Leo’s Answers #61 – January 19, 2007

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


*** Contents

*** This Week's New Articles on Ask Leo!

What does it mean when a site says they "receive and store certain information"?

Some e-merchants have a clause saying they "receive and store certain information whenever you download web pages" - do they means any web pages or just their own and what can you do to prevent it?

If they're legitimate, it'd be just their own. Obviously if they're malicious and you're not careful they could install spyware, and all bets are off. But by now I'm certainly you're already doing all the right things to stay safe, so I'll assume you're only visiting legitimate e-commerce sites.

And it's not just e-commerce. Guess what? When you visit Ask Leo!, I also "receive and store certain information whenever you download web pages".

It's really just a part of how the web works.

Continue reading: "What does it mean when a site says they "receive and store certain information"?"

* * *

Can I recover from a virus by just restoring my registry?

I recently recovered from a nasty virus. ... I understand that a virus does its thing by making changes in the registry. I have a utility called erunt that makes a backup of the registry and has a utility to restore the same. If a virus is onboard would restoring the registry eliminate it? Could that registry backup be kept on a CD and restored to the hard drive and what would be the process?

Yes, you could burn your registry backup to a CD and then restore from that.

However, I'm a tad concerned. Viruses typically do much more than play with the registry, and many other programs keep information in the registry. Using this as your safety net may well simply replace one set of problems with another.

Continue reading: "Can I recover from a virus by just restoring my registry?"

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Why isn't my Outlook PST getting smaller after deleting emails?

I archived and deleted a bunch of email messages in Outlook, in order to reduce the size of the PST file containing them. However after doing so, the PST's no smaller. What gives?

There are two very common possibilities:

  1. there's deleting, and then there's DELETING

  2. and even after DELETING, a little patience is called for

Fortunately, there are ways to force things and bypass that whole pesky "patience thing".

Continue reading: "Why isn't my Outlook PST getting smaller after deleting emails?"

* * *

What's a botnet? Or zombie? And how do I protect myself from whatever it is?

How can I identify if my computer is a member of a "Zombie" network created by botnets? Can I use "procexp.exe" to identify if my computer has been captured? If a computer is captured does it have to be on for it to be used and how can a botnet be eliminated. Lastly is there a defense?

You are right to be concerned. Botnets are considered responsible for the massive increase in spam we've all seen in the past years and months.

The really sad part is that it's really easy to protect yourself. The fact that botnets are so successful indicates that too many people still aren't taking the simple steps they need to keep their machines safe.

Continue reading: "What's a botnet? Or zombie? And how do I protect myself from whatever it is?"

* * *

How do I display my MSN Hotmail or other email in the order it was sent?

I don't know what I did but for some reason my emails are out of order; they're not in chronological order. It is getting harder to check my e-mail. Please tell me how I can reset my the order of my emails.

This is one of those things that's very obvious and easy if you know about it.

But if you don't know, it can be extremely frustrating until someone shows you. And based on how frequently I get the question, a lot of people don't know.

So... let me show you.

Continue reading: "How do I display my MSN Hotmail or other email in the order it was sent?"

* * *

How do I determine the capabilities of my wireless network adapter?

I have a Linksys wireless router, model number WRTP54G, offering 54MBps. I have a Dell Inspiron 510m laptop which has built-in wireless capability, but I want to find out the speed of the wireless laptop card so as to know if that speed matches the 54MBps of my router and thus get the best out of it by having a wireless laptop card that runs at the same or better speed. Can you tell me please how I can find out the speed of this, and if it is actually beneficial to have them both at the same rate?

The quickest way, of course, is to look at the paperwork that came with your Dell. They're very good about describing the capabilities of things like network cards as they enumerate the features installed on your machine.

But, of course, that's not an option for everyone. Fortunately there's a relatively quick way to check for what you need.

Continue reading: "How do I determine the capabilities of my wireless network adapter?"

* * *

The Need for Speed

No matter how fast, the internet is never fast enough.

Continue reading: "The Need for Speed" Article Includes Audio

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

This is a little trick not a lot of people know about. Ever have a program start, come up and stop so quickly you've no idea what it was? Windows XP has "process tracking"...

How can I track what programs come and go on my machine?

Recently an entry keeps appearing on my taskbar. It appears for less than a second before disappearing again. I once managed to click it but no window popped up. The icon is a blank rectangular box and there is no description. Its driving me nuts trying to work out what it is! How can I identify this process?

Programs do seem to come and go at times. Particularly when diagnosing performance or security issues, understanding what's coming and going can be important. And sometimes it can just explain a flashing item in the task bar.

Fortunately there is a fairly simple way to trace what's happening.

Read more... How can I track what programs come and go on my machine?

*** Thoughts and Comments

This week I've been having some fun with Skype, the internet telephone application. I participated in a phone teleconference, and using a Skype add-in called "Pamela" was able to successfully record the call with very acceptible quality. The cool thing, for me anyway, is that Skype lets me use the same microphone that I use for my podcasts. I had been using a Plantronics USB headset, but now I have a setup including a small mixing board and a more traditional semi-pro desk microphone.

Skype's a fascinating tool. The native feature set is already fairly rich, but the additional features available from Skype, coupled with a model that lets third parties make add-ons like Pamela, make for a fairly powerful "telephone". I'm actually kind of surprised it's not seeing more use. I'm not ready to formally "recommend" it yet, the support forums do show some concerning issues at times, but I'll continue to play and use it where I can.

I don't know if you've noticed, but I don't advertise Ask Leo!. I take advertising, of course, but I don't actually spend much money to promote the site or newsletter other than the occasional ad exchange with a publisher friend or two and simply trying to provide useful content that people can find.

Word of mouth is also a good thing.

So, if you feel so inclined, tell a friend or forward them a copy of this newsletter. I'm very grateful whenever you help spread the word.



* * *

The Latest:
Forwarded Funnies: "A Collection of Quickies"
Taming Email: "Is a Response Really Required?"
Leo's MovableType Tips: "Use Meaningful Page Names"

*** 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 © 2007, Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.

Posted: January 19, 2007 in: 2007
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2904
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1 thought on “Leo’s Answers #61 – January 19, 2007”

  1. Hi I met a friend on holiday and she gave me her email address, which I have since lost but I do remember it started with her name then underscore something at hotmail.com. Is there anyway that I could find her correct email. I unfortunately don’t have any other contact details for her. I would be grateful for any advice

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