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Tech: Windows XP

GUEST,Connie Prattis 02 Dec 04 - 08:20 PM
JohnInKansas 02 Apr 04 - 04:12 AM
Stewie 02 Apr 04 - 03:38 AM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Apr 04 - 12:36 AM
JohnInKansas 02 Apr 04 - 12:10 AM
The Fooles Troupe 01 Apr 04 - 07:25 PM
Dave Wynn 01 Apr 04 - 07:23 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Apr 04 - 07:06 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Apr 04 - 06:52 PM
Dave Wynn 01 Apr 04 - 06:47 PM
The Fooles Troupe 01 Apr 04 - 06:19 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Apr 04 - 04:12 PM
Barbara Shaw 01 Apr 04 - 01:00 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Apr 04 - 12:18 PM
Barbara Shaw 01 Apr 04 - 11:00 AM
JohnInKansas 01 Apr 04 - 09:42 AM
Barbara Shaw 01 Apr 04 - 08:18 AM
JohnInKansas 29 Mar 04 - 02:32 PM
DonMeixner 29 Mar 04 - 02:06 PM
kendall 29 Mar 04 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Nick 29 Mar 04 - 07:16 AM
GUEST,yesbhaskar@sify.com 29 Mar 04 - 04:18 AM
Barbara Shaw 18 Mar 04 - 02:10 PM
JohnInKansas 18 Mar 04 - 10:51 AM
JohnInKansas 18 Mar 04 - 10:39 AM
JohnInKansas 18 Mar 04 - 10:30 AM
JohnInKansas 18 Mar 04 - 10:25 AM
JohnInKansas 18 Mar 04 - 10:20 AM
DMcG 18 Mar 04 - 05:37 AM
GUEST 18 Mar 04 - 01:51 AM
Bev and Jerry 18 Mar 04 - 01:10 AM
Barbara Shaw 17 Mar 04 - 08:33 AM
Don Firth 01 Dec 03 - 01:50 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Dec 03 - 03:53 AM
Don Firth 30 Nov 03 - 07:31 PM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Oct 03 - 09:40 AM
Don Firth 29 Oct 03 - 02:16 PM
Amos 29 Oct 03 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Redhorse at work 29 Oct 03 - 08:40 AM
Greg F. 28 Oct 03 - 06:58 PM
rodentred 28 Oct 03 - 06:44 PM
Mark Clark 27 Oct 03 - 06:42 PM
JohnInKansas 27 Oct 03 - 06:28 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 27 Oct 03 - 04:55 PM
JohnInKansas 26 Oct 03 - 06:24 PM
Don Firth 26 Oct 03 - 02:00 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 25 Oct 03 - 09:41 PM
Mark Clark 25 Oct 03 - 08:35 PM
Don Firth 25 Oct 03 - 07:58 PM
hobbitwoman 23 Oct 03 - 09:57 PM
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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: GUEST,Connie Prattis
Date: 02 Dec 04 - 08:20 PM

I like that! I cannot seem to get my speakers by Creative to work
with Windows XP Home Edition. Do you have any suggestions? They were
fine when I had Windows 98 and SE. Your input would be great!
Thanks!

                   Connie Prattis


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 04:12 AM

Foolestroupe -

I'm not sure I'm separating when you're talking about Win98 and when it's WinXP.

In WinXP, Windows Explorer, Click View, and select Thumbnails. Any file that is a graphic file of any common type will display a small version of the same picture you get if you open the graphic file in an appropriate program. That's what a thumbnail is.

In WinXP (or Win2K) you do not need any separate .dll or other kind of program to display thumbnails in Win Explorer.

For files that are NOT graphics, you can associate any icon you want to a file, but in Win Explorer the icon will generally be the same for all files with the same file extension. In most cases, you'll want all the Word .doc files to show the "Word" icon, Excel .xls to show the "Excel" icon, etc; and the default is usually to associate the icon for the program that opens files of a given type with those files. When you are NOT viewing thumbnails, there are default icons for "standard" file types like .jpg, .gif, .bmp, etc, but you can change the icon for any one or more of these "file types" if you wish to.

The "same for all" limitation applies only to what shows in Explorer, and even there it doesn't apply to "executable" files, like .exe files, where you can have a different icon for each program. Most programs will "contain" a default icon, but you can change any of them to any icon you have available.

A shortcut, especially one that you put on the desktop, to any file of any kind, can be assigned any available icon.

With the thumbnail mode in Win Explorer, you shouldn't need a separate "thumbnail viewer" for any general use, and WinXP also includes the "Image Viewer" that will show a "full screen" of most graphics files, and "Paint" which lets you edit .bmp and .jpg pictures.

Note that there is no "view thumbnails" selection in the version of Windows Explorer in Win98, unless you've "added on" an accessory program to allow it. You won't need that "add on" program in WinXP (and it's unlikely that it will run very well, if at all in XP). Windows Explorer in WinXP has its own built in thumbnail generator.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 03:38 AM

I am simply amazed by the knowledge and generosity of John in Kansas in this and myriad other computer threads. I have never asked him a question, but I have learned heaps from his contributions.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 12:36 AM

Ah the WIN "thumbnails" thingie just puts the same icon oiccie for all the files... my gadget which carried over from Win95 when I upgraded to 98 put a minaturised version of EACH file as the thumbnail for EACH file in each folder & the desktop - don't remember the name as currently on the HD for the dead machine - I haven't transferred the stuff yet... it was a graphics file viewer that had an option to install its DLL as the thumbnail generator..

Robin


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 12:10 AM

Foolestroupe -

I don't find any info on my surviving Win98SE machine relating to any standard Win98 thumbnail or preview capability. If you have a program to view thumbnails, it's apparently an add-on - or at least something that's not in the baseline Win98. I had a couple thumbnail programs on the machine when I was using Win98 regularly, and I'd agree that most of them were "less than perfect." At least one of them may have come with the Win98 "PlusPack," but I've taken most of that stuff off of the old beast.

In WinXP, Windows Explorer allows you to use "thumbnail" view for any files on the machine. If it recognizes the filetype as a "picture," it will show you a thumbnail "mini-picture." Otherwise it will usually show the icon for the program that's set up to open the file. (Windows 2000 also has this capability - I don't know about WinME.) Office programs are similarly "updated." When you select "Insert Picture" in Word, it always opens the folders in thumbnail mode, so you actually see the picture before you insert it (not always what you want, but that's how it's set up).

If you're actually going to "do something" with pictures, you'll likely still want a graphics program of some sort, but just for looking at them to find the one you want, the thumbnail view is pretty handy. I use it to go through digital photos and add names and descriptions to the file names, since it's quicker than using any of my graphics programs (although the browser in my Photoshop Elements gives much more detailed file info, bigger "thumbs," and is almost as "agile.")

WinXP also has a "picture preview" program (Image Viewer) that lets you open any common graphic file type to look at it at full screen size. You shouldn't have any problems looking at any .jpg, .gif, .bmp, .tif, or even the old .wmf with the options built into Windows XP. About the only really common "graphics" file it won't display with the built-ins is .ps (PostScript).

They also, I believe, still include Windows "Paint" with all current versions of Windows, so you can draw pictures. They claim you can use it to edit photos, but I have more respect for my lousy photos than to subject them to it (ok, you can do some things to a photo with it, but it's pretty crude).

As far as changing the picture viewer, that's no problem if it's an "XP compatible" program. I use Photoshop Elements 2.0 for the default to open all graphics files on my WinXP and Win2K machines - including the .ps files. We've also used Adobe Illustrator in similar fashion on Win2K and Win98SE, but once you've used PE2 you can't/won't go back......

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:25 PM

I've tried the 'View Thumbnails' in 98 SE but got nothing sensible...

Mainly only interested in gif ^ jpg files.... I use Irfanview for normal graphic viewing - does having that set as the default viewing application affect things?

Robin


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:23 PM

Thanks John,

The RAM is DDR and a single 512 slice. MEMTEST86 runs on XP and ran clean for 18 hours. Sisoft Sandra ran burn in for 6 hours without a hitch. Started the card game spider and BSoD.

Just writing it down gave me relief. Actually getting some sympathy and advice made me fill up.

I will continue changing things but I am running out of bits to change. It's when you find yourself changing the pen you write the errors down with that you realise it's time to stop thinking and pick up your guitar and sing some.

All advice and sympathy welcome.

Spot (the shouldn'ta woke up this mornin) Dog


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 07:06 PM

Spot -

Sounds a little like a problem I last encountered with Win98. Turns out a few bits in one RAM stick had gone south. I haven't heard of the problem with XP, but it might be worth a quick check.

Most of the older RAM-check utilities (the ones I have) won't load, even in DOS, on an XP loaded machine; but you probably have more than one chip installed so you could just pull one (it will likely leave enough for the system to limp, at least) and see if the problem goes away. If not, put that one back and pull another one. Just remember all the warnings about grounding and ESD while you're at it.

If the error gives a consistent ref to a specific memory address, you might be able to home in a little quicker, but physical memory maps for a specific machine are a little hard to come by.

Other than that thought, about all I can offer immediately is sympathy.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 06:52 PM

If you open Windows Explorer in WinXP, you have a choice of how to display contents of folders. If you click "View" on the top bar, and then select "Thumbnails,"
for any graphic file that WinXP recognizes, it will create a thumbnail and display the thumbnail, with filename at the bottom, directly in Win Explorer.

Note that there are a few "common(?)" filetypes that WinXP doesn't recognize, (.psd is one) and it will often "bomb" on files over about 300KB - 500KB(?) or so in size, but for most routine use, the view thumbs in Windows Explorer works about as well as most of the "auxiliary" programs you may have had with earlier Windows versions.

If you select "View Thumbnails" in a folder that doesn't have graphics files in it, you won't see any pictures, of course. You'll probably get a "tile" view with program icons for the non-graphic files. If you have .jpg, .gif, .wmf, .ico, or small .tif and .bmp, you should see a small version of the picture itself - for those files.

Some Office programs (Word, Excel, Access, etc.) offer the option to "save preview" when you save the document, and if you do this you may see a picture of the first page in thumbnail view. I don't use this much because adding the thumbnail does increase filesize by a bit, and the "picture" you see is usually too small to be of much use.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 06:47 PM

Huh...You think you lot have problems. I have an Athlon 1.4 Thunderbird processor. 512 Ram K7S5A mainboard and 80 GB hdd. With an ancient HP 690C printer and an older HP4300C scanner. My XP Pro runs like a dream and I haven't had the slightest problem from loading it. I am a Computer support analyst by profession and just built an Athlon XP2800 for a friend. All singing and dancing (music content). All devices are this seasons and the DB's. XP keeps Blue screen of death (BSoD) at random. I am in the process of changing every little piece of hardware to try and find the fault.

You name it I changed it. The cost is hurtin' me and more to the point my professional pride is stung.

The web has about a million hits for the same problem
"BSoD win32k.sys Stop error.

Someone sing me the blues before this SOB 'puter takes a flying lesson.

"There's always someone worseoff than yourself"

Spot (the pissed off) Dog


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 06:19 PM

I'm about to shift to XP. From W95 on, I had a cute little executable DLL that allowed certain graphic files that it could interperet to display a real thumnail of the content in any folder you had open. It worked in 98 too.

1) What is this option 'thumbnails' that never seemed to do anything?

3) How do Iachive this in XP.

4) There was no question 2...

Robin


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 04:12 PM

Barbara -

Now we know your temp space gets crowded????

Since Windows considers those icons "optional," it does sometimes use the default for them even if they're still there - if it would be "too much work" to find them. Shut down and restart probably cleared a buch of "expendable" temp stuff, so the icons are more accessible.

Good to hear they're back. Maybe they'll stay if you talk nice to them. (I don't know what they eat, but you might offer them a "few bits" of something.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 01:00 PM

Not to beat this dead ole horse, but the icons are back! I turned off the computer, came back 2 hours later and they're here on Mudcat as well as that other site. I didn't change anything.

Thanks for the comments, John.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 12:18 PM

Barbara -

As noted above, the site/favorites icons are only stored in temporary spots, so they often "go away," and that application reverts to a default icon. So far as I know, there's no setting you can make to automatically make them permanent, and once the default "IE" icon has been linked - it never goes away, so it will remain the "permanent" icon for that link/site, unless you go back to a site and the site forces a new "temporary" icon on. Most sites aren't "pushy" enough to replace the IE icon if it's already been linked to their cookie.

To get a site icon to "stick," you have to find the icon, move it to some permanent storage location, and re-establish the link to that icon in the new location. Otherwise, expect that the default "IE" icon will eventually replace them all. I don't have a problem with all of them having the same icon, since I'm one of the old farts that learned to read names and dislike the excessive use of "cutesy" icons on principle. With the exception of a "visual cue" for locating shortcuts to permanently installed programs on the desktop, I have no use at all for icons (well very little use ... they do provide a helpful visual cue in Win Explorer when you sort by type.).

If you want, you can right click on almost anything, chose properties, and find a "change icon" button that allows you to use any icon you happen to have permanently stored on your machine for that "item." If you want the icon you get from a site, you do have to find the icon in temp files (location and naming varies) and move it to some permanent location. About the only place this doesn't work, is on the address bar, where the icon apparently has to be present in, or liked to, your cookie for that site.

If the icon on the address bar changes, it's because the cookie that contained the icon has "crumbled," as it's supposed to do in most cases.

Some people do like to put shortcuts to web stuff on desktop, or in the start bar; and for those locations it is sometimes helpful to have a "visually significant" icon, so I'll watch for new postings on the details of icon recovery and re-linking; but for the addy bar it doesn't really seem worth the hassle (to me) of constantly "restoring" or "individually linking" icons for links.

If a particular link had an icon you'd like to restore, you may be able to delete the cookie(s) for that site, go back to the site and get a "new" cookie, and the icon may (or may not) come back. In all likelihood, the "restored" icon will disappear again, though, after a while, unless you find the icon itself, save it permanently, and re-establish (not simple) the link to that icon for that address.

IF refreshing/replacing the cookie gets the icon back, you may be able to export the cookie to "permanent storage" so that you can just move it back when the icon goes away again; but many cookies "expire" so this isn't always a satisfactory method.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 11:00 AM

John, when I first got XP and the new computer, the Mudcat icon always appeared in the address bar as well as in my favorites link. One other website also had its own icon, but all the others did not. Then something changed. I thought maybe something I changed caused them to disappear. I'm not familiar enough with the source code to see where it comes from, although the other website had a file named .ico which looks likely. Just curious why the icons no longer show up automatically.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 09:42 AM

Barbara -

When you connect to a web site, they may provide an icon that will show in the address bar, and may also show on a link that you save (i.e. in "Favorites" in IE). Unfortunately, these icons go into your Temporary Internet or Cookies folders, which are subject to constant updating and cleaning. The result is that often the icon gets lost, or gets "unlinked" from the "Favorite" listing, and the IE icon replaces it.

The same thing often happens if you save a link on your "desktop." The original icon will eventually "get lost" and a generic icon will replace it.

If you really want those icons, it is usually possible to dig them out of the temp file(s) and save them permanently, and then "reassociate" the link/file/shortcut with the "permanent" icon. The procedure isn't too complicated, except for identifying the various icon fragments you need; but I haven't saved any notes on it because doing this for each individual link seemed like more trouble than I was interested in.

I find it more convenient, in fact, to always have the IE default icon on everything IE to separate the "web instance" from the "Word instance" etc., often with similar names, on the bottom bar when I'm doing my frequent "extract to other format" browsing. I don't use the desktop for saving anything other than my program links (no temp stuff there - too many icons would cover up my pretty lady desktop).

Most comments I've seen on this have been "sidebar" notes in PC magazines, so tracking down the ones I remember would likely be harder than just "casting at random." I'll keep an eye open for the procedure, but can't promise a quick result.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 01 Apr 04 - 08:18 AM

I'm settling in with XP, although I still have trouble finding files at times. But here's the latest mystery:

For awhile, certain websites would show an icon at the far left on the address toolbar, like the frog on the banjo for Mudcat. This icon would also be in the "favorites" link. Then suddenly the icons disappeared and all I get is the blue "e" for Explorer to the left of the link.

Now I realize this is not a huge problem, but I'd sure like to know what I did or what setting changed to make my icons go away! Anyone know?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 02:32 PM

DonMeixner

I "ceased using" Turbo Tax a couple of years ago when the installation slammed their version of Internet Explorer on my machine, without warning, and disabled all my internet connections. It seems they felt it "important" that anyone using their tax program should be equipped with "their" IE to send all financial information directly to them "without user intervention." They gave no advance information that the program would install this change in my operating system and once started it was "uninteruptible."

The "capper" was that the version they installed, as a required part of the Turbo Tax package was an obsolete one, lacking at least the most recent half dozen security updates for that version. Just downloading the updates (for their version) on my slow connection would have required more than a dozen hours of "connect time."

Their only comment was "you can always uninstall it when you finish your taxes." I presume that also meant "after we've offloaded everything we want to know about you." You cannot "uninstall" any version of IE from any recent version of Windows except by reverting back to a "default" version, which in my case was then two major revs old, so it took me over 40 hours work to get my machine back. (It took three phone consults with my ISP just to get back on the net.)

Such arrogance (and incompetence) has no place in my tax preparation, or on my machine. I have removed and WILL NOT PERMIT any Intuit product on my computers.

Maybe I'll get over it when they apologize. Hold your breath with me???

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: DonMeixner
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 02:06 PM

So far I like XP. But I am having no end of trouble loading TurboTax on it and zero support from Intuit who wants to charge me $20.00 for a telephone consult.

Don


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: kendall
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:31 AM

I have a new confuser with XP and I hate it. Can't find anything. The only good thing is the firewall and popup blocker.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 07:16 AM

Barbara

3 Start up problem

If you go to Start and Run and type in msconfig it will show you a number of tabbed items. If you go to the tab that shows Start Up items (I'm sorry I'm not at an xp machine at present so this is memory) I would guess that you will find an entry with an 'x' against it which refers to a path of something like c:\windows\system32

If you remove the x and restart the machine it should go away

1 Access and Excel 97 - both DEFINITELY work on XP Home machine. If excel isn't crucial you could try OpenOffice which is compatible (there are other threads on mudcat about this). If you are in the UK then I think you will find it is given away most months in a variety of Computer magazines (I think I got my copy from .net magazine at a cost of £4.99 with magazine thrown in). There is not a database with it - depends how important it is.

4 Cool Edit - I will have a look but I think I may have a copy of this at home running on xp home. I will check and post later

Scuse the weird order!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: GUEST,yesbhaskar@sify.com
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 04:18 AM

Dears,

We are an ISP and we are getting calls from our CABLE MODEM customer saying not able to browse suddenly for say 5 to 10 mins on there PC's
which are running with WIN 2000 and XP most of the cases.

The solution to this problem gets rectified by giving the IP address of the cable modem ie private IP such as 192.X.X.X,immediately browsing starts.

Note: During this interval Ping and trace works fine and also nslookup is perfect.

Kindly give me the solution for the same asap.

Awating fro response dears,

Regards,
Shyam.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 02:10 PM

Thanks for the responses, and thanks SO MUCH JohninKansas for taking so much time to give me so much information.

Here's the WEIRDEST THING that just happened while I was sorting through all the information. I tried installing the Mustek 600cp scanner again - known NOT to work in XP and for which Mustek has provided downloadable xp-compatible drivers.

It WORKS!! I don't know what the heck I did, but it installed correctly and works just fine, thank you. The control program still says that I have a parallel device with no drivers installed, and doesn't know that it's working.

In other news (is there life away from this computer?) I got rid of the startup screen problem. I unclicked all the startup programs one at a time and restarted (yup, that's how I spent my day yesterday) until I got rid of the pest. Works fine now, and somehow the right things got re-clicked on all by themselves.

Interesting thing I found out about FTP programs. (I'm losing my grip, calling things like this interesting). The free limited edition download from Ipswitch is no longer free. You have to be a teacher and identify yourself fully and your school and why you want to use the FTP program to download it. This is too bad, because I already knew how to use that one and it's on my other computer. Found another free one from Coffeecup Software, Inc. If anyone has warnings about it, let me know.

I'm making progress, and may branch into the music stuff soon! My MusicTime Deluxe installed fine except that it says my midi is not setup correctly. (I have no midi set up at all yet). Still no CoolEdit.

Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:51 AM

Barabara -

The link check in the immediately preceding post shows that Mustak "frames" their "pages," so that the address bar isn't specific to the article. You need to put your 600CP in to the search box that you get when you select "Support" on the page linked, and then go to the page it finds for the install instructions.

No good ideas on your Items 3 and 4, except that the symptom (going somewhere strange at startup) may relate to the messed up USB port configuration for the scanner. This could also – remotely possible – relate to the crash reported by DMcG.

In WinXP, the "Selective Suspend" routine that allows the machine to shut down "unneeded devices" sometimes gets confused if all the USB devices aren't perfectly sychronised. One thing that sometimes helps is to disable power management for the USB hub.

KB article 315664 suggests, for a somewhat similar problem:
"To work around this issue, disable power management of the USB hub.
"NOTE: Although the following procedure may enable your computer to shut down properly, it may also reduce battery life on a laptop computer.
"To disable power management on the USB hub:
Right-click My Computer, click Properties, click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.
"Double-click the Universal Serial Bus controllers branch to expand it, right-click USB Root Hub, and then click Properties.
"Click the Power Management tab.
"Click to clear the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power check box, click OK, and then quit Device Manager."

No promises on this last one, but the "go to sleep" functions in WinXP are implicated in several similar "obscure" effects, especially if you have less than perfect setup on USB devices; and unless you have a laptop with short battery capacity, they're not particularly necessary so turning them off doesn't hurt you much. Most of the things that happen are the result of failure to properly save all the Registry entries during shutdown, which means of course that you don't get a "proper boot" the next time you start.

Using the System Restore will replace the current Registry with the one you restore to, so it may "undo" some of the configuration stuff you've gone through. If you want, you can always click "Start - Run" type "regedit" hit Enter, and in regedit click "File - Export" and save the current registry somewhere where the machine can't get to it so that you'd be able to get back to where you are now if you decide you really want to.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:39 AM

Barbara -

Your Item 2:

The Mustak site that I found lists the driver for the 600CP scanner as WinXP (Compatible). This does raise the suspicion that they have not "qualified" their driver with Microsoft – but that shouldn't too much of a concern, as quite a few vendors (my Epson scanner included) do not have "Microsoft approved" drivers for XP, and they work ok anyway. There is an installation procedure at How to Install Driver that may be helpful. One thing to note is that the scanner must be disconnected when you "install" the driver, and you connect and "attach" the driver only after you've expanded the driver set from your download. If the scanner is connected while you do the "installation" from the Mustak web.exe, you may get unpredictable results, including the "hang" you described. (They actually recommend disconnecting the scanner during download of the driver files, although I can't see a reason for this.) The download is in 5 separate "disks," and given how slow the site is one wonders if they're downloading from floppies….. Sympathy extended.

Also note that if you've booted WinXP with the scanner connected, XP may have already installed a "generic TWAIN driver" that may or may not work if you can figure out what program to use to run it. The driver installation from Mustak cautions that you should uninstall any existing driver(s) before attempting to install their driver, so you may need to go to Start – Settings - Control Panel and see if the scanner is there. If it is, you need to "remove" it in Control Panel and "unplug" the scanner before you try to do the Mustak driver installation. The requirement that the drivers be "installed" before you connect the hardware is fairly common for USB devices.

Mustak states elsewhere that the drivers will not install with Norton AV turned on. They recommend, in fact, that you uninstall Norton and reinstall it after you get the drivers on the machine. You should be able to turn of your AV (Norton or other) to get the installation done.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:30 AM

Barbara -

Your Item 1:

Office 97 programs should be able to run on WinXP, although you may have to set them to "run as Win98" in the compatibility settings. This usually works okay with old "fully Windows compatible" programs, but often does not work with older "marginally compatible" programs.

There is no "established method," though, for transferring Office program components from one machine to another without the original installation disks. If you got your Office 97 stuff from an OEM manufacturer "already installed" you may find that the disks are "disguised" pretty well. Computer Manufacturers relabel things to make it look like they're the "whole world source for everything," so the "original disks" may have strange names on them. The ones you're looking for should have "Office" somewhere on the label, but may be just labelled "Restore" or "Recovery" or something similar.

If you bought Access97 and Excel97 separately, Microsoft policy has always been that they will not replace lost or damaged disks. If it "came on the machine," there is the possibility that an OEM builder who sold you the machine would provide replacement disks… but don't count on it. You could call them and pretend that you expect them to(?).

There is a procedure for using "Backup" in Win98 for transferring all your Windows/Office stuff from an existing hard drive to a new hard drive in the same machine that requires only the "first disk" from your Windows installation set (Win98SE once came on 11 or so floppies). It isn't specific about whether it takes the Office programs with it, but it implies that it does. The procedure is detailed in KB article 166172, for those who might need it. (The article is "inaccessible" to me now, but may come back.) The procedure is quite complex, and using it to move anything to your WinXP machine would disable WinXP.

Access97 is the oldest version that still qualifies for the "upgrade price" for Access 2003 ($109 list). I don't know what the current policy is, but many upgrades require that you have the old program (Access97) installed before the "upgrade disk" will install the new version, so you would still need the original disk to get it on the machine before you could use the "upgrade version" of the new program, and if you could get it on the machine you probably wouldn't want the upgrade(?). The "new program" full install list price for Access 2003 alone is $229.

Excel 2003, as a stand-alone is the same price, $229 for the full installation and $209 for the upgrade version.

If you really want both, you'd probably be better off getting the full Office 2003 suite. The "Office 2003 Professional Edition" is the only version available that includes Access, and lists for $499 for the full installation, or $329 for the upgrade. The stuff you got with "XP Home" probably does not qualify for the upgrade price on the Office 2003 Professional edition, but you can check it out at How to Buy Office 2003 Professional. I'm not able to find easily what's actually in the "Office Home Editon," if you got that with your new machine.

You may also want to look at What's in Office Editions.

The above are Microsoft's "list prices." You can probably find significantly better prices on the web, or occasionally even at retail stores.

When I looked a few weeks ago, while Office 2002 was still available, there were something like 11 different versions of Office available. Only about 3 included Access. If you look on the web, you may find older stuff available, but be very careful about which versions you look at to make sure that they include Access, if you need it. All versions of Office2003 that I've seen do include Excel (But remember that "Office Home" is not "Office").

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:25 AM

Barbara -

Second Item:

Microsoft discontinued most "free" support for Win95/Win98/Win98SE over two years ago. This includes support for "Office 97." They recently attempted to discontinue all support for these programs, but have relented to a degree, due mainly to the large number of users in countries where they don't have an "export license" to ship newer systems. When I went to the Knowledge Base yesterday, to try to find information on Office 97, all generic searches for info on Win95, Win98, Win98SE, or Office97, or for individual Office97 components return the same 7 articles, and none of the search results had "working links" to useful information – they all just linked back to the same 7 articles. While I'm sure they will "fix" this soon, for the present there is no way for anyone (in the US) to easily get into information that is in the knowledge base that relates to these older programs. Results may be different for people searching from UK or other continents – I can't say.

Anyone still using Office 97, or Win98SE, should make note of the Windows 98 Support Center address (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;en-us;w98). I got there using a link in an article that I'd "saved as a web page" about 2 years ago. It's still up, but for the present, it appears that it would be very difficult to find it "from scratch."

The above Windows 98 Support Center page does give usable links to a few FAQ items, and my be helpful for those still using these programs.

Even from the Win98 Support Center page, searching for known articles by article number results in the same 7 "results" previously cited – which don't even lead back to the Support Center; and attempts to get to articles using the complete "search string" from previous results get "page not available." They do apparently intend to restore access to existing Knowledge Base articles for Win98SE and Office97, but it's impossible to say when that might happen – or if it ever will give reliable access.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:20 AM

I'm not sure where that last one went; but we'll see if a clone will delete it.

your wish is (sometimes) ours to command - jc

In parts:

Barbara

First Item:

Microsoft has released "Service Release 2" for WinXP to OEM manufacturers, and manufacturers are "under contract" to "not build any new machines" using earlier versions. Since they are allowed to ship "already assembled" machines with the older version, it's not possible to say which you have, but you should know which system you're dealing with. Information on the SR2 release is not generally available yet, but some of the "pre-release" information indicates that changes have been "drastic" in some areas. SR2 is not available for updates to existing systems yet, so the only way you might get it is in a new machine.

On your new WinXP machine, click Start - Programs - Accessories - System Tools - System Information. This should open the System Information window, which will take a few seconds to update. It should open with "System Summary" selected, and the first two items shown in the right hand pane should be "OS Name" and "Version."

If it says "Service Pack 1" somewhere under version, other WinXP drivers will be able to give you some help. If it says "Service Pack 2" then you have a "new animal" and will need to be cautious about taking advice from "generic sources;" and you will need to be careful about always calling it "WinXP SR2," at least until this new beast is more common. I would expect that you still got SR1 with your new machine now, but you should confirm it before we go too much further here.

Advice given by GUEST to go to the update site and immediately download SR1 is good, if you don't already have it. NO OEM SUPPLIER should be shipping new machines without SR1 already installed now, but the above check in System Information will tell you what you have.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 05:37 AM

I have an interesting XP "feature". The first time I open control panel after a reboot it usually crashes with error 217 and restarts explorer. It opens control panel quite happily after that. Its an irritation but not a problem. Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 01:51 AM

Visit the Windows Update website immediately after install, and download the Service Pack 1, along with the rest of the critical updates. Some of these updates fix certain bugs in the original XP, and make things a bit more compatible with pre XP software.
If you don't have a broadband connection to the internet, then downloading the updates can take some time.

It might help, anyway


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 01:10 AM

Barbara:

See our post above of October 3, 2003.

You might as well face up to it. Most of your software won't run on XP and your hardware will either not run or run poorly. You'll need to upgrade or replace most of your stuff.

What's that? They didn't tell you that at Gateway? They didn't tell us either.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 08:33 AM

Hi folks. My turn to beg for help. I finally took the plunge and bought a new Dell Dimension 8300 with Windows XP Home Edition. I'd gotten so comfortable and complacent on my old (1999) Gateway with Windows 98, that it never occured to me that my software would not work in XP!

1. And now I can't even find the install discs for Access97 and Excel97. Is it worth me even looking? Will they work in XP? How can I migrate the s/w from one computer to another without the original discs? (Honestly, I own them).

2. My Mustek 600cp scanner does not work so far. I downloaded the XP compatible drivers (took an hour) from the Mustek site, but when I try to install them, they run at "2% complete" endlessly. Any ideas?

3. When I first boot up, rather than going to the desktop with all the icons, my computer goes to the Windows Explorer system32 folder. When I called Dell support about this, the guy wanted me to restore to several days previously, which is when I thought it wasn't happening. This would undo all the work I actually did accomplish in setting the thing up, wouldn't it? What actually gets restored? Files? Just settings? My hard drive?

4. Cool Edit won't even install on the Dell. Just flashes and goes away. The main reason I got the new computer with the upgraded sound card was to do home recording - using Cool Edit. This program was given to me by someone who now uses something else, so I don't know if I'm the legal owner of it or not, and now Adobe owns the product and calls it "Audition" for $300.

I'm so sick of spending my days fighting with computers! The new one on trying to set up what I need, the old one on trying to migrate what I need, and the REALLY old one on that my husband uses (until he gets my old one) trying to clean it up to give to my mother. (And then the hell really begins, trying to teach her how to use it...)

Mudcat has more good information and knowledgeable people than any tech support, so I'm asking for help. Then maybe I can get back to music.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 01:50 PM

Thanks a million, John. I'll try the things you suggest. Looks like I have a bit of work ahead of me. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 03:53 AM

Don -

Re the Format thing. When you insert a floppy and right click on your A:\ drive (in Windows Explorer), select format, the "Quick Format" and "Create Boot Disk" options are check boxes. If you leave both of them unchecked you'll get a "full format" - the default. If there's a check mark in one of them, just click in the box to remove the check.

I don't have any info on the SuperDisk drive, but I suspect that XP is doing the standard Plug-and-Play search everytime you boot, and it's identifying the drive as one or the other of its two possible kinds, floppy or SuperDisk. If it finds the SuperDisk drive as a "second floppy," then there may be a conflict with your A:\ and B:\ drive setup (BIOS?) that interferes with the "plain vanilla" A:\ drive.

The SuperDisk drive manufacturer would need to produce an XP compatible driver set and it appears that what you have doesn't fill the bill. There may be some real difficulties in producing an XP/2K compatible driver, since the SuperDisk drive may rely on direct hardware access to determine which "personality" it should be using. One of the key reasons that XP (and to a lesser extent Win2K) are more stable is that the "hardware protection layer" that's built in makes it very difficult for a program to connect directly to any piece of hardware. Everything goes through Windows. (This is also the main reason why many old games - and my favorite old music scoring program - won't run satisfactorily on XP.)

It's entirely speculative, but it might be possible to give up the dual media capability of the SuperDisk drive, and use it only with one or the other of its media - if you can find a stripped down driver to do that. A sort of trivial question is whether the drive "boots" as a 125MB drive if you boot with a formatted SuperDisk in place.

Having two 1.44MB floppy drives is really sort of overkill with XP, since any machine that has enough RAM to run XP isn't going to burp over the piddly little 1.44MB you can swap in and out of one. I can remember when a diskcopy A:\ to A:\ meant several disk swaps, but any XP suitable machine should do it in one pass.

I have seen some reports of problems with the EnergyStar (or other "energy saver") shutdown with XP. The Mickey$oft Knowledge Base has a couple of articles on problems in this area, with no real solutions. They do note that the system may fail to respond "if the mouse is moved while the system is shutting down;" but as I recall, I believe this one only applied to USB mousies. I can't claim any real experience with it, since the "energy saving" features are one of the first things I turned off on my desktop. I haven't had any problems with it on my laptop, but I use it only when absolutely necessary.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 07:31 PM

I'm resurrecting this thread because I've about had it! I need help.

My scanner problem is solved, but that's about it. I'm really starting to think that my updating to Windows XP Home was a bad move. It's as if my computer keeps reprogramming itself—negatively. As if it's eating itself from the inside out. Awhile back, I posted the specs above, so I won't repeat anything but the relevant info here.

I have two floppy disk drives. One is an LS-120 SuperDisk drive. It's like a Zip drive, but it's more versatile in that it can read from and write to both 120 MB SuperDisks or any standard 3.5", 1.44 MB floppy (or ever the old 720 KB disks). Superior technology to the Zip drives, but swamped in the marketplace, like VHS swamped Beta. I also have a standard floppy drive. Everything worked fine under Windows 98. It's just that Windows 98 crashed and/or froze about three or four times a day.

Windows XP doesn't seem to crash. But it has other problems. New ones emerge every few days.

First, with the SuperDisk drive. Whenever I try to access it, the computer tells me either that there is no disk in the drive or that the disk is not formatted and it asks if I want to format it (which I don't, because it has files on it). If I remove the disk and reinsert it, it will eventually recognize it, but I usually have to do this three or four times. Then, it lets me read from the disk, but it won't let me save anything to it. It tells me that the disk is write protected or damaged, which it is not.

Okay, that's pain in the ass enough. But about a week ago, my regular floppy drive seems to have stopped working. It refuses to acknowledge the presence of a disk in the drive. When I insert a disk, the little LED comes on and sometimes the drive grinds away for a few seconds then stops and all seems perfectly normal. Other times, it will just keep on grinding and eventually return an error message saying that the drive is not ready or that there is no disk in the drive. If it acts normally and I try to access the disk with My Computer, Windows Explorer, or any other program, such as trying to load a .doc file into Word, it grinds away some more, sometimes for a couple of minutes, then it returns any one of several error messages, usually "a:\ is not accessible. No ID address mark was found on the floppy disk." It doesn't matter which floppy disk I use—new, old, formatted or unformatted, blank or with files on it—none of them will work.

The result is that I have no way of backing anything up on floppies. I do have the CD-RW drive, so that, right now, is my only backup option. I understand that Windows XP lets you use a CD-RW as if it were a floppy, but I've never done this other than to make a fairly wholesale backup of my document files (which needs to be updated). For everyday stuff, I've been using floppies, keeping the working files for my book manuscript and other writings on SuperDisks, and more temporary stuff like my notes, new drafts, and such on regular floppies, transferring it to SuperDisks when it starts shaping up. The Windows XP "Troubleshooter" says there's nothing wrong. The floppy drive is working just fine. Well, not so's you'd notice. This is getting really irritating!

On top of this, I have a Dell Inspiron notebook computer that I use when I'm away from my desktop (such as sitting cross-legged on the bed, or off someplace else). The Dell has a changeable drive bay for which I have an LS-120 drive and a CD-ROM drive. I can't, of course, use them at the same time. I have to shut the Dell off, remove one drive from the bay, put the other in, then turn it back on. Where I used to switch SuperDisks or regular floppies freely back and forth between the two machines, now getting a file from one computer to the other is a real problem. No way to get a file from the desktop to the Dell other than to save it on a CD-RW disk, copy the file onto the Dell's hard disk, work on the file, save it to the Dell's hard drive, then shuffle drives, copy what I do on the Dell from the hard drive to a SuperDisk, and hope the desktop will decide to read it. A bit of a Rube Goldberg operation.   

Since I had Windows XP installed, I have not made any changes to my system, nor done anything else that I can think of to cause these problems.

Reading the posts in a computer forum I googled my way into shows me that the floppy drive problem I'm having is not unusual with Windows ME, NT, 2000, and XP, and the Microsoft tech support articles offer zilch. One fellow suggested reformatting any hinky floppy with "Full format." I tried to do this, but when the format screen eventually showed up (after a string of error messages), it appears that this advice is useless. In the dialog screen, the "Capacity" box tells me (accurately) that the disk is 3.5", 1.44MB, 512 bytes/sector. The "File system" box offers FAT. "Allocation unit size" box says Default allocation size, and the Volume label box is blank. The "Format options" panel offers three options: Quick Format, Enable Compression, and Create an MS-DOS startup disk. No Full format option. So much for that.

Another fellow said that he had tried reinstalling the driver for his floppy drive, but that didn't change anything. The problem was still there.

What the hell is going on!???

The malfunctioning floppy drives are my main concern, but it has another little irritant: if I leave the computer for awhile, the monitor ("Energy Star" compliant) shuts off to save electricity, as it's supposed to do. Before I had the computer upgraded and had Windows XP installed, all I had to do to activate the monitor was press a key, any key on the keyboard. Now, nine times out of ten, it won't respond to that. I have to hit the reset button and go through the whole damned start cycle again.

I paid for all this stuff. I could lug it back to the shop, but at $60.00/hr for labor, that could get pricy, and I'm pretty sure these are all software problems. I think I have a right to expect the thing to work! If it were not for all the money I recently put into it, I think I'd bite the bullet, toss it off a pier, and buy a Mac.

Anybody got any ideas? I'm getting desperate!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Oct 03 - 09:40 AM

I'm a confirmed LS-120 drive user - anyone who can assist with the availability of the disks please PM me...

Robin


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 02:16 PM

Back in the early Eighties, after hearing a science fiction writer at one of the NorWesCons rave about the glories of writing on her new Osborne, I checked them out. I sat there in the computer shop and played with the thing and began to grasp what she had been talking about. The price was pretty good ($1750, complete with bundled software including WordStar ) compared to a couple others I looked at. But that itty-bitty 5" screen seemed a bit cramped—like peering at your work through a keyhole. Some of the pricier computers had much bigger screens. As I sat there, it occurred to me that if they had stacked the disk drives instead of putting them on either side of the screen, this wound leave room for a considerably bigger screen. Apparently someone else had been thinking along the same lines. The next time I walked in, they showed me a KayPro II. Stacked drives and a 9" screen. This, plus bundled software for the same price as the Osborne. The word processor that came with it was PerfectWriter, which I thought stank a bit, so I talked them into throwing in a copy of WordStar.

For writing, it was simple, straightforward, and marvelously easy to use. No bells and whistles, but it made writing some much easier and so much more fun than pecking away at the old Royal portable that I frequently wish I still had it. I felt like I had some control.

Progress. Sigh.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Amos
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 09:05 AM

Mark:

I cut my eye-teeth on an Osborne I -- learned programming, spreadsheets and Wordstar on it. Loved that lil stupid thing!!

A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: GUEST,Redhorse at work
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 08:40 AM

I changed to XP earlier this year: I'd got so much bits and rubbish on the C: drive that booting up was taking forever so I took the plunge to Format C: and install XP from the ground up. Only problem was I assumed I would be able to re-install software I'd got the original discs of, so didn't include them in the back-up. Have now got useless discs of Norton Anti-Virus, Music Works, Visio, etc. that XP won't install!
(apart from that, the stuff that did install seems to work fine)

Ho hum
nick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 06:58 PM

Yup, MicroSpawnOfSatanSoft reminds me of the old joke:

"Congratulations! You've just been screwed by Grandma".

As long as people rush feverishly to grab up all the new "improved" OS "upgrades" whether they actually need to or not, Gates'll be laughing all the way to the bank.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: rodentred
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 06:44 PM

What I didn't realise buying a new XP computer was that many older games will not run. There ought to be a big warning sign.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Mark Clark
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 06:42 PM

Don, A Kaypro II? Cool. The Kaypro was a knockoff of the Osborne I and I still have mine. Of course it hasn't been powered up in many years. The computing history exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry has an Osborne I along with a number of older computers I've used. The first computer I ever became adept on was an NCR 390; no disk drive, no operating system, no compiler or assembler, just real instructions on the bare hardware. It had actual core memory (one tiny ferrite donut per bit) and a 2nd generation CPU based on transistors.

Fionn, In helping to solve computer problems, I find it's often helpful to have many people propose solutions, even the same solutions explained in a different way. You never know which explanation is going to connect with the user's experience.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 06:28 PM

Fionn -

The "real improvement" is that they try to force (or trick) you to search the web everytime you want to look for something, instead of letting you deal just with your own machine.

I think it has something to do with making you "more accessible" to advertisers...(?)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 04:55 PM

Don, I too wish they'd left well alone. It would seem that in their desperation to make searching easy enough for a ten-week baby to do, they've actually made it frighteningly more complicated for the rest of us. I can assure you there is none of this intrusive, pain-in-the-arse nannying with Linux!

(I didn't mean to repeat so much of what Mark had alread said better, of course. Just hadn't seen his comments when I posted mine.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 06:24 PM

Don Firth -

In the WinXP Explorer, the "search" feature is still present, but works a little differently.

Open Win Explorer and click on "View" "Toolbars" and make sure that you have "Standard Buttons" and "Address Bar" checked visible.
Then you should see a "Search" and a "Folders" button on the top. When you click on the "Search" button, you get a menu of a bunch of stuff you can do - possibly even a little more helpful than with Win98 Explorer, although you do have to "get used to" it. (Note: I use "Classic View" on everything.)

Search results are "returned" by being "placed" in a "Search Results" folder. You can do things like rename, open, send-to, or delete directly from there, or you can go back to the "Folders" view once you've identified the files you were looking for, just by clicking the other button on the top bar. If there are results there, you can even go back to the "Search Results" folder in "Folder View."

As Mark Clark commented, you go to Epson's site to get drivers for your scanner. I have an Epson Perfection 1200U for which Epson has not produced an "XP Certified" driver, and I've seen comments from users of other scanners (and a few printers) that Epson has not done a good job about "registering" their drivers to get the Mickey$oft "seal of approval;" but the uncertified drivers usually work okay. XP may attempt to install a "default" Micky$oft driver in place of the Epson one, so you may have to argue with the installation program; but as long as the driver is Twain-compatible, XP should accept it (under protest) and work okay.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 02:00 PM

Fionn, when I click on Start > Search, it doesn't give me a "Files/Folders" option like the old (Windows 98) start menu did. But I get the window on the left with the response boxes, the third of which says "Look in:" complete with drop-down arrow, which allows me to browse and narrow the search. I don't know why I didn't spot it before. I must be losin' it! I wish they'd left the feature in Windows Explorer, but maybe they're trying to eliminate some of the redundancies (which I like, because I find them convenient). And another approach from Mark: right-clicking on My Computer and clicking on "explore." Sometimes I forget all about the possibilities of right-clicking on something. . . .

And Mark, thanks for the links. Tomorrow when I have a little time to work at it, I'll download the driver from Epson and see if I can get VBA from Microsoft. I got an OEM version of Word 2002 from "saveonsoft.com" (CD only) for about $45.00. For the heck of it, I also bought an OEM copy of Wordperfect Office 11 (the whole suite, apparently) for the same price. I like it, but it's different enough so there'll be a bit of a learning curve.

My first computer was a Kaypro II that I got in the early Eighties. Back in the days of CP/M, I knew exactly what I was doing, and I was still on top of it with DOS. But these days, I sometimes feel like I'm completely lost in a 500 room Baroque palace.

Thanks to you both! I'll let you know how things work out.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 09:41 PM

Don, you shouldn't be having the problem you describe. If you go start > search > files/folders, you will open a "search results" window, in the left pane of which you should see a message: "what do you want to search for?" Ignore the clever-alec stuff and choose "all files/folders." Two empty response boxes and a combo-box then appear in the left pane, where you can respectively enter all or part of a filename (or a filename with * wildcards); and/or text from the body of the file you want, and lastly where to search. Typically your hard drive (or all of them if you've got more than one) will be offered, but by clicking on the drop-down arrow at the right-hand end of the box, you can be more specific, or change the drive to be searched.

Jerry, in theory you should be able to uninstall, install or upgrade your operating system without affecting the data files you've created, but it's obviously safer to back them up first. One or two posters above were suggesting not that you uninstall Win98 first, but that you completely wipe/reformat the hard drive. This is probably the best option, but obviously makes it essential that you back up all data, together with any programs on the hard drive for which you do not have te disks from which to reinstall.

If/when you start afresh with a newly reformatted hard drive, you might consider creating a separate partition for all your data. This is because when you have installed XP, it is prety damned hard to remove it, should that become necessary for any reason. As XP refuses point-blank to delete itself, the simplest way is to reformat whatever drive or partition it's on. Hence the advantage of having your data stored separately.

Even better than partitioning the hard drive is to get a second hard drive. Ones that are a step or two behind the pace (say 20Gb) can be picked up for about 30 dollars on E-Bay (or Micro Mart in the UK), and for just storing data, 20Gb is huge, unless you're storing video and music CDs on your system. A second hard drive is probably the cheapest, most efficient way to sort out all your back-up, copying and security issues at a stroke, and would mean any future messing with your OS that might be necessary would be very much easier.

If creating an additional partition or installing a second hard drive is too daunting, then at least make sure that all your data files are stored within a single directory/folder (which can of course be sub-divided into as many sub-folders and sub-sub-folders etc, as you like). It makes them much easier to copy and back up. If this is the way they are stored on your present machine, then again it's going to be easier - you can copy the whole lot, complete with their folder/directory structure, in a single operation.

My take on XP in general is that it's hugely better than I'd dare hope. I'd been determined to stick with Win2000, which was a quantum leap better than all MS operating systems that went before it, but especially Win95/8/ME. And it comes without the bells and whistles and spoonfeeding that can make XP so irritating. HOWEVER.... some of those bells and whistles are actually useful. For instance you can plug a minidisk straight in to play through the speakers with no software mods at all. Picture management is better, there is a crude movie-maker, etc, etc.

Somewhat to my amazement, XP turns out to be every bit as robust as Win2000. And if IE6 ever restricts access, that will be down to a problem in the settings. In my limited experience, the drivers likely to be needed for oldish peripherals, including my long-in-the-tooth A3 postscript laserprinter and 1993 Taxan 21" screen, come with the package. It's a bit annoying that installing drivers for newer stuff can generate hysterical warnings that they have not been signed off for compatibility with XP. Such warnings have to be resolutely ignored.

One thing's for sure though: XP (and Win2000) are huge targets for viruses. Anti-virus defences will always be a step behind the latest nasties, and it's only a matter of time before some of them prevent Norton etc from running recovery operations.

Using a non-MS email client reduces exposure significantly. But the best defence is to heed whoever above said "Linux rulz" and ditch Microsoft altogether. Linux is free, it is a hugely powerful, yet simple, operating system, and there is a vast array of open source software already available (also freely supplied) that mimics most of the mainstream applications such as those in the MS Office suite. Anyone who understand anything about computers should bite this bullet and go for Linux, as several governments are now doing to Microsoft's great consternation.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Mark Clark
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 08:35 PM

Epson has drivers for your scanner. You might have to unplug the scanner, remove it from your hardware list (uninstall), then install the drivers and finally plug in your scanner so it can be autofound.

The Visual Basic message may be because of security settings. You should have received VBA with Office XP (Office 2002) but many common viruses are VBA scripts and you may have indicated without realizing it that you didn't want to run VBA scripts. If you just bought Word 2002 and not Office XP, you may not have VBA but I think you can get it from Microsoft as a download. In the U.S. I like to buy software from Vio Software because they have great prices and great service. Often you can buy OEM versions of Microsoft applications from them. No box, no printed manual (documentation on CD), no Microsoft support, but you save quite a bit of money.

Your My Computer icon is inside your Start menu. Click Start then right-click My Computer and select explore from the context menu. When Windows Explorer pops up, right-click on any drive or folder and select Search from the context menu. You'll find your familiar search functions there. It looks a little different but all the features are there.

And don't worry about Word 2003. That's really part of an enterprise application suite intended for corporate environments where everything is loaded on servers. Office XP (2002) isn't going to be left stranded.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 07:58 PM

I hope there's still a Windows XP guru around here somewhere. . . .

My computer was made for me in 1999 by a "screwdriver shop." It was a Pentium II 350MHz with 128 MB RAM, complete with a 17" ViewSonic PS775 monitor, Matrox graphics card, Soundblaster Live sound card, Altec-Lansing speakers complete with sub-woofer, modem—the usual other accouterments. Storage included a CD-ROM drive, a 9.4 GB hard drive, and an LS-120 Superdisk drive (in lieu of a Zip disk, because the LS-120 drive would read/write to both the Superdisk—120 MBs—and regular floppies, whereas the Zip drive could only read/write to Zip disks). Hot stuff in 1999. The operating system was Windows 98, and it had the usual package of home software, including Word 97 which I used a lot.

About ten weeks ago, I sent the computer back to the same shop to be overhauled and updated. The monitor is fine, the CD ROM drive is fine, the LS-120 drive is fine, and I especially love the keyboard. So I just sent the box to the shop. When it came back, it had a new power supply, a new motherboard, and it was a Pentium IV 2.4GHz with 512 MB RAM, a PlexWriter CD-RW drive, and a new 1.44 floppy drive in addition to the LS-120 drive for copying convenience, and I swapped the 9.4 GB hard drive for an 80 GB drive. Hotter than a two-dollar pistol! The operating system is Windows XP.

There is very much about Windows XP that I like. But—my ecstasy is not without blemish.

1. My Canon S630 inkjet printer gets along with it very well, but XP refuses to recognize the existence of my Epson Perfection 1650 scanner. What do I do now?

2. It's very snotty to the LS-120 drive. "My Computer" acknowledges it, and I can read things from the Superdisks, but when I try to save something to a Superdisk, it tells me I can't because the disk is write-protected, which it is not. Like the Betamax, Superdisk drives are superior in every way to Zip disks, but they've been swamped in the marketplace and discontinued. Anything I can do to make the drive fully functional like it used to be?

3. When I tried to use Word 97, it would allow me to write for a few minutes, then it would suddenly give me an error message telling me that it was sorry for the inconvenience, but it was going to have to shut down. Then it would, without allowing me to save what I had written. I futzed around with the compatibility feature, but it didn't help. I remedied this problem by buying and loading Word 2002 (The day it was delivered, MS announced the release of Word 2003!).

4. Now, when it load Word 2002, the first thing I encounter is a little attention-getting ding, and a small window in the middle of the screen telling me
Microsoft Visual Basic
The macros in this project are disabled. Please refer to the online help or documentation
of the host application to determine how to enable them.
                                          OK                               Help
If I click "Help," it takes me to a help screen that provides no help at all. If I click "OK," fortunately the window disappears and I can go to work. What do I need to do to enable macros and get it to quit bugging me, if, indeed, that's what it's really all about?

5. Another thing that makes me snarl is the search feature. I used to use Windows Explorer a lot for file management. There was a "find" command in one of the pull-down menus that allowed me to browse and narrow a search down to a single folder, but not any more. The only search feature I can find is in the "Start" menu, and it won't let you narrow the search down. You have to search the entire hard disk, and with eighty gigabytes to rummage through, it takes awhile. I'm getting awfully good at "Minesweeper" while I wait. And sometimes it fails to find a file that I know damned well is there. Isn't this a step backward, or is there something I don't know?

There's more, but that's about all that comes to mind at the moment. Anybody? Please?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: hobbitwoman
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 09:57 PM

I love XP. I had 98 on my old computer, and bought a Toshiba Satellite laptop w/ XP already loaded - and I am very pleased. As many have said, the problems w/ XP seem to come in when you try to put it on an older machine or install as an upgrade. It eats up a lot of RAM so if you've got like 64 or 128, it probably won't be enough. I've got 256 and it's fine. Don't be afraid!

Annie


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