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Issue #66: October 26, 2008

Q: I use an old computer with windows ME and incredimail, which I have been using for a number of years.  All of a sudden, I get multiple copies of every e-mail I receive, anywhere from three to 10 or 12 copies.  

– Charley D.
Fort Walton Beach, FL

A: I doubt your problem is related to Windows ME, Charley, though you really should look into getting rid of that ME system – you’re leaving yourself open to any number of security vulnerabilities.  You didn’t say who your e-mail provider is, or whether you use webmail or remote mail, but my first suspicion is that somehow your e-mail is being forwarded by one or more services – such as a Gmail account that automatically forwards a copy of each e-mail to another address – and you’ve accidentally created a recursion, where one provider is forwarding e-mail to another, which is in-turn forwarding it back.  It’s also possible that you have IncrediMail configured to leave copies of e-mails on the server when it picks them up.  That’s not supposed to result in duplicate copies, but I’ve seen stranger things than this happen.  Check your settings, and your auto-forwards, and get back to me if you still have problems.

Q: Often when I have just logged off the internet, there appears a box which has the notation in it “Backing up personal storage”.  I always wonder if this is some outside entity that wants to keep a check on my internet use or if it is for my own personal well-being.  Cautious I don’t want to be cutting off my nose to spite my face if this is beneficial for my computer.

– Jeanne T.
Fort Walton Beach, FL

A: You can rest assured that the message is not coming from some “outside entity” trying to crack into your system, Jeanne.  Such hackers are not very likely to announce their presence by posting a dialog on your screen.  This message is a peculiarity of AOL, which I note you use as your Internet Service Provider.  AOL has always tried to be more than just an ISP, providing content and features as well as a gateway to the Internet.  One feature is AOL’s Personal Filing Cabinet (PFC), which you can use as a place to store any type of data, which AOL then keeps safely backed-up for you.  I suspect this message is just AOL’s way of reminding you that the PFC exists, and is being backed up to protect you.  I’m not very familiar with the functioning of AOL anymore, not having played with it for a number of years, but there’s quite likely a way to go into your AOL configuration and turn this off if you don’t want to see the message anymore.

TIP OF THE WEEK – CUSTOMIZING: Did you know that Windows allows you to personalize almost everything aspect of your display’s appearance?  You can control everything from the color of window title bars to the amount of space between icons on the desktop.  In XP, simply right-click anywhere on the desktop and select “Properties”, then go to the “Appearance” or “Themes” tab.  InVista, right-click the desktop and select “Personalize”, then choose “Window Color and Appearance” or “Theme”.  Once you’re into the settings, experiment and play all you like – you can’t really hurt anything other than making your screen pretty ugly.  You can always restore the default color scheme if you mess things up too badly.

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