Wizards help with exporting e-mail addresses

HELP LINE

October 01, 2001|By James Coates | James Coates,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

I am trying to save my e-mail addresses to a disk so when I reformat the hard drive, or for any other reason, I don't have to retype them in. How is this accomplished?

For computer e-mail users with the most popular mail programs, namely Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook, there is an Export command in the File menu at the left top of the screen. When you click there, a wizard will walk you through saving the e-mail information on a floppy disk.

A companion Import wizard will restore your e-mail settings on a new machine.

As a side note, America Online e-mail users are spared this problem because AOL saves one's address book information on AOL's own servers, so it is always available when a customer signs on from whatever machine.

I am so frustrated I could throw this computer out the window. I am trying to back up my computer onto a CD-RW disk in my CD-RW drive without success. When I insert the blank disk planning to do a backup, the Adaptec Create a Disk window comes up before I have time to go into Accessories/System Tools/Backup.

If I start with Accessories/System Tools/Backup, the Adaptec Create a Disk window comes up anyway. Please explain the process of backing up files onto a CD-R or CD-RW disk - or is it that my CD-RW drive is malfunctioning?

In my entire career of messing around with computers, I have never been able to use the Windows (and DOS before that) Backup/Restore feature to deliver as promised. Something always goes wrong.

The problem is that it requires a great many disks to hold all of the data needed to fully restore a computer, and the longer you use the machine, the more stuff you need to transfer. Even freshly out of the box, most of today's PCs hold a whopping 2 gigabytes-plus of data with just the operating system and a few included applications.

Mostly something goes wrong somewhere along the way. Just a couple of missed characters among the billions being moved can cause a total failure. Then your stack of carefully protected backup disks becomes a bitter heap of frustration.

Here's what I suggest: After you insert a CD-RW (rewritable) disk, choose the CD-RW panel in that window that pops up in the Adaptec software display. Then simply use the CD-RW disk as though it were another drive or a massive floppy disk. Keep all of your data in a few folders, and just drag and drop them to the CD using the file management software that pops up along with the Adaptec screens. This display is nearly identical to the Explorer in Windows 98/ME that you use to move files and folders about.

By keeping your data only on CDs, you will be spared the chaos of a bobbled restore that surely would happen down the road. You can always restore the operating system from the disk (or disks) that come with new computers, and you also can reinstall your software should the need arise.

A while back you wrote about a screensaver download of a rotating Earth and dots of light where cities are located. Very cool. I downloaded it and had it running on my computer. The computer crashed (not because of the screensaver), and our IT guys at work had to reformat my hard drive. Can you help me find that screensaver again? I've done Internet searches and looked at my old saved e-mail but can't locate it.

Point your browser to http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap001127.html, and you'll be back in business until the next time your IT staff gets an emergency call.

This absolutely amazing Web site offers a satellite montage photograph of the entire planet at night, and the lights of all the world's cities twinkle in tandem.

This photo was compiled from images taken as a satellite orbited the planet following the line between sunlight and darkness.

James Coates writes about technology for the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached via e-mail at jcoates@tribune.com.

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