The Bug Report
The only Bug that's good for your computer!
A Publication of the Greater South Bay PC Users Group
Volume 18 Number 11
SOFTWARE LIBRARY NEWS
by BOB HUDAK
Quite a few members purchased a copy of the APCUG First Edition CD with over 200 Freeware and Shareware programs on it. I have not heard from any of them about how they like it, so it must be OK. I still have a few left and will have them at the general meeting. This might be one of the last chances
to pick up a copy. For $5.00 it is a real Christmas bargain. Pick one up for your computer friends. Remember, when they're gone, they're gone. It is not something we can reorder. If you are not at the meeting, call me (323-0579) to make pickup arraignments.
Disk #35, which has the Kitty program and Win Date on it, had one more program added to it. Puppy. Now you can have your choice of a puppy or a kitty wondering around on your screen. Or both! Another new program in the library is called AdAware. This program checks your system to see if any spyware programs or cookies have made their way on to your computer. It finds them and will remove them if you like. These spy programs send information about you to some data base when you go to the site that planted it on your machine. It works well on my machine. Pick up a copy. I have a copy of Quicken 2001 deluxe that I want someone to review and write a article for our news letter. After the review is published, you will be able to keep the program. Well that's all I have for you this month. See you at the Christmas party on Dec.13th.
Come Celebrate with the GS-BUG Members and Friends
Wednesday, December 13th at 6:00 p.m. is the date to mark on your calendar. Our December meeting will be devoted to a Holiday celebration with computer friends, good food, music, a crackling fireplace, a silent auction, and some prizes.
The event will be held at the Scout Building, 2365 Plaza del Amo Blvd., just south of Carson Blvd. on the east side of the street. There is parking in front of the building as well as across the street.
To help make the silent auction a success, we’d like you to search your closets and/or attics to discover hardware and software items that no longer interest you but which may be useful to another member in our group. During the evening, the donated items will be displayed on tables and members will have the opportunity to circulate among the tables and write down their bids for any items that interest them. At the end of the bidding period, the last name and bid on the slip attached to the item will be the buyer.
There will be sign up sheets at the General Meeting for those of you who would like to do any of the following:
Bring a dessert you would like to share
Help with the decorating (need to arrive about 5:00 p.m.)
Bring some firewood
Help with the cleanup
There will also be a “SILENT AUCTION ITEM” white slip which you can attach to whatever silent auction item(s) you contribute.
We’ll be looking forward to seeing you on December 13th. Bring a friend who is interested in learning more about using his/her computer.
Welcome one and all to the twenty-eighth article in this series of diatribes about Internet access and other important matters. Let me begin by wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season. I hope that you are able to enjoy some quality time with people and with computers during this festive time of the year.
SURVEY OF FREE INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS (ISPs)
If you are a GSBUG member, please send me an e-mail message to tell me which of the free ISPs you are using, if any. In future articles, I would like to publish some anonymous statistics of how many members are using each of the various free ISPs. Also, in future articles, I plan to provide detailed technical advice pertaining to the free ISPs that are most popular with club members.
REAL TRAVEL AND THE INTERNET
Liz and I just returned from a fascinating tour of Washington, D.C., Virginia and Pennsylvania. After I returned from this trip, I took the travel operator's official itinerary and scanned it into Microsoft Front page 2000. Then, I used this document to create a Web page of links to all of the Web sites of the places that we visited. This Web page is located at http://fchao.tripod.com/american_heritage.htm
This page is an illustration of how armchair travel via the Internet can be a captivating supplement to real travel.
VIDEOMAKER EXPO WEST
In order to learn about editing videos by using a computer, you might attend Videomaker Expo West in January 2001. This computer show will be located at the Burbank Hilton. You can sign up for this free event at http://www.videomaker.com/videomaker/lobby/events/ExpoWest2000.html
Hope to see you there !!
PERSONAL FIREWALL SOFTWARE
As more of us spend more and more time with our computers connected to the Internet, we all expose our computers to greater and greater risks of being vandalized by a hacker from somewhere on the Internet. There are various software applications that act as "personal firewalls". One of these keeps winning accolades from the computer trade press: It is called"Zonealarm". I highly recommend this software package. Go to
to download a free copy of this protective software.
I recommend that you use Zonealarm AND an anti-virus program in order to provide yourself with protection against all of the bad things that you can"catch" off of the Internet. As mentioned in a previous article, InnoculateIT isa totally free anti-virus program, which can be obtained at
Remember, protective software like Zonealarm and InnoculateIT is periodically updated so you need to run the latest versions of these software programs in order to have the best possible protection for your computer. Therefore, you should do the following:
1) Periodically check Zonealarm's Website for updates to their software.
Once a month is probably adequate.
2) Obtain weekly updates to anti-virus software such as InnoculateIT or
Here is a word for the wise: If you are using an anti-virus software application, and it's manufacturer does not provide weekly updates, you should get rid of it and switch to one that has weekly updates.
"NEW INTERNET COMPUTER" AND NETZERO
The only Internet terminal appliance that will work with any of the freebie Internet Service Providers (ISPs) is the "New Internet Computer" ("NIC"), which has Netzero as one of it's options for dial-up Internet access.
This device currently sells for $329.98 (Ignore the hype at their Website about how they only cost $199.99 That is the device without a monitor. Monitors are not optional accessories, in my humble opinion.) From a technical standpoint, a NIC is actually a Linux computer with a Cyrix CPU, 64 Meg of RAM, a 56K modem, speakers. It boots up and runs from a bootable CD-ROM disk, where it's Linux operating system files reside. The software files for connecting to Netzero also reside on this CD-ROM disk. A NIC does not have a hard disk drive.
As of November 2000, the NIC has "Netscape Navigator 4.7" as its Web browser software. By the time that you read this article, it will probably have "Netscape 6". (Remember: "Microsoft Internet Explorer" is not available for the Linux operating system.) To learn more about them, see
INTERNET APPLIANCE TERMINALS WITHOUT FREE INTERNET
The Internet appliance terminals that do NOT allow Internet access by means of one of the free ISPs are:
3Com's Audrey, Compaq's iPaq,
Netpliance's i-Opener, and
Unlike the "New Internet Computer", all of these above-named devices require that you pay a monthly fee to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Most give you a limited number of ISPs to chose from. For example they might let you chose between MSN or Earthlink in order to access the Internet.
FINAL WARNING ABOUT INTERNET APPLIANCE TERMINALS
An Internet terminal is not a regular computer: Most do not save or store files: Most do not have floppy disk drives or hard drives. Most will not run word processing and spreadsheet software. You cannot load software into them like you can with a computer that has a hard disk drive. For those that work with a CD-ROM (like the NIC), only the manufacturer of the device can upgrade the software files that are located on the CD-ROM. Please look at the fine print and ask a lot of questions before you buy one. Also, like any computer device, consider the initial outlay of cash and the recurring monthly/yearly costs of owning and connecting to the Internet (if any), before you spend your hard-earned cash.
SPRING 2001 CLASS AT EL CAMINO COLLEGE
A tentative course syllabus for my pending CIS 19 course has been posted at
The title of this course is "The Internet and Networking Principles". I am looking forward to this teaching experience. Let me know if you are interested in participating in this course as either a student or a volunteer lab assistant.
TRW AND ACP SWAP MEETS
If computer equipment and software is amongst the items that you wish to buy during the Christmas season, you might visit one or both of the two computer swap meets in the Los Angeles area. Admission for prospective buyers is free for both of these periodic events.
The TRW Swapmeet is held on the last Saturday of each calendar month. See:
for details. The official name of this get-together is "W6TRW Swapmeet" but everyone that I know calls it the "TRW Swapmeet". Several GSBUG members have attending this event for years.
The ACP Swapmeet meets on the fourth Sunday of odd-numbered months. This event is several times the size of the TRW Swapmeet. It is held in Santa Ana. See:
WAYS TO CONTACT ME:
If you have any questions or problems, I can be contacted by the following
1. Leave a voice message for me at 310-768-8951.
2. Send me e-mail at: email@example.com
3. Send me "snail" US Postal Service mail to
PO Box 6930
Torrance, CA 90504-0030.
Or sell your computer and take up golf instead !
AUDIO SIG NEWS
from Bob Hudak, leader
Our next meeting is on Thursday. Nov. 30 at 7:30 PM at the Cal Fed Bank on 185th and Western. The last one this year, so come out and learn a few things or teach the group a thing or two. We started out knowing next to noting about making audio CDs. In a short time we have come a long way. We found that all CD burners are not made the same. Some are much better at making coasters. We now know what to look for when purchasing a CD burner. Do not look at the great sale price only if you want to do more than make data back up CDs. We learned that there are a lot of different programs that work well with a number of burners. If your make and model is not on the program's CDs supported list, you need to look at another program. The way it works; you first buy a CD that will do what you want, then find a program that support your CD and has the features you will be using. Like making Karaoke CDs. Or custom audio CDs that have CD-Text that will tell you the name of the song instead of "Track 1". Or if you want to make a backup disk of some game programs that have information on sub-channels. [Some audio CDs also use sub-channels to put in write protection.]
These are some of the things we have uncovered for which we have tried to find solutions. We will try to answer your questions, but, if you have answers, please come and help us in our quest for knowledge.
Do you pay your bills online? Would you like to? A lot of banks and other companies THINK you will, and are getting into the business. It’s becoming a competitive field. One of the biggest companies is CheckFree, which BankAmerica has invested in. Two others who recently decided to merge into one larger company are Paytrust Inc. and PayMyBills.com. Wells Fargo is also adding to their current billpayment abilities by joining with Chase Manhattan and First Union Corp. of Charlotte, NC to start a business called Spectrum, LLC. They have hired Netscape (AOL) and Sun Microsystems to build the software. It sounds like they plan to do “bill presentment”, where you can see a copy of your bill online. Some news articles say they plan to do “account aggregation”, where you can see all your bills, investments, and bank accounts in one place. This requires you to give your passwords to the aggregator.
If you do pay bills online, and experience some problems, do you know what your rights are? You can find out what your rights are if you are using an insured bank. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has written a brochure that you can download to help you understand your rights and responsibilities when banking over the internet.
However, several companies are involved in bill payment and aggregation that are not insured banks. You might assume that, since an aggregators can get access to your information using your password, they must have a relationship with a bank. In fact, they don’t have to. Two articles with more information on this subject are:
How would you like to pay your bills at an ATM? That doesn’t seem so odd, but what about shopping at an ATM? According to an article in the September 26 American Banker, Bank of America will enable 13,000 of its 14,000 ATMs to let you view cancelled checks, pay bills, send and receive messages, buy or sell stocks or other goods and services. Over the next two years, they expect to have at least one internet ATM at every branch.
MEMBERS ATTEND COMDEX
By Virginia Pfiffner
The week before Thanksgiving, at least four members of our club spent a week in Las Vegas attending both the APCUG (The Association of Personal Computer User Groups) events as well as COMDEX. Gary Sexton, Herman Krouse, John Hanson and Virginia Pfiffner spent time at a variety of APCUG Round Tables sharing ideas and experiences for improving our club’s operation. Vendors of both software and hardware products made presentations about their wares to our group of 230 officers and directors of user groups from the U.S., Canada, and Australia. We had time on Sunday night to interact with the various vendors to determine if they could visit our club for a presentation next year. We missed Bill Gates keynote address but thought our club issues were more important.
As we strolled through the aisles at COMDEX, one item really intrigued me. It is called a Stowaway Portable Keyboard. It is designed as a full sized keyboard to work with hand-held computers and it folds into fourths when put away making a neat package. The cost is $99.99. There were many lower priced smaller (15”) flat panel LCD display units this year in the $1,000 to $1,500 price range; however, some of them didn’t seem to have really sharp displays. Sony is coming out with the Multiscan N80 flat panel display unit in February 2001 at a price of $2,500.
Herman Krouse “rented” a Kodak digital camera that he could use during COMDEX for $600. If he turned it in before the close of COMDEX, his six hundred dollars was refunded; otherwise, the camera was his. He downloaded the pictures he took to his e-mail address and then turned in the camera. I’ll be interested in seeing how his pictures turned out.
Mobile computing is one of the major elements for the future of computing. Many exhibits were concerned with wireless technology and this will grow by next year’s show. If you get a chance to attend COMDEX one year do take it, even if it is only for a few days. You’ll get the idea of the immensity of it. We had a good time at the events and didn’t even have time for gambling.
NEVER RETYPE something that's been typed beforeor....
How to use Copy/Cut & Paste by Coco Johnston
If you are new to computers, and you don't know how to move blocks of text or graphics from one document to another, or from one place in a document to another, you need to read on. The great thing about PCs is that you NEVER have to retype something that's already been typed.
When you get information (or a joke or story) in an e-mail, and you want to send it to someone else without all those previous addresses attached to it, this is a solution to that problem. If you have a photo or picture in one place on your computer or a Web site, this trick will move it anywhere else (into a document or a new e mail message).
It's called CUT & PASTE or COPY & PASTE. The difference between cutting something and copying something is quite simple. CUT means to remove it from where it is. COPY means to leave the original where it is and make a copy of it for transport to another location. PASTE is what you do when you place it in a new location.
Four simple steps will move text (or graphics) from one place to another.
Highlight the text you want to move
Cut or Copy the highlighted text
Place the cursor in the new location where you want the text
Paste the text in its new location
There are four ways to copy & paste or cut & paste. All four do the same thing, but they were developed by people who are accustomed to using the computer in different ways.
Keyboard method (you never have to fight that mouse)
Highlight: with your cursor at the beginning of the text, hold down the Shift key, and tap the right arrow key until you have highlighted the text you want (you can also arrow back, up, and down to highlight in any direction)
To Copy: hold down the Control key and tap the letter C (called Ctrl + C)
To Cut: hold down the Control key and tap the letter X (called Ctrl + X)
Place your cursor where you want the text to appear (this may involve opening another document)
To Paste: hold down the Control key and tap the letter V (called Ctrl + V)
Highlight: Shift + arrow
Copy: Ctrl + C; or Cut: Ctrl + X
Place cursor where you want the text to appear
Paste: Ctrl + V
Mouse method (you never have to touch that keyboard)
Highlight: place cursor at the beginning of text; click and drag the mouse to highlight the text
Copy or Cut: right-click (a menu drops down) and left-click on your choice
Place cursor where you want the text
Paste: right-click (a menu drops down); left-click on Paste
Menu bar method (the menu bar is the line of words across the top of your screen)
Highlight: use either method above to highlight (to highlight the whole document, click Edit in your menu bar, and click Select All)
Copy or Cut: select Copy or Cut from the Edit menu in the menu bar at the top of the page
Place the cursor where you want the text to go
Paste: select Paste from the Edit menu
Highlight: drag mouse or use Shift + arrows to highlight
To Copy: click on the Copy icon (2 pieces of paper) in your toolbar
To Cut: click Cut icon (scissors) in toolbar
Place your cursor where you want the text to go
To Paste: click on the Paste icon (clipboard) in your toolbar
When you cut or copy something, it is placed in a holding area called the "clipboard." You can't see the clipboard, but your data is there. It will stay there UNTIL you
1. copy or cut something else
2. turn off your computer
You can paste what's on your clipboard over and over, as long as you don't copy or cut something else on top of it. The clipboard that comes with Windows 95 will hold only one selected item at a time.
You can copy or cut and paste large blocks of text, graphics, all or part of the text of an e-mail, text on a Web page, graphics on Web pages, tables, and just about anything else a computer has on it. There IS a limit to how much material the clipboard can hold, but if you exceed it, you can possibly do it in several steps.
There is NO reason that a forwarded e-mail has to have hundreds of names and headers included with the message. The only reason I can think of for leaving the names on is to show where the message has been. With COPY & PASTE, you can send your friends ONLY the message and not the e-mail addresses of everyone in the Universe. This also will help cut down on spam (junk email). (NOTE: you cannot CUT text from an e-mail or a Web page; you can only HIGHLIGHT/COPY/PASTE.)
One last tip: if you want to move a small amount of text or a picture just a short distance within the document you are in, simply highlight it and click and drag it with you mouse. This works best when the phrase or picture is being moved only within the area you can see on your screen.
Coco is the newsletter editor of The F1 Key, a publication of the F1 Computer Users' Club in Shell Knob, MO.
HOW DO WE MANAGE LARGE AMOUNTS OF PHOTOS?
By Richard T. Robusto, lvpcug firstname.lastname@example.org
I daresay that all of us have numerous photos that have been around for years. Some are becoming yellowed and are deteriorating more each year. I, myself, attempting to be an amateur photographer years past, have accumulated an immense amount of photos. Starting with the old reliable "Brownie" camera, which did a pretty good job for its time, and gradually using better equipment that allowed sharper focusing and better depth of field. Then on to the development of color photography and through the lens metering with electric eyes, we were rewarded with a much better end product.
So we've taken all these mementos of our families, children and friends through many occasions and holidays as the years passed and carefully sorted, segregated and preserved them in photo albums. But time and humidity has taken its toll and the realization occurs that we cannot preserve these forever. Then we are faced with the specter that after we are gone, what we have treasured might not be treated with the same care. Also, there is always the possibility of tragedies happening. This comes to mind when we see the homes that were lost at Los Alamos during a disastrous forest fire. It is very doubtful that these poor residents were able to save all their photos and mementos when they had to evacuate. Others have lost everything to floods. An incident that has always stuck in my memory is of a fellow worker who became very despondent one day. Upon asking what was wrong, she informed me that she had to pick her parents up at the airport as they returned from a vacation in Europe. But the kicker was, that she had to inform them that while they were gone, their house burned completely, leaving nothing to be salvaged. Lost was every photo in their possession, plus all their other mementos.
Today however, computer technology has given us a surefire method to preserve these photos and other important documents. Scanning is a fairly easy operation to perform. A familiarization with the scanner and its accompanying software will not take much effort and then the procedures to begin preserving your photos and documents can begin.
The scanner that I have is the Visioneer One-Touch purchased a year ago for $149.00 Today the price is about $80.00. I have found this unit to be very easy to use and quite satisfactory. It came with Paperport software, which makes the task easy to accomplish. The scan window will offer a few settings to be made. First of all, the scan mode and resolution has to be set. The first rule of scanning is that the resolution is determined by the final output. If a scan is to be printed out, then the requirements of the printer will determine the scanning resolution. However, if you are scanning only to archive, then output determination can be set aside. Using archiving as your end result, then other parameters can be undertaken. Assuming we start with our oldest black and white photos, the mode should be set to Gray Scale, and the resolution to 75 or 100 dpi (dots per inch). The main idea is to have the scan so it looks good on the monitor and keeps the file to a moderate size. The larger the file, the longer it will take to move through your system after scanning.
For colored pictures, an appropriate resolution would be 100 dpi to 150 dpi. Colored prints stop yielding additional data at about 200 dpi. Scanning at a higher figure will produce a larger file but not more detail. Doug Gennetten is the engineer with HP Home Imaging Division who did the HP PhotoSmart printer and scanner introduction. At this event, he posted a message on the web that among other things said that 200 dpi is the maximum resolution you need if your original is a normal silver halide color print.
After scanning, the file can be sent to a graphic application, usually through a link on the Paperport screen. I currently have 3 graphic applications with links on the Paperport screen. They are MGI Photo Suite III, Microsoft Picture It 99, and Photoshop L. E. (limited Edition). I have found that Photo Suite III is the one that I prefer to work with. It makes easy work of the tasks required. You start by cropping the photo to size. Many times I will scan 4 or more, whatever will fit on the scan glass, then crop them apart one at a time. This saves scanning time and reduces the number of scans. After cropping, necessary tasks can be performed, such as adjusting brightness and contrast, (I am able to improve 90 per cent of these old photos), removing red eye, removing creases and unwanted blemishes. More complicated exercises such as cloning and removing unwanted persons or objects can also be accomplished.
All of these small graphic applications can handle all of these things. Also Corel Draw and Adobe Photoshop will do an excellent job on all these procedures. However, that's a bit of overkill as these programs are large and expensive, and are used for much more demanding applications.
Finally, the pictures are finished and ready for labeling. It is a good idea before starting labeling to give some thought how to identify many pictures. Set up some sort of system that will allow you to recall what each picture is about when viewing its description. As you get into the hundreds, this becomes a daunting task, as no two titles can be alike. A good way is to set up a set of folders that will allow sorting of pictures into various family groups or time line designations.
The last description that has to be applied to the photo is the format that it will be saved as. For general purposes, there are 3 or 4 common file formats, and for the home scanner type, these will be sufficient. They are TIFF, JPEG, GIF AND PNG.
TIFF - Tag Image File format
TIFF has been a format of choice for use for master copies of images for several years. Not the only one, but a good one. TIFF format was developed by Aldus, before Adobe bought them, and is the most widely supported format across other platforms, PC, Max, Unix, etc. TIFF writes a large file, and it optionally uses lossless compression meaning there are no quality losses. Ideal for important master images. If you might modify and save the file a second time, then use a non-Iossy format like TIFF. TIFF files are large, but it's the price we pay, it's how large the data is.
JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group
This is easily the best format for scanned photographs to be used on web sites, or for sending your photographic images in e-mail, because the file is wonderfully small, often compressed to only 1/10 or 1/15 size, which is very kind to modems. However, this fantastic compression efficiency comes with a high price. JPEG uses a Iossy compression (Iossy meaning "with losses"). Lossy means that some quality is lost when the JPEG data is compressed and saved, and this quality can never be recovered. Even worse, more quality is lost every time the JPEG file is compressed and saved again, so even editing a JPEG image is a questionable decision. JPG discards image pixel data that is inconvenient for its compression method, allowing phenomenal size results. This "lost data" is seen as lost purity, or lost integrity due to mild corruption of the data, rather like added noise. There is no magic answer providing both high compression and high quality, but some quality losses are acceptable for some purposes.
GIF - Graphic Interchange Format
This is an older format developed by CompuServe, and it was fantastic in its day, with relatively small LZW (Lempel-Ziv-Welch, same compression as used for PKZIP) compressed file sizes (but nothing like JPEG's small size). However, GIF is limited to only 256 colors, a great match for the older 8 bit video boards, and for graphics, but which makes it poorly suited today for 24 bit photographic images. The file is also large if used for photographic images, as compared to 24 bit JPEG. And GIF files do not store the images scaled resolution dpi value, making scaling necessary every time the file is printed. GIF uses lossless compression like TIFF. JPEG is much better for 24 bit photographic images, and the JPEG file is very much smaller too (although lossy)
PNG- Portable Network Graphics
PNG was intended to be the replacement for GIF, due to LZW patent problems, and due to GIF being limited to only 256 colors. PNG was designed with the advantage of knowing all that went before. PNG supports 24 and 48 bit color with an awesome set of technical specifications and features, sort of the modern universal "be all, end all" of file formats, including superior lossless compression. The PNG basic compression is called the ZIP method, and is like the "deflate" method in PKZIP, but the big deal is that PNG also incorporates special preprocessing filters that greatly improve the compression efficiency, especially for typical gradient data often found in 24 bit photographic images. PNG may be of great interest for us today, because it is lossless compression well suited for master copy data, and because PNG is noticeably smaller than LZW TIFF. Looks like about 30% smaller than TIFF LZW for 24 bit files, and is about 10% to 30% smaller than 8 bit GIF files. Web browsers Netscape and Internet Explorer at first did not support PNG on WEB pages, but they now include support for PNG files on web pages and it might become popular, not to replace JPEG, but to replace GIF perhaps. Most image programs like Photo Impact, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro already support PNG, so compatibility transferring files is probably not an issue.
I have picked PNG for saving all my pictures. I have no need to print any of them out and am only interested in archiving them. I feel that in the future, if these need to be reworked or printed out, then the PNG format will work out just fine. I also use the ACDSee program to save my folders with corresponding pictures in them. This program allows me to use thumbnail display and to make the thumbnails any size that I want. By making them small enough, I am able to view 32 photos at one time on the desktop. This is helpful in sorting and rearranging.
When I accumulate 650 MB of photos, I transfer then to a CD-R. Then it is a simple matter to duplicate the CD and make as many copies as I want. At this point, I can give a copy to everyone in my family. This makes the selection of photos available to all interested persons and assures that the pictures will never be lost due to any one incident. So far, I have scanned and put on one CD, 1900 photos, many of them black and whites. On the second CD, I have 1100 photos. I estimate that I am about 70% finished with all my photos. Then I will undertake to do the same with about 2000 slides that I have. That, however, will not be as easy, as I will have to see about acquiring a slide scanner.
I have also started to scan all my important documents and put then all in one separate folder. I got the idea about a year ago, when I could not find some very important papers, most notably my college degrees. I sweated about three months and really turned things upside down, and lo and behold, there they were in a very "safe place". At that point, I decided to scan every paper that meant anything. I dragged out all the birth certificates, my children's school and college records, military discharge papers, and anything else that I didn't want to have to search for again.
Scanning text is much simpler than photos. You scan at line art mode. On some scanners, the designation is Editing text (OCR) Using this instead of Gray Scale will make the file about 8 times smaller. This should be scanned at 300 dpi. After scanning, the software can perform the "Edit for Text" operation. At that point, it can be transferred to a text program. There you can delete parts if necessary, label it and save it as a PNG file. I have done this with all my papers and put them into a folder that I named "Certificates" I now rest easy, and, of course, that folder of originals is always underfoot. I'll have to find another "safe place" to keep it.