Welcome to the 334th issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly
of news and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is your first
issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me two or three
issues, I know that you will come back for more!
Chris and I are going to a Microsoft TechNet in Toronto tomorrow. We're hoping
to learn about their latest proxy server software that we have purchased for
work but haven't yet installed. Microsoft events are usually quite good. Hopefully
this one will be, too.
I really wish that Chris wouldn't have sent out PCIN when I was on vacation.
He included a link to the Chicago Sun Times daily crossword
puzzle. Now I'm addicted! Their Java applet is very nice, and you can pull
up crosswords from the last couple of weeks, as well as reveal individual letters,
words, or the entire puzzle. Thanks a lot Chris :-) In case anyone is interested,
the puzzle is actually hosted on another server. You can visit it directly
and not get all the ads. You can check it out here.
"Last year was a breakout year for the Internet in American politics,
surpassing radio, and in some cases newspapers, as an important source of
campaign news, a research firm says.
Fully 75 million Americans, or 37 percent of the adult population, used the
Internet in 2004 to get political news and information, discuss candidates
and debate issues in emails, or participate directly in the political process
by volunteering or giving contributions to candidates, the Pew Internet and
American Life Project said in a recent report. When considering only online
Americans, the percentage using the Internet in politics jumped to 61 percent."
"Three men prosecutors dubbed the 'Robin Hoods of cyberspace' pleaded
guilty Tuesday to putting millions of dollars worth of copyrighted computer
games, movies and software on the Internet so that people around the world
could make copies for free.
All three said they made no money on the scheme, and did it just for the
sport of it."
"Famed ex-hacker Kevin Mitnick is warning against security strategies that
focus on technology. Rather, teaching your staff to say no will help keep
your network secure, he says.
Mitnick, a cyberspace legend known for having penetrated the networks of
such companies as Motorola and Nokia, spoke Thursday at Toshiba's MobileXchange
conference in Melbourne, Australia.
What you can find in the trash is simply amazing. People throw out
notes, drafts of letters, printouts of source code."
Mitnick led the FBI on a 15-year manhunt that ended in 1995, and he ended
up behind bars for nearly four years. Older and seemingly wiser, he now uses
his skills for good as a Los Angeles-based security consultant."
"Microsoft has sued a Kent State University student over his eBay resale
of software purchased for $50 at a discounted student rate.
David Zamos, 21, purchased the software while attending the University of
Akron last September. The chemistry major has countersued and plans to defend
himself in court against Microsoft's four-member legal team."
I spent quite a bit of time trying to come up with some tips, and I drew a
blank. I had one tip from another newsletter I receive, and a tip that was
sent in by a subscriber. If you have tips, send them in!
When you're experiencing a problem with Windows XP, you may need to boot
the system into Safe Mode more than once. However, doing so can be a tiresome
process. When the Boot menu appears, you must press [F8], and then you must
select Safe Mode from yet another menu.
Wouldn't it be nice if Safe Mode were available from the Boot menu? In fact,
it's relatively easy to add a Safe Mode option to the Boot menu.
Follow these steps:
Press [Windows][Break] to open the System Properties dialog box.
On the Advanced tab, click the Settings button in the Startup And Recovery
In the System Startup section, click the Edit button.
When the Boot.ini file opens in Notepad, locate the line that ends with the
Highlight and copy that line, and paste it in the line below.
Change the section on the line that reads WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows
XP Professional" to WINDOWS="Safe Mode."
Add the following to the end of the line:
/safeboot:minimal /sos /bootlog
Change the order of icons on your desktop
Subscriber John Mood sent this in:
I have been frustrated for some time over how Windows XP arbitrarily sorts
the desktop. It ALWAYS puts the "My Documents" folder first, when
that order isn't even alphabetically ordered. A behaviour change from Windows
9X boxes. (I skipped Win2K).
I have found the solution to this strange change. Change it back!
You may want to skip this tip if you're inexperienced at manipulating the
REGISTRY. This is specific to Windows XP and I have not had the chance to
test it on Windows 2000. It's unneeded on Win9X.
Don't use this tip if you don't understand the registry. And ALWAYS make
a back up copy of your registry BEFORE you do any registry changes.
This one involves finding a key and changing it's value, and sometimes creating
the key and the value.It's a setting for "Who goes first" My Computer,
or My Documents.
Double click on it to change it's value. Two valid values are:
0X48 = My Documents, 0x54 = My Computer
You'll notice there a lot of suppressed '0''s (zeros) in the numeric field
on the line above. This is normal, the leading zeros don't mean anything,
if you see 0x00000048, it's the same as 0x48 as far as Windows cares.
I HIGHLY recommend that you ONLY these values (0x48 and 0x54). You could
totally hose your system. If you're timid about entering the registry modification
yourself, I have exported the keys for both values, so if you want to change
the sort order for this, all you need do is ask and I will forward the two
keys for merging into your registry. I recommend ALWAYS make a back up copy
of your registry BEFORE you do any registry changes or merges.
You'll have to reboot to see the change, and as well, you'll only see the
effect if you right click on your desktop and choose "Arrange icons
By" and choosing your pick for sorting.
And a little REGISTRY trivia, many Microsoft engineers refer to the registry
as the Hive. There are a lot of Star Trek fans working there, and the Hive
was referenced as sort of a joking homage to The "Resistance is Futile" guys.
Heck I remember one Comdex when Mr. Gates himself walked out to the podium
wearing "Spock" Vulcan ears and a Star Fleet uniform. When you
have that kind of money, right? I wonder when he's going to build a transporter?
PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of
the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing
and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying
the tips in this newsletter.
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