Leo’s Answers #76 – May 4, 2007

Leo's Answers
A Weekly Newsletter From
Ask Leo!
Leo Notenboom


*** Contents

*** This Week's New Articles on Ask Leo!

How do I convert a ".tif" file to a Word ".doc" file?

Is there a way to convert a file received as file.tif (originally a Word text .doc) to file.doc?

Yes and no.

The problem is that your ".tif" file may have started out as a Word document, but it's not a Word document any more. Far from it, in fact.

Continue reading: "How do I convert a ".tif" file to a Word ".doc" file?"

* * *

Why do web pictures look blocky on my computer, but not on someone else's?

My problem is that pictures of people in web pages look very blocky; you can actually see the pixels. I've checked all my settings, and they appear correct. I use IE, and Firefox, and its the same in both. Yet, if I go to my friends house everything looks fine on his computer. Any suggestions?

Two words: internet acceleration.

And another word: compression.

My guess is that your ISP is doing the second to achieve the first in order to provide you with a faster web experience.

But as you're seeing, that speed comes at a price.

Continue reading: "Why do web pictures look blocky on my computer, but not on someone else's?"

* * *

Do I need to regularly update my BIOS?

I just updated/upgraded my computer this past February. New motherboard, cpu, ram, etc. There are a couple items from my older computer also. I like to keep my software, utilities, anti-virus, and so on, up-to-date; generally when a new update/version is issued. My question is this. Since my computer is fairly new and appears to be operating normally, is it necessary to update the BIOS, motherboard chip-sets, and so forth? My BIOS is at or less than 6 months old. I mean, I know that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"! But I just want to be alright with either keeping what I've got or update it.

It's an interesting question that I hadn't really thought about before. We certainly go to great lengths to stress how important it is to keep your system software up to date with the latest patches and the like. Even applications these days frequently self-check and notify you automatically when updates are available.

But what about your BIOS?

Continue reading: "Do I need to regularly update my BIOS?"

* * *

How do I find a file on my machine?

I'm looking for [... some filename ...] on my machine. I know it's here, but I can't track it down. What am I missing? How to I find the file?

As you might guess that's a composite question - it reflects many different people asking roughly the same question in different ways.

How do I find a file?

There are a couple of ways, and there are a couple of "gotcha's" as well, so let's look at how to track down that file you're looking for.

Continue reading: "How do I find a file on my machine?"

* * *

Don't lose your keys!

When you purchase software you're not always buying what you think.

Continue reading: "Don't lose your keys!" Article Includes Audio

* * *

Why don't more websites fit in an 800x600 screen resolution?

I note that recently your links to various pages on your web site load pages that do not fit properly on my screen resolution (800x600). Among my hatred's is the fact of being required to scroll from left to right to read what would normally be of interest to me. I also visit sites whose web masters have coded their pages to fit any screen resolution the user has chosen to apply to his monitor. Somehow these people can help us all. Why don't all web masters (ahem) do this?

I will say that most of my pages do work without left/right scrolling required at 800x600. I do try to be one of "those webmasters".

But you're also quite right, in that it didn't take long for me to find a page where that annoying scroll bar appeared again.

I know what causes it on my site, and I'm not aware of a way to stop it.

There might be a couple of approaches you can take to mitigate the impact, though.

Continue reading: "Why don't more websites fit in an 800x600 screen resolution?"

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

This week's podcast touches on a common topic. Here's my first post - short and sweet - on the topic from May of 2004.

How can I get another activation code without paying for another CD?

If you've legitimately lost your activation code, you may be able to get assistance from Microsoft by calling them. This applies to both Windows and Office (the questioner didn't specify.) But you must have a legitimate copy of the product in order to do so.

Read more... How can I get another activation code without paying for another CD?

*** Thoughts and Comments

One of the slightly depressing aspects of doing Ask Leo! is knowing what will happen when certain types of articles get posted. For example this weeks podcast discusses product activation codes, and how important it is not to lose them. (Or "loose" them as my first posting of that article tried to say - thanks to all who gently pointed out that typo. :-)

What I expect is that within days I'll start getting comments posted to that article asking for - you guessed it - activation codes. For random products. Some might even be legitimate requests from people who've lost theirs. But many more will simply be from people who're looking to pirate some software.

My earlier article on the subject is currently the #4 result in Google if you search for "activation code", and I actually had to turn off comments on that article because that's all they were.

In seriously happier news:

Up until recently Ask Leo!'s been a one man operation. Quite literally everything you see here has been authored, designed and produced by your's truly, Leo Notenboom.

Until about two months ago.

I'm very happy to introduce Jenn, my assistant, who just completed her "probationary" period on the job. For the last couple of months she's been giving some of my older articles a much-needed facelift, as well as being the "first recipient" for incoming questions and comments posted on the site. (Newsletter subscribers still have a direct line to me: if you submit a question using the special form just for subscribers that lands directly in my email.) She's been helping free up my time in several ways, including some of the things I do, or should have been doing, for my wife's doll shop.

And as soon as I get my old laptop rebuilt with a fresh copy of Windows XP, she may even start directing folks at some of the articles that already answer the questions they're asking!

More time for me, more answers for you. A real win-win. :-)

'till next time...


* * *

The Latest:
Forwarded Funnies: "Hymn #365"
Taming Email: "Email is never urgent. Really."
Leo's MovableType Tips: "Leaving Breadcrumbs in Movable Type"

*** Newsletter Administration

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I'll be honest: I'll try to respond, but I get a lot of questions every day - I just can't answer everyone. Rest assured, though, that even if you don't hear from me directly, I read every email I get.

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Newsletter contents Copyright © 2007, Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.

Posted: May 4, 2007 in: 2007
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/3013
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