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May has been a busy month for Amy and I on the road. I haven't had any time to work on the website (except for fixing a few typos).
PuterGeek.Com was a "HotSpot of the day" on May 11th!
http://126.96.36.199/flanga/hotspots.htm Be sure to check it out when you're surfing the web.
Here's what Fred Langa www.langa.com had to say about PuterGeek.Com
"Good stuff, especially for newbies." Thanks Mr. Langa!
There's a new poll up and I'd appreciate it if all of you could take a moment to vote.
It seems that the new Photos area is rather popular so I guess Amy will have to take some more photos.
I'm trying to push the number of subscribers to 200+, so if you like the newsletters please tell your friends and family.
I had a "helpme" the other day that could not re-install Win98. It would fail with a goofy error code and that was it. It turns out that he had GoBack www.goback.com installed and after un-installing it the problem was solved! Of course Compaq etc... had no ideas for him...BUT I did! <grin>
BTW...Both GoBack and Second Chance by PowerQuest www.powerquest are really great programs! Take a look at them, they could help!
Now on with the good stuff...
From the Funnies http://users.erols.com/hmmd
A man was walking along a Victorian beach and was in deep prayer to the
He said, "Lord, you have promised me the desires of my heart.
That's what I am asking you for right now.
Please give me a confirmation that you will grant my wish."
Suddenly the sky clouded up over his head and the Lord in a
booming voice spoke to him. "I have searched your heart and
determined it to be pure.
The last time I issued a blank wish request it was to Solomon.
He didn't disappoint me with his request for wisdom. I think I
can trust that you won't disappoint me either. Because you have
been faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish you ask for."
The man sat and thought about it for a while and said,
"I've always wanted to go to Tasmania, but I'm deadly afraid
of flying and I get very seasick on boats. Could you build a
bridge to Tasmania, so I can drive over there to visit whenever I want?"
The Lord laughed and said, "That's incredibly difficult!
Think of the logistics of that! How would the supports ever
reach the bottom of Bass Strait? Think of how much concrete...
how much steel!!! Your request is very materialistic,
a little disappointing. I could do it, but it's hard for me
to justify your craving for worldly things. Take a little
more time and think of another wish, a wish you think would
honor and glorify Me as well."
The man thought about it for a long while and tried to think
of a really good wish. Finally, he said, "Here's the deal, Lord.
I've been married and divorced four times. My wives always
said that I didn't care and that I'm insensitive. So I wish
that I could understand women...I want to know how they feel
inside and what they're thinking when they give me the silent
treatment...I want to know why they're crying...I want to know
what they really mean when they say 'nothing'...I want to know
how to make them truly happy...That's the wish that I want, Lord."
After a few minutes, God said, "You want two lanes or four on that
Is Windows a Virus?
No, Windows is not a virus. Here's what viruses do:
1.They replicate quickly - okay, Windows does that.
2.Viruses use up valuable system resources, slowing down the system
as they do so - okay, Windows does that.
3.Viruses will, from time to time, trash your hard disk - okay,
Windows does that too.
4.Viruses are usually carried, unknown to the user, along with
valuable programs and systems. Sigh... Windows does that, too.
5.Viruses will occasionally make the user suspect their system
is too slow (see 2) and the user will buy new hardware. Yup,
Windows does that, too.
Until now it seems Windows is a virus but there are fundamental
differences: Viruses are well supported by their authors, are
running on most systems, their program code is fast, compact
and efficient and they tend to become more sophisticated as they
So Windows is not a virus.
It's a bug.
"IT'S A GUY THING"
Translated:* "There is no rational thought pattern connected with it,
and you have no chance at all of making it logical."
"CAN I HELP WITH DINNER?"
Translated:* "Why isn't it already on the table?"
"UH HUH," "SURE, HONEY," OR "YES, DEAR" Translated:* Absolutely
nothing. It's a conditioned response.
"IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN"
Translated:* "I have no idea how it works."
"TAKE A BREAK, HONEY. YOU'RE WORKING TOO HARD." Translated:* "I can't
hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."
"THAT'S INTERESTING, DEAR."
Translated:* "Are you still talking?"
"YOU KNOW HOW BAD MY MEMORY IS."
Translated:* "I remember the theme song to 'F Troop,' the address of
the first girl I ever kissed and the vehicle identification numbers
of every car I've ever owned... but I forgot your birthday."
"OH, DON'T FUSS, I JUST CUT MYSELF. IT'S NO BIG DEAL." Translated:*
"I have actually severed a limb but will bleed to death before I
admit that I'm hurt."
"HEY, I'VE GOT MY REASONS FOR WHAT I'M DOING." Translated:* "And I
sure hope I think of some pretty soon."
"I CAN'T FIND IT."
Translated:* "It didn't fall into my outstretched hands, so I'm
"WHAT DID I DO THIS TIME?"
Translated:* "What did you catch me at?"
"I HEARD YOU."
Translated:* "I haven't the foggiest clue what you just said and am
hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don't
spend the next three days yelling at me."
"YOU KNOW I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE." Translated:* "I am used to
the way you yell at me and realize it could be worse."
"YOU LOOK TERRIFIC."
Translated:* "Oh, p-lease don't try on one more outfit. I'm starving."
"I'M NOT LOST. I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE."
Translated:* "No one will ever see us alive again."
"WE SHARE THE HOUSEWORK."
Translated:* "I make the messes; she cleans them up."
WHY MEN ARE PROUD OF THEMSELVES
1. We know stuff about tanks.
2. A 5-day trip requires only one suitcase.
3. We can open all our own jars.
4. We can make decisions without a support group.
5. We can leave a motel bed unmade.
6. We can kill our own food.
7. We get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
8. Wedding plans take care of themselves.
9. If someone forgets to invite us to something they can still be our
10. Underwear is $10 a three-pack.
11. Three pairs of shoes is more than adequate.
12. We don't have to clean the house if the meter reader is coming.
13. Car mechanics tell us the truth.
14. We can sit quietly and watch TV with a friend for hours without
thinking "He must be mad at me."
15. Gray hair and wrinkles only add character.
16. We can drop by and see a friend without having to bring a little
17. If another guy shows up at a party in the same outfit you just
might become lifelong friends.
18. Your pals will never trap you with: "So, notice anything different?"
19. We are not expected to know the names of more than 5 colors.
20. We are totally unable to see wrinkles in our clothes.
21. The same hairstyle lasts for years-maybe decades.
22. We don't have to shave below the neck.
23. A few belches are expected and tolerated.
24. One wallet, one pair of shoes, one color, all seasons.
25. We can do our nails with a pocketknife.
26. Christmas shopping can be accomplished for 25 people on the day
before Christmas and be done in 45 minutes.
From the Langalist www.langa.com
A Free Scripting "WatchDog"
Within a few days of the Luv Bug outbreak, the folks at WinMag posted
"WatchDog," a free app that automatically does much of what Russ' manual
method accomplishes (see item above).
"Watchdog will, with your consent, become the default program
for Visual Basic Script (VBS) and other scripting files. When
you launch one of these files, WatchDog will look it over and
warn you of any possible security risks. You can then determine
whether the program is supposed to be taking these actions and
how to proceed. An install script that copies files to a
specified location and makes a few Registry edits, for example,
might raise some flags for file copying and Registry writing,
but it could still be legitimate. Alternately, if WatchDog
reports that that `love letter' you just received in your e-mail
inbox will overwrite files and access Microsoft Outlook, you
might want to steer clear."
It's cool, free, and effortless to use; you can configure it (with just a
couple clicks) to monitor any or all of the following file types: VBS,
VBE, WSF, WSH, JS and JSE.
I have Watchdog on my system; coupled with Hal's manual method, I can now
easily monitor and control the actions of just about any script that runs
Grab a copy of Watchdog at http://www.winmag.com/fixes/watchdog.htm
Cool Reg Trick:
Add A Windows 2000-Style Start Menu To Win98
We previously discussed how to change Win98's scrolling Start menu to the
Win95-style multi-column view that shows you everything at once. (See
http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2000/2000-05-08.htm#3 ) In that coverage,
we also mentioned that Windows 2000 has a checkbox item that lets you
instantly toggle between the Win95-style multi-column view and the Win98-
style scrolling view. It's very handy.
Reader Milly Peters offers this Registry patch that adds a similar
checkbox item to Windows 98: With this change, you can check or uncheck
the box (just as in Win2k) to switch instantly between a multi-column and
a scrolling Start Menu. Cool!
There are three ways to get this Reg patch: The best way is to download
"Menu.Reg" (for free) from http://www.langa.com/reg/menu.reg ; this will
avoid any problems (as mentioned above in item #1) with line-wraps etc.
Once you've downloaded it, just double click on it, and answer "Yes" when
asked if you want to make the changes.
Or you can create them on your system by opening NotePad and
copying/pasting (or typing) the following 12 lines of text (line two is
blank) between the "----". Don't copy the "----" because they're simply to
show you where the file starts and ends.
"Text"="Multi-Column Start Menu"
Note: The long [HKEY_LOCAL_ ....] line probably WILL WRAP in your email
reader, but it's really one long line starting with a "[" and ending with
a "]"; if you know what you're doing, you can edit-out the line break---
or simply visit the HTML version of this issue to see it correctly
When you've gotten the file typed in correctly, save it as something like
"Menu.Reg" and then double click on that file, and answer "yes" to accept
To change your Start menu type, open Windows Explorer and click on
View/Folder Options and then select the View tab. Scroll down to the
"Files and Folders" area and you'll see the new checkbox there--- it
appears as "Multi Column Start Menu." Check or uncheck it to switch
instantly between multi-column and scrolling Menu types. It's very slick.
From Lockergnome www.lockergnome.com
SvcControl v1.0 [75k] WNT FREE
"SvcControl is a command line utility that controls NT services on local or remote machines. This utility was designed to be used in batch processes that require return codes. When you receive a return code of 99. The utility will echo an error code that can be referenced in MSDN Win32 Error Codes. For example: "There Were Errors. Error Code=6" -- which translates as "The Handle is invalid." This generally means the service does not exist. For syntax on this utility, type svccntrl.exe without arguments or /? or /help (whichever)."
Utility to Help Interpret Setup Log Files
"Microsoft has created a utility to help you understand the log files that Setup creates during the installation of Microsoft Office 2000 products. This utility creates an output log file that can assist you if you are having a problem installing Office. The following are some of the objectives of the LogReader utility: combine the log file information from the Setup and Windows Installer log files; highlight key areas where Setup may be failing; point out common Setup errors; provide a more readable log file; reduce the log file information."
Multi-Booting Windows 2k/NT/W9x/DOS
"Your installations are less prone to problems if you install Windows 95 or Windows 98 before you install Windows NT and Windows 2000. This order is recommended because sometimes Windows 95 or Windows 98 replaces a Windows 2000 or Windows NT boot sector with its own boot sector. Because a Windows 95 or Windows 98 boot sector identifies the partition as a FAT16 partition, Windows NT and Windows 2000 can no longer access NTFS volumes."
P6Perf v1.0 [39k] W9x/NT FREE
"The P6Perf utility extends the Windows 98 standard System Monitor (on Windows NT, Performance Monitor) applet to collect and display the advanced processor performance
information. This information can be displayed side-by-side with other system performance parameters. P6Perf can be used with Intel P6 Family processors such as Intel Pentium Pro, Celeron, Pentium
II, Pentium II Xeon, Pentium III, and Pentium III Xeon processors."
Microsoft Office 2000 Automation Help File
Unearthed by Albert Suh
"The Auto2000.exe file contains the Microsoft Office 2000 Automation Help file created by Microsoft Technical Support. This Help file contains Automation theory and has multiple examples that show you how to automate the Office 2000 products (Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Project, and Microsoft Word) as well as Microsoft Binder and Microsoft Graph."
Microsoft FrontPage 2000 SDK [827k] W9x/NT/2k FREE
"This is intended to provide a rich variety of programming examples and reference material that demonstrate the use of the components in FrontPage 2000. The intended audience for this SDK includes anyone interested in extending the capabilities of FrontPage through the use of wizards, templates, custom components, custom menu commands, or Designer HTML. Users should be familiar with FrontPage and its main components; entry-level programming knowledge assumed."
From Microsoft www.microsoft.com
Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition
Windows 98 Multimedia Troubleshooting Page
Windows 98 Communication Troubleshooting Page
Gaming Zone Troubleshooter
Internet Explorer on the following platforms: Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT(r) 4.0
Troubleshooting Browsing Error Messages in Microsoft Internet Explorer
Internet Connection Sharing FAQ
From Woody's Office Watch www.wopr.com
HOW TO DETECT OR RECOVER FROM LOVE
If you've been infected with the 'Melissa' or 'I Love You'
viruses or one of its spawn then running the latest
anti-virus program is only part of the fix.
Anti-virus programs will detect and remove infected files
but not clean up all the damage done, especially to the
Both the Melissa and I Love you viruses write to the
Windows registry. Melissa was benign, but I Love You is
more troublesome. It writes a new registry entry for each
contact in your address books. In the case of a large
Contacts list or an already large registry there's
potential for the registry to grow beyond the maximum size.
If the registry grows too big that can stop your computer
from working or rebooting.
It is prudent to clear the registry of these virus
generated entries even though they don't directly cause
Instructions for changing the registry are complex and
rightly concern many users who are wary of tinkering with
the innards of Windows. So we've made a utility to do the
job for you.
CURE FOR LOVE - AVAILABLE FOR WOW READERS
WOW readers can now download 'Cure for Love' a free utility
to detect and clear up the 'collateral damage' from:
- 'I Love You' virus and variants.
- 'Melissa' virus and variants.
WOW readers can get it free from
http://www.woodyswatch.com/special/ -- it may not be
available immediately after this WOW is published, please
check back in a few hours.
It will check for presence of the viruses and warn you if
they are present. It'll also scan the registry and remove
any entries created by the above viruses. You'll see the
actions taking place on the screen and an optional report
can be generated listing all the checks and changes made.
Tens of thousands of WOW readers made use of our 'Bye
Melissa' utility - 'Cure for Love' is the successor to that
popular utility that covers both major types of viruses.
Unlike some other virus fix utilities, Cure for Love does
NOT require the presence of any specific anti-virus
software. All you need is Word 97 or Word 2000.
It is NOT a replacement for anti-virus software, you should
use such a program and keep it updated regularly. Cure for
Love is an additional tool, not a replacement.
WHO NEEDS CURE FOR LOVE?
We've designed Cure for Love to be used by Office 97 and
Office 2000 users who:
- Want to double check that their computer has no traces of
either virus strain.
- Ensure a computer has been fully cleaned, especially if
it's a computer you've acquired or borrowed.
- For network administrators 'Cure for Love' is an
alternative to the time-consuming task of totally erasing
and rebuilding a hard drive.
You can get it free from
http://www.woodyswatch.com/special/ -- it may not be
available immediately after this WOW is published, please
check back in a few hours.
Just double click on the downloaded file and it will open
up in Word. Make sure you Enable Macros or it can't
operate. Then follow the instructions.
Cure for Love will be updated if new email viruses also
change the registry (most virus variations only make
cosmetic changes with the registry alterations remaining
the same as earlier viruses of the same type).
Keep an eye on WOW for details of any new versions. The
web page will also note the date and time of the most
. OFFICE 2000 UPDATE - SECOND ATTEMPT
After the almost traditional false start there's now a
revised version of the Office 2000 bug fix pack - now
called Service Release 1a.
There's no variation in the changes made to Office 2000
from the original SR-1 and the new SR-1a . The only
difference is the updating system that didn't work properly
in SR-1 has been fixed.
If you already have SR-1 installed then you need not get
SR-1a. But I know that most WOW readers have been waiting
for Service Release 1 to prove itself in public before
committing themselves - and events have proved that caution
The long awaited WOW special issue on Office 2000 Service
Release 1 will be sent to all WOW readers later this week.
After months in the making you'll find it very worthwhile.
As usual, the full story of the Office update is NOT to be
found on the Microsoft web site.
AUTO UPDATE CAUTION:
One part of the WOW special issue will be a close look at
the Office Auto Update system. With the release of SR-1a
Microsoft is pushing people to use this method of updating
their copy of Office.
Given Microsoft's very poor track record with Office
updates we suggest extreme caution using this new approach.
From Windows Insider www.winmag.com
WINDOWS ME 'RELEASE CANDIDATE 0'?
Microsoft says this isn't true, but I'm hearing from at least one
reliable Windows Me beta testing source that Microsoft just
offered Release Candidate 0. The same source predicts that
Microsoft could ship the product as early as July. I currently
have Windows Me build 2513 installed on five PCs in the Insider
test labs, and they're all running just fine. Frankly, the
Windows Me beta seems like a better version of Windows than
Windows 98 SE ever has.
Judging on past performance (never a sure indicator of the
future, to paraphrase Wall Street common sense), I expect Windows
Me to "go gold" in early August, and be available on store
shelves by mid September.
It is quite possible that by RC0, my beta tester means a tune-up
for the first release candidate, which will more likely be called
RC1. So maybe it's just around the corner. That would be pretty
fast, given how recently Beta 3 came out though.
WINDOWS ME DOS CONCERNS
Contributing editor Dave Methvin and I wrote a lengthy review of
Windows Me Beta 3, which I offered you the link to a few weeks
back. I want to draw your attention to a specific part of that
story, a little sidebar we called "DOS Boot":
The sidebar talks about how Windows Me lacks the option to "boot
to command prompt only," a feature available in Windows 9x on the
character-based Windows Startup menu, which comes up when you
hold down the Ctrl key during system boot.
Microsoft Windows Me Product Manager David Ursino wrote me an
interesting note this week that addresses our comments about the
DOS Boot sidebar, and here are some excerpts from what he said:
"After thorough research and testing we've decided that removing
Real Mode would definitely improve the PC experience. Doing that
delivers a lot of benefits -- including increased stability and
faster boot times -- without much sacrifice. For example, DOS
applications still run from a DOS box under Windows. Technology
is evolving, and sometimes you have to leave behind legacy code
that's holding you back.
"I know from talking to you, Scot, and reading your stories that
you agree with the idea of removing real-mode support in
principle. I have verified that it is not feasible to provide
users with "Restart in MS-DOS Mode" or the "Boot to Command
Prompt Only" option on the Windows Startup menu because to do
either would require us to put Real Mode back into the product.
This isn't something we intentionally "took away" per se; it's a
natural byproduct of making the decision to take out Real Mode to
improve the user experience. The vast majority of users will not
miss these options. In fact, we feel novice users will be better
off in the absence of the Restart to MS-DOS option since it could
"I'd like to specifically address the main points of your
concerns from your DOS Boot article:"
"...But there is no longer a 'Restart in MS-DOS Mode' option on
the Shutdown menu" and "...the "[Boot to] Command Prompt Only"
option on the Windows Startup menu -- the character-based boot
menu that appears when you depress and hold Ctrl during system
starts -- has been removed."
"That's correct, we can't include these things without putting
Real Mode back in, and we strongly believe that not having Real
Mode is a good thing, for reasons I've already stated."
"There are also changes to DOS utilities. If you type FORMAT /S
it says the feature is no longer supported. If you type SYS /? it
says the only drive supported is C:"
"These are also Real Mode related, and we would suggest that
they're not really necessary. In the case of FORMAT /S, well, as
you know it makes your hard drive bootable, and Windows makes
your drive bootable during setup. The command is only relevant to
people who really want to make a bootable floppy drive, and we
provide this functionality through the setup process. As for the
SYS command, we don't provide for using SYS on a floppy. The
floppy we support is the EBD [Windows Startup Disk]. We prompt
users to make this disk during setup, and give them the option to
make an EBD afterwards from the Add/Remove Programs control
panel. We are making third-party companies aware of this.
Utilities vendors will be updating their products as well, so
these Real Mode issues will not be a problem."
"We urge [Microsoft] to reconsider this plan. If nothing else,
notebook PC users the world over just got a new reason to carry
that floppy drive with them when they travel, instead of leaving
it behind as many of us do."
"All these things are predicated on taking out Real Mode. Given
the benefits we get by removing Real Mode, and the way that
technology is advancing to give you most of these types of
capabilities (plus new ones) from within Windows, it's a positive
trade-off. We are getting great feedback on this. However, you
are correct, it is important that users have a boot floppy.
"One other thing you might find interesting is that most OEM PC
makers will be shipping bootable CDs that will boot to DOS. Since
many Windows users get new versions of the OS by buying new PCs,
this should be a big help."
--- Scot's Response to David ---
Our main concern is about what seems like fewer tools under
Windows Me for those situations when your computer won't boot
into Windows. In particular, the lack of a "Boot to Command
Prompt Only" option on the Windows Startup menu is a bit
Also, I would dispute the notion that in doing away with Real
Mode support, you *must* do away with the ability to boot to a
DOS prompt. There's no reason this option couldn't be built into
the operating system. Murphy's law states that a problem like the
one described -- where you can't get into Safe Mode and you can't
boot into Windows -- usually occurs only when you don't have the
EBD handy or a bootable CD. Having the ability to resort to DOS
without a floppy disk or CD can and will be critical. There
should be a back door.
We're also wondering why Windows Me doesn't have the "last known
good boot configuration" feature that Windows NT and Windows 2000
have? Given Windows Me's System Restore feature, having this sort
of safety net built into the boot process would go some distance
toward alleviating the need for Boot to Command Prompt Only.
From the Win Letter www.winmag.com
If you ever downloaded a file, you met Phil Katz. Katz wrote the
shareware program PKZip, far and away the most popular file
compression program. The program, written as a hobby in 1986, was
part of computer technology infrastructure, common as browsers
Katz was found dead the other day at the age of 37. He apparently
lived a troubled life; the Milwaukee medical examiner put the cause
of death as complications from chronic alcoholism. He was found in
a hotel room holding a bottle of alcohol, and five empty liquor
bottles were also found in the room.
No commentary here. But his passing, which was under-reported,
should be noted.
WHILE NAPSTER BURNS
You're probably heard that the heavy metal band Metallica has a little
list of about 300,000 people who've been swapping the group's music
using Napster. Good move, incidentally -- threatening your fans with a
lawsuit. Way to build loyalty.
Anyway, buried in the Napster frenzy was the announcement that two of
the world's six record companies -- Sony Music and Universal Music --
are teaming up to build a subscription-based service to distribute
music and movies for the net. Sony, you'll remember, has the
technological infrastructure, with its OpenMG copy protection scheme.
Nothing wrong with electronic distribution, apparently. As long as them
that owns the goods are doing the distributing. Me? I'd be *very*
interested to see the royalty arrangments this service has with the
labels' artists. Not much difference to my mind between a fan ripping
off a band and a label ripping off a band -- except the fan might hold
the higher moral ground.
FIXING INTEL MO-BOS
If the reaction to my story of home-brew computers (Win Letter 82) is
any indication, more than a few of you like to build your own. You
may want to be aware of a problem with some recent Intel motherboards.
It seems that Intel motherboards that use the 820 chipset and SDRAM
memory are subject to a problem that could freeze your computer.
(That's right: A freeze that's not Windows's fault. Amazing.) You may
know that the 820 chipset was designed to be used with RAMBUS memory;
Intel makes a series of motherboards that uses the 820 and standard
133MHz memory. It's those boards that may have a problem, and the
problem is in the very circuitry that lets the 820 use SDRAM.
If you've got a new computer -- one you bought (or made) after October
1999 -- that's running a Coppermine Pentium III and SDRAM, you want to
check this out. Intel's got a downloadable utility so you can check to
see if you have one of the affected motherboards.
And because I know some of you will ask, I'm OK, thanks. I used
motherboards from Gigabyte.
That's it for now. As always, feel free to email me with any comments/suggestions!
Peter Crockett - webmaster
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