Houston We Have a Problem 11

  

 

Ask Rick 170 10/09/11

 

Card Shuffle

My Olympus camera uses XD memory cards. I also have a Sony photo frame, which uses SD cards. It appears that the two formats are incompatible. Is there any device that would allow me to use the XD card with the photo frame? 

Ben Cooper, by email

 

I’m not aware of an XD to SD adaptor, and I doubt that one exists due to the differences in the technology but there are a couple of workarounds. You could copy the images from your PC, to an SD card.  If it hasn’t got an SD card slot you’ll need a multi-card reader, which plugs into a spare USB port. They are very inexpensive; in fact my local pound shop has several models on offer. Otherwise, if the photo frame has a USB socket you may be able to connect a multi-card reader directly, just make sure it has an XD slot.

 

 

Off The Rails

For several months I have been having problems with booking rail tickets online with two Midlands rail companies. The booking goes through until I get to the card verification stage and even though I enter the correct password, it either crashes or goes back to the beginning.  The card is okay, I use it with other web sites, and it used to work on these sites. I use Windows Vista and Firefox; I have tried disabling my firewall and checked that my browser accepts cookies. Neither company seems to be interested in tackling the problem. Any ideas?

Sylvia Trench, by email

 

My guess is a recent Firefox update or upgrade is gumming up the works. The problem is many web sites are optimised for Internet Explorer. This was fair enough when it had the lion’s share of the market but Firefox is catching up fast, and Google Chrome and Safari are not far behind. This sort of glitch is probably only going to get worse with the increased used of mobile devices. It may be possible to fix the problem by tinkering with Firefox’s settings but in the end the simplest solution is to make your bookings through Internet Explorer.

 

 

Tree Cutting

I have a family tree, going back many generations and it is very wide. I found it on the Internet in, pdf format. And all attempts to print it in a multi-page readable size have failed; all I get is a compressed unreadable line. Any suggestions about how this can be achieved?

David Hovell, by email

 

There are several ways to do this, including specialist software for splitting pdfs and companies that produce continuous roll prints, but I have a quick and dirty method that can give very acceptable results. You need a couple of freeware applications, called Foxit Reader (http://goo.gl/bRKr6) and Photofiltre image editor (http://goo.gl/YG9NY). Step one, open the pdf in Foxit Reader, rotate it through 90 degrees and use the zoom control to enlarge it to fit the height of the page. Scroll to the left edge of the document and press PrtScn on the keyboard to take a snapshot of the page. Next, open PhotoFiltre and go to Edit > Paste as new Image. Now use the selection tool to frame the first section of the tree, right-click and select Crop. Now go back to Foxit and scroll right to display the next section of the tree, press PrtScn again to capture and switch to Photofiltre to define the next crop. It’s a good idea to overlap the second crop with the first by a few millimetres to make sure you get an accurate join. Repeat the process until you have sectioned and cropped the whole document. You can now print them all out and use glue or adhesive tape to join them together into one continuous strip.

 

 

Waiting for Kindle 4

I recently decided to buy a Kindle but was told that Amazon will shortly introduce a new model. Do you know if this is correct and if so what will new version do that the present one doesn't?  Is it worth hanging on for a few months before making my purchase?

Derek Pickford, by email

 

Internet forums have been awash with rumours of a Kindle 4 for some time but it seems likely that the next generation model will be more like a tablet PC than an e-book, with an advanced 7-inch colour touch screen and running a version of the Android operating system. This almost certainly means it can display moving video, allowing users to download movies, as well as books from Amazon. A launch in the next few months is a distinct possibility, as to date Amazon has released new models at roughly 18-month intervals, and the last one was in August 2010. But this is all speculation, as is a rumoured $250 price tag, so if you just want a Kindle to read books right now then my best advice is to go ahead and get one, though be warned the price might drop after the new model is introduced.

 

 

Music in the Cloud

I am interested in buying a Samsung Chromebook as a second computer to surf the Internet. One thing that I am not sure about is can I use iTunes to download and store music files in the same way that I use my home PC?

Chris Patching, by email

 

Chrome netbooks operate in the Cloud, which basically means they have little or no on-board storage and everything, including the operating system, applications and user files is kept on a remote server. You will also need a decent broadband connection, wherever you use it. I am sure that there will be ways to access an iTunes library but it’s a very different way of computing, with a lot of wrinkles still to be ironed out. For anything other than straightforward tasks like web browsing, emailing, word processing and so on I would stick with the tried and tested – laptops, netbooks, tablets etc. – and wait until the technology has matured.

 

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© R. Maybury 2011 2208

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