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Degaussing may halt shrinking screen

By JOHN TORRO

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 16, 2001


Q. My Sony Trinitron monitor screen is shrinking on the sides. I can't find any adjustment to correct it.

A. Distortion can be caused by electrical equipment placed near the monitor, such as another monitor, unshielded audio speakers, video systems, scanners or fluorescent lights. Assuming that you've tried adjusting the monitor using the buttons that control the barreling effect you're experiencing, check to see if there is a degaussing mechanism, which reduces buildup of unwanted magnetic energy in the monitor. Most modern monitors degauss when turned on, and some have a button to manually degauss the monitor. Also try moving the monitor to another location or to another PC to see if the distortion persists. Or, your monitor may be coming to the end of its life cycle. Check your warranty; most are between one and three years.

Overflowing with fonts

Q. I installed Microsoft Greeting 2001, and when I open Works I get a box that says, "There are more than 500 fonts in the system. Reduce the number of fonts or this display may be incorrect." I click OK, Works opens and it's fine. Why am I getting this warning, and can I stop it from popping up?

A. This is a known problem with Microsoft Works. Microsoft Greeting 2001 probably installed many optional fonts and this pushed the number past 500. Microsoft recommends deleting fonts -- you probably will never use all 500 -- from your computer until you have fewer than 500 left. Here's how to do it:

  • 1. Click Start, point to Settings and click Control Panel.
  • 2. In Control Panel, double-click Fonts.
  • 3. Click the fonts that you want to delete from your computer (to select more than one font, press and hold down the CTRL key while you click each font).
  • 4. On the File menu, click Delete (or press the Delete key on the keyboard).
  • 5. When the Windows Fonts Installer dialog box appears with the following prompt, "Are you sure you want to delete those fonts?" click Yes.
  • 6. On the File menu, click Close.

To see how many fonts are on your computer:

  • 1. Click Start, point to Settings and click Control Panel.
  • 2. In Control Panel, double-click Fonts.

The status bar in the Fonts dialog box indicates the number of fonts installed on your computer.

No more e-mail preview

Q. I bought a computer through PeoplePC and am mostly satisfied. But when I check my e-mail and click on it to delete it, it opens even though I just want to delete it. If there's a virus in the e-mail, I may get the virus because I can't delete the e-mail without opening it. Is there a way to delete mail without opening it?

A. I'm assuming that you're using Microsoft Outlook Express with the Preview option on. Yes, it is a good idea to turn this option off. To do this, click View on the menu bar in Outlook Express, then Layout, then deselect the Show Preview Pane option box by clicking it to remove the check. Click OK.

Replacing KERNEL32

Q. When I try to use the help file in several programs I get a dialog box that says my KERNEL32.dll file is damaged or missing. I checked and the file is there. I obtained a new copy but I am unable to delete, rename or replace the old version because it is being used by the system. What can I do now? I use Windows 98 Version 2.

A. You will need to boot to a DOS prompt to do this. Restart your computer, press and hold down the CTRL key until you see the Windows 98 Startup menu. Choose Command Prompt Only. Rename the old KERNEL32.dll file rather than delete it, in case you need to reverse this action for any reason.

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