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Archive for August, 2007

Don’t dump it, donate it!

Monday, August 20th, 2007

donate1.jpgUNE has signed up to a mobile phone recycling program. This means reducing waste, pollution and raising money for a good cause.

In 2002 75% of Australian households had at least one mobile phone. Like other new technologies there’s pressure on mobile phone users to constantly upgrade their phone. That means that there’s millions of old mobiles heading into landfill.

Throwing a mobile into the bin is particularly worrying given the toxic chemicals that are common mobile phone components. Arsenic, Beryllium, Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Lithium, Mercury and Zinc are all commonly found in mobile phones.

Clean up Australia in association with Aussie Recycling has set up a mobile phone recycling program that ensures that no mobile phone waste will make it into landfill.  This means no toxins in the environment – but wait there’s more. The recycling program will help to raise funds for The Spastic Centre – helping to provide services for children and adults with cerebral palsy. The program also helps to provide affordable communication to developing countries.

To donate your old mobile just pop in to the service desk and pick up a yellow phone recycling satchel. This provides free postage for your old mobile.

Nokia Battery Replacement

Monday, August 20th, 2007

nokia-batteryweb.jpgNokia has announced a product recall covering a common battery.

A problem in the manufacturing process has resulted in Nokia announcing a recall of around 42 million batteries. The batteries, BL-5C were manufactured in Japan between December 05 and November 06.

These batteries have been shown to potentially overheat while recharging causing the battery to dislodge. No serious injuries or damage to equipment have been reported.

If you want to find out more about the recall, including serial numbers of affected batteries visit

Speakin’ Ozzie

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

If you’ve had enough ‘organization’ and feel like screaming over ‘color’ – it’s time to do something about your word settings.aussieweb.jpg

I’m not usually one for conspiracy theories but getting rid of US English from Microsoft Word is so difficult I was starting to wonder. I can now say however that it is in fact possible and the joy that comes from writing colour and not getting an annoying squiggly line makes it all worthwhile.

The first thing is to change the language settings for your machine. Go to control panel and then regional and language details. Make sure you’ve got English (Australian) in every field. It’s wise to remove any languages or keyboard layouts you don’t intend to use.

Step two – change the default language for all Microsoft office programs. To do this go to all programs in your start menu. Look for Microsoft office and then Office tools. In the languages section make sure English (Australian) is selected and any languages you don’t intend to use are removed.

The final step is changing the default language in Word itself. At the bottom of a word document you should see English (U.S) indicating the default language. Click on this and change the default language to English (Australian). Turn off any automatic options – particularly the one that gets Word to choose the language.

To make Word use Australian English it’s really important that the Windows and Word language settings match exactly.

After you’ve done all this restart your computer, open a word document and type away free of those annoying wiggly lines.  Good luck

It’s so easy being green

Monday, August 13th, 2007

computer-stack.jpg3 in 4 outdated computers are either stockpiled or dumped in landfill. That adds up to a lot of toxic materials in our environment. The good news is that it’s easy to recycle your old computer.

More than 700,000 computers end up in landfill every year and hundreds of thousands more are stacked in offices and spare rooms. Computers contain a cocktail of toxic chemicals including lead, mercury, barium and cadmium. Many of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, birth defects and disabilities.

If you have old computer equipment kicking around consider taking it to a computer recycler. There are a number of organizations that will spruce up your old computer and donate it to a charity or family in need.

In Armidale you can take old computers to the Armidale Recycling Centre, Long Swamp Road. (Call Steve Lucas on 6771 5252 for more information) or the Uralla Computer Bank 222 Donelly Street Uralla.

Virus Warning

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

9280skull-crossbones-posters.jpgEmails pretending to come from contain a virus risk

A virus is doing the rounds at UNE. Emails that appear to come from have a virus attached. The email asks users to open an attachment which will then try to execute the virus.

The attachment (a zip file) should be blocked at the server. UNE machines should be further protected by virus protection software. If you receive this email simply delete it. If you are concerned about damage to your computer contact the IT service desk.

ITD User Forum

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

userforum-graphic1.jpgThe next ITD User forum is coming soon. If there’s something you would like to see addressed – just let us know.

The last ITD User forum was such a success that we’re going to do it again. There’s a lot going on in ITD right now, from the new desktop support arrangements to the implementation of the IT review. And if there’s something you would like to hear about – just let us know. You can suggest topics for discussion easily by posting a comment to this blog.

The ITD User forum will be held on Tuesday 4th September 1-2pm (bring your lunch) in the Lewis lecture theatre.

Sluggish PC?

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Have you begun to notice your PC slowing down, taking longer to start-up and run simple tasks? Before you rush off to repair or replace it here are some simple things you can try to speed up your PC.

There are lots of reasons why your PC may slow down over time. It may be that you’ve added lots more software or picked up some spyware or a virus.

The following article from PC tune up tips explains the ten most common causes of a slow PC and gives suggestions for fixing the problems quickly and inexpensively. You can find the article at