Issue 216 - December 04, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2240 Subscribers in 56 Countries ====

Welcome to the 216th 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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I almost have the review of Paragon's Hard Disk Manager 5.5 software done. If you haven't heard of it before, visit and read all about the different products they have. If you are looking for a replacement for Ghost, PartitionMagic, or similar hard disk partitioning/copy utilities, then you should check it out.

Lisa and I put up our Christmas lights on Saturday and then put up our tree on Sunday. Andrew just sat there in his bouncy chair and stared at all of the bright colours. He was very cute :-)

If you find any interesting/unique Christmas web sites, let me know and I'll share them with the list.

Graham and Chris

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New S.J. school gives every student a laptop

At San Jose's new Evergreen Valley High School, the idea of a computer lab is virtually obsolete.
Every student and teacher has a laptop with wireless Internet access. They can use their computers at any time during a lesson -- without leaving the classroom. And when the school day ends, they can take their laptops home.
'It's cool -- like really cool,' said Azha Simmons, a freshman.
This school -- which opened this fall to about 850 freshman and sophomore students -- is a technology model for the state. It is the only public high school in Santa Clara County, perhaps in California, to issue every student a laptop.

For more info:


Swat teams rarely visit the McMansion-covered hills above Niles Canyon in Fremont, California. So locals were amazed in April to see a dozen unmarked cars careen into the neighborhood and unleash a posse of heavily armed federal agents encased in bulletproof vests to arrest Mirza and Sameena Ali. They had allegedly pirated more than $100 million in software as the core of what Microsoft is calling 'the largest criminal conspiracy in the history of the software industry.' The Alis are the key figures in a group of 27 people arrested as part of Operation Cyberstorm, a massive investigation involving half a dozen government agencies.

For more info:

Risk of internet collapse rising

Simulated attacks on key internet hubs have shown how vulnerable the worldwide network is to disruption by disaster or terrorist action.
If an attack or disaster destroyed the major nodes of the internet, the network itself could begin to unravel, warn the scientists who carried out the simulations.
The virtual attacks showed that the net would keep going in major cities, but outlying areas and smaller towns would gradually be cut off.
The researchers warn that the net has become more vulnerable as it has become more commercialised and key net cables are concentrated in the hands of fewer organisations.

For more info:

AOL to undergo revamping

In a highly anticipated meeting with analysts Tuesday, AOL Time Warner cut the advertising and commerce outlook for its AOL division. The company maintained, however, that the decline will be offset by growth in subscriptions and that overall revenue will be flat.
According to analysts, AOL's financial housecleaning wasn't totally unexpected. AOL's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) are expected to fall 15 percent to 25 percent year over year, due largely to the drop in high-margin advertising and commerce revenue.

For more info:

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POLL of the WEEK

Last Week's Poll

How do you use Windows Update?

I install everything poll results 14.02 % (15)
I only install critical updates poll results 57.94 % (62)
I let Automatic Updates take care of it for me poll results 13.08 % (14)
I don't ever install any updates poll results 11.21 % (12)
I download MS updates from other sites poll results 3.74 % (4)
Total votes: 107

This Week's Poll

Do you find software help files to be useful?

No, I prefer a manual in my hands
No, I can never find a good answer
Yes, I use them all the time
I don't ever look for help

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The forum is currently down for maintenance. It should be back up in a day or two.

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Check out these new or updated pages on the site:

Object Desktop Software Review

LG GCE-8400B 40x 12x 40x CD-RW Hardware Review Search

Some Useful Registry Tips

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Development Help

If you are interested in some tips and tricks when it comes to building a web site, visit Most of the articles are for experts, but there are also many articles that would be appropriate for any level. 2 of the ones that I've found interesting were the articles entitled:
The Ultimate JavaScript Guide at
7 Powerfull.htaccess Customization Tips at

The Ten Commands of Word

From Word 97 for Windows for Dummies (I'll let you read the full comments in the book):

  1. Thou shalt not use spaces
  2. Thou shalt not press Enter at the end of each line
  3. Thou shalt not neglect thy keyboard
  4. Thou shalt not reset or turn off thine PC until thou quittest Word and Windows
  5. Thou shalt not manually number thy pages
  6. Thou shalt not use the Enter key to start a new page
  7. Thou shalt not quit without saving first
  8. Thou shalt not press OK too quickly
  9. Thou shalt not forget to turn on thy printer
  10. Thou shalt not forget to back up thy work

Open Source Software

If you are looking for excellent open source software (free to use), then check out The stats program that I use for my web sites is from there. It is called AWStats and can be found at A CD ripping program I like called CDex can be found at
Check out to see what you can find.

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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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