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Andrew's Minesweeper page

The symbol font MARVOSYM.TTF

Screen Magnifiers home page

Faqs! Facts! Fax!

Your questions answered

Ease your techno traumas. Email F!F!F!, fax 0171-538 6759, or write to F!F!F!, Connected, The Daily Telegraph, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DT

Mine host

I was wondering if there was a record for the best time for the Minesweeper game in Windows? My fastest time for the Expert level is 144 seconds, which I think is pretty good. I know most people secretly play Solitaire, FreeCell and Minesweeper, so there must be some kind of league table somewhere.
Phillip Lewton,

  • We found several websites devoted to this popular little game, and the best time we've seen for the Expert level is 120 seconds, so you've still got a bit of work to do on your mine-detecting skills. Try the Minesweeper page at: It contains some useful hints, tips, high scores and details of a cheat that shows up mined squares!

    Wayward word

    My Word 97 is taking 10 seconds to close a file. I have defragged the disc and I have only used about a fifth of it. Do you have any advice, please?
    Bob Henry

  • This sounds suspiciously like the handiwork of our old friend, automatic Journal entry recording in MS Outlook. Go to the Tools menu in Outlook and select Options, then the Journal tab and clear all of the check boxes in the "Also record files from" list.

    Symbolic response

    In response to Peter Wilberforce's quest for a hermaphrodite symbol (F!F!F! Sept 16), there is something in the Bookshelf Symbol 3 font which might be suitable. It is a female symbol with horns, and is in the capital D position, immediately followed by the female, lesbian and male symbols.
    Tony Etheridge,

    Take a look at where you'll find the TrueType font called Marvosym.ttf. It contains the symbols for sexless, male, hermaphrodite and female (in that order). It's for Windows and is free to download.
    Raj Bobal,

  • Once again we are indebted to our knowledgeable and resourceful readers, thanks to everyone who wrote in.

    Summing up

    I try to show my class of six-year-olds that our computer can be put to many uses. One child spent quite a while playing with the Windows 95 calculator and then wanted to show the class what she had learnt. However, it seems impossible to enlarge the calculator window to fill the screen. Is there a way? If not, do you know of a simple shareware calculator that will do the job?
    Kevin Lacey

  • We're not aware of any simple way of enlarging the Calculator window but there is an easy of making it look bigger using a screen magnifier program. For a good selection of shareware, freeware and demo programs try the Screen Magnifiers home page at We were particularly impressed with one called Lunar95, which works with all Windows applications, is flexible, easy to set up and to use. Incidentally, Windows 98 has its own, built-in screen magnifier utility. This is included in the Accessibility Options on the Accessories menu, though it may not be installed by default. You can load it from the CD-Rom by going to Windows Set-up in Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel. If anyone knows of a full screen calculator program for Windows, suitable for very young children, please let us know and we'll pass it on.

    Bin and gone

    How can I rename the Recycle Bin icon on my desktop? A shortcut is easy to create and rename, but then the original icon can not be deleted.
    Gerry Singleton,

  • It can be done but it involves editing the Registry so please do not attempt it unless you know what you are doing and make a backup first. You can do that by going to Run on the Start menu and type in Regedit to open the Registry Editor. Highlight the entry HKEY-LOCAL-MACHINE, on the Registry menu, click Export Registry file, give it a name (eg regbak) and save it in an empty folder. If anything goes wrong, clicking on regbak.reg will restore the original settings. When that is done, go back to the Registry Editor and navigate your way through the directory tree by clicking on the plus signs next to the following sequence of entries: HKEY-LOCAL-MACHINE G SOFTWARE G Classes G CLSID G {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}. Click on the entry and then the Default icon that appears the right hand pane. Change the name to whatever you like in the Value Data field, click your mouse pointer on to the Windows desktop, press F5 to refresh and the new name will appear.

    Buy safe?

    The Internet has many sites with products that are cheaper than in the shops. My father is concerned about security with credit card numbers. Is there a way of decoding them? Or could you give me a list of sites that are really safe to shop over?
    Helen Whalley,

  • Buying products or services with a credit card by telephone or in person always involves you giving the vendor your credit card details. You have no way of knowing what happens to that information, or to the counterfoils bearing your signature, so in that respect the Internet is no riskier than any other kind of credit card transaction. Most credit cards issued by British companies protect you against fraudulent use, but you should check the small print to find out the extent of your liability and the protection offered. Buying over the Internet is generally safe and if you stick to the following guidelines you will minimise the chances of anything going wrong.

  • Buy only from sites that provide a secure link that encrypts your credit card details. Most well-established British companies trading on the Internet offer such a facility.

  • Avoid buying from sites whose prices seem much too good to be true.

  • Always print out the order from, keep a permanent record of any order numbers or order confirmation supplied by the vendor.

  • If possible use one credit card solely for Internet transactions.

  • Check your credit card bill carefully every month for unauthorised transactions. If you find any, alert the card issuer immediately.

  • Be aware that if you buy products abroad you may have to pay an additional delivery charge, VAT and import duty, before the good are delivered, so it might not be as cheap as it seems.

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