Some FAQs about PCs you wish you knew before you bought it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Q: I have one of those new mice that has the "tilt mousewheel" function (the mouse wheel can be pushed left or right). How can I map that into a game? The game doesn't see the tilt functions.
You need to have the respective mouse driver loaded, but have no function (or a "generic function") mapped to those two controls. Then the game should be able to see it, but it'll have to be a relatively modern game.

Q: I want to add wallpaper and ringtones to my new phone, but I don't want to pay $2.95 or whatever per tone. What are my options?
With a PC, there are three possibilities, at least with modern phones.
1) USB data cable. Most phones should have an accessory data cable available for about $10-20, which will allow you to access the phone via the PC with accompanied software. Most will also let you access the calendar, the contact list, and other stuff. It will of course, let you download wallpapers and ringtones, but you'll need to resize/convert them. The accompanied software may do that, or you can buy dedicated software that'll do so.
2) Bluetooth. Most modern phones are Bluetooth compatible, but it does more than transmit voice. with a Bluetooth adapter on the PC (plugs into USB port) your PC can access the phone as if you had an USB data cable, albeit a bit slower. (It'll also let you use the Bluetooth headset as a PC headset, but that's another story)
3) Internet/SMS message. Most modern phones can receive what's known as "multimedia message". It's called MMS by Nokia, and a PIX message by Verizon. Basically it's a SMS message that also carries an attachment, and that could be a picture or some sound. Save that into your phone, and you got a wallpaper or ringtone. There's a free service that does this called ToneThis. Download the free client and give it a spin. Beware, only specific carriers and phone models are supported.