Ask Leo! #366 – Staying connected while traveling, extending a computer’s life with Ubuntu and more…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

How should I stay connected while traveling?

How should I stay connected while traveling?

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In a podcast a few years ago about mobile connectivity, I briefly reflected on some of the options available to the wired traveler. Even then, that podcast was an example of how I stay connected while traveling because it was recorded, written, and posted from my RV in a state park many miles from my home.

Since that time, while many of the techniques remain the same, the overall landscape has improved significantly. Staying connected while you're on the road is easier than ever.

Continue reading: How should I stay connected while traveling?
http://ask-leo.com/C2299

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Can I extend the life of an old computer by running Ubuntu?

I have an old HP with Windows 98 SE that was given to me. I reformatted the computer. It works like a new one, but I can't get online with it. Could I take this computer, wipe Windows 98, and install Ubuntu on it, and make it work?

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Ubuntu Linux is certainly where I'd start, but there are other Linux distributions that might even work better.

In this audio segment from an Ask Leo! webinar, I'll discuss using Linux – Ubuntu or otherwise – to extend the life of an older machine.

Continue reading: Can I extend the life of an old computer by running Ubuntu?
http://ask-leo.com/C5479

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Is there an easy way to temporarily turn off online activity during startup?

When I'm traveling, I use a Sprint connection in my computer that has limited bandwidth available and/or internet cafes and the like. I want to turn off the automatic online things that happen when I start my computer: online backup, virus protection, checking for updates, Dropbox syncing, and even a few mysterious things Dell sent in my new computer. Is there a way to figure out what all is firing up to connect, turn it off when I don't want it, and turn it back on when back in my office?

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In these days of almost ubiquitous and constant connectivity, many applications now assume online access and begin checking for an assortment of things when they start running.

In this audio segment from an Ask Leo! webinar, I'll discuss the chances of being able to manage that at a more granular level.

Continue reading: Is there an easy way to temporarily turn off online activity during startup?
http://ask-leo.com/C5478

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*** Answercast

Answercast #29 – Deleting files and advertisements, camera batteries, drive letters, prying bosses and more...

What you'll need to move programs onto a new computer; privacy settings and https in Hotmail; long distance techs and snooping bosses; Earthlink; shopping carts; redistributables and more in this Ask Leo! Answercast!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #29 – Deleting files and advertisements, camera batteries, drive letters, prying bosses and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C5503

Can I delete these Earthlink Setup files?
Earthlink is an internet service provider, so you shouldn't have files unless you are an Earthlink customer. I'll give you a safe way to remove those files.
Continue reading: Can I delete these Earthlink Setup files?
http://ask-leo.com/C5504

Why can't I add anything to online shopping carts?
Shopping carts need to have a way to know who you are as you work your way through the screens. This is usually done with cookies, so that is the first place to look.
Continue reading: Why can't I add anything to online shopping carts?
http://ask-leo.com/C5505

Why does my camera battery die so quickly?
Batteries that do not hold a charge make a camera unusable. Several options may help solve the problem.
Continue reading: Why does my camera battery die so quickly?
http://ask-leo.com/C5506

Can I delete all these Visual C++ Redistributables?
A C++ redistributable is a run time that is used by other programs. Deleting them could easily break a program.
Continue reading: Can I delete all these Visual C++ Redistributables?
http://ask-leo.com/C5507

Did techs accessing my machine remotely fix Hotmail?
Whenever somebody tells me that they gave control of their computer to an online tech support company, I get nervous... although there are reputable companies out there.
Continue reading: Did techs accessing my machine remotely fix Hotmail?
http://ask-leo.com/C5508

How do I extend the backup partition on my hard disk?
The problem with expanding the size of partitions is that they can only be expanded from the back... but that's not your biggest problem... backing up to a partition isn't safe!
Continue reading: How do I extend the backup partition on my hard disk?
http://ask-leo.com/C5509

Can my company monitor my personal activities?
The only thing that your employer can monitor is what happens on the computer that the employer provides, so keep your work and personal lives separate.
Continue reading: Can my company monitor my personal activities?
http://ask-leo.com/C5510

Why does my AOL software crash when I download a file?
AOL software can be tricky. I have two recommendations.
Continue reading: Why does my AOL software crash when I download a file?
http://ask-leo.com/C5511

Can I move a program from one computer to another?
Most programs need to go through an installation process to run properly on your machine. That's why it's important to keep any kind of installation media.
Continue reading: Can I move a program from one computer to another?
http://ask-leo.com/C5512

How can I make an external drive keep its same drive letter?
Drive letters can be manually assigned. In a multiple-machine environment, it will need to be done on each machine.
Continue reading: How can I make an external drive keep it's same drive letter?
http://ask-leo.com/C5513

Why don't blocked emails stay blocked?
Blocking is an ineffective way to prevent unwanted emails. It's better to learn spam filtering.
Continue reading: Why don't blocked emails stay blocked?
http://ask-leo.com/C5514

Does https hide email addresses in Hotmail?
Https encrypts your data without knowing what it is: that includes email, banking information or any type of data.
Continue reading: Does https hide email addresses in Hotmail?
http://ask-leo.com/C5515

Why has opting out of ads in Hotmail not turned them off?
Ad choices in Hotmail only lets Hotmail know that you don't want to be tracked for targeted advertising. Can you get rid of those ads? Well...
Continue reading: Why has opting out of ads in Hotmail not turned them off?
http://ask-leo.com/C5516

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week

dongle

Dongle is a generic term for a typically small device that attaches to your computer to provide some sort of functionality, sometimes specific to an application.

USB Dongle Examples of dongles include:

  • copy protection devices that must be attached for an application to work
  • mobile broadband "modems"
  • external network adapters, wired or wireless
  • flash drives

Most dongles are USB devices these days, but the term doesn't actually imply a type of connector. Historically, communications ports, printer ports and other types of external ports on a computer have all been used.

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

Dropbox – Share files across machines, with friends and publicly for free

I've been using Dropbox for a quite some time now and recently came across perhaps the most compelling reason to finally recommend it to you.

One of the common questions I get is, "How do I share [files, photos, documents, whatever] with my [friends, business associates, contacts] without using email, and without having them show up on the public internet?

Dropbox solves that, and a lot more.

Continue reading: Dropbox – Share files across machines, with friends and publicly for free
http://ask-leo.com/C4540

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.
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