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Issue #187: February 20, 2011

Note: This issue ran online, but not in the NWF Daily News. See Issue #188.


Q: Within the last week, a problem began when typing an email address into the To box of a new email.  Until last week, I could type the first letter of a name or email address and all email addresses I’ve used in the past beginning with that letter would appear.  I would arrow down, select the email address I wanted and hit enter.  Now, that function has mysteriously disappeared.  Each day when I begin using Outlook and type my fist email, no addresses are “memorized.”  As I type new emails, the addresses are memorized but only for that day.  When the Dell is turned off, the next day all memorized addresses from the prior day are gone.  What’s up? 

– Dan M.
Fort Walton Beach, Fla

A: I assume this is happening on a managed business machine, and not on a home computer (there are more differences than you may realize).  First, make sure the feature is turned on in Outlook by clicking on Tools->Options, then “Email Options” then “Advanced Email Options”.  Make sure the box labeled “Suggest names while completing To, Cc, Bcc fields” is checked.  Outlook uses a file with the extension NK2, usually Outlook.nk2 to store the auto-complete information.  One way to clear your auto-complete data and start fresh is to delete this file, so something may be deleting it during your shutdown or boot-up process.  The file is located at C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.  Check there after you boot but before you start Outlook to make sure the file is present, and check the file’s date to make sure it hasn’t been copied over with something else.  The other possibility is that your system administrator has set a group policy to disable this feature, perhaps for security reasons (for example, sensitive mail could accidentally be sent to the wrong person if Outlook incorrectly auto-completes a name).  Check with your SysAd for further assistance.

Q: If I buy an apple computer/or (ipod) can both share the same email address with my XP computer (desk top)?  Right now I have three computers and all use different email addresses.  I know that I can have up to 7 email addresses but I rather not create another email address.  I like using two different computers sharing the same email address. 

– Sue S.
Crestview, Fla

A: The short answer is yes you can, “but…”.  There is nothing in the cross-technology nature of what you are doing that would prevent you from sharing the e-mail address on multiple platforms, Sue.  I currently use my Geekmail address on my (Apple) iPhone, and on a host of different Windows machines.  Where you’re likely to run into trouble is in trying to access the e-mail from multiple machines.  Unless properly set-up, you can wind up either with all your e-mails going to one place and not available anywhere else (like multiple people attempting to pick up mail at the Post Office – the first one there gets it all and everybody else finds an empty PO box), or you can find yourself with a copy of each e-mail you receive going to each device, meaning you have to delete every single message multiple times.  The protocol you want to use is called IMAP.  If that’s not available, using webmail is a good way around the problem.

The Geek Sez:  Please don’t text while driving!  Technology should help make your life better, not take it away from you.  Nothing that you have to tell someone is so important that it is worth risking your life.  So, either pull over or wait until you get where you’re going.   Parents, make sure you tell your kids!

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