Houston We Have A Problem 119, 28/08/10
I've recently started editing my travel videos. Is it
possible to create a map of the routes taken during the holiday? Ideally I want
to be able to create a progressive route indicator and include symbols to show
the modes of travel for any particular day, i.e. air, ferry, road etc.
Denis Micallef, by email
I suggest the My Maps feature in Google Maps (http://maps.google.co.uk/). This lets you
create a custom map, indicating your route, points of interest and so on. You
can also overlay icons, embed photographs and videos, but in your case the
simplest thing to do would be to take a series of screen grabs, as you trace
out the route, and incorporate these as stills into your video. Click the My
Maps link on the Google Maps page and it’s worth watching the short tutorial
video, which shows you how to make the most of the various features.
I had a JVC camcorder that used SD memory cards. Recently I
part-exchanged it for a new Agfa camcorder and I can no longer view the stored
videos. I have been told that there are programs that can convert JVC
recordings to WMV format files. Is this true and if so can you advise?
Harry Hignett, by email
JVC uses two different recording formats on its solid-state
camcorders, called .mod and .tod; I suspect yours are the former as .tod is only used on high-definition models. I am
not aware of any freeware .mod/tod to .wmv converters but there is a commercial
shareware program called Tanbee (http://tinyurl.com/2v8wlln)
that will do the job, as well as convert your recordings to most other popular
video formats (MPG, MPEG, FLV, SWF, AVI, ASF, MP4, MOV, DivX, XviD, DVD-Video
etc.). Tanbee MOD Converter costs around £19.00, but I would road test the
free-trial version first, to make sure it works on your footage. It’s fully
functional but superimposes a watermark on the finished recording.
I have lost the sound output from my XP computer. All of my
audio drivers are up-to-date and the computer says they are functioning
Trevor Prescott, by email
You appear to have eliminated driver problems so go back and
check the blindingly obvious – the things you always leave until last… In
Control Panel on the Start menu select Sounds, on the Volume tab set the output
level to halfway or higher, check it isn’t muted then click the Advanced button
and make sure the correct speakers are selected on the Speaker Setup drop-down
Ensure the speakers are on and working. You can carry out a
quick test by removing the audio output lead from the rear of the PC; dab the
tip of the jack plug with your finger and you should hear a pop or buzz from
the speakers. Don’t forget to plug it back in if it’s okay; the audio output
socket is normally colour coded green. If
your PC’s audio adaptor is integrated with your motherboard check that it
hasn't been disabled in the BIOS program – instructions are in the owner’s
manual. If you have a separate sound card you’ll have to go under the bonnet;
seek expert help if you’re not happy tinkering with your computer’s innards. If
you are then make sure that the card is properly seated. If it is there may be
a hardware fault in which case fitting a new sound card will confirm or
eliminate this possibility. They are not expensive and can be found selling
online for less than £10.
Source of Concern
You recently described how to view a suspect email, by clicking
on the Message Source button. I have just done this on a suspicious email, but
the resulting bumf hasn't left me any the wiser! What should I be looking out for?
Richard Swannack, by email
Good question, basically email messages are in two parts.
The first is the ‘header’ which shows yours and the sender’s email addresses,
the IP addresses of the various servers that handled the message, the times and
dates it was sent and received plus a few lines of technical information about
the message’s makeup and content.
This is followed by the ‘body’ of the email, which includes
the text of the message, plus a few lines of HTML code that describes how it
looks (fonts, size and so on). None of this is dangerous, although if it is
spam much of the header information is probably forged.
The real problem lies message that come with attachments,
which may contain viruses and other nasties. These show up as hundreds of lines
of meaningless alphanumeric characters. If you see that in the body of a
message, it is not from a trusted source and something you are expecting do not
open it, just delete it.
I have just bought a Samsung netbook running Windows XP but
it doesn’t have a CD drive so I don't know how to connect it to my HP printer.
I tried the printer wizard but this could not help, can you?
Linda Williams, by email
I hope so, and you have several options. The quickest and
simplest one is to go to the support section of the HP website on your netbook
and download the driver and installation files for your printer. Option two is
to get hold of an external CD/DVD drive, which plugs into one of your netbook’s
USB sockets. These are widely available and cost from around £15 upwards from
online suppliers. Option 3 is to use another PC, with a CD/DVD drive, to copy
the contents of the printer’s installation disc on to a USB flash drive. Once
that’s done simply pop the USB drive into the laptop and run the installation
program from there. Finally there’s option four, but only if you have a home network
and another PC with a CD/DVD drive. All you have to do is set the drive on the
PC as ‘shared’ and you should be able to access it as an external drive from
your netbook. Load the installation CD and either run the printer setup program
from the network drive or copy the files from the CD to a folder on your
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