Business-like, isn't he?

E-Mail Alan

I am happy to hear from people who visit this website; I get emails from readers on a regular basis, and always read them and try to respond where I can. However, to save both you and me time and possible aggravation, please consider these points before clicking Send in your email program:

  • Tech Support: I get a steady stream of letters asking for help with a computer hardware or software problem. That's fine as long as you're aware of the limitations that I can do, especially from far away and without access to your system. If you're writing about a problem, please include as many details as possible... Windows or Mac? What version? And so forth... And even though my Poledit tutorial comes up high in the Google rankings, I'm not a guru on the subject... it something isn't already in that tutorial, I probably don't know the answer!
  • Old Software: I have posted reviews dating back to 1991, with a total of over 800 pages online. I no longer have copies of most of those products, and the amount of help I can offer for an old piece of software that I don't have is very limited. And no, I don't have a copy for sale. If you need to buy another copy, try eBay or
  • Gimmes: If you're thinking of asking me to send you a copy of software, please don't bother. Not only don't I have copies of old software in most cases, but I'm not going to send you a copy of software that I do have. I've included links to lots of stuff that is free and legal on my Files page, but please don't ask for copies of commercial software, not even older versions.
  • Homework: while I'm happy to discuss issues with you, if you ask me a question that sounds like a school or University assignment, don't be surprised if I suggest that you do your own research. You can probably do a Google search as easily as I can.
  • Attachments: because of the threat of computer viruses, I routinely delete any mail that I get with attachments if I am not expecting them. If you have a tech support question involving a problem with a data file, I may ask you to send me a sample file-- but until I ask, please don't send an attachment.
  • Use a valid subject line: we're all getting a lot of spam; if I receive a message from a stranger with a blank subject line, or something like 'Hi!', it will probably be tossed, unread.

All of this may make it sound like I don't want to hear from you, but I do!  You can write me at: alan (at) zisman (dot) ca *

* Why don't I just write out a valid email address like Because the Web is an information superhighway for 'spambots', software routines that wander Websites 'harvesting' the text surrounding '@' symbols and sending it to spammers... this is one of the biggest ways that spammers get your address. Tricks with javascript can be used to make it harder for them (see my spam tutorial) or simply writing out the address the way I just did.


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Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at