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Ask Leo! #396 – ZIPping your pictures, getting files from an unbootable machine, DBAN, IE8’s memory usage and more…


The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

Can I ZIP my pictures or MP3 files to save space?

Can I ZIP my pictures or MP3 files to save space?

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ZIP is a very popular compression algorithm supported by many popular programs such as WinZip, 7-Zip, and recent versions of Microsoft Windows. ZIPping a file or set of files can often reduce their size significantly at the cost of needing to be unzipped before they can be used.

Note though that I said, "...often reduce their size."

Unfortunately, "often" doesn't mean "always."

Continue reading: Can I ZIP my pictures or MP3 files to save space?
http://ask-leo.com/C2229

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*** Answercast

Answercast #59 - Rude email recipients, missing toolbars, stuck outbox, retrieving old pictures and more...

Do you ever wonder if you can get reliable confirm receipts or why forwarded emails stick in the outbox? Curious about how to retrieve pictures from a dead computer or if you can combine data on flash drives? Wonder if DBan erases everything? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #59 - Rude email recipients, missing toolbars, stuck outbox, retrieving old pictures and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C5887

Why do some emails that I forward get stuck in my outbox?
My guess is that your email provider has some kind of a size limit that is preventing large emails from being sent.
Continue reading: Why do some emails that I forward get stuck in my outbox?
http://ask-leo.com/C5888

Should I combine my data onto CD/DVDs or flash drives?
It depends on how long you want to keep them. If you're simply combining out of convenience, either will probably do.
Continue reading: Should I combine my data onto CD/DVDs or flash drives?
http://ask-leo.com/C5889

Why do some ISPs disallow special characters in passwords?
Aside from historical reasons, there really is no good excuse for not allowing lots of special characters and long passwords as an option for users.
Continue reading: Why do some ISPs disallow special characters in passwords?
http://ask-leo.com/C5890

I'm told that IE8 is using too much memory. What do I do?
I don't have a specific solution for this memory problem, but I will describe a couple of different things that may be contributing.
Continue reading: I'm told that IE8 is using too much memory. What do I do?
http://ask-leo.com/C5891

Why don't toolbars installed in IE show up in Chrome?
Adding a browser after toolbars have been installed can cause some unusual behavior that is tricky to diagnose.
Continue reading: Why don't toolbars installed in IE show up in Chrome?
http://ask-leo.com/C5892

Does DBAN really erase everything?
Technological nit-picking aside, I feel very confident that running DBan erases the hard drive, but it's important to use DBan properly and make sure it erases the entire hard drive.
Continue reading: Does DBAN really erase everything?
http://ask-leo.com/C5893

How do I retrieve pictures from a machine that won't boot?
If I were in your shoes, I would open the box, take out the hard drive, and put it in an external USB enclosure.
Continue reading: How do I retrieve pictures from a machine that won't boot?
http://ask-leo.com/C5894

Why is all my email downloading again after reinstalling Outlook?
It really depends on how Outlook was originally configured, whether you are using POP3 or IMAP, and how the email server is set.
Continue reading: Why is all my email downloading again after reinstalling Outlook?
http://ask-leo.com/C5895

Why can't I send email via my MiFi?
The problem here is that many ISPs specifically block email transmission to anything other than their own email servers.
Continue reading: Why can't I send email via my MiFi?
http://ask-leo.com/C5896

Is there a way to ask people to let me know they've seen my message?
This falls into the bucket of etiquette rather than technology. Any technology-based solution is doomed to failure because of spammers.
Continue reading: Is there a way to ask people to let me know they've seen my message?
http://ask-leo.com/C5897

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week

compression

Compression is the process of running data through a mathematical algorithm which results in data that contains exactly the same information, but ideally using less data, i.e. resulting in a smaller file.

The key to any compression algorithm is that when decompressed the original data is recovered, exactly.

Most often we compress data contained in files on our computers. A compression program such as WinZip, 7-zip, gzip, WinRAR and many others, reads the file to be compressed, runs the data it contains through the compression algorithm and writes the result to a new, typically smaller file.

A compression algorithm is that mathematical function, of which there are many; zip, rar and gzip are three common examples. Any program that understands a specific algorithm can typically compress or decompress files interchangeably with other programs that understand the same algorithm. Many programs, 7-Zip being one good example, have the ability to understand several different compression algorithms.

Many compression programs, WinZip and similar being examples, double as file archiving programs. In addition to compressing files these programs bundle multiple compressed files into a single output file, referred to as a compressed archive.

It's worth noting that all compression algorithms have worst-case scenarios where running data through the compression algorithm produces a result that is larger than the original. While possible, with most common algorithms it's actually relatively rare.

Word o' the Week features a computer term or acronym taken from the Ask Leo! Glossary. If there's a word you're not sure of and would like to see defined, click here to let me know.

*** Thoughts and Comments

As expected, lots of opinions being expressed on my wife's new Mac, both pro and con.

Fortunately the only opinion that really matters ... hers ... remains pro. Smile

I will admit that I'm looking forward to the Microsoft Surface. It, too, looks like a pretty sweet machine, albeit more of a tablet than a laptop.

However...

Don't look for me to be rushing out and getting the very first model based on "Windows RT". To me the real value of this machine, and quite honestly its only real hope for success, will be in its ability to run existing Windows applications. The RT version won't do that. The second version of Surface, available early next year, I've heard, will run a true x86 processor and Windows 8 Pro.

The RT version? To me that's just another tablet that's incompatible with and competing with both Android tablets and iPads. I just don't see much promise there.

Windows 8, in that form factor ... now that is something that peaks my interest.

'till next time...

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
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