Customizations #10

[Fixes] [Scripts] [General Information]

Themes In Windows 2000? Believe It. And more …
It turns out Win2K has desktop Themes just as in Win9x. In fact, Microsoft threw in a few Win9x goodies when they shipped Win2K and didn’t tell you about them. Here’s a short list and a quick way to launch them:

  • Themes –
    1. Click Start and then Run.
    2. Type the word THEMES and click OK.
    3. By default, Windows 2000 doesn’t install any themes. However, you can make up your own and save them, or download some just as you can with Win9x.
  • SysEdit –
    1. This is an old special plain text editor from way back in the Windows 3.x days (as I recall), that can be used to look over and edit all of your text type configuration files at one time.
    2. Click Start and then Run.
    3. Type the word SYSEDIT and click OK.
    4. You’ll see the System Configuration Editor displaying, by default, your :\WINNT\SYSTEM.INI and :\WINNT\WIN.INI files for editing. Additionally though, if you have Win9x installed in another partition (if you’re dual-booting), you’ll see that operating system’s :\CONFIG.SYS and :\AUTOEXEC.BAT files ready for editing.
    5. Interesting side note: If you click File/About… you’ll see that this is Version 5.0 (Build 2195) and it will tell you if you have Service Pack 1 installed.
  • Clock.avi –
    1. Now this just plain gets a little weird. Try this.
    2. Click Start and then Run.
    3. Type CLOCK.AVI and click OK.
    4. Oddly enough, you’ll see Windows Media Player launch and display a clock of sorts that simply counts from one to twelve. Go figgur. ~>shrug<~
  • ClipBook –
    1. Probably the most useful of these quaint hidden utilities is ClipBook. You may have used way this back in Win3.x days (again, as I recall). Very handy for collecting little items of text or pictures that you may use often in various programs. One example would be an HTML signature that you use when posting at various forums around the Internet. ClipBook is a perfect place to store these clipping, which can then be loaded into the Clipboard. You can then paste them into your forum text box (or any other document you’re working on). Very handy utility.
    2. Click Start and then Run.
    3. Type CLIPBRD.EXE and click OK.
    4. Momentarily you’ll be presented with the top-secret ClipBook Viewer, which you can use to impress friends, neighbors and countrymen.
  • Edit.com –
    1. Yes, I know, I just about broke wind when I saw this too. Good old Edit.com from waaay back in the bad old DOS days is still available for use in Win2K. It looks, feels and works exactly the same. It’s excellent for editing oddball plain text files. Have you ever seen files with the extension .DIZ or .NFO? Well, most likely they’re ASCII text files, and they can be edited with good ol’ Edit.com.
    2. You’re probably getting good at this by now. Click Start and then Run.
    3. Type EDIT.COM and click OK.
    4. Forget about your mouse while you’re using Edit.com. This is from way back in the keyboard only days. Aren’t antiques cool?
    5. If you like working with Edit.com, you could associate .DIZ files with it for regular use. Just go to the Control Panel/Folder Options applet, click the File Types tab, scroll down to DIZ and click the Change… button, then Browse… to Edit.com in your :\Winnt\System32 subdirectory and click OK. If you don’t see this file extension available on the list, you can add it (but make sure it isn’t already there) by clicking the New button and type DIZ in the File Extension: box. Click OK, and then the Change… button. Browse… to Edit.com in your :\Winnt\System32 subdirectory and you’re done.
  • DirectX 7 Diagnostic Utility –
    1. Actually, this probably shouldn’t be listed here. It doesn’t really qualify as a left over utility from previous Windows operating systems. Still, it’s fascinating and potentially useful (and potentially dangerous) so I thought I’d pull your coats about it. You may have this available in your Control Panel. If so, you can skip this one.
    2. And yet again, click Start and then Run.
    3. Type DXDIAG.EXE and click OK.
    4. If you have DirectX 7 or later installed (which, if I’m not mistaken, is installed by default in Win2K) you’ll see the DirectX Diagnostic Tool pop up. It has nine tabs, each chock full of weird and wonderful information and settings that you can fiddle with and potentially crash your computer but good. Be careful kiddies. This tool can help you diagnose, and sometimes solve video related problems. But if you start to change some the default settings without understanding the consequences of what you’re doing, you could end up in trouble. So don’t.
  • Program Manager –
    1. Remember Program Manager from way back when they had just invented electricity? It’s still there, ready for you to use, in Win2K.
    2. Click Start and then Run.
    3. Type PROGMAN.EXE and click OK.
    4. I never used it much. It’s still used in Win2K for programs that are being installed to have a way to set up a new item in your Start/Programs menu.
  • Registry Editor –
    1. Did you know there are two versions of Regedit in your Win2K installation?
    2. Click Start and then Run.
    3. Type REGEDT32.EXE and click OK.
    4. Careful.
  • Winchat –
    1. I used to use this utility in the office for quick communication way back in the old Win3.11 days, and it’s still there!
    2. Click Start and then Run.
    3. Type WINCHAT and click OK.
    4. Chat is a very easy to use text based communication client with which you can communicate with others on your local area network. Click Conversation/Dial… and just type one letter into the Computer: box. Wait while it searches the network for all currently logged in workstations. Click the one you want (which must also have their Chat utility running) and click OK. You’re in business. I found this handy if I needed to check with a coworker to verify how to spell a client’s name or for invoice amounts, or other information which I wanted to see “in writing” to make sure I got it right. It’s a nice, simple and effective tool if you are on a LAN.

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