Monday, December 11, 2017

How to wipe an iPad

If you're planning to give or sell your iPad to someone else, it's a good idea to wipe all of your data off of it first.  Doing so is very easy.

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap General
  • Swipe down to the bottom of the menu and tap Reset
  • Tap Erase All Content and Settings
  • Tap Erase
  • Tap Erase again

If you just want to reset your iPad's settings back to their default values, but you don't want to delete any of your data, tap Reset All Settings instead of Erase All Content and Settings.  For the subsequent steps, select Reset rather than Erase.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

How to reduce file size when scanning documents or images


When scanning a document, you can often get away with just placing the paper into the scanner and pressing Start.  However, if you scan a lot of documents, or if file size is an important factor, you'll probably want to check your settings to make sure you're not wasting disk space with bloated, unnecessarily large scan files.

Here are some things you can do to reduce the size of a document when scanning it into a computer or document storage system:

Scan in black and white

Unless you specifically need a color copy of the document, choose the option to scan in black and white.  Even if you are scanning a black and white document, make sure you check the color setting; a scanner set to scan in color may reproduce black on a page using multiple colors, which can make the file size significantly larger (often using 4 bits for every 1 that a black and white scan would use).

Some scanners will have an auto-select feature, which attempts to detect whether the document is black and white or color, and scan accordingly.  If you are scanning a stack of documents with only some in color, you may want to consider using this feature if it's available on your scanner.  It may be called Auto Color Select or something similar.

Reduce the resolution

Scanners typically measure resolution (the density of pixels) by dots per inch (DPI).  Lowering the DPI can drastically reduce the file size of a document.  For text-only documents, 200dpi is often sufficient.  For images or high-quality scans, you may want to use a higher number, like 400dpi.

Check your file type

The file type is a major determinant of how large a scanned file will be.  Unless you specifically need to use them, avoid scanning to TIFF or BMP files.  JPEG is a good format to use for images; it doesn't have all of the perks of a PNG file, but it does tend to compress the image to a smaller size.  PDF files are a mainstay of document scanning, and offer many useful features, but you can often get a smaller file by using an alternative format (such as DOCX).  Not all scanners will have the same range of file types to choose from.

Enable file compression

Most modern scanners have the ability to compress files so they take up less disk space.  Typically, this setting will be called File Compression, Scan Compression, Compression Ratio, or something similar.

Your scanner's user manual can tell you where to find the compression setting.  On a Ricoh MP series copier, for example, it would be in User Tools/Counter > Scanner Features > Send Settings.  Some scanners will allow you to tweak the amount of compression, while others will just have a basic on/off setting.  Compressing your file shouldn't change its appearance in any noticeable way.

Post-scanning adjustments

Once you've scanned your document or image to a file, there are still other things you can do to reduce the file size, depending on what type of file it is and which programs you are using.  Most image editors (including Microsoft Paint) will allow you to resize an image, and others (such as Microsoft Office Picture Manager) also offer the ability to further compress the file.  Adobe Acrobat includes a Reduce File Size feature that can shrink your PDFs.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

How to find the MAC address of an Amazon Fire 7 tablet

To find the MAC address of your Amazon Fire 7 tablet:

- From the Home screen, tap Settings
- Tap Wireless
- Tap Wi-Fi
- Tap the three dots in the upper right corner
- Tap Advanced

The MAC address will be displayed on the tablet screen, above the IP address.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

How to print an event log from a Dell B2360dn printer

A printer's event log is useful for troubleshooting problems, especially ongoing or intermittent ones.  To print the event log summary from a Dell B2360dn printer:

- Press the Setup button (with the wrench icon)
- Press the right arrow button until Reports is displayed
- Press the OK button.
- Press the right arrow button until Event Log Summary is displayed
- Press the OK button

Saturday, November 4, 2017

How to find the IP address of an Amazon Fire 7 tablet

To see the IP address of your Amazon Fire 7 tablet:

- From the Home screen, tap Settings
- Tap Wireless
- Tap Wi-Fi
- Tap the three dots in the upper right corner
- Tap Advanced

The IP address will be displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Monday, October 23, 2017

What to do if your VTech Innotab won't turn on

Some things to try if your VTech Innotab won't turn on:

Disconnect and reconnect the adapter, both from the Innotab and from the power source.  Check the outlet that the adapter is plugged into to be sure it is working correctly.  (An outlet tester or a lamp will tell you if the outlet works.)  If the power source is good but the Innotab still doesn't work, try running it on battery power.  If it works on a battery but not on AC power, you may need to replace the AC adapter.

Remove and reinstall the battery, making sure that the side with the + on it faces out of the Innotab.  (See page 20 of the user guide for instructions on installing the battery.)  Make sure you have the correct battery type (CR2025) installed.  If possible, try a new battery.

If nothing helps and the Innotab still doesn't turn on, contact VTech customer support at 1-800-521-2010.  The Innotab comes with a 90-day limited warranty; if that warranty hasn't expired, VTech may be able to repair or replace your tablet.

Monday, October 9, 2017

How to take a screen shot on a ZTE Overture 2 smart phone

To take a screen shot from a ZTE Overture 2 smart phone, press the down volume button and the power button at the same time.  Hold both buttons down for a second or two, until the screen shot is taken.  (Either button can be pressed first.)