Ask Leo! #316 – What were people asking last year? Plus routers, recovery, broken URLs and more.

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

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*** New Articles

2011 Most Popular Questions

20,000,000 visits.

That's a lot of people who've visited Ask Leo! in the last 12 months.

United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India, and Australia make up the top five countries from which people are visiting. (And if you have any doubt that the internet is global - over half the visitors are located outside the U.S.)

40% of visitors were using Internet Explorer, with Firefox and Chrome at 28% and 20% respectively.

And folks visiting using mobile devices such as iPhones (the #1 device for 2011), Android phones, and various tablets showed a very steady increase over the course of the year.

And what questions are they asking?

Continue reading: 2011 Most Popular Questions

* * *

What does a recovery CD recover?

If you make a Windows recovery CD after you've used your computer for a year, what will be the result? Will you get a CD that will bring you back to your original setup or a copy of your machine like it is now?


Depending on what recovery CD you're really talking about, the reality is somewhere in between.

Manufacturer recovery CDs use various approaches to give you what you had when you first got your machine.

And Windows recovery CDs only concern themselves with Windows itself.

In this (mostly audio-only) video from an Ask Leo! webinar, I'll discuss some of the possibilities.

Continue reading: What does a recovery CD recover?

* * *

What's the difference between a hub, a switch, and a router?

What's the difference between a hub, a switch, and a router?


In a word, intelligence.

Hubs, switches, and routers are all devices that let you connect one or more computers to other computers, networked devices, or even other networks. Each has two or more connectors called ports into which you plug in the cables to make the connection. Varying degrees of magic happen inside the device and therein lies the difference. I often see the terms misused, so let's clarify what each one really means.

Continue reading: What's the difference between a hub, a switch, and a router?

* * *

How can I make the text on my screen larger?

I am "old" <grin> ... so I need to use a magnifying glass to read a lot of the screen words. I suppose that they are in a six or eight-point font. Can I make the screen text larger? Say to a 10- or 12-point font?


I know how you feel. My eyes aren't all that they used to be either.

The good news is that it's actually easy to make the fonts bigger, but the setting is hidden fairly well.

The bad news is that it's also fairly easy to do the wrong thing and end up with something that seems better, but often isn't.

Continue reading: How can I make the text on my screen larger?

* * *

How do I use a URL broken by my email program?

It's very common and very frustrating - someone sends you a link in email, you click it, and ...


Or perhaps page not found.

Or maybe something else entirely.

It's not their fault, it's not your fault, and it's not really your email program's fault, although it is the email program's doing.

I'll show you one way to pull it all back together.

Continue reading: How do I use a URL broken by my email program?

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word 'o the Week


Scareware is a form of malware that is designed to scare you into taking some action that further damages or infects your computer or costs you money.

Most common forms of scareware display a list of infections supposedly on your computer and inform you that you need to purchase the "full version" to remove them. In fact, the infections are completely fake and are listed only to intimidate you into handing over money. Whether or not the software that you purchase actually does anything at all is debatable, but it's not uncommon for this program to then contain even more malware.

Word 'o the Week features a computer term or acronym taken from the Ask Leo! Glossary. If there's a word you're not sure of and would like to see defined, click here to let me know.

*** Leo Recommends

Dell - PC Desktops, Laptops and Accessories

I'm taking a bit of a risk with today's recommendation because I know that Dell has its detractors and horror stories. The question as a friend put it is "do they have more, on average, as compared to other computer manufacturers?"

My opinion is they do not.

But I do have a few suggestions to make your Dell experience more like mine, and less like the ones getting all the negative publicity.

I own, or have owned, probably a dozen Dell computers over the years. Each has served me well, and each has lasted longer than the ever-increasing system requirements of operating systems like Windows. My Dells don't leave because they've irreparably failed; they're more likely to fall out of use because they can no longer be expanded to support the latest version of Windows, or handle newer and more demanding applications. My Dells have all lasted for years.

Continue reading: Dell - PC Desktops, Laptops and Accessories

Each week I recommend a specific product or resource that I've found valuable and that I think you may as well. What does my recommendation mean?

*** Thoughts and Comments

My commentary now appears in the Friday edition of the Ask Leo! Newsletter. See you then!

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Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.
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Posted: January 3, 2012 in: 2012
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