ABC Tower   Weekend Show, 5 March 2006

Tips & Hints

Posted 8 March 2006

Our March spot was the first Weekend spot for their year, and we started with shattering Simon's illusions about not bothering with security on his Apple Mac. Other news of the week included the latest Bagel virus which threatens to sue you. We also discussed the new broadband plans offering higher downloads and faster speeds.

Email management was the main theme of our calls. We also had a question about the difference between cable and ADSL. One important query was securely erasing files.

Secure Erasing

One of the often overlooked fact about computers is that deleted files don't go away. Often, the file lurks on the computer for a long time before it gets overwritten. To overcome this, there are a number of utilities that will securely wipe either a drive or individual files.

A free program we've been very happy with over the years is Eraser, a terrific little program out of Ireland. Once installed on your computer you can clean up your free space, wipe entire drives, securely empty your Recycled Bin and totally wipe individual files. You can download a free copy from their website.

Recovering lost files

A number of listeners have since asked about the opposite: Recovering files. Here again, there's an excellent package called Restoration which will attempt to restore lost files. Remember, if you have lost or accidentally deleted some files, then you should avoid using the computer where the lost files are until they have been recovered.

Email files

Email programs are remarkable in the places they will hide your mail files, Microsoft are possibly the worst for this in that both Outlook and Outlook Express can save their files anywhere on the computer. Microsoft have a page devoted to how to find and save your Outlook and Outlook Express. We suggest XP users should backup the entire contents of their C:\Documents and Settings folder just to be on the safe side.

Macro Errors

A common irritant with the newer versions of Microsoft Word is the macro protection "feature" which stops unrecognised Macros from starting with Word, this messes up a lot of programs that use Word macros, MYOB, Avery Label Maker and Adobe Acrobat are three particularly prone to this. The easiest solution is to search your hard drive for *.dot and move any that appear in folders named startup. Dropping your MS Word macro security to "Low" can fix this, but we don't recommend that.

The next weekend show is scheduled for April 2. We will confirm this closer to the date. If you’d like to be kept informed of the constantly ever-changing Weekend schedule, subscribe to our newsletter.
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