Saturday, May 7, 2011

Owners of original iPads need not dump them for iPad 2

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Question: I have an original iPad and I love it. Is there a reason to upgrade to the iPad 2?

  • The iPad 2.

    By Carl Court, AFP/Getty Images

    The iPad 2.

By Carl Court, AFP/Getty Images

The iPad 2.

Answer: Apple has made improvements with the iPad 2. However, if you're happy with your original iPad, I would stick with that. The iPad 2 has a faster processor and graphics system. Plus it now has two digital cameras, a front-facing one and a rear-facing one. That's good for high-end games and video chatting. However, the iPad 2 doesn't offer much else new beyond that. The screen and storage are the same, for example. I would save your money for the iPad 3. It should be a more substantial upgrade.

Q. I see a lot of third-party sites that let you log in using Facebook. You don't have to create a new account. However, is it safe?

A. Yes and no. Logging in using Facebook Connect is a secure procedure. You are communicating directly with Facebook's servers. The third-party site doesn't see your username and password. So it won't necessarily compromise your Facebook account. However, your Facebook account could be hacked some other way. Phishing email and scammy wall posts are all over. That would give a hacker access to all your other accounts as well. I suggest only using Facebook authorization for non-critical websites. For websites containing sensitive personal information, create a separate account.

Q. I use iTunes to manage my music. I have more than 100 gigabytes of music and lots of Smart Playlists. iTunes keeps getting slower. Is there a way to speed it up?

A. iTunes' Smart Playlist feature lets you build song lists automatically. You specify options like genre and decade. iTunes will add songs to the playlist. Unfortunately, they can cause iTunes to drag. That's because iTunes continually checks for new songs. This forces iTunes to keep rescanning your music library. Deleting your Smart Playlists or turning off Live Updating will speed up iTunes. To turn off Live Updating, CTRL + click on a Smart Playlist and select Edit Smart Playlist. Find the Live Updating option and uncheck it. Do this for every Smart Playlist. That should help speed up iTunes.

Q. I accidentally duplicated all my digital photos. It almost filled up my hard drive. How can I get rid of them quickly?

A. Duplicate files can be a big headache, particularly when you're talking about hundreds of files. As you've found, they'll soon fill up a hard drive. Fortunately, there are some free tools to get rid of duplicates quickly. Try Visipics, Duplicate Cleaner or CloneSpy. Find links at These programs will search your hard drive for duplicate files. They don't just look at file names. They actually look at the content of the files. This reduces the chance that you'll accidentally delete the wrong file. Still, don't have the programs delete the duplicates automatically. Review them first; otherwise you may regret it later.

Q. My DVR's hard drive is full. How can I transfer content elsewhere to free space?

A. It depends on the DVR. Many DVRs have USB ports for external drives. However, cable company DVRs often have these disabled. You will have to contact your cable company to find out. If the ports are locked, there is nothing you can do legally. A third-party DVR like a TiVo should accept external hard drives. You can find hard drives online approved for DVR use. If you have an external drive or flash drive around, try those first.


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