Ask Leo! #438 – No need to hate Windows 8, on the other hand, my use of cookies and more…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

There's Just No Need to Hate Windows 8

During my recent two-month sabbatical, I took the opportunity to do a few things that I'd been putting off.

One of those things was to upgrade my main machine - a nearly five-year-old, quad-core desktop with eight gigabytes of RAM - to Windows 8. Not a dual boot. Not a "try it in a virtual machine." No, this was a commitment. I did this with the intent to completely commit to Windows 8 moving forward and suffer through whatever it is that I'd been hearing of from people for the previous few months.

I was deeply disappointed.

Not by Windows 8. With only a couple of exceptions, it's been great.

Instead, I'm disappointed by all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth that I've been hearing from readers and in the tech press.

If you're good with Windows 7, then you can be just fine with Windows 8. Mostly because, Windows 8 essentially is Windows 7.

I can hear heads exploding already. Let me explain.

Continue reading: There's Just No Need to Hate Windows 8

* * *

*** Answercast

Answercast #101 - Hating, tracking cookies, crashing flash, cloud backup, Google Talk and more...

Are you wondering about Google Talk or cloud backups? Want to copy USB drives or avoid tracking cookies? Do you hate or thinking of getting a new laptop? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!


Continue reading: Answercast #101 - Hating, tracking cookies, crashing flash, cloud backup, Google Talk and more...

How can I switch back to the old Hotmail from
If it is still possible to switch back to Hotmail... it won't be available for long. If you really hate it, you might want to consider changing programs.
Continue reading: How can I switch back to the old Hotmail from

Which laptop is best?
The best laptop is the one that will fit your needs. To decide what you want you'll need to first look at how you'll use it.
Continue reading: Which laptop is best?

Why am I getting tracking cookies from your site?
"Tracking" cookies from most sites aren't that bad, and usually not tracking you personally. They are there to help with your user experience.
Continue reading: Why am I getting tracking cookies from your site?

Why does Flash keep crashing in Firefox, but work fine in Chrome and IE?
Flash crashing in Firefox means something is wrong with either Flash or Firefox. We'll take an investigative approach to get running again.
Continue reading: Why does Flash keep crashing in Firefox, but work fine in Chrome and IE?

Is cloud backup a reasonable alternative to an external hard drive?
Cloud backup vs. backing up to an external drive isn't really a debate. You may want to do both!
Continue reading: Is cloud backup a reasonable alternative to an external hard drive?

How do I move all emails of a certain year to a folder?
Moving emails to a folder for storage depends on which email program you are using. First you sort them...
Continue reading: How do I move all emails of a certain year to a folder?

Is Google Talk a good thing?
Google Talk is a way to talk with other people on their computers. That's good if you want to do it and don't already have an alternative service.
Continue reading: Is Google Talk a good thing?

Can I copy one USB drive to another without using a computer?
Copying a USB drive without a computer is unlikely. Even a USB duplication device will need to be some sort of computer.
Continue reading: Can I copy one USB drive to another without using a computer?

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week


TL;DR is a simple acronym for the phrase "Too long; didn't read".

It's often used as a slightly snarky introduction to a short or pithy summary of a longer post or article for those that don't have the time, desire or perhaps the attention-span to read the entire work.

Technically it's somewhat backwards, in that the phrase "too long; didn't read" would be stated by a potential reader, but recognizing that some authors have elected to use it in this summary fashion.

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.

*** Featured Reader Comments

How do I go back to Windows 7?

snert writes:

Mr. Leo, what are you running on your most-used computer? I'm still with XP Pro, because if it works, it don't need fixed, but I be curious as to what you run. You run a business, I'm just a home-user. I don't feel I need to up-grade when what I'm using works. Ok, XP is out the door as far as Micro$oft is concerned, but it works for me, and I've made my system as bullet-proof as possible - anything downloaded sits in Sanboxie until I decide. It's MY computer and it does what I want it to do, or I'll turn the damned thing off and go read a book. I trust your advice but nobody is right all the time. Ignore this at your own peril!!! I had to say what I had to say and I feel like I might have wasted your time, but... Thanks for listening.

I actually run several machines. My primary desktop runs Windows 7, and has for a long time. I'm seriously considering upgrading it to Windows 8 in the not-to-distant future. My old PC laptop ran Windows 7 for a very long time as well, as did my wife's laptop - even longer, in fact. Hardware issues and age on both laptops dictated it was time to replace them and I opted to use Macs for both, so when I travel I now bring my MacBook Pro. On top of what I've described so far I have two additional machines running Windows 7, and two running Ubuntu Linux. I no longer have any machines running Windows XP, and don't feel the loss at all.



What's in it for the creators of malware?

Ken B writes:

Or, as we tell people who tell us "I have nothing on my computer worth stealing -- I don't bank online with it, I don't buy things online, I have no personal information on it":

"Your computer's internet connection is worth stealing."

CHKDSK: What is it and how do I run it?

andré writes:

maybe a weird question but why do i need to put a space between chkdsk and the parameter. it works okay without it for me... just saying, because a lot of some people stress the point of putting a space in between without feeling the need to further explain that.

It signifies the boundary between the command (chkdsk) and the parameters to that command (/f, for example). In some situations without the space windows might look to run "chkdsk/f.exe" which doesn't exist - what should be run is "chkdsk.exe" with a parameter of "/f". I haven't checked it out specifically but the command processor may have gotten smarter about this over time.


*** Thoughts and Comments

It's been a busy time since I got back. I have lots of new things to play with, I've made several decisions relating to the site, I've started to deal with ramifications of those decisions (there are always ramifications Smile), and so on.

The most visible new thing that you may, or may not have seen, are that newsletter and answercast archives have each been moved to their own domain:

The look of those will change at some point, but the organizational change has been a big part of getting ready for more changes on the Ask Leo! site itself.

Part of that is a new, more professional looking design for the site. I hope to have that in place in the coming few weeks.

Meanwhile the questions and answers have resumed.

On top of that I'm sharing some of my own experiences. As you can see from the first article in this issue, I had some fun over my sabbatical, and came to a startling and unexpected conclusion. Yep, when it comes to Windows 8 I don't get all the fuss.

See you next week,

Leo A. Notenboom
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