Issue 187 - May 15, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2320 Subscribers in 56 Countries ====

Welcome to the 187th 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!

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Latest privacy threat: Monitor glow

"Law enforcement and intelligence agents may have a new tool to read the data displayed on a suspect's computer monitor, even when they can't see the screen.
Marcus Kuhn, an associate professor at Cambridge University in England, presented research Monday showing how anybody with a brawny PC, a special light detector and some lab hardware could reconstruct what a person sees on the screen by catching the reflected glow from the monitor.
The results surprised many security researchers gathered here at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) Symposium on Security and Privacy because they had assumed that discerning such detail was impossible."

For more info:

RealNames Shuts Down, Blaming Microsoft

RealNames Corp., a pioneering provider of an alternative to the domain-name system, said it would shut down, pinning the blame on Microsoft for declining to renew a key contract with the company.
The Redwood City, Calif.-based company said it laid off its 83 employees and began the process of liquidating its assets. The move came after Microsoft decided not to renew its contract with RealNames, which was the exclusive provider of keywords for the Internet Explorer browser. The function allowed a user to type in a company name, for instance, instead of trying to remember if its official Internet address. A Web user looking for General Electric would simply type the name, instead of

For more info:,,8_1121101,00.html

For Old Parts, NASA Boldly Goes . . . on eBay

NASA needs parts no one makes anymore.
So to keep the shuttles flying, the space agency has begun trolling the Internet - including Yahoo and eBay - to find replacement parts for electronic gear that would strike a home computer user as primitive.
Officials say the agency recently bought a load of outdated medical equipment so it could scavenge Intel 8086 chips - a variant of those chips powered I.B.M.'s first personal computer, in 1981."

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E*Trade CEO Gives Back Pay

Runaway executive compensation has been an issue with shareholders for years at many American companies, and finally a CEO has bowed to the pressure and tied his pay solely to company performance - but not without a little prodding.
The boss at E*Trade Financial Inc. (NASDAQ:ET), Chairman and CEO Christos M. Cotsakos, is actually giving back a $21 million chunk of last year's compensation.
Of course, the company's news release on the matter followed the publication of a Wall Street Journal story on Cotsakos saying that he is "the highest-paid chief executive in the brokerage business, with a pay package valued at about $80 million."

For more info:,,4_1107851,00.html

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POLL of the WEEK

Here are the responses from the last poll:

How many junk emails do you get a day?

None      10.14 % (7)
1 or 2     7.25 % (5)
3 - 6     15.94 % (11)
7 - 10    10.14 % (7)
10 - 20   14.49 % (10)
> 20      42.03 % (29)

Total votes: 69

Visit to participate in the new poll this week:

Are you more or less interested in computers than you were a year ago?

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


I have found the thumbnail view to be very usefull in windows 98
but recently it has stopped showing most of the graphics files and only showing htm and bmp as the thumbnails.
can some one please help as I use this feature a lot to find photos quickly and now for some reason I cannot view them in thumbnail view so have to use paintshop pro to browse them.


It's obvious it's your jpeg association that's been messed up.
Firstly, go to start, run and type regedit then ok. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and scroll through the folders to the JPG one and select it. In the right hand pane, double click the value name 'default', and in the edit string box which appears, change the value data to 'jpegfile'. Click ok. Repeat this for the folders, JPE and JPEG. Exit registry and reboot for changes to take effect.
If still no luck, then go to start, run and type regsvr32.exe /i shdocvw.dll then press enter.

To post a different suggestion, visit the Software Forum at and click on the "windows 98 thumbnail view" subject.

Visit to post a question of your own.

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Check out these new or updated pages on the site:

Updated FreeHelp Forum

Updated Registry Tips (now 131)

New and Improved Links section

pdf995 Software Review

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Modem Help

One of the problems with getting OEM products is that since they aren't "brand name", it can be hard to find updated drivers. I was recently looking for drivers, and all I could find was the chipset number. I couldn't tell who the manufacturer was. When I was looking for the drivers, I found a very good web site at You can find the web sites of many manufacturers, and also identify modems by the chipset.

Javascript Games

"You've arrived at the best collection of Javascript games on the Net! These games will all run inside your web browser, so there's no downloading or installing to be done; just find a game you wish to play and it'll appear just like any other web page. You can also rate games you've played by visiting a game's info page!"

PC Magazine's Registry Robot

"The Windows Registry is the repository for virtually every setting on your system. You can access many of these through Control Panel applets or utilities. But to change others you must edit the Registry directly, and this can be dangerous. If you make a mistake in applying a tweak, you can cause problems instead of solving them. And unless you remember to back up the branch of the Registry that you're editing, you may not be able to undo the tweak.
This issue's utility, RegistryRobot, provides a safe interface for working with dozens of Registry settings that you cannot change through built-in Windows utilities. Only tweaks that relate to your operating system and Internet Explorer version display. The tweaks appear in a tree structure organized by category and include descriptive text so you know what the effect of each adjustment will be. And if you don't like the result of a tweak, you can easily undo it."
You can read more about it and download it at,2997,s=1476&a=26474,00.asp

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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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