Ask Leo! #417 – Hotels that interfere with your email, web versus pc based email, upgrading your CPU and more…


The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

Why can't I send mail from my hotel room?

I checked in to my hotel which provides free high speed internet. All was well and good, except that after a while, I could no longer send email. I could receive all I wanted, but all of my attempts to send failed. And the weird thing is that the next morning, sending mail worked ... again, for a while. What's going on?

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I've run into this as well. It's very strange and even frustrating, but once I understood it, it began to make sense.

And understanding it also allowed me to work around it.

But it's the kind of thing that I wouldn't expect the front desk to be able to help with at all. You and I? We're kind of on our own.

The root cause of all this?

Spammers.

Continue reading: Why can't I send mail from my hotel room?
http://ask-leo.com/C2496

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*** Answercast

Answercast #80 - Fast balloon messages, sorting files, IE crashing, automatic compression, secure email and more...

Wish you had more time to read those popup balloon messages or that you could get your files sorted in the right order? Wonder about security in online email or getting a BluRay drive for your computer? Does your new computer seem slower than it should be, or IE keep crashing? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #80 - Fast balloon messages, sorting files, IE crashing, automatic compression, secure email and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C6150

Why is my new computer's internet access slower than that of my old computer?
A new computer's internet access can be slowed down by the internet connection itself or by trying to run too much software. There are a few places to look.
Continue reading: Why is my new computer's internet access slower than that of my old computer?
http://ask-leo.com/C6151

Why are all my files automatically being compressed?
Automatically compressed files may or may not slow down a computer. It depends on the speed of the disk and processor.
Continue reading: Why are all my files automatically being compressed?
http://ask-leo.com/C6152

How do I make pop-up tooltip balloons stay up longer so I can read them?
Pop-up tooltip balloons can sometimes disappear before you have a chance to read them. There are a few ways to capture them before they go away and no need to stress over it.
Continue reading: How do I make pop-up tooltip balloons stay up longer so I can read them?
http://ask-leo.com/C6153

Is there a difference between a USB Flash Drive and USB External Hard Disk?
USB Flash Drives and USB External Hard Disks can be used on your computer in much the same way. There may be a few formatting requirements.
Continue reading: Is there a difference between a USB Flash Drive and USB External Hard Disk?
http://ask-leo.com/C6154

How do I get Windows Explorer to sort in the correct order?
Windows Explorer sort order can be set by clicking on the column headers. It works the same in application's Open and Save dialog boxes.
Continue reading: How do I get Windows Explorer to sort in the correct order?
http://ask-leo.com/C6155

Does getting a BluRay drive for my computer require a hardware upgrade?
A new BluRay player should just work although hardware may need to be upgraded depending on video and CPU requirements.
Continue reading: Does getting a BluRay drive for my computer require a hardware upgrade?
http://ask-leo.com/C6156

Can I upgrade my motherboard and CPU and have Windows just reconfigure itself?
Upgrading a motherboard and CPU can be tricky if you need to preserve data and settings. I have one possible suggestion for a work-around.
Continue reading: Can I upgrade my motherboard and CPU and have Windows just reconfigure itself?
http://ask-leo.com/C6157

Is there a way to test a machine that won't boot to see if the BIOS is the problem?
Testing for a BIOS problem is probably not possible on a computer with a problem this severe. It may need professional diagnosis.
Continue reading: Is there a way to test a machine that won't boot to see if the BIOS is the problem?
http://ask-leo.com/C6158

Why does Internet Explorer keep stopping and restarting?
Internet Explorer restarting over and over could be caused by a number of things from add-ons to hardware acceleration.
Continue reading: Why does Internet Explorer keep stopping and restarting?
http://ask-leo.com/C6159

Is web-based email more secure than using a PC email program?
Web-based email is probably not more secure than running a PC-based program... but as always, backing up is!
Continue reading: Is web-based email more secure than using a PC email program?
http://ask-leo.com/C6160

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Comments

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Is realtime anti-malware scanning really needed?

Len writes:

I would never disable real-time scanning. The web can be a dangerous place, even for experienced surfers.

How many legitimate sites are compromised on a daily basis? Plenty. One day you visit your favorite tech site, political site, recipe site etc not knowing its security has been compromised and boom!

You don't have to travel to so-called "shady" sites to get infected.

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Is there an age or gender component to being comfortable with technology?

Marilyn S writes:

I am in my mid 70's and a self taught PC user since my first PC purchase in 1999. One has to NOT be afraid of the machine. Explore, but carefully. I go most everywhere in my computer, except the registry. Unless I know exactly what to do in there, I stay out. Although I still have many questions, I know where to find answers and am not fearful of "going hunting." Age is not what keeps people from learning more on their machine. Fear of the unknown and even distrust, apply.

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Is realtime anti-malware scanning really needed?

James writes:

I'm in the boat with Leo. I'm one of the least likely to invite malware into my machine, very experienced, and smart enough to know what to click and what not to click.

However, we all slip up every once in a while. A few months back I got an email and without thinking, I just clicked on the link. Thankfully, Thunderbird popped up a warning. I then smacked my head for being so stupid as forgetting to check what the link was actually going to do. We all slip up now and then.

The only time I've run without real-time scanning was many years ago on a slow computer that only had dial-up internet. Everything took forever to do, so the only thing I ever did on the internet was email. I couldn't even follow links that were in email and if the email had an attachment, it had better be from someone I know and trust or else that attachment just never got downloaded (took too long).

Those days are long gone. Run with real-time scanning.

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Can I really catch an email virus just by looking?

Jabba the Cat writes:

"Most of the viruses on the Internet are put there by the very people who sell virus programs and Internet security."

A comment based in true ignorance...

Unfortunately many, many people believe this fallacy.

-Leo

*** Leo Recommends

Google Mail - Free Email that works and leaves you in control

Mozilla's Thunderbird is my choice for email. I use it all day every day, and I can heartily recommend it as an often more powerful and capable replacement for mail programs like Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail and many other desktop email applications.

The feature list is long, but I want to call out some of my favorite features and some of the things that personally draw me to Thunderbird and cause me to make it my recommendation for almost anyone using a desktop email program.

Continue reading: Google Mail - Free Email that works and leaves you in control
http://ask-leo.com/C3569

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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