Walt Mossberg

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Internet Access in Hotel Rooms

Q:

I have a 3GS iPhone. Is there a way to connect it to the Internet cable found in hotel and motel rooms?

A:

Not that I know of. But you can do this indirectly by creating your own Wi-Fi network from the wired connection in the room. There are two ways to do this.

One possibility is to carry a small portable router. These are small devices that plug into the wired connection and propagate a Wi-Fi signal in the hotel room that the iPhone (or other devices, like laptops and tablets) can use. A second option is to plug a laptop into the physical connection and use it as a Wi-Fi base station by setting up what’s called an “ad hoc” or computer-to-computer Wi-Fi connection. Steps for doing this, which can be a bit techie, differ depending on whether you use a PC or Mac.

Q:

I have been struggling with a hard drive space shortage for at least a year. I have deleted duplicate emails. I have deleted videos and word files and put them on a stand alone hard drive. Do you have any other suggestions?

A:

If you don’t want to, or can’t, replace your laptop, and don’t want to be tethered to your external hard disk, you might look into buying a new, larger, internal hard disk.

Many stores and consultants can sell and install larger hard disks, and even transfer the data from your old one.

Q:

I have thousands of photos on my computer and external hard drives. I’m in the process of trying to organize them on one hard drive and noticed that there are many duplicates between the different devices. Is there one program that you recommend that reliably detects and allows the removal of duplicate files?

A:

You might try using Google’s Picasa to sweep the drives, locate the photos, and display them.

The program has a feature that can avoid importing duplicates. Once imported, if there are still duplicates, Picasa offers methods to hide or actually delete them from your disk. Information on this is at http://bit.ly/8YKTzy.

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns, online for free at the new All Things Digital website, http://walt.allthingsd.com.


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