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CNET Membership newsletter May 7, 2004 

The 5 that matter

Dear CNET members:
This week, we received a huge number of member e-mail messages on the best way to covert vinyl records into CD-ROMs. In fact, I'm taking our members' advice to help my mom digitize her vinyl records on Mother's Day. So check out this week's winning answer below and visit our member forums for more advice on the subject.

Also, I wanted to announce a new, exclusive benefit for CNET Members: free, online, instructor-led classes. Starting today, you can enroll in various classes on topics such as Photoshop, digital music, and home networking. Enroll today; the first class starts in a week! I'll see you there!

1I have a collection of hard-to-find vinyl records, and I'd like to create an archive of songs on CD-ROM. Is this possible using my PC?

--Submitted by Marilyn D. of Maplewood, MN

Here are basic guidelines:
1) Connect a turntable to your home stereo or a standalone preamplifier (available at RadioShack).

2) Get an audio cable (also available at RadioShack) that goes from two RCA male jacks to a 1/8-inchstereo jack. Plug the RCA jacks into the line-out or tape-out jacks in the back of the amplifier (or preamplifier), then plug the 1/8-inch stereo jack into the line-in jack in the back of the computer.

3) Open your Windows volume control panel. To do this, click Start > Settings > Control Panel > Sounds And Audio Devices. On the Volume tab, click the Advanced button. On the volume controls, click Options > Properties. In the box that pops up, click Recording. Make sure that Line-in is one of the boxes you have checked, then click OK.

4) Put a record on the turntable and start playing it. Adjust the volume using the Recording Controls (if there is no sound, double-check your connections).

5) Now you can record. Several programs out there will let you record music from an external source. (I recommend a good freeware program called Audacity or what I use personally, SoundForge 6.0, but it will cost you.)

6) Once you have the WAV or MP3 files on the hard drive, you're ready to burn them to CD-ROMs.

--Submitted by member: John G.

Please click here to check out John’s complete and detailed submission, and this week's honorable mentions.

For his efforts, we’re sending his choice of any Learning CD.

Check out next week's question:

How do I eliminate the dialog box, which appears on booting up Windows XP and asks for a password, and go directly to the desktop instead?

--Submitted by: W.A.F. of Bogotá, D. C., Colombia

We feature a new question every Friday. If you have the answer, e-mail us at If we choose your response, you'll get a free CD. Click here for Q&A submission guidelines

Happy Mother's Day and enjoy!

Lee Koo
CNET Community
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Need help right away? Don't wait for us, come and join our lively community forums for all the tech help and how-tos.

How often do you install Microsoft Windows' critical updates?

Always -- I update my PC regularly.
Occasionally -- I grab the latest patch when I hear about a virus.
Never -- I didn't realize that I have to update Windows.
No -- I don't have time to constantly update Windows.

Do you leave your computer on all the time?
OFF when I'm not using it. The components need a break. 44%
BOTH -- sometimes I leave it on all night, sometimes I shut it down. 31%
ON all the time -- it's better for the PC. 21%

1 Virus Alert: How sassy is the Sasser worm?
Sassy enough so that if you do get infected, you're in for some repeated computer reboots. If you run Windows XP or 2000, I'm urging you to get Windows' critical patches, update those antivirus definitions, and get a firewall up ASAP, because a newly discovered Internet worm called w32/Sasser and its variants are making the rounds, infecting more home computers than business ones. Unlike viruses that spread through e-mail, this worm finds its way into computers through the Internet by seeking out vulnerabilities in unpatched Windows machines, then releasing its payload. The payload exploits a particular component of Windows that then causes the computer to repeatedly reboot. So if you've unfortunately come across this worm, check out the update from Microsoft and visit our Virus and Security Alerts forum for up-to-date announcements on this virus and its variants. And while you're checking things out, here's another great article by Robert Vamosi, CNET senior associate editor, in which he explains how he figures out when a worm will hit next.

1 Transferring CDs to MP3 vs. WMA vs. OGG, and so on. Best format?
If you're ready to retire your huge collection of space-hogging CDs and convert and store them digitally, do you know which format is best? Is it MP3, WMA, or some other format? If you're contemplating this move, come join this discussion to find out what people are suggesting, and if you're a veteran to this topic, swing by and drop off your advice and suggestions. We're all ears. More from the MP3 and digital music forum

Safest way to delete temp files manually
Ctrl+Alt shortcuts for Microsoft Word and more
How to check hard drive and RAM type in computer

CNET readers and the gadgets they love
Every day, CNET editors review all the latest gadgets and hardware and give each one their approval rating. But CNET readers are just as picky about their gear as our editors. Each of the readers featured in "Three I can't live without" have three pieces of tech that keep them going, and they're proud to show them off. Want to show other readers your own must-have survival tech? Send in your profile, and you could be on CNET's front page.

Personal Tech Radar
Join our vibrant online community -- browse hundreds of discussions, ranging from computer troubleshooting to technical product help and how-tos. It's your community, so get involved now!

1. Windows XP

2. Computer Help

3. Speakeasy

4. Windows 98/95

5. PC Hardware

6. Windows Me

7. Computer Newbies

8. Web Design

9. Cell Phones

10.Virus & Security
Personal Tech Radar
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