From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 11 Jan 07 - Fix Your Own Computer / Myspace Privacy


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

In today's TOURBUS, you'll find answers to 14 common computer problems that may be affecting you. Instead of an expensive trip to the repair shop, learn how to fix it yourself! We'll also take a look at the shocking security holes in Myspace affecting those with "private" profiles. Read on for answers!

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Fix Your Own Computer!

A lot of the questions I get are from people with messed-up computers, wondering if they should head for the repair shop. In most cases, I recommend that people try to fix the problem on their own, and give them detailed instructions for doing so. I've put together a list of some of the most common "computer self help" questions from the past year, just in case you need a little help, and want to save a bunch of money. :-)

* SLOW COMPUTER? - I have a theory that sludge builds up inside a computer over time, much like an automobile engine. After a while, it doesn't start up like when it was new, it stalls unexpectedly, and performance is sluggish. Here's my special recipe to clean that icky goo out of your computer's pipes, so Windows will start quicker, run more reliably, and go faster on the information superhighway...

* WHICH ANTI-VIRUS OR ANTI-SPYWARE? - I hear from some readers who run 2 or 3 anti-virus programs, and half a dozen anti-spyware tools. Personally, I think that's overkill. Feuding "anti's" can cause system lockups, and slow down your computer. Here's my personal arsenal of free software to fight viruses, spyware and popups...

* SYSTEM RESTORE - Wouldn't it be nice if you could go back to a point in time when your computer was working? Think of System Restore as the Undo command for Windows. Learn how to turn back the clock on your blunder or computer emergency...

* RECOVERY CONSOLE - Sometimes viruses, spyware or random cosmic rays will attack your computer,leaving you unable to even start Windows. In many cases, the Windows XP Recovery Console can help you fix the problem.

* REMOTE ASSISTANCE - This free tool built into Windows lets your geeky friends interact with your computer just like they were sitting in front of it, even if they're half a world away. You see everything they're doing, so you can learn how to fix the problem yourself next time.

* SHARING A PRINTER - If you have two PC's but only one printer, you can share the printer so both can print to it. And you don't have to be a computer guru to make it happen. Here's how...

* LOW VIRTUAL MEMORY - If you get a message saying 'Your system is low on virtual memory' you probably need to install more RAM. But there are some other things you should check first...

* FIX MASTER BOOT RECORD - "I was trying to fix a spyware problem and it seems I messed up my computer. Now when I start Windows XP I get the 'MBR Corrupt' and 'Error loading operating system' messages." Here's how to fix a computer that won't boot up...

* DO YOU NEED A REGISTRY CLEANER? - If your computer keeps getting slower and slower, you might need to clean your registry. Here's the scoop on the Windows Registry and how to keep it tidy:

* DO YOU NEED A FIREWALL? - Perhaps you've heard conflicting reports on whether or not you should be using a firewall. Some people say you MUST have a firewall if you have a highspeed DSL or cable connection. Here's the scoop on WHO needs a firewall, WHAT they do, and WHY you might be wasting your money on firewall software.

* WIRELESS SECURITY - Since wireless networks are easy to set up, some people don't realize they are offering free Internet to anyone driving by with a laptop. Most people wouldn't want to allow their home network to be shared by strangers or used for illegal activity. Here's how to keep it from happening...

* COMPUTER RESTARTS ITSELF - Does your Windows XP computer often restart itself for no apparent reason? It could be overheating, bad RAM, a software glitch, or spyware. Here's how to identify and solve the automatic restart problem...

* INSTALLING A NEW HARD DRIVE - If you're running low on hard drive space, a new drive at today's low storage prices is a good idea. But should you a SATA, IDE, external or portable drive? And how big is big enough? Here are some tips on selecting & installing a drive, and help copying the files from your old drive.

* CDROM OR DVD ICONS ARE GONE - If your CDROM and/or DVD icons are suddenly misssing, it's possible that evil gnomes have snuck into your computer and stolen the drive. But more likely, it's a software problem that's pretty easy to fix...

Is There Any Privacy at Myspace?

Myspace offers members the option to designate a profile as public or private. When you choose to have a private profile, only those people that you have selected as Myspace "friends" can view your profile, friends list, comments, etc. That's the theory anyway... but in actual practice, a surprising number of "hacks" have been discovered that allow ANYONE to view information on Myspace profiles that are supposed to be private.

My advice is to treat your Myspace page as a public forum and don't count on Myspace to keep ANYTHING private. For more information on exactly what may be exposed, and the details of how surprisingly easy it is to "hack" into private Myspace profiles, read on...

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
Fix Your Own Computer Myspace Privacy, viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
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