Originally created 02/11/02

Readers' questions about cookies, noise, Windows

One of these days I will get to finish the column about how great "Return to Castle Wolfenstein" is, but until then I have too many questions.

Q. In my paper today, you detailed how to delete temporary Internet files. You also stated that later versions also allow you to delete Web site cookies here. I'm running Windows ME and IE 5.50 and I don't see any option to delete cookies. I'd like to delete the cookies stored on my computer, but don't know how. Help. Thanks.

A. Internet Explorer 6.0 offers that option. You can download it from www.microsoft.com/ie/

Q. I am in desperate need of help to free my computer of a noise. When I boot up, the floppy disc drive makes a noise because it has no disc in it; then later, if I click Start, go to Documents and click, I get the same noise until documents open. In other words, the floppy drive thinks I want it to open.

A. This is a common issue with Norton Anti-Virus. It is attempting to scan the A drive because it is set to do so and you recently saved a file onto that drive. So deselect the A drive in the list of drives to be automatically scanned at boot and also clear the Recent Documents folder. (Start then Settings, then Taskbar and select Clear the Documents.) This won't delete the documents themselves, but the recent shortcut to them.

Q. I read your article in our paper today and you said that files in the temporary Internet files folder should be deleted. Please tell me - does it erase every Web page that you have visited and the ones that are put in your favorites folder? Hope you will answer before I delete the files folders.

A. No, the only thing deleted are remnants of the pages on your hard drive. The Web page will still be there the next time you visit and your Favorites files are untouched.

Q. I read your column often and really enjoy it. I would appreciate your assessment of Windows ME. I am currently running Windows 98 Second Edition and I am not dissatisfied with it nor am I having any problems with it. But I am very tempted to upgrade to ME. I have read several reviews of ME and most praise it for being a big improvement over 98. However, some reviews report it as a very unstable operating system. Microsoft says it is an improvement over 98 and designed for the home PC user. PC World seems to back up the Microsoft claim. What is your opinion of Windows ME? Is it an improvement and are you aware of any problems with ME?

A. Windows ME, in my opinion, was more stable than 98. However, XP has been more stable than ME. So instead of paying $89 to upgrade to ME, in your shoes I would pay $99 and go to XP. That assumes you have at least 256 MB of RAM and a fairly recent processor (500 or faster.) If not, I'd add some RAM and go with XP, seeing as RAM is so cheap now.

Q. How do I delete a Buddy from my AOL Instant Messenger list?

A. Hit the List Setup tab (next to the Online tab) and right-click on your "ex-buddy." Select Delete and they are long gone. If they pester you, you can right click on their name and "block" them, as well.

WEEKLY WEB WONDER: The Enron Web site (www.enron.com) is a fascinating glimpse at an imploding company. Part of it is vibrant, the rest dead on the vine.

(James Derk is computer columnist for Scripps Howard News Service. His email address is jderk@evansville.net.)


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