In my past two columns, I have described some of the odd behaviours of Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and Explorer 4.0, and outlined some fixes suggested by readers and other software providers. There are three primary problems:
The Subscription feature of Explorer works erratically for many readersThe Back button doesn't use Explorer's local cache to quickly redisplay a Web page you were previously viewing, but instead reloads the page from the InternetExplorer's Web cache itself seems to delete material at random, rather than deleting the least recently viewed material in the cache. This may partially explain the first two problemsA cure for the strange cache behaviour is CacheSentry, which we discussed last week. David Pochron from Enigmatic Software says he may turn this free utility into shareware.
I said last week that I would print in this column Microsoft's response to readers' complaints. Well, I got a response, all right, and at least it's a step in the right direction.
After numerous phone calls and e-mail exchanges defining the problem, Microsoft spokesman Bill Zolna left me a voice-mail message: "Microsoft will fix the problem in future versions of Internet Explorer."
Zolna didn't return several calls from me seeking clarification about which problem was going to be fixed and when.
At least we know someone is aware of these problems and that users want a fix for them. Microsoft's Explorer newsgroup, microsoft.public.inetexplorer.ie4, buzzes with rumours of a forthcoming Service Pack for Explorer 4.01, but no one says when it will be released.
In the meantime, Windows 95 and Windows NT users are reporting some significant headaches related to Explorer use. Reader JS Robinson writes that a model stock portfolio that he updates from the Internet gave faulty valuations. Stocks he had deleted from his holdings were still showing up in the calculations.
Defecting to Netscape
The technical support personnel at Robinson's data service advised him to shut down and reboot NT to clear Explorer 4.0's memory cache, or to use Netscape's browser. Robinson switched to Netscape, and the problem was eliminated.
Other readers have found ways to adapt Explorer to their own needs. Michael Markus writes that some users' Windows NT 4.0 Workstation machines started taking five to 10 minutes to shut down after his company changed from Explorer 3.0 to Explorer 4.0.
Markus found that Explorer 4.0 defaults to storing its cache files in C:\WinNT\Profiles\User\ Temporary Internet Files. When a user logs off, NT tries to synchronise the workstation profile with the roaming profile maintained on the domain server. This causes an enormous delay as tens of megabytes are swapped. Markus solved the problem by clicking View, Internet Options, Settings, and configuring Explorer 4.0 to store its cache in C:\WinNT\Temporary Internet Files -- just as Explorer 3.0 did.
You must then restart NT, making sure the files are moved and the unwanted folder deleted.
Software vendors see opportunities to improve Explorer. The Naviscope Browser Utility (navi scope.com), Web 3000's NetSonic (www.web 3000.com), and Connectix's Surf Express (www. connectix.com) are three new add-ons. I haven't tested them; I'm merely reporting that they exist, so let me know if they help you in your work.
Brian Livingston is the co-author of several best selling Windows books, including the most recent Windows 95 Secrets (IDG Books). Send tips to email@example.com. He regrets that he cannot answer individual questions.
BUGS & FIXES
as reported to BugNet
by IDG staff writers
Compaq servers and Novell's NetWare
Compaq says any of its servers configured with a Netelligent Dual 10/100Mbps TX PCI UTP Controller; NetFlex-3 Controller; Compaq Insight Management Agents 3.30 or earlier; and any version of IntranetWare/NetWare will not display protocol information at the Compaq Insight Manager Console. As a fix, upgrade to CPQBSSA NLM 3.40 or later, which is in Compaq Insight Management Agents, Version 3.40, for NetWare.
Lotus Notes, Domino
If you are running Lotus Notes 4.6.1 on a Unix platform, do not copy and paste Secure Sockets Layer certificate information into a server keyring. Some Unix editors may embed the wrong characters, which will make the certificate unreadable. Lotus says to use the file method when merging. Also, according to Lotus, if you want to use the cc:Mail MTA with a Domino 4.6.1 server, you need to upgrade to cc:Mail MTA 1.11 or later. This upgrade is available for free from www.lotus.com/notesmta.
If you are using Remotely Possible's software on a Windows NT 4.0 server or workstation, you may get a blue screen of death with the error message: "STOP 0x00000050 (f205f000 00000000 00000000 00000000) PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA". According to Microsoft, this is because Remotely Possible replaces VGA.DLL and MSGINA.DLL with RP32NTVX.DLL (where x varies between 1 to 6, depending on the system configuration) and LOGONREM.DLL respectively. To fix this, copy back the original files.
Lotus Notes 4.6.1
When installing Notes 4.6.1 Server, if you choose the "Single Password Logon" feature you may have problems if you try to uninstall. Lotus says that access will be denied to these files: NLS.EXE and NSLSVC.EXE on 32-bit Windows platforms, and ALS.EXE and ASLSVC.EXE on Digital Alpha platforms. To delete these files, open the Control Panel and click Services. Then disable the "Single Password Logon" service. Reboot your computer, and you should have access to those files. Also, Lotus Notes 4.6.1 for Unix comes with its own Java runtime environment, which Lotus says is based on Java 1.1.1. This is the only Java Virtual Machine for which Notes is certified.
If you start a 16-bit program on a Windows NT PC, the Ntvdm.exe and Wowexec.exe processes are loaded into memory. When the 16-bit program ends, these processes remain in memory. Microsoft says it did this in case you start another 16-bit application. Leaving them running improves performance.
Found a bug? Tell the InfoWorld Electric forum at forums.infoworld.com/cgi-bin/display Forums.pl?/forums.htmFor more bug reports, browse to www.bugnet.com, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org