Want to convert your old boxes of photographs into digital images and add them to your digital photography library? If you have a flatbed scanner, you're ready to start. Get OrganizedSort your old photos into meaningful categories such as by year, by event, or by person. On your computer, create folders with suitable names for each category. Jettison any out-of-focus prints or duplicates. As you scan your photos, you'll assign them to the appropriate folder. Get CleanUse canned air and a lint-free cloth to remove any dust from the scanner's glass and from the photos prior to scanning them. Choose the Right ResolutionAre you are scanning photos for a family Website or are you looking to print a book of wedding photographs? The right resolution to use in scanning the photos depends on the destination you have in mind for the images. The more pixels per inch (ppi) or dots per inch (dpi) you specify for your scans, the more detail will show in the final image and the larger you can … [Read more...] about How Do I Convert Old Photos Into Digital Files?
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article on September 12, 2006.Mailing a form letter to all clients living in a particular city. Creating a slew of envelopes addressed to all customers that purchased your latest gizmo. Printing labels for each employee in your organization. What do these tasks have in common? Two things:Each can be easily created using Word's mail merge featureWithout Word, or some kind of automated system, these items would take a whole lot of time to developIn this How do I... blog entry, you'll learn how to create simple form letters using lists of names in Word. In my next article, I will show you how to integrate Word with Excel or Access, allowing you to create form letters, labels, birthday cards (anything you can imagine, really) using existing information. The version used throughout this tutorial is Word 2003.Let's jump right in to creating a form letter so you can see how much time you could save with Word's mail merge.To get started, open a new document in Word and, from the … [Read more...] about How do I… use Microsoft Word’s Mail Merge feature to save time and effort?
still works, lying around and gathering dust that you'd like to put to good use? If you answered yes, then chances are good that you've thought about using your old drive as an external hard drive. Fortunately, building an external hard drive is an easy task. Since you already have the hard drive, all you need is an enclosure, a screw driver, and less than an hour of your time. Let's take a look. This blog post is also available in PDF as a TechRepublic download. A more detail visual example of how to build and configure a hard drive enclosure can be seen in this TechRepublic Photo Gallery.Hard drive enclosures are a pretty common item these days and chances are good that you can pick one up at your local computer store for under $50. However, before you go shopping, you'll want to figure out what type of enclosure you're going to need.There are several factors that you'll want to take into consideration when looking for a hard drive enclosure. To begin with, what is the physical size … [Read more...] about How do I… Build and configure an external hard drive enclosure?
Microsoft Windows XP system contains all the files and settings needed to configure your work environment. If the user profile becomes damaged, Windows XP will display one of two error messages when you log on to the system:Windows cannot load your profile because it may be corrupted. You may be logged in using a temporary User Profile.OR:The system has recovered from a serious error.The operating system will then automatically create a new user profile and log you in to this new profile. When this occurs, you'll immediately discover that all your personalized settings — such as color scheme, wallpaper, and icons — are gone. Even more disturbing is that the My Documents folder doesn't show any of your documents. You'll also discover that Outlook Express and Internet Explorer will be void of any of your personal settings and data.When this happens, it's very easy to quickly go into panic mode and think that you've lost everything. However, in most cases, all you've actually … [Read more...] about How do I… recover a damaged Windows XP user profile?
Windows Vista or Windows 7. You may have run across the Users\All Users\Desktop folder and thought that this is where the shortcut should go. But Figure A shows what you will see when you try to open it to view its contents.Figure AYou will get an Access Is Denied error when you try to open the Users\All Users\Desktop folder in Windows 7 Explorer.If you look closer at the Desktop folder icon in Figure A, you will see a small arrow in the lower left corner. This signifies a shortcut to a folder. Actually, it is what Microsoft calls a Junction Point. A Junction Point is a way to automatically redirect access requests and provide backward compatibility.Since the Desktop and Start Menu folders are not actual folders, you get an Access Is Denied error when you try to open them in Windows Explorer. Note: Junction Points are visible in Windows Explorer only when Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives is selected and Hide Protected Operating System Files is deselected. To change these … [Read more...] about How do I copy shortcuts to the All Users folders in Vista or Windows 7?
As your organization's network continues to grow, you might find that you've outgrown your routers and switches and you need to deploy new ones. But what do you do with the old devices?In "Don't Donate Corporate Secrets when Discarding Old Hardware," I discussed how to make sure you don't inadvertently pass on corporate data. But this best practice doesn't just apply to hard drives. You must also take steps to clear information from all other network devices before donating or selling them to make sure you don't donate your corporate secrets along with the hardware.Wiping the configuration of your network devices is the best way to keep a black hat from gaining easy access to your network infrastructure. Let's look at how you can do this for both Cisco routers and switches.When it comes to clearing your Cisco router, you have two acceptable options. While most network administrators are familiar with both methods, they typically use them for different tasks.The first method involves … [Read more...] about How do I wipe data from Cisco routers and switches before discarding them?
In this How do I article, I will show you how to create right-click menu entries for both Defragmenting and Disk Cleanup that will show up when you right-click a drive in Windows Explorer. With these menu entries, you can avoid having to go through the steps of locating these tools from within the Microsoft Windows Start menu. I will warn you that in order to add these entries you will have to use the registry editor tool, so make sure you make a backup of your registry, just to be safe. As we all know, a corrupted registry can wreak havoc on your Windows machine. So back it all up before you undertake this task. With that said, let's get down to business. This blog post is also available in PDF format in a free TechRepublic download.This step should be old hat for most of you. Click Start | Run (Windows XP) or Start and then enter regedit in the run dialog (Vista and 7). This will open the registry editor for you. One of the first things you should do, once this is open, is back up … [Read more...] about How do I add Defragment and Disk Cleanup to the right-click menu in Windows Explorer?
There is one backup solution amid the myriad of others that offers a unique little twist on the old tried-and-true process. Yadis! Backup divides backup jobs into tasks that can be configured to perform either local or ftp backup. But what Yadis! does a bit differently is to run backups in real time. Whenever you make a change to your target file, your backup will quickly reflect that change. This means no scheduling is necessary. Good news for anyone who has forgotten to set up a backup schedule after making changes. Yadis! Backup offers a few other features that should appeal to users:Tiny footprintSimple to useNo program necessary to access backup filesChoice of exactly what to back upChanges stored and backed up later if backup location not available This blog post is also available in PDF format in a free TechRepublic download.Yadis! Backup has a standard Windows installation process. Just download the installation file and run it. The only step that might trip you up is … [Read more...] about How do I back up my important data with Yadis Backup?
This blog post is also available as a TechRepublic Photo Gallery and TechRepublic download. When I published this back in February 2010, there was some question about whether these shortcuts were needed anymore, but yet it is still a popular tip. Is this a case of old tricks die hard?Figure A.Figure ANavigate the menu to create a new shortcut.When you click the Shortcut menu item, you will arrive at the input screen shown in Figure B. This is where you will enter the specific command strings to make your new shortcut do what you want it to do.Figure BEnter the command for your new shortcut.For our example, we will enter the specific command that will shut down a Windows PC. Type the following command into the box and then click Next.Shutdown.exe -s -t 00The next screen (Figure C) asks you to name the shortcut. I suggest you name the shortcut to correspond to the action it will perform. In this case, we name it Shutdown.Figure CGive it an appropriate name.Technically, you could stop … [Read more...] about How do I create shutdown shortcuts in Microsoft Windows 7?
Once you get your business off the ground, there may not be much money left over for advertising. Traditional print advertising, direct mail, and even phone book advertising can be very expensive and hard to customize. The Internet provides a vast new world of inexpensive advertising opportunities that let you drill down and focus on your target customer. “The Internet offers huge opportunities for small businesses to get local advertising very inexpensively,” said Rick Whittington, President of Rick Whittington Consulting in Richmond, Va. “Google, Yahoo and Bing all allow you to list your business locally for free. That’s the first thing I recommend businesses do.” Once you’ve registered your business for free on those search engines, there are many other relatively inexpensive things you can do to get customers to your business. Pay-per-click Pay-per-click search engine advertising, in which you create an account and pay each time a customer … [Read more...] about How Do I Advertise on the Internet on a Small Budget?