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Mail Rules, Marketing Lists and Other Helpful Hints
Jeff Pasternack

A few years ago, my dear friend Monica Mason gave me the opportunity to write a technology column for her paper, The Medical Bulletin. That first article, Dot-Comming Your Practice, came right during the peak the of the dot-com years. Much has changed since then, not just in terms of technology advancements, but also in how we use it. Interestingly enough, despite several advances in almost every application we use, the same sorts of questions keep popping up. Most deal with re-discovering a feature that’s become hidden in a renewed application, or how to find something on the Web that everyone knows is out there but seems to be hidden. After combing through the ads for insurance, mortgages and larger sizes for body parts, I found a few emails this month worthy of a public response.

Dear TPR,

I use Outlook Express 6 and my inbox is filled with email from everyone. The problem is that I want to keep my family email separate from other email. Oh wise one, pray tell, how can I accomplish this?

Mangled Mail from Maine

Dear MMM,

Obviously you are one popular, and perhaps unlucky, person if everyone is sending you email. Be that as it may, many email programs allow you to create rules that guide how your email is stored. For example, in Outlook Express, click on Tools => Message Rules => Mail. Click New, then read the choices and build rules based on your life. For example, you may make a mail rule that has all email from you mom go to a folder called Family. You would set up the rule so that all email with “” in the “From” field is put into that folder. Mail rules simplify mail management and it is worth the five-minute time investment to become familiar with this helpful feature.

Dear TPR,

A while ago you wrote about how to get off marketing lists. I moved and lost the info. Can you help?


Dear OverStuft,

The Direct Marketing Association has two services that will help reduce the number of telemarketing calls and postal mail launched your way. You can reduce the amount of national advertising mail you receive at home by sending your name and address to:

DMA Mail Preference Service
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512

If you want to reduce the amount of national advertising calls you receive at home, send your name, address, area code and telephone number to:

DMA Telephone Preference Service
P.O. Box 1559
Carmel, NY 10512

After a few months, the volume of mail and calls should drop a bit. Names remain part of the MPS for five years. After five years, you will need to register again.

Yo TPR Dude,

Man, yo’ rap on Internet Explorer is whack! Why you give Mozilla such props?

Edgie Macated

Dear Mr. Macated,

Ah, yo, hearz the dilly yo on Mozilla…peep this, G. It has kickin’ preference, password, form, image, cookie, download and popup blocker managerz all built in. Virus writerz step off and don’t bother it none, yo. Peeps can even highlight words on any Web site and right click to search duh Web wif quickness. And tabbed browsing is off da hook phat. Try dat wif Internet Exploder, G.

For my non-gangster readers, the reasons I like Mozilla over Internet Explorer is because it has an arsenal of incredibly easy-to-use tools for smoothing the way through the Web. Have a question about something you see on a site? No problem, just highlight the word or phrase and right click on it and Mozilla will search the Web for more information. Best of all, tabbed browsing lets you keep track of multiple pages at once by letting you view them within a single browser window.


Dear TPR,

I have an old laptop computer that I like to take with me when I travel. The problem is that I don’t want to pay for it to be upgraded to be wireless-capable. Any suggestions?

Wanting Wireless

Dear WW,

Probably the easiest solution is to buy a Linksys Wireless Compact USB Adapter. It is available at for less than $60 and if you go to, or, you might be able to find a general discount coupon. If you have a child, a 529 college savings plan and have it hooked to, then you can save 1.5% and have that deposited into the 529 plan.

Dear TRP,

I was referred to your column by a co-worker who said that you might be able to help. I live in New York and I’m having prostate cancer surgery. I want to find out if my doctors have ever been in jail or have any other black marks on their record that might give me cause for concern. I tried Google but I don’t seem to be able to find anything. I heard about public records databases. Can you point the way? Also, any pointers on finding information on prostate cancer surgery outcomes?


Dear Charles,

The best place to start your search through the public records archives is from They provide access to over 13,000 searchable public records databases at the global, US federal, state and local levels. For New York, go to and look for your physicians’ license number. Then go to and use the license number to find if they have been cited for any professional misconduct. Then go to and search by name to see if they’ve ever been incarcerated in New York. You may also want to check their CVs to see if they’ve practiced in other states and use for access to those states’ databases.

As for outcomes-based research, try the American College of Surgeons’ National Cancer Database at or the National Institute of Health’s

Peasantry Purchase

Last month’s Peasantry Purchase featured a nifty little keychain memory stick with 128mb on it. This month I’ll direct you to something more ubiquitous: ink cartridges. I have an HP Deskjet 940C. On, the 940’s black and color ink cartridges cost $30 and $35. On they cost $19 and $22, and if you buy 2 or more of each, the prices drops another buck. That’s a huge, huge savings. I’ve been using them for a year now and have had no problems. Using the code ‘SAVE10” will save you and extra 10%.

Jeff Pasternack is the president of Dynamic Consulting Group, a franchise partner of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and author of the TechnoPeasant Review.
If you have questions or comments about this column, please write to him at