[ Go to August 1997 Table of Contents ]

NT 4.0


NT 4.0 has greatly improved support for ISDN modems; they're now treated as regular modems rather than as a special class of network cards. However, different ISPs may require different settings, depending on what line negotiation protocols they use. Customize this for your system by double-clicking on the Modems icon in Control Panel. Select your modem from the Modem Properties dialog; and choose Properties, then Connection/Advanced. In the Extra Settings field, you can type in a command string that will be sent to the modem before dialing. For instance, on a Motorola TA210 modem, the string &C1&D2E0V1%A2=95 sets up the modem to use the PPPC line-negotiation protocol, while the string &C1&D2E0V1%A2=2 sets up the older V.120 protocol. Other modems may use different command strings, so it's a good idea check with the manufacturer.

See It Like An Expert

NT veterans may find some of Windows NT Explorer's default settings annoying in version 4.0. To set up an "expert's view," start Explorer (from Start/Programs) and select View/Options. Click on the Show All Files radio button to avoid hiding system files, check the boxes for "Display the full path in the title bar," "Display compressed file and folders with alternate color" and "Include description bar for right and left panes." Then click on OK. Top it off by selecting View/Details. What you'll see is close to the NT 3.51 File Manager-a great improvement over the defaults for experienced users.

Ditch the Desktop

You can get rid of the NT 4.0 Desktop without shutting down NT. This may be especially helpful if your machine is short on memory. Right-click in the taskbar and bring up Task Manager. Select the Processes tab, highlight EXPLORER.EXE and click on the End Process button. Ignore the subsequent warning message and click on Yes. NT Explorer will shut down, taking with it all Desktop icons, the Start menu and taskbar. Task Manager (and any other open application) will continue to run, however. If you click on the Performance tab, you'll find that you've gained 1MB to 3MB of RAM. You can now start programs from the Applications tab's New Task button. To get your Desktop back, click on New Task and type in EXPLORER.EXE.

Hide Task Manager

You can also hide Task Manager but keep it active at the same time. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager and select Options/Hide When Minimized. Task Manager will remain active, but it won't show up on the taskbar. You can bring it back anytime by double-clicking on its icon, a small bar graph to the right of the taskbar.

CPU Checks

If you hide Task Manager, you can check your CPU usage by moving the mouse pointer over the Task Manager icon.

Navigator Nuance

Do you have problems running upgraded versions of Netscape Navigator with NT? Netscape browsers can cause problems over previously installed versions, so delete all versions before upgrading. Just remember to save your addresses and bookmarks.

Registry Damage Control

NT has an escape hatch for botched Registry edits. Anytime you make a change to your Registry that doesn't work, reboot NT and use the "Last known good configuration" selection that appears during startup. This reverses the changes.

Change on the Fly

NT 4.0's Dynamic Display Settings let you change screen resolution and color depth on the fly. Go to Control Panel, double-click on the Display icon and select the Settings tab. Reset the color depth in the Color Palette and the screen resolution in the Desktop area. Click on OK, and the settings will take effect immediately.

Auto Updates

Confused about which patches, updates and add-ons you need? Wonder no more. Microsoft built a Web site called the Microsoft Download Wizard; it checks your Windows 95 installation, suggests file updates, and gives you the opportunity to download and install them. You can find Download Wizard at our Win95 Update Center (http://www.winmag.com/win95/update95.htm). Look for the Download Wizard on the bottom of the page.

Improve Your Image

NT 4.0 comes with a new Imaging accessory developed by Wang Laboratories. With this tool, you can view, edit and annotate a wide variety of common image-file formats. Install the NT Imaging accessory through Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs. Select the Windows NT Setup tab, double-click Accessories and check the Imaging item from the list. Then click on OK and follow the on-screen instructions.

Got a hot tip? Send it to melgan@winmag.com or Mike Elgan, Windows Magazine, One Jericho Plaza, Jericho, NY 11753.

Windows Magazine, August 1997, page 110.

[ Go to August 1997 Table of Contents ]