Alexander: He wants to broadcast, but it's not cheap

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 31, 2012 - 4:49 PM

Q I'm looking to set up an live Internet streaming video and audio show. To produce it, I need to have several video-audio streams from remote locations running on my PC at the same time. What kind of a laptop should I purchase? What else do I need to think about?

RYAN ALPERSTEIN, St. Louis Park

A You can be your own broadcaster, but it's not cheap.

The computer is actually the least of your concerns; an off-the-shelf Windows 7 PC will do.

Likewise, the set-up isn't difficult. What you describe is really nothing more than a building security system in which the video from each camera appears in a different window on the PC screen.

But it gets pricey. Axis Communications bundles the video software with four cameras (see tinyurl.com/d48fk9c) for about $800 (see specific system requirements at tinyurl.com/cm7sb3u.) Or you could get just NCH Software's streaming program for $99 (see tinyurl.com/368qut.)

If you have your own website, you can do live streaming through an online provider such as StreamingVideoProvider (see tinyurl.com/yzntq54) for $77 a month. Livestream (see tinyurl.com/c7jbak2) costs $45 a month.).

Q I have a Compaq laptop that warns me I'm running out of space on my "D drive." What can I do?

ROBERT MIGGINS, Tucson, Ariz.

A The D drive isn't really a separate drive, but rather a small partitioned area on your hard drive, or C drive. The D drive area is designed to hold only fix-it software for the PC, and has little extra space. Unfortunately, automatic data backup software will sometimes copy information into the D drive space, filling it up and generating the warnings you've seen.

You can get rid of the warnings by clearing unnecessary data from the D drive partitioned space. To do it safely, see tinyurl.com/csmpjz5.

Q I need to transfer about 25 complex Excel spreadsheets from my 64-bit Windows Vista PC to my new Windows 7 PC. In the past, I've had trouble transferring files of this type between computers because parts of the spreadsheets become misaligned and I end up having to redo them. Is there an easy way to make the transfer?

THOMAS LOTZER, Eden Prairie

A Make a direct connection between the two PCs with a USB cable designed specifically for their two operating systems (see tinyurl.com/35eddhq). You'll also need Microsoft's free "Windows Easy Transfer" software; the 64-bit Windows version for your PC is available at tinyurl.com/cb426ge.

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@ gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.

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