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Installed Memory – Now My Computer Does Not Work. 

by on October 31, 2006

Q: I tried to add memory to my PC and now it will not boot up.

A: When you purchased the RAM did you make sure that you bought the right speed and type for your computer? When installing RAM it’s very important to ensure these specifications are exactly what your motherboard requires (This information is readily available in your motherboard manual, or the manufacturer’s website).

If in fact you did have the right RAM; were you adding to RAM already in your system or replacing what you had with new chips? It’s good policy to always fill a bank (two slots) with the same RAM (size, speed, brand).

One other thing to check is that the ram is seated properly. Make sure the clips on the side of the RAM slot are pushed out when you slide the chip into the slot. You should feel the chip slip in with easy (but firm/even) pressure on the top of the chip. Take special care to make sure you are putting it in the proper way; you will see slots in the card edge of the RAM that will line up with plastic “bumps” within the RAM slot.


Can Someone Intercept My IM Conversation? 

by on October 30, 2006

Q: Recently when I was chatting with my brother on Yahoo messenger a guy irritated me. I asked him how he got my Yahoo messenger name and his response was to start showing me all the conversation between my brother and me. Could you please explain how it was done and if there is a remedy?

A: We are going to assume, for the sake of answering this question that your brother is not playing a joke on you by passing this information to one of his friends.

So our next step is to look at the following:

1. Do both of you have an anti virus product installed? Is it up to date? If the answer is YES/YES please run a full scan of your system.

2. Are both of you running a software firewall? Did you notice any odd traffic going through at the time?

3. Check for rootkits using the following tools:

If you are an experienced user (really, an expert in how a system operates) I also recommend looking at your system with IceSword to go through your ports and kernel hooks.

If you have been compromised with a Rootkit, it’s time to backup critical files offline and perform a total wipe/reinstall of your operating system. Once breached, you have no idea how many other doors have been opened.


How Can I Hide My Computer Cables? 

by on October 24, 2006

Q: How can I hide all my computer cables, DSL modem, etc. Some sort of basket or ceramic piece?

A: What you can do to hide your cables will depend on how your desk is setup. Some desks come with handy trays that stick on underneath which allow you to route cabling around while keeping it tucked up and hidden.

If your desk does not have cable management built in, then a nifty option is to purchase some split wire loom (See here for an example of the types available: http://cableorganizer.com/wire-loom/). Basically you wrap this over your bundles of cables and it gives it a more finished look (as opposed to a rats nest of cabling).

As for your DSL Modem and other peripherals, you can hide them in whatever you want. Whether it’s a cabinet/hutch on your desk, or like you said in a basket. Be creative and play around, just make sure you leave an opening for heat to escape if it’s a small container/box.


Mailer-Daemon “does not like recipient” 

by on October 21, 2006

Q: I have tried for a very long time to find the new email address of a friend. I cannot locate a phone number for him, and when I send an email to his old Yahoo address, I get a mailer-daemon that says “does not like recipient”. What is another approach to look up email address (for free) and what does the mailer daemon mean by this?

A: The “Mailer-Daemon” is a mail server and in this case it is the mail server at Yahoo. What it is telling you is that the users account no longer exists. What happens with Yahoo, if you have a free account, is that your account will get deleted if you do not check it for 3 months. So chances are what happened is that your friend did not check his email and his account has been removed.

Unfortunately there is no easy way to look up someone’s email address, other than search engines. What we mean is some people belong to mailing lists or have their own websites. They put their name, email address, and other identifying information on their website or in the mailing list. You can then use search engines like Yahoo, Ask, and Google to try to find these people by searching on their name.

I have managed to find distant relatives and friends by some careful searches, however if their last name is relatively common (i.e. “Smith” or “Brown”) then the chances are slim that you will find them.


How Do I Play DVD Videos On My PC? 

by on October 20, 2006

Q: I have a Sony Handycam. I am trying to view the DVDs on my computer’s DVD player but I do not seem to have any software that can support this type of video. What do you suggest?

A: Playing DVD movie disks require a DVD drive and DVD decoder software. This special software is required to handle the decryption, audio/video decoding, and display of the video on your screen. Many major Windows PC manufacturers pre-load some form of DVD decoder software on computers sold with DVD drives. However, if you purchased your PC from a smaller vendor or built it yourself you might lack it.

There are several options available to you. VLC Media Player is your only free option. It will play DVD videos and can run on a huge number of operating systems including Widows, Mac OS X and Linux. The next option is a DVD-decoder plug-in. These run around $10 to $15 and enable DVD playback through programs like Windows Media Player. Microsoft has a list of options to choose from on this website.


Logging Emails With MS Exchange Server 2003 

by on October 20, 2006

Q: I am using Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 along with Outlook for our inter-office email and outside email. I have been asked by the owner of the company to set our email up to be archived and saved for a period of time at the server level. How do I do this and how to I veiw archived emails?

A: You are going to want to setup something Microsoft calls journaling. This system is built into Exchange Server and is designed specifically for what you described. This should not be confused with archiving, which in the Exchange world is for moving old e-mails off to other storage. Depending on how large your company is this might get a little complex so I suggest you check out this article from Microsoft.


How Do You Setup An FTP Server On Windows XP? 

by on October 19, 2006

An Into Tomorrow listener submitted the following question!

Q: How do you setup an FTP site on Windows XP?

A: Your best bet is to try Serv-U FTP. The software is relatively easy to use and the personal version is freeware. If you’re planning to make this server available over the Internet and you’re behind a router you will also need to setup some port forwarding. Check out PortForward for instructions if you need them.


Can I Burn A DVD-RW Disc On CD Burner? 

by on October 19, 2006

Q: Is there any way to burn data and/or audio to a DVD-RW disc using a CD burner?

A: If your computer has a CD-R/RW drive and not a DVD+/-RW drive that also burns CD-R/RW, then no you can not burn DVD Data on your CD burner. You will need to purchase a DVD Burner for your computer (which these days can be purchased for a relatively cheap amount of money).

Just make sure before you buy a DVD burner you verify what is already in your system from the store you purchased it from (or look on the bill of sale). CD Burners and DVD Burners look the same from the outside.


How Do I Put Video Files On My iRiver Clix? 

by on October 18, 2006

Q: I just bought an iRiver Clix 2GB but I am having trouble putting videos on it. It seems like it only supports mpeg4 format for videos and if that is the case how do I convert my normal video to mpeg4 format? Is there a program that can convert it?

A: The iRiver requires MPEG4 Video in QVGA Format (15 frames per second). You can convert your video files that aren’t in QVGA format using a free tool called 3GP Converter (The tool is Japanese but English settings are included. It’s relatively intuitive, you basically select the input file then the output file type and let it run).

You can find a recent version of the tool on Videohelp.com at the following URL:



What Is HD DVD? 

by on October 18, 2006

Q: What is HD DVD?

A: HD DVD is the latest trend among video equipment manufacturers. HD DVD’s are similar to regular DVD’s except they will play High Definition Video.

There is a problem right now with high definition DVD players, and it’s around the fact that there are two separate standards being developed and sold to the general public (which coincidentally are not compatible with each other).

HD DVD is a standard backed by various major players in the field, and there’s another standard called BluRay, which is backed by some heavy hitting companies as well (Sony being the biggest one, who is using BluRay in their upcoming PS3 video game console).

You may recall something similar happening when VCRs first became a major consumer item. The Beta and VHS wars resulted in a lot of people losing money on a standard (Beta) that was eventually crushed in the market place. There is some hope that manufacturers will solve the problem by incorporating both BluRay and HD DVD lasers into their reading products, however time will tell how this plays out in the market place.