All you folks with gigantic avatar files, listen up....
Someone asked me:
In reply to:
hey, i have lots of photos that i would like to make smaller, etc. And i was wondering if you could tell me how to download irfanview, and how to use it.
Irfanview is a nice little malware-free image editing utility for Windows that can be downloaded for free.
=== DOWNLOADING ===
Go to http://www.irfanview.com
On the left side of the page, click on Download
On the download page, click on TUCOWS Worldwide Network - Download IrfanView
Choose the button after Download Now: that matches your operating system. Clip on XP if you're running windows XP.
The file will download. I assume you'll know which directory it goes into. (If you're using Firefox, you can start it from the download manager, and you don't have worry about it.) Click or double-click on the downloaded install file (however you have it set up) to start it going.
Agree with everything it asks you, and it will install itself. [Double-] Click on the desktop icon to start the program. You can drag an image file explorer icon right into the program.
=== USING ===
Keep in mind that an avatar's maximum size is 90 x 90 pixels; it can be smaller. If it's bigger than 90 pixels in either dimension, it will be squashed down to 90, and the image will be distored if it's not square. However, if the image is no larger than 90 x 90, it won't be distorted (e.g., 90 x 80 is fine). You can crop the image first if you like, to display the interesting part of the image (a good idea, since a 90 x 90 image is not very detailed). You can lick on a region of the image, drag the curor, and let go of the mouse button, to create a box to crop to. You can drag the corner of the square to fine tune the selection area. Then go to Edit -> Crop selection to do it.
Under Image, -> Resize/Resample, and play with the dialog box.
Go to File -> Save as. Choose JPG (JPEG) format for simplicity. Under the Options dialog box that opens, uncheck everything. Save quality of 75% is perfectly adequate for most purposes.