Leo's Answers #50 – November 3, 2006

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


*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

How do I delete a file in use?

AVG Anti-virus keeps telling me that I have a threat in the file C:WINDOWScdsnp1.dll. AVG can't quarantine or delete it - it says that it cannot access to the file. If I try, it tells me something about the file being in use. What do I do?

This is likely one of the many manifestations of a very common problem. No, not the virus - I honestly have no idea what that is. I mean the inability of a program, or even you, to delete a file because it's in use.

In some cases Windows prevents you from deleting files because they're in use by some program running on your machine - often Windows itself. Deleting it while in use by a running program could crash your machine, or worse.

So what if you know you need to delete a file, but it's in use from the very moment you boot your system, and no matter what software you shut down it's still "in use"?

Continue reading: "How do I delete a file in use?"

* * *

Recommendation: RoboForm Password Manager and more

I think that I have about 80 - 100 passwords that I use on a regular or somewhat regular basis. I always remember my network and computer logon passwords, but beyond that I often have to check my a) Outlook notes on my PC at work, or b) when at home on my Mac, my little black notebook stuffed in the bottom of drawer.

Is storing my passwords on Outlook notes safe for my bank and tax filing accounts? Are online password managers or 'safes' secure? Do you have any suggestions for how best to manage the proliferation of passwords for online accounts?

I don't really have a good cross-platform solution for you, though I do have a couple of odd ideas.

However I have developed a very strong recommendation over the past couple of months for a product called RoboForm - which happily includes a free version!

Let me touch on your first two questions first...

Continue reading: "Recommendation: RoboForm Password Manager and more"

* * *

Is Javascript dangerous?

I've been using NoScript recently. It's a add on for Firefox that only allows JavaScript to run on sites after I've specifically agreed to allow that to happen. I've started doing this because I've read that running untrusted JavaScript from every site you visit online increases your security risk online. Do you think I'm overdoing it? What are your thoughts on the topic of allowing any site I visit to run JavaScript on my machine.

Well, I actually believe that JavaScript is relatively safe. Not perfectly safe - nothing is - but safe enough.

Having said that, I should tell you that I also run NoScript.

Let's look at what that all means.

Continue reading: "Is Javascript dangerous?"

* * *

Will BitTorrent harm my computer?

Will using BitTorrent harm my computer, and if so and under what conditions will it?

BitTorrent itself is highly unlikely to harm your computer.

However what you download using BitTorrent - well, that's a different story. Some caution is called for.

And I know some of you are asking ... "what's a BitTorrent?"

Continue reading: "Will BitTorrent harm my computer?"

* * *

What for-pay email providers do you recommend?

I get that you strongly recommend against using free email accounts for important stuff. But that, then, begs the question: which paid email providers with full features do you recommend?

A fair question. There are many approaches that I do recommend, depending on your specific situation.

I need to explain what I'm looking for, first. Then it's just possible we'll find that you already have what you need.

Continue reading: "What for-pay email providers do you recommend?"

* * *

IE 7, Firefox 2

My take on whether to upgrade, which to use, and why.

Continue reading: "IE 7, Firefox 2" Article Includes Audio

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

I'm constantly amazed at the number of people who don't back up their data. Take a look at your computer. Now, imagine if it were gone. Suddenly. Stolen, destroyed, or perhaps just irretrievably broken. What data would you lose? Would it be a disaster? If so, you really need to be backing up - now before it's too late:

What backup program should I use?

Doing backups is kind of like eating healthier ... everyone agrees we should, and yet very few of us actually do. Much like the heart attack victim who no longer visits McDonald's, the most religious users of backup procedures are those who've been bitten hard by a failure in their past.

Asking what backup program to use is very much like asking "what's the best exercise program?" The best program, for exercise or backup, is whatever one you'll actually do.

Do you know how you'd recover your data should your computer crash?

Read more... What backup program should I use?

*** Thoughts and Comments

I posted my 1,000th article on Ask Leo! this week. Quite a milestone. And I've got another major milestone coming up in a couple of weeks. (Hint: it's been a busy year.)

This week I got a comment/question that pops up every so often: do you really do this all by yourself?

Until yesterday, the answer was a big 'ol yes. OK, I should qualify that - I do have some readers who take the time to gently point out my spelling and grammatical errors (I'm a geek, not a writer!), and that's of course appreciated. But the the web site, the research, the writing (such as it is), the newsletter, the emailed responses - that's all just little old me.

Yesterday, however, my new assistant started dipping her toes into the Ask Leo! waters by taking some of that reader feedback and updating the affected article. It's a small step, on the road to a much larger role that should result in my having a little more time not only for Ask Leo!, but for little things like my having a life as well.

I recently added a "where'd you hear about me" to the newsletter subscription forms, and the number two way to find out about Ask Leo!, after Google searches, is to hear about it from a friend. That's pretty cool, and I appreciate all those referrals.

If you find Ask Leo! or this newsletter useful telling a friend or linking to it from your own website or blog are some of the best ways you can help. Yes, you can buy me coffee, or even a beer, but spreading the word is cheaper, and appreciated every bit as much.

Until next week...


* * *

The Latest:
Forwarded Funnies: "Don't Talk to the Parrot"
Taming Email: "Don't Ask for Spam"
Leo's MovableType Tips: "Changing Page Names Mid-Stream"

*** 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.

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.

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

Posted: November 3, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2829
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1 thought on “Leo's Answers #50 – November 3, 2006”

  1. also to add to my earlier comment ive used the temp folder to use programs i cant normally use but a couple of days ago it just stoped working.

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