Leo's Answers #15 – March 3, 2006

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


(You’re receiving this newsletter because you subscribed, and then confirmed your subscription. Simple instructions for unsubscribing are at the end of every newsletter.)

*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

How do I keep attached photos out of an email’s message body?

I want to be able to send a photo as an attachment, but not have it automatically visible when the recipient opens the email. I sent a message to myself with a photo as an attachment and when I opened it, the photo was shown as an attachment, but it was also opened at the below message text.

It seems like overkill to me. If I send six photos as attachments, then the recipient will get six attachments and six opened photos below the message.

How do I stop this behavior.

Well, the short answer is: you don’t. You’re trying to control a feature that may or many not even be present in your recipients mail program.

But there are some games we can play.

Continue reading: “How do I keep attached photos out of an email’s message body?”

* * *

Where’d this message box come from?

On my wife’s computer when she signs on, she gets this message in a small rectangular box:

ERROR – Unexpected error; Quitting

With an OK button.

This message comes on when she signs on and stays on the screen for 2 minutes and then disappears. Or I can click it off anytime.

Is there any way we can get it to stop?

At a gut level, this kinda sorta feels like spyware of some sort. But we should probably first see if we can figure out what program is generating this message, and then decide what to do from there.

Continue reading: “Where’d this message box come from?”

* * *

What ever happened to RSS?

RSS hasn’t lived up to its promise. What will it take?

Continue reading: “What ever happened to RSS?” Article Includes Audio

* * *

Can I send text messages between a computer and a cell phone?

Can a computer (laptop or desktop)text message a cell phone, and can a cell phone text message a computer. If so how?

Well, let’s clear one thing up right away: cell phone text messaging, or “SMS” text messaging is not the same as instant messaging on your computer. They’re two very different systems.

That doesn’t mean all is lost, however. There are some things you can do. How much depends mostly on the cellular provider, and the type of phone you have.

Continue reading: “Can I send text messages between a computer and a cell phone?”

* * *

What does “This file does not have a program associated with it” mean?

I’m getting the message “This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the folders options control panel.” when I attempt to open a PPS attachment in Outlook Express. What’s that all mean, and what do I do?

Well, in short it means that Outlook Express doesn’t know what to do with the attached file. It tries to figure that out based on the file “extension” or the characters that follow the last period in the file name; in your case, the “pps”.

So, we’ll have to tell it what to do.

Continue reading: “What does “This file does not have a program associated with it” mean?”

* * *

Why won’t my external drives shut down automatically?

I just installed two external Firewire hard drive cases with two hard drives. When I shut off my system the drives keep running and they don’t power down when my PC is on after 15 minutes-the setting I use for turning the hard drives off.

Is this normal for a Firewire external drive or is there something I need to do to get them to power down.

I can shut them off when not in use but it would be more convenient if they just turned off according to my power schedule.

I’m a huge fan of external drives. In fact, I own three of them now.

But, being the kind of guy I am, I leave my computers – all of them – running all the time. If you don’t, what you want to do depends on exactly what your external drive does when it gets “bored”.

Continue reading: “Why won’t my external drives shut down automatically?”

* * *

Tech Site: Webopedia


Ever come across an internet or computer related term or acronym that made absolutely NO sense? And yet the writer, perhaps even me, uses it as if everyone on the planet should know what it means?

Webopedia is the site for you. “The only online dictionary and search engine you need for computer and Internet technology definitions.”

FUD? TCP/IP? router? smiley? These and thousands of other words and acronyms are defined in short, easy to understand terms, and heavily cross-referenced so if you stumble across another term you’ve not heard of before, understanding is just a mouse click away.

You’ll frequently see references to Webopedia in the related links sections of Ask Leo! articles – it’s one of my go-to reference sites.

Continue reading: “Tech Site: Webopedia”

* * *

Is running two anti-spyware programs better than one?

I have Microsoft Antispyware in my windows XP computer but recently I read reviews in PC magazine and it recommended Spyware Doctor 3.5. I don’t want to uninstall Microsoft Antispyware. Can I keep both of them running at the same time?

If one is good, two must be better, right? And three better still!

Well, yes and no. Depending on what you mean by “run”, two can be better, or two can be a total mess.

Continue reading: “Is running two anti-spyware programs better than one?”

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

Last week it was differences between various “Messengers”, this week a hardware related difference:

What’s the difference between a Hub, a Switch and a Router?

In a word: intelligence.

Hubs, switches and routers are all devices which let you connect one or more computers to other computers, networked devices or to other networks. Each has two or more connectors, called ports, into which you plug in the cables to make the connection. Varying degrees of magic happen inside the device, and therein lies the difference. I often see the terms misused, so let’s clarify what each one really means.

Continue reading…

*** Thoughts and Comments

One of my “kids” rejected me. No, I’m not a parent, so it’s not one of my children, per se. It’s a product I worked on that I can apparently no longer use.

I worked on the travel site Expedia for several years when it was first released. If you’ve ever written or developed software you probably know the feeling of seeing one of your projects take off and become really successful. Expedia’s pretty cool, and one of the things I’m proud to have worked on.

But Expedia won’t take my money any more. Quite literally, and I don’t know why. So much so that I had to switch to “the competition”. You can read more about it over on my pal Randy Cassingham’s “Cranky Customer” site – http://www.crankycustomer.com/expedia_not_all_that_expedient.html.

Slightly related, several of the folks I used to work with at Expedia have started a new company and website: zillow.com. Using a combination of public sales data and mapping technologies, Zillow will let you get a ballpark estimate of your home’s current market value. Or your neighbor’s. Or that fancy mansion down the street. Like many new internet technologies, the data’s always been there, they’re just making it extremely easy to get at.

And you bet I looked up my own house first. I’ve lived in the same house for just over eight years, and real estate has done relatively well in our area. I must say I did like the numbers I saw from Zillow – even if they did have some of the details of my house wrong. :-).

Last Minute Quickie If you’re at all confused or concerend about the recent fuss about AOL’s “email tax”, my friend “Aunty Spam” has a new explanatory write-up out on The Internet Patrol: The Truth About AOL

Posted: March 3, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2579
« 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 #15 – March 3, 2006”

  1. hello Leo
    i have a problem with my email, the problem is that i cant login to it (el3n00d@hotmail.com)
    and when i tried to change it i discoved that my secret Question changed :S what shall i do and i cant remember if i put an eltenative email
    the email address is el3n00d@hotmail.com
    please send me the solution to athabaah@hotmail.com

Comments are closed.