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Issue # 35

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Hello everyone!

We're home for at least 5-10 days due to medical appointments.  It turns out that Amy did break her wrist when she went bouncing off the truck!  Yesterday she had it x-rayed again and this time they found a small fracture...time for a cast.  For more about how she did it see issue # 33 http://www.putergeek.com/newsletters/2000/issue__33.htm

Friday the 23rd I had minor eyelid surgery to correct a droopy left eyelid.  For those of you who want to hear more or see some fairly gruesome photos click the link below.


Let me tell you, it feels like we're both starting to fall apart!  We both have other DR appointments this coming week as well.  At least we have health insurance!

There's a new poll up.  This one has nothing to do with 'puters.  None of you have sent in any questions for the poll!  It's time to do your fair share...


I now have a laptop (P-150MMX with 80 megs of ram) with Windows 2000 (Win2K) on it.  I'm now using it for my email and web site maintenance.  It is more robust than Win9x but to tell the truth, it does feel a little slow.

As I learn more about Win2K I'll bring you up to date.  It's defiantly not for the *average* user though!  But if you truly need more stability and have the horsepower to run it, you may want to think about it.

Now on with the good stuff!

From the Funnies http://www.erols.com/hmmd


Then: Long hair
Now : Longing for hair

Then: A keg
Now : An EKG

Then: Acid rock
Now : Acid reflux

Then: Moving to California because it's cool.
Now : Moving to California because it's hot.

Then: Watching John Glenn's historic flight with your parents
Now : Watching John Glenn's historic flight with your kids

Then: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor
Now : Trying not to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth

Then: The President's struggle with Fidel
Now : The President's struggle with fidelity

Then: Killer weed
Now : Weed killer

Then: The Grateful Dead
Now : Dr. Kevorkian

Then: Getting out to a new, hip joint
Now : Getting a new hip joint
The National Transportation Safety Board recently divulged
they had covertly funded a project with the US auto makers
for the past five years, whereby the auto makers were
installing black boxes in four-wheel drive pickup trucks in
an effort to determine, in fatal accidents, the circumstances
in the last 15 seconds before the crash.

They were surprised to find in 45 of the 50 states the last
words of drivers in 61.2 percent of fatal crashes were,
"Oh, S--t!" (Editor's note: You get the idea)

Only the states of Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas,
and West Virginia were different, where over 89.3 percent of
the final words were: "Hold my beer and watch this!"
President Clinton finishes his time on earth and approaches the
Pearly Gates of Heaven.

"And who might you be?" inquires St.  Peter.

"It's me, Bill Clinton, formerly the President of the United States
and Leader of the Free World," exclaims Bill.

"Oh...Mr.  President!  What may I do for you?" asks St. Peter.

"I'd like to come in," replies Clinton.

"Sure," says the Saint.  "But first you have to confess your sins.
What bad things have you done in your Life?"

Clinton bites his lip and answers, "Well, I tried marijuana, but
you can't call it 'smoking dope' because I didn't inhale.  There
were inappropriate extramarital relationships, but you can't call
it 'adultery' because I didn't have full 'sexual relations.' And I
made some statements that were misleading, but legally accurate,
but you can't call it 'bearing false witness' because, as far as I
know, it didn't meet the legal standard of perjury."

With that St.  Peter consults the Book of Life briefly, and declares,
"OK, here's the deal.  We'll send you somewhere hot, but we won't
call it 'Hell.'  You'll be there indefinitely, though, but we won't
call it 'eternity.' And when you enter, you don't have to 'abandon
all hope,' just hold your breath waiting for it to freeze over."

From Microsoft www.microsoft.com


Get ready to have more fun with your home computer. The highly anticipated Windows(r) Me will allow you to more easily network your household's computers, troubleshoot problems, and transfer and edit pictures, videos and music to create your own digital home movies.  

Microsoft Corp. announced today that the development of Windows Millennium Edition, the latest version of the Microsoft operating system designed specifically for home users, is complete and the product has been released to manufacturing. Read the official press release.

Another great Windows release means another fabulous Windows Web site. The new Windows Me site is packed with in-depth information about Windows Me. Throughout the summer, the site will be THE place to go for the latest news and reviews, announcements, and product information. The site will be updated regularly, so be sure to add it to your Favorites list!
Windows Millennium Edition gives you the power to manage digital photos and music, work with video, create a home network, and communicate with the world around you, along with built-in system safeguards keep everything running smoothly. Get the inside information in the Windows Me Product Guide.
Or read how Windows Millennium Edition makes using your computer easier and more fun.

NOTE:  This is the next step after Win98SE, NOT Windows 2000. - Peter

For help using Windows 98 and Windows 95:
The following page lists new and recently updated Microsoft Personal Online Support articles that answer frequently asked questions about using Windows and Internet Explorer.

Everything you ever need to know about Windows:
Windows Home Page

For updates to Windows products, go to:
Windows Update

For information on local events and promotions in your area:


From the Win Letter www.winmag.com


I finally have the full story on what's happening with Windows
media and new PCs -- including detailed comments from Microsoft.
I've also collected information from sources at Compaq, Dell,
Gateway, and several other PC makers about how CD-less Windows
PCs work on their new models. Scores of Windows Insider readers
wrote me with details about their experiences with recent PC
purchases, and a clear picture is emerging out of the fog.

No two PC makers are implementing this change in quite the same
manner, so the actual end-user experience is not fully
predictable. What's more, I believe that some vendors are
shipping more than one solution, either with different models, or
they've slip-streamed new wrinkles along the way since April 1,
2000, when this new deal was officially unveiled. The point is,
not everything you read in this story will necessarily apply to
you if you buy a new PC tomorrow.

Also, I've been getting a lot of mail from people who bought PCs
two years ago wisecracking to me that I've missed the boat and
this is old news. Wrong. It's true that HP, Compaq, Toshiba, IBM,
and other makers have sold some models of PCs without Windows CDs
for literally years. Microsoft says the practice began in 1995.
But those were experiments those companies were dabbling with.
What's occurring now is an across-the-board change that Microsoft
has initiated with all PC makers who cut their own Windows CDs
(the so-called direct-licensing agreement), in other words all
the biggest names, and some less well-known companies.

--- BIOS Locking Is Real ---
There is, as I wrote in Win Insider last year, a "BIOS locking"
scheme in place. Microsoft confirms this. A source at Dell
describes it in more detail, saying that the Dell Product
Recovery CD included with new Dell computers looks for an
identifier in DMI BIOS. If it doesn't find that info, you won't
be able to perform a Windows reinstallation or recovery. But,
here's the twist: The info it's looking for in BIOS is a generic
Dell identifier. In other words, any Dell Recovery CD should work
on any Dell PC shipped since April 1.

A Gateway source corroborates this information; he believes (but
isn't positive) that any Gateway PC sold over roughly the last
two years should be able to authenticate a Gateway Windows Backup
CD's use.

My Dell source says: "[The BIOS-locking arrangement] is an
agreement Microsoft has made with all OEMs [with direct-license
agreements], including Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, Compaq, and
others. So, a Dell CD won't work on anything other than a Dell,
and a Compaq CD won't work on anything other than a Compaq. As of
June 1, all the operating system CDs Dell ships are set up like
this, including Windows NT 4, Windows 98SE, and Windows 95."
Windows 2000 was the first to work this way at Dell.

So, while not perfect, that's a bit less onerous than the notion
that a CD would be linked to a specific PC. Even so, Insider
reader Vincent Muir, who works for a European PC manufacturer,
describes a slightly different scenario in his neck of the woods:

"The recovery CD must be 'digitally' tied to the PC with which it
was distributed, by means of a BIOS lock. The recovery CD
contains an alphanumeric string that it searches the PC for, and
must find in either a region of the BIOS or (optionally) in a
particular sector of the hard disk. If the string is not located
during initial execution of the recovery process, the procedure
halts with an error message. The Windows setup files on the
recovery CD are encrypted to prevent access from outside the
recovery setup routine. The aim is to prevent installation of the
operating system on a PC for which it was not intended.
     "The main problem encountered so far concerns using a
recovery CD on a PC whose BIOS has been updated and as a result
the BIOS lock string has been overwritten. In this case the OS
is, as already described, not recoverable. To date there is no
official solution for this problem."

When I asked executives from two well known PC companies about
this very point last December, both said that preserving the
BIOS-lock identifier during a flash ROM update would not be a
difficult task, and they expected no problems with that. I can
also envision the bigger issue being what could happen to an end-
user in a hard-drive replacement scenario. So far, I'm not aware
of any U.S. PC companies who are using the hard disk sector
method, although some could be. Ask before you buy.

But even the BIOS locking isn't the biggest issue. What everyone
wants to know is, can you reinstall Windows, or are you left
solely with the option to allow the recovery CD to do a scripted
clean install, since it has control of your setup files? Can you
use a retail Windows CD of the same version or newer to upgrade
your PC?

--- How Do You Reinstall Windows? ---
Things may not be as bad as on this front as they seemed
initially. Microsoft's Windows Me Product Manager, David Ursino,
says that OEM PC makers have the option to provide customers who
request one with a full OEM-style copy of the Windows operating
system CD, so long as it's BIOS-locked. As you'll see in the
quote from Microsoft below, however, it would seem that such a CD
would have to be BIOS-locked to your specific PC. But, Ursino
stresses, it's up to the PC maker whether it gives end users a
normal Windows CD. My advice: Ask *before* you buy, and my guess
is that you may not receive. Many Win Insider readers have
demanded Windows CDs after purchase. So far, not a single person
has told me that their demand was answered. If you got a Windows
CD by asking for one, please let me know about it:

Gateway gets some Insider recognition for apparently being
smarter about implementing its recovery CD than most other PC
makers. I say apparently because I haven't tried Gateway's
recovery CD myself. But Insider reader Donna Beck bought a new
Gateway PC in mid-May. She sent this information from the Gateway
manual that came with her PC. She says:

"Buried on page 158 of the 'Using Your Gateway PC' manual is a
half-page explanation of the three options for reinstalling

"1. Install Windows -- Installs over the current Windows
installation and corrects Windows problems and gets Windows
working correctly by replacing files that are missing or corrupt.

"2. Delete Windows and Reinstall -- Deletes Windows from the hard
drive and reinstalls Windows.

"3. Format the Hard Drive and Reinstall -- All files on Drive C:\
are deleted. Try this option if the 'Delete Windows and
Reinstall' option doesn't correct problems with Windows."

My Gateway company source also spoke of three recovery options --
including the ability to reinstall while leaving applications and
data in place. He also points out that the Gateway CD contains
all the pertinent hardware drivers as well as the Windows Setup
.CAB files. That means that you use one CD to clean install or
reinstall, and either way you should get a properly configured

Some other manufacturers apparently also offer a reinstall
option, but one ex-Hewlett-Packard tech support person wrote me a
detailed message explaining that, while the HP Pavilion reinstall
does preserve applications and data files, it doesn't preserve
application settings in registry, so many applications won't work
properly. I don't know whether that might also the case with the
Gateway solution, or even whether Hewlett-Packard is still
shipping Pavilions this way. A Compaq tech wrote me about similar
problems with Presarios, however. I can't say this enough: Ask
before you buy about how the Recovery CD works, and other issues
raised in this story.

--- Reinstalling from .CAB Files ---
Placing the recovery CD, just the Windows Setup .CABs, or both on
a separate hard drive partition is an option PC makers have, and
many of them are taking that route. According to a Dell company
source, in addition to its clean-install-only Recovery disc, Dell
places all the Windows 98 SE .CAB files and an unencumbered
SETUP.EXE file on this separate partition. So, if you want to
reinstall the operating system from this partition, you can --
without having to mess with the Product Recovery CD. That's the
way all of these computer makers should handle this. And it
appears that many of them do.

--- Official Word from Microsoft ---
Just as I was trying to send Insider out on Thursday, Microsoft's
David Ursino called me, and we had a long talk. He also e-mailed
me two Microsoft statements you should see:

"Based on feedback from end customers and PC manufacturers, as
well as to address new piracy concerns, Microsoft is changing its
OEM media distribution policies for Windows, effective April 1,
2000. These policies are limited only to those PC manufacturers
that have direct license agreements with us, and there's no
change for those OEMs that purchase our product through
     "PC manufacturers will be able ship, at their option, CD
media provided it is locked to run only on the PC system it
accompanies and is clearly branded as part of the PC
manufacturer's system, or to enable a variety of hard-drive-based
solutions. MS will discontinue its manufacture of Microsoft-
branded media for these PCs.
     "The CD media format described above, often called "recovery
CDs," was initiated in 1995 at the request of PC manufacturers,
and currently accounts for the majority of MS' Windows media
volume today, particularly in the consumer channel.
     "Recently, many PC manufacturers have begun to include hard
drive-based solutions, where a separate partition on the hard
drive can be accessed if system recovery is needed by the end
user. This is cost-effective solution for the PC manufacturers
that allows them to create a "self-healing" PC that does not
require external media."

This is part of a second statement Ursino sent:

"When users purchase a new PC, they don't get a full version of
Windows per se, but rather a license to run a copy of Windows on
that PC only. Microsoft's new policy simply enforces this
agreement -- which wasn't feasible before, given the limited
means available for distributing any OS with a new system. By
providing PC makers with a way to include these items on a
recovery CD-ROM, Microsoft makes resuscitating a dead system
easier while preventing software piracy. That's far better for
most users than a base Windows install that might not include
needed drivers for video, networking, or sound."

So when you buy a new PC, you don't get transferable rights to
Windows. The copy of Windows you get is only legally applicable
to the PC it comes with.

But what if you buy a retail version of Windows? I'm trying to
get clarification on this point, but near as I can tell you
should be able to use a retail version of any Windows CD (the
same version or newer) to reinstall Windows over itself, or do a
clean install. In the reinstall scenario, though, there might be
some difficulties that require registry editing. These Insider
tips may help:



By now you've heard that Windows Me went gold, or final, with
build 3000.2. What that means is that it was released to
manufacturing (RTM), a process that takes many weeks. What you
might not have heard is that the major PC manufacturers, like
Compaq, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Toshiba, and others
already have the final code in their hot hands, and they're
preparing new PCs that will ship with it.

When? Supposedly, at the same time that Windows Me arrives in
stores. The Microsoft Windows Me press release very delicately
skirts the issue of when PC makers will be selling Windows Me
boxes, though. Every time we get a new Windows, the time to
market varies. And PC makers always release PCs with the new OS
well before the on sale date in stores. I can tell you that the
ship date and the RTM date are about as far apart as they ever
get with new versions of Windows. What that means is, I expect
major PC makers will probably start selling them much sooner than
the "in stores" date. It's possible there'll be more information
in Microsoft's new Windows Me press site.

So much for Windows Me. What about IE 5.5? Now that Windows Me is
gold, IE 5.5 should go up on the Web site, right? I asked
Microsoft's PR agency this question, but they didn't have much of
an answer. The PR rep did confirm that the plan was to make it
available on the Internet Explorer Web site. As of 2PM Eastern
today, Microsoft was still offering IE 5.01. The IE 5.5 beta was
pulled from the site several weeks ago.

By the way, now is the time to start uninstalling IE 5.5 beta if
you installed it before. I warned people not to install it, but
many did anyway. Hopefully, you'll be one of the luckier ones and
be able to uninstall it perfectly. If not, you're going to need
to perform a clean install of Windows to ditch IE 5.5 beta. Or
just live with the beta until it times out. I would not recommend
installing over the beta code with the final code.

From the Langalist www.langa.com


) Not "DOS" But "DUH"

Call it a senior moment. (No, I'm not a senior yet--- but I'm, er, in

I recently suggested you find a friend or coworker who has an older
version of DOS installed so you can access the old-style DOS help system
(see http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2000/2000-06-08.htm#4 ). But I
completely and totally forgot what Steven Foust and several other writers
were so kind as to remind me:

     Fred, if you scan your W95 or W98 CDs, you'll find that they
     contain a directory entitled OLDMSDOS that contains DOS programs
     not installed by default.

     Programs in the \tools\oldmsdos directory under W98SE are:

     Programs in the \other\oldmsdos directory under W95 Upgrade are:

     Programs in the \other\oldmsdos directory under W95B are:

     (Nb: MSD is also on the CD, located at \other\msd.)

So, you may have all the old DOS apps you need after all. (My feeble
defense for forgetting: I have all this stuff on my hard drive, and thus
never go back to the CDs.)

NOTE:  I mentioned this back in issue # 34 (last issue) - Peter

) Overdrawn At The (Virtual) Memory Bank

Lots of people are checking out the "Resource Leaks, Part III" column (
http://www.winmag.com/columns/explorer/2000/13.htm ). It's all about
"memory leaks" and "resource leaks;" memory problems that can cause system
instability or crashes, no matter how much RAM you have. In Part III, we
pull together all the information that's been presented so far and lay out
a 5-step process for preventing most leaks, and managing the rest: A more-
stable, faster Windows is the result.

Windows' "Virtual Memory"  is rich area for tweaking. A separate article
here http://www.winmag.com/columns/explorer/1999/0913.htm runs through all
the whys and hows of setting up a swap file that's faster and requires
less housekeeping than the standard Windows variety. Spend some time
getting your swapfile right and you'll reap the rewards for a long time to

NOTE:  Or go to my webpage and see how I explain how to tweak it. - Peter


From Lockergnome www.lockergnome.com

64-Bit Windows Overview


"The 64-bit Windows operating system represents a key milestone in 64-bit technology development. In keeping with the vision of delivering a higher-performing, scalable, and more feature-rich operating system to the market, Microsoft has made the Windows 2000 code base 64-bit ready and is working toward delivering a fully featured 64-bit operating system in 2000. This will be fully compatible with existing 32-bit applications. Microsoft is also accelerating application development on the 64-bit Windows platform by assisting independent software vendors in their development process."

Excel Conversion Resource Center


"How do I save Excel 2000 files in other formats? Why do I receive the error message: 'This file is not in recognizable format?' What file formats are supported in Excel 2000? Why do I receive the error message: 'Problems came up...' when exporting a spreadsheet? Why do I receive the error message, 'This file is not in a recognizable format?' Why do I not receive a macro virus warning when I open a file that I know contains macros? How do I convert an Excel spreadsheet to a Works database? How do I use Works spreadsheets with Excel 97?" And more...

How to Distribute PowerPoint Presentations on CD-ROM


"Before you prepare a presentation for CD-ROM distribution, you should first understand the following limitations and procedures. Limitations: PowerPoint 2000 does not support the creation of self-running presentations; if you include multimedia with your presentation, PowerPoint does not support cross-platform or multiple-computer compatibility; if you intend to use PowerPoint Viewer 97, then you cannot include macros or ActiveX controls and components; you must embed your picture files instead of linking them."

Path Copy v3.0 [41k] W9x/NT/2k FREE


{More options for capturing objects} You could say that you live on a certain street, but it's also safe to assume that you live on this planet as well. Both are true statements; you're still seated in the same location. Such is the life for files and folders. They survive on your drives with a short name, long name (LFN), file path (with both short and long names), and possibly a network path. Copy all these designations from the context menu.

Diagnostic Solution Guide for Windows 2000 & Windows NT


"The Diagnostic Solution Guide is a new tool for IT Professionals that we're piloting on the Microsoft TechNet site. The Diagnostic Solution Guide enables you, the IT professional, to find solutions through an interactive conversation-a dialog-which helps describe and define your support situation. Through this dialog, the Diagnostic Solution Guide helps you locate answers effectively and efficiently. If you have feedback about the Diagnostic Solution Guide, please don't hesitate to provide it."


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