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Quick Start - Four - "How To"
This page describes some of the steps to set up a Windows 98 PC for improved "user friendly" operation.
A similar page to set up Windows XP will be happen one day - just not yet
Windows Explorer - settings for optimum use.
Windows Explorer is probably the most useful application to be found on your system. On my system it it always open and minimised to the Task bar for immediate use. With a Windows keyboard the combination WinKey-E will open Windows Explorer.
A shortcut to Windows Explorer is always the first icon I put in the Quick Start taskbar area. Unfortunately the Microsoft defaults are far from useful. To set up Windows Explorer in a useful way: 1. Go to the Menu item "View", then "Folder Options" (for Windows 98). 2. In "Folder Options", under the General Tab, choose "Classic Style" and apply. 3. In "Folder Options", under the View Tab, check "Display the full path in title bar". 4. In "Folder Options", under the View Tab, check "Show all files". 5. In "Folder Options", under the View Tab, un-check "Hide file extensions for known file types". 6. In "Folder Options", under the View Tab, un-check "Show window contents while dragging". 7. Leave other settings as they are, and OK out of the dialogue box. 8. Go to the Menu item "View" and un-check the "as Web Page" item 9. Go to the Menu item "View" and check the "Details" item. 10. Finally in the Windows Explorer "View\Folder Options\View" Menu, click "Like Current folder" 11. Close then re-open Windows Explorer. Don't be afraid to use the right mouse button in Windows Explorer. Context sensitive menus appear depending on where you are - these menus make using Explorer a "no brainer". Take time to read the Menu item "Help\Help Topics", particularly "Exploring Your Computer".
Control Panel settings
"System" Icon - Go to the Performance\File System..\Hard Disk tab. Set the "Typical Role..." to Network Server where the PC has 64 Mb or more of RAM. Un-check the "Search for new floppy disk.. " box. Speeds the boot process. "Keyboard" Icon - Go to the Language tab\Add.. button. Choose the specific language for your country i.e. English (Australian). Assists Word "language". "Regional Settings" icon - The Time tab allows choice of time display setting i.e. in Windows Explorer. "Regional Settings" icon - The Date tab, Short date style affects the Windows Explorer date display. I prefer to set the short date to dd/MM/yyyy to give an even column display in Explorer. "Sounds" Icon - The Schemes choices include "No Sounds", clearing all previous entries. At least keep the "Exit Windows" item clear as a sound here could affect Windows shutdown. The .wav file choices are found in the \Windows\Media folder. I usually set the "Start Windows" event as a quick check that sound & speakers are working. "Modems" icon - The Diagnostics\More Info... button checks that PC and modem are connected. Update Hyperterminal by downloading and installing the current version. "Fonts" icon - The most up to date versions of Microsoft's standard fonts are here.
Install Microsoft Tweak UI
Microsoft's Tweak UI (user interface) Control Panel utility is not formally supported by Microsoft. Nevertheless its installation provides some valuable Windows configuration support. In particular the following tabs are useful for the purposes mentioned. "Boot" - enable Scandisk to autorun without prompting. "Logon" - enable the User name and password to be completed automatically. "New" - uncheck every item unlikely to be used from the Explorer right button "New" menu. "Explorer" - uncheck the Prefix "Shortcut to" setting. The other setting controls should be examined\used for further personalised settings. A step-by-step guide has been provided by Winmag.com
Install Freeware Support Utilities
Notepad+ - Better "notepad" than the Windows default. Replace notepad.exe with this. Put a shortcut to notepad in the \Windows\Send To folder
EyeDrives - Monitor drives, freespace, memory and resource useage.
InoculateIT - Computer Associates virus scanning utility. Free for personal use.
F-Macrow - Macro virus scanning utility. One of the best in this field.
TClockEx - Makes the task bar time and date function meaningful.
Install Windows Updates
Windows Media Player - this and many other items are updated by the Windows Update routine
Microsoft DirectX - now up to version 9.
Microsoft Drivers - Intellipoint mouse driver update
Security bulletins - continuous updates to fix emerging security problems
Visual Basic Runtimes - Earlier ones may be needed for older applications - Runtimes 3,4,5 & 6
Hyperterminal PE - version 6.1 - Communications utility free for personal use
Adobe Acrobat Reader - everyone needs this to read Portable Document Format (PDF) files
Irfan View - freeware graphics viewer and utility.
Microsoft Office Viewers - open\view Word, Excel and Powerpoint files.
Shockwave and Flash - from Macromedia. Invaluable. On-line update required.
Internet Explorer/Outlook Express
Update Internet Explorer - Current version is 6 SP1.
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13 August 2006