Tech – for Everyone

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

Quick Tip: Digitally Document Your Possessions

Photographic Proof For Insurance (Included: a good “general tip”)

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say; but if you had a catastrophe and your insurance company refuted, or undervalued, your claim – a picture could be worth thousands of dollars.

If your house burned to the ground, and your insurance company disagreed with you about the contents of your home, or severely undervalued them, or both, how would you respond? I would open my email.

What did he say?

Step 1) (Takes an hour, or two, or so) Get a hold of a digital camera, or use your cell phone’s camera if you have no other option, and photograph all your rooms in a “panorama” type perspective. Also be sure to take good pictures of all your key (valuable) possessions – furniture, electronics, appliances, jewelry, artwork, vehicles, power tools, silverware, etc. Open your closets and snap some pics of their contents (your wardrobe); and also your cabinets with all your pots and pans and popcorn poppers. Create a “visual tour” of your home/garage/tool shed.

Step 2) Transfer the images to your PC into a folder you create named “Insurance” (or.. something similar). Then apply a “batch resizer” to the JPEGs (the pictures) you just took. Digital images from cameras usually are quite large (file size, I mean) and to complete the next step, you need to ‘shrink’ them down to a smaller (file) size — say, under 500 KB each. It is easy, don’t worry; scroll down for my reco on a “resizer” tool.

Step 3) Now import (or attach) the (smaller) images to an email and send the email to yourself.
This may be easiest if you use a “zip” utility (such as Windows’ Send to compressed folder).
Now, no matter what happens to your camera or computer, a copy of those photos will be stored on your email server – ready to show to your insurance claims adjuster should you ever need them. It may take more than one email to send yourself them all..
(And naturally, I hope we never do need them..!)

And let’s face it; if we had to sit down and write out a list from memory.. how many things would we forget without that visual reminder?

(Optional Step 4) “Burn” a copy of the original “Insurance” folder to a CD/DVD (the large size images) and put the disc in your safety deposit box (or give it to a friend to keep for you.)

Walking through with a video camera is a great thing to do too. But be sure to store the ‘tape’ somewhere else.

And YES, folks: you have to do this before the tornado (or hurricane, or earthquake, or..) strikes.

Today’s free download: Batch Image resizing made easy. Fotosizer is a free batch photo/image resizer tool. It lets you resize hundreds of photos in a matter of minutes in a quick and easy way.

(The tip here can be good to know just for “GP”. You never know when you might want to email a large number of photos..)

Related: Home Inventory: How to Document Your Personal Property (there is also a link to two videos at the bottom..)

Not directly related: Back to School 2011: ‘What to buy your kid for college’ guide

“Back to School 2011: College is an investment, not just for those who go, but for parents too. Give your kid a helping hand with these tech essentials. Read more…

Today’s quote:My idea of exercise is a good brisk sit.”  ~ Phyllis Diller

Yes. I'd say so.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


August 1, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, Digital camera, Digital Images, e-mail, how to, shopping for, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Photo Shrinking Tip

Sooner or later – if you haven’t already – you will try to send or receive an e-mail attachment.. and bump into the problem of size limitation. (Usually, it is photos that give us the headaches.) E-mail simply isn’t the proper method for transferring large files, but there are tricks that can help you get those files where you want them.

I provided tips and solutions for solving these problems in this prior article, How to send big files (updated); and since it is fairly “in depth”, I highly recommend you click the link and give it a look-see.
Today, I want to provide you with another little tip for shrinking the file size of photos, so they are easier to send.

Because the common image format JPEG is already “compressed”, putting your photo.jpg into a Zip file will not shrink the file size enough to make it worth the effort. So, one must then mess with using an image editing program to “resize” the image and/or change the dpi “resolution” and/or select a poorer quality jpeg setting to get the Megabytes down to a e-mail-able size.

Tip of the day: Copy > Paste the image into WordPad, and Save the resulting .rtf file (Rich Text Format). Now you can right-click > Send To > Compressed (zipped) folder.
If you have never tried this technique before, you will be amazed at the size reduction.
(I know, it is a little strange to use a text program for pictures.. but it works!)

You don’t have to worry that your recipient will not be able to Open your file either. All PCs come with a text utility that can read/write .rtf. (WordPad is a Standard part of Windows, and it can be found in your Accessories folder.)

Today’s free link: 7-Zip File Compression Utility. The main features of 7-Zip:High compression ratio
Supported formats:
Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR
Unpacking only: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, DEB, DMG, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MSI, NSIS, RAR, RPM, UDF, WIM, XAR and Z.
For ZIP and GZIP formats, 7-Zip provides a compression ratio that is 2-10 % better than the ratio provided by PKZip and WinZip
Strong AES-256 encryption in 7z and ZIP formats
Self-extracting capability for 7z format
Integration with Windows Shell

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

Share this post :

December 10, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, Digital Images, e-mail, how to, Internet, tech, tweaks | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment