Q: I've had my Macintosh for less than a year, yet it seems to get slower every month. Do you have any idea why?
A: The two most common reasons are system related. First, having too many items in your System folder will slow down your machine tremendously because the items are constantly held in RAM and, therefore, leave less memory available to run other applications. The second system-related factor affecting performance is the screen display you choose. Black and white is the fastest. The speed of the screen display degrades as you increase the number of colors displayed because the system must paint all the colors on the screen, often in successive layers.
So, to immediately increase the speed of your Macintosh, get rid of unnecessary items in your System folder and display fewer colors (don't forget to restart your Mac for the performance benefits to take effect). -- Joseph R. Harris Jr., CRC
Q: I maintain a personal Elm mailing list and often send short messages (3 or 4 lines) to a large group of people. I use an alias for my group to make it easy to send the messages. When the messages are received, however, each recipient gets several screenfuls of headers, which list addresses of the entire group. Can I make my message appear before the header?
A: No, but you can eliminate the headers. In the To: field, put your own e-mail address (send the message to yourself). Next, create your message. Before you send the message select the h)eaders option. On the message header edit screen choose B to select the Bcc: (blind carbon copy) field. Now put your group's alias into the Bcc: field, enter a carriage return, and then send the message. Everyone in your group will see a message addressed to you, but they will not be able to see who, besides themselves, received the message. -- Joe Neff, SEAS graduate student
Q: Before emptying my trash, my Mac always gives me a warning asking if I'm sure that I want to permanently remove the items in the trash can. Is there any way to stop getting these annoying warning messages?
A: You can temporarily disable the warning by pressing the Option key when selecting the Empty Trash command from the Special menu. You can permanently disable the warning by highlighting the Trash icon, selecting the Get Info command from the File menu, and then clicking on the box to deselect the "Warn before emptying" option. A word of caution: If your computer is shared with other users, you may not want to permanently deactivate the warning for the sake of less experienced users or users who like the warning. -- Sheila Emerson, CRC
Q: How can I tell which version of a program I'm using on my Macintosh?
A: While you are using the program, just select the About... option listed under the Apple menu. For example, when you are using Microsoft Word, this option is listed as "About Microsoft Word." By convention, software manufacturers put information about their programs, including the version number, into the information box displayed after the About... option is selected.
To check your operating system version, select the About... option when the Finder is active. The choice will be listed as "About this Macintosh" for System 7 or "About the Finder" for 6.0.x versions.
An alternate method is to locate the program icon in the Finder, single-click on the icon to highlight it, and then select "Get Info" from the File menu. -- Kristin E. Nelson, CRC
Q: I'm interested in getting information about the Clinton administration (speeches, press releases etc.) that I heard was available on the Internet. Can you tell me how?
A: There are several ways to get information on and from the Clinton administration. Information is available via Gopher, WAIS, and the FedWorld BBS.
One of the easiest ways is to have information sent automatically to your e-mail account. The server for automatic e-mail distribution is run by MIT. This server is not set up to answer letters, comments, or requests for specific types of information. The information available from this server falls into seven categories:
To: email@example.com Subject: receive social
The server will send you a message indicating what information you have signed up for. If you want to get information on more than one topic, send separate messages to the server. If you want to check on the topics you are signed up for, send a message to the above address with the subject line status. To sign off a topic send a message to the server address with the subject line remove and the topic you want to stop getting information about. If you send the subject line remove all, you will be removed from the e-mail distribution list. -- Caroline Ferguson, CRC
Q: I use WordPerfect 5.1 on my PC. I just replaced one of my 5.25" floppy drives with a 3.5" drive and bought a new printer. I need to install the driver for this printer but the WordPerfect Install program asks me to put the printer disk (with the driver for my new printer) into drive A:, which is now the 3.5" drive! I only have 5.25" disks. Help!
A: OK. First start the Install program as you normally do (usually by typing Install at the C:\WP51> prompt). The Installer will ask if you want to continue the installation and if you are installing to the hard drive. Answer yes to both questions. If you have a color monitor, the in-stallation program will ask you to confirm that you do. On the next screen displayed by the Installer, select number 2 Custom. The first option on the Custom Installation screen will allow you to choose where to install WordPerfect files from. By changing the drive you install from, you can use your 5.25" disks to install your printer driver. -- Caroline Ferguson, CRC
Q: Pico, my default Elm editor, seems like an easy editor to use, but I need fancy features like cut and paste. Is there any way to cut and paste in Pico?
A: Sure! The Control-K key combination deletes the line that the cursor is on while the Control-U key combination undeletes (pastes) the line. What many people don't realize is that Pico "remembers" consecutively deleted lines (i.e., a block of text). Thus, if you perform a series of consecutive line deletions and then move to where you wish to paste the deleted text, the Control-U key combination will paste in the entire block of text. -- Joseph R. Harris Jr., CRC
Q: What are the most popular items in PennInfo?
A: Of the 75,094 requests for documents to be displayed during March, those most requested were: "Weather forecast" (3,050), "Research Foundation Applications Due 3/15/94" (1,166), "MedInfo" (1,097), "PennInfo Providers of Information/Sources" (1,012), "How to Find What's New' in PennInfo" (828), "Penn Printout Survey Reminder" (772), "Campus map" (440), "Spring Events in the Delaware Valley" (428), "Connecting to PennLIN" (371), "Biomedical Library Directory" (344), "Library Database News and Searching Tips" (330), "Macintosh Quadra Computers" (321). -- Gayle Belford, DCCS
Q: I want to create columns with footnotes using WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS. When I try to do this the footnotes are changed into endnotes. What am I doing wrong?
A: You aren't doing anything wrong. WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS doesn't allow you to put footnotes in columns. You should consider switching to WordPerfect 6.0 for DOS if you really need this capability. Here's how it's done using WordPerfect 6.0 for DOS. First create your columns as you normally would. Next press Footnotes <Control-F7>, then Footnote <1>, and finally Create <1> to make your footnotes. To see your footnotes use Print Preview <Shift-F7> and then <7> or Page View <Control-F3> and then <4>. --Caroline Ferguson, CRC
Q: Is there a way to look up Penn e-mail addresses directly from Elm? It's inconvenient to consult the printed phone book or telnet to the online directory.
A: Many large mail systems on campus have a direct link to Whois, the University's online e-mail directory. Elm users can access Whois directly from the Send the message to: and Copies to: prompts in the message header screen. In Elm, create a new message by typing m and pressing enter. At the Send the message to: prompt, enter a question mark (?). At the directory screen, type the first character of the field you want to search, for example, 1 for last name. Then enter the search data, in this case the surname of the addressee, followed by a carriage return. The system will return all matching directory listings. Use the arrow keys to select the listing you want and press return to enter your selection into the message header automatically. If the person to whom you want to send mail is not listed, enter r to return to the message header. --Edda Katz, ISC Communications
Q: I use WordPerfect 6.0 for DOS and I would like to see more than 32 pages at a time when using the thumbnail option in Print Preview <Shift- F7> and then <7>. Can this be done?
A: The Print Preview button bar allows you to view up to 32 pages using the Thumb 32 button. If you want to see more, select View from the Print Preview screen and then select the number of pages you want to see in the thumbnail. --Caroline Ferguson, CRC
Q: When I drag a file from a diskette onto the desktop of my Mac I'm never sure if I've really copied the file to my system. Sometimes it disappears. What's going on?
A: Well, as the man says, "What we have here is a failure to communicate." Unless you drag the file to another window, folder, or volume, the Finder has no idea that you intend to copy the file and will only relocate the file icon outside the diskette window. If you use System 7 there are two solutions. You can lock the diskette before you insert it-forcing the Finder to copy the file to the desktop. Or, if an unlocked diskette is already in the floppy drive, you can just hold down the option key before dragging the icon from the diskette to your desktop. In both cases the system displays a dialog box explaining its actions.
System 6 users cannot copy directly to the desktop. The file must first be copied to a window, folder, or volume. Only after the copy dialog box disappears can the file be dragged to the desktop. If you think that you have copied a file but you didn't see the copy dialog box with the horizontal status thermometer, don't lose that diskette! It might be your only copy of the file. --Dan Dougherty, CRC
Q: There's been a lot of information in the press recently about new computer systems called PowerPC. What are they?
A: PowerPC refers to a new family of processors based on RISC (reduced instruction-set computing) technology. They are being developed by Apple, IBM, and Motorola to bring low cost/high performance computing to the desktop.
Both Apple and IBM have committed to this new technology as an alternative to the currently dominant Intel 80x86-based processors. The two vendors have taken different approaches in bringing the technology to market. IBM released its first-generation PowerPC processors in its RS/6000 workstations. Apple introduced the PowerPC in its new line of desktop computers, and expects RISC-based systems to comprise its entire line over the next few years.
Apple's new systems offer significant performance increases and introduce enhanced audio and video features (e.g., PlainTalk voice recognition) while preserving compatibility with existing applications. Backward compatibility is achieved using a built-in hardware emulator that allows applications written for earlier Macs to run. The new processor reportedly can also run DOS or Windows applications at 486SX speeds by means of a software emulator. --Don Montabana, CRC
Q: Before sending an Elm message, I can choose the "h" option in order to modify message "header" information--for example, the To:, CC:, and Subject: fields. I noticed a field called BCC:. What is this?
A: BCC is an acronym for "blind carbon copy." It lets you surreptitiously send a copy of your message to someone other than your original correspondent. You might use a blind carbon copy to keep a third party informed of your correspondence with someone. However, use of the BCC: field raises ethical concerns and should probably be avoided. All e-mail users should be aware that e-mail is not necessarily private; it can be copied or forwarded to other parties--just as can be done with either paper or "voice" mail. --Caroline Ferguson, CRC
Q: I occasionally use AppleShare to share files on my Mac with a colleague in another building. He said that I should monitor my file sharing settings. Why?
A: There are a couple of reasons why it's a good idea to periodically check your file sharing settings. First, it's easy to forget to turn file sharing off or to disable guest access to your Macintosh after letting your colleague pick up files from your Macintosh. It is also conceivable that someone might have changed the settings on your Mac without your knowledge. The Mac won't alert you to changed settings--it's up to you to check. The article on page 26 describes how to change your AppleShare settings. However, before you do so, it's always a good idea to check with your computing support organization, to be sure that your changes will have no ill effects.
If you are concerned about someone changing settings without your knowledge, you may want to consider access control software for your Mac. Such software requires that you enter a password before you are allowed access to the hard disk. Contact Dave Millar, University Information Security Officer (898-2172 or firstname.lastname@example.org), for Penn experiences with various access control packages. --Dave Millar, Data Administration
Q: I recently purchased Microsoft's DOS 6.0. Now I hear that I should upgrade to DOS 6.02. Why has Microsoft introduced two versions of DOS in less than a year? Do I really need to upgrade?
A: Microsoft claims to have offered the DOS 6.2 upgrade in order to provide customers with improved functions and features. However, many members of the computer press and some disgruntled users believe that Microsoft introduced the upgrade to deal with the lack of customer confidence that resulted from the well publicized, but difficult to substantiate, problems associated with DoubleSpace. DoubleSpace is the disk and file compression software included with DOS 6.0.
Regardless of the motivation behind the release of DOS 6.2, if you have DOS 6.0 you get the "step up" upgrade to 6.2. The cost should be minimal--about $10. Of interest to all users are the improved safety features for the MOVE, COPY, and XCOPY commands. Intermediate or advanced DOS users will also find other useful features such as the ability to step through the autoexec.bat file a line at a time and the addition of support for speedier (via SmartDrive caching) access to CD-ROM drives. The upgrade is a necessity if you use DoubleSpace because it adds safety features that seem to obviate the questions raised about it in the October 1993 Penn Printout review of DOS 6.0. --Caroline Ferguson, CRC
Q: I heard that Microsoft DOS 6.0 owners could get a free "step up" upgrade to DOS 6.2 on the Internet. Is this true?
A: Yes. If you own Microsoft DOS 6.0 and want to upgrade to 6.2, you can pick up a free copy from Microsoft's FTP server--if you have the capability of establishing an FTP connection. If you can FTP, use the instructions below to get the free software.
First, use your FTP software to establish a connection to Microsoft's file server using the Internet address ftp.microsoft.com. Second, change the directory (cd) to peropsys/MSDOS/msdos6.2/english (be sure to type in the name of the directory exactly as shown--including upper and lower case distinctions. Third, prepare to receive a binary file, (i.e., enter binary). Finally, transfer the file using the get command, (i.e., enter get STEPUP.EXE). Note: The size of the file is less than 1.4 Mbytes. --Mark Keintz, Population Studies Center
Q: How can I update my e-mail address in the online directory?
A: It depends. Faculty and staff who have a network ID and password can update their own directory listing online. Simply telnet to whois.upenn.edu and then type update at the login: prompt. This will place you in the online directory update program, which allows you to update your name, e-mail address, department, and privacy information, after you have validated yourself by entering your network ID and password. If you decide not to make any changes, select the option that allows you to quit the program.
Faculty and staff without a network ID and password need to send an e-mail request to directory@dccs. The e-mail message must include your 9-digit PENNcard ID, your name with honorific (e.g., Dr.), your department or office, and your e-mail address. (Note: You can check PennInfo using the keyword "network id" for more information about how to obtain a network ID and password.)
If you are a student, you must visit the computing services organization in your School to request any modifications to the online directory database. The PennInfo document "How to get e-mail accounts at Penn" identifies these offices. --Linda Murphy, DCCS Engineering
Q: I'm shopping for a new Macintosh. What's the difference between the 68040 and the 68LC040 microprocessor?
A: Not too much. The 68LC040 chip is the same as the 68040 except that it lacks the built-in FPU (floating point unit)--a cost reduction move. The FPU allows certain types of software that perform intensive mathematical calculations to run faster. For word processing and basic spreadsheet use, the FPU will not increase performance greatly. Also note that the Computer Connection's price list has some CPUs listed as 68040 and some as MC68040. These are the same processor. --Kristin Nelson, CRC
Q: How do I rename a directory on my DOS/Windows computer?
A: Windows users used to hold the advantage here, but now DOS users can do this easily as well. In Windows, first select the File Manager, then select Rename. The directory you are pointing to will appear. You can change the directory name by simply typing in the new name. In DOS 6, use the MOVE command. For example, type MOVE C:\DOS C:\DOS6 to change the name of your DOS directory from DOS to DOS6. For more information, type HELP MOVE at the C> prompt. --Pattie Devlin, CRC
Q: Before submitting a WordPerfect 5.1 document to a journal, I need to change the footnotes to endnotes. Is there any way to do this without redoing the notes?
A: There are two ways to change your footnotes to endnotes. WordPerfect includes a macro to do this. Look for FOOTOEND.WPM in the WordPerfect subdirectory, or if you have designated a separate subdirectory for macros, check there. To run the macro press <ALT-F9> and type the name of the macro.
If you have not installed the WordPerfect macros or if the FOOTOEND macro has been removed from your system, there is a workaround. WordPerfect does not allow footnotes in documents with a columnar format. To quickly switch your footnotes to endnotes go to the top of your document and define columns. Then turn the columns on. When the document is in columns, the footnotes will change to endnotes. Save your document. Then go back to the document and delete the column-on code. This will change the document back to its original format but with endnotes. --Caroline Ferguson, CRC
Q: In WordPerfect 6.0, how can I address an envelope using an existing letter?
A: With the letter on your screen, choose Page from the Layout menu. Then choose Envelope from the Page Format dialog box. An Envelope dialog box will appear and the address from the letter will be automatically added into the Mailing Address field. Press <B> to include a Postnet Bar Code on the envelope. Press <E> to select the desired envelope size from a list. You can also set a default return address that will appear each time the Envelope feature is used. And finally, press <P> to print the envelope. --Sheila Emerson, CRC
Q: I notice that Microsoft DOS 6.0 includes a utility, Microsoft Anti- Virus (MSAV), which detects and removes viruses. Should I stop using Vi-Spy?
A: No, you should continue to use Vi-Spy, for several reasons. First, Vi-Spy and all program updates are free to members of the University community holding a valid Penn or HUP I.D. You must, however, pay for updates to the Microsoft program. Secondly, Vi-Spy has a smaller memory "footprint," taking up only 16 Kbytes of conventional memory, while MSAV takes up 44 Kbytes. Thirdly, and most importantly, MSAV and the program it is based upon, Central Point Software's Anti-Virus (CPAV), are not considered as reliable as Vi-Spy by the computer virus research community. --Caroline Ferguson, CRC
Q: I would like to be able to locate specific messages in my Elm folder without scrolling through a few hundred to find the one I want. Is there a way to search for a particular message in a folder?
A: Sure! Elm has a pattern-matching feature that lets you search for words in the subject line and words in the text of messages. It only searches for messages after the current message, so you must set the current message to 1 if you want to search an entire folder.
To search the subject lines of all the messages in the current folder, enter / at the command line. At the Match pattern: prompt, enter the word(s) you want to search on and press <RETURN> or <ENTER>. For example, typing /, then modem and <RETURN> at the Match pattern: prompt will take you to the first message after the current message that contains the word "modem" in its subject line. It doesn't matter whether "modem" is capitalized or not. To search for additional matches, type / again and then simply press <RETURN>.
To search for word(s) within messages, first enter // (two slashes in a row). At the Match pattern (in entire folder): prompt, type in the word(s) you want to search for followed by a <RETURN>. Elm will find the first message containing the specified word(s) and take you to that message in the index, where it will wait for you to press <RETURN> to read the message or do something else. To continue searching, move to the next message, then type // and <RETURN>. --Joseph Harris, CRC
Q: I'm using Excel 4 to keep track of temperatures for my research project. I would like to format the cells in the worksheet to display a degree symbol (e.g., 98.6'). Since that's not one of Excel's standard formats, can I do this?
A: Yes, you can create a custom format. After you select the cells you want to format, choose Number from the Format menu. You can either select and modify one of the existing format codes, or you can replace what is in the Codes box with your own formatting code. For the example you gave, you may want to use a code that looks something like 0.0'. This forces Excel to display a minimum of one digit to the left of the decimal point and exactly one digit to the right. The degree symbol is created by typing <Shift-Option-8> in most Mac fonts. Excel adds any format you create to the list of format codes so you can use it again. --Kristin Nelson, CRC
Q: I'm typing a paper using Microsoft Word on the Macintosh. I want to number the pages in this way: The first page is the title page and not numbered; the second page is page one and not numbered either; and the third page is numbered page two. How do I do this?
A: Here's how. Move your cursor to a position immediately after the text of your title page. Insert a section break by holding the command key and pressing the enter key on the numeric keypad. You should see a double-dotted line (section break) separating the title page from page one. Click anywhere within the text of page one and select Section from the Format menu. Make sure the Start box lists New Page so page one starts on a new page. In the Page Numbers area, check the box labeled Restart at 1 to make Word start counting the pages in this section from one. In the Header/Footer area check the box labeled Different First Page so that page one will have a different header or footer from the rest of the document. Click OK to return to the document. Choose Header or Footer from the View menu. Within the header or footer window, click on the page number icon to insert the page number code and every page of your document but the title page and page one will be numbered. --Kristin Nelson, CRC