Windows gives users control of screen savers

Help Line

June 07, 1999|By James Coates | James Coates,Chicago Tribune

How can I activate my screen saver at will, rather than wait for the preprogrammed time to elapse?

Screen savers are files with the extension .scr, so you can use the File Find feature in Windows to display them all and create a desktop shortcut icon for the one you want to use. Click Start, then Find Files, and type +.scr in the keyword search box to list all your screen savers. Right-click on the one you want and the software will create a shortcut icon on the desktop.

Your answer saying there is no spelling checker included with Microsoft Outlook Express is incorrect. I've been using Outlook Express since it came out and have always had the capability of spell checking. Look in the Tools/Options menu, Spelling tab.

My too-short answer to the original question should have pointed out that all users of Outlook Express with either Microsoft Office or Microsoft Works on their machines can, indeed, spell check draft e-mail. Of course, they paid for the privilege by buying expensive software, which was the point. Apologies to the waves of readers who wrote to straighten me out.

The column to the right of the Start button on my Windows display used to be about 1 inches wide. Now it's about 3 inches wide and I have no idea how to narrow it.

The various displays on the task bar at the bottom of the Windows 95/98 desktop are adjustable via mouse movements. Move your mouse cursor down to the Start button and then slowly move it to the right until the shape of the cursor changes into an arrow with heads on both ends. Press the left mouse button and move the arrow -- it will increase or decrease the length of the task bar segments.

I use several DOS programs and have DOS 6.2 in a directory called c:

dos. But Win 98 in c:

windows

command has a later command.com. Should I copy command.com from the Windows directory over to C:

DOS to avoid possible conflicts? Sometimes I get "wrong DOS version."

Windows 98 was engineered to replace the version of DOS you value for stuff you have had since the dinosaur era. This puts you on shaky ground trying to salvage DOS 6.2 on your machine; beware of overwriting the command.com program. The 7.x version of DOS behind Windows 98 works fine. You don't need to retain DOS 6.2.

But many people like to keep 6.2 or even earlier DOS versions on their machines. The best way to do this is to make a startup disk for DOS 6.2 and boot your computer from a floppy when you want a DOS 6.2 session.

To do this, go to the DOS prompt and then move to the C:

DOS directory. Then put a floppy disk into drive A: and type sys a: to create that bootup disk.

I use Audioactive software to listen to streaming audio from the Net, but when I call up a .wav file, it activates Audioactive, which cannot play a .wav file. How do I activate an audio source to play .wav files?

You need to change the Windows settings to run the Microsoft Media Player instead of Audioactive when you click on a .wav icon.

Click on the My Computer icon at the top of your screen. Pick View, choose Folder Options and select File Types in the menu that comes up.

You will find a list of the file types your machine can handle listed alphabetically. Scroll down to Wave sounds, select it and then choose Edit. A new menu will appear -- select the Edit choice here, too.

That will bring up a menu that includes a line pointing to the Audioactive program. Click the box to the right marked Browse and choose C:Windows, then find the file called mplayer.exe. Click on that and your machine will run the proper sound player when you click on a .wav sound file.

Send e-mail to jcoates@tribune.com.

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