Leo's Answers #33 – July 7, 2006

Leo's Answers
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Leo Notenboom

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*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

WGA: Is it spyware?

Windows Genuine Advantage has all the earmarks of spyware. What should the average user do about it?

Continue reading: "WGA: Is it spyware?" Article Includes Audio

* * *

Personal Folders: why am I seeing them listed more than once in Outlook?

In Outlook I have two copies of everything even though I only created one. There are two separate copies of Outlook Today (Personal Folders). Everything you do in one appears in the other. I can't seem to find a way to delete the extra one without impacting the original. I have heard of others having the same type of problem, but none of us has ever been able to come up with a solution. It's a pain as it makes the PST file twice as big as it should be. Any thoughts?

If it helps, I have exactly the same problem. Well, almost exactly .. I have three copies of my personal folders showing.

And while it's slightly annoying, it appears to be benign. And it's not as annoying as the solution is, for me at least.

Continue reading: "Personal Folders: why am I seeing them listed more than once in Outlook?"

* * *

Digital Signatures: what are they, and how do they protect me?

What are Digital Signatures on emails and how do they protect me?

Digital Signatures are pretty much what they sound like: the digital equivalent of signing a document. If you digitally sign a message, it proves that you, and only you, actually did the signing.

In addition, it also allows the recipient of the message to confirm that the message wasn't changed after you signed it.

There is, of course, a catch. And we need to understand just a little about "public key cryptography".

Continue reading: "Digital Signatures: what are they, and how do they protect me?"

* * *

Where is Windows Explorer?

I am running Windows XP Pro, and for some reason I cannot find Windows Explorer. I can't find it in the Start Menu ... could you point me in the right direction?

Windows Explorer is both the hardest to find, and the easiest to find program there is. There are several ways to get it, and all of them are really, really easy.

It's just that none of them are obvious.

Continue reading: "Where is Windows Explorer?"

* * *

Should I use Windows File Compression?

I am running Windows 2000 and I am wondering if I should run the Disk Cleanup (compress old files). It is currently taking up 14372KB of space.

Should I compress old files?

While you're only asking about Disk Cleanup, I'm going to talk about Windows File Compression in more general terms. Using file compression to save space is nothing new, even when it's native in the file system used by Windows. But it's not necessarily a slam dunk.

In fact, without knowing more, I get to use all of my favorite answers:



It depends.

After you've finishing beating your head against the computer, read on, and I'll explain why.

Continue reading: "Should I use Windows File Compression?"

* * *

What's the best registry cleaner?

What would be the best software to buy to fix and clean the registry for Windows XP Professional?

There's a wide variety of opinion on registry cleaners. Many people believe that they're important tools to keep your system running smoothly.

My opinion's a little different.

Continue reading: "What's the best registry cleaner?"

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

Last week I reprinted Can I avoid retyping error messages when I need to report them? which showed how many error messages can quickly be copied to the clipboard and then pasted into email. This week the graphical counterpart: how to take a "snapshot" of your screen.

What's a Screen Shot, and how do I make one?

A screen shot, or screen capture, is a way to "take a picture" of your computer screen.


Say you're trying to explain a computer problem to a technical friend of yours, and you're trying to describe what you see on the screen ... the dialogs, the buttons, the messages, whatever. You're not sure of the terms to use, and your friend is having a difficult time understanding your description of what you see.

You know what they say ... "A picture is worth a thousand words." And it can go a long way to eliminating miscommunication.

Let's take a picture of your screen, and email it to your friend.

Continue reading... What's a Screen Shot, and how do I make one?

*** Thoughts and Comments

Last week it was the back of the conference hall, but today's comments are coming to you from the back deck of my home. The weather is sunny and warm, and here in the Seattle area we come to appreciate it as a somewhat rare thing. Two of our three Corgis are keeping me company, while the third has gone to work with my wife at her doll shop. ANd I have to say that the WiFi is better here than it was in the conference hall. :-)

People have already posted some strong comments on my podcast on WGA. While I'm sticking to my recommendation for the average user, I absolutely understand the frustration that has resulted from Microsoft's mishandling of this situation. I have a hard time disagreeing with even the strongest opinions that have been expressed in the article comments so far.

As long time readers know, I have a MacBook Pro, and have started to compile my "why I still need Windows" list. The list is significant, but getting shorter as some of my favorite tools are starting to show up on other platforms, often in cross platform and open-source form. I also recently installed the Ubuntu Linux distribution in a Parallel's Virtual Machine on my MacBook Pro. I'm fairly impressed - Ubuntu may be perhaps the most promising Linux distribution I've run across so far.

I doubt seriously that my home will ever be a Windows-free zone, but it's definitely good for the industry that there is potentially serious and reasonable competition for Windows on the horizon. Technically, Microsoft responds well to competition - Windows itself could well improve because of it.


* * *

The latest at Forwarded Funnies:
"New Disease"

The latest essay on Taming Email:
"The Most Under-Used Key on Your Keyboard"

The most recent tip at Leo's MovableType Tips:
"Get creative with HTML"

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Newsletter contents Copyright © 2006, Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.

Posted: July 7, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2716
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