Leo's Answers #132 – June 17, 2008

Leo's Answers
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Leo Notenboom


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*** Contents

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

Will my Windows XP computer work with a USB keyboard?

Will my XP computer work with a USB keyboard?

Yes, and possibly no.

It really depends on exactly what you're asking.

Continue reading: "Will my Windows XP computer work with a USB keyboard?"

* * *

How do I determine what I absolutely need to load at startup?

How do I determine what I absolutely need to load at start-up? Do I really need all of my protection programs like virus and spyware to load at start-up?

Ultimately, in practical terms, this is an unanswerable question. For many items the answer will be "I don't know".

But there are definitely steps to at least understand much of what is happening at startup, and perhaps even make a few decisions based on that.

Continue reading: "How do I determine what I absolutely need to load at startup?"

* * *

Is it ok to have more than one firewall?

I have both Earthlink and Microsoft firewalls loaded - do I need both? Could they be interfering with each other? If it is best to use only one which would you recommend? Also, I'm using AVG 8.0 free and does this have a firewall?

No, I don't believe AVG 8.0 free has a firewall.

As to how many you need, it's best summed up with a line from a movie:

"There can be only one."

Why, and which one, deserves a little explanation.

Continue reading: "Is it ok to have more than one firewall?"

* * *

Why is my modem taking longer and longer to connect?

When I am trying to connect via my dial up modem, I have to try several times until the modem responds and starts screaming with the handshake. This problem evolved over time and in the beginning of using the modem, there was no delay to get the connection. This happens in Outlook Express as well as connecting from the desktop via the network connections.

So, I am assuming that there is something wrong in the software making the connection. Any advice would be appreciated.

Actually, that's not at all the assumption that I would make.

I'm thinking that the software's probably just fine, but that the problem lies elsewhere - in the modem, the phone line or the ISP.

Let's look at each, and how a software setting or two might help diagnose.

Continue reading: "Why is my modem taking longer and longer to connect?"

* * *

How do I remove a virus from a memory card?

I have been having problems with hackers and viruses and the like and have one right now that avast will not find and superantispyware wont find either. I've tried in the past a range of virus scanners for it but to no success. its on a camera disc little SD memory card, and tries to spread to my hard drive and any other media anytime i connect it.

I was wondering what steps you would take in my position?

There are a few things I would do, and they start out pretty simply.

With any disk that isn't your system disk you have a wonderful opportunity to get rid of viruses and spyware fairly quickly and easily.

Continue reading: "How do I remove a virus from a memory card?"

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*** Featured Comments

A sampling of some of the comments that have been posted recently on Ask Leo!

* * *

How do I print pictures from websites so that they actually look good?

Ron El writes:

There are apps such as Genuine Fractals and SmartScale that can increase the pixel densities with amazing results compared to the algorithms used in printers and image editors. Not to the extent depicted in the crime TV shows, of course.

I had a friend point me at Genuine Fractals as well. (A Photoshop plugin, http://www.ononesoftware.com/detail.php?prodLine_id=2 for those so interested.) It's definitely an improvement over most stock enlargement algorithms, but still - you can only go so far taking a 2x2 inch image and enlarging it to 8x8 :-). (As another friend pointed out, that's a factor of 16 larger, if you measure surface area.)



What is bandwidth?

Alan Stein writes:

"Bandwidth" used to refer to radio and other electromagnetic wave phenomena. An AM radio channel (remember AM radio? 550 kHz to 1650 kHz?) was about 10 Khz wide. An FM radio channel is, I believe, about 10 mHz wide - the FM band is 88.7 mHz to 108 mHz. The greater BANDWIDTH carried higher-fidelity sound (like we need high-fidelity for Rap music?). CW (continuous wave) transmission - remember Morse Code? - needed almost no bandwidth. Since digital information is, like Morse Code, simply "on" or "off", I'm guessing that "bandwidth" is not the correct description of what's required for faster data transmission. I'm certain an electrical engineer can explain what goes through the wires and optical cables, and what permits greater speed. - Thanks - Alan

Greg Bulmash adds:

Gotta go with Alan. While the current usage of bandwidth is to describe speed of transmission or capacity (i.e. "I'll get that done tomorrow, I don't have the spare bandwidth today"), it does date back to the width of a radio band and what it could carry. I don't see anything wrong with it evolving, though, especially when we're moving back into radio transmission with WiFi and WiMax.

*** This Week's Most Popular

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

  1. How do I resolve my MSN Hotmail sign in problems?
  2. How do I put a picture in a comment on myspace.com?
  3. Svchost and Svchost.exe - Crashs, CPU maximization, viruses, exploits and more.
  4. How do I delete history items from my Google tool bar?
  5. How do I make a new MSN Hotmail account?
  6. What are MSN HotMail's POP3 and SMTP settings for Outlook Express?
  7. How do I change my MSN Hotmail password?
  8. How do I hack into someone's account?
  9. Why is my Task Manager disabled, and how do I fix it?
  10. What are the POP3 and SMTP settings for Hotmail?

*** Leo Recommends

Password Manager and more

This recommendation begins, as many do, with a question...

I think that I have about 80 - 100 passwords that I use on a regular or somewhat regular basis. I always remember my network and computer logon passwords, but beyond that I often have to check my a) Outlook notes on my PC at work, or b) when at home on my Mac, my little black notebook stuffed in the bottom of drawer.

Is storing my passwords on Outlook notes safe for my bank and tax filing accounts? Are online password managers or 'safes' secure? Do you have any suggestions for how best to manage the proliferation of passwords for online accounts?

I don't really have a good cross-platform solution for you, though I do have a couple of odd ideas.

However, I have developed a very strong recommendation over the past couple of months for a product called RoboForm - which happily includes a free version!

Let me touch on your first two questions first...

Continue reading my recommendation: "RoboForm Password Manager and more"

Each week I recommend a specific product or resource that I've found valuable and that I think you may as well. What does my recommendation mean?

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

This is one of those topics that not everyone will agree with me on. Even after hearing all the counter arguments, I still feel as strongly today as I did when I first recorded this podcast three years ago. (Transcript is included.)

Out of Office Replies are Evil

Yes, you heard right, most out of office replies are evil.

Out of office replies, often termed "oof" or oof, for out of facility, are those automated replies you get to an email you send someone when they are ... well, out of the office. They'll tell you something like "I'm out of the office this week, and not checking email" or something along those lines.

Seems like a good idea, right? Helpful, even. And it can be good idea, IF two conditions are met:

Continue reading...
Out of Office Replies are Evil

*** Thoughts and Comments

This week's blast from the past - Out of Office Replies are Evil - gives me an opportunity to remind you that I do have versions of some of my articles available for re-use in their entirety. No, not the copy on my site; that's still restricted by my terms of service and making a copy of that entire article is a violation of copyright.

However, I do have a version of that article, along with a few others, out at EzineArticles. Out there you'll find it as Out Of Office? Don't Advertise It. By following EzineArticle's terms of service, you're allowed to republish the entire article found there in your blog, in your newsletter, or in print.


OK, I got myself a new toy this last week: a new camera. It took some real agonizing, as it's not an inexpensive camera, but after reading reviews, talking to friends, I ended up giving in to my camera lust. I now own a Nikon D300.

Way back in the day, I was quite into photography. For example besides being editor of my high school yearbook, I was also one of the primary photographers. This was all pre-digital, and I spent a lot of time in the darkroom and even had one at home. It was a lot of fun.

I still have my old Olympus OM-1 sitting around somewhere gathering dust. It was a major purchase for me back then and served me well for many years. While I've had several digital cameras since then (beginning with the floppy-disk based Sony FD95) the Nikon is my first SLR in some 30-mumble years.

And yes, I'll add a few photos to my Flickr photostream. There are a handful of older shots there, but the newer ones are all with the new camera.


I swear this next item is total coincidence. A great coincidence, but a coincidence nonetheless.

You may know my friends Jim and Audri Lanford from their exceptionally popular and highly respected site Scambusters.org. I've referred to Scambusters on Ask Leo! many times, and highly recommend it as a trustworthy source for information on keeping yourself safe from scams, hoaxes and other internet problems.

It turns out that Jim and Audri share a passion: photography. (I also found out that they share great taste in camera models, but that's a different coincidence Smile.)

And as is the way of internet entrepreneurs, they've turned that into something to share with you on-line.

7 photography questions is a site and podcast where Audri interviews leading experts in photography, and asks them 7 questions submitted by her readers. The result is an exceptionally informative, entertaining and educational resource for photographers from beginner to advanced.

If it sounds a little odd to be talking about a visual medium like photography in an audio podcast, don't let that get in the way. After listening, I can say that it works. And each podcast is backed up with clear and solid examples of exactly what's being discussed on the site.

As I said, it was total coincidence that Audri's started 7 photography questions right around the same time I decided to get my new camera. But for me it's a real happy coincidence as I'm being reminded of things I haven't thought about for years, as well as being introduced to new ideas and concepts I haven't yet explored.

Enough gushing. 7 photography questions - go have a peek.


As always, thanks for subscribing, reading, and for your feedback.

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...


* * *

A selection of Leo's articles are available for free re-use at EzineArticles.

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

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

Posted: June 17, 2008 in: 2008
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/3418
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1 thought on “Leo's Answers #132 – June 17, 2008”

  1. I actually love the RoboForm software myself. I use it all of the time and it takes all the menial everyday tasks that I have to perform on my computer daily and shortens them extremely! What once took me fifteen minutes to complete now takes me only one second because RoboForm does the same task with just one click. In fact I wrote a Report about a lot of RoboForm

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