Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Christmas, two years ago..*

I hope you will enjoy this T4E “flashback” (and forgive the sloppy writing..)

Today marks the beginning of the long holiday weekend and many of you will be traveling to be with your loved ones, and I hope your travels will be safe ones. Go forth and spread joy and ease pain, and enjoy the blessings of life during this special time of year. We here at Tech–for Everyone Headquarters (that is to say, me, myself, and I) wish you the very best of Holidays.

And now, how’s about I answer a few reader-submitted questions?
Q: How do I copy a picture from a webpage? I want to paste it into my document, but Ctrl+C doesn’t work.
A: This method will not work because of the way webpages are actually displayed (the way HTML works). Images (and certain other elements) are stored separately on the webserver and must be downloaded to your browser. And there’s code in the webpage that ‘points’ to that image, and ‘place-holder’ code to tell your browser where the image is supposed to go. When you open a webpage that contains images, your browser follows these pointers and downloads the image from the server for display. If you’ve ever had had a slow Internet connection, you have witnessed this process: first the text appears, and then the banner image, and then the first image, and so on, as each element downloads.

cm.jpgWhen you find an image on the Internet that you would like a copy of, you must tell your computer to download a copy to your machine, and not your browser. To do so, right-click on the image to open the context menu.
Now click on “Save Picture As”. This will open a Save As dialogue, and you will choose where to save it, give it a name, and so on, just as you would do any other Save.
Once the image file is downloaded to your computer, you can do with it what you will… such as Insert it into your document.

I would like to remind you, Dear Reader, that creative property, like photography, is the property of the creator; and that publishing their work without their permission is a violation of the law– it doesn’t matter if you’re making money from their property or not. So please exercise restraint and follow the law when grabbing images off of the Web.

Generally speaking, using an image for purely personal use, such as using it as a screensaver, is okay. But when presenting the image for others to see, you must search out a “royalty free” or “public domain” image, such as this, season appropriate image.wonlife.jpg

Q: My Internet is slow. How can I speed it up?
A: There are many “tweaks” that people say improve the speed of your Internet connection. And there are programs, called “speedboosters” that claim to increase your Internet speed by up to 600%.
You may have noticed — from my choice of language — that I am not overly enthusiastic about these, and that’s correct. I’m not.

These “speedbooster” programs do, in fact, use a different method for fetching information from the Web — a method similar to how a Download Manager program works — and using one may occasionally appear to make your connection faster, but by and large I consider them to be.. well.. not worth the money. I do recommend using a free download manager if you frequently download programs or/and large files, but I do not recommend a “speedbooster”.

The only real way to have a faster Internet connection is to purchase more bandwidth– described as bits-per-second. This can be done by moving to a faster connection type, such as moving from dial-up to DSL, or paying for a higher level of service. The availabilty of type and service-level is often controlled by your geographical location.

Today’s free link: To locate and identify what types of Internet service is available where you live, a service locator is the way to go: such as the one at the very useful website, DSL Reports. (No. It is not just for DSL.)
If upgrading to faster type of connection simply is not possible where you live, you may be able to “tweak” your TCP/IP Settings for slightly better performance. This involves changing things in the Windows Registry, and so I recommend that you use a safe tool to try this (if you try it at all), and the best of these can be found on the “Tools” page at DSL Reports. Use the tools there to determine if there are any problems with your settings, and follow the recommendations (particularly, “Tweak Test”). Then download Dr. TCP and make the adjustments recommended by the Tweak Test tool to “optimize” your connection. Run another speed test or two (or three). If there’s no improvement, use Dr. TCP to revert to your previous settings.

* Orig post: 12/21/08

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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December 22, 2010 Posted by | computers | , , | 4 Comments

Skype outage affecting users around the globe (Twitter Too!)

No, it’s not you, and your machine is not malfunctioning.. Skype is.

Skype outage affecting users around the globe

Skype wrote in an e-mail to CNET this morning that it’s “assessing the matter now and its extent. We apologize for the inconvenience caused to our users.”

We will share details as we hear more.”

[update: Twitter went down too! Skype Downtime Complaints Bring The Fail Whale to Twitter [Update: Fixed!]First Skype, Now Twitter Goes Down]

Related: Skype Outage Lesson: Don’t Rely On Consumer Services For Business Functions (EBAY)

December 22, 2010 Posted by | computers, Internet, News, tech, VoIP | , | 2 Comments