Issue 175 - February 20, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2319 Subscribers in 59 Countries ====

Welcome to the 175th 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 hope you all enjoyed the special issue I sent out Sunday afternoon. It contained the comments that many of you had sent me regarding your first computers. If you missed the issue, or want to check it out again, visit

If you've checked out the web site recently, you will have noticed that I've been changing a bunch of sections. I've updated the Home Page (now contains a list of updated pages, as well as a PC Industry News section), added a Search page (it is kind of slow at the moment), changed the look of the PCIN FreeHelp Forums a bit, updated the Recommend PCIN page, and redid the entire Poll of the Week section. I particularly like the new polls script. Everything is logged to a database, and this allows you to view and even vote in any previous poll. All of the current poll features are still there as well. Lots more to come!

The hardest part of the newsletter is finding items for the Tips and Other Stuff section. If you have any tips, links to great sites, or anything else that would fit in that section, email either Chris or me. As long as we agree that it fits in that section, we will include it.

Graham and Chris

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The NEWS CEO Opens 'Windows' to Trademark Case

"In keeping with its promise to keep the public updated on its trademark infringement defense against Microsoft Corp. San Diego startup released copies of its main opposition papers before it takes on the software giant in court Feb 27. Founder and CEO Michael Robertson published a letter Thursday on the company's Web site stating its defense against Microsoft's claims that his firm is treading on hallowed ground by using the terms 'LindowsOS' and '' to describe a Linux-based operating system that runs Microsoft Windows applications. The papers were officially filed Jan. 28 in a Seattle U.S. District Court."

For more info:,,3_975171,00.html

States Request Microsoft Windows Code

"The state attorneys general still pursuing the antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. MSFT.O have asked a federal judge to force the company to show them the inner workings of the Windows operating system.
In a bid to pry open one of the world's most valuable pieces of intellectual property, the states argued they need to see the Windows source code in order to verify Microsoft's claim that it is not technically feasible for the company to offer a stripped-down version of the operating system."

For more info:

New Vermont 'opt-in' privacy law faces legal challenge

"Beginning next week, financial services companies with Vermont customers will face strict limits on what they can do with the personal data of state residents. These new privacy rules have prompted five insurance industry trade groups to jointly file a lawsuit against state officials and warned that the rules will raise business costs and hurt customers.
Vermont's rules set an 'opt-in' standard, which requires affirmative customer consent for sharing customer data in certain instances. Financial institutions in the U.S. generally follow the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, which allows the 'opt-out' standard, meaning that unless the customer tells a bank, securities firm or insurer not to share data, the institution can do so."

For more info:,4167,STO68104_KEY241,00.html

PayPal Pulls It Off

"So PayPal brought it off, going public at $13 a share late Thursday and raising about $70 million from investors willing to believe that despite the lawsuits and lack of earnings, this IPO represents the end of the Internet recession.
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based online payments firm sold 5.4 million shares at $13 each, within the expected price range of $12 to $14 each. Lead underwriter was Salomon Smith Barney.
The stock opened Friday at $15.41 and by mid-morning had climbed to $18.51, up more than 42 percent."

For more info:,,5_975411,00.html

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POLL of the WEEK

Here are the responses from the last poll:

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

1:   53.33 %  (40 votes)
2:   25.33 %  (19 votes)
3:   13.33 %  (10 votes)
4:   4.00 %  (3 votes)
5:   1.33 %  (1 vote)
>5:   2.67 %  (2 votes)

Total votes: 75

Visit to participate in the new poll this week:

Would you rather surf the net or watch TV?

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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 Random Reboots in Windows 98 SE. Check out and click on the "Random Re-boots" topic.

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Check out these new or updated pages on the site:

Recommend PCIN

(Note: This is still being tested. It works, but is slow)

PCIN FreeHelp Forum

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Auto-Complete in Windows 2000/XP CMD.EXE

A couple of weeks ago I shared a tip on changing directories when using the DOS-type environment in Windows 2000/XP. Here is another tip.
If you have TweakUI installed, click on the "CMD" tab. You can choose a hotkey combination that will allow you to autocomplete directories and filenames when using CMD.EXE. I chose CTRL + F for filenames and CTRL + D for directories. Then, when you are using CMD.EXE, you can press either hotkey combination to "scroll" through the list of files or directories that are in the current directory. Whatever you have chosen for the filename hotkey also shows directories. The directories hotkey only shows directories.

Microsoft Keyboard Shortcuts

There are many sites that have lists of keyboard shortcuts that work with one program or another. One of the best is on the Microsoft Accessibility site. Visit and then from the dropdown list, choose the program that you are interested in. There are shortcuts for Office programs, Internet Explorer (several versions), and several versions of Windows.

Check your Security

Check out for a site that

Many of their basic services are free. More advanced, or continuing services have a small fee.

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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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Chris Empey can be reached at

Copyright 1998-2002, Graham Wing. All rights reserved.

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