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Topics - Malcolm Bull

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The Common Room / What did a stover do?
« on: Tuesday 23 October 18 09:26 BST (UK)  »
I have several entries on my Calderdale Companion for people who worked in the textile industry as a stover / stuff stover / stover in a dye works.  Does anyone know what the process of stoving involved or how the process changed the stuff (ie cloth)?  Was it simply for drying the cloth?


Cheshire / John Grayshan of Stalybridge [1890]
« on: Friday 13 July 18 18:29 BST (UK)  »
On my Calderdale Companion website,

I have a photograph of the wedding of Emma Whitaker [1890-1979] (of Halifax) to John Grayshan [1890-1962] (of Stalybridge).  I can identify some of the Whitaker members of the party, but I know less about the Grayshans.
Is there anybody who has John Grayshan and his father, also John [b 1854], on their family tree?  Perhaps you can add more details of the family, or even identify some of the unknown people in the photograph

The Common Room / Belgian Croix de Guerre
« on: Tuesday 15 May 18 16:04 BST (UK)  »
Just one question (plus a bit more), and hopefully just one answer.

I know that someone awarded, say, the Military Medal could put MM after his/her name.

Questions: If someone was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre, could they put letters after their name? and what were the letters?

Thanks in advance

Technical Help / Old hard drives
« on: Sunday 29 April 18 16:11 BST (UK)  »
Whenever I buy a new replacement computer (from my local computer shop), they always give me the old hard drive, though I'm never sure what I am supposed to do with it,

Is there some connector that I can buy to read stuff off the old drive, just in case ...?

Technical Help / Shrinking disk space
« on: Tuesday 20 February 18 15:15 GMT (UK)  »
A few months ago, I bought a new laptop with a solid-state hard drive (SSHD) and recently I noticed that the available free space on the drive had reduced drastically.  Just by chance, I noticed that there was a folder with the letters PICASA in the name which held a lot of .JPG files.  I do use Picasa, a lot, so with some trepidation, I deleted this folder (please, no warnings about the dangers of deleting unknown folders!), and the available space suddenly shot up by 20GB, without jeopardising the performance of Picasa.  This situation existed for a couple of days, but now the available space has suddenly gone down by about 15GB again.  The folder that I deleted has not reappeared, so I am now wondering what is going on and what to do.

Where can I look to solve this mystery? It is a feature of SSHD?  of Picasa? of Windows 10?

Yorkshire (West Riding) / Calderdale Companion
« on: Thursday 15 February 18 10:33 GMT (UK)  »
Following the recent disruption in the resources offered by ROOTSWEB, I have moved my Calderdale Companion website to another host.

This is accessible at

as before, but anyone using a URL involving ROOTSWEB will have to change the URL accordingly.  The pages (that's the xxx.html part of the address, are unchanged.

Technical Help / ReminderFox RIP
« on: Tuesday 21 November 17 17:53 GMT (UK)  »
Can anyone suggest a replacement for ReminderFox which, until recent updates, worked intuitively and admirably on Mozilla Firefox?

The Common Room / A to Z copyright trick
« on: Sunday 15 October 17 15:16 BST (UK)  »
I know that the publishers of the A to Z maps add fictitious streets to their maps, in order to dissuade/detect people illegally copying their work.  Can anyone remind me of the name given to this little "trick"? 

Technical Help / USB drive letter management
« on: Wednesday 20 September 17 08:43 BST (UK)  »
I want a way in which I can assign a specific drive letter to a USB memory stick, rather than rely on the Windows next-in-sequence method.

I considered using the DOS SUBST utility, but this is rather cumbersome.  It would be nice to know that immediately I insert a specific USB, it will be accessible as, say, Drive Q:

I see that there are several pieces of software available to manage this task.  Does anyone have experience of using these?

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