Leo's Answers #248 – September 14, 2010

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Leo Notenboom


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*** New Articles

How do I access the Policy Editor in Windows 7 Home editions?

In a prior article I discussed how to turn off thumbnail caching in Windows 7. Unfortunately the very simple approach outlined in that article only works if you have Windows 7 Professional or better.

If you have one of the Home editions, the tool used to make the setting change isn’t available.

Since this is a problem that extends well beyond this one example setting, I thought it might make sense to discuss the alternatives in a more general context.

Continue reading: How do I access the Policy Editor in Windows 7 Home editions?

* * *

What are my Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options?

As long time readers know, I get a lot of reports of Hotmail account theft and compromise. Every day there are reports of everything from simple password loss, to email being sent “From” your email address, to attempts to actually scam your contacts.

Depending on exactly what’s happened, the available remedies may be simple, they may be difficult, or they may be completely impossible: your account and everything in it might be lost forever.

I’ll review the various scenarios, and direct you to related articles on Ask Leo! that cover the options for each.

Continue reading: What are my Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options?

* * *

Does blocking junk mail senders help?

I get hundreds of junk emails per day, and after checking them, I click on “clear junk mail folder” to get rid of them. Does that action also block the address from future junk emails, or must I block each one individually?


First, it depends on what email program you’re using. Since you didn’t say, I can’t say for absolute certain.


Emptying your junk mail folder simply empties a folder and does nothing else.

My real concern is the second part of your statement where you wonder if you need to block them individually.

Yes, but in my opinion it’d be a colossal waste of time.

Continue reading: Does blocking junk mail senders help?

* * *

How do I get a Windows application to start automatically on login, and start minimized?

I downloaded and activated Process Explorer: but I cannot get it to run at log-on, minimized, in the tray.


I get this question a lot for Process Explorer specifically, but it applies to many other applications as well.

I’ll review how to set something to start automatically when you login, and I’ll show you the “trick” to having it start minimized.

I’ll use Windows 7 but what I’ll be showing you hasn’t changed all that much from earlier versions.

Continue reading: How do I get a Windows application to start automatically on login, and start minimized?

* * *

Does my computer use more power or generate more heat depending on what it’s doing?

Hard drives get hot because of moving parts inside. But does anything else contribute to their heat output? Does a 1TB hard drive produce more heat energy than, say, a 500GB hard drive, all other things equal. And if a 1TB hard drive, for example, is running 9 applications at once, is it producing more heat than if it were only running two applications?

In other words, is my computer burning more calories when it’s thinking harder?


Yes it does.

While strictly speaking, drive capacity doesn’t have an impact, the internal characteristics of a drive certainly can. And you’re right, it’s all about the moving parts.

But there’s more to it than just the drive.

And while I suspect you didn’t mean it that way, calories is actually also an accurate term.

Continue reading: Does my computer use more power or generate more heat depending on what it’s doing?

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*** Comments

The most frustrating thing I hear…

Peter Ballantyne writes:

Well, until a year or two ago I took evening adult classes at our local school in basic computing. I am 65 years old and have been using and fiddling with computers since Sinclair ZX81 days. That is my only qualification. One evening we were starting a new class and a 78 year old sheep farmer walked in the door. He was rough, tough, and had a face like the side of a quarry. I thought he would be almost hopeless as paper and pencil was hi tech to him. His fingers were so gnarled and rough he looked like a sledge hammer trying to put in a carpet tack at first. To my utter astonishment he became my star pupil. His ability to grasp completely new concepts and work with them was amazing. By the time class ended he was chortling at the versatility of using Microsoft Word and being able to move the words and sentences around. I only ever had to explain something to him once, and he was away and running with it. Three weeks later he told me proudly he had just bought a brand new up to the minute computer – his first!

The moral of the story? There’s no such thing as too old!!!


How do I stay safe in an internet cafe?

George Bishop writes:

When travelling, I use libraries to access my bank account. I use ROBO TO GO on my memory stick. Its the same as ROBOFORM but is portable.

You are running the very real and serious risk that malware or keyloggers (yes, still keyloggers) could be intercepting your information. I would not do what you do.



How do I get rid of Bing?

Terry Hollett writes:

To many toolbars can also drag down your internet speed. I’ve had a number of people come to me over the years complaining about a slow internet, and the problem is all the toolbars, one woman had 5. With IE7 and higher its easy to disable most toolbars.

Just rest IE. Open up Internet Explorer, click on Tools then Internet Options. When the Internet Options box appears. Click the Advanced tab. Under Reset Internet Explorer settings, click Reset. A box opens up – Then click Reset again. When Internet Explorer finishes resetting the settings, click Close then close again. Restart Internet Explorer.

It might not uninstall them but it does disable them.


How do spammers send email that looks like it comes from me?

Kathleen writes:

1. Without my password to my account, how do they get access to MY email address list? Some of these addresses are ancient, yet still good.
It is especially annoying to find that these ‘addresses’ and the tag I gave them are being sent to multiple people. I always use BCC to avoid ‘giving out’ addresses, which I consider common courtesy, and hopefully avoids the violation of identity of sorts. I feel like a leper now!
2. When can I hope for this to end? I’m deleting 70 or so notifications daily – in addition to knowing it’s still happening – someone is monitoring this for me.
3. What Email software would you recommend? Or simply avoid HotMail?

Please shorten as necessary.
Thank you

1) They can’t. It’s more likely that your account has been hacked and they have your password. Check this article: Someone’s sending email that looks like it’s from me to my contacts, what can I do? (Remember that you need to change much more than your password to regain/retain control.)
2) You need to regain control of your account first. change your password and everything else.
3) Email software is different from am email service. Email software: I like Thunderbird. As for email services I avoid free, recommend those with customer service, but if you must go free: Gmail.


*** Leo Recommends

This Is True – Weekly Weird News, Humor and Insightful Commentary

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But they’re always funny.

Continue reading: This Is True – Weekly Weird News, Humor and Insightful Commentary


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

Every so often I get a question from someone very concerned that they’ve opened an image viewer on an emailed photo and find much more than just that one photo. Often they’re quite concerned that something bad is happening on their computer. Not at all.

What are all these other pictures when I view emailed photos?

My daughter recently sent me picture from college and I viewed them using Windows Picture and Fax Viewer. There were many other extraneous pictures, fonts and geometrical shapes. Is this normal? If so, why? How do i view only what I want?

This isn’t really about Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, as it applies to any program you might use to view your images. It’s really just about managing where pictures are placed on your computer’s hard disk. The “problem”, if you want to call it that, is that there’s often a lot of other stuff in the common, default location for pictures.

Continue reading…
What are all these other pictures when I view emailed photos?

*** Thoughts and Comments

Yes, the book is still under way. It’s just been one of those summers and various things have conspired to take my focus. I expect to return to it later this week, and hopefully make some serious progress in the coming weeks.

’till next week…

Leo A. Notenboom

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Posted: September 14, 2010 in: 2010
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/4447
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