All to often, I read a question and feel like answering with “it depends”.
If you want a good answer, you need to ask a good question.
Here’s how to write a good question:
1. Explain your end goal – why you’re doing this
I want my mother who lives out of state to see some videos of my daughter.
2. Provide detailed information:
ok: I have a digital camera that I’m using to take videos. It saves avi files.
better: I’m using a Canon SD500 to take videos at 640×480, 30fps. The videos are exported as avi files.
I prefer to use a digital camera for my videos (opposed to a camcorder) since I can carry it around with me at all times.
3. Discus the requirements of the solution, and why they are requirements.
Include both the positive requirements (it should be) and the negative requirements (it shouldn’t be)
This will limit answers you might get which won’t help you as well as allow for directions you might not have thought of,
My mom is using an old mac (model XX / OS 9 / quicktime version YY)
I cannot install a newer version of quicktime because ……
I would rather not install a different movie viewer because …
I am using a PC with windows XP.
I do not have access to a mac.
I’m tight on cash so I’d prefer a free solution, but if needed can spend up to $10
I’m not a technical guru so it needs to be a fairly simple solution.
4. State what you have done so far.
bad: I’ve looking into a few options. None were promising.
better: I tried using software ABC version 3.4 for the PC. It was not able to open my file. I also did some googling and found software X, Y and Z, but they are all beyond my budget.
Use unambiguous terminology:
Don’t use terms which are relative like fast, large or cheap.
Use specific terms.
bad: How much memory do I need to edit large image files?
better: I’m trying to edit a 325MB uncompressed tif file (14,500 by 8,000 / 24bit) in photoshop 6.
My pc is a p4 2.8GHZ with 512MB ram. It currently takes 30 seconds ever time I make any change to it.
How much memory should I have so simple changes will take less than 3 seconds?
October 6, 2005 at 11:41 pm
I really enjoyed this article — let’s see how many other people “Digg” it!