MadMod Computing The MadMod Computing Newsletter

Vol. 2002c

Welcome to this issue of The MadMod Computing Newsletter.   We hope that you enjoy the features of each issue and learn some computing skills along the way.

First, a reminder to make backups of your important files, and to use Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter -- at least monthly.   Keep your anti-virus definitions up-to-date.   If you've got a cable modem or DSL, be sure to install and configure a firewall program.

Featured in This Issue
1.     Simple Digital Image Rendering
2.     Dealing With E-Mail Attachments
3.     Mail2Web (website)

1.    Simple Digital Image Rendering
A program such as Adobe PhotoDeluxe that comes with many scanners is usually sufficient for simple digital image rendering.  Once I obtain an image in my computer, I usually first save it in a high resolution .jpg format to minimize the compression on the photo.  I next crop the image to keep only what I want of the original and save it as 2nd .jpg image so that my original can be reused if I need it.

My preference is to use an "Instant Fix" tool to see what can be done automatically. I then "Undo" one step and work separately on Brightness, Contrast, Gamma and Sharpness aspects of the image.  Once I'm happy with my tinkering changes, I save the result as a 3rd .jpg.  Next I work on color balance with very minor tweaking. Last I resize the image to be no more than 400 pixels wide and then save the final image as a 4th .jpg.  The image is probably now at about 60 KB at this point and is ready for an e-mail attachment, genealogy program or a webpage.

2.    Dealing With E-Mail Attachments
The first, most-secure way to deal with e-mail attachments is to NEVER open them EVER!  Now, given that you might not always do that, first find a way to scan the attachment with an anti-virus tool--understanding that no anti-virus program can guarantee it will catch attachment troubles 100% of the time.  If your computer's anti-virus tool is up-to-date and if it is set to scan all e-mail, you're probably reasonably safe opening the e-mail after scanning it.

An alternate method is, using the right-mouse button, to very carefully forward the attachment to your free e-mail account at Hotmail or Yahoo.  Hotmail uses McAfee's Virus Scan while Yahoo uses the Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus tool.  Once there, very carefully choose to scan the attachment for viruses before reading the attachment.  I have more notes about e-mail attachments in the e-mail section of Now, please re-read the first sentence of this section.

3.    Mail2Web (website)
Your e-mail home-away-from-home at can be useful for handling your e-mail needs from a distance.  Another feature of this service is to help unlock a mailbox that is jammed for one reason or another.  A broken download of a large attachment while receiving e-mail from the server can leave the server in a problem state with respect to the mailbox.  Phoning the Internet Service Provider to unlock the mailbox from their end is a method that will resolve the issue, but it duplicates what I could have done for myself.  Usually reading the e-mail at Mail2Web and then deleting the e-mail clears the mailbox jam.

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E-mail to the editor: David Mawdsley

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