Upgrade security with Windows XP
By Kim Komando
Q. What is the best way to prevent my kids from messing around with my files? I use Windows 98.
A. Upgrade to Windows XP ($99). It lets you set up password-protected user accounts for different family members. Each person can customize the way everything on the screen looks without affecting how it looks to others. This includes restricting the kids' access to only the files and settings you allow. For the XP upgrade, you need at least a 300-MHz microprocessor and 128 MB of RAM. Otherwise, try a program like Restrick ($10). Using it, you can set profiles for pre-XP systems.
Q. When I paste text into Microsoft Word from the Web, it includes all the HTML stuff. How can I paste just the words?
A. Instead of using Paste (under Edit in the Word menu), select Paste Special. Then, select Unformatted Text.
Q. My friend sent me a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. I don't have PowerPoint. Can I still look at it in another program?
A. You don't have to spend money on software just to look at somebody else's presentation. Drop by Microsoft to download a free viewer for PowerPoint 97 and 2000. If your friend is using PowerPoint 2002 (in Office XP), ask that it be saved as a 97-2000 file. By the way, Microsoft also has free viewers for Word, Excel, Outlook, Access and for Macintosh users.
Q. I cannot get cable or DSL (digital subscriber line) in my area. Is there another option to get a high-speed Internet connection?
A. As long as you have a view of the southern sky, consider satellite, which comes in two varieties: two-way and one-way. Two-way communicates through the dish on both the downlink (from the Internet to your PC) and uplink (from your PC to the Net). One-way uses a 56-kilobit-per-second (Kbps) modem for the uplink. The two-way system is expensive. You'll probably pay $500-$600 to buy and install it; one-way will set you back less than $200. In addition, figure about $60 per month for the two-way service; one way will be about $50. Satellite downloads are faster than some DSL lines, but generally slower than cable. Satellite uplink is rated at 128 Kbps. Check out DirectPC and Starband for more information.