Question: Since arrival of Windows 95, many tips, help and secrets which Microsoft never published have been printed in many popular computer magazines. I’d like to be able to gather this information for myself. Are you aware of Internet sites where I can download this information? — A.P.
Answer: Men’s Health magazine recently lamented that one of the upsetting things about 1998 was the spring release of Windows 98, because they’d just finally figured out Windows 95. I sympathize, but there’s no way of completely mastering Windows 95, because there are a million and one ways of accomplishing tasks in it. Think you know it all? Then have a look at the following “secrets” that I found on the Net. To answer A.P’s query, each one is from a different Windows tips Web site. The address of the source follows each tip.
An ever-growing number of Windows applications — including the latest versions of Microsoft’s Word and Excel, as well as Windows 95’s built-in WordPad utility — insist on tacking their own reserved extension onto your filename, even if you’d rather use another extension. Even worse, because Windows 95’s long filenames allow as many periods as you like, you can wind up with an ungainly filename like Letter.New.Doc.
The solution: When you use a common dialogue box, enclose the filename (including the extension and full path, if necessary) in quotation marks.
Source: ZDNet’s Windows 95 undocumented secrets (no longer available online)
Another way to delete
Any time you tell Windows 95 to open a file, you are presented with a window showing you the files available in the directory you’re looking at. If you find a file you wish to delete, simply click on it once to highlight it, and hit the ‘Delete’ key. It may ask if you really want to delete the file, but if you hit “Y”, it will get rid of the pesky file.
BMP files to icons
You can rename any .BMP file to .ICO, and then use it as an icon! Windows 95 resizes it to icon size, and changes it to 16 colours, but otherwise it works just fine.
Source: Windows 95 Best Tricks
Skip the Recycle Bin
To really delete your files instead of sending them to the Recycle Bin hold down the Shift-key and press Delete, or right-click on them — then hold down the Shift-key before selecting delete from the context-menu.
Source: Win95 Tips and Tricks
Prevent a Reboot
Have you ever clicked Shutdown and remembered something else you wanted to do on the system? Don’t want to wait for the PC to power back up and go through self-test? You don’t have to — when you get the screen that says ‘It is now safe for you to turn off your computer’ just type ‘win’ and hit enter! Want to be in the DOS mode? Type ‘mode co80’ and there you go. A Windows 95 system shutdown closes the registry, and drops you back to a DOS session, but displays a graphics message for you to turn off your computer. Behind the scenes, your PC is really sitting at the familiar C: prompt!
Make your slow CD-ROM faster
Want to make your single or double speed drive perform like a quad speed drive in Win ’95 ? It’s easy. Go to My Computer / Properties / Performance / File System / CDROM and set the supplemental cache speed to its maximum and the access pattern to ‘Quad speed or higher’. I was shocked to see my little ol’ single-speed drive play the previously choppy avi’s on a Bugs Bunny CD-ROM I have.
Source: Jerry Dugal’s Windows 95 Tips, Tricks and Undocumented Features (no longer available)
Time for a Log
You can use Notepad to create a time-stamped log file — a handy tool for logging your voice mail or creating a to-do list. Simply type .LOG as the only text in the first line of a Notepad file. Then make your entries, save the file, and close it. Next time you open the file, you’ll see that Notepad has added a time-and-date stamp beneath each entry.
Emptying the ‘Documents list’
First, click the Start menu, point to Settings, and then click Taskbar. Then, click the Start Menu Programs tab, and then click Clear.
Source: The TIPS.TXT file in your Windows directory C:WINDOWSTIPS.TXT