LAB NOTES

Flights of fancy. It may take Microsoft Corp. programmers
several service packs to make a hassle-free operating system, but they are experts at
creating Easter Eggs—small, built-in programs accessible via an arcane series of
keystrokes and mouse clicks. Once accessed, an Easter Egg applet usually blends cute
graphics with a list of the main product’s developers.


To see one of the most elaborate Easter Eggs, open Excel 97. Press the F5 key, type
X97:L97 in the Reference Box and click OK. Now hit the Tab key once, which brings you to
cell M97. Hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys while clicking once on the Chart Wizard icon.


In a few seconds, you will see a flight simulator applet. Steer with the mouse and use
the mouse buttons to accelerate and decelerate.


Makes you wonder if there’s a way to do spreadsheets in Flight Simulator 98.


Haiku or hara-kiri. It’s hot, your coworkers are all on vacation
and your mission-critical server just crashed. Welcome to summer. Are you enthusiastically
anticipating another six months of upgrades, deployments and inexplicable glitches?


To ease your frustration and exercise those right-brain skills, the GCN Lab is holding
a poetry contest. Entries must be in haiku form: three lines containing five syllables in
the first and third lines, and seven syllables in the second line. The poems must be about
using computers in the federal workplace. The lab staff will judge them completely
subjectively.


An example: Windows NT crashed./ I am the blue screen of death./ No one hears your
screams. —Anonymous


Please send entries to labnotes@gcn.com with
Haiku as the subject line. Include your name, title, work address and day phone number.
The winner will receive a GCN T-shirt.


All together now. Many techies have long suspected that Microsoft
applications only seem to work correctly with other Microsoft applications. Now we have
run across the exception that proves the rule.


When using Internet Explorer 4.01 to connect to Web pages under Internet Information
Server 4.0 via Proxy Server 2.0—all Microsoft products—your computer may hang
when pulling up Web pages. The pages that cause the problem contain Java or Active Server
Page scripts.


A workaround is to browse with Internet Explorer 3.0 or to switch to another browser.
Problems seem to appear less frequently in Internet Explorer 4.0 browsers connecting
directly to IIS 4.0 servers.


Have you seen my beta? Despite promises to deliver the second beta of
Windows NT 5.0 by June, Microsoft has been strangely quiet. Curious, we asked late last
month about a release date. The answer? Sometime this summer.


No word on how the delay will affect the final NT 5.0 release date.


—Jason Byrne
jbyrne@gcn.com


inside gcn

  • data science (chombosan/Shutterstock.com)

    4 steps to excellence in data analysis

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above