From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 03 Oct 2006 - Faster Windows / Unchain Your Videos


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

In today's TOURBUS, you'll find a boatload of tips for making Windows XP run faster, you'll learn how to free your music and videos from the iTunes dungeon, and pick up some tips on successfully sharing digital photos with friends and family. Read on!

Make Windows XP Run Faster

Is your computer running slower than it used to? Are you thinking about reformatting your disk and starting with a fresh install? Don't do it! This drastic approach will wipe out ALL your personal files, ALL your installed software, and ALL your security updates. You will start from scratch, as if you just installed Windows on a new hard drive. It will take many hours to re-install your software, download & reapply security patches, and restore your personal files.

It seems that sludge builds up inside a computer over time, much like an automobile engine. After a while, it doesn't start right up like when it was new, it stalls unexpectedly, and performance is sluggish on the (information) highway. Is there something like engine cleaner we can pour into our personal computer to restore that "like new" performance?

Actually, yes! My comprehensive guide to making Windows XP run faster will show you step-by-step how to clean that icky goo out of your computer's pipes, so it will start quicker, run more reliably, and go faster on the info-superhighway. You can do all of these things yourself, and all of the software I recommend is free. Click below to read the FREE guide "Make Windows XP Start Faster!"

Tourbus rider Mike from Michigan tried my suggestions and said:

> "Thanks, I almost bought a new computer since mine is 3 years old.
> Did what you said and I honestly can't believe the difference. In
> fact, I told a friend that I could speed up his computer if he
> wants me to. Now I'll have an "owe me one" thanks to you.

iTunes and iPod: A "Protection" Racket?

Many people are frustrated when they purchase videos on iTunes, and then find out they can't play those videos on their portable video player, PDA or cell phone. Apple, provider of the popular iTunes service, has limited the software so it will copy purchased videos ONLY to video iPods -- also an Apple product.

Those with other brands of portable video players are understandably peeved. The popular Archos and Creative Zen players are comparably priced, have much larger screens, and play almost any video format, including the standard MPEG, AVI, DivX, and Windows-only WMV files.

But iTunes will not copy a protected M4V video to any of these non-iPod devices. It won't even let you burn your paid-for video to a DVD so you can watch it on the big screen in your living room.

Fortunately, there ARE some clever ways to convert the protected iTunes M4V video files into other popular formats that don't tie you down to Apple hardware or software. Here's the scoop:

And if you're feeling the same pain on the AUDIO side of iTunes, check out "Convert iTunes to MP3 Format" here:

Emailing Photos

Are you having trouble emailing your digital photos to friends and family? Some email programs have a limit on the maximum size for a single transmission. You could hit this upper limit on the sending OR receiving end, and in some cases, both the message and attachments are silently discarded! (I've seen this limit as low as 2 MB!)

An entry-level digital camera can produce image files larger than 1MB depending on the settings of your camera. So your chances of getting the photos successfully sent AND received are improved by using a lower resolution setting, and by emailing in smaller batches.

You can also reduce the resolution and size of the images with your photo editing software. If your application doesn't demand super high resolution, you can probably reduce the file sizes by a factor of 5-10X, which will allow you to send more images in a single batch. IrfanView [ free download at ] is a popular tool for manipulating images files.

An even better solution is to put the images on the web, and let people view or download them when they're ready. This is especially important when the intended recipients are using a slow dialup connection. See my article "Photo Printing and Sharing" to get my picks for the best photo sharing services on the Web.

That's all for now, see you next time! -- Bob Rankin

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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