Ask Leo! #449 – Yahoo!’s email recycling program, uninstalling software, backing up (of course) and more…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

Uninstalling Software You Don't Need

It’s not at all uncommon for a computer to accumulate quite the collection of software over time. Applications, utilities, Windows features, and who knows what else, all accumulate over time to take up space and resources from our machines.

It’s also not uncommon for much of the software installed on our machine to go unused and not really be needed. Perhaps we stopped using a specific application. Perhaps a trial version of some software remains. Perhaps some software was installed as part of some other installation.

The bottom line is that there are things we can uninstall.

There are two places we need to look.

Continue Reading: Uninstalling Software You Don't Need

What does it mean that Yahoo! is releasing email addresses?

Yahoo! announced that they were releasing email addresses that hadn’t been used in a year. Does that mean I’m going to lose my Yahoo! email address? Why are they doing this anyway?

As long as you’ve logged in to your Yahoo! account recently, you don’t need to worry about losing your Yahoo! email address. If you’re not certain, go log into it now, and you can “reset the clock,” so to speak.

I’m somewhat surprised that Yahoo! felt the need to make an announcement at all. I’m also surprised that some people are upset by this plan.

It’s something that many providers have been doing all along.

And it’s something that you should understand, even if you’ve never touched a Yahoo! account.

Continue Reading: What does it mean that Yahoo! is releasing email addresses?

*** Answercast

Answercast 112 - Slowing down kids, keeping XP, startup beeps, language folders and more...

Do you ever wonder if you can slow down your kid's internet at night or if you should keep windows XP? Worried that paritions will ruin your hard drive or if you should defrag? Do you want more beeps at startup or less language files? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen Now!
(Includes the raw transcript on which the articles below were based.)

How do I backup multiple partitions?
How you backup partitions depends on your backup software. Most allow you to backup multiple partitions into a single backup image file, but more than likely, you get to choose.

Continue reading: How do I backup multiple partitions?

Why does my wireless mouse stop responding?
First, we have to be sure that it's actually the mouse freezing, and not the whole computer. Once that's decided, we'll look for solutions.

Continue reading: Why does my wireless mouse stop responding?

Can I remove unneeded language folders and files?
Windows does support multiple languages. Unfortunately, many applications developed independently over time and seem to use different techniques for providing internationalization or localization support.

Continue reading: Can I remove unneeded language folders and files?

What is wssetup.exe?
This file could be anything. I'll show you how to track this file down and do a cleanup - just to be sure that it's not malware.

Continue reading: What is wssetup.exe?

Should I backup if my machine is infected?
If you believe you've been hacked, you will want to protect and preserve your data right away. First, make sure exactly what has been hacked.

Continue reading: Should I backup if my machine is infected?

Does having multiple partitions shorten my hard disk's life?

Hard drives get laid out in fairly complex ways. Second guessing how your disk heads may be moving as part of a decision whether or not to use multiple partitions is not really a practical way to save a hard drive from failure.

Continue reading: Does having multiple partitions shorten my hard disk's life?

How do I slow down my router at night?
Trying to control children's access to the internet has been a problem since computers first came into the home. A simple low-tech answer might be the best.

Continue reading: How do I slow down my router at night?

How do I defragment a hard drive on Windows XP?
Defragmenting a hard drive absolutely has its place. There are several ways to get to the controls in Windows XP.

Continue reading: How do I defragment a hard drive on Windows XP?

Will Windows XP keep working after support ends?

The end of support for Windows XP means that Microsoft will no longer be issuing security updates. But there are ways to continue using an older machine safely.

Continue reading: Will Windows XP keep working after support ends?

Is there a way to get a notification sound when startup is finished?
Starting up Windows is incredibly complex. While you may not be able run a completion sound, you might be able to add one near the end.

Continue reading: Is there a way to get a notification sound when startup is finished?

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week


POP3 is an acronym for Post Office Protocol version 3.

POP3 is the protocol or language that email programs like Thunderbird, Outlook, and others use to communicate to mail servers when downloading your email.

Typically, a mail server will have a specific server name and port number that your email program would be configured to use. When your mail program connects and provides the proper username and password (often stored or remembered by the email program so it doesn’t have to bug you), the mail server then allows it access to your email.

POP3 is primarily a downloading protocol; it’s designed to be used to move the email from your mail server to your computer’s mail program.

POP3 is not used for sending email, only receiving. Sending is typically via SMTP.

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

Installing software safely and with minimal impact

Peter Thompson writes:

I would like to vouch to for sandboxie a great program handy for anyone - you can run your browser virtually through it, install stuff etc. never touches your actual files

Also on updates sometimes you shouldn't always update stuff as sometimes new versions have been released that are very unreliable, buggy etc. When updating my software I always check change logs and comments. I use FileHippo's Update Checker program a lot which is great and handy

Managing Windows Update

Mark Jacobs writes:

Microsoft Word and other word processing programs have a feature called "Track Changes" which keeps all the changes made to the file. It is used when several people collaborate on a document. The changes made by each person are shown in a different color if the "Show Changes" view is enabled. Each time something is changed in that document the new changes are added to the file and the older text is shown as strike-through text. This is another thing which can cause a file to grow. Considering the size of storage devices, a more important consideration is the fact that deleted information that you might not want to get sent out can be hidden in your Word file. I've read articles where companies and even the FBI have inadvertently sent out documents with sensitive information which they thought they had deleted.

Embracing the Most Important Attitude

Stephanie writes:

Each person can either complain about everything, find fault with everything & everyone, moan, groan & be grumpy - or - not. It's as easy as that. Attitude, baby, attitude.

*** Thoughts and Comments

Not many words for you today here. My excuse? Camping!

For four days last week my wife and I and the dogs were out on the Washington coast for a meetup/campout with a bunch of other Corgi owners. Had a great time.

But I didn't forget you ... no, not at all. Here's a photo of me hard at work (honest!) at the beach. Look closely and you'll see not only my laptop, but a couple of dogs and a ham radio as well. With a smartphone as a WiFi hotspot, I can do what I do just about anywhere.

Yep, this is why I love what I do.

And, because I haven't said it in a while: I love living in the future.

On the beach, of course.

Leo A. Notenboom
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