PuterGeek.Com News
Issue # 61
ISSN: 1533-1938

[ Home ] [ Site Map ] [ Site Search ] [ Back to last page ]

Do you want to subscribe to the newsletter?

See info at the end of this newsletter.
All prior issues of this newsletter can be found
online at < http://www.putergeek.com/newsletter/>
Want to advertise in this newsletter?
Email webmaster@putergeek.com
PuterGeek.Com News: ISSN: 1533-1938
Please tell a friend about the PuterGeek.Com News (PGCN)
See http://www.putergeek.com/refer_newsletter/
A HTML version of this newsletter is available online
at < http://www.putergeek.com/newsletter/2001/issue__61.shtml>

                   The PuterGeek.Com News (PGCN)
                              Issue # 61

 A casual newsletter that goes out 1-5 times per month.
 It contains excerpts and articles from all the newsletters I
 read condensed down to a manageable size. Plus info about
 PuterGeek.Com, as well as various tips and tricks I've learned.


7)  FROM TIPS AND TRICKS!!  (Read my notes! - Peter)

Hello Everyone!

We're in Memphis, TN for the weekend.  It's currently 84 degrees, sunny and humid.  There's a lot going on so sit tight and let's go a ride!

Well, for good or bad, I've closed the Button page http://www.putergeek.com/button/ for new submissions.  I hope everyone that wanted to submit a button got it in.  I want to thank all of you for the wonderful link buttons!  They are all better than I could ever have done.
Now I want to ask ALL of you to take a couple of minutes and pick your favorite button.  This will become the official link graphic for PuterGeek.Com!  I know that you guys are busy people and that this is just one of many newsletters you read, but as a personal favor to the PuterGeek, browse on over to http://www.putergeek.com/button/ and cast your vote.  You wouldn't want your favorite geek to have a tacky link button would you?
There are a few new pages on the site.  Howie's Corner has a new page called "Bytes And Pieces" at http://www.putergeek.com/howies_corner/06.shtml  Take a look and be ready to laugh!
There's a new horror story in the Horror section called "Do Modems Need A Driver?" at http://www.putergeek.com/horror/06.shtml
There's a new Poll up at http://www.putergeek.com/index.shtml#poll
PGCN now has over 1200 subscribers!  Slowly but surely we're growing.  I know that there has been some growing pains as I've tried to improve the newsletter and I really want to thank all of you that have hung around!  Your comments and suggestions (as well as your compliments) are always a joy to read.  They make all of this worth the hassle
One of my older pages has been very popular lately.  "Disk Partitioning With FDISK" http://www.putergeek.com/disk_partitioning/  A while back it was mentioned in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution" newspaper and just the other day it was mentioned in CNET's http://www.cnet.com/ "Tweak Freak" column at http://www.help.com/ft/tweakfreak/tweakfreak-040401.html?tag=st.ex..rl.tweakfreak-040401 (note: you may have to copy and paste this link into your browser)  as THE place for newbies to come for info! (thanks to PuterGeek Sponsor Albert S. for the heads-up!)
PuterGeek.Com was listed as a "Top Support Site" in the current issue of the "Support Alert" newsletter.
This is my first look at this interesting newsletter.  I think this might be a good one to take a look at.  Their website is http://www.techsupportalert.com/.
I hope you all don't think I'm just trying to blow my own horn here.  I'm just excited that PuterGeek.Com is starting to become *known*!  As you guys are surfing all over the web, please feel free to mention PuterGeek.Com where ever you like :-)
If any of you happen to notice PuterGeek.Com in a newspaper, on the radio, or in an article, please email me with all the info you can to webmaster@putergeek.com  I like to hear about such things.
A few people have mentioned that they have heard of PuterGeek.Com on "TechTV".  Neither Amy nor I can find any mention on their website.  If any of you can find a mention, please let me know.
A friend suggested this to me the other day.  "Why not ask your "geek-ettes" to add your website to their email signature lines?"  Sounds good to me, what do you think?  If you'd like to, simply copy and paste this and add it to your signature line.
Need some 'puter help?
4)  FROM THE FUNNIES http://users.erols.com/hmmd
Bill went into a pharmacy and asked for Viagra.
The pharmacist asked 'Do you have a prescription?'
Bill said, 'No, but here's a picture of my wife.'

You make over $250,000 a year and still can't afford a house.
It's sprinkling outside, so you leave for work and hour early to avoid all the weather-related accidents.
Your child's third grade teacher has purple hair, a nose ring, and is named Breeze.
You can't remember...  is pot legal?
You've been to a baby shower for an infant who has two mothers and a sperm donor.
You have a very strong opinion about where your coffee beans are grown, and can taste the difference between Sumatran and Ethiopian.
You know which restaurant serves the freshest arugula.
You can't remember...  is pot legal?
A really great parking space can move you to tears.
The guy in line at Starbucks, wearing the baseball cap, sunglasses, and looks like George Clooney, IS George Clooney.
Your car insurance costs as much as your house payment.
Your hairdresser is straight, your plumber is gay, and your Mary Kay rep is a guy in drag.
It's sprinkling out, and there's a report on every news channel about "THE STORM!"
Hey...  is pot legal?
Over 85% of the cities, towns, and/or streets start with San, Los, El, La, Santa, De La, De Los or Via.
Two overcast days in a row drive you mad.
A family of four owns six vehicles.
Everyone who lives here knows that hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and snowstorms are way worse than earthquakes, which are, after all, over almost as soon as you realize what's happening.
Even if the store is across the street, you drive there.
Yeah, you're sure...?  pot is legal.
And finally, a question:
Q.  How many Californians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A.  None.  Californians cannot afford to turn on the lights.
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head, To handle others, use your heart.
God gives every bird it's food, but He does not throw it into it's nest.
5)  FROM PCIN http://www.pcin.net/
Securities Regulator Tries Scam Game To Prove A Point
"The securities regulator in Ontario, Canada, isn't saying there's a sucker born every single minute.  But it does say that more than 1,000 of them may have shown up at a fake investment Web site it operated during the six weeks it pretended to be an investment scam artist.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) said today that it launched its phony investment site - part of en effort it called 'Project Cyber Scam' - Jan.  22, to demonstrate the dangers in store for investors who believe everything they see on the Internet."
For more info:
602Pro PC Suite Surpasses A Quarter Of A Million Registered Users
I received this press release from Premysl Pech, the President of Software602 (and PCIN subscriber): "Jacksonville, FL., March 21, 2001 - Software602, Inc.  announced today that more than 250,000 (two hundred fifty thousands) copies of 602Pro PC SUITE 2000 have been registered.  This Alternative to MS OFFICE was released FREE for commercial and non-commercial use in June of last year. 'This significant market reaction is a tribute to the customer demand for an alternative in desktop productivity software.' said Premysl Pech, President and CEO of Software602, Inc.
602Pro PC SUITE 2000 is available for MS Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000 operating systems.  This small 14 MB software suite can be downloaded from http://www.software602.com/ or purchased on CD-ROM for only $9.95." I reviewed the program a while ago.  The review is available at http://pcin.net/help/software/602pro.shtml There will be a new version ready in May and it too will be free.
(NOTE: This sounds like something to look at! - Peter)
** Just a Reminder**

Want to tell a friend about PuterGeek.Com?

Want to tell a friend about PuterGeek.Com News?

If any of you haven't rated this newsletter on Infojump.com
please do so now.  Think of it as a way to thank me for putting out
this newsletter.  You can either click on the link here;
Or, if you'd rather give me a lower score, you can find the rating
link (button) on the top of most any page on the website :-)

Want to say "Thank You" to the PuterGeek?  Just point your web browser
at http://www.putergeek.com/thanks/ to find out what you can do to
help me.  Info on how to become a PuterGeek.Com Sponsor can be found
here as well.

Have you seen PuterGeek.Com somewhere?  On TV, in a newspaper,
in an article, or on the radio?  Please take a moment and email the
PuterGeek and tell him!  Email him at webmaster@putergeek.com with
a subject of "I saw you somewhere!" and give all the details you can.

Follow-Up Last week I featured a "Crazy Gadget" alarm clock that plays MP3 files you download via a USB cable.  They're for sale now, and cost $44.99.

Reader Web Site o' the Week Check out my friend (and Mike's List reader) John Woram's new, new newsletter.  It's called "Just Another Newsletter," which is a small taste of John's signature self-deprecating humor.  In reality, John is a world-renown Windows expert and author of a series of Windows registry books -- not to mention one of the best writers in technology.  Check it out! http://www.woram.com/letter/index.htm
Sony will soon ship a network PC called the eVilla.  It features a vertical 15-inch screen, Memory Stick storage, a V.90 modem and "instant-on" functionality.  One of my favorite features: No fan.  The computer is totally silent. http://www.evilla.com/
7)  FROM TIPS AND TRICKS http://www.chimneygod.com/
(NOTE: Mike Schmidt (Chimneygod) is a long time subscriber to PGCN and a great guy to chat with.  He is also the editor of "Tips and Tricks!!".  Well now you can read all the back issues and see all of the great tips and humor you've missed out on.  So point your browser at http://www.chimneygod.com/ and see what you think!  I love the look of his new site and you will too. - Peter)
If you're having trouble choosing a free Web page hosting service then maybe this will help.  It's a break down of features of some of the most popular free Web page hosting sites. http://personalweb.about.com/library/weekly/aa031300a.htm
40 WAYS TO MAKE WINDOWS 98 FLY Keep your Windows 98 desktop in order and your system running in tip-top shape with these 40 tips. http://cgi.zdnet.com/slink?92027:8039905
WINDOWS Why can't I change my screen resolution?: Did you upgrade and forget to update your drivers? Read this tip to find out what to do. http://cgi.zdnet.com/slink?/help_a/tipdy0404/2605964:8039905
Easter Downloads
3D Flying Easter Eggs Screen Saver, plus assorted bunnies, wildflowers and more Easter season downloads are just a hop, skip, click away. http://cgi.zdnet.com/slink?91459:8039905
8)  FROM WOODY'S OFFICE WATCH http://www.wopr.com/
Just a reminder.  I'm counting on you Office XP "early adopters" to feed me all your bug reports.  Genuine copies of Office XP gold/RTM code are gradually going out to a huge number of you folks, and more of you will be ordering your 30-day trial copies soon (see below).  Install it and bang on it until it yells, "Uncle." Then hit http://www.woodyswatch.com/office/XPsurvey.asp and fire away.
You'll remain completely anonymous, unless you explicitly tell me your name and/or email i.d..  I'll go over your comments and problems, and try to come up with workarounds where I can.  The ultimate goal, of course, is to get an independent feel for how reliable Office XP will be, once it hits the stands on May 31.  200,000 inquiring minds want to know.  I'm counting on all of you to help me get it right.
Here's another bug I've hit in the gold version of Office XP.  As always, I'm running a bare-bones, virgin install of Windows 2000 Professional on a brand new Thinkpad.  I wiped out the hard drive and re-installed Windows 2000 before running a default install of Office XP gold.
I always set up Windows so the Taskbar will AutoHide - disappear when I'm not using it.  I'll be working furiously on some OXP feature, with more than one Office app open, but no other apps going.  Suddenly, I can't get at the Taskbar.  It AutoHides itself out of existence, and no matter how hard I bang the mouse against the bottom of the screen, the Windows Taskbar won't come up.
I've found through trial and error that if I minimize all the open Office apps, suddenly the AutoHidden Taskbar will come out to play again.  I don't have to close anything: minimizing is sufficient.
Nope, I can't replicate.  Have no idea why it happens.  I can't swear that OXP is causing the problem, but the symptoms all point in OXP's direction.  I've seen the Taskbar go away like that three times in the past few days.
Got OXP bugs?  Let me know! http://www.woodyswatch.com/office/XPsurvey.asp or mailto:xpsurvey@woodyswatch.com .  And of course, I'm always interested in hearing any gossip that passes your way - mailto:rumors@woodyswatch.com
MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES CONFIGURATIONS, SOME PRICES FOR OFFICE XP Lots of cats came out of the bag, but several more haven't yet purred.
In a nutshell, Microsoft announced that you'll be able to buy Office XP in the following flavors (you need a fixed font display to see this table correctly) :
                          Standard   Professional    Pro SE*    Developer
    Word 2002                 X            X            X           X
    Excel 2002                X            X            X           X
    Outlook 2002              X            X            X           X
    PowerPt 2002              X            X            X           X
    Access 2002                            X            X           X
    FrontPage 2002                                      X           X
    Publisher 2002                                      X
    SharePoint                                          X           X
    Programmer Stuff                                                X
    Price Upg/New (US$)    239/479      329/579       479*       549/799
* Professional Special Edition is only available as an upgrade for current Office users, and it's only available "for a limited time."
If you buy Office XP bundled with a new machine, you'll be able to choose between Office XP Small Business (same features as Standard above) and Office XP Professional with Publisher (same as Professional above, plus Publisher
One thing really struck me about the announcement.  It looks like Microsoft is pulling FrontPage out of Office: FrontPage is only available in the "limited time" upgrade, and in the Developer edition.  Makes me wonder if FrontPage and PhotoDraw aren't getting set up for some sort of shotgun .NET wedding.  It'll keep us guessing, eh?
The one enormous gaping hole in the announcement?
There's no talk about subscription pricing - not even a mention of that option being available.  Seems that Microsoft is saving that for another announcement in the weeks ahead - no reason to delay except that another press release means that gullible media will give Microsoft more free publicity about the arrival of Office XP.
Until Microsoft releases _all_ the Office XP pricing details, this announcement is little more than a curiosity. Customers can't make a proper evaluation of their possible Office XP purchase until all the pricing options are all on the table.  Until that happens Microsoft is just playing games.
A cynical person might also think delaying the subscription pricing announcement is also intended to delay any backlash about the much stricter registration requirements in Office XP.  Most people are still unaware of what's entailed in the Office XP Registration Wizard (see these WOW's for the full skinny http://www.woodyswatch.com/office/archtemplate.asp?v5-n10 http://www.woodyswatch.com/office/archtemplate.asp?v5-n11 http://www.woodyswatch.com/office/archtemplate.asp?v5-n12 http://www.woodyswatch.com/office/archtemplate.asp?v5-n13 http://www.woodyswatch.com/office/archtemplate.asp?v5-n14
Office XP Web Site Open For Business In a deft bit of timing, Microsoft has just made its Office XP web site available, at http://www.microsoft.com/office/xp/ .
I haven't seen any press releases advertising that fact, and the mainstream press doesn't seem to have discovered it as yet.  So you might want to be the first on your block to sneak a peek.
9)  FROM THE LANGALIST http://www.langa.com/
Xteq Systems' X-Setup 6.0 Out Of Beta
The immensely popular, immensely powerful X-Setup ("the mother of all Windows tweaking tools")  from Xteq is now available in a full, non- beta, final version 6 release at http://www.xteq.com/downloads/xq-xsetup.zip .
It's a 3.73 MB download, and the servers there are going nuts trying to keep up with the demand.  If you encounter delays, try a mirror site such as http://www.betabites.com/downloads/xq-xsetup.zip or http://pierre.szwarc.free.fr/Files/xq-xset60.zip or http://www.xteq.com/downloads/xq-xsetup.zip .
It's highly recommended.  Its complexity may be daunting at first, but the more you come to understand all it does, the more you'll like it.
It's still freeware for individuals, and shareware for businesses. Business users get a 30-day free trial.  Regular home users are not required to purchase a user-license.
(NOTE: I like and use this, but BE CAREFUL!  This *can* foobar your 'puter if you don't know what you're doing. - Peter)
Minor Venting From Langa and Pirillo
Sheesh.  A reader (I'll withhold his name) read about the Plus!  edition and wrote:
I was reading through your recent Langalist, and one of the topics caught me by surprise.  In the story, you stated that publishing the Langalist costs you money.  Could you please give examples?  Are there high quality glossy pics that I am missing?  Maybe some high-end paper being used to print these emails and then being shipped by overnight carrier to each subscriber?  I do not see how writing one email and sending copies to a list of people can possibly cost you anything.
Man, it's frustrating to get mail like that.  Can you imagine trying to send 160,000 emails by hand?  Even CCs or BCCs wouldn't help much, as most ISPs cap the number of recipients of any one email.
So I rent time/space on a high-speed mailing list server that can mail all 160,000 newsletters in about 4 hours, and automatically handle the bulk of subscribes and unsubscribes.  I also pay for 4 separate professionally-maintained high-capacity web sites (Langa.Com, LangaList.Com, Langa.Org, and Freetune.Com) which collectively pump out something like 12GB of web pages and files to you every month), plus space on a secure server (that's 5 web sites total); all to support the newsletter operations and archives, email, file downloads, mirroring, and so on.
And that's just the external infrastructure.  It says nothing for the equipment in my home (9 PCs), nor anything about the time and effort to make it all happen.  Free?  I wish.
The Plus!  edition subscribers (bless them!) understand that sending an email newsletter like this is emphatically not free.  (Plus!  edition info: http://www.langa.com/plus.htm ) And the relatively small percentage of readers who patronize the advertisers in this Standard Edition (bless them, too!) also "get it."
But some people--- like the unnamed writer above--- just *don't* get it, and think the single issue in their mailbox is the whole thing.  Sheesh. Chris Pirillo, who publishes the "free" LockerGnome newsletter, experienced enough frustration with that kind of attitude to do more than "minor venting." In fact, Chris published what he calls a "manifesto" that "intends to speak for those who provide something online for free." It's drawing a lot of interest and comment.  I don't agree with everything that Chris, er, manifests, but a lot of it rings true.  Check it out at http://www.lockergnome.com/manifesto.html
OK, venting over.  Thanks for listening.  8-)
(NOTE:  I totally agree with Mr Langa here!  I'm trying to stop whining but I get about 3-5 emails per month like the one above!  If you want to read some details go to http://www.putergeek.com/thanks/ - Peter)
Free, Way-Cool Desktop "Search Bar"
Plus!  reader Patrick Deal, at the ripe old age of 19, already is a pretty good programmer.  He's developed a free custom search bar for your desktop that lets you instantly access any of 6 major search engines without having to first open your browser.  Here's how he describes it:
Search Bar is a little program I created because I hated having to open a new browser window, go to a search engine site, wait for it to load and then do my search.  Search Bar is a little window that sits on top of all your windows to give you quick access to many different search engines.  It comes with 6 popular search engines (Altavista, Excite, Google, HotBot, Lycos, and Yahoo), but you can add almost any engine you want.  You can minimize the program to an icon in the system tray for quick access to the Search Bar.
At first, Search Bar was a simple program I created to make my personal searches quicker and easier.  Then I read an issue of the Langa List that talked about search engines and quicker ways to search.  After reading that, I realized that since my program had made my searches easier and quicker, it could do the same for others.
Aside from being a pretty good programmer, Patrick also is generous: He polished his code and told me I could offer it to you, for free.
I have his Search Bar running on my desktop now.  Minimized, it shrinks to almost nothing as a magnifying-glass icon in the "tray" over by the clock.  But even maximized, it presents a small, clean UI that takes up hardly any space.  You type what you want to search for, select which of
6 search engines you wish to use, and click the search button.  In a flash, Search Bar opens your browser, switches to the search engine of your choice, and feeds in the search terms.  It's incredibly useful.
Note that you are likely to experience delays in downloading this software due to the anticipated high volume.  SearchBar was first offered to the LangaList Plus!  subscribers about a week ago, and is still available to them via the speedier Plus!  private site.  (Plus!  sign-up: http://www.langa.com/plus.htm.  Plus!  subscriber login: http://www.langalist.com/plus/ )
Public download: http://www.freetune.com/sb/sb.htm
Annoying Security Hole In "Compressed Folders"
"Compressed Folders" are a special kind of file that uses Zip-type compression to reduce the size of a folder's contents.  But unlike Zip files, Compressed Folders appear as actual folders in Windows Explorer. To distinguish them from standard, uncompressed folders, Compressed Folders use a special icon: a manila file folder adorned with a zipper.
Compressed Folder capability is built into Windows ME, and can be added to Win98 via optional, extra cost add-on software called Plus!  98 (or sometimes simply: "Plus Pack.").  But there's a problem:
For interoperability with leading third-party compression tools, [the Compressed Folder feature] provides a password protection option for folders that have been compressed. However, due to a flaw in the package's implementation, the passwords used to protect the folders are recorded in a file on the user's system.  If an attacker gained access to an affected machine on which password-protected folders were stored, she could learn the passwords and access the files.
This isn't a huge issue, but anyone using WinME or an optional "Plus Pack" for Win98 should read the full announcement and grab the patch that corrects this problem: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms01-019.asp
And: Here's NEW WinMag Content... Without WinMag
A number of the WinMag writers and columnists have their own newsletter now; some are wholly new, and others are successors to columns or newsletter they produced for WinMag. There's no central sign-up page (yet) but for now you can pick and choose among these e-publications:
Serdar Yegulalp's Win2K Power Users: http://www.thegline.com/new/
Karen's Power Tools at http://www.karenware.com/
Jason Levine's Toolbox: http://www.jasons-toolbox.com/
Mike Elgan's List: http://www.mikeslist.com/default.htm
John Woram's newsletter: http://www.woram.com/letter/index.htm
Dan Rosenbaum's newsletter: http://www.danrosenbaum.com/subscribe.htm
Dave Methvin's PCPitstop: http://www.pcpitstop.com/newsletter.asp
Scot Finnie's Newsletter: http://www.scotfinnie.com/newsletter/
Yael Li-Ron's MS Office Beat: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Li-Ron/
10)  FROM LOCKERGNOME http://www.lockergnome.com/
Browse Windows 2000 and 98 faster!

"[Here's] an easy way to speed up your browsing of Windows 98 and Windows Me from Windows 2000 machines. It turns out that you can experience a delay as long as 30 seconds when you try to view shared files across a local network from Windows 2000. For example, this delay would effect your search if you: 1) Right- click the My Network Places icon on your Windows 2000 desktop, click Search For Computers, and search for a Windows 98 or Windows Me computer name; or 2) Click Start, Run, and then type \\computername in reference to a Windows 98 or Windows Me machine. Microsoft confirms this is a problem in Windows 2000."
Works 2000: Individual Programs Don't Start

"When using Microsoft Works 2000, the individual programs may not start, even though the program worked correctly in the past. Uninstalling and reinstalling Works does not help. This behavior may occur if the program files or registry keys have become corrupted. To remove Works 2000, download and run the clean up utility appropriate for your version of Windows. NOTE: This utility does not remove the entire Works program. It is used for troubleshooting purposes only. It removes only the key parts of Works and then you have to reinstall Works."
How to Manage the Block Senders List in Outlook Express

"You can block messages from a particular sender or domain. The domain is the name that follows the @ symbol in an e-mail address. When you block a sender or domain, you do not receive any e-mail messages or news messages from that sender or domain in your Inbox folder or in the news messages that you read. When you receive messages from blocked senders, the e-mail messages are sent directly to your Deleted Items folder, and the newsgroup messages are not displayed. NOTE: To use the Block Senders feature in Outlook Express, your e-mail server must be a Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3) server."
Win2K Command Database
You know how fond I am of my precious command prompt and what good is having that capability if I can't figure out how to use all of the commands. Microsoft has put together an online reference of utilities and commands that can be used, including descriptions of each command's function and all of the syntax specifications.
That's all for now!

Peter Crockett - webmaster
mailto: webmaster@putergeek.com
Need some 'puter help?
website: http://www.putergeek.com/
Please send me email in "plain text" only.

Do you want to subscribe to the newsletter?

[ Home ] [ Site Map ] [ Site Search ] [ Back to last page ]

Last Revised: 04/08/2001