Issue 207 - October 02, 2002

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

Welcome to the 207th 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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We're now into October and the last couple of days have been about 30° C. I had turned my air conditioner off a week or so ago, but had to put it back on. The beautiful days seem to be good for Andrew as he is growing like a weed! I'll have some new pictures up soon. I'll also have pictures of the deck I built at the front of our house. My Dad and a friend at church helped me and it looks great!

Next week's issue won't be a regular issue. I will send out the pet peeves that I was asking for a few weeks ago. If you decided you wanted to share some of your technology pet peeves, you can still email me at

Graham and Chris

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Court to decide wireless health risks

"A federal court on Monday handed the wireless industry a victory in its efforts to fight claims that mobile telephones pose a health risk, dismissing expert testimony in a key lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake dismissed the testimony and scientific evidence offered by a Maryland doctor, Christopher Newman, who filed an $800 million lawsuit against Motorola, alleging its cellular phone caused him to have brain cancer."

For more info:

Web shoppers' new option: Bill me later

"Instead of paying for purchases with a credit card, some online consumers now have another option: a 'bill me later' button.
Some seven Internet merchants, including, have been testing the new feature, which was developed by start-up company I4 Commerce, since earlier this year.
On Tuesday, payment-processing company CyberSource announced that it has integrated the 'bill me later' feature into its service and has begun marketing it to its merchant clients, which include Home Depot, and Nike."

For more info:

New Software Quietly Diverts Sales Commissions

"Some popular online services are using a new kind of software to divert sales commissions that would otherwise be paid to small online merchants by big sites like Amazon and eToys.
Critics call the software parasite-ware and stealware. But the sites that use the software, which is made by nearly 20 companies and used by dozens, say that it is perfectly legal, because their users agree to the diversion."

For more info:

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POLL of the WEEK

Last Week's Poll

How often do you "rebuild" your computer (install the OS from scratch)?

All the time 7.97 % (11)
Every few months 13.04 % (18)
Once every 6 months 13.04 % (18)
Once a year 31.88 % (44)
Never 34.06 % (47)
Total votes: 138

This Week's Poll

Why do you rebuild your computer?

I like to keep it neatly organized
I test a lot of software
Frequent crashes
Increase performance
To avoid XP activation
Other reason

Visit to vote on the web site rather than from here.

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


I have excel on one of my computers, I would like to have it on another one. I lost the installation CD. I have a CD burner on the computer that has Excel. Is there some way to make a CD of Excel from the computer that has Excel on it? and then use the CD to put Excel on the other computer?


No. Excel must be installed using the Office Setup program. It requires the MSI installer (Windows Installer) to integrate with the system.

To post a response, visit the General Software Help forum at and click on the "MS Excel" topic.

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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Strong Passwords

There is a lot of concern these days with data security. Whether it is virus attacks, capturing data transmitted on the web, or unknowingly allowing access to your personal PC while online, most people are worried. Your first line of defense should be a solid password scheme. A good password will be at least 8 characters long, not contain words (most password cracking software will use a dictionary brute force attack) and contain a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols. It is a good idea to mix in upper case and lower case letters as well. Along with this, you should regularly change your password. How important your data will determine how you set your passwords, and how often you change them. There is a good article showing how more complex passwords are harder to crack at

Car Shopping

Lisa and I are starting to think that we need a second car. I work about 20 minutes from home, and when she needs the car, she has to take me to work and then come home, then pick me up at the end of the day. No big deal, but it would be nice if we had a second car. So as we've started looking, we've collected some links to some useful car sites:

Stopping Spam

I'm sure many of you subscribe to the LangaList, a newsletter by well-known computer technical writer Fred Langa. He writes for Information Week magazine online, and has a good article about ways to stop junk mail. 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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Graham Wing can be reached at
Chris Empey can be reached at

Copyright 1998-2002, Graham Wing. All rights reserved.

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