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CNET Membership newsletter May 21, 2004 

The 5 that matter

Dear CNET members:
The overwhelmingly huge response to last week's question kept me busy for days; I didn't get to paint my house, fix my car, or even go home to my family (just kidding.) After reading through all the submissions, I found that 85 percent of our members recommended IrfanView as a free and easy-to-use image-editing utility. While it is not this week's selected answer, I have included it in the honorable mentions, since a member took the time to write out a step-by-step solution using IrfanView. So take a look at this week's winning answer below and check out all the other recommended solutions provided by our members, ranging from converting the file format to zipping it all up. We hope this answers your question, Doug. Thanks for all the great solutions!

1I use Outlook, and my digital pictures are too big to send by e-mail (more than a megabyte each). How can I easily reduce their file size for e-mailing without having to learn Photoshop or some other complex program?

--Submitted by Doug V. of Cambridge, MA

To easily reduce the file size of your picture to send via e-mail, do the following:

1. Open your specific picture in Microsoft Paint (standard in most, if not all, Windows OSs): File > Open > (picture's filename).

2. Use this pull-down menu: Image > Stretch/Skew.

3. Reduce Stretch percentages by same amount (to keep formatting the same), say 50 percent in both horizontally and vertically. You can experiment before saving to get the right balance between file size and picture readability by using Undo.

4. Once you have an acceptable photo size for e-mailing, save the file: File > Save As > (filename and file type as JPEG File Interchange Format: jpg; jpeg). (Note: If you want to keep your original file intact, choose Save As and type in a different name.)

Now you are ready to e-mail your photo.

--Submitted by: Mike K., Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England

Please click here to check out this week's honorable mentions, other suggested methods, and recommended image-editing utilities.

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

Check out next week's question:

I just bought a new PC, and Windows Messenger automatically starts running every time I go online. I never use instant messengers, so how do I get rid of it?

--Submitted by: Jennifer B. of Fredericktown, OH

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

Best regards and enjoy!

Lee Koo
CNET Community
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Learn more -- view lesson overview
1 Follow-up to last week's member Q&A: Abracadabra, Windows logon box, begone!
Last week, I received a number of e-mail messages from members in response to the chosen answer regarding removing the Windows login box. While Chris did provide a solution to the question asked, many of you raised the concern of security when removing/bypassing the Windows login. One member wrote, "A solution like this should only be used when the system isn't on a network and is locked away in a room; the key to the lock is your strongest security point!"

That said, please be aware that if you are putting your network or system security at risk, use your best judgment when removing or bypassing the Windows login box. Check out these members' responses to me. Thank you all for the follow-up e-mails. Security is always a concern, and I admit I should have brought that to everyone's attention first before giving an answer. I appreciate the heads-up from all of you who wrote to me. If you have something to add, please join in the discussion and throw your two cents in. We're all ears.

In addition to security being a concern, a few members had additional solutions, so please check them out if last week's answer and honorable mention didn't work for you. Take a look at these here.

1 Converting VHS to DVD
Lately, a lot of members have submitted questions to me on how they could transfer/copy their old VHS home movies or favorite old flicks onto DVDs. To bring this topic up front and center, I have hand-selected a few discussions on that topic. We need all the recommendations we can get, from hardware to software. So if you are a seasoned veteran on this topic, let's hear your suggestions.

How do you move My Favorites from one computer to another?
Making a screenshot using Windows XP
Completely removing old trial programs

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.

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