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By Charles Fleming | December 18, 2007
I received the nicest e-mail last week from Daisy Larkin Pritchard, telling me my order had been approved. Later that day, the happy news was repeated by Janice Accuracy Hutchinson and Davina Bovine Shoemaker, and again that night by Carmella Iniquitous Stovall and Iva Cowhide Dahl. These e-mails intrigued me not only because of the names of their senders but because I hadn't placed any order. They arrived in my AOL "spam" folder, where they joined similarly uninvited correspondence from Vince Episodic Trujillo, Christian Bite Fernandez and Rigoberto Handset Prince, plus two dozen other notes, some written in Cyrillic and promising Russian delights, and others in Japanese kanji and katakana.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | April 13, 2008
I asked Darryl Russell about the slick, full-color folder on the dinette table in his house in Baltimore County. "Oh," he said, "that was for a company that sets you up in the cleaning business. But it was too much money." The company wanted $4,000 to provide industrial vacuums and steam cleaners, and then a 5 percent take on revenue from cleaning contracts on office buildings. It was a good idea for Russell, a 45-year-old ex-offender eager to get on with his life, but not a great deal, and certainly not something he could afford.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 19, 2004
Q: Is there a shortcut to saving Microsoft Outlook e-mail to a personal folder on your hard drive? A: Here's a trick I use to quickly take all of the e-mail sent by readers, promoters, spammers and my superiors to the PC at my office and schlep them home for work there. It's just the ticket for you, too. Open the folder in which you want to store the mail, and then fire up Outlook and go to the list of messages. Make sure that you have clicked the Windows size box (the middle box in the upper right-hand corner, next to the X)
NEWS
By Charles Fleming | December 18, 2007
I received the nicest e-mail last week from Daisy Larkin Pritchard, telling me my order had been approved. Later that day, the happy news was repeated by Janice Accuracy Hutchinson and Davina Bovine Shoemaker, and again that night by Carmella Iniquitous Stovall and Iva Cowhide Dahl. These e-mails intrigued me not only because of the names of their senders but because I hadn't placed any order. They arrived in my AOL "spam" folder, where they joined similarly uninvited correspondence from Vince Episodic Trujillo, Christian Bite Fernandez and Rigoberto Handset Prince, plus two dozen other notes, some written in Cyrillic and promising Russian delights, and others in Japanese kanji and katakana.
ENTERTAINMENT
By James Coates and James Coates,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 23, 2002
Last night, I received an e-mail virus alert from a friend instructing me to find and delete the following file: jdbgmgr.exe. I did as instructed. It turns out the virus alert was a hoax and I deleted a legitimate file from Microsoft. There is no computer virus half as dangerous as we human beings. We have the power to enter ruinous commands into our computers at will, while a virus must wait to find an opening. Tricking us to delete core system files by hand has been a favorite hacker prank for years.
ENTERTAINMENT
By James Coates and James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | April 15, 2004
You seem to be able to come up with solutions that the tech-support people write off with a "remove program and reinstall" approach. I am running Outlook Express 6 on Windows XP and have been trying to export messages for archiving purposes, but every time I run the Export messages I receive an error dialog box with "The export could not be performed. An error occurred while initializing MAPI." Any suggestions on how to fix the problem or a reasonable workaround? Yes, I have a workaround.
ENTERTAINMENT
By James Coates and James Coates,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 4, 2002
Do you know if anyone sells a utility for Windows 98 that puts yellow notes on the desktop equivalent to those that come installed on Macs? Go to the source, 3M, the company that invented and copyrighted Post-It Notes; it now posts a free PC version of these distinctive canary yellow nags that has a great many bells and whistles. The notes can be tacked where one wants on the screen and they hold text, pictures and other data. Here's the 3M Web site address for the free Post-it Notes download: www.3m.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Einstein and David Einstein,San Francisco Chronicle | June 5, 2000
Is it possible to sort a list of song titles or other names alphabetically in Microsoft Word? It is. First, make sure each item on your list constitutes its own paragraph -- in other words, hit the Enter key after each entry. Now, go to the Table menu in Word and choose Sort. This will automatically select your list and present you with a Sort Text dialog box. To sort the list alphabetically, simply choose OK. Easy, eh? What are the pros and cons of just deleting cookies out of their folder periodically?
BUSINESS
By Jim Coates and Jim Coates,Chicago Tribune | September 7, 2006
I am an elementary school teacher and of- ten take my laptop to school, where it is occasionally used by my students. I have files on it that I do not want them to have access to. Isn't there a way to make some files inaccessible by users other than myself? I have set up user accounts, but, frankly, I prefer to be signed in on my account when I am using my computer. There is always the chance I will be occupied doing something when a student or teacher sits down to check something on my computer.
ENTERTAINMENT
By James Coates and James Coates,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 6, 2003
I'd like to delete small icons for hidden programs that appear when I open folders in Windows XP. Also how do I know if the hidden programs are doing anything? Be very careful about deleting any of those hidden files. They can handle everything from controlling the way your computer displays the information in a given folder to providing essential instructions for the computer's operating system. By default you should not be seeing these hidden files at all in Windows XP. That's because deleting or moving them can cause major problems.
BUSINESS
By Jim Coates and Jim Coates,Chicago Tribune | December 14, 2006
I have several hundred songs copied to my hard drive from original CDs. When I tried to copy them to my iPod, it can't be done; an error message saying that they are protected files comes up. Is there a way of "unprotecting" all of these music files on my hard drive so that I can transfer them to my iPod? -- Mike Kczng Count yourself among far too many folks who get bamboozled by a little-mentioned security feature of Windows. Your culprit is a strategy designed to keep people from mistakenly erasing files that they have carefully transferred to a new computer from CDs and other removable storage gear.
BUSINESS
By Jim Coates and Jim Coates,Chicago Tribune | September 7, 2006
I am an elementary school teacher and of- ten take my laptop to school, where it is occasionally used by my students. I have files on it that I do not want them to have access to. Isn't there a way to make some files inaccessible by users other than myself? I have set up user accounts, but, frankly, I prefer to be signed in on my account when I am using my computer. There is always the chance I will be occupied doing something when a student or teacher sits down to check something on my computer.
BUSINESS
By JIM COATES and JIM COATES,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | August 10, 2006
For two years I stored files on a CD as a backup. Then we had a power surge and my computer got fried. The problem hit when I went back to the CD to put the data on the hard drive of the replacement computer. A statement came up "this disk is not formatted, would you like to do it now?" I tried many times by ejecting and re-inserting the CD into the drive but nothing works. - Alfred Crotty, gmail.com Nothing gets much dicier than trying to recover lost data from devices that the computer can no longer see using its built-in hardware resources like CD drives.
NEWS
By JULIE BYKOWICZ and JULIE BYKOWICZ,SUN REPORTER | July 18, 2006
After more than four years, a dozen postponements and problems including a missing witness and a missing court folder, the trial of Tyrone Beane began yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court. Beane, 21, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Taharka McCoy, 25, on Jan. 17, 2002, in the 1200 block of Peachleaf Court. That month, Beane, then 17, was labeled the city's "most wanted fugitive" because he was suspected in two killings. He also was accused of beating and shooting a man nearly to death and trying to kill a teenage girl who had witnessed that attack.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 14, 2004
Q and A James Coates of the Chicago Tribune may be reached via e-mail at jcoates@ tribune.com. Q: When I save an e-mail message from Outlook Express to another file on my hard drive, does the original message remain in Outlook Express? Also, how do I back up my entire hard drive onto a CD? I have Windows XP. A: Making copies of an e-mail message and saving it in a backup file does not affect the original message that Outlook Express stores in a special folder. To find that folder, click on Tools in Outlook Express and select Options and then Maintenance.
ENTERTAINMENT
By James Coates and James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | April 15, 2004
You seem to be able to come up with solutions that the tech-support people write off with a "remove program and reinstall" approach. I am running Outlook Express 6 on Windows XP and have been trying to export messages for archiving purposes, but every time I run the Export messages I receive an error dialog box with "The export could not be performed. An error occurred while initializing MAPI." Any suggestions on how to fix the problem or a reasonable workaround? Yes, I have a workaround.
ENTERTAINMENT
By James Coates and James Coates,Knight Ridder/Tribune | April 19, 1999
America Online has added Spellcheck for its Version 4.0 e-mail. I despise Spellcheck. How do I get rid of it? To zap AOL's spelling checker, choose the "My AOL" icon at the top of the screen and then pick "Preferences" in the menu that appears. In the next window will be an icon for e-mail preferences with a check box for turning the spelling feature on and off. I accidentally swept my Accessories icon off the Program menu, and it ended up as a folder on the desktop. I got it back on the Program menu and put back the icon, but it still opens as a folder window.
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