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Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 17:23 GMT
Click Tips
Rob Freeman
By Rob Freeman
Click tip-ster

Rob Freeman, Click Online's very own Mr Fixit, troubleshoots your PC problems.

Fundamental truth: problems with electronic peripherals may not be caused by the electronics and here is a perfect example from Rakesh Sanaghavi in Tokyo:

After using my mouse for at least two months, it's become slow and cannot be moved easily. I'm continually having to change my mouse, what's the reason?

The problem might be nothing more complicated than your mouse getting clogged up with dirt. The grimier the area you use your computer, the quicker it will clog.

If you are thinking about getting a new mouse, consider an optical mouse. There is no ball inside, so nothing to collect dirt. A few years ago they were very expensive, but nowadays they are cheap and easily available.

And while a trackball mouse can only be used on flat surfaces, optical ones can be used just about anywhere.

In cramped conditions, like on a train or plane, you can even use the side of your leg as a mouse pad, although do not do it for long periods of time because you almost will get something like repetitive strain industry (RSI).

Also, since they got rid of the ball, mice have been able to be much smaller.

Shuback Razzi contacted us to ask:

"Is it necessary to download the Windows Media Updates which always keep popping up when online?

The current Windows Media Player is version 10, and if you have any version previous to that, you will get regular nag boxes wanting you to upgrade.

If you want to upgrade go to :

(The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

But unless you feel you desperately need the new features listed there, there is no need to upgrade.

Slow modem users will find it a scary 11 megabytes long in any case.

Old players should still play the newer video files with a much smaller update download, although there is a security update you should consider downloading.

As always, you will find these updates at the Microsoft Windows Update page.

If you have any questions or queries, please visit "Contact us" (link on the top right-hand side of this page) to get in touch.

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