Q: We have a laptop that has become extremely slow since I put in Norton 2007. We had free AVG, Ad-Aware and SpyBot Search & Destroy. Do we have too many programs going? Should we use one anti-virus and one anti-spyware program?

- Sherry Garland, Woodstock, Ga.

A: Use one anti-virus program. Running two can cause a computer to slow down. There's nothing wrong with running two anti-spyware programs, so both Ad-Aware and SpyBot can stay.

I think removing one of the two anti-virus programs will eliminate some of the slowness . The big clue here is that the slowdown started when you installed the Norton program.

Q: I have a CD of digital camera photos that was created on a Windows 98 computer. When I put the disc into a computer with Windows XP, it cannot be read. What should I do?

- Bruce Caplan

A: My guess is that the problem is not incompatibility between Windows 98 and XP. Instead, it's incompatibility between the original CD drive and the one you have on the XP machine.

The solution here would be to either e-mail the photos to yourself and copy them to a USB flash memory stick or, if the two machines are networked, just transfer them to the XP machine and burn a new CD using that PC.

Help from a reader: A recent column about digital photography talked about the shutter lag - a long pause between the time you click the shutter and when the picture is taken - experienced with some early digital cameras. Verlin Foltz offers some excellent advice for dealing with this.

"I have one of those cameras, an Olympus D-360L.

"I learned early on that to get good photos I need to push the shutter button halfway down, allow the camera to make its whirring noises and whatever, then concentrate on the subject and squeeze the button the rest of the way down at the right moment.

Works for me!" *

E-mail Bill Husted at bhusted@ajc.com.