Web Ben's Questions and Answers

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Lost Window

Someone asked me if I knew how they could find a window which they'd lost in Windows XP. What happened was that they had been using their laptop in dual screen mode and then went to another location where they only had a single screen. When they ran one particular application it restored its window to the second, now non-existent, screen. Consequently, the window was not visible.

The solution is to move the application back to the visible screen and then remember not to move it to the second screen in the future. This is a bug in the application since 99% of applications check to confirm that they are restoring their windows to valid coordinates before restoring.

What you need to do is this:

1) Press <ALT><TAB> to select the invisible application

2) Press <ALT><SPACE> to select the application's menu

3) Press M to select the Move menu item

4) Use the arrow keys to move the application's window back to the screen where it'll be visible.

The direction which you need to move the application's window depends upon how you set up your secondary screen. Generally the secondary screen is to the right of the primary screen and, in that case, you would simply move the invisible application window to the left using the arrow key in order to see it with the primary screen.

Multiple screened computing is very productive, I'd say that two 15" screens are better than a single 21" even though the single 21" has more pixels, if you have any comments please let me know and if you have any other questions which you'd like me to answer for free please send them to Ben Dash at

Friday, October 21, 2005

Poisoned Rats Dangerous

Someone asked if poisoned rats are dangerous to cats and dogs and, if so, how to ensure that cats and dogs do not eat the poisoned rats. This is a followup question to an earlier answer about rat repellant:

Rat poison can certainly be very dangerous to domestic animals who eat the dead rats.

Rat poisons come in 3 varieties:

1) Anticoagulant rodenticides
2) Cholecalciferol rodenticides
3) Bromethalin rodenticides

In the past there have been various other types of rat poison, however, these 3 varieties are generally what are used today. The first type, anticoagulant rodenticide, works by thinning the blood. The second type, cholecaliferol rodenticide, works by disrupting the rat's ability to process calcium. The third, bromethalin rodenticide, works by reducing the rat's ability to control muscle contraction.

Each of these three types of rat poison are very dangerous, and potentially fatal, if ingested by cats or dogs. In addition, if the rats which are killed as a result of eating these poisons are eaten by a cat or a dog the result could also be fatal.

If you are considering using rat poison to contol a rat infestation problem ensure that you have confirmed that no cats or dogs will be able to come into contact with the dead rats and ensure that any dead rats which you find after using the poison are disposed of properly. It would be responsible to talk to your neighbours about your choice to use a rat poison to confirm that they do not have any objections.

If you feel that cats or dogs are likely to find, and subsequently eat, dead poisoned rats then you should not use rat poison. In this case you should use poison free rat traps instead, they are not generally as effective as rat poison, however, the use of a trap will eliminate the possibility of a cat or dog eating a poisoned rat.

If your cat or dog starts acting strangely take them to your local vet immediately and ask your neighbours if they have been using rat poison and, if so, what type. If they have an empty container of the rat poison take it to the vet who will be able to use it to assist in the diagnosis and treatment.

Remember, poison is dangerous stuff and must be used responsibly, if you have any comments please let me know and if you have any other questions which you'd like me to answer for free please send them to Ben Dash at

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Portable Media

Someone asked me if I knew of a device which would allow them to transport video which they recorded using MythTV and then play that video on a TV screen.

It's possible to transport your audio and video media between PCs using a USB external Hard Disk Drive, however, if you want to display your media on a TV screen then the MediaGate MG-25 is what you need, available from Amazon here:

The MediaGate MG-25 will allow you to copy audio and video onto its 2.5 inch HDD and then play that audio and/or video on a TV or stereo though S-Video, Component and Composite cables. It also comes with a remote control.

If you need a mobile video display solution then you could use one of the many LCD DVD players which support video in. One example is the Coby TFDVD7100, available from Amazon here:

Alternatively, the iRiver PMP-120 does storage, transportation and display all in one convenient package, reviewed against other options here, and available from Amazon here:

Have fun viewing your recorded media on the go, make sure you aren't watching TV when you should be driving though, if you have any comments please let me know and if you have any other questions which you'd like me to answer for free please send them to Ben Dash at

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

WL-HDD battery

Someone asked me if I knew of an external battery for use with the WL-HDD 2.5 WiFi external hard drive.

Do you know how some things are just meant to go together? Well I just found the Tekkeon myPower universal battery which just happens to be not only exactly the same size, shape and colour as the Asus WL-HDD 2.5 external WiFi hard drive enclosure, but it also provides the correct voltage to power the Wl-HDD 2.5.

This means that you can now be not only that your WL-HDD can be truely wireless but that it will look good doing it, if you have any comments please let me know and if you have any other questions which you'd like me to answer for free please send them to Ben Dash at