Leo's Answers #215 – January 26, 2010

A Weekly Newsletter From
Ask Leo!
Leo Notenboom

Hello!

Do you have a question for me? Don't hit reply! Head instead for the Ask Leo! home page and search the site first - seriously, around half the questions people ask are already answered there. You can also browse the archives, past newsletters and more. (The "ask a question" page is temporarily disabled while I'm on vacation.)

Newsletter questions? Check the newsletter administration page. You can also unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this email.

*** New Articles

Down Under Version!

No new articles this week - I'm on vacation! See the Thoughts and Comments section, below, for more on that.

*** Comments

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

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

JP writes:

hi leo
nicely put!

one question was left unanswered for me: what is (technically) your native tongue? i tried hard and didn't notice any accent i could put into any "box". i would guess "the netherlands" though...looking at your name that might fit. ;-)

and even if you can accept some people not being able to write/spell english correctly because its not their first language, i sometimes have a hard time agreeing with the degree some people lack that ability. as you said...it influences the way people perceive you as...not fair, not pc but true...

i had to force myself a tad bit to avoid typos and lazyisms since this ain't my native tongue either. but in times of the internet and dvds everyone in any first world country has the means to do something about their lack of experience with languages. especially with english. it's such an easy language (no offense meant, i love it)! at least basic communication should be doable for anyone who wants to be perceived as an intelligent person.

i can understand that its tough as a kid to see the benefits and disadvantages of lacking the ability to speak and write at least english (besides their native tongue), i didn't realize that in school. but anyone over 20 could have done something about it.

the only problem i have with the whole thing: if i'd tell anyone who actually has that problem, it would in a way be like saying "hey you sound like an idiot". i fear the positive intention might be overheard by the "victim".

keep up the good work
jan

You guessed well ... my first language was Dutch. But note I said "technically". I spoke only Dutch until I was about 3 - even though I was living in Canada at the time. Hence I learned English at a very young age. So calling it my "second language" is stretching the point just a little, though it is accurate.

But it does give me a bit of respect, and some sympathy, for those that truly learn it as a second language. In particular, as I've helped adult relatives in Holland try and understand some of the rules and idioms. It's a challenge for them, to be sure. English is a VERY difficult language for many reasons.

And very important.

-Leo

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How do I contact Windows Live Hotmail customer service?

shirley villegas writes:

I keep getting hotmail alerts that unless I provide my password date of birth and account my hotmail will be closed is this true or another scam

SCAM! - More here: Is Windows Live Hotmail about to close my account?

-Leo

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What Security Software do you Recommend?

Cynthia Letellier writes:

For years I used the free version of Spybot Search and Destroy, but I've read that it is no longer the good program it used to be. Yet I see that you recommend it. Could you comment on this?

My take is that Spybot is still a solid tool in the anti-spyware arsenal. No tool is perfect, but Spybot's still a good program.

-Leo

*** Leo Recommends

This Is True
Weekly Weird News, Humor and Insightful Commentary

This is True is a weekly syndicated newspaper column by Colorado humorist Randy Cassingham. Each week Randy reports on several bizarre, but absolutely true news stories from around the world, ending each with his own unique humorous comment. The stories are often odd, frequently head shaking, and occasionally very thought provoking.

But they're always funny.

Continue reading...

This Is True - Weekly Weird News, Humor and Insightful Commentary
http://ask-leo.com/C3645

*

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

Here's a tip I get asked about from time to time:

How do I get a Windows program to always open maximized?

How do I make sure that when I open any windows application, it opens "full screen" (maximized) ? It would be a time saver if I didn't have to always hit the maximize button.

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Indeed it would. And while there are a couple of caveats, there's actually a fairly simple way to make this happen for most programs.

Continue reading...
How do I get a Windows program to always open maximized?
http://ask-leo.com/C2910

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This has proven to be a controversial move on Microsoft's part. Outlook Express has a strong, strong following (even though, personally, I actually don't recommend it.)

Where is Windows Mail, or Outlook Express, in Windows 7?

I did not realize Windows Mail is not included in Windows 7 Professional. Is there a way to add Windows mail?

It's true - Outlook Express was replaced by Windows Mail in Windows Vista, but with the release of Windows 7 even that has disappeared, along with Windows Messenger and a few other items.

To be honest, that's good news for those of us who never used these tools.

But for those who did, it means an extra step or three.

Continue reading...
Where is Windows Mail, or Outlook Express, in Windows 7?
http://ask-leo.com/C3912

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*** Thoughts and Comments

As you read this if things are going to plan, I should be in Sydney, Australia, on the first leg of a three week vacation "down under" celebrating my 30th wedding anniversary.

I toyed with doing no newsletter at all, but decided that the best thing to do was to set up a few issues to publish while I'm away so that people aren't a) annoyed that they're not getting anything or b) surprised when I return and resume publishing. Smile

At this point I expect to resume regular newsletters on February 23rd, issue #219.

In any case, I hope you'll understand. I've pulled some of the more interesting and provocative comments and "best of" content to keep things rolling while I'm on the road.

If you're interested at all in following the trip, check out Travels with Leo. Once again, if things are going as planned, and time and technology are cooperating, I'm planning to keep that updated as we travel. By now I think there should be some interesting photos of our stay in Port Douglas, up the north-eastern coast of Australia.

In the next few days, perhaps there'll also be a few photos of a meetup in Sydney.

In advance, and from down-under,

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom

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