Q: In a recent column, there was a question about scanning slides and burning them onto disks. What kind of equipment do you need to do...

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Q: In a recent column, there was a question about scanning slides and burning them onto disks. What kind of equipment do you need to do this? We had a lot of family pictures on slides taken from 1950 to 1970 and would like to place them on CDs to distribute to family members.

— Maureen Short

A: What you need is a slide scanner. The most popular desktop model is probably Nikon’s CoolScan 4000, which has just been superseded by the new CoolScan 5000. Expect to pay about $1,000 for a slide scanner of this quality. There are less-expensive ones available, but I haven’t seen one I’ve been satisfied with.

If you don’t want to make that kind of investment, and especially if you don’t have a great number of slides to scan, you might want to consider paying a service bureau to scan the slides. Expect to pay about 50 cents for each scan, plus a charge for the CD they are burned onto.

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Q: I was hoping you could tell us what equipment might be available to process 35-mm slides in a more efficient manner than just one at a time. I am looking for something that will allow me to unload a carousel of slides with one touch of the button into my Window XP system.

Is there something available or am I having to wait for technology to catch up with my needs?

— J.W. Roundhill

A: Many of the higher-quality desktop slide scanners have adapters that allow you to scan multiple slides at once. The Nikon CoolScan 4000 has an optional adapter that allows you to scan up to 50 slides. I’ve seen the adapter for sale online for about $380.

Q: My problem (or gripe) is that many times I want my Windows Internet Explorer page size set to 14 x 10 inches. However, I must reset the size in page setup each startup and each new window, because the IE default is letter-size.

How can I set the page size to my choice and have it stay that way (become the default) until I want to change it, and then have the new size stay the default?

— Richard Knuth

A: Is it possible you have more than one instance of Internet Explorer running when you try to set the window size?

Windows does a good job of remembering the size and location of the Internet Explorer window so that the next time you open IE, you get the same size window in the same location. Just make sure you’ve only got one instance of Internet Explorer running in a single window, resize the window to your liking, then close the window. That’s all there is to it.

If that’s not working for you, and if only a single instance of Internet Explorer is running, I’d have to suspect you’ve got a virus or a corrupt Windows registry.

Q: When using msconfig from the Run menu, I may have been a bit reckless, clicking on one too many boxes under the Startup tab. Now the msconfig command and a few other commands do not work.

The defrag command also doesn’t work, no matter where I try to start it from, and I can’t get the Device Manager under System on the Control Panel to open. Overall, the computer is working but tends to freeze too often, especially when using MusicMatch and Instant Messenger.

— Frank Riordan, Lake Forest Park

A: Why not just go back to msconfig and enable all the things on the Startup list?

Nevertheless, you’ve got so many glitchy things going on, I’d have to wonder about a virus or some corrupt Windows system files.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by e-mail to pmarshall@seattletimes.com or pgmarshall@pgmarshall.net, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.