I have a question. Volume 9 - Mark (RLBS)

This thread is full, locked and has been replaced by volume 10


In this thread you may ask any question for which you need help, advice, suggestions or whatever.

It does not need to be motoring related. In fact, in this thread it should not be.

No politics
No Speeding, speed cameras, traffic calming
No arguments or slanging matches
Nothing which I think is not following the spirit of the thread.

I will delete any of the above. If the thread becomes difficult to maintain I will simply remove it.

However, as has been said a couple of times, there is a wealth of knowledge in here, much of which is not motoring related, but most of which is useful.

This is Volume 9. Previous Volumes will not be deleted.
PDA spares - borasport20
I've had the misfortune to drop my Palm M105 pda on the floor and the flip up cover has broken off.

I'm sure i'm not the first person its happened to - I found a couple of reviews commenting on the fragility of the cover, but i'll be blowed if i can find anyone selling replacements.

I can google loads of sites offering faceplate covers in every colour of the rainbow at £20+vat, but if you try and follow the links either they are all dead or all take you to a page on amazon telling you they haven't got any, and what they are selling is the whole front of the pda, which i don't need.

does anybody know where i can get a plain black flip up front cover for a palm m105 ???


I have to grow old - but I don't have to grow up
Windows XP - Alfafan {P}
When I had Windows 98, the print facility allowed me to see how much ink was left in the black and colour cartridges. My new machine has Windows XP and this information isn't shown. My printer (an Epson 760) is now showing that one or both cartridges need replacing. Anyone know how to find out which one it is as I don't want to replace a cartridge that isn't empty.
Windows XP - Woody
Yaaaaawn!

Come off it. There are 1001 "help sites" out there for all and sundry.

Petrol-heads only around here, surely ?
Windows XP - martin
Yer, i thought this was a motoring site, not "i've got a general problem or how do you boil an egg". Go find another site for this kind of stuff.

Whilst i am at it, i like how the threads deamed as not motoring are pulled whilst this one gets to continue, even though the virtues of XP vs 2000 have s** all to do with motoring!!!!!!!!!
Windows XP - DavidHM
Simple answer, this is the I Have A Question thread, which is a release valve for non-motoring related topics. The idea is that questions come in here without clogging up other motoring related threads - as well as adding to a sense of community in the BR.

As for Alfafan's perfectly reasonable question - download the proper Epson driver from the website. I suspect you may be running the Microsoft driver. If you are not, reinstall the Epson driver anyway. You can get it here: www.epson.co.uk/support/download/ Don't forget to install the driver and the status monitor.

By the way, when you buy the cartridges, try www.kc-inks.com I use them for all my Epson cartridges, the quality is absolutely fine and it's a tenner for the black and the colour! (Just make sure you do say you want to proceed when the printer 'helpfully' points out that it's not an Epson OE cart) If you're worried about ordering online, they can also take orders over the phone. I've no connection with them whatsoever other than as a regular and very satisfied customer.
Windows XP - HF
That's a fantastic link for the ink cartridges, David - for my printer the price seems to be only a third or less of what they retail for in the shops around here.
HF
Windows XP - Obsolete
If you want cheap name brand printer cartridges and batteries try www.7dayshop.com. You'll wonder how big name high street shops can get way with ripping us off.
Windows XP - HF
Another great site, Leif. I'm interested in ordering by phone rather than online, I'm not sure if this is possible with your people.
Windows XP - Obsolete
Yes. It is possible. I've done it numerous times. It doesn't hurt!
Windows XP - HF
lol ok - I will have to study deeper as to which site suits me best!
Ta
Windows XP - HF
Alfafan - can you come back and tell us whether David's solution worked for you please?
HF
Windows XP - Alfafan {P}
HF
Will do; but it'll have to wait till this evening as I'm one of those dreadful people who whiles away the time in this site when at the office. I'm sure David is right as I didn't download the Epson driver when i got the new laptop.
Windows XP - Dynamic Dave
Yer, i thought this was a motoring site,


Martin,

As you've been a member of the Back Room since May 2002 you ought to know all about the "I have a question" threads by now. After all this is Volume 9 !!. Don't tell me you missed the other 8 volumes?
i like how the threads deamed as not motoring are pulled
whilst this one gets to continue.


Sigh!! If you don't like the way the site is run, why do you persist in staying here?
Windows XP - Dynamic Dave
Yaaaaawn!
Come off it. There are 1001 \"help sites\" out there for all
and sundry. Petrol-heads only around here, surely ?


Woody,

I suggest you read the first Post by Mark(RLBS) in this thread instead of jumping in with size 13 boots and critisising this thread!!
--
Dynamic Dave
Back Room Moderator

mailto:dave_moderator@honestjohn.co.uk
Windows XP - Mark (RLBS II)
>>Yaaaaawn!

Feel free to leave. In fact, please feel very free.
PDA spares - Amin_{p}
hello VW Bora (?? don\'t know your name). If you live anywhere near manchester, every saturday there is a computer fair called Bolwers, its near the trafford centre and on a place called Longbridge road. There you can find any plastic bit of most things!! i dropped something on my dell laptop and broke my shift key, and got it there for five quid. if you don\'t live anywhere there, try these two things, either go to e-bay, or better yet, place a `wanted\' add in loot and someone will phone for sure. Bits like this are all over place, you just need to know where to look....



PS. I read this on a poster, thought it was great \"Hell is for Heroes\"
PDA spares - Amin_{p}
don\'t know why it came down here, but this is the reply for the guy who was looking for plastic for his palm,
PDA spares - Dwight Van Driver
Hand up and Question for Mark (RLBS)

I note there are threads with the name of the originator as

Mark ()

Are you now homeless??

DVD
PDA spares - Mark (RLBS II)
Better ?

I´m travelling and depending on the account I am coming in from I am either using RLBS or RLBS II for some complex reasons.

Its still me though.

M.
PDA spares - Dynamic Dave
don\'t know why it came down here...


Change views to "View Threaded" and all will be revealed.
PDA spares - PhilW
Alfafan,
On my Epson 760 there are two lights- one for b&W cartridge, one for colour. When they flash it means they are low, when continuous and the printer refuses to print the continuous light shows the cartridge to be replaced (I think!!!)
PDA spares - Alfafan {P}
Phil, from memory (I'm at work) there's only one light on mine. I didn't have time to download the Epson driver last night, but I'll do it soooon...
PDA spares - Armitage Shanks{P}
If you go to E bay you might find a 'dead' one to buy cheaply to cannibalise for spares. Repairs are ruinous; I have damaged my Psion 5 twice, by dropping it, and there is a flat fee of £100 to fix it! There are lots of damaged Psions on E Bay so you might get lucky with your Palm - I hope so!
I have a question. Volume 9 - SteveH42
In volume 8, Dave said:

I have a question. Volume 8 - Dynamic Dave Wed 14 May 03 00:04
Has anyone got anything to add to this thread before it's locked?


Not meant as a go at the moderators, but it seems that every time a new thread is started, or an update tagged on to the end of an old thread, the number of responses drops drastically. Is it just that the moderators are so wonderful that the timing of the move coincides with the end of the glut of responses, or can people not be bothered to scan all the way through a thread to find the new bits? Or are some people just not aware things have moved, or that the old thread is still active? It's a bit odd that my comments were getting loads of replies until Mark opened another thread on this - was it just that people had nothing else to say, or did anyone think the old thread was actually dead?
I have a question. Volume 9 - frostbite
Being impoverished and on dial-up, I would be grateful if the recurring threads were capped at around 50 replies so they don't take so long to load.
I have a question. Volume 9 - Nsar
On my wife's slightly ageing laptop the down arrow key doesn't work in any application except when we're on-line, ie it's not physically gummed up or something.

I have a suspicion my 7 year old has unwittingly pressed some bizarre combination of keys and created a macro or something. Any suggestions?
I have a question. Volume 9 - eMBe {P}
Nsar - I have no idea whether it will work, but give this a try:
Go to Start,Settings,Control Panel, click on Keyboard, select the US keyboard.
Shut down, & restart the PC. Try the arrow keys.
Whether this cures your problem or not, go through the process again to select the UK keyboard, so that you are back where you started but hopefully with arrow keys working. Let us know the result.
I have a question. Volume 9 - Nsar
will do, thanks for the tip
I have a question. Volume 9 - Dynamic Dave
I would be grateful if the recurring threads were capped at
around 50 replies so they don\'t take so long to load.


What I do with the long threads is hold down the shift key and then click on the link as per normal with the left mouse button. This opens the long thread into a new window pane, and while it\'s downloading I continue reading the other threads and come back to the longer thread later.
I have a question. Volume 9 - Mark (RLBS II)
>>I would be grateful if the recurring threads were capped at around 50 replies

I understand. But 100 replies is tryng to compromise between access times and breaking up conversation flow. From experience 50 is too low and limiting, anything more than 100 is a pain.

Bearing in mind that it also depends on the length of the individual notes so will always work better in some cases than others.

I have a question. Volume 9 - E.B.
How do I transfer files from my old computer (win95, which does not have a cd recorder) to my new computer (winXP)? The files are too large to fit on a floppy.
I have a question. Volume 9 - Another John H
You could use "direct cable connection"
assuming the machines are both old enough to have a parallel port :-)

www.wown.com/j_helmig/dccmain.htm

There are other options mentioned on that site.
I have a question. Volume 9 - E.B.
Thanks for the quick response AJH. Looks like a trip to PC World in the morning....
I have a question. Volume 9 - Another John H
FWIW

There's another way:

you can "zip" compress over several disks a file that is too big for a single floppy, and uncompress onto the new machine...



I have a question. Volume 9 - smokie
Easiest/fastest/most reliable method HAS to be to remove the hard disk from the old computer and plug it into the new one, temporarily.

I'd suggest the following:

1. See how big the contents of your old drive are (Look in My Computer at the Properties of C drive)
2. Check that there is ample space on your new drive to contain that much data
3. If so, open up new computer to check that you have a spare power and data cable - if not you can temporarily remove the cables from the CD drive, or, worst case, buy an IDE cable with two data outlets and a power splitter cable
4. Disconnect power and data cables from old drive and fit to new computer (when it's powered off, of course)
5. Reboot new computer, old drive should appear as D drive**
6. Create a folder called Old C drive
7. Copy and paste across the whole D drive into that folder (or, if you are absolutely sure which files you want, just those files/folders)
8. Refitting is a reversal of removal ( as the Good Book says!)
9. You then have all the files from your old computer which you can copy across at your leisure. Ultimately in the fullness of time, delete this folder to save space. Make sure you've hung onto it long enough to save having to repeat the process.

Don't be worried about opening the computers, they really are very straightforward inside. You may need a screwdriver to open the cases and/or allow the drives to be removed but other than that they are easy-peasy.

** If you are putting the old drive onto the same data cable as the new drive, you may have to change the jumper setting on the old drive to Slave. Often drives have a label on saying what to change but if not, come back with the drive make and model and I can direct you to a website which has the required settings.

However any programs you want to be installed will need to be re-installed from original media (CD) rater than just copied across.

Or if the amount of files is not excessive, just email them to yourself....zip 'em up, send 'em from the old one and receive them to the new one...Your ISP may have a limit on size of email, so it might be worth keeping files to a maximum of 2 mb.
I have a question. Volume 9 - smokie
Oh btw, if you are keeping the old computer it is very easy and cheap to set up your own network. Network cards are about a tenner each tops and should (usually) just slip in, then you need some Cat 5 cable which is bought by the foot. Or go wireless, which costs quite a bit more.

Then you can just drag and drop files from one computer to the other.

And you can enable Internet Connection Sharing and have two people surfing at the same time on the same connection. And play games between machines. Etc etc
I have a question. Volume 9 - HF
Hi people,

Another computer-related problem. I'm asking this on behalf of my dad, so I'm afraid my explanation will probably be even more incoherent than usual.

Basically, yesterday he was fiddling around with WinDelete, clearing out a few programmes, and he's now found that everything on the screen has increased in size, so that half his icons etc don't fit on anymore. He says he's tried going to Control Panel to reset the character size, but that the bar won't allow him to move it. He's also subsequently re-installed everything onto his computer in the hope that this would fix it, but no luck. He says also that when he tries to install the DVD/CD thing from his disc it is not recognising a driver - and he thinks the problems are linked.

If anyone has any suggestions that he could try out to solve this. I'd be really grateful.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
HF
I have a question. Volume 9 - Obsolete
Sounds like he has changed the display resolution to something smaller, so everything looks bigger.

If so, then move the mouse over the desktop, right click, select Properties. Then select the Settings tab. You will see the screen resolution. You want to select a bigger resolution by moving the pointer at the bottom of the dialog. Hopefully you can find the one that used to be selected.
I have a question. Volume 9 - DavidHM
Two possibilities; one less frightening than the other.

The first is that he has accidentally deleted his video driver and Windows is running in a lower resolution or something as a default. What version of Windows is he running? He can either change to the generic driver by removing whatever driver he has installed - varies from version to version and I can't remember how to do it in 98 - or download the latest version from the website of the video card manufacturer. Either way he will need to go into Control Panel/System/(Hardware in XP)/Device Manager and double click on the Display Adapters option to find out what he has.

If that doesn't work, it looks like his computer is stuck in safe mode. Either he can download the driver that is missing and install it (maybe at the next reboot if it won't work in safe mode) or if things are totally messed up, he may have to remove Windows by formatting (BACK UP FIRST!) and then start again from scratch. Either way though, it sounds like he needs to find out what the driver is, download another copy and save it on to CD. If he doesn't have a CD burner, now would be a good time to get one if he can afford it; if not, he should find someone who has one and get them to download and copy the CD if the disk he originally had with the driver is missing.
I have a question. Volume 9 - DavidHM
HF - If your father hasn\'t tried Leif\'s suggestion, go with that first. When you said he\'d tried to change the font size, I assumed you meant screen resolution as font size is actually quite hard to do and should always be possible regardless of the resolution. My suggestions are the next stages on from that.
I have a question. Volume 9 - DavidHM
Starred out is \"size of the font\" - why that should be blocked I don\'t know. Because it\'s an HTML code word maybe?

David, have sorted for you. \"Font size\" was added to the swear filter to stop people posting in extra large font. (well with the exception of Mark and I that is) DD.
I have a question. Volume 9 - HF
And DD, you're showing off again. ;)))
I have a question. Volume 9 - HF
Leif and David, thanks so much for such quick responses.

I'll copy this and email it on to my dad do he can try all this out. David, I'm not sure what version of Windows he has, but I'm pretty sure it's no later than 98.

Thanks again, it's much appreciated.
HF
I have a question. Volume 9 - HF
David thanks again - I'm not actually sure whether it was the size of the font or the screen resolution which he tried to change. I'll pass all this on, and come back to say if he's had any luck.
HF
I have a question. Volume 9 - HF
David - from what I can tell from a brief telephone conversation with my father, your first suggestion was absolutely spot on! Except that he'd not quite deleted the video driver, just WinDeleted it into some sort of archive. (his words, not mine). And now he's revived this archive, and things initially 'appear' to be normal!

He's as amazed as I am that you were able to diagnose this with such scant information! - so thanks. I think it's sorted. If not, I will be back!

Very grateful
HF
I have a question. Volume 9 - frostbite
I see from the TV listings that CH4 are showing 'Never Say Pink Fluffy Die'. Is this where our favourite expression originated?

Doubtless, all backroomers will want to catch it (!) - it's on at 4.10AM tomorrow.
Bluetooth headsets - safe?? - Ian D
I was considering a bluetooth headset and was wondering whether they are safe in terms of radiation levels close to the head. I would have thought that the power levels are very low due to the short ranges involved in communications between headset and phone but am seeking any information from people out there in the know

Thanks
Ian
Bluetooth headsets - safe?? - SkyMan
AFAIK bluetooth uses radio waves and not microwaves so there's no risk of radiation heating your brain up.

Bluetooth headsets - safe?? - Jonathan {p}
As far as I am aware all equipment sold in this country has to comply with national (and international) guidelines concerning radiation (all types). The regulator in the UK is the national radiological protection board (nrpb) www.nrpb.org others are: International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)

Since a headset will only communicate with the local mobile, and it does so on a different frequency than mobile phones operate, the power output and input are likely to be quite small.

There is some additional information here:

www.nrpb.org/understand/radiowaves/radiowaves.htm

www.sartest.net/rf_safe/0000001d.htm

www.ericsson.com/about/health/

uk.geocities.com/bluetootharticle/reality.html

tinyurl.com/bv7o

I would definitely get a bluetooth setup if I had the funds available.

I hope this helps

Jonathan



Bluetooth headsets - safe?? - Obsolete
As far as I am aware all equipment sold in this country has to comply with national (and international) guidelines concerning radiation (all types).

True but the effects of low levels of certain types of radiation are still a topic of debate. There is some evidence of cellular damage from supposedly safe levels of radiation.

By the way, I presume Bluetooth is supposed to be safer because the headset (close to the head) transmits at much lower power than the handset (not close to the head). So where does the handset go? On your waist? I'll leave you to draw conclusions from that.
Bluetooth headsets - safe?? - Altea Ego
Bluetooth does indeed use radio waves of longer wavelength than cellular phones. Bluetooth is also very short range and hence is very low powered, unlike mobiles which can go up to 4 watts. So yes from a radiation point bluetooth is very safe and ideal for mobile phones. You can now get bluetooth car kits.
Bluetooth headsets - safe?? - SjB {P}
A colleague has one made by a well known Swedish electronics company, and having spent a lot of dosh, is bitterly disappointed with it. Voices are tinny and robotic in quality.
Bluetooth headsets - safe?? - PB
I recently got a new Nokia (7310?) that comes with a headset that I'll try to describe:

Twin cable from the phone -
Small triangular mic/button, then cable splits in 2
Sliding plastic piece holding 2 cables together
2 in-ear earphones

You put it over your head; the sliding piece holds the earpieces near your neck and adjusts the height of the mic.

Basically it is by far the best I've had and easily as good as an in car hands free. Just forget and talk.

A friend has bluetooth and the problem is he keeps forgetting to charge it.
PB.
Bluetooth headsets - safe?? - Dynamic Dave
This will get moved to the current "I have a question thread" later today.
Bluetooth headsets - safe?? - Nsar
In the meantime I think the principle danger is from looking like a complete ninny
Bluetooth headsets - safe?? - Altea Ego
Talking of ninny, why has no one made baseball caps with a flip down mic ala the caps in Captain Scarlet?
Bluetooth headsets - safe?? - Ian (Cape Town)
Talking of ninny, why has no one made baseball caps with
a flip down mic ala the caps in Captain Scarlet?


Probably because a baseball cap is always worn backwards [as any yoof will tell you], and therefore the mic would be against the back of the neck.
Wicked.
Building advice required - SteveH42
I'm currently tidying out the cellar, painting the walls etc. I've noticed there is a row of holes, one to each brick, all the way around the room. I'm guessing these are for the damp proofing - the house ia 1860s, and they are right at the top of the cellar wall, so just below ground.

Can anyone confirm what they are and is it acceptable to fill them and paint over to give a better finish?

Also, there is a lot of efflourescence on the outer walls (of the cellar that is - some walls are internal) - is this necessarily a problem, and if so, if there any way to treat it? The walls appear to have been bitumen coated but it has come through that as well.

TIA!
Building advice required - Nsar
If you go to periodproperty.co.uk and post this message on their discussion forum you will be inundated with advice, most of it fairly reliable.

In answer to the person who suggested a cure for my keyboard problem, sorry it hasn't worked, thanks anyway.



Building advice required - Obsolete
Nsar: There are several online forums for geeks. One such is

www.codeguru.com.

Try posting your question there. You might get an answer. (I find these sites a good source of code that I can rip off and re-use. If only cars were like that. On second thoughts it is probably a good thing that cars are not like MS Windows. Can't say I want to crash on a routine basis.)
Building advice required - Onetap
The original 1860 damp proof course (dpc), if there was one, was probably a line of slates laid in the mortar above ground level. The holes were probably drilled to inject a chemical (silicone, I think) dpc. The liquid soaks into the bricks and mortar and makes them impervious to rising damp. I can't see a problem with filling them.

Efflorescence is from soluble salts in the water that is soaking through the cellar wall from the ground. The water evaporates, leaving the salts on the surface. There are specialist companies who will treat the walls, but it's very expensive. I don't think there is any cheap solution, but I'm not an expert. Try searching on google. Maybe drylining with boards on battens.
Tight stem - johnny
OK, so it's not car related but there's so much practical know-how on this site - How do I remove an extremely tight (steel) seat stem from a bicycle without damaging the (also steel)frame?
Tight stem - Dynamic Dave
This will get moved to the current "I have a question" thread in discussion later. DD.
Tight stem - Cliff Pope
Is it rusty tight or just tight tight?
WD 40 of course, and you could try boiling water on the frame.
If it is rusty it might help to give it a thump downwards - any movement even in the wrong direction is useful to get things going.
I have in desperation used a stillson wrench on the top of the stem and managed to twist it a little. That was enought to let the WD40 get in and loosen it up.
If it is tight at the top you can drive a wedge down the split in the frame and prise it open a little.
Or depending how long the stem is as a last resort you can hammer the stem right down inside the frame and put another one in.
Tight stem - Robin the Technician
Well, I can actually relate to this problem. The advice already given is pretty sound. Giving the stem a whack downwards with a Rover special tool 18G 1 (hammer) will undoubtably loosen it. Copious amounts of WD40 as well. On my son's cycle I removed the saddle and inserted a large bolt into the top of the stem. I then gripped the stem with a pair of Molegrips. it did collapse to the bolt but then it was solid grip. Plenty of heave ho and even hitting the grips with the hammer finally got it out.
See... even car technicians can turn their hands to most mechanical things!!!! Hope this helps.




These are the views of Robin the Technician with 35 years in the trade. I fix, therefore I am...
Tight stem - jc
Plus-gas is much better than WD40 for penetrating.
Tight stem - johnny
Um - 'twas I who hammered it in there in the first place..
Tight stem - Phil I
Method 1: Strip bike sufficiently to enable you to clamp stem in bench vice extremely tight. Then use the leverage of head tube and rear stay ends to twist it out.
Method 2. Cut off stem with hacksaw then with broken hacksaw cut slot down the inside of the stem. Prise ends of slot away from down tube . Hey presto.
Method 3. Take it to local cycle shop.
Building advice required - SteveH42
> I can't see a problem with filling them.

Thanks, that's what I thought, especially as they seem to be filled on the outside.
Efflorescence ... I don't think there
is any cheap solution, but I'm not an expert.


Is it actually a problem? As it's in the cellar it's not a problem from the POV of looks, but I am wondering if it's damaging the bricks.
Building advice required - Nsar
Honestly Steve, go to the periodproperty.co.uk forum nad ask, you will not be disappointed
Building advice required - SteveH42
I did have a look on there, and it seems to be mainly 'fancy' houses - not a lot seemed to relate to my typical Victorian Stopfordian terraced house. I did note that there were a couple of similar questions on the board that had been there quite a while without answer. Thanks anyway!
Building advice required - Onetap
"Honestly Steve, go to the periodproperty.co.uk forum nad ask, you will not be disappointed"

It's good advice Steve, it's a good site. Thanks Nsar, I've got it bookmarked now.

It's also got some information on your query. Go and look at the thread on lining vaults. Obviously you haven't got a vaulted cellar, but they suffer from the same problem. It seems the best answer is to dryline it and install mechanical ventilation to remove moisture from the void. There are some companies offering contoured lining boards for this application.

I don't think the efflorescence salts are a problem, the problem is in getting rid of the moisture which is, presently, evaporating from the exposed wall surface.

More research needed, I think, Try the Building Bookshop in Store Street, near Tottenham Court Road.
Building advice required - wemyss
Some 30 years ago there seemed to be a lot of new brickwork, which suffered from efflorescence from particular manufacturer of bricks.
Discussion at the time was that it was salt in the clay at the time of manufacture and as afm the water evaporates leaving the salt on the surface.
Funnily enough there doesn?t appear to be much of this nowadays for whatever reason. Generally it disappeared in time with new brickwork.
You mention bitumen on the walls... there was a system many years ago of preventing dampness in cellars, which was called tanking. This consisted of an impervious lining of the cellar with a substance such as valde travis which was in effect similar to hot poured pitch.
This was necessary, as a dpc below ground level obviously wouldn't work, as the damp would simply come horizontally from the ground outside.
With a property as old as yours it would be unlikely to have a stretcher bond to enable a cavity and would have been built with a solid wall in English or perhaps Flemish bond.
You haven't actually said I if you are having damp problems but if not I would simply wire brush off and find a suitable paint to smarten it up.
And as mentioned ventilation is essential to prevent any condensation. Easier said than done though.

Building advice required - SteveH42
You mention bitumen on the walls... there was a system many
years ago of preventing dampness in cellars,


This looks fairly new TBH. The side of the house has also been treated. Hard to tell how old, but certainly not >50 years I'd say, and the stuff in the cellar looks much newer.
With a property as old as yours it would be unlikely
to have a stretcher bond to enable a cavity and would
have been built with a solid wall in English or perhaps
Flemish bond.


How wide would a cavity typically be? I drilled a hole for an outside light at the weekend, and there did seem to be a small gap between the two layers of brick, although of course this could simply be due to the size of the bricks.
You haven't actually said I if you are having damp problems
but if not I would simply wire brush off and find
a suitable paint to smarten it up.


No damp problems now, although I believe there were in the past. One thing I have noticed is that the worst area seems to be around what looks like a new area of brick. I *suspect* this was where an old coal-chute has been bricked over, so maybe the original bricks have already lost their salts.
And as mentioned ventilation is essential to prevent any
condensation. Easier said than done though.


Yes, this is what I'm wondering - how to ventilate the area. It is very humid down there. I don't know if it makes things better or worse, but there is a radiator down there. My only concern is that there is no-where for any water to evaporate *to*. There are air-bricks but as they appear to be below floor level I can't see how they make any difference.

Any suggestions for how to ventilate it? The only thing I could think would be to take some ducting up the chimney behind the gas fire, but I certainly don't have the skill to take the fire out to fit anything and then replace it, even if that would be an option. I was thinking of putting one of those moisture traps down there, but that doesn't really ventilate it. How about just a fan that vents in to the kitchen that I can turn on every day or so for a bit?
Building advice required - Stargazer {P}

Also try looking at uk.diy on google, an absolute wealth of information.
>> You mention bitumen on the walls... there was a system
many
>> years ago of preventing dampness in cellars,
This looks fairly new TBH. The side of the
house has also been treated. Hard to tell how old, but
certainly not >50 years I'd say, and the stuff in the
cellar looks much newer.


Sounds like a recent attempt at internal tanking to go with the
injected damp proof course.

To be really useful tanking should be done on the external side of the cellar wall at construction time, obviously this is not possible so the previous owners have at some time covered up a damp wall with a bituminous coating which may actually be making things worse by retaining dampness in the bricks, this is now breaking through the coating and you see the efflorescent salts residue. Plenty of ventilation and clean off the coating?
>> With a property as old as yours it would be
unlikely
>> to have a stretcher bond to enable a cavity and
would
>> have been built with a solid wall in English or
perhaps
>> Flemish bond.
How wide would a cavity typically be? I drilled
a hole for an outside light at the weekend, and there
did seem to be a small gap between the two layers
of brick, although of course this could simply be due to
the size of the bricks.


Solid brick walls may be constructed about 9 inches thick with a small 1 inch gap between the front and back face filled with loose rubble or mortar, this is for the courses of bricks with a stretcher bond, then every 10 brick courses a row of bricks is laid across the wall to bridge the gap (you will be able to see ta course of bricks with only the end visible).

My 1900 terrace had this construction and you could feel the gap
when drilling through. Internal bricks often much poorer quality than the external ones.

>> You haven't actually said I if you are having damp
problems
>> but if not I would simply wire brush off and
find
>> a suitable paint to smarten it up.
No damp problems now, although I believe there were
in the past. One thing I have noticed is that the
worst area seems to be around what looks like a new
area of brick. I *suspect* this was where an old coal-chute
has been bricked over, so maybe the original bricks have already
lost their salts.


The original mortar was probably lime based rather than portland cement, this is softer and water breathable, the repair has been done with a mortar mix using Portland cement which is much too strong and is waterproof, therefore the damp in the walls has to exit through the bricks rather than the mortar this causes the efflorescence. A very common error, dont use cement based mortar when a lime based was originally used.

>> And as mentioned ventilation is essential to prevent any
>> condensation. Easier said than done though.
Yes, this is what I'm wondering - how to
ventilate the area. It is very humid down there. I don't
know if it makes things better or worse, but there is
a radiator down there. My only concern is that there is
no-where for any water to evaporate *to*. There are air-bricks but
as they appear to be below floor level I can't see
how they make any difference.


reinstate the coal shute area and use air bricks plus a fan if required, you must ensure a flow of air

Any suggestions for how to ventilate it? The only
thing I could think would be to take some ducting up
the chimney behind the gas fire, but I certainly don't have
the skill to take the fire out to fit anything and
then replace it, even if that would be an option. I
was thinking of putting one of those moisture traps down there,
but that doesn't really ventilate it. How about just a fan
that vents in to the kitchen that I can turn on
every day or so for a bit?
Building advice required - Onetap
I was thinking about this. Have a look at C&A Supplies www.casupply.co.uk.
They do plastic and plastic-coated-metal sheets, both flat and corrugated/profiled, plain & patterned (Deceuninck), which they use for wall cladding and lining old buildings, like railways arches. See also
www.deceuninck.com/HTML/Subsidiary6/English/Pages/...m

There are probably similar suppliers local to you. These sheets wouldn?t rot or sag, like plasterboard. The profiled sheets would look industrial, but would be more rigid than the flat sheets.

If you could get some galvanised ?z? sections (suspended ceiling suppliers, or pay a sheet metal shop to guillotine & fold them up) you could fix these horizontally round the room, and fix the sheets on top with self-tapping screws, leaving 3 or 4 1?-2? deep ?ducts? behind the sheets. Hire a Hilti gun & a powered collated screwdriver. The ducts would have to connect to the extract fan inlet. I?d fix adjustable grilles into the sheets, or leave an air gap, at the points furthest from the extract to let air flow through the entire lengths of the ducts, taking the water vapour with it. I?d arrange make-up air to flow from the house to the cellar (undercut door, or similar) so you don?t get the dank, smelly air from the cellar entering the house. You can get little extract fans that will fit inside a 4? plastic drain pipe. One or two of those should be adequate. Excess negative pressure would bow flat sheets towards the walls.

I don?t think it will ever be a habitable room, but it should make a useful store, workshop, gym, whatever. I?ve thought this up; someone must have done this before, so I?m sure there?s more informed techniques published somewhere.

Building advice required - wemyss
I think Ian is going along the right method of ventilating your cellar. If you had a coal chute the top of the cellar must be quite close to ground level.
If possible I would excavate down in this area and construct perhaps a 4" pipe up the external wall and carry this through to inside the cellar and fit an extract fan perhaps even with an auto humidifier switch.
You would then require another vent to provide for the ingress of air.
However you could use the same inlet and provide a pipe or duct across to the other side of the room to give an air flow across the whole area.
This is a similar method to a balanced flue and should be quite effective.
alvin
Building advice required - SteveH42
I think venting the cellar may be more difficult that it seems. Both 'outside' walls of the cellar are property boundaries - i.e. the front of the house is straight on to the pavement and the side on to a passageway. Also not sure how I'd go about preventing rain ingress anyway! (Any vents would have to be at or just below ground level as far as I can tell.)

The only way I can see to vent would be up the chimney, but that has been sealed off in the cellar (may have always been) and it would involve moving the gas fire to gain access in the living room, something which I don't fancy doing myself!

The only alternative would involve all sorts of hidden ducting to get it out at upper floor level and even that wouldn't be easy...

Would a dehumidifier make any difference? I know they aren't cheap, but the work required may be enough to make them worthwhile...

Thanks for all replies and suggestions so far!
Building advice required - Stargazer {P}
Steve,

The dehumidifier would help but the running cost would be prohibitive for anything more than the initial dryout.

The injected DPC is only to stop rising damp into the above groun walls (and their effectiveness is very much open to debate however much mortgage companies like them). It sounds like you have a penetrating damp (ie through the wall) problem plus probably some condensation.

Condensation will leave fresh water on the surface of the bricks causing black mould, penetrating damp will come through the mortar and bricks leaching out salts and causeing efflorescence.

(Mould cannot survive in the salts deposited by efflorecence)

In a cellar under normal well ventilated situations and no paint/bituminous coatings the penetrating damp and condensation would evaporate away.

Blocking up the drafty coal shute and using a waterproof coating are causing this problem, and it is made worse by the type of brick and mortar used for the repair/patching work.

regards

Ian
Building advice required - wemyss
Steve, My brother in law had a dehumidifier and was quite pleased with it at first. It was his favourite topic for a while showing everyone how much water it was pulling. Gallons were collecting in the container, which he thought was coming from drying out his house but eventually when it never stopped he realised that it was simply taking it from the atmosphere and would never stop.
I'm sure your only answer Steve is to provide ventilation in your cellar one way or the other so the bull has to be taken by the horns and find a way to do it and make it a pleasant environment.
You say the chimney has been sealed off. It sounds unlikely that there would ever have been a fireplace in the cellar so probably the chimney breast you can see has simply been taken from foundation level and doesn?t actually turn into a flue until it reaches the upper floor.
Personally I would be looking at taking air in from outside and expelling likewise. Didn?t you say that you had taken a cable through the wall for and outside light? If so at what level did the cable come through? If it were above ground level that would suffice. Regarding rain ingress there would be no problem as air bricks for example are angled to prevent this. Houses with suspended floors on sleeper walls simply have air bricks at the course above DPC and they work very well.
Have another look Steve and come back to us.
alvin
Building advice required - frostbite
I don't have a clue, but Jeff Howell from the DT property pages is usually very responsive and knowledgeable.

Worth an email or letter.
Annoying Internet Message - peterb
When I surf* at home, I often get an "Internet Messenger" window appear. The message is always from "Yanita Girl" who wants a "boy in the UK".

This particular UK boy isn't interested and I'm getting a bit fed up with the messages (as is Mrsb).

Any ideas about what to do? I am running Windows XP and Explorer Version 6.0. My ISP is Tiscali.

Many thanks in advance.

Peter

* No jokes about the waves in North London being smaller than those in Cornwall, please!
Annoying Internet Message - arnold2
Go buy a Mac, then you won't have all that MS low-level piracy stuff !

:-)
Annoying Internet Message - Altea Ego
You need to get a firewall. There are a couple of free ones on the net you can download that will fix this. Or if you dont want or use messenger then hunt the web for ways to remove it from the registry, Juanita wont be able to start it.
Annoying Internet Message - Welliesorter
This is caused by a vulnerability in the messenger service that's been part of Windows for some time.

This is not to be confused with Windows Messenger (aka MSN Messenger) and removing it won't solve your problem.

See www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,55795,00.html for background info and support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb%3ben-us...4 for the solution.
random searching of floppy - wemyss
Recently my hard drive packed in and needed replacing. Luckily I have an old second hard drive in the computer which I use as a backup so I didn't lose any data.
Previously I used to leave my computer switched on all day with power saving mode the hard drives would shut down until required.
Now they go into sleep mode but every hour or so they spring back into life and the floppy begins chattering.
This is whether it is connected to the internet or not..
Have checked such things as scheduled maintenance tasks with no joy.
ANy ideas please as to how to cure this.
alvin
random searching of floppy - smokie
Did you have to reinstall Windows and MS Office as part of your problem? If so which versions?

One thing I had on mine was a cursor going busy every so often even when idle. There is some background indexing task in 98 or Office which was turned on by default, which I turned off, and it seemed to make a different to overall performance. Can't remember what it was exactly, but I'm sure this will jog someone's memory. (It seems odd that the floppy is going as well).

On the right versions of Windows (XP/2000/NT) you could try ctrl/alt/delete when it starts up, and see if you can tell which the active process or task is, that would help.



random searching of floppy - wemyss
Smokie, Yes I had to reinstall Office 97 pro and Windows 98.
Yes it is odd that the floppy drive is being accessed as well.
This goes on for about 8 seconds or more.
alvin
random searching of floppy - smokie
Have a look at these links, they may be of use. Then again...they may not...

support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;1...2

support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;1...5
random searching of floppy - wemyss
I think you could be on the right track smokie.
I forgot to mention that my previous office was 95 and as the installation disk had gone faulty I borrowed the 97 one.
Opening findfast in control panel it says tht both my hard drives had updated (whatever that means) at 21.45hrs and was due to carry it out in another 48 minutes.
I will have study in the links you sent on how to disable it.
alvin
I have a question. Volume 10 - Mark (RLBS)
Pulling the volumes together
I have a question. Volume 10 - Mark (RLBS)
pulling the volumes together

 

Value my car