Ask Leo! #461 – Smooth video, making screen shots, spying ISP’s, lost photos and more…

*** Featured

How can I view online video without the starts and stops?

I would like to view YouTube without the stops and starts. What causes that and can it be corrected?

In the past few years, video has exploded. Every so often you hear amazing statistics about the number of hours of video that's being uploaded to YouTube every minute.

With the proliferation of video-capable mobile devices, the explosion – both of video creation and video consumption – is continuing to grow.

As is some frustration.

It's frustrating to say the least to have an online video playback play a little, pause, play a little more, then pause, then play a little more, then pause, then play a little more…

You get the idea. Heck, it was even frustrating to type, much less watch.

There are several reasons that this type of playback behavior can happen. I'll cover a few of them, and a few of the ways that you might work around it.

Continue Reading: How can I view online video without the starts and stops?

What's a screen shot and how do I make one?

A screen shot or screen capture is a way to "take a picture" of your computer screen or a portion thereof.


Well, let's say that you're trying to explain a computer problem to a technical friend of yours and you're trying to describe what you see on the screen – the dialogs, the buttons, the messages, whatever. You're not sure of the terms to use and your friend is having a difficult time understanding your description of what you see.

And of course, your friend insists that the exact wording of everything you see is incredibly important (for the record, he's right.)

You know what they say: "A picture is worth a thousand words." And it can go a long way to eliminating miscommunication.

Let's take a picture of your screen you can email to your friend.

Continue Reading: What's a screen shot and how do I make one?

*** Answercast

Answercast #124 - Spying ISP's, greedy computers, lost photos, open block errors and more...

Are you wondering about your ISP tracking you online or if you can assign an IP address to a hub? Do you want to switch to Linux or delete problematic temp files? Have you lost precious photos after an upgrade? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen Now!
(Includes the raw transcript on which the articles below were based.)

Can my ISP see that I'm using a proxy?
It's important to understand the terminology when it comes to masking an IP address. Depending on your security needs, some need to be done differently.

Continue reading: Can my ISP see that I'm using a proxy?

How did a website discover my email address?
It's probably a coincidence, but there are a few scenarios where data could be shared with other websites. Let's look at how that can happen.

Continue reading: How did a website discover my email address?

Why can't I delete these temp files?

Temp files that you can't delete are often safe. Still, I am concerned that one of your files sounds like it's related to known malware. The first step is to clean up.

Continue reading: Why can't I delete these temp files?

Why am I getting "Open Block" errors from my photo program?
This feels like a hard drive failure to me. There are several things that you can check, but the most urgent thing to do is back up!

Continue reading: Why am I getting "Open Block" errors from my photo program?

Can I assign an IP address to a hub and router?
In this scenario, you'll end up with two IP addresses, but the hub and router won't each get one. I'll explain.

Continue reading: Can I assign an IP address to a hub and router?

How do I switch to Linux?
Changing a Windows XP operating system to a Linux platform is not a simple upgrade or migration. It's more like starting over. Here are the basic steps.

Continue reading: How do I switch to Linux?

Why did my pictures disappear?
Think of your computer's hard drive as a temporary solution for any files. It's not a matter of if things will disappear, but when. Regular readers can guess what I'm going to say next...

Continue reading: Why did my pictures disappear?

Why does my internet slow to a crawl when my desktop is turned on?
Many things can cause one computer to hog your bandwidth. But there's a useful Windows 7 utility that may show you where the bandwidth is going.

Continue reading: Why does my internet slow to a crawl when my desktop is turned on?

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week

screen shot

A screen shot is simply a picture of a computer screen – an exact copy in image form taken by the operating system or by a screen shot utility.

Screen shots typically refer to the entire screen, hence the name, however many utilities have the ability to restrict the image taken to only a region of the screen, a specific window on the screen, or in some cases the entire contents of a window even if it's not completely displayed on the screen.

Screen shots are typically saved as image files – .jpg and .png being perhaps the most common. Some screen shot utilities will also allow you to save in additional formats such as PDF, share to various online services, or even extract editable text when possible from the region specified.

See also: What's a screen shot and how do I make one?

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.

*** Featured Reader Comments

Archiving - What it is and why you need to start

Mary writes:

I have the same system, and it works well for me. I have photos going back through generations of family since I am the designated scanner of old family photos and slides. It's not hard to find photos at all. Pre-1950 photos are in one folder. They can be broken down later if need arises. The rest are divided into decades, then years, then occasions and months. One thing I am considering doing is using the Windows 7 library system to set up libraries for things like Thanksgivings, birthdays, Christmases, Pets, etc. so that they can be seen together without having to drill down through the years. Almost every year has a folder for these holidays/occasions already, so it shouldn't be to hard to just put the folders for each year's Thanksgiving into the library titled "Thanksgivings." I had eschewed the library system, but I think I have finally found a use for it.

Is there a way to know where a URL-shortened URL is going to take me?

James writes:

Thanks Leo!

I've always taken the position that if you send me a shortened link, I will ignore it., because I have always had the policy of knowing where I'm going and trusting where I'm going before going there. It's nice to know that there is a way around that.

Although I still don't understand the point of link shorteners. They are just random characters, so no one will remember the shortened link, which means that the link is just going to be forwarded around and people are going to click on it (as opposed to actually typing it in). So does it really matter how long a URL is if people are just going to forward the link and click on the link?

Mark Jacobs writes:

URL shorteners are useful for a few things. A couple of examples: Twitter limits a tweet to 140 characters, and shortening a URL makes it possible to Tweet long URLs, and some email programs also do funny things with long URLs.

How do I print Hotmail messages without the ads?

bill writes:

Print buttons on web pages are becoming more common as people want to print stuff without ads that the web pages run.

The buttons are not always obvious but are usually somewhere near the top of the screen.

For some pages like recipie sites and google maps, they do significant rearranging of the information that has been presented to make it fit on printed pages better.

*** Thoughts and Comments

Congratulations to Mellisa W. and Glenn A., the most recent winners in the 10th Anniversary Drawing. One more to go!

Aside from an unexpected run to a local veterinarian when our dog Chester ate some beach-crab he probably shouldn't have (he's fine ... now) we had a great time out at Pacific Beach State Park last week. That's one of our favorite Washington coast camping spots.

As a result this week's featured articles are minor updates to a couple of popular existing articles. Something about being on the beach had me thinking of just about anything other than writing new articles. :-)

The screen-shot one is particularly near and dear to my heart. It really is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. While I don't allow images to be submitted with initial questions, I do occasionally respond with a request for a screen shot to know what we're talking about.

Even if it's not me you'd be using them with, screen shots are awesome ways to ensure that folks know exactly what you're talking about.

Till next time...

Leo A. Notenboom
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