Issue 191 - June 12, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2319 Subscribers in 57 Countries ====

Welcome to the 191st 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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As I mentioned last week, my web site hosting company, Cedant, was going to be moving my web site from one server to another. Well, they did it very suddenly last Thursday, and it wasn't done very well. There was 24-36 hours where you couldn't really do or see a whole lot on the site. Everything has been working fine for the last several days though. One big change though is that the mailing list server has changed. I'm sending this out hoping that it will work properly. We'll see.

I don't think I lost any email in the switch over, but if you've emailed me and I haven't responded, please try again. Also, please remember that if you have a problem that you need help with, please do not email me directly. Post your question on the FreeHelp Forum and since there are almost 300 other people who can post answers.

Graham and Chris

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Can PCs Get Any Cheaper?

"While price battles between chipmakers Intel and AMD have many consumers hoping that PC prices will drop even lower than their current bargain levels, analysts say that other factors, such as the high cost of memory, make deep price cuts like last year's unlikely.
But PC makers are still in the throes of a demand slump for desktop and mobile computers, and some experts say there may be room for cuts -- and other good deals -- during the coming holiday season."

For more info:

Old code in Windows is security threat

"Microsoft will more quickly retire old code in its Windows operating system and other software as a result of the company's four-month-old "trustworthy computing" initiative, the company's lead bug basher said in an interview.
The revelation follows last week's warning that a serious vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer occurred in the software supporting a decade-old protocol that has rarely been used since the World Wide Web became popular."

For more info:

Not the real Slim Shady

"Are the fake MP3s popping up on file-sharing networks part of the recording industry's war on piracy, or just the latest in music marketing?
As any user of file-sharing services can attest, downloading music online is often more labor than love, thanks to files that are mistakenly labeled, cut off in midsong or of poor quality. But the altered Eminem tracks currently littering the file-sharing landscape are no accident."

For more info:

The Scourge Of Software Piracy

"Software piracy is on the rise around the world, costing U.S. software developers $11 billion in lost revenue last year, according to a study released this week.
'Things are not good,' says Bob Kruger, vice president of enforcement for the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a non-profit corporation representing business software publishers in 65 countries. 'Two out of every five software programs are pirated. The loss figure understates the economic impact of this problem because it doesn't include the tens of thousands of jobs that were lost or not created. It doesn't include the billions of dollars in taxable wages that would have been generated. It impacts software developers but it also impacts the broader economy.'"

For more info:,,11979_1364231,00.html

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POLL of the WEEK

Here are the responses from the last poll:

How many viruses do you encounter each day?

None    73.08 % (57)
1 - 5   19.23 % (15)
6 - 10   2.56 % (2)
10 - 15  0.00 % (0)
15 - 20  1.28 % (1)
> 20     3.85 % (3)

Total votes: 78

Visit to participate in the new poll this week:

What antivirus software do you use?

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


I have windows xp and I was wondering if there was a way to schedule an automatic shutdown, like after the computer has been idle for say, 2 hours.....? Also is it bad that the computer stays on 24/7?


There is no problem with leaving your computer on.
If you want to shut it down automatically, visit and try some of the suggestions there.

To post a response, visit the How-To... forum at and click on the "Automatic shutdown???" 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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7 Steps to Personal Computing Security

Visit the security section of the Microsoft web site at and find out about the "7 Steps to Personal Computing Security."

Quick Notes

There are lots of utilities that act like "sticky" notes on your computer desktop. You can quickly type some notes and have them saved automatically. Outlook also has a Notes feature.
I've found that the easiest thing to do is to right-click on the desktop, choose New and then pick almost anything from that list. The "new" item will be on the desktop waiting for you to type in a file name. Remember that from Windows 95 and later, filenames can be 255 characters long and can have some symbols in them. You may find that making your note the file name will be fine for you.

"Magic" Fixes

Well-known PC columnist Fred Langa recently wrote a column for InformationWeek that went over some "magic" fixes for some computer problems. By magic he meant things that you wouldn't think of doing because they don't make sense, but when you do them, it fixes the problem. You can read Fred's column at to see a couple of the things that have helped him over time. After reading the article, be sure to check out their forum to see what some of the readers submitted.

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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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