Helpline

December 09, 2004

Q: I have an AMD K6-2 450 mHz computer and recently signed on with EarthLink to be my Internet service provider, mainly because it was offering a free video camera. The camera's CD-ROM software was installed without incident, but when I plugged the camera in to the USB port, a "Video camera is not functioning properly. No such interface supported." message was displayed. Can you help me?

A: Your elderly computer's operating system is the culprit and I can only hope that you have the installation CD for the Windows 98SE (Second Edition) operating system. Windows 98 originally came with no support for the universal serial bus ports that are now the gold standard for connecting peripherals. It was necessary to upgrade 98 with Microsoft's SE service pack.

Hopefully, you have the CDs that came with Windows 98SE. If so, your fix is to place the Windows disc in the drive when you connect the camera. The computer then will load from the Windows disc the drivers needed to operate it.

Before you do this, however, remove the software for the video camera that you installed when you tried to set things up and failed. If you don't, the computer will no longer recognize the camera as a new device and will not attempt to load the needed drivers when you plug it in a second time.

To do this, right-click on the My Computer icon and select Properties. Look for the Device Manager tab in the Properties display. Open Device Manager and go to the bottom of the devices to the USB ports and pick the one for your camera. Now, click on the Remove box in the Device Manager, and the drivers will be erased. With this done, the computer once again will recognize that a new device has been attached and start the process to install it. But this time you will have the Windows 98SE disc to make it work.

Q: Each time I try to open up a JPEG file on my computer, I get an error notice "Cannot find pictureviewer.exe." I am running Windows 98SE and I am using the Internet Explorer 6 browser.

A: It is safe to say that somewhere over the many years the computer was in use, some software was loaded onto it that assigned a program called pictureviewer.exe to display photographs in the JPEG format. That software appears to be gone now.

You can try to find whatever pictureviewer.exe is or just assign some other program to display JPEG photo files. Most people use Microsoft's Internet Explorer to display these photos because it works very fast and permits one to do things like make a desktop background out of the image, e-mail it or save it to a new location.

Let's cover setting up Internet Explorer first.

To specify the program that runs whenever a given icon is clicked (called the file association), just find any icon for a JPEG on your machine and right-click. You should see a choice called "Open with" in the menu that pops up. (If not, holding down the Shift key while clicking will bring up the "Open with" option.)

This brings up a typical Windows search box, in which you can click on various folders to home in on the actual program you want to run. Point the search display to the Program Files director on the C: drive and then scroll down to Internet Explorer. Then, open that folder and select the file iexplore.exe to associate with the icon.

If you want to restore the pictureviewer.exe for opening photos, you can find it by clicking on Start and Find and then using that file name as a search term.

I'll bet, however, that you'll be happier just sticking with iexplore.exe, as most users do for these files.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

Q and A

James Coates of the Chicago Tribune may be reached via e-mail at jcoates@ tribune.com.

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