Q: After reading your column about older POP vs. newer IMAP e-mail accounts (see tinyurl.com/y8n46u4w), I disagree that IMAP is the only way to access e-mail on multiple devices.

It’s true that a POP mail account normally serves only one computer. After that computer downloads e-mail, it’s deleted from the e-mail provider’s server.

But I’ve found a way to share a POP account between two MacBook Pro computers and an iPhone. My setup allows only one of my Macs to download an e-mail message and delete it from the server. The other Mac and the iPhone can only read a message. What about this?

Tom Lentz, Chanhassen


A: You are making an old e-mail system do new tricks, but it would be better to get a new e-mail system instead.

One reason is that you have made one of your Macs the “boss” of your POP (Post Office Protocol) e-mail account, and that limits your ability to share mail across three devices. If the “boss” reads a new message first, that e-mail will be deleted from the server and thus be unavailable to the second Mac and the iPhone. All three can only share e-mail if the second Mac and the iPhone read a new e-mail first.

Another reason is that POP e-mail doesn’t synchronize the mailboxes of the two Macs and the iPhone. As a result, each device is likely to contain a different mix of new and old e-mails, which makes managing mail more complicated.

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) e-mail provides a better solution because no single device is the “boss”— each one downloads a copy of a new e-mail, and the original message remains on the e-mail provider’s server. And, because e-mail is synchronized between the devices, you can manage your e-mail account equally well from any of them.


Q: I’m scanning family photos for a genealogy project, but I have a few — such as my Dad’s World War II Navy graduation photo — that are too large to fit on my flatbed scanner. Where can I find photo-stitching software that lets me scan big photos in sections, then combine the pieces?

Gail Sidor, New Brighton


A: Photo-stitching programs were originally used to create panoramas by combining multiple pictures. The software works by identifying similar images in the photos, then overlapping those similarities to create a single large scene.

That works to your advantage. If you scan your historic photo in several sections, a photo-stitching program can easily find the appropriate overlaps to recreate the original scene.

There are several free and for-pay photo-stitching programs, many of them written for Mac and PC (see tinyurl.com/y8uyuzso and tinyurl.com/y7zh2gno).


Q: We changed our Canon wired printer to work wirelessly. But now the scanner portion of the printer won’t connect to the Windows 10 PC. What can we do?

Judy Grosch, Chaska


A: Make sure that wireless printing and scanning was set up correctly in Windows 10 (see tinyurl.com/y8qeqp4c). Follow the directions to set up the printer and, if necessary, change the Windows 10 default printer setting so the PC looks for a wireless device.


E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com. Include name, city and telephone number.