Issue 205 - September 18, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2181 Subscribers in 57 Countries ====

Welcome to the 205th 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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Last call for your technology pet peeves. I've received quite a few responses, but I'm surprised that more people haven't sent their peeves in. This is your chance to vent a bit. Email me at and let me know what bugs you about computers (your email, the web, software that you use, hardware you have, etc.) or other technology.

Graham and Chris

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Chipset could give sight to the blind

"A long-held hope could be approaching reality, as researchers in the United States get closer to an eye implant designed to restore sight to the blind.
Researchers at Sandia National Labs have developed the Multiple-unit Artificial Retinal Chipset, which sits inside the eye. It is aimed at those suffering from macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, where the light-sensitive cells on the retina stop working but the nerves survive.
The project, which is funded by a $9 million, three-year grant from the Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research, is a collaboration between U.S. national research labs and universities."

For more info:

Novell blasts Microsoft licensing

"Novell on Monday blasted Microsoft's controversial software licensing plan and business practices, hoping to lure frustrated customers to its own products and services.
In a full-page advertisement in The Wall Street Journal, Novell said that Microsoft's licensing initiative 'only benefits their bottom line--and not yours.' In a white paper linked to the advertisement, the company warned that Microsoft's licensing plan locked customers into expensive upgrades.
The Provo, Utah-based software maker is embarking on an offensive against Microsoft after announcing a new pricing structure of its own earlier this month. Novell said the revamped prices would make it cheaper for large Web sites to use Novell's software, such as applications for Web-based e-mail and authentication and login services."

For more info:

Microsoft's new deal with Uncle Sam

"Why does the White House refuse to tell Microsoft to get tough on security?
On Wednesday, the Bush administration is scheduled to publish its proposal to increase the security of the Internet. Properly titled the "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace," it's said to talk with great earnestness about helping home users safeguard their computers, about thwarting online intrusions into business systems, and about providing better training to federal network administrators.
But, according to people familiar with the draft report, it pays scant attention to Microsoft, which has been responsible for more online security woes than any other company in history."

For more info:

Controversial Web Filtering Storms Schools

"As schools across the nation get settled into the academic year, students may notice something strange about accessing the Internet on campus computers, as some sites, whether pornographic or not, simply may not load.
Under the Children's Internet Protection Act, which takes affect this school year, the use of Web filters is mandated in order for most publicly funded schools to receive so-called e-rate funds for Internet access and internal connections.
While many are praising the effort to rid schools of offensive material, civil liberty groups, teachers, and students around the nation are up in arms about the filters, asserting that the software is ineffective, often blocking access to sites needed for study."

For more info:

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POLL of the WEEK

Last week I added a new poll to the web site, but I did not update the polls page so you could actually vote :-) I've since updated the page, so you can now go to and vote for this week's poll:

What steps do you take to backup your data?

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


I have winME. When I try to create a user backup using the restore cd things start out fine and then i get "error #1805 writing to image file" This may happen at 10% compete or 98% complete a which point the process quits. It used to work fine and I dont know of anything I changed. There is plenty of space in the D: partition about 7.6 gig free. If I cant fix this error how can I get rid of this partition and use this space for other stuff.


Check the volume with SCANDISK.

To post a response, visit the General Software Help forum at and click on the "error #1805" subject.

Visit to post a question of your own.

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Check out these new or updated pages on the site: Search

Some Useful Registry Tips FreeHelp Forum Update
(I've updated the forum and there is a new calendar feature. If you go and edit your profile to add your birthday, it will show up on a public calendar. Kind of neat!)

Outback Plus 3.0 Software Review

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The Debate to Turn Your Computer Off or Not

This is a common question that never seems to be answered authoritatively. Visit for some more opinions on this.

Another Computer Tips site

As I was looking through the referrer log for my site, I came across a site I had exchanged links with years ago. I checked it out, and even though there is a lot of content that is quite old, it is still very useful. is described as follows:
"Welcome to MalekTips! Learn how to save time using your computer. Enjoy some great software. Get educated with our tips and industry news. Chat with others in our tech forums. And much, much more!"

Rob van der Woude's Scripting Pages

"This site is chock-full of scripting examples, ready to be used.
The primary objective of this site, however, is to teach you how to use batch and other scripting languages yourself.
So read the explanations that are available on these HTML pages or embedded in the scripts as comments."
Check it out 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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