PuterGeek.Com News
Issue # 28

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Hello everybody,
It's 5am as I write this.  I got it into my head about 6pm last night to
create a "website survey".  Little did I realize how involved it would
be.  Since we're leaving on the road today sometime I wanted to finish
it!  It's done and I think it looks pretty good too!  Please take a few
minutes this week to visit http://www.putergeek.com/website_survey.htm
and fill out the survey.  Besides making me happy, it will help me to
create a more enjoyable site for all of you.

I've made some small tweaks all over the site.  There's a really neat
JavaScript search engine that will search up to four search engines at
once for you at http://www.putergeek.com/resource.htm, plus there's some
fun stuff to mess with at  http://www.putergeek.com/peter_crockett.htm.

Now on with the good stuff...

From the Langalist www.langa.com

 Office 2000 Service Release 1 Now Available (Free)

Microsoft has released "Office 2000 Service Release 1 (SR-1): It's a
beast--- you first download a small (133 kb) installer file, but when
that file connects you back to the download site, you're in for a 26-
40MB download. Yikes! Fortunately, there's also a CD version you can
order. The CD is FREE in many areas, but you should check the web
site to see exactly what's available in your region.

Microsoft says SR-1 includes:

     "...Updates for the various Office 2000 programs, including
     Microsoft Word, Outlook, Access, Excel, PowerPoint,
     FrontPage, and Publisher Security updates, including the
     Excel 2000 SYLK file security updates and the
     Worm.Explore.Zip (Pack) Virus Alert Office 2000 system-
     level components that are updated to Windows 2000 system

     For important information on deployment, including SR-1
     white papers and a detailed list of product updates in SR-
     1, organizations and network administrators should first
     visit Office 2000 Service Release 1: Information for

     Office 2000 users can install the Office 2000 SR-1 Update
     or order the Office 2000 SR-1 CD."

You can get additional information on the components, on the
downloads, or the CD here:


This page has additional detailed instructions you might find useful,


Just For Grins

Reader Tony Bellitto sends this along:

     HoW To KeEp A hEaLtHy LeVeL Of InSaNiTy aT woRk AnD dRiVe
     OtHeR PeOpLe iNsAnE ...

     1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car and point a hair
     dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.
     2. Page yourself over the intercom. (Don't disguise your
     3. Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same
     outfits. Always wear them one day after your boss does.
     (This is especiallyeffective if your boss is the opposite
     4. Send e-mail to the rest of the company to tell them what
     you're doing throughout the day. For example: 'If anyone
     needs me, I'll be in the bathroom.'
     5. Put mosquito netting around your cubicle.
     6. Insist that your e-mail address be
     xena_goddess_of_fire@company.com or
     7. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they
     want fries with that.
     8. Encourage your colleagues to join you in a little
     synchronized chair dancing.
     9. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it 'IN.'
     10. Develop an unnatural fear of staplers.
     11. Send e-mail messages that advertise free pizza,
     doughnuts, etc., in the break room. When people complain
     that there was nothing here, lean back, rub your stomach,
     and say, "You've got to be faster than that."
     12. Put decaf in the company coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once
     everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch
     to Espresso blend.
     14. Reply to everything someone says with, "That's what you
     15. Finish all your sentences with "... in accordance with
     the prophecy."
     16. Adjust the controls on your monitor so that the
     brightness level lights up the entire working area. Insist
     to others that you like it that way.
     17. Don't use any punctuation OR spellcheck.
     18. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
     19. Ask people what sex they are.
     20. Specify that your drive through order is 'to go.'
     21. Sing along at the opera.
     22. Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't
     23. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't
     attend their party because you're not in the mood.
     24. Order a Taco Bell Grande at the Burger King drive
     through then ask why they are preventing you from having it
     'Your way.'
     ...AnD tHe FiNaL WaY tO aNnOy PeOple:
     25. Send this e-mail to everyone in your address book, even
     if they sent it.

(Er, that last item is a joke, BTW...   8-) )

From Windows Insider www.winmag.com/listserv/

Netscape 6 and IE 5.5

Netscape finally did it. They announced Netscape 6 on Monday, and
you've probably seen the news stories. Beta 1 is due in 23 days,
but I'm expecting it sooner than that based on Netscape's track
record. They usually give themselves a lot of elbow room just in
case. I'll be covering Netscape 6, both in Winmag.com Reviews,
and here in the Insider. So, stick around.

Some things you should know. This isn't your older brother's
Netscape coming down the pike. It's a very different animal
altogether. Everyone should try this one out -- even if you hated
Netscape before. I can't promise this yet, but I suspect that
trying this beta software will be as painless as it gets, too. I
doubt I'll be warning you not to try it, as I have done with the
IE 5.5 beta.

Speaking of which, a small update there. I do not believe that
Microsoft intends to ship the final version of Internet Explorer
5.5 in advance of shipping Windows Me. Their plan is to release
them both together. Think August or later for that release. I
still continue to recommend against installing the IE 5.5 beta.
Not because there's anything unholy about it. But precisely
because Microsoft installs IE as an operating system upgrade.
Would you install a beta service pack to Windows on your PC if
you knew that you probably couldn't uninstall it? That's exactly
what IE 5.5 beta is. Don't do it. I've received quite a bit of e-
mail from people recently lamenting the fact that they can't
remove it. Their only recourse may be to clean install Windows,
or buy Windows Me when it comes out and hope they can do an
upgrade install that leaves a decent installation on their
machines (but don't count on it).

Windows Me ... Yawn

Recent build 2470 of Windows Me is in my hot little hands, and
running on a Gateway Pentium III 450 test machine in my labs. I
performed an upgrade installation, which took a long time to
execute, but it installed flawlessly. On the other hand, there
seems nothing all that special about this newer build of Windows
Me. Windows Media Player suddenly has several new side modules,
and the features I've written about in past are still there:


Based on first impressions, there doesn't seem to be much new to
report. But I imagine that after I do a little digging I'll
unearth a few worthy things to say. If you know something about
Windows Me that you want to tell me about, confidentially, please
drop me a line at mailto:scot@cmpmail.com with "WinMe" in subject

--- Eliminating the Logon ---
The first time you run a fresh installation of Windows, you
should enter a user name. Think of the user name as both a user
profile, and also a network logon. If you're on a computer that
logs on to a LAN, the user name should probably be your network
logon (for convenience). And you should definitely have a
password. So the rest of this tip isn't for you.

If you're working from a one-person office and you're a lot more
concerned about convenience than security, don't enter a
password. And be sure to click the OK button, not the Cancel
button. If you've already entered a password or clicked Cancel,
skip down to "Getting Rid of Passwords."

At this point, you should have Windows configured so that you
don't have to type a password when it starts, but you do have to
press OK on the Windows logon dialog, which is only a slight
improvement. Restart the computer to make sure that's the case.
If not, skip down to "Getting Rid of Passwords."

There are two main ways to bypass the Windows logon screen. The
most fool-proof is to install Tweak UI and configure its
"Network" tab to logon for you. Directions for downloading and
installing Tweak UI were in last week's Insider:


But there's a simpler way. So long as you have only one user
profile, and you haven't entered a password for it, you can just
open the Network Control Panel, click the drop-down arrow under
"Primary Network Logon," and select "Windows Logon." If you have
problems with this, chances are you either clicked Cancel the
first time you were confronted with the Windows logon screen, or
you have a password enabled. Fix that first, then try it again.

--- Getting Rid of Passwords ---
To disable the Windows Logon password, open the Passwords Control
Panel. Click the Change Windows Password button. Type your old
password in the Old password field. Then tab to the New password
and press Enter. Tab to the Confirm password field and press
Enter again. Press OK, and you'll see a message telling you the
password has been successfully changed. From now on, you should
only need to click OK (or press Enter) whenever on the Windows
Logon screen. If that's so, circle back up to "Eliminating the

If you have tended to click the Cancel button on the Windows
Logon screen, or if you have any further difficulty, another
solution is to search for all the files in your Windows folder
with the .PWL extension. If you only find one such file, delete
it. If you're the only one who uses this PC and you don't rely on
multiple user profiles for any reason, delete all the .PWL files
if you find several. Once you've accomplished this, restart the
computer, enter a user name, and press OK.

If that gets you in, circle back up to "Eliminating the Logon."
If it didn't work, then the best thing I can offer is that you
search the Microsoft Knowledgebase for conditions that might
apply to you:


Your search is about "Windows 95" or "Windows 98." Click "Asking
a question using a free-text query." And type "Windows logon" or
"logon" or "password" in the "My question is" field and press Go.

From Lockergnome www.lockergnome.com

BehindTheAsterisks v1.0 [1k] W9x/NT FREE


{Reveal certain Windows passwords} This powerful (and insightful)
program, if put into the wrong hands, could become a destructive tool.
However, I trust you'll use it strictly on a personal level. We plant
passwords all over our operating system, but we may forget one or two of
them along the way. The asterisks will echo, but you can't see what sits
beneath them in a Windows dialog without a utility like this one. Jog
your memory in a flash.

Explanation of User Interface (UI) Skins


"UI Skins are components that allow you to customize areas in Windows
programs such as backgrounds, title bars, buttons, and other graphical
interfaces. For example, you can use Skins to change the background in
Internet Explorer, and the Windows Explorer toolbar. Skins allow you to
configure the interface by choosing different categories of Skins. Some
programs make automatic "Skin" changes for you when you start the
program or use certain parts of the program."

Don't tell me how many hits your Web site gets; I don't care. After all,
if you have fifty graphics sitting on a page, your logs may show that
you had fifty-one hits -- when, in fact, you had ONE unique impression.
It's a marketing game for some people, a simple misinterpretation for
others. Now, I'm a stickler when it comes to ending links with a slash
(when appropriate); there's all the more reason to do so with this
secret. Without the ending slash, directory URLs can cause your server
to get 'hit' twice. Essentially, doubling the server load and giving you
incorrect stats. So, when you link to a site, or use a URL that ends
with a directory, do NOT forget to add that final forward slash!
Castigate others for linking to your site without the slash -- and be
sure to tell them WHY. With your help, we can make these lazy habits


People send me tips and tweaks all the time.  And while some say "DOS is
dead", I thought I'd share a tip about using XCOPY to backup your
important files that came from PuterGeek subscriber Paul Berkow:
Hi Peter,

   I hope this is not out into left field too far.  I enjoy your
   newsletter and your website, and have learned a lot from you.  I
   even called you a couple of times quite awhile ago.  Now maybe I
   can give back something.

   I'm one of those people who try to figure out how to do something for
   nothing or for free.  Instead of using one of those freebee
   programs made by someone else to backup info (I've tried a bunch
   of them, and they never seem to do exactly what I want). I bought
   a batch book, and with the help of one of my friends, I made a
   batch file to do what I wanted.  This may or may not be interesting
   to your readers !

   This is what it looks like, and it resides in C:\
   I call it --the batch file-- Vault.
   I also have a folder on my other drive called  Vault.

   This is what to type in the batch file:

   Choice Type N To Skip Backup /TY,1
   If Errorlevel 2 Goto End
   xcopy "C:\Free Agent List.txt" D:\Vault /s /d
   xcopy "C:\Program Files\Netscape\Users\berkow\bookmark.htm" D:\Vault
/s /d
   xcopy "C:\Pipeplus\Eudora\nndbase.txt" D:\Vault /s /d
   xcopy "C:\Wavfiles\*.*" D:\Vault /s /d
   xcopy "C:\Midfiles\*.*"  D:\Vault /s /d
   xcopy "C:\My Documents\*.*" D:\Vault /s /d
   xcopy "C:\Icons\*.*" D:\Vault /s /d
   xcopy "C:\Downloads\*.*" D:\Vault /s /d
   xcopy "C:\Pictures\*.*" D:\Vault /s /d

   Make sure the spaces are used as above.

   One little trick: Go to the folders you are going to copy that's on
   your C drive.  If, when you open them, there are more than one folder
   or more than one file in the main folder, create a new folder inside
   the main folder, and call it exactly the same as the main folder.
   Now dump all of the folders and files in the new folder.  The reason
   for this is to not have hundreds of files scattered all over your
   Vault  folder on the second drive.

   Example:  My "My Documents" has 19 folders and 34 files loose in it.
   If I open  My Documents  and create a new folder called  My
   and then put everything in that one folder, when it is copied to the
   second drive, it now appears in one folder called  My Documents, not
   53 separate items.   It now looks like this
   C:\My Documents\My Documents\all my folders and files

   Use Notepad to create this batch file.
   Save as     Vault.bat
   Save it to   C:\
   --or to any folder you prefer--
   Create a new folder on the other drive, and call it  Vault.

   The way I have this setup is that each time the computer is rebooted
   it checks the files in itself and only copies what is changed or
   new.   Of course the first time it copies everything.
   Also, it closes itself when it finishes.  After the first time, mine
   takes app. 8 seconds to check the files and close.

   Keep up the good work,

             Paul  Berkow

Thanks Paul!  Here's a few refinements I'd suggest to make this even
sweeter.  At the top of the batch file add this line:


This keeps the text of the batch file from being printed on the screen.
If you want it to run minimized and to close on exit do this:
create a shortcut to the batch file, the right-click on it and choose
properties, go to the program tab and check the "close on exit" box and
tell it to run minimized.  Then add a copy of this shortcut to the
startup folder to make it run each time Windows starts.

@echo off
Choice Type N To Skip Backup /TY,1
If Errorlevel 2 Goto End
xcopy "c:\windows\favorites\*.*" "d:\vault\favorites\" /s /d
xcopy "d:\my documents\*.*" "d:\vault\my documents\" /s /d

I've made a couple of changes listed above.  By stating the exact path
to copy the files to you eliminate the need to create the second folder
as listed in "One little trick:".  The folder will be created for you if
it's not already there.

While there are some good backup programs available, this is a simple
FREE way to do it yourself.

Till next time...

Peter Crockett - webmaster
website: http://www.putergeek.com
mailto: webmaster@putergeek.com
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Last Revised: 10/23/2000