Computer Guide

Making small videos bigger
by George Skarbek - 19 September 2006

To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here


Q: When I click on an attachment to open an email video clip I get a small screen in the top left hand corner but I can't make the screen any bigger is there anyway to do this.

A: You have not specified what program you are using to view the clip but probably it cannot be enlarged or at best it can only be slightly enlarged without a significant loss of quality.

The reason for this is that in order to send a video clip by email the file size has to be greatly reduced. The frame rate for movies is usually 24 frames per second (fps). Even for a one minute clip the number of frames is 1440, so if you have larger images the file size grows very quickly and for this reason e-mail versions have small images. By comparison a one minute uncompressed QuickTime movie with a frame size of 720x480 running at 30 fps will be 1.8 GB!

Q: I have (almost) successfully upgraded one computer from 98 to XP Pro. The 'almost' is because the scanner will not work now and I wonder whether it has to go the way of 98. It is an AGFA scanner and the error message I get on running it is: "A SCSI problem has occurred. Open the log file to find out more". Scanwise.log says that above again plus: "ERROR TAG:  ERR  SCSI_WINASPI_LOAD ERROR STRING:  Failed to load WINASPI".  WINASPI was absent from Windows\System in XP so I transferred the old one from 98 Windows\System but that didn't fix it.  It still produces the same error message.  I have scanned the backup and 'System' is the only place where I get any reference to WINASPI. The Australian AGFA reference on Internet advises that they will not maintain most of their scanners any more so I cannot get any help there. I cannot see any reference in the users’ manual for motherboard about SCSI, but then the scanner was working before converting the computer to XP so I would not think it would be that. Do you have an idea what I might do?

A: Unfortunately there is not much that you can do. I can only suggest two options but neither is very good. One suggestion is to set up another partition and install Win 98 on this and when you want to scan boot on Win 98. The other suggestion is to ask if anyone needs a boat anchor.

As AGFA do not support old hardware, realistically you should purchase a new scanner. AGFA is not alone in ceasing software development on low cost obsolete hardware: many other manufacturers not wish to spend money on developing software for old products as they would like you to purchase their new products.
Unless you have specialised needs, you should also consider a multi-function device. For a good range of products see: and enter multi function.

If your printer is getting old and needs ink then a multi-function printer / scanner with new cartridges is a good purchase. Not only will it save desk space but both printing and scanning will be faster and better using the USB connections.

Q: My PC is ASUS P4PE with Audio/USB 2.0, with Intel Celeron 2.2, Memory: 256 MB DDR PC 2100 (Transcend), HD: 40 GB Seagate, Windows XP, purchased July 2003. Sometimes when I push the power switch, the motor starts but it doesn’t proceed any further. It doesn’t move on to the self checking and boot up phase. The screen is blank. Usually I then hold the power switch in until it switches off. Then I try again. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 goes before it moves on to boot up. Other times I can boot up from the stalled stage by pushing the reset button.  Most of the time it starts correctly but then it will have an episode of not starting for several tries. Sometimes when it starts after my retrying, it goes into the BIOS stage, other times it goes straight to Windows. Can you help?

A: This is very hard to solve by mail but this indicates some hardware problem. It is not Windows related as the operating system is not loaded and it would not matter if you were running Linux or Windows.

It may be due to a very flat CMOS battery that is not holding much charge after being powered off overnight and after a few re-boots it will hold enough charge to allow the computer to start.

The power supply may be at fault. The fan that you can hear does not indicate if the voltages are correct. It may only be a connection problem as after several tries there may be enough warmth in the system to make a good connection.

A faulty drive connector would also prevent the system from starting.

My suggestion is that you check the connections and if the problem persists you should talk to your dealer or try a new battery.

To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here