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Well I've finally had some time to work on the website. A new Poll is
up on the main page plus I done some behind the scene work as well.
There's a couple of new pages too. I hope to work on some more new
content for the site since we'll be home till at least Tuesday.
In the "My Thoughts" section I've added a page on abortion. This was
a really hard page for me to write. If you have any comments on it or
any other page feel free to email me. www.putergeek.com/abortion.htm
Amy (my wife) has decided to make a website. It's based on my server
at my home with a re-direct page on PuterGeek.Com. She's got the Amy
and Maggie (our dog) cam up most of the time. And she loves jokes!
Please take a look at her website and drop her an email if you liked
Now on with the good stuff...
>From The Funnies http://www.erols.com/hmmd
TOP 10 PARTY GAMES for the Aging:
1. Sag, You're It!
2. Musical Recliners
3. 20 Questions - Shouted into your Good Ear
4. Kick the Bucket
5. Red Rover, Red Rover, the Nurse Says "Bend Over!"
6. Doc, Doc, Goose
7. Simon Says Something Incoherent
8. Hide and Go Pee
9. Spin the Bottle of Mylanta
10. Pin the Toupee on the Bald Guy
There was a middle-aged couple who had two stunningly beautiful blonde
teen-aged daughters. They decided to try one last time for the son
they always wanted. After months of trying, the wife became pregnant and
sure enough, nine months later delivered a healthy baby boy. The
joyful father rushed to the nursery to see his new son. He took one look and
was horrified to see the ugliest child he has ever seen. He went to
his wife and said that there was no way that he could be the father of
thatchild. "Look at the two beautiful daughters I fathered."
Then he gave her a stern look and asked, "Have you been fooling around
on me?" The wife just smiled sweetly and said, "Not this time."
Can you imagine working at the following Company? It has a little
over 500 employees with the following statistics:
*29 have been accused of spousal abuse
*7 have been arrested for fraud
*19 have been accused of writing bad checks
*117 have bankrupted at least two businesses
*3 have been arrested for assault
*71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
*14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
*8 have been arrested for shoplifting
*21 are current defendants in lawsuits
*In 1998 alone, 84 were stopped for drunk driving Can you guess which
organization this is? Give up?
It's the 535 members of your United States Congress. (current
session) The same group that perpetually cranks out hundreds upon hundreds
of new laws designed to keep the rest of us in line. Have a nice day!
>From the Langalist www.langa.com
An RTF Security Bug!
The "Rich Text Format" is a nearly universal file format that lets you
share formatted documents almost without regard for which program
created or will read them. RTF is great for anyone who has to share
For example, I write for a number of different publications. Some of
the editors use Macs, others use PCs; they run different OSes and
different word processors--- but everyone can accept and read RTF files.
Regardless of the system they have, the recipients see my formatting
(bold, italics, line/paragraph breaks, etc) exactly as I
intended---RTF is *that* generic. As a result, I send all my columns in RTF format.
RTF has been around for years; it's practically universal. So I was
amazed to see a new security bulletin from Microsoft about a
"Malformed RTF Control Word" Vulnerability. Microsoft says:
"Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates a security
vulnerability in the Rich Text Format (RTF) reader that ships
as part of Microsoft(r) Windows(r) 95 and 98, and Windows
NT(r) 4.0. Under certain conditions, the vulnerability could
be used to cause email programs to crash."
An RTF document contains text and universally-agreed-upon control
codes. Any word processor, spreadsheet, or other RTF-capable application uses
the control codes to properly display the text.
But it turns out that the RTF readers used by many Microsoft
applications contain a small area--- a buffer--- where the control
codes are stored for processing. Microsoft says "If an RTF file contains a
specially-malformed control word, it could cause the application to
crash" by overrunning the buffer.
This affects Windows 95 and 98 (all versions), and all versions of NT
4.0 (Workstation, Server, etc.). Windows 2000 uses a different RTF
reader, and is not affected.
The fix is easy--- it just requires a little extra code to ensure the
buffer isn't misused. Microsoft already has posted patches as follows:
22 Million Members v. AOL: A Class Action Suit?
My column on "AO Hell" struck a nerve: Now that AOL users are
realizing how common it is for AOL5 to mess up systems, many are ready to light
the torches and march on Steve Case's castle. Some members are so incensed
at the bad behavior of AOL5 (and the way it messed up their systems)
they're talking about filing a class action lawsuit to recover damages for
their lost time and productivity!
The story also has taken on a life of its own: In the last few days
I've been contacted by news organizations ranging from CNN to Newsbytes,
all following up on the original column--- which I guess has been cut-and-
pasted and re-emailed an incredible amount!
(Update: CNN went ahead and broadcast a news item using my column at
http://www.winmag.com/columns/explorer/2000/02.htm as visual; and also
mentions my WinMag column on their website at
CNN folks have also contacted me about doing a follow-up, possibly on-
camera. We'll try to work out the details this week. I wonder if
they'd be doing all this if AOL hadn't just bought them? 8-) In any case, stay
And chime in! What are *your* feelings about AOL? Is your AOL
experience different from mine? Have you found ways around the upgrade hassles?
What do you think the future will hold as AOL emerges as the biggest media
company on the planet? The discussion is ongoing at http://www.winmag.com/columns/explorer/2000/02.htm
John Quist offers this "gentle summary of this year's e-mail junk and
I know this guy whose neighbor, a young man, was home recovering
from having been served a rat in his bucket of Kentucky Fried
Chicken. So anyway, one day he went to sleep and when he awoke
he was in his bathtub and it was full of ice and he was sore all
over. When he got out of the tub he realized that HIS KIDNEYS
HAD BEEN STOLEN and he saw a note on his mirror that said "Call
911!" But he was afraid to use his phone because it was
connected to his computer, and there was a virus on his computer
that would destroy his hard drive if he opened an e-mail
entitled "Join the crew!" He knew it wasn't a hoax because he
himself was a computer programmer who was working on software to
save us from Armageddon when the year 2000 rolls around. And
it's a little known fact that the Y1K problem caused the Dark
Ages. His program will prevent a global disaster in which all
the computers get together and distribute the $250.00 Neiman-
Marcus cookie recipe under the leadership of Bill Gates. (It's
true-I read it all last week in a mass e-mail from BILL GATES
HIMSELF, who was also promising me a free Disney World vacation
and $5,000 if I would forward the e-mail to everyone I know.)
The poor man then tried to call 911 from a pay phone to report
his missing kidneys, but reaching into the coin-return slot he
got jabbed with an HIV-infected needle around which was wrapped
a note that said, "Welcome to the world of AIDS." Luckily he was
only a few blocks from the hospital-the one where that little
boy who is dying of cancer is, the one whose last wish is for
everyone in the world to send him an e-mail and the American
Cancer Society has agreed to pay him a nickel for every e-mail
he receives. I sent him two e-mails and one of them was a bunch
of x's and o's in the shape of an angel (if you get it and
forward it to 10 people, you will have good luck but 10 people
you will only have OK luck and if you send it to less than 10
people you will have BAD LUCK FOR SEVEN YEARS). So anyway the
poor guy tried to drive himself to the hospital, but on the way
he noticed another car driving along without its lights on. To
be helpful, he flashed his lights at him and was promptly shot
as part of a gang initiation.
Send THIS to all the friends who send you their junk mail and
you will receive 4 green m&ms, but if you don't the owner of
Proctor and Gamble will report you to his Satanist friends and
you will have more bad luck, your wife will develop breast
cancer from using the antiperspirant which clogged the pores
under her arms, and the U.S. government will put a tax on your
Loving/Hating Windows 2000 (Part 2)
In the first half of the paired "Loving/Hating Windows 2000 columns"
( http://www.informationweek.com/langaletter/011200langa.htm ), I
focused on five things I like a lot about the new OS. In this column,
I'll tell you the five things I most dislike.
One of the top items is simply that Win2K is too expensive. Microsoft
wants $319 for a full copy of the Professional version; $219 for an
upgrade from Win9x or $149 for an upgrade from NT4 Workstation.
(These are estimated retail process; actual mail- and web-order
prices are currently about 15% less.)
The Win2K server prices are even worse: A full copy Win2K Server with
10 client licenses is $1,200; an upgrade with 10 licenses is $600.
The Advanced Server version comes with 25 licenses, but costs $4000
for the standalone version and $2000 for the upgrade.
And curiously: Although many consider Linux to be the most serious
threat to the success of Win2K, Linux is NOT among the qualified
upgrades. Given that Linux can be gotten for anywhere from free to
about $80 depending on packaging and support, Win2K's prices seem
unrealistically high to me.
There are other problems too--- including the distance between
Microsoft's stated minimum hardware requirements and what you
actually need for minimally acceptable performance in the real world.
I'll detail it all in this week's InformationWeek Online column.
But what's your take? What are the things you most dislike about the
new OS? What are the most-welcome (or most-needed!) improvements Over
NT4 and Win9x? Join in the ongoing discussion live now at
In the wake of the AOL/Time Warner deal, here are the
latest mergers we can expect to see:
Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush,
and W.R. Grace Company merge to become Hale Mary Fuller
Polygram Records, Warner Brothers, and Keebler Crackers
merge to become Polly-Warner-Cracker.
3M and Goodyear merge to become MMMGood.
John Deere and Abitibi-Price merge to become Deere Abi.
Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota
Mining merge to become Zip Audi Do Da.
Honeywell, Imasco, and Home Oil merge to become Honey I'm
Denison Mines, and Alliance and Metal Mining merge to
become Mine All Mine.
Federal Express and UPS merge to become FED UP.
Xerox and Wurlitzer will merge and begin manufacturing
Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will merge
and become Fairwell Honeychild.
3M, J.C. Penney and the Canadian Opera Company will merge
and become 3 Penney Opera.
Knott's Berry Farm & National Organization of Women will
merge and become Knott NOW!
Yet *More* AOL Problems
Yow! Hundreds and hundreds of you posted or emailed replies to my
The Upgrade Of Death?" column. (See
http://www.winmag.com/columns/explorer/2000/02.htm ) Even more of you
shared the column with friends and co-workers--- until some critical
mass was achieved and the column took on a life of its own: So far,
news organizations ranging from CNN to the Associated Press to USA Today to
Newsbytes and more all have picked up on the story.
That, in turn, prompted others to look into AOL, and the closer we've
all collectively looked, the worse it seems.
In this week's column at WinMag.Com, I'll share with you some of the
most common complaints readers have made to me about AOL, including:
"Hijacking" of other ISP settings.
No, not everyone agrees with me about AOL, and some readers have
written to praise the software and the service: I'll show you a letter from an
AOL supporter, too.
But the overwhelming majority of letters and posts were from readers
whose experiences with AOL5 closely mirrored my own unpleasant ones.
Many of these were knowledgeable users---this wasn't a matter of user
error, as some pro-AOL writers suggested. In fact, I'll reprint a very
informative letter from a professional computer consultant who makes
part of her living specifically from "cleaning up the mess" made by
apps like AOL5.
And all this AOL activity got me to thinking: AOL5 has been out for a
while. So why is there a sudden flood of resentment now?
I actually think AOL has been generating that resentment for a long
time; but when they became king of the media world with Time Warner
and now EMI records, it pushed people over the edge. People are willing to
forgive problems from underdogs or struggling, up-and-coming software
vendors. But once a company achieves top-dog status, the rules change
and they're held to a higher standard.
By AOL's admission, their setup is aggressive and will by default take
over TCP/IP and dialup settings. When AOL was seen as a small company
struggling against Microsoft, that might have been OK--- fighting fire
with fire. But now AOL is the Microsoft of the media world, and that
kind of hyper-aggressive behavior is no longer tolerated.
AOL's behavior is a new issue to many people, but long-time readers
know that my own negative feelings towards AOL's hyper-aggressive setup
predate (by years) the recent mergers and acquisitions.
It comes down to this: I work hard to stabilize my systems, and any
application that wants to drop 4.5MB of unneeded, unwanted system
files on my PC is going to end up on my black list. Any application that
wants to change my networking setup needlessly and without even asking my
permission is going to end up on my black list. Any software that
wants to diddle needlessly with my system's power management settings is
going to end up on my black list. Any software that want to try to jam ads
down my throat, control where I can go, arbitrarily limit what I can
do, affect who I can write to or what sites I can visit, is going to be on
my black list.
But what about you? Has your AOL experience differed from mine? Have
you found ways around the upgrade hassles? What do you think the future
will hold as AOL emerges as the biggest media company on the planet? Join
in the discussion! The forum will open around midday (EST, GMT-5) on
Monday Jan 31st, 2000, and run continuously--- you can join in any time, read
the column, and post your replies at your leisure.
) Reader Warning!
Reader Mike Romine sent along this warning which I did not personally
follow up on, for reasons that will become obvious when you read what
happened to Mike's computer! So although I can't personally verify
this, at the very least Mike's experience would suggest extreme caution in
dealing with the site he talks about:
Subject: Free Videos from hell.
I received an email from a friend containing the following
link-- [but don't click it!]: www.gohip.com/freevideo/
Assuming he had intentionally sent this to me, I decided to
take a look. The page is titled Hip Hollywood.
A popup appears asking if you want to install "Free Video
Browser Enhancement". If you chose to install this a User Name
and Password box appears. You can "submit" without entering
anything, and watch the "Free Video"of your choice.
But, there is a major catch to this "Free Video". The "Free
Video Browser Enhancement" adds the file "Windows Startup.exe"
to the Windows Folder, as well as attaching the above
signature to outgoing email.
A banner is placed at the top of the browser for GoHip on all
pages. Upon closing the browser, a pop-up ad opens.
Changing the Home Page settings in Internet Explorer will
eliminate the banner, until you restart the computer. Once
again, you have the banner and pop-up.
To eliminate it completely I had to disable the "Windows
Startup" using the System Configuration Utility, delete
Windows Startup.exe from the Windows folder and delete the
signature from the outgoing mail.
This practice from GoHip appears to be as bad as the Melissa
virus. Many unsuspecting users will install the "Free Video
Browser Enhancement", as I did, but not have the knowledge of
how to stop the email signature attached to their outgoing
mail. It is truly Spam in it's most deceptive form.
"Please forward this to everyone you know." Just kidding. :-)
Deja News' Mysterious Vanishing NewsGroups
You know about "deja vu," that weird feeling that you've experienced
something before. Then there's "deja moo," the feeling that you've
heard this bull before. <g>
And there's Deja News, which started life as a web-based front-end to
"UseNet" newsgroups, which once were the #1 way to share information
online in just about every area of human interest. There are now well
over 30,000 newsgroups online ranging from user-to-user tech help
groups to hobby-oriented groups to professional interest groups to groups
exploring the furthest and ,um, least savory fringes of the human
experience. Deja News' greatest strength was that it allowed you
easily to search and sort vast archives of old newsgroup postings.
In the past, I've recommended Deja News many, many times as a way to
dig out solutions to obscure problems you might have with your hardware or
software: With a Deja search for the exact problem you're having, you
can probably find others who have experienced the same or a very
similar problem. Many times, this either lets you get a posted solution
immediately (and for free!) or to write to others who are in the same
situation as you are, and problem-solve together. It's a great tool.
But so many websites now offer easy ways to share user-to-user info.
The majority of people online have never looked at any newsgroup, ever.
So Deja News changed its name to "Deja.Com" and become a regular web
site aimed mainly at letting users share experiences with commercial
products: The idea is that before buying something, you'd go to
Deja.Com and see what others say about the product you were thinking
That led some readers, such as "JH," to write to me:
re your comments on Usenet groups:
deja.com now seems to be mainly a commercial and a more
general news portal now. Have you looked lately? Am I doing
something wrong? Maybe there's still a way to get to Usenet
groups through it, but I haven't found it yet. Well-hidden?
Still looking... --JH
It is well-hidden, but it's still there, and it's still very useful
for tracking down information in newsgroups: just dig down via the search
link in the upper right corner of the Deja.Com home page.
Next time you're really stumped for info on any topic, try a newsgroup
search--- you may be surprised at what you find
More On Loving/Hating Windows 2000 (Part 2)
To help you preview what trouble you might run into installing Windows
2000, you can download and use the free Win2K compatibility tool at
This small application will sniff your hardware (and software) to tell
you what probably will--and won't--work.
Other good pre-install resources are
I'll detail it all in my current InformationWeek Online column.
A Weird, Weird Site
Peter Casson offers this:
Fred, have a look at this site. I don't know what the hell it
means or is doing but it is interesting to say the least.
let it load and watch it go....
Well, I looked and all I can say is "wow!" I don't know what it means
either, but it's an impressive bit of web-coding!
NOTE: Try it, you'll like it! :-)
Top Ten Changes to Cable Television Resulting from AOL
Acquiring Time Warner...
10. When you turn on your television, you'll hear "You've got Pay Per View".
9. There will be a mysterious 19 hour period where your cable just won't work.
8. Test Patterns: Televisions equivalent to a busy signal.
7. Every once in a while you have to have your cable reinstalled.
6. 100 Free Trial Hours of Cable Access which you can't cancel, no matter how hard you try.
5. CIA: Cable Instant Alerter. Now all your friends will know when you are watching television.
4. Childproof features on cable will prevent you from receiving programs from undesirable sources, including ones you really do want to receive.
3. The cable repairman tells you to turn your TV off and back on again when you report your cable is on the fritz.... again.
2. Relatives in neighboring towns make fun of you because you don't have a "real" cable company like they do.
1. "You've been watching TV too long. Your connection has been terminated."
>From Lockergnome www.lockergnome.com
APB News [USA]
There are men and women who dedicate their lives to keeping the peace
and making sure the "bad guys" stay out of our hair. Now they've taken
their stories, videos, and audio scanners online. What criminals were
just captured? How many are still on the run? How safe is your
neighborhood? Are Internet crimes on the rise? Interact with other
crimestoppers via the forums; there's strength in numbers. Don't wait
for the evening news; handcuff yourself to this spectacular site. I
assure you: It's not against the law.
mIRC Announces 10th Registration -- "After nearly 6 years, two million
downloads and an estimated 1.8 billion connections to IRC networks
around the globe, mIRC Co. Ltd announced that the number of registered
copies of their flagship product has reached the elusive double-digit
mark. At 7:21pm GMT, Ronnie47, who has used mIRC for less than a
month, made the historic $20 purchase using his credit card. A regular
chatter in EFNet's #40+chat channel, Ronnie47 believed he was required
to purchase the software." 10 user registrations... for one of the
world's most popular IRC clients. Ouch. Lockergnomaster CptSiskoX
caught this one.
Even the most strong willed can't resist passing along interesting
stuff to their friends and family members via e-mail. Yes, even I have
blasted off a few frivolous messages now and again. If it's to one or
two people I know (and if we all know one other), I usually enter my
name in the 'To' field and every other address in the 'CC' field
(Carbon Copy). When I'm mailing multiple users (virtual strangers to
one another), I use the 'BCC' option (Blind Carbon Copy). This is a
GOOD habit for you to develop. The message will still be delivered to
every intended recipient, but their e-mail address won't be shared
with everyone else. Do you want people to respect YOUR privacy?
Respect theirs; use the BCC option. Not only is it polite, but it
How to Remove Linux and Install Windows NT/2000 on Your PC
"This article describes how you can remove the Linux operating system
from your computer, and then install the Windows NT 4.0 or the Windows
2000 operating system. This article also assumes that Linux is already
installed on the hard disk using Linux native and Linux swap
partitions, which are incompatible with the Windows operating system,
and that there is no free space left on the drive. Windows and Linux
can coexist on the same computer. For additional information, refer to
your Linux documentation." Aw, c'mon... who says big tech companies
have a sense of humor?
Coming from the "You Can't Escape My Clutches" department,
Lockergnomaster Stéphane Robiolle beefs up security on Windows 95 PCs.
When the login dialog first pops up in Windows, users can hit the ESC
key and bypass the routine. I suppose that's a solid tip, but what if
you don't want anyone to do that? It'll take a little registry
hacking, my friend. Launch REGEDIT and navigate to the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Network \ Logon key. Now, in the right-hand
panel, look for a key labeled "MustBeValidated" (its contents will be
in hexadecimal format). To stop any escape attempts, change the value
to "01 00 00 00" (sans quotes). To enable the escape "bug," simply
delete that particular key. Be careful not to forget your Windows
Cookies under fire in Yahoo! suit -- "Cookies are small text files
stored on a user's hard drive that help to identify a user to a Web
site. They are used to provide features like personalization and
password information, and to track users as they move through the Web.
It is electronic stalking. It violates the eavesdropping statutes, and
from a civil aspect it's an invasion of privacy,' said Universal
attorney Lawrence Friedman."
>From Microsoft www.microsoft.com
Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition
How to Configure a Peer Network (Q250927)
Your Computer May Have Problems When Resuming from Standby Mode
Error Message: SU991010: Setup Was Unable to Continue (Q250683)
Description of TCP/IP Registry Entries in the NetTrans Subkey
Description of TCP/IP Entries in MSTCP\ServiceProvider Subkey
Insufficient Disk Space Error Message During Backup to a File
Description of Phone Message Record and Playback Registry Keys
Description of the Modem Settings Key in the Windows Registry
Description of the Modem Responses Key in the Registry (Q250648)
Description of the Modem Init Key in the Windows 98/95 Registry
Description of the HKEY_DYN_DATA Registry Key in Windows 98/95
Description of the HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG Registry Key in Windows 9
Plug and Play Components in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Enum\Bios Subkey
Description of Subkeys Contained in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Enum (Q250530)
Err Msg: One or More of the Characters You Typed in this... (Q250449)
Description of Typical Services Registry Keys Under HKLM (Q250448)
Description of Typical Control Subkeys of the HKLM Registry Key
Install Option Is Missing on Shortcut Menu (Q250430)
Description of the Registry Files in Windows 98/95 (Q250410)
Description of HKEY Registry Keys in Windows 98/95 (Q250409)
Description of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Registry Branch Subkeys
Description of HKEY_CURRENT_USER Registry Subkeys (Q250404)
Mandatory User Profiles Do Not Work on Local Computer (Q250323)
Windows Update Web Page Is Displayed in Wrong Language (Q250288)
Multiple Recycle Bin Icons in Windows 95 and Windows 98 (Q249882)
Error Message: Hardware Error. DriHwp32.dll Not Found or Damaged
Explanation of Regsvr32 Usage and Error Messages (Q249873)
Winipcfg/Ipconfig Incorrectly Display Adapter DHCP Information
USB Driver Uses the Largest Supported Report Size (Q249635)
Problems Starting Browser with Damaged Go!Zilla Installation (Q249248)
Sounds May Be Disabled Using PlaySound API with USB HID Devices
ICS Does Not Route IP Packets with Mismatched Static IP Address
Volume Control Disabled After Rebalance, Refresh, or Hot Dock
Unable to Play MIDI Device After Rebalance, Refresh, or Hot Dock
Err Msg: MSTSC Caused a General Protection Fault in Gdi.exe (Q246219)
"BUG CHECK Error in VIP" Error Message Obtaining a DHCP Lease
Creating a View of a File May Leak Pages of Memory (Q242161)
Invalid Page Fault When Opening Control Panel (Q237826)
Internet Explorer on the following platforms: Windows 95, Windows 98,
Windows NT 4.0
Unable to Connect to Internet When Connected to Network with RAS
Document.LastModified Returns Invalid Date (Q250316)
Error Messages Received Downloading Windows Media Audio Files
Internet Explorer for Macintosh May Not Be Displayed as Expected
Wininet: Dates and Times May Show Up Incorrect in FTP Listings
Internet Explorer Help Does Not Work on Terminal Server Computer
IE5 Stops Responding When Accessing a Gopher Search Page (Q246767)
Complete List of Internet Explorer 5.01 Restrictions (Q245427)
Internet Explorer Does Not Display Updated Files Over FTP URL
Cannot Display More Than 248 Columns of Text Using PRE Tag (Q240121)
Desktop Is Not Painted After Logging On (Q238744)
Auto-Proxy Functions Supported by Internet Explorer (Q209266)
Error Message: Cannot Play Back the Video Stream... (Q156286)
Default Settings May Not Propagate to Computers/Users (Q251001)
"C:\Windows\System\Timedate.cpl" Error Starting Date/Time Tool
Error Message While Installing Year 2000 Resource CD-ROM (Q249650)
Explorer Displays Folder Dates Incorrectly on Netware Servers
Windows 95 Hangs on Reboot with CardBus Card Installed (Q247965)
Fdisk.exe Limits Non-MS-DOS Partition End to 8 GB (Q245213)
Microsoft Digital Video May Lose IEEE 1394 Device Audio (Q243174)
Windows(r) 2000 Professional is the upcoming Microsoft operating
system best for business users. And Windows 98 Second Edition is the
best system for home use. If you're not sure which one is best suited
for your needs, check out the top ten reasons to upgrade to each one
If you decide Windows 2000 Professional is the right Microsoft OS for
you, you can preorder it from the Microsoft online store today. But
before you do, check these links to ensure a successful Windows 2000
installation or upgrade:
Check out Windows 2000 system requirements:
Learn about any known device driver upgrade issues with Windows 2000:
Download the Windows 2000 Readiness Analyzer for a report of any
compatibility issues with your software, hardware, or computer:
Find out if you can upgrade to Windows 2000 from your current OS
Preorder Windows 2000 Professional today
Take a look at all the stellar reviews and awards Windows 2000 is
getting, including Popular Mechanics Magazine's recent Design &
Engineering Award for technology.
FROM Scott at Winmag www.winmag.com
No Windows user's toolkit is complete without this simple but
useful Microsoft Knowledgebase document that describes
Windows Files Located in the Root Folder:
It's a good one to print out and keep handy.
Reader Sound Off! - DLL Hell
"One of the biggest headaches in Win9x is that install programs
can go in and stomp on the DLLs in Windows' system directory.
This often results in version conflicts. The whole idea of DLLs
(dynamic link libraries) is a good one. They save disk space and
allow programs to pick up newer system libraries automatically.
Unfortunately a lot of software developers don't use the latest
version of Visual C++ (or whatever) to create their programs.
Because it's easier for them, their installers just automatically
replace a newer system file on your system, such as MSVCRT.DLL,
with an older one. Even though many DLLs are supposed to be
backwardly compatible, they often aren't. Which means that other
programs may suddenly not work properly.
"A simple solution would be for installers to have an option to
put all their mission critical .dlls in their own program
directory. Sure, this would add a few MB to a typical install but
I'd take that any day over an unstable system." -- Sander Pool
Bravo, Sander. Even though I've let go a few epithets about DLL
Hell in Insider previously, we should probably all say it out
loud every few months until Microsoft and Windows software
developers fix this problem.
There is some good news on the DLL Hell front. Both Windows 2000
and Windows "Millennium" (the next upgrade to Windows 98) have a
feature built into them that cutely prevents permanent overwrites
of system DLLs. Although they don't work the same, both new
versions of Windows effectively do the same thing. They let
installing programs overwrite system DLLs, so the installing app
is fooled. Then they automatically copy back the original version
of the DLL. The upshot is, the application that makes the mistake
of overwriting and older version of a DLL will be the one that
will most likely not function correctly, not other apps that are
playing straight. In Windows Millennium, this feature is called
System File Protection. -- Scot
Windows Millennium's System File Protection:
PERMANENT TWO-PANE EXPLORER
Most power users prefer two-paned Explorer windows (as opposed to
a single-pane Folder window) for serious file management chores
and rapid navigation through a tall directory hierarchy. If you
find that yourself wanting to use the Explorer with the
navigation tree more often than not, you'll probably prefer it to
be the default kind of folder to open when you double-click any
closed folder. If so, change the default.
Open any folder and choose View > Folder Options. (This is View >
Options under Win95.) Choose the "File Types" tab. Scroll down to
and select the "Folder" item. Press the "Edit" button. Highlight
"explore" under "Actions." Click the "Set Default" button. The
"explore" entry will become bold. Click OK and OK again on the
subsequent dialog. If you ever want to reverse the setting,
follow the same steps, but highlight "open" instead of "explore"
to set it as the default.
Related pointers: You can right-click any folder icon and choose
Explore to open it as a two-paned window. You can also hold down
the Shift key and double-click any folder to launch it as a two-
paned Explorer window.
One other thing you should know. Win2000 and Windows "Millennium"
share a tiny feature that makes this whole problem moot. By
default, their folder toolbars offer a toggle button that
switches any open folder window back and forth between a two-
paned window and a one-paned window. So you don't have to decide
in advance which kind of Explorer you want. That's the right way
to solve the problem.
Be sure to check out Winmag.com's other great
newsletters: Tip of the Day, Serdar Yegulalp's
Win2000 Insider, Dan Rosenbaum's Win Letter,
Karen Kenworthy's Power Tools, Paul Schindler's
Editor's Note, and Fred Langa's LangaList.
STRONGARMING CONTROL PANELS
Windows is very protective of Control Panel applets, once they're
installed. But there are simple ways you can operate on Control
Panel to remove them. With Control Panel closed, search for files
with the .CPL extension. You'll find them in the \Windows\System
folder. Instead of deleting .CPLs, move them to a new subfolder,
and restart Windows to see if you picked the right one.
You can also disable specific .CPL files without having to delete
or move them. Open the CONTROL.INI file in your Windows folder
using Notepad or another text editor. Find this section header:
If you don't find the header, add it just as it appears above.
Under the [Don't Load] section header, type the name of the
.CPL's exact filename followed by "=yes". So it might look
something like this:
Save and exit the CONTROL.INI file and restart Windows to double
check that you disabled the right Control Panel applet.
Well that's it for now. Till next time...
Peter Crockett - webmaster
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