Hidden treasures of Win 98

Not all of the new utilities in Win 98 are available on the Start menus. But if you have the Windows 98 upgrade CD, you can install the Windows 98 Resource Kit Sampler, which includes the following little programs of varying usefulness:

ClipTray lets you place frequently used text into the Windows Clipboard, so you can paste it into documents - great for entering boilerplate copy. To select a saved text element, just right-click the ClipTray icon in the Windows 9x taskbar tray. Put ClipTray in your StartUp folder to keep it running every day.

Fat32 Conversion Information estimates how much disk space you'll gain by converting your drive to FAT32.

Link Check Wizard analyses all your Windows Shortcuts and determines which ones no longer point to existing files or applications. Select the ones you want to remove, click Finish, and your system is suddenly a little tidier. This tool is a handy little housecleaner, particularly if program uninstalls leave mountains of dead Shortcuts in your Start button's program area.

Microsoft File Information may not answer every question you have about your Windows installation, but if you can cope with the geekspeak, it can show you which .cab archive houses which files.

QuickTray lets you add application or file icons to the system tray for one-click launching of your key files or applications.

TextViewer is just what its name implies - a basic way to view the contents of .htm, .txt, .ini, .inf, .bat, or other text-only files (.html files appear as HTML code, not as they would in a browser). Unfortunately, it suffers from the same file-size limitations as Notepad.

Tweak UI is the indispensable Control Panel icon for customising the Windows interface, the same one you get if you download the free Microsoft PowerToys from www.microsoft.com. Tweak UI lets you hide desktop icons or erase telltale history lists, prevents "Shortcut to" from being added to all your Shortcut names, and replaces tiny icons with large ones (to relieve eyestrain).

WinDiff has an awkward interface, but it's a handy tool for comparing two text files or two directories, highlighting the differences in colour. It's great for puzzling through multiple .ini file updates or duelling config.sys files. WinDiff even compares Explorer file listings.

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