Tips for Windows 95 from Tipworld  


I got the tips to begin these pages over a period of  months, I personally got some benefit out of this and  I hope you will also.

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NO MORE CLOUDY DAYS, PART 4 OF 4

We get lots of e-mail asking how to replace the three Windows 95 logo files, so once again, we're running our series on this technique.
If you followed the instructions in our last three tips, you've selected up to three 640-by-480 bitmap files you want to use as the Windows 95 startup and shut-down screens, saved the old ones--LOGO.SYS, LOGOW.SYS, and LOGOS.SYS--under new names, sized the new ones down to 320 by 400 in Paint's Stretch/Skew dialog box, and then renamed them with the above three file names. You should now have some interesting Windows 95 startup and shut-down screens.

The question is, if you have bitmaps that aren't 640 by 480, can you use those? Of course! One way is to figure out the math (ick) to size it to 320 by 400; but if you want the easy way out, make the bitmap as close as you can to 320 by 400, then put a frame around it to make it exact.

With your image displayed in Paint (already sized to just under 320 by 400), choose Attributes under image and change the Width and Height to 320 and 400, respectively. Click on OK, and your image, plus the white space that appears, is now a 320-by-400 image.

To center the image, choose Select All under Edit, then use the four-pointed arrow to click and drag the picture anywhere you want within the white area. Save the file as a 256 Color Bitmap named LOGO.SYS (in the root directory), LOGOW.SYS or LOGOS.SYS (both in the Windows folder), and you're all set. (Note: Be sure to save the original file under a new name first, so you don't overwrite it.) You'll see the frame when the screen appears, but who cares? You still get the picture!
 
 



FLEXIBILITY IS EXPLORER'S MIDDLE NAME

When you open an Explorer window, it looks a certain way. The right pane is one size, the left pane another, and there are bars of information and tools at the top and bottom of the window. For maximum viewing pleasure, you can change Explorer's look.
To change the amount of space allocated to the left and right panes, hold your mouse pointer over the divider and when it changes to a double-pointed arrow, click and drag in either direction. For example, you may wish to make the left side bigger if you've opened a folder within a folder within a folder (the more branches you open, the wider that tree gets).

If you'd like more space on the top or bottom of your Explorer window, get rid of the Toolbar or Status Bar. Pull down the View menu and deselect one or both of these options.
 


TAKE IT ONE KEY AT A TIME, PART 1 OF 2

Tired of doing finger gymnastics to press your favorite Ctrl, Alt, or Shift keyboard combination? Then ask Windows 95 to let you press one key at a time using StickyKeys. It's one of the Accessibility options.
In the Control Panel, double-click on Accessibility Options, and on the Keyboard tab, select Use StickyKeys. Click on OK or Apply, and three boxes will appear on the Taskbar's tray. StickyKeys has been activated.

Now suppose you want to use the Ctrl-Alt-Delete keyboard combo to bring up the End Task dialog box. With one finger, press the Ctrl key (you'll hear a tone, and the first box on the Taskbar will appear shaded), then lift it up and press Alt (again, a tone and a shaded box), and finally, press Delete. A little easier than making the stretch, eh?

In our next tip, we'll discuss StickyKeys' options.


TAKING IT ONE KEY AT A TIME, PART 2 OF 2

In our last tip, we introduced StickyKeys, an Accessibility option that allows you to press one key of your Shift, Alt, or Ctrl keyboard combination at a time. To set this option in motion, open the Control Panel, double-click on Accessibility Options, and on the Keyboard tab, select Use StickyKeys.
You can shut StickyKeys on and off without the Control Panel, once you've activated its shortcut. After selecting the Use StickyKeys option (in the Accessibility Properties dialog box), click on Settings. Select Use shortcut, then click on OK twice. From now on, pressing the Shift key five times turns StickyKeys off; pressing it five more times (and clicking on OK) turns it back on.

Speaking of StickyKeys options... you'll notice that with StickyKeys activated, pressing Ctrl, Alt, or Shift in combination with another key (the traditional way) shuts StickyKeys off. If you don't like this feature, undo it. Click on Settings (next to Use StickyKeys in the Accessibility Properties dialog box), then deselect the option, "Turn StickyKeys off when two keys are pressed at once." But wait, there's more! Under Notification, there's an option to turn off the StickyKeys' sound feature, and one to keep its symbols off the Taskbar. After selecting or deselecting any of the options in this dialog box, click on OK to make them stick (pardon the pun).
 



 
FLUSH DELETIONS FROM YOUR SYSTEM

If you've left Windows 95's Recycle Bin settings alone, deleting items sends them to the Recycle Bin (after you click on Yes to confirm that you really want to send them there). But keep in mind that this "deleting" process doesn't get the items out of your system. It simply moves them to another folder called Recycle Bin. It's a nice safety net, in case you change your mind about these deletions, but you certainly aren't regaining any disk space.
To flush deleted items out of your system altogether, you have to Empty the Recycle Bin. Right-mouse click on its desktop icon, select Empty Recycle Bin, then click on Yes to confirm.

(Note: You can also set the Recycle Bin to empty itself automatically when it reaches a certain capacity--say, 5 percent of your hard drive. Right-mouse click on the Recycle Bin icon, select Properties, and on the Global tab, adjust the lever to the percentage you have in mind. Click on OK.)
 



 

NO SEE 'EM START MENU ITEMS

Are there certain folders or shortcuts on your Start menu that you want to hide (temporarily) from meddling fingers? Mark them hidden, then make sure Windows 95 doesn't show "hidden" files. (Of course, this technique won't work if the person from whom you're trying to hide the items knows how to show hidden files!)
To mark a Start menu item hidden, right-mouse click on the Start button, select Open, and navigate your way to that item. Right-mouse click on it, select Properties, check the box next to Hidden, and click on OK. Repeat these steps for every shortcut or folder you want to hide.

Now ask Windows 95 not to show hidden files. In any Windows 95 view, select Options under the View menu, and on the View tab, select Hide Files of These Types. Click on OK, close any open windows, restart Windows 95, and check out your Start menu. Those items have vanished!

(To show the hidden items again, select Show All Files on the View tab of the Options dialog box and remove the Hidden attribute in the Properties dialog box of each hidden item; then restart Windows 95.)


WHOA... BACK UP A MINUTE!

In a previous tip, we showed you how to back up the Windows 95 Registry and then restore it in the event of an emergency.
The original release of Windows 95 has a problem with importing large registry backups in real mode (in other words, the MS-DOS environment). The solution from Microsoft is to use the Registry Editor in protected mode (the Windows environment), assuming you can get Windows 95 to boot. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article Q132064 at

http://www.microsoft.com/kb/default.asp
 



 

PATTERN-IZE YOUR DESKTOP

Is there a desktop pattern you'd like to use, if only it were a little different? Then change it. You can edit any existing pattern and save it under a new name.
Right-mouse click on the desktop, select Properties, and on the Background tab, select the pattern you want to change. (Make sure None is selected under Wallpaper--wallpapers take precedence over patterns.) Click on Edit Pattern, and use the Pattern Editor to make your changes. Click on any square of the pattern to toggle its color between black and your desktop's background color. (In other words, if your desktop's background is set to black, you won't have much luck editing patterns!) When you like the result in the Sample area, type a new Name for the pattern and click on Add. (Or, to overwrite the existing pattern, click on Change.) Click on Done to exit the Pattern Editor.

To view your pattern on the big screen, click on OK to close the Display Properties dialog box. In the future, you can select your new pattern by name in the Pattern list.



 

THE NEW AND IMPROVED DUN

If you use Dial-Up networking, grab the Dial-Up Networking Upgrade 1.2 from Microsoft's Web site at
http://backoffice.microsoft.com/downtrial/moreinfo/win95pptp.asp

This upgrade includes ". . . client support for a single PPTP connection, . . . various bug fixes to Dial-Up Networking components and to the TCP/IP stack . . . [and] all networking features and fixes included in the OSR2 (OEM) release of Windows95 and the ISDN 1.1 Accelerator Pack." For more information, and to download this software, point your Web browser to the above URL.
 


MAKE A LIST AND PRINT IT TWICE

A printout of your system settings is a good reference to keep handy for hardware troubleshooting. Right-mouse click on My Computer, select Properties, and click on the Device Manager tab. Click on Print, choose the type of report you'd like to print, and click on OK.
"System summary" prints a report organized by resource type--IRQ, I/O port, memory, and DMA channel--listing the hardware that uses each resource. (Double-click on Computer back on the Device Manager tab to view this information on-screen.) "Selected class or device" lists the resources and any device drivers used by the selected hardware. Of course, you'll need to select the hardware before clicking on Print. And the third option, "All devices and system summary," prints a system summary and details for every piece of hardware on your system.

 



 
 START STOPS YOUR SCREEN SAVER

On September 29, we ran a tip about running the Disk Defragmenter regularly to defragment your hard drive. (Select Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter; select the drive you want to defragment, and click on OK.) We also pointed out that you should disable your screen saver before running this utility.
A shortcut [to disabling your screen saver] is to click on the Start button after defrag has started. As long as the Start menu is up, the screen saver will not kick in, and defrag will continue normally.

 



KEYBOARD JAMMIN'


Here are three keyboard shortcuts you shouldn't be without:
Alt-Shift-Tab You may already know that Alt-Tab cycles you through open programs and windows, but did you know that Alt-Shift-Tab cycles you backward through the same list? It's a useful option if you have lots of applications open at the same time.

Shift-Right-click If you'd like to open a file in a particular application other than the one it's associated with, don't waste time opening the application first, then using that program's Open command. Instead, hold down Shift as you right-mouse-click on the already selected file icon. Select Open With, choose the application in which you'd like to open the files, and click on OK.

Shift-Delete Typically, selecting an item and pressing the Delete key sends it to the Recycle Bin (after you click on Yes to confirm that you actually want to send the item there). To bypass the Recycle Bin altogether, hold down Shift as you press Delete.


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