Computer Guide

I want Australian dates

by George Skarbek - 18 September 2007

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I want Australian dates

Q: Is it possible to change the USA style of  dates (month, day, year) displayed in Outlook Express at the end of emails received or deleted to the Australian style (day, month, year)?

A: This is quite easily done and it will change the date format for all programs including Windows Explorer.  The setting is in Control Panel, Regional and Language Options,  and under the Regional Options tab set your language to English (Australian).


Defragging a huge file

Q: I have just defragged, and I find it most unsatisfactory, with so many files still undone. The biggest culprit is DrWtsn32.Log which is a huge 1 GB with 5681 fragments that can't be compacted. What is Dr Watson please? What does it do? And do I need it running? How did I start it in the first place? Should I disable it? How? If not, how do I reduce the size of the log? Can I edit it? I can't open it with Notepad or Word, and WordPad says I don't have enough virtual memory and hangs up!

A: DrWtsn32.Log is a diagnostic file that is created by a Microsoft program, DrWatson, which appends to the file diagnostics when errors occur. To examine that file you meed special software as well as very good computer skills to understand the results.

My advice is just to delete the file. If more errors occur then the file will be created and you can try to diagnose the causes. Remember that this file will grow so put an entry in your diary to delete this file in six months from mow.

As for viewing large files, Notepad or WordPad can choke on huge files or you will have to wait a very long time for them to actually open such a file. Fortunately there are programs designed to almost instantly open 1 GB files. One very good and free program is Large Text File Viewer that can be downloaded from: For more featured program there is V from


Setting custom mail addresses

Q: I run Outlook 2003 on a Windows XP system. When sending an email to multiple addresses the receivers can see all of the addresses of the other recipients. How can I make it so that the recipients only see their own address?  The other addresses being hidden.

A: This is not easy to achieve and to my knowledge there is nothing in Outlook or Windows that can achieve this. To send mail in your desired format you will need to use third party software or write some software yourself.

However, I can suggest an easy alternative that may be adequate for your needs. If you add all recipients to the BCC field then no recipient will see other addresses. Leave the To: blank and the recipients will see that the message is from you.


Reading my mail while overseas

Q: I’m going to travel overseas and during my absence I prefer to use my Gmail account to receive email. Currently I have some email accounts with OptusNet. Is it able to forward my current OptusNet email message to my Gmail account automatically?

A: You will have to contact your ISP, Optus, for this. Some ISPs provide this service for a charge. However, Optus and probably every ISP in the country, provides the ability for you to access your regular mail using a web browser from any Internet cafe. Ask Optus for details and practice a couple of times before departing.

Gmail has the ability to be read by any POP mail client using their Mail Fetcher. See for details.


Too many screen savers

Q: My screen saver list (Start, Control Panel, Display, Screen Saver) now has had a number of screen savers added in addition to those provided as part of the XP program. I wish to delete those additions from the list but cannot find any method of doing so. Can you help please?

A: These deletions can be done using Windows Explorer. Navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Note that you may receive a warning that you should not be in the Windows folder but just ignore it, then switch to the Details view so that you can sort by Type and then look for Screen Saver under type. This sorting is required because there will be several thousand files in that folder and if you are scrolling through so many pages you are likely to miss some. Having located them, just highlight and delete the ones that you do not want.

There is a small chance that some files may not be in that folder so in that case search the entire disk for *.scr and this will locate all screen saver file in all folders.


To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here