Leo's Answers #23 – April 28, 2006

Leo's Answers
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Leo Notenboom


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*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

Is this Macromedia Flash potentially unsafe operation message legitimate?

I repeatedly get a popup message telling me that Macromedia Flash has stopped a potentially unsafe operation which instructs me to click on a displayed "Settings" button. First, is this legitimate? And second, how do I stop it? I have tried clicking on "Settings," but nothing happens, and the message keeps popping up.

It really depends on what you're doing at the time. You didn't say, but I'll assume you're actually using your web browser when this pops up.

I don't know if you'd consider this good news or bad, but the message is probably legitimate.

Continue reading: "Is this Macromedia Flash potentially unsafe operation message legitimate?"

* * *

Will you care if you lose your connectivity?

A social service organization I work with lost it's connection to the internet. It was more critical to their operations than they realized.

Continue reading: "Will you care if you lose your connectivity?" Article Includes Audio

* * *

Why am I not getting the upload speeds I expect?

I've set up an ftp server. My ISP is giving me an ADSL connection with an speed they say is 768k for uploads and 8meg down. And yet I'm seeing my uploads are around 85k and 90k.

I need faster uploads. Can I change something about my system to make that happen?

There's one big potential point of confusion here, so let's take this opportunity to review upload and download speeds, what they really mean, and what you can do to maximize them.

Continue reading: "Why am I not getting the upload speeds I expect?"

* * *

Will receiving large attachments eat up all my disk space?

I sometimes get e-mails from a friend with massive downloads - 10 minutes to download a 15-second "cute" but meaningless video. When I download these things, are they copied to the hard drive somewhere? Should I periodically go in and clean them out? If so, how? I use Yahoo e-mail. I haven't noticed any particular slowing yet, but if these 2-4 meg files are sitting somewhere on our hard drive it's bound to add up at some point.

I love cute videos as much as the next guy, but sending them around as email attachments is just wrong. They take up way too much space, and take way too much time to download. In an ideal world, the videos would simply live on the web somewhere, and we'd just email each other a URL to the video, rather than some huge copy of the video.

But we don't live in an ideal world, so how best to manage what people send you?

Continue reading: "Will receiving large attachments eat up all my disk space?"

* * *

What can I uncheck in MSCONFIG's Startup List?

When I run "MSCONFIG" to show everything that is loaded or run automatically on startup, I get a really long list of things I don't understand. What's what? How can I fond out which ones are safe to turn off?

Here's the list of what it shows right now. Maybe you can tell me?

It was a long list. I couldn't take the time to track down each item on the list.

The problem, of course, is that everyone's startup list is different. Depending on your computer, the hardware installed, the software installed, the programs you run, the features you have enabled ... each of those, and more, can cause an entry in the startup list.

It can get really confusing, really fast.

Continue reading: "What can I uncheck in MSCONFIG's Startup List?"

* * *

How do I change my Hotmail name or address?

My MSN Hotmail name is "something@hotmail.com". I really don't like the "something". What I'd really like is to be "soemthingelse@hotmail.com". How do I change it?

This is another one of those seemingly simple questions that I get several times every day.

What you're asking for is not to change your name, but your email address. Unfortunately your email address is how MSN Hotmail identifies you. A different email address means a completely different MSN Hotmail account.

Continue reading: "How do I change my Hotmail name or address?"

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

Ever run across a DLL or EXE file on your machine that you didn't recognize? This article runs through several of the steps you can take to identify exactly what that file is all about:

What's this DLL (or EXE)?

You've got a problem with a DLL. Maybe it's missing; maybe it's causing an application to crash, maybe you've just found it in an unlikely spot. The problem is that you have no idea what it is!

Here are some steps, from easy to obscure, to help track down just what the DLL is going on. This approach actually works for EXE's, and many other types of files, if you're trying to track one of those down.

Continue reading...

*** Thoughts and Comments

A bunch of friends and colleagues had a swig of the MySpace KoolAide ... and so did I. You're welcome to link up to me at http://myspace.com/leonot. Please note: I don't say "yes" to just anyone. But if you mention that you read about it in my newsletter, I'll hook you right up.

And my offer for GMail accounts still stands: if you want a GMail account invitation, just shoot me an email asking for one, and I'll send that out to you as well.

* * *

The whole concept of equipment failure and "single point of failure" has been a recurring theme this last week. You'll note at least one article on it, and this week's podcast as well.

One of the items that brought it home to me was the death of my wireless access point. Or rather, the beginnings of it's death. It would fail, I'd have to go turn it off and on again, which necessitated a walk down to the basement where it lived. I realized that when it finally died, I'd be in trouble. Not horrible trouble, the house is ethernet wired, but certainly serious inconvenience.

The deck, you see, is not wired. And with the arrival of spring, the weather here has gotten very nice. Much of my work lately has been in the sun, on the deck, surrounded by the dogs (of course) and other local wildlife.

Wireless has become somewhat important.

What made me shake my head is that when I purchased my access point some four years ago, it was a $1,000 piece of equipment. I purchased two (a replacement, and a spare), that are smaller and faster for right around $100.

Now if only I could get faster broadband.

* * *

My MacBook Pro status: on hold, waiting for a part. I hope this doesn't become a regular feature of this newsletter.

* * *

The latest essay out on Taming Email:
"Do I Have New Mail? Do I Have New Mail? Do I ..."

The latest entry out at Forwarded Funnies:
"Tattoo" (R-Rated)

*** 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.

Leo's Answers Newsletter is a weekly publication of Ask Leo! and Leo A. Notenboom. It's also available as an RSS feed at this URL: http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.xml?UD=nl. Archives of previous newsletter issues can be found on the Ask Leo! web site, http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.html.

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Till next week!

Leo Notenboom

Posted: April 28, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2638
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