Houston We Have a
Problem… 017 06/01/07
VHS to DVD
am an amateur historian and over the years I have recorded a number of
television programmes covering my area of interest. I now want to transfer
these to DVD using my computer. A local engineer will be changing the DVD-ROM
drive to a DVD writer but I also need to know how much material I can get onto
a DVD, as some of my tapes are 4 hours long? Is it possible to cut out the
adverts and would the recorded discs be watchable on any living-room DVD
player? Can you also advise on suitable software? I am no expert so I need
something fairly basic.
R Allthorpe, North Baddesley
well as the DVD writer drive your PC will need a video input adaptor card or
USB module so you can connect your VCR to it. The Dazzle DVD Recorder, which
plugs into a USB socket, is one of the simplest solutions and it comes with
basic DVD editing and authoring software.
your PC should have at least 1Gb of RAM and it’s a good idea to install a
second ‘slave’ drive for storing video as it takes up a lot of space. A second
drive also takes the strain off your main drive, which will be busy running
Windows and your applications, and it helps to eliminate the data bottlenecks
that cause glitches and jerks in the finished video.
DVDs hold up to 4.7Gb of data; newer dual-layer discs have twice the capacity
but I would stick to single layer types as drives and blank discs are a lot
more expensive and there are still some compatibility and reliability issues.
The amount of video you can get on a DVD depends on the original recording and
the quality settings you use to record a disc but as a rule of thumb you can
expect to get around 2 hours on a single layer disc.
are several easy to use DVD authoring and editing packages available including
Pinnacle Studio, Roxio Easy Media Creator 9 and Ulead Video Studio 10. All of
them let you remove adverts and much more besides and the finished DVDs will be
playable on any home DVD player.
Internet Explorer 7 Problem
have installed IE7 but every time I turn on my machine and boot up I get the
message ‘The procedure entry point Get Process Image File Name could not locate
the dynamic Link Library PSAPI.DLL’. Have you any idea what this means and how
can I stop it?
Williams, by email
I have had many similar queries in the past few weeks and
these error messages often contain baffling references to ‘Motive SmartBridge’
and ‘Procedure Entry Points ‘. Don’t worry, it’s not serious and it is caused
by a conflict between a Windows System file -- updated by IE7 -- and a program
called Motive Smartbridge, which is installed by a number of broadband setup
programs and used for error reporting. You can safely disable Motive
SmartBridge by renaming the errant PSAPI.dll file.
It’s very straightforward, go to Search on the Start menu,
type ‘psapi.dll’ (without the quotes) in the File Name box and click OK. It may
find more than one instance but the one you want is in the Smartbridge folder;
right-click on the file, select Rename, call it ‘psapold.dll’, click OK and
Running DOS Programs in Windows XP
wife has a program, which runs under DOS, for which we have retained an old
computer but is there a way that this software can be run on our new Windows XP
Smith, by email
has a DOS-like utility called Command Prompt but it’s not much use for running
programs. You can, however, boot your PC into DOS mode with a Windows 98/SE/ME
Startup floppy disc, which you can make on your old PC. Go to Start >
Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs; select the Startup Disc
tab and follow the prompts. Alternatively in Windows XP right-click the floppy
drive icon in My Computer or Windows Explorer select Format then click ‘Create
an MS-DOS startup disc’.
PC should boot from the floppy disc when you switch it on. If it doesn’t you
need to change the ‘Boot Order Sequence’ in the BIOS program; details of how to
do this should be in the user manual. Be warned that due to the faster
processors in XP computers some DOS programs may not work properly, or run too
quickly but that’s progress for you and sadly there’s nothing you can do about
Copying Images from a Memory Card
am having difficulty transferring pictures from a memory module in a card
reader to 'My Pictures'. Can you advise on the procedure please?
Wild, by email
Image files on a digital camera memory card can be
‘Copied’ and ‘Pasted’ to a new location like any other file on your computer.
All you have to do is open My Computer or Windows Explorer, double-click the
memory card icon to display its contents then right click on the file icon and
select Copy from the menu that appears. If you want to copy several files at
once hold down the Ctrl key whilst selecting files right click on one of them
and as before click Copy. Now go to your My Pictures folder right-click into an
empty area select Paste from the menu, and that’s all there is to it.
© R. Maybury 2006