Automatic password prompt can be bypassed

HELPLINE

May 21, 2001|By James Coates | James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Whenever I turn on my computer, a small screen appears asking for a user name and a password. I hit return, leaving the password portion blank, and the computer continues booting up.

Is there a way to stop that screen from appearing so the computer will turn on completely without the need for me to hit return?

In most cases, it is possible to stop this incessant nagging for a network logon password with a couple of semi-complicated steps. First, you delete the user name given to you when the computer came out of the box, and second, you stop the computer from looking for user names in the future.

Open the My Computer icon, then open the Control Panel folder and click on the Users icon. There you will find the User Name that comes up each time you log on. Select the Delete choice and you are halfway home. Now go back to the Control Panel and open the Passwords icon. Select User Profiles and select the top choice: "All users of this computer use the same preferences and desktop settings."

With those two steps behind you, the nagging will stop.

I understand that there is a new system for a PC that is wireless, so that there is no reason to buy an extra telephone account to get Internet access. This is supposed to work the same way cell phones do. What is it?

Sprint Broadband Direct, a $40-per-month, wireless high-speed Internet service from telephone giant Sprint is available in Chicago and a dozen other cities, including Denver and Detroit, Salt Lake City and San Francisco.

Subscribers use pizza-size antennas to aim at Sprint's master connection perched atop a handy local high spot. As you say, the thing works a lot like a cell phone, but only fixed antennas, like the ones Sprint technicians installed above my house, can do the receiving. In repeated tests using the bandwidth-measuring service at webservices.cnet.com/bandwidth/, I was stunned to find my Sprint modem downloading data at speeds above 1.5 million bits per second, as high as the fastest corporate Internet connections. You can find details at www.sprintbroadband.com.

In addition to the $40 monthly fee, customers must pay between $99 and $299 for the hardware installation, which includes the rooftop antenna and a high-speed modem that connects to either a PC or Macintosh by way of an Ethernet port.

I am looking for a way to display digitized photographs on my television set in the living room instead of my computer monitor in the office. After a recent trip, I had several rolls of film developed, and the photos digitized onto a CD. I would like to find a hardware box that could be connected to a TV and would read digital photo files on a CD. Ideally, a remote control would allow me to show them one at a time. Any ideas?

The best solution I have found is FotoShow, a $300 product by removable-storage powerhouse Iomega Inc. This hardware box connects to both computers and television sets. It makes those computer connections (PC and Mac alike) by way of a USB connector. The heart of the device is one of Iomega's popular Zip drives that store data on removable disks that look like fat floppy disks and hold up to 250 megabytes of data.

Connect FotoShow to your computer and copy the digitized photographs from a CD onto a Zip disk. Then carry the device to your living room and connect it to the TV using included RCA video/audio cables.

FotoShow automatically displays on the TV screen a list of all photographs on the Zip disk and offers several ways to present slide shows on the TV screen. There also is a remote box that lets a user move from photo to photo by pushing a button from the easy chair.

Although it doesn't apply in your case because you are using an analog camera with celluloid film, users of digital cameras get another feature with FotoShow. This gadget has slots on the front that accept either SmartMedia or CompactFlash memory cards from digital cameras and automatically copy any photos they hold onto the Zip disk, bypassing the need to use a computer.

Send e-mail to jcoates@tribune.com.

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