Leo's Answers #42 – September 8, 2006


*** 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?"

* * *

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?"

* * *

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?"

* * *

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?"

* * *

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?"

*** A Word from our Sponsor

Afraid to Merge on the Information Superhighway?
We demystify the Internet!
Get the latest Internet, WiFi, PDA, and Cell Phone news, and more!
Completely free!

Advertisement. Ask Leo about advertising here.

*** 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?!?!

*** 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...


* * *

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

*** Newsletter Administration

Do you have a question? A comment, perhaps? Newsletter subscribers can drop me a line at leo <at> ask-leo.com. (I only give that email address to newsletter subscribers, so I'll know it's from one of my loyal readers.) If you like, you can make sure you get past any spam filters by simply posting your question or comment using the Ask Leo! question form: http://ask-leo.com/askleo.html.

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.

Leo's Answers Newsletter is a weekly publication of Ask Leo! and Leo A. Notenboom. It's also available as an RSS feed at this URL: http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.xml?UD=nl. Archives of previous newsletter issues can be found on the Ask Leo! web site, http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.html.

You're quite welcome to forward this email in its entirety, but you should probably delete your unsubscribe link below, so your friends don't unsubscribe you by accident. You may forward individual articles from this newsletter only if you include all and only the text of that article as found in this newsletter, including any links therein. You may not copy full articles from the Ask Leo! website - more on that in my section on copyright: http://ask-leo.com/terms.html#copyright.

I'd sure appreciate it if regular readers got a subscription of their own. You can sign up at http://newsletter.ask-leo.com.

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

Posted: September 8, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2782
« Previous post:
Next post: »

New Here?

Let me suggest my collection of best and most important articles to get you started.

Of course I strongly recommend you search the site -- there's a ton of information just waiting for you.

Finally, if you just can't find what you're looking for, ask me!

Confident Computing

Confident Computing is the weekly newsletter from Ask Leo!. Each week I give you tools, tips, tricks, answers, and solutions to help you navigate today’s complex world of technology and do so in a way that protects your privacy, your time, and your money, and even help you better connect with the people around you.

The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet – FREE Edition

Subscribe for FREE today and claim your copy of The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet – FREE Edition. Culled from the articles published on Ask Leo! this FREE downloadable PDF will help you identify the most important steps you can take to keep your computer, and yourself, safe as you navigate today’s digital landscape.

My Privacy Pledge

Leo Who?

I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and after "retiring" in 2001 I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.