Leo's Answers #167 – February 24, 2009

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


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-Wes

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*** Contents

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

Is webmail faster than downloading with POP3 over dialup?

I routinely send a monthly e-mail to multiple addressees some of whom use a telephone modem. They complain that it takes a very long time to download the e-mail in order to open it. If they were using a web based e-mail server such as Hotmail or Gmail would they have the ability to view large file e-mails faster than by using a POP server which downloads the e-mail to their computer?

It depends.

It depends on whether they actually read your mail. If they don't, then it's possible it'll make deleting your mail much faster.

I'm guessing that's not the scenario you want optimize for, though.

Continue reading: "Is webmail faster than downloading with POP3 over dialup?"

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What do you install first?

As I mentioned in my free weekly newsletter, I recently suffered a catastrophic hard drive failure in my Dell Latitude D620 laptop. Fortunately, my data was all backed up so there was no serious loss, but when the replacement drive arrived it did mean it was time for me to do what I frequently end up advising my readers: reformat and reinstall everything.

I thought it might be interesting to some to enumerate exactly what "everything" means on my machine.

Continue reading: "What do you install first?"

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Chkdsk said my system was "dirty" - what does dirty mean?

During a chkdsk scan, the system was characterized as "dirty". What does that imply?

For the record, it has nothing at all to do with porn. Smile

But it does have everything to do with how Windows manages your hard disk, how it optimizes reading and particularly writing to the disk, and how you turn off your computer.

Yes, the most common reason for a dirty hard drive is turning off your system the wrong way.

Continue reading: "Chkdsk said my system was "dirty" - what does dirty mean?"

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I have a massive malware infection, should I just get a new machine?

I have downloaded much of my music from the piratebay and torrentspy using bittorrent. I recently bought a new computer because my old computer had too many viruses to be repaired and now I want to transfer the music to the new computer. I was wondering if because my old computer was extremely infected with viruses and because my music has come from an untrustworthy source is it safe to put that music on the new computer so that the new computer will not be infected with viruses?

Clearly downloading files from untrustworthy sources is bad. Transferring those files to another computer doesn't magically make them safe.

But that's not why I'm addressing this question.

You should never have to buy a new computer because of virus infections.

Never.

I hear this often enough that I want to address it and clear up the confusion.

Continue reading: "I have a massive malware infection, should I just get a new machine?"

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Why is there no Windows Live Hotmail https connection?

Why is there a "http" in the address bar as a prefix when I log into Hotmail rather than an "https"? Other email servers' addresses (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) seem to generally have the prefix "httpS" [capitalized for emphasis by me] ("https://www.google.com..." etc.), yet I noticed that Hotmail's reads "http://login.live.com/login..." once I've typed in "www.hotmail.com". Should I feel less safe logging into my Hotmail account rather than my Gmail one since there's no "https"?

It depends on what you're attempting to protect yourself from, but in general the answer is: yes. There's a slightly higher risk if Hotmail's not using https.

And unfortunately, it appears that for certain common operations Windows Live Hotmail cannot use https at all.

Continue reading: "Why is there no Windows Live Hotmail https connection?"

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*** Featured Comments

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

* * *

'What are Windows Live Hotmail's POP3 and SMTP settings?

Dave Hartley writes:

One question: after setting this up, does one still have to log on via the web interface to keep your account "live"? Or does accessing your mail via POP count as "logging on"? (I'd also like to see them introduce forwarding to a mail account outside of the Microsoft world, but having POP is a good start!)

As is so often the case, Microsoft has not been clear on that. I would assume that POP3 access would count as access, but I'd be reluctant to count on it. (And forwarding to arbitrary addresses works for some people - like me. Why? No idea.)

-Leo

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Where are the ethics?

Dclindy writes:

Leo,

I would submit that the ethics are right where they always were. I don't believe that the Internet has changed people's character. Even a superficial glance at history will show that whenever groups of people put on masks, or become (in their belief) difficult to identify, some percentage of them will behave like they never would otherwise consider. The fact that these people, in these conditions, let loose their demons speaks to the fact that, as a society, we still have a lot of evolving to do.

I guess what I am saying is that by what you do, taking the time to help people learn, and by doing it so well, you are part of that evolution. Thanks.

Dave

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'Why is there no Windows Live Hotmail https connection?

John O writes:

SSL only protects sending and receiving the emails from my browser, right? My emails are still not encrypted in Gmail or hotmail mail servers. Also, are the emails transferred in encrypted form between email servers?

You are very correct. Email is not encrypted when stored on mail servers, and it's also typically not encrypted when transmitted between servers.
More to the point, it may also not be encrypted when your recipient views or downloads it depending on their connection settings.

-Leo

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*** This Week's Most Popular

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

  1. I accidentally deleted my Recycle Bin in Vista - how do I get it back?
  2. How do I make a new MSN Hotmail account?
  3. Why is my Task Manager disabled, and how do I fix it?
  4. How do I change my MSN Hotmail password?
  5. How do I delete history items from my Google tool bar?
  6. How do I delete my Hotmail account?
  7. Can I send text messages between a computer and a cell phone?
  8. My desktop Recycle Bin has disappeared - why, and how do I get it back?
  9. How do I put a picture into the caption of a picture on myspace.com?
  10. What are the POP3 and SMTP settings for Hotmail?

*** Leo Recommends

Google Mail
Free Email that works and leaves you in control

The fact that I'm recommending a free email service at all will come as a shock to most of my long time readers. I've long ranted against using free email services being used as the sole repository for your important information. Most people read that as being "against free email", but it's really "against putting all your eggs in someone else's basket and only in someone else's basket".

Free email accounts have a place in your overall email strategy.

And one of the reasons I recommend GMail, Google's free email service is that it allows you to take control of your email in ways that the other services will not. In fact, I can see situations where GMail might be your primary email account.

Just never your only email account.

Continue Reading...

Google Mail - Free Email that works and leaves you in control

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

What would you do differently? Here's what I would:

If I Had to Do It All Over Again...

I sometimes wonder at how I got here. Not in the biological sense, I mean the long strange trip that ended up here ... with websites like Ask Leo! and podcasts such as this one.

And if I had to do it all over again, what one thing would I change?

I would have...

Continue reading...
If I Had to Do It All Over Again...
http://ask-leo.com/if_i_had_to_do_it_all_over_again.html

*** Thoughts and Comments

Time for an experiment.

Are you a fan of Ask Leo!? I hope so, since you're subscribed to the newsletter Smile, but now you can really be a fan of Ask Leo! out on Facebook.

Visit http://ask-leo.com/fan to be taken to the newly official Ask Leo! fan page out on Facebook.

Now, I'm not entirely sure exactly how I'm going to use it, but I do have some initial ideas, and as one of the first fans you can help jump start it as well.

Facebook fan pages can include a "Discussion Board", so I've enabled that. One of the first "discussions"? Me, asking "What should I do here?". So, there's your opportunity to jump in and make some suggestions. I'll pop in from time to time to discuss the ideas with you, and perhaps together we can make something that adds even more value for readers and fans.

(Remember, I'm on Twitter too!)

'till next time...

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom

* * *

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