PC Alert
Pointing you to the information
you need to know
Issue 10  :  8th to 21st March 1999

Essential Internet

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

BackOffice Server Vulnerability
When you install Microsoft BackOffice, it creates a temporary file containing various IDs and passwords.  This file doesn't get deleted afterwards.  A major security problem, to say the least.  Microsoft has a patch available.

Fortify Netscape
Unless you're in the US, you have to use a version of Netscape in which the powerful encryption facility has been disabled.  But a program called Fortify will re-enable it, and it's free.

QuickView Plus
An incredibly useful Windows-based tool for the support person, QuickView Plus lets you view data files produced by over 200 Windows, Unix, Mac and DOS applications.  Version 5 has just been launched.

CD Labels
So, you've burned your latest set of corporate manuals onto CD-R and now you need to print some decent labels for the discs and the cases.  MediaFace will do what you want, and it's free.

Online Trading
You may not wish to buy trendy clothes from this UK outfit, and we have no intention of suggesting that you do.  But if you want to see one of the first sites created using HP's new e-commerce suite, take a browse.

Windows 2000 Site
No, not a Microsoft site, but one run by Windows International Magazine that contains a wealth of W2k-related information.  Well worth a look.

Pentium III Serial Numbers
The unique serial number built into each Pentium III chip is proving a controversial feature.  This site has an interesting discussion of the subject.

New from Adobe
Adobe has launched InDesign, a new DTP/page layout package.

Mind Manager
You've got a random set of ideas that need jotting down in no particular order, and from which you then want to produce something a little more coherent.  Mind Manager, a new software product for Windows, is what you need.  No really, it is. Trust us.

Free Y2K Diagnostics
Ontrack has updated its free Year 2000 diagnostic software which checks the dates in PC BIOSes to ensure that they roll over correctly.

Novell Upgrade Wizard
Novell has a new version of the Upgrade Wizard, which helps you migrate across the wire from NetWare 3 to either 4 or 5.  It's a useful tool, albeit a 17 MB download.

Norton Mobile Essentials
Symantec has a 30-day trial copy of Norton Mobile Essentials on its Web site.  This is a useful suite of products for the laptop-based user that's well worth issuing to your users before they hit the road.  It'll help them connect back to the office more easily, and assist you in sorting out connectivity problems.

A World of Connectors
If you've a user who's travelling from country a to country b and needs a telephone adaptor for the laptop or modem, not only can Teleadapt tell you what you'll need but they'll also sell it to you as well.  A superbly useful site.

Cybercafé Directory
So, you have users who are on business trips but don't have laptops.  They'll need to pop into the local Internet café to use one of the public access machines.  This site has details of 2000 such places in over 100 countries.  Remember to check before you leave.

Intel Power Monitor
Intel has a free Power Monitor utility, which will tell you how much power a laptop PC is using at any time.  If you've a user who's complaining that their machine's battery no longer lasts as long as it did before you upgraded it, here's how to tell where the problem lies.

Tapes Despooled?
Got an Iomega tape drive that has despooled a tape? Here's how to put it back.

PowerPoint Update
Microsoft has released some free PowerPoint updates, including new animation effects and some VBA code samples.

Word File-Sharing
Microsoft has published some tips on sharing document files between Word 97 and earlier versions.

Microsoft has released version 2 of Systems Management Server.

NT and SQL Server RAM Config Data
Also new from Microsoft, details on the recommended memory configurations for NT and SQL Server.

KB via Email
Microsoft KnowledgeBase articles, such as the one listed above, can be retrieved via email.  Send a message to mshelp@microsoft.com and put the KB article number, including the leading Q, in the subject.  Be prepared to wait up to 48 hours for a reply.

FP PWS Security Patch
A security patch for the FrontPage Personal Web Server, which prevents a possible attack allowing a hacker to gain access to any file on a machine, has been issued by Microsoft.

NT Security Exploits
A new set of potential NT security problems, complete with details of how to do them (thanks guys) is now available at l0pht's site.

I can Sing a Rainbow
The Rainbow Books, so-called because each has a different coloured cover, contain the full specs for various official security levels.  If you ever wondered precisely what C2-compliant means, now you can find out.

IIS Installation Guide
Looking for a good step-by-step guide to installing Microsoft IIS?  We've found one.

Definitive Guides
The official documents containing all the technical information about the Internet that you ever wanted can be found here..

Network Toolkit
Here's a collection of links to some great tools for network support people.

CPU News
The Register is an excellent newsletter about processor-related issues.

Search Web Site Names
Search over 4 million domain names, for a particular string.  Great if you're looking for information on a particular subject.

Essential Reading

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

Head-to-head comparative reviews
4 Top-of-the-range digital cameras What Digital Camera (UK), March mailto:wdc@i.am
5 Fault Tolerant Servers PC World, March http://www.pcworld.com
20 17" and 19" monitors and TFTs Personal Computer World (UK), April http://www.pcw.co.uk
6 Web database development tools Personal Computer World (UK), April http://www.pcw.co.uk
5 Pentium III machines Personal Computer World (UK), April http://www.pcw.co.uk
Windows 2000-capable hardware PC Computing, March http://www.pccomputing.com
2 Year 2000 Solutions Software Development, February http://www.sdmagazine.com
2 Project Estimation Tools Software Development, February http://www.sdmagazine.com
20 Power Desktops PC World, March http://www.pcworld.com
4 Browser Accelerators PC World, March http://www.pcworld.com
5 Modem Bonders PC World, March http://www.pcworld.com
High end graphics peripherals PC Computing, March http://www.pccomputing.com
6 flat panel displays Computer Shopper, February http://computershopper.com
17 Business PCs and notebooks Windows International, March http://www.winmag.com
9 shareware PIMs/Organisers PC Computing, March http://www.pccomputing.com
6 V.90 Modems Internet Business (UK), March http://www.ibmag.co.uk
Web-enabled devices Web Techniques, March http://www.webtechniques.com

Digital Photography
The use of digital cameras is growing rapidly, not just in the home but also in corporate environments for everything from Web site design to brochure production.  They're also ideal for creating staff ID cards and personnel records.  What Digital Camera? is a UK-based magazine specialising in digital photography products, techniques, related software reviews and news.  Recommended reading.

Web Access to Database
The March issue of Web Techniques includes a revealing case study of how a company made a large-scale database available over the Web to suitably-authenticated users.  Recommended reading if you're considering doing such a thing yourself.

The March issue of Web Techniques also includes a highly readable tutorial on CSS, the Cascading Style Sheets which promise to breathe new life into HTML files and thus Web sites.

The March issue of Internet Business Magazine (UK), includes a good article on defamation, ie what you can and can't say on your Web site if you wish to stay on the right side of the libel and slander legislation.  The article is specific to UK law but still provides a good backgrounder to show to your marketing people if you're concerned that they're creating Web pages which overtly criticise competing people, products or companies.

5000 Animated Gifs.  Free.
So, you've been asked to find some animated GIFs for use on the corporate Web site?  April's issue of Personal Computer World (UK) includes 5000 of them, free, on its cover CD.

Pentium III
Articles on the Pentium III aren't exactly scarce at the moment, but one of the best we've seen this month is in April's Personal Computer World.  Essential reading if you're considering buying PIII machines or upgrading existing workstations.  Our opinion at PC Alert is that the PIII is great for games  (because that's what the new instructions are optimized for) but as yet there's no real reason why a PIII is necessary for business computing.

The Web's 10 Biggest Security Risks
March's issue of PC Computing has a useful feature covering the 10 most serious security risks when using the Web, and how to protect your workstations and servers from them.

Keeping PCs Snoop-Proof
March's issue of PC Computing also discusses ways to protect data on a PC, so that colleagues in the same office can't discover the information held on it.

Inside IE5
Windows International, in its March issue, delves into IE5 and explains how to use the new features that are in this about-to-be-launched browser.  Incidentally, the latest rumours from Microsoft are that IE5 will be launched on March 18th and not, as previously thought, at the same time as Office 2000 (which is delayed until June).

Windows Tips and Tricks
Also in Windows International, March, a good collection of tips and tricks for those who use and support machines running Windows 95, 98 and NT.  Plus a feature on how to speed up Windows 98.

1000 Tools
With the February issue of the Windows Developer Journal, you'll also find a supplement listing over 1000 software development tools for the Windows environment.  Whatever you're looking for, whether it's a language, a library, a debugger, profiler, a setup kit, a graphics routine, or anything else, you'll find it here.

Change NT Thread Priority
Microsoft says you can't change the priority at which a program runs.  But Microsoft is, er, mistaken, and WDJ's February issue shows you how to use undocumented calls to do it.

Back Inside the NT Registry
In March's issue of Windows NT Systems, the second half of an excellent article on the internals of NT's registry.

SQL , Routers and Macs
Also in March's issue of Windows NT Systems, a very thorough look at Microsoft SQL Server 7.0.  Plus, a look at managing and configuring routers for NT, and how to add a Mac to an NT domain.

Server Tuning
In March's issue of Performance Computing, there's a useful look at tuning Unix and NT servers.

Faster Web Access
March's issue of PC World looks at speeding up Web access, both on users' workstations and from servers.  Plus, a look at bandwidth on demand.

PC Card Combos
The 9th March issue of PC Magazine looks at combo PC Cards, ie cards with both network interfaces and modems.

Windows CE 2.11
The March issue of Computer Shopper includes a review of version 2.11 of Windows CE, which is about to grace a new generation of portable PCs.

About PC Alert

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