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Christophers Napkin Sketch by Al Gleichman

In the Trenches with LAROKE

Konsultant's Log, Cyberdate 02.24.1997 (Where's my !@#$% FONT MENU??)

    Situation Report
    Tactical Navigation Modification
    Navigation & guidance
    Tactical Intelligence
Later P2 Articles:

Cyberdate 04.12.1997 Case of the Phantom Printer

Cyberdate 04.19.1997 Moving the HAL 9000

Cyberdate 06.28.1997 Restoring a Flash BIOS Meltdown

Cyberdate 09.20.1997 A Typical week of headbangers

Cyberdate 09.27.1997 Getting P2 ready for his new user

Cyberdate 10.11.1997 P2's transformation slips into high gear

Cyberdate 10.25.1997 More fun with P2, HAL and 4-Bits

Cyberdate 11.08.1997 P2 and 4-Bits - Light at the end of the tunnel

Cyberdate 12.06.1997 P2's configuration suffers a relapse

Cyberdate 12.23.1997 Re-glazing P2

Cyberdate 02.04.1998 P2's lobotomy recovery

Previous Old Blue Articles:

Cyberdate 12.19.1996 Restoring the file server "Old Blue"

Cyberdate 08.06.1996 Upgrading the file server "Old Blue"

Later Old Blue Articles:

Cyberdate 04.19.1997 Moving the HAL 9000

Cyberdate 06.14.1997 When it rains, it pours

Cyberdate 09.13.1997 A tune-up for Old Blue

Cyberdate 09.20.1997 A typical week of headbangers

Cyberdate 10.25.1997 More fun with P2, HAL and 4-Bits

Cyberdate 02.11.1998 The Domino Effect


Corel Corporation WordPerfect

CYBEX Computer Products Corporation Cybex Personal Commander

Microsoft Windows 95, WordPad


SITREP: During my day job at the architectural firm, my employer will sometimes request me to print up specified text in a variety of fonts to determine their use as signage elements. He makes choices from a printed catalog of Windows TrueType and PostScript fonts I maintain on the company file server. I then install those fonts on my workstation and make up a suitable document of signage samples for him with WordPerfect.

A few weeks ago I had to go through this process. Everything went well until I attempted to install the requested fonts in Windows 95 on my workstation, a computer I call "P2". After spinning my wheels in the Windows 95 "Control Panel" for while, I saw no recourse but to access the dreaded Windows 95 "Help" system.

The good news: this time, the Help system was straightforward. It told me to open the "Fonts" folder in the Control Panel and to click on "Install New Font" on the "File" menu.

The bad news: "Install New Font" was not in the "File" menu. It was not just "greyed-out" (a non-pickable menu item) . . . It was not there at all!

At first, I suspected the Windows 95 Help system had steered me wrong, but since several of the machines in the office have Windows 95, I decided to check one of them before cursing Microsoft. I switched over to the file server "Old Blue", which is a Windows 95 system (my workstation and the server share monitor, keyboard, and trackball through a Cybex Personal Commander switch). To my dismay, the "Install New Font" menu choice was just where the Help system had described it to be!

TACNAVMOD: I didn't have time to figure out how to fix this "head-scratcher". I had to prepare and print the signage samples for my boss. The most simple battlefield solution apparent to me was to use another PC that did allow me to install fonts. Since I could control the server, Old Blue, from where I was sitting, it was the logical choice.

I installed the requested fonts on the server. Now to open a word processor and prepare the signage samples. OOPS! There was no word processor installed on the server. I had forgotten that since it was a file server, I had originally set it up with a minimum of programs. Instead of a "Band-Aid" work-around, this little exercise was turning into a "field-dressing". I got out the Windows 95 installation disks and installed the Wordpad accessory applet, a very limited word processing application, but it did allow me to work with fonts.

OK! Let's print it. OOPS again! No printer drivers installed on the server. I had two choices: install a printer driver or copy the Wordpad file to a PC with Wordpad and a printer already installed (but then I would have to install the fonts on that machine too). Flip a coin situation. I installed the printer driver on the server, and printed the signage sample.

TACINTEL: This problem of the missing "Install New Font" menu choice has been bugging me in my (all too few) reflective moments for weeks now. I finally came across the solution while perusing the Infoworld Electric Weekly Opinion Column, Window Manager by Brian Livingston for the week of February 17, 1997"Reconfigure files so you can play them again, Sam", which also referenced the previous week's column: February 10, 1997 "Tips from readers on Windows fonts, Netscape blinks, and Internet sounds". As is many times the case in the brave new PC world, the first glimmers of light were uncovered by PC users, Doug Fetter, through the efforts of his (unknown to me) IBM support representative, and Ray Semiraglio. In short, Windows 95 requires that the "Fonts" subdirectory have its "system" file attribute toggled ON. I immediately checked my system, and found that the "system" attribute had been toggled off (apparently, by some rogue utility or application software). I then checked Old Blue and found that his "Fonts" subdirectory was correctly toggled on. I corrected the "system" attribute on P2, and restarted Windows 95. "Yahoo! Cookin' with GAS, again!" I had my "Install New Font" menu item back. Go figure.


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Issued Saturday March 22, 1997

Updated Saturday February 14, 1998

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