Questions and Answers about this Album (an FAQ)

(That's Frequently Asked Questions)

These are questions I anticipate that you may ask when recieving this CD or
trying to get it running on your computer. If you have a question I haven't tried to
answer here, see my address and phone number at the end of this page.

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Click on the Question to goto the Answer.

How to use the Album

1. What is this and how do I use it?

2. Is there anything else I can do with this?

Computer Questions

1. What kind of computer do I need to view this?

2. What do you mean by "browser application?" on the cover?

3. Why can't you make a Macintosh version of this?

4. Why not put this on "The Web"?

5. What kind of computer equipment do I need to make an album like this?

Album Questions

1. Where did all of the notes under the pictures come from? How do you know that they are accurate?

2. I see a note I'm sure is wrong. How do you change it?

Picture Questions

1. The pictures in the album are too big or too small. What's wrong?

2. The colors of the pictures look wrong. What's causing that?

3. I really don't like looking at pictures on a monitor. How can I print these?

4. How do these computer pictures compare with the real photos?

5. Why is the album background gray?

6. What about the original scans?

Other Questions

1. Why did you do this?

2. Are you going to do more? How can I help?

3. My brother/sister/son/daughter/cousin/second-cousin-thrice-removed should really have a copy of this. How can I get another?

 

The Answers

How to use the Album

1. What is this and how do I use it?

This is a collection of photo albums on a CDROM. I scanned about 600 pictures out of family albums, and "retouched" them, so most of the pictures look better in this album than the originals did.

If you have a IBM computer, you should be able to view the album the same way you "browse the web". You start by inserting the CDROM into your CDROM drive on a computer. If you are using Windows 95, the computer should recognize the disk and put on your screen, a "banner" that looks like the cover of the CD case. If this is an IBM computer that has a "browser" to look at the "World Wide Web", just press "BEGIN". The CD does not connect you to the internet, the pictures are on the CD, and you are only using the browser to look at the CD. For more help on using the album, click here.

For those who don't know, all references to Mama are to Louisa Brockamp Wagner. All references to Papa are to John Baptist Wagner. For more information, I've included scans of some genealogy information that Arthur Wagner collected in the "Loose Photographs" Album.

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2. Is there anything else I can do with this?

The album provides small copies of the pictures scanned, for viewing on your screen. If you click on the picture, a larger picture appears on your screen. Click "BACK" on the toolbar to return to the album. Also on the CD is a very high resolution scan of the photograph, more suitable for printing. See the printing question for more details.

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Computer Questions

1. What kind of computer do I need to view this?

Minimum Hardware Requirements

There are certain minimum requirements you need in your computer to view this album. If you have a computer which meets the minimum requirements and not the Best Viewing requirements, the album will be very slow viewing and you will not be able to see the whole pictures on you screen (The album page will appear larger than your screen)

Computer: IBM PC compatible computer (including Dell, Compaq, IBM) This usually means anything except an Apple computer (Apple II or Macintosh) or a number of older computers like the Commodore 64.
Monitor: SVGA Monitor
Video Card: 640x480x65536 That means a resolution of 640 pixels across, 480 pixels down, and a minimum of 65536 colors (sometimes called 16 bit color).
CDROM: almost any CDROM working on a IBM compatible PC will work.

For Best Viewing:

Computer: Pentium computer (including Dell, Compaq, IBM)
Monitor: SVGA Monitor
Video Card: 800x600x16 million colors
That means a resolution of 800 pixels across, 600 pixels down, and 16 million colors (sometimes called 24 or 32 bit color or "True Color").
CDROM: 4x CDROM or better

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2. What do you mean by "browser application" on the cover?

This really goes into the question of what software you need to view the album. Application means program, and browser is a program used to view text and pictures, like what you do on the World Wide Web.

Software Requirements: Windows 95 or 98 or Windows NT and any version of Netscape or Internet Explorer (a browser program).

The album will not work with Windows 3.1, it uses "long file names" which Windows 3.1 doesn't know how to deal with. If your computer is 3 years old or newer, you shouldn't have a problem.

For the browser application, most versions of Netscape or Internet Explorer will work. This album uses the simplest set of HTML commands, so it should work with Netscape 2.01 or better, and all versions of Internet explorer. If your computer is capable of "browsing the web" you probably already have one of these installed, and the CD will recognize the browser and use it.

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3. Why can't you make a Macintosh version of this?

I'm sorry, I just don't know how to use a Macintosh. Maybe someone who does can help out.

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4. Why not put this on "The Web"?

It's far too big for a web site. Most Web Providers offer you 5 meg of space for your web site. This album is about 230 meg. It's so big because pictures tend to use a lot of memory.

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5. What kind of computer equipment do I need to make an album like this?

For those of you who are interested, I made this using a Pentium II 233 with a EPSON Expression 636 Scanner to scan the photographs and a generic brand 4x CD-Writer to make the CD-ROM's.

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Album Questions

1. Where did all of the notes under the pictures come from? How do you know that they are accurate?

All quotes under each picture are the notes from the album under or around the photograph. Most of them were made by Madeline (written) or George (verbally).

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2. I see a note I'm sure is wrong. How do you change it?

I'd be glad to change anything you are sure about. Madeline wasn't necessarily correct in all of her comments, but I didn't feel I should change anything without someone more sure than I looking at it.

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Picture Questions

1. The pictures in the album are too big or too small. What's wrong?

If you are viewing the album in 640 by 480 resolution or less, the pictures will appear a bit too big. For best viewing your video card should be able to display 800 by 600 resolution. If the pictures look too small, then your video mode is set up very high (like 1024x 768 or higher).
To set it lower, press "START", then select "Settings", then select "Control Panel", then Double-click "Display". Press the "Settings" Tab, and move the bar in the box labeled "Desktop Area" until you read "800 x 600 pixels" in the Desktop Area Box.

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2. The colors of the pictures look wrong. What's causing that?

If you have checked to make sure your video can display 65536 colors or more, then you probably have your color depth set at something less than 65536 colors. To set it higher, press "START", then select "Settings", then select "Control Panel", then Double-click "Display". Press the "Settings" Tab, and move the bar in the box labeled "Color Palette" until you read "High Color (16 bit)" or a setting with a higher number of bits in the Color Palette Box.

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3. I really don't like looking at pictures on a monitor. How can I print these?

You can print the larger pictures using you browser's print functions, or I have included a better quality version of all of the pictures, although accessing them is not that easy, and takes someone familiar with Windows 95. This album was made primarily for looking, not printing.

Your printer needs to be capable of printing photographs. This means high resolution, like 600 dpi or better. You also need to have a program you are already familiar with to print the pictures. Any printer sold today usually has a program that comes with it to print pictures.

To print a picture using the high resolution scans I've included, you need to know which picture you wish to print, and from which album. In Netscape, when you move the mouse over the picture you are interested in, at the bottom of the screen, a filename is listed. The part you are interested in will look like: "WA3_125_f.jpg" . Note these numbers.

To find the high resolution pictures on the CD, double click "My Computer", then double click "Wagner Family Album CD", select the Directory Name of the album you are interested in (in the example above the "3" of "WA3_125_f.jpg" is the album number). Next look for a file with a filename that includes the album and picture number. (In our example the printable filename would be "WA3_125.jpg") Run your printing program using that file.

As you can see the album wasn't really set up for the average user to do this. It was just more work than I had time for at this time. Maybe in a future revision.

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4. How do these computer pictures compare with the real photos?

I believe that these picture have been scanned as well as they can be with current equipment available. Since I ran most of the pictures you see here through some "image processing" routines, many of the pictures look better that the originals. All yellowing is removed. Contrast was adjusted on almost all of the pictures. Mid-tones were enhanced when appropriate for older pictures which had very high contrast. Color photos were rebalanced, and slightly color intensified. Almost all of the pictures were sharpened.

All this is the "computer" equivalent of the "retouching" the pictures, as would be done in a professional photo lab, if these were still prints.

I did some research on this before I started this project, and most reliable sources seem to agree that if the pictures are scanned at about 300 dots per inch, that all of the information that can be extracted from the print is extracted. Most photographic papers are good for about 200 dpi, so this is higher resolution than the paper itself.

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5. Why is the album background gray?

The original albums were black, with the notes in white. If someone were to print a page of this album with a black background with white text, the white text wouldn't get printed. I picked gray so that I could use black text. It also appears to enhance the look of the pictures a bit.

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6. What about the original scans?

If you are interested in the original scans, before I processed them, I can make a CD for you with those scans on them. Contact me at the address below.

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Other Questions

1. Why did you do this?

The main reason I did this was to give to all my cousins, brother and sisters and myself, a chance to get copy of all of these pictures. Usually as time goes on only a few family members end up with the "old pictures" and when I saw these pictures, I wanted copies to pass on to my family. I realized that scanning and making an album like this was an easy, economic way to duplicate them. So this is for me to hand on to my children and is for you, and for you to hand on to your children.

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2. Are you going to do more? How can I help?

Yes. If anyone has an album, or pictures of the Wagner family or any of the relatives of those in these albums, I would like to add them to some future revision of this CD. I am interested in pictures earlier than about 1960. I pick that date because with the marriage of the last Wagner of that generation (Jim, my dad), I figure it is time for each of the individual Wagner families to start their own albums. I am willing to provide information on how I did it for anyone who is interested in assembling an album the way I did here. See below for my address.

I also am interested in assembling more genealogy information, and maybe tying it into an album like this, if anyone is willing to participate in a project like that.

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3. My brother/sister/son/daughter/cousin/second-cousin-thrice-removed (anyone you want) should really have a copy of this. How can I get another?

No Problem. I will gladly make all the copies anyone wants. If you are worried about cost, don't. These cost me about a dollar a piece to make, and if you feel you must help, donate the dollar to your favorite charity.

Patrick Wagner
E-mail:
patrick.wagner@ieee.org

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