Q. I recently upgraded my Dell 4100 to Windows XP from Windows ME. As a result, I have lost all use of my Incredimail XE program. It is not my default e-mail program, but I do like to use it for the nice backgrounds and the silly emoticons and sounds and other features it adds to ordinary e-mail messages.
A. First of all, I checked out this Incredimail that you rave about, and my nerves still are jingling from all those beeps and animated icons and sounds and whatever else the software adds to ordinary e-mail.
That said, I explored the software (what I won't do for readers?) and got an answer along with the neural burnout. It turns out that Incredimail's software (www.incredimail.com) is set up to automatically configure itself once it is installed.
So you need to first remove the current e-mail account in Outlook Express and then use the Incredimail software to set the server names you are being denied. So run the Incredimail software, then select Tools and follow the prompts to your e-mail account. Select it, and then use the command Remove in the dialogue box.
Now click on the Add box and then select the prompt called Add Account Automatically, and the software will restore the incoming and outgoing server information.
Once you have restored these settings, your Incredimail will be back in play.
Q. I keep having a problem with the default font in my Microsoft Word documents. I set it for the document I am typing, but after a few lines it reverts back while I am typing, and I have Times Roman again.
Is there a way to lock the change in?
A. Microsoft's software geniuses use a common and pretty effective process to establish the absolutely basic settings of Word by way of a settings file. It's effective -- unless you count the fact that many people who use the software aren't told about the file and how to change it in order to establish different default settings than the software had out of the box.
The file is called normal.dot, and it is nothing more than a blank Word file with all the settings as Microsoft wants them.
So your fix is quite easy. Fire up Word, click on Format and then Font and select the typeface and font size you want. Now click on File and Save As and type in normal.dot. The software will see it is a DOT (document template) file and automatically call up the folder with the existing normal.dot file.
Write the new one over the old, and your personal font choice will be a bulletproof part of the Word software on your computer.
A final note: Sometimes folks get too frisky messing with their normal.dot files and add settings they come to regret. In that case, just go to the folder called Templates. It's easy to find. Just backtrack the "Save As" instructions, and when the Templates folder comes up, use the ordinary file-finder box to see which folder holds it.
Then go to that folder and rename normal.dot to something like xnormal.dot. When Word boots up and cannot find its normal.dot file, it will create a new one with the default settings.
Q. I am a great fan of your column, and, more than the content, I have always enjoyed the humor intertwined with your response to anguished queries.
Now I have a problem. I use an IBM Thinkcenter running on Windows XP Home Edition with broadband connection and use the IE browser most of the time. I am mortally afraid of viruses and, hence, do have a firewall.
Though I had exercised extreme caution, somehow the machine appears to have contracted a virus -- "Downloader.Trojan" -- that attempts to open a Web site "horseserver.net," which forcefully replaces the existing browser window.
A. I have written about the issue before, and I again will point the way to using various software tools to find and fix the hidden files and registry settings the creeps use.
May I suggest, however, that you consider taking your computer to a shop and ask them either to fix the software or to make backup copies of your data and restore the computer to its factory settings.
The reason I suggest such a painful fix is that the existing tools for dealing with browser hijackers require all kinds of intermediate to advanced steps.
You can find out what you would need to do by going to www.merijn.org and downloading the sophisticated Hijack, which will let a user scan a computer and find the potentially dozens of hooks that browser hijack schemes write onto hard drives and registries.
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