PC Alert
Pointing you to the information
you need to know
Issue 8  : 8th to  21st February 1999

Essential Internet

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

IE Upgrade a Hoax - Warning
There's a Trojan Horse program currently doing the rounds, disguised as an upgrade for Internet Explorer but it actually infects users' machines with the Happy99 virus.   Warn your staff not to run any program which is emailed to them under this guise, and to alert the support desk if their screen starts doing a "fireworks display".  Further details are available on the Web.

Word 97 Security Patch
It's Monday, so it must be time for another Microsoft security patch.  This time it's for Word 97, and it stops macros running executable code without the user's knowledge.

Excel CALL problem - automated solution
Another Microsoft security problem concerns the CALL vulnerability in Excel.  Protecting a machine involves making various registry changes.  Now someone's put them all in a .REG file which you simply download and run, and the work is done.

Virus Signatures Updated
Novell has posted a new set of signatures for its ManageWise/Cheyenne scanner.

Revised Library Update Files
Newly released by Novell, an updated version of the CLIB library files for NetWare. The latest release includes a collection of Y2K patches.

NetWare 4.11 Support Pack 6 - Don't Bother
Novell has released Support Pack 6 for NetWare 4.11.  However, it's precisely the same as pack 5 except for some additional instructions regarding installation on NetWare for SAA.  So save yourself the 24 MB download unless you really need it.

Updated pcANYWHERE
Symantec has a new release of pcANYWHERE, with added features designed to make helpdesk staff lives easier.  The Web site has a 30-day demo version plus some interesting case studies.

Access dead hard disks on an NT machine
NTRecover makes it possible to access and modify drives on otherwise-unbootable NT system, using a serial connection to another NT box.

Hack That NT Admin Password
NT Locksmith allows you to recover the administrator password from an NT machine.  Useful if you have a user who's forgotten the password to their PC or server.

Cache and Cookie Management Tools
Web browsers tend to make a horrible mess of users' hard disks, putting cache and cookie directories all over the place.  As a support person, it's your job to tidy things up.  Thankfully there are some useful tools that can help you.

The Registry Hacks Collection
Confused about the Windows registry?  There are many ways that you can change the appearance or performance of a Windows system by hacking various registry entries, and this site shows you dozens of them.

CD-R Diagnostics
Having trouble creating CDs on a CD-R drive?  This diagnostics tool will almost certainly help you.

Online Clipart
The marketing department hassling you to find them a clipart image?  Just point them here, and they can find it themselves.

CD Writing Facts
Some useful background information on writing CDs can be had from these sites.

Free Security Newsletter
You can sign up for a free IT security newsletter here.

Registry Help
Yet more help with the innards of the Windows registry can be found here.

New IRC Client
IRC is a useful way to conduct meetings over the Internet.  Unfortunately, although there are many IRC client applications, most of them are pretty dire.  MIRC is the best of a bad bunch, and it's now up to version 5.5.  When will someone write a user-oriented one, rather than simply putting a GUI onto the ever-so-unfriendly IRC commands?

Get Noticed
You've prepared a Web site for your company.  Now you need to get it registered with all the major search engines.  Wouldn't it be good if there was a program that did it all for you.  Guess what?

Acrobat 4 Going Public
Adobe will announce Acrobat 4 sometime in the next few weeks.  We're not allowed to say precisely when, as the NDA is still in force, but watch Adobe's Web site for news.  (And if you subscribe to PCSA, look out for our full article in issue 125).

Nokia's 9110
And Nokia has finally launched the successor to the 9000 Communicator.  The 9110 is a phone, Web browser, email terminal, fax machine, organiser and much more, and it fits in your pocket.  It'll cost around US$700.

New Online Support from Toshiba
Toshiba has a new support forum on its Web site, plus a good collection of patches and other downloads. If you're supporting any users of Tosh laptops, the site is well worth adding to your bookmarks.

Ask Dudley
This is fab!  A natural-text search engine on Dell's Web site, that answers your PC questions.  And the answers aren't limited to Dell kit, either.

UPSes compared
On PC World's Web site, comparisons of 6 uninterruptible power supplies for departmental servers.  If you're looking to protect important machines against power cuts, at least for long enough to shut them down properly, this will answer your questions and point you at some possible products.

Top Web Sites Reviewed
This month, PC World magazine has reviews of some of its most highly recommended Web sites for IT professionals.  Full details are, naturally, on the magazine's own site.

Killer Apps
Looking for a hardware or software product to perform a particular job?  The Killer App site will almost certainly help you find it.

Internet Phones
If you're thinking about Internet Telephony you'll need some Internet phones, either as hardware or in software form.  There are a couple of sites that have them.  And phonezone.com has some great techie detail on the whole subject.

Essential Reading

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

Head-to-head comparative reviews
7 Antivirus Programs PC World, Feb 99 http://www.pcworld.com
9 Photo editing Packages PC World, Feb 99 http://www.pcworld.com
5 Mobile Office devices PC Computing, Feb 99 http://www.pccomputing.com
10 colour printers PC World, Feb 99 http://www.pcworld.com
10 19-inch monitors PC World, Feb 99 http://www.pcworld.com
9 Windows CE devices PC Magazine, 9th Feb 99 http://www.pcmag.com
10 Internal modems PC World, Feb 99 http://www.pcworld.com
6 3D sound systems PC Magazine, 9th Feb 99 http://www.pcmag.com
10 notebooks PC World, Feb 99 http://www.pcworld.com
5 Remote access servers PC Magazine, 9th Feb 99 http://www.pcmag.com

IPv6 - the ultimate address-space fix?
IP version 6 will change the way that TCP/IP addressing works, in order to get around the fact that we're rapidly running out of IP addresses.  Network Magazine's January edition explains this very well - worthwhile reading for all network support staff.

Managing Unix Security
You may think that you've set up the security correctly on that Unix box.  But if you haven't, the first you'll probably know of it is when the hackers arrive.   January's Network Magazine has a useful article on Unix security, and how to configure a Unix system securely.

IP Telephony
Also in Network Magazine this month, all the facts on IP Telephony.  A worthwhile read if you're considering implementing Voice over IP within your organisation.  In addition to a useful explanation of the subject there's also an overview of a variety of relevant products.

All You Need To Know about Java
February's issue of Dr Dobb's Journal, the respected magazine for developers, is dedicated almost entirely to Java.   Recommended reading if you want to beef up your company's Web site or add some intelligence and processing to your intranet.  This is no lightweight overview - recommended for techies only.

Windows 2000 PKI and AD
January's issue of Windows NT Magazine (one of our favourites) explains the Public Key Infrastructure to be included in Windows 2000.  This is the mechanism that allows you to permit users to encrypt data, safe in the knowledge that you can get it back in an emergency.  Also in the same issue, information on Windows 2000's Active Directory feature.

How safe is PPTP
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) bring together the best of the Internet and a private WAN.  But a group of hackers recently claimed to have found weaknesses in PPTP, the protocol used by Microsoft to implement them.  Windows NT magazine investigates the whole situation.

Simulating NT Load, and Rolling out Netscape
Also in Windows NT magazine this month, a look at using simulation tools to find out the maximum capacity of your NT network.  Plus, how to roll out Netscape settings to thousands of users automatically.

MS Publisher 2000
MS Office 2000 will include a new release of Publisher.  The February issue of PC World looks at the latest beta of the product and compares it to the current version.

Netscape vs IE5, and Norton vs McAfee
Considering moving to Internet Explorer 5?  Want to know how it compares with Netscape's current offering?  PC Computing's February issue has the details.  In the same issue, a comparison of McAfee VirusScan 4 vs Norton Antivirus 5.

Top Downloads
On the front of PC Computing's February issue, a CD containing 100 useful programs including the top 10 downloads of all time from the magazine's Web site.  Includes WinZip, Microsoft Powertoys, PaintShop Pro and Norton Antivirus.

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