Contrast this to a simple, basic firewall like this //www.zelow.no/floppyfw/ or this https://jimweller.net/jims/lfw/ ; these firewalls fit in their entirety on a single floppy disk. They don't do nearly as much as ZoneAlarm (and in fact take an entirely different tack), but do serve to illustrate how far beyond basic firewall functions ZA has grown. World Wind Fred, I was sitting next to a guy on a plane who was running a program on his laptop that had him roaming over Earth as if from a satellite. He told me it was World Wind from NASA - a free and beautiful program. A must-have for educators especially. I can't stop exploring with it. Here's the link: http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/ ---Jerry Hanson It's a fabulous program, letting you move over the earth's surface and perform virtual flybys. But it's a bear: The download is 180mb and requires 2GB of disk space, a decent/recent 3d video card, and you must be running both .NET and DirectX. It also needs a pretty fast connection when it's running: "World Wind comes with data you can zoom into. After a certain point, World Wind will begin to download more images automatically." So---yes, it's a great tool, but it's *very*demanding software. As long as you're OK with that, you'll love it! The more specific term for this kind of thing is "content filtering," but the common, casual term is "nannyware;" and we've covered it some: http://langa.com/u/9o.htm . Natch, Google also offers a ton of links: //www.google.com/search?q=nannyware Good info: //www.childrenspartnership.org/bbar/pbpg.html //www.indianapolis.in.us/home/child.htm //www.safekids.com/ //www.google.com/search?q=child+safety+internet Our discussion of a "Free 'WhoLockMe' Tool" ( http://langa.com/newsletters/2005/2005-04-14.htm#5 ) prompted this reply: Fred: Another program on this type that I use here is WhosLocking. It has an advantage over WhosLockingMe in that you can attempt to terminate the process from within the interface by either ending the process politely, terminating it, or ending the service (if applicable). Can get it off of CodeGuru here: //www.codeguru.com/Cpp/W-P/dll/article.php/c3641/ The first is Bart's PE. //www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/ This tool allows one to create a bootable CD that contains a basic XP operating system, file manager, and many worthwhile tools. It is built from the XP setup files, and is not an unlicensed copy of the Windows PE (Preinstall Environment) available to developers. With Bart's PE disk one can read and write files to the NTFS files system, edit files, partition, assign volume labels, and properly prepare a virgin disk for install. XP need not reside on the hard drive. I admit it: I'm a weather geek. I have a small weather station set up at home that shows outdoor conditions (wind, precip, temp, humidity...) via wireless relays; and indoors have a couple of antique-style instruments (a Galilean thermometer; a colonial-era water-filled barometer; etc.). So I was glad to get this note: Hi there Fred, I just thought I would drop you a line and recommend a great little tool for those who like to watch the weather - and of course for those who live in 'twister country' for those who like to 'run' from the weather. I have used this for a little while now and found it fairly useful. It is aptly named 'Weather Watcher' and you'll be pleased to know it's free. I did a search on your site and (amazingly ;o) ) it appears you haven't mentioned it before. I hope it checks out ok and is useful for your readers. It's available here: //www.singerscreations.com/ Kind regards, Daniel Burns Weather Watcher is a tiny little thing that takes up almost no room down in the system tray by the clock display; but that will warn you via a pop- up "balloon" when an alert is issued by the Weather Service; and that gives you instant access to stats, forecasts, etc. No nags, no ads, no spyware, minimal footprint, and free! (Although I liked it enough to make a voluntary donation to the author.) Really an excellent little toy--- er, I mean tool, yes that's it: a tool. <g> The Practically Networked article is jam packed with useful information. Be sure to page through that piece. It's a shame it hasn't been updated recently. How to Configure File Sharing in Windows XP - Microsoft http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=304040 How to Disable Simplified Sharing and Set Permissions on a shared folder in Windows XP - Microsoft http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;307874 Enabling Windows XP File Permissions Editing - WhooZoo http://whoozoo.co.uk/winxpFilePerms.htm Windows XP Professional File Sharing - Practically Networked //www.practicallynetworked.com/sharing/xp_filesharing/index.htm Establish the Correct File-Sharing Permissions in Win XP - CNETAsia http://asia.cnet.com/enterprise/netadmin/0,39035505,39049730,00.htm SIW ("System Information for Windows" by Gabriel Topala: //www3.sympatico.ca/gtopala/about_siw.html ) is freeware (donations accepted) that doesn't even have to be installed: It's a standalone utility you can run, as is, without making any changes to your system at all. Excellent! "Everest" (in both Pro and free Home editions: //www.lavalys.com/ ) is the successor to the late, great AIDA32, which was purchased by Lavalys. Lavalys has kept the Home version free for personal use; both it and the Pro version are now up to v1.51, and better than ever. Hi Fred, I just found a tip in the latest printed version of the UK publication PC Advisor ( //www.pcadvisor.co.uk ) solving a problem I have had for years. The tip may interest your readers. The tip tells how to "sort Internet Explorer Favorites in one go", rather than "organizing the IE Favorites menu by right- clicking an item and selecting Sort by Name.... The problem with this technique," the tip states, "is that you must repeat it for each submenu, and that gets kind of dull after a while." The proposed solution is to edit the key in the Registry called Hkey_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MenuOrder \Favorites by deleting the Order value there. I tried it and after exiting Regedit and starting Internet Explorer, my Favorites get sorted automatically in alphabetical order, just as I like it. Before deleting the Order value, I exported a backup of the key, just in case I would change my mind later. Incidentally - If you ever need to find out what codec you need to play a file - try: VideoInspector: //www.kcsoftwares.com/index.php?vtb Plus! Edition Extra: Free Cleanup For Bad "MSI" Installs Several readers wrote in to expand on my original reply in "Where's the Uninstall Hidden?" ( http://langa.com/newsletters/2005/2005-01-24.htm#9 ) by referring to the free "Windows Installer CleanUp Utility" from Microsoft. ( http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;290301 ) In prepping this newsletter, I downloaded and ran the Cleanup tool just to make sure it worked--- not trying to correct any problem--- but the tool found two unreadable remnant installer files that I didn't even know where in there. I removed them; and now they can't cause any trouble. I hadn't thought of it before, but it might be a good idea to run the "Windows Installer CleanUp Utility" once or twice a year, just to see if there's anything weird accumulating on your system. Free HTML Editor Fred, searching for a freeware WYSIWYG [what you see is what you get] HTML editor seems to be a lifetime occupation with me. Tried 'em all. THEN I find this one which looks, after a wee bit of playing- with-it, fantastic. //www.nvu.com/index.html --Ken Thanks, Ken, Nvu (pronounced "en-view") is causing a bit of buzz: It's open source (IOW, free) and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. //www.tweakguides.com/ATICAT_1.html . The tweaks are test driven on a Radeon 9800 Pro, but the information there and links for his other articles are applicable to other models and brands, too. In "Changing Dialog Box Size" (#13 in //www.langalist.com/Plus/newsletters/2005/2005-01-27plus.asp ) we discussed a couple commercial tools that can alter or replace dialog boxes. Now, here's a freeware tool: Hi Fred. PowerPro ( //www.ppro.org/ ) gives you a choice of two enlarged dialog box sizes. But that is only a very minor part of its repertoire. You can create toolbars, perform many window control functions, send keystrokes to programs, ...: in all, a dizzying array of functions. Some of my favorites are: windowshade, and tray-minimise. And it is free! PowerPro has been around for ages - I've been using it for several years, since it was called "Stilleto", and was shareware. There are even Yahoo groups for ppro, one of them especially for new users. If you don't need to be able to control the exact size of the dialog, ppro may do what you want. But, chances are, you'll find that you have lots of other uses for its features. Btw, one drawback I've found: it seems that ppro enlarges dialog boxes only if they are created using standard Windows calls, and some programs, such as some versions of those from Microsoft, don't obey the rules! Collection Of Free File/Format Recovery Tools Fred, I'm pretty close to the end of my first year as a Plus subscriber. Since I look forward to every issue, you can count on my renewal! Regarding Kevin's question on file recovery ["Dead Drive, Lost Files" http://langa.com/newsletters/2005/2005-01-27.htm#9 ], I found a very good tool when I lost an entire directory of digital photos that I hadn't backed up yet. Including my daughters High School graduation pictures. I had some trouble locating a free tool that worked on NTFS. I finally found this: //www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/uk/welcome.htm It worked great and I recovered all of the photos. The software is sponsored by a German data recovery service. They have quite a few useful and interesting tools and they are all free. Hi Fred, There's a new version of this free vast registry tweaking guide http://windowsxp.homedns.org/xp/asp/twg/twg.asp Publisher's Description: "The Tweaking Experience Registry Guide provides an extensive range of registry tweaks, tricks & hacks for optimizing, enhancing and securing the Windows XP, 2000 and 2003 Server....Make your Windows computer faster, more efficient and more your own using the hundreds of powerful tweaks (included with various hidden settings), tips and tricks. Easily customize the appearance, speed and security by follow the step by step information. Get started by exploring the categorized Tweaking Experience." Download link: //www.osnn.net/downloads/tweaks/tweakexp4.msi ---Eran Rosenmann Thanks, Eran. The Tweaking Experience has some rough edges (mostly cosmetic and linguistic) but the actual content runs *very* deep--- you could spend days exploring all it has to offer. Nice find! (Note: The "Tweaking Experience" is a giant Windows Helpfile; it provides the content, and your own copy of the Windows Help System then displays that content, allowing you to browse or search, as you wish. This is also how the LangaList Archives work: the Archives are the content, but the actual opening/displaying/sorting of the content is done by your own PC's help system). Thanks, Ed. "Everest" is indeed pretty good; the newest version, from last fall, is very well polished. Note that there are also other hardware sniffer tools around as well, many also free for personal use. Check out our earlier discussion, which includes a list with links to the best of the bunch, in #13 http://langalist.com/plus/newsletters/2004/2004-03-29plus.asp . To change the registry settings for prefetching, start the Registry Editor by selecting Run from the Start menu, typing regedit in the Open text box, and clicking OK. When the Registry Editor window opens, navigate through the left pane until you get to this hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management \PrefetchParameters In the right pane, look for the key named EnablePrefetcher. The value of this key represents how prefetch works on your system. Values you can choose from include: 0Disable 1Application Launch Prefetch 2Boot Prefetch 3Prefetch everything To change the value, double-click it. You'll then see the Edit DWORD Value screen. Enter the value representing the level of prefetching you want in the Value Data field. As a general rule, if you're on a low-memory workstation, 128 MB or so, set the value to 0. If your workstation has 512 MB of RAM or more, set it to 3. Otherwise, you can choose the value as best suits your needs and observations. PROBLEM: Windows Explorer and application file dialog drop-down boxes display mapped drives as <Drive Description> <Drive Letter> - (eg Hamish on MyServer\Data\Homedirs H:). This is often a problem with narrow fixed-width dialog boxes. A much easier way to see it would be <Drive Letter> <Drive Description> (eg H: Hamish on MyServer\Data\HomeDirs) SOLUTION: In regedit goto: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer, edit or create the DWORD value "ShowDriveLettersFirst" and set it to the desired value: (4 for the Drive letter before Description) 0 = Default display (drive letters after description) 1 = Network drive letters first, Local drive letters after 2 = Descriptions only, no drive letters displayed 4 = Drive letters before description have Symantec scan your PC for viruses online. Open Internet Explorer and go to //www.symantec.com/cgi-bin/securitycheck.cgi [Unfortunately, Symantec's free online virus checker only works in Internet Explorer.] When the page loads, click on the orange Go button. This opens a pop-up window. Click on the red Start button under Virus Detection to start the virus scan. You'll be asked if you want to install and run three small plug-ins. Click Yes all three times. The scan will take a while, but it is well worth the wait. If Symantec says your virus status is safe, continue on to step three. But, if Symantec finds a problem, expect to spend a lot of time at //www.symantec.com/avcenter/index.html downloading the appropriate removal tools. There are too many options to explore in this brief space, but the topmost few links in these two searches contain full descriptions, how- tos, and links to files that should meet your specific needs: //www.google.com/search?q=capture+streaming+video http://groups.google.com/groups?q=capture streaming video If those links offer too many choices, try this for a more focused start: http://tinyurl.com/2cora 1) Updated: Free Security Analyzer Hi Fred, There's a new version of the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.... There are some other tools listed here as well: //www.microsoft.com/security/guidance/tools/default.mspx. Make sure you have a connection to the internet when you run the MBSA, as it does some further downloading. The MBSA worked quite well for me, after a few adjustments to the rules (I trust practically no app) in Tiny Firewall Pro 6. Even if Windows automatic update is turned on, there are always Microsoft products that aren't automatically updated, such as SQL and Office. The MBSA helped me catch up with the updates rather easily via handy links. Best regards, Rob Johnston Thanks, Rob, We've covered (and recommended) previous versions of the free Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (see http://langa.com/u/6f.htm ). Indeed, it can sometimes find problems that other tools (including Windows Update) simply miss. Well worth the download! Fortunately, Outlook Express allows you to back up all the mail rules you have created. To do so, open the Windows registry by clicking Start, clicking Run, and typing in regedit. Click OK. Navigate to the Outlook Express settings in the registry (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\your identity string\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0. Expand Rules and click Mail key. From the File menu, click Export. Specify the location to where you want to keep the copy of your mail rules. Type in a name for the file (it will have a "reg" extension) and click Save. Daemon Tools -- //www.daemon-tools.cc/dtcc/portal/portal.php -- creates a virtual drive on your system, allowing you to treat the ISO file as if the individual files *had* been extracted and burned to a CD. Cool. Free. To disable the registry editor for another user: Click Start, click Run, and type regedit. Press Enter. Create the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion \Policies\System. Within the key, create a new REG_DWORD data type called DisableRegistryTools. Double click the new data type. Use a value of 1 to disable the registry editor. You can also disable the registry editor for all users that log onto the computer by changing the value for DisableRegistryTools under the following registry key to 1: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software \Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System. [Diana Huggins] ( ( _______ )) )) .-"There's always time for a good cup of coffee"-. >====<--. C|~~| C|~~| `----------------------------------------------------------- ' | = |-' `---' `---' `----------------------------------------------------------- ' `--------'