Leo's Answers #22 – April 21, 2006

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Leo Notenboom


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*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

Email I was composing has disappeared. Can I get it back?

I received an email from someone and was in the process of responding to it but it seems to have disappeared, hopefully just temporarily.

I clicked on "reply" and would write some, then clicked on the "minimize" box and it would be at the bottom of the screen ready to work on later. I did this several times; but over the weekend, with guests in the house and my wife downloading some photos off the camera my email (in the state of reply) seems to be gone. It is neither in items sent or deleted, nor is it in drafts. Do you know a way I can retrieve this email?

I'm afraid the news is not good. You've looked in all the places that it could have been (drafts, in particular). I would have expected to find them in drafts, but I'm not sure why they're not there, though I can make a few guesses.

The real "problem" here is that you've picked perhaps one of the most dangerous ways to manage your email under construction that I can imagine.

Continue reading: "Email I was composing has disappeared. Can I get it back?"

* * *

Windows Automatic Update Stumbles

A recent update to Windows broke a few things. Should we panic?

Continue reading: "Windows Automatic Update Stumbles" Article Includes Audio

* * *

What's a "single point of failure", and why do I need to know?

I was describing my small business's computer layout to a friend of mine, and he made a comment to the effect of my being at high risk because I had so many "single points of failure". What is that, what risk is he talking about, and what do I do about it?

It's actually a concept that I've become just a little too familiar with in recent months, in part due to an accident down the road, and in part due to some aging computer equipment.

If you rely on your network or internet connection to run your business, then it's important to be aware of what might fail, what the ramifications of failure are, and what you plan to do when (not if) it fails.

Continue reading: "What's a "single point of failure", and why do I need to know?"

* * *

My window is too large and wider than my screen. How to I resize it back?

Something was downloaded to my computer while I was away this week. (My husband probably thought it was ok.) Now when I open an email thru Outlook it's huge - it goes way off the screen to the right. I don't know how to resize this or fix this.

Can you please tell me in simple one and two syllable words just what to do?

Oh, those husbands. Can't leave 'em alone for a minute, much less a week.

The too-wide window could be the result of a download, but it's also possible that it's not his fault. Even though it's not supposed to, sometimes it can happen for other reasons. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to fix.

Continue reading: "My window is too large and wider than my screen. How to I resize it back?"

* * *

Will MSN Hotmail tell me who logged into my account?

I own a Hotmail account which someone hacked into. I managed to get back the password which they had changed, as they must have felt guilty and sent the new password to my brother on MSN Messenger. I went into my account which I hadn't been able to get on for months - turns out they have caused a lot of trouble for me - changed passwords for other websites which I can no longer access, sent out personal emails to family and friends. They also contacted my friends and family with vulgar and abusive language pretending it was me!

As you can imagine, I am very upset and angry, it has really got me down. I have a feeling I know who it is but cannot point my finger yet. I was told that if I contacted MSN support they could give me all of the IP numbers which signed onto my account at that particular time, and find out who it was. Is this possible?

To be honest, I'm still fairly shocked at how often this question comes up. Apparently there's a lot of account hacking going on, though poor password management is actually more likely. Regardless of exactly how, accounts are hacked into, and havoc often results.

I'm not at all surprised that people want to track down the culprit.

Unfortunately, for most of us, I believe that the news is not good.

Continue reading: "Will MSN Hotmail tell me who logged into my account?"

* * *

Why does IE now require "http:" in the address bar?

My IE address bar will not respond when you type in, say, "www.yahoo.com". you have to put http:// in front of the address. This just started happening tonight, 4/15/2006. What's up?

To put it bluntly ... Microsoft messed up.

I've gotten a flurry of reports of this behavior ... all starting on 4/15. Right after Windows automated update.

Microsoft acknowledges that there's an issue, and I believe that this is the issue causing your behaviour. It affects more than just IE - but also places some of the blame on some third party software.

Continue reading: "Why does IE now require "http:" in the address bar?"

* * *

Why are there websites in my browser history that I've never been to?

I periodically clean my browser history, but after a while website entries begin to appear in it that I've never actually been to. Some of these sites look quite disturbing, and are not sites that I would ever go to. Why would these entries appear? Do I have spyware or a virus?

Well, certainly viruses or spyware are a possibility - particularly spyware, which often tries to send you off of to all sorts of places that you'd never want to go to.

But in this case, I suspect something more benign. I think your browser or other tools may simply be doing a good job of protecting you.

Continue reading: "Why are there websites in my browser history that I've never been to?"

* * *

I can't access some websites ... why?

I can visit a lot of websites on the internet without a problem. But a few simply don't work. The strange thing is that they work for other people, or from other machines. What's going on?

I touched on several possibilities for this in a previous article: Why can I not access certain web sites?. I'd certainly recommend that as a starting point.

However, since that article was written, an additional reason for some websites not being accessible has surfaced that's worth looking into in a little more detail.

It's very obscure, but the good news is that it might also resolve some other problems, most commonly problems with instant messaging.

Continue reading: "I can't access some websites ... why?"

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

When you run Windows, you're probably running a lot of other programs as well. Ever wonder what they are? This article from a couple of years ago will help:

What's this program running on my machine?

As you use your Windows machine there may be many programs running - some of which you can see, some of which are running in the background. In Windows 95, 98 and Me, pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL will present you with a list of the programs running on your machine. On Windows NT, 2000, XP and 2003, running task manager (right click on the clock or any open space on the task bar and select Task Manager) and selecting the "Processes" tab will show you that list.

It's probably a longer list than you expected.

So what are all those programs running on your machine?

Continue reading...

*** Thoughts and Comments

I'm writing today's comments from my wife's doll shop. I think I've mentioned it before, but I'm not only the "IT Department" for the shop (it is, of course, quite connected), I'm also Mr. Maintenance, Mr. Bookkeeper and Mr. Random-other-stuff as well. And yes, when employee schedules don't quite line up, I even man the store and sell dolls from time to time.

Not exactly what I would have predicted back when I was considering my future in high school.

* * *

I wasn't really 'fishing' for compliments last week when I addressed some comments that my newsletter and articles were too boring and mundane, but I definitely got some. Thanks to everyone who wrote in and expressed their support - it's very much appreciated.

As I said, I know that not every newsletter or information source can please every potential reader. And that definitely includes Ask Leo! - so I do what I do and hope that you like it. If you do, fantastic! If not, there are plenty of other resources out there as well.

In a wonderfully ironic twist, I received two unsubscribe requests not long after last week's newsletter was published: one person left because the material was too technical, and the other left because the material wasn't technical enough.

Well, there you go then.


* * *

No, I haven't forgotten the MacBook Pro that I mentioned I'd purchased a few weeks ago. I dropped it off at the local Apple store yesterday for repair. Apparently there's a series of several common issues, and I was definitely experiencing a couple of them. I hope to have a more detailed write up of the experience when I get the machine back.

So far, though, while the out-of-the-box problems with the hardware are disappointing, the service and support has been very good. I hope that the repair is as good.

* * *

Finally, an new essay out on Taming Email:
"The Golden Rule"

The latest entry out at Forwarded Funnies:
"Sights you may not see in a lifetime"

*** Newsletter Administration

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I'll be honest: I'll try to respond, but I get a lot of questions every day - I just can't answer everyone. Rest assured, though, that even if you don't hear from me directly, I read every email I get.

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Till next week!

Leo Notenboom

Posted: April 21, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2631
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