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February 2002 Windows Assistance
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Get Your Mail Messages Organized 7 February 28, 2002

If you are using Outlook Express then you have an excellent method of organizing your incoming messages called Rules. Message Rules for Outlook Express can be found from Tools>>Message Rules>>Mail tab.

There is one special rule that many may use and ignore the others. This is the Block Senders List. All you have to do is provide the e-mail address and Outlook Express will automatically put the offending message into the Deleted folder. To add to the Block Senders list go to Tools>>Message Rules>>Block Senders List and click the Add button. Now just input the e-mail address. Done.

Remember this is the same as using the Delete message action. Better yet you could have used Do Not download it from Server and Delete It From Server actions. Using these two actions will keep the message from ever getting to your workstation.

Get Your Mail Messages Organized 6 February 27, 2002
Message Rules

If you are using Outlook Express then you have an excellent method of organizing your incoming messages called Rules. Message Rules for Outlook Express can be found from Tools>>Message Rules>>Mail tab.

The order in which the Rules are executed on a message make a difference. For example WindowsAssistance.com receives several different newsletters from Microsoft. Most are sent to one folder (call it folder A) but a couple of them are sent to other folders (call them B and C.) If the Rule for the moving messages to folder A was executed before the rules that sent messges to folder's B and C then no Microsoft messages would never get to folder's B and C. So order counts. To rearrange rules you have the Move Up and Move Down buttons.

Get Your Mail Messages Organized 5 February 26, 2002

If you are using Outlook Express then you have an excellent method of organizing your incoming messages called Rules. Message Rules for Outlook Express can be found from Tools>>Message Rules>>Mail tab.

It would be nice to see all of the Outlook Express Rule conditions and actions listed in one place. So be it. Here they are.

Get Your Mail Messages Organized 4 February 25, 2002
fig. 1
fig. 2

If you are using Outlook Express then you have an excellent method of organizing your incoming messages called Rules. Message Rules for Outlook Express can be found from Tools>>Message Rules>>Mail tab.

In our previous tips we created some message folders to put our incoming mail into and introduced you to message rules and created a rule to store specific messages into a folder. Now lets send an automatic reply that you received their message and will get back to them.

We're going to add a reply to the rule we created in our previous tip. Before we can add a reply to the rule we need to create a reply message. In the new message include a subject and a message and then from File>>Save As you can save the reply message. Once you have a reply message go to Tools>>Message Rules>>Mail and select the rule you wish to add a reply message and click Modify. In the #2 window check Reply to message (fig. 1). In the #3 windows double-click message and select the message (fig. 2) you created earlier. Done

Get Your Mail Messages Organized 3 February 22, 2002
fig. 1 fig. 2
fig. 3 fig. 4

If you are using Outlook Express then you have an excellent method of organizing your incoming messages called Rules. Message Rules for Outlook Express can be found from Tools>>Message Rules>>Mail tab.

In our previous tips we created some message folders to put our incoming mail into and introduced you to message rules. We will now create a rule to store specific messages into a folder.

In our last tip we got as far as the New rule window. In most cases we will select the sender in the condition box and select Move to a folder for the action. But you you use any field of a message for the condition. And as you can see from the actions you can also delete mail, copy messages, forward the message and many other options.

An important note is that you are not restricted to using just one condition and action. You can select multiple condition and actions. You can also select multiple destinations for each action.

For instance you may move all messages from friends to one folder and send a reply that you received their message and will get back to them (We will do this in the next tip.)

For this tip we selected an e-mail (fig. 1) that we get every week, the Win2KPowerUsers newsletter (fig. 2,) and move it to it's own folder (fig. 3.) fig. 4 shows the completed rule. Notice we have more than one sender name. We also could have used the subject win2kpowerusers that shows up in every newsletters subject heading no matter the sender.

Get Your Mail Messages Organized 2 February 21, 2002
List of Message Rules Create rules window.

If you are using Outlook Express then you have an excellent method of organizing your incoming messages called Rules. Message Rules for Outlook Express can be found from Tools>>Message Rules>>Mail tab.

In our previous tip we created some message folders to put our incoming mail into. Now lets setup the rules that will move mail into the newly created folders. Open the Rules windows: Tools>>Message Rules>>Mail tab. Click the New button. The top pane is a selection of conditions that determine what messages to select. The middle pane is a group of actions that that can be used on the message. And the bottom pane is where you setup the details for the conditions and actions of a message.

Next tip we will setup the rules for an incoming message.

Get Your Mail Messages Organized 1 February 20, 2002

If you are using Outlook Express then you have an excellent method of organizing your incoming messages called Rules. Message Rules for Outlook Express can be found from Tools>>Message Rules>>Mail tab.

Before we start you must first create some Mail Folders to put your incoming mail into. Select Local Folders, right-click, select New Folder. Name the new folder. You can organize your mail just as you would your other data. All mail folders can contain data (messages) and additional folders.

Tomorrow we will create message rules to move messages automatically into a folder when the message is received by Outlook Express.

Find Message February 19, 2002
Outlook Express Find Message dialog box.

Outlook Express has the ability to find a message using many variables. If you know the message is in a specific folder then select the folder and from the Edit menu select Find>>Message In This Folder (Shift+F3.) If you have no idea where the message is then select from the Edit menu Find>>Message (Ctrl+Shift+F3.) You can then you the Browse button to specify a folder or just select Local Folders and check the Include Subfolders box and search everything.

Play Games Online February 18, 2002

Tired of single-player computer games? Windows XP comes with five Internet games: Backgammon, Checkers, Hearts, Reversi and Spades. Where do you find other players? All over the world.

Select Start, All Programs, Accessories, Games and choose one of the five Internet games mentioned above. Click the Play button, and wait as you're connected to the Internet game server. Before you know it, you're paired up with a player of the same level.

PicaView: Windows Explorer Add-On February 15, 2002
From WUGNET: PicaView is a Windows Explorer add-on with all the functionality of an image viewer and movie viewer from the right-click menu. You can even right-click audio files to hear them instantly!
Burn A CD February 14, 2002
Windows XP has the ability to burn CDs built-in. Just insert a blank CD into the CD-R or CD-RW and used the Send To command under Properties to collect all the data you want burned to the CD. The data is not yet on the CD, it is just been collected so a one time burn can be done. Once the data is collected go to the CD icon and click the task Write these files to CD, which starts the CD Writing Wizard. The wizard will guide you through naming the CD and writing your files to the CD.
Turn On the Sticky Keys Feature February 13, 2002

If you have trouble holding down two or more keys simultaneously, activate StickyKeys.

To activate StickyKeys: Press the Shift key five times. A dialog box opens with instructions on how to set up the StickyKeys feature.

If you click OK, an icon (a group of squares) appears in the notification area.

To turn off StickyKeys, press the Shift key five times.

You Made It Private, Now Make It Secret February 12, 2002
File and Folder Advanced Properties

If the data in the now private folder is really private you might want to encrypt it. First you need Windows XP Pro and the partition must be formated with NTFS. No small matter there.

To encrypt a folder or file right-click the file or folder and select Properties. Yes, the Big Tip. Now click the Advance button. Down at the bottom you are given the option of either compressing or encrypting the file or folder. You cannot do both at the same time. To encrypt check the box next to Encrypt contents to secure data.

Again, Marking a Folder Private February 11, 2002
My Documents folder with the Tasks sidebar.

With Microsoft there is always two or more methods for getting a task done. In our last tip we explained how to make a folder private. We instructed you to first go to properties for the folder, then the sharing tab. Well guess what - there is a second method to get to the Sharing tab. If you have been using the Tasks sidebar then the Sharing tab is just one click away. From the File and Folder Tasks click Share this folder. Done. Now you can make the folder private. Remember this can only be done if you have formated the partition using NTFS.

Making A Folder Private February 8, 2002
File/Folder Properties, Sharing

If you have multiple user accounts on your system, each user is assigned his or her own My Documents folder in addition to the main, or shared, 'Documents' folder. We also mentioned that by default, any user can access files in both the shared and personal documents folders. If you prefer to keep others from viewing your files, mark your My Documents folder private. Then, no one can get inside but you (unless they log in under your name -- a good reason for password-protecting your user account).

Open My Computer and locate your documents folder -- probably C:\Documents and Settings\[your name]\My Documents. Right-click it, select Properties and click the Sharing tab. Select "Make this folder private," then click OK. Marking this folder private marks all subfolders and files inside private as well.

Note: You can only mark a folder private if your partition is formatted as NTFS.

Even The Know-It-Alls Screw Up February 7, 2002

Here at WindowsAssisance we have depended on, and relied on, Canon SLR cameras. No more. Here's why.

WindowsAssistance went to Fry's, a big discount electronics store, to find a rebate coupon for the Sony CD-RW we purchased the other day. With the rebate coupon in hand we went over the the scanner department to see if they had any film scanners. They did. And just the one we wanted. A Canon FS2710. Cost us $399. Fair price.

Get it back to the office. Installed the SCSI card and plugged in the scanner. SCSI card driver installs just fine. Not so the driver for the scanner. We were hoping one of the drivers included with the scanner, Win98, Win NT 4, would work. Neither did. Get on the Web and travel to the Canon site. Download available software. No drivers are included. So we call Tech Support. Long distance toll call. There is no driver for Windows XP and no indication that there ever will be. We are dead-in-the-water.

Uninstalled the SCSI card and all software. Packed the scanner up and traveled back to Fry's to return the scanner.

Moral: Yea, there is one. Always check to make sure there is software drivers for the equipment you are buying that work with your OS. Always check that the equipment you own will work with the new OS you plan to buy. If neccessary call the company and make absolutly sure. Finally buy from a store that will take back the equipment, no questions asked.

Backup To CD, The Hard Way February 6, 2002

If you want to use Backup and save to CD you can't. You can only save a Backup to a file or tape. I will say this once and never again: If you save vitial data to tape you should be sent to a mental institution. In short - you're nuts to trust tape. One problem is the user doesn't understand the sensitivity of the tape. It can be damaged very easy. Tape is very temperature sensitive. Also tape must be aligned just right in your tape machine. So we say NUTS to tape. CD is more realiable, cheaper, and a more effricient method of storing backups. We are now done preaching.

To backup to CD first create a Backup to a file then write the backup file to the CD. This is a two step process: Create the Backup. Write the Backup to the CD.

Windows XP has the ability to write to CDs built-in. Right-click a file you want to write to a CD and select Send To >> CD-RW. Repeat the Send To for all files and folders you want to send to the CD. Now select the CD drive and from the File menu select select Write These Files To CD.

We recently did a Backup of our data and then wrote the Backup file to the CD-RW. The backup file was 696 MBytes in size. A CD will hold 700 MBytes. All went well.

Can we automate this procedure? We will find out in a future tip.

WinXP Pro Compressed Files and Folders February 4, 2002
File and folder Advanced Options

With the Professional version of Windows XP users are afforded an additional option to compress files or folders. To compress a file(s) or folder(s) go to Files menu and select Properties. From the General tab click the Advanced button. You can check either compression or encryption but not BOTH. With this option you're compressing the file or folder vs making a copy that is compressed - the zipped file. Once a file or folder is compressed or encrypted it will show up as a different color.

Extract Files From Compressed Folder February 1, 2002

Extracting files from a compressed folder is just as easy as getting them in there. Right-click the *.zip file and select Extract All. Identify a destination folder (click Browse, and so on), click Next, then click Finish. As an alternative, click and drag a file from inside the compressed folder to another location, then let go.

Much more about using ZIP compression next time.

January 2002