Computer Guide

What are Tracking cookies?

by George Skarbek - 8th July 2008

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Tracking cookies

Q: Every week I do a full virus scan and for the past two or three weeks it has picked up a tracking cookie. I have applied the fix process which then says it has been repaired, but it keeps popping up in the next scan. I am running Window 2007 academic and Norton Antivirus (latest version). How can I get rid of the cookie?

A: I believe that Norton has removed that tracking cookie but when you visit your regular web site, it leaves a new cookie on your system. In my opinion tracking cookies are harmless and I would not worry about this. In fact they can be beneficial in many cases.

Cookies are just bits of text data unable to perform any operation by themselves, yet some anti-virus or anti-spyware programs highlight these cookies. Cookies are sent to your browser from some website that you are visiting and only a few sites do this. They are used maintaining specific information about users, such as site preferences or the contents of their electronic shopping carts when they move from page to page.


Matching colours

Q: The photos that I print on my Canon printer come out in different colours to what I seen on the screen. How can I adjust the printing to match what I see?

A: There are hardware devices designed to overcome this problem but they start at $150 and go up from there. One of the best known is the ColorVision Spyder2 Express. It is a hardware colorimeter that with the supplied software accurately calibrates your CRT or LCD displays.

However, for home use this will probably be too expensive and I can offer a zero cost solution that may be suitable for many users. From Word, open a new document and using say an 18 point bold font type the words such as Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, Orange etc and make each word the appropriate colour. This can be done by using the Font Color button or via Format, Font etc.

Next print this page and then bring it up the monitor in the lighting conditions that you normally work in. Many monitors will have buttons to allow you to adjust individual primary colours. Some lower cost ones may only allow contrast and brightness. If you have not used these adjustments then look in the monitor manual as how to make the adjustments so that the printed page is a close to the screen colour.

I believe that it is much easier to adjust colours using basic colour in text rather than trying to get a photo just right as with colours such as pink or brown there can be much guesswork in determining if you need more magenta or less blue etc. 

Be aware that if you change printers, or even if you put in new ink cartridges that come from some other source there will be subtle changes in colours. Even using a different brand or type of paper can alter the colours.

Combining PDFs

Q: I cannot send a number of scanned pages as one PDF. After scanning the pages, I often need to send more than one page of a document as one PDF ...for example because all the pages are sequential and need to be read one after the other, not by opening separate PDF's for each page. Could you please advise how more than one page of a document can be scanned and sent as one PDF by e-mail. Presently I scan to Photoshop and email via Outlook. I can also print to "cute PDF".

A: There are a number of free programs that will allow you to merge, and split, PDF files. See: for one such program.



Is this a virus?

Q: I received an Alert from my firewall that "Win 32 Cabinet Self Extractor" was attempting some action on my computer. Is this something I can allow? What is it? On this occasion I did not allow it.

A: You can allow this as it is a Microsoft program that used in its updates. It is self-extracting file formats that automatically run a Setup program that is contained inside the package and is safe to run.



To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here