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Prez Sez -- February 1998

A Message From President Pat Hughes

Greetings to those who survived the snow storm of '98 and a big thank you to those who were able to attend the meeting that night. I hope your commutes home were not too bad; one friend's usual 30 minutes took 3 hours and other friends just stayed at the office over night! Whether it was El Niņo or not I don't know but I have seen this a couple of times over the last 10 years and any amount of snow in a city where people aren't used to it will usually bring it to a halt.

I wonder if the storm gave a bit of a boost to the working from home market?

I see that your executives and fellow members have been busy not just in creating the AJ but in getting it to your doorstep (more people than usual for the January meeting due to the weather) and to making it available a number of bookstores. Keep an eye out and I'll let you know where in the near future. Thank you to those people and keep up the good work!

BBS - 16 years of service? Well done and now it is time to move on and this will happen shortly. I believe this topic was discussed at the January meeting and once again it would appear that most (all?) people are on the net. Closure date will be announced next AJ but I promise that topic will be taking up little or no room in future articles of the AJ.

What will be taking the time of the AJ and our members? INPUT PLEASE! It's your club and we do get occasional hints and requests but please keep them coming!

I mentioned a job change that kept me away from the January meeting - though I did have to deal with more snow than Tokyo actually but in New England they are used to that so the results were not quite as bad. Of course a little further north of there (in the U.S. and Canada) almost one million people went without electricity for several days or more and there were several fatalities).

This new job may keep me away from the February meeting as well but after that... well, if things do not settle down after that you may see a new name in this column. <g>

The good news is that I had the chance to try out some new software and hardware. The Micron that was rushed to me here has been performing quite well. I know that computers will keep getting faster but if they would keep decreasing the weight at the same pace I would be even more impressed. Not that the Transport XPE is any heavier than others in its class but with my other luggage included things do get heavy.

TouchPad Mouse - convenient space saver and over all I did get used to it quite quickly. However, I find (and observed with some friends) that this type of 'mouse' seems to result in turning what should be a one-handed operation into a two-handed job. This is even with the double-touch = double click feature. There is a "Pointing Stick" (and that is the technical term - really!) but I've not played with it yet. I will try it to be fair but I guess I'm a mouse guy.

Microsoft Intellimouse - I've been using it for a while and I like the scrolling feature. However, when I went to pick up a new one for notebook I saw one from Logitech for US$30.00 vs US$70.00 for the Microsoft one. In the interests of comparing I bought the Logitech one. It works fine with all kinds of software and has a neat feature whereby you push down the roller and get a compass-shape display that will scroll not only up/down but also left/right and diagonally. Very nice! Once again, as we saw with the Microsoft ergonomic keyboard, the idea is good but they don't upgrade the product and fine tune it. (Well, there is a black version of the keyboard now but the colour seems to be all that has changed.) This of course is completely different from Windows as we all know - constantly updating and (your opinions may vary but overall) getting better.

Partition Magic - gave me a bit of trouble but that was because I set the Japanese partition to be FAT32 which (I think because it wasn't Win95B) it didn't support. Because of this I could see the Japanese partition from the English side and that shouldn't happen. Once I changed the partition to FAT - only took a few minutes - all was okay.

For my experiences with e-mail and newsgroup software please see that article and feel free to correct me where I may have erred.

Have a good 1998 and I'll see you at the March meeting if all goes according to plan!

Impressions of MSIE 3.0 & 4.0 vs Eudora

My (subjective and not always correct) Impressions of the Microsoft Explorer (Outlook) mail reader(s) that I've used during the past couple of months - and how they stack up to Eudora. This is base upon notes I kept on the road - a little rough but hopefully of interest to some.

One thing I can say - upgrade from MSIE 3.0 to 4.0 and use Outlook Express as it has improved! Of course the install made some changes to Win95 that were not necessarily bad but I don't recall being asked if I wanted them or not...

MSIE 4.0

At last - I can save into Drafts a partial message - this is more like it! I still like the Eudora (well, old Eudora - not sure about their latest version) method of having Inbox & Outbox/Sent boxes open at the same time but I'm happy with what I've seen of 4.0 so far.

Mail and Newsgroups in the same place - handy I think. Now if I can just find the switch to get newsgroup messages fully downloaded so that I can work off-line. Too bad the install didn't pick up that setting from the previous version.

Priority settings in Mail:

You have icons for Encryption and Digital Signatures and other items as well but...you have to go through the Tools - Set Priority menu to set this. Well, I guess I don't use it too often but a way to iconize it would be nice... - how to set the priority on a message from someone else in the In-Box? Don't appear to be able to. Once I get a message I want to re-prioritize (up or down) according to what I see in the message. Once again Eudora wins.

No RESEND?!?! Pardon me but this is annoying. The message doesn't make it so naturally you have to Resend it. How? I thought that moving it back into the Outbox folder would do it but no go.

Not in Help.

MSIE 3.0 - it doesn't indicate which message is bigger than the limit you have set - it only says that "You have messages exceeding the size" and where to make a change in order to download them. I want to know who it is from so that I can determine whether it is important to me to download it.

Q:. A Dial-Up Networking conection is already established to "GRIC"... this comes up for every message and asks if you want to hang up and connect direct or use the current connection. Of course I want the latter so how do I make it stop asking this question?

A: Options - Connection - Use the following Dial-Up... and select GRIC.

Q: How do I change the sound to be played when mail comes?

A: Maybe under control panel? Still haven't found this though I know it must be there somewhere.

To save copies of outgoing Mail messages:

If you want to save a copy of only the current message, type your e-mail name in the Cc box.

Something to try maybe:

Setting Internet News to use Internet Mail for e-mail replies and forwards

1 Open Internet Mail.

2 On the Mail menu, click Options.

3 On the Send tab, select the following check box: Use Microsoft Internet Mail, By Default, To Send Messages From Your Web Browser.

Note: When you reply to author, forward a posting, or enter an e-mail name on the Cc line of a newsgroup posting, then Internet News will use Internet Mail. When you click a link in a Web page to send an e-mail message, or choose the Mail command in your Web browser, the browser will use Internet Mail.

(Of course the above is not relevant to MSIE 4.0 which has combined Newsgroups with E-Mail.)

BAD: Can't do a quick Save of the message! Have to hit Send and then pick it back out of the Send box and put it somewhere else for the interim. It crashed on me the other day 1/2 way through a very long message - not nice!

EUDORA BETTER: easier to add a new nickname.

EUDORA BETTER: Thread organization doesn't seem to recognize "Re:" and therefore places these into different threads.

Fixed in MSIE 4.0

Problem Solved - Message that came from Japanese system or contained Japanese resulted in the replies being in Greek (or something none English anyway). This was solved by downloading MS International Pack for Japanese. While the Japanese "Garbage" is even more illegible pasting to ReadJapanese is still okay.

(Note that MSIE 4.0 supports correct display of Japanese in a message within Win95 English version. I believe that previously this only worked for the Explorer and web pages. I assume that other language packages will provide the same benefits for other languages.)

Change a message in the Outbox and even though it is open the message will be sent with previous contents if you hit Send/Receive. This is as opposed to Eudora which will ask "Message to send has changed..." and find out whether you want to send the new one that you're working on, the old one or cancel. Nice. Unfortunately MSIE 4.0 still has the same problem and your message goes off half complete if you happened to have said "Send" before then make changes when the system goes to send the mail again.

MSIE 4.0

News Groups:

Offline - Mark Newsgroups - Download entire message...easy enough. Just a matter of hunting for the setting. Not Options or Properties but I guess it is obvious when you think that you want to work "offline" so you go there to set it up...

A warning that tells me more than 80% of my reply was quoted (from the original) and this is considered "rude" by newsgroups - an automated admonishment! Hey, the sysop will like that - he won't have to remind me again. <g>

Windows Messaging (Exchange?):

Internet Mail - Message Format - MIME Character Set - can select plain test or ISO 8859-1 or other. I've set it NOT USE MIME for now. This can be changed in Tools - Services - Internet Mail Properties - Message Format.

What is the purpose of this thing? You have folders and can do faxes and other services but you can't open two folders at once (e.g., Received and Sent) and you can't display the folder list of messages up top and the open message at the bottom (or list of messages on left and open message on right).

Well, that is where I left off. I will keep using MSIE 4.0 Outlook Express for now and will give Exchange another try in a while. In a number of ways Eudora wins and I didn't even get up to version 3.0. Since most companies don't remove good things with an upgrade - well, that is a matter of opinion sometimes - I am tempted to get 3.0 and try it.

For now though I hope this was of use to some and that others can be of assistance to me by answering/correcting any mistakes I've made above.

Pat.


© Algorithmica Japonica Copyright Notice: Copyright of material rests with the individual author. Articles may be reprinted by other user groups if the author and original publication are credited. Any other reproduction or use of material herein is prohibited without prior written permission from TPC. The mention of names of products without indication of Trademark or Registered Trademark status in no way implies that these products are not so protected by law.

Algorithmica Japonica

February, 1998

The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group

Submissions : Editor


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