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Snippets...Heckling the lusers
Snippets...Life Notes and Windows tips from the Olde Days
Snippets...More L.N. and W. T. F. T. O. D., Partte Twoe

Contrast this to a simple, basic firewall like this
// or this ;
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:  ---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: . Natch, Google also offers a ton of links:

Good info:

Our discussion of a "Free 'WhoLockMe' Tool" ( ) prompted this
     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:

 The first is Bart's PE.
     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:
     //   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

How to Disable Simplified Sharing and Set Permissions on a shared 
folder in Windows XP - Microsoft;EN-US;307874

Enabling Windows XP File Permissions Editing - WhooZoo

Windows XP Professional File Sharing - Practically Networked

Establish the Correct File-Sharing Permissions in Win XP - CNETAsia,39035505,39049730,00.htm

SIW ("System Information for Windows" by Gabriel Topala:
// ) 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: // )
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 ( //  )
     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
     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:

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?" (
) by referring to the free "Windows Installer CleanUp Utility" from
Microsoft. (;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

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.

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.

// . 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
// ) we
discussed a couple commercial tools that can alter or replace dialog
boxes. Now, here's a freeware tool:

     Hi Fred. PowerPro ( // ) 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" ],  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
     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

 Hi Fred, There's a new version of this free vast registry
     tweaking guide
     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:
     ---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 .

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 
opens, navigate through the left pane until you get to this hive:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory 

In the right pane, look for the key named EnablePrefetcher. The value of this key represents 
prefetch works on your system. Values you can choose from include:

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 
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 
workstation has 512 MB of RAM or more, set it to 3. Otherwise, you can choose the value as 
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 
<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


[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

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
// 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:

// streaming video

If those links offer too many choices, try this for a more focused start:

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:
     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

Thanks, Rob, We've covered (and recommended) previous versions of the
free Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (see
). 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" 
and click Save.

Daemon Tools -- // -- 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.

To disable the registry editor for another user: Click Start, click Run, and type regedit. Press 
Create the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows
\Policies\System. Within the key, create a new REG_DWORD data type called 
Double click the new data type. Use a value of 1 to disable the registry editor. You can also 
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
\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System. [Diana Huggins] 

    (       (                                                                         _______
     ))     ))   .-"There's always time for a good cup of coffee"-.                   >====<--.
   C|~~|  C|~~| `----------------------------------------------------------- '       |    = |-'
   `---'  `---'  `----------------------------------------------------------- '      `--------'

Comments? Good luck!

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