I use this domain for all kinds of things, but the top level's been a placeholder for a long time. I am adding a few more entries to the solutions-found for my own future reference. If you want to know more about me professionally, please see my portfolio.
Using awk, sed, grep, and other Unix utilities ported to DOS to manipulate and extract data from large files.
Advanced troubleshooting/technical support
Advice for thorny problems with a variety of hardware and software in the DOS/Windows environment for the individual and small enterprise. Nothing magical, just web searching, persistence, and trial-and-error.
Samples of weirdo problems solved that may help others (all but the first couple are from 2004 or earlier...):
W3 validator rejects your video or audio code when you have multiple sources? It's a bug (as of 10/6/2011). Use
the Validator.nu instead.
In HTML5, ogv files don't play in Firefox? Maybe your webserver isn't serving up the file type correctly. Use Web Sniffer on the file URL to check. Fix by putting "AddType video/ogg .ogv" in your .htaccess. Hat tip to Hsivonen and Nathan Rambeck at Stack Overflow.
Can't open Microsoft Office .docx files? (also .xlsx, .pptx) You don't need to upgrade! Just install the
Office Compatibility Pack. It's free.
Ctrl-Alt-Del reboots instead of bringing up Task Manager/Close Program box? Insert localreboot=on in the [386Enh] section of your system.ini.
Typing the letter f brings up Find File, r Run, etc? A bug in Windows makes the system think the Windows key is down. Press the Windows key a number of times and the problem will go away.
Using PPPoE (around here, typically Epix JackFlash DSL) and certain pages like Accuweather and TracFone won't load? (If you're using a router, most Epix tech support folks will snippily tell you that they don't support this setup...) Change your MTU setting downwards. See DSLreports' great page. If you're using a router, use the setup. If you need to change the registry, the easiest way is Dr. TCP.
Computer is playing music ("Fur Elise" or "It's a Small World") periodically? Some motherboards do this to warn of voltage fluctuations, overheating, or fan halting. If the fan has halted, that can fry your CPU, so turn off the computer and fix the problem. (Replacing a fan is very easy.) Otherwise, if it's hot and you don't have air conditioning, turn off the computer periodically to give it a break.
Dynamic IP won't release? Assign a static IP, restart, then go back to dynamic.
Don't see the Security tab in WinXP Pro file/folder properties? Turn off Simple File Sharing (in a folder menu, View/Folder Options/bottom of list).
How to remember or forget the last login name in WinXP Pro? Run Gpedit.msc, Computer configuration > Windows > Security > Local Policy >Security Options > Interactive logon disable/enable
Netscape 7 forgets its profile and wants to set up a new one? Turn off Quick Launch to prevent. To fix, copy seeded folder to desktop just in case; test re-setting Mail & News options & homepage, then change prefs.js to point to the old pop folders; If not, Profile manager: rename old profile, create new with same; Edit prefs.js to point to original pop folders; Delete the new pop folders
XP printer capture: first share printer, then at command prompt: net use lpt1 \\computername\printersharename /persistent:yes
Obsolete entries in My Network Places: this is a symptom of a "master browser" problem, I think always a legacy of using NetBIOS. WINS LHMOSTS
Download browstat.zip from here: (need netbios?) "unable to determine build of browse master" = 53
Other tips & tricks I've found helpful:
UNBIND TCP/IP! Follow the excellent GRC directions at GRC.com. Test your internet security with Shields Up! while you're at it.
Don't use Outlook Express.
Learn to open your computer. Clean out the dust periodically, especially from the power supply and CPU fans, with compressed air--outside!
You can clean dirty keyboards in a dishwasher. Use the top rack, put in the keyboard upside down so the water drains out of the keys, and make sure it's totally dry before plugging it in again or you'll short it out. Don't wash dirty dishes in the same load, though.
Top Windows Timesavers for beginning/intermediate users:
Ctrl-C, Ctrl-X, Ctrl-V for copy, cut and paste within & between applications.
Shift-click to easily control selections, and for range selection.
Ctrl-click for multiple independent selections.
Ctrl-O to open a web address and Ctrl-N to open a new window.
Tab and Shift-Tab between fields--everywhere.
Highlighted/selected text will be replaced by what you type. No need to hit the delete key. This explains why sometimes it seems that a huge block of text "vanishes."
When you see a dotted line around a button on a dialog box, that's the default that will be used if you press Enter. If none are selected, try using Tab to turn on the one you want. No need to click. Try it on web pages too.
Wherever you see a letter underlined (typically in a menu), use Alt to activate it from the keyboard.
Look in menus for keyboard shortcuts. Any decent program will have them. Look in the help for a complete list.
Windows-M to minimize all open windows.
Use Help/About to verify the version of a program.
Surf menus and right-click everywhere to learn what applications can do.
Google on whatever's giving you questions or problems. Be as specific as possible.
Restarting will fix 95% of all problems. Don't forget to try actually powering off if a restart doesn't help.
Type the first letter of what you want in any list context and see if it jumps you where you want to be.
Top Windows Things I Wish I Had Known Sooner for advanced users:
Run --> command for a quick command prompt in Win98 & Me; cmd for NT, 2000 & XP
Doskey to repeat previous DOS commands (built-in in 2000 & up; run from command prompt or put in autoexec for earlier WinOS)