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FAQ -- Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to common questions handled by our support staff, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions.  since we haven't been up long, we realize these tips are a bit slim yet, but keep checking back for more questions, more answers, and more details.

Note: In these answers we will follow a few shorthand conventions for describing user-interface procedures. Key combinations will be presented like this: Ctrl+Alt+Delete, which means that you should press and hold down the Control key, the Alt key, and the Delete key at the same time. Menu selections will be presented like this: File|Open, which means that you should open the File menu, and then make the Open selection.

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Q:  How do I set my computer to automatically update Windows?
A:  If you have any edition of Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT, you're out of luck. This feature is not supported here. The only thing you can do is to visit Windows Update on a frequent basis. We recommend visiting this site each Wednesday, because new patches are typically released sometime during the day Tuesday. But one of the recommended updates you will find here is called Critical Update Notification. Install this update, and your computer will tell you when new critical patches get released. Yes you have to connect to the Internet to find out about the new updates. For other versions of Windows, click the link corresponding to the version of Windows you have: Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP.

Q:  How do I find files I've downloaded?
A:  The location of downloaded files depends on the settings of the program you used when you downloaded the file.  Having said that, I recommend that you download files to your desktop.  When the Save As... dialog comes up, click the button next to Look In to drop down the list of drives.  Using the scroll bar if necessary, scroll up to Desktop and click it.  When the download completes, the new file will automatically appear on your desktop.

Q:  I need to free up some disk space.  How do I remove applications I no longer use?   Should I just delete the folder I put the application in?
A:  If the application is an MS-DOS® application, deleting the application's folder should be OK, just don't forget to also delete any shortcuts you've made to the application.  If the application is a Windows application, the answer is usually no.  In some rare cases, you can, but most Windows programs scatter pieces of themselves all over your hard drive and system registry.  These applications need to be uninstalled.  Any application that carries the "Designed for Microsoft® Windows® 95" (or later) logo must have an uninstall feature.  Many later Windows® 3.1 programs have uninstall options that will be located in your Start menu.  Use these if available.  If not, consider investing in a good uninstaller program.

Q: How do spammers get my e-mail address?
A: Well, in a number of ways. One of the most obvious would be other spammers. When one spammer gets a list together, the spammer may choose to sell it to others.  I get messages like that offering me millions of e-mail addresses. Another way spam lists are created is by scouring the USENET newsgroups, since these will contain your e-mail address. An interesting InfoWorld Gripe Line article lists some of the ways spammers may get their lists.  For additional information, see this page listing previous Gripe Line columns. Many of these deal with spam.

Q: How do I stop spammers from getting my e-mail address?
A: By being creative and aware. One of the ways you can be creative is to make the computer send an invalid reply address for you. How you set that up is dependent on your software, but Outlook 97 and later, and Outlook Express have a way to do it. Most people include some variation on the word "nospam" inserted somewhere in their address. Another way is to never, ever follow their directions to "unsubscribe" or "opt-out".  What you'll find is that those instructions don't work.  The messages will come back as undeliverable, or worse, they'll be delivered.  If the "remove" message is delivered successfully, it will only make things worse.  While the spammer may or may not actually honor your request, they'll be sure to keep you in their database because now they know that you do read your mail.

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Q: What is going to be the impact of this Year 2000 thing? (old)
A: We used to get this question quite a bit, and since the explanation was fairly long, please see this page for the answer to this and other Y2K questions you may have had.

Q: What is Spam?
A: Spam is 'Net slang for unsolicited bulk e-mail.   The term comes from a sketch done on Monty Python's Flying Circus in which a man (played by Eric Idle) and his wife (Graham Chapman) go to a restaurant where every item on the menu has some measure of Spam in it.  Idle's character, who doesn't like Spam, desperately tries to talk the waitress (Terry Jones) into removing the dreaded ingredient. So the name definitely fits. See "How do spammers get my e-mail address?" and "How can I stop spammers from getting my e-mail address?" above for more information.

Q: What is the difference between a CD drive, CDRW, Combo, DVD, and all that stuff?
A: All these are optical drives. This was the part you probably already knew. The difference between them is what they can read and write. The table below shows which is which. The leftmost column lists the types of drives, while the four columns on the right indicate whether you can read or write that type of disc. When writing DVDs, please consult the box your drive came in or other documentation regarding which specific types of DVD you may use.

Drive Type


DVD, DVD +/- R, DVD +/- RW
Read Write Read Write
CD-ROM Yes No No No
DVD-ROM Yes No Yes No
CD-RW Yes Yes No No
Combo Yes Yes Yes No
DVD +/- RW Yes Yes Yes Yes
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