Tame Access 97’s CPU usage

Access 97, for some unknown reason, seems to chew up all available CPU when it’s idle. Microsoft acknowledges this but has never provided a fix or workaround. It turns out this isn’t much of a problem – if you have other applications running which need CPU time, Access will gladly relinquish it. But PCs and laptops have evolved in the past 10 years, and often have variable-speed fans, which invariably sound like a cross between a vacuum cleaner and a jet engine when running at full pelt. Fortunately, there’s an unofficial patch available to bring Access’ CPU usage down to a more respectable level. Being unofficial, it’s of course not supported by Microsoft (or even the author of the patch), but it does seem to work fine on my system. The patch needs the latest Office 97 Service Release (SR2b), a 24MB free download from this MS page.

Quick tip: Printer paper orientation

I only use my printer occasionally, and it’s even rarer that I’ll want to print on letterhead paper or on the reverse of an already-printed page, so I often forget which way the paper should go in!

Fortunately most printers include one of the below icons embossed on or near the printer tray. The folded corner denotes the “top” of the page, i.e. where the letterhead would go, and the lines show which side will be printed on, so you know whether to place the paper face-up or face-down.

Beats trial and error!

Beats trial and error!

More details are in the post at Of Zen And Computing.

Quick tip: Fix noisy volume knobs

Lifehacker describes a quick fix for old volume knobs that cause static and popping when turned up or down. It sounds silly, but just switching the equipment off then turning the volume knob back and forth for a minute or so may get rid of most of the built-up grime that’s causing the static. I actually tried this the stock car radio from my twelve-year-old car and it worked a treat.