Many devices don't require a converter

Apr 22, 2009 By Steve Alexander

Q. We will be sailing in the Greek Islands on a 32-foot boat in May, and I am wondering how to properly charge our various electronic gadgets -- an e-book reader, camera and phone -- so I don't wreck any of them. What should I ask the boat charter company about the power on board?

A. Ask if your boat provides either 110 volts or 220 volts, the electrical power levels most widely used around the world. You're right to be concerned, because if you plug a consumer electronics charger designed for 110 volts into a 220-volt outlet, you can probably kiss your camera, phone or e-book reader goodbye.

But SmarterTravel.com says you may not need to worry about the voltage differences. It says that "most electronic devices sold in the U.S. that use power chargers have a built-in dual-voltage compatible charger that accepts both 110 and 220 volts." See www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/does-my-digital-camera-charger-need-voltage-converter-overseas.html?id(equal-sign)2517809 .

If you're not sure what voltage your chargers are designed for, you can buy an AC to DC converter that also has the appropriate electrical plug adapters for the area you're visiting. Some of those converters also have USB connections for charging consumer electronics devices. For example, see www.journalism.co.uk/66/articles/531513.php .

Q. I have problems viewing the JPEG image files (used by many digital cameras) that are stored in my computer or attached to e-mails. When I use the Windows picture-viewing software, I often get either a blank gray background with no picture or what looks like a faint color negative on a gray background. In some cases I get an error message. Some other pictures show up fine. What's wrong?

A. The problem may be caused by a software update from Microsoft that was designed to protect the Outlook 2003 e-mail program from Internet attackers but that had the side effect of making some JPEG images unviewable with the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.

Rather than tamper with a security update, I'd be inclined to find a different picture viewer by going to www.download.com and searching for "picture viewer."

But you can eliminate the update by going to the Windows Start button, clicking Control Panel and using "Add or Remove Programs." Uninstall "Security Update for Microsoft Office Outlook 2003" or the file number "KB945432." If you don't see either, then uninstall "Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack" No. 2 or 3.

___

(Steve Alexander covers technology for the Star Tribune. E-mail your technology questions to steve.j.alexander at gmail.com or write Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488-0002. Please include a full name, city and phone number.)

___

(c) 2009, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Visit the Star Tribune Web edition on the World Wide Web at www.startribune.com
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Here's the way to copy e-mails to save on CDs

Mar 12, 2009

Q. I have a lot of e-mails in separate folders of my Microsoft Outlook program, and I want to take some of them off my Windows XP computer and save them on CDs. How can I do that?

Windows talks, but it won't listen to him

Jan 28, 2009

Q. I installed Windows on a new PC hard drive, but failed to activate the software with Microsoft's online service in the required time. Now, when I try to access music, Windows asks me if I want to activate. When I try ...

A 'reunion' that left her embarrassed

Feb 04, 2009

Q. In December, I was contacted by 16 former colleagues and friends who had received "invitations" from me through Reunion.com, a Web site I had never visited. It was quite embarrassing, because the colleagues were at a ...

Digital TV likes clear signal path

Dec 31, 2008

Question: If I buy a new digital TV, can I just plug it in and use it, as I do the old TV now? My son insists that it has to be hooked to an antenna, but the old televisions worked fine without one.

Photo can be copied from DVD

Feb 04, 2009

Q. As a present for a wedding anniversary, my children took many of our slides and put together a great VHS tape for us. Unfortunately, in the process one of the important slides was misplaced.

Recommended for you

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

9 hours ago

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Freight train industry to miss safety deadline

Apr 16, 2014

The U.S. freight railroad industry says only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory safety technology to prevent most collisions and derailments by the deadline set by Congress.

User comments : 0

More news stories

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...