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Leo's Answers #158 – December 23, 2008

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


You solved my issue and I had no trouble following your instructions on what to do.
-K

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*** Contents

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

Why can't we use https for everything?

Why couldn't all websites that are genuine like microsoft.com or hotmail.com or yahoo.com be https?

They could.

Heck, I could do it for ask-leo.com as well, though I'm not that huge a target for phishing attacks.

There are some costs and some ramifications, though.

Continue reading: "Why can't we use https for everything?"
http://ask-leo.com/why_cant_we_use_https_for_everything.html

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Should I get Windows Vista or XP?

I'm about to get a new machine. I keep hearing bad things about Windows Vista - should I get my new machine with Windows XP installed instead?

Oh boy.

I get this question a lot, and it's a difficult one to answer. Vista's not nearly as bad as the rumor mill or Apple's TV commercials might have you believe, and yet there are, for lack of a better term, issues.

Continue reading: "Should I get Windows Vista or XP?"
http://ask-leo.com/should_i_get_windows_vista_or_xp.html

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I accidentally deleted my Recycle Bin, but got to thinking: do I even need a Recycle Bin?

I see lots of people stressing because they've accidentally deleted their recycle bin icon. But, really, do I even need a recycle bin? Does it perhaps slow my computer down?

Windows Vista made it very easy to accidentally delete your recycle bin (but it's easy to fix). But you raise a good point: is that necessarily a bad thing?

The fact is, you don't actually need a recycle bin. It's there solely as a convenience. You may want it, but you can live without it too.

Let's take a closer look at exactly what the recycle bin is and how it works. Maybe you'll decide you don't even need it.

Continue reading: "I accidentally deleted my Recycle Bin, but got to thinking: do I even need a Recycle Bin?"
http://ask-leo.com/i_accidentally_deleted_my_recycle_bin_but_got_to_thinking_do_i_even_need_a_recycle_bin.html

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Can my computer get a virus from my camera?

Can my computer get a virus from my camera? I got a nasty virus on my computer and I couldn't send photos because the photos were failing the virus scan. I plugged my camera into my laptop thinking it was safe to send the photos through that computer to someone else in email but again I couldn't send the photos that I just took because they were infected. So my camera must now be infected. Does this mean I need a new camera and have to discard my memory card with all my photos of my son for the past 2 years. Is there any way to save them?

I'm actually going to reverse a statement I made in an article over 4 years ago.

Yes.

Yes, it is possible that your computer can catch a virus from your camera's memory card.

We need to understand that, though, because I didn't say from the camera, I said from the memory card.

Continue reading: "Can my computer get a virus from my camera?"
http://ask-leo.com/can_my_computer_get_a_virus_from_my_camera.html

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How do I add a signature with a picture to my emails?

How can I add a picture to my signature when I send out e-mails? I want it to be like a business card with my picture & signature at the bottom of the e-mail.

First, we have to realize exactly what a signature is: it's nothing more than some additional content automatically added by your email program to the bottom of the body of an email when you send it.

Which in turn means that there is no single answer to your question, since signatures are a feature of your email program, and how you do it will depend entirely on which email program you're using.

So we'll look at it at a high level, and hopefully that'll point you in the right direction for whatever program that might be.

Continue reading: "How do I add a signature with a picture to my emails?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_add_a_signature_with_a_picture_to_my_emails.html

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*** Featured Comments

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

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Do people really still fall for this stuff?

Greg Bulmash writes:

A booming business in spam is job offers. Criminals from Africa and Eastern Europe send out spam claiming they saw your resume online and they'd like to offer you a job.

Quite often the job is cashing forged checks (which they'll tell you are from their clients) and sending the money out of the country by Western Union, or receiving and forwarding merchandise they paid for with forged checks or compromised PayPal accounts.

I've got a large section of my blog dedicated to debunking job scams http://www.brainhandles.com/tag/job-scams. Whenever one gets through my spam filters, I publish it and show how to spot the warning signs.

And these get through my filters much more often than the 419 scams or illegitimate pill offers... except on Yahoo! mail which seems to let through a lot more 419 and fake lottery scams than Google.

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'Can my computer get a virus from my camera?

Ronny writes:

Just write-protect the memory card before inserting in another computer. It can then read the pictures but the virus cannot write to the card.

A good suggestion for those cards that support being write protected. Not all do.
-Leo

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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 change my MSN Hotmail password?
  2. How do I delete history items from my Google tool bar?
  3. How do I make a new MSN Hotmail account?
  4. I accidentally deleted my Recycle Bin in Vista - how do I get it back?
  5. My desktop Recycle Bin has disappeared - why, and how do I get it back?
  6. Can I send text messages between a computer and a cell phone?
  7. How do I delete my Hotmail account?
  8. Svchost and Svchost.exe - Crashs, CPU maximization, viruses, exploits and more.
  9. What are MSN HotMail's POP3 and SMTP settings for Outlook Express?
  10. How do I put a picture into the caption of a picture on myspace.com?

*** Leo Recommends

Acronis TrueImage Home
Backup Software

As long time readers know, I frequently mention backing up as one of the biggest and most important missed opportunities that too many people are overlooking to protect themselves. And I get reports every day of people who've lost important data, sometimes everything, that a simple backup solution would have protected them against.

If you're still without a backup solution I recommend Acronis True Image Home as an easy to use solution for anyone who should be backing up but isn't. Acronis is easy to set up, can back up files and folders, or your entire machine, and can similarly restore individual files and folders, or your an entire machine image, quickly and easily.

When used with an external hard drive, Acronis True Image can be a nearly "set it and forget it" backup solution.

In fact, it's what's running on the very machine I'm using as I write this.

Continue reading: Acronis TrueImage Home - Backup Software
http://ask-leo.com/acronis_trueimage_home_backup_software.html

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 an article I point people at on a regular basis.

How should I reinstall Windows?

It's time to reinstall Windows. Things are flaky, the machine's crashing every once in a while ... I just know it's time. How do I do that and still preserve as much of what's set up on the machine already? How do I reinstall Windows without losing all my installed programs and data?

There are definitely scenarios where a reinstallation of Windows is required. Be it simple "software rot" (the degradation of your system as you add, and remove, programs over time), or something more malicious like a virus or an accumulation of spyware.

The first question isn't really "how?", it's "how much?"

Continue reading...
How should I reinstall Windows?
http://ask-leo.com/how_should_i_reinstall_windows.html

*** Thoughts and Comments

I stumbled into another "ask" resource a couple of weeks ago: Ask the Computer Lady. I subscribed to the newsletter to check it out, and it's another great resource. Elizabeth Boston answers questions from average computer users and does so in clear, plain English. Her newsletter is worth checking out.

Yes, I'm pointing you to people that might be considered "competition". That's simply because I believe there's plenty to go around. You need your problems solved and your questions answered, and sites like Ask the Computer Lady (and my friends Ask Bob Rankin and Ask Dave Taylor, Allen Wyatt's Word Tips and Excel Tips, and Jake Ludington's MediaBlab among many others) are more places that you can go for help when you need it.

Tell 'em I said "Hi!" Smile

So I'm getting one unexpected Christmas gift this year. It's likely that by the time you read we'll have crossed the 50,000 subscriber mark for to this newsletter. Welcome all! And thanks for subscribing. I hope you like what you see.

From a record setting snowy Woodinville Washington, where there's 13 inches of snow in my backyard (where normally we might get an inch or two every other year), best wishes for the Holiday Season and a very, very Merry Christmas.

'till next time...

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom

* * *

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