July 2003, V2#7: Production Sunday, Jan 11 2009 

Electronic:
The world is embracing the standard of PDF format for e-books. The costs for reproduction would be disk manuscript preparation (converting your hardcopy or disk files to PDF) plus disk reproduction. In many cases the disk manuscript preparation for a book sent to us on disk can be waived – email us for details. The PDF reader (Adobe Acrobat) is free to anyone and comes in many new computers standard. This allows anyone with a computer a chance to read your book on disk (after purchasing it from you!). The PDF format also allows you more control of the E-book that is purchased – you can make the book read only (the customer can not make changes) as well as restricting printing.

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This section is drawn from our online electronic publishing advice at http://www.gregathcompany.com/epublish.html 

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July 2003, V2#7: Define Sunday, Jan 11 2009 

E-book: Any book or manuscript that is reproduced for distribution electronically on the Internet or movable storage (i.e. 3½” floppy or CD, etc.).

February 2006, V5#2: Computer Friday, Dec 26 2008 

Organization – part 4

Do you have a lot of photos that have been given to you, you’ve taken, or scanned?  If so, they could be slowing your computer down.  Additionally, if the only copy of a photo you have is on your hard drive, we really don’t want to think what will happen if the computer crashes.  If you have the budget and don’t mind new hardware, there are several excellent back up systems you can purchase and install to take care of knowing your photos are safe.  But what about those of us with less than 40% hard drive space open?  It’s time to file your photos!  One of the easiest ways with today’s technology is with a USB drive (starting at $20).  Once you have tamed the photos and put them into file folders, simply plug the drive into your computer, open up its’ window and a window that shows your photos and drag and drop.  It is suggested that you keep the drive with a general table of contents to make retreval/enjoyment fairly easy.  Another excellent way to file photos is by CD. Once you have your photos on removable storage media (drives or disks), it is up to you whether to keep them on your computer.

While you can use this filing tactic with any type of files, currently photos are the universal memory hog.  If you do digital video; have your genealogy back to the 1600 (including lots of collateral lines) in GEDCOM, etc.; have all your audio collection in the hard drive; etc. all of these may be filed similar to the photo example above.

Old School Tip: Were you computing at home in the 1980s?  Still have those large floppy boxes?  If so, they make excellent CD storage – with or without the jewel cases!

Please Note: Due to the newness of digital storage, it is important to keep your storage up to date.  Some of us still have large floppy disks with data on them – and no where to use them!

October 2005, V4#10: Computer Friday, Dec 26 2008 

Don’t neglect your anti-virus program.  When prompted to download, don’t put it off, but make it a priority to get it complete before doing a lot of work online (or installing new software).  Also, do full disk scans periodically.  This is in case a new virus slipped paste before the anti-virus could identify it.  The sweep will pick it up, hopefully before it does too much damage.

August 2005, V4#8: Computer Friday, Dec 26 2008 

Software: Maintenance

A computer is a wonderful thing, but unless you change computers yearly (sometimes even then), a little simple maintenance may head off problems in the future.  We’ll take the time this issue, and future months to mention some of the “high points”.

It’s always a good idea, to start with general hard disk cleaning (XP: Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Clean Up) and “defragging” (XP: Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Defragmenter).  Of the two, run Disk Clean Up first.  It will empty your Recycle bin, delete many temporary files, etc. – nothing you have actually saved into your files, and compress some into smaller space.  Think of all the data you have saved, deleted, moved, etc.  They are all little chunks of data that can dot your hard drive.  Large files may even be stuck here and there, taking quite a bit of system resources to even open it.  With defragmenting, you are allowing your computer to bring all your bits together and order them in a much smaller block on the hard drive.

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