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Computer and Internet Questions

This page is for questions about computers and the Internet sent to us by our web visitors. It is actually computer consulting by Internet. It is not free but charges can be very low ($5.00 minimum.) for simple questions that can be answered by email in less than five minutes. On the other hand we accept major projects for development of DOS business systems that may run from $3,000 to $20,000.

For more background see descriptions of over 80 Computer Programs I have written and my Resume.

Anyway, send your questions. You will either get an answer with a request (not an obligation) for $5.00 to $25.00 or an estimate of the cost of the project which you can accept or decline. Projects for small amounts of money will be done on the honor system as long as most of our visitors prove to be honest. Larger projects will, of course, require advance and perhaps intermediate payments. We have been receiving many questions and more people than not have not been paying the fees requested. We suspect that people are getting our email address from some place without reading this page. Therefore we will now require that any question sent contain a statement to the effect that the questioner agrees to pay a reasonable fee requested with the answer.

We will put some of our questions and answers here and there will be links to a few free programs on our Computer page. If you find information here that is of value to you or you download some of our programs and find them useful, we will be glad to accept any amount of money in payment that you feel it is fair to send us. Please send to:

        Duane Bristow
        Rt. 3, Box 722
        Albany, Kentucky  42602

Click here to send your questions.

by Email:

Dear Mr. Bristow,

I found your web page on {Ask Jeeves}. I have Windows 98 2nd edition on putter.

My problem is I had McAfee virus Scan 4.0 OEM, this came with my Dell Computer. I Uninstalled the Virus program because I was wanting to update the program, which now I know was a mistake.

After uninstalling the McAfee, when I start my computer this message comes up on the screen and I must always strike a key to continue.

The message says, Cannot find a device file to run Windows or a Windows application. The Window's {registry or system. Ini file `````no longer exist. THIS IS WHAT IS SHOWS ON SCREEN BELOW

C:/ Progra~1McAfee / McAfee~2 / Safe&S ~ 1 / FBWIN95.VXD

I have reinstalled McAfee but it did not take care of the problem. Is there a way I can fix this myself without having to take it to the shop and be charged at least $50.00. I am disabled and on a fixed income, but would be very happy to pay for a cheaper answer. Any information would be deeply appreciated.

Reply from Duane:

Uninstalling a program should not remove the registry and ini files if the program was properly uninstalled through the control panel. However it seems that you have lost the files that your computer reads when it is first started. These files tell the computer how it is configured and what programs are installed. I am copying below instructions from microsoft's website about restoring these essential files.

To Restore the Registry

      1. Click Start, and then click Shut Down. 
      2. Click Restart in MS-DOS mode, and then click Yes. 
      3. At the MS-DOS prompt, type scanreg /restore
      4. Restart your computer. 

      Following this procedure will restore your registry to
      its state when you last successfully started your computer.

Bug Reports and Fixes
    Scanreg /Restore fails to restore registry

        While trying to restore the registry using SCANREG
        /RESTORE command at a C prompt in MSDOS mode, you receive an
        error stating that the System Restore failed.

        A third party program such as Norton Unerase may have
        the drive's disk access locked, causing the scanreg /restore
        utility to fail.


        1. Reboot Windows 98 and press F8 to bring up the
           startup menu. 
        2. Select step-by-step start and load only
           HIMEM.SYS (and DoubleSpace, if needed). 
        3. Run SCANREG/RESTORE.

by Email:

Hello I was wondering if you could help me. I have been told that my computer, or maybe it was my browser, keeps track of web pages that I have visited, even if I clear the history, cookies, temporary internet files, cache 1. I think I got them all. I was told this was a hidden file, that is undeleteable.

My questions are where can I find these files? is it in dos? And can I get rid of them? Would I need software to do it? I am now using internet explorer 5, would I need to use a different browser?

Much thanks for any help.

Do I need to send a fee in to you before you answer my internet security question? If so that will be fine.

Reply from Duane:

You have been told wrong. If you clear all the items you mentioned plus the documents on the start menu. (clear with settings - task bar & start menu - start menu programs) that will clear every record kept by the computer of what you have been doing. You might also want to empty your recycle bin.

What someone may have been referring to is the fact that deleting files which is basically what you are doing here does not actually erase the information but only removes the pointers to it so that the system can't find the information. It is possible by using advanced techniques to recover files and/or portions of files which have been deleted. To actually make files unrecoverable you would need to use special utilities which overwrite the spaces where files have been a number of times with random data.

Also, besides temporary internet files, there is a temporary windows subdirectory which stores files for windows. It can be emptied by right clicking on Drive C, left click on "properties" and click on "disk cleanup". There is also a windows swap file referred to as "virtual memory" which windows uses for data which is too large to fit in RAM memory. This file is hidden and can be resized by right clicking on "My Computer", left click on "Properties" then "Performance" and "Virtual Memory".

There are a number of hidden and system files in your computer though which can be found and used in DOS by using the Dir /a command and the attrib function. Monkeying with these without knowing what you are doing can cause problems with Windows.

I charge $5.00 per email answered (more if extra research is required) but you do not need to pay in advance only to agree in your email to pay a fee.

by Email:

Someone intercepted an email I had received from another individual. This was on my email address at work and then it was forwarded on. It looks like it was somehow picked up by hotmail.com. Can you please tell me how this can be done from a place of business? Before answering, please note the cost it will be to me for you to answer this. Thanks.....

Reply from Duane:

In general I charge $5.00 per email for answering questions but more if extra research is involved.

I could probably give you 20 ways someone could read your email from looking over your shoulder while you are reading it to tapping your phone to an employee of your isp looking at it on their server. Or someone could have just sat down at your desk while you were gone and pulled up your email program. If you are on a network the network administrator probably has access to everything on your computer. Some companies install sniffing software that allows them to monitor everything an employee does on company computers.

To give you a better answer I need more details. Are you on a network? Could someone else know your password? How do you know this was done? Complete details please.

As to the question as to how someone can intercept your email. When you send an email it is sent through your outgoing mail server. It then may go through a number of internet nodes from your mail server to the mail server to which it is addressed. Hotmail will not be involved unless it is your outgoing mail server or unless it is the server to which the email is addressed. It is also possible that one of the servers may be Hotmail but with another name. Both Microsoft Outlook and Hotmail, because they are the most widely used due to Microsoft's influence, are most susceptible to hacks and to virus infection. For that reason I do not use either one.

Email on the internet should not be considered private because it could be read by system administrators or others at any of the nodes along the way. As I pointed out email can also sometimes end up at the wrong place or be lost due to software errors in a mail server but this is very rare. Other than that the only way someone can intercept your email is by using your username and your password on your incoming email server or by having access to the mail server to actually change the operation of the mail server program. BTW if they had that access they could also intercept your username and password and use those.

The dynamic internet address number of the interceptor was discovered in a copy of a forwarded email.

As far as determining who was responsible using the number that would require a court order to get computer records and it would only be possibile if the records were available. You see when someone uses the internet by a dial up or any other than a dedicated connection (always on) then they are assigned an available access number. They only have that number while they are using the internet and when they log off the number goes back into the pool to be assigned to the next person who logs on. So the number may only have been used by that person for five minutes and then may have been used by 20 or 30 other people that same day.

I doubt if you have any recourse except perhaps within your company if someone in an administrative position at your company did intercept your email because legally a computer used at work and the email on it does not belong to you but to your company and the courts have held that the company has full rights to read it or do whatever they want with it. They also have the right to install spy software on the network that will let them monitor your computer screen and every keystoke you make without your knowledge.

Now whether it is company policy with your company to do this or not I don't know but legally they can.

by Email:

I have a IBM 90 mhz 32 mg ram
I am trying to install microsoft excel 5.0
When the setup begins it says,
Setup was unable to find SHARE.EXE on your system.
It is required to run this application. Please fix your system and rerun setup.
I am running windows 95. I can't seem to figure out how to get this program.
This would be worth a small fee to me if you could help me out.

Reply from Duane:

Share.exe was a necessary program in MSDOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11. It is not available in Windows 95.

You can find it on any system with MSDOS 6.22 or the solution below is said to work although I have no experience with it.

find this section in the system.ini [386Enh]
and put this line in there device=*vshare,then save
and reboot and you'll be able to load any 16 bit

The Share.exe tool is not included with Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2 (OSR2), Windows 98 or Windows Me. File sharing and locking capabilities are provided by APIs in IFSManager and are not supported in MS-DOS mode. You may not be able to install or run some MS-DOS-based programs or 16-bit Windows- based programs that require Share.exe in OSR2, Windows 98 or Windows Me.


In earlier versions of Windows, Share.exe is used only in real-mode MS-DOS. In order to support the FAT32 file system, Share.exe support has been disabled in the real-mode MS-DOS kernel regardless of whether or not you have any drives using the FAT32 file system.

Some programs look for a file named Share.exe in either the root folder or the DOS folder. This file can be a zero-byte file created with a text editor (such as Notepad). Other programs may simply look for the string "share" in the Autoexec.bat file.

Please send $5.00 to
Duane Bristow
Rt. 3, Box 722
Albany,  KY  42602

by Email:

One of my friends sent me a file. (sundae.pps) I can't open this file and never seen a pps file before. Can you tell me what kind of file this is and how I can open it?

Reply from Duane: It's a Power Point Presentation file. To open it you need the PPS viewer program that you can obtain from Microsoft at http://www.microsoft.com/. The file name is ppview97.exe.

by Email:

My question is about computer programs.
How can you read and know what a program does when it is already compiled? You can read files by using edit or something but you only see some characters on your screen you don't know what it means.

Reply from Duane:

First on my computer page, find the link to "How do computers do those things?".
Click on that link and read the page it opens.

Then find the MSDOS prompt under your Start menu and get to an MSDOS prompt.

Type in the following DOS commands pressing [ENTER] after each one.

CD \
This will make a temporary copy of a program found on your computer named Win.com It will then load a debugging program and use that program to unassemble a portion of the Win.com program from machine language as it exists on your computer back to the assembly language in which it may have been originally written.

After you have done all this and studied the results email me again with any further questions.

by Email:

My situation is this: i had restarted my computer because it froze, now i can't use "winamp" because the computer tells me that "mmsystem002A device ID has been used that is out of range for your system". by the "Nullsoft waveOUT plug-in v2.02 (x86) in winamp. What should i do?

Reply from Duane:

The first thing I would do is reinstall winamp and see if that solves the problem. Also do all other sound applications work all right such as wave, midi, etc.? I would also check for a later version of winamp if yours is over 6 months old.

Reply from Visitor:

My friend and I finally figured out the problem, which did have to do with winamp. When reinstalling it didn't work, He checked some of winamp settings, and found that somehow they had been changed and so were somehow playing Wav's but not Mp3's.

I couldn't tell exactly how it got fixed, since my friends figure it out, but if someone else ever asks you about that wierd null soft plug in error message agin, you can tell them to check their winamp settings.

thank for your help!

Reply from another Visitor:

I had the same problem start tonight, but I finally got Winamp to work. I tried reloading same winamp version that I was using, but I still had the same problem. All sound formats would play on other programs like Windows Media Player and Quicktime, but Winamp would not work.

I uninstalled my current winamp using Add/Remove programs in Control Panels. I then downloaded and installed the latest version of Winamp (Ver. 264). After installing, go to the main Winamp menu and select "Options" and then "Preferences". You will now see the Winamp Preferences window. Select "Output" under the "Plug-ins" heading. This will allow you to see all of the output plug-ins. Double click on "Nullsoft waveOut plug-in v2.02 (x86) (OUT_WAVE.DLL)" I had to change the value in the upper left-hand box which is labelled "Output device (Wave Mapper is recommended)". The box will say "Wave Mapper", so click on the arrow next to "Wave Mapper" and see if there are any other choices other than "Wave Mapper". I had to switch mine to ESS AudioDrive Playback (220), which is my Yamaha sound card. If anyone else tries this, you will probably see a different value than mine here, but select it anyway. After that, select "Ok" and "Close" to get out of the preferences. I hope this helps.

Reply from another Visitor:

my name is erica. i had a problem with my winamp, and your site was the only place where i found someone with the same problem. i tried all of the suggestions that were given, and none of them helped. But! i finally figured out that my sound card had jostled loose and needed to be pushed back in.

the error message was this:
"Nullsoft waveOut plug-in v. 2.3 -- MMSYSTEM002 A device ID has been used that is out of range for your system."

You might want to post, for anyone else that might have this problem in the future, that another way to troubleshoot this problem is to put the damned sound card back in ; -) thanks for a helpful website, man

by Email:

Is it possible to have 2 video cards installed on one pc. I'm using a Viper 770 ultra, with a nvidia chip set. One of my games needs 3dfx chip set to run smooth. The 770 is agp. The voodoo is a pci Is this possible?

Reply from Duane:

With the multiple display support feature in Windows 98, you can use additional monitors to expand your desktop area. When you use multiple monitors, you can move programs from one monitor to another. You can also specify a different color depth and screen resolution for each monitor. To use multiple monitors, you need a PCI or AGP video adapter for each monitor. Note: Opening additional programs when you're using multiple monitors may place extra demands on your system resources.

To install a secondary monitor
Turn off your computer.
Insert your PCI or AGP video adapter into an available slot.
Turn on your computer.

Windows detects the new video adapter and installs the appropriate drivers. You may be asked to restart several times. Click No until you are told you must restart, and then click Yes.

Notes: To use the multiple display support feature, you need a PCI or AGP video adapter for each monitor.
Your primary monitor is the one that displays the items on your desktop when you start your computer.
The full-screen MS-DOS window always appears in the primary monitor.
This works on Windows '98 but probably not on Windows '95

Please send $5.00 to 
Duane Bristow
Rt. 3, Box 722
Albany, KY  42602

by Email:

how do i set winamp as my default mp3 player

Reply from Duane:

Click on "My Computer" 
Click on "View" at top of window
Click on "Folder Options"
Click on "File Types"
Find mp3 under "registered file types"
Click on it and then on the "edit" button.
If mp3 is not found under "registered file types" then
click on the "new type" button and fill in the blanks.
You can "edit" some other file type for an example of
how to fill in the blanks.
Under "actions" click on "open" or add it if it is not there.
Click on "edit" under "actions"
Then "browse" your computer to find winamp where you
installed it (probably under "program files")  and click on
it to specify "winamp" as the application used to perform
Then click on "OK" several times to close all windows opened.
Alternatively the winamp program itself may have a command
under tools or options or some such to make itself the default
mp3 player.  Also I would expect that it would give you the option
to make it the default player when you install it.
If unsure you could try reinstalling it.
Please send $5.00 to 
Duane Bristow
Rt. 3, Box 722
Albany, KY  42602

by Email:

when copying file to disk! when file is to large, is there a way (like when you download a program, it says insert disk 1, insert disk 2, and so on. how do i do this when my computer says file is to large? i am recording digital analog music (original material) on a recording program, and i want to send disks to guitar player in Florida (i'd prefer to send it email if possible) and since i don't have a web page its the only way i can think of to accomplish this! any help would be extremely greatful!

Reply from Duane:

To span disks with extra large files you will have to use a utility to break up files into smaller fragments. You can probably find one at tucows or zdnet on the internet. Also if you have a zip program such as winzip, it will first compress the files so that they might fit on one disk and second it should allow compressed files to span floppy disks so that you can put them on more than one disk.

The simplest way to transfer a file though is to simply send it as an attachment to an email to your friend.

by Email:

When my computer boots up it always runs a scandisk, then it gives me an error message that says MSGLOOP General Protection Fault. When I click the more info button it says MSGLOOP has caused a General Protection Fault in WSTREAM.DLL 0001:0000120a. it offers me options of close and ignore...ignore doesn't do anything and close causes the computer to reboot. Just going on my dumb wit I looked up the files and see that I do not have a MSGLOOP.EXE file (saw it on the web) do I need one of those? And where would I download it to?

Reply from Duane:

If you have an adlib sound card installed see http://www.adlib-multimedia.com/faq.html and read the section on uninstalling adlib drivers.

I suspect that your problem is with sound card drivers in any case. Using [F8] at boot up try single stepping through the startup procedures and do not load any sound card drivers or start in safe mode and try removing and reinstalling your sound card drivers.

If this does the job send $5.00 to

Duane Bristow
Rt. 3, Box 722
Albany, KY  42602

by Email:

How do I create an association in My Computer?
The file extension I am trying to add is .pps this is to open an email I received.

Reply from Duane:

First you have to have a program installed on your computer that is capable of reading a .pps file. Then you click on a .pps file. You probably will have to find it from "My computer" or by using the find function from the "Start" button.

Windows will ask you what program you want to use to open the file. If the program you want to use is not in the list that Windows gives you click on "Other" and you can browse your computer to find the program to use to open the file.

To make the association permanent click on the little box that says "Always use this program to open this file."

by Email:

I am disabled and bought a computer in September in hope of using it to make a little money. When I bought the computer the modem was not working (hint 1) and had to go back to the shop. Then the rw CD-ROM broke and would not give me my disk back and was also set as default. Next came the memory problems. This computer is a 17 G, 500 MHz, Pentium III processor. I am now being told that the pentium III processor takes 32 mg of ram space and that Graphics it taking up the rest. I am being told now that I need another memory board and I have not had this computer 3 months and they have had it half of that time. What should I do at this point? This computer had 64 mg of ram.

Financially unable.

Reply from Duane:

It sounds like you bought a cheap computer from a company emphasizing price. Many of the cheaper computers on the market give the type of problems you have encountered.

I realize that if you have already spent the amount you could afford on this machine that you may not have any options. I suspect it would have been better to have spent a little more and gone with a Dell or a Gateway. Dell sells good computers and offers good customer support. I don't know from personal experience but I understand that Gateway does too.

I get a number of calls from people who purchase cheap computers and then have problems and no customer support. Unfortunately I don't know of any way to help.

As for your memory problems it sounds like the 64 meg of ram you got with the computer was not 64 meg of user memory but 64 meg shared between programs and video so that when you actually run programs you only have access to the ram not used by video. This is a common problem when people purchase computers. They look for total memory but not how it is used. You could free more user memory by decreasing video resolution. That might help.

I don't know how you plan to make money with your computer but if you are not doing something graphics intensive like graphic design but are instead planning on word processing or bookkeeping applications or some such then memory and computer speed should not be a problem.

In my opinion it is essential for serious uses of computers to first determine what you will use the computer for, second be sure that you get a computer powerful enough and with proper software for that use from a reputable company or companies, third be sure the computer is properly configured for your use and fourth plan on replacing the whole system at least every five years.

by Email:

I need to produce a program that will allow a dentist to keep track of appointments, adding new ones, changing details, etc. Each appointment needs an allocated date and time and a duration of 15 mins. Is there any pointers you could give me???

Thanks for any help.

Reply from Duane:

I don't know what kind of pointers you are expecting. I have such a program in use for doctor's offices.

It keeps appointments up to 100 days in advance. It starts with a day screen which, when a day is chosen, opens up to reveal the appointments for that day. Below are screen images of the day screen and of the appointment screen for a given day.

For this particular doctor the appointments are set on 10 minute intervals.

by Email:

help if you would, would you please tell me what to do to get my sound to work on my computer again. it was working and now it's not. for one when i click on my winamp player it comes up with the error message mmsystem002 a device has been used that is out of range for your system. it worked before but not now please help

Reply from Duane:

Your sound card software is probably not installed on your computer. Check for this with the following steps:

  1. From the Windows taskbar, click the Start button.
  2. From the Start menu, select Settings.
  3. From the Settings menu, select Control Panel.
  4. From the Control Panel, double-click on System.
  5. In the System Properties dialog box, select the Device Manager tab.
  6. In the list of devices, look between Port and System Device.
    There should be an entry for Sound, video and game controllers. If it is not there, the software for your sound card is not installed.

Your Audio playback may not be setup up correctly. Check for this with the following steps:

  1. From the Windows taskbar, click the Start button.
  2. From the Start menu, select Settings.
  3. From the Settings menu, select Control Panel.
  4. From the Control Panel, double-click on Multimedia.
  5. In the Multimedia Properties dialog box, select the Audio tab.
  6. Look at the Preferred device setting under the Playback section.

If this solves your problem please send $5.00 to

      Duane Bristow
      Rt. 3, Box 722
      Albany, KY  42602 

If it does not please let me know the results of following the steps above.

Reply from visitor:

i all ready tryed all of the steps you told me to do and none of them did anything do you have any other ideas?

Reply from Duane:

In the multimedia folder audio preferred device what is listed as the name of your sound card?

In the device manager under sound, video and game controllers, is this same card listed and does the listing show a red x or a question mark or any other such symbols beside the listing?

You can click on each listing under this tab, then click on properties and see if under device status it says the device is working properly. Also click on the resources tab and be sure it says "no conflicts" under the conflicting device list.

Also, do you get the error message with all kinds of sounds including midis, wavs, and winamp or do some types of sound work? Does your system make any sound at all?

Also, between the time that your system was working and the time it quit working did you install any hardware or software or make any changes to the system having anything to do with sound?

If all this doesn't give us a clue the next step would be to remove and reinstall the sound card drivers.

by Email:

I purchased my computer almost two months ago this is my very first computer and first experience with a computer. last week i downloaded a screen savers called N.A.S.A after the downloading was complet it asked me a question,wich program i wanted to run it with,now i have downloaded a few screen savers before and i have never been asked that question before. So needless to say i was lost because of the question, a box appeared on the screen it was saying pick a program to run N.A.S.A.,well it gave me some choices to scroll threw but it was all greek to me, also it said if i did not like the choices to click a button that said other so i did those programs looked familiar to me , but i went back to the others,WHY I DON'T KNOW ? and chose the first won at the time i did not know what it was . now when i try to run or click on my screensaver it says there is a problem loading the file specified when running the accesibility wizard.Is accesibility wizard what i picked when it ask me to pick a program,? and why won't it run ,? and how can i change my choice? I hope you can help me if so please explain like your talking to a 2nd grader don't forget i am very new at this . THANKS FOR TAKING TIME TO READ MY HELP!!! HELP!! LETTER WHAT EVER YOU THINK IS FARE ON PRICE

Reply from Duane:

Computers store two types of files, data files and programs which are instructions to the computer to carry out specific tasks. A program which uses a data file such as a music file or a picture file or a text file must know the format (or the way information is stored) of the particular data file. The format of a data file is usually indicated by the file extension. For example a file named crazy.mid would be a midi music file (perhaps by Patsy Cline) and would be played by a midi player program designated by your computer system. Windows operating system computers come with the most common data file type already associated with certain programs. To see these just click on "My computer" Click on "View" at the top of that window, then on "file type" This will show you the various file types that already have program associations in your computer.

The message you got indicates that your computer does not recognize the file type you downloaded and does not know what program to use to process it. A common download file type is a zip file which has a file extension (the last three letters of the file name) of ZIP. There is a program called WINZIP which can be used to open this type of file. You can get it on the net from ZDNET or from TUCOWs or various other places.

You can change your file associations from the "file type" screen mentioned above if necessary.

If this answers your question, please send $10.00 to

    Duane Bristow
    Rt. 3, Box 722
    Albany, Kentucky  42602
If it does not please tell me the complete name of the file you are trying to open and, if you can, the URL of the page where you got it. Also ask further questions about any part of the above explanation which might have been unclear.
by Email:

Hey, I'm here in South Alabama looking at the cotton fields and the pine trees we just planted. I'm pretty much computer-illierate, so maybe you could help.

I have some friends at college who can download and play music on their computer. I have Windows 95 and AOL. Can you tell me which button to mash or someone to get in touch with so I can hear some tunes while I'm working? I would really appreciate it.

Reply from Duane:

To play music in general you need additional programs which work with your web browser.

These include the Real Player for real audio files
see http://www.real.com/
and Crescendo to play midi files
see http://www.liveupdate.com/
There are also players included with your Windows '95 which will play wav and midi sound files from your computer's hard disk drive.

From a local businessman:

I have been using an off the shelf accounting system I bought for my accounts receivable billing for about four years. Recently the system informed me that it had reached its capacity and when I asked the people where I had purchased the system to help me, they ended up erasing all my data files and were unable or unwilling to reinstall my program so that it would work.

I now have only a set of data backups on 22 floppy disks but they tell me that disk #3 is defective and so they cannot read the data. Several local people told me to call you and get your accounting system and I wouldn't have these problems. I want to purchase your accounting system but I also want you to try to read, at least, the names and addresses of my 1300 customers from my backup data disks.


I installed my accounting system for this gentleman. I also wrote a program called READFILE for him. It reads all ASCII characters from any binary data file. It outputs to the screen but it can also output to the printer or to a text file. Because he had 22 very large text files the program can be interrupted and resumed later at the point where it was interrupted.

With this program he was able to retrieve the names and addresses of his customers.

Since the program is general purpose and may be useful to a number of people I will make it available here as shareware and ask a $10.00 donation from each person who downloads it and finds it useful.

Click here to download the above program as a compiled BASIC execute file. (71k)

From a local bookkeeper:

I am one of the few people locally who do not use your bookkeeping computer system. I recently watched one of your clients doing payroll and I found that her payroll system included a timecard calculator that made it very easy for her to input times from a time card and have the computer figure total time worked. Although I know you cannot integrate that feature into my software, can you write me a stand alone program to do the same thing?


I wrote a program called TIMECALC for this person. It asks for the name of the employee and the date. (You can press [ENTER] to accept the current date which is the default.) The user can then enter any number of beginning and ending times in either hour and minute format, as 8:10, or decimal format, as 8.2, or 4 character format, as 0810, in which hours and minutes is assumed. As each time pair is entered the computer carries a running total. The user can back up to edit times if mistakes are made. When one time card is entered and the [ESC] key is pressed the computer prints out on the printer the employee name, date, all times entered and total hours worked. The program is then ready for the name of the next employee.

The local bookkeeper says it saves her a lot of time every payday.

Since the program is general purpose and may be useful to a number of people I will make it available here as shareware and ask a $10.00 donation from each person who downloads it and finds it useful.

Click here to download the above program as a compiled BASIC execute file. (71k)

From a visitor:

I have about 150 non-streaming Real Audio music files on my hard disk. I have created a text playlist file to be read by my Real Audio player to play these files. They will play for about six hours. I have the system set up so that I simply click on an icon on my Windows '95 desktop and they begin playing. I find it pleasant to have six hours of background music playing while I work.

My problem is that I always hear the first song played and I almost never hear the last song. Besides that, it is somewhat boring that they always play in the same order. It would be more interesting if the songs were played at random so that I would be surprised at what comes up next. Can you help?


I spent about 45 minutes writing a small DOS program called SHUFFLE. The program randomly shuffles the lines in a standard text file. The text file must contain more than 5 and less than 500 lines. The text file name can be an argument on the command line or the program will prompt for the name of the text file.

Since the program is general purpose and may be useful to a number of people I will make it available here as shareware and ask a $10.00 donation from each person who downloads it and finds it useful.

Click here to download the above program as a compiled BASIC execute file. (70k)

To test it in a Windows '95 environment, I set up two icons on the desktop. One is a pair of dice (could be a deck of cards) with the label, "Shuffle Music files". The other is a LP record with the label "Play Music Files". Clicking on the first icon executes the Shuffle program with the name of the playlist text file on the command line and then closes the DOS window. Takes less than two seconds. The second executes the Real Audio player with the name of the playlist text file on the command line. So I can just click on the record if I want music to begin playing. But if I want the music to play at random rather than in the same order it played last time, I click on the dice before clicking on the record. It's pretty impressive to people looking at my computer system. I just click and they say "How'd you do that? My computer won't do that."

Another idea would be to put a folder labeled music on the desktop. Make several play lists by type of music: rock, country, funny, movie themes, etc. Or maybe by person like Dad's Music, Mom's music, Junior's music, Sis's music. Inside the folder have two icon sets beside each other, records on the left for playing and dice on the right for shuffling. Label each icon with the category of music for that play list. If you are Dad then just click on the music folder to open it, click on the dice labeled Dad to shuffle the play list and click on the record labeled Dad to begin playing.

From a visitor:

I found your site through a search engine and am wondering if you can provide some assistance. I'm looking for a little program or macro for a spreadsheet program (1-2-3 or Quattro Pro) to compute the following:

The numbers 1-36 in random order, done 33 times. Any light you can shed on this would be greatly appreciated.



        PRINT TAB(35)"RANDOM"
        LOCATE 10,10:INPUT "How many random numbers";N
        LOCATE 12,10:INPUT "Lowest random number";L
        LOCATE 14,10:INPUT "Highest random number";H
        FOR Z=1 TO N:R=L+RND*(H-L+1):PRINT INT(R),:NEXT
        WHILE INKEY$="":WEND

Click here to download the above program as a compiled BASIC execute file. (24k) If you download it and find it useful please send $5.00.

Clarification from visitor:

I'd like the numbers 1-36 (all numbers, NOT 33 of 36), in random order. I would like to perform this task 33 times.


Sorry, I'm a little dense sometimes. That's actually what you said before. Well, I'll lick my calf over. Try this:


    LOCATE 10,10:INPUT "How many random lists";N
    LOCATE 12,10:INPUT "Lowest random number";L
    LOCATE 14,10:INPUT "Highest random number";H
    LOCATE 16,10:INPUT "Enter P for output to printer ";P$
    LP=0:IF P$<>"" THEN IF INSTR(P$,"P") OR INSTR(P$,"p") THEN LP=1
    IF N<1 THEN N=1
    IF H-L<2 THEN H=100:L=1
    DIM R(H-L+1)
    WHILE N>0
        FOR Z=1 TO H-L+1:R(Z)=0:NEXT
        IF LP=0 THEN CLS
        WHILE C>0
            IF R(R)=0 AND R>0 AND R<=H-L+1 THEN R(R)=1:C=C-1:PRINT L+R-1,:IF LP=1 THEN LPRINT L+R-1,
        PRINT:PRINT STRING$(78,"-")
        IF LP=0 THEN INPUT "Press [ENTER] ";A$

Click here to download the above program as a compiled BASIC execute file. (30k) If you download it and find it useful please send $15.00 or whatever you think it is worth to you.

NOTE: This is a quick and dirty program. Dressing it up would take more time and cost more. That would include such things as more sophisticated input routines, title and date at top of printout, form feed at end of printout, loop when finished to give option to do another list, etc.

From a larger metal working business in Kentucky:

I need a batch file that will move files from one workstation to another, then write these files to a CD using incrementing directories.

Is this possible?

Can you help me do this?


    The following directory
             Volume in drive C has no label
             Volume Serial Number is 1266-13E0
             Directory of C:\PARATNT\APP\
            .            <DIR>      12-09-97   5:53a
            ..           <DIR>         12-09-97   5:53a
            ONE      CSV             7 12-09-97   6:00a
            TWO      CSV             7 12-09-97   6:00a
            THREE    CSV             9 12-09-97   6:00a
                    5 file(s)             23 bytes
                                  66,748,416 bytes free
    will produce this
             Volume in drive F is Fb
             Volume Serial Number is 153E-1903
            Directory of F:\
            PARATNT      <DIR>         12-09-97   6:18a
                    1 file(s)              0 bytes
            Directory of F:\PARATNT
            .            <DIR>         12-09-97   6:18a
            ..           <DIR>         12-09-97   6:18a
            PKUNZIP  EXE        29,378 02-01-93   2:04a
            CSV1001      <DIR>         12-09-97   6:18a
            CSV1002      <DIR>         12-09-97   6:19a
            CSV1003      <DIR>         12-09-97   6:19a
                    6 file(s)         29,378 bytes
            Directory of F:\PARATNT\CSV1001
            .            <DIR>         12-09-97   6:18a
            ..           <DIR>         12-09-97   6:18a
            ONE      CSV             7 12-09-97   6:00a
                    3 file(s)              7 bytes
            Directory of F:\PARATNT\CSV1002
            .            <DIR>         12-09-97   6:19a
            ..           <DIR>         12-09-97   6:19a
            TWO      CSV             7 12-09-97   6:00a
                    3 file(s)              7 bytes
            Directory of F:\PARATNT\CSV1003
            .            <DIR>         12-09-97   6:19a
            ..           <DIR>         12-09-97   6:19a
            THREE    CSV             9 12-09-97   6:00a
                    3 file(s)              9 bytes
            Total files listed:
                   16 file(s)         29,401 bytes
                                   1,350,656 bytes free
    when these batch files are run
            @echo off
            echo ----- CSV Burn Script -----
            SET CDROM=F:
            SET TEMPD=D:\
            SET TEMPC=C:\paratnt\app\
            ECHO SET CNT=1001 >DTETME.BAT
            MD %CDROM%\ParaTNT >nul
            if not exist %CDROM%\ParaTNT\pkunzip.exe copy ...
                    ...  c:\bin\pkunzip.exe %CDROM%\ParaTNT 
            if exist %TEMPD%\*.csv del %TEMPD%\*.csv
            move %TEMPC%\*.csv %TEMPD%
            for %%z in (%TEMPD%\*.csv) do call incrment %%z
            SET CDROM=
            SET TEMPD=
            SET TEMPC=
            SET CNT=
            DEL DTETME.BAT
            @echo off
            CALL DTETME
            MD %CDROM%\ParaTNT\csv%CNT%
            ECHO Moving %1
            copy %1 %CDROM%\ParaTNT\csv%CNT% >nul
            DATETIME /CNT9999
    This requires my DATETIME.EXE DOS program for batch files
    as described at
    My charge for this service is $75.00
    1.5 hours at $50 per hour for my time developing and testing
    the batch files.
    If this is suitable please send a check and I will put the
    DATETIME.EXE program on the Internet for you to pick up.
    If not, thank you for your interest in my web site.

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Last revised May 8, 2002.

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Duane Bristow (oldky@kyphilom.com)

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