Leo's Answers #121 – March 28, 2008

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


*** Contents

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

How do I find out who's sending harassing email?

My son has been receiving harassing e-mails that is sent to his yahoo account and on Facebook. How do I find out the IP and where and who they are coming from?

I think it's kind of frightening how often I get questions like this one.

The sad reality is that the answer for most people is very, very simple:

You don't.

So what can you do?

Continue reading: "How do I find out who's sending harassing email?"

* * *

Is remote printing secure?

I use a printer at the office that is hooked to the network. Am I correct that there is a print job log that shows what each printer in the office prints? Or, can only a separate network server create print job logs. If any network automatically does show a print job by any of the office computers, what are some basic information shown in the log and can an administrator print a document that has been printed if they see it on a print job log?

Yes, there can be logs. No, previously printed documents are not saved in a way that they could be re-printed or viewed again later.

However (isn't there's always a "however"?), depending on your level of concern, printing may not be as secure as we casually assume.

Continue reading: "Is remote printing secure?"

* * *

How should I maintain my Documents and Settings folder?

I just found out my "Documents and Settings" directory has grown to 43.7 GB. That's 61,206 items, 56,831 files and 4,375 sub directories. In all the news letters I get and from Goggling, I see no mention on how to maintain this directory. This has to be a common problem, my relatively new laptop has 13.4 GB of files in D&S out of 22.3 GB of storage used. Is reformatting or bigger drives the only answer? What causes this and why isn't anything getting purged. How do you maintain D&S?

Well, I hate to tell you this, but most folks will tell you that there really isn't such a thing as "maintaining" the Documents and Settings folder. It's just a place where programs put stuff. Like documents. And settings.

Let's explain that a little, and then also take a look at exactly what I would do in your situation.

Continue reading: "How should I maintain my Documents and Settings folder?"

* * *

How often should I replace my CMOS battery, and what does it do, anyway?

In all desktop PCs there is a battery - what is the purpose of this battery and how long does it last before it has to be replaced? Does the replacement of this battery affect the BIOS of the computer? I've had a PC for 6 years now and never replaced the battery.

Actually all PCs, desktop and laptop alike, have a battery like this, typically referred to as the "CMOS" battery. It serves an important function, even though it's actually possible on most machines to run without one ... which quickly becomes annoying.

The good news is that, as you've seen, they typically last for years.

Continue reading: "How often should I replace my CMOS battery, and what does it do, anyway?"

* * *

Why is my firewall software alerting me to a connection attempt from an address like

I have a software firewall on trial. One penetration attempt the program consistently blocks is from IP This attempt is incessant and for the moment I've turned off the reports. However, if it's a legitimate probe, I need to let it through. Our router IP is, so that's close to the "culprit". So, how do I determine whence cometh the IP address the firewall doesn't like?

One of the common annoyances with software firewalls is exactly this: that you may get repeated notification of access attempts, with no real sense of where they're really coming from, and whether or not they're legitimate.

In this case, I can't really say whether it's legitimate.

But I can say that the IP address is closer than you think.

Continue reading: "Why is my firewall software alerting me to a connection attempt from an address like"

* * *

Yes, it happens to me too.

I made what could have been an extremely expensive blunder.

Continue reading: "Yes, it happens to me too." 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. Why is my Task Manager disabled, and how do I fix it?
  5. Svchost and Svchost.exe - Crashs, CPU maximization, viruses, exploits and more.
  6. How do I change my MSN Hotmail password?
  7. What are MSN HotMail's POP3 and SMTP settings for Outlook Express?
  8. What are the POP3 and SMTP settings for Hotmail?
  9. How do I put a picture into the caption of a picture on myspace.com?
  10. How do I hack into someone's account?

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

Back in grade school I was bullied by other students of my class. That's quite a few years ago, and I can only wonder what it would have been like had we had email and the internet at the time. Sadly, many kids today don't have to wonder - they're living it. This week's How do I find out who's sending harassing email? is just one example of how incredibly frustrating it must be to be on the receiving end of on-line harassment and cyber bullying.

That leads me to feature this podcast (with transcript) from three years ago. A plea to parents everywhere:

Know what your kids are up to?

I talk about some of the common questions that seem to be coming from kids, and wonder ... do the parents know?

Continue reading...
Know what your kids are up to?

*** Thoughts and Comments

I get occasional requests to republish articles that have appeared on Ask Leo!. The short answer is that no, full articles may not be republished without prior permission from your's truly. (You can, in fact, publish the first couple of paragraphs if you include a link to the rest of the article here on my site. My Terms of Service spell out all the details.)

However, I've been working on a solution. I'm slowly rewriting some of my more important and popular articles specifically for republication. You'll find them out on EzineArticles.com. Yes, EzineArticles has its own Terms of Service, but they're quite sensible. Follow them and you're more than welcome to the items I've posted there.

I'm also interested in recommendations - if you see something on Ask Leo! that you'd like to legally republish in full, drop me a line and I'll see if I can prioritize putting a fresh version out on EzineArticles.com.


And in more "it happens to me too" news ... for quite some time one of the more popular articles on Ask Leo! has been about SVCHOST and it's occasionally using 100% of the CPU for no apparent reason. Moments before preparing this newsletter I discovered that one of my computers (yep, the same one that had activation issues) was running at 100% CPU usage in SVCHOST for no apparent reason.


Guess I better go read my own article. And, quite honestly, some of the many, many helpful comments that accompany it. When reading my articles if you're not at least browsing the comments you're often missing out on some really good stuff. Not just occasional disagreements, but often excellent alternative viewpoints and additional data.

I know I learn a lot from my readers, and I do appreciate that.


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: March 28, 2008 in: 2008
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/3334
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1 thought on “Leo's Answers #121 – March 28, 2008”

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