Issue 174 - February 13, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2323 Subscribers in 61 Countries ====

Welcome to the 174th 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!

You can reach me at with any suggestions or comments.

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I can't believe I totally forgot to send out the special issue on Saturday. I have an entire issue ready to send out that is filled with stories of your first computers. I promise I'll send it out this coming Saturday.

Chris and I are hard at work getting some new things ready for the site. We'll have a few of them ready soon.

Graham and Chris

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Networks sue over new video recorder

"If television network executives are steamed enough to sue, there must be something exquisitely subversive about the latest in digital video recorders.
ABC, CBS and NBC want the ReplayTV 4000 off the market and have taken its parent company SonicBlue Inc. to court, contending that the slim silver box violates their copyrights by letting users share shows over the Internet.
But the angst in network executive suites is really more about something else: These devices allow viewers to watch what they want when they want--and skip commercials.

For more info:

La. asks PayPal to halt service in state

"In a letter sent last week, Louisiana asked the online payments company to cease offering its service to the state's residents until PayPal receives a license from the state, the company said in a regulatory document filed Monday. Although Louisiana residents account for a small fraction of the money sent through PayPal, the state's move could presage other governmental attempts to regulate PayPal's service.
'We will comply promptly and suspend the ability of Louisiana residents to make payments through our service, but we reserve the right to contest the order through the appropriate administrative process,' PayPal said in its regulatory filing."

For more info:

NYC Unveils First Internet-Ready Pay Phone

"New York City's first Internet-ready public phone is open for service, offering Web access and e-mail for 25 cents a minute -- and looking to tease cell phone users back to pay phones.
Located on the southwest corner of West 46th Street off Fifth Avenue, the phone also features long distance service using voice-over IP telephony.
At 25 cents a minute, or with a swipe of a credit card that starts a meter running, the public can surf and check Web-based e-mail, even snap a picture to send as an attachment.
Depending on how the 30-day trial run goes -- including whether the rugged-looking phone can withstand vandalism -- its owner TCC Teleplex would like to install 100 more around the city."

For more info:,1471,8471_971781,00.html

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POLL of the WEEK

Here are the responses from the last poll:

Do you like the look of the new iMac?

Yes: 60.42%
No: 39.58%

Total Votes: 48

Visit to participate in the new poll this week:

How many ISPs (Internet Service Providers) have you used in the last year?

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Visit the new and improved PCIN FreeHelp Forum at to post your questions or answer others.

There is an excellent thread of messages running that is discussing Registry Cleaners. Check out and click on the Registry Cleaners link.

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Check out these new or updated pages on the site:

PCIN FreeHelp Forum

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Automating Defrag in Windows 2000

Windows 2000 makes it a little complicated to schedule a task of defragmenting your hard drive. Chris had been reading some newsletters that talked about it, and ways around it. One way is to use a VBS (Visual Basic Script) to automate this. Chris looked at some available scripts, modified them a bit, and came up with a good one. You can download it at
Note: This has only been tested on Windows 2000. You must have support for visual basic scripting installed.

Old PCIN FreeHelp Forums

I have taken down the old PCIN FreeHelp Forums. I have saved each of the forums in HTML format, and have zipped them all together. You can download the Zip file at These aren't fancy, but if you search through them, you may find useful postings from before.

Automatically Zip Files When Emailing

Quite a while ago a subscriber emailed me asking if there was some way that he could automatically zip attachments when he emailed them to people. At the time there didn't appear to be any software that would do this for him. Over a year has gone by and I finally heard about some software that will do this.
bxAutoZip for Outlook by BAxBEx Software "is a dedicated add-in utility for Microsoft Outlook which automatically and independently compresses any files attached to an e-mail message.
Compression dramatically reduces the size of e-mail attachments, allowing much faster transfer times. The result is significant savings in time and money for both the sender and the recipient.
Thanks to the program's seamless integration into Outlook, not one single extra step is required to zip the files."
I haven't tried this myself, but it seems decent. You can check it out at

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PCIN is brought to you by PC Improvements. The opinions expressed are those of the editor, Graham Wing. PC Improvements and Graham Wing accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying the tips in this newsletter.

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