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What’s the Network Projector?
One of the new features in Vista of which many users are unaware is the ability to connect to a projector over the network, to give presentations from a PC without having to directly connect the computer to the projector. A network projector is connected to the local area network via wired or wireless technology and you can connect your Vista computer to it by using its URL (web address) or its UNC name (the network path and name). from a PC without having to directly connect the computer to the projector. A network projector is connected to the local area network via wired or wireless technology and you can connect your Vista computer to it by using its URL (web address) or its UNC name (the network path and name). You can also ask Windows to automatically search for a connected projector.

You set up the connection from Start | All Programs | Accessories | Connect to a Network Projector. Your presentation is sent over the network to the projector using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), which is encrypted for better security. You can even connect to more than one projector at a time, and give your presentation to groups of people who are in two different locations, from your own third location. To find out more, click here.

How to use the Cipher command to wipe data from your disk
As you probably know, when you delete files off your Windows XP or Windows Vista computer, those files aren’t actually gone. The only thing that happens is that the “pointer” to the deleted files is removed and the space on the hard disk is marked as available to put new data. But until new data is put in the same location as the deleted data, the deleted data remains on the hard disk and can be recovered by hackers and other malicious users.

What you need to do is “wipe” the data off the hard disk. You can do this by using the cipher command that comes free with Windows XP and Windows Vista. Here are the instructions, compliments of Tom Shinder:

  1. Close all programs.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER.
  3. Type cipher /w:driveletter:foldername, and then press ENTER. Specify the drive and the folder that identifies the volume that contains the deleted data that you want to overwrite. Data that is not allocated to files or folders will be overwritten. This permanently removes the data. This can take a long time if you are overwriting a large space. For example, if you have a deleted files in folder c:SECRET, you would enter cipher /W:C:SECRET

The wiping process can take a long time, so be patient. Once the files are wiped by the cipher utility, no one will be able to recover your deleted information from your hard disk.

Order Microsoft hot fixes without calling Support Services
Hot fixes are released to address specific problems and Microsoft recommends that you install them only if you’re actually experiencing the problem (unlike security updates and service packs). Until recently, to get a hot fix you had to call Microsoft support services. Now they’ve made it easier by providing a web site where you can order hot fixes you need by filling out a hotfix request submission form, and someone from Microsoft will contact you via email. Go here to find out more.

Zune gets cheaper: Apple’s not the only one cutting prices
If you’ve been waiting around to buy new electronics products, last week was a good one for you. In addition to the iPhone price cut, Microsoft dropped the price of their Zune music player by $50, to $199. Read more here.

What happened to that rebate?
Unopened rebate applications found in dumpster(thanks Martin M.).

New Windows Live Suite available
On September 5th, Microsoft released a new version of their Windows Live services that can be installed as a suite rather than having to install each program individually. The suite includes Windows Live Mail, Version 8.5 of Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live OneCare Family Safety, the Windows Live Toolbar, the excellent Windows Live Writer blogging program, and the first public beta of Windows Live Photo Gallery for sharing pictures on Windows Live Spaces. Check it out here.

Evaluating the credibility of Wikipedia entries
Wikipedia is a vast resource for information about all sorts of things, but its strength – the fact that anyone can enter or edit the information – is also its biggest weakness. How do you judge the credibility of what you read there? Now a professor has come up with software that purports to do just that, based on the reputations of the contributors. If it works, it sounds like a step in the right direction. Read more about it here.

September 11 Marks a light Patch Tuesday
Patch Tuesday falls on September 11 this month, reminding us that vigilance when it comes to security is important on many different fronts. This month sees relatively few patches being released by Microsoft; only five security bulletins are expected with only one of them labeled as critical. The critical patch deals with a vulnerability in Windows itself, while there are also patches for Windows Live Messenger and MSN Messenger and Visual Studio. Read more here.

What can I do when my computer is losing time?
My Vista computer doesn’t seem to keep time properly (like a watch that’s going bad). It seems to lose time. Is there anything I can do? Thanks! – A. R.

ANSWER: Your Windows Vista computer is able to synchronize its clock with a time server on the Internet. But if you find that your computer time isn’t right, maybe you need to change your time server. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Click Start and then click Control Panel
  2. In the Control Panel, click the Classic View link on the left side of the Window
  3. In the Classic View Control Panel Window, double click the Date and Time icon.
  4. In the Date and Time dialog box, click the Internet Time tab.
  5. On the Internet Time tab, click the Change Settings button.
  6. Click Continue in the User Account Control dialog box.
  7. In the Internet Time Settings dialog box, click the Server down arrow and select another time server. The default is Try using first and see how that works for you.
  8. Click OK in the Internet Time Settings dialog box.
  9. Click OK in the Data and Time dialog box.

Can’t install WMP 10 on XP with SP2
If you try to install Windows Media Player version 10 on an XP computer with Service Pack 2, you may get an error message that says “This version of Windows Media Technologies is incompatible with this version of Windows.” That may be because you have Windows Media Format 11 installed, and must uninstall it before you can install WMP 10. If that’s not the issue, there is another resolution. For the “how to” in both cases, see KB article 914223.

How to log onto XP if you forget your password
A forgotten password can keep you from being able to log onto your Windows XP computer. But you may be able to reset the password and access the account again – if you have a password reset disk that you created beforehand or if you know the password to an administrative account. For more info, see KB article 321305.

Logon screen not available when you remove a second monitor in Vista
If you have two monitors on your Vista computer and happen to remove one while the computer is in hibernation or sleep mode, you might find that when the computer resumes, you can’t see the logon screen and thus can’t log on to the computer. Ouch. Luckily, there is a hotfix for this problem. To find out more, see KB article 932339.

Deb Shinder