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A software "switch" is a
modifier you append to a standard command to make it behave somewhat
differently. Here’s a trivial example: At DOS or in a Command windows, if you
type DIR you’ll see a listing of the contents of whatever Folder
("DIRectory") you’re in. But if you add a switch— "/w"—
the DIR command generates its output in "wide" mode, filling the
screen horizontally. With the switch, you’d type the command: DIR /W .
This is not the sort of thing that
will appeal to or be appropriate for everyone, but if you’ve been kicking around
PCs for a while, this tip from reader Arent Smit may catch your eye:
In the last two Plus editions, we’ve
talked about time-synchronization tools, and many readers have sent in their own
suggestions. (Thanks!) If the paid and free synch utilities we’ve already
discussed don’t suit, a search at any major download site probably will turn up
a host of other options for you.
Speaking of WinMag.Com: On most
major issues, the folks there and I share similar views. But as a freelance, I
sometimes come to different conclusions than they do, and vice versa.
Like the proverbial "bad
penny," some old security problems keep turning up.
In issues past, we discussed the
"CueCat," a handheld scanner that was promoted as a way to save the
world from the onerous task of typing URLs. (As if it’s all that hard!) But
under the covers, CueCat actually was a brilliant marketing tool: The more you
used it, the more the CueCat makers learned about you and your preferences, thus
allowing them to "target" you with advertising. (See http://search.atomz.com/search/?sp-q=cuecat&sp-a=0008002a-sp00000000
Reader Sheryl Clark— who goes by
the nom-de-email of "GrannyC"— has an excellent suggestion you might
want to keep in mind the next time you’re doing major system work:
Have you heard of Enfish? Here’s
what ZDNet said of the last version:
Have you ever touched the surface of a working computer’s CPU chip— say, a
Pentium or an Athlon? These days, they get hot enough to take off your fingerprints.
Heat is the enemy of a CPU chip. The cooler a CPU chip is kept, the more stable it
is and the longer it lasts, simple as that.