Ask Leo! #363 – Does the platform you use matter anymore? Ghostly icons, selling out digital products and more…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

How does a digital product sell out?

How does a digital product sell out? I saw a game that was sold out. I'm confused.

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The concept of "selling out" of a product, when that product is nothing more than digital data, is artificial. But sometimes, there's more to the product than digital data.

In this audio segment from an Ask Leo! webinar, I'll discuss what it might mean to have a digital product sell out.

Continue reading: How does a digital product sell out?
http://ask-leo.com/C5462

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Why is there a ghostly icon on my desktop when I edit a Word document?

Whenever I open a Word 7 document, I get a ghostly icon on my desktop, sometimes with a tilde dollar before the icon name. Once, there was a time when these little ghosts did not appear. I must have done something strange to cause them, but I know not what. What can I do to eliminate them completely?

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When you edit a Word document, Microsoft Word will create a temporary file for your work in progress so as not to overwrite the document that you're working on until you actually click Save.

In this video segment from an Ask Leo! webinar, I'll show that icon, explain why it's probably visible, and what if anything to do.

Continue reading: Why is there a ghostly icon on my desktop when I edit a Word document?
http://ask-leo.com/C5461

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Do desktop or laptop platforms really matter any more?

The Mac versus PC battle is legendary.

But at the risk of pissing off both sides, I'll claim that it's also becoming largely irrelevant.

I just ordered my new MacBook Pro with Retina display and doing so lead me to thinking some about platform wars, religion, choices, taste, and what's really changed over the years.

The reason why I bought a Mac might not be the reason you think.

Continue reading: Do desktop or laptop platforms really matter any more?
http://ask-leo.com/C5460

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*** Answercast

Answercast #26 - Calling Yahoo? Things that break: printers, Media Player, internet connections and more...

Annoyed by a slow internet connection? Ever wonder about sharing power supplies or why the hard drive is always running? Does Media Player crash? That and more in Answercast #26.

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #26 - Calling Yahoo? Things that break: printers, Media Player, internet connections and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C5454

Why does my internet connection not work right away?
Sometimes, it takes awhile for a computer to sort everything out and get online. The exact cause will depend on the equipment and specific configuration.
Continue reading: Why does my internet connection not work right away?
http://ask-leo.com/C5455

Why does my printer not print the middle of the page?
Old printers can go bad in a number of ways, including print heads, cartridges, and more. Here are a few troubleshooting steps to go through.
Continue reading: Why does my printer not print the middle of the page?
http://ask-leo.com/C5456

Why do I have constant disk activity from Chrome?
Constant disk activity could be caused by Chrome updating in the background. There are a few steps that can be done with Process Explorer to help further diagnose the problem.
Continue reading: Why do I have constant disk activity from Chrome?
http://ask-leo.com/C5457

Windows Media Player keeps crashing, what do I do?
Uninstalling and reinstalling often solves these kind of problems. You will want to make sure you do it thoroughly.
Continue reading: Windows Media Player keeps crashing, what do I do?
http://ask-leo.com/C5458

Why are pictures on my laptop only showing if the original SD card they came from is inserted?
It is possible to create shortcuts to files, rather then move the files themselves. What to do if those shortcuts can't reference the files later?
Continue reading: Why are pictures on my laptop only showing if the original SD card they came from is inserted?
http://ask-leo.com/C5459

Why do I get new pages in tabs when I leave a site?
Many websites try to create operating revenue through ads in popup windows. This, however, sounds like a "Pop Under."
Continue reading: Why do I get new pages in tabs when I leave a site?
http://ask-leo.com/C5463

How do I download only certain emails from my Yahoo account?
Yahoo does not offer a solution for this on the software side, but there are a few methods you can use to save those important emails.
Continue reading: How do I download only certain emails from my Yahoo account?
http://ask-leo.com/C5464

How do I get my browser window larger after something made it small?
Browsers will remember the size and location they were in when they were last closed. They can easily be changed to the size you prefer.
Continue reading: How do I get my browser window larger after something made it small?
http://ask-leo.com/C5465

Can I interchange laptop power supplies from the same manufacturer?
The life of a battery can be increased by using the right power supply, but with a proper match, they can be interchanged.
Continue reading: Can I interchange laptop power supplies from the same manufacturer?
http://ask-leo.com/C5466

So many accounts are getting hacked, there must be something wrong at the provider – can you get their attention?
So, I can't just call up Yahoo. But I will tell you what is the likely cause of all these breaches.
Continue reading: So many accounts are getting hacked, there must be something wrong at the provider – can you get their attention?
http://ask-leo.com/C5467

When does installing a hard drive into an external enclosure make sense?
Sometimes, hard drives just go bad and the data is lost; and sometimes it is recoverable. I talk about the signs of a physically damaged drive.
Continue reading: When does installing a hard drive into an external enclosure make sense?
http://ask-leo.com/C5468

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- An Ask Leo! book.

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Comments

What is about:blank, and how do I get rid of it?

Steven writes:

If you want to start without loading a page, allowing you the time to choose what you want from favorites or whatever you wanted to type, about:blank is perfect.

When you click home that is about:blank. Setting it as the default page is an excellent choice. Your browser is basically idle.

There is no way to 'get rid of it'. It is written into the browser and has been for nearly twenty years. It looks odd but the term comes from the early days when more formal terms and structuring were prevalent (and DOS ruled as well). Most browsers as we know them came from or owe their existence to a program called MOSAIC, which you should do a search on. It might be heavy but it will probably fascinate you.

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How do I back up my Truecrypt encrypted data?

John McCurdy writes:

I use Macrium Reflect to backup my TrueCrypt encrypted system drive, and in the Advanced Options for the backup job I turn on 256 bit encryption and use a very strong password. That way I have a good reliable backup, and my data is safe whether someone steals my computer or my backup drive. I also use an online backup service that encrypts the data before it leaves my computer as a second backup for my non-replaceable data files, so that even if someone gets both my computer and my backup drive I can still recover my data.

Sometimes restoring a backup of a system drive that was encrypted with TrueCrypt can be a little tricky, in that you may have to repair the boot sector before the computer will boot again, but otherwise it works fine. And of course you have to re-encrypt the drive, because the restored backup is NOT encrypted.

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How do I tell if a blue screen 'CRC Fail' error is coming from my motherboard, hard drive, or RAM?

Michael Horowitz writes:

In this case, booting to Linux, either on a CD or DVD or USB flash drive, provides two benefits.

First, many Linux Live CDs come with an option on their boot time menu for Memtest, which can be used to run a diagnostic on the ram. Second, if the computer can run Linux, from an outside source, for hours on end without a problem, then its likely that the motherboard and ram are OK and the hard drive is the problem. Anyone who knows their way around Linux would be best off logically dismounting the internal hard drive to insure that Linux never touches it.

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If someone starts using my old email address could they find my information?

Chuck writes:

There is another side to this ... if anyone (friend, acquaintance, or business) sends you e-mail at your old e-mail address, guess who gets it? So the question is, do ALL of those people and companies now have your new e-mail address, and ONLY your new e-mail address?

This is one of the reasons that when people ask me how to close an account I strongly recommend that they consider keeping it open and simply stop using it - logging in only often enough to keep it active and check for old friends.

-Leo

*** Thoughts and Comments

Yes, I bought a Mac.

No, it's not my first. I've had one for years.

No, it doesn't signal any kind of fundamental shift here at Ask Leo! Smile

I've always been basically platform agnostic - while I'm primarily about Windows and use it perhaps the most often, I spend a lot of time in Linux (Ubuntu at home and CentOS on the web servers), and I've got my old MacBook Pro sitting in the family room.

I talk about my purchase decision and why I feel that platform differences aren't nearly as important as they once were in this weeks Do desktop or laptop platforms really matter any more?.

'till next week...

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
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