Weird Emails

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kootenay joe
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Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:06 pm

In the last about month i have been receiving about 8-10 'weird' emails every day. The 'topic' line always is the name of a large established business like "Shoppers Drug Mart" or "Telus" (telecommunications company), etc. But the sender's email address is a long string of numbers and letters and #, %, *, etc.
The body of the email is either blank, nothing there, or else a current date and time, like this: "Sat, 17 Oct 2020 10:33:39 +0200 ". There is always "+200" after the time.
There is never an attachment.
Does anyone know what this is about, or what is going on ?
Can my computer get 'infected' by opening these emails ?
Is anyone else receiving similar emails ?
thank you for the help.
kj

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by cody6268 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:16 pm

I typically never open those. I did have one actually from Adobe that someone in marketing did mess up, and it was followed up by the actual email.

Usually, they end up in my SPAM folder, and I typically just block the senders and move on. I keep getting them sometimes from the same address, but a different name with the domain; and I will often have to set up a filter to block those.

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:30 pm

I click on "Add Sender's Domain to Blocked Sender List" but they still keep coming in.
What is "Domain" ?
kj

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by cody6268 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:48 pm

kootenay joe wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:30 pm
I click on "Add Sender's Domain to Blocked Sender List" but they still keep coming in.
What is "Domain" ?
kj

That is the letters after the "@" symbol. For example mine is @gmail.com.

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:53 pm

Wow, so simple. Thank you.
But they keep coming in so sender must have multiple domain addresses. I will start to check this.
kj
kj

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by KLJ77 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:12 pm

Typically, when we provide our email addy to sites we have purchased something from, some of these sites lay aside their ethics and sell your email addy. It's quite a lucrative thing, if they collect hundreds / thousands of email addy's and sell them for a monetary percentage. One never knows exactly who's going to sell your addy to someone else or pass it on to other parties. I've provided my email addy to sites before...and within hours, I begin to get unsolicited emails, notifications and junk from unknown sources. Delete, delete, and delete. Don't even open them.

As to opening an email and getting infected...that's never happened to me. However...NEVER open a link or attachment in ANY email from someone you don't know. I'm sure you know this, so not trying to insult your intelligence...just validating a fact. I never reply to an unsolicited email...that only lets them know your email addy is active and live. The same with unsolicited phone calls. The best thing to do is just delete them without opening them. With technology today, I wouldn't be surprised if hackers can attach 'something' to an email and be activated by just opening it. ::shrug:: I personally don't take that chance.

I'm sure there are IT techs or people much more qualified than me to provide insight & expertise regarding this issue.
LJ

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by bighomer » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:42 pm

We bought a lot more stuff on line since this China virus, and I get more and more of this crap, most goes to junk but not all. My smart a$$ phone bugs me I get about 5 to 10 messages a day from from somebody wanting me know that I'm due compensation from a lawsuit involving the BSA, I was never a boy scout,, and I don't want to even go into the ones involving insurance and warranties for my ole vehicles. ::uc:: ::woot:: ::sotb::

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:14 pm

These emails i am receiving are not trying to sell anything. They are either blank or have the date & time plus "+0200".
How does this benefit the sender ?
kj

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by KLJ77 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:50 pm

kootenay joe wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:14 pm
These emails i am receiving are not trying to sell anything. They are either blank or have the date & time plus "+0200".
How does this benefit the sender ?
kj
I'm not sure how to answer your question...but, I typed this; "receiving emails from unknown source with blank page" into my search engine and received a bunch of links identifying the same issue you're having. It appears to be happening with those who use MicroSoft email, gmail or hotmail. You're not the only one having to deal with these issues. Some of the links provided a 'fix', others only recommended that you just delete them.

Hope this helps and you get it figured out as to what's going on.
LJ

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:53 pm

Thank you LJ. Good to know that this is more widespread than just me.
My email is "telus.net" but my software is microsoft so does this make it "microsoft email" ? Telus is the main telephone & internet provider in B.C. & Alberta. Not a small company.
I am leery of attempting any 'fix' as i know so little about computers and the 'fix' might cause a problem elsewhere.
kj

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by KLJ77 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:17 pm

KJ...I can only assume that; if you are using Microsoft hardware or operating system, then your email software would be "outlook" or "outlook express" for your email. ::shrug:: That's what I'm used to, based on me being a MS user for many years prior to changing over to a MAC.

The only other thing I can think of is; your internet provider, Telus, provided you with their own type of email program. I had the option of doing that with Verizon, but opted to keep my original MAC email, although it's Verizon who sends/receives my email. I hope that's not confusing.

You may try to call your internet provider, Telus, and ask them about what you're contending with and see if they can offer any assistance in dealing w/this issue. Just a thought.
LJ

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by zzyzzogeton » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:37 pm

The +2:00 after the time is indicated the time zone of origination.

Time zones are lables "A" through "Z" with "J" or "JULIET" used to indicate "local time". "Z" or ZULU time zone is centered on Greenwich England.

"A" or "ALPHA" time zone is 1 time zone east or +time to Greenwich, while "NOVEMBER" is 1 time zone west or - time. "ALPHA" to "MIKE" go east, "NOVEMBER" to "YANKEE" go west.


"M" or "MIKE"and "Y" or "YANKEE" both represnt 12 hours from ZULU time, but "MIKE" is +12 hours and "YANKEE" is minus 12 hours. Mike and Yankee are separated by the International Date Line out in the Pacific Ocean.

+2:00 hours would represent "BRAVO" or "B" time zone. The countries observing "BRAVO" time are Finland, Lithiuania, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Egypt, Libya, Uganda, and the countries of the south tip of Africa.

Example - Roland is in British Columbia, which falls into "U" or "UNIFORM" time zone, which is -8 hours behind Greenwich - When it is midnight in Greewich, it is 1600 (4:00 PM) in Vancouver.

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:04 pm

Zzy, thank you for the clear description of how time zones are named and the significance of "+0200".
Yes i do use Outlook Express for email.
I will call the technical support at Telus tomorrow. If i learn anything important i will post it here.
kj

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by TwoFlowersLuggage » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:14 pm

So - lots of possible issues going on here, and not all the emails may have the same cause.

First: It is very easy to "spoof" the "From" address field in an email. The text name and address in the "From" field can be anything they want it to be. So, they can randomize the address and avoid your attempts to block by address or domain. So, sure, go ahead and set-up the blocks, but it might not actually do any good.

Next: A lot of the spam is sent by "botnets". A botnet is a large group of individual computers that have been compromised with malware. Once compromised, these computers are able to be controlled by a central controller computer (that is also probably a compromised computer). The spammers issue commands to the controller, and the controller relays those commands and a list of target addresses to the rest of the botnet. The botnet computers then execute hidden programs that communicate with compromised or rogue email servers to send out the spam. The compromised/rogue email servers and the botnet computers are constantly changing, so they can avoid the "blacklists" of known spam sending computers.

Next: The economics of spam does not always make sense unless you look at it from a higher level. There are literally millions of compromised computers in the world. Many of those are not operating correctly, and are no longer being actively controlled, or they might being partially operating and doing unexpected things. Those misbehaving computers cost the spammers nothing. They get paid for clicks and confirmed deliveries. If a percentage of the computers are not operating, so what? They don't care - there are always more computers to find and compromise.

Our entire email infrastructure is based on ancient technology that is easily compromised. There are many things we could do to make it much, much better - but we can't because it would break the existing systems. Any new systems that are produced never get off the ground because of the size of the existing systems. We're stuck.
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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:33 pm

Thanks TFL. I really enjoy & benefit from reading your post. Basically i thought it was likely along the lines you explain. 'Bots' sending out messages that's a 'numbers game' for their pay-off. Sometimes i get the exact same email 2 or 3 times in quick succession.
These bots & scammers could totally dominate the entire email system so some entity will have to figure out how to prevent these 'bad' emails.
In Outlook Express i have to high-light an email before i hit 'Delete'. But, high lighting the email opens it.
How can i delete without opening the email ?
kj

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by TwoFlowersLuggage » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:58 pm

I'm not very familiar with Outlook Express. In some email programs, you can go into your preferences screen and change the behavior so that you have to double click the email to open it.
"The Luggage had a straightforward way of dealing with things between it and its intended destination: it ignored them." -Terry Pratchett

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by zzyzzogeton » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:09 pm

It's been a while since I used Outlook Express, but IIRC

Go to the Outlook Express folder in the side panel

Go to the "INBOX" by clicking on the INBOX line in the menu

Click on the VIEW menu

Click on the LAYOUT Menu

Under the "Preview" Pane, UNCLICK the "Use Preview Pane" box

Click OK

Hope that helps.

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:57 am

Thanks Zzy.
I cannot find "Layout" or "Preview".
Outlook Express has had updates in past so it likely has changed since you used it. I spent at least 30 minutes clicking on every 'option' given but still did not find Layout or Preview. They must be there or someway to make it so i can delete without opening.
I will keep looking.
kj

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by KLJ77 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:12 pm

Zzy is correct, and you should be able to see a "preview pane" and a "auto view" pane box. You need to deselect both of these. Outlook has not changed in that area regarding updates, albeit, depending on what version of Outlook you have, the preview pane and the auto view pane "could" be in two different locations within the email settings.

As a reiteration to what Zzy posted...

To delete email without opening it in Outlook Express follow these steps:

1. Click on View from the menus
2. Click Layout
3. Uncheck the box next to “Show Preview Pane” and "auto view" or both.
4. Click OK

Now you have to double-click on messages to read them, but you can delete messages without them opening by highlighting the 'header' of the email and holding down the 'shift' button and pushing the 'delete' button at the same time.
LJ

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:52 pm

I have tried every option given in Outlook Express and nowhere can i find: “Show Preview Pane” or "auto view". The word "preview" or any word that means the same is not present.
I will try to get a computer consultant guy to come here and see what he finds.
kj

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by TwoFlowersLuggage » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:23 pm

KJ - what version of Outlook Express are you using? Is it the one that came with Windows 7?

Try this:

"The Luggage had a straightforward way of dealing with things between it and its intended destination: it ignored them." -Terry Pratchett

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:03 pm

Thanks, i just found it, BUT my Outlook Express is NOT set up like shown in the above video. I do not have the 'buttons' that are shown.
However in "View", i have "Reading Pane" and i clicked it off. Now i need to double click to read an email. Single click will high light it and then i can delete.
Thank you all for your persistence in helping me. I knew this option had to be there and in the video he uses the words "reading pane" so then i knew what to look for.
Thank you all !
kj

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by KLJ77 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:23 pm

Gentlemen...we have VICTORY! ::ds:: ::groove::

Glad you got it fixed, KJ. ::handshake:: ::tu::
LJ

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:32 am

Thanks.
I got my first computer in 2007. By then everyone else knew what they were doing. My main problem is the language. Like here i did not know i had to look for the word "pane". Every time i have a computer issue it boils down to the same thing: i do not understand any instructions i find because the words used mean something different than in pre computer times which is where my education stopped.
I am very grateful that people here stuck with me while i fumbled about not getting anywhere.
kj

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by Sharpnshinyknives » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:13 am

I love the email I keep getting telling me that “someone has attempted to log in to you “Facebook” account.”
I don’t have Facebook account.
Someone keeps telling me to “stop sending my naked pictures to them”. No address or anything on it, just that one sentence.
I haven’t sent anyone a naked photo, that I can remember, for that matter I don’t remember taking photo’s of myself naked.
One I keep getting w/ nothing but one sentence says “I heard what you said about me and I am going beat the **** out of your sister”
I have 3 living sisters and one is in Africa and the other two live far away. I hope they are safe. Maybe I should warn them?
Why would anyone fall for these and what do they accomplish? TFL your explanation seems the best about why they do this, still doesn’t make sense to me though.
I wish I could figure out how to block senders on my Ipad and IPhone.
SSk Mark “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Ronald Reagan

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by TwoFlowersLuggage » Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:50 pm

Sharpnshinyknives wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:13 am
I love the email I keep getting telling me that “someone has attempted to log in to you “Facebook” account.”
I don’t have Facebook account.
Someone keeps telling me to “stop sending my naked pictures to them”. No address or anything on it, just that one sentence.
I haven’t sent anyone a naked photo, that I can remember, for that matter I don’t remember taking photo’s of myself naked.
One I keep getting w/ nothing but one sentence says “I heard what you said about me and I am going beat the **** out of your sister”
I have 3 living sisters and one is in Africa and the other two live far away. I hope they are safe. Maybe I should warn them?
Why would anyone fall for these and what do they accomplish? TFL your explanation seems the best about why they do this, still doesn’t make sense to me though.
I wish I could figure out how to block senders on my Ipad and IPhone.
SSK - it sounds like you need better spam filtering software. Who is hosting your email service? One of the nice things about both gmail and yahoo mail is that they do have good spam filtering software and very good malware filters. It's about as good as it gets. Spam will still get through, but they block A LOT.
"The Luggage had a straightforward way of dealing with things between it and its intended destination: it ignored them." -Terry Pratchett

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by Sharpnshinyknives » Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:15 pm

Thanks TFL, I have not used the block contact feature before, but after you talked about it, I tried it and have blocked a lot of these. I am afraid it’s probably futile. The From address is a string of letters when I click on it. So it’s probably going to come back with a different string of letters.
These all automatically go to my junk email folder. I only look at that folder because for some reason it will occasionally send one of the knife drops emails to junk, even though it’s in my contacts. I can’t explain it, but I have missed more than one GEC knife drop because of this. I move them back to my inbox and yet it seems to happen to the emails that are very time sensitive and not to others, strange.
SSk Mark “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Ronald Reagan

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by TwoFlowersLuggage » Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:01 pm

Sharpnshinyknives wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:15 pm
Thanks TFL, I have not used the block contact feature before, but after you talked about it, I tried it and have blocked a lot of these. I am afraid it’s probably futile. The From address is a string of letters when I click on it. So it’s probably going to come back with a different string of letters.
These all automatically go to my junk email folder. I only look at that folder because for some reason it will occasionally send one of the knife drops emails to junk, even though it’s in my contacts. I can’t explain it, but I have missed more than one GEC knife drop because of this. I move them back to my inbox and yet it seems to happen to the emails that are very time sensitive and not to others, strange.
When you get a false positive in your junk mail, make sure you don't just move it - mark it as "Not Junk" (or whatever equivalent you marking you may have). This helps the filter learn for future emails.
"The Luggage had a straightforward way of dealing with things between it and its intended destination: it ignored them." -Terry Pratchett

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by KLJ77 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:48 pm

TwoFlowersLuggage wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:01 pm
Sharpnshinyknives wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:15 pm
Thanks TFL, I have not used the block contact feature before, but after you talked about it, I tried it and have blocked a lot of these. I am afraid it’s probably futile. The From address is a string of letters when I click on it. So it’s probably going to come back with a different string of letters.
These all automatically go to my junk email folder. I only look at that folder because for some reason it will occasionally send one of the knife drops emails to junk, even though it’s in my contacts. I can’t explain it, but I have missed more than one GEC knife drop because of this. I move them back to my inbox and yet it seems to happen to the emails that are very time sensitive and not to others, strange.
When you get a false positive in your junk mail, make sure you don't just move it - mark it as "Not Junk" (or whatever equivalent you marking you may have). This helps the filter learn for future emails.
What TFL said ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I've had the issue with AAPK notifications going to 'junk mail' on my MAC. All I had to do is 'right click' on the header and then click on "not junk" on my tool bar...and that has ended a lot of AAPK emails from going to junk. It happens with some of the knife site notifications too, so I perform the same 'fix'. I hardly get anything gong to the junk folder now.
LJ

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by carrmillus » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:14 pm

....it's a good thing I quit work when they shoved a computer in front of me and said "here's yer new drawing board"!!!.......... ::tu:: ::tu:: ::tu:: ...........

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by TwoFlowersLuggage » Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:04 am

A computer is just a gadget, just like any other human made tool. Every tool has a learning curve. If you had never seen a screwdriver, and someone asks you to hand them a Philips head screwdriver, you would look at them like they were speaking Martian. And, God forbid if you ask a video game-playing millennial to hand you an oil filter wrench. I'll wager there was a time in the distant past when none of you knew the difference between a barlow and a sod buster - but you learned because you *wanted* to learn... ::tounge::

I've been a science and engineering geek my entire life. When I was 5 years old I would get my Daddy's tools and take apart all my toys. When I got a little older, I learned that putting a 9 volt battery on a toy motor that normally ran on 2 AA batteries made that toy MUCH more interesting, until it started smoking... :lol:

I built crystal radio kits and other electronic projects. I learned how to solder, and I made electromagnets and DC motors from scratch. I saw my first real computer at the State Fair in around 1977 - and I was fascinated! Some of the earliest "personal computers" were kits that I saw in the electronics magazines and kit catalogs that I would read. I took my first programming class in 1980, and I have been using computers of one kind or another ever since. I bought my own first computer in 1983, and for the last 37 years I have never been without a computer. No one learns this stuff overnight - just like any other endeavor, it takes years to become proficient. The big advantage that today's kids have is that they don't have to wait until they are 18 to start learning about computers, they start as soon as they can hold their head up and look at a screen!
"The Luggage had a straightforward way of dealing with things between it and its intended destination: it ignored them." -Terry Pratchett

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Re: Weird Emails

Post by doglegg » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:35 pm

TwoFlowersLuggage wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:04 am
A computer is just a gadget, just like any other human made tool. Every tool has a learning curve. If you had never seen a screwdriver, and someone asks you to hand them a Philips head screwdriver, you would look at them like they were speaking Martian. And, God forbid if you ask a video game-playing millennial to hand you an oil filter wrench. I'll wager there was a time in the distant past when none of you knew the difference between a barlow and a sod buster - but you learned because you *wanted* to learn... ::tounge::

I've been a science and engineering geek my entire life. When I was 5 years old I would get my Daddy's tools and take apart all my toys. When I got a little older, I learned that putting a 9 volt battery on a toy motor that normally ran on 2 AA batteries made that toy MUCH more interesting, until it started smoking... :lol:

I built crystal radio kits and other electronic projects. I learned how to solder, and I made electromagnets and DC motors from scratch. I saw my first real computer at the State Fair in around 1977 - and I was fascinated! Some of the earliest "personal computers" were kits that I saw in the electronics magazines and kit catalogs that I would read. I took my first programming class in 1980, and I have been using computers of one kind or another ever since. I bought my own first computer in 1983, and for the last 37 years I have never been without a computer. No one learns this stuff overnight - just like any other endeavor, it takes years to become proficient. The big advantage that today's kids have is that they don't have to wait until they are 18 to start learning about computers, they start as soon as they can hold their head up and look at a screen!
TFL are you still using that 1983 computer? ::shrug:: :lol:

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TwoFlowersLuggage
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Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:18 pm
Location: Stuck in traffic on a highway in Southern California

Re: Weird Emails

Post by TwoFlowersLuggage » Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:55 pm

lol - no - I handed it down to a nephew sometime in the late 1980s, and I assume it was eventually put on the scrap heap. It's actually too bad, that computer would now be considered quite rare. It was one of the first IBM PC clones, called an Eagle PC 2. You can see one here: http://www.digibarn.com/collections/sys ... index.html
"The Luggage had a straightforward way of dealing with things between it and its intended destination: it ignored them." -Terry Pratchett

kootenay joe
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 12670
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:36 pm
Location: West Kootenays, B.C.

Re: Weird Emails

Post by kootenay joe » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:22 pm

I got my first computer in 2007 (still use it) so i am 24 years behind TFL.
kj

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