January 31, 2011

Kim Komando answers your computer, photo questions

OSKALOOSA — Q. I just got a Kindle e-reader. I want to let a friend read one of my e-books. Is it possible to loan e-books on the Kindle?

A. Yes, Amazon recently added this feature. Go to your library on Amazon’s site. Find a book to loan and click the Loan This Book button. Not all books will have this, as it is up to the publisher. An invitation will be sent to your recipient. The recipient has seven days to accept the invitation. Once the invitation is accepted, the recipient has 14 days to read the e-book. You won’t have access to the e-book while it’s on loan. This feature only works in the United States.

Q. I have a collection of old family photos. I’d like to digitize them so I can share them with family. How hard is it to digitize photos?

A. Digitizing photos isn’t terribly difficult. You just need a scanner and a computer. Almost any modern scanner will work. You’ll get better results if you scan negatives or slides rather than printed photos. But this requires an attachment or specialized scanner. Fortunately, these aren’t too expensive. Doing it yourself is fine if you don’t have a lot of photos. A lot of photos will take a while to scan. You might be better off with a scanning service. Turnaround time will be fairly quick. It will cost money, but it is more convenient. Ask a local photo store for recommendations on scanning services.

Q. I like the Spotlight feature in Mac OS X. But I want to limit my searches. Can you search just a single folder on a Mac?

A. Spotlight is a handy way to search for files on a Mac. But by default, Spotlight searches your entire computer. Fortunately, you can change this setting, though. On the top left of the screen, click Finder>>Preferences. Then select the Advanced tab. Find where it says “When performing a search.” Then use the dropdown menu to select Search the Current Folder. Now when you search, Finder will only look through the open folder.

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