Issue 184 - April 24, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2319 Subscribers in 55 Countries ====

Welcome to the 184th 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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Sometimes I contact a company to ask for a product to review and I don't here anything from them. Other times I receive a short, abrupt email telling me they aren't interesting, and other times I end up corresponding with a pleasant person who is willing, and sometimes even eager to help. Such is the case with VMWare. As I mentioned before, I have been corresponding with Amber Rowland who has kept me up to date on the software, any press releases regarding the software, and is supplying me with the requested software.

Earlier this week I went to the Microsoft site to find out how to request some hardware products to review. I found that in Canada, High Road Communications, a PR firm, handles those requests. I contacted Hugh Scholey and he replied to me within 30 minutes. He referred me to his co-worker Lesley Sturla, and she has been just as accommodating.

What a difference that makes! Many of you email me asking about certain products. Why would I recommend a product when the company either hasn't replied to me, or isn't interested in letting me do a review? Just because a company lets me review their product doesn't mean that I will recommend their product, but if they have a good product, I will do everything I can to let people know that not only is their product good, but it is a good company to deal with. That means a lot to me.

Graham and Chris

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Canceling your Internet service: The hassle of cutting the cord

"With free diskettes and discounts everywhere, Internet providers like America Online and Juno make it a snap to sign up. But just try canceling."

For more info:

Yahoo yodeler sues over trademark cry

"Wylie Gustafson, whose Yahoo yodel captured the freewheeling spirit of the popular Internet portal in TV and radio ads, has filed a $5 million lawsuit, claiming he has not been paid for the continued use of his voice.
Gustafson, founder of the Wylie & the Wild West country band, said in a statement Thursday that he was hired in 1996 to create and record the signature yodel for Yahoo's first television commercial.
He was paid $590 for his performance with the understanding his yodel would be used only for that specific commercial, he said. The company never told him his stylized vocal arc would be used in thousands of subsequent commercials, he said."

For more info:

"Wylie Gustafson can really shout 'Yahoo!' now.
The cowboy yodeler from Dusty, Wash., has settled his copyright infringement lawsuit against Internet giant Yahoo for using his distinctive yodel in its national advertising.

For more info:

'Video Voyeurism' Bill Would Segregate Porn Sites

"Adult Web sites would be relegated to an online red-light district under legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.
The measure offered by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., would instruct the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to set up a new domain name - such as 'dot-prn' - for pornographic Web sites. Owners of adult sites would have 12 months to move their businesses following the creation of the new domain."

For more info:

HP sacked worker after info leak

"Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) has terminated the employment of a worker who admitted leaking two company memos to the media in violation of company policy, according to an internal e-mail passed to journalists.
The company is continuing its investigation into unauthorized distribution of confidential company information, according to the e-mail, which was sent to HP employees by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina on Wednesday."

For more info:

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POLL of the WEEK

Here are the responses from the last poll:

Do you have an MP3 player (other than your computer)?

Yes 20.00 %       (13)
No 75.38 %        (49)
What's MP3? 4.62 % (3)

Total votes: 65

Visit to participate in the new poll this week:

Which Chat Client Do You Use?

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


I recently bought a used 17" monitor that was working. after about a week when I turn it on there is a flash on the screen then it goes black. Can this be repaired?


First check that your Video Card is functioning correctly and that the computer is powered on, as many newer monitors will not stay on without a video signal.
Try the monitor on another PC.
If this doesn't work then check the connections and cords for damage and try substitutes.
If this still doesn't fix it then there's a problem with the monitor.
Repairs for monitors can be expensive running from $50 CAN to $150 CAN, depending on what the problem is.
Usually loose wires and connections are cheaper to repair, while controller boards are more expansive to replace. The most expensive repair is a CRT tube replacement which can get very pricey, and at the cost of used monitors these days it doesn't make much sense to spend any money extra. So if it's a broken monitor that's used, you're much be better off just sucking it up and buying another.
Remember to properly dispose of your monitor at a monitor recycling facility.
A CRT Tube contain a lot of Lead and other heavy metals which are harmful to our environment if not properly disposed.

To post a different suggestion, visit and click on the "monitor problems" subject.

Visit to post a question of your own.

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Check out these new or updated pages on the site:

Updated Registry Tips (now 129)

pdf995 Software Review

CuteZIP Software Review

Annotis Mail 1.1 Software Review

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Creating Lines in Word

Word can quickly create fancy lines for you. At the beginning of a new paragraph type one of the following sets of keystrokes followed by the enter key to create one of six fancy lines. Try them out to see how the look!

--- (3 dashes)
___ (3 underscores)
*** (3 asterisks)
=== (3 equal signs)
~~~ (3 tildes)
### (3 pound symbols)

pdf995 Software Review

PDF files are one of the best ways to share documents where formatting and layout are important. Up until recently though, creating PDF files required expensive software. It is now possible to create PDF files for free using pdf995. This software allows you to 'print' your documents to PDF files, sign and encrypt them, add watermarks and even combine multiple PDF's.

View the full review online at

NASBA Weblinks

There is a short list of technical support websites at Registration at the site (The Association of System Builders and Integrators) is free, but required to view the page.

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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

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