I also have had that problem for years and always found some freeware/shareware that will handle it. Usually the files are already zipped so that solution is out. I just searched Yahoo for file splitter and got several hits. Im currently using the following: http://www.lawrencegoetz.com/programs/ gfsplit.htm
Q. Previous problem revisited: I am still having problems defragging my hard drive. I removed running programs from the task bar, but still show the following in the Task Manager (brought up by Ctrl-Alt-Del) : Winfax, IOWatch, OSA, FastFind (and a few others as well.) Could these be causing problems?
A. Short answer: Yes. The long answer is you want to suspend Winfax when you try to defrag. IOWatch is monitoring your ZIP drive - while it may not be causing a problem, you should know that there has been an upgrade to the software that you should download from Iomega. OSA is the office assistant - it isnt likely to be causing a problem, but it is stealing resources. FastFind is a file indexer for Microsoft products. If it is running, it definitely could be writing to the disk. You really want to turn off everything except EXPLORER and SYSTRAY until the defrag is completed, then a reboot will restart them.
Q. Windows 98 SE - it says it is shutting down, but it never does. I am not running Norton AV, or have a network connection. I wait a few seconds and then hit the power switch. The machine does not complain when I turn it on next.
A. A machine with an ATX power supply will automatically shutdown upon receiving the proper signal from Windows 98 or 98SE. This feature is activated in the BIOS setup. It possibly was disabled. What you are doing is perfectly safe - just wait for the hard disk activity light to be off for a few seconds.
Q. My DSL service has been fine for several weeks, but now I get a message Dropped by Server. I need to reboot the machine to get the link back up.
A. We have seen this on other machines supported by SNETs DSL service. They typically drop the line early in the morning. We have not determined a cause for this. Call SNET and complain - you are supposed to be always on.
Q. In Office 2000 Excel - all of a sudden, scrolling takes a horrendous amount of time. If I quit Excel, text labels on the icons disappear! If I open a DOS full-screen window, and then get rid of it, then everything is fine - for a while.
A. This is a classic example of a video driver problem. Determine the model of your display adapter and go get the latest driver for your operating system. Note that when you first turn on the machine, you will briefly get some text on the screen from the display adapters BIOS which identifies the display adapter - so you may not need to actually open the computer to identify the video adapter. Another thing to look at is to make sure that you have a large enough swap file.
Q. I have had occasional happenings where all of my desktop icons reverted to just a plain white square. What did that?
A. The icons graphics used for the desktop are cached by Windows so that it doesnt have to go and read each program executable to retrieve the icon. Sometimes the cache icon gets damaged, in which case the images revert to plain white. If it doesnt cure itself, then starting the system in Safe Mode will force the icon cache to be regenerated.
Q. At Costco they had an offer for free online access. The CD has a newer version of Internet Explorer - can I use this without signing up for the free online access?
A. Nothing is really free. The IE on the CD has been branded so that it will display the advertising of the companies that are subsidizing your access. Without that IE, you cant get the free online access. If you use that IE, it will pump advertizing in front of you even if you are using your own ISP. You can download the newest version of IE for free (other than the really long connect time). If you have a ZIP drive, perhaps someone with a high speed connection could download it for you. Or you can order a CD at a nominal cost with the distribution on it.
Q. Does anyone know if there is a way to disable SMS? Our SMS server is on the other side of the country, and it takes forever for an update to take place, even for updates that we dont need or want.
A. SMS (Systems Management Services - a Microsoft application that controls installation and upgrades of software from a central site) should never deal with client PCs through a WAN - it is just too bandwidth intensive. It should have been set up to use a local PDC as a distribution center. Unfortunately, the very nature of SMS is to lock down machines so that they can not be modified locally, so you cant disable it on your machine. Complain. Loudly.
Q. Ive been downloading a lot of images from WebShots. They are gorgeous images, but Im concerned that it might cause a problem. Does anyone know if there is a reason I shouldnt be using this site?
A. One person (who runs a support center) reported that it is fine other than that it consumes a large amount of network resources at his company.
Q. Can I print the directory of a floppy disk?
A. Open a DOS command window, and type:
which will send it directly to the printer. Or you could type:
which would create a file named listing.txt which contains the output of the dir command. You can then print that. Type dir /? to get a list of options for sorting, formatting and selecting DiskJockey 2000 has a print folder list that will work with floppies (as well as hard drives, of course.) There are freeware/shareware utilities that give you options such as sorting or selecting -search CNETs DOWNLOAD. COM.
Q. I am thinking of getting into photography - someone said not to get a digital camera as you cant see what you have until you put it on the computer.
A. Not at all. Almost all of them have an LED display that shows you in real-time what you have, and also let you review (and perhaps delete) previous frames. The image is typically about 2" by 1.5" or so, a bit larger than looking at a 35mm slide. You wont see the high resolution that the camera has actually captured until you move the image to a computer.
Q. What advantage does it have over a video camera?
A. Resolution. A standard video camera has 525 lines of resolution because thats all that a regular TV can handle. A digital camera will often have more than twice the rows and columns, for a total of 4 times the resolution - just to start.
Q. What about scanners?
A. A regular desktop scanner has anywhere from about 300 dpi to maybe 1200 dpi. It may list higher numbers, but these are interpolated meaning that software inside the scanner makes a best guess as to whether a dot should be seen. If you scan a 4x5 print, you are getting perhaps 1200 dots by 1500 dots of true image. If you scan a negative or a slide using an adapter, you are only getting 300 by maybe 250 dots. There are specialized film scanners which bump the resolution up to 2,700 dpi before interpolation; these will give you higher resolution than many digital cameras. For example, Polaroid is clearing out their SprintScan 35ES film scanner via several dealers who are auctioning them on eBay. Originally they sold for $2,000, they are typically going for about $400.
Q. When I change my screen resolution on my display, I get a very large black border around the visible portion of the screen. Can I make the image larger?
A. There are controls on the display device (often behind a door under the screen) that can be used to adjust the display size once the resolution has been set. The controls are either knobs, wheels, or push buttons. Some displays have digital adjustments, pushing a menu button brings up a menu on the screen, you then use +, -, Up and Down buttons to work through the menu.
Q. When I changed my screen resolution, my icons got real small. Can I keep them the same size?
A. Everything is relative. The icons are the same size - typically 30 dots across. But since you now have higher resolution (1024 dots across the screen instead of 640, for example) they are proportionally smaller. Right click on the desktop and get the properties page for the display. On one of the property pages you will find use large icons or similar (it varies with O/S version) which may help.
Comment: Does anyone remember a problem with a printer that wouldnt print yellow? The problem turned out to be accumulated ink on the electrical contacts of the printer cartridge. They were preventing the signals that controlled the yellow cartridge from firing. Cleaning the contacts cured the problem.
|Bruce Preston is president of West Mountain Systems, a consultancy in Ridgefield, CT, specializing in database applications. A DACS director and moderator of the Random Access segment at the monthly general meetings, Bruce also leads the Access SIG. Members may send tech queries to Bruce at email@example.com. Responses will be published in the next issue of dacs.doc.|