Leo’s Answers #95 – September 14, 2007

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


*** Contents

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

If shutting down Windows cleanly is important, what happens when the power just goes out?

I am aware that not going through the proper Windows shutdown can possibly have negative effects on a computer. But my question is if a computer loses power (due to a household power outage, not anything wrong with the power supply), are these negative effects strictly software related (meaning a format and reinstall would fix them), or might it cause hardware problems as well?

Shutting down Windows properly before turning off the power to your computer is important. Not doing so can result in data loss and corruption as files are left only partially written to disk. But just turning off the switch is unlikely to actually harm your hardware.

Surprisingly, a household or other area-wide power outage turns out to be a completely different issue.

Continue reading: "If shutting down Windows cleanly is important, what happens when the power just goes out?"

* * *

How do I stop someone from using or voting from my IP address?

When I go to a certain website and cast a vote it displays that someone has cast a vote from my computer or from the IP address. Is there anyway of finding out who is using my IP address in a fraudulent way? Now I'm leery as to why i have a computer in the first place!

You're making one huge assumption that's likely not correct. It's very unlikely that there's fraud here at all.

There are a couple of very valid ways that the same IP addresses might appear to be in use by several different computers. If the voting software using only your IP address to check for voting abuse, then it's not doing as good a job as it should be.

Continue reading: "How do I stop someone from using or voting from my IP address?"

* * *

Which takes more disk space: backing up, or copying files? And how much?

Which takes more disk space, back-up, or copying files? To date I have only copied files (.doc, .jpg, etc.) but probably need to do a back-up. How much space is required in relation to the amount of space already in use on my hard drive?

Naturally, it depends on how much you're backing up, how you're doing it, and what tools you're using to do it. It even depends on what kind of data you're backing up.

Continue reading: "Which takes more disk space: backing up, or copying files? And how much?"

* * *

Is Office 2003 compatible with Widows Vista?

I have Windows Vista now and I can not open Word documents attached to emails. How can I open them? Is Microsoft Office 2003 compatible with Vista?

Yes, Microsoft Office 2003 is compatible with Windows Vista.

You didn't say what happens when you try to open a document or what error message is produced, so I'll have to make some wild guesses.

Most of the confusion that I see is actually not about Windows Vista, but rather the file format changes between Office 2003 and Office 2007. The newer version now saves into a file format that can't be read by the old. However there are solutions.

Continue reading: "Is Office 2003 compatible with Widows Vista?"

* * *

What are all these other pictures when I view emailed photos?

My daughter recently sent me picture from college and I viewed them using Windows Picture and Fax Viewer. There were many other extraneous pictures, fonts and geometrical shapes. Is this normal? If so, why? How do i view only what I want?

This isn't really about Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, as it applies to any program you might use to view your images. It's really just about managing where pictures are placed on your computer's hard disk. The "problem", if you want to call it that, is that there's often a lot of other stuff in the common, default location for pictures.

Continue reading: "What are all these other pictures when I view emailed photos?"

* * *

Are forced upgrades a bad thing?

Like Hotmail users, sometimes you have no choice but to upgrade. Sometimes that's ok, sometimes not. But you should expect it.

Continue reading: "Are forced upgrades a bad thing?" Article Includes Audio

*** A Word from our Sponsor

Forget Vista! Speed Up Your XP System!
Is your PC getting slow? Run our free Optimize scan to find out how to
fine-tune your Internet and System settings. Identify registry cobwebs
and get rid of hard drive clutter. Over time, everyday use of your PC
will slow down performance. Optimize is an exciting software program
that automatically diagnoses your PC and gives you a custom report
detailing every issue hurting your PC's performance: Scan Now!

Advertisement. Ask Leo about advertising here.

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

It's hard to believe that Windows XP SP2 was released over three years ago. It's even harder to believe that there are still folks who refuse to install it. Most of their reasons boil down to this question:

Will SP2 Crash my machine?

There's been a lot of press about Windows XP SP2 crashing or hanging machines or applications. The good news is that like most "news", you only hear the bad stuff. In fact, the news reflects only a minority of installations - the vast majority of SP2 installations are working great. The bad news is that if you're in that minority, it doesn't matter to you that it works fine everywhere else.

So what can you do to make sure that you stand the highest chance of success?

Read more... Will SP2 Crash my machine?

*** Thoughts and Comments

It's interesting that my commentary last weekend on "force upgrades", dealing primarily with the apparently force migration of MSN Hotmail users to the new Windows Live Hotmail interface, would happen in the same week as news that Microsoft Automatic Updates will, in fact, update some things even if you say no to automatic updates. Talk about "forced upgrades"!

Like I've said before, I know from personal experience that Microsoft is full of passionate people who really have their user's best interests at heart. Truly. Unfortunately that all that means little when someone makes a bad decision and the tech press (quite rightly) calls them on it: Microsoft updates Windows without users' consent.

From what I understand it really is a minor technical issue - Windows Update will update itself, regardless of your auto-update settings. I can even make an argument for this being the right thing to do from a technical standpoint.

However the fact that it was happening without user consent or notification, and that nowhere was there information that would indicate it was happening was a serious blunder on Microsoft's part.

Given the microscope that they're under nowadays, one would hope that Microsoft would understand that these issues of privacy and ownership are just as important as technical competence ... occasionally even more so.

'till next time...


* * *

The Latest: at Forwarded Funnies: "A minister, a priest and a rabbi"

Some of Leo's other sites: The Ask Leo! Store, Leo's Online Business Card, Taming Email, MovableType Tips, Leo's Blog, Buy Leo a Latte, Buy Leo a Beer, A Letter To Myself, Dolls and Friends, Corgwn.com

*** Newsletter Administration

Do you have a question? A comment, perhaps? Newsletter subscribers can visit http://ask-leo.com/askleosubscriber.html to submit your comments and questions. That page is only mentioned here, so I'll know it's from someone who's taken the time to read this far!

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. 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.

Interested in advertising on Ask Leo! or in this newsletter? Advertising details here.

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

Posted: September 14, 2007 in: 2007
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/3149
« 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.