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Showing my photos on the TV set
Q: I want to put many digital images onto a DVD so that I can view them on my TV through my DVD player. Can you please advise what program(s) I may need to do this. I have already made some slide shows using Windows Photo Story 3 and Photoimpact Album but, as I understand it, these will not work on the DVD through the DVD player. Is there some software that will make these work or, do I need to use new programs to create new slide shows that display on the TV. I have been told that it is possible to view images on a DVD using your remote control to advance from image to image. Is thus correct? Do I need a different photo editing program that will save the images in a different format to the JPG, BMP or TIF formats that I have been using. I currently use Ulead Photimpact, IrfanView or Photo Studio.
A: Using a different image format will not help as JPG is what you should be using. There are several solutions and I will outline some of more practical and lower cost ones. The quickest and easiest option is to just copy all the JPG files onto a DVD as a data disc because most DVD players produced in the last few years will recognise such a DVD. They should even give you the option of playing a slideshow so that you do not have to click Next repeatedly with the remote control. I tested one such DVD on a three year old DVD player purchased for $55 and it worked well. It recognised the separate folders but the slideshow did not go to the next folder automatically. I have asked two of my friends with other makes of players and both worked showing the JPG images in a slideshow.
The only drawback with this simple method is that you do not have any sound as you would with a Photo Story show. You can purchase a program from the Microsoft site for US $20 that will convert your Photo Story to a DVD format. There is a link from Microsoft’s Photo Story web page or see: http://tinyurl.com/9rftn.
Is wireless safe?
Q: I am considering moving from dial-up to broadband internet. ADSL is the obvious option, but it has a problem for me in that I have a back to base security system and would need a costly filter. Since I would be making the change for convenience rather than necessity (I am not a big internet user) this would make it unattractive. There is wireless, but I have the impression it may be less safe and I do use the internet for banking and some purchases. Do you have any views on the safety angle or any comment on other advantages / disadvantages?
A: As there are wireless plans for under $20 per month that give 1GB of data downloads and they include a free modem, this should be an attractive alternative for you. As far as banking goes, I believe that you should be virtually as safe as with ADSL because all banking is performed over an encrypted and therefore a very secure link. You must always look to see the padlock on the browser when giving your credit card details. Before signing up ensure that you have wireless reception in your area.
Formatting a CD
Q: I have a need to format a blank CD. I am running Windows XP with all upgrades and have Nero for CD burning. I need the formatted CD to use for backing up my bird sighting records. The program for this has a built in backup program. The supplier says to format the CD and then the program will do the backup when called upon. I tried burning a disc with no information but that failed to work. Does Windows have a way to format the disc?
A: You can only format a re-writable CD and not the write-once. The formatting can be done from Windows. However, for backups I do not recommend using rewritable media as it is not as reliable as the normal write-once CDs. All of the backup programs that I have tried in testing, (admittedly not that many) were able to write to a normal write-once CD. You can use Nero to write the CD.
My suggestion is that you try placing a blank CD and then use Nero for the backup. If this fails then purchase a re-writeable CD.