How Do I Switch to Linux?

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In a recent answer, you pointed out that once Microsoft really stops support for Windows XP, there will be an increased risk of vulnerabilities being exposed over time. For older laptops that may not be able to migrate to Windows 8 or later, you mentioned using Linux. However, you don’t mention the process of how to migrate a Windows platform with all of those Windows applications to some Linux platform. Could you discuss what to actually do?

In that article, I mentioned that if you could not migrate to Windows 7 or 8, you might want to install Linux. That’s not a migration – it’s a replacement of the Windows operating system with a Linux operating system and starting over.

While it’s typically not terribly difficult, switching to Linux isn’t always a simple or unfortunately even a consistent process, and it may not be for everyone. Let’s discuss the details.

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Why did my pictures disappear?

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About six months ago, I converted to Windows 8. I had approximately 2000 photos in Picasa and I now have about 50. I opened my library and found all the folders that were there were now empty. It appears that I’ve permanently lost a lifetime’s worth of photos.

I’m very sorry to hear this.

From your description, I’m not exactly sure what happened. I don’t necessarily have a specific solution to help you recover what you’ve lost, but I have a variety of thoughts on this kind of situation.

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Why Does My Internet Slow to a Crawl When My Desktop Is Turned On?

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I have a very specific problem. I have a router which connects to both my desktop PC (which is wired) and several wireless devices: a tablet, a laptop, and so forth. Whenever I turn on the desktop, my laptops, and my tablets, the internet almost stops working. It takes three to four refreshes to open up a page ( which is irritating) and the internet, if it’s working at all, is very slow. Usually, when the laptop and the tablet are on, the internet runs fine. How do I fix this?

This sounds like your desktop computer is simply hogging all of your internet bandwidth.

There are several reasons why this could be happening.

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Can My ISP See that I’m Using a Proxy?

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I’m living in the UK, using a well-known ISP-changer program. It gives me a different ISP address that says I’m in the Netherlands, Russia, or the USA. What exactly does my own ISP see when I use this? Can they still tell how much I download for example?

This is an interesting question, particularly when it comes to understanding “IP-changing”  services.

Before I answer your questions, I need to clear up some terminology that you’re using… just to be sure that we’re talking about the same thing.

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How Did a Website Discover My Email Address?

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I visited a website and two days later, I received marketing information through email from that website for their products. How could they know my email without me providing it when I visited the website? Could it be that they have group mailed somehow? The mail came on my Gmail account.

Depending on the site, it could be a coincidence. Many large companies use mass market email and the fact that you received a message might be completely random.

There are several ways that a company could do this… and again, it’s not based on paranoia. You just need to understand what technology these companies have that allows them to do this.

It all boils down to related sites or sites that use related advertising.

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Why Can’t I Delete these Temp Files?

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I found four files and twelve folders in my Temp folder that I can’t delete because they say “Access denied” with no programs open. Most are random numbered IDs, but two of the files have weird names: My Babylon TB and Bundle Suite IM setup. Each of these are around 1 Kilobyte. Both are noted as .exe applications. Two other files are basically just temp files. I’ve tried everything, but they persist. It may not be a big threat, but I hate to clutter the Temp folder on a permanent basis. How can I remove them? I use Windows XP.

Deleting files from your Temp folder is a good thing to do periodically. An “Access denied” error usually means that the file that you’re trying to delete is currently open and in use by some other program.

Sometimes, it happens, but based on the information that you’ve given me, I’m a little concerned that something else might be going on here.

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Why Am I Getting “Open Block” Errors from My Photo Program?

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My operating system is Windows Vista. The problem software is Picasa. I’ve used it for a long time without problems. Now, I’m getting several error messages when I open it. They all begin with “”CBlockFile::Open Block err=10″” They are as follows (various list of filenames that are associated with this error). I’ve taken off the software and I’ve reapplied it several times. I’ve had many conversations with Picasa; they’ve tried to help me but with no success. Any suggestions?

I could be wrong, but I suspect your hard disk either has or is developing a problem.

In this case, make sure you’re backed up! You don’t want to lose those pictures!

Read moreWhy Am I Getting “Open Block” Errors from My Photo Program?