Low-res photos for emailing

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Q. The pictures I'm emailing with my digital camera are huge, resulting in complaints from the people I send them to. What am I doing wrong?

A. Other than sending them to a bunch of whiners, it sounds like you're shooting at a higher resolution than need be. Lower resolution, 72 to 100 ppi or dpi (pixels-per-inch or dots-per-inch), is appropriate for email and for pictures that will be displayed on the Web. The overall file size should be approximately 35 to 50KB (kilobytes), which is generally ideal for emailing purposes.

Use higher resolutions if you're planning to print photos. To print photo-quality digital images requires a resolution between 180 to 240 ppi, or whatever resolution results in the size image you want. The higher the resolution, the larger the file size of each photo, so the more camera memory or storage space each photo will consume. You'll need at least a 2-megapixel camera for decent-looking 5 x 7 photos, and a 3-megapixel camera to print 8 x 10s. The more megapixels, the better.

Q. Is there a way to keep email that's been deleted from a mail folder? Sometimes I like to be able to look at deleted mail. I'm using Outlook Express.

A. If you want to save all deleted mail in Outlook Express, click Tools > Options > Maintenance tab. Remove the checkmark from "Empty messages from the 'Deleted Items' folder on exit," followed by Apply > OK. Deleted items can accumulate quickly, so be sure to periodically empty or prune this folder to remove deleted messages that you don't want to retain.

Q. Can I get a virus from a CD-ROM?

A. A virus can theoretically infect anything you can write data to. In that sense, viruses -- virii -- are equal-opportunity infectors and can be written to floppy disks, hard drives, Zip disks, external drives -- you name it. If you purchase a commercially produced music CD or one that contains a software program, that CD cannot later become infected with a virus because it's a "read only" format. That means you can read the data on the CD, but you cannot write or add data to it.

That is not true, however, with a CD-R or CD-RW, which you can write to, and therefore can easily contain a virus. So if you receive a CD-R or -RW from a friend, be sure to check it for viruses before using it. If you're backing up your own files to CD, make sure to check them for viruses before you burn them to CD, otherwise you can back-up a virus in the process, and that's something you definitely do not want to do.

Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week:

Famous Birthdays Have you ever wondered who else was born on your birthday? Me neither, but work with me here. At this site, you can search by year to discover which celebrities, famous and infamous, living, deceased or currently in rehab, share your date of birth.

Prom Duct-Tape Contest In a tradition that transcends generations, high-school students have posed for pictures destined to haunt them for the rest of their lives. In my day, it was ruffled pastel shirts, humongous bow ties, and lapels the size of elephant ears. (Kill me now, I'm begging you.) Times have changed and while today's high-school graduates clearly lack our sense of style, thousands of entries were received for the annual Stuck-At-Prom Scholarship Contest for the prom couple with the best outfits fashioned from duct tape.

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