Leo's Answers #118 – March 7, 2008

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


*** Contents

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

How do I share a copy of an application with a friend?

Is it possible to send an application such as Microsoft Excel 2003 to a friend by email? I have purchased a copy of this application and want to send a copy to my sister who lives in another country, and email would be really quick and convenient. I tried using a program which allows you to send 1GB files in one email, but could only locate a shortcut for, "Excel". I know though that the program is on my computer because I can access it using the short-cut, though looking at, "Add or Remove Programs", it's not listed.

Unfortunately there are several reasons why you cannot, and should not, do what you're attempting to do.

The good news is that I do have a work-around for you, at least for Excel.

Continue reading: "How do I share a copy of an application with a friend?"

* * *

How do bad software companies stay in business?

How do software companies, such as *****, continue to stay in business? Their software is almost good but from my experience unreliable and troublesome. Their support service is almost non existent and their Web Site is a circular nightmare. I finally got an immediate response from them when I wrote this evening to cancel any renewal of my license to *****. My experience with them makes me very reluctant to deal with anyone I haven't dealt with before.

I wonder the same thing sometimes about many companies, to be honest.

I think the bottom line is actually very simple: understand why those companies are in business. Understand a little about how the market works, and it starts to become clear.

It also gives some direction on what, admittedly little, control we as individuals have.

Continue reading: "How do bad software companies stay in business?"

* * *

How do I make sure that my deleted data is really gone?

I appreciate that a normal file delete simply removes the file name from the directory system and marks clusters as available for reuse. I also realize that, just as trying to stick one piece of paper over another identical sized piece will normally leave a small amount of the lower piece exposed, so overwriting a disk leaves small areas with the original magnetization. Is it reasonable to assume that recovering overwritten information is so expensive that it would only be attempted for disks storing very valuable information?

How does Windows deal with a normal File Save? Does it attempt to rewrite the file to the same clusters, simply returning excess cluster to the available pool if the new file is smaller than the original and adding a few new clusters if the new file is larger than the original? If every File Save is to a new area of disk, then what I am suggesting will obviously not work, but if clusters are reused as far as possible, then is this a feasible way for people to deal with small amounts of moderately sensitive data?

Are there snags to password protecting a file? I have only a few password protected files, and I protected them so long ago that I have forgotten how I did it. If I were to now password protect existing files, the file system would obviously only know about the password protected files, but would the old files still be in their original clusters?

You've raised several good points all around saving files and the potential chance of recovering said files even after they've been deleted. Sometimes that's a good thing (recovering a file you "accidentally" deleted) or a bad thing (someone else recovering a file you didn't want them to see).

There are several assumptions in your questions as well, and as we'll see in a minute, assumptions are rarely a good thing.

Continue reading: "How do I make sure that my deleted data is really gone?"

* * *

Are free online backup services worth it?

I make sure everything is neatly backed up and safely stored on an external hard drive. I've always heard of making two backups; one relatively close to your computer like your external hard drive for instance and another one away from the place your computer resides, maybe even away from your home like a server or something. Much like your "Are free E-mail addresses worth it?" - with the recent release of Windows Live Skydrive services by Microsoft and Gmail's Gdrive in a further past, how do you feel about these services that offer online storage of files and documents for free? Especially compared to their non-free counterparts?

I have mixed feelings.

Like free email, free on-line backup concerns me if used improperly, and if course it's the definition of "improperly" that needs clarification.

But I can't help but think, again, of the adage "You get what you pay for."

Continue reading: "Are free online backup services worth it?"

* * *

How do I stop someone from sending me harassing email?

I continue to receive harassing emails from an individual of whom I did not give my address. I have asked him several times to cease from writing to me but this is to no avail. I receive mail both in my in-box and my junk mail. I delete it without opening it but I now find that he is using other names/means to get through. I have never opened his mail so I don't know what his email address is. I have contact with several friends/relations/church members, etc. and really don't want to change my email address if possible. Can you advise me as to what I can do, please?

This is an unfortunately common situation.

And even more unfortunate is that there are few actual remedies, and those that do exist take a little bit of work.

But perhaps we can come up with an acceptable work-around...

Continue reading: "How do I stop someone from sending me harassing email?"

* * *

A Cold Day in RAM

A new hardware exploit could allow RAM contents to be viewed even after powering down.

Continue reading: "A Cold Day in RAM" Article Includes Audio

*** A Word from our Sponsor

Your PC will continue to get slower ...

The more you use your computer, the slower it will get.
Research shows, that after only months of use, your PC will be
performing at just a fraction of its original performance.
Run the all new, no cost PC Pitstop Optimize 2.0 scan now and
in just minutes - discover numerous ways you can keep your
PC running like new. Scan Now!


Advertisement. Ask Leo about advertising here.

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

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

There are questions I get where people will simply not accept the answer. This is one example. Microsoft gives a fairly clear answer, and yet, that's not enough for many people. So much so, apparently, that even Microsoft has changed the original Knowledgebase article I reference.

How do I delete my Hotmail account?

I've stopped using my MSN Hotmail account and I just want to get rid of it completely. How do I close it out?

In the past I've said "You don't. Just stop using it, stop logging in to it."

This will actually work. I mean, really ... if you're not looking at it, why would you care if it still existed or not?

Microsoft's own Knowledgebase article MSN Hotmail Top Issues and Support Information says that as well: "To close a Hotmail account, stop using it.".

Apparently that's not enough for many folks. OK, ok...

Follow these steps to delete your Hotmail account:

Continue reading...
How do I delete my Hotmail account?

*** Thoughts and Comments

So, I'll finally admit it publicly ... I've dumped my Treo.

For the last month or so I've been using a Blackberry Pearl.

Yes, I have a "crackberry".

What's interesting to me is that the feature that apparently gets everyone so hooked - constant "push" email connectivity - is in fact the feature I appreciate the least. It's convenient, I suppose, but give me a more normal email client any day.

So why'd I switch? Well, besides my Treo being fairly old, I'd always had the sense that while it was a fantastic PDA and internet device, it wasn't actually that good a phone. My frustration level kinda peaked at one point on a phone call. Now the outlook for the Treo's future seems murky, at best. The current model has been out for quite a while now, and I've no idea when a new model will come out or when my carrier would support it. On the other hand a couple of friends showed me their Blackberrys, and it just made sense.

And I have to say ... RIM made a couple of very good design decisions. For example, it recharges through a standard USB cable. When connected to my PC via that USB cable, the device's memory card simply shows up as a drive, much like a USB memory stick. It uses a standard audio plug so any headphones (or auto-adapter, in my case) will just plug in. Those kinds of "standards" are good for end users like me. And it's smaller and lighter than my Treo, but does pretty much everything the Treo did.

Yes, the Pearl's keyboard does take a little getting used to, but given my usage that's ok.

And finally, yes ... it does appear to actually be a better telephone as well.


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.

You're quite welcome to forward this email in its entirety, but you should probably delete your unsubscribe link below, so your friends don't unsubscribe you by accident. You may forward individual articles from this newsletter only if you include all and only the text of that article as found in this newsletter, including any links therein. You may not copy full articles from the Ask Leo! website - more on that in my section on copyright: http://ask-leo.com/terms.html#copyright.

I'd sure appreciate it if regular readers got a subscription of their own. You can sign up at http://newsletter.ask-leo.com.

Interested in advertising on Ask Leo! or in this newsletter? Advertising details here.

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

Posted: March 7, 2008 in: 2008
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/3312
« Previous post:
Next post: »

New Here?

Let me suggest my collection of best and most important articles to get you started.

Of course I strongly recommend you search the site -- there's a ton of information just waiting for you.

Finally, if you just can't find what you're looking for, ask me!

Confident Computing

Confident Computing is the weekly newsletter from Ask Leo!. Each week I give you tools, tips, tricks, answers, and solutions to help you navigate today’s complex world of technology and do so in a way that protects your privacy, your time, and your money, and even help you better connect with the people around you.

The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet – FREE Edition

Subscribe for FREE today and claim your copy of The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet – FREE Edition. Culled from the articles published on Ask Leo! this FREE downloadable PDF will help you identify the most important steps you can take to keep your computer, and yourself, safe as you navigate today’s digital landscape.

My Privacy Pledge

Leo Who?

I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and after "retiring" in 2001 I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.

1 thought on “Leo's Answers #118 – March 7, 2008”

  1. Leo, I want to go from using wireless internet to a wired router, do I need to uninstall my current wireless router then unplug my wireless connection and rebot, than install the software for the wired router then plug in the router?

Comments are closed.