Leo's Answers #42 – September 8, 2006

Hello!

*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

Why can't I open this file?

I saved a copy of important excel files back in 2004. When I tried to open what I was looking for, I was unsuccessful. A window popped up and said "xyz.xls file cannot be accessed. The file may be read-only (which it shows in properties) or you may be trying to access a read-only location, or the server the doc is stored on may not be responding". I know it's possible to take ownership of a hard drive in order to change read-only status, however I forgot how, plus I don't know if its possible to do it with a CD. Can you help?

Besides accessing files that may have been written to CD as a backup, this is a common trap people fall into when moving files from machine to machine.

There are many programs that will refuse to open files that are marked read-only. The problem is that files can appear as "read-only" for several different reasons.

I'll look at those reasons, as well as the most common scenario where people run into this problem. And of course I'll outline what you can do.

Continue reading: "Why can't I open this file?"
http://ask-leo.com/why_cant_i_open_this_file.html

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Choosing an ISP: How do I choose a good ISP?

Are some ISP's better than others? Which are more reliable? Can you help us? We are thinking of going to another ISP.

Absolutely, some ISPs are much better than others.

With one exception, I can't make a specific recommendation, but I can definitely offer some suggestions on what to look for when shopping around.

Continue reading: "Choosing an ISP: How do I choose a good ISP?"
http://ask-leo.com/choosing_an_isp_how_do_i_choose_a_good_isp.html

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MWSBAR.dll - What is it, and why is it generating an error?

I have a Rundll error message that states: Error loading C:Progra~1MYWEBS~1Bar1.BinMWSBAR.dll. How can I fix that?

There's a lot left unsaid in your question - like what system you're running on, what browser you use, and even when the error is happening.

But, I'm going to make a few assumptions, and follow those up with a wild guess.

Maybe it'll help.

Continue reading: "MWSBAR.dll - What is it, and why is it generating an error?"
http://ask-leo.com/mwsbardll_what_is_it_and_why_is_it_generating_an_error.html

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Where's the Sent Items folder in Outlook Express?

I'm now using Outlook Express for all my email. But I can't find the sent mail folder! I used to use Yahoo mail and could click on "sent mail" and all the messages I sent were there. How do I find my sent items when using Outlook Express?

My first reaction to this question was ... "well, it's right there in front of you!"

But of course I was wrong. It's quite possible to have Outlook Express set up such that the Sent Items folder is quite well hidden. And then it's not at all obvious how to get it back.

Continue reading: "Where's the Sent Items folder in Outlook Express?"
http://ask-leo.com/wheres_the_sent_items_folder_in_outlook_express.html

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Web site spam: what can I do about it?

I have a personal web-site to help computer users that's been running for about 6 years. I have a guest book and people have been signing it for years. Within the past year, though, I've been swamped with spammers signing my book. I get about 6 to 10 spams each day. Each morning I delete them, but it is getting worse by day.

I had tried to "hide" my guest book from the public and sacrifice the ability to have people sign and my enjoyment in reading these. But even this "hidden" page keeps getting spam.

How can I prevent spammers from signing my guest book? I'd appreciate your comments and hopefully a solution to this annoying problem.

Oh, I have plenty of comments and opinions on this topic - it's a problem I face right here with Ask Leo!

But unfortunately, like spam in general, there's no single answer - no magic bullet.

Depending on your server and other specifics, there are several approaches you can take.

Continue reading: "Web site spam: what can I do about it?"
http://ask-leo.com/web_site_spam_what_can_i_do_about_it.html

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

I'll continue the spam theme this week with this all too common question:

How do I get rid of all this SPAM?!?!

If it seems like it's been getting worse lately, that's only because it has. The amount of SPAM has only been increasing, and latest attempts to legislate a solution appear to have had little, if any, impact.

So what's a poor user to do?

Read more... How do I get rid of all this SPAM?!?!
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_get_rid_of_all_this_spam.html

*** Thoughts and Comments

If last week's commentary left you wondering "how did an 18 year Microsoft veteran software engineer end up selling dolls?" - well, it's something I've been explaining often enough to people lately that I finally just wrote it up in my personal blog: Selling Dolls.

Last week's article "Does Linux have a role in the home?" got a lot of very thoughtful comments - including recommendations for some of the other flavors of Linux to try, and more. I honestly appreciate it when people take the time to add value by adding their opinions and knowledge.

Operating system choice is like politics and religion - discussions can get out of control without too much effort. In fact an older operating system discussion is one of the few articles on which I've had to disable comments because the flame war just kept on going.

Even though I suppose it might seem like I think I know everything, one thing I know for sure is exactly the opposite: I don't know everything. When folks take the time to add their informed information and well reasoned and stated opinions, everyone benefits and everyone learns - and that definitely includes me. My only regret is that I don't always have the time to go back and fine-tune the articles to reflect all the new information that's contributed.

I may not always agree with everyone's comments, but I definitely value them all. I learn a great deal from my readers.

Thanks again, and until next week...

Leo

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The Latest:
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Taming Email: "Don't Ask for Spam"
Leo's MovableType Tips: "Get creative with Templates"

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