Journal of computing related issues for Web Authoring, and general topics using Mac, Windows and Linux platforms.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Collapsing Icons Fixed

For a couple of years now I have irritating problem that when I start Windows XP that most times all my carefully desktop shortcut icons I had grouped by function around my screen edges all moved to the left of the screen in 3 columns in random order.

I used a free utility as a workaround see earlier post.

Now in fixing an unrelated Adobe PSE problems, see previous post, I had to disable all start-up programs and one was called Seticon.exe. I googled this and low and behold someone had reported it caused just the problem I had been experiencing, apparently it is installed for 6-in-1 (4 Media Card slots, a floppy drive and a USB connection) device. See this page.

So I disabled this and to date have not had the problem again. Incidentally my 6-in-1 Media reader still functions fine.

This fault returned after I had re-installed XP the first time I attached GigaOne Disk Drive. This is a 30GB USB drive in a case with various card readers around it, so that you can download contents of digital camera card and reuse card, great when away on long trips. So it is consistent with the Seticon being installed when "plug and play" found this machine for the first time after rebuild.

Photos Shop Elements will not load Fixed by removing QuickTime

PhotoShop Elements 5 Fails to Start
Now this is very strange and I will be glad if anyone can explain. I have used Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 and before that 4 for several years. Then suddenly on the 26th it would not load, although it did work last time I used it a couple of days before. The Organiser (Organizer) started to load and when it got to "Initializing threads" it just disappeared. Rest of the system was fine, Even PSE 5 Editor could be started by clicking on file in Program Files folder but would not go to Organizer from within Editor either.

I un-installed and re-installed TWICE, no change. Followed some very detailed tips from Adobe Support pages that involved changing PSA (Catalogue) files and Windows XP register, but no change.

Adobe web pages then suggested to stop all start up programs via RUN MSCONFIG although I found it easier to do this through Windows Defender Software Tools.

Fix found (or rather stumbled across)

Then I saw somewhere a reference that CODECS can cause this. Now I had installed some unrelated utility that had also installed latest QuickTime so I tried to un-install this, which threw up an error message during un-install. Anyway tried to start PSE again and it went a bit further with a different error message this time (sorry forgot to note down error).

So I made sure it was un-installed by renaming "QuickTime "Folder in "Program Files" and what do you know, PSE 5 loaded fine!!

However next day back to same old problem. I noticed that the QuickTime icon was on my desk top again, some how it had installed itself. So again I un-installed it but again PSE disappeared at "Initializing Threads" stage. I discovered there was a new QuickTime folder next to the one I had renamed, I had renamed it QuickTime-delete-26-11. So rename this new one and PSE 5 works fine again.

Used Defender to remove QuickTime from Startup as opposed to just disabling it, so time will tell if it manages to get in the way again.

One bonus however was that whilst I was disabling Startup Programs I managed to find solution to unrelated problem of collapsing icons on desk top, see next post for detail,

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Firefox Add-Ons I Use

  1. GMail Space
    great for backing up files typically spreadsheets and documents, these are then avaialble to you wherever you log on. A bit slow for large jpgs.

  2. Split Browser
    enables you to window within Firefox and so have various parts of Tabs visible at the same time.

  3. Scribefire

    hopefully quick way of adding to my blogs. I am testing it by writing this artice.

  4. Google Notebook

    Does what is ays, lets you make notes and/or paste clips from html

Powered by ScribeFire.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Linux and I Back Together Again

Having said I was taking a break from Linux due to time taken to fix problems I could not resist downloading latest Fedora 8 and having a play which as an off shoot led me to fix most of my outstanding problems.

Bullet summary

  1. Problems with updating and repositories was caused by GWART2-54125 DSL Router and DNS addressing.

  2. This led to also fixing Firefox IPV6 issues so I do not have to disable.

  3. Accessing Windows and Vista from Linux working fine, still need to access Linux from these.

  4. Google works well as cross platform tool.

Router and DNS

With both SUSE and Ubuntu I had problems in getting the software updater and the add software package processes to work. Very occasionally this would work but normally could not find repository. I tried various ones. It had worked OK with SUSE 10.2 before I had upgraded to 10.3

Then I found the same problem with Fedora 8. So it had to be a problem common to all so I suspected the in-built firewall in router so I disabled it but no change, so I re-instated it.

Then I did some googling including router in search which led to solution.

Router was a GURU, which I think is a badged Safecom,

GWART2-54125, (GWART 54125) and the problem was reported at

There are detailed instructions on how to do this at

My ISP is Orange and they had the DNS information at this address

Once I had done all this upgrades and software additions worked fine.

Firefox and IPV6

Previously on all my Linux Systems I had to disable IPV6 on Firefox for it to work. To do this you enter about:config in the address bar and hit enter and ipv6 in the filter in the config page which results in my case to two lines and by clicking on the first one it disables ipv6 and all is well.

However when I tested out Fedora 8 on my new Core 2 Laptop by just running live CD I did not have to do this. I then found that I could enable it on my desktops, SUSE, Ubuntu and Fedora and it works. So I can only assume the above actions also fixed this issue.

Accessing Windows XP and Vista

In Ubuntu just by looking at Places -> Network it found the locally connected desktops.

But if problems then the way that seems to be most successful is to

  1. Select Places->Connect to Server

  2. Select "Windows share" in Service Type and correct IP address in Server.

  3. Type something meaningful in "Name to use for connection"

  4. Connect

This should place Folder on desktop which you can open and be connected to other PC, assuming you have correct Share and Network parameters on these Window's PCs.


I currently have two desktops, one XP and one with removable drives so that I can use XP and Linux (SUSE, Ubuntu or Fedira) plus two laptops, one Vista and one older HP with Linux.

Occasionally I use my daughter's XP laptop when visiting.

I find iGoogle the best way of sharing data amongst them all. For example I am using Blogger to write this on Test Desktop currently with Ubuntu, but I can get at the same file from any platform.

Similarly with Spreadsheets or Documents. Also I can access all my bookmarks.

About Me

Husband, dad and grandad. Physics graduate from London University in late 60s. Retired from IBM company in 2000 after 27 years as both Sytems Engineer and Salesman. Interests include photography, nature, science, maths, walking, travel. I like facts as a basis of opinion and not opinion that is assumed to be fact.