I have a question. Volume 17 - Dynamic Dave

******* Thread now closed, please see volume 18 ********


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.

Any of the above will be deleted. If the thread becomes difficult to maintain it will simply be removed.

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 17. Previous Volumes will not be deleted.

Intestate problems! - PhilW
My mother in law is 76 and fit as a flea. Last summer she took a chainsaw to a row of Leylandii and cut them down, when I said I hoped she had all the correct kevlar safety clothing she said no but she did wear her woolly gloves. This summer she has replaced her front lawn with slabs and 2 tons of gravel (she shifted the gravel herself) She only tells us afterwards when we visit her. Problem is she refuses to make a will. She has a 47 year old youngest daughter who lives with her and her own paid for bungalow. My wife's other sister has tried to get her to make a will but she won't because she reckons she will die instantly if she does. She would like the daughter to stay in the bungalow when she dies which other members of the family have no problem with(I have a feeling MiL will outlive the lot of us!) and other sister has said that not having a will may cause problems. Trouble is she doesn't believe us without seeing it in black and white but doesn't want to consult an expert.
My question is - do any of you know of a website that would explain problems of being intestate in simple terms so that we could show this to her?
Sorry for the long post and thanks for any help.
Intestate problems! - Chris White
Hi Phil

Hope this helps,


Modem weirdness - PoloGirl

My laptop died last month so I had it repaired under warranty and they fitted a new motherboard, and everything had to be reinstalled when it came back (office, AOL etc).

Problem is, I can't connect to AOL. I've phoned the laptop co and they blamed AOL as the modem works when they connect it to a test line. Phoned AOL and they blame the installation of out of date drivers.

The modem is a lucent technologies one, which I think has changed name since I've had my laptop, so I'm having trouble locating the right drivers to put on CD and install to my laptop (thankfully the bloke I live with is very generous with his laptop!)

Any ideas on what I should do?

Modem weirdness - Altea Ego
PG, (and I am sure Mark would ok this as you are not slagging them off) It would be helpfull to know the Manufacturer and Model of lap top.
Modem weirdness - Dwight Van Driver
Similar problem that I have been experiencing. Could not get a dialling tone out to AOL. Uninstall and re-install did not solve.

On contacting them they suggested the following course of action that has worked for me (AOL 8)

(1) Try opening as a Guest.


> Find/Search
> Files /Folders
Enter file field name: Global.Org.
and Look in: My Computer.
> Search

You should come up with two files name Global Org. Delete both.
Close and reopen AOL.

It will then you through a programme to re-establish your best phone numbers and connection.

This is of course that your modem is not playing up.

Do you get the impression that AOL are trying to covert you to Broadband?.


Modem weirdness - THe Growler
2 Questions? Can I get rid of Java? It slows down the loading of this site painfully because it has to load first and someone told me if I disabled it and ActiveX that would help.

Is there also a way to defeat those infuriating ads that swell till they cover your entire page so that you have to stuff around finding how to get rid of them before you can read whatever it is you were looking at? The DT I hate to say is the worst offender. Anti-pop up software doesn't seem to work. Hitting Ctrl+W works but you have to reload the browser.

Whatever their product is they're trying to invade my privacy with they've put me off buying I guarantee, and I shall personally make a point of ignoring all their future ads whatever media they're in.

Marketing people are really dumb if this is how they think they're going to grab attention (mine at leasst anyway).
Modem weirdness - frostbite
The popup killer incorporated in the (free) Google toolbar works pretty well with most but I have a suspicion the toolbar only operates with IE.
Modem weirdness - Welliesorter
2 Questions? Can I get rid of Java? It slows down
the loading of this site painfully because it has to load
first and someone told me if I disabled it and ActiveX
that would help.

It shouldn't do. What browser do you use? I know this can happen with very old versions of Netscape but not with anything more recent. I don't think there is any actual Java on this site. There's some JavaScript but that's not the same thing and certain features probably wouldn't work without it. There's no reason for it to slow the site down.

I also don't see how disabling ActiveX helps. Doing so might make your PC more secure but it will stop certain web sites working as intended.
Is there also a way to defeat those infuriating ads that
swell till they cover your entire page ...

Steady... talking about defeating pop-ups could put this into the realms of 'subversive' postings. HOWEVER, if you're getting an excessive number it could be that they aren't the responsibility of the sites you're visiting but are caused by 'spyware' or 'scumware'. There's been a court case in the USA recently relating to a program called Gator which causes ads that weren't intended by site owners to appear. Just do a search on the Google news site for background if you're interested. It's potentially quite a threat to sites that rely on selling advertising.

A couple of suggestions:

Get Adaware from www.lavasoftusa.com . The free version is adequate for most users. It removes spyware from your PC. You may be shocked at what it finds: often you may have been tricked into installing stuff without realising it. It won't stop normal pop-ups but it will remove dodgy stuff that can cause extra ones to appear.

Try an alternative browser. If your PC is reasonably modern, use Mozilla (similar to recent versions of Netscape) from www.mozilla.org. It's free and gives you far more control over settings than Internet Explorer. I rarely use anything else at home. One feature I like is the ability to load several pages in the same window using tabs. Opera from www.opera.com has a lot of the same features and may be better if your PC is a bit long in the tooth. It's not completely free but is supported by a reasonably discrete ad if you don't want to pay for it.

Modem weirdness - malteser
Spybot Search & Destroy (freeware) will search your system for tracking cookies and things like Gator. It works well and checks your PC for known spyware. It can be updated as and when new threats are identified.
Zone Alarm Pro has a very good pop up blocker as part of it's armourery!
Modem weirdness - No Do$h
If the pop-ups are of the annoying "Messenger Service" variety, rather than properly constructed ads, you don't need any software.

In any NT based OS (NT, 2000, XP) there is a service known as "netware" that allows system administrators to send pop-up messages, perhaps warning of impending system downtime. Microsoft, in their wisdom, have set this up as active by default on all PCs using the above OS. Not a lot of good if the only network you use is the internet.

You can turn this off with no damage to your OS by doing the following:

- Start
- Run
- type "services.msc" then enter (no quotation marks)
you will see a window for Services.
- scroll down to "Messenger" and double click on it. This will bring up Messenger Properties.
- click Stop
- click Apply
- Change startup type to disabled
- Click OK

No more Grey Messenger Service windows popping up to try and sell you software to do something that Microsoft allow you to do for free.....

Don't do this on a network unless without chatting to one of your IT administrators, as they may still want to use it for genuine warnings.

And AOL may be a bit sacharrine, but its ok....

Modem weirdness - Kuang
The modem shouldn't have changed name at all - it could have the wrong drivers, but that wouldn't explain why the laptop company managed to get it to dial out (assuming they actually *did* try).

Lucent modems tend to be Winmodems, which means that half their functionality is done through software rather than electronics. This usually means that the driver setup is a bit more complicated than with full hardware modems, and can often be comprised of more than one piece of software. You have to make sure you read the readme files very carefully in case you miss something.

Surefire way to test if the modem is configured correctly - connect it to a phone line, pull up the windows phone dialler (which is usually under programs->accessories->communications) and dial your mobile number (or even the speaking clock or similar of you don't have one). If you hear it dialling and the other end rings, the modem is fine.
Modem weirdness - malteser
Best advise is to chuck AOL as far as you can - a diabolical program which tries to take over your PC!
Try Mozilla Firebird as a good free browser.
Modem weirdness - malteser
As far as Java is concerned, it certainly takes longer to load than the MS virtual machine. Later versions of windows have had (due to lawsuits by Sun who make Java), to provide Sun Java instead of MS VM. You can find sites which have MS VM available for download. You can then choose in Internet Options | advanced tab, which to use.

Regarding these horrid screen blanking ads, most are run by Flash viewer and there are programs which enable you to tun Flas on & off at will. Try Flash Switch in Google for their site.
Modem weirdness - Welliesorter
On the subject of browsers it's worth remembering that, aside from lots of security patches, there hasn't been a new version of Internet Explorer for a couple of years. Mozilla and Opera include features that IE users add by means of third party add-ons.

AOL is awful because you have to use their terrible software to connect. However, if you're an AOL user there's nothing to stop you using AOL to connect and then minimising it and using a different browser and e-mail program. The only trouble with this approach is that different e-mail programs won't be compatible with AOL mail.

Modem weirdness - Chris White
Agree with you. AOL is terrible!

Their installation program creeps into your Windows installation and you can never uninstall it all.

I'd always stick with Microsoft Internet Explorer, Outlook Express and an internet connection from anyone of the reliable ISPs that let you connect with just a dial up number and a few settings.

Simple to setup, install, understand and change if you need to.
Java - Altea Ego
Yes there is an add on here that loads Java, according to my Java console anyway. You will also find that MS have stopped shipping java (sun version) and MS JVM. They are trying to kill Java dead so later OS's dont have java or java emulation. If you want to stop java loading (the sun version if you installed it or the MSVM) on MS IE then its tools/internet options/advanced and click the java bits off
Java - THe Growler
Thank you. Will try that.
Java - Baskerville
Java is just one thing that Winblows may not include in future: others are DVD players, other media players and so on, currently supplied free by their makers but packaged by M$ for profit. The Linux vendors no longer distribute these things in their "paid for" packages but as usual M$ is pushing it as far as possible because it can. This is nothing to do with M$ trying to kill Java as much as M$ trying to avoid being sued.

For anyone who's interested I recommend Mandrake Linux which can be had for about £10 on three cds from Linuxemporium--this is a full operating system, multimedia system, fully M$ compatible office software etc. etc. Choice is what computing should be about. The 9.1 distribution of this is truly excellent (9.2 due at end of Sept.), but do check that your winmodem is supported (though you can get linux drivers for HP hardware and might be lucky) or buy a proper modem for £30.

For ten quid it's at least worth trying and you can keep Win on your disk anyhow so if you have problems you can go and ask Linux users how to fix stuff.

I went for Linux in April and only use Windoze occasionally now.
Java - Welliesorter
For anyone who\'s interested I recommend Mandrake Linux which can be
had for about £10 on three cds from Linuxemporium--this is a
full operating system, multimedia system, fully M$ compatible office software etc.

It\'s worth mentioning that if you obtain Mandrake (or any other distribution) this way you\'re not paying for the software but for the CD duplication. If you have a broadband connection you can download the CD images and burn them to a disc yourself. I\'ve been doing this for a couple of years.

The software itself is free. Mandrake do encourage you to join the Mandrake Club to support the continuing development of their distribution.

If you are thinking of trying Mandrake I\'d be inclined to wait a week or two for 9.2.

If you want a printed manual in a nice cellophane wrapped box with technical support and other extras this is available too at a price. I believe the Linux Emporium (www.linuxemporium.co.uk ) supply these too.

Just to reinforce what ChrisR said, you get not just the operating system but also most of the software you\'re likely to need.

If you don\'t initially want to install anything on your PC try Knoppix www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-old-en.html This is a Linux distribution that\'ll run from a bootable CD.
Intestate problems! - Hugo {P}

Our house backs onto some land, which we would like to buy. Unfortunately, the chap who owned it died without a will over 2 years ago. Not only has this land been a real issue for his survivers, but so has the rest of the estate. I believe the issue has actually split the family. It's a really horrible business. After the laywers have had their costs there may be little left.

Honestly, if your MiL wants you all to get on after she passes on, she HAS to make a will for the sake of her family.

Cooker ignition - smokie
I have a built-in cooker, made by Diplomat. Probably 2 years old.

Came home tonight to hear the ignitions firing about once every 90 seconds, all on their own (you know, like you are holding down the gas tap when you light it). Further investigation showed that it is two diagonally opposite ones only which are sparking. And whichever gas ring you try to turn on, those two (and only those two) spark together.

I'm guessing it's a short somewhere, but I can't even see how to get under the cooker top. Do I have to take out the built in oven? Do I get an electrician, or a kitchen fitter??? Or will a BackRoomer once again be able to help me?

Cooker ignition - Altea Ego
If the hob is fitted into the worktop, and the oven is fitted underneath you mean? yup oven has to come out so you can get to the clamps that hold the hob to the worktop. Sometimes tho a lazy fitter doesent do up the clamps. Just try gently lifting it first.
Cooker ignition - smokie
That's it RF. The top is fitted firmly. What do you reckon I should be looking for if I get it apart?
Cooker ignition - Hugo {P}

The hob will be connected to the gas supply. With that dodgy ignition, there is no telling what a gas leak may do!

Removing these ovens is not really that difficult.

They are usually held on by 4 screws, 2 either side behind where the door closes onto the oven but in line with the carcase.

If it's a gas oven, special care will have to be taken WRT the hose, otherwise, switch off the mains electric and slide it out. If you want it completely out the way, simply disconnect it where it's hard wired into the wall or unplug it.

As for your ingition. sounds like a short. With the oven out of the way, you may not need to remove the hob. You should see most of the underside through the worksurface.

Cooker ignition - smokie
Thanks RF & Hugo. Oven is electric, hob is gas so I will take appropriate care...(probably involving paying someone a small fortune to come and fix it!). But if it's that easy to take it out, I might just take a look myself...
Cooker ignition - PoloGirl
Smokie... please please don't do any DIY gas work. The consequences of not doing it quite right can be fatal, and with carbon monoxide poisoning you may not realise you are being affected until it is too late. Get someone else to do it, and make sure they are CORGI registered to work on hobs (they will have an ID card with a tick next to the appropriate qualification. Don't even let him in your house if he can't show you the card.) I think as it's a safety issue, I'll be allowed to link to this website: www.corgi-gas.co.uk (might be .com actually) where you can put in your postcode and what you want the person to work on and find people in your area. (Guess who used to work in PR for CORGI.)

Regarding my laptop/modem issue, thanks to all. It's an Acer Travelmate 200 (?). Not a great model but it's a replacement for the Sony Vaio I was given for my 21st that got stolen from my room at uni and insurance refused to pay out because I had left the tiny window open. My poor parents! And you wonder why I have a dislike for Stoke on Trent! So, is the consensus that it needs to go back to the repairers again?

Laptop modem - Altea Ego
PG, you running XP or Win98/Me? Is it the inbuilt modem that came with the laptop or a plug in card type?

1/The drivers for the standard laptop modem are here

2/ As suggested in a previous post on this thread, try using windows terminal to dial out to a phone number

3/ If its windows XP try getting the latest drivers from MS site.

4/ All else fails back to the repairer and say you want proof the modem is working.
Cooker ignition - Hugo {P}

OK so the oven's electric.

Suggest you remove the oven as I recommended, then have a look at the hob from underneath.

You won't need to touch the gas connection to investigate the ignition.

Alternitively, disconnect the ignition (if it's mains) or remove the battery if applicale and use a box of matches!

Cooker ignition - smokie
PoloGirl, thanks for your concern, and Hugo, thanks for yours (matches indeed - HUH!).

I will probably drag the oven out at the weekend and have a look, and then decide it's all too much for me and call a professional. I hate not even trying though.

I won't meddle with the gas connection, promise.

It's mains powered. And the persistent clicking has stopped, although only two of the rings are flashing now.
Intestate problems! - PhilW
Thanks Hugo and Chris above for the replies. I don't think that the issue will split the family since all agree that younger sister should get the house and I don't think that there will be much other cash and other brothers and sisters are not anticipating or desperate to be beneficiaries. What worries us is that, as you point out, the main beneficiaries will be the lawyers and the government!
Intestate problems! - DavidHM
Things could be difficult either way, especially if the house is worth more than the inheritance tax threshhold and there are no easily realisable assets.

There shouldn't be litigation, but... if your mother dies intestate, the estate will pass to all the children equally. I appreciate that all agree in principle that your sister remaining there is a good thing, but what about if one of your nieces or nephews goes to university, and is faced with student debts or the sale of a share in an old house?... Does it come down to parental or sibling loyalty?

At that point, the house belongs to all siblings equally. I'm sure that your family is composed entirely of fine, upstanding, generous souls - but why put temptation in their way?

In terms of inheritance tax, there is not much that can be done WRT to reducing it unless there are non-property assets, although again a financial adviser or a specialist lawyer should be able to advise.

I appreciate that your mother's wishes are important and she doesn't want to make a will for supersititious reasons, but once she's gone, as hard as it may be to think about in advance, your daughter will be in a very weak financial position - and your family open to all kinds of conflicts - unless she is protected by a will.
Intestate problems! - Bromptonaut

No expert but some relevant experience. If the MiL has just the three offspring then on intestacy the estate including the bungalow would likley fall to be distributed equally between them. There are, or were, means by which the beneficiaries could agree after death to, in effect, re write the intestacy as though there was a will. That however costs, and circs by then may lead to one or another failing to agree. Legal costs far and above those of a simple will, specifically bequeathing the house to the co-occupying daughter, would be inevitable.

Another thought, you need to establish the likely value of the estate in the event of the MiL's demise. You don't need much of a bungalow, at least if it's in the South East, to bring inheritance tax into the equation. Floor limit, IIRC, is £250k. Even if the house is worth less there could be savings/investments in the mix?. So IHT planning might be required as well. Maybe the argument that the taxman could benefit as well as her children will swing it with her?

Time for serious professional advice.
Intestate problems! - DavidHM
The limit for IHT is slightly above £250k - I think something like £260k but I can't remember exactly. Not a significant difference though.

The other problem is that if your mother has to go into a home, she may be required to sell the house to pay fees. In those circumstances, your sister's rights would need to be protected, either as a person in actual occupation (what used to be called a s.70 (1)(g) charge but is now someting different).

This is not advice but a suggestion for you to follow up with an advisor. Alternatively, if your mother is willing to do this, the creation of a joint tenancy could be very tax efficient. It would mean that your mother and sister were both regarded as owning the property as a whole and so there would be no taxable transfer on your mother's death. However there would be a transfer of the interest beforehand and this might be taxable at death, though not earlier if this is your mother's primary or only residence.

This may also protect your mother from the financially negative effects if she needs residential care later on.
Maths problem for 11 plus exam - eMBe {P}
My niece is soon to sit an entrance exam for a state selective grammar school. She has been sent a sample maths question as given below. I can solve the problem using logic and intuition, but do not know how to explain or lay-out the workings to my niece.

Can any mathmatician backroomers help as her primary school teachers are also unable to help.

Show your workings in full. You should apend no more than 5 minutes for this question.

In this problem, each letter uniquely represents a single digit number from 0 to 9. Find the number that the six letters represent.


Maths problem for 11 plus exam - Jono_99

Not a maths teacher, but maths graduate and also had the benefit of state selective secondary school (do not remember questions like this to get in).

Advice I would offer is:

Relationship between 'S' and 'N' is key. Spot that N plus N plus S is N 'units' (may be tens are carried over, but hopefully this statement makes some sense). So for each value of N, there is a value of S. In this case:
S = 1, N = 9 (9 + 9 + 1 = 19, therefore, number will end in N)
S = 2, N = 8 (8 + 8 + 2 = 18)
S= 3, N = 7
S = 4, N = 6
S cannot be bigger than 4, or the equation pops.

I hope that is all that the examiners are looking for - from there I went to trial and error, and found:

139 + 129 + 81 = 349
258 + 268 + 72 = 598
317 + 327 + 53 = 697
SON + SUN + IS = OWN (Just checking)

At which point I stopped.

Answer to the question is U or O, (or maybe there is a solution with S=4, N=6) working is key, and I would suggest that it is the bit about spotting the relationship between S & N.

Hope someone can add a bit more to this, bit if you want more thoughts from me,post here and I can think again.


Maths problem for 11 plus exam - eMBe {P}
Not a maths teacher, but maths graduate >> Hope someone can add a bit more to this, bit if
you want more thoughts from me,post here and I can think

Thanks Jono.

You have confimed my contention that the question has more than one answer.

I had tackled it by first saying that
S+S has to be < 10; hence 0 > S < 5.

Then I said
2N + S > 10, and found the various values for N given S between 1 and 4.

Also, since 2S = O ; O is even, and, O has to be = 2, 4, 6, or 8

Then in the middle column of the sum, using a carry forward of 1 from the sum of the third column,
1+I+O+U = W can be satisfied for a range of different input values of O.

My suspicion is that someone made upp a grid of numbers and posed the question without realising that that were more than one possible answers.
Maths problem for 11 plus exam - Baskerville
>My suspicion is that someone made upp a grid of numbers and posed the question without realising that that were more than one possible answers.

Maybe, maybe not, but my guess is that it's the working out and the realisation that there is more than one answer they are after: any answer given, while it will have to be right, is probably secondary. I've been an examiner in the past (not maths, though) and I can tell you they are tricky blighters beyond your wildest dreams. This kind of test will separate the bright but lazy from the methodical and analytical: it's very rarely simply a matter of passing, but of doing it in the right way.
Maths problem for 11 plus exam - cockle {P}
Agree with ChrisR, in our neck of the woods the '11 plus' tests are really looking for the reasoned logic rather than a 'right' answer, hence the request to show all working.
Strangely, my son is at a Grammar school and recently sat his Maths GCSE, there was nothing anywhere near as tricky as this one in the GSCE paper!!

Maths problem for 11 plus exam - eMBe {P}
Agree with ChrisR, in our neck of the woods the '11
plus' tests are really looking for the reasoned logic rather than
a 'right' answer, hence the request to show all working.
Strangely, my son is at a Grammar school and recently sat
his Maths GCSE, there was nothing anywhere near as tricky as
this one in the GSCE paper!!

Thanks Cockle & Chris R. You are right, of course, - it is one way of separating the best wheat from the ordinary wheat and the chaff (there are 10 very clever applicants for every 1 place available!).
Maths problem for 11 plus exam - kennybase
Ermmm...is it:

129 109 41 = 279

S S < 10 , that S < 5 , also S S <= O

N N S = N 10 implies that: N = 10 - S , N > 5,
also implies that: O add U add I = W - 1

Then I just went by gut hunch and tried some low numbers!
A bit slow took me about just over 10 mins!!!

HOW IS AN 11 YEAR OLD SUPPOSED TO DO THIS (especially in exam conditions!)

Maths problem for 11 plus exam - Dynamic Dave
Sorry Kennybase,

I tried editing your typo, but it seems that certain mathematical symbols have got lost in the edit. They are there when I edit, but dissapear when I update your post.

Can you post it again?
Maths problem for 11 plus exam - kennybase
No problem -

I think 'O < 7' is wrong! (should be ignored!!)

and it's 'O + U + I = W - 1' typo error!
Independent (unbiased) travel agents - Rob the Bus {P}
I have never left these shores (unless you count Anglesey!), but next year me, HF and the mini-HFs will be taking our holiday in foreign climes.

We don't really know where we want to go, but we have firm ideas about the type of holiday we want. I am all too aware that if we go to some of the high-street travel agents, we will be steered to the holiday that makes them the most comission and meets their needs best - to hell with us!

Are there any national travel agents who are completely independent and who will give us unbiased advice? Or are we best advised to go to a totally indepedent local agent? We are in the Bromley/Orpington area if anyone knows of any good ones.

Also, are all-inclusive holidays all they are cracked up to be?

Many thanks in anticipation.


Independent (unbiased) travel agents - jeds
Rob, We haven't booked a holiday through a travel agent for years. We tend to look at brochures for ideas, or we ask friends and relatives where they went and if it was any good.

We then look up the area on the net and find local apartments, hotels etc. Flights are dead easy these days - and very cheap if you shop around. You can do a holiday like this for half what you would pay a travel agent and its a lot more satisfying.

The bonus is we have never had a bad holiday. I don't think I know anybody that doesn't have a story about a holiday that looked great in the brochure but was rubbish when they got there.
Independent (unbiased) travel agents - Altea Ego

"but we have firm ideas about the type of holiday"


Tell us what holiday you want, and maybe we can advise
Independent (unbiased) travel agents - Rob the Bus {P}
Fair point, RF.

Ideally we don't want a raucous beach resort. Somewhere slightly inland would be good. We'll be enjoying the company of a 13 year old and an 8 year old (both boys) so kids clubs are a pre-requisite. We don't really mind where we go - Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, are all fine. We kind of want to keep it to Europe for now. Price-wise, I really have no idea. Never having been abroad, I have no idea what the current prices are. We don't want self-catering but as much flexibility as possible would be welcome.

Overly touristy areas are a no-go. I have quite enough of seeing young, alcohol-fuelled Brits on nights out when I'm working, ta very much!

Rome, Madrid, Venice etc all appeal.

That should give you something to go at!


Independent (unbiased) travel agents - Welliesorter
Just to reinforce the other suggestions, the internet is your friend. I've never used a travel agent or been on a package tour so can't comment on these. On the other hand I've been to the continent several times in the past year just by booking flights and accommodation on line.

For flights try


For accommodation, www.totalstay.com is a good bet.

Of course the complicating factor is that you're taking children. Perhaps for that reason, the normal tour operators should be considered, as locations aimed at families are more likely to be found through them. Also, I can't help suspecting that a package holiday would be the most economical way of doing it.

No doubt someone with experience of travelling with children will be able to provide the benefit of their experience.

Of the places I've been, Barcelona and Brussels (yes, really) have been the most interesting surprises. I think there'd be plenty in both to keep you all occupied. I've heard good things about Sardinia which is also on the budget airline (Ryanair) itinerary.
Independent (unbiased) travel agents - eMBe {P}
Rob & HF:
I would not rule out travel beyond Europe. If you think you will not be going abroad often, try to widen your choice.

I can tell you that the best holiday that children in your age range (who have travelled extensively around the world) found in their experience were holidays in California and Florida. I have no idea of your budget, but if you time your holiday during Winter or Easter school holidays, the four of you could have 2 or 3 weeks break for around £2500. During these periods, this works out roughly as

Flights on Virgin or BA - about £1000 for the family.
All inclusive Car hire, with petrol at giveaway prices - about £300 for 2 weeks.
Accommodation booked as you go in Holiday Inn type places - about £50 per night for a family room. £700 for 2 weeks. You can do it much cheaper with coupons from exit-travel-guides available at most McD and Denny's fast food places.
Food - plentiful and cheap.
Entertainment - Disney in LA or Orlando are surprisingly good fun for adults too. This will be the most expensive part, but the children will love it.
California has the highest peak in USA and lowest point below sea level (Death Valley, Mojave desert). You can find snow and desert within 50 miles.
Side trip to Las Vegas from LA is worthwhile.
Kennedy space centre in Florida is a must.
Fantastic beaches, and lansdcape to visit in either state.
In either location, it is a joy to tour from place to place, booking your overnight stay at bargain rates as you arrive at a hotel/motel.
Shopping - HF should take lots of spending money for the bargains! ;-)
Ladies who are size 8 or 10 are said to find it easier, in USA than UK, to find clothes that fit. Unsurprisingly, it is also easy for people at the other end of the spectrum (size 20 plus) to find clothes to fit them!

Having said all this, Rob will say he can't afford it!
Independent (unbiased) travel agents - THe Growler
Copy that. When my kid was a kid our best vacations were in the US. Great value for money, lots to do and great service. No language problem either. Much more bang for the buck than anywhere in W. Europe.
Independent (unbiased) travel agents - CMark {P}
Rob, lots of good tips here and the one that is really ringing bells is Florida. My wife and I went in the mid-90s, before we had kids, hired a Chrysler Sebring convertible, toured all around and also spent 7 days in and around Disney World. We are still talking about it. Just outside WDW, try Charlie's Steak House for THE best steak in the world (and I have eaten in 52 countries - cue where to find a better steak from Growler ;-).

If WDW interests you then you must get a book titled, The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World which has to be the most exhaustively researched guide to any single attraction ever. I am always lending it to friends who are planning to go. Look it up on amazon.co.uk.

Florida weather can be very hot and humid in the summer school holidays (if you are used to UK weather).
Independent (unbiased) travel agents - Rob the Bus {P}
eMBe, Growler and CMark (esp eMBe),

Many many thanks for your posts regarding the US. We will, no doubt, go there at some stage. But just now it is slightly out of our price range. Besides, the thought of HF getting all excited in a shop is just to scary to contemplate.

We do want to go abroad somewhere, but are stumped. There's a lot of world out there! Any recommendations?



Independent (unbiased) travel agents - Mark (RLBS)

If you/HF/Kids are not used to travelling abroad, then the first time is the wrong time to try to get smart about it.

Book a cheap trip to a self-catering villa in somewhere like Lanzarote and enjoy it. If you really want, then book it with someone on the internet, although frankly I probably wouldn\'t bother.

Its true that there isn\'t that much to see of \"educational\" interest in the same way that there would be in Madrid, but its easy to live in and plenty to do.

There\'ll be enough people around speaking english and a sufficiently strong support infrastructure if you go with a package, that IMO its the best way for a first holiday.

If you get on well enough with that, the next time will be the time to choose flights, destinations further away, significantly different lifestyles or cultures, etc. etc.

If you hunt around the travel agents, don\'t be too picky about the destination, and you\'ll get a deal that will suit you and be cheaper. However, I would advise you to be picky about exactly where you stay. Sometimes they offer deals where they don\'t actually confirm the hotel and/or resort until you actually fly - I would not recommend that since you can get badly burned, albeit that you can be pleasantly surprised also.

Of course they\'ll try and push you towards a holiday that they want you to take; but if that holiday suits your choice, budget & requirements, then so what ?

I\'d also suggest that you consider whether or not two weeks for your first trip would be too much. You might hate it abroad - my sister does; a week or 10 days might be a safer bet.

You\'ve years to travel wherever you want, don\'t get put off by being too ambitious on the first one.

All IMO, of course.
Independent (unbiased) travel agents - Hugo {P}

Have you thought about France? You're faily close to the Channel Tunnel and a weeks trip to France may not be a bad idea.

It depends how your foreign driving is though. Get some recommendations about Hotels over there before you go.

Alternitively, do you know anyone with an RCI timeshare? Often they have a number of unbooked weeks and try to get shot of them to members for a booking fee, these can be passed onto a non member for a small additional fee. Albeit a few years ago the domestic goddes and I spent a week in Tenerife for £65 in a timeshare complex, thanks to my sister's membership and had a very nice time. The only problem is you do get pestered by timeshare salespeople over there.

We were given a choice between Tenerife, Lanzaroti or Portugal. Having since been to Portugal, this would have been my preferred choice - with hindsight.

Where ever you go - have a great time and SEND US A POSTCARD!

Independent (unbiased) travel agents - PhilW
Funnily enough I was thinking France wouldn't be a bad idea for a first trip for you as well. My brother, with two kids about the same age went a few years ago to South Brittany - not too far far to drive. He rented a big mobile home on a big site. Advantages? Relatively cheap, beach two minutes away and plenty of things for the kids to do on the site. We called to see them one evening as "we were just passing" Asked where his son was and he said he hadn't seen him for hours! Son then came back.He had spent the morning at the kids entertainments, games etc. Then played tennis or something, then gone in the pool and then to the beach - (lifeguards there). He'd also played football with his new friends and when we went for a drink in the bar he was at the youngsters disco next door.
Self catering yes, but they either seemed to have a barby or use the restaurants on site or walk to the town two mins away. And if you go by car you could always return via Disneyland? Hotels ain''t that expensive - Travelodge type (with restaurant though) for about £30-£40 for a room per night, probably £50 for a family of four. If you want better weather go further south - La Rochelle or Les Landes (fantastic beaches for surfing and also lakes for windsurfing, boating, swimming etc) and return via Fururoscope which is brilliant and needs at least two days. I suggest sites near the sea 'cos in my experience a beach will keep kids endlessly amused. Think the site name my brother stayed on was Point St Gilles - try a look for a website.
And if you have your car fill up any space with wine on the way back!
Independent (unbiased) travel agents - PhilW
"and return via Fururoscope"
or even Futuroscope !!
Independent (unbiased) travel agents - HF

Thanks to all of you so far for your advice. Since I kind of have an interest in this too, I thought I'd add my tuppence worth.

Whilst not being a particularly well-seasoned traveller, I certainly have a lot more experience than Rob in this, having left these shores several times. I am a sun-lover, but he is not, so wherever we go will have to be a compromise weatherwise (ie not too hot).

However, I am utterly phobic about typical Brit touristy type places, and would rather spend a fortnight locked in my own toilet than endure a holiday in one of those. My ideal would be to find a place where we could just live like the locals do for a while, rather than having to abide with tattoo-bearing, Union Jack vest-wearing British lager louts wherever we go. That is why I am keen to go somewhere inland, and avoid beachy places like the plague, although I hear what is being said about the kids enjoying them etc. So we need another compromise here.

Neither of us has had a very easy time of it over the last year or so, and I want any break we take to be as perfect as possible, because we really do need one. I see that it's likely we're going to end up doing self-catering, but I am a little worried about that because I have that 'It's Mum's holiday too' feeling creeping up on me. I certainly don't want to spend the time cooking and cleaning too much, otherwise, as above, I might as well just lock myself in the loo here (not that I cook in the loo very often).

Anyway thanks again for all your thoughts - it has given us much to think about.


Independent (unbiased) travel agents - malteser
Try the western Costa del Sol from say Estepona to Sotogrande (latter VERY expensive!)- you will find a definite absence of the "Terror molinos" UK louts and the weather is just as good. Inland try Casares for a delightful "white village" only 20 minutes from the afore-mentioned coastal region.
I live thereabouts - get there before the usual culprits discover it! Mail me for specific advice if required
Independent (unbiased) travel agents - Altea Ego

Here are my thoughts on your holiday. As suggested by other posters the USA is without doubt the best for holiday value, but if as Rob says you dont want to go there, here is my other Idea.

Friend of mine had a caravan on a haven holiday site in France. (they got divorced so we cant use it now :()

The site is in south west France in the Charent Maritime region., thats about 70 miles North of Bordeux. That part of the coast is gorgeous, between La Rochelle (has the best aquarium I know) and Royan. Place called La Palmyre. Super region, lots to go and see, its a mostly french resort so not full of lager louts. Eating out in france is cheap, if you stick to the fix price menus.

The camp site is mixed as a lot of french people have bought caravans on it, tho it can be a bit noisy and crowded near the pool area.

The weather in that region is usually very good without being baking hot, tho being on the Atlantic coast it can be variable.

Its an 10-12 hour drive from the chunnel, 6-8 hours from the brittany ports. One of the cheapo airlines was doing cheap flghts to la Rochelle

The moules and frittes in that area can not be beaten........

Had two wonderful holidays there and would gladly go back.

Independent (unbiased) travel agents - THe Growler
>>>>try Charlie's Steak House for THE best steak in the world (and I have eaten in 52 countries - cue where to find a better steak from Growler ;-).

Until two months ago I would have agreed with you, being a Charlie's fan for a long time, then I visited the Hog's Breath Cafe in Darwin, Australia. The steak needed its own plate, the veggies another one and the salad a third. I have never known a steak melt in the mouth, I swear this one did, I would kill for another one, it was magnificent. Who'd be a vegetarian?

Must keep this motoring and there is no doubt it was a great vacation (I shall be back there next month) except my Ford Falcon let me down, The passenger side front door lock failed right out in the woop-woop about 450 km from anywhere and the door couldn't be closed. Crept into gas station eventually with mate holding door closed. Guy comes out in mangled bush hat and grubby shorts laughing his head off. "b***** oath mate them Falcons all do that, third one this year!", rolled down the window and tied the door to the pillar with duct tape.

Independent (unbiased) travel agents - PhilW
"tattoo-bearing, Union Jack vest-wearing British lager louts wherever we go."
Not encountered one in any resort down the west coast of France in the last ten years - mainly because there don't seem to be the typical package holidays to the resorts which seem to be very family orientated. Think the same is true of most holiday resorts in Europe - there are only a few that attract this type. We even went to a couple of very popular Costa Brava resorts last summer (to find the sun - 2002 was not a good year weatherwise in France!) and had some pleasant evenings out without encountering lager louts. It seems to be a peculiarly British and German low life problem restricted to a few well known places at the height of the season. Even so, my daughter (far too sensible for her age!)went with some mates to a "lager lout" resort on Crete last year and said she had a great time because they stayed away from one or two streets and had a quiet holiday, dining out in the evening, in local restaurants with local food at cheap prices - By the way, if you want to avoid the really hot sun, Brittany sounds ideal for you!
Independent (unbiased) travel agents - Rob the Bus {P}
Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to post your very helpful and useful comments.

The current thiking is Tuscany, but we haven't investigated prices yet, so that may change! Still, we could always give Tony Blair a ring. He always seems to be able to get a nice villa at cheap prices ;-)


Another \'pink furry dice\' virus trick! - malteser
I have just received, on my daughter\'s PC, a VERY official looking e-mail from \"Microsoft Corporation Security Division\" This looked like the real thing and purported to contain the cumulative security patches for all MS Windows OS. \"Just run the attachment\" it said!
Being a suspicious bloke I saved the att, to My Docs & scanned it,(as I could nor scan from OE), with AVG anti virus - Surprise (NOT) a virus found!
I know you are all too wary to be caught!! BUT it did look 100% genuine.
As it happened, I had already visited the Windows update site about an hour ago and there were no critical updates listed!
Take care!
Roger - freezing in UK, but soon back in the sun

Why work when you can sleep?
Another \'pink furry dice\' virus trick! - nick
Freezing!? It\'s gorgeous in sunny Lincs.
Another \'pink furry dice\' virus trick! - twinexhaust
I believe that Microsoft say they do not send out security alert emails so anything like this has to be a hoax.
Another 'pink furry dice' virus trick! - Welliesorter
I believe that Microsoft say they do not send out security
alert emails so anything like this has to be a hoax.

They do send out security alerts but the messages don't contain attachments.

See news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3123726.stm

Another \'pink furry dice\' virus trick! - Dwight Van Driver
Straits Times. Singapore - today

SAN FRANCISCO - Anti-virus companies on Thursday warned of a new computer worm circulating through e-mail that purports to be security software from Microsoft, but actually tries to disable security programs that are already running.

The worm, dubbed \'Swen\' or \'Gibe\', takes advantage of a two-year-old security hole in Internet Explorer and affects systems that have not installed a patch for that hole, according to Internet security company Network Associates.

The malicious program arrives as an attachment to an e-mail message pretending to contain a patch for holes in Internet Explorer, Outlook and Outlook Express, and then mails itself off to addresses found in the victim\'s computer.

The worm can also spread over Internet Relay Chat and the Kazaa peer-to-peer network, as well as copy itself over shared networks, Network Associates said.

When it infects a computer, it alerts a website that appears to be counting the infections, according to Symantec, another Internet security outfit.

The number of the counter was near 760,000 by Thursday afternoon.

Network Associates rated the worm a low risk for corporate users and a medium risk for home users. The company and rival Symantec, among others, were offering anti-virus updates that detect and remove the worm.

Microsoft has cautioned customers in the past against e-mail software updates, saying it does not distribute patches that way but directs users to its website instead.

DVD (In a wet, dismal, cold N Yorks)
Another \'pink furry dice\' virus trick! - Pugugly {P}
Microsoft to send updates via e-mail, I have just subscribed via
Evesham who supplied my PC. The E-mail originates from newsletters.microsoft.com.

By the way I am up on an enforced \"holiday\" in N Yorks from Sunday night on. (work, work, work)
Another \'pink furry dice\' virus trick! - Pugugly {P}
...for nine working days !!! And unless I can configure my Office laptop to run Openworld on a dial up, I won\'t be online either. Do they have broadband up there ??
Another \'pink furry dice\' virus trick! - Dwight Van Driver

Whereabouts in Gods country? Harrogate? In the Defender?

Another \'pink furry dice\' virus trick! - Pugugly {P}
Not far - in the BMW though - need the CC to avoid the lesser spotted Specs.
Modem Update... - PoloGirl
Thanks all who replied to my modem question earlier in this thread. I phoned the helpline again on Friday, and after arguing with one of the technicians for about twenty minutes (he was insisting it was the phoneline or AOL at fault, which is wrong because the same phoneline worked before the laptop went for repair, as did AOL and the I can connect on the same line with my flatmate\'s laptop..grr), they agreed to have it back next week.

Also tried reinstalling the drivers from the set up disks but that didn\'t work either.

Thanks again!
Anyone seen my screensavers? - drbe
I run windows 98 on my PC. I noticed recently that my screensaver that my screesaver has changed to one that looks as though it belongs on a bank\'s computer.

Upon going to the screesaver location in help, I could only find one screensaver (ss), all the other ss\'s - maze, pipes, etc. have vanished.

Any ideas, please, on how I can get them back?

Thanks in anticipation.

Regards, Don drbe.
Anyone seen my screensavers? - smokie
They\'ll still be on the original Windows CD...

IIRC you go into Add/Remove software, then into Add Windows components (at least, that\'s what it\'s called under XP!) then you can reload stuff like themes/screensavers. I think that\'s right, apols if it\'s not.
Anyone seen my screensavers? - Dynamic Dave
Smokie's almost right.

Click on Start/Settings/Control Panel. Double click on the Add/Remove Programs Icon. Now click on the Windows Set Up tab. Scroll down the list and select Accessories. Now click on the Details button. Again scroll down the list and place a tick in Screen Savers. OK and Exit your way out of the menus.
Printworks! - NitroBurner
Wonder if anyone can help me to sort my printer out.
It's a H/P Deskjet 895cxi and I'm running windows XP. I installed it correctly (I think), but very rarely does it print what I ask it. Most of the time it just prints a line or two of gobbledegook comprising symbols that can't be found on a standard keyboard. It does this until I cut the power to the infernal thing! I've tried following the troubleshooting route but still can't get any joy! Thanks...
Printworks! - jeds

Not my specialist subject but I had this problem with a new Canon printer recently. The problem was that I installed the printer OK but did not select it as the default printer so when printing the PC thought it was a different type.

Go to control panel/printers and faxes. The printer listed should say 'HP Deskjet 895Cxi' exactly. If you have more than one printer in the list the default printer will have a small tick mark next to it.

Alternatively, open Word and click file/print. Look at the printer name at the top of the dialog box. It should match your printer.

If the tick mark is wrong or the dialog box has some other printer listed you need to change the default.

Otherwise it is something else beyond me.
What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
Anyone know of a sulution to this. I visited the Dieselcar .com site today and although i got the home page when i entered the navigation page I did not have any of the Square arrows needed for navigating the site. Could it be that one of the settings in my computer is wrongly set. As a matter of interest although google is considered the best search engine it could not find this site. Altavista did

What is wrong with my computer - THe Growler
A good alternative I find when Google is stumped is Teoma. www.teoma.com
What is wrong with my computer - Altea Ego

Its the web site page, not your computer.
What is wrong with my computer - Welliesorter
Anyone know of a sulution to this. I visited the Dieselcar
.com site today and although i got the home page when
i entered the navigation page I did not have any of
the Square arrows needed for navigating the site. Could it be
that one of the settings in my computer is wrongly set.

It's one of those annoying sites that rely on Flash. Do you have the Flash player? If not, see www.macromedia.com .
What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
Yes i have Flash Player installed

Drain pong - frostbite
I recently installed a new sink unit and decided to fit a bottle trap instead of a U-bend in the waste pipe.

It seems to have a tendency to smell rather earlier than the original - is this a characteristic of bottle traps?
Drain pong - spikeyhead {p}
I've only owned a house with a bottle trap. The problem I've found with mine is that fat collects in the pipes around the bottle instead of the bottle. This means that cleaning the bottle out has only a negligable effect on performance.
I read often, only post occaisionally
What is wrong with my computer - smokie
Arrows seem OK to me...doesn't seem to be the site after all.

Do you have "placeholders" where the arrows should be? (small box with red cross in). Or anything at all?
What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn

NO place holders on screen. It seems to me something is not working that generates the arrows or some sort of program is not installed in my computer The first thing i thought of was Macromedia Flash but i have this installed and it is working OK.Any more ideas from anyone would be most welcome.

What is wrong with my computer - eMBe {P}
...Any more ideas from anyone would be most welcome. ..>>

Alan: I suspect
1. either you are using a "Pro" version of a firewall where the ActiveX, Java, Scripts, etc. controls have been disabled,
2. or your browser "tools, internet options, security/privacy " settings have disabled these functions.

What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
eMBe{P] Or anyone else
These are my active x settings

If you have time and you know what the settings should be could you please check to see if they are correct

Yes means a dot in the centre of the O

Download signed active x controls

O disable
O enable
yes O prompt

Download unsigned active x controls

yes O disable
O enable
O prompt

Initialize and scipt active controls not marked as safe

yes O disable
O enable
O prompt

Run active x controls and plugins

O administrator approved
O disabled
yes O enable
O prompt

Scrip active x controls marked safe for scripting

O disabled
yes O enable
O prompt


P S no firewall installed

What is wrong with my computer - smokie
Alan - same settings as me, so that doesn't seem to be the problem.

Probably a waste of time, but have you tried deleting the internet temporary files? Don't delete cookies as they won't be causing this. Not sure what else could cause this.
What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn

I deleted temp files but still no luck, thanks for your ideas and thanks to others who replied to this post.I will give up the ghost on this one after all it is only one web site i cannot get out of countless ones i visit each day

Ian in the hope you may read this: I see from your profile you do still lurk although don't post much! I've lost your email and you don't list one so I can't PM you. Can you drop me an email?

I have been in touch with some interseting nostalgia from the 1960's aeromodelling days via a guy I went to school with and someone I'm sure you will know. Hope to hear. Cheers,
What is wrong with my computer - eMBe {P}
alan kearn:
1. You have given us some of your internet settings, and these are fine. However, further down the options, you will find another set headed "scripting". Try setting the three options there - active, paste, & java - to "accept".
2. You really should have, as a minimum, a free firewall such as
Agnitum Outpost (from www.agnitum.com )
or Zonalarm (from www.zonelabs.com )
3. If you haven't done so already, you also ought to protect your IE browser witht the latest critical updates from
What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
I do not have a firewall installed because i have nothing of importance or interest on my computer and i rarely recieve any emails (am i not sad) if i am expecting one i look out for it otherwise i hit the delete buttons every day without looking at them.I only use my computer for the internet but i do use the the following for keeping my computer clean

Spybot search and destroy
Free virus scan from Trend micro

I installed a firewall once and and for some reason it gave my computer the hiccups,so i think to myself if anything goes wrong i reinstall my Windows 98se. After using my computer almost every day for 4 years maybe a reinstall would do it good.

All Microsoft updates have been installed

Back to business.
I cannot find the java settings that you have pointed out,maybe it is because it has the original Microsoft VM java program installed, i think court action by Java stopped Microsoft using it. I have thought about uninstalling this and installing the new Java one. I think it is called Sun Java. Here are my settings.


yes o java console enable
O java logging enable
yes o jit compiler for virtual machine enable

yes means dots in the middle of the o

There are no other java settings under Internet options/Advance

What is wrong with my computer - Baskerville
A firewall is important on Windoze machines even when there is "nothing important" on them (but I'll bet there are passwords, possibly credit card/bank details and other stuff in your caches anyway). In Windoze several ports are left open by default and they can be hacked very easily and very quickly. Your computer can then be used to do all manner of distasteful things (or just help to slow servers down for the rest of us) and you might not find out until it's too late, even with all that other security stuff you say you're running. This is less important if you have a dialup connection but it's still important. Get Zonealarm: it's free and very unintrusive (and it works fine in Win98). Or get Linux (in which the ports are closed/switched off by default and you can't run system commands without a password): Knoppix Linux will boot and run from a CDROM and give you an idea without putting anything on your hard drive--so go Google for it. Or get off the Internet.

And just to scare Windoze users a bit more, if you think you have nothing of importance on your Windoze machine, think again. Even if you store sensitive documents on removable media, it is often possible to find out from a Word document what other documents were opened in the same session and some of their actual content. The amount of 'invisible' data in a Word document amounts to about one third of the total and a lot of this data includes other stuff going on on the machine when the doc was saved. This was the undoing of Alastair Campbell (his computer saved an invisible paper trail) and the civil service is now moving almost exclusively to pdf format as a result.
What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
thanks for the advice you have talk me into installing Zonealarm

What is wrong with my computer - eMBe {P}
alan kearn:

1. I am puzzled. The security settings I referred to should be present in IE5.5 and IE6 .

2. Microsoft has run full page ads in today's papers urging people to switch on firewalls.

3. This point does not apply to you as you say you have the latest critical updates, but for the benefit of others, the last update said " You do not have to be using Internet Explorer as your Web browser to be affected by this issue. "

4. If you wish to see how secure/insecure your PC is, go to
grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2 and then click on "proceed" and I would recommend strongly that you go through each and every step there.
What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
Glad you have brought this up the critical updates are not on my computer now. Here is a list of the most recent updates i have made

Successful 14 September 2003 Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (Windows 98, Windows Me)
Read more... Web site
Successful 16 August 2003 DirectX 9.0b End-User Runtime
Read more... Web site
Successful 16 August 2003 Q329115: Security Update (Windows 98)
Read more... Web site
Successful 16 August 2003 Q329414: Security Update (MDAC 2.1)
Read more... Web site
Successful 16 August 2003 814078: Security Update (Microsoft Jscript version 5.6, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows NT 4.0) Web site
Successful 16 August 2003 823559: Security Update for Microsoft Windows Web site
Successful 12 July 2003 Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (Windows 98, Windows Me)
Read more... Web site
Successful 12 July 2003 Q329115: Security Update (Windows 98)
Read more... Web site
Successful 12 July 2003 Q329414: Security Update (MDAC 2.1)
Read more... Web site
Successful 12 July 2003 816093: Security Update Microsoft Virtual Machine (Microsoft VM) Web site
Successful 12 July 2003 823559: Security Update for Microsoft Windows Web site
Successful 22 March 2003 814078: Security Update (Microsoft Jscript version 5.1, Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0) Web site

And here is the possible reason why they are not on installed now.

From the top of the Download Page

Installation History
Keep track of what you've installed from Windows Update.

You have not installed any updates.

Installation History
Keep track of what you've installed from Windows Update. To sort by status, date, description, or source, click the column headers.

Note The items listed on this page reflect only the actions you've performed on Windows Update. If you have subsequently restored your computer, or reinstalled or uninstalled programs, some items listed here might no longer be installed on your computer.

The registry settings were restore a little while ago it looks as though the last five updates have been wiped out. I woud not have noticed this if you had not brought it to my attention because they are still listed as downloaded.I will have to download them again.Talk about live and learn.


PS i will use the Shields Up web site later this weekend
What is wrong with my computer - Baskerville
thanks for the advice you have
talk me into installing Zonealarm

Good man. Once that's on the case you can feel more secure.
What is wrong with my computer - Altea Ego

you are pointing at the correct area of the screen? The site has confusing layout. The navigation section has no links. The pointable links are all in the red Diesel car banner at the top of the page.
What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
Renault Family{P}
I kid you not, there is nothing in the red diesel car banner.I am totally baffled wih this, thanks for your input.

What is wrong with my computer - CMark {P}
Alan, I have just visited the dieselcar.com website for the first time. Like you there was nothing in the top diesel banner. Just the thin black outline of the banner. Clicking on it came up with a message saying Flash 7 needs to be installed and would I like to install it. Yes, and now the banner is full and active.

I also had a problem with Windows Update not working recently. Ironically it was cured by re-installing Apple Quicktime [from the subaru.co.uk website (360 degree view of model)].

I would suggest try re-installing both these software items.

My PC runs W98, IE6 and dial-up.
What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
I did the same as you installed flash from the site got the full diesel car banner but no pointers reinstalled flash but still no pointers. I will have a look at quick time later.

What is wrong with my computer - smokie
Do you have ALL the text on the screen. E.g if you click Articles, alongside the arrows you get "Click test drives for all available tests, listed by manufacturer and model".

If you get this I don't understand...

But I can remove this text (and the arrows) by right clicking on the banner and clicking Back (NB NOT rewind). This is within the Flash menu.

Not quite sure what this would mean, I would guess the your Flash player is starting in some kind of Pause mode. But if you are getting this, try right-clicking the banner then pressing Forward and see what happens.
What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
I have all the catagories namely, articles diesel files forum etc. and the lists under them but no matter what i try i can not get this web page to work. I looked up Frameset via google because this is how the web site is constructed and it seems it is not a very good way of constructing a web site but i am not blaming the web site it has got to be something to do with my computer.

What is wrong with my computer - alan kearn
do i understand you correctly when you say that after you right click the diesel car logo you get a flash menu pop up window if so what are the options on it.

What is wrong with my computer - Welliesorter
It's not a terribly well designed web site. If only the designer had thought that not all visitors will have the Flash plugin (I know you have) it would have been easy enough to provide an alternative navigation method. In fact it would be a simple matter of turning the headings on the site map into links. Maybe someome ought to feed this back to the webmaster. It's as if someone's really proud of learning how to do a menu using Flash and wants everyone to use it.

That said, I don't know the cause of your problem. The site even works for me using the Debian build of Mozilla 1.4 under Knoppix 3.3 (I know I'm sad to have tried).

As previously mentioned, the site uses frames. This is just a way of having more than one page in a browser window: links on one frame load a page in another.

All the pages you're trying to reach have URLs of their own. EG the first part of the test drives section is www.dieselcar.com/a2ztest.html.

If you let someone who can navigate the site know which bit you want to look at, it would be easy enough for them to let you know the URL so that you can go straight to it.
What is wrong with my computer - smokie
Yes, if you right click the diesel car logo you get a pop up menu with Zoom in, Zoom out, Show All, Quality, Play, Loop and other options. This is standard Flash stuff to enable you to control the playback of Flash animations.

Depending on where you are in the menu system, some options may be greyed out.

Back to my earlier question - if you click Articles, a new menu slides in from the left with the aforementioned text and the arrows you are seeking. Do you get the text (it says "Click test drives...and so on) and no arrows, or do you get none of that at all?
What is wrong with my computer - Mark (RLBS)
please continue in volume 18
What is wrong with my computer - Mark (RLBS)
pulling the volumes together

Value my car