Leo's Answers #25 – May 12, 2006

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Leo Notenboom


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*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

How do I change my POP3 account password?

My mom uses Netscape 7 for her email, and needs to change the POP3 password. How is this done? Only the SMTP password is changeable!

It seems like such a simple question. And we know that managing your password is an important part of security on the internet.

So why is it typically so hard to do something that should be so simple?

Continue reading: "How do I change my POP3 account password?"

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Why does email take so long to be delivered sometimes?

When someone sends me an email I don't get it right away - sometimes it takes hours. It is time stamped hours before I actually get the message. Could it be because my inbox is too full?

We've all gotten so used to email being an almost instantaneous communications medium that we really notice when there's a delay. The fact is email delivery can be delayed for many reasons, and counting on it to be nearly-instant is just a bad idea.

Couple that with the fact that the timestamps on email often lie, and it can be really difficult to understand exactly what happens when email takes a little too long.

Continue reading: "Why does email take so long to be delivered sometimes?"

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What's an "Internal Server Error" and how do I fix it?

I'm trying to download software from a specific site, and no matter what I try to download I get this error message:

Internal Server Error
The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.
Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@******.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.
More information about this error may be available in the server error log.
Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

How is this resolved?

I'm all too familiar with this error. I see it all the time when setting up or making changes to web sites.

The good news? It's not your fault.

The bad news? There's nothing you can do.

Continue reading: "What's an "Internal Server Error" and how do I fix it?"

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Why can't I access MSN HotMail through my router?

I have a problem that neither Hotmail nor an otherwise helpful technician can solve. I have within my home a network: Compaq desktop with a D-link extreme G card, attached via a modem to an ADSL line, a separate router and a new Tosh laptop with a wi-fi card. Everything works as it should, except that i cannot access Hotmail from the laptop: any other URL can be accessed immediately. I have had various "help" suggestions from Hotmail, including re-installation of IE 6. Nothing works and my computer adviser has given up. If I plug the ADSL line into the laptop direct, I can access Hotmail normally, yet not when I do so remotely through the router and desktop. Do you have any suggestions?

I have two guesses - one involves your router, and the other involves an obscure network setting.

Continue reading: "Why can't I access MSN HotMail through my router?"

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Can GMail be traced?

Leo, if you were to log on to a Google GMail account from somewhere other than your home computer (say work) and send an email from it... could it be traced to the computer you sent it from, or is it all traced back to Google? I have asked a few "experts", one says yes... one says no, that Google uses servers, and since its web based, that you can't trace it back to a specific computer. What do you think??

Boy, do I get a lot of questions about tracing email.

In this case, I think that both could be right, and both could be wrong.

The issue boils down to: is the information kept? is it available? and what can you tell from it if you're able to get it?

Continue reading: "Can GMail be traced?"

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Should I dump my wired ISP for cellular broadband?

I've got a new Motorola E815 with EVDO and I pay an extra $20 per month for unlimited Internet, text messaging and more.

This thing can supposedly provide a fax and high-speed internet connection. So, at $20 a month for this service, why not dump my regular at-home Broadband ISP which costs $40 on top of digital cable TV service?

Well, I certainly feel your pain. My unlimited data plan costs me an additional $40 per month on top of my regular cellphone charges. Add to that the roughly $50 per month I pay for the DSL into my home, and it definitely adds up.

Now, granted, in my case it's my business, and I have strong reasons for needing both.

But even if I didn't, you wouldn't see me dumping the hardwired DSL just yet.

Continue reading: "Should I dump my wired ISP for cellular broadband?"

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

The Windows operating system component SVCHOST.EXE is a popular target for virus writers. It frequently manifests as a symptom (though not a cause) for virus-related problems. It's not helped at all by the confusing fact that at any point in time, it's quite normal to have several copies running.

What is svchost, and why is there more than one copy running?

Fire up Task Manager in Windows XP, hit the processes tab and you'll see, among other processes, something called "svchost.exe". Again and again. In fact I have 5 copies running on my machine as I type this.

Continue reading... What is svchost, and why is there more than one copy running?

*** Thoughts and Comments

Have I mentioned that life, as they say, is full? My wife and I have no children, I'm technically retired, and yet we're both busy as all heck. I'm continually amazed at how working parents find enough time (and energy).

Anyway, I mention "life is full" because that's my only excuse for not having recorded a podcast this week. Or made any updates to Taming Email or MTTips. Or any of a number of other things I've likely already forgotten :-).

I'll be spending a couple of days out on the Washington coast this week. Life may be full, but a break is definitely in order. With luck, cell coverage will keep me connected.

Or maybe with luck, it won't :-).

Have a good week.


* * *

The latest at Forwarded Funnies:
"Good bye Daddy"

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

The most recent tip at Leo's MovableType Tips:
"Dealing with a Wealth of Comments"

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Posted: May 12, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2652
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