Issue #32 May 13 2003

1. Adding contacts in Outlook

One of the things I don’t do as well as I should is add new contacts to my Contacts list in Outlook. One simple way to add a contact when they have sent you an e-mail is to use a right-click technique. When you are viewing the e-mail, right click on the sender’s name at the top of the e-mail. A small menu pops up which has an option to Add to Contacts. Click on the Add to Contacts option and this person will be added to your Contacts list with the name and e-mail address from the e-mail. The full Contact dialog box will be opened so you can fill in any other information that may be in the e-mail such as address or phone number.

2. Creating incremental backups

We all know that we should do regular backups to protect our valuable data from loss if our computer fails. For some people, doing a full backup takes a long time and so they don’t back up as often, leaving them vulnerable to data loss. I have discovered an easy way to do incremental backups, where you only backup files that have been changed since a certain date. This technique uses the XCOPY command, which has been around since the DOS days but is still in all versions of Windows up to XP. You can ask it to copy all files since a certain date to another directory, which you can then copy to CD as a backup. You must run this command from the DOS command line to create the directory with the files in it, then you can copy the entire directory to a CD using your normal CD backup program. To get to the DOS command line, click on Start, then click on Run, type “command” in the box and click OK. Then, type in the command using the following format: XCOPY “C:\SOURCE” “C:\INCBCKMMDDYY” /D:MM-DD-YYYY /S /H /K where C:\SOURCE is the directory you want to search for recently updated files, C:\INCBCKMMDDYY is the directory to create and store the changed files (the directory name stands for INCremental BaCKup on MMDDYY date), /D parameter sets date to start at (use the MM-DD-YYYY format for the date), /S includes subdirectories so you can get all the files you need, /H includes hidden and system files, and /K keeps the file attributes so read-only files do not get set to be able to be written over. Then you can copy the INCBCK directory to a CD. After it has been copied, delete this directory to save room on your hard drive.

3. Useful Resource – Fighting Spam article

The increase in spam messages over the last two years has been startling. Spam refers to unsolicited e-mail messages sent usually in order to sell some product. Unfortunately, many of these are for products that are related to sex or gambling. Many researchers predict that by the end of the year, the volume of spam messages will exceed the number of legitimate e-mails. PC World had a good article recently on practical ways to combat spam. Here is the article link:,aid,107864,00.asp