Issue 178 - March 13, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2310 Subscribers in 60 Countries ====

Welcome to the 178th 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.

Recommend PCIN at

Support PCIN at



Don't forget about the next special issue. For the next several weeks, I will be asking people for their "success" stories that only happened because of the Internet. Did you meet your true love online? Have you left your "regular" job behind and made money online? Did you find that long-lost relative? Have you been able to learn more about a hobby then you ever dreamed possible? Send your thoughts and comments to

As always, there were some more updates to the site this week. Check back often, and be sure to recommend PCIN to others :-)

Graham and Chris

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AOL embraces Linux and Mozilla, plans to drop MS Explorer

"Sources inside AOL and Red Hat say AOL is making a major internal switch to Linux, and the long-rumored AOL default browser switch from Microsoft's Internet Explorer to Mozilla -- or at least Mozilla's Gecko rendering engine -- is well under way, but AOL will probably not offer an AOL client for Linux in the foreseeable future.
According to several Red Hat and AOL employees who spoke to NewsForge but asked us not to use their names, recent negotiations between AOL and Red Hat that led to rumors about AOL considering a Red Hat acquisition were really negotiations for support contracts that will help AOL use Linux more effectively."

For more info:

One Settlement Over One-Click

"Online retailing giant and rival bookseller Barnes & Inc. have settled a patent infringement lawsuit over the technology behind the one-click checkout system for Internet shoppers.
The action was begun back in 1999 when Seattle-based Amazon sued B&N, alleging that its checkout technology, which allows customers store their credit card and shipping information for faster purchasing, had been infringed."

For more info:,,4_987061,00.html

Hacking with a Pringles tube

"Empty cans of Pringles crisps could be helping malicious hackers spot wireless networks that are open to attack.
Security company i-sec has demonstrated that a directional antenna made with a Pringles can significantly improves the chances of finding the wireless computer networks being used in London's financial district."

For more info:

Napster judge to labels: Prove it

"A federal judge gave the record labels suing Napster until Thursday to produce documents proving they own the copyrights to 213 songs that once traded for free over the song-swap service.
U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ordered the labels to provide certificates of copyright registration, or applications for such proof, for top-selling artists such as the Beatles and Elvis Presley."

For more info:

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POLL of the WEEK

Here are the responses from the last poll:

When at work how much of your Internet access is for personal use?

0%    24.07 % (13)
10%   22.22 % (12)
20%    9.26 %  (5)
30%    3.70 %  (2)
40%    1.85 %  (1)
50%    3.70 %  (2)
60%    5.56 %  (3)
70%    1.85 %  (1)
80%    3.70 %  (2)
90%    9.26 %  (5)
100%  14.81 %  (8)

Total votes: 54

Visit to participate in the new poll this week:

How comfortable are you buying items online?

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


Recently installed Win XP upgrade. Now, for some reason, when I boot up with everything displayed on screen, I then try to connect to my ISP and have no success. Most of the time, I can't get the start to open. Everything seems to be locked. Then if I do a CTRL-ALT-DEL, and I can get it to work. Right after I installed XP, it worked fine - now this problem.


Have you installed any new software or hardware recently? It is possible that something is starting and not properly releasing control of the interface. Maybe something loading then minimizing itself to the system tray?

If you have a suggestion, visit the General Discussion forum at and click on the "Win XP - After boot up, can't connect to ISP" subject.

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Check out these new or updated pages on the site:

Avocent SwitchView KVM Switch Hardware Review

Connectix Virtual PC 4.2 Software Review

PurgeIE 4.04 Software Review

Recommend PCIN

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Windows File Associations

There are many sites out there that help you determine which program is used to open which file type. I've had a listing available on the web site for a while now at that lists several of these sites. With Windows XP, Microsoft started to introduce some .NET features, and one of these is a file type lookup. Visit and you will find out about a program that may open a DAT file. You can replace the DAT with the file extension of your choice.

Optical Illusions

Visit to view some interesting optical illusions

Connectix Virtual PC 4.2 Review

Virtual PC 4.2 by Connectix enables you to run more than a single operating system on one computer simultaneously. This is a great way to test new software, determine how a website looks on other platforms or give you a way to experiment without worrying about messing up your main operating system. With Virtual PC, you can easily make a copy of your guest OS, make changes to the operating system or software installed in the guest OS, and not have to worry about a complete rebuild if something goes wrong.

Connectix released and update for Virtual PC just after this review was complete. Virtual PC 4.3 can be downloaded as an update or trial from

Check out the full review online at

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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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Graham Wing can be reached at
Chris Empey can be reached at

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