New Windows Updates

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Another Patch Tuesday
Microsoft released a big whack up Windows Updates this week, most of them security-related. One patch is supposed to repair the vulnerability in Word documents which we mentioned in the June 1 column. To get the Updates, go to Security Center by clicking Start ~> Control Panel ~> Security Center and click on Windows Updates (on the right side). While you’re at the Security Center, you can configure Automatic Updates.

Microsoft Genuine Advantage
If you grabbed a recent set up Windows Updates, and now you’re getting “nag screens” about counterfeit software, Microsoft thinks you have an illegal copy of Windows XP. Those screens are there to nag you…um, to ENCOURAGE you…to purchase a legitimate copy of Windows.

You are going to get nag screens until you either pay for a copy of Microsoft Windows XP, or convince Microsoft that you already have one. (Good luck with that.) You will still be able to get the Critical Updates, but you won’t be able to get some other updates, including Internet Explorer 7 or Windows Defender (Beta 2) and almost certainly more as time goes by. This page explains more about the Microsoft Genuine Advantage program: http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/default.mspx?displaylang=en.

Birthday Reminder
No, it’s not my birthday. But if you need help remembering birthdays (or other important dates, apparently) you might give this a try. In response to last week’s question, “Do you have a favourite utility or game that is useful and free, or fun and free?” we have this recommendation from a reader:

You asked for small free programs for your column. I have a program called DreamBreed birthday reminder that runs on my desktop. It is small and unobtrusive. You have to enter the birthdays and events that you want and pick the number of days that you want to be reminded in advance. But I couldn't live without it. It appears for 10 seconds on your desktop on startup and disappears. It is a small program and easy to use. The website is dreambreed.com.  Try it out. I think your readers may find it helpful.

Thank you! I would never have noticed this program because I use a PalmPilot and the associated desktop calendar software to keep track of things. And I haven’t tried DreamBreed, because I already have my PalmPilot and my desktop shouting reminders at me. But for people who just need a nice, civilised whisper of a reminder, this looks great. You can get it here: http://dreambreed.com/

Windows Tip
This week we’re going to close with a Windows XP tip. Did you know you can change the picture next to your login name and on the Start Menu? (It’s the same picture both places.)

Go to Start ~> Control Panel ~> User Accounts
Click on your account
Click on “Change my picture”
Select a picture from the list, or “Browse for more pictures” to select a picture from someplace else on your hard drive
Click on “Change Picture”

That’s all there is to it. That picture will appear on the Welcome Screen and at the top of the Start Menu.

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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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