2006-10-20

2006-09-12

2006-08-25

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Notebook Battery Not Working


USER INQUIRY
I purchased a new notebook (laptop) computer a few months ago, and now the battery won't hold a charge.

RESPONSE
Some notebook (laptop) computers, such as the Dell Latitude D610, drain the battery even when not in use. This causes the battery to become fully depleted which results in poor battery performance. If the battery has remained in the notebook for an extended period of time when the notebook was not in use, it probably won't charge up in the normal 2 to 4 hours. It may take 18 to 24 hours to fully charge the battery again. Be sure to remove the battery from the notebook whenever it is not in use. This is a good practice with any notebook brand or model. It is also a good idea to refresh (or condition) rechargeable batteries once a month or so. This involves allowing them to be fully charged and then discharged to about 5% of capacity and then charged up again. Some notebook computers may have a built-in schedule to remind you to initiate an automatic reconditioning cycle.

2006-08-22

Modem Connection Results in No Dial Tone


USER INQUIRY
When I connect the telephone cord from the wall to the computer modem, there is suddenly no dial tone. It's a brand new HP desktop computer.

RESPONSE
Are you sure you plugged the phone cord into the proper jack on the computer? If it was plugged by accident into the Ethernet jack (which looks like a phone jack) that might cause the dial tone to go out. Also, some computer modems require a special "dongle" device that looks like a splitter. It must be plugged into the modem and then on that device you will see two jacks, one marked line and the other marked phone. Without this dongle, the modem might not work and may cause there to be no dial tone. Another possibility is that the modem is simply defective as a result of a lightning storm or some other cause. You might try another modem, such as a USB modem for about $50. The USB modem would be easier to install than an internal modem. Creative Labs or Zoom are good choices.

USB Memory Stick Flash Drive Identification


USER INQUIRY
I have one of those tiny USB memory stick flash drive devices. I want to put my identification on it in case it is lost, but it is too small to show my complete contact information. What can I do?

ANSWER
Consider including a text file that contains your contact information in the root directory of the device. Save all your files in a sub folder that is given the name "files" or simply the current year. If found, a person can quickly identify your contact information in the root directory. Rather than having a single file with your contact information, consider having several text files with names like "if-found" and "owner-information" and "this-belongs-to" and "read-me" making it more intuitive.

2006-07-08

Vacuum-Bissell-3595-Evaluation


USER INQUIRY
I am looking for a bagless vacuum cleaner. I've seen models that are $300 to $500. What would you recommend?

RESPONSE
We are currently evaluating a Bissell Model 3995 - Clean View Revolution found in the comparison chart on this page. It was purchased on 20060708sa at Kohl's for $99.74 including sales tax. It works great. The other vacuums on display from other companies were flimsy and had pieces and plastic cover plates that were falling off. Beware of inexpensive vacuums from name brand companies because the quality may be very poor. With Bissell, replacement parts, filters, and accessories should be easy to obtain in the near future. The model we are evaluating is fairly light weight. There is only one extension included with the unit, so reaching to high corners (above 7 or 8 feet) may be a stretch for some people. The bagless operation is definitely a plus. The TurboBrush on this and other brands is a little flimsy. The rotating brush inside operates from the suction of the vacuum. So, when airflow is restricted the brushes stop spinning. The HEPA filter system seems to work well to prevent carpet dust and dirt from entering into the air. It is important to note that bagless vacuums are not totally free from needing costly replaceable consumable parts and accessories. For example, this vacuum has three filters: one immediately after the cyclone phase where dust is separated, then another before the motor, then another after the motor before air is exhausted into the room. These filters may need to be replaced on occasion. The foam filters are washable. However, the HEPA filter would need to be replaced eventually. Also, this and other vacuums use belts which need occasional replacing.

This is a photo of the model we are evaluating.

This is a comparison of the various Bissel Models similar to the one we are evaluating.

This is a PDF user's guide for various models including the Model 3595 that we are evaluating.

2006-07-03

Inexpensive Homemade Noise Canceling Headphones


USER INQUIRY
I am looking for headphones that will give me the amazing audio fidelity and noise canceling capabilities of a $300 pair of headphones but for less money.

SOLUTION RESEARCH HISTORY
The development of this solution began with a three year evaluation of noise canceling headphones. This evaluation also included an evaluation of ear plugs and earmuff solutions. This resulted in the recognition of how earmuffs are a perfect acoustic enclosure for audio. The evaluation of various headphone designs resulted in the conclusion that "ear clip" headphones allow for the greatest flexibility because these can be worn with hats, scarves, bike helmets, or while resting one's head against a surface without a headband getting in the way. It was observed that pressing "ear-clip" headphones onto the ear produces deeper base. It was also observed that cupping the hands over the ears while wearing "ear-clip" style headphones will create an acoustic barrier and result in a sound quality similar to that of noise canceling headphones. However, with electronic noise canceling headphones, some distortion is introduced since the music is altered by including a reverse wave of outside noises. So, acoustic noise canceling headphones offer better quality and clarity.

SOLUTION DESCRIPTION
Purchase acoustic protective earmuffs from a local hardware store such as Menards. These will be in the same isle as the protective acoustic ear plus. These earmuffs are to be used as the noise canceling barrier and acoustic enclosure for your new headphones purchased below. Make sure that the ear muffs have sufficient space to accommodate a medium to large pair of clip-on headphones. An example would be the AOSafety brand ELC 22 earmuffs with the capability to reduce ambient noise by 22 Decibels. The cost should be about $12. The only drawback to these headphones is that they are a "one size fits all" design that works fine unless you don't fit in the "all" category. Also, the headphones have a plastic coating that presses against the head. This plastic may cause sweating on warm days.

High-end headphones can cost $150 to $300 or more. However, there are some inexpensive headphones that come close to having the clarity of the expensive ones. You just need to shop around. Look for a frequency response of 12 to 24,000 Hz. While the headphones may not reproduce all sounds in this range in an even (flat) way, a wider range indicates a broader reach. Consider purchasing the JVC HA-E53S headphones. These are a smaller ear clip design headphone without a band. The cost is about $20. However, these headphones have 98 dB/mW sensitivity, with 32 ohms impedance, and are rated at 12 to 24,000 Hz frequency response. There is very little distortion with these headphones. Although these are possibly the least expensive headphones on the market, they offer some of the best audio quality. You can learn more by visiting the JVC website here: JVC HA-E53S Ear Clip Headphone Please note that the letter designation of "S" in the model name appears to indicate color only. You may find a model that simply has the HA-E53 designation. While earbud headphones could also be used, the "clip on" style are recommended because they have drivers with a larger diaphragm which can better produce lower frequencies.

The clip-on headphones can be placed on the ears first and then the earmuffs placed over them. However, if the pressure from the earmuffs against the headphones becomes uncomfortable, the headphones can be pushed inside of the earmuff enclosure.

For a cost of about $32, you will have a pair of noise canceling headphones that rival those costing $150 to $300.

The benefit of having acoustically protected headphones is that a person is less likely to turn the volume up loud to drown out background noise. So, as a result, noise canceling headphones may help protect hearing.


COMMENTARIES AND RESPONSES

20060703mo2331. Sherman in Maryland writes, "I thought about this idea myself. Nothing wrong with it except they cannot be directly compared with true noise canceling headphones. They will block more ambient noise, which is usually good -- but sometimes a person needs to be able to hear others speaking, or the phone ringing, etc. That is why I like my Bose Quiet Comfort headphones that I use at work -- I can still hear the radio and the phone, and carry on a conversation. Of course, sometimes a person may want to completely block out all external noise, in which case the earmuffs would be much better. Another option would be headphones that are designed to block out external noise, aka 'over the ear' headphones', although they would likely be more than $32. Finally, I wondered about this statement: 'However, with electronic noise canceling headphones, some distortion is introduced since the music is altered by including a reverse wave of outside noises. So, acoustic noise canceling headphones offer better quality and clarity.' First, I'm not sure that any distortion is introduced (at least I've never heard a reviewer mention it). My Bose headphones sound fine to me -- even with all of the noise in the TCR. If they do have some distortion, then shouldn't the sentence read -- 'So, acoustic noise canceling headphones offer _worse_ quality and clarity.'? Maybe I'm reading it wrong. Anyway, good idea for those on a budget who prefer to block as much ambient noise as possible."

Response. Thanks for writing in. It's true that high-end noise canceling headphones such as the Bose QuietComfort design offer noise canceling for some, but not all, background noises. In some circumstances, this is desireable. Such headphones are ideal for canceling out the sounds of fans, motors, engine noise, road noise, humming, and other similar sounds that have a patterned audio wave form. This patterned audio waveform is matched so that a negative waveform can be introduced on the inside of the headphone thus canceling out the background noise. Other sounds are not as easy to cancel out electronically, such as car horns, sirens, and voices. However, these are sounds necessary for safety while driving or operating heavy machinery. If one wishes to reduce all noises across the entire audible frequency spectrum, then the ear muffs mentioned above would offer a better solution than noise canceling headphones. It just comes down to user preference and needs.

2006-03-31

Microsoft Word – Using Forms


USER ISSUE
I want to use Microsoft word to create forms that people can fill out.

ISSUE SOLUTION

1) Start with an existing document or a new blank document
2) From the View Menu, choose Toolbars and then Forms to see the forms toolbar.
3) The Forms toolbar allows for text entry fields, check boxes, and drop down menus to be created in the form. Double click on a form item once it is created to view the item properties.
4) Once the form is created, lock the form with the small padlock button found in the Form toolbar. This will lock the entire form and make it ready for people to use.
5) Send the form by e-mail or post it to the web for people to use.
6) Once people download or receive the form, they can fill it out, and then send it to the designated recipient as an e-mail attachment.

2006-03-23

Apple - Recording System Audio


USER ISSUE
How can I record audio that I'm listening to on my Apple computer?

ISSUE RESOLUTION
The following instructions will help users record streaming audio from the Internet on an Apple computer:

1) Download and then install the LAME application for saving to MP3 audio files found here:
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq?s=install&item=lame-mp3

2) Download and then install the latest version of the Audacity audio recording program found here:
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/

3) Download and then install the SoundFlower application for recording system audio found here:
http://www.cycling74.com/products/soundflower

4) Run the Audacity program. From the Audacity menu choose Preferences and then under the Audio I/O tab, select the Recording Device to be Sunflower (2ch) and the Channels to be 2 (Stereo). Click OK.

Now, while playing online audio from the Internet or any other source it is possible to use the Audacity program to record the audio.

2006-03-10

iTunes Music Store Multi-Pass Purchase of TV Shows Not Working


USER ISSUE
I signed up for a multi-pass subscription to a TV show through the iTunes music store. The current episode of the show downloaded just fine. However, the next day, the subsequent show didn't download automatically. My online user account information stated that I had received two shows. I received an e-mail from the iTunes Music Store stating that the show would download automatically upon opening iTunes, but it never downloaded. I couldn't figure out how to get it.

ISSUE RESOLUTION
Under the Advanced menu in iTunes, choose the "Check for Purchases..." option. This should force the show to download.

ISSUE POSSIBLE CAUSE
There is probably a high demand for the show and therefor, not everyone who starts iTunes will automatically get the show immediately. There is probably a queue of people waiting for the download (without knowing it) and when your turn comes up, the server will start downloading it eventually.

Standby Suspend Sleep and Hibernate


USER ISSUE
What is the difference between sleep, standby, suspend, and hibernate?

GENERAL INFORMATION
Computers typically offer various power saving modes. The names for these modes will be something like standby, suspend, sleep, and hibernate. Typically the standby, suspend and sleep modes require that the computer be left on to some degree, and that it stay connected to power (battery or AC). While in these modes, the hard drive usually stops running, the display turns off, and the fans might even turn off. However, the computer is still keeping in active memory everything that was running and open just prior to being put in a low power mode. The hibernate mode allows you to turn off the computer completely and even unplug it from power. When it turns back on, the screen should show you exactly what you were were working on just prior to putting it in hibernate mode.

Because standby, suspend and sleep modes keep all the information in memory, it is typically quicker to start working again after being in these modes. Resuming work from the hibernate mode typically takes more time because it requires starting up the computer and loading everything into memory from the hard drive again (although you don't need to manually start the programs and load the files because the computer will restore everything to the state it was in previously).

Depending on the computer and configuration, some cleanup tasks may be performed at system startup and shut down. So, some people prefer to simply shut down a computer when the are done using it.

Some people suggest that it is best to leave computers on. However, if we consider the computer to be like any other appliance, then it makes sense to simply turn it off when it is not in use just as we would with a television set, dish washer, microwave, coffee pot, or any other appliance.

Computer Fan Making Noise


USER ISSUE
My computer fan is making a lot of noise.

CONSIDERATIONS
The fan speed in a computer is typically activated by a thermostat that determines how fast the fan needs to be running in order to keep the heat down. You might hear more noise from your computer fans if one fan is not working properly because it would cause the other fans to over compensate. Another reason for fans to run faster is if the thermostat were to become defective. If the processor fan isn't working, this might also cause the computer to heat up resulting in other fans running faster. These characteristics are actually quite similar for desktop computers and notebook computers.

If your fan is making a rattling noise it may be an indication that the bearings or mechanism are failing or worn out.

With most of the above circumstances it would be good to have the computer serviced.

2006-03-09

Data Transfer Between Windows and Apple computers


USER ISSUE
I need to move a large amount of files from a Windows computer to an Apple computer. There is too much information to fit on a USB memory stick, CD, or DVD.

OPTIONS
One possibility would be to copy the data to an external hard drive via USB or Firewire and then copy it from the hard drive to the Apple computer.

Another option would be to transfer the data directly from the Apple computer to the Windows computer using an Ethernet cable. This may take less time since the data is copied directly.

On the Apple computer, under System Preferences, go to Sharing and turn on Windows Sharing. You will be asked to enable one user account for sharing. Then you will be given a Server IP address to use. You will need to use the Apple user account name and password along with the Server IP address to access the Apple computer from the Windows computer.

On the Windows computer, right click on the My Computer icon and choose to Map a network drive. Select a drive letter. For the server name use the address provided by the Apple computer such as \\169.254.240.255\guest. Also, click on the "Connect using a different user name" option and provide the username and password for the Apple user account you will be logging in as. Remove the check next to "Reconnect at logon" so the Windows computer doesn't try to map the drive the next time it is restarted. Then click finish.

The Apple computer will now be available as a drive letter from the Windows computer. You will find yourself in the user account showing folders for desktop, documents, library, etc.

2006-02-20

Microsoft Outlook, E-mail Address Autocomplete Incorrect


PROBLEM SUMMARY
Microsoft Outlook has a feature that is on by default which recalls previously used e-mail addresses and automatically offers them when the user is addressing a new e-mail address. If a previously used address is now out of date or was entered incorrectly before, it is a nuisance to have such addresses showing up.

APPLE USERS
This help page refers to Windows only. If you know of an Apple solution, let us know.

PROBLEM SOLUTION
Follow these steps to remove addresses that are incorrect or no longer wanted:

1) Begin addressing an e-mail by typing the first letter of the address you wish to remove.

2) Outlook will provide a list of e-mail addresses and names beginning with the letter you have typed. Use the up and down arrow keys to navigate through the list.

3) Highlight the unwanted e-mail and then press the delete key to remove it.

2006-02-13

Software License and Activation


Microsoft and other companies like Macromedia have moved to a licensing system of enabling software with a unique license code which is maintained on a central database.

With new installations of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office you are asked to "Activate" the software. If activation is not completed within a specific period of time (typically 30 or 60 days) the software will completely or partially become temporarily locked or disabled until it is activated. If you are later reinstalling it on the same computer, or, installing the software on a replacement computer, the installation and activation by Internet will probably work okay. Eventually, if the software has been reinstalled too many times, and those installations were performed on different computers, it will be necessary to obtain an activation code by telephone through speaking with an operator. The operator will probably ask you why you have installed the software multiple times.

Macromedia allows the user to activate and deactivate their software as needed. So, a person could potentially have it installed on several computers, but only use it on one at a time. Actually, the Macromedia installation allows the software to be activated and used on up to two computers simultaneously (as long as they are of the same OS). This may be to accommodate people who have a desktop and a notebook. Another benefit to allowing two simultaneous installations is that if a hard drive crashes, a user can rebuild their computer and install the software again without needing to call the company. When necessary, a person can call Macromedia to have the activation/registration information reset. It will then need to be activated again. [This information is based on recent experience with Macromedia Dreamweaver as include with Studio].

The iTunes music licensing system uses a similar activation database. The user can have up to five computers that are licensed to play their purchased music. The central database keeps track of how many computers are currently licensed. You can deactivate one computer to gain back a license and then activate another computer. Just as in the case with Macromedia, if a computer crashes, is sold, or is erased, without you first deactivating it, you will forever have one of your licenses used up until you call the company to have them reset the database.

2006-02-10

Apple OS X 10.4 Tiger, external drive removal error


Q: I properly ejected my external hard drive and waited until the icon disappeared from the desktop before disconnecting and/or powering down the drive. However, I got an error saying that I'd not properly removed the drive.

A: Sometimes the drive is still writing and closing files even after the icon is no longer visible. Also, anti-Virus software may be scanning the drive on dismount.

Some drives will actually spin down (stop spinning) once they are finished all write activities. You may want to wait a few seconds after requesting the eject before disconnecting the drive. Try feeling the drive with your hand to sense when the drive spins down, or observe the indicator light to see when it is no longer blinking.

Apple OS X 10.4 Tiger, lost access to network server drive


Q: I recently upgraded to Apple OS X Tiger 10.4 and now I can't access some of my network server drives.

A: Your user security Keychain file may have become corrupted or become incompatible.

PROBLEM SOLUTION

1) From the Applications > Utilities folder, run the Keychain Access utility program.

2) You will see a list of programs, websites, and servers that may have asked you for a password. This procedure may result in these being deleted which will require that you enter your previously saved password again to access the service.

3) From the Keychain Access menu, select Keychain First Aid. Run the repair procedure to see if this fixes the problem.

4) If the problem isn't fixed with Keychain First Aid, then delete all keychain information. You will find a "Delete Keychain" option under the file menu.

Note: Perform all the above at your own risk.

2006-02-09

2006-02-07

Overhead Projector - Lamp/Light Bulb Failure


Note: The following refers to overhead projectors that use transparencies. It does not apply for digital computer/video image projectors.

+ + +

If you are in a meeting using an overhead projector and the light bulb goes out or doesn't work, the projector may have a backup light bulb inside the case. Look around the top edge or sides for a lever or button that will allow the top to easily be lifted up.

Once the projector is open, you should be able to see if it has a backup bulb inside.

Some projectors have a lever that switches between bulbs. Other projectors may have a knob that selects between bulb 1 and bulb 2.

Select the other bulb and the projector should now work.

Be sure to contact the person responsible for bulb replacement so that a working spare bulb can always be available in the future.

2006-01-24

Video Editing - Choosing Software


THE SUMMARY

The best video editing solution available in the world today is the iLife '06 suite of applications from Apple available for about $80 retail or $60 for academic users. The iLife '06 suite is available for free on an iMac or MacBook Pro notebook.


THE DETAILS

There are several high quality alternatives for video editing today. Best results (broadcast quality projects) are obtained by using a miniDV camera and then transferring the digital video directly to a computer using a Firewire cable (also known as IEEE 1394).

Some video recording methods (such as mini DVD) may exhibit some loss of quality in the initial compression phase and then again when the video is converted from digital (MPG) to an analog output and then converted back to digital (DV) when importing to the computer.

There are two preeminent consumer-grade video editing software providers for the Windows platform. These are Pinnacle and Roxio. The Roxio product is called Easy Media Creator and sells for about $80 to $100. More information is available online here:
http://www.roxio.com/en/products/emc

For Apple computer users, the available programs are typically more powerful and cost less money. A comparison of the three Apple video solutions can be found here:
http://www.apple.com/finalcut/

The three products from Apple are: iMovie, Final Cut Express, and Final Cut Pro.

Final Cut Pro is included with a suite of video editing programs called Final Cut Studio and sells for about $1,300. However, professional quality video production can also be achieved using the iLife suite of media programs which includes iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto, iTunes, Garage Band, and iWeb.

Because iLife is free with a new Apple computer, or if purchased about $1,200 less than Final Cut Studio, most individuals, small businesses, and organizations choose to use iLife for video production. In addition to the saving of money, many people appreciate the ease of use that iLife offers the user - saving precious and valuable time. Since iMovie (and iLife) are so easy to use, a novice can produce a highly appealing broadcast-quality video without much effort. In fact, most people would produce a better looking video in less time using iMovie rather than Final Cut Pro.

The complexity of Final Cut Pro may result in the user doing something wrong, and thereby actually doing damage to their project or accidentally deleting something. Or, their project completion may be delayed because the simplest of editing tasks are not intuitive by examining the user interface. The built-in help feature is of little use to someone who hasn't learned the language of the professional video production industry.


HIBRID VIDEO EDITING SOLUTIONS

A user who has the time and money to invest in Final Cut Studio may still want to consider using iMovie to quickly and easily create a visual media "storyboard" of their video project. This can then be used as a template for a more detailed project created with Final Cut Pro.


CREATING A HIGH QUALITY VIDEO

The keys to making a high quality video have little to do with the quality of your software or computer. There are many factors to consider before the video even leaves the camera:

* Lighting. Be sure to have very good lighting for your video. Watch for shadows on people's faces. If a PowerPoint presentation is to be given, the speaker probably won't be lit well enough. Consider having the speaker well-lit and standing away from the screen in another part of the room. It may be possible to insert slides from the PowerPoint into the video later.

* Sound. Be sure to use a very good quality microphone, watch for audio that is too quiet or too loud and distorted, watch out for any static or hum in the recording. Watch out for annoying background noises such as hums, fans, doors opening/closing, or people talking. Watch out for annoying acoustic conditions such as an echo or "small room" sound. If outdoors, watch out for strong wind that might causing noise when blowing on the microphone.

* Framing. Just as with still photography, be sure to properly "zoom in" on your subject and only include what is necessary for the video. Whenever possible, move the camera closer to your subject rather than zooming. This should result in a brighter and clearer video.

* Tripod. Use a tripod. A camera that is moving will result in video that is difficult to watch.

* Quality Control. Whenever possible, test the video recording as you go or do a trial run prior to taping.

* Regardless of what software you use, it is very difficult to correct for poor light and audio later.


HELPFUL ANALOGIES

Here are some helpful analogies to help you consider if you really need to use high-end $1,300 video editing software.

* A very successful golf professional can play an impressive game of golf even without having the most expensive set of golf clubs. This is because much of the success in golf stems from the player's experience and vision. Similarly, a creative video can be produced by someone using very simple tools.

* A beautifully knit quilt is beautiful because of the creativity that went into designing it. Having the best needles or thread are not the primary factor in the end result. Similarly, with a video, it is the content of a video, not the flashiness of it, that hopefully is what intrigues the viewer.

* If Picasso were given some simple brushes and paints, he could still have painted a work of art. It wasn't the quality of his materials, but the creativity in his mind that made him a success.

iCal backup


Early versions of the iCal calendar program from Apple placed calendar files separately (for each schedule) into the Library \ Calendars folder. So, backing up the calendar files was as easy as copying these to another location.

The current version of iCal (version 2.0.2) that comes with Tiger no longer uses this method. Instead there is a database that holds all calendars.

Individual calendars (schedules) can be imported or exported. However, to backup the entire database, it is necessary to choose "Backup Database..." from the File menu.

More information about iCal can be found here:
http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/ical/

2006-01-23

Digital Video to Analog Video Converter Box


SUMMARY
If you are needing a Digital to Analog Video converter you may want to consider purchasing the ADVC-110 model from Canopus. The unit can be purchased for about $270 from the Apple online store (click here).


DETAILS

There are many reasons one might want a converter box to convert video from digital format to analog format:

* To transfer a VHS video tape (this is analog video) into your computer for editing (the computer works with digital video)

* To transfer video from a camcorder into a computer (assuming the camcorder doesn't have Firewire)

* To transfer from your computer to a VHS tape

Some video cameras have a "DV->AV Out" feature, meaning that it can serve as a digital video to analog video converter. These cameras can typically go both directions, being able to convert from analog to digital as well.

Because a digital converter box may cost $200 to $300 and a camera can be $600 to $800, some people simply purchase a camera that can serve both functions.

Dreamweaver, FTP error, space before filename on server


Sometimes Dreamweaver will not be able to read (get) files from the remote server. You can view the files, but not retrieve them. If you click on the remote file as if to edit the name, it will become apparent that the file name begins with a space. This is the cause of the problem. If files are listed out of alphabetical order on the remote server, it may be an indication that this problem exists. Interestingly, if you go to the server using any other program, you will realize that the files, indeed, do not really have a space in front of them. This is an anomaly with Dreamweaver.

For smaller websites, it is possible to fix the problem by using another FTP program to copy the problem files from the remote computer to the local computer (into your website folder), then delete the problem files from the remote computer (using the third party FTP program), and then publish them again using Dreamweaver.

The problem may be a result of using different versions of Dreamweaver on different computers (including going between Windows and Apple). More anecdotal stories about this problem are below. For more information about Dreamweaver, The Macromedia website is available here:
http://www.macromedia.com/


OTHER USERS SHARE THEIR FRUSTRATIONS WITH THIS ISSUE

"Bogus space in folder name and file name. My remote view of files & folders is in error. This occurs in Dreamweaver MX 2004 and the 'Choose Image On Website' window in Contribute 2.0. About half of the files and half of the folders appear in the remote view with an initial space in the name. I can't see a pattern of why some names are correct and others are in error. The same names are in error each time I open the program. Names appear correctly when viewed directly on the unix server and when viewed through Windows Explorer and when browsed with a browser. The error only occurs in Dreamweaver & Contribute. The names that are OK will Open correctly. Names with a leading space return an error message on attempted Open: 'An FTP error occurred. Cannot get filename.html. Access Denied. The file name may not exist, or there could be a permission problem.' (There seems to be an extra space before the file name in the error message, too!) When trying to rename the file in the Dreamweaver remote files window, this error message is returned: ?An FTP error occurred 'cannot rename filename.html to filename.html. A file or folder with that name already exists.' I have uninstalled and reinstalled Dreamweaver and the Update. Problem persists." - posted by hiway41s at 2004-04-23, 5:33 pm on this page.

"I have upgraded to MX 2004 and installed the upgrade, and still have trouble with the display of files that haven't been touched in a year. In the remote view, some of the files show up with a space in front of the file name, and you can't check them out. Looking at them on the server, it's apparent that it's only the older files that haven't been touched in a while (due to the way the dates are displayed on the AIX box, the datestamp format is different). Has anyone else had this problem? I talked to support back in Jan/Feb, and
they said they were aware of the problem, but haven't heard anything since. Even tho I paid for this product, I am still using the old MX version because of this issue." - posted by shtymie at 05-25-2004, 11:19 AM on this page.

"Good question. I have the same problem, and Support doesn't seem to want to do anything about it." posted (in response to shtymie above) by zupermench at 05-26-2004, 09:52 AM on this page.

2006-01-22

Website Creation and Blogging


There are many methods today to create a web presence. Below is a summary of available options. Some people choose to combine several or all of these. For example, the website http://www.resourcesforlife.com has an associated blog (this blog), two Yahoo Groups, an Apple .Mac account and website as well as a presence in other online venues.


SUMMARY OF WEBSITE HOSTING OPTIONS

1) Blog - free and simple

2) Group - free, simple, allows for newsletters, basically a collective/cooperative blog

3) Social Network Page - free but very restricted page design

4) Hosted Website With Online Design - $150 per year but more customizable, can be edited from anywhere

5) Hosted Website With Website Software - most customizable, most expensive, can't be edited from anywhere simply using any browser, $150 per year plus software costs

6) Apple iLife and .Mac Service - very elegant solution, requires a newer Apple computer to use, about $100 per year for hosting and $80 for software


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF WEBSITE HOSTING OPTIONS

Below is a more detailed description of each web solution with associated benefits and drawbacks (+/-). Sample sites are given.

1) Blog
An online blog is perhaps the easiest and least expensive way to create an instant website with the following benefits and drawbacks:
+ free
+ quick and easy to setup
+ multiple people can be designated to maintain the site and add content
+ can be maintained from anywhere using a Windows or Apple computer without special/expensive software or advanced knowledge
- typically, only minor changes to the basic design and color are possible for the beginning user
- html knowledge may be required to make extensive changes or customization to the page
+ lets you have a unique domain name such as:
http://resourcesforlife.blogspot.com/
+ For more information, visit:
http://www.blogspot.com/


2) Group
Although a group web page is generally considered to be a resource for a club or group of people to use, it works very well as a means for a single individual to create an online presence and keep in touch with many other people. A group page has the following benefits and drawbacks:
+ free
+ quick and easy to setup
+ multiple people can be designated to maintain the site and add content
+ serves as a single blog for a group of people all contributing to the same site
+ can be maintained from anywhere using a Windows or Apple computer without special/expensive software or advanced knowledge
- typically, only minor changes to the basic design and color are possible for the beginning user
- html knowledge may be required to make extensive changes or customization to the page
+ includes a mailing/distribution list feature
+ may include other features such as photos page, links page, calendar page, online databases, online surveys
+ lets you have a unique domain name such as:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/resourcesforlifenews/
- the address for your page is not as simple as the blog
+ for more information, visit:
http://groups.yahoo.com


3) Social Network Page
There are various websites dedicated to tracking social networks such as Facebook (primarily college students), LinkedIn (primarily business professionals), Friendster, and MySpace. These offer the following benefits and drawbacks:
+ the site facilitates social networking and meeting people
- you typically don't get a personalized website address, at best you might get something like this:
http://iowa.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14828547
- people typically need to login to see your profile
- the content is not easily managed by multiple users
- the structure of the page is typically focused on contact information only
- sites such as Friendster and Myspace typically have a lot of advertising


4) Hosted Website With Online Design
Many website hosting companies now offer easy to use templates and online design tools for creating your own website with the following benefits and drawbacks:
+ much more storage space for larger files such as photos, audio, and video
+ you get a personalized address such as www.yourwebsite.com
+ typically includes e-mail service with personalized e-mail such as yourname@yourwebsite.com
+ quick and easy to setup
+ multiple people can be designated to maintain the site and add content
+ can be maintained from anywhere using a Windows or Apple computer without special/expensive software or advanced knowledge
- typically, only minor changes to the basic design and color are possible for the beginning user
- html knowledge may be required to make extensive changes or customization to the page
- Cost may be around $100 per year or more
+ For more information visit the following providers:
http://www.globat.com/
http://www.networksolutions.com/


5) Hosted Website With Website Software
If you need a website with a specific design and layout, it may be necessary to purchase website design software such as Macromedia Dreamweaver which will offer the following benefits and drawbacks:
+ much more storage space for larger files such as photos, audio, and video
- website design software can be $100 to $400 depending on what you purchase
- a dedicated computer is generally necessary, meaning that you need to install the software on one computer and then always use that computer when editing the site, or purchase more copies of the software and install it on other computers that can be used by other people (be sure to clearly delegate and communicate about who is editing what part of the site)
+ you get a personalized address such as www.yourwebsite.com
+ typically includes e-mail service with personalized e-mail such as yourname@yourwebsite.com
- tedious and time consuming to setup
- training and classes may be required to learn the software
- requires that you have a computer with software loaded on it
- not as easy to update the site from anywhere
- not as easy or inexpensive to have multiple people maintain the site
+ a very customizable design and layout are possible
- html knowledge may be required to make extensive changes or customization to the page
- Cost may be around $100 per year or more for hosting and then another $100 to $400 to keep software up-to-date depending on what program is used
+ For more information visit the following providers:
http://www.globat.com/
http://www.networksolutions.com/
http://www.macromedia.com


6) Apple iLife and .Mac Service
The most elegant solution is offered by Apple through their iWeb software and a .Mac account. The website is created using the iWeb software included with the iLife '06 suite of programs: iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, iDvd, Garage Band, and iWeb. The iWeb software helps the user develop a very personalized, professional, and artistic website including a wide variety of rich content. The Apple solution offers the following benefits and drawbacks:
+ much more storage space for larger files such as photos, audio, and video
+ expensive website software is not required
+ iWeb and iLife are easy to use
+ elegant and impressive websites are easy for even a beginner to create
- a dedicated computer is generally necessary, meaning that you need to install the software on one computer and then always use that computer when editing the site, or purchase more copies of the software and install it on other computers that can be used by other people (be sure to clearly delegate and communicate about who is editing what part of the site)
+ lets you have a unique domain name such as:
http://homepage.mac.com/resourcesforlife/
+ includes e-mail service
- requires that you have a computer with software loaded on it so it is not as easy to update the site from anywhere
+ a very customizable design and layout are possible
+ html knowledge is not required to make extensive changes or customization to the page
+ Cost is $100 per year for hosting and then about $80
+ setting up a calendar, blog, video, audio, photos, and other pages are easily done
+ For more information visit Apple here:
http://www.apple.com/dotmac/


Note that Network Solutions can arrange to redirect a domain name to a specific destination. So, you could purchase (register) a domain name such as www.yourwebsite.com and then configure that domain name so visitors are redirected to your blog or .Mac account. This can cost as little as about $30 or $40 a year and it makes it easy for people to remember your website address.

Product Review: Epson Stylus CX7800, Printer, Scanner, Copier


At about $180 retail, the Epson Stylus CX7800 is a good low-end choice for those needing a high quality, high speed scanning solution with printing and other features.

When compared to similar products from HP or Canon, or higher end Epson offerings, the Epson Stylus CX7800 offers the following benefits and drawbacks (+/-):
+ very fast scanning with no "lamp warmup" time even from power standby mode
- scanning size is limited to just over 8.5 by 11 inches, other scanners offer legal size scanning capability
+ ink is in separate replaceable cartridges independent of the print head (like HP), this makes it possible to monitor and replace separate colors
+ the ink is DuraBrite Ultra technology that resists smearing when wet
- this model has only three colors rather than four that might give more realistic skin tones
- printing speed in high quality mode is a little slower than higher end models and certainly not as quick as laser or solid ink printers
+ desktop space requirements are relatively small at about 19 inches by 17 inches
- Canon and Epson printers seem to require more print head cleaning than HP since on the HP printers the heads are replaced when a new ink cartridge is installed
+ scanner can accommodate slides and negatives at a higher scanning resolution than normal scanning
+ envelope printing seems to be quite reliable, some HP inkjet printers are easily jammed when envelopes are fed through
+ the scanner is Windows and Apple compatible, and the EPSON Scan software that comes with the scanner is quite good, even when running on Apple OS 10.4.4 Tiger
+ the scanner includes a memory card reader for various card types
+ includes a view window where you can see photos so the printer does not need to be connected to a computer for printing from a memory stick
- pages feed from the back and must stack upright, this may lead to curling of the top of the pages unlike printers that have a paper tray
+ because the paper and media are direct feed, it is less likely that jamming will be an issue
+ prints full bleed (edge to edge) photos
+ the software has a "Descreening Filter" feature that corrects for newspaper and other print images that are created with many dots on the page rather than solid smooth ink

This link may work to display the multifunction printers available on the Epson website:
http://tinyurl.com/34owu

Windows XP, USB device can perform faster

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