Jewish World Review Sept. 30, 2003 / 4 Tishrei, 5763

2-step solution for controlling auto-correction; protecting network from viruses and worms and now unable to print; made the mistake of not using the standard Uninstall program for Lotus Notes and not sure what can be deleted

By James Coates | (KRT) Q. I always enjoy your columns and learn something new in nearly every column. I have a different suggestion for reader Bonnie Mitchell's recent query about putting a halt to Microsoft Office's habit of automatically capitalizing every word at the beginning of a sentence or after a period.

Being a techie, I don't like to type, so I abbreviate as much as possible; to prevent confusion for my reader, I will try to remember to put a period onto my abbreviation (as my 6th grade teacher so lovingly taught me ...). When I do this, MS Office will automatically capitalize the next word for me. Quite by accident, I discovered that if you hit Ctrl-Z when you see Office do an auto-spelling or auto-capitalization, it will undo its correction. Using Ctrl-Z in this manner strikes a good balance for me. I let Office catch my more egregious spelling and capitalization errors, and if I don't like what Office does, I simply strike it away with a Ctrl-Z.

-- Dave Candler

A. Guess what, Mr. C., I learn something with every column I write too. And today you're the teacher, and a mighty fine one at that.

Your suggestion amounts to a two-fingered solution to a great deal of the bossiness that Microsoft has built into Office. We type something unusual on purpose, and the software insists on changing it to the way the software thinks it should be. And every time we go back and try again, the software keeps making the same unwanted change.

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As near as I can tell, not even the architects of the software that became Microsoft Office realized that the undo feature built into the various programs could be invoked to brush aside these unwanted changes and let stuff stand as we want, despite the machine's programming.

Just as Control + A always means to "select All" and Control + X means to delete, so Control + Z is a universal convention for undoing mistakes, like an unnecessary deletion or ruining a photograph with a misused command. It is used everywhere from Microsoft Office to Adobe PhotoShop to America Online.

But nobody in charge seems to have noticed that this Control + Z also can be used to thwart those bullheaded auto-corrections.

As you note, knowing this one little trick lets us take full advantage of the best auto-correction features of any piece of software, secure in the knowledge that with two handy keystrokes we also can have it our way. By the way, one also can order things like sentences starting with lowercase letters by tapping the Undo arrow in the Office toolbar.

Q. I have a network that consists of a desktop and laptop. I have DSL and a wireless router and a wireless receiver in my laptop. Both computers run Windows XP. How do I protect my network from viruses and worms? When I activated the firewall in XP, I couldn't print from my laptop.

-- Kimberley Bolte, Chicago

A. It sounds like the file-and-printer-sharing service was disabled when you activated the Windows XP Internet connection firewall, Ms. B. A lot of folks do that because disabling file-sharing is another prudent step for avoiding mischief from outside.

So click open the Start menu and then right-click on the My Network Places line. Look for your network in the next display; it will be called LAN. Right-click on the LAN icon, and you will find the command box used to activate the firewall under a tab marked Advanced. Instead of clicking on the Advanced tab, however, look in the panel below and you will find a check box for file and printer-sharing. Put a check mark in it, and you'll be able to print as before.

Since you imply that the desktop in your small office network still prints, you can expect that the printer-and-file-sharing service already is activated on that machine.

Another point worth making is that it is extremely easy to take those steps I described to switch the Windows XP firewall on and off as desired.

For example, increasing numbers of small businesses are using the advanced-messaging features built into XP to move data files between widely separated machines, and it's usually necessary to briefly shut down firewalls to do that.

Q. Recently I tried to delete Lotus Notes from my laptop. I made the mistake of not using the standard Uninstall program for Lotus Notes, and I started deleting directories that I thought pertained to the Lotus Notes suite. Now I am not sure that I deleted all of the files and directories associated with Lotus Notes, and I do not have the Lotus Notes manuals.

When I try to use the Uninstall feature for Lotus Notes, I get an error message that I am missing Uninstall files. Can you tell me what directories are safe to delete so that I can remove all of the Lotus notes files and directories from my laptop?

-- Philip Mariotti, Canfield, Ohio

A. As you discovered the hard way, Mr. M., the Windows Add/Remove Programs control panel just flat breaks down when you try to run it after removing even a small element of the original installation. It does this to make absolutely sure that no crucial directories or files could be deleted during an automatic procedure.

The good news is that while laptops like yours came with Lotus Notes loaded but no manuals (a dismal cost-saving scheme by IBM), the actual software for Notes is included on the computer's system restore disks. This means that you can simply reinstall Notes, and once all of the files and directories are restored you will be able to use that Add/Remove Programs tool in Windows to finally get rid of the software.

It is also worth mentioning that one can reinstall Lotus Notes 6 by downloading a free trial copy of the software from IBM's Web site at www-10. This, too, will restore the file and directory structure by overwriting your current setup. Again, once the program is reinstalled, the Add/Remove routine will work fine.

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James Coates is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Let us know what you think of rthis column by clicking here.


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