Ask Leo! #321 – Slow pictures, big pictures, big slow pictures, combining internet connections and more…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** New Articles

How do I deal with a photo that is it too large, visually?

Ending up with a picture that is "too big" is common lately. Many digital cameras and even phones take photographs at resolutions that exceed that of our computer screens.

Getting a picture that's more easily viewable on your computer screen - or that of the people with whom you might share your picture - is actually fairly straightforward with almost any image editing application.

In this video from an Ask Leo! webinar on Photo Manipulation, I'll show a couple of techniques to make large images visually smaller.

Continue reading: How do I deal with a photo that is it too large, visually?

* * *

Can I combine two internet connections to get a faster connection?

Can I merge two internet connections so that I have doubled bandwidth? I have a DSL connection as well as a separate EVDO connection. I want to know if it is possible to merge the internet connections so that the bandwidth speed would be added to each other, resulting in increased bandwidth.


Because this article was originally written a few years ago, the answer has actually changed from "mostly no" to "mostly yes, with a caveat".

There's hardware now available - not even all that expensive - that will allow you to connect two internet connections to your local area network.

But ... there might be a catch.

Depending on what it is you're hoping to accomplish, you may be disappointed.

Continue reading: Can I combine two internet connections to get a faster connection?

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Why do some website pictures display so slowly?

On some websites, even small pictures seem to take forever to download. They're slowly showing up - I can actually see them being drawn from top to bottom. Yet on other sites, pictures that look about the same size show up almost instantly.

Do I have something set wrong? Why so slow?


It's not your problem. This is actually the result of how the website with the slow picture is designed.

In a word: poorly.

I'll explain what's happening, and I'll explain what website authors need to do differently to make your experience as fast as possible.

Continue reading: Why do some website pictures display so slowly?

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Comments

How should I erase my hard drive before I give it away?

Ken B writes:

It goes without saying (okay, it _should_ go without saying, but I'll say it anyway), but...

If you don't have original install media, see if you can make an install/recovery set of media _before_ you nuke the drive. In fact, even if you _do_ have media, see if there is a way to make an additional set.

Also, if it's not printed on the side of the computer (and sometimes Windows has been upgraded to a version other than the one on the sticker), you should use a utility such as Belarc Advisor -- -- which can tell you the key for not only Windows itself, but most applications you have installed. Again, once you've nuked the drive, this information is gone.

Finally, make sure you have backups of anything you might want to keep and/or move to a new computer.


How do I tell what program is slowing down my machine?

john neeting writes:

I know why my PC takes a full 2 minutes to boot from cold. When you have 11 USB mirror drives attached to it, it takes time for windows to 're-map' every drive with correct info. I watch each drive initialise in turn with a blank screen and the 'C' boot drive thrashing away. When the last device is mapped on the USB port, the windows logo appears. Again the PC re-maps every device to be sure it's OK. then I'm ready to rock and roll.


How do I delete my Facebook Account?

John writes:

Reading articles such as yours has really opened my eyes! I was once (foolishly) very active on the internet and have started limiting what is readily available to others. I left a number of groups on Facebook a while ago, not realizing that my posts would remain. If I delete my account, will that also delete my posts on group walls? Furthermore, will it completely remove my information from Facebook's servers? If not, what is the easiest way to go about doing these things?

I believe the comments you make elsewhere all disappear, but as to whether your information disappears completely from Facebook's servers I have no idea. I would guess not, at least not for a long while, and I have no idea how to make it happen.



Why I don't like System Restore

Bob writes:

I have, in the past, used System Restore to undo some catastrophic screw-up, or to 'get around' a virus infection in order for me to do something about it. Things I don't like: If a specific file has changed, it stays changed. SR doesn't do anything about that. If a program ~updated~ itself, it forgets - and has to be updated again, regardless if you have the new files or not. The System Restore file system seems to be the hiding place for a lot of viruses - more often than not, if I get a virus alert, it's in one of the system restore files or directories.

*** Thoughts and Comments

I've mentioned Bob Rankin before. Technically, I suppose, you'd have to call his site "Ask Bob Rankin" my competition, but I view Bob as a friend, a colleague and another resource to help more people get more computer questions answered.

Bob's recently released a free downloadable-pdf ebook "30 FREE Alternatives to Popular Software Titles" pointing you to freebies that you can use instead of expensive commercial software like Microsoft Word, Photoshop, Norton Antivirus, Quicken and many others. Yep, some of his recommendations match my own - and some don't - and that's great. It's good to have other resources and opinions. (In fact I'm off to try out one of his alternatives that I hadn't even considered myself.)

The ebook's free, the software it's suggesting is free ... you just can't go wrong. Go download it now, and pass it along it to a few friends as well.

30 FREE Alternatives to Popular Software Titles

At the risk of this being a friends-only series of comments, the ad in the last newsletter was for a decidedly non-tech product: Stain Solver.

I mentioned that the product is from "my buddy Tim Carter", and that's no lie. Tim Carter is the man behind Ask The Builder, and once again a friend, a colleague and in many ways my mentor.

Put simply, Stain Solver rocks. It's amazing what it'll do to my coffee cups; I've never seen 'em so clean. And my wife swears by it for cleaning the stinky garbage disposal.

Anyway, when Tim mentioned he was having a sale I wanted to make sure to pass it on to you since this is a product I happen to use and believe in. The sale ends in just a couple of days: Be sure and check out the video there.

Thanks for letting me talk about a couple of my friends. I promise, I do have a few that do something other than "ask" sites, but I'll save those for another day Smile

'till next week...

Leo A. Notenboom
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