Star becomes Sun
Sun Microsystems has bought Star Office, the rather excellent MS Office
clone which is free for private use and much cheaper than Microsoft's version
if you want to use it in a commercial environment. Watch as Sun starts
selling its new product to PC vendors, who can then bundle it instead of
the Microsoft product. First Linux hits the big time, now Star Office.
Those Microsoft-haters must be loving every minute of it.
That Secret NSA Key
If you missed all the furore about the NSA key buried in Windows, here's
a copy of the original document. It alleges that there's a back-door
decryption password called NSAKEY built into the crypto components of Windows,
and that it must have been planted there by Microsoft at the request of
America's National Security Agency. General opinion is that this
is nonsense, if only because no one would be silly enough to call the key
Web Techniques magazine has a web site from where you can download
all sorts of useful source code. This will be of interest to anyone
maintaining or building a corporate Web site.
WinAmp Now a Freebie
WinAmp, the best Windows player for MP3 files, is now freeware.
But that's no excuse to allow it on your company's PCs unless you really
don't mind staff playing pirated CDs through headphones when they're supposed
to be working.
End those FTP Failures
You know how it is. You're 99% of the way through downloading
the latest 95 MB service pack for NT or NetWare and the remote server drops
the connection. Your ftp client doesn't support resumes of aborted
downloads, so it's back to the start. Unless you're using an ftp
client such as Leech.
Fluke Demos Online
Fluke, the market leader for hardware gadgets that test all sorts of
things to do with networks, has some software products too. They
monitor all sorts of network connections, and are available in 15-day demo
versions for free.
to write it yourself? You might find it here.
NTFS Corruption Fix
Microsoft has a new patch for NT4. It fixes a problem which will
corrupt NTFS drives which contain more than 4 million files. If that's
your server, then you need the patch. Now.
New Service Packs for NetWare
Novell has released support pack 3 for NetWare 5 (92 MB) and support
pack 7 for NetWare 4 (47 MB). You can download them from the Web.
If you subscribe to PC Network Advisor, you'll find them on the PCNA 112
Adobe is now shipping InDesign, its brand new DTP package.
LearnItOnline is a new training organisation, with tutorials that you
access online over the Internet. Each course comprises around 30
tutorials, and there are currently courses on 60 different topics such
as MS Exchange, MS Office, Lotus Notes and more. A year's access
to all the courses costs just $100.
Office 2000 Special Report
PC World magazine has a special report on Office 2000, that's well
worth reading if you're considering an upgrade.
Y2K Helpdesk Strategy
Got your Y2K strategy for the help desk sorted? Do you know who's
on call? Will you be able to handle external calls and internal ones
too? Do you know about the "Y2K Expected Calls Formula"? If
you're worried that your support desk won't be able to cope, Pink Elephant
will tell you what you need to do. They'll even give you a free assessment
of your current situation, and they swear it's not too late.
The Encyclopedia of Computer Security now has a Links Library containing
links to lots of security-related Web sites.
Asset and Inventory Management
Computer Associates has a new asset and inventory management product
Taiwan quake could raise prices
Analysts have warned that the recent earthquake in Taiwan could affect
availability and prices of PC hardware. You may find that you need
to adjust your purchasing plans.
DirectX 7 Ships
Microsoft has released version 7 of DirectX, the libraries that allow
Windows to handle fast graphics and various sound effects. Many multimedia
products such as conferencing systems need these libraries - they're not
solely for the games market.
DataJunction is a program which claims to be able to convert between
80 data file types. Why not download your free trial version?
The full text (but not the pictures) of the Concise Columbia Electronic
Encyclopedia is available online, free of charge. Now you've no excuse
not to look up something which you think you ought to know.
NT Installation Files Not Deleted
So, we're 39 weeks into 1999 and Microsoft has released its 39th security
patch of the year. OK, so it shows they care. But it also shows
what poor programmers they must be. Doesn't it? Anyway, going
back to patch 36, this fixes a problem with NT4 whereby an unattended installation
of the OS doesn't delete a temporary file that contains various sensitive
information including passwords.
Another Microsoft patch, this time for IE5. If you don't install
the patch, a "malicious Web site operator" could "take inappropriate action"
on a visitor's computer.
ISS Database Scanner 3.0
ISS is now shipping Database Scanner 3.0, its product for ensuring
that database such as Oracle, accessible online, are correctly configured
to avoid unauthorised access by hackers.
Coffeecup Software is shipping version 7 of its CoffeeCup HTML editor.
It Lasted Just A Day
Microsoft doesn't like MP3, because it's not a Microsoft proprietary
format. So Microsoft released something that does what MP3 does,
only with new features. Including the ability for the publisher of
the file to prohibit copying - something that is sadly lacking in the MP3
format. So, how long did it take for the hackers to crack the protection?
Just a day.