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            Issue 40 - 15th November 2000

Welcome to Support Alert, the email newsletter that
points you to the best technical support resources
on the Internet.

You may notice something different.  We've changed
our name from PC Alert, so as to more accurately
reflect the nature of our content.  Everything else
stays the same.

Support Alert is free. If you like it, why not share
the good news and email a copy to a friend or work
colleague?

Support Alert is sponsored by PC Support Advisor and
PC Network Advisor, the standard reference sources for
support professionals.

What's the secret?  What is it that thousands of
support staff in 16 countries know, that you don't.

Find out now. Take advantage of our current US$29.95
special promotional offer and try Support Advisor and
Network Advisor for yourself.

Just point your browser to http://www.itp-journals.com
and discover the secret.

               <<<>>><<<>>><<<>>>

FROM THE EDITOR

Are you thinking of upgrading to Windows 2000 within the
next 6 months?  Don't.  It's about to become obsolete.  The
incredibly short shelf life of IT products has always been
annoying, and it's getting worse.

Next year Microsoft will launch Whistler, which sees the end
of the 9x/Me platform.  Whistler is basically Windows 2000,
but it now finally incorporates the bits of 9x/Me that are
currently missing.  So, there are much more drivers for gaming
hardware, and you can even burn CD-R and CD-RW media without
the need for separate software.  A degree of remote control
functionality is built in too, so if you're currently using
something like Laplink to give or receive support over the
Internet you'll soon be able to do it within the Windows OS
itself.

Microsoft shipped beta 1 of Whistler last week, and beta 2
will arrive within a month or 3.  According to Microsoft,
the finished product will ship in the first half of 2001.

There will be 6 versions of Whistler in all.  For
workstations, there will be a personal and a professional
edition.  The personal edition will be aimed at home users,
with the pro version aimed at businesses.  And to stop
businesses buying the cheaper version the personal edition
will be crippled in various ways, such as lacking the
support to log onto a network domain.

The Microsoft marketing machine is getting ready to hype
Whistler.  The beta release documentation is already saying
that Whistler is the most stable release ever, and offers
users the most exciting Windows experience.  That's hardly
surprising, of course.  No one would bother launching
something that crashed more often than the previous version.
At least, not knowingly.

You can read more about Whistler in issue 127 of PC Network
Advisor, which will be published after Christmas.  We'll also
post it on the Web at http://www.pcnetworkadvisor.com before
that, so you can read it as soon as it's ready.  And keep
watching the site for more news of Whistler as we get it.
 

Robert Schifreen

PS:  Do you have a favourite site that you'd like to
see featured here?  If so, send details to me
at editor@itp-journals.com.

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IN THIS ISSUE

1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
    - New NetWare Support Packs
    - The NT Faq
    - Free Computer Security News

2. SUPPORT UTILITIES
    - Avery Label Wizard for Office
    - Diskeeper 6
    - Zone Alarm Update
    - Second Copy 2000

3. SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
    - Windows 2000 Patch
    - Indexing Server Updated
    - DirectX 8
    - NT4 Terminal Server
    - IIS5 Patched

4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
    - WordPerfect Office 2002
    - CorelDRAW 10
    - Microsoft's PGP Key
    - Scanning Exchange message stores

5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
    - Access Security
    - Office 2000 Support Tips

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1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
====================

New NetWare Support Packs
Novell is about to release new support packs for NetWare
4, 5, and 5.1.  Beta versions are currently available on the
Web, and final releases will be available shortly.  You can
get them from http://support.novell.com.  If you're a PCNA
subscriber you will find the files on your CD-ROM soon.

The NT Faq
The superb Windows NT Faq has been updated, and now includes
Windows 2000 support topics too.  It's the ultimate collection
of support tips, and well worth bookmarking.  Browse it at
http://www.ntfaq.com.

Free Computer Security News
The Encyclopedia of Computer Security is a Web site which
carries upwards of 600 security-related news stories each
month.  To celebrate a recent revamp of its Web site, they're
giving away free subscriptions until the end of December.
Check out http://www.itsecurity.com, or send an email to
mailto:newsfree@itsecurity.com
with a subject line of
"Subscribe".

2. SUPPORT UTILITIES
====================

Avery Label Wizard for Office
If you're using Avery labels and you want to print them
from within Office, you should look at the free
Label Wizard software that is downloadable from Avery's
Web site.  It makes the job much easier.  Get it from
http://www.avery.com/software/product_info.jhtml?soft_cat_code=AV_WZ

Diskeeper 6
Diskeeper, from Executive Software, is the best-known
disk defragmentation tool on the market.  It's available
for both the 9x and the NT/2000 platform.  Version 6
is now available, and you can download a 30-day trial
copy from http://www.execsoft.com.

Zone Alarm Update
Zone Labs has updated its superb freeware personal firewall
product ZoneAlarm, which is now at v2.1.44.  There's also a
pro version for corporate use.  If you haven't check out
ZoneAlarm, do it now.  http://www.zonelabs.com.

Second Copy 2000
Second Copy is a superb program which backs up files or
directories across the network.  It'll do it on demand,
or automatically at certain times or when files change.
An ideal way to ensure that users' work is always backed
up to the server.  Download a copy today from
http://www.centered.com.

3. SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
===============================

Windows 2000 Patched
A buffer overflow has been found in one of the ActiveX controls
that ships with Windows 2000.  A hacker could exploit this
by creating Web pages that could force programs to run on
a user's PC.  Microsoft has a patch, which is downloadable from
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-085.asp.

Indexing Server Updated
Microsoft has issued an update for Indexing Services for Windows
2000.  The patch fixes a problem which could allow a malicious
Web page to inject script commands into a page created by
a completely different Web site.  The problem is known as
cross-site scripting, and you can read more (and get a patch) at
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-084.asp.

DirectX 8
Microsoft has released version 8 of DirectX, the API that
games and other multimedia programs use to create sound
and graphics effects under Windows.  You can download it
for free from http://www.microsoft.com/directx.

NT4 Terminal Server
Microsoft has a patch for Windows NT4 Terminal Server, which
fixes a potential Denial of Service attack.  Details, plus
a downloadable patch, are on Microsoft's security site at
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-087.asp.

IIS5 Patched
Microsoft also has a patch for Internet Information Server
v5.  The patch fixes a problem that could allow a hacker
to run operating system commands on the affect machine.  See
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-086.asp.

4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
=====================

WordPerfect Office 2002
If Microsoft wanted first claim to the "Office 2002"
moniker, it's missed the boat.  Corel has announced
WordPerfect Office 2002, which will ship within the next
six months.  The suite will include word processor,
spreadsheet, presentation graphics and PIM.  Other new
features will include a built-in copy of the Pocket Oxford
Dictionary.  More info at http://www.corel.com.

CorelDRAW 10
Corel has also announced version 10 of its flagship
graphics suite, the Windows version of which is now
shipping.  A new component to the suite is a tool
for creating Flash animations for Web sites.  A Mac
version of the suite will ship next year.   More
from http://www.corel.com.

Microsoft's PGP Key
If you receive an email which mentions a security patch
released by Microsoft, how can you tell that the message
is genuine?  It may be a hoax, or even malicious.  One
solution is to verify the PGP key that Microsoft includes
on all its public postings.  You can verify it at
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/MSRC.asc

Scanning Exchange message stores
There are various tools that will scan Microsoft Exchange
message stores to help you check whether your users
are sending or receiving messages with unacceptable content.
In truth, scanning is not as difficult as some would have
you believe.  A recent book from O'Reilly includes a full
chapter on how to do it with standard command-line tools.
Buy it from http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1565925459/

5.  TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
==========================

Access Security
The current issue of PC Network Advisor includes an
in-depth article on security for Microsoft Access.
This is required reading for anyone developing
applications in Access, using it on a Web site, or
rolling out the product within a corporate environment.
You can read the complete article online via the Web
at http://www.pcnetworkadvisor.com.

Office 2000 Support Tips
The current issue of PC Support Advisor (issue 144)
includes an article which features the top support
tips for Office 2000.  If you support Office users,
check out the article and arm yourself with the answers
before you users ask them!  Read the article online,
free of charge, at http://www.pcsupportadvisor.com.
 

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                  ABOUT SUPPORT ALERT

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Publishing, the publishers of PC Support Advisor and
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