The Ask Leo! Newsletter
Are free email services worth it?
This article was originally written in November of 2004 and revised in June of 2010. In the intervening years one would hope that things would have gotten substantially better, but sadly I have to report that this is not the case. Not even close.
Not a day goes by that I don't hear of problems with one of the major free email providers. In fact, I can fairly safely say that not a day has gone by in over 5 years.
It really begs the question - are free email services like Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Google Mail and others worth the cost?
My position: Yes.
And: Absolutely not.
As always, it depends on your needs and your expectations. Unfortunately, many people's expectations are very, very wrong.
Continue reading: Are free email
services worth it?
* * *
Answercast #98 - Ethernet cards, backing up to discs, enabling NoScript, spammer ID's, scrolling screens and more...
Answercast #98 - Ethernet cards, backing up to discs, enabling NoScript,
spammer ID's, scrolling screens and more...
How should I configure my email so that clicking mail links in other
Clicking email links will open the default email program on a computer. That can be confusing if you use an online email service like Yahoo.
Continue reading: How should I configure my email so that clicking mail links in other programs works?
Why does my screen suddenly scroll to the bottom when I'm
A screen suddenly scrolling on a new laptop sounds like a touchpad problem. There is an easy way to test for that.
Continue reading: Why does my screen suddenly scroll to the bottom when I'm typing?
Do I need a specific type of Ethernet card to connect to the
internet through my DSL modem?
An Ethernet card to connect an older computer to DSL needs the right connectors. You may be able to find one secondhand.
Continue reading: Do I need a specific type of Ethernet card to connect to the internet through my DSL modem?
Why does my backup fail after 13 discs?
That's a lot of CDs to juggle! Backing up to that many discs can easily fail from the mechanics of handling those CDs, or from using backup software that isn't reliable.
Continue reading: Why does my backup fail after 13 discs?
Why does copying text from some sites cause a program to stop
Copying text from websites shouldn't cause a "stopped working" error. This will take some investigation.
Continue reading: Why does copying text from some sites cause a program to stop working?
How do I enter my product key if I can't read it from the sticker on
When the Windows sticker becomes worn it is hard to read the product key. There is software to retrieve it from the installation, but that may not help.
Continue reading: How do I enter my product key if I can't read it from the sticker on my machine?
How do I obtain the ID of a spammer to block their
You can't effectively block a spammer's ID, IP address, or "from" email address because they'll just change it and keep sending spam. There's only one way to battle spam.
Continue reading: How do I obtain the ID of a spammer to block their spam?
How do I know what sites to enable in NoScript?
Enabling sites in NoScript is usually done on a site-by-site basis. Each webpage is different and will need to be checked individually.
Continue reading: How do I know what sites to enable in NoScript?
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*** Last Issue's Articles
- Why is my 750GB external hard drive full when it has only 70GB on it?
- How can I prevent neighbors from accessing the open WiFi hotspot I provide to my customers?
- If my router keeps losing connectivity does that mean I'm being hacked?
- Why shouldn't I forward this email asking me to "forward to everyone I know"?
- Can I move Office 2010 from my old computer to my new one?
- Why can't I format the memory in my camera to empty it?
- Am I scanning for malware too often?
- Is it possible to use exotic characters to make passwords stronger?
- Do Apple Computers get malware?
- Answercast #97 - Viruses for Macs, exotic characters, moving software, protecting WiFi from neighbors and more...
- Ask Leo! #434 - Forwarding email you shouldn't, Apple viruses, full drives, Laundromat WiFi and more...
*** Featured Comments
How do I view a full-screen application in a window in Windows 8?
Old Man writes:
I don't know what version of Windows 8 Brian Boyko was using, but he was so full of digested food that I could not watch the entire video.
Granted, for the standard desktop Windows 8's UI is like the working end of a vacuum hose. It seems awkward and requires more un-learning than learning. Right now it is somewhat piece-meal. Some programs still use the Windows 7 interface, while others use the new apps interface. This will smooth out as more programs are changed into apps for mobile use - not just by Microsoft. Of course, there are some programs that are totally impractical for mobile devices. Can you imagine a bus driver trying to use CAD while driving?
Just look at the ads for new computer items. What do they show? Is it people doing computer intensive work? No! They show how easy it is to change covers, flip through social network sites, use a translator to seduce a foreign dog, sling pictures all over the place, etc. The closest I've seen is a child using Paint to express creativeness. Most of these are ads by hardware manufacturers, not the software companies. Non-productivity is the current trend. Emphasis is on staying in touch and looking "cool."
Windows 8 isn't for everyone. Even some desktop, productive, power-house, users like it and have grown comfortable with it - I'm still learning. Others absolutely hate it. That's a personal thing. Not everyone drives the same make and model car, uses the same brand/size microwave - some won't even have one - or the same anything. Some people refuse to learn to drive a car with an automatic transmission; others won't even try to drive a stick-shift. But I don't see the product bashing in these areas as I do with Windows 8 - or saw with XP, Vista, Windows 7.
Please don't bad-mouth something just because you don't like it. Just say what it is that you don't like - even if it's the whole thing - and leave it at that. Something you don't like may be just the thing some one else does. You won't find any posts here bad-mouthing those who don't like Windows 8, so please show them the same courtesy.
Please forgive me if I'm stepping out of bounds. I just get tired of single-minded people trying to force their way of thinking onto everyone else. I think more people need to read your article about accepting change.
Not at all. Very well put, thank you.
Should I upgrade to Windows 8?
If you can still buy that upgrade for $39.95, I recommend it as the best software purchase you can make. It makes no sense to say you like Windows 7, but you hate Windows 8. Using the free program Classic Shell, or just learning a few basic keyboard commands, you can hardly tell the difference between the two systems. And my experience is that Windows 8 runs faster than Windows 7. It definitely boots faster. And it definitely installs faster. I've had a few really good experiences with Windows 8. One is that on two of my computers, it was completely unnecessary to save the drivers from earlier installations to install with the new operating system. Windows 8 installed all new working drivers for me. The other good experience was, legal or not, I can take the hard drive with Windows 8 installed on it from one computer to another, and it works just as if I had installed the operating system on the new computer. Windows 8 just installs the drivers for the second machine when you start it up. This is almost the same thing as complete portability of the operating system, plus all your programs, just as DOS was in the old days. I'm not recommending either of the things I just mentioned because it could end up being disastrous for you, but for me, let's just say I was impressed. My opinion is that Windows 8 is the best thing Microsoft has done in a long time.
*** Thoughts and Comments
I'm on sabbatical this week. Today's newsletter contains a featured article which is a selection from The Best of Ask Leo!, and a new Answercast, pre-recorded before I left.
I'll be back on April 1st, 2013.
Leo A. Notenboom
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