Walt Mossberg

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Printing Wirelessly from a Digital Camera

There’s no other major item most of us own that is as confusing, unpredictable and unreliable as our personal computers. Everybody has questions about them, and we aim to help.

Here are a few questions about computers I’ve received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability. This week my mailbox contained questions about printing wirelessly from a digital camera, Intel processors, and playing iTunes songs on a Treo.

Is there a way to print wirelessly from a digital camera to a printer?

Yes. A number of digital cameras include Bluetooth, and a few even have Wi-Fi. These wireless technologies allow you to send your pictures to a wireless-equipped printer, over varying distances. In some cases, you can also use this wireless capability to transfer the pictures in the camera to a computer, without the use of cables or the need to remove the memory card.

I am a high-school student and am buying a Dell laptop for use during a semester in Israel. I plan to use the computer only for word processing, watching videos, listening to music, viewing pictures and using the Internet (no gaming whatsoever). Does it matter whether I get Intel’s Core Duo, or Core 2 Duo processors? Also, would you recommend purchasing 1 or 2 gigabytes of memory?

Assuming you are on a budget, I would suggest the Core Duo, since the extra speed and power of the Core 2 Duo won’t make any significant difference in the kinds of tasks you will be performing. However, I would advise spending extra for 2 gigabytes of memory if the computer comes equipped with the new Windows Vista operating system. If you opt for the older Windows XP operating system (assuming it’s available on the model you choose) you will be giving up some degree of security, but you can also get away with just 1 gigabyte of memory.

Is there a way to “authorize” the copy-protected songs I bought from iTunes so they play on a Treo 700wx? Are there any cellphones that can play these songs?

No, you can’t directly play copy-protected songs you have purchased from iTunes on a Treo, because Apple hasn’t licensed the decoding software to Palm, which makes the Treo. The only way to make them playable on your Treo is via a laborious work-around, in which you burn the songs to CDs on your computer, then reimport them as nonprotected MP3 music files and manually input the artist and title data. After that, you could move them to the Treo and play them.

There are only a few cellphones that can directly play copy-protected music purchased from iTunes. One is the new iPhone, which comes out tomorrow from Apple itself, and contains a full-blown iPod that can hold more than 1,000 songs. The others are a handful of Motorola models, which contain a version of iTunes that can hold and play back up to 100 copy-protected songs.

Write to Walter S. Mossberg at mossberg@wsj.com

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