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These are answers that voiceguy2000 has provided in Other Computing Technology .

gtoman asked on 08/29/05 - 2 hdrives - 2 os's

my primary master hdrive is xp home, it came with the pc. i installed linspire on another hdrive and set it as primary slave. bios finds all the drives: cdrom, dvd, and the 2 hdrives. it boots to xp and doesn't show the other hdrive in the my computer dialog box with linspire.
why and how can i get it setup so i'll have a choice to which hdrive i want to open at boot up?
thanks, Jim

voiceguy2000 answered on 08/29/05:

"Primary slave" seems like a contradiction in terms. You should have one drive jumpered as master and the other as slave, according to the drive manufacturer's instructions. Occasionally, mixed-manufacturer drive setups won't work properly; also, there can be problems when mixing drives of significantly different performance levels (rotation speed or seek times).

Have you followed the specific steps here?

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Geraldask asked on 08/27/05 - A desktop that was running my Win XP Pro has died.

I have a laptop that has Win ME on it but I would like to put both operating system on the C: drive. The lap has what it takes to run XP Pro but can I do double operating systems without reformat.

Thanks this is a BIG step and I want to be sure the information is correct!!

Big Thanks,


voiceguy2000 answered on 08/27/05:

Is there some reason that you need to preserve your ME capability? (Such as a legacy software program that you simply cannot do without and canot upgrade?)

XP is so much more stable and robust than ME, it is hard to imagine keeping ME around.

But you can find some information here on setting up a dual-boot installation. I don't know whether the latest versions of XP still support this type of installation (the article above is from 2003). Note that if you ever want to go from dual-boot to a full, regular XP installation, it can be a little complex (and the article contains some references on this).

You might also take a look at this article referring to a third-party product called BootIt.

Good luck.

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RKSOOD asked on 05/11/05 - Mouse indicator is trailed by a small advertisement.

I am using Windows Xp with Mozilla Firefox. On the home page of a Web site, the mouse indicator is always followed by a small advertisement, as a tail. Could you please suggest, how to get rid of this unwanted guest?



voiceguy2000 answered on 05/11/05:

If this only happens on a particular web page, it sounds like javascript programming on that particular page.

If you turn off javascript (might be called "scripting") in your browser settings, this thing will go away -- but so will a number of other bits of functionality commonly found in web sites. I am not aware of any readily available product that will allow you to selectively "zap" particular javascript functions on a web page, but it's possible that such things exist.

Ultimately, it is the person who put up this web page who is to blame for the guest. The penalty for putting obnoxious content on a page is that you drive away visitors. Let the site owner know of your unhappiness.

You might also want to make sure you don't have "Comet Cursor" installed. I have not heard of this software creating ad tails as you describe, but it's certainly possible. Again, turning off javascript would tend to kill that as well.

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I have just experienced alot of stress in having to rid my computer from some terrible spyware infections etc.- as a result of my teenage son visiting porno sites!Can you please send me OPINIONS ADVICE,INFORMATION & SUGGESTIONS regarding a 14 yr.old and porno on the internet. Are there any FREE AND EASY TO INSTALL (as I am not too computer literate at the moment) PARENTAL CONTROLS that I can obtain (aside from paying for this via my provider) Also, someone told me that the teens can still find ways to get through these controls that parents put in, but I still feel that I MUST try to do whatever I can. THANK YOU!

voiceguy2000 answered on 03/19/05:

The parental control programs you pay for are not that expensive, and I would be inclined to trust them more than any free solution.

At this link you will find a short "safety tips" guide for parents that is based on the capabilities of one well-rated program that costs US$35.

Parental control software typically includes these functions, among others:

  o It automatically detects certain standardized adult-content "beacons" that X-rated sites often display, and will block access to those sites;

  o It also screens sites that are listed in its own database of undesirables;

  o It can be set to limit the times of day and/or total number of hours that the user can view internet content;

  o It can limit the amount of downloaded material, making it difficult to accumulate forbidden content; and

  o Perhaps most terrifying to a teen, it keeps a record of the sites that the kid visits, so you will know if he is frequenting places he is not supposed to.
I also think you should never use a Windows computer for everyday use under its default "Administrator" mode. The Administrator is a super-user that can do anything, change anything, install anything, or remove anything. Better to create separate user accounts for you and your son, with more limited privileges (that are still adequate to handle normal tasks). Just doing that should help with some of the internet pests out there, because some mischief is not possible without Administrator privileges.

Using a browser other than Internet Explorer will prevent some mischief. IE is very easy to hijack with malicious BHO (Browser Helper Object) code. Mozilla Firefox is a frequently recommended alternative.

Install critical updates when Microsoft announces them.

Use a reputable virus monitoring program. I also use ZoneAlarm, which will alert you to suspicious outgoing activity (such as unauthorized "phone home" software that may be hiding on your computer).

Good luck.

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haribob asked on 01/09/05 - Windows 2000

Help! I have suddenly lost the tool bar that heads up the top of my home page on the web. Such things as refresh, back, history, etc. have just disappeared and I can't find them I know that tool bar is lurking somewhere in the bowels of this computer but I can't find it.

voiceguy2000 answered on 01/09/05:

I am assuming you are using Internet Explorer, although the answer would be similar for other browsers.

Go to the View menu and mouse over Toolbars. This will allow you to turn various toolbars on and off. I'm not sure which one you are missing, but you should be able to find it there. Select one of the ones that does NOT have a check-mark beside it, and see if that restores the thing you are missing. If not, go back and try another one.

Chances are it got shut off because you inadvertantly typed a keyboard shortcut for this. For example, if you typed Alt-V followed by T followed by S, you would turn off the standard toolbar. It happens, just like pushing the wrong button in an elevator.

If the above does not solve your problem, repost and we'll take another crack at it.

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luhayes asked on 12/29/04 - USB keychain drives

I was under the impression that USB keychain drives worked on both Windows and Mac systems. Someone told me this isn't so.


voiceguy2000 answered on 12/29/04:

I am fairly confident that a USB storage device would be recognized and would mount properly on Mac OS X systems (the ones currently shipping). Everything I have tried works immediately, plug 'n' play. Earlier Macs (OS 8.6 or 9) need a small utility program added in order to recognize things like Flash memory and smart cards, and the same utility should work for USB "drives."

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gtoman asked on 09/15/04 - CoolWebSearch!!!!!

This is the second time this crappy website has been, SOMEHOW, download. I deleted it the last time but don't remember how,so HOW do u delete this web site when i go onto the i-net? googles my homepage but it still goes to this website!!
thanks, Jim

voiceguy2000 answered on 09/15/04:

There are numerous removal resources posted on the internet. Go to this Google page to see just a few of them.

Better still -- get rid of Internet Explorer and change to a more secure browser, such as Mozilla Firefox, that is not so easy to sabotage.

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luhayes asked on 07/20/04 - Virus on Mac

I continually hear that Macs are less vulnerable to virus attacks. Is this because Macs are naturally more secure or because most Windows-based systems are so much more prevalent?

Also, any sites with stats on this topic?

voiceguy2000 answered on 07/20/04:

As Scott said.

Both the classic Mac OS and the new OS X are intrinsically more secure than default Windows configurations, for a number of reasons. First, Windows has historically shipped with virtually every service turned on and configured for maximum availability -- such that when the machine is connected to the internet, it is like a giant beacon announcing its presence and waiting to be exploited. Macs, by contrast, have these services turned off by default (and there are fewer of them in any case).

Second, default Windows configurations tend to have maximum (administrator) privileges enabled, and users must take affirmative (and often rather complex) steps to limit these privileges. This means that if malicious software gets any kind of foothold in the machine, all the doors are unlocked and standing wide open. Mac OS X, by contrast, because of its Unix basis, is scrupulous about getting permission (password) before installing virtually anything.

But I think the real reason that Windows systems are plagued so much by malicious software, on top of how ridiculously easy it has been to penetrate Windows over the years, is that the payoff for hackers and malware writers has been so high. Why bother with a tiny market like Macintosh when you can reach many times the number of victims with Windows-specific viruses, worms, and Trojan horses?

There are vulnerabilities in every operating system. Mac OS X can be penetrated if a user can be tricked into authorizing installation of a malicious file of type kext (kernel extension). A number of Mac-specific viruses exist for older versions of the OS, although the appearance of these viruses in the field pretty much stopped a number of years ago.

But I still lay a significant amount of blame at Microsoft's feet. As I have observed the mostly fruitless efforts of experts like Steve Gibson to convince Microsoft to take even the most rudimentary steps to rein in the exploitability of Windows, I can only shake my head in disbelief at the bullheadedness of the people in Redmond. They should be deeply ashamed.

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luhayes asked on 06/27/04 - WWVB receivers

Are there WWVB receivers (independing of the Internet) made for plugging into Windows personal computers to keep them time accurate?

voiceguy2000 answered on 06/27/04:

Nowadays, the heavy action is not with WWV but with GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers for this kind of application. With some tinkering, you can set up a system that will keep your machine updated to within about 10 to 50 milliseconds' accuracy, based on reference pulses sent to the computer every second through an RS-232 serial port. (The remaining inaccuracy comes from the computer's own failure to process serial signals without latency; personal computers are not designed for this.)

To give you an idea, here is an example of a GPS receiver that can be used for clock synchronization. It is not really a plug-and-play solution, however; you have to have some tech savvy to get it working. I have not seen any real user-friendly, plug-it-in-and-it-works solutions for over-the-air computer time synchronization -- at least, not without getting into very expensive gear designed for commercial installations.

Truthfully, the accuracy available through internet-based time updating is adequate for most purposes. If you have some need for pinpoint time accuracy, trying to accomplish it through a PC may not be your best approach.

Take a look at these time utilities for some other ideas. You might also want to review this NIST white paper on computer time synchronization.

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Geraldask asked on 06/21/04 -

Is there a way to keep??

I use Win XP. Some times I want to clear cookies, history, and delete files. When I do all my logons are lost. How can I delete all and save just a couple like ""

Also do the number of icons on a page change the loading time. Example 10 vs 30.

Thank You,


voiceguy2000 answered on 06/21/04:

I agree with Scott, both on the lack of need to clear cookies, and on the recommendation of Cookie Pal. Although I work primarily on the Macintosh platform, I have used Cookie Pal on my Windows machines for years. It is a dandy.

You should be able to clear history and cache files within your browser without clearing any cookies. That would be my recommendation.

Every graphic item on a web page potentially increases the loading time. There are two main exceptions to this:

1. If the graphics are already stored in your local browser cache, because you have recently visited the page, the browser will not reload the graphics (unless you have set the preferences to force reloading each time). This will save time.

2. If the same graphic element appears repeatedly on the page, the browser will only download the file once. Thus, little graphics of bullets and check marks will not be downloaded repeatedly.

In my own browsing, I have found that pages are slow to load for two principal reasons:

1. They are overloaded with graphics; or

2. They are laden with third-party advertising that requires accessing a variety of external servers. I find this particularly annoying.

If raw speed is your goal, set your browser to NOT load images. The page will look funny, but will load quickly. You can then reload the whole page with graphics on, if you want, or right-click specific images and ask that they be loaded.

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luhayes asked on 06/17/04 - USB flash drive

Since the portable USB flash drives don't spin like a hard disk drive, how is it able to store data?

Is the media suspectible to magnets?

voiceguy2000 answered on 06/17/04:

These devices use semiconductor memory chips (RAM) to store the data. Various technologies are used to cause the stored information to be "non-volatile" (i.e., it will not disappear when power is removed, as happens with the RAM in a desktop computer when the computer is shut off).

Magnetic fields should not bother semiconductor memory devices the way they would interfere with magnetic media. These cards are, however, subject to a number of other hazards, especially statuc electricity, so that careful handling is still a good idea.

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Ggillcom asked on 06/06/04 - macintosh computer

I need to format the hard drive on my Macintosh computer and start all over.The Win 98 boot disk can not do the job.What do I need?


voiceguy2000 answered on 06/06/04:

The conventional way to do this is to boot the Mac from the operating system CD. Put the CD in the drive, restart (or start) the computer, and hold down the letter "C" on the keyboard until the Mac OS logo comes up on the screen. There will probably be a repeating background image that has pictures of CDs.

The OS CD will probably have Apple's Hard Disk Utility on it. Use that to format the hard disk. Understand that when you format a disk, you will lose all data stored on it. You have to boot from CD because you cannot run the computer from the same disk that is being formatted.

After formatting, you will have to reinstall the operating system.

Apple's instruction manuals are written in fairly clear language. If you have access to one, I would recommend you read it to make sure that reformatting the disk is, in fact, the correct course of action for you.

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Conchan asked on 05/22/04 - Dataveillance:How is it done?

Hello Voice guy,

My question comes after watching a Japanese special on some high-tech spy goods.

I think that many governments and other powerful groups in society have always felt the need to spy on some or all of the population in order to maintain or secure power. ( I am not concerned ( ? ) if this is acceptable or not. )

Today I think this surveillance is often done in an unseen way and with a seemingly friendly nature by today' electronic means. People seem willingly to submit ourselves to scrutiny of our financial transactions, our consumer preferences and our movement in public spaces.

What are some of the techniques of modern surveillance, and what are the major motivations for groups wishing to have this information about people?
Can surveillance be a two-way process? Can " we " spy on " them " ?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Have a nice day.


P.S. I don' know if I used concerned was the right word to use. I meant I don' want to discuss that part now. Sorry if I misused the word.

voiceguy2000 answered on 05/27/04:

In addition to any actual spying and surveillance, the reailty today is that people's activities leave a lot of traces that can be monitored. Every credit card transaction, telephone call, paid bill, and filing of a government form, leaves a trail. If this information is gathered together in one place, a fairly complete picture of a person's life can be assembled.

I am not particularly familiar with the state of technology for surveillance, but it is safe to assume that anyone who wants to badly enough can spy on just about anyone, anywhere. You may be familiar with the story of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, where a decorative plaque was designed with special resonant cavities that allowed the Russians to eavesdrop on conversations in a room by training a microwave beam on the plaque and then detecting the minute changes in those waves caused by sound. It required no actual electronic equipment in the building, because the special plaque was an entirely passive device.

Now, of course, advances in miniaturization make it possible to create cameras, microphones, and transmitters that could fit in the eraser on a pencil.

I cannot speak to all of the motivations that might exist for gathering information about people. In general, I suspect that the hope is to uncover information that would be embarrassing or otherwise detrimental if it was revealed, thus giving the ones holding the information power over those who do not want it to be disclosed. In the U.S., at least, this has been far more of a problem with government agencies than with any private enterprises. In the private sector, gathering information from transactions is enough to equip businesses with considerable advantage in targeting their advertising and the like. There may also be industrial espionage from time to time, but my impression is that this is more of a problem with foreign companies seeking to steal U.S. technology.

People in the U.S. have shown a powerful level of concern about privacy and freedom of thought and belief. With few exceptions, when government gathering of information comes to light, it raises significant issues, and in many cases the public outcry causes the particular practice to be stopped.

At the same time, however, we want the ability to, for example, detect terrorist threats and plans in time to avert a major attack, and this typically means using surveillance techniques. Our basic conflict is that of equipping our law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to protect us while at the same time not trusting them to confine their use of those tools to purposes we would deem acceptable.

"I am not concerned with" conveyed the point you wanted to make. A more conventional way of expressing this thought would be something like: "Let us put to one side the question of whether ..."

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Raging asked on 05/08/04 - Norton Virus

How do you after a scan get Norton to delete all viruses, I tried to do this on a friends computer but got a message saying the computer is infected with too many malicious viruses for Norton to handle?

voiceguy2000 answered on 05/09/04:

Malicious code acts by (a) modifying existing programs and DLL files to include new functionality, such as routines to replicate the code, (b) adding new files and replacing other files, (c) modifying registry entries, both to cause the malicious code to auto-run on startup and, in many cases, to defeat anti-virus protections, and (d) by putting in place various kinds of malicious payloads, such as "back-door" capabilities that allow external computers to gain access to the computer.

Anti-virus software detects the existence of viruses by looking for unique "signatures" of particular virus code. It then attempts to reverse the effects of a discovered virus by removing the files installed by that virus, un-modifying altered code in existing programs, cancelling or modifying registry entries, and so on. However, this will only work if all of the assumptions that are made by the anti-virus software company prove to be correct

One of the most important assumptions is that only one virus is infecting the computer at a time. In other words, the anti-virus software proceeds on the basis that it will be changing the system back to "normal" if it removes the known effects of this particular virus.

However, if a number of viruses have all taken their toll, then the anti-virus software cannot make such an assumption. In particular, the anti-virus software cannot know the order in which the infections occurred, and therefore cannot reliably reverse that order. Under those circumstances, trying to remove the infections may do as much harm as good, because removing the infections in the wrong sequence is likely to corrupt the remaining disk contents beyond repair. That, undoubtedly, is why the software is telling you that it refuses to proceed.

As far as I know, there is no way to "reason with" the anti-virus software in order to convince it to try to repair the disk against its better judgment. What it is telling you is that the computer is in a state similar to an automobile that has been in a serious collision -- there are so many things damaged that it is not worthwhile to try to repair them.

Your friend's best course is to start over with a fresh installation of the operating system on a formatted disk. The friend should install and use a competent anti-virus program, and should learn not to open attachments that come by e-mail.

Alternatively, if the Norton software has catalogued the various infections that appear to be on this disk, you can try to remove them yourself, manually, one-by-one, following the instructions under each virus name at There is no guarantee that this manual removal will work, however, because the damage may simply be too extensive.

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Geraldask asked on 04/29/04 - AOL Messanger

How can I make it safe? w00w00 does not seem to be the answer.



voiceguy2000 answered on 04/30/04:

About two years ago there was extensive discussion of security flaws in AIM that affected only Windows users. By now, presumably, these have been addressed by AOL -- although I confess to having very weak confidence in the quality of that company's programming work based on my experiences with the regular AOL online service.

Regardless, however, you must understand that any Instant Messaging scheme is inherently insecure. IM programs work by making your computer an identifiable beacon on the internet. One or more communication ports is opened, and the software accepts and processes data streams sent from external sources of unknown trustworthiness. While people can seek to identify and seek to fix particular vulnerabilities that can be found, there can really be no assurance that other vulnerabilities do not exist that have not yet been found.

In addition, of course, in spite of the best efforts to make the IM process secure, a user can still compromise everything by accepting and executing malicious code from an external source. (This is an overwhelming problem in the IRC -- Internet Relay Chat -- world that predates IM programs.)

Accordingly, I would not leave anyone's IM software running around the clock. I would activate it only when you have a particular need for it. If people need to reach you at other times, e-mail, telephones, and other communications tools will allow them to do so. And if someone who you are not 100% confident is trustworthy offers to send you any kind of digital content, I would refuse it.

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DILLIGAS asked on 04/11/04 - Best way to Emulate a Mac on a PC

What are some of the programs tyhat will let me emulate a Macintosh on a PC?

I have a client that I am doing work for, and I have no way of working with some of the programs that they are using. Thier IT guy said that I shoudl get a Mac emulator, but I have no clue as to where to start looking.



voiceguy2000 answered on 04/11/04:

If there is a decent Mac emulator out there, I have not heard of it. A brief Google search turned up primarily a motley collection of homebrew items that probably are not up to "industrial strength" use. Moreover, they tended to be for older versions of Mac system software (I found nothing for the current OS X, for example) which may not serve your needs.

Depending on your needs, I am fairly confident that you will be much, much happier using an actual Macintosh rather than trying to get an emulator to work properly for you. If you don't need OS X capability, you could get by with a much older Mac (I would stick to models called "Power PC," however, rather than the oldest ඌK" machines). Look for a blue-and-white G3 (circa 1999), toss in a second ATA hard disk and some additional RAM if needed, and you will have a dandy machine to run OS 8.6 or 9.x. (I am typing this right now on such a machine.)

If you need OS X capability, you could use a blue-and-white G3, but you will probably be happier with the G4 model. The early G4s will run OS X pretty well, and they are also fairly easy to find on the second-hand market.

As an alternative to all of the above, you might see whether there are Windows equivalents to the software in question. A number of mainstream programs exist in both Windows and Mac versions, and the files are generally cross-platform compatible.

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riccioni asked on 04/02/04 - Retriving a folder accidentally deleted

Dear voiceguy2000:

I have accidentally deleted from Outlook Express a folder that I did not intend to delete. Fortunately yesterday I made a copy of that folder and saved it as a DBX file in an external storage drive. What should I do to retrive that folder and place it where it originally was?

As always, many, many thanks for your kind help.


voiceguy2000 answered on 04/02/04:

I am primarily a Macintosh user and may not be of much help. However, here are my suggestions.

    1. I believe that Outlook Express has an "import" function. I would try bringing up that menu item with the CD mounted, then navigating to the CD to see whether OE is able to "see" and import the items on the CD. Presumably it would then put those things where they belong.

    2. Undoubtedly there is a standard location on your C: drive where OE mail archives are stored. If I was sitting in front of your computer, I would use a Search function to find files with the .dbx suffix, and figure out which folder is the proper one. I would then copy the missing folder and/or files from the CD to that location, fire up Outlook Express, and cross my fingers. (Note: If any preexisting files had the same name as the ones I was copying from the CD, I would rename them so they would not be overwritten.)

You might want to try a Google search for something like "restore dbx files" to see what you can find.

Sorry I cannot be more helpful.

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riccioni asked on 03/25/04 - Deleting files

I have been trying unsuccessfully, even in safe mode, to delete a large file. Every time I try to move the file into the recycle bin for deletion, a message appears saying that the file is or may be already in use by some other users and therefore cannot be deleted. What should I do to delete this file?

Thank you very much in advance for your kind help.

voiceguy2000 answered on 03/25/04:

If this is an .avi file, the posts here may be helpful. From reading this information, it sounds as though if you wait long enough the "lock" on the file will expire on its own.

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Bradd asked on 03/24/04 - GMT in Answerway Profile

The time displayed as GMT in "expert's profile" is obviously not Greenwich Mean Time. It happens to coincide with Central Standard Time (CST). So what is GMT there? Thanks.

voiceguy2000 answered on 03/24/04:

I asked Vijay about this a while back.

The fact is that the time displayed is simply whatever the CMOS clock in the server happens to say it is. This is a free-running clock. Vijay has had neither the time nor the incentive to delve into the unix programming issues necessary to write some kind of cron job to synchronize the system clock to an external reference periodically. His expertise is in PHP programming, not unix.

If any unix hounds happen to read this, perhaps they can suggest a simple and relatively bulletproof way to implement a sync function.

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Dathaeus asked on 03/21/04 - how to clean xbox games

yes my xbox game will work for like 5 min then a message will pop up on the screen and it will say there is a problem with ur sisk it might be dirty or damaged so how would i clean it

voiceguy2000 answered on 03/21/04:

Last year I found a $30 kit called the "DVD Doctor" at a local electronics superstore. It works on CDs, DVDs, and game disks. You snap the disk into position, apply some deionized water (supplied in the kit) to the surface, and then turn a crank repeatedly. Gears in the device cause the disk to rotate slowly while a polishing wheel on top gently burnishes the surface and gets rid of dirt and scratches.

I have used this successfully on disks borrowed from the public library that would not play properly because of scratches and smudges.

One thing to note, however: The fact that you can go for 5 minutes without problems suggests to me that the problem is heat-related rather than simply dirt. In other words, the heat produced by the operation of the unit (i.e., the laser diode reading the disk) is causing something to expand and go out of alignment. There may be more to this than just a dirty disk -- but that is certainly the first thing to check into.

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curiousz asked on 02/21/04 - CPU speed difference

I want to know how much faster is a 2.8 Ghz 800FSB P4 than a 2.26 Ghz 533FSB P4... is it a lot more than the 24% calculated by the clock speed alone, i.e., how much of a factor is the FSB difference?

voiceguy2000 answered on 02/22/04:

The problem with trying to answer the kind of question you have posed is that CPU speed and frontside bus speed are but two of a large number of factors that influence the overall performance of a computer system.

That is why it is customary to use various kinds of "benchmark" tests on computer systems to develop more meaningful comparisons.

Performance is influenced by, among other things:

    o Caching strategies used

    o Cache speed and latency

    o Memory speed and latency

    o Thermal considerations

    o Frequency and extent of disk or other i/o access

    o Seek time issues stemming from disk fragmentation or other problems

    o Efficiency of the executing code in use of CPU cycles

    o Overhead contributed by the operating system

    o Use of multi-threading or other concurrency strategies in the executing code, and the degree to which such processes are managed efficiently

... and so forth.

I would predict that in the vast majority of settings, it would be difficult to tell much difference between the two processors you mention (all other things being equal). It is possible that differences would be noted in certain kinds of processor-intensive work, such as 3-D rendering, certain filters used in Photoshop, or perhaps certain computer games. But I would be very surprised if a legitimate benchmark test showed anything close to a 24% difference between the two... because other factors (including those listed above) would likely act as constraints on performance.

That is why it is dangerous to base comparisons on one or two engineering specs alone. True, processor A may operate at a somewhat higher clock speed than processor B. However, suppose that other factors mean that it takes 7 clock cycles for processor A to complete an operation that takes only 3 clock cycles with processor B? In such a situation, processor B will win the race, even though its clock speed is slower, because it is making more effective use of each unit of time.

Processor designers must choose among a variety of strategies for organizing all the operations that take place within the CPU, and make a number of tradeoffs that affect performance, in the hopes of producing a design that can be manufactured at reasonable cost and will optimize performance in a wide variety of settings. Decisions include how many registers to provide, the bit width of those registers, what caching scheme to use (size, line size, prefetching, associativity, etc.) to minimize miss rate, whether to implement a complex (CISC) or reduced (RISC) instruction set, whether and how to implement various kinds of lookahead strategies, and so on. These decisions must in turn be exploited by the writers of the operating system and executing application programs in order to yield maximum results.

The reality is that at today's superheated processor speeds, a typical CPU spends a large amount of time sitting idle, waiting for something to do, because the rest of the system cannot keep up with it. It does not make much difference whether such a system waits at 2.8 GHz or 2.26 GHz.

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Bradd asked on 02/19/04 - HELP! ADWARE!

Don't know how it happened, but I got Adware in my computer. It has taken over - constant bombardment of ads, so much at times, the keyboard freezes or gets locked into all caps mode, rearranges and adds desktop icons, adds unwanted programs, plays havoc with "favorites", and more.

I have uninstalled n-Case (after much trouble), scan for spyware, disallow any cookie without my approval (somehow this gets bypassed), have deleted entries in regedit in safe mode, use add/remove programs (doesn't always work - n-Case simply "refused" to be removed), title bar frequently shades to gray (never did that before) and when it does, mouse and keyboard are disabled - and so on and so on. It's all bizarre.

Any ideas on what to do? I run WXP Pro - 256 ram, huge hard drive, 5 month old Dell machine.

Some terms - Adware (apparently frequently attached to freeware), Spyware, Hijackers, et al. I have dozens of url's blocked (in Internet options), but even that doesn't always work.


voiceguy2000 answered on 02/19/04:

Adware and spyware usually hitch-hikes on "free" downloadable programs such as Kazaa and Morpheus.

In addition to the PCHell site already mentioned, take a look at these two pages:

Generally speaking, the "free" software that brought these pests to you will have routines to check for their existence, and when you remove them, the "free" software may stop working.

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luhayes asked on 01/26/04 - Faxing from computer

Occasionally I need to fax something that's on my computer. I currently print it out and fax it from a local postal store.

I have a phone line connected to my computer that I can use for the Internet.

What do I need to add so I can use this line to fax from my computer when I'm not on the Internet?

voiceguy2000 answered on 01/26/04:

You need a modem card that is capable of handling fax transmissions (this is fairly common but not universal; luckily, fax/modem cards are not that expensive nowadays), and you need fax software such as WinFax Pro from Symantec (assuming you are on a Windows computer).

The software is pretty easy to set up and use. Essentially, what happens is that the fax software acts as a virtual printer, so that when you are in an application from which you can print (say, Word), you take the steps necessary to print, and then "send" the print job to the fax software instead of a physical printer. There are several different ways to do this, which you choose depending on convenience and how often you are faxing rather than printing.

This same software can also be used to receive incoming faxes, which you can then read on the screen or send to your printer for hard copy.

Go to this Symantec page for more information on the WinFax Pro product, and check with your regular computer retailer or online software source for competing products you may want to consider. I strongly recommend that you set up the software to archive everything you send out so that you will have a clear record of it.

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riccioni asked on 01/21/04 - RIP OFF

Does the verb "to rip off" have something to do with computing technology?

If so, what does it mean?

Thank you very much for the help.

voiceguy2000 answered on 01/22/04:

Two different expressions.

In the computer context, people speak of "ripping" to describe the process of extracting the content from a CD or DVD to computer-readable form. In other words, you "rip" the audio files from a CD when you extract them to your computer's hard disk. You would not say that you "rip off" these files.

In everyday slang, "rip off" originally meant to steal something (that was its meaning from the Hippie slang of the late 60s -- "I ripped off a couple of beers for us") but it has now come to mean cheating someone ("that repair shop really ripped me off -- $500 to fix that small dent!"). It can also be used as a noun meaning that something is overpriced or a waste of money ("That tour is a total rip-off; I didn't see anything interesting").

Just to confuse things, you may also run into another variation of the expression in the world of body-building, where to say that someone is "ripped" means that he or she has distinct, well-defined muscles. It is a compliment.

And I have heard it used as one of the hundreds of synonyms for being drunk: "Look at that guy... he's so ripped he can't even find the door!" (Other synonyms include plastered, wasted, out of it, crocked, f***ed up, s***faced, feeling no pain, snockered, and hosed.)

Of course, every once in a long while, you may actually find the word "rip" in one of its original meanings, referring to a tear in fabric, or the process of sawing lumber with the grain (as opposed to cross-cutting).

Confused yet? :-)

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riccioni asked on 12/07/03 - DVD decrypter

In a few simple words, what is a DVD decrypter and what is it for? In short, what is its main function?

Thanks in advance for the help.

voiceguy2000 answered on 12/07/03:

The technical standards for the DVD (Digital Versatile Disc, used commonly for home viewing of films and video programs) include encoding the information with an electronic encryption system known as CSS (Content Scrambling System). The idea is to prevent unauthorized viewing of the DVD content.

A DVD decrypter, therefore, would be a system that unscrambled DVD content that had been encoded with the CSS protocol.

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riccioni asked on 10/06/03 - Firewalls: are they really useful/necessary?

With broadband, do I need a firewall?

If so, are there any sites that provide reliable and effective FREE firewalls?

If not, what firewall do you suggest to buy?

Thank you.

voiceguy2000 answered on 10/06/03:

Hi Paolo --

I certainly agree with Scott -- your always-on internet connection makes you more, not less, vulnerable to malicious attacks.

I would recommend that you visit the Gibson Research site and click on "Shields Up!"

This extensive set of pages will take you, step-by-step, through an in-depth review of the security problems in Windows and how to minimize or eliminate them. You can even test your computer by having the site probe it for vulnerabilities. The site also has reviews of available firewall solutions which you should find helpful.

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Raging asked on 09/27/03 - IT Strategy & Objective.

Would you be able to help with the development of an IT Strategy & Objective.

Nature of business: is to sell a new idea in the market place & that is fold away pool tables where core functions include management, marketing, information technology, law & financial operations.

How we wish to use Information technology for it:

-Well we wish to put sales through a computing system so we know what we are selling & would like to know about the software & hardware requirements & specifications of such.

-A system that can handle accounts for paying employees as well as utilising the internet & it's applications to sell via the online world and a system we would like to be able to do paperwork such as financial statements.

-Also we wish to use information technology by merging with cell phones & if you could tell me a bit about eCommerce and eBusiness applications to support our fold away pool table business that would be appreciated a great deal.

voiceguy2000 answered on 09/27/03:

One of my favorite songs by The Beatles is called "Baby You Can Drive My Car." The protagonist claims she is going to be rich and famous, and in the first part of the song talks the narrator into agreeing to drive her car. Then at the end:

I told that girl I can start right away
And she said baby I got something to say
I got no car and it's breaking my heart
But I've got a driver and that' a start
What does this have to do with your question?

It all comes out of your initial statement that you want to "sell a new idea in the marketplace."

You have posted variations on this theme over the last several months.

I have responded time and again with the question: Who is your market? What level of demand is there for this product? If it is a new product, the demand will be created by drawing people away from some other alternatives -- which ones? Who are these people, and how can you reach them economically?

Without knowing these threshold things, it is impossible to address the questions you have asked here. In other words, you are putting the cart before the horse. Unless you have a viable market for these things, you will be singing:
I got no customers, and it's breaking my heart,
But I've got an IT system and that's a start!
It is daydreaming to be considering which sophisticated technical systems to put in place to support a business that has no proven market or proven viability. Indeed, the boom and bust of the late 1990s was a large-scale version of this exact, misguided thought process. People who should have known better poured miilions into sophisticated information systems to handle online business for toys (, groceries (,, furniture (, and so forth. All of these are long gone, because their business never materialized.

Your business venture will not rise or fall on the sophistication of your computer systems. You must first find one or more eager markets that can be easily and economically reached, and offer those markets something special that is not available elsewhere.

As your business grows, you may want to consider appropriate technology to automate certain functions and allow more sophisticated use of information. However, successful companies do two things sharply different from what you are proposing:

    o They don't try to pioneer brand-new markets, because it requires an enormous investment; and

    o They bring technology into the picture only when it makes sense to reinforce and streamline a marketing and sales model that has already proven itself.

Wal-Mart, for example, has some of the most sophisticated computer systems in the industry -- particularly in respect of inventory and supply chain management. But Wal-Mart did not get to where it is today because Sam Walton made shrewd decisions about computers back in Bentonville, Arkansas, when he was starting out. Rather, he developed and honed a particular market and selling concept, and his company now uses computers as an integral part of executing that concept.

It is never wise to start out by saying, "I've got this great product; now, whom can I sell it to?" Rather, smart entrepreneurs work backwards: they find eager markets with passionate interests and money to spend, figure out how to reach them economically, and offer products that these markets cannot resist. The key point is that the market comes first: the product is designed in response to that market, rather than the other way around.

No one is going to buy something they don't want just because you have the coolest computer system in town. They could not care less. It would make no difference if you were keeping records using bamboo quills on papyrus. As Yogi Berra said, "If the people don' want to come out to the park, nobody's going to stop them."

It's all well and good to dream about what kinds of goodies your business might have five or ten years down the road if it is greatly successful, but dreaming is all it is at this point. You don't need a mainframe computer to balance a checkbook, and you do not need a massive information system to support a business that is not selling anything. Get the sales started, and then hire a consultant (or perhaps just talk to your accountant) to help you choose wisely among the hundreds of options available.

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rik-old-games asked on 09/18/03 - The Great Escape Manual

Can somebody tell me were i can find a manual for the pc game Great Escape??


voiceguy2000 answered on 09/20/03:

I did the same thing Karen did, and found the same results.

Nothing helpful has yet been posted in the FAQ section at, but you might want to post something on the message boards there if you have specific issues that you need help with. Although there are a lot of clowns posting wise-ass responses on these boards, there are also people who are genuinely helpful.

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Raging asked on 09/13/03 - fixing comps thru the net?

Hi if a company wishes to be able to fix their clients computers through the internet, would you have any ideas on how this might work?

voiceguy2000 answered on 09/15/03:

These problems arise:

a. It seems likely that in many cases, the broken computer will not be able to access the internet at all. Thus, this channel of repair will be closed.

b. Fixing a computer remotely, whether by telephone coaching or otherwise, is difficult and slow compared to having a tech on the spot.

c. If the repair process requires one-on-one attention between each customer and a repair tech, you will have to have a sufficient number of adequately trained repair techs on hand to cover whatever you define as your peak demand. The rest of the time, these techs will be sitting idle, costing you money while not earning any.

d. There is such an enormous variation in computers and configurations that it will be difficult to standardize anything about your approach.

e. Computer repair is not a high-profit, high-margin area. Your offering will always be under massive pricing pressure from other alternatives.

f. You will have a towering marketing challenge to build awareness of your service and to develop trust in it. Most people with computer problems will probably consult other sources of information, such as telephone listings, for help. How will anyone know about you?

g. If, by some miracle, your approach proves viable, imitators will quickly appear. Especially if the imitator is well-financed, how can you preempt them through some unique advantage?

My overall concerns with this approach are these:

1. It is not obvious how using the internet as a platform for this service really leverages anything. Only if you can meaningfully break out of the one-on-one service mode would that change.

2. Reaching this kind of diffuse market is expensive and difficult. The problem with trying to reach too broad a market is that you can't afford to spend enough money to have any significant impact.

3. Compounding the problem, you are trying to pioneer something that people are not now accustomed to using. There is no existing demand, in so many words, for this service. Thus, with limited means, you must make two sales: (a) convince people to purchase this kind of service, and (b) convince them to purchase it from you. The problem is that convincing people on (a) does not necessarily lead to (b) if other alternatives are available.

4. There is no reason to be in this business unless something about what you offer is better for the customer. It is irrelevant to a customer whether this approach suits your needs better. The question is, will the customer get service that is (a) faster? (b) more effective? (c) cheaper? (d) more reliable? What is the unique advantage (other than simple novelty) of this approach?

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riccioni asked on 09/06/03 - What are 'Trojan horses'?

What are Trojan horses and how to detect them?

voiceguy2000 answered on 09/06/03:

A Trojan horse, in the computer world, is a malicious program disguised as something beneficial. In other words, someone might send you a file saying, "Run this program to speed up your computer." Instead, the program might install malicious code that allows an intruder to gain access to your data, or erase files from your disk, or whatever.

The term comes from the legend of the Trojan War, in which the Greeks presented the city of Troy with a large wooden replica of a horse in a deceptive peace offering. Unknown to the Trojans, the horse was hollow, and Agamemnon's soldiers were concealed inside. In the dark of night, those soldiers opened a hatch and escaped from the horse, then unlocked the city gates and allowed Agamemnon's troops to enter and overrun the city. (At least that's the way I remember it.) There is an expression, "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts," that stems from this legend.

In the computer world, Trojan Horse tends to refer to programs that are not self-replicating or self-distributing. The self-replicating ones are generally referred to as viruses. Another class of malicious program is a worm, which is code designed to execute automatically each time the computer boots up, or each time certain activities on the computer take place.

The Trojan Horse, by contrast, is generally designed to be run only once. It may, however, install virus code and/or worm code when it runs.

I hope these distinctions make sense.

Detecting Trojan Horse code is not always easy. If it arrives as an e-mail attachment, some of today's anti-virus software can scan for known malicious code. However, the most prudent course is to refrain from executing any code that you are not certain is benign, especially if you were not expecting it and are not sure about who is sending it.

A second line of defense is to be sure to shut off unneeded services and close unneeded ports on your computer. Software and hardware firewall products can help protect from malicious activity. You can also find information on the internet on how to spot and remove specific things like Back Orifice.

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denberg asked on 08/30/03 - PC processor speed

Why won't my PC tell me the exact speed of the processor it has inside?

When I bought my PC in 1998, the box it came in said - I think, if my memory serves me rightly - 266MHZ. But I've thrown the box away and the books that came with it don't tell me what speed my processor is. Now I thought it would tell me in the PC somewhere, so I went,

Desktop>My Computer>Control Panel>System>General Tab

and the General tab says

MS W 98, 32 MB Ram and it even tells me that I have a Pentium II processor - but why on earth doesn't it tell me what the speed of the processor is?

As you can probably guess I know very little about computing, so please pitch your answer at the very simplest level!

But the way my mind is working is this: if you bought a car, the manaul that came with it would tell you the horsepower of the engine and it would most definitely tell you the top speed of the car, wouldn't it ? So why on earth doesn't my PC want me to know what my processor speed is?

Many thanks for your time and trouble, and remember, keep it simple!

Paul Murphy,
London UK.

voiceguy2000 answered on 08/30/03:

You should be able to see this info, if nowhere else, when the computer is first starting up.

On my 1998-vintage PC, for example, the initial screen displays the line:

Pentium-MMX CPU at 233 MHz

Look at yours while it is first starting. (On mine, the line appears just above the quickly-increasing numbers of the RAM test.)

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riccioni asked on 08/25/03 - Backing-up files

Where is the best place to make copies/a back-up of the files I have saved on my hard-disk?

What about an external hard-drive?

voiceguy2000 answered on 08/25/03:

An external hard drive has the advantages of being convenient and very fast. However, hard disk space is somewhat expensive, the hard disk is not that portable, and it is subject to accidental erasure or deletion.

You should consider burning a CD with your important documents. This has the advantages that

1. CD media cost is very low, so you can freely make backups as you want to.

2. The data on the CD is stable and not subject to inadvertent erasure or overwriting, as is true with magnetic media such as a hard disk.

The disadvantage is that the process of burning the CD is a bit slower.

In my own case, I actually do both: I copy important files to a separate hard disk, and I periodically burn CDs with important files.

The backup process can be made easier if you organize your disk and your programs so that documents you create are all saved in a master folder called "Documents" or the like. Or, if you prefer, you can have a handful of folders for things like "Word Documents" and "Artwork" and so forth. The idea is to concentrate everything that you may want to archive into a central location, to make the archiving process easier.

There are companies that sell software to manage the backup process. This software will take care of figuring out what new files need to be backed up, and will also compress the backup data so that more can fit on the backup storage media. However, unless you are creating a large volume of new files, a manual system of simply copying the "Documents" folder to an outboard hard disk and/or a CD will probably be all you need, and will probably also be easier to use and understand.

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riccioni asked on 08/25/03 - Temporary files

What are temporary files and how often should I delete them and how?

voiceguy2000 answered on 08/25/03:

Temporary files are just that -- temporary -- and are normally created by various software programs while running. Well-behaved programs are supposed to clean up (delete) the temporary files when you exit the programs. However, sometimes this does not happen -- if, for example, the computer freezes and you cannot exit the program properly.

Web browsers tend to create a bunch of temporary files. You can ask the program itself to delete those files by using the command available under Internet Options.

Other temporary files may accumulate in places such as C:WindowsTemp.

The thing is, in all likelihood these files are probably not taking up all that much space, and probably not doing any particular harm. For those who are not especially technical when it comes to computers, I would be inclined to leave them alone. In theory, if no other application programs are running, you should be able to delete these files (but not the folder itself). You may receive some perplexing warning messages, however, and there is a chance that you may delete something your computer needs for proper operation.

You can read this article for a discussion about deleting temporary files.

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Squall asked on 07/31/03 - Image Files

What is the difference between JPEG, GIF, TIF and BMP files?

voiceguy2000 answered on 07/31/03:

All four of these file formats are bit-oriented rather than vector-oriented. This means that each image is a collection of individual bits, or pixels (picture elements), organized in rows and columns. The number of pixels used for a given image size is the resolution of the image file (more pixels = higher resolution = more detailed picture). The number of separate shades of color that the format allows per pixel is the color depth. A higher color depth requires more file size, because each pixel generates more data, but leads to a more realistic rendition of the color image.

TIF (Tagged Image File Format) and BMP (Windows Bitmap) are lossless, non-compressed bitmapped file formats. For a given image, these file formats will produce the largest files, because no compression is used, even if the image contains a lot of redundant information (such as a large background area of uniform color). In these formats, each pixel is stored with complete information about color, expressed as values of the primary additive colors red, green, and blue (hence the term RGB color).

Some flavors of BMP use run-length encoding, which is in theory supposed to reduce file size through lossless compression (see below). Ironically, the way Microsoft has implemented this, it sometimes increases file size, but at least their heart was in the right place.

Run-length encoding (RLE) is a way to reduce the size of a file that has a lot of redundant or repetive information, such as an image with a uniform background color. Imagine a very simple image, with the dimensions of 10 pixels wide by 10 pixels high. Imagine that the background of the image is a uniform blue, and that there is a square white box in the very center of this image.

The computer will process this image pixel-by-pixel, starting in the upper left corner, then moving left-to-right across the top row, then going across left-to-right on the next row, and so on . Because of the uniform blue background, the computer will repetitively see the same pixel information -- blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue -- across the first row, the same -- blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue -- across the second row, and the same -- blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue -- across the third row. Continuing down to the fourth row, the computer will see the beginning of the white box as follows: blue blue blue white white white white blue blue blue. The next three rows will be the same, then the bottom three rows will be solid blue again.

With run-length encoding, the image can be shrunk considerably, by giving it this information in blocks:

Hey, computer, this is a 10 x 10 image.

Starting in the top left corner, put "blue" for 33 pixels.

Next, "white" for 4 pixels.

Next, "blue" for 6 pixels.

Next, "white for 4 pixels.

Next, "blue" for 6 pixels.

Next, "white for 4 pixels.

Next, "blue" for 6 pixels.

Next, "white for 4 pixels.

Next, "blue" for 33 pixels.
When the computer is told to repeat the same thing for x number of pixels, that is the run-length. Although it looks long-winded in my list above, to the computer it is much more efficient, and if done properly will reduce the file size. Obviously, the greatest reduction will occur in images that have a lot of identical, repeated pixels on the same horizontal line.

Let me talk next about the GIF, or Graphics Interchange Format, that was invented by the online service CompuServe a number of years ago. GIF also uses what amounts to run-length encoding, as well as a lossless version of the LZW compression algorithm invented by Unisys.

The major limitation of the GIF format by today's standards is color depth, or more accurately, lack of color depth. GIF files can store only a maximum of 256 different colors at once. You can store a full-color photograph in GIF format if you want, but in the process, the thousands or millions of different colors in the original photograph will be indexed to the nearest colors available in a palette of up to 256 colors. Thus, subtle variations in color will be lost, and it is often possible to see bands or boundary lines where a gradually changing color in the original now jumps from one indexed value to the next.

GIF files are still quite useful, however, particularly in web design work, where graphic artwork rather than full-range pictures are being reproduced. Often a web site's logo, or navigation buttons, or other simple graphical elements, will be stored as GIF files, because such files tend to be small and they load quickly. The GIF format is generally the format of choice for any image that contains a limited range of colors and large areas of the same color, as web graphics often do.

Finally we come to the JPEG format. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, and the JPEG (or .jpg) standard is a family of protocols for storing full-range color images using compression to reduce file size.

The key thing to be aware of with JPEG images is that the compression used is not lossless. Rather, the standard uses lossy compression to reduce file size. With lossy compression, image information that is considered relatively unimportant is thrown away, and can never be recovered.

The JPEG standard allows you to decide how much loss you are willing to put up with. The more loss, the smaller the file size, but the more degradation the image will suffer. JPEG does a pretty good job of concealing much of the degradation, but at the greatest levels of compression (lowest "quality") it becomes very obvious in most cases.

The towering advantage of the JPEG format is that it allows you to maintain 24-bit color depth, and thus avoids the banding and unnatural appearance of the GIF format for continuous-tone photographic images. By carefully examining each of your images in a process that is called "optimization," you can experiment with various quality levels (amount of compression and loss) one grade at a time, and decide which level crosses the line into unacceptable image degradation. (It is usually obvious.) You then back up one step and use the next higher quality level for that image.

On a web site, the JPEG format is the format of choice for photographs and other images that have full-range tones, as opposed to web graphics that use simple, solid colors and work better in the GIF format. A typical web page will have a mixture of GIF and JPG images.

In extreme circumstances, where a page has been tweaked extensively for small size and fast loading, a single image may be subdivided or "sliced" into rectangular sub-images, with some sub-images having simple content stored as GIF files and others having more complex content stored as JPEGs. You can see these blocks reassemble as a single image as your page loads. This entire image could, of course, be stored as one large JPEG, but the slicing allows the web designer to speed up loading considerably without any noticeable loss of quality.

One huge caution when working with JPEG images (say, in PhotoShop or PaintShop Pro): The loss from compression is cumulative if you repeatedly save in this format, expecially at lower quality levels. It is better to work in the program's native format (i.e., the .psd format for PhotoShop) and save as a JPEG only when you have arrived at your final image. Otherwise -- say, if you wanted to remove four unwanted elements from a photo -- if you removed one element, then saved as JPEG, then removed the second element, then saved again as JPEG, and so on, you would have put the same photo through the lossy compression process four times. Each pass through this process would throw more information away, and by the time you finish your photo would look much worse --even at that quality level -- than it would have if you had saved in the native format and only gone to JPEG at the very end.

So, here' a thumbnail summary:

TIFF and BMP: Large, bit-oriented files; no compression loss.

GIF: A compressed format primarily used for simple graphics or images that have only a few colors and large solid areas of color.

JPEG: A compressed format that is suitable for full-range color images but must be used with care because of the loss built in to the compression engine.

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kreditme2 asked on 07/19/03 - SOS: Advice of charge display on Cisco IP phones 7940 and 7960

Greetings Experts,

We will show the users of the Cisco IP phone 7960 and 7940 real time the telephone costs on the display of the phone while they are placing a call.

Please guide at to how can that be done?

Thanks in advance.

voiceguy2000 answered on 07/20/03:

This is not reinventing the wheel, it is reinventing the buggy whip.

The whole point of voice-over-IP is that you avoid the paradigm of traditional, circuit-switched voice telephone systems. By transmitting voice communications over packet-type networks that are "always on," the concept of timing a telephone "call" becomes completely obsolete. Rather, the people comunicating via VPN/VoIP protocols share the bandwidth with the many thousands of other people using the same internet transmission facilities for web browsing, e-mail, FTP, IRC, etc. While some kind of signalling protocol is needed to initiate this kind of call, once the parties are in communication, there is no "circuit" per se.

Especially if you are going to use the IETF's far simpler Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) rather than the complex H.323 standard that the ITU cooked up, you are really trying to force a square peg into a round hole by trying to meter calls by the minute. In the internet environment, such metering is not only difficult but it is nonsensical. Packet-switched data capacity is sold by bandwidth and throughput, and perhaps there is some way to meter that kind of thing crudely in the VoIP world, but anyone who tries to base a business on per-minute metering of telephone calls in this environment will quickly be clobbered by other operators who, like AOL, offer unlimited use for a flat fee.

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EnlightenedByTruth asked on 07/11/03 - How to research?

How to research?
I am a student in Computer Science department and I wonder how can I increase my research/inventing abilities. For example I know basic algorithms of sorting, I can read and find out more algorithms, but how can I envent new algorithms based on them or just completely new ones. I always think like this "Ok, we have algorithms a1, a2, a3, a4,..., an. What other cool algorithms can I invent. Hmmm, I dont know". This can be applied to all types of knowledge, not only algorithms. Like theorems, etc. I mean, I always think in terms of accumulation of information. I dont know how to think in terms of creating new stuff from it. When I face a homework problem, I always look how we did it in class and do similar, just put other variables. All problems are similar and it is difficult to think creatively. I like to think, research, invent, but I cannot go beyond simple collection of information, remembering it and using 99% of it in solving problems, I use only 1% of creativity, even less sometimes. It is really boring. I dream about being a painter or similar type of artist, where it is easier to express my creativity. Can you tell me how to improve this ability to invent new stuff from what I learned in science, so my scientific creativity boosts?

voiceguy2000 answered on 07/11/03:

A number of authors have attempted to set down systematic approaches to thinking, idea generation and creativity, including such people as Edward deBono, Michael Michalko, Roger van Oech, Michael Gelb, Grace McGartland, Joyce Wycoff, and others.

In the end, however, no one can really predict, or even explain, how innovative ideas appear in the brain. As often as not, they seem to flow from unrelated areas of life experience. Einstein said that his thinking about relativity, and the effects of non-intertial frames of reference, was triggered by considering the relative perceptions of people on a moving train versus someone standing on the ground.

The mind, in other words, makes all kinds of interesting and unusual connections that defy any straightforward logic or analysis. Almost always, in most people' experience, these connections are most readily made when the mind is not trying to force them. It seems to many people that the subconscious mind works on these things while we sleep or while we engage in other activities.

In addition, much thinking is stimulated by purposely taking new approaches to things ("what if ...") and by clearing out mental baggage that interferes with thinking and creation (see Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way for techniques).

In general, creative people stimulate their minds (but don't deaden them) with all kinds of input, including music, art, walks in the park, meditation, reading in a wide variety of disciplines, physical activities, and so forth. You may not think that, say, woodworking would stimulate you to think of a new computer-related algorithm, but you would be surprised. Indeed, your own experience illustrates the fact that if you sit there, staring at the thing you are working on, and try to will your brain to come up with something new, it does not work.

A final thought. Much of the success of companies such as 3M has come from the fact that people there are encouraged to pursue ideas and discoveries even when there is no obvious commercial (or other) use for them. Legend has it that Post-It notes came about after someone at 3M developed an adhesive that did not work very well. (A clever employee thought of using it to make removable page markers for church hymnals.) Years earlier at duPont, also working on adhesives based on chemically active fluorine compounds, the people thought they had experienced utter failure when they synthesized tri-fluoro-ethylene, or TFE: not only did it not work as an adhesive, but nothing whatever would stick to it. Oops - they had just invented Teflon®. So, if you stumble on interesting things, it is often worth pursuing them even if there is no obvious and immediate application for them.

Good luck.

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ant_129 asked on 07/02/03 - RAM

What does DDR stand for on DDR RAM and I was wondering if it is double the speed or double the capacity of SDR RAM.

voiceguy2000 answered on 07/02/03:

Double Date Rate (DDR) refers to the throughput, or bandwidth, of data transfers, and does not convey the storage capacity (size) of the memory chip.

You might want to look at this article for a more extensive discussion of DDR technology, why it was developed, and whether it has fulfilled its promise.

ant_129 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

anjanimakkena asked on 06/29/03 - Thin Client Server

What is a thin client server and how it works?

voiceguy2000 answered on 06/29/03: has posted this definition:

A thin client is a low-cost, centrally-managed computer devoid of CD-ROM players, diskette drives, and expansion slots. The term derives from the fact that small computers in networks tend to be clients and not servers. Since the idea is to limit the capabilities of these computers to only essential applications, they tend to be purchased and remain "thin" in terms of the client applications they include.

The term "thin client" seems to be used as a synonym for both the NetPC and the network computer (NC), which are somewhat different concepts. The Net PC is based on Intel microprocessors and Windows software (Intel was a leader in defining the Net PC specification). The network computer (NC) is a concept backed by Oracle and Sun Microsystems that may or may not use Intel microprocessors and uses a Java-based operating system.

According to, a Web site dedicated to thin client technology, the term "server-based computing" is being used as a synonym for "thin client" because most thin clients today are powered by back-end centralized servers that are capable of serving either fat or thin clients.
The webopedia says:
In client/server applications, a client designed to be especially small so that the bulk of the data processing occurs on the server. The term thin client is an especially popular buzzword now because it serves as a symbol dividing the computer industry into two camps. On one side is a group led by Netscape and Sun Microsystems advocating Java -based thin clients running on network computers. The other side, championed by Microsoft and Intel, is pushing ever-larger applications running locally on desktop computers.

Although the term thin client usually refers to software, it is increasingly used for computers, such as network computers and Net PCs, that are designed to serve as the clients for client/server architectures. A thin client is a network computer without a hard disk drive, whereas a fat client includes a disk drive.
My observation is that initiatives such as "thin clients" are driven by two things:

a. A desire to save money, both on hardware/software deployment and ongoing upkeep costs; and

b. A desire on the part of IT administrators, going back to the mainframe days, to keep maximum control over what users are able to access and use.

Here are some resources to look at:

1. Microsoft White Paper

2. Article from Network Computing

3. White paper on Client Systems (CNET)

4. web site

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jocase asked on 06/14/03 - Page setup for a multipage booklet using Word 2000

What is the best way to set up pages to make a booklet of about 35 pages using Word 2000? There will be 3000 copies printed.

voiceguy2000 answered on 06/14/03:

What printing approach are you going to use?

For example, if you print on 8-1/2 x 11 paper turned sideways, and saddle-stitch the booklets, you can make 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 booklets in which each physical sheet of paper, printed front and back, carries 4 pages of the booklet. Similarly, but on a larger scale, if you print on 11 x 17 paper, again saddle-stitching, you can create the same thing with a finished size of 8-1/2 x 11.

The trick, of course, is that the masters need to be printed out, or at least pasted up, so that the correct page numbers appear on each physical sheet of paper.

In your case, following this approach, you would need 9 double-sided sheets, giving you a total of 36 pages to work with. The first sheet would have page one on the right and page 36 (blank) on the left, and on its flip side page 2 on the left and page 35 on the right. The next sheet would have page 3 on the right and page 34 on the left, with the flip side carrying page 4 on the left and page 33 on the right. And so forth.

You might be able to envision this more easily by making a mockup with 9 sheets of paper, folded in half and stapled in the middle (i.e., saddle-stitched). Number the pages and then take it all apart to see how the numbers are distributed. You should get these pairings:

36 - 1
2 -35

34 -3
4 - 33

32 - 5
6 - 31

30 - 7
8 - 29

28 - 9
10 -27

26 - 11
12 - 25

24 - 13
14 - 23

22 - 15
16 - 21

20 -17

Each of these pairings represents the front and back of a sheet of paper.

Now, to get this arrangement of pages, you can print things out in normal sequence on 8-1/2 x 11, and then manually paste-up front and back "camera ready" art using the arrangements above. If the final booklets are going to be 8-1/2 x 11 (i.e., printed on 11 x 17 paper), then the masters will be reproduced full-sized. Otherwise, you will either be reducing the 11 x 17 masters to the finished size, or cutting up 8-1/2 x 11 printouts and mixing and matching them to give you the page arrangement above.

(I hope this makes some sense to you.)

Now, within Microsoft Word, you can easily set up running headers or footers that are different on odd and even pages. It is customary to right-justify the page number, and a running head for the book, on odd pages, and left-justify this information on the even pages. (In other words, the page number is positioned away from the center fold.)

Here is where my ability to help you peters out. Word 2002 has a capability, in the Page Setup dialog box, allowing you to select a Book fold option in the Multiple pages list. I am not sure, but I do not think that Word 2000 includes this (take a look). I have seen various third-party macros that are supposed to re-jigger everything for this kind of printing, but I do not know how well they work.

Word 2001 for the Macintosh has a "Project Gallery" from which you can select "catalog" and get the same kind of thing. Again, however, I am not sure whether Word 2000 offers this. (I do not have Word 2000, if you had not figured that out.) The Microsoft web site does not mention any such capability for Word 2000.

In sum, even though I cannot answer specifically for Word 2000, I hope the information above will at least give you a start on dealing with the project. It may be that you can gin up your booklet in Word 2000 and then track down someone with Word 2002 who can print it out with foldover booklet pagination. Otherwise you may be looking at some cutting and pasting.

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Meezan asked on 06/07/03 - Deque algorithm

Hi guys!
I need the algorithm for the deque.
Also known as the double-ended queue, where insertion and deletion is possible at both ends, that is head and tail.


voiceguy2000 answered on 06/07/03:

I ran a Google Search on the term deque algorithm and got a ton of responses. I suspect that if you do the same thing you will find what you need. You don't specify whether you need something in a particular language, or in pseudocode, or something else.

Meezan rated this answer Bad/Wrong Answer
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Raging asked on 06/04/03 - Firewalls

1. What are the weaknesses of the Nokia Checkpoint, Cisco Pix & Zone Alarm, their best features and their software and hardware requirements.

2. How are they based on security grades?

3. In my view Zone Alarms is the best to go with. Does anyone differ??

voiceguy2000 answered on 06/04/03:

Both the Nokia and Cisco products are separate hardware boxes, and actually each of them comes in a variety of models, starting with small boxes for home office use to industrial-strength units costing thousands of dollars for enterprise applications.

In general, with hardware boxes, the more you pay, the more you get of the following things:

a. Higher throughput capacity

b. Greater speed (lower latency)

c. More sophisticated packet inspection

d. More frequent software/firmware updates responding to newly discovered threats.

For personal/home use, the Cisco and Nokia boxes may be overkill. This is especially true if the home user is on a broadband connection and is already using a cable/DSL router that provides Network Address Translation (NAT). NAT is one of the features offered by the standalone firewall boxes, but there is no need to have that capability a second time if it already exists in the cable/DSL router.

NAT protects against such things as port probes coming from the outside, but it does nothing with regards to threats or vulnerabilities originating on the user side of the firewall. For that, a product like ZoneAlarm is good, because it challenges any program's attempt to make contact with the outside world unless such contact has previously been authorized by the user.

For typical home use purposes, the combination of a cable/DSL router with ZoneAlarm is normally adequate, assuming they are set up properly and left in operation at all times.

The best security of all, of course, is to keep sensitive personal information on a different computer that is not connected to the internet. Under such circumstances, there is no way any malicious access to such information can take place.

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whokilledkenny asked on 05/26/03 - Copy Editors

Dear expert,

A recruitment advertisement saying a desktop publisher company looking for Copy Editors. what is copy editor?

thank you.

voiceguy2000 answered on 05/26/03:

Copy editors take submitted manuscripts and go over them carefully to find and correct errors of grammar and usage, confusion in expression, and other problems with the text. They may also do a stylistic edit to bring the text in conformity with style rules followed by a particular publication.

It seems unusual to me that a desktop publishing company would employ copy editors, unless that is an additional value-added service that the company offers to its clients. In general, the desktop publishers require that the manuscripts be in finished, ready-to-lay-out form, and do not undertake to make corrections to the copy.

In any case, a competent copy editor would have to have a strong knowledge of language and usage, a good editing instinct (making the copy better), a very sharp eye for detail, and the ability to pore over many pages (or screenfuls) of text in a rapid and efficient manner.

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jdublu asked on 05/23/03 - Spybot Search & Destroy

I downloaded this and when I ran it it showed 32 problems. How do you know if it will be safe to delete them if this program specifies itself as a "Use at your own risk" program?
Thanks, Jim

voiceguy2000 answered on 05/24/03:

Here is an item from PC World Magazine about the Spybot program. There is also an extensive listing of other adware/popup blockers.

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jerogers asked on 05/18/03 - email problem

I use outlook ex. I can send and recieve E-mail. But when I go to check the mail later I get the same mail I have already read and deleted. Over and over again. Is it my configureation . And how can I fix it?

voiceguy2000 answered on 05/19/03:

The problem is that your software is configured to leave the messages on your POP server, rather than deleting them after you have retrieved them.

Depending on which version of Outlook Express you have, the details may vary, but here is the basic routine.

Go to the Tools menu and select Accounts... If more than one account is shown, make sure the active (default) account is highlighted, and click on Properties. On the resulting screen, click on the Advanced tab. At the bottom of this screen, make sure you un-check the box labelled "Leave a copy of messages on server." OK and Close your way out of the dialog boxes.

That should take care of the problem.

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craigchamberlain asked on 05/08/03 - brighten pictures

our kids scan us pictures of our grandkids but the pictures are kind of dark and their taken with different cameras so we know it's not the camera.
Is there a way to lighten up the pictures when we get them?

voiceguy2000 answered on 05/08/03:

Any of the image manipulation programs, such as PaintShop Pro or Photoshop or a number of less expensive shareware alternatives, will let you adjust the pictures pretty much however you want them.

It seems to me that you might want to address the problem at its source, however. Presumably the pictures look fine on your kids' computer. They ought to look fine on yours as well. The fact that they do not suggests that one or the other computer may not be optimally set up.

There is, of course, a difference in the basic gamma setting used on Windows (1.8) versus Macintosh (2.2), and this could explain some of the difference. If your children are using Windows and you are using a Macintosh, for example, the gamma difference would make any given picture look darker on your machine.

Without knowing anything about either machine or what scanner & scanning software is being used, and without being able to look at an actual picture file to evaluate its histogram, I cannot offer any more specific suggestions. Some operating systems include a routine for setting up monitors to display in at least a roughly consistent manner, and if both you and your kids follow the routine, it may be that you can bring your two systems into closer correlation.

You might also request that your kids adjust their scanner settings so as to produce a brighter looking picture. Just about any scanner software should allow this kind of adjustment.

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Raine asked on 05/06/03 - Cell Phones and Calling Cards

Sorry I don't know where to ask this question and if anyone knows the answer. If I used a calling card with my cell phone would I be charged? Would it show up on my bill?

voiceguy2000 answered on 05/06/03:

If you have a prepaid phone card under which you dial in to a toll-free number and then enter your PIN, then the only thing showing up on your cell bill should be the airtime charge for calling the toll-free number.

You should check with your wireless long distance carrier if you are using a calling card of the type that bills the call to an account. I have run into some very steep pricing in the cell world. You might find it advantageous to use a prepaid card.

Raine rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

jenny96 asked on 05/01/03 - Computer generated animation

art work

can you give me ideas on how to draw a political cartoon on teen love/relationships?

and HI i'm doing a computer project studying computer animation and trying to learn animation. Would it be possible if you can teach me?
I've downloaded a freeware program called truespace
at this website.
I'm trying to learn about this. Would you know how to give me tips on how to do a presentation about animation? like what to talk about? do you know any tutorials on the web? do you know of good freeware programs on animation that i can present to the class. This is for grade 12 highschool Thanks for your help!

voiceguy2000 answered on 05/01/03:

Political cartoons work on conflict. One person or group is set up against another person or group. Typically either a caricatured person (or group) or a caricatured animal (or group) is set up in one area of the cartoon, engaging with or scheming against or ignoring another caricatured person/animal/group. These characters generally are shown in some activity that is a metaphor for the point the cartoon wants to make. The characters are labelled to denote what they represent.

So: the first step in generating a political cartoon is to think about points you want to make, and on whose behalf you want to make them (political cartoons virtually always take sides on any issue). Then pick one, and think about how you can represent the point with characters and situations.

If you wanted to make the point that teenage boys are immature, you might choose to draw a row of screaming babies wailing and waving their rattler toys in a bunch of baby baskets. You would then show girls in a more favorable character, doing something appropriate to tend to the babies.

Another technique, used to demonstrate insincerity, is to draw a two faced character in the center of the panel, with one pleasant, trustworthy face saying or doing something phony to people on the left side, and the other face -- conniving, scheming, untrustworthy -- revealing the true (and nasty) side to the people on the right.

Look for cartoons by Jeff MacNelly if you want to see an amazing array of creative ideas.

As to animation, I do not know how to help you. Animation works by creating a rapid succession of still images that fool the eye into thinking that actual motion is being viewed. I am sure there is an abundance of information on the net if you run some searches in Google (

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jrweil asked on 04/20/03 - Individualized icons on favorites listings

Some web pages when added to the "favorites" list come with an individualized icon while some just use the standard internet browser "E" icon. Recently all of the specialized icons disappeared from my list being replaced by the "E". I tried reentering those that had the specialized icons, but on being reentered they came without the specialized icon. A few days later I repeated this, and all but ot one of the pages that previously had specialized icons came on with the special icon. The one that didn't had had a site redsign since I originally entered it. Any ideas as to what happened? As of now it is mainly academic. I should mention I have Windows 98. Thanks

voiceguy2000 answered on 04/20/03:

Take a look at this article from PC Magazine. These little icons are called "favicons" and apparently they disappear when the Temporary Internet Files folder is cleared.

This article includes a downloadable program called FavOrg that was published in November, 2000. I suspect that it will work with your Windows 98 setup, but you might also consider taking a peek at a freeware/shareware site such as using the search term favicon to see if anyone else has tackled this issue.

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webtrain1 asked on 04/11/03 - A+ certification exams

Not sure who can answer my question. I am studying for my A+ certification, first the core exam then the OS technology exam. I go to different web sites and I am very confused as to how many questions are actually on the core exam? each site says something different.

Also, on one site i take the sample core exam and it's fairly easy, about 30 questions or so. I found another site and took about 50 questions and most of them were pretty difficult compared to the other web site's practice exam. The questions are different every time too. Where can i go to find out exactlly how many questions are on both the core and the OS Tech exams and where can i go to take a practice test that matches the difficulty level as the real one? Prefer a free one.
i did go to comptia.

voiceguy2000 answered on 04/11/03:

The comptia site says:

A+ exams consist of two exams and both tests are administered in an adaptive format. Each test consists of 20 - 30 questions and are scored on a scale of 0 - 1300. The minimum passing score for the A+ Core Hardware exam is 596 and the minimum passing score for the A+ OS Technologies exam is 600. Thirty minutes are allowed to complete each exam.
This is part of the info page posted at

By "adaptive format" they mean that the test is given at a computer terminal, where you are presented with one question at a time and must select an answer to that question before moving on to the next one. The test normally starts at a mid-range level of difficulty. If you select the correct answer to a question, the computer program pulls the next question from a higher level of difficulty. If you get that one correct also, it ratchets up the difficulty again. If you get a question wrong, the computer will crank the difficulty down a notch at a time until you start getting correct answers again. Your final score is derived as a product of both the number of correct answers you gave and the difficulty level of those answers.

Because of the way adaptive testing works, there is no real way to find "a practice test that matches the difficulty level [of] the real one." Since the test is created dynamically, on the fly, as you answer each question, you would need a comparable practice software program to generate a similar test. It would obviously be to your advantage to prepare for as high a difficulty level as you are capable of mastering.

If you have not already done so, I would certainly encourage you to review the Frequently Asked Questions page for this exam.

As far as finding other sample questions for practice, a Google search for terms such as A+ certification questions or A+ exam and similar formulations will probably pull up some useful candidates.

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jdublu asked on 04/02/03 - RED X

If you have graphics on a web page and they are shown as a square with a red X is there a way you can open them to see the picture?
Thanks, Jim

voiceguy2000 answered on 04/04/03:

The red X means that the browser asked the server to send that graphic file, and for some reason the file did not get sent. Most of the time, this is caused by two things:

a. The web site owner moved the graphics file to a new location on the server, but forgot to update the HTML code in the web page; or

b. The name of the file got changed, either on the server or the HTML page, so that what is being asked for by the HTML page does not match what is on the server.

It also happens on occasion that the site owner neglects to post the file on the server in the first place.

In these cases, you can ask for the file under the incorrect name (or location) until you are blue in the face and nothing will happen.

If you right-click on the little red X, you should see a contextual menu that includes a choice to "Load This File." You can try this and see if it will wake up the missing file. In rare cases, this works.

Otherwise, if you know something about HTML, you can view the source code for the HTML page and in many cases figure out what the problem is, and then type in the correct path and file name for the missing graphic. For example, I frequently run across web pages where the graphic file is still specified using a path to the local computer where the page was designed, rather than a path that will work on the web server. Looking at this, I can at least see what the correct file name is for the graphic, and often I can retrieve it (to be viewed on its own) by entering the correct file name in the browser address window. (Sometimes a subdirectory such as "images" must be included in the path.)

Because there is an infinite variety of ways for this kind of thing to be messed up, it is difficult to provide a general set of techniques for this kind of detective work -- it is just a matter of understanding what can commonly go wrong in crafting web pages.

(By the way, the reason the inappropriate path to the local computer is not noticed by the person who posted the defective web page is simple: For that person, and that person alone, the page looks just fine, because the graphic is right there on that person's hard disk. For the rest of the world, however, it is red X time. Because of this, it is always wise to check a new web page on a different computer to surface this kind of problem.)

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forare asked on 03/27/03 - PS2 emulator

Is there any good PS2 emulator to make ps2 cds playable on my pc ?

voiceguy2000 answered on 03/27/03:

As far as I know, nobody has developed a satisfactory PS2 emulator. There are a lot of phony emulators floating around, some of which are actually Trojan Horse programs that will cause damage to your computer.

The PS2 was designed -- no doubt intentionally -- with a large amount of proprietary circuitry that is difficult to reverse engineer. There is no great financial incentive to do so, because the basic consoles only cost $200, which automatically puts a cap on the price anyone could charge for a working emulator. In addition, there may be intellectual property protections for some of the technologies, such as patents, that Sony could bring to bear against anyone who succeeded in producing a satisfactory emulator and sought to peddle it.

$200 does not seem like an outrageous amount to pay for the PS2 console, considering you can also use it as a regular DVD player, and considering that the price includes the regular controller. The place where money is made in that world is with the game CDs, not the hardware, and given that there are competitive alternatives (Nintendo, Xbox) the pressure is on Sony to keep its hardware prices within reason.

If you run a search on for the phrase PS2 emulator you will find various bits and pieces of discussion on the subject.

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Richelle asked on 03/20/03 - printer or copier

I have a desktop publishing business but i and getting a lot of job that require 11 x 17 paper size i have a standard inkjet printer so i would have to send the job to a copy centre.
I am now wondering if i should purchase a wide format printer or a digital copier. Which on makes the most sense.


voiceguy2000 answered on 03/20/03:

Here are some things I would think about. Other people might consider different things important, so please understand that what I say here is just one person' opinion.

1. If you are going to 11 X 17 simply because people want a four-page folder consisting of four 8-1/2 X 11 pages, then I would recommend sticking to your present setup (or upgrading whenever you feel like it to a better quality letter-size printer) rather than trying to print both halves of the 11 X 17 page at once. Your proofing costs will be lower with the smaller page size, and it is ridiculously easy to paste up the 11 X 17 master for reproduction.

You are not in the printing business; that really is what a copy center or printing company is for.

I would not think that a printer capable of 11 X 17 reproduction would really be a worthwhile investment unless you are producing a number of two-page spread advertisements or tabloid sized posters. Having a printer capable of handling such size would make proofing easier. However, for final output, it might still be more cost effective to let a copy center or service bureau do the final work.

2. Consider also the possibility that you can generate 11 X 17 master pages on your computer, save them as PDF files, and have the copy center reproduce copies from disk.

3. When you look at printers or copiers, you will have a couple of decisions to make:

a. What imaging technology will you use (i.e., inkjet, laser, LED, or the like)

b. What kinds of supply and upkeep costs are involved with each possible choice.

One of the ways people get burned, especially with low-priced printers, is in discovering that the supplies cost a fortune. For instance, the least expensive plain-paper fax machines use a thermal-transfer ribbon for imaging. The machines themselves are dirt cheap, but the thermal ribbons cost a bundle. Thus, the per-page cost of this technology is actually quite high, and higher than most alternatives other than old-fashioned heat-sensitive thermal paper. It turns out, in other words, that it would be cheaper to buy a more expensive base machine that uses much cheaper consumable supplies.

Other than that, selecting the technology is a matter of taste coupled with practical considerations. Ink jet printers tend to be less expensive than laser or LED printers, for example, but they are typically a bit slower, and the copies they produce are susceptible to damage from moisture. In addition, you have to worry about using a paper whose surface won't cause the ink to bleed or spread. For black and white work, laser printers have the advantage that their copies are not susceptible to smudging from moisture, and do not have the problem of ink bleed or spread.

For color, ink jet printers are more economical and produce a higher quality than color laser printers (at least those that anyone can reasonably afford).

4. In the final analysis, the most important criterion for a printer is the quality of its imaging in relation to your needs. I am always surprised at how much variation there is in print quality when a reviewer tests several competing machines against one another. If you can track down such comparisons, you will find them eye-opening. Again, keep consumable costs in mind: If you have to use photo-quality paper with an inkjet printer in order to get output quality comparable to what a laser printer will do on a decent grade of plain bond paper, you must factor the cost of expensive paper into your total ownership costs when considering the inkjet.

5. The reason there are so many different printers on the market is that peoples' needs vary widely. As you spend more money, you tend to get greater reliability, higher performance (both quality and printing speed), more robust construction, and a longer expected life in terms of both years and number of copies produced. And, as mentioned above, some extremely inexpensive printers trade off their low initial cost for high per-page costs in actual use. You really need to analyze which of the many variables in printers are most important to you, and then look for models that best fit those priorities.

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Raging asked on 03/03/03 - Business 2 Consumer

Hi I want to design an eBusiness Gift Shop & would like to know how I go about structuring the eBusiness to meet what the digital customer desires?

voiceguy2000 answered on 03/03/03:

This is a subject that whole books could be written on, and I can only scratch the surface with my suggestions here.

As a starting point, you might want to take a look at some of the FAQs that I have posted on the E-Business and Web Page Design boards. I can summarize much of what I have said there with the following:

1. In general, the people who have had the most success putting businesses up on the web are those who were already successful with non-web businesses. In other words, they already had known products or services, a known customer base, a known supplier base, and experience in marketing to and dealing with customers in that world.

By contrast, starting a brand new business from scratch on the web is a challenge, because in addition to all the things any new business must face, an online business faces additional challenges in bringing itself to the attention of potential customers.

2. Not all products or services have proven viable on the web. Software and information products (such as e-books) are by far the most successful categories. A successful e-business will probably need the following:

a. One or more hot target markets that are relatively easy and inexpensive to reach. These should be people with money to spend on your stuff and who are passionate about the subject, like avid fishing or golf enthusiasts who want the latest lure or coolest clubs.

b. A product that really pushes hot buttons with this target market. Ideally the product should be exclusively yours, and it should have a high markup (6x minimum).

c. A practical and effective marketing model to bring in new customers and to build repeat business from existing customers.

3. Because of the above factors, I am a bit concerned about your proposed Gift Shop. It is not immediately obvious who your target market is, and it is not immediately obvious what your hot products are to appeal to that market. If, in fact, you more or less intend to market to "everybody," you are going to spend an awful lot of money on a pretty thin return. You might be at least slightly better off going after one or more niches, such as "gifts for nurses" or the like, rather than just vaguely selling "gifts" to the world in general.

4. Here are things that a "digital customer" would typically want:

a. Complete and honest description of the merchandise

b. Bargain price (people assume that on the internet things should cost less)

c. An ironclad guarantee of satisfaction

d. Easy-to-access customer service

e. The ability to pay by credit card

f. Quick fulfillment (delivery)

g. Flawless performance of your site's shopping cart and order completion processes

5. Make sure you have a viable marketing plan. What will drive business to your online Gift Shop? Please don't say "search engines" because unless you have unusual items or an unusual niche, people are probably not going to find you that way. You need to have other ways of driving traffic to your site, and your site has to capture a fair amount of business from visitors. It will be easier if what you offer is unique (exclusive), and is offbeat enough to gain coverage on Oprah or Good Morning America.

6. Also, don't make the mistake of, which put up a lovely site that allowed consumers to pick out what furniture they wanted but they then bought at a local furniture store. If you have a nice gift catalog online that allows people to pick out great gifts and then buy them locally, you won't make any money. This, again, is why you need to have an exclusive on your stuff.

Good luck with your venture. I have given some other information sources in some of the FAQs and would encourage you to educate yourself before plunging a significant investment into this project.

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Nitin asked on 02/25/03 - yahoo geocities

i have a problem ,
i made a webpage on yahoo geocities
and i odnt know what i did
but i edited it with page builder
so when ever i want to edit i get this tupid computer language

ok here is the problem
i use yahoo messenger
and put a sign "i'm online send me a message"
well while editing , i changed the size , and now i want to either delete it or restore the original logo
pls help i'm a novice

voiceguy2000 answered on 02/27/03:

Oops -- my answer got throughly trashed by the Preview processing here. :-(

To make a long answer short, if you cannot get in to tinker with the HTML code as Karen suggests, then see if you can delete the problem graphic and link in Yahoo Page Builder, and then insert it again without the size (height and width) attributes.

Nitin rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

Nitin asked on 02/25/03 - yahoo geocities

i have a problem ,
i made a webpage on yahoo geocities
and i odnt know what i did
but i edited it with page builder
so when ever i want to edit i get this tupid computer language

ok here is the problem
i use yahoo messenger
and put a sign "i'm online send me a message"
well while editing , i changed the size , and now i want to either delete it or restore the original logo
pls help i'm a novice

voiceguy2000 answered on 02/27/03:

Karen's last clarification is correct; the only question is how you can get to that code using Yahoo's Page Builder.

17 lines up from the bottom of the source code for you page is a line that begins

Farther to the right is the IMG tag for the little graphic that is too small. The reason that it is too small is that there are height and width specs in the tag that are too small.

There are two possible ways to deal with this:

1. If you can get in and edit the actual HTML code, do as Karen suggests; take the tag that begins

and delete the height and width attributes, so that it will read

2. Using Yahoo's Page Builder, remove this graphic and link, and try inserting it again. If you see anything that indicates a size is being applied (such as 50 by 50, in this case), try to prevent it -- perhaps by putting blanks in any fields where a size appears.

Good luck.

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HANK1 asked on 02/26/03 - Clip Art

I feel like I'm missing the boat by not knowing how to use clip art. Could you give me a step-by-step procedure? I have access to clip art sites! Thanks.


voiceguy2000 answered on 02/26/03:

I am not really sure you are missing any boats, because there is a tendency to go overboard with cutesy pictures.

Using clip art is really a function of what software program you are using to create the basic document. Even the more simple-minded word processing programs nowadays usually have some facility to "import" or "place" a graphic image. When you get to programs that are designed for page layout, such as Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, Quark Xpress, PageMaker, InDesign, or the like, you have much more sophisticated tools available.

I was at a PhotoShop conference last week at which one of the lecturers mentioned that there are something like 400 graphics file formats in use today. Luckily, there are only a handful found in the personal computer world, and they all fall into one of only two categories: bit-mapped, and vector.

The main thing you need to know about these is that vector drawings can generally be re-sized to be larger or smaller without any ill effects. Bit-mapped images, on the other hand, suffer if you try to enlarge them (you can generally get away with making them smaller).

I see promotions all the time for giant clip art collections -- Aladdin is running one right now. If you really think you need it, get one that is not too expensive and see how useful it is. You may evenfind that a program you already have contains a clip art collection.

It really depends on what you plan to do with the clip art. If you are doing bulletins for the local Boy Scout troop, some little clip art doo-dads might be just fine. If you are creating serious business documents, the need for clip art is extremely limited.

As to step-by-step instructions, it is not really possible to do this without knowing what software you are using. In abstract terms you would:

1. Download the desired clip art file from the web site to your own computer (right click and "Save to Disk").

2. Under the File menu of your software program there should be something that says "Import Graphic" or "Place Graphic" or maybe just "Import" or "Place." Select this and navigate to the file you downloaded.

3. Use the appropriate command to place the graphic in your document. Some programs create a special cursor that you click in the right spot; others might have you use "Paste" under the Edit menu.

4. When all else fails, consider reading the manual for the software you are using. :-)

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violet0019 asked on 02/18/03 - SEEKING A WEB ADDRESS>>>>>>>>>HELP PLEASE

I am seeking the web address, if it exists of someone named CHRISTOPHER ROSS.....famous for his artistic
BELT BUCKLES which he used to make, not sure if he still does? They were made of precious metals....can anyone help me? THANKS.

voiceguy2000 answered on 02/18/03:

Take a look at this site and see if it helps you at all.

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salama asked on 02/12/03 - Spam problem

I really want to solve this problem once and for all.

Someone in our company filled my name in one of these spam,(Porno).I don' know who it cause our organisation has 300 employees.

We use outlook 97,for access to e-mails.Spam guards wont work cause the control must be at the server level.Changing address must have a good reason to the IT manager.

How will I solve my problem really?

voiceguy2000 answered on 02/12/03:

Scott, when I said you were not emphatic enough, I was being tongue-in-cheek. I should have put a little smiley after the comment.

The point is that spam has blossomed to a problem of almost overwhelming proportions, and I had to chuckle at the aspiration to deal with any spam problem "once and for all." There seems to be no viable means to deter it. By "viable" I mean not only technically workable, but legally and politically possible. I fault the Direct Marketing Association, and the banking and financial services industries, for having hamstrung efforts at the federal level to do something about the problem, but given how much spam is being relayed through antiquated, open-relay servers in South Korea and the former Soviet Union, it is unrealistic to think that even draconian U.S. laws would have much effect on things.

The only thing that will work, in my view, is taking the profit out of it. Just as the federal RICO statutes finally allowed prosecutors to get past the soldiers to the mafia kingpins, an effective legal remedy against spam will have to greatly raise the stakes for the businesses that use spam. In other words, we should be arresting the johns, and not just the prostitutes.

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whokilledkenny asked on 02/12/03 - Total System Intervention (TSI)

Dear ScottGem,
I have problem looking for materials on Total System Intervention for my research. Could you please suggest me some websites explaining what is TSI? most of the websites introduce books on TSI,but i need an article. Hope you could help. Thanks.

voiceguy2000 answered on 02/12/03:

Here is two other papers that may be helpful:

I was able to find a number of references, actually -- including the two shown above -- by performing a Google search with the phrase TSI total intervention critique. Don't ask me to explain exactly what inspired this phrase; I developed it iteratively by trying different terms until I started to see plausible responses. I have done enough online research (beginning with Lexis/Nexis in the late 1970s) to have some instincts for the literal way that search engines think.

Because TSI seems to be the brainchild of people like Flood and Jackson at the University of Hull, UK, you might also try some searches that include their names along with some qualifying terms (I used TSI total intervention) to see what turns up. Eventually, thought, you may have to get hold of Flood"' book (published by Wiley Europe) to really see what it all means. (I confess that I was fairly bewildered by what I read!)

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salama asked on 02/12/03 - Spam problem

I really want to solve this problem once and for all.

Someone in our company filled my name in one of these spam,(Porno).I don' know who it cause our organisation has 300 employees.

We use outlook 97,for access to e-mails.Spam guards wont work cause the control must be at the server level.Changing address must have a good reason to the IT manager.

How will I solve my problem really?

voiceguy2000 answered on 02/12/03:

Adding to what Scott said, you really cannot automatically assume that your address got on the spam lists because someone else at your company maliciously signed you up. The truth is that the spam merchants use a large number of techniques to develop their lists.

If you have ever posted your e-mail address anywere -- on a USENET newsgroup, on a web site, on a blog site, or wherever -- or if it is somehow accessible in a company directory (online or off) or the directory of an association you belong to, or of a religious or volunteer organization, or the like, then it is out there ready to be harvested by the spammers. They use software called "robots" and "spiders" to crawl the net and scour everything they find for e-mail addresses.

In addition, because email is cheap, many spammers simply use what are called "dictionary attacks," sending e-mail to every plausible username they can think of at every domain they run across. Of course most of these will bounce (or at least go undelivered) but some get through.

My only quarrel with Scott's response to your question is that he was not emphatic enough in stating how big a problem spam is nowadays. It is one of the very top subjects of conversation among internet service providers, corporate IT departments, eZine publishers, and legitimate online marketers. The volume of spam has exploded to the point where it often represents as much as 50% of the traffic that a corporate mail server handles.

Chances are your company's IT department already has some anti-spam initiatives in place, with more to come. Chances are also strong that you are not the only one there who is being inundated with unwanted spam e-mails. Unless you have a specific reason to know otherwise, I think you should not hesitate to have a chat with the IT people to see what help they may be able to offer.

And I would not broach the issue in terms of a suspicion that someone else in the company put you on a porn list. It is enough to say, truthfully, that you did not seek to be on any such list yourself. You cannot prove that someone else did it, and frankly, based on the experience of myself and everyone I know, I think it is far more likely that you got on these lists because the spammers found you, not because someone maliciously put you there.

Good luck.

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violet0019 asked on 02/03/03 - ANONYMOUS QUESTIONS......IS IT POSSIBLE ON THIS SITE.....

I am asking this question for someone who is a bit shy and would like to join this site, but wishes to remain it possible to post questions on this site, but remain ANONYMOUS? And if so, how would he be able to actually post a question and not have his name appear anywhere............THANK YOU.

voiceguy2000 answered on 02/04/03:

As is clearly described on the home page, certain categories -- shown in green -- allow questions to be posted anonymously if the user chooses to do so. In the other categories, anonymous posting is not allowed. If your friend wants to post questions anonymously, he would be able to do so in the green categories (generally ones that involve personal matters).

As Vijay stated, however, your friend would have to disclose a valid e-mail address to Answerway itself. This e-mail address would not be published anywhere and would not be available to any other Answerway user. Your friend could pick any username he wishes, and his real name would not be made public.

This policy concerning anonymity was the subject of extensive review and comment last fall, and was established as the best combination of (a) allowing anonymity in certain areas where it might make sense, while (b) not allowing it in other areas where there seemed to be no point in it.

Some experts prefer not to answer anonymous questions, but in the green-highlighted areas they are expected and so that should not be a problem in general for your friend.

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ANY ADVICE ON WHERE TO PLACE A QUESTION WHICH DOES NOT HAVE A CATEGORY ANYWHERE? For example, if I want to ask a question about this site and how it works, where to best place a question , ie. in which category,...................................are there any suggestions please? THANKS!

voiceguy2000 answered on 02/04/03:

If you make an educated guess on which category to use, experts will see that you have posted a new question and will generally find it.

Also, you can visit the User Forum (see the link on the left side of the page) and post a site-related question or comment there.

Finally, if you have a specific problem or question, you can send an e-mail to

Or you could just post your question right in this category (Other Computers & Internet) because it is the catch-all for this overall subject area.

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forare asked on 01/27/03 - download entire site

what is the best utility which allows me to download a whole website inlcuding all linked images and pages so i can view it offline later on.


voiceguy2000 answered on 01/27/03:

There are a number of shareware utilities kicking around on the internet, which can be found by browsing sites such as and Here are several that are popular:

Advanced Site Crawler

HTTrack Website Copier

Web Site Extractor



HTTP Weazel

You can find others by searching under terms like "web site download" or "site ripper" on the tucows or listings. Pay careful attention to the OS compatibility of these products.

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GolfCents asked on 01/22/03 - Shopping cart (databases vs cookies)

Shopping cart databases
Hi I setup a product selling website and used a freeshopping cart program from, and it works great, but there is a problem LIMIT of 20 cookies, which for this means a limit of 20 separate
items. Each item consists of (description, Quantity and Price). I'm told there are 2 ways to get around this.
[1] Put multiple items on 1 cookie, this however seems to perplex many people(including myself) as to how to do so. I have seen 2 functions written by Sjors Pals that put many items on a cookie, but these are strings of just items, not item with their subvalues, so trying to work that code into the existing cart isnt an easy feat. If I provide the js file can any of you experts figure out how I can get say 4 items on each cookie(which equivalates to separate 80 products)
Remember each item has its own desc,qty,price.
No Tax or shipping fields are used.

[2]the 2nd possibility is going to a database shopping cart system... This is also very new to me. Is there any free shoppingcarts using databases, and are there
fairly simple ones. I dont need anything elaborate.
A simple pulldown of products and a quantity update, with a totaling price, and a view of the cart, and finally a submit screen with the items . I dont need fancy Credit card ordering or other fancy features, just a simple text selection from a form of products.

thank you in advance for any help on both of these situations.

PS If you cant answer can you direct me to the appropriate forum.

voiceguy2000 answered on 01/22/03:

Take a look at this site where both free and paid shopping cart products are listed. This is by no means a complete listing; a search on for "shopping cart software" will produce a bunch of other possibilities.

With all respect, I would like to suggest that your home-brew/do-it-yourself approach may be leading you to trouble ahead. It is hard enough to get a web site put together, well-promoted, and functioning without having to tinker with the software that makes it work. In other words, it may be false economy to to try to cobble something together from free code floating around on the net.

If your market is golfers, I would speculate that the typical person in that market is relatively affluent, well-educated, and accustomed to flawless service and web site performance. If your homebrew shopping cart looks clunky, or misbehaves in even the slightest respect, that customer will lose trust in your site and take his or her business somewhere else.

My suggestion, therefore, is to rely on something a little more tried-and-true in order to see whether your overall site concept is a viable one. Here are some suggestions:

1. Set up a Yahoo! storefront. Go to for information on this. It is a paint-by-numbers approach to setting up a simple store.

2. Put your site on a web host that offers shopping cart software as part of the package. A lot of hosts, for example, throw in a version of Miva Merchant® with their hosting packages. Or you can license your own copy of the program.

3. Hire a consultant to put up, tweak, and maintain your shopping cart and related web stuff. I have seen well-qualified people offer this service for $100 per month, and throw in the software as part of the package.

Getting a web commerce site to run smoothly and look professional is a major task. It can be time-consuming even for the pros, and for an amateur with limited computer skills it may be darn near impossible. The commercial (paid) software solutions at least tend to have browser-based "build the store" capabilities, so that you do not have to do a lot of detailed coding to put together your presentation. I encourage you to spend your time on the marketing and promotion issues your site must deal with, and either buy some kind of turnkey solution or pay a reasonable price for software and/or support services that will really make your site hum. That way, when you drive traffic there, people will have a good experience, orders will be submitted without errors or glitches, and you can build a base of happy, repeat customers.

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DILLIGAS asked on 01/19/03 - What is
What is EYNC?

I was working at a customers office th eother day and they asked what the new comression format is; EYNC. I felt very foolish not knowing the answer. I looked at some newsgroups and could not find oput what they were talking about. But I have seen some references to it around.

Thanks for the help.


voiceguy2000 answered on 01/21/03:

I am pretty sure that what you mean is "yEnc" or "y encoding." This is an encoding technique used for binary files on certain USENET systems. Unfortunately, at least two of the mainstream USENET news readers -- Forte Agent and Outlook Express -- lack the ability to decode yEnc files.

There are some third party yEnc decoders available; the alternative is to switch to a different news reader that has yEnc capability built in. One popular external yEnc decoder is yProxy, published by Brawny Lads ( ). You might also take a look at news readers and accessory programs at to see what is available.

In the long run, I am sure your customer would be happier using a news reader that has the necessary binary decoding built-in, rather than having to go through multiple steps with each file. There are quite a number of news readers available that will do the job.

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forare asked on 01/20/03 - MS A+ certificate

I have good experience in repairing pcs for more than 4 years, i can recognize all faults easily and change hardware parts, and install windows and all necessary applications without any problems, however i am now becoming very much interested in earning Microsoft A+ certificate, so my question is which book or training course you would recommand even i have no time to go to school again as i work full time ?
Is there any other certificate than the A+ that is worth to study for aswell ?
All suggestions are appreciated and rated.
thank you

voiceguy2000 answered on 01/20/03:

The A+ certification is not offered by Microsoft; it is offered by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) as a vendor-neutral, entry level certification.

As a starting point, I would recommend that you read the extensive information on the A+ certification posted here. This page on the site includes links to lists of books, materials, and training courses that have been approved by CompTIA as covering appropriate material in an appropriate way.

As for any other certifiations -- or, for that matter, the A+ certification -- the real question is what you intend to do with it. Novell started the whole certification business a number of years ago by training and then certifying people to configure and maintain its highly complex Netware product. Now, Microsoft, Cisco, and a number of other vendors have instituted similar programs with respect to their own proprietary products. I would not recommend trying to pursue one of those certifications unless you really want to work with those products, have the necessary technical background to handle material at that level, and are willing to de vote the time and effort to learning what can be very difficult material.

You might want to look at some of the other vendor-neutral certifications offered by CompTIA. Go to for more information. As a strategy, however, I would recommend that you take things one step at a time. Check out the A+ certification and prepare for and take the test. Going through that experience, and hitting the market with that credential, will give you a much better sense of whether it is worthwhile.

Be aware that the job market in the IT world continues to be pretty soft. There are still a lot of very talented and experienced people pounding the pavement, and certifications can only take you so far in such a situation. On the other hand, having a credential sets you apart from those who do not have the credential.

In sum, I think you will find just about everything you need to know on the CompTIA page that I mentioned at the beginning of this answer. If there is a bookstore near you with a decent-size computer book section, you should be able to pick up and browse through some books on A+ certification, because it is a popular topic. Looking through one of those books will give you a better idea as to what you can expect.

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forare asked on 01/17/03 - Site submit

I have submitted my site maually to search engines then i wait few weeks and check if it got listed but i can't find it, i have done this about 4 time for the same website and i can not see it on any searchengine, what other options do i have even if it costs money or not.


voiceguy2000 answered on 01/17/03:

It is difficult to know what advice to give you based on such vague information.

Whole books have been written on the subject of search engine optimization and search engine submission. The information "out there" tends to be a mixture of fact and mythology; the problem is made worse by the fact that (a) each major search engine uses a different approach; (b) the approaches are constantly being tinkered with; and (c) the approaches are shrouded in secrecy so as to make it as difficult as possible for people to play games with their rankings.

There are a number of possible reasons why you are not finding your site in whichever search engines you are looking in:

a. Your site content is not deemed relevant by crawler-based engines, based on the words that appear;

b. Your site is being penalized because it appears to be using a "spamming" trick to game the search engine rankings;

c. Your site content is contained in non-searchable graphics rather than text;

d. Not enough time has passed for your site to be spidered and processed;

e. If you are submitting to a directory-type engine, the editors at the site were not impressed with your site; or

f. Your site does not have its own domain name, but is buried in a free host such as Geocities, Tripod, or AOL, which tend to be discounted by many search engines.

Rather than try to explain such a complex subject in the short space available here, I would suggest that you work through the information posted at This is one of the best all-around discussions of search engine submission and optimization available.

Keep in mind also that search engines are not the be-all and end-all of a web site's existence. Unless your site is something that people are likely to be searching for in the first place, it is mostly pointless to worry about search engine ranking. There are quite a number of far more effective methods for building awareness of a web site. As you will see when you look at the information mentioned above, trying to get your arms around all the intricacies of search engine work can drive you crazy -- that's why there are many consultants out there who charge big bucks to do this kind of work for other people.

If you want more specific suggestions for your site, you wll have to provide some more information about the site and its target audience.

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forare asked on 01/17/03 - best size of html pages

1-what is the best html page dimensions i should use so that it will fit on diffrent screen resolutions?


voiceguy2000 answered on 01/17/03:

Because of the nature of web browsers and HTML, unless you take specific steps to control things, the contents of you web page will shrink or expand to fit the size of the window that each visitor happens to have set in his orher web browser. Sometimes this can lead to pretty odd-looking results.

The answer is to decide on an optimum size based on what you know about your visitors. I personally like to limit the width of my web pages to somewhere between 550 and 600 pixels, using an overall enclosing table with the border set to zero, which gives some assurance that even people with older computers (or older laptops) viewing the page at 640x480 resolution will have an appropriate experience.

You cannot really "set" the height, or vertical size, of your page; rather, the more content you have, the more the page will grow downward. If you want to design a page for the worst case of a 640x480 screen resolution setting, you must make sure that your "above-the-fold" content -- the stuff you want the visitor to see when your page first loads, without clicking on the scroll bad -- fits within about the first 350-400 pixels in height. That takes into account the vertical space taken up by a typical browser's tool bar and other navigation aids that appear above the actual content window.

You will find all kinds of different opinions on this subject, from different designers. Many may disagree with me, which is fine, as long as they explain the reasoning for their views as I have for mine. I tend to design for greater compatibility with a wider variety of browsers, platforms, and screen resolutions; other people take an elitist view and design only for large screens on computers using the very latest browsers.

There is an excellent tutorial on this subject posted by graphic designer James Shook at this address: While some of the techniques he shows may be beyond what you are interested in doing, his overall approach to flexible page size is a useful one.

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forare asked on 01/13/03 - creat my won forum/chat

Dear experts,
My hosting company does not provide a forum service but it supports ASP, is there any easy way that i can setup my own forum/chat without using outside free ones.


voiceguy2000 answered on 01/13/03:

The ASP forum/chat solutions I am aware of require also that you have access to a database (normally something like mySQL). Many web hosts offer this, but typically charge extra both for setup and monthly fee.

Here is a free ASP/SQL forum/chat solution: ASP .NET 1.7

Here is one that costs money:

For my money, especially if you are not going to have hundreds of posts per day, the shareware WebBBS program, a perl script that requires cgi-bin access, is just dandy. Go to Also look at the offerings at Matt' s Script Archive, which include a free forum (BBS) script.

Granted, setting up a cgi-bin script the first time can seem a bit hairy, but it generally is no worse than getting an SQL-based process to work, and may be a lot easier in practice.

Finally, if your web host supports PHP (as many do nowadays), you might want to investigate a PHP-based forum script. Here is a listing that includes a number of good ones:

These will, generally, require SQL capability.

Good luck.

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whokilledkenny asked on 01/07/03 - IT Vs IS

Dear experts,
Is there any difference between Information Technology and Information Systems?

voiceguy2000 answered on 01/09/03:

Since both terms are somewhat broad and vague, I doubt that there is a meaningful difference between them in most contexts. It really depends on where and how the terms are being used.

Some companies may have a Personnel department; some may call it Employee Relations; some may call it Human Resources (HR). They all mean more or less the same thing, and serve to distinguish those broad functions from, say, Marketing or R&D. Similarly, in a company whose main business is not the technology itself, a reference to Information Systems or Information Technology would probably mean about the same thing, and serve to distinguish those functions from, say, Operations or Purchasing or Investor Relations.

It is possible that in an intense, high-tech setting, there may be nuanced distinctions. Cisco Systems or IBM may ascribe differences to the terms, but even then, the way Cisco does so may be different from the way IBM does. Thus, again, we come back to the point that it all depends on where and how the terms are being used. As far as I can see, if you wanted to study to become an expert in either Information Technology or Information Systems, you would take exactly the same courses and receive exactly the same credentials. It is, therefore, difficult to tell the terms apart.

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