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December 22 / December 29, 1997

Year's end brings news about editing, cleaning, and more

This is the last issue of 1997, so it seems like a good time to give you quick updates on this year's Windows topics. So let's see what stocking stuffers the old Window Manager can dig up for you, my loyal readers and tipsters.

There's no pad like home

I wrote a few weeks ago about EditPad, a free replacement for the limited NotePad text editor that comes with Windows (http://www (See Getting around in Web land with the help of readers' tips Dec. 8.)

Reader Jorge Vismara wrote in to rave about another free editor that comes in two versions: Mini NoteTab, a small, fast editor for files as large as 41KB, and Super NoteTab, which can edit multiple files of almost any size. Both versions support a "clipbook" of stock HTML tags for editing Web pages and can search and replace across all open documents.

A commercial version of the program, called NoteTab Pro, costs only $5. This version is much faster at editing large documents and supports a spelling checker and thesaurus. See

Caddie, hand me my driver

I often work the week between Christmas and New Year's because everyone else takes that week off, leaving me alone to finish long-delayed cleanups. One good thing to check at year's end is whether you're up to date on the various drivers and patches that make Windows work with your specific mix of hardware.

Reader Jeffrey Fishbein of Riverweb Commercial Web Services checks a list of updated drivers once a week at This Web site shows all of the companies that have brought out updated Windows drivers and patches in the past seven days. When I checked, 15 companies had shipped updates in just one week. The page also links to a list of all the latest driver versions from more than 800 companies.

RegClean disintegrates Win95

I wrote last spring about a Microsoft utility called RegClean. (See RegClean 4.1 could solve problems with conflicting apps, April 21.) This program searches your Windows Registry and removes references to software that no longer exists on your hard drive. Removing orphaned references from the Registry with RegClean can prevent problems.

Microsoft has temporarily removed RegClean from its Web site, where it was available free. Among the minor problems Microsoft wants to fix with a new version is the fact that RegClean will not run if you have installed Internet Explorer 4.0. (Isn't that the software that's so "integrated" with Windows 95?)

Microsoft has a report on RegClean at If you receive error messages accessing the Registry, you should also read Microsoft's paper, "How to Troubleshoot Registry Errors," at

Meanwhile, if you really need RegClean and can put up with the minor flaws described in Microsoft's online articles, you can still get it from SoftSeek at view_4244_index.html.

WebTwin update nears

WebTwin, a utility that downloads Web sites and turns them into Help files, was the subject of a column this summer. (See Convert Web sites into Help files you can download or read offline Aug. 18.) A beta version of WebTwin 1.1 is now available at WebTwin automatically runs Microsoft's Help Compiler, which is included with WebTwin.

Brian Livingston is the co-author of several best-selling Windows books, including the most recent Windows 95 Secrets (IDG Books). Send comments to Unfortunately, he cannot answer individual questions.

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