Leo's Answers #117 – February 29, 2008

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


*** Contents

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

Can I switch from Windows Vista back to XP?

I bought a Gateway Laptop for my daughter, who is going overseas study and do some type of research through her university. The laptop came with Windows Vista which is totally unfamiliar to her. My daughter's desktop came with Windows XP Professional 4 years ago, and it's still going and she loves it.

Can I switch from Windows Vista to Windows XP Pro? Am I going to have problems with drivers, signatures, or certifications?

The most likely answer is that no, you shouldn't have any problems. But the real answer is more like "it depends".

Let's look at the process, and the things that success will depend on.

Continue reading: "Can I switch from Windows Vista back to XP?"

* * *

What programs should be running on my machine in the background?

Can you please tell me what programs I should have running in the background as my PC has slowed down, especially when opening applications. I am running Win XP SP2 Home.

No, I can't.

It's not that I don't want to, honest. If I could provide a comprehensive list of what you do and don't need, I would.

The problem is that it's nowhere near that simple.

Continue reading: "What programs should be running on my machine in the background?"

* * *

WiFi Everywhere

It seems like WiFi hotspots are almost everywhere, with more coming.

Continue reading: "WiFi Everywhere" Article Includes Audio

* * *

My ex-boyfriend set up my computer and is now spying on me. What can I do?

I was dating a guy who installed Linux on my computer and is also the administrator on my computer. He can completely monitor my computer from his home. We are no longer dating but he is still screwing around with my computer. What can I do? He also knows my passwords.

I normally avoid these types of relationship-related tech questions because they're more about relationships than they are about technology. And I'm certainly no Dr. Phil.

However I get this type of question so often, I'm going to use it as an example of the technological implications when good relationships go bad.

Short version: You're in trouble until you take some drastic action.

Continue reading: "My ex-boyfriend set up my computer and is now spying on me. What can I do?"

* * *

Do I still need Internet Explorer updates if I don't use it?

I never use Internet Explorer or Outlook Express, and therefore have to do my windows updates manually. Many of the updates have to do with IE, Outlook Express, etc. and are considered 'critical'. Do I really need these updates?

Oh, my, yes. At least for Internet Explorer.

You may think you're not using it, but you are. Just not where you expect.

Continue reading: "Do I still need Internet Explorer updates if I don't use it?"

*** A Word from our Sponsor

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*** This Week's Most Popular

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

  1. Should I defragment my USB Flash drive?
  2. How do I put a picture in a comment on myspace.com?
  3. Why can't I access Hotmail?
  4. How do I make a new MSN Hotmail account?
  5. How do I delete history items from my Google tool bar?
  6. How do I resolve my MSN Hotmail sign in problems?
  7. How do I change my MSN Hotmail password?
  8. Svchost and Svchost.exe - Crashs, CPU maximization, viruses, exploits and more.
  9. Can a USB thumbdrive "wear out"?
  10. How do I put a picture into the caption of a picture on myspace.com?

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

You know, I get a lot of different questions every day. It's actually quite fascinating, educational and at times amusing.

Most of the time.

Then there are the questions I get over and over and over again. Like this one:

I've lost my Hotmail password, can you help get it back?

Boy, do I get this question a lot. Several times a day, in fact. And it's almost always in one of the following forms:

  • Someone has hacked my id and I want it back.
  • I need my password someone hacked on to it.
  • I tried to log on to instant messaging but I can't remember my password or my secret question.
  • Someone reset my screen name password.
  • I can't log into my own email account. Please help me recover my password.

And it's almost always in regard to a free email or instant messaging account.

Usually these questions are accompanied with dire pleas because all their contact information is in the account, or there's absolutely critical email that they can't get to, or some other life, career, or relationship-threatening situation.

I get them over and over again, many times, every day.

There's usually nothing anyone can do to help, but let's walk through the options you do have and how you can prevent the problem in the first place.

Continue reading...
I've lost my Hotmail password, can you help get it back?

*** Thoughts and Comments

As I mentioned in my podcast this week, we recently took a few days off to go relax in Sequim (pronounced "skwim") Washington. Sequim is only 60 miles away, but it's a two hour drive and a 30 minute ferry boat ride. In many ways it's a world away, and we had a very relaxing time.

My podcast was on the ubiquity of WiFi, which struck home when the local grocery store in this semi-rural town had a sign offering "free WiFi". Amazing. That, coupled with the fact that I now consider my laptop to be the real "Ask Leo! world headquarters", and I find that while I tell people I work from home, in reality I can work from wherever there's a strong enough wireless signal for an internet connection.

And yes, if you think that bringing my work with my kind of defeats the purpose of relaxing away from it all for a while, well ... my wife agrees with you. As for me, I was able to catch up on a few things that needed catching up on. That was relaxing. Smile


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.

Leo's Answers Newsletter is a weekly publication of Ask Leo! and Leo A. Notenboom. It's also available as an RSS feed at this URL: http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.xml. Archives of previous newsletter issues can be found on the Ask Leo! web site, http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.html.

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

Posted: February 29, 2008 in: 2008
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/3305
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