"REAL" Software Creates "REAL" Headaches for Rhonda
Windows 98/ME/NT/XP/Vista

Rhonda Gets Angry With Us and Might Cancel!
Ever since I started receiving Information Avenue, I am driven nearly nuts when it appears in my email box and until I have time to sit and peruse it, each time I read another email and delete those, etc., and IO becomes the highlighted one again, Real Download pops up all its windows just to download the PNGs for me over and over and over!  It is maddening. 

Once in a while (last week issue is a perfect example) it does NOT do this, but the majority of the time, like this issue, it does.  Is there ANYTHING I can do to stop this, or anything you can do to send each issue out like last week's, where it does not do it?  PLEASE advise!  It is enough to make me want to cancel although I love IO and get a lot of useful info from it.  HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!      Thanks. (Rhonda's Browser Tags: HTTP_USER_AGENT: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.0.7) Gecko/20060909 Firefox/1.5.0.7)

Our Answer
Wow, we don't want you to cancel. Let's get a couple things straightened out. Number one: why do you have a program like "Real Download" installed? Number two: Why do you have "Real Download" associated with image files like PNG?

If our newsletter continues to remain highlighted (unread) even after it's read simply because you're deleting the messages before or after it, this is a problem with your Outlook Express and not with our newsletter. Our newsletter is a standard HTML file - a web page, if you like. It has nothing contained within it (no scripts, etc.) that would make it "highlight itself". The only thing, other than a problem with your Outlook Express that we can think of, that may cause this, is a memory cache that is overflowing with junk.

When is the last time you cleared your temp files and temporary Internet files? If you can't remember- a good cleaning may be long overdue. There are several free programs that will clean the temp, junk, garbage, and temporary Internet files from your computer. You're welcome to download our freeware program "Zappit" from http://www.zappit.net/ - and run it. Then reboot your computer and see if Outlook Express runs more normally. In any case, we can guarantee you one thing. There is nothing in our newsletter that would cause it to highlight itself. It's definitely an Outlook Express problem - or a problem with your computer and now with our newsletter.

Another "real problem" (no pun intended) is that "Real Download" has no business being associated with any image file types at all. RealOne (and any of the "Real" products we've ever tried) have always taken over the computer on which it is installed and tried to associate with every image and sound file on our computers. We don't and wouldn't have anything made by "Real" on our computers, and that's the "real" truth. We certainly don't recommend any products made by this company.

 Most people download "Real" software to play (or download) "Real Audio" and/or "Real Video" files. If "Real" software did what they're supposed to and only what they're supposed to, it would be fine. But every "Real" product we've ever tried attempts to associate itself with every image and audio file on your computer. That always creates problems somewhere down the line. And we think it's causing you a lot of unnecessary headaches too. There is absolutely no reason in the world why a simple and popular image file type like PNG should open in anything made by "Real".

Our advice is to ditch "Real Download" or at the very least re-associate your major image file types with a normal image program and not with "Real Download". We suggest you download Irfanview from www.irfanview.com and install it. During the installation you will be asked which image files you would like to have associated with Irfanview. We suggest the following image file types (at least):

BMP
GIF
JPEG
PNG
TIF

This will keep Real Download from trying to open PNG files (and other common graphic files) which it has no business doing anyway.

You're going to be better off without any "Real" software on your computer. Every single time we've ever had or tried any "Real" software we've had nothing but problems. It's invasive and takes over various functions of your computer (as you're seeing right now) that have nothing to do with the reasons why you downloaded the "Real" software in the first place (which we imagine was to play "Real" audio and video files).

We certainly hope that you don't continue to blame our newsletter for causing these problems on your computer. We guarantee you that our newsletter is not the cause. We're 99.9% sure that Real Download is causing the PNG problem. Your Outlook Express problem is a bit more intriguing and mysterious. Perhaps clearing out the junk, garbage and temp files on your computer and rebooting will help. If it does not, it may be a more serious problem with your installation of Outlook Express. So, don't cancel your subscription! We're innocent! Well, innocent as far as the problems you're finding on your computer. Actually, EB is far from innocent, but TC is a perfect angel :)

A little note about PNG format

PNG format is finally being recognized by all browsers and email clients. PNG allows us to make cleaner more viewable graphics - in smaller file sizes than is possible with JPG format. JPG needs to be compressed quite a bit to make them acceptable for use on the Web. Sometimes compressing them too much ruins the image quality. GIF format is fine for graphics with few colors (animated gifs, drawings, charts, etc.) but not for graphics with millions of colors (like paintings, some screen shots, fine art, etc.). PNG gives us the small file size and clarity we need and works well on the Web. There's nothing "secret" or "strange" about PNG format. It's not new, it's been around for years, but it's only been in the last two years that all browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Mozilla, and Opera, have included support for it.


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