PC Alert
Pointing you to the information
you need to know
Issue 9  :  22nd February  to 7th March 1999

Essential Internet

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

Don't Expose Your Clipboard
Hackers have discovered that just 2 lines of JavaScript on a malicious Web page is all that it takes to be able to read the Windows clipboard of a remote user.  To avoid that user being you, or one of your staff, you need the MS Forms 2.0 fix.

NetWare 5 Support Pack 1
Novell has launched Support Pack 1 for NetWare 5, which weighs in at some 60 MB.  If you're a subscriber to PC Network Advisor, you'll find the file on the PCNA 105 CD-ROM.  Otherwise, it's downloadable from the Web.  "NetWare 5 was solid to begin with.  Support Pack 1 delivers the next level of stability", says the Novell press release.  Hmm, sounds almost like an apology.

NT Security Support Tools
We've recently come across a useful set of tools for anyone supporting NT users, mainly concerned with security.  For example, there's a tool to let you expire the passwords for a group of users instantly.

Change Registry Key Security
Changing the security of registry keys under NT has always been long-winded, unless you were willing to pay for an additional tool.  Now, there's an additional tools that's also free.

IIS DoS Patch
Microsoft has released  a patch that fixes a Denial of Service problem in Internet Information Server versions 3 or 4.  If you don't install this patch, it's possible that someone could crash your IIS-based Web server remotely.

And a similar Denial of Service problem has been found in ws_ftp.  If you're running this as your ftp server, and a user tries to log into a directory (even if it doesn't exist) containing more than 876 characters, the server crashes and no one can log in.

Cold Fusion
And yet more security problems, this time for Cold Fusion.  There are 4 separate problems.

Novell Beta Available
Novell has an "open beta" of  the BorderManager Authentication Services 3.0 Enhancement Pack available, which adds a number of features to the product including interoperability with RADIUS and integration with ActivCard tokens.

Remote Data Recovery
Ontrack has launched its Remote Data Recovery service for NT.  Engineers can dial into your broken server or workstation and, so long as you're running the special client software, they can recover damaged data in many cases.

Free Office 2000.  Well, sort of.
Microsoft is scheduled to ship Office 2000 in the next couple of months.  Naturally, sales of Office 97 have fallen as a result.  So various Microsoft subsidiaries are running special offers - get Office 97 now and we'll upgrade you to 2000 when it's ready.

Incidentally, if you're wondering when IE5 will officially ship, it'll launch (and be downloadable) on the same day as Office 2000.  The 2 are closely linked, and share various core DLLs.

Rumours are that Netscape 5 may be delayed a little longer, however, and won't necessarily hit the Web at the same time as Microsoft's version 5 browser.

Good Replacement Registry Editor
The Registry Editor supplied with Windows 9x and NT is OK, but not exactly special.  The replacement, from an independent shareware vendor, is better.  It has more features, but looks reassuringly similar to the Microsoft one.

Pentium III Serial Numbers Explained
Bruce Schneier, crypto guru, has written a paper about the serial numbers which are to be embedded in Pentium III chips.  Well worth a read.

NT Tools
And here's another site full of useful tools for NT support staff.

Save On Data Recovery
A new tool from PowerQuest, the people behind Partition Magic, claims to be able to recover data from corrupted files, formatted disks, and anything in between.  If it's true, this could spell the end for data recovery specialists and their high prices.  There's a demo version on the Web site, too.

Undocumented Windows Tips - Free Newsletter
Sign up for a free newsletter, and get undocumented Windows tips and tricks sent to you by email regularly.

Mac Shareware
Looking for good downloadable software for your Mac users?  You'll find much of it here.

Acrobat 4 Announced
Adobe has launched Acrobat 4.  Well, they've announced it.  It should ship within a month or so.  The Web site has full details of the new features, including digital signatures and the ability to capture groups of Web pages and automatically convert them to Acrobat PDF files.  We've been using a beta copy since November and we've been impressed so far.  Read more in issue 125 of PC Support Advisor, if you're a subscriber.

Book Reviews Online
Dr Dobb's Journal, the magazine for developers, also has a site which features Electronic Reviews of Computer Books (not just development books, either).  Worth a browse before you head over to amazon.com to buy.

Intelligent Search Engine
Billed as the first of a new breed of intelligent search engines, Inference is yet another site vying for your users' attention and home page setting.

RFC Directory
Microsoft's Web site also maintains a useful directory of Internet resources, including links to RFC files and an RFC search engine.

Essential Reading

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

Head-to-head comparative reviews
10 Modems   PC World, March   http://www.pcworld.com
Acer TravelMate vs HP Jornada PCW, March http://www.pcw.co.uk
10 Graphics Boards PC World, March http://www.pcworld.com
PII 450 Systems PC Computing, March http://www.pccomputing.com
Cameras and Scanners PC Computing, March http://www.pccomputing.com
Biometric Products PC Magazine, March http://www.pcmag.com
4 Desktop Management Packages PC Magazine, March http://www.pcmag.com
PCs, Monitors, Modems and more   PC Magazine (Web)   http://www.zdnet.co.uk/pcmag/labs
PIIIs and Celerons PC Computing, March http://www.pccomputing.com
Top 10 Printers PC World, March http://www.pcworld.com

Bandwidth On Demand
The March issue of PC World has a good article on Bandwidth On Demand, explaining precisely how to go about setting up links that can add bandwidth to your WAN on an as-needed basis rather than having to pay for leased lines that are only used occasionally.

Fault-Tolerant Servers
If you're running mission-critical apps you need a server which can survive common faults such as a broken disk drive or a blown power supply.  March's issue of PC World tests models from IBM, Compaq, Toshiba and others.

Colour Lasers for US$2000
Colour laser printers are rapidly coming down in price.  Maybe the black and white printer will soon be as common as the black and white monitor.  PC World's March issue examines a range of products including new models from HP and others.

Zip 250
Iomega has a new Zip drive, which stores 250 MB where once the device only handled 100.  PC World looks at the new product in its March issue.  A useful backup device for users, or still too small to be of use with today's huge hard disks?

Speech Recognition
PC @uthority, the Australian magazine whose once-clever title probably now embarrasses all who work there, has a review of various speech recognition products in its latest issue, and a large collection of other back-issue reviews on its Web site.

Establishing an Internet Storefront
The February edition of Windows NT Magazine has a great in-depth series of articles on e-commerce, explaining how your company can go about setting up a trading presence on the Internet.  Includes information on the hardware and software you'll need, plus articles on Microsoft's Site Server 3.0, Digital Signatures, and secure online credit card transactions.

Technical Focus - Terminal Server and Windows 2000
Also on the WinNT Magazine Web site, a good collection of documents about Terminal Server and Windows 2000.

Pentium III Preview
March's PC Magazine has a good preview of the Pentium III this month, which is a worthwhile read if you're considering upgrading workstations or servers.

Databases Evaluated
DBMS Magazine has metamorphosed into Intelligent Enterprise, published exclusively online.  This month's issue looks at Oracle8i, SQL Server 7, and other products and techniques aimed at "those managing business-critical applications and data".  The site also has links to lots of useful documents, white papers, etc.

Printing Over the Internet
A new protocol will allow printing of documents from desktop workstations to a printer that's anywhere on the Internet (so long as the user has the appropriate permissions).  Windows Magazine has a good article on the subject, available on its Web site.

Using FrontPage '98
For a tutorial on creating Web sites with FrontPage 98, see PC World's Web site.  Also on the same site, 60 word processing tips for your users, and how to use the built-in NT tools to recover a crashed system.

Dow Jones Internet Index
Next week the Dow Jones will launch a specialist index for Internet stocks, so you'll be able to see at a glance how well the sector is performing.  And curse the day that you decided it wasn't worth investing in that startup called Yahoo or Amazon.

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