The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 108 08/11/08
I have Microsoft
Picture It Express on my 5-year old dinosaur PC, which I have often used to
create photo collages. It is very simple to use and allows me to drag photos to
different positions and re-size as necessary. However, I can only print these
creations on the printer attached to this computer, if I load the work file
onto a CD and try to upload onto another computer or try to print at a printing
shop it is not recognised. Can you recommend another program, which is more
widely acceptable and will allow me to create an individual collage?
Pennie Reed, by
If you want to
persevere with Picture It you should be able to save your collage as a standard
JPEG (.jpg) or bitmap (.bmp) file, which will be almost universally recognised.
Failing that simply take a screen grab by pressing the PrtScn key on your
keyboard. This sends a bitmap image of whatever is on your screen to the Windows
clipboard and you can open this in any image editor, including Windows Paint,
and crop and save that as a JPEG file. Alternatively, try Picasa 3 (http://picasa.google.com/). It’s now
available as a Beta test program, so the usual disclaimers about unforeseen
glitches and backing up important files before you install it apply, but I’ve
been trying it for several weeks and it seems rock-solid. Anyway, in amongst
the many interesting new features there is a an updated and very versatile
Collage utility that I’m sure you will take to straight away, and it saves
finished collages in .JPEG format.
How can I get
Windows Media Player to start playing automatically when a CD is inserted into
the CD drive?
When I load a
disc it starts up but it does not launch WMP, and this has to be done manually.
Colin Morris, by
A. Before we get
started can I just say, not just to Colin but also to everyone sending
questions that my telepathic powers are very limited and I really do need to
know a little more about your setup. At the very least it is helpful to know
which version of Windows (or Mac or Linux etc) you are using. The more
information you can provide the easier it is to find a solution.
Okay, grumble over
and if you are using Windows XP right-click on the CD/DVD drive icon in Windows
Explorer, select Properties then the Autoplay tab. Select Music Files on the
drop-down menu then under Actions choose Play using Windows Media Player and
click OK. It’s slightly different in Vista, go to Start > Control Panel >
AutoPlay (or Hardware and Sound if you are in Normal View) then on the Audio CD
drop-down select Play audio CD using Windows Media Player and click OK.
visit websites using Firefox I sometimes get an error that says ‘Content
Encoding Error, the page you are trying to view cannot be shown…’, but it works
OK in Internet Explorer. Am I missing a plug-in of some sort?
Fran & Geoff
Higgin, by email
I doubt it though
plug-ins have been implicated, as have faulty website coding and many even more
exotic causes but as it is so widespread that I suspect there’s a glitch deep
inside Firefox 3. There are plenty of suggested fixes but the one that I use,
which seems to work in almost every case, is to empty Firefox’s ‘cache’ memory.
Go to Tools > Options, select the Privacy tab, under Private Data click the
Clear Now button and try again.
in a Hurry
I remember reading about a program that makes your PC to
go into Hibernate mode with one click. Is it possible to do this with a simple
shortcut in the taskbar?
Jerym Eedy, by email
Yes, by using a
variation on the Shutdown Shortcut we looked at a few months ago (http://tinyurl.com/64gkjk). This simple trick works in XP and Vista and
all you have to do is right-click on the desktop, select New > Shortcut and in the Location box type
Click Next, give the
shortcut a name and click Finish. Incidentally, it only works if Hibernate mode
has been enabled; in XP go to Power Options in Control Panel; Hibernate is
switched on by default in Vista
and Shut Case
OpenOffice.org for letters etc., and when I send a letter as an attachment the
recipient cannot open it. Is the fault my end or the other?
Henry Woodgate, by email
Sorry, it’s all your fault and you need to save the
attachment in a format that can be read on the recipient's PC. If you are
not sure save it as a Plain or Rich Text Format (.txt or .rtf) file as these
can be read on virtually any PC. Otherwise ask which word processor they are
using; it’s probably Microsoft Word, in which case you should save it as a
© R. Maybury 2008 2010