E-mail issues

Do associates e-mail you humongous attachments? Do dopey friends not know how to blind-copy e-mail to protect your privacy? I have a few ways for you to be less annoyed - and less annoying.

The Hassle: I'm still on dial-up (I'm out in the back of Bourke and can't get broadband). I've asked my friends not to send file attachments the size of Uluru, but they often forget. Other than getting new mates, do you have a solution?

The Fix: It takes just a few minutes to change the settings in your e-mail program. In Outlook Express, create a rule: select Tools-Message Rules-Mail, and then scroll through the conditions and check "Where the message size is more than size". In the "Select actions for your rule" menu, scroll to and check "Do not download it from the server". (Unfortunately, this also means that you'll never know that you were sent an e-mail.) In the "Rule Description" box, click the Size link, set the maximum allowed message size, and click OK twice. I set mine at 1000KB (about 1MB). In Outlook 2003, choose Tools-Options, select the Mail Setup tab, click Send/Receive-Edit, and check "Download complete item including attachments" and "Download only headers for items larger than xx KB" (where xx is a number you pick from a drop-down menu). Be sure to check the box next to "Receive mail items".

The Hassle: I e-mail a message to a bunch of friends, and they complain that the list of addresses is longer than the actual note. What's the deal with my e-mail messages?

The Fix: I'll bet you're adding e-mail addresses to the "To:" field - and broadcasting everyone's address in your e-mail. Instead, maintain everyone's anonymity by typing addresses into your e-mail client's blind carbon copy (BCC) field instead. Finding this can be tricky, however. In Outlook Express, create a new message, select View, and check "All Headers". In Outlook, choose View and check "Bcc Field". In Netscape, click the To: field and scroll to "Bcc". In Yahoo Mail, click BCC, for Windows Live Mail, just click on the "Show Cc and Bcc" link at the top right of the new message pane.

The Hassle: Windows XP's welcome screen shows that I have unread messages even when I don't. Is there a way to turn this notification off?

The Fix: This is because the screen is updated if you use Hotmail, Outlook or Outlook Express (even if you use another e-mail app). To stop this alert from appearing, go to www.microsoft.com and search for "powertoys XP" to find and download the TweakUI powertoy. Run TweakUI, expand Logon-Unread Mail and uncheck "Show unread mail on Welcome screen". (Note: this won't work if your PC is connected to a network domain, in which case, you may not even see the Unread Mail branch.)

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