Computer Tips & Techniques

Quick Tip

Looking for a little bit more hard drive space? You may be able to find it in your Recycle Bin.
One way to free up space is to lower the percentage that the Recycle Bin uses.
Right click on Recycle Bin then click on Properties. Slide the ruler down to about 3%. Click Apply then O.K.


Computers 101

Q: Is there a way to burn DVD videos to a CD with a regular burner?

First, let's take a look at what CDs are up against.
DVDs are optimized to store massive amounts of data - like the kind you'd find in a digital movie. They can store up to 25 times the amount of information you can squeeze onto CD due to their double-sided nature and an ultra-precise laser. In fact, a CD-ROM laser is the digital equivalent of a record player needle compared to what you'll find in the typical DVD drive. In addition, DVD drives/players are also 9X faster when accessing and displaying their information
More data coupled with faster access speeds equates to amazing image quality. With a DVD, you can enjoy a crisp image on even the largest of TVs, not to mention the ability to display wide-screen and even multiple camera angles.
Along with offering cinema-quality video and CD sound, DVDs allow multiple channels of audio. That's why you can hear a movie in English as well as French, Spanish, and even Cantonese if you like. And we can't forget 5.1 surround sound - we don't want to just hear those explosions - we want to experience them! Who needs a theater anyway?
Alas, none of these features are available using a CD. If you were to try and shoehorn all that information onto a CD, you'd be faced with an unfortunate choice of options. Either use a lower resolution, higher compression format or bust the movie up into several CDs (or possibly both). And you still don't get all the benefits of a DVD!
The emergence of DVD-ROM drives is an indication that this new standard is really here to stay. DVD-ROM drives are backwards compatible with CDs so you don't have to worry about that stack of CDs on the corner of your desk going the way of the 8-track. However, you can't play DVDs on a CD-ROM. All of these things should be taken into consideration if you plan on legally (I had to add that) burn videos.


MS Office Tips

Fast Save = Bigger File Size?

Did you know that MS PowerPoint comes with a Fast Save option? In fact, PowerPoint has probably been using a Fast Save setting the whole time - so what exactly is it doing for you?
PowerPoint's Fast Save "speeds up saving by recording only the changes in a presentation". The good news is that your saves have been as fast as PowerPoint could offer you - the bad news: this method of saving tends to make file sizes larger than necessary.
If space is an issue for you then maybe it's a good idea to know how to get around the Fast Save.
The Fast Save option can be reached via the Tools menu, Options choice, Save Tab.

Uncheck the "Allow fast saves" box and click OK.
With that change made PowerPoint will do a complete save of the presentation thereby reducing the file size if possible.
Using the above method changes the way the program behaves each time it saves until you recheck the Fast Save box.
A way to do a complete save without un-checking the Fast Save option is to use Save As instead of Save from the File menu. In the Save As window simply name the file the same as before and choose to replace.
Either way, you're on the right track when it comes to reducing presentation file size.

Tip of the Day
Backing Up the Registry
If you are using a tip that requires tweaking your registry, or if you are using a program like today's download, you should be backing it up. Come to think of it, backing up your registry from time to time is a pretty good idea. Well, there's an easy way!
For Win 98 & ME...
1. Click Start /Run and type in "regedit" (no quotes).
2. Next, click the Registry menu, Export Registry File...
3. Select a location from the resulting box and give your backup registry a
name. I use:
Regbackup12-08-2005.
That's it! All backed up.

For XP users...
1. Click Start /Run and type in "regedit" (no quotes).
2. Next, click the File menu then Export.
3. Select a location from the resulting box and give your backup registry a
name. Something like:
Regbackup12-08-2005.
Just a quick note: by default, Windows backs up the registry when you shut down your machine. The above is probably best used for those (like myself) who like to tinker with registry settings.
Now, how to restore the registry you just backed up...
First, if Windows gets an error when loading your registry, it will automatically revert to its backup, so it should never give you any kind of trouble loading.

OK, but what do you do if you've been playing around in your registry and have *really* messed stuff up?

Click the Registry menu (in the Registry Editor) and select Import Registry. Then just point the computer to your back up file.
Oh, one more thing. You can also add the registry to your regular backup routine (you do have a backup routine, don't you?). Your registry is in two hidden files called "User.dat" and "System.dat", located in the Windows folder. Just add those two files to your normal backup.


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