OUR TYPICAL TOPICAL PC TIPS
We can supply regular quick-tip snippets like these original samples from our archive to spice up your client newsletter or company magazine.
PATCHES MAKE PERFECT
Ever had to reinstall Windows? Going back to Square One can sort out a plethora of problems but how many changes and improvements to the operating system will you be missing afterwards? Revisiting that trusty first-time installation CD can leave you short of all the service packs, patches, and security fixes that have come along in the meantime, and finding them again can take hours. The easiest way to get back to a stable recovery is to include a quick run of CatchUp services. Next time you have to suffer through a Windows reinstall, or any time you want to get up to date, try the one-stop solution at the CatchUp Web site.
FAVORITES WEB PAGE
Almost everyone uses Internet Explorer 'Favorites' to access Web pages, and perhaps folders and files on their computer. You may not know that you can create a local Web page to show how your collection has been organised and access the items with a single click. It's easy to do. In Internet Explorer, go to File, Import And Export. Click Next and choose Export Favorites from the box at the left. Click Next again, select the Favorites Source Folder at the top to export all Favorites, and click Next again. Choose a location for your new creation from Export To File Or Address and click Next once more. You now have a handy Web page for all your favourite Favorites.
BIG SCREEN BROWSING
Internet Browsers have so many buttons, icons, and boxes that sometimes there's hardly enough space left to see the Web pages. In Netscape Navigator: You can make more room by eliminating the Personal Toolbar. Choose View, Show, Personal Toolbar, and remove the checkmark to the left of the command. Other commands on the View, Show menu let you turn off more rows of buttons. If you want them back, just use the same command again. In Internet Explorer: You can reclaim screen real estate by choosing View, Toolbars, Links, to make the Links toolbar go away. And you can turn off more rows of buttons by choosing other options on the View, Toolbars menu. To restore, use the same command again.
THE KEYS WITH NO NAME
They're the clean ones on the grubbiest keyboards - the keys with the wavy Windows icon at either side of the spacebar. On their own, they merely bring up the Start Menu. But combine one of them with another key, and it will do much more. Hold one down and press "D" - and no matter how much open clutter you've got on-screen - it'll show you a clear view of the desktop. Do the same thing again, and you'll be back where you started. It's a surprisingly useful shortcut once you've got the habit. Here's a small list of other uses:
- The Windows key+E - Open an Explorer window
- The Windows key+F1 - Open a Help window
- The Windows key+R - Open the Run dialog box
- The Windows key+F - Open the Find Files dialog box
GET ON SCHEDULE
You don't have to do everything yourself. Windows will allow you to schedule various tasks to be performed automatically. Select Accessories in the Programs menu, then select the System Tools menu and then Scheduled Tasks. To add a task, click Add Scheduled Task and a Wizard will take you through the steps to add any task you want. To schedule an automatic defragmentation of all your drives, for example, follow the steps below:
- Go to "Start -> All Programs -> Accessoiries -> System Tools -> Scheduled Tasks"
- In the 'scheduled tasks' window, choose 'Add Scheduled Task'. This will load the 'Scheduled Task Wizard'.
- When you start the wizard, you will get a list of programs which you can schedule to run automatically, but you will need to click the "browse" button and select the batch file we created previously manually. After this, follow the wizard by selecting all your preferences, which is extremely straightforward.
THE FAT LADY SINGS
Opera fans say it's not over until you've tried the latest browser. we often mention viable free alternatives to Microsoft's Internet Explorer, but sometimes forget to sound a note about Opera. Always small and neat, and certainly one of the fastest, the Opera browser now comes free of charge and in an amazing collection of country-specific variations and languages from Afrikaans, Celtic and Chinese to Scottish Gaelic, Spanish and Swedish. Operating systems coverage is no less comprehensive, with versions for BeOS, Linux and Solaris, Mac, OS/2, QNX, Symbian OS, as well as Windows.
NotePad is a favourite editor among some hardcore Web Developers because of its speed, simplicity... and ideal price. Costing only £17 more, there's the multi-featured shareware favourite, TextPad - from www.textpad.com And then there's MetaPad, a NotePad substitute that comes with extra benefits like intelligent find and replace, quick access to recently opened files, and a goto line/column feature. Best of all, it has the same price tag as NotePad: it's free.
SITES THAT CAN'T BE FOUND
Web sites don't close for lunch, or any other time for that matter, and whenever a search engine checks to see if your site is open for business - you can guarantee that everything will be up and running and exactly as it should be. Or can you? There's an effortless way to find out. The free monitoring service from NetMonitor365 will report by e-mail if there is any downtime - and let you know about any slowdown in access speeds for your visitors too.
It's so easy to get a free, Web-based, e-mail account that senders of SPAM (unsolicited bulk e-mail that's often hopelessly irrelevant and sometimes a scam) use the throwaway services to hide their true identity and ignore replies from irritated recipients. It's never a good idea to reply to SPAM, but it does help to report it if it comes from an @yahoo.com address. Send a copy with full header information to the Yahoo! Mail Abuse Team - firstname.lastname@example.org - and they'll shut down the spammer's account. Check your e-mail client's Help Files if you need to know more about displaying full headers, or try abuse.net, where you can learn how to filter your mail and block Usenet spam and spam e-mail altogether.