QUntil recently, I could save images in Web pages in any format I wanted. Now, for no apparent reason, I can only save them in bitmap (.bmp) format.

ABasically, Internet Explorer gets confused when it collects too many copies of Web pages in its cache. The fix is to empty this cache: From IE's Tools menu, select "Internet Options . . ." and then click the "Delete Files . . ." button. A Microsoft tech-support report has more details; visit support.microsoft.com and search for "260650," its article number.

When I found that report, I can't say I was surprised to see its recommended remedy -- as long as I've been using the Web, "trash the cache" has been a solution to most Web-browsing ailments. It's the vitamin C of browser medicine. I don't know why this is so, but if it works I'm not going to complain -- much.

My son keeps telling me about the very expensive audio and video cables supposedly needed to connect an entertainment system. Do I really need to spend extra for the "Monster" cables he's talking about?

Spend enough money and, sure, you'll get better picture and sound quality to some degree. But choosing the right type of cable is much more important than picking one brand over another.

In audio, use digital cables instead of analog cables if your system allows that. A digital cable (they come in two kinds, optical and coaxial) should sound a little cleaner. And since one will take the place of a pair of analog "RCA" cables (one for each of a stereo's left and right channels), it can allow a cleaner setup too.

In video, picture quality should increase as you go from composite video (small yellow plug) to S-Video (bigger black plug) to component video (a trio of green, blue and red plugs). If you're buying a digital TV, the best quality should come with a digital-video connection (DVI or HDMI, both of which employ rectangular black plugs).

-- Rob Pegoraro

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or rob@twp.com.