How do I keep the kids out? YAU PC
by Alan Zisman (c)
1999. First published
in Toronto Computes,
Richard Lionheart asked:
A friend of mine recently asked me if there was any
way that he could
keep his kids out of areas of his HDD on a win95 machine. The
thing I could think of was to set the machine for multiple user
I'm not sure that I accomplished anything more than different desktop
Any ideas would be appreciated.
Much depends on how sophisticated the kids are... do
they fuss w. My
Computer/Explorer, checking out the hard disk? Do they access a DOS
Multiple users allow different desktops and different
this may be enough, if they issue is simply to keep the kids out of
applications. To make it tougher, the System Policy Editor (PolEdit),
is hidden away on the Win95/98 CD can be used to give the user logons
more strength-- but it needs to be used very carefully... I've known
users who have locked themselves out of their computer, using PolEdit.
There are numerous shareware and commercial programs
to beef up security--
$20 or so will buy a copy of Microsoft's Plus for Kids, which combines
family-oriented security with a bunch of kid-oriented desktop themes.
Slawomir Leszko wondered:
I have a question regarding the ?print to file?
option in Windows
95. There was no problem to create using this option. My problem is how
to send the *.prn file back to printer. My printer spool manager does
have an option to open files.
You've found a clever flaw in the 'easy to use'
model... it's easy to
create a Printer File... but there's no way, under Win9x to actually
one. To print the file you?ve created, it's back to DOS... from a
COPY MYFILE.PRN LPT1: /B
This will copy the printer file MYFILE.PRN to a
printer attached to
LPT1 (the first parallel port)... the /B is important, specifying that
it's a binary file-- otherwise, the system assumes it's an ASCII file,
and first time it comes across the binary code that it thinks is
it stops... typically, in mid-page.
Printing from a file works well, assuming you used the
for the eventual target printer-- it lets you print a file, complete
graphics, fonts, etc-- on a printer that isn't physically attached to
computer-- even if it doesn't have the program that made the document.
Xin Yu Qiu wanted to know:
I remember that I saw an article in your paper
about two years ago.
One reader asked for a method how to turn NumLock key on when turning
her Windows 95 computer. The answer said it is not easy and the best
to turn on the NumLock light is simply pushing the key. However, the
did include a complicated yet do-able method to turn on the NumLock
when turning on a Windows 95 computer. I am really interested in the
introduced in the article.
The system Setup on some PCs allows you to set whether
Numlock is turned
on or off by default. If that?s not available on your PC, ever since MS
DOS 6.0 (or perhaps even earlier), there has been a Numlock=ON or
command that can be added to the startup CONFIG.SYS file (using Windows
Notepad or DOS Edit, not your word processor to make changes to this
Richard Sanford queried:
How can an amateur learn the essentials of windows
starting with Assembly, Basic, or Fortran.
You REALLY don't want to try to program Windows
applications in Assembly
Probably the best tool for an amateur to start with is
Basic... it adds drag-and-drop interface creation tools with a core of
Basic-- a language that is much less fiddly than most other popular
programming languages-- C/C++ or Java, or Pascal/Delphi. If you?re
already comfortable with Pascal, however, Inprise (aka Borland)?s
is a good choice.
The Dummies books are OK ways to get started-- Visual
Basic 6 for Dummies
Of course, you also need a copy of Visual Basic, to do
of the books around include a limited-use version of VB... for example:
Sams' Teach Yourself Visual Basic 6 in 24 hours by Greg Perry, includes
a CD-ROM with "Visual Basic 5 Control Creation Edition". (about $30
Alternatively, if you already have a copy of MS Word
or Office, its
macro-language, Visual Basic for Applications, is a quite powerful
of Visual Basic, and makes a usable tool for learning VB programming,
having to spend extra money.