I got a lot of feedback regarding last week's article about the msconfig program. A few folks suggested some great Web sites where you can learn what some of those mysterious programs are in the list.
A reader named Sheryl told me about a site called SysInfo (http://www.sysinfo.org) that she used to help decide which programs to ditch and which to keep. Kathy told me about another page at http://www.answersthatwork.com/Tasklist_pages/tasklist.htm that lists the programs in your Task List that are running in the background. And Gary told me about a shareware product called WinPatrol (from http://www.winpatrol.com) for people who don't feel warm and fuzzy about running msconfig. The program lists all your start up programs and advises you which ones are safe to disable.
I also got an e-mail from a programmer who read my article on printing hints(http://www.logicaltips.com/LPMArticle.asp?ID=346). It turns out he got sick of Internet Explorer chopping off the sides of his printouts, so he wrote a shareware plug in toolbar (http://www.printpunk.com) that automatically fits the Web page to the printed page. Although I haven't tried it, it seems like a good idea if you print a lot of Web pages.
In much less nerdy news, it's really feeling like winter. Yesterday, we embraced what was probably the last decent weather for the forseeable future and took down my hoop greenhouse. Yes, we're a little late this year, but we've been very busy. And as noted, the weather has been dismal (taking down the hoop in the rain is zero fun, I can report).
Even though we've had a couple of hard freezes, James discovered one Thai pepper plant that managed to hide out in the hoop and avoid the freezing badness somehow amid all the other dead plants. The little plant was covered with happy little red peppers, which I picked. It was one final joyful glimpse of summer before the long winter.