Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Samsung ML 1660 was not recognised.

This old mono laser printer had given me many years of service and along the way I found a supplier for compatible laser cartridges for less than half the price of the original and so I was not going to give up this printer for anything. But when I re-installed windows 7 on my Dell that suffered a hard drive failure, the installation of the printer was not smooth sailing as I expected it to be.

When windows 7 booted up, the printer was not recognised -- it was not even listed as one of the devices. I tried installing the printer with the CD that came it but it stopped and suggested that the firewall was preventing installation.

I went to this website and downloaded the driver from here -- a universal driver and it seemed to recognise the printer but it still would not print.

Sometime along the way a message flashed informing me that one of the usb devises was not working properly. I gathered that this was the printer.

Only when I looked at the port it was supposed to be connected and changed it to a usb port/connection  -- USB001(Virtual Printer Port for USB)-- from LPT1  did the printer work.

So what I gather is that the computer could not recognise this printer because it was looking for a printer connected to LPT1 and not a usb printer.

Someone told me that I should not connect the usb device until the software from the CD had been installed. I am not sure if this was the problem, but you can try this if you have the same problem.

The other advice I received was this. With a new installation of Windows 7, boot it up first without usb devices attached to it, except perhaps the keyboard and mouse. When it is up an running, when you can surf the net with wireless or lan, then and only then connect the usb devices. Windows will automatically search for the drivers, and install these. This might be worth trying.

I am still puzzled as to why in the first place, the usb connection to the printer did not work automatically since all the other usb devices, the scanner, portable hard drives, etc all worked without any problem.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Passport Photos you can print at home.

Here's a link to a site where you can make your own passport / identity card photos from any reasonably good photograph of yourself. The passport / id card  photos will be organised on a normal 4" x 6" frame - 2 rows of 4 pictures - which you can then save and print using your color printer or a photo lab.  The program is online so there is no downloading of software to do and, best of all, no cost. The quality will be good if your original is good. You can extract your face-shot from a group photo and use this if the original is of reasonably high resolution.

Monday, July 21, 2014

OCR for occasional and light users.

The most accurate free OCR program I have used is the OnlineOCR found at Some might find shortcomings such as its inability to use a scanner as a source for text as a reason not to consider using this program, but I can overlook this as the program has other neat features.

First of all, the program runs online and no download is required -- an excellent feature is you are short on memory or fear malware which comes with many of the freeware on offer nowadays.

One needs to scan text and save it as a jpg,  then read the file into the program, which will read it and turn into a MS Word document which you can download and make further editing changes. The good feature of this program is that it reads the formatting of the original and the different fonts accurately, so you have an identical document as the original. The OCR reads with almost 100% accuracy. The free version has limitations such as the number of pages allowed per hour or per day. There is also a limit on the size of the jpg file to be uploaded.

If you want a program that sits in your computer then Free OCR to Word found may be just the thing for you.

The source could either be a file or the scanner and you have the option to save the file as a Word document or a text file. The OCR is good and reads with very high accuracy -- though not as well as the OnlineOCR mentioned above. The formatting of the original not captured nor the different fonts. So a little more work editing the text is required.

Both OCRs do not have a batch files facility but they are free so what is there to complain?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Having Problems Removing Conduit Search from Chrome?

At the Control Panel, go to Programs and uninstall Conduit. Also look for the item Protected Search and uninstall it.

If Condit is still around then do the following. Or if you cannot uninstall the Conduit  from Programs in the first instance, then do the following first and then uninstall Conduit from Programs.

Go to the Chrome Settings option which you access from the three bar button on the extreme right of the Chrome ribbon.

Click on Extensions and remove all references to Conduit.

On Start Up  select Set Pages and replace all reference to Conduit with or your own start page.

Click on Appearance select Show Home Button and type or your own home page.

Go to Search, Manage Search Engines, and delete all reference to Conduit.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Download Youtube Videos

Tried several, some online and some offline and concluded that one of the better ones is Free Youtube Downloader Version It is very easy to use, fast and it doesnt seem to have problems with large files. It is not an extension of any of the browsers but a stand alone program. The interface is very simple and all you really need to do is to copy and paste the youtube video url in the space provided and press the download button. You can select the quality of the downloads -- I download my files as MP4 with the highest quality all the time without any problems. All files are saved in this default directory  C:\Users\(user)\Documents\Downloads\Free YouTube Downloader, but this can be changed using the Settings option.

When installing the program just be alert and decline all the extras that the program wants to instal. Because it is free, it needs to get some revenue from these third party programs, but you can avoid these.

There are many youtube downloaders, and one or two with logos very similar to this one. To find the Free Youtube Downloader that I am referring to, use this link

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Freemake Video Converter: Convert DVD files to MP4, AVI

Found this new website with a suite of 3 frequently searched for and used freeware. I was most interested in the Freemake Video converter as I wanted an alternative to WinX DVD Ripper, which while good and serviceable was limited in some areas. In particular, the subtitles in MP4 movie files which I created ie converted from original DVDs showed up when played using VLC and did not not when using Windows Media Player. Also, the substitles could be turned off and on with some MP4 files and not on others.

So I decided to see if Freemake Video converter was better or at least more consistent as far as subtitles were concerned.

The MKV file and MP4 files of the movie I converted worked fine. Subtitles showed when using VLC and Windows Media Player. The quality was as good as the file made by WinX.

Another useful feature of Freemake is that it easily combines the main movie with a downloaded subtitles file (.srt). I combined the movie Argo with the subtitles downloaded from Subscene ( and it worked on the very first attempt.

But, the attempts using Freemake to convert the DVD file to AVI ended in failure -- the movie was truncated, by about 30 minutes.

Yes the software is very easy to use and the neat feature that allows one to combine a movie with its downloaded subtitles makes this very attractive software.  The options are easy to access and easy to modify, so a beginner will not be lost with this programme.  But while there are lots of options available to convert video files to but some conversions don't work. Also, the programme is not as fast as WinX.

Recommended because it is free and has some useful features.