PC Plus HelpDesk - issue 209

This month, Paul Grosse gives you more insight into some of the topics dealt with in HelpDesk.

We look at:

  • Wandering Gamma;
  • Stopping Pop-ups

And, for good measure, we include some tar.gz theme files relating to issue 208's HelpDesk Extra.


Wandering Gamma

On monitors that use LCD in some form or another, there is a change to some extent of the values of the mid-tones on the screen as you go from top to bottom, ie change the angle from which you view a particular part of the screen.

The image on the right has on the left a central band of black and white, surrounded by two bands of mid-grey (ie a chequered pattern of 0 and 255 and solid 127). The three patterns on the right are the same but for each of the primary colours.

I have made it sufficiently tall to cover the height of most displays or at least a significant proportion of the larger ones.

If you are looking at this on a CRT, you shouldn't see any difference in the gamma up or down the screen.


Stopping pop-ups

Not including browser-specific vulnerability exploits, pop-ups occur when you allow scripts to run. Ideally, you would be able to stop them from running on all sites but unfortunately, there are a number of sites that have been designed in such a way that they will only function with scripts being allowed. If these are of the 'one of many' nature then they are of no consequence but unfortunately, there are some of the more indispensable sites that fall into this category: so, it is best to allow scripts to run on these sites only therefore leave scripts as an option.

Internet Explorer:

In Internet Explorer, click on 'Tools' (1)/ 'Internet Options...' (2) then on the 'Security' tab (3) on the options dialogue. Then click on the 'Internet' icon (4) then, 'Custom Level...' (5) and then, in the Security Settings, 'Settings' box, select 'Prompt' for all 'AxtiveX controls and plug-ins' options (6) and further down, for all 'Scripting' options.


In Konqueror, click on 'Settings'/ Configure Konqueror, then...
click on 'Java & JavaScript' then on the 'JavaScript' tab, then un-check 'Enable javaScript Globally' and at the bottom, in 'Web Popups policy', select 'Ask'.

HelpDesk Extra - additional to issue 208

Ice Windows Manager

I have included the tar balls (tar.gz files) for the window decoration bitmap that I left you with last month. All you need to do is to drag the tar ball into the kde IceWM themes directory and expand them there. They will then appear in the Control Centre under IceWM.

The themes I have included are:

HDXDemoCentre and HDXDemoLeft files which produce the borders on the right. You can use these to examine how the tiled bitmaps are used when changing the sizes of the windows;
BrassAndTinplate that is designed to look like Brass rod (spelter) that has been soldered into place and has soldered tinplate labels;
HelpDesk1 the wax in the glass tube border theme;
HelpDesk2 which was set as a ready made bitmap so that you could turn it into a theme of your own - here you can use it if you have not produced your own yet but want to use it;
HelpDesk3 which is a variation that uses less space with the buttons on the right; and,
CircuitBoard (no border at the top or bottom) and CircuitBoardB (a border of 1 pixel at the top and bottom) which look like a printed circuit board with push switches and LEDs (red on the border that has not got the focus - inactive - and green on the one that has - active).

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