PC Alert
Pointing you to the information
you need to know
Issue 14 - June 1999

 
 
Essential Internet

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

Microsoft Internet Developer
Microsoft publishes a magazine called Internet Developer, containing technical articles on how to develop Internet connectivity apps with Microsoft products.  Whether or not you read the magazine, you'll probably still find the example code listings of interest if you're involved in development projects.
http://www.microsoft.com/mind

WinBoost 98
WinBoost 98 is a much-respected utility for tweaking Windows 95 and 98, from both an aesthetic and functionality point of view.  It starts where Microsoft's TweakUI leaves off.  Well worth the US$15 shareware registration fee, which is what you're asked to pay if you like it.  Very useful for support staff, though resist the temptation to roll it out to users unless, for example, you don't mind them renaming their Start menus.
http://www.magellass.com

Post-It Notes
3M invented the sticky yellow notes that adorn every office.  Now, put them on your Windows desktop too.
http://www.mmm.com/psnotes

Look Up That Term
Come across an IT term that you don't recognise?  These sites will tell you want it means.
http://www.techweb.com/encyclopedia/defineterm.cgi
http://pcwebopedia.com
http://www.whatis.com

Is Your Site being copied?
Has someone grabbed a copy of your Web site and started passing it off as their own?  It's easy to do, and many companies have suffered.   Include some unique metatags in your site, then search for them with the major engines and see if they pop up anywhere unexpected.

Adaptec Easy CD Creator upgraded
Adaptec has a patch to upgrade Easy CD Create Deluxe version 3.x to 3.5c.  It adds various new facilities, and support for some new drives.
ftp://ftp.adaptec.com/pub/BBS/easycd/cdc-35c.exe

New Netscape
Netscape has launched a new version of its Web browser and Communicator suite for Windows, which is now on version 4.6.  Still no sign of version 5, though, which is the major rewrite to compete more squarely with IE5.
http://www.netscape.com

NT4 SP5
Service Pack 5 for Windows NT 4 is now available, and it's only a 34 MB download.  Among the new facilities is the ability to disable source routing.
http://www.microsoft.com/ntworkstation
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q217/3/36.asp

NetWare 5 SP2
And Support Pack 2 for NetWare 5 is also out.  Coincidentally, it's precisely twice the size of the NT 4 pack.  Could this mean something?
http://support.novell.com

Build a Windows NT Bastion Host
Want to know how to convert an NT machine into a bastion host?  This document will tell you how.
http://people.hp.se/stnor

Viruscan for NT Problem
Network Associates Viruscan for NT, v4.0.2, has a report problem with its auto-update facility.   On occasion, the program will report that it has correctly updated its virus signature database from the Internet despite the fact that the update never took place.  The recommended workaround is to upgrade to 4.0.3 or later.
http://www.nai.com

IIS and Site Server
Microsoft has admitted there's a security problem in Internet Information Server and Site Server which can allow a hacker to access any file on the server.  There's a patch now available.
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q231/3/68.asp

Network Address Translation
Want to know about routers, firewalls and NAT?
http://www.uq.net.au/~zzdmacka/the-nat-page/natinformation.html

Altavista Without the Ads
Here's a neat backdoor entry into the AltaVista search engine but without the banner adverts.
http://altavista.digital.com/cgi-bin/query?pg=aq&text=yes

Tech Info
You'll find some great techie information about all aspects of computing here.
http://www.pctechguide.com

Home of the Hacks
Trying to keep track of the security problems with various software products?  This page will help you.
http://www.insecure.org

Free Firewall
Got an old PC?  Even a 486 will do.  Got 2 network cards?  Want to turn it into a Linux-based router and firewall?
http://www.linuxrouter.org

Free Intrusion Management Newsletter
Sign up here for a free newsletter on intrusion management.
http://www.imfgroup.com

Stop the Ads
A useful site which filters out the banner ads that seem to be present on most Web sites nowadays.
http://www.junkbusters.com

Email Virus Stats
Star is a UK-based company that will scan your incoming email for viruses.  It scans about 400,000 messages a week.  Most interestingly, it releases the statistics on the top 10 viruses it discovers.  Well worth a look if you fancy some trend-spotting.
http://www.star.co.uk

OnTrack Tape Recovery
OnTrack, a specialist data recovery company, doesn't just get data back from broken disks. The company can also handle tapes, which is useful to know if your DLT or DAT drive eats your backup.
http://www.ontrack.com/info.asp?id=9

Check for Mail
Here's a dead simple utility which sits in your Windows system tray and, on a regular basis, checks to see if you have any new email.  If you do, it pops up a message.  And that's it.  Neat, useful, and small.
http://www.geocities.com/siliconvalley/lab/7468/download_simplecheck.html

When Did Microsoft Ship...?
Microsoft's museum Web site is very interesting.  One useful resource is the timeline, which is great if you want to know just how old the software you're using really is.
http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/museum/timelines/microsoft/timeline.asp

NikNak
NikNak is an Adobe Acrobat Distiller clone, which converts PostScript files into PDF format but is cheaper than Adobe's offering.
http://www.five-d.com/niknak.htm

And finally...
Sick of those motivational posters that seem to be in every senior manager's office?  Try these instead.
http://www.despair.com
 
 

Essential Reading

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

Head-to-head comparative reviews
7 366 MHz PIII Laptops Computer Shopper, May   http://www.computershopper.com.
4 Megapixel digital cameras Computer Shopper, May http://www.computershopper.com
5 500 MHz PIII machines PC World, May http://www.pcworld.com
10 Notebooks PC World, May http://www.pcworld.com
10 Mono printers PC World, May http://www.pcworld.com
10 Graphics cards PC World, May http://www.pcworld.com
10 Modems PC World, May http://www.pcworld.com
2 new digital cameras PC Computing, June http://www.pccomputing.com
2 business card scanners PC Computing, June http://www.pccomputing.com
14 LCD panels Windows International, May http://www.winmag.com

Measuring Intranet ROI
Internet Business Magazine (June 1999) includes a review of a recently-published report on Intranet ROI (return on investment).  If you're looking for solid financial arguments for setting up an intranet, this article (and ultimately the full report, which costs $1000) is a good place to start.
http://www.ibmag.co.uk

Internet Development for WinCE
In the May issue of Microsoft Internet Developer (which used to be known as Microsoft Interactive Developer), the cover story looks at Internet programming with Windows CE.  If you need to add Internet connectivity to your CE app, regardless of which of the 3 Internet access methods your CE users employ, this article is definitely worth reading.
http://www.microsoft.com/mind

Web Development with Exchange
Also in the May issue of Microsoft Internet Developer, how to build a Web site with Microsoft Exchange Server.
http://www.microsoft.com/mind

Creating a Newsletter
A new UK-based magazine called Computer Publishing launches this month with a May/June issue.  Issue 1 looks at traditional DTP and HTML-based publishing and includes articles on how to create a corporate newsletter.  Worth a look, if only so you can tell Marketing that they're doing it wrong.  The magazine covers both the Mac and Windows markets.
http://www.computerpublishing.co.uk

Voice over IP
The May issue of Computer Shopper includes a look at voice over IP, ie making telephone calls over TCP/IP networks such as the Internet.
http://www.computershopper.com

Lotus Organiser 5
July's issue of PC Advisor (no relation to PC Support Advisor) has a review of Lotus Organiser 5, the Windows PIM that led the market before Microsoft Outlook.
http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk

Plug and Play Servers
In the May issue of PC World, the magazine looks at Plug and Play Servers, ie machines designed and pre-configured to work as network file and print servers without the need for any additional effort.
http://www.pcworld.com

PIII Software
Also in PC World, a look at some of the newly-launched software which is optimised to take full advantage of the new instructions of the Pentium III.
http://www.pcworld.com

Tuning Windows 95, 98 and IE
Still with PC World, a major article on how to tune Windows 9x and Internet Explorer to the peak of performance power.  Well worth reading if your users are starting to complain that their machines are getting rather slow and/or full.
http://www.pcworld.com

Undocumented Office 2000
The June issue of PC Computing has a major exposť on the hidden features of Microsoft Office 2000. Lots of neat tips for users of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and so on.   If you're considering moving to Office 2000, the magazine also reviews the product and offers advice on which of the 5 versions you should go for.  Ideally, you'd go for the full-featured Developer edition for all users, but each copy costs around the same as a PC so this is inadvisable.
http://www.pccomputing.com

Deployment Tactics
If you can still find a copy of April's Windows NT Magazine, the issue has a major set of features on operating system rollout and deployment, ie how to install a standard corporate setup of NT on a batch of new machines with the least fuss.  The magazines looks at the IE administration kit, system cloning, Microsoft's licence manager, the Outlook 98 deployment kit, the SMS installer and more.  The magazine also looks at the user profile quote manager introduced with Service Pack 4.
http://www.winntmag.com

Email Dangers
In May's issue of Windows International, an excellent article for security staff on the dangers of email.  Includes a list of 15 considerations that you should include in your employee security policy.
http://www.winmag.com

Optimising Windows 98
Also in May's issue of Windows International, how to optimise Windows 98.
http://www.winmag.com

Tweaking NT
In May's issue of Windows NT Systems, an excellent article on fine-tuning NT for performance and speed. It definitely seems to be the month for articles on tweaking.
http://www.ntsystems.com

Dynamic TCP/IP and Remote Access
Also in May's issue of Windows NT Systems, information on how to allocate and manage TCP/IP addresses with DHCP.  Plus, a good look at remote access tools for NT.
http://www.ntsystems.com
 
 

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