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Solutions: Avoid e-mail's 'carbon copy' etiquette breach

Q. When you are sending an e-mail, you can send it to the addressee, CC and BCC. What is the difference between CC and BCC?

A. CC stands for "carbon copy," a term that is sure to have the younger generations who have never heard of carbon paper scratching their heads. BCC stands for "blind carbon copy." Now, for the difference, which addresses one of my biggest e-mail pet peeves. When you send an e-mail to multiple recipients by including the e-mail address in the CC field, everyone who receives it sees everyone else's e-mail address. This is a breach of e-mail etiquette. The proper way to get around this privacy issue is to list only your own address in the CC field, and all the other intended recipients in the BCC field. Now the recipients will only see your and their own e-mail addresses listed on the e-mail. If you're using Outlook Express or Windows Mail and you don't see the BCC line when you create a new e-mail message, on the menu bar click View, View All Headers. You should now see the BCC field right below the To and CC fields. This View option will now stay in effect for subsequent e-mails. So, for all those well-intentioned souls who feel it is their appointed duty to alert everyone they know of the latest Internet rumor or crisis, please start putting your address list in BCC instead of CC field. We all thank you.

Q. My computer has Windows XP. It seems to take forever to boot up and even longer to shut down. How do I go about finding out if there are programs that are running automatically at the time I start the computer and then turn them off until I want to use them?

A. Every PC is going to be different and you need to determine what belongs and what does not. A good place to start is the System Configuration Manager. Click Start, Run, type

MSCONFIG and hit enter. Check the Startup tab. This will list all processes that automatically start when your system boots. Again, many are legit, such as your antivirus processes, but some may be candidates for deletion (from the Startup tab). You can do this by unchecking them. This does not delete them from your system, it prevents them from automatically running at startup. But you have to know what they are before you do that, and it will be different for every PC. Using the information you see listed on the Startup tab, you need to decide what does and what doesn't belong. Fortunately, there are some online resources you can use to get useful information about processes you don't recognize along with recommendations on whether they are necessary at startup. Two sites you may use to look individual process names are www.processid.com and www.
processlibrary.com. If you are a user of Microsoft's Windows Defender, there is a great built-in utility called Software Explorer found under the Tools section. This will list your programs (Startup and running) including information from an automatically updated process library regarding their purpose.
Streamlining startup is not a trivial task, but it will be time well spent to become master
of your PC.

Send questions to personaltech@sptimes.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Avoid e-mail's 'carbon copy' etiquette breach 04/13/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 12, 2008 5:00pm]
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