Computer Guide

Do I pay for unread mail?

by George Skarbek - 27th February 2007

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Q: Can you tell me if Broadband customers pay for their incoming emails as part of their download 'allowance'.  In other words, should I opt to delete an email without reading it; does it still become a charge, as it has been delivered to my 'inbox'?

Yes, you do pay as it has been delivered to your mailbox on your computer.

If your ISP has a means of you being able to read your mail via a web browser then you do not pay. Most ISPs have this to allow users who travel interstate or overseas to read their mail by this method from Internet cafes, etc. Using the browser, in most cases you can see the subject, the sender and the size of the message as well as the date, so be deleting it on their server you are not downloading the message in order to delete it.

You can also use a program such as Mailwasher. It has the added advantage that it marks known spam making deleting easier. It has the ability to view a part of the message without having to download the lot. Mailwasher can be downloaded from:


Where does the deleted mail go? 

Q: I have often wondered about this? When I delete emails and then empty the deleted items box, where do they go? I hope that they haven’t gone into some other area of my computer cluttering up things. I would like your advice please.

This depends on the mail reader that you are using. When you delete mail from mailboxes in Outlook Express the actual data still remains in the Trash folder, even if you empty that folder! The Outlook Express uses a database and the pointers to where the messages start are removed, but not the data itself. You have to compact the folders to actually remove all the deleted mail. Click on File, Folder then Compact All Folders.

With Eudora the same story applies. From Special select Compact Mailboxes to permanently remove the mail. Note that Eudora automatically places all attachments into a separate folder called Attach and in my opinion this is an advantage as you can decide to keep the mail and not the attachment or vice versa. In this case you should look through that folder to delete unwanted files.


Where are the cookies?

Q: I upgraded to Internet Explorer 7.  In now find that I cannot enable Cookies in order to download a sound file to Windows Media Player 11 unless I enable cookies.  My operating system is XP Home.  Should there be a Cookies folder?  If there is, I have yet to locate it. I have gone through the list of Internet Options by selecting Tools, Internet Options, Security, Custom Level, Security Settings-Internet Zone only to find there is no mention of Cookies in the dropdown box where a supposedly a selection can be made.
The cookies are stored with the Temporary Internet files. From IE 7 click on Tools, Internet Options and under the General tab click on Settings in the Browsing History section then you can click on View files to look at the cookies.

To enable cookies, from Tools, Internet Options, Privacy tab move the slider up to Medium High. If this still blocks the cookie for your site select Medium, or if still no luck try Low. If you feel uncomfortable with the Low setting you can click on the Advanced button and tick “Override automatic cookie handling.”

Random number generators

Q: Hoping you can help me, I believe there is a program for generating "Random Numbers" ranging from 1 to several thousand. It is for my local bowling club and rather than investing in a commercial product, I thought this would be easier for us as we have access to a computer, monitor etc.

Excel has a very good random number generator. I have run extensive analysis of several 100,000 numbers in testing to see if they were truly random and all tests passed.

If you want to generate random numbers say, between 0 and 1000 use the formula =RAND()*1000 and then that file can be saved as a text file using File, Save As and selecting Text from the Save As Type dialogue box.

There are very many such programs available and some allow you to specify your range of numbers. One such site is: However, I have not done any validation on these other programs to determine if they are truly random.

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