By Mike Elgan, Editor
Windows 95 comes packed with tons of serious goodies for serious road warriors. But there's a lot it can't do. For example, unless you're thrilled with Solitaire and Minesweeper, it can't help relieve coast-to-coast boredom. It can't help guide you through strange cities. It can't help you save money on business travel. We've compiled a list of software that helps you do all this and more.
Long flights can be a bore-but there's a remedy. Make sure your Win95 PC has the latest games, such as Maxis' Full Tilt Pinball or Sierra's Hoyle Classic Games. Don't forget the headphones so you can pump up the volume.
Do you know the way to San Jose? Not to worry. If your portable sports a CD-ROM drive, try Microsoft's Automap Road Atlas 4.0. The Route Wizard asks a few questions and plots a direct or scenic route that can include points of interest and refueling stops. With this CD, you'll ensure that you never get lost again.
Expense account software can help you explain that $75 cab ride to your boss. Intuit's Quicken ExpensAble lets you enter expenses in any order and sorts them out for you. Another expense-tracker, QuickXpense for Windows 95, from Portable Software, reproduces your company's expense forms electronically if you buy three or more copies of the program.
TimeZone Travel helps you cope with long trips. The deluxe version includes jet-lag ratings for more than a 1,000 international and domestic nonstop flights, along with suggestions for timing meetings, sleep, meals and exercise to combat travel fatigue. You'll also find invaluable travel info here, such as airport and airline codes, calculations for time-zone differences and telephone directory listings for more than 600 international locations.
What can you do when you need a hotel room fast? Simply load Official Airline Guide's handy HotelDisk 1.0, check the included street maps for the next-closest hotel, and call for a reservation. The four-CD yearly subscription offers information on 30,000 North American hotels, with lists of amenities, credit cards accepted and phone numbers.
You're scheduled to entertain Messrs. Yamaguchi, Dubonnet and Scaciatelli tomorrow; they don't speak English and your Japanese, French and Italian are, to put it charitably, weak. Spend tonight with IMSI's EZ Language version 2. It offers tutorials in six languages-French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese and two dialects of Spanish-on a single CD. The disc includes commonly used phrases for travelers. It can even record and play your fledgling efforts.
You arrived safely, but your presentation disks sent by overnight delivery didn't. Shipping software, usually free from companies such as FedEx Ship, can track your package, estimate costs and make new shipping arrangements.
If you need to call your customers and postpone the meeting until your wayward presentation is located, your personal information manager will turn a nightmare into a painless process. Most PIMs work well in a networked office environment, but if you travel on business you'll need to consider their mobile attributes as well. NetManage's ECCO Pro 3.0, for example, will automatically synchronize data between your notebook and desktop systems.
What happens when you feel a tug at your arm and you see someone running through the busy air terminal with your notebook computer? The notebook's insured, but if its data fell into your competitors' hands, you'd be sunk. You can rewrite this scenario with EliaShim's EasySafe. The program renders your hard disk unreadable without your password-even to disk-recovery utilities. EasySafe encrypts the entire hard drive, including FAT tables and directories, sector by sector. It also includes keyboard, floppy and port locks.
|EasySafe||Laptop security||EliaShim Microcomputers|
|ECCO Pro 3.0||Personal information manager||NetManage|
|EZ Language version 2||Tutor for French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Spanish||IMSI
415-257-3000, fax 415-257-3565
|Full Tilt Pinball||Game||Maxis|
|HotelDisk 1.0||Hotel listings||Official Airline Guides|
1 year (4 discs)
|Hoyle Classic Games||Game||Sierra On-Line|
|LapLink for Windows 95||Remote control||Traveling Software|
|Microsoft Automap Road Atlas 4.0||Mapping/routing (interstate)||Microsoft Corp.|
|PhoneDisc PowerFinder||U.S. phone directories||Digital Directory Assistance|
|FedEx Ship||Shipping||Federal Express|
|Quicken ExpensAble||Expense account management||Intuit
|Expense account management||Portable Software Corp. |
|TimeZone Travel||Jet-lag management software||TimeZone Management Consulting|
The NT notebook has arrived, with a hefty ticket falling somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000. NT notebooks are equipped with the latest Intel Pentium processor, a minimum of 20MB to 24MB of system memory, and hard disks with 1.3GB to 2GB of storage. In addition, the handful of notebooks sold in this market also come with 11-inch (or larger) active-matrix screens, use PCI architecture and have video subsystems capable of pumping more than 7Mpixels per second.
Thus far, NT-specific notebook sales have been slow, but this is expected to change in the coming months, as the upcoming NT 4.0 goes mainstream.
Using NT as a portable OS has two potential drawbacks: a lack of support for Plug and Play, a cornerstone of Windows 95 (it does, however, support PCMCIA), and the absence of power-management software. But if you're an NT user who can live without these two features, running NT on your notebook might be your best option.
These undocumented tips and tricks will help hard-core road warriors gain secure, reliable and unlimited access to the home office.
The biggest security threat to your network and PC comes not from hackers dialing in, but from people walking into your office and using your PC while you're on the road. Your best defense is a good, old-fashioned lock on your office door or your PC. If a physical lock is not an option, you can make creative use of a password-protected screen saver.
Use a 32-bit screen saver like those that come with Windows 95. The 16-bit versions can be defeated simply by using Ctrl+Alt+Delete. A 32-bit screen saver used on a system with BIOS-based password protection is ideal. Someone would have to open the cabinet and bypass the BIOS to gain access.
To avoid the annoyance of having your screen saver always popping up and getting in your way, run it as a "runtime service." Then it will launch only on startup. Once you close it, it's gone until you reboot.
Here's how to do it: Launch the Registry Editor by selecting Run from the Start menu and typing regedit at the command line. Now drill down to My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\. Look for a key called Runservices. If you don't find it, create one under CurrentVersion by selecting New\Key from the edit menu and entering Runservices. Now create a string value under Runservices by selecting New\String Value from the Edit menu. Name the string whatever you want and select Modify from the Edit menu to make the value C: \Windows\System\Blank Screen.scr /S. If you haven't already done so, use Display under Control Panel to choose the blank screen saver and assign a password. Then disable the screen saver.
Remote access to the company network is great, both for you and for hackers who would love to steal or destroy your data. Fortunately, you can access your network remotely without having the host machine logged on. This provides another obstacle between a physically present hacker and the network.
Go to Registry Editor and add a string value to My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Runservices. Name it something like Remote Access, and change the data to point to C: \Windows\System\RNAAPP.EXE. The next time you reboot the host, the RNA layer pops into place just before the log-on dialog box shoots up onto the screen.
Hackers familiar with Win95 know your passwords are stashed in a drive's .PWL files-unless you've disabled password caching. To do this, include the System Policy Editor on the Windows 95 CD-ROM. Load the editor by selecting the Add/Remove Programs icon in Control Panel, clicking on the Windows Setup tab and clicking on the Have Disk button. In the Install Disk dialog box, point to ADMIN\APPTOOLS\POLEDIT, click on OK, then on OK again. The System Policy Editor box should be checked. Click on Install to complete the procedure.
To disable password caching, start Policy Editor from the Run dialog box by typing poledit. Select Open Registry from the File menu, double-click on Local Computer, click on Network, then Passwords and place a check in the Disable Password Caching box. Delete your current .PWL files to complete the procedure.
From now on, passwords will not be stored locally in .PWL files, which means you'll have to type in your passwords each time you log on to your system. Or, simply remove your password files from your system when you're away, and put them back when you return.
Employing user-level access control instead of share-level access control is probably better. With the latter, the Windows 95 host confirms user identity. In the user-level scenario, the network server-which is likely to be locked in a cabinet surrounded by a moat, or at least behind a locked door-verifies user ID. To see which form of access control you're using, go to the Network screen under Control Panel, then click on the Access Control Tab. If you choose user-level access control, you'll need to supply the name of your user-list server. (Your network administrator can provide that information.)
Although NetWare 3.11 supports long filenames, it's not easy to take advantage of this support with Win95. Normally you use Regedit to add a binary value named SupportLFN with the value set to 2 under the key My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\ServicesVxD\NWREDIR.
But if you do this on a remote client, you'll get frequent Access Denied messages when you connect to the NW 3.11 volume. To solve the problem on mobile systems, don't change the Registry. Change the good old-fashioned SYSTEM.INI file because it can easily be REMed out. Add a [NWRedir] section to the SYSTEM.INI file and place SupportLFN=2 under it.
Theoretically, the Policy Editor should let you enable long-filename support, but it has a bug and it makes the Registry change incorrectly. If you want to use long filenames on a network, the most elegant solution is to use Novell's Client32 instead of the NetWare client bundled with Windows 95. Early tests with beta versions indicate Client32 eliminates the problem and requires no Registry or SYSTEM.INI modifications to work. Client32 is available on Novell's support forums and on the Web at http://NetWire.Novell.com/home/client/.
Using software like LapLink 95 or pcAnywhere32 via a Remote Access Service (RAS) connection is a great way to synchronize files or remotely administer your server. With a RAS connection, the server needs only one modem, one communications port and one phone line to connect via RAS and operate the software. Set the software to communicate using only network protocols, and prepare the server for incoming RAS calls. Dial in, establish a RAS connection, then use your software for remote control over the dial-up networking connection.
If you select LapLink 95's Remote option from the Options menu and click on the Host tab, you can click a check box to have LapLink load before the Windows 95 dialog box (just like using the Remote Access layer trick). You can obtain similar results in older versions of LapLink running under Windows95 by editing the Registry according to the instructions in a bundled Readme file. PcAnywhere32 has the same facility. Just right-click on the Modem connection icon, select Properties, choose the Settings tab and check the Launch Host at Startup box.