Some months ago, a friend forwarded a copy of an e-mail which had, as an attachment, a program which was a little black-and-white cat that moved about the screen, falling from top to bottom; walking along the margins; disappearing through a little "cat door" in the middle of the screen; and otherwise being entertaining.
Unfortunately, we were attacked by a virus and it was necessary to reconfigure our hard drive, during which process we lost all our stored programs, including the cat. I tried to find the cat by using Yahoo! and other search engines but without success.
That critter's name is Catz and it was a failed product by the programming geniuses at the Mindspring software house that was adopted by Mattel Inc., which offers the virtual pets through a Web site: www.petz.com/central/default.asp. You get your pick between Dogz and Catz for a $30 download.
Apparently, your friend e-mailed a bootlegged copy. I would add that when I was sent an evaluation copy of Catz a few years back, I hated it because it made my machine lock up from time to time. Maybe your recent computer troubles had more to do with kitty litter from Catz than a virus.
Could you please expound upon one of your recent columns about beating America Online's automatic disconnections? I have entered the site that you mentioned, "forty.com," and the page does not come up. Do you have any other suggestions for me?
That www.forty.com site, where the AOL hang-up beater software Download Wonder is offered, is up and running just fine, but it tends to get a bit busy as folks find out about it.
With more than 20 million customers, and growing faster every day, America Online continues to create ever-growing ranks of irked customers by its efforts to conserve access lines by hanging up on computers that seem to have been abandoned because their owners are doing downloads and not striking keys or moving their mice for relatively long spells.
Whenever I turn my computer on (Windows 98), it ends its booting cycle with Explorer on my screen (it shows "Exploring C:" and folders plus subfolders). This adds a few seconds to the routine of turning the computer on, and it is unnecessary since I never use it. How do I get rid of that screen?
Some advanced users like to have this file manager run on boot-up so they can start delving into the machine's innards from the get-go, but we ordinary users just find it an annoyance.
You need to delete the shortcut icon for Explorer from your computer's Startup folder, which Windows uses to store icons for programs that will be run automatically on booting. The folder is reached by using that self-same Explorer. To run the Explorer, right click on the Start button and pick Explore. In the window that pops up, pick Programs in the pane on the right.
In the next display you need to scroll down to Startup and open the folder, where you will find the offending Explorer icon ready for deep-sixing.
Here is a quirky problem. I have Windows 95. In the past, the Tab key would move the cursor around in a word-processing document or in a worksheet. All of a sudden, when I press the Tab, I switch from one window application to another, as if I were doing Alt+Tab. Do you know how I can get the old function of Tab back?
I'll bet you a bucket of Tab keys and the little springs that make them go up and down that your problem doesn't have a thing to do with the mysterious ways of computer software and that elderly Windows 95 operating system you still run.
My guess is that your keyboard has worn out, and that an el cheapo $30 replacement will put you back in business quicker than you can say Control+Alt+Delete.
I have a Compaq Presario 5900Z with a 650 MHz AMD Athlon. I recently downloaded Microsoft Windows Media Player 7, which was supposed to be an upgrade. Now, when I try to access new MPEG video files, it gives me an error message, "The system cannot locate the resource specified."
Under "Details" it says, "The path to the file is not valid." Can I remove this upgrade and go back to the 6.4, where everything worked?
A great many people who find Microsoft's slick new Windows Media Player 7 far more complicated than they bargained for will be happy to know that when version 7 is installed, a backup version of the earlier edition is stored on the hard drive as well.
You can find it by clicking on Start, then Find, then Files or Folders and typing in mplayer2.exe.
The fallback exists because the new software doesn't perform all that well on older, less powerful computers, while the old Media Player was a workhorse on them all.
But if all this makes you throw up your hands in dismay, running mplayer2.exe will take you back to familiar ground.
By the way, you can fix your invalid path problem by calling up Media Player 7, choosing File and then Import, and using the browser box that comes up to point to those movies you want to run.