How do I make gmail work on my Mac?

June 3rd, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, email 1 Comment »

I have an Apple Mac running OS 10.6 and Mozilla Firefox. I don’t want to use Apple’s Mail program as I have a Gmail account. How can I set my Mac to open Gmail instead of Mail?

Doing this on a Mac is pretty straightforward. First you need to set Firefox to use Gmail for email links on the web, then tell the Mac to use Firefox for email. The steps are as follows;

1. Setting Firefox mail preferences

Open Firefox then select firefox from the menu and choose Preferences. In Preferences, select the Applications tab and go down the list of available applications until your reach mailto: then select Gmail from the drop down options. Exit Applications.

2. Setting the Mac default mail preferences

Open the Mac Mail program and under the Mail menu choose Preferences. In the General tab, the top setting is Default email reader and in the drop down box select other. This will open your applications folder and you then find and select Firefox.

Now, whenever you click on an email link, the system will open Firefox which in turn will open Gmail.


How do I delete iPhone applications

February 28th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, iPod No Comments »

I have an iPhone and I can’t figure out how to remove some programs that my niece has installed on my phone. Can you help?

Removing iPhone apps is pretty straightforward. Press down on the application for five seconds and all the icons will start wriggling.

On the app you want to remove press the little X in the top right hand corner and you’ll be asked if you want to delete the program. Click Delete and it wall be gone. If there was any data in the function then you may also be asked if you want to save the date, choose whichever’s suitable for you.

You’ll also probably be asked if you want to rate the application, again you can choose to skip this however ratings do help the developers and customers decide how good the app is.


Email messages returned with an Error 554

February 15th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, email, Hardware, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP 1 Comment »

I am using windows XP. I am on Microsoft Outlook for my email and I have gmail as my default email.

All of a sudden, my emails are only successfully sent to people. Others, esp those with yahoo or att.net addresses are sent back with a postmaster 554 error message. it is not limited to these addresses, however. some receive and some don’t . For example, the school district isn’t getting my emails but no error message isn’t sent back.

What should i do? should i go to control panel, firewall, and go to advanced and press return to default? i am scared to as it said some things could be lost. I think at some point last week I pressed a button somewhere saying ‘reset’ but i can’t remember what i did . thank you so much.

Email error 554 really doesn’t tell you much except the message has been rejected by the recipient’s server. It could be for any of a number of reasons which could lie on your system, your Internet provider’s servers or a problem at the other end.

One common problem is time and dates. If the clock on your computer is seriously out, then some servers will reject emails sent from it. So checking your computer’s time and date is a good first step.

You should also check your return addresses are correct; for instance if you are sending out emails saying you’re with AOL when you are really with Comcast will be another reason for servers to reject your emails.

If the problem continues, call your Internet provider and get their support line to walk through your email settings to ensure they are correct. Beyond that, the problems are either with the various mail servers or your ISP.


Can’t open wmv files on an Apple Mac

January 1st, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, software No Comments »

I have an Apple Mac and I can’t open WMV files. How can I play them?

WMV files belong to Windows Media Player and QuickTime, which is the Apple Mac’s media player, doesn’t automatically run them. So an Apple Mac can’t play WMV files until you install some extra software.

You can fix this by either downloading the Microsoft Windows Media Player for the Mac or by installing the QuickTime add in.

The QuickTime add in allows the Mac’s built in media player show WMV files and is the best solution if you don’t want to be adding more programs to your Computer. You can download it from Apple’s support website.

Alternatively you can install the full Windows Media Player for Mac package from Microsoft’s Mactopia website. This will give you another full featured media player for your system.

Either solution will run Windows Media Player videos on your computer.


Do bigger targets attract viruses?

November 19th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, security, Virus, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP 1 Comment »

I bought a Mac because I was fed up with my kids infecting the family computer. Now I’m reading Macs may be more vulnerable because virus writers attack popular computer systems. Is this true and should I get an anti virus for my Mac?

The short answer is “no”. The “big target” story is peddled by people who either have no understanding of computer security or have an interest in selling anti virus software.

In reality the bad guys go for the easy targets and in the world of computer security there’s no easier target than Windows.

In a recent Security Intelligence Report, Microsoft pointed out the first version of Windows XP was by far the most susceptible to viruses. This was due to lousy security (the built in firewall was disabled in XPs early versions) and countless security bugs.

But the main reason for Windows being the malware writers’ favourite operating system is Microsoft’s decision to let Windows users run as Administrators with full control over changing system settings and install software.

Most other operating systems, including Apple OSX, insist users run in without the ability to change system settings.

This fundamental flaw leaves most Windows users wide open to malware infections. Virus and spyware writers just have to get access to the machine and simply visiting a website offering free games, pornography or music lyrics is enough to get many systems infected.

While it is important to take security seriously on all operating systems, including Linux and OS X, by making sure you update security patches and keep your system behind a firewall, Windows has the biggest problems.

Don’t be panicked by ignorant or dishonest advice.


Converting from QuickTime to Windows Media Player files

October 25th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, software No Comments »

I have just realised that my laptop has been downloading video files from my camera as Quicktime files.  They always used to be windows media player and I’m not sure why it suddenly changed but maybe some change in settings I was unaware of.

I have changed back to WMP as default however I now have the problem that many of the video files I’ve already downloaded are in quicktime and I have deleted the orginals off the camera memory card.  I edit these videos using Studio 11 and it won’t allow me to load quicktime files for editing.

I found some freeware that converts quicktime to WMP but some of them I couldn’t get to work at all and those that did led to a large reduction in quality in the WMP file.

Do you have any other suggestions?  I use Windows Vista as my OS.  Camera is a canon IXUS.  If there are no freewares that do this, are there any I can purchase that keep the quality?  I am hoping to find freeware though as not working at the moment!!

You’ll find the villain in this was QuickTime. It has a habit of hijacking settings and making itself the default media player. To irritate people further, it’s usually bundled with other Apple updates, particularly iTunes.

There are a number of free programs to handle converting QuickTime files to Windows Media Player. Two of the easiest programs are MOV to WMV and Free Video Convertor.

Super and MediaCoder are two other options but they are a bit more complex to use.

As you’ve found, c>onverting files to WMV is always a bit hit and miss as the Windows Media File CODECS are a bit tricky for programs to deal with, so you often end up with flaky results. You may need to try a few  different settings to get the best results.

Given you’ve wiped the original files, it’s absolutely critical you make backups of those QuickTime files so they can’t be damaged in the copying process.


My iPhone keeps clicking

August 6th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, mobile phone No Comments »

I love my new iPhone but when I type on it, it makes a clicking noise that really bugs me. How do I turn this off?

When you’re typing, the default setting on the iPhone is to make a noise something like a typewriter which can be incredibily irritating for everyone near you.

To turn it off, click the Settings icon (the grey one with gears) on your iPhone, select Sounds then scroll to the bottom of the Sound settings where you’ll find keyboard clicks. Slide the switch to off and the problem will go away.


iPhone has hundreds of unwanted contacts

July 2nd, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple No Comments »

I’ve just bought a new iPhone and set it up. It’s working fine but somehow I have hundreds of contacts I’ve never seen before.

Where have they come from and how can I get rid of them?

The problem is iTunes has detected an old email account or contact list on your computer and decided to use that. Usually if it finds some Outlook Address Books it will use those.

To fix this, open iTunes and click on your iPhone under the Devices heading on the left. This will open your phone details on the right hand side.

In the phone details screen click the Info tab and go down the screen until you get to Contacts.

The setting Synch contacts with…. will be ticked and next to that is a drop down box that lists your various address book options. Choose the program you want to use and the phone will start synchronising the right address book

To avoid copying all the unwanted contacts into your preferred address book, you may want to reset your iPhone before doing this by clicking on the Restore button in the Summary tab. Just note you’ll lose all your applications and settings from the phone and you may have to re-enter some of your settings.


Installing Vista and Leopard on the same system

May 24th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple No Comments »

I have purchased a new MacBook Pro. But my cousin has formatted it and installed only Vista on it. I want to reinstall Leopard OS along with Vista. I broke my original OS DVD I got with laptop, so i purchased a pirated one from Andheri Station. But this DVD doesnt not get recognised it Vista neither I am able to boot from it. I bought 2 more DVD from different vendor thinking there must be problem with DVD but I have same trouble with all DVD.

Can anybody suggest how should I install leopard on my MAC? is there a special way to do it?

The simplest way to do this is reload OS X and run Boot Camp to reinstall Vista.

To do this you’re going to have to buy a new copy of Leopard from your nearest Apple dealer and then run the Vista install program through Boot Camp. 

Remember to back up any important data before killing the Windows partition.


Setting Firefox as default Apple Mac OSX browser

January 10th, 2009 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple 1 Comment »

When I select Firefox in Safari preferences as my preferred browser it works. However, I haven’t yet found a way to make that stick. I have to do it every time I start up. Any suggestions for this change to stay?

The first suggestion is to reset Safari’s preferences. We’ve covered this in our Safai keeps crashing post.

If resetting Safari doesn’t work, you’ll need to wipe the preferences file. You’ll find this sitting in the username /Library/Preferences directory and the file you need to delete is com.apple.Safari.plist.

Once you’ve made these changes, restart your computer. If the problem continues, reinstall Firefox.