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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 47

November 2004 

Amazon book - Basic computer skills made simpleYou can do IT is a regular feature of aimed at trying to help laterlife visitors make the most of Information Technology on or off the web.

Jackie Sherman who runs the You can do IT Question & Answer section is an IT trainer and author. Jackie has spent her career in education and specialises in teaching IT to adults. Her courses for adults include such topics as MS Office, the Internet, e-mail and basic web page authoring. Amazon Book - getting the most from your computer

Jackie has also written the two books shown here - you can find more details about these by clicking on the cover images above. Jackie has also been running a course specifically for over 50s.


Via Jackie aims to particularly help those new to IT and the web to build up knowledge and confidence, so no question is too basic. At the same time she will cover Q&As for the more experienced user. 

So if you would like to ask a question of Jackie, why not email her

or if you have discovered something which may be of interest to others in making the most of the web, then she would love to hear about that too



November 2004    

Q: I have been given a Garden Design CD-ROM which I would like to use. Having installed it, I cannot find it anywhere. Can you explain how to use these disks and also, how to remove the program if I don’t want to keep it?

A: Sometimes, installing programs from CD-ROMs will automatically add a link in the form of a small picture or icon on your opening screen, the desktop. All you need do is click it and press the Enter key (or double-click) to launch the program. However, this is not always the case.

If you think you have followed the instructions correctly and installed the program, look for it in the list of programs available from the Start menu. It is quite likely to be hidden inside a folder labelled with the manufacturer’s name, so look very carefully (usually it is added at the bottom of your program list) and then rest your mouse on this folder to see the contents. You may find a Help or Read Me file (which will give you technical advice or instructions on how to play) and extra material that may be useful later. You should also see the link to the actual game or program. Click this and the program will launch.

If you want to create a link to it on the desktop, right-click it in the list and select Send to – Desktop (create shortcut).

Commonly, the main folder will also contain an Uninstall link. To remove the program, click this link and all the files should be removed. If such a link is not provided, you will have to open your Control Panel (from the Start – (Settings) menu) and click Add or Remove Programs. Find the unwanted program in the list of all those on your computer and click Delete or Uninstall.

Q:   I am being inundated with spam e-mails. I have heard there are programs you can install that will check mail for you. Can you recommend any?

A: There is certainly software available that checks and blocks e-mails and one free program recommended by ComputerActive magazine is called Mail Washer available from However, I have personally been put off using it as there is so much work to do setting up which addresses to allow through, which to block and then, if you are wrong, which to unblock etc. Perhaps someone who uses it or a similar system can offer advice on whether it is worth the effort. If you get a great deal of spam, it is probably the best answer.

My practice is to set up a rule to block certain messages so that they are sent straight to my Deleted Items folder. If you use Outlook Express, do this in one of two different ways (most e-mail systems offer similar options):

  1. Select, but do not open a message that is clearly unsavoury (you can usually tell from the subject matter or unknown address) and then open the Message menu and select Block Sender. In future, anything from this particular address is sent to the Deleted Items folder. Sadly, many people change their e-mail addresses slightly each time, so it often only works for an individual message.

  2. Open the Tools menu and select Message Rules – Mail – New. You can now set up a rule to send messages from named people, or with particular words in the subject box, to Deleted Items. This can cover all the messages you receive starting “Congratulations” for example! (To change entries in any rule or blocked list, open the Tools – Message Rules box, find the rule and edit or delete it.)

    Another useful tip is to use . This is a website that allows you to check your mailbox from any computer – you just need the account name and password your ISP gave you. Log in at any time and it will show you the contents of your mailbox. As well as checking for spam, you can log on in public libraries when you are on holiday in the UK, in case a really important message has been sent to you home computer, or when a large attachment fails to download properly. Delete unwanted, large or unpleasant looking e-mails, and leave the rest to download normally e.g. when you return home or next time you click Send/Receive.


View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers


For a wealth of books on the web and IT generally, visit Amazon and under the books section select Computers and Internet.

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