February 2007 Reader Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our February 2007 Reader Challenge. First prize, a copy of "Windows XP Cookbook," goes to Rick Pascoe, of California. Second prize, a copy of "Windows Vista in a Nutshell," goes to Ian Rosenfeld, of New York. Both books are from O’Reilly Media.

Take the Reader Challenge

Solve this month's Vista UPDATE challenge, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to challenge@windowsitpro.com by March 13, 2007. You MUST include your full name, and street mailing address (no P.O. Boxes). Without that information, we can't send you a prize if you win, so your answer is eliminated, even if it’s correct.

I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. I’m a sucker for humor and originality, and a cleverly written correct answer gets an extra chance. Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents, and I never respond to a request for an e-mail receipt. Look for the solutions to this month's problem here at this site, at http://www.windowsitpro.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=95334 on March 14, 2007.

To subscribe to Vista UPDATE, which offers the monthly Reader Challenge, twice-monthly commentary and Microsoft insiders news from Karen Forster, and columns by David Chernicoff and Kathy Ivens, go to the email newsletter subscription page at http://www.windowsitpro.com/email/ and register now!

March 2007 Challenge

A reader wrote in response to a previous Challenge about dealing with paths that exceed the limit of characters permitted in Windows. The reader suggested a workaround for accessing a folder that’s at the bottom of the path: use the Subst command. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that myself, because I use that command often, and one day I’ll write an article about how handy the command is. We’re sending a copy of "Windows Vista in a Nutshell," from O’Reilly Media, as a special prize to Anton Markesteijn, of the Netherlands, as a “thank you” for jump-starting my brain about the Subst command. Let's use that command for this month’s challenge. How much do you know about the subst command? Can you answer these questions?

Question 1: You can use the subst command to map a drive to an unshared subfolder that’s under a shared folder on a remote computer.

A. True
B. False

Question 2: Drives configured with the subst command can be made permanent so they don't have to be re-mapped with every startup.

A. True
B. False

Question 3: You can't change permissions on a folder that has a drive letter configured by the subst command.

A. True
B. False

Answers:

The correct answer for 1 is True, 2 is False, 3 is False. The drive letter does not survive a reboot (instead, write a batch file and put it into the Startup folder of the Programs menu); and changing a path to a virtual drive letter by using the subst command has no effect on permissions.