Issue 190 - June 05, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2330 Subscribers in 57 Countries ====

Welcome to the 190th 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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It seems that my web site hosting company, Cedant, has switched providers and servers, and so they will be moving my site to the new server sometime in the next few weeks. My father's and Chris' sites are hosted there as well and they have already moved. It looks like a bumpy ride, so if you visit the web site and at some time in the next couple of weeks you get all sorts of errors, just be patient. The switchover to the new server will force me to update all sorts of pages on the site. It will also mean a new mailing list. Hopefully it won't be too much of a problem.

Lately I've had a few people ask me how the mailing list is run, who has access to it, etc. Chris and I are the only ones who have access to the raw mailing list files. I am the only one who can send email to the list. No one else can. Let me state that again... no one else can. If someone hacked into my server, they would have access to everything on PCIN, and most likely everything from every other web site on the server. That has not happened, and certainly hope it doesn't happen. When the mailing list is sent out, it is sent out to all 2300+ people at once, but no one ever sees the email addresses of anyone else on the list. In fact, if you look in the headers of this message, you won't even see your own email address. We never send out viruses. We never send out junk mail (spam). We never let anyone see anyone else's email addresses. We don't see the mailing list names. PCIN is strictly here to help people, and we do our best. You may receive emails that say that they are from me or Chris, but they are not. It is quite amazing the way viruses and spammers can spoof return addresses, generate random addresses, and generally make it very difficult for people to track them down. If you ever have any questions regarding the privacy of the newsletter or how it is sent out, email either of us.

Graham and Chris

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One-Finger Check-Out

"Christopher Conrad cuts off telemarketers on the phone, regularly reminds direct-mail associations to keep him off their lists and diligently opts out of mass e-mail lists.
But the Seattle commercial photographer didn't hesitate to give his fingerprint, credit card information and phone number to a company he had never heard of.
Conrad is one of the 2,000-plus customers of a Thriftway grocery store in West Seattle who signed up in a pilot program run by Oakland, Calif.-based Indivos Corp. that links customers' fingerprints with their credit or debit cards, allowing them to buy groceries by simply running a finger over a scanner."

For more info:

Court Overturns Law Mandating Internet Filters for Public Libraries

"A federal court panel struck down a law requiring libraries to filter the Internet for material harmful to minors yesterday, saying that the technology blocks so much unobjectionable material that it would violate the First Amendment rights of library patrons."

For more info:

I.B.M. Gets Contract for Weather Supercomputer

"As part of an effort to close a growing gap facing United States scientists in weather prediction, the government awarded I.B.M. a $224.4 million contract today to build a powerful new supercomputer.
The machine, which is planned to reach a theoretical peak speed of more than 100 trillion calculations a second by 2009, will be used to increase the accuracy of forecasts of weather, floods and ocean conditions by National Centers for Environmental Prediction, part of the National Weather Service."

For more info:

FBI gets new Web searching powers

"The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) loosened restrictions on domestic spying Thursday, giving U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents broad new authorities to search the Web and monitor public arenas in an effort to fight terrorism.
The new guidelines, announced by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, allow agents to surf the Web and access other publicly available information in search for terrorist plot clues."

For more info:

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POLL of the WEEK

Here are the responses from the last poll:

When on vacation this year, will take a vacation of your email and the Internet?

No way! I can't live without my email.     29.63 % (16)
I might check it once while I'm gone.      35.19 % (19)
Yes! I need a technology vacation.         35.19 % (19)

Total votes: 54

Visit to participate in the new poll this week:

How many viruses do you encounter each day?

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


I have Internet Explorer 6.0 . In Internet explorer no background images are appearing. As well as the size of boxes (Where we write ID and passwords) is bigger now as it is looking ugly.


You may have tuned off the image download option in Internet Explorer.
You can find the setting under
Tools menu > Internet Options > {Advanced} tab > *Multimedia section* > [ ] Show Images
Check this box to enable images to be displayed and downloaded. You will have to Refresh the page for the changes to take effect.

To change the size of form fields back to normal, adjust the global appearance of all windows.
From the desktop: Start Menu > Settings > Control Panel, then Display Settings > {Appearance} tab > under the Style: section select Windows Standard from the pull-down menu and click [OK].
Note: This will change back the colour preferences of all windows to the default: blue on grey.

To post a response, visit the Software forum at and click on the "Background Images" 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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Web Site Tools

Subscriber and co-worker Pat Clary shared this with me. Visit for some search engine marketing tools. There is a Link Popularity check (how many people link to your site), a search engine verification check (how many search engines have you listed in the first 3 pages for a specific term), and a search index count (how many of your pages are indexed by that search engine). If you have your own web site, these can be useful tools in determining how popular your site is compared to other sites.

Restaurant Web Sites: More than just food

Most major restaurant chains have a web site. But these web sites are not just for finding out where outlets are or getting company information. Many of the sites have these useful features, as well as opportunities to order online, and to play games. Visit some of these nice web sites:

Outback Steakhouse
Chuck E Cheese
Red Robin
Mc Donald's
Cracker Barrel

Windows IT Library

Visit the Windows &.NET Magazine Network's Windows IT Library for books online. There are 38 books available. Many of them are very "techie", but you may find Undocumented Windows NT, 1001 Secrets for Windows NT Registry, and The Microsoft Outlook E-Mail and Fax Guide useful. You can find the books 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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Chris Empey can be reached at

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