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Carol Vorderman's Internet column: Help Desk.

Q I NEED a scanner that is not going to interfere with my printer. Someone told me I need a SCSI or USB scanner, but what is USB?

Joan Aldis

A MOST new PCs come with one or two USB sockets at the back that new devices such as scanners, mice or monitors can be plugged into.

The USB system is faster than the other ways of connecting new devices and you can connect up to 127 gadgets to a USB socket just by linking all the devices together.

You need to make sure that you buy the USB version of the scanner you want - and your PC must have a USB socket, of course. Your other option is to buy a parallel port scanner. This plugs into your PC's parallel port and you plug your printer into the scanner so that you can use either device any time without mucking around with cables and plugs.

Q I HAVE only recently gone onto the Internet and I have found that the quality of video playback is very poor. I have downloaded the Real Player G2 but the end result does not live up to the hype.

William Scully

A TO BE fair to the Net, I don't think anybody hypes the quality of video transmission. Video requires a huge amount of data to be transferred across all those busy computers and phone lines, and it has to happen fast and smoothly if you want smooth playback.

Video coming from the Internet is always compressed, which helps a lot with speed and smoothness but at the expense of quality. It helps to have a powerful computer and good software to handle the video data as it arrives but telephone lines and live video don't really go together well.

Q IS IT legal to reproduce other people's pictures on your Web site or do you have to ask for permission? Also, is it the same for including links to other people's Web sites?

Nick Jarvis

A THE whole Web works by being interlinked, so including links to other sites on your own site is no problem. Using other people's images (or anything else) is a different story - the same laws of copyright apply on the Web as elsewhere. If you didn't create it yourself, it's best to ask for permission before including it on your site, whatever "it" is.

Q I INSTALLED Freeserve on my PC and by default I have to use the Internet Explorer browser. How can I use Netscape with Freeserve instead?

S Gill

A YOU don't have to do anything special to use Netscape or any other browser with Freeserve. Just start Netscape and type a web address or choose a Bookmarks entry and it will connect you.

You should see a dialog box asking if you want to set Netscape as your default browser and you'll probably want to say "yes". This ensures Netscape will start whenever you click a Web link in an e-mail message or an Internet Shortcut.

Q WHEN I try to send and receive e-mail, Outlook Express cannot dial up a connection for me and I have to dial up through Internet Explorer and then use Outlook Express. Can you advise me on this?

Zoe Walters

A IN OUTLOOK Express, choose Tools, Accounts, Mail. Make sure your default (or only) e-mail account is selected and click the Properties button.

On the Connection tab, check the option that says "Connect using my phone line" and choose your Dial-Up Networking connection from the box below. Outlook Express will now dial this connection whenever you click Send and Receive.

If you find that Outlook Express dials up every time it's started, go to Tools, Options, Dial Up and select the button marked "Do not dial a connection".

GOT a problem using the Internet? Got a story you'd like to share? E-mail me at carol@mirror.co.uk or write to Carol@Mirror, The Mirror, One Canada Square, London E14 5AP. Don't forget to check out our website at www.mirror.co.uk
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Young, Rob
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 17, 1998
Words:676
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