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                         Issue 28 -  15th May 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.

Find out how much easier your tech support job can be - get free copies
of PC Support Advisor and Network Advisor now at

Robert Schifreen, Editor

PS:  Do you have a favourite site that you'd like to see featured
in PC Alert?  If so, send details to me at editor@itp-journals.com.



1.  AutoCAD (and others) to MS Office Conversions
2.  Office 2000 security patch
3.  PC Support Portal
4.  Online IT dictionary
5.  Give and Take
6.  How Others Do It
7.  PC Support Dot Com
8.  Traceroute
9.  Script Archive
10. WAP
11. DriveCopy 3.0
12. BOWall
13. NT/2000 Disaster Recovery
15. Business Continuity Planning
16. Supporting Outlook Express


1.  AutoCAD (and others) to MS Office Conversions

Microsoft has issued a converter pack for Office 2000, which includes
new file conversion utilities for Word, PowerPoint and Excel.  New
graphics filters include AutoCAD and Targa, and new text converters
include dBASE, AmiPro, Windows Write, RTF-DCA, WordPerfect 4 for DOS
and WordStar for Windows.



2.  Office 2000 security patch

Microsoft has released a security patch for Office 2000.  The UA control,
used by the Show Me function in Office Help, is incorrectly flagged as
being safe for scripting.  It's not safe for scripting, because it could
allow hackers to gain access to files on the PC of a user who visits
a Web site.

Interestingly, this is the 34th Windows security patch issued by
Microsoft this year.  That's 1 every 4.5 days, or so.



3.  PC Support Portal

This excellent site has a large amount of PC support information,
which will be of use to IT support staff.



4.  Online IT dictionary

Need to know the definition of a technical term?  Want to provide
your users with a way of looking up information on technical issues?



5.  Give and Take

AskMe is a Web site that pairs experts and novices to answer and ask
questions. There are hundreds of topics, including many computer-related
ones.  Take the strain off your help desk and get your users to check
out this excellent free resource.



6.  How Others Do It

Does your support department have a Web or intranet site to sell your
services to your users?  Ever wondered how it compares to the sites
set up by similar departments elsewhere?

Take a peek at the support department Web site for the California
Polytechnic State University.



7.  PC Support Dot Com

Here's another excellent resource site for IT support staff.  A great
way to find the answers to users' questions.



8.  Traceroute

Trying to connect to a Web site but having trouble getting through?
Are your customers reporting problems getting to your own site, and
you'd like to find out where the delays are ocurring?  This site
will trace the connection and provide a useful report.



9.  Script Archive

Another useful archive of scripts for use on Web sites.  If you want
to add feedback forms, quizzes etc to your Web site or intranet, you'll
find ready-made code here to save you many hours of programming effort.



10.  WAP

WAP (wireless application protocol) phones are going to be the next
big thing on the Internet, apparently.  Everyone's currently frantically
converting their Web sites to be WAP-compatible.  If your company
wants to do the same, and you're not impressed with the handful of
books on the subject, check out the official Web site for the full
info and specs.



11.  DriveCopy 3.0

PowerQuest, the nice people behind Partition Magic, are now shipping
version 3 of DriveCopy.  This essential tool for IT support personnel
makes it quick and easy to copy hard drives in one step - useful if
you're upgrading a user's PC.

The new version adds support for Windows 2000 and for drives larger
than 8.4 GB.



12.  BOWall

BOWall is a firewall-like filter than monitors not for hackers but
for buffer overflows.  If you need to ensure that your NT servers are
as secure as possible, this may be for you.



13.  NT/2000 Disaster Recovery

Sunbelt Software has a new release of Double-Take, its mirroring
tool for NT and Win2k servers.  A new feature of the latest release means
that the 2 servers no longer have to be identical.  Prices start
at around US$2,000 per server.




Although the publicity of the "love bug" virus has died down, it will
be many months (if ever) before all copies of the virus are destroyed.
If you haven't updated your scanners to ensure they can identify it,
your users' PCs are still at risk.  So ensure that your virus scanners
are up to date.  And now might be a good time, also, to issue a memo
reminding staff never to click on attachments.

You should also configure your firewall to reject VBS script files.



15.  Business Continuity Planning

Are you prepared for disaster?  Could your essential IT systems
be up and running quickly after a flood, fire or other serious
problem?  Would your data be accessible?  If you're not 100% sure,
check out the article in PC Network Advisor issue 118.  You can read
the full article online.



16.  Supporting Outlook Express

Do you support users of Outlook Express?  An article in the current
issue of PC Support Advisor has the answers to the most common questions
that OE users ask.  Plus there's advice on how to best configure
the program.



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