Oskaloosa.com

November 29, 2010

Kim Komando answers your electronics, computer questions

By KIM KOMANDO
The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Q. I’m selling my computer. How can I keep the buyer from seeing any sensitive information?

A. Cleaning up your computer for sale is very important. You don’t want to leave personal information for the buyer to find. The best option is to completely wipe your hard drive. You need to use a secure erase program for this. It will overwrite and erase the hard drive several times. That destroys all chances of recovering the data. Heidi Eraser and Darik’s Boot and Nuke are popular secure erase programs. Find links to these free programs at Komando.com/news. Once the drive is securely erased, you can re-install the operating system.



Q. I just bought a Mac. Can I transfer my iTunes library from my old PC?

A. Yes, you can transfer iTunes libraries between PCs and Macs. First update iTunes on both computers. Then consolidate the library on the PC by clicking File>>Library>>Organize Library. Then click Consolidate Library. Now move the iTunes library folder to an external hard drive formatted for Windows. Find the library folder in your PC’s Music folder. On the Mac, copy the iTunes folder from the external drive to the Music folder. Allow the existing iTunes folder to be overwritten. That’s all you need to do!



Q. I’m looking at buying a Webcam for video chatting. Which one would you recommend?

A. Any modern Webcam will work for video chatting. They all have decent resolution and solid video capture frame rates. Only spend more money if you need extra features. For example, more expensive Webcams will have higher resolution. However, you probably won’t need more than 1920x1080, or 1080p. Some Webcams will include better low-light performance or electronically controlled movement. Others have autofocus and better lenses. Your choice will depend on your needs and budget.



Q. I’m looking at buying a new smart phone. Would Windows Phone 7 be a good choice?

A. Windows Phone 7 is the latest smart phone operating system from Microsoft. It has an innovative control layout that is based on “tiles.” It presents more information at a glance than other smart phones. But it will take some getting used to. It is missing some key features, like copy and paste and third-party multitasking. Some of these will be added in later updates. You will probably want to wait a few months before buying. I recommend trying it in a store first. See how you like the new control layout.



Q. I’m looking to buy an MP3 player. It should handle browsing, music, videos and e-books. I want a 5-inch or smaller screen. I also want one that has a camera. What do you suggest? 

A. You aren’t going to find many players that meet all these requirements. The iPod touch is the obvious choice. Dell’s Streak tablet and the Archos 43 Android Tablet are contenders as well. Both of those run Android. Note that all these gadgets have low-resolution cameras. They won’t replace a dedicated camera. You might want to consider getting a smart phone instead. It will have all the features of these media players and more. And smart phone cameras often have a much higher resolution.

Copyright 2010, WestStar TalkRadio Network. All rights reserved.

Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast or find the station nearest you, visit: http://www.komando.com/listen. To subscribe to Kim’s free e-mail newsletters, sign-up at: http://www.komando.com/newsletters.