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AFRICABIZ VOL 1 - ISSUE: 66
OCTOBER 14 - NOVEMBER 14, 2004
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Editor: Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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- TROUBLESHOOTING INTERNET EXPLORER AFTER UPGRADING XP TO SERVICE PACK 2

End of August 2004, Microsoft released XP Service Pack2 that addresses security issues. That release unleashes a kind of terror that pervades in articles posted on the Net by some IT analysts. Some people feared that programs may stop working after the upgrade to XP Service Pack2.

Indeed, some programs and utilities, which were performing well under Service Pack1, did show some weaknesses to performing under XP Service Pack 2 . However, a simple uninstall and reinstall of said programs help troubleshooting.

In doubt of which program might show instability once you install XP Service Pack2, you may download and consult the hefty (100 pages - Word Format) Microsoft Applications' Compatibility Guide posted on Microsoft's XP download page.

One crucial utility that might show some instability is Microsoft Internet Explorer if you have third parties Adds Ons installed such as Search Tools Bar.

For instance, once XP Service Pack2 installed, some links in webpages stop functioning. Clicking with the mouse produce no page loading.

Sometimes you cannot either highlight a portion of a text in a webpage and make a copy to paste to another application such as NoteTab or Microsoft Notepad.

When you right click with the mouse to copy, the "Paste" signet does not show. Worse, after such failed copying process, if you click on the browser icon, in the Taskbar, to reload the browser, the webpage is no more available. You need to close the browser and open it again to access the webpage.

If you are encountering such annoyances, fire up your browser; and on Internet Explorer's Menu do the following:

1- Choose "Tools".
2-
Then: "Manage Add Ons" - A panel will exposed Add Ons entailed on your system.
3-
Highlight them one by one.
4-
Disable and Enable them one by one.
5- Test
and Verify links or any other trouble in a webpage.

And everything will come to order as before with Service Pack1.

There is another annoyance with the Pop-Ups Blocker included inside Service Pack2.

You certainly noticed how intrusive it is. There is a trick to get rid of it and still have an efficient Pop-Ups Blocker: 1- Choose Tools in the Internet Explorer's Menu and then 2- "Pop-Ups Blocker" and turn it off. Install MSN Tools Bar; and Turn On its Pop-Ups Blocker and Set the Counter On through the Settings interface.

You will notice that in the Task Bar there is an icon stating "Pop-Ups were not blocked". That is related to the Pop-Ups Blocker included in Service Pack2.

However, you will also notice that the Pop-Ups Blocker's counter of the MSN Tools Bar still counts Pop-Ups that had been blocked. Furthermore, it is not intrusive!.

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- THE MUST HAVE VLC MEDIA PLAYER

Microsoft's Windows Media Player and Real Networks' Real Player- are good stuffs. However, they sometimes fail to power DVD if the system used by the computer is a CD/DVD combo and not a "pure" DVD" hardware. Forums on the Net are full of posts asking for help about windows not recognizing the DVD if the hardware is a combo CD/DVD.

To enable Windows Media Player and Real Player to "power" DVD movies on some CD/DVD combos, one needs to download and install "Add Ons" - that are not free.

You are no more obliged to shed off 20 to 70 bucks to play DVD movies on your computer if your CD/DVD combo is not recognized by Windows Media Player or Real Player.

There is an excellent Media Player called VLC Media Player that does the job perfectly recognizing CD/DVD combos.
You install it and forget about it because the initial configuration set up by the utility itself during the install process is efficient and works fine. You can though tweak it a bit if you wish through a intuitive configuration interface. The interface of the utility is written in French. However, on the website of the must have media player there is a well documented user's manual in English backed by a thriving Forum.

VLC Media Player deals with various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg - up to the most unheard of such as TST) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

VLC Media Player is available for a wide range operating system: Windows, Mac OS, X BeOS, Debian GNU/Linux, Mandrake Linux, Fedora Core, Familiar Linux, YOPY/Linupy, Zaurus SuSE and Linux Red Hat Linux. Click here to downoload

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