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            Issue 46 - 15th February 2001

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

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

So, all the money that Microsoft invested in the Windows 2000
brand name is to be wasted.  Windows 2000 v2, or Windows 2002,
or Whistler, are not the chosen names for the next release.
Instead, the forthcoming version of Windows will be known
as Windows XP.  This, you'll remember, is the upgraded version
of Windows which will replace not just Win2k but, finally, the
9x platform too.  So no more having 95/98/Me on home machines
and NT/2k on corporate workstations.  Now, we'll all be running
various incarnations of the same platform.

Officially, XP stands for Experience.  Windows is no longer just
an OS, but a way of life.  I don't buy that for a second.  It's
such a stupid reason that it just can't be true.  My guess is that
it stands for Cross Platform.  Still, life's too short to waste
time working out the meaning behind the name of a computer program.

One aspect of WinXP that is set to annoy corporate IT support people
is that the OS now includes a form of copy protection.  Full details
have yet to be announced, but it seems that you will need to register
your CD-ROM via an electronic system of some sort before WinXP
can be installed.  This process will tie the particular CD-ROM
to one PC, ensuring that the CD can't be used to install WinXP on
more than one machine.

It remains to be seen what happens when a WinXP machine is upgraded
and the hard disk replaced.  Or when a key component such as the
motherboard is changed.  Will this mean that WinXP no longer
boots?  And what about the process for rolling out WinXP in large
companies with, say, 5000 machines?  Will companies now have to
maintain a cupboard with 5000 individual WinXP CD-ROMs?

If Microsoft gets it wrong, copy protection could end up costing
the company much more than software piracy ever did.

Robert Schifreen

PS:  Keep sending us details of your favourite sites, for
inclusion in Support Alert!  Our email address is
editor@itp-journals.com.

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IN THIS ISSUE

1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
    - Fascinating Cisco Facts
    - Your networking problems answered
    - Troubleshooting Pocket Word and Excel
    - Top Shareware Site Revamped
    - Woody's Office Portal
    - Computer Crime Investigator's Toolkit
    - PC Support Central

2. SUPPORT UTILITIES
    - Win2k ACL List Management
    - PC Transplant Pro

3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
    - Invalid RDP Data
    - Top Ten PDA Bugs
    - Updated Netscape 6
    - NT4 Patched
    - Win2k Network DDE Agent Request

4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
    - Excel 2000 Euro Patch
    - Winamp 2.72
    - Top Downloads of 2000
    - Outlook 2000 Switches

5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
    - Free Tech Support Sites
    - Ethical Hacking

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

Fascinating Cisco Facts
At first glance, this site is full of silly spoof interviews with
well-known celebrities who talk about troubleshooting Cisco router
problems.  But it's actually full of useful information, carefully
combined with subtle humour to aid your understanding.  This site
comes highly recommended by all of us at Support Alert.
http://routergod.com

Your networking problems answered
Larry Byard at Dux Computer Digest writes to tell us of his
support site, at which he has been providing answers to users'
network-related problems for some years.  We think it's pretty
good too, and well worth checking out.
http://duxcw.com

Troubleshooting Pocket Word and Excel
Bugnet has put together a set of top tips for anyone
using or support Pocket Excel and Pocket Word.  If you're
having problems with these 2 WinCE apps, check this out.
http://www.bugnet.com/analysis/0101/ftpdaword.html

Top Shareware Site Revamped
Shareware.com has had a facelift.  No longer merely a list of
top sharware titles, it now searches other shareware sites too.
http://www.shareware.com

Woody's Office Portal
Woody's Office Watch is one of the most popular email newsletters
on the net.  Its home site is Woody's Office Portal, which
contains huge amounts of useful information about Microsoft
Office for users and support people alike.  A little heavy on
plugs for Woody's books, but still a very useful resource.
http://www.wopr.com

Computer Crime Investigator's Toolkit
The Securityportal site often publishes some useful articles,
and this is no exception.  It's part of a series about how to
examine a suspect PC.  This instalment covers cryptograhy and
slack file space.
http://securityportal.com/articles/toolkit20010123.html

PC Support Central
One of the best-known tech support sites, all.com, is no more.
But some of the site's best technical brains have started a
new venture, providing free and paid-for tech support for
all sorts of problems.
http://www.pcsupportcentral.com

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

Win2k ACL List Management
SuperCACLS v3.0 for Windows 2000 is the latest version of a
great tool for managing ACLs and audit SACLs for Windows 2000.
The ideal way to print access control lists or dump them to a
file in order to check who owns what resource.
http://www.trustedsystems.com/scacls.htm

PC Transplant Pro
Upgrading the operating system on a user's PC is often a very
time-consuming process, as you may have to re-configure the machine
with all the network settings once the upgrade has completed.
PC Transplant Pro is a tool that is designed to help make your
life easier, by automating most of the process.  Download
a free trial of the new version 2.1 and see what it can do for you.
http://www.altiris.com

3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
=====================================

Invalid RDP Data
Microsoft has released a security patch for Windows 2000 Terminal
Services which fixes the Remote Data Protocol implementation.
Without the patch, a server could be crashed by any user who
deliberately sends it a particular sequence of packets.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms01-006.asp

Top Ten PDA Bugs
Bugnet has compiled a list of the top 10 bugs affecting PDAs,
and how to fix or work around them.  If you or your users
are using Palm or other PDA devices, check out this page.
http://www.bugnet.com/analysis/0101/t10PDA.html

Updated Netscape 6
Netscape 6 has been updated to v6.01 to fix a recently-discovered
problem known as the email wiretapping bug.  This could allow
message recipients to view comments and amendments made to
messages.  It also crashes less often than 6.0.
http://www.netscape.com

NT4 Patched
Microsoft has released a patch for NT4 which fixes a hole that could
allow a user to increase their privilege to administrator level.
The bug is in the NTLM Security Support Provider service.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms01-008.asp

Win2k Network DDE Agent Request
Microsoft has issued a fix for Windows 2000.  The problem
could allow a user to gain administrator privileges on a machine.
The bug is caused by the network DDE agent runs with incorrect
privileges, ie those of the OS rather than of the current user.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms01-007.asp

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

Excel 2000 Euro Patch
Microsoft has issued an add-in for Excel 2000 SR1 which adds
support for the euro currency symbol.
http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/2000/downloaddetails/euroupd.htm

Winamp 2.72
The world's best-known Windows app for playing MP3 and WMA
audio files is now at version 2.72.  Download your copy
today.  The program is now freeware.
http://www.winamp.com

Top Downloads of 2000
CNET, one of the biggest IT sites, has put together its
list of the best downloads of 2000, in the opinions of
its own reviewers.  Get your hands on the latest versions
of the best-known shareware and freeware utilities by
checking out the list.
http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/raves/2000/2000.html

Outlook 2000 Switches
Did you know that Outlook 2000 supports a host of command-line
switches, allowing you to control how it operates?  If you're
supporting Outlook, check out the list on the MS Knowledge Base.
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q197/1/80.asp

5.  TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES FROM ITP
===================================

Free Tech Support Sites
The latest issue of PC Support Advisor contains a major article
which looks at some of the best sites on the Web which offer
free tech support advice.  You can read the full article online at
http://www.pcsupportadvisor.com

Ethical Hacking
In the new issue of PC Network Advisor, we take a look at ethical
hacking.  What are the pros and cons of allowing a third party
to test the security of your system by attempting to break into it?
And what are the most common techniques?  Find out for free at
http://www.pcnetworkadvisor.com

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                  ABOUT SUPPORT ALERT

Support Alert is produced by International Technology
Publishing, the publishers of PC Support Advisor and
PC Network Advisor, the standard resource publications
for tech support professionals.

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