Bits & P.C.s: New Year’s resolutions – Part One

Bits & P.C.s: New Year’s resolutions – Part One

By Richard Heller

I recently received the following e-mail from one of our readers.

“I have a question regarding sending photos on e-mail. We were given a CD with digital photos taken on a group trip. I sent four pictures as an attachment to an e-mail. These were returned as undeliverable because of

size. I then tried to send only two pictures and the same results occurred on two of the e-mails, but two e-mails were delivered. In both cases the persons receiving the pictures said it took more than one hour to transfer the e-mail when they checked for mail.

My knowledge is limited. I have learned computer usage during my retirement years. I am told that pictures take a great deal of memory resulting in this problem. However, I have received photos on e-mail that did not take extra time to get. I have also forwarded e-mail received with as many as four photos and had no problem.

“How can I send photos? Are there any special procedures or settings? Can you recommend any easy to understand books? Is it possible for you to include an educational program in your Rock River Times column? This would be on the use of scanners and CDs with photos. On photos give the details about digital cameras, recommendations when buying. How to transfer these photos to your hard drive, then to a CD so that you do not use up hard drive space. Also, how to use scanners to add documents or photos to a file or send on an e-mail or just transfer to a CD or floppy disk.”

There are a lot of questions—I don’t know whether we can cover them all in one column. If you are scanning for your monitor, 100 DPI is sufficient. A 300 DPI laser or ink jet printer requires 120 DPI for scanning while a 600 DPI laser needs 150 DPI. If you are sending your work out for use with an imagesetter, then 300 DPI should be used.

As you can see, it is not necessary to scan everything at 1200 DPI. A lower resolution will still display and print correctly, but the file sizes will be much smaller. Also, if you are printing in black and white, scan in grayscale instead of color. If you are scanning a line diagram, set your scanner to “line art”.

If you are scanning a logo to place on a business card, use your scanner’s scaling controls to reduce the size to 20 percent; a 5-inch square logo will come out to 1 inch. You can then use the controls within your photo program to adjust the picture to the size that you need.

Another way to reduce the size is to scan with fewer colors. I doubt whether you could tell the difference between 64,000 and 16 million colors. All of these tips will make your scanned images a reasonable size while

sacrificing little in the way of image quality.

In a future column, we’ll look at printer and camera resolutions.

Richard Heller is an independent computer specialist who specializes in repairs, installation, upgrades, technical support, Internet sharing, data recovery and diagnostics. If you have any computer or service-related questions, please send them to The Rock River Times or e-mail

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