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Issue #73: December 14, 2008

Q: My ISP dropped Outlook Express and so I have a Gmail addressfor email but whenever I want to forward a picture or page the Outlook Express window comes up and of course I cannot complete the action.  How can I activate Outlook?  Another simple question – I want to put some icons on my desktop for quicker access but don’t know how. 

– JoAnn L.
Defuniak Springs, FL

A: JoAnn, OE is a product of Microsoft, and is nothing more than an e-mail reader.  It’s not really something that an ISP could “drop”, so I contacted your service provider to see what you meant when you said that they “dropped Outlook Express”.  What I found was that they are no longer offering e-mail accounts, and they are recommending you get a free Gmail account instead, which I see you have done.  There are very comprehensive instructions on Gmail’s website to show you how to set up Outlook Express to access your Gmail.  Here’s a shortcut to get there:  As for your other question, making shortcuts is as easy as navigating to the item you want, then right-clicking it, and selecting “Copy” from the menu.  Then go to your desktop and right-click again, and choose “Paste Shortcut”.  You can rename shortcuts to anything you want without breaking the link.  That includes removing the “Shortcut to” part of the filename, and even the file extension.

Q: I’m currently running AOL 9.1, which was a download.  I was using 9.0 prior, however when I went scanning my hard drive I noticed that I still have 9.0 and all of it’s stuff there.  Is it safe to delete 9.0 without harming 9.1?  I’m one who likes to clean out files that aren’t needed. 

– Walt S.
Niceville, FL

A: Cleaning out old stuff is good practice, Walt.  It’ll pay off for you in many ways that you’ll probably never even know, because it will prevent certain problems from ever occurring.  Not having used AOL for many years, and dozens of versions, it’s tough for me to give you a definitive answer.  Let me just say this IN GENERAL: Unless the version 9.1 you downloaded was described as an “Update” it should stand alone with no problems.  If you delete 9.0, be careful that you don’t delete any downloaded files you want to keep that may be stored under the old directory.  In the future, you might want to consider uninstalling the old version BEFORE installing the new one, to avoid any possibility of harming the new version.

READER TIP OF THE WEEK – E-mail Clutter: Judie Day, my duly ordained “Official Geek” who teaches at the Center for Lifelong Learning in Fort Walton Beach, had this to say to me in an e-mail recently: “I always delete the “headers” (forwarded addresses on the top) and “footers” (advertisements on the bottom) before I forward any e-mail and I wish everyone would be courteous enough to do the same.  If you can’t delete the advertisement, you can right click and select “Cut.”  I wouldn’t dream of sending out a used greeting card that’s all wrinkled and dirty so why send out those messes in forwarded e-mails?  You’d think they’d clean them up.”

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