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Q&A

Software Can Help Computer Run Digital Video Files More Smoothly

September 07, 2000|JEFF LEVY

Q: I have been working with digital movies using a new PC camera connected to my computer. When I view the movie on my computer it seems that the motion is somewhat jerky and therefore difficult to watch. What causes this and how can I fix this?

--Ellen W., Northridge

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A: There are several factors that contribute to the quality of your digital videos. The speed of your computer, the speed of the connection between the computer and your camera, the software that came with the camera and the "capture" quality of the camera lens. These things can cause "dropped" frames that never get into the video file you create. The result is jerky video.

I use a product called MotionPerfect, available at http://www.motionperfect.com. This software reads your digital video files and fills in any "dropped" frames it finds. The program can also let your digital movie files run at 1/4 speed (slow motion) or four times normal speed. MotionPerfect sells for $24.95 and does a first-rate job. A free download is available for testing. You can also download a free program from this Web site called VideoScope. This simple program graphically shows you the dropped frames in your digital video.

File Reference Removal

Q: A couple of days ago I removed three programs that I no longer use on my computer. One of them was Quicken. Now when I start my computer I get error messages that say "could not load or run BILLMNDW.EXE specified in the WIN.INI file." What does this mean and how can I get rid of the error?

--Gerri Z., Los Angeles

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A: When you install programs on your computer, changes are made to Windows Registry files and sometimes to .INI (Initialization) files. In your case, Windows is looking for the Quicken Billminder file that can remind you when certain bills are due. To get rid of that message, just click on Start and then on Run. Now type "sysedit" (without the quotes) and click OK.

Windows will display a number of files, tiled one behind the other. Close the first two using the X in the top right corner of the tiled file window. Now you have access to the contents of the Win.INI file. Scroll down the file and find the reference to BILLMNDW .EXE. Remove the reference and click on the X to close the file. Answer YES to save the changes you made. The next time you start your computer that message will not appear.

Quick Page Searches

Q: As a writer I use Microsoft Word to create scripts and manuscripts. Most of the documents I create contain a large number of pages. Is there a way that I can move to a particular page number quickly, and then move a specified number of pages back or forth?

--Andrew D., Torrance

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A: You can move to a page if you know the page number. Double-click on the Word status bar (at the bottom of the Word screen). With the "Go To" tab open, click on Page in the "Go to what:" box. Enter the page number you are looking for in the "Enter page number:" box and then click on the "Go To" button. You also can work back and forth between pages by using a + or a - to move forward or backward relative to the current page. Check out the drop-down list available in "Go to what:." There are several ways to use the Go To feature.

Saving Parameters

Q: I use Find to search for certain types of files on my hard drive. Each time I do a search I have to enter the search parameters. Can I save search parameters so that I don't have to enter them every time I do a search for a particular file or groups of files?

--David L., Hollywood

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A: First, enter the search parameters you will be working with by clicking on Start, Find, and then on Files or Folders. (Pressing the Windows key and the F key does the same thing). Enter the search parameters (e.g. *.wav to find Wave files). To save these settings, click on File and then on Save Search. Your search parameters are now saved as an icon on your Desktop. Just double-click on this icon to load your search parameters. This method saves your search parameters and not the files that match. Each time you run this search, every file that fits your parameters will be found. If you have Find open, you can access your saved search parameters by selecting them from the Named drop-down menu.

Changing Shortcuts

Q: I use Microsoft Outlook to manage my daily calendar and contact phone book. When I open Outlook, the Outlook Today shortcut is on the top. I would like to have the Calendar shortcut on top. Can I remove or reposition the Outlook Today shortcut?

--Judy S., Westwood

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A: You have two choices here. You can click on the Outlook Today shortcut and either drag it to another location, or you can right-click on it and select Remove From Outlook Bar. Click on Yes to confirm. You also can rename the shortcut to customize the look of the Outlook Shortcut bar. Right-click on any of the shortcut icons and select Rename Shortcut. Type in the new name in the space under the icon and then press OK.

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Jeff Levy hosts the "On Computers" radio talk show from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on KFI-AM (640). He can be reached at jefflevykfi@hotmail.com.

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