Leo’s Answers #82 – June 15, 2007

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

Hello!

*** Contents

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

What are alternate data streams, and are they a security risk?

What about the threat of alternate data streams on NTFS file systems?

That's actually an excerpt from a longer question I got last year that I want to address separately.

Alternate data streams are an very interesting feature of the NTFS file system that not many people know about.

The security threat that the question alludes to is that alternate data streams can allow data to be trivially hidden on an NTFS formatted hard disk in a way that is difficult to detect.

Continue reading: "What are alternate data streams, and are they a security risk?"
http://ask-leo.com/what_are_alternate_data_streams_and_are_they_a_security_risk.html

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Why can't I get two access points to work at the same time?

I have a cable modem connected to a Linksys router for internet service. I am trying to connect 2 Linksys access points to the router in order to provide wireless internet to opposite sides of the building. I can't get both access points to work at the same time. Whenever one works the other will not. The access points are not where they can communicate with each other. Any ideas why they will not work at the same time?

It's likely that there's a simple solution to this.

Access points have become "smart" devices, and that means you need to be able to configure them. Configuring them means that you need to be able to access them across the network. That means they need an IP address.

I'll bet they both have the same, default, IP address.

Continue reading: "Why can't I get two access points to work at the same time?"
http://ask-leo.com/why_cant_i_get_two_access_points_to_work_at_the_same_time.html

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My computer doesn't work, what do I do?

My son has a computer that is not working. It only has a blank screen. Also the light to the hard drive it not on. Is the hard drive broken? Can I get the computer repaired. Or do I need to buy another one?

I get variations on this question so often that I just have to address it.

In short: there's nothing close to enough information for me to even hazard a guess what might be wrong. And it's just not a simple yes or no question.

Let me run through a list of some of the things it might be.

Continue reading: "My computer doesn't work, what do I do?"
http://ask-leo.com/my_computer_doesnt_work_what_do_i_do.html

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Can my spouse really read my IM conversations?

My husband says he can download a program to his machine that will enable him to read my MSN Messenger conversations. I use a separate laptop with the log history turned off, but he says he can put something onto the router that will record all the conversations, and email. Is this true, and if so, how can I stop it, or prevent him from reading my messages?

I have to admit that it's actually somewhat depressing how often I get questions of this nature; spouses wanting to snoop on each other, or like this one, spouses afraid of being snooped on. All technical issues aside, I find it rather sad.

The short answer is: yes.

The longer answer involves both how, as well as some steps you can take to avoid it.

Continue reading: "Can my spouse really read my IM conversations?"
http://ask-leo.com/can_my_spouse_really_read_my_im_conversations.html

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How do I turn off Data Execution Prevention errors?

How do I get rid of Data Execution Prevention? Such a pain. It wouldn't allow me to view photos inside a photo folder ... I followed the route given by the 'crash message' but I want it off my machine. Any ideas?

First let's be clear: Data Execution Prevention, or DEP, isn't something you "remove" or "get off your machine". It's simply a feature that can be turned on or off, or be configured.

I'll show you how to turn it off, but then I'll tell you why you shouldn't and what you should do instead to solve your problem.

Continue reading: "How do I turn off Data Execution Prevention errors?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_turn_off_data_execution_prevention_errors.html

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The Catch with DRM-Free iTunes

It seems like a blunder, but was it a brilliant plan?

Continue reading: "The Catch with DRM-Free iTunes" Article Includes Audio
http://ask-leo.com/the_catch_with_drmfree_itunes.html

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Will my system be faster if I make my C: drive a flash drive?

I see large USB flash drives are very cheap. My 'C' drive is partitioned to be 8GB, on which I have my Windows OS (Win 2K, in my case), and all my program installations. All my data files go on other partitions/drives.

So I'm thinking that for a little extra money, I could have my C: drive run off of flash Memory, instead of a hard drive (if the PC maker makes it possible). How much faster would Windows and all my boot-up programs load if this were the case (My current configuration take about 2-3 minutes for full reboot)? How much faster would Word, or Excel start up (not counting the file that it would be loading off of the accompanying HD, which would only be used to store data/document files)?

I often get questions where people want to use flash memory in various forms to speed up the normal operation of their computer. There's a lot of misunderstanding of flash memory and what it's capable of.

The good news is that while you still can't use USB flash drives for RAM, and you still shouldn't use them for your "C:" drive, Windows Vista has a new feature that will let you use them for something sort of in-between.

Continue reading: "Will my system be faster if I make my C: drive a flash drive?"
http://ask-leo.com/will_my_system_be_faster_if_i_make_my_c_drive_a_flash_drive.html

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

I hear of email accounts being compromised and stolen almost every day. Once it happens the chances of your recovering it will vary greatly depending on just who your email provider is. This article discusses what steps to take when it happens:

Someone has stolen my email account. What can I do to get it back?

I've actually received a couple of reports like this in recent days. The scenario is this: one day you find that you cannot log into your email account. Then, to make matters worse, you find that someone else has been sending email pretending to be you to people you know.

Sometimes damaging email.

Remedies are few, but you do need to act quickly.

Read more... Someone has stolen my email account. What can I do to get it back?
http://ask-leo.com/someone_has_stolen_my_email_account_what_can_i_do_to_get_it_back.html

*** Thoughts and Comments

Yes, my HDTV saga continues in my personal blog. Things are looking up. Smile

Do you do RSS? Check it out, you might consider it. I plan to do a good write-up sometime for Taming Email to outline not just what it is, but when it's an appropriate tool to use. But in summary it keeps me well informed on a number of topics, without my having to go out and visit a lot of web sites - and without cluttering up my email inbox.

Thought I'd share a few of the RSS feeds I stay on top of.

I've probably got about 150 feeds that I look at. I can't keep up with them all, so Google Reader's "Mark All As Read" button gets used a fair amount as well, but it is a quick and easy way to stay on top of a lot of the flood of information that the internet seems throw at us.

'till next time...

Leo

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The Latest:
Forwarded Funnies: "Out of the mouths of babes 3"
Taming Email: "Use Plain Format - Substance Over Style"
Leo's MovableType Tips: "Tolerate Broken URLs"

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