How to turn "My Computer" into a website!

Posted By : Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on October 9, 2000


A friend of mine can see a preview of an image without having to open the file. He can click through the My Computer icon and float his mouse over any picture file and it shows him a preview on the left margin. How do I set-up my Windows 98 system to do that?



This question was answered on October 9, 2000. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

One of the many goals that Microsoft set forth years ago was to make navigating your own computer and the Internet as seamless as possible We have seen many “web” related features, such as search, hyperlinks and the Back button activated for our desktops to mirror our experience while on-line (This is one of Microsoft’s arguments in the Anti-Trust case of why it is so important to closely integrate the web browser with Windows.)

The view “as Web page” option was introduced with the release of the Internet Explorer version 4 and is now a standard part of any current version of Windows (98, ME or 2000) Windows 95 users will only be able to activate this feature if Internet Explorer 4 (or higher) has been installed.

To activate this feature, open the “My Computer” icon on your desktop then click on the “View” menu to expose the view options (All of the “clicks” referred to in this column are using the left mouse button.) Click on the “as Web page” option and you should notice that all of the drive/folder icons shift to the right, creating a margin under the My Computer title.

Next, float your mouse over your C: drive icon to see if anything happens If you see a pie chart appear that represents the used and free space available on your C: drive in the left margin, the “single-click” option has also been activated If not, single-click on the C: drive icon to show the details of the drive in the left margin This same method can now be used for previewing any image or web file on your computer.

Activating the “single-click” option is very handy for new users because it eliminates the need to learn how to “double-click” anything, which is one of the more difficult things for a new user Remember, however, if you activate the single-click option, do not click on the file to preview it; simply float your mouse over the file Clicking on the file in the single-click mode will tell the computer to open the file, so it may confuse some users.

To activate the single-click option, click on the “View” menu then on “Folder Options…” to open the Folder Options dialog box You will be presented with 3 options; Web Style, Classic Style and Custom Web Style will activate the left margin preview and the single-click, Classic Style is the old-fashioned view and Custom will allow you to pick and choose your options For instance you may want the Web Style preview without the single click or one of many other combinations that can be set by clicking on the “Settings” button once you have selected the Custom option.

The choices of views and number of clicks that you make while in the My Computer section will also be reflected when you use the Windows Explorer utility (Start/Programs/Windows Explorer).

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Posted by Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on October 9, 2000


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