Houston We Have
a Problem… 009 04/11/06
Video with a Twist
I have a short
video clip (.AVI) of my grandson recorded on my digital camera but it was shot
in portrait rather landscape mode. Aside from turning the monitor through 90
degrees is there an easier way to rotate the clip?
A. Windows Movie
Maker, included with Windows XP, has a rotate facility (90, 180 and 270
degrees). On the opening screen, under Capture Video click Import Video then
drag your clip onto the Timeline. Next, go to Tools > Video Effects, scroll
down the list to Rotate then drag and drop the Rotate icon onto your clip. All
you have to do now is go to Save As on the File menu and save the modified
video under a new name and Bob’s your uncle...
When I play back recordings on my ‘mini DV’ camcorder the
picture intermittently breaks up into blocks and lines and freezes momentarily. Could
interference from nearby electronic equipment, or the camera having been put
through airport X-Ray machines cause it?
A. Modern X-Ray
security scanners have no effect on magnetic tape, DVDs, memory cards or
electronic gadgets and camcorders are well protected against most forms of
interference. Picture freezing and pixellation are normally symptoms of noise,
which is caused by a damaged recording, worn tape or faulty signal processing.
On analogue video tapes noise shows up as white flecks or streaks in the
picture but digital technology tries to repair the damage and what you are
seeing is the effects of digital error correction being stretched to its
limits. In your case I suspect it is due to dirty recording/replay heads and it
usually goes away after using a cleaning tape. It can also be due to poor quality
or faulty tape so if cleaning the machine and trying a different brand of tape
doesn’t fix the problem then it almost certainly requires expert attention.
My main PC running
on Windows XP Home Edition is connected to a second PC running on Windows
2000 Professional using a cross-wired Ethernet cable. I did not find it at
all straightforward but I managed to create a 'Network Setup Disk' with XP
Networking and I can now share files and printers. I have tried to set up
an Internet connection sharing using the Connection Wizard but it doesn’t work,
can you help?
A. I am impressed that you managed to get it to work at all
using just a crossover cable. There probably is an obscure procedure that will
get Internet connection sharing working but I suspect it is complicated and
messy. Why not just buy a simple 4-port router? They only cost around £20, your
two PCs connect to it using ordinary ‘patch’ cables and the Networking Wizard
in Windows XP will configure file, printer and Internet sharing for you in
about 30 seconds flat.
MP3 Forces Upgrade?
I have recently become interested in buying an MP3 player
but after having done some research it has become clear that the software that
is provided with these machines sometimes only runs on Windows 2000 or XP. Some
lower capacity players support older versions of Windows but I am interested
mainly in either a 20 or 30Gb models and both my computers run Windows 98. Is
there any way to avoid this problem short of updating my PC to XP?
A. There’s plenty
of software for converting (‘ripping’) tracks from CDs into MP3 files that will
work on Windows 98 but your problem is how to transfer the files from your PC
to the player. Windows XP works with most USB devices but Windows 98 requires
specially written drivers and unfortunately for you many MP3 player
manufacturers do not feel obliged to support what is essentially an obsolete
operating system. However, pressure from fellow Windows 98 users sometimes
persuades manufacturers to create drivers third party drivers are available for
many popular models, including some Apple iPods, so it’s worth doing a little
homework. Once you’ve identified a model you like check the web to see if a
driver is available and you may be pleasantly surprised.
Turned off by
I’m a silver surfer
and starting to find my way around but since installing a new printer my
desktop no longer appears when I boot up. Instead, I get a blue screen
with my name on which I have to click on to start the desktop loading, I’m
using XP Home, and I am the sole user, can you help?
A. The logon screen may be due to a recent Microsoft update
but the easiest way to avoid it is install a small utility called Tweak UI for
XP, which you can download free from Microsoft at:
Once installed open Tweak UI (Start > Programs > PowerToys)
click Logon > Autologon then check the item ‘Log on automatically’ and click
© R. Maybury