Leo's Answers #30 – June 16, 2006

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*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

Windows ninety-what?

Microsoft is explicitly not fixing a vulnerability in Windows 98 and Me. So?

Continue reading: "Windows ninety-what?" Article Includes Audio

* * *

How do I connect my desktop to the nearby wireless internet WiFi hotspot?

I have a desktop computer that is not hooked up to the internet, nor has been. There is a WiFi hot spot down the street, since it is free I would like to be able to connect to it. What do I need to buy and do to get up and connected to it?

You need two things to connect to that local hotspot - one you can probably buy at any computer store, but the other might be harder to come by.

Let me explain...

Continue reading: "How do I connect my desktop to the nearby wireless internet WiFi hotspot?"

* * *

How do I automatically close a program so that its data can be backed up?

I have Retrospect on my laptop which has a Maxtor One Touch external drive to do backups. The problem is that if I leave Outlook open the scheduled nightly backup erases the duplicated pst file on the external drive as it cannot copy the open file. Is there some way to run a scheduled job prior to my scheduled backup to close Outlook. I could use "kill" but that is a bit brutal if Outlook happens to be running at the time. I may end up with a corrupt pst file.

I had exactly the same problem. I typically leave Outlook and some other programs running. They lock their files while they're running, so those files can't be backed up or copied.

I had a relatively good solution, but in researching this question I found an even better one.

Continue reading: "How do I automatically close a program so that its data can be backed up?"

* * *

What is Internet Connection Sharing?

I have a computer connected directly to the internet. I've since purchased a second computer, and would like to connect it as well. Is there a way I can do that without buying yet more equipment?

My standard answer to this question is to just bite the bullet and purchase a broadband router. In fact my earlier article How should I set up my home network? outlines exactly that setup.

But that's not always practical. For example if all you have is a dial-up connection to the internet, most routers aren't going to work for you.

That's where something called "Internet Connection Sharing" comes in.

Continue reading: "What is Internet Connection Sharing?"

* * *

Windows Installer runs on every reboot - why?

On my 2004 HPa430n (Win XP SP2), "Windows Installer" launches at start up, trying to install a Fax. When it can find the installation file it wants, the next window requests you insert the Fax disk in the CD drive. The Source box has the numeral 1 in it. When you click Browse the filename box contains "fax.msi".

In Task Manager > Processes two instances of msiexec.exe are running. One belongs to SYSTEM, the other to Owner. When I try to "Cancel" out of the installer, msiexec chews up all my CPU time. When I use Task Manager > Applications > "End Task" the task named Fax, the installer is killed (msiexec.exe Owner) until the next time you boot or re-boot.

Neither HP nor MS offer a solution. Ad-aware, RegCure, Xoftspy and eTrust haven't helped. No other weirdness obvious to me.

It's deja vu all over again for me. I had a very similar problem - whenever I tried to scan something, upon completion, Windows Installer would run attempting to install some additional HP software component. Cancelling that worked ok, but it was an annoyance I had to face with every scan.

And it's an annoyance many people face with every reboot.

The good news is that there's a free tool that might help.

Continue reading: "Windows Installer runs on every reboot - why?"

* * *

Why does a web page show for a second, and then suddenly change to "Not Found"?

Recently I changed my ISP to PeoplePC and since have been unable to read my HotMail. The login page launches and I can then see my emails, but then I get sent to a PeoplePC page that says: "The web site you entered could not be found" and then keeps opening this page:

http://peoplepc-help.com/?d=error_peoplepc&q=http://ad.doubleclick.net/adi/error.peoplepc.dart /error_overture_sky;sz=120x600;ptile=2;ord=PLACE_RANDOM_EIGHTDIGIT_NUMBER_HERE?

I have no problem with HotMail on a my friends PC using PeoplePC so it has to be some setting; I'm just unsure of which one to start trying.

I've seen this happen, and it's very frustrating when it does.

What I can't say is why it would happen that consistently, or that consistently on only one machine.

But I do have an idea or two about what to try to get around it.

Continue reading: "Why does a web page show for a second, and then suddenly change to "Not Found"?"

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

Even I refer back to this article from November of 2003, every time I set up a new machine:

How do I get Windows Explorer to display details by default?

Windows Explorer defaults to showing files as icons, and even hiding some files from you. Personally, when it comes to my computer, I'm a control freak - I want all the files and details by default. There are several options, including viewing file details, that you can manipulate, and it's fairly easy to make them the default. In fact it's one of my standard customization steps whenever I install or get a new copy of Windows.

Continue reading... How do I get Windows Explorer to display details by default?

*** Thoughts and Comments

You'll notice a couple of changes to the newsletter this week. The most striking? The "A" word. Advertising. I want Ask Leo! and this newsletter to always be free and accessible to everyone - advertising lets me do exactly that.

Now, I hate flashing banners, popups and in-your-face advertising as much as anyone, and you wont see an of that here. I'm trying to do it as appropriately as I can. Ads are text only, and are fairly easy to identify by being in their own section, and having a slightly different look to them. I want to make sure that you don't confuse paid advertisements with actual content. There will be only one in each issue.

So, I hope you'll understand and continue to enjoy the newsletter. And if a product appeals to you, then by all means, check out what the ads might offer each week.

As always, I'm open to your comments - newsletter subscribers can drop me a line at leo <at> ask-leo.com. I try to respond to them all, but sometimes that's not possible. I definitely read them all, though.

Take care,


* * *

The latest at Forwarded Funnies:
"Bird Flu hits Florida Trailer Park"

The latest essay on Taming Email:
"Subjects are Everything"

The most recent tip at Leo's MovableType Tips:
"Repurpose the Excerpt"

*** 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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Posted: June 16, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2691
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