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Tech Q&A: Viewing photos that are stored in outdated digital formats

Steve Alexander, Star Tribune on

Published in Business News

Q: I found an old floppy disk with pictures of my grandfather. But the picture files have the suffix ".max" and I don't have the right computer software to open them. What can I do?

—Frank Bayona, Kenner, La.

A: Photo files with the ".max" suffix were scanned from printed pictures by a program called ScanSoft PaperPort. Ideally, you would open those photos with that software, but it's no longer available. However, the program is now sold under a different name, Kofax PaperPort, for $99 (see tinyurl.com/mh4u8jrb). If you don't want to spend that much, you can get a 15-day free-trial of Kofax PaperPort (see tinyurl.com/8m57nhue).

Note that, to use the PaperPort free trial, you must give your name and e-mail address. You must then download the program as a compressed file (makes the file smaller so that it downloads faster.) It can be opened by pressing "Unzip" in the installation menu.

You can then make it easier to view your photos in the future; use Kofax PaperPort to convert the. max files to the more widely used Adobe PDF file format (.pdf). The PDF format can be read by several different programs, such as the free Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (see tinyurl.com/ykx4n9um). Be sure to uncheck the "optional offers" before downloading the Adobe program.

Q: My computer contains a program named "Killer Control Center." I don't know what it is or how it got on my computer, but neither the Malwarebytes nor Kaspersky security programs classify it as harmful. What should I do about it?

—Evert Lehtola, Mound, Minn.

 

A: Despite its ominous name, Killer Control Center is legitimate PC networking software now owned by Intel, and it is distributed on new computers by manufacturers such as Dell.

The Killer software is used by your PC's "network interface card," which handles incoming and outgoing data. It monitors which programs or websites are using the most data, and lets you give some programs higher priority for using your internet connection. This prevents a few heavy-data-use programs, such as online games or video websites, from using up all your internet capacity. (For details, see tinyurl.com/23vm7h5j). If you don't use a lot of data-intensive programs, you probably don't need Killer Control Center and can uninstall it.

Q: When I log into Facebook on my PC, I get multiple choices for what to put in the username box — the choices include my e-mail address and password, and the e-mail addresses of my daughter and grandson. I've asked Facebook for help, but they haven't answered. What can I do?

—Wayne Johnson, Pine River, Minn.

A: The problem is caused by your web browser, not Facebook. The browser has retained your Facebook user name (your e-mail address) and password to make it easy for you to log in (you don't have to type them.) But, because your daughter and grandson have at some time logged into Facebook on your PC, the browser has also saved their e-mail addresses, and lists them as choices. Fortunately, you can remove unwanted usernames and passwords from your browser (see tinyurl.com/9tyck3ak).

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