Feb 1996 Letters

Our 2,000 Tips issue inspired many to share their favorite tips.
Meanwhile, the debate on regulating the Internet continues in
Congress and among our readers.

Tips Are On the Money

I found a tip in your 2,000 Tips issue (November 21, 1995) that will save me about $500 this year. I live in a rural area where connection to online services requires either the use of long distance or the AOL 800 number at 6 cents per minute. But now I can use a local Internet connection to connect to AOL, which allows me to bypass the long distance fees.

Rosemarie M. Lieffring, via America Online

I just finished reading your unbeatable 2,000 Tips issue and I realized I needed help remembering all of them. So I thought, why not use Windows' Help Annotate feature? Click on Help/Contents and choose any of the subjects, then choose Options and then Annotate. Now I've got two dozen of my favorite tips right at my fingertips.

Gerry Leone via the Internet

After reading your 2,000 Tips issue, I wanted to offer a Win95 tip that I have found extremely useful: You bought Win95, but haven't had the time (or money) to upgrade your legacy Windows 3.1 apps. However, you want to use this cool new feature of long filenames. Instead of placing the documents in folders, treat them as though they were applications and only put shortcuts in the folder. The shortcut can have as long a name as you like, yet the long filename will go undisturbed by your legacy app. You can also place shortcuts on your desktop to perform a function such as unzipping.

John Rudy via America Online

I noticed an error in your 2,000 Tips issue. You show a few lines to add to an AUTOEXEC.BAT file that would allow you to have a choice of booting to DOS or Windows. While the lines and words may be correct, I'd certainly have typed them incorrectly into my AUTOEXEC file if I didn't know better. The correct way to type this is to make sure the ": @echo ..." line, the pause and the win are separate line entries in the file.

Larry Wolfe via America Online

I was perusing the 2,000 Tips issue when a glaring mistake caught my eye. In the Operating Systems section, Windows 3.x was listed. Last time I checked my system, DOS was the operating system and Windows 3.x, an operating environment, was an application running in DOS. And to set the record straight, DOS is still the primary operating system for Windows 95. Microsoft has just been giving the public propaganda for the last few years.

Brian S. Paskin via the Internet

More on Exon

At least one of your readers is in full agreement with Sen. Exon (Dialog Box, October 1995). I'd also like to say that I appreciate WINDOWS Magazine's advertising policy, which doesn't fill pages with ads for adult (pornographic) software. I have now quit reading both PC Magazine and PC Computing for that very reason. Although my children are all over 18, I still appreciate having a good computer magazine that won't provide that kind of material to other children. It's a societal issue as much as a personal one.

Chuck Batishko via the Internet

I have two questions for Sen. Jim Exon. One: What kills, pornography or a gun? Two: What's more offensive, seeing a sex act or a killing? I also have a question for WINDOWS Magazine: What do politicians have to do with a computer magazine?

Elefterios Theodossiadis via the Internet

Senator, the difference between the lamppost you mention and the Internet is that one cannot avoid a lamppost; it is in full view. To find items on the Internet, however, you must exercise choice. The technology is available for informed parental control, which may take a little more ingenuity and work, but will both maintain the First Amendment and protect our children.

Peter Leighton via the Internet

Free utilities

I frequently see references to utilities that are "only available on the CD-ROM version of Windows 95." A recent example is "Wish You Were There? Windows 95 Can Help" (Networking Windows, November 1995). These extra utilities can be downloaded free from Microsoft. Point your Web browser to http: //www.windows.microsoft.com and follow the "Free Software" trail. The Microsoft Internet utilities (Web browser/ SLIP and PPP drivers/setup Wizards/etc.) from Plus are also available here.

Chris Morrison via the Internet

Fill 'er up!

Thanks for the article on the Intel P6 processor ("P6 Unveiled!" November 1995). I can't wait to put a P6 "under the hood." It's amazing what level of technology is involved in creating the engines that power our "hot-rod" computers.

David McNeel via the Internet

The source for news

Of all the new Web pages I have seen recently, I like your daily WinNews the best. Windows 95 will be constantly evolving, getting patched and upgraded. It seems you will be the one single best source to turn to for problems reported, news, new drivers and more. WinNews is going to the top of my increasingly crowded Hotlist.

Douglas N. Brink via the Internet

A site to see

Thank you for the heads-up on the Jumbo site (Online, November 1995). This site is without a doubt the best shareware/freeware site I've used--great setup and search function. The program descriptions make it easy to find the programs I need before I download them. And boy, do they have a lot of stuff.

Jim Barnes via the Internet

Can we trust the CD-R?

I'm writing regarding Fred Davis' article (ReadMe File, November 1995). I believe that it is time for the floppy drive be replaced. However, I don't know if the CD-R is the way to go. The fact that the data is nonremovable has one major drawback: If any virus were ever transferred to the CD, no virus management program could remove it; thus, the CD is useless. Perhaps the new drives such as the Iomega zip drive may be what eventually replaces the floppy. They are cheaper, have better performance than a CD and the data is read/write removable.

Neil Winegarden via the Internet

[Editor's reply: Good virus-correcting software will lock out only the "naughty" bits. If the bad data is in a key location, like the file-allocation table, data on other areas of the disk will be hard to locate, but with CD-R (unlike magnetic media) the data is still somewhere on the disc. Depending on the agility of the antivirus software, you have a greater chance of getting back your data on a CD-R disc than on a hard or floppy disk simply because the good data never really gets overwritten. --John J. Yacono, Technical Editor]

Fred Davis' article about the ascendance of the CD-R drive as the coming archival medium fails to address two important questions: reliability and fragility. Having formatted umpteen floppies to have some sectors locked out, I wonder just how much you can trust the CD-R discs to be perfect as you buy them. Current 3.5-inch floppies are sturdy and easily portable. Are the CD-R discs as fragile as their CD-ROM brethren?

Jerome S. Miller Grand Rapids, Mich.

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Copyright 1995 CMP Publications Inc.