You Asked Us December 1998
by Alan Zisman (c)
1998. First published
in Vancouver Computes,
Mimi Milstein asked Alan Zisman:
I would like to place a shortcut of "MY
DOCUMENTS" at the first
level of "MY COMPUTER". [something to do with a repetitive task between
my husband's and my own networked computers]
I have tried all the conventional ways of
creating such a shortcut
(even placing it on the desktop and dragging it into "MY COMPUTER", but
nothing seems to work.
Is it simply a NO-NO to attempt such a thing?
Windows 9x uses a number of virtual folders-- in some
cases, like MY
COMPUTER or the Printer folder, they're really not folders at all... in
others (the Desktop, the Font folder, and My Documents), they are
folders (i.e. physical DOS directories) that have are treated by the
operating system as if they were special.
My Computer, as a window that includes drives, the
Control Panel, Printer
folder, and a few other items, is not a real folder/directory. As such,
you're unable to do some of the things that you normally can do-- such
as drag and drop a shortcut icon there.
On the other hand, if your various computers are
a simpler (and certainly a do-able solution) would be to set My
on your computer as a mapped network drive on your husband's
that way, it would appear as a drive letter in his My Computer,
You do that in the following way:
1) If you have not enabled file sharing on your
computer-- open Control
Panel/Network, and click on the FILE AND PRINT SHARING button. Enable
2) After restarting, in Explorer or My Computer,
right-click on your
My Documents folder, and choose Sharing from the popup menu. You can
the folder as read-only or as read-write, and can enable password
if desired (depending on how much you trust your husband).
3) On your husband's computer, open Network
Neighborhood-- you may have
to double-click on Entire Network, which should let you see your
name. Double-clicking on it should show you any shared drives or
such as My Documents. Right-click on it, and choose Map from the popup
menu. This allows you to choose a drive letter for it. Following that,
it should appear as a drive icon in My Computer.
- If you want, the same process will allow your
husband's My Document
to appear as a mapped drive on your computer's My Computer (sic).
Robert L. Kunz wondered:
Is there any way I can find out what format a
has in Excel? In the old Lotus days, it used to show the format
the top of the screen when you selected a cell.
For example, it would show (P2) for a 2-decimal
or F3 for a 3-decimal fixed value or (D4) for a particular date
In Excel 5.0, I would like to find out how
some cells are
A little tedious, but click on one of the cells in
question, and then
the appropriate Format menu choice... the dialogue box will show you
current choice for the selected cell.
Gordon Wong wondered:
My Windows 95 taskbar has suddenly become
"fat". How do I get
it back to its old skinny self?
That's an easy one-- just rest your cursor along the
top edge, and pull
it back to the desired width.
Similarly, if it ends up on the top or side of the
screen, you can pull
it back to the bottom (unless you like it in another position)!
?The King? pondered:
In Windows98 there is a option in your bios or
windows setup there
is an option for powering down the hard drive after a specified
when it is not in use. Is it better to leave the hard drive
or powering it down to make the hard drive last longer? I usually leave
the computer on only if I plan to use it within that day otherwise I
it off . Another question is , is it better to leave the computer on
the time or shut it off when not in use?
There's no right answer in terms of shutting down vs.
today's hard drives aren't big power users anyway-- you'll get more
power savings if you have a PowerSmart monitor-- though you can get the
same results by simply turning the monitor off.
I'd agree with what you're already doing-- leaving the
computer on if
you're using it later that day-- but either set the monitor to
power off, or turn it off, when you're going to be gone for a while.
remember to turn the monitor back on rather than resetting the computer
when you come back!)
If you use Win98?s Power Management to set the hard
drive and CPU 'to
go to sleep' when you're gone, that's OK too... but then shutting the
down overnight is also fine. Restarting it the next morning lets you
the day with your memory and resources reset, letting the machine run
(On the other hand, it's also handy to use Win98's
Scheduled Tasks accessory,
letting it automatically run ScanDisk, Defrag, and other system