Leo's Answers #168 – March 3, 2009

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


You really truly are a life saver; thank you so much!
-Kirste

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*** Contents

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

Why didn't you restore from a Disk Image?

I'm a bit disappointed that you didn't say that you restored an Acronis image. I've often wondered if it's better to reload all the software and then reload the backed up "My Documents".

A couple of people questioned my approach to rebuilding a machine from scratch in What do you install first? wondering why, rather than installing everything from scratch, I hadn't used a pre-saved image of the machine, or restored from an image backup.

That's a valid question. I'll explain the techniques, and then explain why I chose not to use it, and why my approach might not be appropriate for everyone.

Continue reading: "Why didn't you restore from a Disk Image?"

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What are these blue lines on the left of my email?

The blue vertical lines on the left side of an email, how do you get rid of them? Sometimes you can delete them & sometimes when you try to, the whole email disappears. They are just annoying & tacky looking. We never use to see them & now they are just about on everything!

The blue lines are your email program attempting to be helpful. Or, rather, the email program of whomever has sent you that message.

Most likely in reply to a message of yours.

Continue reading: "What are these blue lines on the left of my email?"

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I thought I deleted these files, how were they recovered?

My son brought up some files in my computer that I had deleted such as emails on my yahoo account, deleted photos and deleted conversations on yahoo messenger. How is this possible and where do I go in my computer to get rid of that information and how do I prevent this from happening again?

I usually get the reverse of this question: "how do I recover files I deleted?". But it's absolutely worth looking at how things can be recovered, so that if you actually want something to be deleted and stay deleted you can take appropriate steps.

Continue reading: "I thought I deleted these files, how were they recovered?"

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Can I just copy an install CD to a USB device and use it that way?

I'm thinking of buying a netbook with no built-in way to read an installation CD if I want to add other software. I expect that I can simply copy the contents of any such CD to a USB memory key, using another computer, and install from the key. Can I safely count on that working, or are there still any installation routines that expect a physical CD drive to be present? Can you see any other problems I might encounter?

No, you can't count on that working.

It'll get you 99% of the way there, but that last 1% is a deal breaker.

Continue reading: "Can I just copy an install CD to a USB device and use it that way?"

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How do I encrypt email?

What software do you use to encrypt emails? Do you have any recommendations for email encryption software (preferably free)?

I wish this was easier, and it should be easier.

But the fact is encrypting email is cumbersome and solutions that should work easily don't work consistently.

I'll give you three alternatives, starting with the one that's easiest for just about anyone to use.

Continue reading: "How do I encrypt email?"

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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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Where are the ethics?

Marvin writes:

Your "I could just cry!" really struck a chord with me. Life would be so much nicer if we could trust everyone. As we were growing up, that was the actual case for many of us -- because our parents effectively screened the people we came into contact with and associated with.

But, as we age we discover that there is an element of our race that has sociopathic tendencies; i.e. -- they think only of themselves, and not of others. The sociopathic are about 5 percent of our society; but they sure appear to be more widespread than that. This is because a disproportionate percentage of our public figures are part of this group. Sociopaths gravitate to positions of influence and power. At times it seems like society has gone to hell, and everybody but us has abandoned morality. But it simply isn't the case; it just seems that way.

I am not implying that a majority of public figures are dishonest. Far from it. Many are motivated by a great desire to be of service -- to help others. I am claiming, however, that amongst public figures one will find about 20 percent who are sociopathic; that is, four times more than the run-of-the-mill population. So ... our good leaders are especially plagued by this disproportionate level of sociopathic behavior. And these sociopaths are the reason many people label all public figures as scoundrels! What a price the good ones pay for their attempts to help us!

But you are right to cry! All humanity should be crying for a "fix" that would cause man's inhumanity to man to cease. Some place their hope in religion. Others in evolution. Others in discovering the culprit gene. And still others in society.

The great danger is that a society desperate for a more moral society will actually propagate even greater inhumanity in trying to weed out the "weeds" of society. Morally motivated purges are a strong part of mankind's history.

So...just continue to be your good, moral self. Helping others is one of the highest forms of morality. And know that there are 19 out of 20 others out there who feel just as you do. Many of us could just cry too!

*** 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. How do I change my MSN Hotmail password?
  4. How do I delete history items from my Google tool bar?
  5. Can I send text messages between a computer and a cell phone?
  6. How do I delete my Hotmail account?
  7. My desktop Recycle Bin has disappeared - why, and how do I get it back?
  8. Why is my Task Manager disabled, and how do I fix it?
  9. Svchost and Svchost.exe - Crashs, CPU maximization, viruses, exploits and more.
  10. How do I put a picture into the caption of a picture on myspace.com?

*** Leo Recommends

RoboForm
Password Manager and more

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...

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

I love Microsoft Word, honest. It's a wonderful and powerful word processor. But that doesn't mean that attaching Word documents to emails is the right way to disseminate information.

Why is attaching a Word document to email such a bad idea?

At my organization we regularly email Microsoft Word documents to one another as attachments. Meeting minutes, agendas, summaries, pretty much anything other than really short messages get written in Word, and then sent as an attachment.

I recently had someone from outside the organization claim that this was a really bad idea. He was quite adamant that we should be doing that as little as possible. He claimed that there were so many reasons he couldn't list them all.

Can you?

Yes. Yes I can. It's something I feel fairly strongly about. So strongly, that I'm often that "someone from outside the organization".

Don't get me wrong, Microsoft Word has it's place. But 9 times out of 10 that place is not as an attachment to email.

Continue reading...
Why is attaching a Word document to email such a bad idea?
http://ask-leo.com/why_is_attaching_a_word_document_to_email_such_a_bad_idea.html

*** Thoughts and Comments

Thanks to every one who became a fan of Ask Leo! out on Facebook (http://ask-leo.com/fan). You'll probably see a few of my unanswered questions, discussions and other random stuff popping up there from time to time. Feel free to join in the discussion.

And of course tell all your friends. Smile

Which reminds me, Ask Leo! and this newsletter are of course free, but you can help by telling your friends. If you have a blog, a website, a Facebook page, whatever, adding a link to Ask Leo! actually helps me a lot. http://ask-leo.com/link has specific ideas, or you can make it all up yourself. It's appreciated.

'till next time...

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom

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