Leo’s Answers #87 – July 20, 2007

Leo's Answers
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Leo Notenboom

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*** Contents

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

Why can't I connect with a 169.254.x.x IP address?

My IP address was 192.168.x.xx, and somehow it was changed to 169.254.xx.xx. Because of this I can't access the internet. Any ideas?

Your IP address wasn't "changed" so much as it was broken.

If you end up with an IP in the 169.254.x.x address range, then something is definitely wrong.

Continue reading: "Why can't I connect with a 169.254.x.x IP address?"

* * *

Why can't I enable the Run command?

In one of your answers you showed how to turn on the Run command in the Start menu. On my machine the settings you pointed to aren't there. What do I do?

This turns out to be relatively easy, but I'm concerned that it's also a symptom of a deeper problem.

Let's look at what that problem might be and then how to go about re-enabling Run.

Continue reading: "Why can't I enable the Run command?"

* * *

Why is my Task Manager disabled, and how do I fix it?

My task manager has a "task manager has been disabled by the administrator" message. How did this happen and how can I correct this?

Why: if you didn't do it yourself, the news isn't good.

How to fix it: there are a couple of ways.

Let's look at this more closely.

Continue reading: "Why is my Task Manager disabled, and how do I fix it?"

* * *

How do I translate a URL to an IP address?

Is there a tool somewhere to translate from an URL to the IP address? My PC is in a LAN and I would like to find out the IP address (and port number) to a web or ftp site.

There's lots of tools.

Translating from a domain name to an IP address is something your computer has to do each time you access the internet. It's no surprise then that there are several tools in Windows. I'll show you the one I use all the time.

And of course there are even more tools out on the internet.

Let's first clear up a couple of things though.

Continue reading: "How do I translate a URL to an IP address?"

* * *

Where can I download Windows XP?

I have Windows 98 and want to upgrade to Windows XP, I have daemon tools and ultra iso but am trying to find a version of XP to download and mount. Please help if you can my moms computer and my sanity depends on it.

You can download Windows XP from somewhere, I'm fairly certain; you just can't do it legally.

And even if you did illegally download an image, you wouldn't have the thing you really need.

There's really only one solution.

Continue reading: "Where can I download Windows XP?"

* * *

I'm being notified of an intrusion attempt, what should I do?

The security on my computer says network traffic from (some IP address) matches the signature of a known attack. does this mean someone tried to hack into my computer and if so, how do i find out who it was?

Yes it does, and no it doesn't.

And finding out who it was it not only difficult, but probably pointless as well.

Continue reading: "I'm being notified of an intrusion attempt, what should I do?"

* * *

How, and when, should I update drivers?

I have been reading about the importance of updating, if required, the various device drivers within in a system. As I understand it, this can be done by identifying the driver that may require updating and then, by accessing the manufacturers web site, determine if there are any updates. If so I believe that the update can be downloaded. Does the download over write the existing data within the device in question?

I must confess to being a bit nervous regarding this approach and because of this I have looked at driver update services such as those provided by PCDrivers and others.

Drivers are another one of those "computer things" that are just so much more confusing magic to most average computer users.

I'll touch a little on what they are, and then my philosophy about when and how to update them.

Continue reading: "How, and when, should I update drivers?"

* * *

Are you ready for your house to burn down? [rerun]

Hopefully it will never happen, but being prepared is a must.

Continue reading: "Are you ready for your house to burn down? [rerun]" Article Includes Audio

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

This podcast from earlier this year seemed timely, given the last couple of weeks out here at Ask Leo! world headquarters:

What's Your Backup?

It's no secret that we are all becoming more and more dependant on technology in its various forms in our daily lives. It's also no secret that we all place a very high value on our privacy and security, as we should.

But there's at least one scenario where that high level of privacy and security can cause some major problems.

Read more... What's Your Backup?

*** Thoughts and Comments

Life's slowly returning to normal. A special thanks to everyone who took the time to wish me well.

Since last week's newsletter was a little thin, I tried to make up for it this week with a little more than the average number of answers.

I was asked this week why I'm not doing more Vista-related answers.

There are two reasons, really.

The first is that most of what I do is driven by the questions that I get asked. The majority of the questions I get are still either not Vista related, or not Vista specific. The sense I get is that most people haven't switched, though of course that will change over time.

The second reason is that, quite honestly, Vista hasn't impressed me. If it had, I'd probably be doing more, and even recommending it more to folks that come by. By the fact is that while it's "nice", I certainly don't see it yet as a compelling upgrade. In fact, I know that I cannot upgrade one of my machines because certain critical software I run won't work.

The question was actually a little more specific, asking why I was recommending downloads that don't work on Vista. While I do have a Vista machine (my laptop which I'm using it as I type this), I don't have the resources to make sure that everything works on both. If you encounter a problem with one of my answers or one of the tools I might recommend as part of an answer on Vista, I'd love to hear about it. At a minimum I can warn folks, and perhaps even recommend an alternative.

In the mean time, I fully expect that Vista related answers will increase over time in proportion to the Vista related questions.

As you might expect, there are some folks who drop in and comment on Ask Leo! articles with some regularity. One of those is Michael Horowitz, a very knowledgeable computer consultant out of New York. He maintains the Computer Gripes web site, as well as providing a lot of useful information on his personal site.

Michael's "speciality", if you want to call it that, is "Defensive Computing", which is coincidentally the title of his new blog out at c|net: Defensive Computing. Michael's always got an interesting perspective, and if you're so inclined, worth a regular read.

'till next time...


* * *

The Latest:
Forwarded Funnies: "Who's First"
Taming Email: "Count to 10, to 100, to 1000 if you have to."
Leo's MovableType Tips: "Tolerate Broken URLs"

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Newsletter contents Copyright © 2007, Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.

Posted: July 20, 2007 in: 2007
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/3091
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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.