Reader Challenge for November 2008 and October Reader Challenge Winners

Can I display user names with a space between first and last name?

Take The November 2008 Challenge

This month's challenge is inspired by an email message: "I'd like to display user names with a space between the first and last name on our Welcome screens (just because I like the slick look of it). However, creating a user name with a space makes it difficult to manage user accounts from the command line and also causes a problem with some software applications. I wish there were a way to have a separate user name on the Welcome screen that's linked to the real (space-free) user account name. I know this isn't a technical question or comment, but it's a little thing that bothers me as an administrator. Just call me Mr. Nitpicker."

Actually, you can do this in both Windows Vista and XP. Can you tell Mr. Nitpicker how?

How to Do 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 [email protected] by Nov. 13, 2008. You MUST include your full name, street mailing address (no P.O. Boxes), and a telephone number. 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 email receipt. Look for the solutions to this month's problem at on Nov. 14, 2008.

October 2008 Reader Challenge Winner

Congratulations to Kenneth Cook of Texas, the winner of our October 2008 Reader Challenge. He wins a copy of “Windows Vista Administration: The Definitive Guide,” from O'Reilly Media (

The Answer to the November 2008 Challenge:

Assuming you're logged on as an Administrator, you can create a user with a "no space" user name and then change the way the name displays on the Welcome Screen and the Start menu. Start by creating the account name without a space (such as KathyIvens or Kivens or Kathyi). Then open the User Accounts section of Control Panel, choose Manage Another Account, and select the name of the account you want to change. Choose Change the Account Name and create a name with a space (e.g. Kathy Ivens). The change you make here only affects the on-screen display of the user's name in the Welcome Screen and the Start menu
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