Ask Leo! #342 – USB Ports that die, a Flash update perhaps with baggage, and another packed Answercast…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** New Articles

Can I use my IP address to connect to my computer without remote desktop?

I know there's far easier ways to do this, but I've always wanted to know how to connect to my home PC using just my IP (which I can ping and it's alive) and connect to launch Remote Desktop via DOS or whatever means, so that I can have that rich and gooey experience. This would be a cool function for use later down the road when I maybe forget to enable Remote Desktop.


In this excerpt from Answercast #5, I explain how Remote Desktop works and give several software recommendations. We also explore what it is you are actually pinging when you try to ping your IP address from a remote computer and why your router would block any access through that IP.

Continue reading: Can I use my IP address to connect to my computer without Remote Desktop?

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Answercast #5: Java add-ons, redirected browsers, Remote Desktop, backup help and more...

Continue reading: Answercast #5: Java add-ons, redirected browsers, Remote Desktop, backup help and more...

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Should I take the latest Flash update - and what update method should I choose?

Adobe recently pushed an update of its Flash Player - 11.2.

There's nothing really new about that. Flash has become a critical component of a lot of websites, and until HTML5 becomes more pervasive, it's the primary technology that allows videos to be embedded on websites.

Unfortunately, Flash has a history of software bugs and vulnerabilities, such that it requires periodic update.

This new version of Flash allows you to modify the way it is updated.

Unfortunately, I'm hearing reports of something less helpful that's tagging along for the ride.

Continue reading: Should I take the latest Flash update - and what update method should I choose?

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Can USB ports go bad?

Do USB ports go bad or does the software just get confused? Sometimes, they just seem to stop working for certain devices.


USB issues can be particularly problematic to diagnose - both hardware and/or software-related issues can easily come into play.

In this audio excerpt from a recent Ask Leo! webinar, I'll review some of my thoughts around USB-related connection issues.

Continue reading: Can USB ports go bad?

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week


NAT stands for Network Address Translation. This is a technique that lets multiple machines on one side of your router share a single internet connection and internet IP address. The router does this by handing out local IP addresses to each machine on your local network and translating between those addresses and the "real" internet IP address when the local computers access the internet.

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

The Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is one of those sites that you could spend hours just browsing around. They've really gone the extra mile and are providing video and audio archives as well. It's an amazing site.

The Internet Archive's "Wayback Machine" is extra cool and a great resource if the website or page you were looking for has dropped off of the internet. It might still be in the Wayback Machine! Quoting the site: "The Internet Archive Wayback Machine puts the history of the World Wide Web at your fingertips. The Archive contains over 100 terabytes and 10 billion web pages archived from 1996 to the present."

Continue reading: The Internet Archive

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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Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.
Ask Leo! is a registered trademark ® of Puget Sound Software, LLC

Posted: April 3, 2012 in: 2012
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I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and after "retiring" in 2001 I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.