Outlook Express can aid with spam

HELPLINE

May 28, 2001|By James Coates | James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Every day, I open my e-mail (Microsoft Outlook Express) only to find dozens of pieces of spam. The junk mail is basically the same - end debt, start your own Web site, make money, etc. The problem is, I'm not in debt, I have a Web site and I have a job. Is there a blocking feature that will stop these ads, many from the same sender, from reaching my e-mail box?

The Microsoft Outlook Express e-mail software that comes with Windows 98 and Windows ME uses a strategy known as Message Rules to handle unwanted e-mail, as well as to streamline dealing with mail you want. The software walks a user through setting up rules that will kick in when e-mail comes in from various senders or with selected keywords in the subject line or the body of the text.

You can quickly set up a rule to simply delete any message sent by that one spam specialist you mention in your note, for example. You also could set up rules that would look for e-mail from people you care about, either in your family life or your business life, and route it into special folders instead of into the inbox that catches all incoming e-mail.

I bought a computer from Gateway, and I am delighted with how it works. But I suddenly realize that - although I specified what size of hard drive, how much memory and what sort of Pentium chip it would have - I really don't have a way to check and make sure they shipped what I ordered. How do I know I actually have the specifications I agreed to buy?

You've asked three great questions:

1. To make sure your hard drive is the size you paid for, click on the My Computer icon and move your cursor arrow over the icon for the C: drive and right-click. Pick Properties from the pop-up menu that appears, and you will see a pie chart readout of how many gigabytes your hard drive holds and how many are filled and how many remain available.

2. To confirm your PC's chip, shut the Properties display and move your mouse arrow back over the My Computer icon and right-click there. In the pop-up that this creates, pick Properties. The display that comes up next will include a box showing the name of your operating system, the serial number of your computer and the microprocessor it is running.

3. In that same box, look for a tab marked Performance. Click it, and you will see a display showing the amount of random-access memory in your machine.

Send e-mail to jcoates@ tribune.com.

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