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Cool Hidden Extras
There are a lot of useful applications hidden in Windows XP.  Here are a few of our favorites.  Each can be launched by opening the Start | Run dialog and entering its executable name.

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Private Character Editor (Eudcedit).  Run this tip by opening the Start | Run dialog and entering Eudcedit.
Create and edit a custom character to use as text: You can make a character out of your name, for example, or a company logo.  The process is a bit confusing: When you open the Editor, it asks you to assign your character to a spot on a grid.  Accept the default and begin editing on the 50-pixel-square workspace.  To use a saved character, open the Character Map (Run | Charmap).  For Font, select the top choice, All Fonts (Private Characters), then select, copy, and paste your character into a document.

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IExpress 2.0 (Iexpress).  Run this tip by opening the Start | Run dialog and entering IExpress.

Need to create a simple installation?  Using a wizard, IExpress 2.0 helps you create a Self Extraction Directive (SED) file, which includes compressed files that will uncompress with a double-click.  If you want, you can add a licensing agreement as well and even specify a program or INF file to run.  The wizard prompts you to add messages for the users to whom you send SEDs.

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Windows Media Player 6.4 (Mplayer2).  Run this tip by opening the Start | Run dialog and entering Mplayer2.

Windows Media Player for XP can be overwhelming.  If you long for a simpler, more streamlined (plainer) Windows Media Player, you can always fire up Windows Media Player 6.  The only update is that the app now supports the latest codecs.

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NetMeeting (Conf).  Run this tip by opening the Start | Run dialog and entering Conf.

The latest souped-up Windows Messenger has all but replaced NetMeeting.  But if you want to share a whiteboard or collaborate with someone using an old familiar application, don't despair.  NetMeeting may not be on the Start menu, but it's not gone.

This hidden application still offers all the same functions - including file sharing, chat, and voice capabilities.  And since NetMeeting is designed for business, your boss may look more favorably on it than on other mainstream chat clients.

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