Beware domain registration “scams”

If there ever was a reason to purchase domain privacy with your registration, my most recent domain buying experience is the perfect example.

In the less than 10 days since registering a new domain for a client, since I put my own contact information on it, I’ve received a barrage of email solicitations and even a phone call in the middle of the night.  I suspect that phone call was part of this because the caller ID was blocked.  A few days later, I get another blocked call.  This time I picked up and found myself speaking to a guy from India asking if I’d just registered a domain.

He hung up on me when I questioned his motives.

I use the term scam loosely because what they’re doing probably isn’t illegal.  But they are taking advantage of people who may not know better.  One such email came in labeled as a final notice that I must register my domain with the search engines or it will never be found. (For a fee of course).  I know that claim to be false, but someone new to having a website may not.

Another common scam I receive is by snail mail.  A notice informing me that my domain name is expiring and I should lock in my low low renewal price of $45 per year before it’s too late.  This is on a $11/year domain name.  The fine print explains what’s really going on, keeping it just this side of legal (in my opinion), but it’s deceptive and predatory.

If you’re new to domain registration and find yourself suddenly receiving warnings or notices telling you to send money for any reason, be very careful.  Unless that message is from your registrar where you bought the domain (who will obviously send legitimate renewal notices) , chances are they’re just trying to get you to buy a product you don’t need.  Often at over-inflated prices.

Need a domain?  Visit  I would be happy to give you advice on the do’s and don’ts of domain registration.  Contact me for more information.

Office 2013 Crashing on Startup

I came across an offer from Microsoft where they are selling Office 365 as a subscription rather than having to buy the software outright.  Having used Adobe products as a subscription, I thought this was a fantastic idea.  I can upgrade my software and keep it up to date for a fairly low monthly fee.

I installed it on two computers.  One, a brand new Windows 8 computer.  It seems to work fine.  Admittedly, there isn’t much on that computer to interfere, but I also haven’t done much to really test it out to its fullest.  I only know that everything opened and stayed open when I tried it.

The Problem

Now on to my Windows 7 machine.  This machine is about 4 years old with a ton of files and programs clogging up the works a bit.  The first thing I noticed is Outlook 2013 would crash as soon as I tried opening my old pst file.  The good news is I could open it in safe mode and it seemed to work fine.  (Open your start menu then type “Outlook /safe” into the search bar without the quotes.  Yes there is a space in between Outlook and /safe.)

How to Fix It

Once opened in safe mode, click File then Options.  Click the Add Ins tab.  On the bottom drop down where it says Manage, select COM Add Ins then click “Go.”  From here, you can disable your add ins.  I disabled all of mine, so I can’t tell you which was causing the problem.  Outlook 2013 now opens in normal mode without a problem.

I ran into the same problem with Word 2013.  First thing it did when I tried to open a document was crash.  This time I got a message saying it was having trouble with the ABBYY FineReader add in and asked if I wanted to disable it.  I said yes, but Word still kept crashing when I tried to open a file.

Once again, using the same method as above, I opened it in safe mode.  (winword /safe)

There were only two add ins.  This time it wouldn’t let me disable ABBYY FineReader add in saying only an administrator can make changes.  I am the administrator!  I tried opening Word as admin the normal way, but it still crashed and I couldn’t disable the add on.

As a last ditch effort, I simply uninstalled ABBYY FineReader.  I don’t use it, so I probably won’t miss it.  If ever I need to convert a PDF to text, I will have to find something else to do it with.

There you have it.  Disabling add ins using safe mode on your Office 2013 apps seems to fix the problem of it crashing on startup.  I have to say I’m a bit disappointed that I had to jump through these hoops to get my new software running.  I’m hoping Microsoft can find and fix the problem so others don’t have to do the same.

Best of luck to you!

Why does Outlook keep asking for my Gmail password?

I created a new Gmail account last year.  When I attempted to set up Outlook 2007 to handle my messages, I failed.  I did everything by the book, or so I thought, but nothing worked.  Outlook kept prompting me for my password.

The solution

I came across the solution that I had to reset my CAPTCHA.  This explanation is posted on the Google site under “Common Errors”:

If you use two step verification on your gmail account, resetting you CAPTCHA will not be enough to get it working.

You must also Create an Application Specific Password.

I missed this step the first time around, so I thought I’d share it here as just one resource available to you.  I do not know if all of this information was available the first time I tried this a year ago, or if I just simply overlooked it.  But in case anyone else is having the same difficulties, here it is.  Enjoy!