It's March - time for questions, answers


Published: Monday, March 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 29, 2004 at 9:58 p.m.

March rolls in with a lot of mail from the Cyberville mailbag. Here's what you, the readers, have been asking.

Q: I've read a lot about DVD copying software and am considering adding a DVD burner to my PC. What are the considerations I should look at when doing so?

A: At least three issues need to be looked at when buying PC DVD recorders. The first is formats.

Unlike CDs, a variety of different formats exist for recording DVDs, and the formats recorded on one burner are often incompatible with other PC DVD players.

It's therefore a good idea to be sure that the DVD burner you buy will produce discs compatible with the players you want to put them in.

The second issue is DVD copying software. A recent court ruling may halt sales of the popular DVD X Copy software program (www.321studios.com) that is one of the most popular used for copying DVDs.

If this ruling stands, copying DVDs, even for personal use, may become illegal. 321 Studios has indicated they will appeal the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

A third issue is that PC DVD burners do not produce multi-layer discs, and therefore can take several discs to copy all the information on a commercial DVD movie.

If your main purpose in buying a DVD burner is to try to copy movies, the time and expense of the DVD blanks and recording may make the end savings questionable.

If you plan on using the DVD burner mainly for archiving large files such as photos or high-quality scans, then a DVD recorder can make a lot of sense.

Q: I keep getting a message that reads "cannot find Color Space cs6." Then I can't seem to print the document that I have downloaded from the Internet! Can you help me fix this problem?

A: Web research indicates this is a printing problem found with some earlier versions of the Adobe Acrobat software.

The only commonly known solution is to update your Adobe Reader software via www.adobe.com. The latest version of the Adobe Reader is 6.01.

The Adobe download site will attempt to read which operating system the inquiring computer has, and then download the latest version that is available for that version of Windows.

As a recently added "bonus," users now have the option of adding PhotoShop Elements 2.0SE, a decent entry-level photo processing program, as part of the Reader download.

Q: I read the mail in my Hotmail account using Outlook Express. How often is the Hotmail Deleted Items folder emptied when using OE? When I try to delete an e-mail message from the OE Deleted Items folder it does not actually go away, rather I get an error message saying I can't delete the message manually. What are my options?

A: Hotmail (www.hotmail.com) dumps the deleted items folder several times a week, or when the account reaches the 2MB size limit.

You can attempt to manually clear the Deleted Items folder, but will often get the message you mentioned. Closing OE and then reopening it will sometimes help.

You can also delete messages by logging in through the normal Hotmail Web interface. As a side note, Hotmail accounts created with the "msn.com" domain can be emptied more frequently than hotmail.com accounts from my experience.

But remember, both accounts only have 2MB of total storage space and are not usually the best choice for a primary e-mail service.

Tom Meek is a computer and media consultant whose column appears on Mondays in WorkLife. He can be reached at webgator@bellsouth.net or via www.tvccs.com.

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