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5.5. Saving Documents

In a few programs, such as the Calculator or Solitaire, you spend your time working (or playing) in the lone application window. When you close the window, no trace of your work remains.

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Sending an Error Report to Microsoft

Whenever Windows XP discovers that you have terminated one program or another in some eccentric way—for example, by using the Task Manager (see Figure 5-2)—a dialog box that says, "Please tell Microsoft about this problem" appears.

If you click the Send Error Report button, your PC connects to the Internet and sends an email report back to Microsoft, the mother ship, providing the company with the technical details about whatever was going on at the moment of the freeze, crash, or premature termination. (To see exactly what information you're about to send, click the "click here" link.)

Microsoft swears up and down that it doesn't do anything with this information except to collate it into gigantic electronic databases, which it then analyzes using special software tools. The idea, of course, is to find trends that emerge from studying hundreds of thousands of such reports. "Oh, my goodness, it looks like people who own both Speak-it Pro 5 and Beekeeper Plus who right-click a document that's currently being printed experience a system lockup," an engineer might announce one day. By analyzing the system glitches of its customers en masse, the company hopes to pinpoint problems and devise software patches with much greater efficiency than before.

If you're worried about privacy, click Don't Send (or press Enter) each time this happens—or turn off this error-sending feature completely, as described in Section 3.3. (On the other hand, if you're truly concerned about privacy and Windows XP, this particular feature is probably the least of your worries.)





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