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new computer - same frustrations

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Just bought a new PC at Auchan, as the old one was seeming flaky, although it is soldiering on. "Just" is a bit of a lie, really, as it's taken me several weeks to get a dongle to talk wirelessly to our Alice box, but the second one bought does the biz, so I'm currently online in two rooms - woo-hoo! So now have Vista and IE8 etc. I've just checked my calendar, and apparently this really is 2009 - so how come I still can't change my default language in IE8 or indeed Windows to English? Even the Office XP which I've just loaded, bought in the UK some years back, now thinks I want to use French in Word, and is thus busily putting spaces in front of exclamation marks, of which I tend to use more when PC frustrations surface! In all cases, I have apparently changed the defaults and then rebooted, but to no avail whatsoever.

Since I've just succeeded in enlarging the Forum posting box in IE8 by following instructions on here, I'm sure some clever soul can let me off the hook here, too?

[Must feed the horses, as they are noshing the lawn, and I want them back in the paddock, so I can get the gates open for an exhausted Cooperlola, currently driving back from Le Mans!]

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You will not be able to change the language in Windows Vista from french to English. The option is only available as an upgrade (much €€€).

The software programs normally use your computer settings to set the default language and other settings.

To change the settings,:

  • click on the Visat logo (coloured ball at bottom left)
  • in the search box, type "panneau de configuration"

  • click on "horloge, langue et région", then on "Options régionales et linguistiques".

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You can change the language for free if you have Vista Professional edition.  Unfortunately, it's almost certain you will have the cut down 'Home' edition which is supplied to supermarkets and box-shifters.  Normally it won't make any difference to you, except like this when you want to change the language, but for heavyweight users the Home edition can be a bit frustrating.

Incidently, what kind of keyboard did you get with it?  Is it QWERTZ or AZERTY  ?

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Natch, it came with an Azerty board, but my existing 5-y-o Qwerty is in poor condition, so I splashed out on a Maplin replacement at £14.99, which arrived with the wireless dongle that actually works. In fact, the previous cheapo (found on the 'net) dongle may work well - but the supporting mini-CD ROM refused to be read. If you can't load the software, your item is junk! Googling produced the result that any number of people have had the same finding with this product, tho' most had bought it on e-bay. I did try hunting down the software on the 'net, but none of the items I found seemed to make any difference, and, frankly, life's too short. The dealer, blueunplugged.com, has failed to respond to my email request for assistance, and is thus unlikely to see more of my money!

Yes, as you say, the 400 euro PC comes with the familiale version of Vista, so I'm stuck with ridiculous pop-up dialogue boxes in French when using English-language software. It's all so very American, frankly - people in Silicon Valley canot imagine why more than one language might be applicable to a particular country. Ironic that in an era when the 'net is breaking down trade barriers, and may ultimately do the same for political and national boundaries, the clever people at the heart of its development have no idea how the rest of the world lives! That said, the hardware one gets for one's money is now amazing, with 640 GB - sorry, GO! - hard drive and 4 GB memory.

I also had a pleasant surprise the other week when I took an old PC (born 2004, died 2006) into a local PC hospital in Le Mans. While they found that the processor had turned up its toes, they happily removed the hard drive and stuck it in a smart USB casing designed for the purpose. Result -all my files back, and an extra 120GB external drive! All for just over 50 euros. Bargain!

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