Computer Guide

Converting photo formats

by George Skarbek - 7 November 2006

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Q: My camera is set to take low resolution jpg files (which I want). But when converting to bmp format the file becomes huge and the Canon software is unable to select the low resolution which I want. Do you know of any software that will allow me to convert JPG to BMP and specify a low resolution result?

My first reaction to this question is why do you wish to convert to the BMP format as the JPG format has been designed for use with photographic images? The BMP format is quite old and not used much now as it creates huge files.  Surely it is better to set the camera settings to something that you really want.

If you want to work with a lossless format then you can convert to Tif or better still to use JPG 2000 as this can have both lossy and lossless compression and has very small file sizes. However, not all software programs support JPG 2000.

Now to answer your specific question, I recommend the excellent free program IrfanView from: or This program can convert to and from most of the common formats as well as create slide shows, manipulate images and do much more. You will need a plug-in to handle JPG 2000 files. The plug-ins are also available from the IrfanView site but the free JPG 2000 plug-in allows viewing only and not saving.

Q: I waste a lot of time playing those stupid games that come with Windows XP (Freecell, Spider, Solitaire etc) and would like to permanently delete them from my laptop. Several years ago I successfully did this on my PC (also XP, but maybe pre-SP2), but I now can’t recall how I managed it. I have used the Remove Windows Components Wizard, and I have also tried deleting them directly from the System 32 folder. Whatever I do, the games keep reinstalling themselves in the System 32 folder, even with System Restore turned off. This means they can be found easily enough in a weak moment by using Search. I would like them gone for good.

I am sure that very many readers know that feeling of wasting too much time on games. To permanently remove these Windows XP games, Click on Start, Settings, Control Panel and select Add / Remove Programs, then click on the Add Windows Components on the left-hand side and then click on Accessories and Utilities, and finally click on Details. You can now remove the tick from the Games and all these will be gone.

If you wish to re-install them, write to me because if I give you instructions now you may weaken and put them back.  


Q: When working on a webpage a message keeps coming up saying that I have errors in the registry of file system that can cause freezes and crashes and suggests that I download their free software to fix these problems. I do not know how to respond.  Instinct tells me that I should not install ErrorSafe, however should this be so how can I stop it from reappearing?  I have run Spybot and Ad-Aware and these are both clear.  Can you let me know whether or not I should proceed with the installation?   

Your instincts are correct. You definitely should NOT install this rogue program. Almost all pop-ups that appear and warn you of errors and then offer a solution should be treated with distrust and you should not proceed.

As it takes a considerable time to check the file system even on a single drive, so that instant pop-up cannot possibly check your file system so fast, and to check the registry as well. Depending to the time taken to give you a report, it may not even be enough time just for the download. Therefore a program that gives you such reports is either useless, or even worse as it may cause harm, and you should never even consider purchasing any program that pops up on a web page that warns you of some problems.

There are many references on Google on how to remove the ErrorSafe messages. See: for more information.


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