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(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, linux-questions-only@ssc.com
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

Wrong Support Center, Folks

Most non-Linux questions don't get published here, or answered at all. Nonetheless, best of luck in your quest for knowledge...

(?) Missing VXDs? Don't Use MS Windows!

From megabad on Tue, 06 Jun 2000

hello please my i have 5 mins of you time.

Since I have installed by Sis 6326 card when I start my computer it says missing 5591agp.vxd and then missing 5600agp.vxd please help cos i have not got a clue

thanks paul

(!) Those sound like MS Windows problems. You're system has been infected with the infamous and widespread "Redmond" virus and you should wipe out the whole system and install Linux.
Alternatively you should contact a vendor that support Microsoft products. I don't.
(BTW: VXD is the extension used for "virtual extension drivers" or something along those lines. The were introduced in MS Win 3.1 or so IIRC. The AGP stuff is some sort of "advanced graphics port" --- a type of slot in newer PC motherboards. I presume that this error is to tell you to install a new video driver).

(?) winmail.dat and (Former) Friends

From iwomack on Wed, 07 Jun 2000

Dear Answer guy!

Why is it that, whenever I send a word document file to one of my many contacts, the file is received on his end as a winmail.dat file? I am using Microsoft outlook and I am sending a word Document. Please Help?


(!) First, let me contratulate you on NOT sending me a 'winmail.dat' file.
winmail.dat is a file attachment that Microsoft's Outlook mail client attaches to most mail so that it can contain any of MS' extensions to mark up the text of your mail. So the basic text of your message, with no highlighting or special formatting is supposed to comprise the main body of your e-mail, while 'winmail.dat' is supposed to contain all of the formatting and other fluff that makes it look the same to another MS Windows user as it did to you.
I personally find winmail.dat files to be mildly annoying.
However, I find that mail sent to me in proprietary formats (such as MS Word .doc) to be highly irritating. Basically people have to pay me to read those. If you're not a customer or my boss and you send me something as an attachment in any format that I can't readily read --- your mail goes into the bit bucket faster than you can say "delete."
Of course it would be unfair to single out Microsoft in this regard. I don't like Netscape's "vcard" attachments any less obnoxious than "winmail.dat" and I find Netscape's previously default behavior of appending HTML formatted copies of the body text to all outgoing e-mail to be almost as bad as appending .doc or other binary formats. (At least I can read between the tags if I care to).
Of course I'm a curmudgeon in this regard. I think that plain old unadulterated text is a fine tool for communications and I don't like to see a lot of formatting fluff to confuse the issue. I still use Lynx for most of my web browsing, and I still work from text mode consoles more often than not. (Although I've made it a point to stay in X most of the time on my new laptop, mars, and on my latest home desktop client, canopus. I still use a big xterm running a copy of 'screen' for almost all of my work).
Anyway, If you want to learn how to send mail that is likely to be most effective and least irritating to the broadest range of correspondents, then eschew all of the fancy formatting, and learn to write!
As for configuring your mail client to behave itself, I don't know. I don't use any MS products and certainly wouldn't use a GUI mail client. Perhaps Microsoft offers some sort of support with their products. Last I heard they run a 900 (pay-by-the-minute) telephone service. Perhaps that could answer your questions more thoroughly for a few quid.
(On the other hand, you could switch to Linux, which would make Outlook basically unavailable to you. Then you'd also be protected from the next few outbreaks of the "Melissa" and "Love Bug" viruses among others. Indeed you'd be immune from that whole class of plagues).

(?) CD Problems

From Sheree_Shannon on Thu, 08 Jun 2000

Hi, I purchased a 1998 Chrysler Town & Country van recently that has a cd player. When I try to put a cd in, it immediately comes back out. Someone told me another cd must be stuck in there. How can I find out, and how do I get it out?

Thanks. Sheree'

(!) I know this is going to sound shocking, but did you look in the owner's manual or contact a factory dealership?
I suppose you could try the "Ask Chrysler" CGI program at:
Or take it down to your favorite neighborhood car stereo shop and have them take a look at it. Of course all of those venues will try to sell you a new CD player, or a new car, or something.
I won't try to sell you anything. I just answer Linux questions for this online magazine called the "Linux Gazette." They picked "The answer guy" as a name for my column which is presumably how you got tricked into mailing this question to me.
O.K. I lied. I'll try to sell you something. You could try replacing that CD player with an automotive MP3 player. That would mean that you'll "rip" your CDs on you home computer, download them into a little computer in your car and use that to play them.
Here's a few links on that idea:
Open Directory - Computers: Software: Operating Systems: Linux: Music
(BTW: the Open Directory Project, dmoz, is very cool. Think, community driven Yahoo!)
Knight Rider MP3 Player
Slashdot:IBM and Mp3
Slashdot:Doing the Quickee Boogie

(?) update

From texastootles on Mon, 12 Jun 2000

WebTV Support Line? NOT!

(?) For 3 days I get this update when i try to get on webtv I have let them but they just never seem to finish what shall I do?


(!) This is not the WebTV tech support line.
Perhaps they offer some sort of customer service with the product they sold you and the "service" to which you are subscribed.
[Rolls eyes heavenward! Sighs!]

Copyright © 2000, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 55 July 2000
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Tuxtops, Inc., http://www.tuxtops.com/

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