Q: Microsoft makes me run the Desktop Cleanup on my Windows XP machine.  I click the little "X" on the reminder balloon to make it go away, within seconds it's back. Is there any way to be rid of it?

A: Just right-click your desktop, then select "Properties" from the resulting menu. The "Display Properties" screen will snap to attention. Now, just click the "Desktop" tab, with a quick flick of your mouse, tap the "Customize Desktop" button. A new screen will pop up, labeled appropriately enough, "Desktop Items".  Look towards the bottom of that screen and uncheck the "Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days" checkbox.  Click OK.
Q: How to clean his flat-panel monitor.

A: Before you clean a flat-panel monitor, turn it off. That way, it is easier to see fingerprints and smudges. Then, use a pre-moistened lens towelette that's really made to clean eyeglasses.  You must be more careful with flat-panel monitors and laptop screens.  The surface is susceptible to scratches. You can use diluted isopropyl alcohol. It should be a 50-50 mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol.  Spray a bit on a clean, soft cloth and wipe the screen carefully
Q: How do I rename a file?

A: There are at least three ways to rename a file.
1. You could click the file name once to highlight, click a second time to make it available to change, then type in the new file name.
2. Right-click the file and choose Rename. This will highlight the file name allowing you to type in a new one.
3. Hold down the Alt key and double-click the file to open the Properties box. Type the new name in the name box
Q: Ever have a program that always starts in a "normal" state but you really want it maximized?  Well, here's a little trick to help you do just that (and more) with a quick little bit of shortcut editing. Note: although this seems to work on most programs, sometimes you'll run across a program that just won't cooperate.

A: First, right-click the shortcut to the program and select Properties.  Under the Shortcut tab, you'll see a drop box labeled Run. In that box, you'll find options to run the program as either Normal (it starts up at it's default size), Minimized (it starts up minimized to the toolbar), or Maximized (it starts up full screen).  Select the start-up state you want and you're all set.
Q: You often get .eml files from a friend and just can't open them! You don't know what they are, but you�re sure they're some kind of a joke... but you can't get it if I can't read it!

A: They're pictures or short video clips inside a file with an .eml file extension, and they're always an attachment that is part of a humorous group forward.  Of course, you'll first scan the attachment for viruses if your email provider doesn't already do so. Just because it's from a friend doesn't mean that it hasn't passed through an infected system somewhere along the way!  Save the attachment to your desktop and Open it with Outlook Express or Outlook. It will open as a new email, and this time you should see the contents
Q: How can I Create An Auto Reply for my e-mail

A: Are you ever away from your computer for long periods of time? Maybe you're going on vacation or you're stuck in meetings at work, so you won't be able to check your e-mail for a few days or so. If you're going to be away from your e-mail for an extended period of time, you can send all of your e-mailers an auto reply message telling them that you're away from your computer.  You can tell them where you are, how long you're going to be gone, when you will return and that you will get back with them as soon as you can (or whatever you'd like to write). It's just a little note to tell them that you did get their e-mail, but you are unable to view it and reply to it at that time. That way your e-mailers know that you're not just ignoring them and they can then look forward to your reply when you get back. To do this in Outlook Express, first hit Create Mail just like you were starting a new e-mail. Go ahead and type the message you would like to appear and then go to File, Save As. Give your auto reply a file name, make sure you know where you saved it and then click Save. You can now close that window. Note: Make sure you save your reply as a filename.txt so just text will come up in your auto message. Now, you can make a new rule for your message, so you know it will go exactly where you want it to. Go to Tools, Message Rules and choose Mail. Click on New and in the first box, you're going to choose the last option that says "For all messages." In the second box, choose "Reply With Message" and in the third box, click on the link that says "Message."  A new menu will appear and you can go and browse to find your saved auto reply message. Select your file and then click Open. In the fourth box there, you'll want to name your rule "Auto Reply" and then click OK. Another window will pop up just confirming your rule and you can just click Apply Now.  Next, a screen will come up asking you where you want to place your selected rule. Make sure the Inbox is selected as the folder you want and then click Apply Now again, then Close. Then one more click on OK and you will be all set.  For Yahoo! mail, go to your main mail page and choose Options, Vacation Response. You can set the dates you're going to be gone and then type your message. Once you're done, just click Turn Auto-Response On.  For AOL, it is called an away message, but it has the same general meaning. Login to AOL and choose the Settings tab in your mailbox window. Click on the Away Message (E-mail) link and then turn on your away message. You can either pick "I am unavailable to read your message at this time" or you can pick a time for when you will return. Click OK and you're done
Q: I have been receiving these annoying pop-ups that say that Windows XP has a security leak in it's messenger that allows my IP address to be leaked and allows these annoying pop-ups to occur even without my browser open. They try to get me to buy their software to stop the pop-ups. Do I need to install their software or is there something I can do?

A: First off, never trust a company that exploits a technology to advertise that they can prevent it. Second, yes you can stop these. You are probably familiar with Windows (a/k/a MSN) Messenger which is used for Instant Messaging. There is another program called Messenger that is used in networks to transmit and send Alerter service messages between clients and servers. Even though you'll never use it, unless you are on a network, by default it is turned on, causing an open hole in your XP firewall for pop-up advertising to get through. Here's what to do if you want to stop Messenger... Go to Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Services (or Start / Run and type in " services.msc "). This will bring up a long list of Windows services that are running or available on your system. Find "Messenger" and double click to open the Properties box. In the "Startup Type" field, change the setting to "Disable". If any services depend on Messenger and fail to start, then change to "manual".
Q: What does the CC feature do in Outlook Express?

A: In reference to e-mail, CC stands for Carbon Copy. It is mainly used to send copies of an e-mail to additional people who may be interested in the topic of the e-mail. You can use the CC to send an e-mail to a few extra people who might need to know about it, but it's not addressed directly to them. For example, maybe you're having a birthday party and you're inviting all of your friends who live close by. You also have some friends who live out of state, so you know they won't be able to make it, but as a courtesy, you want to include them as well. So, you just address the e-mail to all your close by friends and CC the ones who live further away. The CC feature comes in handy in times like those. You can use it for several other situations as well. It's just nice to let other people see the e-mail, even though it may not be directly for them. In Outlook Express, the CC is located right under the To: line. Type one e-mail address in the To: space and then tab down to type in the others in the CC spot. Most e-mail programs, other than Outlook Express (Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, etc.), have the CC feature available for use, because it is more common to use than the BCC. Just as a reminder, BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy and you use it to hide the names and e-mail addresses of the recipients.
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