Ask Leo! #318 – The 32-to-64 bit upgrade path, clipboards, a great cleaning tool, and more…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** New Articles

A brief overview of Vim

VI is an incredibly powerful - and old - text editing program that dates from the original development of Unix, the precursor to many of our current operating systems.

I use VI or its graphical version, gVim, on every computer system that I own or maintain - it's truly ubiquitous and comes pre-installed on almost all systems (except for Windows where it's a free download).

It's not for everyone - I did say it's geeky - but as I also said, it's incredibly powerful and available just about anywhere. And it beats the pants off of Notepad. Smile

In this video from an Ask Leo! webinar, I'll present a short view into Vim.

Continue reading: A brief overview of Vim

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How do I upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows?

I'm using Windows 7, 32-bit Home Premium on a computer with 64-bit hardware. Can I buy a copy of Windows 7 64-bit and install it on my system? I have 10 GB of RAM on a Gateway computer.


Yes, you can. And in fact, you'll really want to in your case, for reasons which I'll explain shortly.

Unfortunately, the path to get there from here isn't nearly as easy as we might want.

Continue reading: How do I upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows?

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What is a clipboard?

In your advice about reattaching broken email URLs, you mentioned "copying to the clipboard." WHAT and/or WHERE is this mysterious clipboard? Many times as I have closed a program, the screen will pop up telling me that I "have a lot of information on the clipboard" and do I "want to save it?" I haven't a clue where to look to find out what/where it is.


The clipboard is another one of the small, but powerful little items that we often take for granted.

It's such a simple thing and yet we never talk about exactly what it is or why one would care.

We just use it. Constantly. Every single day.

Let's look at the clipboard.

Continue reading: What is a clipboard?

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word 'o the Week


A sandbox is software that allows you to run an application so that any changes that it makes to your system are contained in a safe environment; this is discarded when the application and sandbox are closed.

Normally, when you run a program like your browser, it makes changes to your system; registry settings, internet caches, browsing history, and the like are all written to disk. On top of that, downloads of things like potentially unwanted malware also arrive via the browser and install themselves onto your hard disk. The next time that you run the browser – or the next time that you even just boot your system – that spyware is still there, doing its spyware thing.

When you run in a sandbox, all of those changes still appear to happen, except that they’re never actually permanently placed on disk. When you exit the browser and its containing sandbox, all of those changes disappear. History, cache, settings … and spyware.

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

CCleaner - Windows Cleaning Tool

CCleaner's been around a long time and with good reason: it provides several very valuable and useful functions.

Several of CCleaner's functions may well duplicate some tools that you already have, but its primary claim to fame is its ability to clean up files, history, and other things from your computer that you might not need or want to keep around.

It lives up to its name as a cleaner.

Continue reading: CCleaner - Windows Cleaning Tool

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?

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