Q: I would like to know the necessary computer program I need to purchase and what procedural steps I have to go through in order to get...

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Q: I would like to know the necessary computer program I need to purchase and what procedural steps I have to go through in order to get the system set up so we can e-mail messages to my wife’s relatives and friends in Japan.

— Charles Lyle

A: All you need to send e-mail to Japan is an Internet connection. Of course, if you need to send or receive the e-mail in Japanese, things get a little more complicated. In that case, you’d need to install a Japanese language pack for your e-mail program, assuming one is available. Most of the major e-mail programs do offer add-ins that support Japanese characters.

For more details you might want to visit the following site: newton.uor.edu/Departments&Programs/AsianStudiesDept/Language/japanese_email-summary.html. This Internet resource on Asia offers information on the entire region, including a page on the ins and outs of sending and receiving e-mails using Japanese characters.

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Q: I know a little about HTML and I have been trying to create a simple signature in Notepad using HTML. This is what I am trying to do: Have a good day . However, when I put it in signature line the string copies in red. I have tried with brackets and tags, and it doesn’t work. Can you give me any advice or instructions?

— Jim Ashby

A: It’s been a long time since I’ve done any programming

My first question would be why you’re trying to write code in Notepad when you could just use the signature-creation utility in Outlook. In Outlook just go to the Tools/Options menu and then click on the Mail Format tab. Finally, click on the Signatures button and you’ll be led through the steps to create and format your signature.

Q: I use Outlook Express for my Internet e-mail. While reading a message there is a hyperlink in it I cannot get it to open. When placing my cursor over the link it changes to the pointing-finger hand but nothing happens.

— Ted Clifford

A: Call it nepotism, but Outlook Express expects Internet Explorer to be your Web browser for following links in Outlook Express e-mails. Sometimes when you install another browser, it changes settings in the Windows registry and that association is lost.

Here are a couple of things to try.

First, click on the Start button, then select the Run option. Type the following into the dialog box and then click OK: regsvr32urlmon.dll.

Repeat the same process, typing in the following commands each time:

Regsvr32mshtml.dll; Regsvr32shdocvw.dll; Regsvr32browseui.dll; Regsvr32msjava.dll.

Also, open Internet Explorer and go to the Tools menu. Select Internet Options, then click on the Programs tab and select the Reset Web Settings button.

Now try a link in Outlook Express.

Q: When I send an e-mail with an attachment, the recipient receives anywhere from one to two of the same e-mail. I have scanned my computer with several different scanners and no viruses were found.

— Jerry Bendett

A: Does this happen with many different recipients or only with one? And do the recipients who get multiple copies also receive multiple copies from other senders?

The reason I ask is that the problem is almost certainly on the recipients’ end, not on your end. If he or she is using Outlook Express, for example, and the pop3uidl.dbx file that is used to track downloads to the server is corrupted, exactly the behavior you describe can happen. If that’s the case, the file should be deleted.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by e-mail to pmarshall@seattletimes.com or pgmarshall@pgmarshall.net, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.