Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tech advice: Recover pics from memory card

I accidentally formatted my camera's memory card. Is there a way to recover my photos?
There are a few free file recovery programs that will work. Recuva is a powerful free recovery program. It will work on almost any digital media, but it may not detect all photo file formats.

Zero Assumption Recovery is designed to read photo files, including many proprietary RAW formats. When recovering files, do not restore files to the same place you are recovering them from. You will overwrite the files you are trying to recover. Visit www.ko to download these free programs.

I have several flash drives. Some are much slower than others. Why is that?

Flash drives are based on flash memory. However, not all flash memory is created equal. There are faster and slower varieties. Naturally, faster varieties are more expensive. Speed is also dependent on the memory controller.

A basic memory controller will be slower than a high-quality memory controller. That means bargain or off-brand flash drives tend to be slower. Manufacturers often put read and write speeds on flash drives. Look for faster speeds. I recommend a write speed of 30 MB/s or faster.

I am concerned about using public Wi-Fi when I travel in my RV. Can I set up a personal router to rebroadcast the signal securely?

Rebroadcasting a Wi-Fi signal isn't terribly difficult, but it is hard when it isn't your own network. In some cases, it won't be possible. Plus, it won't add much extra security. The connection between your router and the public Wi-Fi won't be encrypted. You're better off making sure your computer is secure. That means installing security software, including a firewall.

Disabling file sharing is also a good idea. Visit for links to free security software and to learn how to disable file sharing.

Apple just released iLife '11. It looks like it has some good features. However, I just bought a Mac recently. Do I have to pay to upgrade?

ILife, Apple's popular media software suite, helps you manage your photos, create music and edit videos. It comes bundled on all Mac computers. Apple also sells upgrade versions for older computers. You may be able to get a free copy, depending on when you bought the computer.

All Macs purchased in October get a free upgrade. You just pay for shipping and handling, which is $7. Otherwise, it will cost you $50, plus shipping. You can order the upgrade from Apple's website. The free upgrade cannot be picked up at an Apple Store.

Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about computers and the Internet. E-mail questions to

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