Sept. 7, 2010 Update - I was shocked to see on WOT's own site in one of my browsers the RED warning that it was not a trusted site! So now I again have questions about WOT. I notice the latest Kaspersky 2011 has a website advisor built-in to its Internet Security product so WOT may not be necessary for people that have KIS [Kaspersky Internet Security.

So if ANYONE can explain what happened here, PLEASE let us know? Is it a fake WOT site or what?

When WOT first came on the scene, it was buggy and affected too much by one or two users ratings. I pointed this out to the developers and got banned from using their product. Fortunately they listened to me and others and have a much more mature product which now I use. It can be added to your browser and glows red for very bad sites, yellow for sites where you should be very cautious and green for sites with no problems encountered.

from Dr T --

=: Take Out The Trash :=

Combat Malware: A Step-By-Step Guide

Much like Haight-Ashbury in the fabled 1960s, the Internet was once home to a free-wheeling family of occasionally addled but always peaceful inhabitants, where goodwill held sway, a place where the streets were filled with happy, helpful residents, all delighted to welcome a newcomer. It was a boisterous place, filled with clamor and confusion, but peace and love reigned supreme.

Those days are long gone, both in North-Central San Francisco and on the Internet. We can't do anything about dangers on the city streets, but we can help protect you from the viruses, spyware, and other nasty critters you might encounter on the Web. We'll give you some background so you can recognize the risks, and then we'll show you how to defend yourself.

Recognize The Problem

Computers don't get tired. They do get old, but because they're neither arthritic organisms nor gummed up electro-mechanical devices, they don't get slow and rickety as they age (like some writers, for example). So why is your PC so slow? Possibly because it's infested with malware of one sort or another: a virus, spyware, adware, or a Trojan.

In fact, if you have plenty of memory and free hard drive space, a noticeable slowdown is one of the most obvious signs that your system is infected with some sort of malicious software.

Other signs of an infestation can include finding that your Web browser's home page or search engine has been changed or replaced, suddenly being inundated with pop-up ads, regular system or application crashes, receiving odd emails -- including emails from yourself, startup errors, and error messages (sometimes including a fake Blue Screen of Death) accompanied by "scareware" ads offering to solve your problem, for a price.

Keep in mind that these are not all definite signs of an infection; some could also indicate hardware or software problems that have nothing to do with malwqre. But because it's usually fairly easy to remove malware, we can quickly eliminate an infection as a possible source of whatever problem you might be experiencing.

The Tools & How To Use Them

Most viruses or spyware don't purposely cause noticeable problems; after all, the most effective attack is one the victim never notices. Instead, the usual goal is to collect information or to use your computer as part of a network of "zombies" to attack other systems. But in doing so, the virus, spyware, or adware drains your system's resources and causes conflicts with other, legitimate software. This causes crashes and slowdowns, and these you do notice. That's what gives the game away. What you need is a set of tools you can use to rid your system of any existing infestation and then guard against a reoccurrence.

Antivirus. The first tool you need is a solid AV (antivirus) application, such as Avast! Free Antivirus (, Malwarebytes Anti-malware (free; The typical AV app will scan your system for various forms of malw*re and let you delete or otherwise neutralize any threats it finds.

[Editor's Note: I DO NOT RECOMMEND AN ANTIVIRUS! It can give you a false sense of security thinking all is well. You need to have a complete INTERNET SECURITY SUITE which protects you from all types of nasties out there on the web. I removed some ads for various software which may or may not be one of the best. You can try the free ones. However if you are on the internet a lot and/or create blogs and Facebook entries etc., you may be subject to attack by malware. Various products are great this week and next month may not be as good. HOWEVER, that being said, there are some consistent products which have been in the TOP 10 or often the TOP FIVE of Internet Security software. Kaspersky is one of these. ]
Even the best antivirus program does you no good unless you actually use it. Run the scanner every day, making it part of your computing routine: Boot up your system and let the scanner run while you go make coffee. Update the scanner at least weekly. These tools use a threat database to help them locate infections, and that database must be updated regularly. Note that it is normally not a good idea to run multiple AV applications; most have components that run all the time, and these competing programs can cause problems.

Antispyware. Spyware is software that collects information about you and your computing habits without your knowledge. (Adware is similar, but it's normally benign software -- the use of which you, knowingly or not, actually approved.) In a worst-case scenario, the information collected can be used to pilfer financial information, steal your identity, or otherwise do serious harm. Even absent such malicious intent, spyware and adware can slow your system down to a crawl and inundate you with irritating pop-up ads and messages.

An antispyware application, such as Ad-Aware (free; or Spybot-S&D (free;, works like the AV applications discussed above: It uses a threat database and other methods to look for hazards; thus, as with the AV apps, you need to run and update your antispyware program regularly.

Unlike with antivirus applications, it is perfectly fine to run more than one antispyware program. One application may find adware that another program missed, and antispyware applications rarely conflict with one another.
Install An Anti-malware Application

We don't have room here to cover the use of every available anti-malware tool or suite, so we will use Malwarebytes Anti-Mal-ware as an example; it eliminates both viruses and spyware/adware, and it's free, readily available, effective, free, and we like it. Did we mention FREE?

Go to and click either the Download Free Version button or the Buy Now Full Version button. (At $24.95 for the downloadable version, the latter includes real-time protection and scheduled scanning and updating, features that are absent from the free version.) If you've opted for the free version, you'll be taken to a download site; click the Download Now button. (Your browser may try to "protect" you by disallowing certain downloads, in which case simply OK the download.) When the File Download dialog box appears, click the Save button. Save the installation file to your Desktop; you can erase the file after the program is installed. The Anti-malw*re installer is close to 6MB, so it may take several minutes to download on a slow connection.

Once the installer is downloaded, double-click it and click the Run button when the Open File/Security Warning dialog box apppears. Windows Vista and Windows 7 request permission for the installer to make changes to your system; click Yes. Select English as the appropriate language and then click OK to start the Anti-malw*re setup wizard. Click Next. Read and accept the Anti-malw*re license agreement, and then click Next and Next again. Accept the program's default location or browse to a different one; click Next to accept the location and then Next again to accept the folder name. At this point you can opt to have the installer create a Desktop icon, a Quick Launch icon, or both; having done so, click Next and then the Install button.

Anti-malw*re takes only a minute or two to install. When it's finished, you can opt to check for program updates and then launch the program.

Run Anti-malware

To run the program, double-click the Anti-malware icon. (Vista and Win7 may ask you to confirm that you wish to allow the program to make changes to your system.) When the program launches, you'll see several tabs, most of which are self-explanatory or easily understood simply by clicking them. The most important are the Scanner, Update, and Quarantine tabs.

Start the scan. Under the Scanner tab, you'll find three types of scans: Perform Quick Scan, Perform A Full Scan, and Perform Flash Scan. (The latter checks memory and autorun objects; it's available only to users of the commercial product.) The Quick Scan is a fast check of memory and the Windows Registry; it takes several minutes. A Full Scan is a complete examination of all indicated drives, system memory, and the Registry. It can easily take up to an hour or more, depending on the size of your drives and how many files reside on them.

View the results of a scan. Once the scan is complete, you can see a recap of the scan and the results by clicking the Logs tab and then double-clicking the appropriate log entry.

If Anti-malware finds any threats, it will list them and let you select and quarantine them. Once quarantined, they'll be listed under the Quarantine tab. You can leave them there or select one or more and click the Delete button to remove them from your system.

Get It. Update It. Use It.

There are plenty of free and commercial products to help keep your PC free of viruses and spyware. No matter which ones you decide to use, keep in mind that simply downloading a tool does absolutely nothing for you. You have to install and then regularly use and update the utilities if you're to benefit from having them. Do so, and your computer will be full of peace and love and goodness. Fail to do so, and it'll be full of... well, malw*re.

by Rod Scher

from Dr T --


Sometimes printer jams are caused by putting your paper in UPSIDE DOWN.

You should always take paper out of the package when the package label is upright. That means you are taking from the top of the pile. Paper has a burr along the bottom edge due to knives which move downward to cut it. You can feel the difference if you use your fingers along the bottom and top edges. 

ALWAYS PUT PAPER IN YOUR PRINTER WITH THE TOP UP so that the 'burr' does not catch when being fed through your printer. THAT came from a copier service person who showed me. 

I found that by always placing my paper on the shelf with label up and the same for putting it in my printer, I SELDOM ever have had jams again! Except when I try to recycle the good sides of my pages and then occasionally I get some REAL DILLIES! Hope that helps. 

I also have to DISAGREE with Dr. T below as I ALWAYS buy the cheapest paper. I wait until it is on sale at Staples and then buy a whole box of 5000. That usually lasts me a year for less than $40, usually around $36 a box of 10 packages with total 5000 pages. 

Now if you think that is way too much and you buy individual packages at even $5 a package, you will be spending 10 x $5.99 = $59.90. So tell me again why you don't want to spend $36 a box?? And I did not even add up the TAX SAVINGS! (:-)-  Computer Doc]

Q: Sometimes my printer will just stop working in the middle of a print job. What could be causing that?

A: If your printer consistently stops printing, the cause may be a simple paper jam. A paper jam can be the reason why your printer doesn't even start a print job as well. Paper jams occur when the paper is torn, folded over just a slight bit or if it's inserted incorrectly. Printers are also known to jam up in humid conditions, so you may want to think about where your printer is located in your home. Although you can't change humidity, you can try putting your printer in a cooler place in the house.

All of those things can make a printer very stubborn and not work properly. If your printer happens to jam up regularly, you may need to take it to a repair shop to get the insides cleaned out or worst case scenario, some parts may need to be replaced.

To try and prevent paper jams, buy more high-quality paper instead of the "cheapo" stuff. High-quality paper seems to keep printers from jamming up more than cheaper types of paper. If you give in and spend a little more money on better paper in the beginning, you might be saving yourself some money in printer repairs on down the road.

You can also lessen paper jams by simply making sure you have the paper placed in the printer properly. Make sure the paper is within the holder guidelines. Also, don't ever mix paper types in the same tray. That could cause even more problems for you.

If your paper jam is caused by a torn or folded piece of paper, pull it out in the opposite direction that the paper usually comes out of the printer. You should also check for little pieces of paper that may still be lodged in the rollers. Doing all of those things will prevent you from ever having to waste your time with a paper jam again!


It used to be that whenever I had a link to a web site in an e-mail in Outlook Express it would load that web site when I just clicked on the address in the e-mail. I haven't changed anything. It will not load the web site from an address in the e-mail of Outlook Express now. How to I fix it to work again?
Weblink in Outlook Express [or perhaps other mail programs] email won't load page when clicked.
Possibilities and Answers
  1. Link may be bad. Right click on the link and choose copy shortcut.
  2. Open Internet explorer and click inside the white address box
  3. Hold down CTRL and then click the letter "V" . The link should now be pasted in your browser.
  4. Hit enter. The link should go to the expected web site. If not it is not a valid link.
Fix Internet Explorer
Internet explorer(IE) may need a reset so ...
  1. Go to the control panel
  2. Go to advanced tab of internet options
  3. Click the reset button
  4. Then click the Restore Advanced Settings button. That should reset IE and the problem should vanish.
  1. If IE is not the default browser, then go to control panel.
  2. Go to Program tab of Internet Options, Default Web Browser section.
  3. Click Make Default button. Then when link is clicked, IE will open to show the web page.[we can hope (:-)

Web links in Outlook Express don't work?, Part 2

" I use Outlook Express to read emails. When I click on a web address in an email, nothing happens. I am plagued with the old cut, copy and paste. Is there a way to get Outlook Express to open up the web address in my Internet Explorer browser? "
My answer:
I asked Gazette readers to send me their thoughts on this question.
The gist is that the problem may be caused if you have installed another browser other than Internet Explorer on your system. This can include ISP providers that install their own version of browsers, including AOL, and Earthlink. The same effect can be felt if Netscape, Opera, and Mozilla Browsers are installed. Here's the theory that was sent by many users:
  1. Outlook Express and Internet Explorer are very much apart of one another. If you change your default browser to anything but Internet Explorer, Outlook Express will go senile and links won't work.
  2. Internet Explorer can be reset and "repaired". Once this is done, hyperlinks accessibility in Outlook Express should be restored.
Here are a few short-but-sweet comments from readers:
Steven H. suggested a methodical way to update and repair Internet Explorer in hopes of fixing Outlook Express:
" First, update your Internet Explorer via Windows Update. This should reset Internet Explorer and will ask you to set it as the default -- choose yes when prompted. Next, ensure your emails are set to HTML in Outlook Express. From within Outlook Express 6: click Tools -> Options -> Read, and make sure "plain text" is NOT selected. And lastly, keep in mind that Hyper Links will not function if you are composing an email -- only when reading received mail. "
Virginia S. suggests a 1-step fix which uses the "URL monitor" to fix the problem.
" Click Start -> Run, and then type in 'REGSVR32 URLMON.DLL' (without the quotes). You should then have a dialog box telling you that the procedure was completed "
Roger J suggested a fix for AOL and Earthlink people:
" As a Technical Support Rep for Earthlink, I run into this question many times as our software (as well as AOL's and many others) reset the default programs to open when clicking on a link in your mail program.
First: Load Internet Explorer; click: Tools -> Internet Options -> Programs Tab. Next, click Reset Web Settings, and Make sure to also uncheck "reset my home page" check box. Finally, go to Advanced tab and click Restore Defaults.
These two steps will re-write the proper registry settings and the 'Click On Links' function in your mail program should again work fine. "
Chris B. also suggested a way of repairing Internet Explorer by uninstalling it and invoking the repair utility:
" I recently ran into this problem when I dumped a third party browser I had installed (Avant) to replace Internet Explorer. When I went back to Internet Explorer and reset it as the default browser it wouldn't open links in e-mails. I solved the problem by repairing Internet Explorer.
Go to Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs and choose Internet Explorer; select Remove Program. You are then offered the option to Repair Internet Explorer; select Repair and reboot when the routine is finished. "
And finally, Matthew T. also sent me this Microsoft Link:
" I went to the MS website and found the following knowledge base article which describes fixes Outlook Express fixes for all versions of Windows. ";en-us;256953

Daves Computer Tips


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Added Comment: Blastgroups provides lots of freebies. However it has a confusing interface. I have been doing computers since the 70's and it IS confusing to me. However if you can wade through, you will get LOTS of great stuff for your group. - Computer Doc Blastgroups Claims that it is FREE and you can ... Create a free website for your: Sports Team–Club–Family–Friends Church–Work–School–Organization What can you add to a BlastGroup? Calendars – Photo Albums – Forums – Blogs Email Lists – Videos – Audio – Links – Files I just discovered this site and have NOT tried them. If you try them and have some comments, they are certainly VERY WELCOME! I am signing up today so that I can see how it works and report back to you. The other one I am familiar with like this is I loved airset until I realized that geeks like me would have no problem with it BUT perhaps the average computer user may. -Charles