cigarette lighter I thought was a bit mundane as an example for an 11 year old girl and especially for a 12 year old boy, so I had to think of something else more exciting. I stripped the lighter down and pulled out the igniter. The push button is at one end and a short wire is attached near the other; that end resting on a small plate. I was surprised to find I could produce a hefty spark nearly half an inch long! Excellent I thought; now, what to do with it. It was obvious of course after I had thought about it for a short while. I had to explode something! A gas was needed and some means of containing it. The gas shouldn't be a problem. It's surprising how many explosive gases are kept in the average home; but what to put it in. After working into the early hours of the morning I had several wrecked containers of various description; the drill, saw and scissors had been working overtime but I had finally decided on a small container we had from the Vet with tablets in for the dogs. It was the kind with a tight fitting, snap-on lid. I drilled two tiny holes in the lid, just large enough to get two wires through. The total length of the wires was about 10 inches and about 3/4 of an inch of each was pushed through the lid. These ends were bared for about 1/8 of an inch and spaced about 1/4 inch apart to form a gap for the spark to jump across. I then pinned the lid to a board about 9 inches square. Nothing critical here, it was just a piece that was to hand. The lid was facing up so the container could be pushed on top. I soldered the other end of one wire to the short wire from the igniter and the second wire I soldered to a small piece of tin-plate about 1 inch square. The igniter was rested on the tin-plate and a push on top produced a nice spark across the gap at the other end. Now for the gas; but I had to wait until the next day for this. My better half would not be a happy badger if I blew up part of the house during the night. Next day dawned and the search for the ultimate explosive gas was on. After breakfast the kids spent the rest of the morning searching. Caz, the girl, had decided on her old dolls hair spray and Christopher, the boy, had opted for his spray on deodorant. Dire warnings from better half were issued about what would happen to me if I blew the kids up as we went outside to look for further examples of explosive gasses. Dad's idea was to use Propane. The kids thought this was not the best idea in the world because it took much too long to get it out of the big red bottle and into the container. And anyway, Dad was just showing off his propane torch skills because he had just successfully completed all the plumbing in Caz's bathroom without any leaks. Needless to say, getting the right amount of propane into the container was impossible, so dad's idea was abandoned. Caz remembered mum telling her not to put her dolls next to the fire after she had one day emptied a whole can of hair spray onto them, because their heads might burst into flames. Christopher wished he'd been there to see that. So hair spray was put forward as a possible explosive. Christopher thought this smacked of girlyness but he desperately wanted to see something, anything, explode so he went along with it. Dad held the container and Caz injected several bursts of hair spray into it. The container was pushed firmly onto the lid by Christopher and then everyone moved well back. Everyone that is except Dad, who was now cursing the fact he'd made the wires only 10 inches long. I covered my head with one arm and pushed the button. Nothing happened. I pushed several times more but still nothing. The kids looked at me. I looked at the kids. Christopher thought his potty uncle really has lost it this time. Caz thought how can he show me up like this in front of Christopher. I thought I wish the ground would open up and swallow me. Just a technical hitch; I know what the problem is I said. We've just got the spark gap a bit wet with the hair spray. I quickly removed the container, dried the wires with my hankie (better half reckons if my hankies don't go in the washing machine cleaner than they come out in future I'm going to have to wash them myself. Woman just don't have a clue how useful hankies are for lots of other things beside blowing your nose on) and shook the excess spray out. I returned the container to its rightful position on top of the lid. It will work this time I said. I could tell they didn't believe me by the way they sat uncaringly on the wall. I put my finger on the button and pressed. There was an almighty bang. Rainbow coloured flames shot out of the container and it rose 20 feet in the air. Caz fell off the wall into some nettles. Christopher fell off the wall and sat squarely in the dogs water bowl and I caught the container on its return to earth down the back of my neck. The plastic container was still molten and I grabbed the dog’s water bowl from under Christopher to put out the fire on my head. Better half came running out of the house to see what had happened to her 'babies' followed by the dogs. Caz was still sat there opened mouthed and I'm sure I heard Christopher say 's**t uncle' under his breath. Caz's little rat of a dog leapt onto her to make sure she was OK then immediately attacked me. Super Sal the cocker spaniel attacked what was left of the container and George the blind Lurcher walked into the wall. Better half looked at me. “Well?” she said. “Cup of tea time!” I replied. “Your heads still on fire!” she said.
  6. OK thank you. I see the site is back up; that was a quick fix.
  7. Brilliant, works a treat, thank you. One other small point is that the maximise and close buttons don’t work, the minimise button works OK though. Is this related to the work you were doing? I’m unable to download the latest version because the site is down.
  8. I’m unable to stop the tooltips showing even though I’ve removed the tick from the option to show them in the Style tab. My useroptions.js file has ShowToolTips=false; so clearly it is being updated but the “false” command it seems is not being acted upon. This is on a fresh copy of WPI v8.0.3 downloaded from the website and run directly after a re-boot. I’m using a Windows 7 64 bit system. Any ideas please as to what may be wrong?
  9. Aw, I'm blushing now!
  10. Thank you for those very kind words Galt. A little humour in the day goes a long way to keeping the world spinning happily I think. Mind you, most of my little stories find humour in the most bizarre instances, as you will see as I post more of them.
  11. A cautionary tale of a motorcycle When I was younger, very much younger, I had a BSA motorbike. A BSA Bantam motorbike; not very powerful but to me at that age it was a real motorbike with lots of precarious sticky-out things, no mudguards and a Devilish black paint job; and you could ride them in those days without wearing a crash helmet or any sort of protective clothing. Incredibly dangerous when I think back, but that is the beauty of hindsight if you live to have any! One extremely attractive thing about this bike was that it had been modified, in a round about and not very professional way I must admit, for trials riding. Well, I say modified; the mudguards had been removed, the engine had had something done to it that sounded incredibly exciting to a young teenager like me and best of all it had something called a quick-acting throttle! To be honest I had no idea what a quick-acting throttle was supposed to do but it made the bike sound exactly like that crazy frog tune that was popular a little while ago, and that was more than enough to put a gleam into any teenage boy’s eye. The very first weekend after I got my BSA bike with quick-acting throttle my mate Ron and I rode into the countryside for her first try-out. It was a lovely summer’s day, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and Ron and I were ecstatic. Ding, ding, ding, bahh sang the bike as we set off down the long, straight two mile lane to the village. We proudly looked about at all and anything that would take notice and showed off to every living thing we passed, including a scarecrow that Ron was later to argue he’d seen move and attempt to chase him the last time he had walked home along that lane in the dark. The tempo of the ding, ding, ding, bahh steadily increased to a ding, ding, ding, bahh, bahh, bahh, ding and then further dings and bahhs were added in a somewhat random and alarming manner. Our speed gradually and worryingly increased to a point where I felt obliged to adjust the quick-acting throttle from it’s, until then fully wound open position, to something a little less demanding of the engine. I gradually eased forward on the knobbly hand grip that surrounded the quick-acting throttle. Nothing happened! I eased some more; still nothing. I pushed the knobbly hand grip all the way forward as far as it would go but still felt no decrease in the bikes speed. The dings and bahhs were now growing in amplitude as well as tempo and were being interspaced with various pops and phuts, and most disconcerting of all with the odd high pitched wheeeeee. I twisted and twisted again the quick-acting throttle but still nothing happen to slow our now horrifyingly fast advance towards the village crossroads. Being much more familiar with electrical then mechanical things even at that young age I knew that the engine had a magneto attached to it that produced the spark for the one and only spark plug fitted to the machine. If the voltage was removed from the spark plug I reasoned then with no spark the engine would stop. I removed my right hand from the useless quick-acting throttle and reached down and felt around for the high tension lead to the plug. The moment I found it I knew I had made a mistake. I got the most almighty shock anyone can possible get while sat astride a demented vehicle, and the surge that went up my arm sent the bike careering all over the road as I struggled to keep control of it with only my left hand on the handlebars. I could see, out of the corner of my eye Ron’s body lean first to the left of me and then to the right as we swerved all over the road. I swear that at one point he reached an angle relative to the road that defied nature, but he still managed to stay on the bike. The crossroads were getting closer and closer and larger and larger and stood out in crystal clarity amidst the growing panic building up inside me. What should I do? I couldn’t stop the bike! I quickly ran through the options. It’s amazing how at moments like this logic kicks in to try and keep you alive. I could keep heading for the crossroads and hope nothing was coming the other way. There was a steep hill on the other side and that would slow us down. I ruled that idea out immediately; much too dangerous. Steer the bike into the hedge and hope we didn’t impale ourselves on a branch; still too dangerous. Get off the bike! That was the only option left. I shouted to Ron to get off and felt him tug at my sleeve. ”Yes” I shouted, “get off!” I felt him tug my sleeve again and took that as a sign he understood what I was saying. I threw my left leg over the handlebars and launched myself off the bike. I spun round and round and round and round in the road, the Tarmac and chippings digging into every exposed part of my body. I saw stars and pretty colours and blood. I came to a stop after what seemed like an eternity and looked up through the grime, sweat and blood to see Ron still sat on the back of the bike clutching desperately at the seat to keep himself upright! The bike was still travelling along the lane, albeit in the fashion of a bike that was running on the finest Scotch whiskey, and Ron was still with it. They both continued in this manner for several dozen yards more, first on one side of the road then on the other, and in my dazed state I wondered who might be steering them both. On two occasions Ron performed his miracle of physics again and defied the laws of gravity, his body swaying in unison with the wonderings of the bike. I could see as clearly as anything little beads of sweat spraying out great distances from all over Ron’s head. On the bikes final swerve to the right it caught a large stone under its rear wheel and made a decisive bee-line for the ditch. I saw the bike, followed by Ron disappear into the ditch only to miraculously re-appear like a bullet out of a gun and leap a good eight feet into the air before landing back on the grass verge. All the while that haunting ding, ding, ding, bahh, bahh, phut, wheeeeee sound was floating across the countryside like something out of Faust. Remarkably the bike remained upright after landing and continued on towards the post office garden hedge. And the most amazing thing of all was that Ron was still on the back of it! Still swaying and rolling and following every nuance of the bikes movement. It was uncanny. I shuddered and felt an ice cold finger run down my spine. I thought perhaps I’d died and gone to hell. Through the hedge they both went making what appeared to me to be an astonishingly small hole in it. Finally and at long last the bike fell over and ceased its demented journey towards oblivion. I picked myself up from the road and checked for any broken bones. Everything was sore but all my necessary parts seemed to function. I wrapped my hankie around a gash on my arm and made my way as quickly as I could to the hole in the hedge. I knew that the postmaster might be out any minute and the last thing we needed was an irate Postmaster complaining about a hole in his hedge. I peered through. The bike was on its side partially buried in a rather lovely bed of carnations. The unforgettable sound of the engine had ceased and there was a mystical silence about the little grotto my bike and Ron had ended up in. I looked down at Ron. He was on his side still sat on the back of the bike and still clutching desperately at the seat. His face was a brilliant red and his eyes reminded me of those bouncy eye spectacles you can buy in joke shops. They seemed to be bobbing up and down in his face. I pushed through the hedge and after a desperate struggle managed to free his hands from the seat. It was as if some supernatural force was keeping them locked there. “Come on Ron we’ve got to go” I urged, “Come on, grab one side of the bike and we’ll pull it back through the hedge”. Ron’s eyes bounced alarmingly as he stood up and I averted my own from them, I still wasn’t 100% convinced I hadn’t gone to Hell. We both pulled and tugged and eventually managed to get the bike back out onto the road. The forks were bent somewhat but the tyres were still up and it fired first time on the kick. The quick-acting throttle seemed to be working too. “It’s a long way to push it” Ron said. “Well I don’t fancy riding it after what just happened” I replied. “It might not stop again” “Why didn’t you just turn the petrol tap off, it would have stopped then” Ron queried. “Never thought of that” I said.
  12. Sorry about the avatar. I've removed it until I can find a non-animated version.
  13. Put the kettle on then and warm the tea pot. Now then let me see....Should I tell you another story with dogs in it or perhaps one about a deranged motorcycle. Or maybe one about explosives or the chickens from hell! Or one or two shorter stories first. No...I think the deranged motorcycle should be next. Here we go then - the next post coming up.
  14. Thank you puntoMX, I'm glad you liked it. Kids can be hard work; kids with dogs can be unbearable at times! I should point out that 'Shed' isn't in fact the dogs real name, but being a little terrier and prone to doing terrier' like things my sister reckons it should be locked up in a shed and the name has stuck with me. Her real name is 'Zara'. (The dogs that is not my sisters). Thank you too for the welcome. I've been a member for about 4 years now but have to hang my head in shame and confess this is my first post here. An omission I need to remedy so maybe I'll post another story or two if you like.
  15. I thought you guys might like to read this little offering I wrote about three or four years ago for another forum. You will need to bear this time difference in mind when reading about the PC upgrade. A day in the life of a computer engineer Dad! Yes! DAD! YES! My loo is blocked again! I replaced my cup of tea carefully on its saucer; that first cup of the day is always the best. No matter how hard I try I can never reproduce its distinct flavour and aroma until the next morning. I enjoy my first cup of the day; I look forward to it. And here it was, hardly sipped, sat forlornly on its saucer about to go cold. I sighed! rose slowly from my chair and made my way towards the stairs. I didn’t look back, there was no point; that cup of tea and I were not going to appreciate each others company again until the following morning. I knocked on daughter’s room door and entered a minefield. “What are you looking for now?” I asked, knowing full well the answer would be some vital piece of homework completed only the night before, and now evading daughter’s ever increasing desperation to find it. Homework I knew was the horror of every schoolgirl’s life. 100 times more so if the work had actually been done on time but now could not be found. “My French verbs” she said. “I can’t find my French verbs!” “But I thought you were talking to your friend Victoria in French about something or other for several hours on the phone last night. The charge for which incidentally, continues to rise!” A little dig here about daughter’s use of the house phone, rather than her own mobile, the cost of which she has to pay for out of her pocket money was well placed I thought. Daughter peered out at me from underneath the desk, her current search location and gave a long, drawn-out sigh. Dodging my little dig about the cost of her phone calls she looked at me and said, “That was Welsh dad! Welsh, not French, I know all about Welsh verbs, conjugated or otherwise, I conduct most of my working day in the medium of the Welsh language, I’m hardly likely to be discussing the topic of Welsh verbs with Vic now am I? We have more important things to talk about!” For one fateful moment the word ‘boys’ shot across my mind and I was lost for words. This eloquence on the part of daughter threw me for a few milliseconds and I knew I had lost any advantage I may have gained in this battle of wits. I changed the subject. “Why is your loo blocked again?” I asked. “It’s not my fault!” “Whose fault is it then?” I questioned, turning an eye towards her rat of a dog, Shed. “It’s… Yes, it’s my fault!” “Hmmm”, I said, and considered elaborating upon this advantage in the wits war that had just presented itself to me, but past experience had taught me the painful lesson of not believing any male can win an argument with a woman; particularly not with a woman who can’t find what she is looking for and is late for an appointment. I turned onto a more jovial tack. “Let’s have a look at your loo then” I said. I cautiously made my way towards daughter’s bathroom; being careful not to tread on anything she considered important, which of course meant everything and entered a world any cosmetics retailer would be proud of. A single push on the flush saw the water rise to within 1millimetre of the toilet rim, and then slowly, ever so slowly return to its former level. Deftly retracing my footsteps, and treading carefully over items of clothing and school books, I made my way back across the room and arrived at her wardrobe. Don’t make a mess in there daughter said! I looked around at the bomb site littering the floor but decided, out of self preservation, not to comment upon this double edged view of tidiness. At the bottom of the wardrobe, under several dozen pairs of shoes I found what I was looking for; a wire coat hanger. This had been consigned to the depths because it was not ‘cool’ to have your friends see something so ordinary when they were in one of those ‘Oh, that’s lovely, I wonder what it would look like on me’ moods. Returning to the bathroom I straightened out the coat hanger and fashioned a hook at one end. A second flush of the loo to test the effectiveness or otherwise of my endeavours with the coat hanger and I inserted it into the deep recesses of the toilet bowl. Three jiggles and a couple of prods later and the gratifying sound of water rushing down the waste pipe met my ears. Slowly and deliberately I extracted the wire from its hiding place. Nearing the end of its return journey I saw attached to the hook first an ear emerged, followed by a head, two arms and finally one and a half legs. The head had embossed upon it the smiley face of a cat. That dog! I knew it. A plastic bag was rescued from daughter’s waste bin and the remains of “cat” plopped into it. Daughter was shown the offending article but considered the implantation of her precious pet’s toy down the toilet bowl of little consequence. “She has to hide them somewhere!” Daughter said defensively. “Why?” I questioned. She gave me one of those ‘you don’t know anything about dogs do you looks’ and said, “Because she does”! There was no reply to this. Shed the dog looked up at me from a safe position behind her mistress and turned her head slightly to one side. An expression, the likeness of which I can only describe as smirking, crossed her face. I glared back in her direction and, for one brief moment, daggers passed between us. Daughter had, by this time found her French homework and had placed it, along with all the other paraphernalia a young lady requires at school into her bag. She picked it up with one hand and scooping up shed with the other dashed by me out of her room doorway and down the stairs like a rocket. The noise she made doing so was also comparable in volume to the sound a rocket makes on take off. On its journey past my left arm and safe under the protection of its mistresses own arm shed made a quick but purposeful attack upon my person. On my return journey down the stairs I heard the slam of the front door and the fading treads of daughter’s and wife’s footsteps on their travels along the yard paving. I made a large mug of coffee and strolled with it into the workshop. I sat down at my bench and wondered what else life had in store for me before the day was over. The phone rang. Are you the f*****g computer man? Yes My f*****g computers f****d! I see, what’s wrong with it? I just f*****g said. Its f****d! No, I mean how is your computer f’ er, not working? There’s no f*****g picture! Is the little light on the computer on? The f*****g green light is on and the f*****g red light was flashing its f*****g b******s off a minute ago, but that’s f*****g stopped now! Is the little light on the monitor on? The f*****g what? The screen! No mate, no f*****g light I can see! Is the mon, er, screen switched on? There was silence for a moment then… That f*****g little b*****d. I’ll pull his f*****g b***s off when he gets home from f*****g school! Problem solved then! F*****g brilliant mate! The f*****g lads down the f*****g pub said you were a f*****g genius with f*****g computers! How did you figure it out so f*****g quick? Well, I had to have a lot of training to solve the really difficult ones like this I replied. F*****g cheers mate! I owe you a f*****g pint! I pondered for a moment about counting the number of expletives my mystery caller had used, but decided to leave that until the next time he called. For call back he surely would! I sipped my coffee and turned my attention to the PC on the bench. It had come in for an upgrade and my customer didn’t want to spend too much on it. The tower case was of the ATX type so I could keep that. My customer didn’t want DVD; he had one connected to the TV in his sitting room so the 32 speed CD-ROM drive could stay also. The floppy drive could stay and his son had fitted a CD writer at some point in the past but this had never worked. A new 40 gig Maxtor hard drive had also been added by my customer’s son but again had never experienced the joy of holding data. I removed the covers and peered inside. A Gigabyte motherboard held an AMD K6 300 Meg processor. An 8 bit SoundBlaster card sat in one of the ISA slots and a SCSI card for a now defunct scanner sat dejectedly in a second. A HSF modem occupied a PCI slot and another PCI slot held a 2 Meg video card. I looked at the power supply; an ATX type with a rating of 250 watts. That would have to go. The Maxtor was on the same IDE cable as an old Western Digital 630 Meg hard disk and a Connor hard disk of unknown capacity was held to the bottom of the tower case with double sided tape and a home made bracket fashioned out of a baked beans tin. This was connected to the CD-ROM drive on the secondary channel. The writer had no cable to it. The son had obviously run out of connectors! Both the Maxtor and the WD had their jumpers set to master. I removed all the hard drives, unplugged the cards and extracted the motherboard. The power supply came out and so did the remaining IDE lead attached to the CD-ROM drive. A few minutes with brush and vacuum cleaner had the inside looking like new again. A new motherboard with an AMD Athlon 2.8 gig processor and 512 Meg DDR RAM was slotted into place. This new board had built-in sound, video and LAN and as I was working on a tight budget it was the perfect choice. The old video and sound cards together with the unneeded SCSI card went to that great workshop in the sky! The Maxtor was fitted into its proper home in the case while the remaining hard disks were placed to one side ready to have their powerful magnets extracted from their insides once daughter came home from school. A new and beefier power supply was fitted, all the drive jumpers were checked and adjusted where necessary and new IDE leads fitted. The floppy drive was connected to the motherboard and the power leads connected to the drives and motherboard too. The other drive IDE leads were not connected to the motherboard just yet. I connected a mouse, keyboard, mains lead and the bench monitor to the PC and after a final check switched on. The processor fan spun and I waited expectantly for the POST bleep. Nothing! No signal to the monitor and no nice bleep from the on board sounder. I switched off and checked everything again disconnecting the floppy drive for good measure. I switched back on to be greeted by the same blank screen and lifeless audio. Switch off again and in went a different stick of RAM. Switch on and still the same lifeless symptoms. Only board, processor and power supply left. Out come the four screws holding the power supply and in went another. No difference. Out it comes again to give me access to the processor. Off comes the fan after a major struggle, and a mental note to tell the AMD rep they ought to think about redesigning the clip on these things to make life easier for people like me who might have to take ‘em off again, and in goes another Athlon processor. Fan back on and switch on. Still dead! Board then! It wouldn’t be the first time. I started to remove the board retaining screws and the phone rang again. Hello, my name is Blodwyn and I’m having a problem with Microsoft Word! I see. Is it one of my computers? No. It’s mine! I mean did you buy the computer from me? No. But Mr Jones the butcher said you were the person to talk to if I had a computer problem. He said you knew everything there was to know about them and if ever I had a problem you were the one to talk to, and when I need a new one I should buy it from you. How long have you had the one you have now I questioned? About 4 months! A pause, and a sigh from my end, then I asked… What’s the problem? Well, I wanted to know how to put a picture into a get well card I’m making for my friend Gwyneth, she’s not been well you know and after her hip operation and all the problems with getting a bed at the hospital and what with the cold weather and her son Dafydd not being able to cut the logs this year because of his back and… Yes, you want to know how to insert a picture into Word is that it? No. What is the problem then? The help doesn’t work! The help doesn’t work! That’s right! How doesn’t the help work? Well, I wanted to know how to put a picture into a get well card I’m making for my friend Gwyneth, She’s not been well you know and… Yes I know, what about the help not working! Oh yes, well I wanted to know how to put a picture into a get well card I’m making… Yes, yes, I know that. What about the help not working! I was just coming to that. Well, I wanted to know how to put a picture into a get well card… And you didn’t know so you typed a question into the help box is that it? Yes, that’s right. And what happened? Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! What do you mean exactly by nothing? I mean exactly that. Nothing happened. I typed into the box “how do I put a picture in?” and waited. I’ve waited all morning and now it’s nearly afternoon and it still hasn’t told me how to do it! Did you press the enter key? The enter key! Yes. No. Would you like to press the enter key now! Oh my goodness! It’s told me how to do it now. Well I never! How clever you are. Goodness me! You must be a very clever man to know all these things. Well I never, just wait till I tell Gwyneth, she’s not been well you know and after her hip operation and… Glad I could help. Let me know when you decide you want a new computer. I made a note never to sell Blodwyn or her friend Gwyneth for that matter a computer and returned my attention to the PC on the bench. Forgetting where I’d left off my diagnostic investigation of this machine I turned it on. Up came the BIOS logo and the wonderful sound of a POST bleep met my ears. I sat for a moment in astonishment and then retraced my path. I had been about to change the motherboard and had removed three screws. The machine now worked! What had removing three screws done to change the PC from a lifeless heap into an all singing marvel? I replaced the screws, turned on again and the machine was dead! Switch off, remove the screws and switch on. Life once more; has to be something trapped under the board I reasoned! Switch off, take out all the screws, unplug the cables and pull out the board. On goes the bench light and its multi-angled head directed towards the innards of the case. I carefully scrutinised each of the brass pillars rising from the base. All it seemed had been inserted with a pair of extra large and ferociously jawed pliers. None had retained their original hexagonal heads and one, the cause of my problem I suspected, sprouted a twig of brass shaving about 1/8 inch long! My own trusty long nosed pliers gripped it tightly and the culprit was deposited into the waste bin. A final check of all the remaining pillars and the underside of the motherboard and it was replaced back into the case. All its retaining screws were fitted and the power lead connected. Switch on and up she came! Success! In no time I had the hard disk partitioned and formatted and my unattended Windows installer CD was whirring away. I finished a second large mug of coffee and set off to do my outside calls. Two printers not printing, one scanner not scanning, one Windows not Windowing, one modem not talking to the outside world and a misbehaving milking machine…but that’s another story!