I pride myself on choosing exciting topics to write about and this time I feel I have really hit the nail on the head… a few techy notes I thought might help others having just set up a newish Acer Aspire 3680.
Basically, this article is unlikely to be of interest to many regular visitors to my blog, but it might help people who are running into similar issues that try searching the web for the answers.
- “A program needs your permission to continue”
- “Windows Live Messenger has stopped working”
- Don’t install your friend’s copy of Microsoft Office
- Bluetooth and Memory upgrades
I have an administrator account in Windows and I start a program, apparently that does count as consent for that program to run, I have to confirm it has my permission. When setting up a computer and launching numerous processes this is very frustrating. There are two ways around it.
a) When launching a program, right click on it and select “Run as administrator”
b) Disable User Account Control. Go to Control Panel, Click on “User Accounts and Family Safety”, click on “User Accounts”, click on “Turn User Account Control on or off”, remove the tick from the check box where it says “Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer”, click on “OK”. For the change to take effect you need to restart the computer, you will be offered the choice to do it ‘now’ or later. To re-enable User Account Control go through the same procedure and return the tick to the check box at the end.
Thoughts… User Account Control is annoying in two scenarios, firstly when you are setting up or maintaining a machine and making lots of changes in the process, and secondly where you have a program that does not install itself well under Windows Vista which needs permission to run every time it is launched. It would be ideal if we could exclude certain applications from User Account Control but, as far as I am aware, we can’t. As annoying as this security feature is, it offers a high level of protection against harmful software installing itself without your knowledge as a result of a maliciously coded web site or an email virus being opened. For this reason I would recommend leaving User Account Control switched on for general computer use, and possibly disabling it for maintenance and upgrade work.
There is a known problem for users of Acer computers running Windows Live Messenger. The Acer eDataSecurity software causes Live Messenger to close. An immediate fix is to run Messenger by right clicking on the icon and selecting “Run as administrator”, but this is not very user friendly and does not work if you want Windows Live Messenger to be able to start when Windows starts.
The solution is a patch to Acers eDataSecurity software, it can be found on their web site here: http://global.acer.com/support/winvista/t-faq.htm. The European link is not clear on what you should do, the Pan American one is clearer. Basically you need to download the latest version of eDataSecurity for Vista and install it. (links correct at time of writing).
Don’t Install your fiends copy of Microsoft Office
Why not? Because license restrictions have become quite tight and when you come to activate the software it may fail, and if it doesn’t fail it may fail next time your friend needs to re-install the software. If you are the friend that everybody borrows from, be very cautious about sharing, it may cause both you and your friend problems with using and upgrading the software.
You may be thinking you can use a dodgy hack from the Internet to get around activation, and they are easy to find, but you will be using an old version of the Office software that probably has security risks which need updating, and you wil not be able to update your hacked version.
There are a few alternatives to Microsoft Office, standing high among them is the free OpenOffice.org suite of programs. Unfortunately this does not offer a replacement for Outlook, for that there is Thunderbird, with the optional Lightning calendar/task manager add-on. Or Windows Live Mail and the Windows Calendar (installed with Vista). That said, Outlook is probably the least-rivalled element of the Microsoft Office suite and the pricing of the different Office versions reflects this.
So let’s say you cannot carry on living without having access to Microsoft Office, at least in the short term, perhaps all your email is in Outlook format and you need to use Outlook before you can export your mail into another program. If this is the case hen you can download a free trial copy of Microsoft Office and use it for about 60 days, before which time you will either have to migrate to alternative software or find the funds to buy a longer term license. You can grab a trial copy of the suite from here.
I was pleased to see that my Aspire had a Bluetooth switch on the front, but disappointed to find that there was no hardware behind the switch. The connector for the Blutooth is just under the central memory cover. A custom made Bluetooth module can be found on ebay for about £20 (I won’t translate that into other currencies the way the financial markets are right now) or, if you are feeling adventurous, you could modify a simple USB or other Bluetooth module to work with the help of the information in this forum discussion.
Memory upgrades could not be easier than with the Aspire 3680 and similar models as both memory bays are accessible from the bottom of the computer. To get to the memory you simply undo the two small screws holding the large central memory bay in place, the cover has some plastic fingers which make it a little tricky to remove, gently move it around as you try to lift it up.
I do not recommend you do these by yourself if you are not familiar with hardware upgrades, bribe a friendly computer geek to help in return for some human interaction.
That’s it for my tech notes…. any questions feel free to ask…. next time I’ll return to something much more exciting, like global financial melt-down or comas. I know how to keep my readers smiling!