Leo's Answers #32 – June 30, 2006

Leo's Answers
A Weekly Newsletter From
Ask Leo!
Leo Notenboom

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*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

Check out Google Checkout

Google Checkout promises to be a one stop purchase processor. Where have I heard this before?

Continue reading: "Check out Google Checkout" Article Includes Audio
http://ask-leo.com/check_out_google_checkout.html

* * *

Why does my computer keep wanting to dial a connection?

I have a laptop with Win2k Pro installed and totally patched re critical updates and AV software and firewall. At home I have a 56k dial-up connection which I use very often. Today, for the first time ever, I installed a Sandisk combo 128mb Compact Flash card and Wi-Fi card - 802.11b grade. I went to a local free cybercafe and ran through the process of setting up the Wi-Fi and connecting. All went well.

The last instruction from Sandisk was open IE and start to browse. Well, every time I opened IE, it wanted to connect via the 56k dial-up connection. The only way I could get the Wi-Fi to work was to delete the 56k connection from the settings area on the laptop. As soon as I deleted that connection, the Wi-Fi worked very well. So the basic question is: Is there an inherent conflict here?

Not a conflict as much as a configuration issue.

Internet Explorer is trying to be helpful. And, while that works in many cases, being helpful can also get in the way.

But it's easy to fix.

Continue reading: "Why does my computer keep wanting to dial a connection?"
http://ask-leo.com/why_does_my_computer_keep_wanting_to_dial_a_connection.html

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Why can't I email this movie?

I made a movie with Windows Movie Maker from photos of my grand-daughter as a flower-girl at a wedding but try as I may when I try to email it I receive a 'Delivery Status Notification' that it has failed. I use Incredimail to send my emails and have tried exhausting their 'Help' support system but to no avail.

Movies are more and more popular, and with more and more people on broadband, it's actually becoming quite reasonable to start sharing movies over the internet.

There's still one problem, though.

Movies can be big ... really big.

Continue reading: "Why can't I email this movie?"
http://ask-leo.com/why_cant_i_email_this_movie.html

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Can a computer virus spread behind my firewall?

My house has multiple computers (usually a few are connected to the internet and running at a time) all connected to the internet through a Linksys ethernet router. Hypothetically, if two computers were connected to the internet, and one of them contracted a virus or two, would the virus be able to get to the other computers connected to the router more easily? Meaning, would the fact that the virus's entered one computer also mean they had gotten into the household network?

The short answer is "Possibly".

Your setup sounds very much like my own. Several computers, most are always on, and all sharing a connection to the internet.

There's good news and bad news here, and it all depends on the virus.

Continue reading: "Can a computer virus spread behind my firewall?"
http://ask-leo.com/can_a_computer_virus_spread_behind_my_firewall.html

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Why won't some files defrag?

My wife's computer shows several fragmented files remaining after a defrag. She has tried uninstalling some programs but some will not uninstall. What can I do to help rid her of this problem or is there a program that will help with this?

My first reaction is to suggest not calling it a problem. It's not at all uncommon to have some files that refuse to defrag, and that's quite alright.

Let's look at some of the reasons, and some of the ways to force the issue if you still feel you need to.

Continue reading: "Why won't some files defrag?"
http://ask-leo.com/why_wont_some_files_defrag.html

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Can web sites monitor my Google searches?

A friend who runs a website told me that he can see all the Google searches of everyone who visits. Of course, he can only see the Google searches by IP address ... but if you register on his site, he knows your IP address and can then tell ALL of your Google searches. Is this true? I know Google can track Google searches by IP address, but I didn't know that people who own websites can do this.

Yes, no and maybe.

Once again it seems like I'm not being very helpful, but it really depends on exactly what you, and your friend, mean. Websites can, in fact, tell a lot of search related things - I do it myself here on Ask Leo! - but certainly not everything.

Let's look at what a website can see....

Continue reading: "Can web sites monitor my Google searches?"
http://ask-leo.com/can_web_sites_monitor_my_google_searches.html

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Why did I get a password reminder I didn't ask for?

On my Hotmail account I received an email from AOL stating "here is your password you have requested" and it gave me the correct password to an old email account that I have not used in years. No one from my household requested a forgotten password. Why would I receive this email? Is this something a virus could do or an outside source? I am concerned someone out there is trying to gain access to my computer.

It's kinda spooky when that happens, but happen it does. It's particularly unnerving when the password reminder is "correct" - meaning that it's reminding you of your correct password. That tells us something, but for the most part what to do next is usually the same regardless.

Continue reading: "Why did I get a password reminder I didn't ask for?"
http://ask-leo.com/why_did_i_get_a_password_reminder_i_didnt_ask_for.html

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

This is an oldie that I keep forgetting to remind people about. I know that one of the reasons many error reports don't include the actual text of error messages is because it's a pain to retype them. Well, sometimes you don't have to.

Can I avoid retyping error messages when I need to report them?

In short: yes, sometimes.

In one of the shortest Knowledgebase articles I've ever seen, Microsoft points out how. And, as short as it is, the article even manages to include an error!

As of Windows 2000, and in it's successor, Windows XP, if you're presented with an error message, press CTRL+C. You'll hear a beep, but there's a good chance the message just got copied to the clipboard. Fire up notepad, and hit paste and if you get the message box text, then the the function is supported for that message.

Continue reading... Can I avoid retyping error messages when I need to report them?
http://ask-leo.com/can_i_avoid_retyping_error_messages_when_i_need_to_report_them.html

*** Thoughts and Comments

Today's comments are coming to you from the back of conference hall hosting Gnomedex.

Gnomedex is Chris Pirillo's (aka Lockergnome) signature tech conference. Or un-conference. Or a gathering of geeks. Unlike some conferences, Gnomedex is less of a series of "presentations" and more of an ongoing "discussion" among the attendees.

This year, and last, Gnomedex is being held in Seattle, so it's just a hop, skip and a jump for me to attend. It's always a lot of fun, and I always leave with lots of great ideas and new things to try.

The conference room is chock-full of laptops, and I can see software being written, email being read and composed, RSS feeds being scanned, and more.

Did I mention it's a room full of geeks?

Oh, and newsletters being written. :-)

Take care,

Leo

* * *

The latest at Forwarded Funnies:
"A Proper Man"
http://www.forwardedfunnies.com

The latest essay on Taming Email:
"The Most Under-Used Key on Your Keyboard"
http://www.tamingemail.com

The most recent tip at Leo's MovableType Tips:
"Get creative with HTML"
http://www.mttips.com

*** Newsletter Administration

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