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Boulder Computer Maven Newsletter - September 2006

Dear Friends,

Thank you for letting me help you with your computer needs. This is my customer newsletter, containing tips that I hope you'll find interesting and helpful.

This month's topics are AOL Now Free for Broadband Users and Lower Cost for Dial-Up Users, Microsoft Ends Support for Windows XP Service Pack 1, and Dell Laptop Batteries Recalled for Safety Hazard.

If you don't want to receive this newsletter, let me know, and I'll remove your name from my mailing list. Previous issues are available on the newsletters page of the Boulder Computer Maven web site. If you change your E-mail address, please send me your new one.

Please call me at 303-444-8247 with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Best Wishes,
Steve Winograd

Helping People Use Computers in Boulder for Over 20 Years

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AOL Now Free for Broadband Users and Lower Cost for Dial-Up Users

AOL access is now free for people who have their own broadband (DSL or cable) Internet service. Some of you have kept your AOL subscriptions (at a cost of over $20/month) after switching to broadband in order to keep your AOL E-mail addresses. Now, anyone can have an AOL E-mail address for free.

If you have a dial-up phone connection to AOL, you can save money by switching from the full-price plan to a basic plan that costs only $9.95/month.

For details on the available plans and to switch plans, go to this web page, sign into AOL and go to AOL keyword Change Plan, or call (800) 827-6364. You can continue to use the AOL software to access AOL mail and Internet sites, or you can use a web browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape) and access your mail at the AOL webmail site.

Microsoft Ends Support for Windows XP Service Pack 1

Microsoft will end support for Windows XP Service Pack 1 on October 10. After that date, there will be no new security updates for computers running that version of Windows. A computer running Windows XP Service Pack 1 is more than two years behind in critical updates and security patches from Microsoft, and you should update it with Service Pack 2 and with all of the updates that have come out since Service Pack 2. To see which version of Windows XP your computer has, click My Computer with the right mouse button, click Properties with the left button, and look under System.

If your computer has Windows XP Service Pack 1 and you have a high-speed Internet connection, you can update to Service Pack 2 by running Windows Update in one of these ways:

If you have a dial-up Internet connection, it could take several hours to download the update from the Internet. I can lend you a CD-ROM containing Service Pack 2 to avoid the need to download it.

Dell Laptop Batteries Recalled for Safety Hazard

Dell has identified a possible safety hazard in some laptop computer batteries and is offering free replacements for them. These batteries were shipped from mid-2004 until July 18, 2006. If you have a Dell laptop or a replacement battery bought during that time, go to the Dell Battery Recall web site to learn how to tell if your battery is affected.