The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 104 11/10/08


Sepia Solutions

I would like to print some old monochrome pictures on sepia card or paper, to give them the correct contemporary atmosphere. Can you kindly tell me how I can do this?  I am using Adobe Photoshop. Maybe one can purchase sepia card or paper, or can PhotoShop do this?

Peter Wright, by email


Most image editing programs have a ‘sepia’ or ‘old prints’ effects mode, to give modern colour images the olde tyme treatment but in PhotoShop you can do it manually, and retain more control by simply de-colourising the image. Go to Image > Adjust > Desaturate, then add some sepia tints from the Image > Mode > RGB controls; select Image > Adjust > Variations and experiment by adding a soupcons of red and yellow on the slider controls. With a monochrome picture you simply skip the first stage and add a sepia tint to the image before printing.


As for printing on sepia-tinted photo paper, I have no doubt it's available, probably at an extortionate cost, but if you simply want to give the paper an aged appearance why not try an old trick and stain your paper using much diluted water–soluble wood stain, or the method most favoured by forgers of old documents, soak the paper in cold tea (a great use for old teabags), but don’t try printing on it until it has thoroughly dried out!



Date Dodge for a Missing Monitor

I have a lovely Kyocera digital camera with a normal viewfinder and an LCD screen. I rarely use the monitor except for setting up the camera date. However it now to have failed, possibly due to being used too long in the rain. Consequently I am unable to adjust the date.  I find the date takento be very useful and as I still want to use the camera. Is it possible to modify the date once the pictures have been downloaded to my PC?

Clifford Darby, by email


Yes it is and you can edit all of the ExIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data contained within the image file. This includes the time and date stamp information, as well as camera settings and all sorts of other interesting things. I suggest a freeware utility called Quick EXIF Editor; you'll find a link to the download at: http://tinyurl.com/3gd2c3




Lost Contact

Occasionally Web sites contain a ‘Contact Us’ option, usually a smallish blank box into which one can type one's query, which is then e-mailed to the appropriate company. Generally this works fine and I get a response, but I am unable to save a copy of what I have written, should I need to refer to it in the future. As it is not in my Sent Mail folder where is it stored and can it be retrieved and viewed?

Sandy Duncan, by email


Sadly not, and once you press the Send button it has gone forever from your PC. This is because you are not sending an email as such, but re-sending information on a web page, back to the website; it has nothing to do with your email program, so no record is kept. The only way to save your message is to highlight the text – before you click Send -- right click on it and select Copy then right click and select Paste (or press Ctrl + V) into a open word processor document, and save that.



Unplug for Privacy

When I watch video clips using Window Media Player I would like privacy of sound. My monitor has a small integral speaker and I have earphones plugged into the rear of my PC. I would like to mute the sound through the monitor but still hear through the earphones. When I mute the monitor it also mutes the earphones. I have explored various settings in Media Player but do not seem to be able to achieve my aim.

Mr J Graveling, by email


A would be very surprised if your monitor didn’t have its own built-in volume control, though sometimes it’s just a pair of buttons, marked with plus and minus, signs, so they’re not that obvious. On some models with very narrow screen surrounds they can be even harder to find as they’re tucked away on the underside. I have also come across monitors where the volume can only be set from an on-screen menu, in which case you’ll have to consult the manual to find out how this is done. Failing that, simply unplug the monitor’s audio cable, which goes to a socket on the back of the PC, usually marked ‘line out’.



Faulty Flash

I have just installed the Firefox browser on my PC but I find that I am unable to view videos on YouTube. Every time I visit the site it asks me to install Adobe Flash player. I download the file and follow all of the instructions to the letter but it never installs. What am I doing wrong?

Martha Henley, by email


Probably nothing and Firefox v3 and Adobe Flash Player v9 do seem to have trouble getting on with each other. This has happed to me several times recently and in the end I found the simplest thing to do was to abandon Flash 9 and install version 10 instead. The add-on is still in beta form, so bear in mind all the usual disclaimers about unexpected glitches, but it seems stable enough and I’m not aware of any problems. You’ll find a link to the download on the Adobe Labs website at: http://tinyurl.com/4st2va





© R. Maybury 2008 2208


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