PC Alert
Pointing you to the information you need to know
Issue 3  :  16th to 29th November 1998

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Essential Internet

Our list of sites with important new PC information,
helpful resource files and other items of interest.


Programs plus screen shots
At screenshot.com you'll find over 400 useful shareware and freeware programs to download, and over 2000 screen shots that show the programs in action.  Includes business applications, graphics tools, and much more.

Magazines on the Web
Literally hundreds of IT magazines have Web sites.  For some unknown reason, Microsoft has a list of them all, complete with links to the sites.  You'll find it here.

Adobe PostScript printer drivers for Windows
Adobe has recently released new PostScript printer drivers for Windows.  In our experience they're far better than the Microsoft ones, and they're still free. Available for Windows 9x, NT or Mac.

DiskState v2.0 in beta
Our favourite utility for examining the layout of your hard disk, looking for files that can be deleted, etc etc, is DiskState.  The latest version, plus screen shots of the new release coming soon, are now online.

Risks Forum
Archive of the world-famous (and justifiably so) Forum On Risks To The Public In Computers And Related Systems. If you're looking for ideas on what can possibly go wrong, here they all are by the dozen.  Ideal for persuading the Board to increase your funding for IT security.

Peter de Jager's Year 2000 Site
Need information on the Year 2000 problem?  This is probably the best such site on the Web.

Microsoft and Y2K
Microsoft's own Y2K site, which contains little general information but much useful material on how your installed Microsoft programs are going to perform come the turn of the millennium.

Windows International's 100 Best Shareware Apps
The title says it all, really.  WinInt's favourite software, all downloadable.

As Recommended by PC World
From PC World magazine, links to lots of useful software, drivers, patches etc.

Conversion Plus
Got a graphic that you can't read?  This'll help.

The best email attachment decoder we know.  Ideal for when you get a huge MIME file through the email that your email reader can't cope with.

BestCrypt 6.0 Now in Beta
The excellent real-time encryption program for Windows 9x and NT is almost up to version 6.  Download a beta if you want to play, or stick with the current versions if you want to ensure you're safe.  And if you're still on plain DOS or Windows 3, the program is completely free!

Subject Search Spider
SSSpider is a superb Windows app that calls up to 200 Internet search engines to find the information you're looking for.

Free Oracle
Want a copy of Oracle for development purposes?  You'll find a Linux version here.  Not got a password for the site?  Hit "Cancel" at the request and you'll be told how to get one for free.

Free WordPerfect
Yes, more free software.  And yes, it's only for Linux.  The beta has been pulled and, says Corel, the finished version will be up on the site shortly.  So start watching.

Ws_ftp 6
The world's (and our) favourite ftp program reaches version 6.  And the company's launched an ftp server too.  But then, with Web browsers all handling ftp downloads nowadays, the market for standalone programs on users' machines is probably dying rapidly.

Bring some life to your PowerPoint presentations with LiveArt, a nifty little business graphics package.  Includes some 4000 objects, and you just drag them around the page to make your pictures.  There's even a downloadable demo.

Microsoft's drivers for sound, 3D graphics etc are now up to version 6.  And you'll need them for the LiveArt demo.

Help Desk Resources
A database of help desk products.  A new site, and still rather sparse, but it'll get there. Worth watching.

More Help Desk Resources
Another site "for the benefit of technical support and helpdesk professionals".

Threat and Vulnerability Database
ISS, the people behind the market-leading intrusion detection system RealSecure, have a database of known problems for all major operating systems.  Need to scare your security manager?  Just point him or her to this site.

New Encryption Utility
After BestCrypt (see above) comes a similar product from this British company.  They've had the NT version for ages, now the Windows 9x pack hits the streets.  Another product worth evaluating if you need to protect the contents of your users' machines, especially laptops.

1 GB on a Card
You'll love this, and it's only US$700.  A 1 GB hard disk on a PCMCIA card.  Seriously.

All the Betas you'll Need
Want to know what's coming next in software?  This site has links to all the beta downloads you could possibly want.

VB Resources
A useful collection of resources for Visual Basic developers.  If you're designing apps to assist users, especially in the world of finance and stats, this site is well worth a browse.

Virtual Comdex
The world's biggest and most tiring PC exhibition is now on in Las Vegas.  Save your feet, and keep up with the new launches on the official Web site instead.

Hard Disk Upgrader
Need to move the contents of a user's hard disk to a new machine?  Hard Disk Upgrader can help.

Ultimate IT Company Database
Looking for some PCs?  A firewall installation consultant?  A UPS?  Look no further than this excellent database of IT companies.

Free Disaster Recovery Utility
Norton Zip Rescue stores all the important files from a user's machine on a single 100 MB Zip disk, so if the PC won't boot you can recover it easily.  And Zip Rescue is free, too.

Top Class Glossary
Need to know what that IT term means?  This glossary should help.

Tom's Hardware Guide
Everything you need to know about PC hardware, from BIOS beep codes to detailed information about motherboard layouts. One of our favourite reference sites.

NT Security Configuration Editor
A free tool from Microsoft to manage security policies on NT4.  Requires SP4, but is not part of the service pack so you need to download it separately from the ftp site.

Daily Tech News
A single site from which you can keep up with all that's happening in this fast-moving industry.

Essential Reading

Our pick of the best of the world’s IT press articles.

Head-to-head comparative reviews
12 Photo-quality printers   PC Computing, November 1998   www.pccomputing.com
3 Year-2000 testers for PCs Windows Expert (UK), December 1998 www.idg.co.uk/windows
3 Hard disk partitioning tools Windows Expert (UK), December 1998 www.idg.co.uk/windows
3 USB add-on kits for motherboards Windows International, November 1998 www.winmag.com
5 crash protection utilities Windows International, November 1998 www.winmag.com
60 Large format (up to 73 inches) injket printers Publish Magazine, November 1998 www.publish.com
10 top-of-the-range sound cards PC World, November 1998 www.pcworld.com
9 top-of-the-range sound notebooks PC World, November 1998 www.pcworld.com
10 workgroup printers PC World, November 1998 www.pcworld.com
10 internal modems PC World, November 1998 www.pcworld.com
6 Virtual Private Networks PC Mag, 17 November 1998 www.pcmag.com

Undocumented Web Secrets
In Pc Computing, November 1998: How to browse anonymously; How to reject cookies; How to avoid junk email; Where to find free email sites; How to find someone on the Internet; How to find out if your downloads are taking longer than they should.  Plus lots more tips and tricks to help your users get the job done faster.

Intrusion Detection
In Network Magazine, October 1998, you'll find a feature on intrusion detection and a review of RealSecure and Internet Scanner from ISS.  Just what you need to automatically alert you if someone's doing something they shouldn't be doing on your systems.

Internet Printing
IPP, the proposed Internet Printing Protocol, will allow users to send print jobs over the Internet.  Network Magazine, in its October 1998 issue, looks at IPP and explains how long-distance printing will work.

Introducing WAN Routers
Got 2 sites that you need to link?  You need a WAN router.  The October 1998 issue of Network Magazine takes a look at models from 3Com, Xyplex, IBM, Cisco and others, and explains what it will take to get your sites talking and how to buy the right hardware for the job.

Wired for Info
If you're interested in keeping up with technology and where it's heading, especially in the areas of the Internet and computing, an occasional glance at a copy of Wired magazine will always pay dividends.  The lack of in-depth features is, in our opinion, more than compensated for by the weird and wonderful mix of news and stories.

Typeface Choices
The November 1998 issue of Publish magazine includes a useful article on typeface design that shows Web site designers and technical authors how to avoid some of the basic mistakes that result in pages that are difficult to read.

HTML Tables and Banner Ads
Also in November 1998's Publish magazine, an excellent tutorial on how to use HTML tables when designing Web pages, plus information on how to design an effective banner ad for your company to publish on third-party sites.

Paintshop Pro 5
Paintshop Pro is the million-selling graphics package for Windows which is a favourite among support staff because of its ability to translate images files between literally dozens of formats.  November's Publish magazine has a review of the software, which you can download from www.jasc.com..

Readers rate PC Reliability and Service
In the November 1998 issue of PC World, almost 7000 readers have replied to a questionnaire and rated the reliability of PCs and the abilities of the manufacturers to effect timely repairs when necessary.  Recommended reading for anyone who buys or specifies hardware in a corporate environment.

Netscape vs IE
In the world of Web browsers, the 2 leading products are both free of charge.  But that doesn't mean that your choice of which to install on users' PCs is any easier.  PC World's November issue explains how to have them both up and running and to get the best out of each product.

Do's and Don'ts of moving files
PC World, November, has a feature article on the do's and don'ts of moving the contents of a user's hard disk to a new PC.  Get it right and it's an easy job; make just one mistake and you're in for hours of panic.

Top Tips
Among the tips in PC World, November, are:  preventing Web sites from forcing a user's browser to clone another window; and how to upgrade a PC to handle real-time video editing.

5 Becomes 2000
The 17th November issue of PC Magazine, like many others, has an in-depth preview of Windows NT 5 (which will actually be called Windows 2000).  This multi-section review is the most thorough we've seen, with separate articles on security, administration print services, mobile access, setup and migration.

Free Email
A handy list of sites offering free email addresses can be found in the November issue of Windows International.

Hidden Features of Windows 98
The November issue of Windows International includes a feature on some of the difficult-to-find but useful features of Windows 98, especially the tools aimed at system administrators and support staff.

Hidden Secrets of "Run" and "Run Once"
It's not just the StartUp group on the Start menu that contains details of programs that will runautomatically when Windows 9x starts. There are 2 entries in the Registry where such program names can hide too. The November issue of the Windows Developer's Journal tells you more.

Antivirus Shootout
The November issue of Windows Magazine includes a useful feature on what to look for in an antivirus package, and also rates the leading packages.

All about VPNs
The Internet is notoriously insecure and thus unsuitable for private comms. But a Virtual Private Network could save the day, and avoid you having to spend thousands on leased lines. November's issue of PC Magazine tells all.

About PC Alert

PC Alert is published fortnightly by Email by International Technology Publishing.  Its function is to save PC and networking support personnel the tedious task of browsing the Internet and wading through magazines just to find the occasional item of interest.

PC Alert saves you time, saves you money and will ensure you are ahead of the game.

Subscribe now and you'll still receive the next issue free  - your paid subscription will start afterwards.

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Compilation copyright International Technology Publishing Pty Ltd 1998.