[ Home ] [ Site Map ] [ Site Search ] [ Back to last page ]
We're in Reno, NV sitting til Monday. The new message board is doing well. If you haven't done so yet, wander over and take a look at it.
I want to thank those of you that send me email telling me how much you like the newsletter or website! Feedback (both good and bad) is important to me. Taking the website survey,
voting in a poll,
sending me email, signing my guestbook,
and sending me email are all great ways of showing your support for Putergeek.Com.
For those of you that want to do more (like if you have too much $$$ and want to give me some) - hehe Click here..
Here are some numbers....the newsletter currently goes out to 216 people. As you can see, some people have chosen to un-subscribe. That's ok, this newsletter isn't for everyone!
I'm currently getting about 65 "helpme" requests per month. This number is down from a few months ago....summer and the fact that many search engines are not showing the site properly are the main reasons I guess.
The folks from "Oz" (Australia) are currently the most active on the message board! This is surprising to me, but what the heck...
If anyone wants to become a registered user of the message board (not necessary) please email me at webmaster#putergeek.com with a subject of "new board user" and give me the following info...
email address (will be on all posts)
I'll then send you a password and ask you to change it ASAP.
Now, on with the good stuff....
From the Funnies http://users.erols.com/hmmd
Thou shalt not jump onto the keyboard when thy human is on the modem.
Thou shalt not pull the phone cord out of the back of the modem.
Thou shalt not unroll all of the toilet paper off the roll.
Thou shalt not sit in front of the television or monitor as if thou are
Thou shalt not projectile vomit from the top of the refrigerator.
Thou shalt not walk in on a dinner party and commence licking thy butt.
Thou shalt not lie down with thy butt in thy human's face.
Thou shalt not leap from great heights onto thy human's genital region.
Fast as thou are, thou cannot run through closed doors.
Thou shalt not reset thy human's alarm clock by walking on it.
Thou shalt not climb on the garbage can with the hinged lid, as thou
wilt fall in and trap thyself.
Thou shalt not jump onto the toilet seat just as thy human is sitting
Thou shalt not jump onto thy sleeping human's bladder at 4a.m.
Thou shalt realize that the house is not a prison from which to escape
at any opportunity.
Thou shalt not trip thy humans even if they are walking too slow.
Thou shalt not push open the bathroom door when there are guests in thy
Thou shalt remember that thou are a carnivore and that houseplants are
Thou shalt show remorse when being scolded.
I'll Never Understand My Wife (From "Chicken Soup For The Soul")
I'll never understand my wife.
The day she moved in with me, she started opening and closing
my kitchen cabinets, gasping, "You don't have any shelf paper!
We're going to have to get some shelf paper in here before I
move my dishes in."
"But why?" I asked innocently.
"To keep the dishes clean," she answered matter-of-factly.
I didn't understand how the dust would magically migrate off
the dishes if they had sticky blue paper under them, but I knew
when to be quiet.
Then came the day when I left the toilet seat up.
"We never left the toilet seat up in my family," she scolded.
"It wasn't impolite in my family," I said sheepishly.
"Your family didn't have cats."
In addition to these lessons, I also learned how I was supposed
to squeeze the toothpaste tube, which towel to use after a shower
and where the spoons are supposed to go when I set the table.
I had no idea I was so uneducated.
Nope, I'll never understand my wife.
She alphabetizes her spices, washes dishes before sending them
through the dishwasher, and sorts laundry into different piles
before throwing it into the washing machine. Can you imagine?
She wears pajamas to bed. I didn't think anyone in North America
still wore pajamas to bed. She has a coat that makes her look
like Sherlock Holmes. "I could get you a new coat," I offered.
"No. This one was my grandmother's," she said, decisively ending
Then, after we had kids, she acted even stranger. Wearing those
pajamas all day long, eating breakfast at 1:00 P.M., carrying
around a diaper bag the size of a minivan, talking in one syllable
She carried our baby everywhere -- on her back, on her front,
in her arms, over her shoulder. She never set her down, even
when other young mothers shook their heads as they set down the
car seat with their baby in it, or peered down into their playpens.
What an oddity she was, clutching that child.
My wife also chose to nurse her even when her friends told her not
to bother. She picked up the baby whenever she cried, even though
people told her it was healthy to let her wail.
"It's good for her lungs to cry," they would say.
"It's better for her heart to smile," she'd answer.
One day a friend of mine snickered at the bumper sticker my wife
had put on the back of our car:
"Being a Stay-at-Home Mom Is a Work of Heart."
"My wife must have put that on there," I said.
"My wife works," he boasted.
"So does mine," I said, smiling.
Once, I was filling out one of those warranty registration cards
and I check "homemaker" for my wife's occupation. Big mistake.
She glanced over it and quickly corrected me. "I am not a homemaker.
I am not a housewife. I am a mother."
"But there's no category for that," I stammered.
"Add one," she said.
And then one day, a few years later, she lay in bed smiling when
I got up to go to work.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Nothing. Everything is wonderful. I didn't have to get up at
all last night to calm the kids.
And they didn't crawl in bed with us."
"Oh," I said, still not understanding.
"It was the first time I've slept through the night in four years."
It was? Four years? That's a long time. I hadn't even noticed.
Why hadn't she ever complained? I would have.
One day, in one thoughtless moment, I said something that
sent her fleeing to the bedroom in tears. I went in to apologize.
She knew I meant it because by then I was crying, too.
"I forgive you," she said. And you know what? She did.
She never brought it up again.
Not even when she got angry and could have hauled out the heavy
She forgave, and she forgot.
Nope, I'll never understand my wife. And you know what?
Our daughter is acting more and more like her mother every day.
If she turns out to be anything like her mom, someday there's
going to be one more lucky guy in this world, thankful for the
shelf paper in his cupboard.
From the Cool Tricks and Trinkets Newsletter www.tricksandtrinkets.com
From the opening bars of Mozart's 40th Symphony, through the distinctive
sounds of Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, this site is a joy. Created by two
Australian teenagers, it provides a comprehensive resource for people
wanting to expand their knowledge of the symphony.
This site features biographies of the major symphonic composers, viewable
by country or by an alphabetical list. Also included is a timeline showing
musical events in their historical context, an explanation of musical forms
and structures, and a complete guide to the instruments of the orchestra.
The Symphony - http://library.thinkquest.org/22673/index.html
If you need help in selecting the presidential candidate most aligned with
your political views, you'll gain some clarity by taking the handy quiz at
Selecting a Candidate - http://www.speakout.com/SelectSmart
On my birth date, the first US bombing raid was made on German positions in
France, houses cost $7,500, new cars $1000, and the average income was
$1231 per year. Enter your birthdate and find out what was happening on the
day that you were born.
Time Capsule - http://dmarie.com/timecap
From the Win Insider www.winmag.com
TWEAK UI IS DEAD!
Folks, I have it on good authority from the Windows Me team at
Microsoft that Tweak UI -- the ever-popular Windows interface
control utility -- is dead. You heard me. Microsoft does *not*
intend to distribute a final version of Tweak UI 2000. The latest
beta of that product, which Microsoft distributed to both Windows
Me and Windows 2000 beta testers, is slated to time out next
Tuesday, August 15.
But even as the Windows Me team confirmed that Tweak UI 2000,
which is written by one Microsoft programmer in his spare time --
and which is not an official Microsoft product (and is
unsupported) -- would not be released in a final version on the
Microsoft servers to the general public, I wondered whether the
Windows 2000 team at Microsoft might have different feelings on
this subject. So far, I have not heard back from that Microsoft
--- No Virus in Win2000 Service Pack 1 ---
My colleague and friend Serdar Yegulalp wrote about several of
the issues with Win2000 Service Pack 1 in his most recent Power
I've also been running down a separate problem, reported to me by
a Winmag.com reader from Australia. The problem was "while
downloading Win2000 Service Pack 1, Norton AntiVirus 2000
indicated there was a virus." The affected file is:
I contacted both Symantec and Microsoft about this problem, and
they both supplied useful information. They were also mostly in
agreement that, as Symantec puts it, the virus identification
"was a false positive." In other words: There is no virus in
Win2000 Service Pack 1. According to Symantec, the problem occurs
when the Microsoft Office plug-in and Norton AntiVirus 2000
version 6.0 (but not Norton AntiVirus 2000 version 6.10.20) are
active during the service pack setup. Symantec is readying a
patch, but there's also a workaround described Symantec's
(Attention text version readers: Because the above link is so
long, you may have to copy and paste it into your browser Address
WINDOWS ME CORNER
By now you've probably heard that Windows Me will be available to
Windows 98 users at the suggested list price of $59.95. Earlier
this week, Winmag.com took the wraps of its comprehensive final
Millennium coverage, Windows Me: Final Verdict.
And the full details about the price drop are there. Also, this
story is chock full of hands-on insights no one else has. It's
also pulls no punches. I know you're going to want to check it
out. Definitely read it to the end, even if you just skim.
NOTE: This is a "must read" article - Peter
--- Making a Simple Windows Me Boot Disk ---
Last week I explained about Windows Me's new "Minimal Boot"
option on the Windows Startup floppy disk. And I threw in a
paragraph about how to make a flash BIOS boot disk, or a simple
There was something I didn't know last week that I've figured out
since. Windows Me no longer reads the MSDOS.SYS file on a floppy
disk. So, you don't need to copy that file. Better directions for
making a simple Windows Me DOS system disk:
Use Windows Me to format a floppy disk. Then copy the IO.SYS and
COMMAND.COM files from C:\Windows\Command\EBD to the floppy
For a lot more detail on DOS in Windows Me, see The Truth About
DOS sidebar from Winmag.com's Windows Me: Final Verdict review:
--- Microsoft Reader for PCs ---
Think the whole eBooks thing is cool, but don't have a Pocket PC
or other supporting device? This week, Redmond made Microsoft
Reader 1.5 with ClearType technology for desktops and laptops
free for download (7MB):
QUESTION: Given that I only use IE 5.01 for e-mail and viewing
'Net files, should I bother with IE 5.5? What does it do for the
average user? --Dick Gordon
ANSWER: Some people are having all sorts of different small
problems with IE 5.5. I'm not having these problems personally,
but one reader wrote me recently saying that IE 5.5 prints a
vertical line on the margin edge on one of her printers. Also, OE
5.5 opens e-mail messages to a small window size. I don't have
either problem. But these sorts of problems are being reported by
a fair number of folks. If you don't have a reason to install IE
5.5, and you'd be frustrated by little problems, I say don't
bother. There's not enough new in IE 5.5 to matter right now.
Have you discovered a relatively unknown Windows-related Web site
that Insider readers should know about? Please send in the URL,
and let me know why you liked it:
NOTE: Anyone want to send in PuterGeek.Com - Peter :-)
From the Win Letter www.winmag.com
TECH SUPPORT NOTE OF THE WEEK
Just in case you didn't think that the melodies of Fur Elise and It's
A Small World were annoying enough, it turns out that Microsoft is
using them as error messages.
According to Microsoft Knowledgebase Note Q261186, your computer may
play one of those tunes over and over when the fan on your CPU fails
or if your power supply voltages drift out of tolerance. This can
happen under any version of Windows 95 or later, on computers using
the Award/Unicore BIOS. The tune is played through your PC speaker,
not any fancy-schmancy aftermarket speakers you may have bought.
I suppose it's better than Ride of the Valkyries. Or Taps.
From Woody's Office Watch www.wopr.com
THE NEXT OFFICE INCHES CLOSER
The next version of Office for Windows (known for the
moment as 'Office 10') inches closer to a store shelf with
the commencement of the beta testing outside the confines
of the company. If you were hoping to get on the Office 10
beta then you should have received your package by now. As
usual all those involved have to sign non-disclosure
agreements so they can't talk about what's in the product,
but rumors and leaks do happen. Since much of the media
coverage is based on second-hand sources you have to take
what you hear with a grain of salt - in this case WOW
delivers the salt for you.
The really good news is that the Multiple Document
Interface (MDI) that we'd grown accustomed to from Office
97 and before has returned! If you've been driven to
distraction by the windows breeding like rabbits on the
screen and the warren of buttons on your taskbar then
Office 10 will be your saviour. You'll have the choice of
MDI (with all the documents in one application window and a
single taskbar button) or SDI (a taskbar button per
document as in Word 2000). This is a most welcome
recanting by Microsoft of their previous public
intransigence over MDI.
As we mentioned in WOW earlier this year, Office 10 will
have a basic form of voice recognition to activate certain
commands like Open and Save. It will NOT have any major
dictation capabilities, in Microsoft's technical judgment
that technology is not ready for mainstream use in Office.
If the final product does have dictation features, please
don't get too excited for their presence will be driven by
marketing needs rather than the real readiness of dictation
for the majority of customers. In other words dictation
will be used as a carrot to encourage people to pay more
money for a new version of Office. Regular Microsoft users
will remember the lamentable track record of the company
when it comes to implementing new technologies on the first
We'll see a new generation of the Digital Dashboard with
the hope that it will be more effective, programmable and
stable than the largely decorative efforts we've seen to
date in that area.
Oh yes ... more web connectivity (surprise, surprise) and
some effort to make formatting easier with a more
accessible alternative to styles.
What Office 10 certainly won't be is the much-ballyhooed
'Office.NET'. Office.NET is part of Microsoft's new
technology strategy for web based and service based
programs. Regardless of what you might have thought from
all the noise that's being made, the .NET strategy is years
away from being applied to Office itself.
And a release date? You'll hear lots of guesses about when
Office 10 will be unleashed on the public, most of which
will turn out to be totally wrong. Since the main beta has
just started the very earliest it would be released to the
public is the very end of this year. Much more likely it
will be in the first half of next year. The earlier the
release date is, the more wary you should be of handing
over more money because it will mean that the product has
not properly been tested.
And we all know that there's only one thing worse than a
poorly tested version of Office and that's the inevitable
confusion, crashes and lies that come with the Office
If you have questions or comments about Office 10
(anonymous if you wish) our special feedback address is now
open for business. mailto:Office10@woodyswatch.com
OFFICE 10 SPECULATION
Looks like the beta test version of Office 10 has gone out
to most of the Microsoft MVPs (those fearless online
volunteer wizards who take the time to help other folks
solve their Office problems). I haven't seen a copy yet,
but the ox teams are always slow coming up the Canyon.
Since I haven't seen the beta version - there's only
published reports to go by - I can talk about it 'til the
cows... er, oxen come home.
First, the name. Right now, Microsoft is planning on
calling this beast Office 2002. Personally, I prefer Office
X - or just plain OX, for short. In case you didn't know,
the ox is a powerful, exquisite animal, with a fierce
temper and the propensity to leave voluminous, smelly, uh,
calling cards in the most inopportune places. (I just spent
two weeks driving through northeastern Thailand, where I
bumped into a few of 'em. Literally.) Anyway, the "2002"
moniker should tell you that Microsoft intends for this
version to last a couple of years, but not much more. Since
the technology in OX won 't encompass more than a
teensy-tiny bit of Bill's recently-ballyhooed vision of
"nothing but (Microsoft.) NET," I think it's safe to say
that the future of corporate computing still lies with
traditional, hefty desktop PCs, at least for the next few
Second, the hope. Man, I hope Microsoft implemented this
new stuff so real people can use it. I'm pleased as punch
that they've only used voice recognition for commands
(pretend you're Scotty, pick up the mouse, and say,
"Computer! Computer!"). The industry is still a long way
from accurate recognition of normal speech, and it's
heartening that the marketers aren't going to try to tell
us consumers anything different. Last week WOW reported
that OX/Word will go back to Multiple Document Interface,
and I salute Microsoft for making the change - providing
it's implemented properly. The Windows Gods created MDI in
Their image, and Word 2000's rude contravention of the MDI
rules has driven me nuts. Er, nuts-er. You know what I
mean. (If you aren't up on the MDI versus SDI controversy,
watch for the next issue of our companion tutorial
newsletter, Woody's Office for Mere Mortals. Subscribe at
Third, the rumors. It's always fun to watch the rumors fly
with any Microsoft beta software. Generally, features that
appear in early betas usually make it to the final,
shipping product - but that isn't always true. Sometimes
features get yanked at the last minute. I also get a huge
kick out of press reports that talk about "new" features
that have been around for years. (Just 'cuz it's new to me
don't mean it's new to you, bubba!) So you should read the
new feature lists that appear in the press with a large
shaker of salt. eWeek (formerly PC Week,
) says that Microsoft has shown a version of OX that
includes Digital Dashboards - a nearly-useless capability
in Office 2000 that's supposed to be much better in OX -
easier formatting, and Web data storage. Sure, Microsoft
is improving Digital Dashboards (they need to), but it's
Fourth, the grim reality. I've signed a Non-Disclosure
Agreement with Microsoft that prevents me from talking
about the things I see in test versions of their software.
I honor NDAs religiously. That means I won't be commenting
about features in OX until Microsoft gives me explicit
permission to talk about them, or until some other member
of the press leaks inside information. That may sound
overly restrictive for a journalist, but I'm wearing two
hats here - both as a journalist, and as an advocate for
you WOWsers. Being under NDA gives me the opportunity to
fight for important changes in OX before it ships. (Yes, on
rare occasion, the folks in Redmond listen to me.) I guess
you'll just have to trust me, eh?
I expect to get the beta momentarily, and at that point
I'll shut my trap. But if you follow along closely in WOW,
I'll tell you what I can, as soon as I can. You can expect
to get the straight scoop, and you don't need to bring
along that salt shaker.
OX will almost certainly include the Office Registration
Wizard that we've talked about in previous issues of WOW.
Despite the flaws Microsoft wants a way to enforce the
software license. It is way too early to be talking about
prices for OX, my guess is that the price won't be much
different from those for Office 2000 - but anything could
When will OX ship? At this point, that's anybody's guess.
As far as I'm concerned, Microsoft can take its time --
there's no reason to rush a buggy product out the door. (In
spite of what you may have heard, the original version of
Office 2000 was NOT all that buggy. Somebody in the
corporate hierarchy had the guts to say they wouldn't ship
Office 2000 until its time, and they stuck it out. Bravo.)
A pity the same approach isn't taken to Office Service
If I were a betting man, I'd guess that Microsoft would
love to get OX out in time for Comdex (mid-November), but
probably won't have product on store shelves until February
or March. No, I don't have any inside information or a
scientific reason for my guess, other than Woody's Infamous
'Softie Ship Date Calculator (TM, patent pending): take the
number of weeks Microsoft expects to spend in beta, double
it and add four.
Nope, I'm not joking.
If you have questions or comments about Office 10
(anonymous if you wish) our special feedback address is now
open for business. mailto:Office10@woodyswatch.com In the
meantime WOW will concentrate on news, tips and information
on the versions of Office you use right now.
From the langalist www.langa.com
Free Firewall Software From The Makers of Sygate
Long-time readers know I'm a major fan of Sygate ( http://www.sygate.com
), Sybergen's inexpensive and ultra-simple Internet access-sharing
software. I think Sygate is better and easier to set up and use than
Win98's "ICS" (although the latter is free). In Sygate's "Enhanced
Security" mode, your PC sits like a black hole on the net: It's there, but
very hard for hackers to find. I've written about Sygate many times
After Sygate originally became established, Sybergen went on to develop
more configurable and powerful sharing solutions with a variety of
features--- and on the security side, they produced a personal firewall
product, too. All were commercial, for-a-price products.
Then, ZoneLabs' free (and excellent) ZoneAlarm personal firewall changed
the pricing equation ( http://www.zonelabs.com/download_ZA.htm ) . Since
the advent of ZoneAlarm, individual users haven't had to pay to add decent
security to their PCs. (See
Sybergen finally has responded by making *their* personal firewall free to
consumers. In an announcement last week, Sybergen said:
Sybergen Networks... announced today that it is offering its
Sybergen Secure Desktop software free for personal use. Sybergen
Secure Desktop 2.1 is a personal firewall software that protects
a single computer from hackers, Trojan Horse applications, and
other malicious intrusion attempts. Consumers can download the
product and obtain a free registration code at www.sybergen.com .
Secure Desktop 2.1 offers several security features...
--Three customizable security levels designed to let you use the
Internet while making your PC virtually invisible to hackers.
--Monitoring applications that access the Internet from your PC
in order to protect from Trojan Horse applications.
--Security scheduling features that allow you to block all
Internet communications when the PC is not in use.
--Vulnerability assessment capability through an online service
offered by Sybergen Networks.
Sybergen Secure Desktop is also available for enterprise use.
Features of this business-oriented version include customized
security activity reports, central policy administration and
central monitoring. For more information, please visit
Choice is good, and more choice is better: I'll be checking out the
Sybergen firewall and comparing it to my current favorite, Zonealarm.
Because it's free, why not check it out for yourself, too?
[Note: A reasonably secure proxy or address-translator (like Sygate, ICS,
or WinProxy) coupled with a good personal firewall (like ZoneAlarm or
Sybergen Secure Desktop) will go a long way to making your PC nearly
hacker-proof. See the series of articles at
http://www.winmag.com/columns/explorer/2000/07.htm for a ton of detail on
making your PC secure online.]
Cautions Re: Win2K SP1
Reader Bob Fields has a caution about Service Pack 1 for Win2K:
Hi Fred You might want to warn your readers to be cautious about
installing this sp1 service pack. After installing I could not
open my browser (either netscape 6.0 nor IE 5.01) Apparently sp1
changed some system settings and had to uninstall it to get back
to normal .Microsoft is aware of the problems and I'm told will
have a fix eventually.
But reader Roger M Shady may already have found at least part of the
Fred, I thought that I would pass this along. Windows 2000
Service Pack-1 that was just released does not like firewalls
including ZoneAlarm. When I installed Sp1, I could not connect
to my ISP via my cable modem. I uninstalled SP1 and things came
back to normalcy.
Attached is the reply that I received for Microsoft Support.
Thanks for the knowledgeable advice and I always look forward to
******* The following is an email for an incident from
Microsoft Corp., CASE_ID_NUM SRZ000730000XXX
The only problems we are encountering on the SP1 for
W2K is when someone has a third-party pseudo-firewall
installed such as Black Ice, Zone, etc. Remove these
pseudo-firewalls, install SP1, reattempt your Internet
connection, and you should be reconnected. At this
point, it is up to you if you want to reinstall the
Thanks Bob and Roger!
26. Disinformation is not as good as datinformation.
27. Windows: Just another pane in the glass.
28. SENILE.COM found . . . Out Of Memory . ..
29. Who's General Failure & why is he reading my disk?
30. RAM disk is not an installation procedure.
31.. Shell to DOS...Come in DOS, do you copy? Shell to DOS...
32. All computers wait at the same speed.
33. DEFINITION: Computer - A device designed to speed and
34. Go ahead, make my data!
35. Smash forehead on keyboard to continue.....
36. Enter any 11-digit prime number to continue...
37. ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI!
38. E-mail returned to sender-insufficient voltage.
39. All wiyht. Rho sritched mg kegtops awound?
40. Error Keyboard not attached. Press F1 to continue.
41. "640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates, 1981
43. Hidden DOS secret: add BUGS=OFF to your CONFIG.SYS
44. Press any key to continue or any other key to quit...
45. Press any key...... no, No, NO!! Not THAT one!
From Lockergnome www.lockergnome.com
Windows Media Player PowerToys v1.0 [487k] W9x/NT/2k FREE
"Deluxe CD Data Converter: this copies data collected by the Deluxe CD Player in the Windows(r) 98 Plus Pack or the MS CD Player in Windows 2000 into your WiMP database. Power Skin: this provides many different ways to manipulate and use your WiMP 7 media library. You can automatically create playlist compilations by artist, by album, or even create ordered playlists for burning to an audio CD. Most Recently Used Cleaner: this clears the Most Recently Used files list in WiMP 7. This is the list you see on the bottom of the File menu that displays your most recently viewed content."
Advanced Subnet Calculator v1.1.11 [6.3M] W9x/NT/2k FREE
"Finally, a Calculator with teeth! Address details: forward and reverse DNS resolution, response time, Address translation (Hexadecimal and Binary) and Address Class information. Subnet Creator: calculates subnets based on Subnet Mask, Mask Bits, Host Bits, Number of Subnets and Hosts per Subnet. You can then generate a range of subnets based on these settings. Subnet Addresses: generates a list of addresses for any subnet. This then becomes the working document to assign addresses. You can even assign addresses within it and then print the worksheets... or export to HTML or Excel."
That's all folks....
Peter Crockett - webmaster
Please vote in the Poll!
[ Home ] [ Site Map ] [ Site Search ] [ Back to last page ]