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volume 7 number 7 july 2002 TipSheet

Welcome to the July issue of MicroMetric's TipSheet.

This monthly newsletter is targeted at addressing the needs of our customers.

This month we'll continue a Potpourri of Tips.


In the realm of free utilities, PC Pitstop offers an intriguing mix of services, including an antivirus scanner, a performance optimizer, a disk analyzer, an Internet connection monitor, and a diagnostic tool that checks for bad ActiveX controls lurking in your computer that could wreak havoc on your system.

Using its own ActiveX controls, the site creates a "Pitcrew Summary" that analyzes your PC's performance and configuration and makes specific optimization recommendations. PC Pitstop isn't as comprehensive as, and it doesn't offer firewall or privacy services, but it's excellent at analyzing your PC and making suggestions for improving your system's performance. And the price is right.


Having trouble distinguishing your right speaker from your left? Remove the speaker audio plug from the sound card jack, turn the speakers on, and turn the volume all the way up. Now wet your finger and touch it to the tip of the speaker audio plug. This will cause the left speaker to buzz or click, because the center contact of the audio plug connects to the left channel in the sound-card jack. Note that this only works with powered speakers.


It's difficult to take notes by hand to document a computer software problem, so here's a better way. Open a word processing application such as WordPad or Microsoft Word, and start the problem application. At each step, press the Alt+PrintScreen key to capture a screenshot, then Alt+Tab to switch to the word processor. Paste the screen capture into your document (Ctrl+V), then use Alt+Tab to go back to your application.

This way you document the series of steps leading to the error, adding notes to your document to provide additional details. Print the document for a hard copy record, or Email it (you might want to Zip it first due to the graphics size) for tech support.

This is also a handy way to take notes when learning a new program, or to show others a complicated procedure.


Want to stop something from loading when your PC boots? In Windows 98 and Me, select Start, Run, type msconfig, press Enter, and choose the Startup tab to see a list of the programs that start when Windows loads. Uncheck any that seem to be spyware.

Windows 95 and Windows 2000 lack the Msconfig utility, so use Startup Control Panel, a freeware utility, instead. You can find it at by searching for "Startup Control Panel".


Aren't you tired of all those annoying sponsors PopUp's that get displayed when you visit some WEB sites? With PopUp Killer you will be able to browse the web without being molested by those annoying ads that popup when you visit some web sites. With features such as the Smart! engine, PopUp Killer can identify possible popups and close them even before you can see them. You can also control the amount of browser windows you permit to be opened at the same time, feature that becomes really handy when browsing really annoying sites that open new pages when you close a browser window. PopUp Killer is also fun, because you can configure it to produce sounds when it kills a popup. You can download this free utility from

Copyright 2002, MicroMetric, Inc., All Rights Reserved. Permission to copy in total, with this statement and copyright, is hereby granted.

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