Ask Leo! #565 – Change, Online Backup, Resolution versus Size, and more…

A Free Update for Owners of Backing Up 101

Backing Up 101Have you purchased my ebook: Backing Up 101 - Six Different Ways to Back Up Your Computer (And Which Ones You Should Use)? If so last week I completed a minor update to the book and - if you already own the book - the update is available to you right now, in digital form for free.

Just sign in to the My Books page of the Ask Leo! member's site, click on the cover (new or old :-) ) on that page and you'll be taken to the page containing the updated book for you to download. (If you don't yet have access to the member's site, just grab your existing copy of Backing Up 101, go to the "Register Your Book" chapter near the back of the book, and use the link published there to register.)

The changes aren't huge - a few minor content updates, a full edit pass from my awesome editor, a new cover and the like - but this is what "free digital updates for life" is all about for owners of Ask Leo! books.

Hope you find it valuable.

(Don't yet own the book? You'll find it right here in the Ask Leo! Store.)

Leo's Blog

Coping With Change

Continue Reading: Coping With Change


Is an online backup service a good idea?

I keep hearing about online backup services that will back up your data to "the cloud". Assuming it's secure, why shouldn't I do that and skip the hassle of doing backups to an external hard drive or whatever?

I've written some about free online backup services before, but I want to take this opportunity to look at the entire concept of online backups, whether they're free or paid.

Online backup services can be a useful component of a broader backup strategy, but there are a number of factors to consider before deciding if online backup is the right thing to do, including security, completeness, speed, and cost.

Continue Reading: Is an online backup service a good idea?

How do pixels and DPI and resolution and picture size and file size all relate?

Please explain the relationship between bytes (resolution), pixels (understood as size), and dpi (e.g. 300 dpi resolution for printing purposes). I need to explain to colleagues at work why their reports uploaded to our website take so long to download – because they are too big and contain many high res photographs and pdfs!

It can be very confusing, I'll absolutely grant you that.

This is one of those cases where understanding some of the details about how photographs are stored on disk can allow you to make a dramatic difference in the size of documents, web pages, emails, and more.

The details aren't horrific by any means, but they can be a little confusing if a couple of fundamentals are skipped, especially because there are two different types of "size."

So, I'll start with the fundamentals.

It all starts with pixels.

Continue Reading: How do pixels and DPI and resolution and picture size and file size all relate?


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Glossary Term


A **pixel** is a single point of light or color in an image or on a digital display device and the smallest point that can be individually set to a specific color or brightness.

Pixel is actually short for "picture element". In digital display technology – whether that's on screen or digitally printed on paper – anything that is displayed is comprised of nothing more than dots, the pixels, that are individually set to specific colors.

While most commonly thought of with respect to photographs, everything that is displayed digitally is simply a collection of pixels.

A cyan (light blue) upper case letter A
A cyan (light blue) upper case letter A

The letter A above is represented in a 10 pixel wide, 18 pixel high grid, containing a total of 180 pixels.

A common video screen might contain 1024×768 or 786,432 pixels. A 1080p HD video is actually 1920×1080 and thus 2,073,600 pixels – often referred to as 2 mega-pixels.

Digital cameras are similarly referred to as having some number of mega-pixels of resolution. The term resolution is used because the more pixels that can be used to capture or encode the same physical area, the more clarity the resulting image will have to the human eye when rendered.

Glossary Terms are featured selections from The Ask Leo! Glossary.
Have a term you'd like defined? Submit it here.

Featured Comments

Jumping to Conclusions

Gabe writes:

I have a friend who, as tech support, goes to the aid of a coworker or a friend/client outside of work and he will growl at the computer before sitting down at the desk. The other person usually comments, puzzled, "why did you do that?" He explains that it intimidates the computer and he then proceeds to use the computer without the problem they've been having. He's had several people over the years actually believe that this "voodoo" fixed the problem. I can only imagine them trying it themselves behind closed doors. :-P

Leo writes:

Most people growl at the computer a little while after sitting down in front of it. :-)

Mark Jacobs writes:

I think another reason behind the looking for a software solution is wishful thinking. People are hoping for a solution which doesn't involve having to spend money to buy something. Being the go to person for a few friends, I often get a panicked phone call which more often than not is "Oh my god, I think I have a virus." I jump to my own conclusion that it's a PEBCAK (Problem exists between chair and keyboard.) I usually groan inside and fight the urge to give a snarky response (a fight I often lose :-). Believe it or not, it's never been malware.

An irrational conclusion I've come to is that not only are some people allergic to computers, but computers are allergic to some people. I'll sit down at someone's computer who's been struggling a long time trying to do something basic, and I follow their exact steps and it works the first time for me.

Leo writes:

I refer to the second part as "The Proximity Effect". The closer the professional / technician / expert is to the machine the less likely the problem is to occur.

Joyce Baskind writes:

I love that! I'm going to cite "The Proximity Effect" whenever it's applicable!

Is my ISP calling me to clear up my problems with Windows?

J G writes:

It surprises me, from the number of comments here, how many folks will actually answer a call from someone they don't know. On my phone I get the name of the person if they're in my contacts list, those I answer. If the caller had ID enabled I get their phone number but I don't answer those because I don't know them. If they're legitimate they'll leave a message. If there's no caller ID information at all why would I answer it? Screen your calls and save a lot of time. Just because your phone rings doesn't mean you're obligated to answer it.

Leo writes:

That's exactly what I do. My thinking: "If it's important to you, you'll leave a message. If it's important to me, I'll return your call."

Leo's Books

Backing Up 101 Saved! - Backing Up with Macrium Reflect - 2nd Edition Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 7 Backup Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 8 Backup
Just Do This: Back Up! The Ask Leo! Guide to Internet Safety The Ask Leo! Guide to Routine Maintenance Maintaining Windows XP - A Practical Guide

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Posted: September 15, 2015 in: 2015
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