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2 questions and 2 gifts
As one or two of you who remember me from an occasional
previous appearance may know, I have been using 98SELite for
about 3 or 4 or 5 years. Before that, I used 95B and was
perfectly happy with it. But 95B does not do ethernet
properly. (Or at all, whatever.) So I switched to 98SELite.
(IMHO, 98SE without the Lite is unusable, but that's another
subject that no one in an XP group would care about. Still,
FYI, there /is/ Lite for XP: www.litepc.com, and there are
other customizers out there as well.)
Alas, I was hit by a harmless-yet-infuriating joke virus,
AGAIN, in fact for the 4th time in about 11 years, and *I have
Neither MBAM, ESET, Avira nor BitDefender could find it,
identify it or get rid of it, nor did a full reformat and
Acronis image restore do anything. I am too old for this.
So I have switched to XP. I figure once MS considers an OS
dead, it's a good time to start using it.
As we all know, it is not a good idea to go on the internet
from an administrator account, so, after searching long and
hard for a way to do it, I cloned my admin account, since
cloning is supposed to preserve all the settings. Then I was
going to make it a limited account, but I hoped not to have to
set everything up from scratch.
Perhaps I was stupid enough to think "settings" meant user and
user interface settings, or maybe I did something wrong, but
NOTHING was "cloned", I ***DID*** have to set everything up
from scratch. Since all I was setting up were 5 programs I use
on the internet, it was not a big deal, but I also have
certain "problems" with the default XP interface so I had to
spend some time tweaking that as well. Anyway, it's done.
WHY does cloning an account create a directory about 2/3rds
the size of the admin's, but NOTHING is actually "cloned" -
nothing that a user can see or gives a FF about, anyway?
The account IS limited, the main symptoms of which are being
unable to look at my firewalls' status window, being unable to
turn my AV on or off (for reasons someone may be able to
explain, now I can, although I did not change anything), and
the task manager showing about ten processes instead of 50 (or
whatever). Whoopsie do. I LIKE to see the firewall status
window, because I want to see where I am connected and what is
The FW is the free Agnitum Outpost Firewall 1.0.242 from 2002.
I tried a few of the current ones, but not only are they
150MBs or more instead of 3MB, they are totally demented and
could drive anyone crazy with their constant and idiotic
questions and nags. With Agnitum you just tell the machine
what /can/ get on the internet, and what can /NOT/. That's it.
Are the AV (ESET NOD32, all paid for) and firewall working
EXACTLY as I had them set up as admin, and I don't have to
worry about ANYTHING? (Those DO sound like "famous last
And IS there ANY way to see the FW status window?
After making this second account, I found it annoying to have
to click on a stupid MS taskbar thing to switch users. So,
after about 2 minutes in Google, I found a solution. Some of
you may find it useful as well (AFA the English, it's pasted
here as found in some forum):
Shortcut for Switch users in Windows XP
Windows XP, fast user switching allows multiple users to be
logged into a computer at once. Fast user switching has been a
very useful feature of Windows for multi-user computers. This
is very useful. Fast user switching will allow the other user
to log in while still retaining the other user's session.
To Create the Shorcut follow the following steps:
1. Right click the desktop and select New and then Shortcut
from the menu that appear.
2. Type "X:\windows\system32\tsdiscon.exe" into the location
box and Click Next. (Where X:\ is the drive letter where XP is
3. As per your wish give it a name and click on Finish.
I'd give credit but I just saved the info. So, thanks, whoever
you are, you rule.
thanatoid's additional ideas for those who are a little
This doesn't have to be a /desktop/ shortcut, although that is
probably the best place to put it since ALL you have to do is
double-click it. You can put it in the start menu or wherever
(see gift #2). And of course, you can assign any icon you
want. I gave it one with two arrows in a sort of a circle.
This happens as a command, so a cmd window will flash on the
screen before you see the normal logon screen. If you right-
click and go to properties, you can make it full screen (not
much of an improvement) or you can do what I did, make it the
smallest cmd window possible (by choosing the smallest fonts),
and maybe even give it some colors. I find it less offensive
that way, personally.
Real hardcore tweakers could make it flash a picture of their
choice by adding an argument or putting it inside a tiny batch
file, I suppose. I am not /quite/ there yet.
What do you consider the ***BIGGEST*** XP (and after)
annoyance? Ahh, there are SO many to choose from, aren't
Well, for me it's the demented minimum of 3 user(s)
directories even if you are the ONLY person who ever touches
the computer. Of course, you can pretend they don't exist, and
just NEVER go into the Doc&Set directory, but I feel ill just
knowing it's all in there. And I thought the Registry was bad!
At least one could edit the registry!
Of course, if it only stopped there... But no, every one of
those 3 directories has completely different subdirectories
and EVEN BETTER, 3 different start menus. Fubar help you if
you want to guess where a program and its settings are going
to end up.
And there is nothing as charming and user-friendly as the XP
start menu after you've been using the machine for a while,
with its 200 or more main levels, sublevels, sub-sublevels,
Well, there is a solution. A free one. What kills me is I have
had an early version of it on a software CDR (I archive all
software I run across which looks interesting) for about 8
years, but I never tried it. And I could have been using it
with 95, because, like all well-written software, it works on
everything from 95 to 7.
The free solution is called FastLauncher, and this is where
you get it:
Depending on the resolution of your desktop, you can configure
250 programs or more to start with just two separate mouse
clicks (not a double click). For me, this is better than
spending 3 minutes searching for your program in the "normal"
XP start menu only to find it is not there because it ended up
in a different user account's startmenu group.
You can assign icons, arguments, runs as admin, etc. You can
even make it transparent per your preference.
Some of you may prefer to stick to the MS start menu which you
have suffered with for perhaps a decade or longer, and you are
certainly most welcome to do so. I hear wearing a hair-shirt
gets to be quite enjoyable after a while. I have also read
that on occasion, people released from prison commit a crime
just so they can go back, and it's not just for the free food
and laundry service. It's safe and comfortable - well, within
reason, but apparently still better than the very scary
Replies to either of my questions, and any other comments,
will be most welcome. Especially if someone who really knows
their stuff realizes the "user switch" shortcut is NFG and
leaves you exposed. This has occurred to me but I don't know
enough about the XP user system to know for sure.