Q: I put together my own Web site and I really like how it looks. The only problem is that I was shocked when I showed it to a friend on...
Q: I put together my own Web site and I really like how it looks. The only problem is that I was shocked when I showed it to a friend on his computer and saw that all the fonts were different than what I had put in. Some of the text was broken in different places, too. Why doesn’t it look on his computer like it looks on my computer? We’re using the same Web browser.
— John Kenner
A: It’s a translation problem.
A Web browser can display fonts that are available only on the computer in question. So if you put Book Antigua text on your page and the computer used to view the page doesn’t have Book Antigua, the computer will automatically substitute another font.
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So … if you want your page to look just as you designed it, you have to be very careful when you pick fonts. You’ll want to use fonts that are likely to be on most computers — Windows as well as Macintosh. Arial/Helvetica is a safe nonserif choice. And Times New Roman is a safe serif choice. Here’s a Web site that lists fonts generally available on most systems: www.ampsoft.net/webdesign-l/WindowsMacFonts.html.
Q: I was very pleased when your column showed a phone number to get a Windows Service Pack 3 disk. I, like many, could not get it to download from the automatic updates from Microsoft.
I installed the disc and assume my computer is updated. However, I still have the Update Icon on my toolbar showing I need to download Service Pack 3. How do I let Microsoft know I have installed Service Pack 3? I want them to know so I will be able to download future updates. (I don’t think I will be able to until they remove the current icon showing I need to install it.)
— Dave Stevens
A: Don’t worry about not being able to install future updates. They are cumulative. In other words, you don’t have to install each update. If you install the latest update, you’ll get all previous updates as well.
I haven’t been able to find anything definitive on why that update icon won’t go away. It appears that your Windows update utility isn’t aware that you’ve installed Service Pack 3. If you run the update — this time from the icon rather than from the disc — the utility should become aware that Service Pack 3 is installed.
If you want to make sure Service Pack 3 actually installed, go to the Control Panel and select the System icon. That utility will provide a report of the version of the operating system running. If it says Service Pack 3, you’re good to go.
Q: My Panasonic digital camera can record short video clips of reasonable quality. The files created are in the Apple QuickTime Movie format, however, and are not viewable on any of the other video applications such as Windows Media or Real Player. Do you know of software to convert QuickTime Movie files to .wmv files?
— Elliott Brogren, firstname.lastname@example.org
A: There are actually quite a few options. For starters, if you have only a few files to convert, check out this Web site: media-convert.com/. The site allows you to convert files to and from a wide range of formats at no charge. (The catch is that you can’t help but see the advertising carried on the site.) Alternatively, there are a variety of low-cost programs that can handle that conversion. Just search the Internet for convert QuickTime to WMV and you’ll see an array of offerings. For example, Digital Media Converter (www.deskshare.com/dmc.aspx) is available for $39.95.
It’s sad that Microsoft and Apple don’t support conversions to and from each other’s formats. You can buy a version of QuickTime that exports to a wide variety of other formats, but not to Windows WMV. Likewise, Windows Media Player does not support exporting files to QuickTime format.
Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.