Leo's Answers #116 – February 22, 2008

Leo's Answers
A Weekly Newsletter From
Ask Leo!
Leo Notenboom


*** Contents

*** This Week's New Articles on Ask Leo!

How do I change the location of the My Documents folder?

I have partitioned my hard drive putting the OS and programs on C: and files on separate partitions. How do I get XP's "My Documents" to refer directly to a location on the other partition?

Turns out there are a couple of ways to do this, and both are fairly simple.

Continue reading: "How do I change the location of the My Documents folder?"

* * *

Why does my HTML email look different to the recipient than it does to me?

I'm having a problem with Outlook 2003. When I send an HTML email through Outlook 2003 the email looks great, but when it is received it looks like someone blew it up. All of my layers are either missing or moved. Almost every piece of formatting put into the email is removed. I send one copy of the email to myself and it appeared as good as it was when I sent it.

HTML formatted email can be pretty cool. You can make exceptionally beautiful email, almost works of art even.

And then when you send it there's a very good chance that all that work might simply disappear, and at worst be completely and totally unintelligible to your recipient.

HTML is a standard.

HTML as rendered in different email programs? Not so standard.

Continue reading: "Why does my HTML email look different to the recipient than it does to me?"

* * *

Should I defragment my USB Flash drive?

Is it ever necessary to defragment a USB flash drive?

Defragmenting a hard drive makes sense to me because the hard drive read arm has to jump around the disk for fragmented files; but what about flash drives? If all the data is just stored in memory, it seems like accessing those memory addresses won't take any longer whether they are consecutive or spread in different places. And if it is necessary to defragment a flash drive, then it seems like we could also argue that we need to defragment our RAM from time-to-time!

You've hit one nail squarely on the head: flash devices (or any "solid state" devices) don't gain a performance benefit from being defragmented.

But in reality things get worse. Much, much worse.

You should never defragment a flash drive.

Continue reading: "Should I defragment my USB Flash drive?"

* * *

Should I upgrade from Windows 98/Me?

For a long time, I've been having lots of problems with my PC: freezing up, error messages, slowness, programs won't close/end, "blue screen of death" (as a coworker calls it). Sometimes I have to reboot three times in a row.

Recently my Explorer has started to malfunction with the message: "Explorer has caused an error in MSHTML.DLL.Explorer will now close. If you continue to experience problems try restarting your computer."

With Windows ME I can't get any more updates from Microsoft. Should I upgrade to XP or Vista, and in doing so will I lose files, folders or e-mails?

Windows Millennium Edition (aka Windows Me) was released in late 2000. Windows 98 was released in 1998, with Windows 98se or "second edition" replacing it in 1999.

Many people consider Windows Me an unplanned "afterthought" ... an attempt to release something after Windows 98 to fill the gap caused by delays in the release of Windows XP, which would release a year later.

Almost eight years later, should anyone still be running Windows Me or Windows 98?

Continue reading: "Should I upgrade from Windows 98/Me?"

* * *

Is there a way to bypass keyloggers?

Is there a way to bypass keyloggers? Suppose you go offline (file, work offline) to type in the password and go back online to submit the web page? Or suppose you use the on screen keyboard to enter the password or copy and paste the password?

Yes, no and maybe.

It all depends on the specific keylogger, but the answer is mostly no.

In fact, that's the only answer you can really depend on.

Let's look at your suggested work-arounds and why for the most part they might not work.

Continue reading: "Is there a way to bypass keyloggers?"

* * *

The most effective upgrade.

The upgrade that's most likely to affect your experience might not be what you think.

Continue reading: "The most effective upgrade." Article Includes Audio

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*** This Week's Most Popular

The ten most popular articles in the last 7 days on Ask Leo!

  1. How do I put a picture in a comment on myspace.com?
  2. How do I make a new MSN Hotmail account?
  3. How do I delete history items from my Google tool bar?
  4. Svchost and Svchost.exe - Crashs, CPU maximization, viruses, exploits and more.
  5. How do I put a picture into the caption of a picture on myspace.com?
  6. What are MSN HotMail's POP3 and SMTP settings for Outlook Express?
  7. What are the POP3 and SMTP settings for Hotmail?
  8. How do I change my MSN Hotmail password?
  9. How do I hack into someone's account?
  10. My desktop Recycle Bin has disappeared - why, and how do I get it back?

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

Last week I posted an article about hotel insecurity. This is an older article that touches on the same topic in a general sense:

Can hackers see data going to and from my computer?

I've heard that instant messages through AOL/Yahoo/MSN can be read by hackers that "sniff" the messages leaving my network. Is this true?


But most of the time it doesn't matter. On the other hand, there are times when you really need to be careful.

Continue reading...
Can hackers see data going to and from my computer?

*** Thoughts and Comments

Hopefully you've all taken the latest round of patches from Microsoft Update - automatic or otherwise. As always it's important to stay up to date to keep your machine protected from newly discovered vulnerabilities. This last "patch Tuesday" had several that you probably don't want to miss.

I may have mentioned it here before, but I've been posting on Twitter from time to time. Sometimes silly, sometimes noteworthy, sometimes advance announcements of what you'll see here, all in all it's an interesting environment. Anyway, you can follow me here: http://twitter.com/askleo.


As always, if you appreciate this newsletter or the site, one of the best ways you can say "Thank You!" is to link to Ask Leo! or simply to tell a friend or colleague. Just send folks to askleo.net.

'till next time...


* * *

Some of Leo's other sites: The Ask Leo! Store, Leo's Online Business Card, Forwarded Funnies, Taming Email, MovableType Tips, Leo's Blog, Buy Leo a Latte (or a Beer), A Letter To Myself, Dolls and Friends, Corgwn.com

*** Newsletter Administration

Do you have a question? A comment, perhaps? Visit http://ask-leo.com/ask to submit your questions.

I'll be honest: I'll try to respond, but I get a lot of questions every day - I just can't answer everyone. Rest assured, though, that even if you don't hear from me directly, every email gets read.

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Newsletter contents Copyright © 2008, Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.

Posted: February 22, 2008 in: 2008
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/3299
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