Felix, not Catz, wanders across bottoms of Windows desktops

Help Line

September 11, 2000|By James Coates | James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

In a recent response to a reader who said he had lost a program that displayed a cute little animated cat as a screen saver, you said the program was Catz. I have Catz, and it's not that.

The program described is Felix, a compact, trouble-free 300K program that puts a little black-and-white cat on the desktop. The cat enters via a cat door that appears at random on the Windows desktop, drops to the bottom of your screen, then walks across the bottom and exits at the lower-right corner, pausing for adventures such as viewing a cat food commercial, chasing a fly, etc.

It's available as a sample download at AdTools Inc. (www.adtoolsinc.com).

Your note was No. 56 during Day 1 of a deluge of e-mail that still pours in from folks who chastise me for bagging the wrong cat. All I can do is echo my dear old father, who augmented his wages by running trap lines in the Wyoming high country: There are plenty of different ways of skinnin' catz.

Is there a utility that would automatically downshift the colors (and the resolution, if needed) when a program starts, and reset them when the program ends? Our kids use older educational programs that require Windows to be set at the low setting of 256 colors. My wife and I need "True Color 24 bit" for most of our work.

A little-known Windows feature lets you create an icon on the system tray at the bottom of the screen that can be clicked to change resolution of the monitor display. Move the cursor arrow onto the desktop and right-click to call up the Properties box.

In Properties, click the Settings tab to bring up the screen where you would change back and forth between high resolution and low resolution by hand. Look for the Advanced box and give it a click. In the display you get there will be a check box: "Show settings icon on task bar." Once you pick it you will get an icon that will give you your choice for every possible screen resolution for your computer.

I recently purchased a CD-read/write drive. The software that came with it won't let me record RAM files. I have Real Audio music files saved under the RAM extension. How can I convert these RAM files into MP3 files?

Check www.musicmatch.com. The MusicMatch Jukebox will let you import those RAM files and then record the music they contain in formats on CDs including MP3, WAV and traditional CD audio tracks. Writing those tracks amounts to converting the files.

I recommend MusicMatch because its maker allows evaluation downloads that offer almost total functionality with the $30 lifetime licensed version, which means that people like you can test it and solve small problems like doing those conversions at the same time.

MusicMatch requires fewer computer resources than do most of its competitors. I consider its Mac version to be the best way to play MP3s on the Apple side of things.

Send e-mail to James Coates at jcoates@tribune.com.

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