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                         Issue 22 -  February 2000

Welcome to PC Alert, the email newsletter that keeps you informed
of the best new tech support resources on the Internet.

PC Alert is free. If you like it, why not share the good news and
email a copy to a friend or colleague.

PC Alert is sponsored by PC Support Advisor and PC Network
Advisor, the standard reference sources for support professionals.

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1.  NetWare Service Packs
2.  NT Terminal Server Patch
3.  Free Online Electronics Course
4.  And Computing Too
5.  RTF Malformed Control Word Patch
6.  Diskeeper Cost Justification Analysis
7.  WinZip 8.0 Beta
8.  SecondCopy 2000
9.  Web Server Log Analysis
10. Intel CPU Identifications
11. MCIS Buffer Overflow
12. Free CorelDRAW for Mac
13. CoffeeCup 8
14. Internet Encyclopedia
15. Free route planning
16. Another Date Problem Looms
17. Distributed DoS Tools
18. Free Lectures
19. Upgrades Thwarted


1.  NetWare Service Packs

Novell has released 2 major NetWare support packs.  SP4 for NetWare 5
weighs in at 102 MB, with SP8 for NetWare 4 at 70 MB.  You'll find them
both on the CD-ROM accompanying PCNA issue 116.



2.  NT Terminal Server Patch

Microsoft has issued a patch for NT4 Terminal Server Edition.  The RDISK
utility, used for creating an emergency recovery disk, creates a temporary
file which contains a copy of the registry and which is not protected. It
could thus be accessed by anyone, who would then have access to
confidential data that may be stored in the registry.



3.  Free Online Electronics Course

If you've always wanted to understand basic eletronics, now's your
chance.  Here's a free online course that teaches the basic principles.



4.  And Computing Too

And from the same site, a course on the basics of computing.  Even
if it's too simple for you, your users may appreciate it.



5.  RTF Malformed Control Word Patch

Microsoft has issued a revised version of the RTF file reader that
is included in Windows 95, 98 and NT4.  The program has what Microsoft
calls an unchecked buffer, which could allow someone to write a
simple program or script to gain control of a PC without the user's

Buffer overflow problems have been known about for the past 25 years, and
it's astonishing that Microsoft and many others are still making
these mistakes.

All versions of Windows 95, 98 and NT4 (including Terminal Server)
are affected, but not Windows 2000.



6.  Diskeeper Cost Justification Analysis

Executive Software, the people behind the Diskeeper defrag tool
for Windows, are offering a free cost justification analysis.  Email
their sales people with details of how many workstations and servers
you have, and they'll tell you why you can't afford not to use their
products.  Email your details to sales@execsoft.co.uk or check out the
company's Web site.



7.   WinZip 8.0 Beta

If you're a user of WinZip, the best file compression program around for
Windows, you may wish to try the beta of version 8 which is now available
for download.  If you don't yet use WinZip, and still rely on that
ancient copy of PKZIP 2.04g for DOS, now might be a good time to consider
upgrading.  PKZIP 2.04g doesn't support long filenames, which means
you'll often have problems unzipping files that people have sent you.



8.  SecondCopy 2000

A lot of people swear by SecondCopy.  It's a backup utility that
automatically copies a file or directory onto another PC across the
network on a regular basis.  Ideal for use on the workstations of users
who insist on storing files locally rather than on the server.

The latest release, SecondCopy 2000, is now out.



9.  Web Server Log Analysis

Got Apache?  Need to analyse the logs and produce comprehensive
usage reports?  Analog will do the job admirably, and it's free.



10.  Intel CPU Identifications

You've pulled an old motherboard from the spares cupboard and it
has a Pentium II installed.  But what speed?  What stepping level?

Do you have to install the motherboard and run a sysinfo tool on it?
No, just read off the details printed on the chip package and this
Web site will tell you what you need to know.



11.  MCIS Buffer Overflow

Microsoft has found yet another buffer overflow, this time in its
MCIS mail server.  You know the drill by now - check the Web site
and download the patch.



12.  Free CorelDRAW for Mac

Corel is offering CorelDRAW 8 LE for the Mac as a free download from
its Web site until March 10th.  This version (LE stands for Limited
Edition) does not time out, so once you have it you can continue to
use it as long as you like and without payment.



13.  CoffeeCup 8

Version 8 of the CoffeeCup HTML editor is now available.  This is
a highly-regarded editor and is available as shareware.  The registration
fee is US$49.



14.  Internet Encyclopedia

We've mentioned online encyclopedias before, so here's another one that's
well worth adding to your bookmark collection.



15.  Free route planning

You're currently in one city and you need to get to another.  You know
the zip/postal codes but you don't know the way.  Now what?  Call
up mapblast.com and it'll tell you, and it knows about lots of
different countries.



16.  Another Date Problem Looms

So you survived Y2K problems and your systems emerged unscathed.  Does
that mean the problem's over?  Not quite.  Lots of people think that
2000 isn't a leap year, but it is.  So despite what some software may
try to tell you, the 29th of February definitely does exist.

Once you're past that one, the next major date bug isn't until 2038 so
you have plenty of time to prepare.   That, by the way, is when the
15 bits which hold Unix dates wrap around to zero.



17.  Distributed DoS Tools

Hackers running Denial of Service tools are getting more sophisticated.
They now break into dozens of machines over a period of time and program
them to fire off a simultaneous attack against a specific target.

For this, and more details on what hackers are up to right now,
the Computer Emergency Response Team in the US has a dedicated Web page.



18.  Free Lectures

Here's a use for MP3 that doesn't involve ripping off music from CDs.
Recordings of interesting computer-related lectures, ready to play
or download.



19.  Upgrades Thwarted

Microsoft has released a patch to a security problem (now where have
we heard that before?) that could allow someone with physical access to
an NT4 system to upgrade their account to administrator status.

Affects NT4 Workstation, Server, Enterprise and Terminal Server editions.




PC Alert is produced by International Technology Publishing, the
publishers of PC Support Advisor and PC Network Advisor, the standard
resource publications for tech support professionals.

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Discover how much easier tech support can be!  Order your free trial
of PC Support Advisor and PC Network Advisor at www.itp-journals.com.

In the current issue of PC Network Advisor (issue 114), featured
articles include:

<> Understanding Mailing List Servers
<> NT4 Service Pack 4 Explained
<> Choosing a PGP release
<> Case study:  How others manage network support
<> Securing NetWare 5

You can read the full article on mailing list servers online at:

In this month's issue of PC Support Advisor (issue 134), we
have articles on:

<> How to brand Windows and IE
<> Data loss:  Prevention and recovery
<> Understanding DECT
<> How to write Excel macros
<> Office 2000 End-User Features

You can read the full article on branding Windows and IE at:

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Advisor and PC Network Advisor now.

Copyright International Technology Publishing 2000