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February 10, 1997

Tips from readers on Windows fonts, Netscape blinks, and Internet sounds

I've mouthed off in my last few columns a bit, so now it's your turn. Here are some comments from readers about their experiences, for better or worse, with the operating system we love to hate.

Quirky font settings

Reader Doug Fetter sent in this account of how his family learned more than they ever wanted to know about fonts on a new IBM PC: "This Christmas I bought the family a new IBM Aptiva Stealth PC system. We uncovered an interesting problem when we attempted to install a font for which we only had a TTF [TrueType Font] file. Despite our efforts to use the Windows 95 Font Installation technique described in the online help, our Aptiva's File menu in the Fonts control panel did not contain the Install New Font entry, which appears on the Windows 95 that I had installed on my development PC at the office. I searched through my Windows bible, Windows 95 Secrets, but found the same description of the steps contained in the online help."

"Reluctantly I called the IBM technical support number, assuming that the folks there would not have an answer to this problem," Fetter continued. "But to my surprise, after being placed on hold several times, the IBM representative came through with the answer."

"Somehow, in the installation of the software onto these systems, IBM failed to mark the Windows Fonts subdirectory with the System attribute," Fetter explained. "This simple oversight prevented Windows 95 from allowing the steps Settings\ControlPanel\Fonts\File to access the Install New Font menu. In fact, the Fonts screen has quite a different appearance when enabled vs. when disabled. The Aptiva is running OSR1 [OEM Service Release 1, or Windows 95A], but via experimentation on my development system, I found that by turning off the System attribute, the same thing can be made to occur on the original release of Windows 95. I hope that you find this little tidbit a useful addition to your collection of Windows 95 secrets and undocumented features."

My mind boggles at the thought of people at the installation factory turning the attributes of Windows folders on and off, such as the |System attribute of the Fonts folder. Why would anyone do this? Well, if anybody can figure out how to do it (and why), it would be IBM, I guess.

On the blink

Another reader, Nathan Pearson, has a way to rid your browser forever of that awful blinking text: "If you're like me, you may notice that the Netscape Navigator `blink' text tag gets old and annoying very quickly. If this is so, and you are using a recent version of Netscape Navigator, you have the ability to remove this with the Windows 95 Registry Editor."

"Run RegEdit.exe and go to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Netscape\Netscape Navigator\Settings

"Double-click the Blinking key in the right pane of the RegEdit window," Pearson continued. "Change the value from `yes' to `no' and click OK."

Picking up sounds

Reader Lance Larson has a different Internet idea, as shown in this useful suggestion: "Ever used Internet Explorer and heard a sound at a site that you really wanted? If you have, try this. Go to the Internet site where [the sound] is, exit Internet Explorer, then use Windows' usual Explorer to go to the folder C:\Program Files\Plus!\MicrosoftInternet\Cache. Find the .wav file, and it's yours!"

I don't know if I'd agree that the sound is "yours," because it might be copyrighted. A personal, one-PC use of a sound is probably "fair use," but I wouldn't distribute it with a commercial product.

Keep those secrets coming. Readers Doug Fetter, Nathan Pearson, and Lance Larson will receive a copy of the new Windows 95 Secrets Gold.

Brian Livingston is the co-author of Windows 95 Secrets Gold and four other Windows books (IDG Books). Send tips to or fax: (206) 282-1248.

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