Leo's Answers #123 – April 11, 2008

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


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*** Contents

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

How do I tell if this software is a good deal?

I found this product while researching backup and recovery programs. Do you have any thoughts about the company or the product?

As it turned out I'd never heard of the product, but after I did a little research I started to form an opinion.

And it wasn't good.

Let me take you through some of the steps I took so that you can do the same next time you're curious about a possible purchase.

Continue reading: "How do I tell if this software is a good deal?"

* * *

Why didn't Vista fix my pet peeve?

I have a question that so far no one has been able to answer me on. Over the years and the last few versions of Windows that I've used (Win98, WinXP, and even Vista) Windows Explorer still shows file sizes in KB, and folders no size. In this modern age I'm currently dealing with files that are between 300MB to 3GB+. I was hoping that when vista came out they would have fixed this problem and i could more easily see my file sizes in KB, MB, or GB. All the other non Windows OS I've played with don't seem to have this problem and they automatically show files in their proper notation. Is this a bug in windows or is MS to lazy to fix this program and only give us this second rate software. If you could help clear this up i would greatly appreciate it.

This is a common question. Not specifically about file size display notation, but rather the more general question "why didn't Microsoft fix this" where "this" is a person's personal pet peeve or perhaps a system bug.

Asking "why?" is in many cases simply an exercise in frustration. Rarely will you get a clear answer.

But I can absolutely theorize many very legitimate reasons for not addressing something like this. And no, "lazy" or "second rate" aren't on the list.

Continue reading: "Why didn't Vista fix my pet peeve?"

* * *

How do I change the font that Windows uses?

Can I change the font that is used on the screen? For example can I make it Verdana, Trebuchet MS, Georgia, or any other I could name? It probably has to be a True Type Font. What is the name of the font that is normally used with Windows XP Professional? Thank you for any suggestions you may have.

This is one of those areas where I typically recommend people not go playing. Not because it's dangerous, but because it is an area that Microsoft has done a lot of research into determining and developing a look, including font, that seems to be the most effective for the most people.

But of course, what if you're not "most people"?

Then there's a lot you can fiddle with.

Continue reading: "How do I change the font that Windows uses?"

* * *

Will hard disk encryption protect me from network attacks?

I was told that hard disc encryption prevents people who have physical access to my laptop from reading my files, does that work against online hackers who hacked into my network? Would a complete hard disc encryption make any difference?

Yes and no.

While encryption is a powerful tool in your security tool box, it's not a replacement for good network security, or any number of other important security measures for that matter.

We need to look at exactly what is, and is not, protected when you have, and when you use, encrypted data.

Continue reading: "Will hard disk encryption protect me from network attacks?"

* * *

Why I chose XP

I decided that my new machine will run Windows XP, and not Vista. At least not yet.

Continue reading: "Why I chose XP" 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. 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. How do I delete my Hotmail account?

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

This article certainly got some folks worked up as they were convinced I was wrong. Three years later, I stand by my statement.

Can I use a USB RAM stick to increase system memory?


That was simple. But to avoid this becoming the shortest Ask Leo! article ever, let me explain why.

Continue reading...
Can I use a USB RAM stick to increase system memory?

*** Thoughts and Comments

Well, the new computer I purchased (the one on which I had Windows XP installed) went back to the manufacturer yesterday. It seems that the quad-core processor I'd ordered (and paid for) wasn't in the machine - a dual-core had been installed by mistake. It took just a little convincing but in the end Intel's processor ID utility made it quite obvious. Rather than having me replace the processor myself, the manufacturer ate the shipping cost for me to send the machine back so that they could fully test it out after the correct processor was installed.

I can appreciate that.

Since I'd already begun setting up that machine before noticing the problem, one of my future articles will include a few simple steps I took to ensure that my private data stays private as the computer, with its hard drive, falls into someone else's hands back at the factory.

I'll also be discussing some of my thoughts on customer support in the near future. So far this manufacturer has done OK in the actual support process, but there have been a few rough edges. I'm coming to the conclusion that after-sale support might be much more important than many of the other factors we typically look for when making a purchase.


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

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

Posted: April 11, 2008 in: 2008
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/3347
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