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7/96 Letters

Readers were on both sides of the fence
regarding Cheryl Currid's column on the
latest do-it-yourself publishing technology,
and we continue to receive mail about children
on the Net.

Power to the People-or Not?

Cheryl Currid's article (Windows at Work, April) encouraging businesses to "do it yourself" when it comes time to produce effective business documents fails to mention a simple fact: The latest printers, software and so on will no more allow you to create quality sales and marketing brochures than a word processor will enable you to write or a Steinway grand will turn you into a fine musician. They are merely tools, that, in the hands of John and Jane Average User, will produce average results that are readily distinguishable from a professional job. To saddle one's marketing staff with a pile of new technology and expect quality work is folly. These new technologies are exciting, but no replacement for a qualified human being.
Pete Magsig via the Internet

I would like to thank Cheryl Currid for providing the ammunition I needed. I work at a museum where we are currently using off-site printers for completing our work. This article gave me the needed background to support a proposal for a new in-house desktop publishing system.
Darrell Mathews via the Internet

Whose playground is this?

I wholeheartedly agree with Joshua Holt about kids on the Internet (Letters, April). Many adults think that children on the Internet are a hindrance to the system, but that's not true. I am now 19 years old. When I was 16, I stopped calling computer service technicians because in most cases I would get connected to someone who didn't know as much about computers as I did. I know many 10- to 15-year-olds who know more about computers than the majority of adults using them.
Jeremy Turnage via the Internet

Joshua Holt, a young Internet user, states that "without us kids, the Internet would be a small community with only half the information that's now available." This statement has little merit. Adults pay for computers, software, online services and phone bills. And if it weren't for kids on the Internet, adults wouldn't be facing censorship and other governmental controls.
Leslie D. Blake via the Internet

Good advice

Please convey my appreciation to Karen Kenworthy for the information in her column "Hardware Upgrades Then and Now" (Power Windows, April). Since I'm about to install a new, larger hard disk, I found Karen's warnings on the Windows 95 versions of XCOPY worth the price of my subscription. Having had previous trouble with copying drives under DOS and Windows 3.11, I'm grateful that Karen saved me from any more problems.
Terence H. Bartlett via the Internet

After reading Karen Kenworthy's article, I thought your readers might be interested in a solution I had for upgrading a hard disk without losing any data or long filenames. First, I came across a neat little utility called DOSLFNBK, which, as its name suggests, backs up all the long filenames from the DOS prompt and seems much easier to use than the Win95 utility. Second, I have in my toolbox the only thing I still find useful from my DRDOS 6-an XCOPY that copies system, hidden and read-only files as well as empty directories. This gets around some of the problems mentioned in Kenworthy's article.

The sequence I have used twice now to move the entire contents of a boot disk to a new (bigger!) drive is: Set up both drives so that they are active (master/slave or networked); DOSLFNBK to back up the long filenames; XCOPY with /s/h/e/r; then DOSLFNBK to restore the long filenames. I would not be surprised if there were a freeware XCOPY utility out there that has the same functions as the DRDOS one.
Mike Jackson via the Internet

More questions than answers

I read with interest your feature about obtaining tech support online ("Instant Answers," April). I wish I could enjoy the same success looking for information. There is a lot to browse, but I've received very few answers to my specific questions. I have checked forums on CompuServe,, MS Technet, MS Development Library and the MS KB; I've tried Yahoo and WebCrawler and have even tried FidoNet echoes.

I just do not have time to spend weeks searching every Web site in the world for questions of a type that are not usually found in a FAQ.
Elliot Ross via CompuServe

In your recent article about finding tech support online, you're correct to praise the industry connection forums. But when discussing help forums on AOL, you didn't mention the excellent IBM section for personal-systems users. It is free of connect time charges (the technical support forum section), and it uses a threaded format. I browse it frequently and have received good advice.
John A. Clarke via the Internet

Saying no to NT 4.0

I just finished reading John D. Ruley's article about NT going mainstream (What's Hot! May). It's about time Microsoft woke up and smelled the coffee. Has it ever occurred to anyone there that at least part of NT 3.51's appeal is that it is Windows, as opposed to the Macwindows interface of Win95?

I, for one, will not even consider buying NT 4.0 unless and until there is a rock-solid alternative to the new shell, particularly since I haven't heard that 4.0 has either a workable defrag or backup app.
J.H. Ricketson via the Internet

Editor's reply: I find the new interface a pleasure to use, especially when multitasking many applications. As for a workable defrag or backup, there are many backup applications for NT, and Executive Software ( has an excellent defragmenter called Diskeeper. NT does have its problems, but its user interface, disk defrag and backup situations are actually quite good and getting better all the time!

The legacy remains

I was glad to see John Woram's article "Heed a Warning from Your Mouse Pointer" (Optimizing Windows, May). I had begun to think the symptom of occasionally booting into DOS compatibility mode was limited to those of us who upgraded to Windows 95 and still have legacy systems.

Like Woram, I was dismayed to find that even if I booted with no CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT, the problem still wouldn't go away.

The problem can be in the WIN.INI or SYS.INI files. These files usually don't exist in new setups designed for Windows 95, but those of us with legacy setups usually cannot run without them. Users experiencing this problem should try disabling any Load= lines. There also may be references in the 386enh section of the SYSTEM.INI file that might cause a problem.

The best advice in this instance: If you don't need to have something loaded at boot-up, even if it didn't cause a problem in Windows 3.1x, don't load it; access it manually if possible.
Michael Solomon via the Internet

Editor's reply: That's a valid point-thanks for bringing it up. This article concerned only two possibilities, the Startup files and the Registry. There are undoubtedly others that will surface as time goes on.


In our March feature "I Was an 8MB Weakling!" we incorrectly stated that we installed and tested Connectix RAM Doubler under Windows 95. RAM Doubler cannot be installed under Win95; it is designed only as a Windows 3.1x product.

Our May review of Pacific Image Electronics' PIE ScanMedia listed an incorrect phone number. The correct number is 800-909-9996.

In our May New Products section, we listed an incorrect phone number for Amquest Corp. The correct number is 717-569-8030.

We want to hear from you! Please send your letter and phone number to: Letters, Windows Magazine, One Jericho Plaza, Jericho, NY 11753, or by e-mail to We reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity.

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