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How to turn on the Bluetooth discovery option
If you can’t get your Bluetooth device, such as a BT headphone, to connect to your XP computer after applying service pack 2, it may be because the discovery option is turned off. This is also an issue with XP Tablet PC edition 2005. This option is turned off by default for security reasons. You have to turn on the discovery option to connect the device. Here’s how:

  1. Right click the Bluetooth icon in the notification area of the system tray.
  2. Click Open Bluetooth Settings.
  3. Click the Options tab.
  4. Click to check the checkbox labeled “Turn discovery on.”
  5. Click Apply.
  6. If you want other Bluetooth devices to be able to connect to your computer, select “Allow Bluetooth devices to connect to this computer.”

Note: If there is no Bluetooth icon in the notification area, click Start | Run and in the Run box type: bthprops.cpl, then click OK. You can turn discovery back off again after the device has created a connection to your computer, to prevent other devices from connecting without your knowledge.

How do you share your Outlook calendars without Microsoft Exchange?
Sharing calendars at home or in a small office is easy – if you’re using an Exchange server.  However, if you’re using Outlook with a typical POP email account setup, it’s not possible.

The good news is that in Vista, there’s a new built in application called Windows Calendar. While it’s not as sophisticated as Outlook, it will fill the needs of most home users, and you can easily share your calendars on the local computer or across the Internet by publishing them to a web site. Of course, that doesn’t help you much right now, and you may not want to “downgrade” to Windows Calendar from Outlook when you do upgrade to Vista.

The other good news is that there are third party software programs that will let you share your Outlook calendars right now without Exchange. The least expensive one we’ve seen is ShareCalendar for Microsoft Outlook; it costs $25 per license (in your situation, you’d need two – one for you and one for your wife). As well as sharing the calendars, it lets you sync your calendar on multiple PCs, create group calendars and let people subscribe to your calendars, and also lets you “hide” your private appointments. You can find out more about it here.

Error 1068 when you try to turn on Internet Connection Sharing
If you get an error message that says “Dependency service or group failed to start” (1068) when you try to turn on ICS by running the Internet Connection Sharing wizard, you need to make sure that all dependant services have been started. For a list of the applicable services and step by step instructions on how to ensure they’re started, see KB article 827328.

You get error messages when you sync offline files
If you try to synchronize your offline files on an XP computer and get an error message that says files of this type cannot be made available offline, this happens because of a problem with client-side caching. There is a hotfix available to address this, but Microsoft recommends you only apply it if you’re experiencing this particular problem, and you’ll need to contact Product Support Services (PSS) to get the hotfix. For more information, see KB article 890671.

How to recover from a corrupted registry
If the Windows XP registry becomes corrupted and this prevents Windows from starting, you may be able to recover your data by using Guided Help to automatically perform the steps for you. You can install and use Guided Help if you’re logged on as an administrator. To download the Guided Help software and for information on how to use it, see KB article 307545.


Special keyboard for Vista?
We hear that Microsoft is making a new wireless keyboard designed for Vista, to be available in the fall. With its subtly ergonomic layout (more smoothly curved than the average ergo board) and ambient backlighting that comes on automatically in dim light, we have to admit that it’s a good looking piece of hardware.

There’s not much about it on the Microsoft site, just a teaser video. Is that a “big green button” (Media Center button) on the right side? We’ll be checking it out and reporting back as soon as it’s available.




Vista Compatibility Mode saves the day
If you’re running the Vista beta and you’re having problems getting some of your applications to install or run, be sure to try Vista’s compatibility mode. I installed CorelDraw 10 (I prefer it to later versions) and the installation seemed to go okay but the program wouldn’t open. Here’s what I did:

  1. Go to the program’s executable file and right click it, then select Properties.
  2. Click the Compatibility tab. Here, as with XP, you can select to run the program in compatibility mode for a previous operating system (for example, XP SP2).
  3. Unlike XP, you can also select to run the program as an administrator, in the “Privilege Level” section.

After I selected to run in compatibility mode and as an admin, my Corel applications started up and worked normally.

Deb Shinder