Back to 10/96 News: NewsBriefs
Up to Table of Contents
Ahead to 10/96 News: Notes From The Lab

10/96 News: Notes From The Lab

Compiled by John J. Yacono; Contributors-Marc Spiwak, Serdar Yegulalp

From WinMag Central

Hacking's Our Policy

Desperately trying to reconfigure a machine restricted by Registry-based policies, our own John Yacono found a way around them. Click on the taskbar, press F3 to get the Find window and look for Policy Edit. Double-click and adjust the Registry to suit. If you can't find Policy Editor on the hard disk, run it from a floppy. That works even if you disable Registry-editing tools.

WinMag editors Cynthia Morgan and David Gabel discovered an odd little side effect in the Windows 95 Plus Pack's System Agent. Even if you disable the components of System Agent, it bogs down Wintune, making Pentium 133s turn in CPU scores like Pentium 90s (a 40 percent hit). On a 486/66, there was a 20 percent drop with the System Agent active. So far, the only solution we've found is to disable System Agent entirely before using Wintune.

The Registry backup program buried in \OTHER\MISC\CFGBACK on the Win95 CD-ROM is a great tool for saving and restoring Win95 configurations, but restoring an old configuration after re-moving or replacing a hard drive gummed up one of our systems. When an IDE device is removed, Win95 detects it as a configuration error. And if you restore an old configuration with a drive that's no longer in the system, Windows 95 assumes there's a problem. In either event, Windows switches its drive access method to slow MS-DOS compatibility mode. So, whenever you remove a drive, boot Win95 in Safe Mode and delete the drive from Device Manager. Then reboot normally and use the configuration-backup utility to save the new system settings.

Getting On Explorer's Case

Technical Editor Marc Spiwak found that Explorer doesn't always let you change a filename's case. If a file is on a case-insensitive server, give it an intermediate name before naming it in the case you prefer. Otherwise, Explorer will request the server to copy the file to itself with just a case change (to which the server is blind), causing a "file with that name already exists" error. However, Explorer loves to capitalize the first letter of each filename, and sometimes won't allow you to lowercase that letter. We don't know why; all we know for sure is that it depends only on the filename itself, not the name's length or the file's true identity. Go figure!

Year 2000: The End Is Nigh

Get out your sackcloth and toss some ashes: We're getting reports that the year 2000 date-change catastrophe is already claiming victims.

Only last year, the inventory-control system for a food-processing company incorrectly ordered that food with a five-year shelf life be dumped. The computer calculated the food had expired 95 years earlier.

Another company's computer began deleting account records this year. The computer was programmed to cut accounts that showed more than four years of inactivity. For that, it added four years to the date of the last transaction and compared that to the current date. If the customer had a transaction this year, the computer figured the account expired back in 1900.

Hot Tips

Want tips on Win95, MS Office, MS Internet Explorer, Netscape or Windows NT? Or bug reports? We can recommend a few. Just supply your e-mail address at:,,,, or,
respectively. You'll receive an e-mail tip a day on each topic you choose.

Back to 10/96 News: NewsBriefs
Up to Table of Contents
Ahead to 10/96 News: Notes From The Lab