Margin of error: YAU PC

by Alan Zisman (c) 1999. First published in Toronto Computes, September, 1999

Phil Ragusa asked:

I have a rather elementary question for you but I sure can't seem to handle it. In Word97, how does one get the left and right margins set to where what is typed in between margins will be the data that is
printed? My right margin seems to be set and stuck at 5.5". The margin settings SHOULD be what is printed... and what you see on screen should (more or less) echo what you'll get on paper.

Alan answered:

To set the margins:

File/Page Setup/Margins... you should see settings for left, right, top, bottom margins and more-- along with a page preview, showing what those settings will look like when printed.

Note that on screen display can be changed (using the View menu items) between Normal view and Page Layout view-- find which you prefer.

Page Layout (which may be the default on your system) shows margins etc. more accurately-- but will be somewhat slower on older hardware-- and confuses people when they get to the bottom of the page. Normal is more like traditional word processors-- showing left & right margins, but not top/bottom or header/footer.

Allan Guest wondered:

My friend has a really slow computer a 486-25mhz with a 33.6 modem and  was wondering if it is possible at all to get on the Internet with a computer like that? They are also running Windows 95, he is able to run a later version of Netscape with it. And if he is even possible able to run it how slow would he be looking at?

Alan replied:

1) Yes-- it is possible to get on the Internet with that computer... the TV commercials suggesting people buy new computers for I-net access are way over-hyped.

I think I started web surfing w. a 386-33 running Win 3.1, with a 14.4 kbs modem.

2) While web-surfing on that computer WILL be slower than on a newer, more powerful system, it will be less of a limitation than you might think-- most of the limitations on the speed of web surfing are outside your own computer.

Even the 33.6 modem isn't bad-- on one system, I'm using a 28.8 modem, and it's not that much slower than using a so-called 56k modem-- most of my 56k connections actually turn out to be 40 or 44k.

So in summary, if the computer can run W95, it can access the Internet. (As with all Win95 systems, upgrading the Ram to 32 meg or more can work wonders on overall performance).

Bob Leggate wrote in:

Jason Lamb's question in the July YAU about a "screen print" struck a chord - I have been
using a freebie program for several years now called "PrintKey" which is available at several software sites (ZD Net etc.) It is an independant program which in essence reactivates the old "PrintScreen" button. It gives a "snapshot" of the page on the screen, with several additional graphic toys to try - partial screen, magnifier, etc.  For a free program, it?s great.  Have a look.

Alan replied:

Thanks for the tip!

Jesse Canfield queried:

I have a cd-rw drive and use Adaptec?s EZ CD Creator Deluxe to create cds.  I was wondering if there is a program or something that I could use to be able to use my cd-rw drive as if it were a zip drive or a hard drive so that I could just send files there instead of having to open the software, add
the files into the group, and then burn the cd.

Alan suggested:

Adaptec makes another product: Direct CD, which allows this. It is bundled with many, but not all, CD-R/RW hardware.

When Direct CD is running in the background, if you insert a blank CD, you get the option of putting it under Direct CD's control-- if you do so, you can copy/move files to the CD-R disk, just as if it were a large floppy drive.

The penalty for doing so is that it eats up additional drive space-- I've had disks fill up with 400 megs or so of data. Check on the company?s website? for more details.

Wes Clark wrote in:

Could you explain to me the simplest ways (without having to purchase an expensive
commercial program) of duplicating a Win98 setup on another drive/system? Would copying the ini files from the Windows directory and all the files from the Windows\system directory to a newly installed Win98 on another system do the job? ( I run a simple Win98 plus IE4.0 setup, but I have many shortcuts to hardware/software troubleshooting/info sites on my desktop.)

Would it be better to make a backup and then install the backup on the second system? (If it makes any difference, my main system is a P150; my second system is a 486DX2-66 with 16MB of memory). Is the backup software that comes with Win98 reliable? (In the DOS\Win31 days, it had a reputation of being unreliable.)

P.S. I was at a used computer outlet the other day.  This salesman was telling someone that for Win98 you had to use a SVGA monitor; Last night I hooked up a IBM mono monitor (black and white) to my test system. Win98 runs fine.

Alan Zisman answered:

Probably the most efficient way is to connect the drive from the 2nd system into your first, setting it as the slave drive. Then, after booting to Win98, you can copy of the contents of your C:\Windows folder (and sub-folders) onto the second drive. You can use Windows? Explorer to drag everything (except the swapfile Win386.swp) from one drive to the other.

Alternatively, DOS XCOPY is a good way to copy it-- with appropriate switches, as in the following example: Xcopy c:\*.* /h /i /c /k /e /r /y d:
(which would copy everything from the first hard drive to the second... including hidden files, empty sub-directories, etc.)

Remove the 2nd drive, reset it as master, install it into the second computer

When W98 starts up, expect some confusion, as it discovers different hardware than on the first machine... you may need to insert your W98 CD as it discovers it needs different video drivers, etc.

In order to use the backup program-- what would you backup to? Not floppy disks, I hope! The Win98 backup is not bad (a version of Seagate's Backup Exec backup program) -- but copying directly from one hard drive to the other is MUCH faster-- if you're not afraid to crack open the cases.

Salesmen say a lot of BS-- but your monochrome VGA monitor would count as an SVGA monitor... you can't run it with Hercules monochrome (or EGA, for that matter)... and that may be what the salesman was referring to.

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Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at E-mail Alan