Net Xpress: The adventure continues in the Windows Control Panel

August 29, 2004|SHEILA J. CLARK

Last week we explored the Display, Internet Options and the System sections of the Control Panel. Today we continue on our adventures in the Windows Control Panel.

One of the applets in the Control Panel that all computer users should become familiar with is Add/Remove Programs. This is where you go to properly remove programs from your system.

Add/Remove Programs allows you to add, remove and change software. It also allows you to change components installed for your operating system such as games or other utilities.

On a system running Windows 95, 98 or ME, this applet is the spot to go to create a bootable floppy disk. Having a bootable floppy on hand is vital if you should ever be faced with a system that won't boot. The floppy you create from this applet could be your system's lifesaver, literally.


The Add/Remove Programs tools surely will be your friend when you wish to rid your system of unwanted software. To do so, you would find the software in the list displayed, select it and then click on the Add/Remove button near the bottom of the window. If you accidently pick the wrong program, you get a chance to change your mind when it asks if you are sure you want to remove the program.

Be careful when you remove programs, as many enhancement programs and adware/ spyware come bundled with programs that you have installed. The enhancement programs provide additional features to the software you installed while adware/spyware is mainly there to track your online endeavors. Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish between them just by viewing the list.

An example of enhancement programs are ones such as the Learn2 Player, which is a plug-in for a Web browser. The plug-in aids in viewing online tutorials, courseware, etc. If you see BonziBuddy listed, its purpose is to amuse you while it tracks you and it was probably installed without your immediate knowledge.

Virus alert

A new virus has its eyes and ears on you. The virus, called Rbot-GR, does the normal stuff a virus does, like install a Trojan horse and mails itself out. In addition, Rbot-GR enables a hacker to view the Webcam and listen to the conversations via the microphone attached the infected computer user's system. The virus also allows a hacker to perform various activities such as viewing files on the hard drive, stealing passwords and product keys from keystrokes, creating and deleting network share, capturing screenshots, initiating DOS attacks and shutting down the machine. Learn more.

Net buzzz

* Pick up a peace of Linux history, as Linspire is clearing old stock of its Lindows operating system products while preparing for its name change. To try out this alternative desktop operating system at an extremely discounted price, visit for details.

* Lycoris announced the release of its Desktop/LX 1.4 operating system on Aug. 16. This marks the fifth release of this desktop Linux operating system. Learn more.

MSN Live online chat events

Aug. 30: Rock group Papa Roach chats at 7 p.m. Go Actress Rose Byrne chats at 7:30 p.m. Go

Aug. 31: Alan White of legendary group Yes chats at 4 p.m. Go

Sept. 1: Rock group Sister Hazel chats at 7 p.m. Go

E-mail me at; fax me at (859) 236-9566; or write me snail-mail at The Advocate-Messenger, P.O. Box 149, Danville, KY 40423-0149.

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