Friday, September 29, 2006

Keeping Your Digital Pictures on a Laptop?

Many of you are likely aware of the growing story surrounding the recall of laptop batteries manufactured by SONY Corp. Several computer makers including Dell, IBM, Apple and now Lenovo have been affected by these recalls.

The reports of laptop computers overheating and, in a few instances, sparking and catching fire, need to be acted upon by those of us who use rely on laptops for business and personal use. If you keep personal pictures or client information on a laptop, it is even more critical that you add this to the top of your to-do list.

If you’d like to learn more about what actions to take and if your laptop is one being affected, please check the following sites for more information:

To read the Wall Street Journal Story, visit

To read the CPSC Tips on notebook computer use, click

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Proper Care and Feeding Of CDs

If you’re actively backing up your digital pictures on CD or DVD, congratulations! You’re in the minority, and you won’t get too much nagging from me about the importance of spending a few minutes protecting something most people claim they would rescue from a fire or other catastrophe.

That said, let’s take a few moments to make sure that those discs are being properly handled and stored. We want to make sure they’re viable for years to come.

I can tell you from personal experience that if a two-year old bites a DVD, you can kiss it goodbye. It’s going to be as accessible as today’s top politicians.

Here are some quick tips to help you protect your favorite CDs:

• Handle your CDs by the center hole or the outer edge, and take care not to scratch the bottom.

• If writing on the CD surface (e.g., Vacation 2006), make sure to use a non-permanent marker, as permanent markers have powerful solvents that can eat through a label over time and damage the disc.

• Store your CDs upright (in a book style) and in jewel cases or specialty albums to protect them. Keep them in a cool, dry place.

• Make a duplicate set and keep them in another location in case of a catastrophe (yes, this does happen!).

• Check your CDs on an annual basis to make sure the files open and that the pictures can be accessed.

After all, there’s not much point in backing up your digital photos on CD if those discs end up being used as coasters in your home office!