Issue 181 - April 03, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2296 Subscribers in 56 Countries ====

Welcome to the 181st 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



The other day I had an opportunity to speak to with Amber Rowland and Brian Bohlig of VMWare. They gave me a pre-briefing on the upcoming release of VMWare Workstation 3.1. Both of them were very kind and a pleasure to talk with. Chris had done a review of Virtual PC by Connectix a couple of weeks ago, and was in the process of reviewing VMWare when Amber told us that there would be a new release soon. Version 3.1 includes support for newer operating systems, an updated installer, and something called "repeatable resume". This allows you to always start your virtual machine at the same spot. It looks very interesting. Once we get the new version, Chris and I will get the review done as soon as possible. Thanks Amber and Brian for your help!

Speaking of reviews... Look for some reviews of products by GlobalSCAPE and PDF995 soon.

Graham and Chris

Return to the top


Virtual Keyboard Is The Real Thing

"Typing into mobile devices is usually awkward at best. Jerusalem startup VKB says it's found a way to eliminate finger cramping with a virtual keyboard.
Using laser technology, a bright red image of a keyboard is projected from a handheld or other device onto a flat surface. An optical-recognition device detects which "keys" the fingers hit. It's designed to support any typing speed, says Amichai Turm, co-founder and chief technology officer of VKB, which plans to sell licenses and components to mobile-device makers whose main concerns are size, weight, and power consumption."

For more info:

Anti-Unix site powered by Unix

"A Web site sponsored by Microsoft and Unisys as a way to steer big companies away from the Unix operating system is itself powered by Unix software.
The site, dubbed "We have the way out," runs on Web servers powered by FreeBSD, an open-source version of Unix, along with the Unix-based Web server Apache, according to Netcraft, which tracks Web site information. Both pieces of software compete with Microsoft's Windows operating system. The Microsoft/Unisys site solicits names and contact information in exchange for research reports on data center trends."

For more info:

U.S., Canada to Go After Spammers

"The United States and Canada are planning to get tough on deceptive spam and Internet fraud. On Tuesday, state, federal and Canadian officials are expected to raise the curtain on an international law enforcement initiative targeting those areas.
J. Howard Beales, director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, together with Washington Attorney General Christine O. Gregoire, Washington State Department of Financial Institutions Securities Division Director Deborah Bortner, and FTC Northwest Region Director Charles Harwood are expected to introduce the new 'international netforce.'"

For more info:,,3_1001711,00.html

Codeweavers runs Office without Windows

"Hoping to break down one the biggest barriers to acceptance of Linux on the desktop, Codeweavers unveiled software that allows corporate users to run Microsoft Office and Lotus Notes without a Windows operating system.
The product, called CrossOver Office, eliminates the need for a Windows operating systems license as well as a Windows emulator which, traditionally, have tended to weigh down the speed and performance of desktop applications."

For more info:

Return to the top

POLL of the WEEK

Here are the responses from the last poll:

Which auction site do your prefer?

eBay:                63.41 % (26)
Yahoo! Auctions:      2.44 % (1) Auctions:  2.44 % (1)
Other:               31.71 % (13)

Total votes: 41

Visit to participate in the new poll this week:

What is the most you've ever spent to win an online auction?

Return to the top


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


I am running W98 SP2 and would like to install Windows XP Professional. I do not want to 'upgrade', instead i want to reformat the HD and start fresh.
Could someone detail the steps for doing this?
Please tell me what is the best way to backup my current data, drivers, software (such as my comcast software)?
Please also include the 'traps', like how do i get all the drivers back and what problems might i encounter, which i don't even know enough to ask what those are!
I have a Dell Dimension XPS T600Mhz Pentium III w/ MMX & 256K Cache,128MB SDRAM and 20.4GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive.


There have been many good responses to this. Visit and click on the "How do i install a new OS?" subject.

Return to the top UPDATE

Check out these new or updated pages on the site:

Annotis Mail 1.1 Software Review

Avocent SwitchView KVM Switch Hardware Review

Connectix Virtual PC 4.2 Software Review

PurgeIE 4.04 Software Review

Return to the top


Old Control Panel Items

The items that show up in the Control Panel have a file extension of CPL. You can find these in the c:\winnt\system32 (WinNT/2K/XP) or c:\windows\system folder. Occasionally you'll end up with an icon in the Control Panel that you don't want, either because you don't have the program installed anymore or you just don't want someone going in and making any changes. To remove the icon from the Control Panel, do a search for all files in the folders mentioned above that end in CPL and move them someplace else. When you open the Control Panel, you shouldn't see those icons. If you've accidentally moved the wrong CPL file, then move it back. If you moved the right CPL file, and you're sure that you don't need it anymore, then feel free to delete it from where you moved it.

Upgrading to the Next Version

Subscriber and friend Marg Pinard sent this in:

Wife 1.0 Just Released

Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 and noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a lot of new space and valuable resources. No mention of this phenomenon was included in the product brochure.
In addition, Wife 1.0 installs itself into all other programs and launches during system initialization, where it monitors all other system activity. Applications such as Poker Night 10.3, Drunken Boys Night 2.5 and Saturday Football 5.0 no longer run, crashing the system whenever selected.
I cannot seem to keep wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run some of my other favorite applications. I am thinking about going back to Girlfriend 7.0, but the uninstall does not work on this program.
Can you please help me !!!???

This is a very common problem men complain about, but is mostly due to a primary misconception. Many people upgrade from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 with the idea that Wife 1.0 is merely a UTILITIES & ENTERTAINMENT program. Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and designed by its creator to run everything.
It is unlikely you would be able to purge Wife 1.0 and still convert back to Girlfriend 7.0. Hidden operating files within your system would cause girlfriend 7.0 to emulate Wife 1.0 so nothing is gained. It is impossible to uninstall, delete, or purge the program files from the system once installed. You cannot go back to Girlfriend 7.0 because Wife 1.0 is not designed to do this.
Some have tried to install Girlfriend 8.0 or Wife 2.0 but end up with more problems than the original system. Look in your manual under "Warnings- Alimony/Child support". I recommend you keep Wife 1.0 and deal with the situation.
I suggest installing background application program C:\YES DEAR to alleviate software augmentation. Having installed Wife 1.0 myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding General Partnership Faults (GPFs). You must assume all responsibility for faults and problems that might occur, regardless of their cause.
The best course of action will be to enter the command C:\APOLOGIZE. In any case avoid excessive use of C:\YES DEAR because ultimately you may have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the operating system will return to normal. The system will run smoothly as long as you take the blame for all the GPFs.
Wife 1.0 is a great program, but very high-maintenance. Consider buying additional software to improve the performance of Wife 1.0. I recommend Flowers 3.1 and Diamonds 2K. Do not, under any circumstances install Secretary with Short Skirt 3.3. This is not a supported application for Wife 1.0 and is likely to cause irreversible damage to the operating system.
Best of Luck,
Tech Support

Saving Data

In organizing my hard drive, I always partition it into at least two separate partitions. One I use for data only. I store all of my files on this partition. In doing so, when the need arises for a restore, I have very little work to do. There may be some programs that have stored items in a set location (such as Microsoft Outlook and it's data files.) I simply need to copy a few files from my main drive to my data drive and I am ready for a rebuild. This technique has saved me a lot of time in doing frequent rebuilds. I also like to keep a copy of all the latest drivers on this drive to aid in the speed of a rebuild. (Chris)

Return to the top


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.

  1. If any of the links are too long to fit on one line, you may have to cut and paste.
  2. You can only win one contest every 30 days.
  3. To subscribe another address or unsubscribe, please visit and follow the appropriate links.
  4. Recommend PCIN to others at and be entered in a monthly draw.
  5. There are only 2 ways to get on the subscriber list. You have either been subscribed by filling out a subscription form on any of the pages on my site, or you have requested FreeHelp from me in the past.
  6. If you have a web site or run your own newsletter, please email me at and I will add it to the subscriber web pages that I have on my site.
  7. Support PCIN by visiting

Return to the top

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

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

This publication may be reproduced in whole, or in part, as long as the author is notified and the newsletter is presented as is.

Support PCIN by visiting

PC Improvement News Home Page

PC Improvement News Archive