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Win 95 utilities
technofile  by al fasoldt
Columns and commentaries in a life-long dance with technology 
Simple gray rule

Win 95 utilities from the Technofile
 

Bit Player for Feb. 23, 1997
This is an expanded version of the column that appears in print.

By Al Fasoldt

Copyright © 1997, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 1997, The Syracuse Newspapers

I've often written about utility programs others have created. This week I'll tell you about some simple utilities I've written for Windows 95.

They're all on my Web site, at http://www.dreamscape.com/afasoldt/files.html.

Here's a list:

    • The File System Cache Fix.

This repairs a flaw in the Windows 95 settings for the File System Properties control. The Desktop setting (the default) is OK, but the Mobile and Network Server settings are totally buggy. My fix corrects the problem, giving the Mobile and Network Server settings the proper values.

If your PC has a lot of memory (32 megabytes or more), install my fix and turn on the Network Server setting. Your computer will run faster.

    • The Savereg (Save Registry) utilities.

I wrote these after losing many battles to the Windows 95 Registry, a database that contains what amounts to life-and-death information for the operating system. The Registry in my Dell Pentium is so big—about 5 megabytes—that it chokes up Microsoft's otherwise serviceable Cfgback program, which was designed to save or restore the Registry. Cfgback can only run when Windows 95 itself is running, and that means its useless if your Registry is so badly damaged you can't get Windows running at all.

My Savereg utilities get around this problem. They are run from a DOS window or from DOS itself if you boot up without the Windows 95 interface. The main utility works best if you run it at bootup. It saves 9 copies of the Registry, incrementing a new copy each time it runs. The recovery utility lets you specify which copy of the Registry you want to restore.

    • The Diskbat utilities.

You'll find Checkup.bat, which provides a right-click Scandisk option; Compress.bat, which puts the Windows 95 Compression Agent on the right-click disk menu; Defraggr.bat,, which gives you right-click access to disk defragging from the disk-drive icons, and Dfragall.bat, which provides a way to defrag all installed disks with one click

The utilities take advantage of something that you won't find on a Mac. It's the DOS batch-file language. Few users know that they can run Windows programs from a batch file, and fewer still realize that all sorts of tricks can be done with batch files under Windows 95. These utilities should help show how it's done.

    • Prune-it, an Internet cache trimmer.

Prune-it was designed for those who use Internet Explorer. Run it automatically (once a day or at each bootup) to get rid of all executable files and all ZIP files that are in your Internet Explorer cache. (These should never be saved. The cache gets big enough saving images and texts.)

    • Browse, a simple utility that opens multiple pages in Internet Explorer.

Browse is another batch file. Download it just to see how a batch file can launch many programs (or many instances of one program) at the same time. Or download it to take advantage of it. (Browse was written in a few minutes in response to a request that came in by e-mail.)

    • The Calculator utilities, which open the Windows calculator from the right-click menu.

These two files provide a way to get your Windows 95 calulator to pop up with a simple right-mouse click, using the "New" menu. I developed this trick after looking at the way Windows 95 handles what are called context menus. So far, I haven't seen this trick from any other source, so I'll take the credit.


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