Readers' Forum - May 2003

by Rob Zorn, Jim Breen, Murray Fox
from the May 2003 Newsletter

question.jpg (4013 bytes)If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send me an e-mail with the word "forum" in the subject line and check back next month to see the results! By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free.

Mark Hassan writes: Could you please tell me how to remove a program that I do not want on my computer? It is something that I can't even remember downloading (weathercast), but I when I try to remove it in the install/uninstall program menu it is not there. Help please!

Mark, you may well have received WeatherCast through downloading some other popular free software from the Internet (i.e. screensavers or file sharing programs) that also bundles WeatherCast. I got this information from the WeatherCast Help Files. They weren't linked to from the site, but a Google search ["Uninstall WeatherCast"] turned them up (very poor user support on their behalf, in my opinion). The Help Files also provide instructions on uninstalling the program, though it would appear from your e-mail that you have already tried this and it didn't work because the Uninstall feature is not included. If WeatherCast is not appearing in the Add/Remove programs section, then, in order to get rid of it, you may actually need to re-install it first in order to get the Uninstall feature back.

Go to and click on the link "Get it now." After it is reinstalled try the removal.

To uninstall WeatherCast:

  1. Click on the Start Menu button.
  2. Click on the Settings option.
  3. Click on the Control Panel option.
  4. Double click on Add/Remove Programs.
  5. Select WeatherCast from the list of programs.
  6. Click on the Add/Remove button.
  7. Click on OK.

Marta Barham writes: Hello, I sometimes have a problem with opening up attachments. Sometimes the message comes on screen "The file is not a Dr.Watson file" or something to that extent. But I didn't ask the machine to drag Dr.Watson in to my opening of attachments. How can I open up these files? ( When it didn't let me see the files I just saved them on my desktop to deal with them later.) Can you please help me in the matter? Thank you.

Well, this one was a new one for me. Another web search revealed three instances where others have had the same problem, but I could not find any obvious solutions anywhere.

Dr. Watson is a Microsoft program that gathers information about your computer when a problem occurs with another program. Once activated, Dr. Watson studies your computer, takes notes on the system and creates an error log.

Dr Watson Menu (2696 bytes)Win98/98SE and ME come with Dr. Watson disabled by default, but it sounds like it may be active on your machine. Perhaps someone in the past has activated it if you can't remember doing that yourself.

You may want to try turning Dr Watson off before you attempt to open the attachments in question. If Dr Watson is enabled on your machine, you should see a little icon down in your system tray (the little collection of tiny pictures down by the clock to the lower right of your screen [see image right]). Right-click on the Dr Watson icon and then Left-click on Exit Dr.Watson. That will get rid of Dr. Watson until the next time you re-start your machine. It appears that the only way to turn Dr. Watson off again permanently is to edit your Registry, and I would never recommend the average computer user attempt that on their own.

More information about Dr Watson can be found at the following locations:

Some of you may remember Jeremy Fairbrass who used to work at Actrix but who is now working for a computer firm in Germany for his big O.E. Last month Forum answered a question from Cath Salt about printing material from web sites. You can see her original question here. Meanwhile, Jeremy read the Forum section from Germany, and sent in the following further suggestion:

Hiya Rob,
Thought you might be interested to know an even better solution to Cath Salt's question in the newsletter... You don't have to copy and paste the text into Notepad or Word or whatever. You can simply print a selected block of text directly from Internet Explorer! It's easy:

  1. Use the mouse to highlight/select the text you want to print - the sentence, paragraph or whatever.
  2. Click the File menu and select "Print", or alternatively press CTRL-P, so that the "Print" dialog box appears. (Note that simply hitting the Print icon on the IE toolbar won't do the trick - it will simply print the entire page without first displaying the "Print" dialog box, and we need that dialog box for this to work).
  3. In the dialog box, there are three radio buttons in a section called "Page Range". One of these radio buttons is called "Selection", and will only be selectable if you have a section of text highlighted before you open the dialog box.
  4. Select this radio button, and hit Print, and Bob's your uncle! IE will then only print the highlighted text. And the best part is that it should print it using the formatting of the web page, ie. the font, size and colour that the web page used.
  5. I have no idea if other browsers such as Opera or Netscape have this feature - maybe they do.

Cheers, Jeremy