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            Issue 38 - 15th October 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.
Just point your browser at http://www.itp-journals.com.

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FROM THE EDITOR

The great thing about doing business on the Internet is
the speed at which you can react to events, and improve
the service you offer to customers.

With a Web-based business a minor change to a price list
or a new addition to the product catalogue is simply a
matter of changing a couple of data files, rather than
having to re-print thousands of pieces of paper.

Business on the Internet means that you can keep adapting
to ensure that you're providing what your customers need.
And if you've been with this publication from the start,
you'll know that we've not been slow to amend PC Alert
in the past.

It's exactly 2 years since we started, and it's time to
change again.  No, we're not reverting to HTML format.
Our research shows that the majority of you prefer
plain text format, as it consumes less bandwidth and is
also virus-proof.  In fact, you may hardly notice the
change at all, unless you examine the header of the message.

As of our 1st November issue, the name of this e-newsletter
will change to Support Alert.  The reason should be
obvious.  The information is designed primarily for tech
support professionals, so it makes sense to reflect this in
the title.  Nothing else will change, at least not yet.
We'll still bring you the best Web sites for service packs,
security fixes, interesting software, and useful links for
support people.  And in the coming months you'll see even
more improvements.

So look out for Support Alert in your mailbox
on November 1st.  And check us out on our brand new Web
site too, at http://www.techsupportalert.com, where you
can access our archives and find out about dozens more
superb Web sites featuring shareware, freeware, and
top information for support professionals.
 

Robert Schifreen

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.

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IN THIS ISSUE
 

1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
    - It couldn't happen here.  Or could it?
    - Getting to know Me
    - Shell Extension City

2. SUPPORT UTILITIES
    - Symantec Mobile Essentials 2.5
    - 98Lite for Me
    - Pornsweeper

3. SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
    - Share Level Password patch for Windows
    - Network Denial of Service Patch
    - Word Mailmerge Fix

4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
    - Inside a security command centre
    - Exchange 2000
    - Security Information Online

5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
    - The Big Outlook Security Patch
    - Trimming a Windows installation

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1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
====================

It couldn't happen here.  Or could it?
We've all heard those tales of silly things that happen
to support staff, such as users sending photocopies of
floppy disks or using the CD tray as a coffee cup holder.
If you want to brighten up your day, you can read a
large collection of such gems via the excellent site at
http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/.

Getting to know Me
Everything you need to know about Windows Me, the
final member of the Win9x family, is now online at
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsme.

Shell Extension City
Peter Holm, a subscriber to PC Alert, recommends this
excellent support site.  It's home to loads of Windows
shell extensions and lots more useful stuff too.  Well
worth a look, at http://www.shellcity.net.

2. SUPPORT UTILITIES
====================

Symantec Mobile Essentials 2.5
Symantec has updated its Mobile Essentials package.  This
product is a suite of utilities aimed at users of laptops,
and those that support such people.  Read all about
version 2.5, and download a 30-day trial version, at
http://www.symantecstore.com/Pages/TBYB/index.html.

98Lite for Me
Microsoft insists that Internet Explorer is crucial to
Windows and that the OS won't work without out.  A program
called 98Lite disproves this, by enabling you to completely
remove IE from a Windows installation if you want to deny
a user access to the Web.   And now, 98Lite is available
for Windows Me too.  You can get it from the Web at
http://www.98lite.net

Pornsweeper
Do you suspect that your users are sending or receiving
pornographic images via email?  Want an automated way of
detecting them?  If so, take a look at PornSweeper, a
new program which claims to be able to do this.  So
you won't have to spend all day looking at the filthy
material yourself.  The Web site address for information is
http://www.mimesweeper.com/products/psw/default_html.asp.

3. SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
===============================

Share Level Password patch for Windows
Microsoft has issued a patch for Windows 9x and Me
which fixes a security hole in the way that passwords
are used to protect information on shared network
drives.  Without the patch, it would be possible
for hackers to access files on shares without knowing
the full password.  The bug does not affect machines on
NT domains.  You can download the patch from the Web at
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-072.asp.

Network Denial of Service Patch
Another patch from Microsoft.   This time, a fix for a DoS
problem which could occur if specially-constructed IPX packets
are broadcast on a network.  Get the patch online from
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-073.asp.

Word Mailmerge Fix
There's a bug in Word 2000 and 97 which could allow an
AutoOpen macro to run even if the user has disabled them.
It happens if an Access database is specified as the data
source for a mailmerge via DDE.  The patch is online at
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-071.asp.

4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
=====================

Inside a security command centre
So just how big is the problem of computer hacks against
corporate systems?  Read an account of 24 hours spent at
a centre which monitors such attacks.
http://www.idg.net/go.cgi?id=340129

Exchange 2000
Microsoft has officially released Exchange 2000, which
is claimed to be much more stable than previous versions.
Read all about it at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange

Security Information Online
If you're looking for a portal site that covers all
aspects of IT security, check out the excellent one at
http://www.esecurityonline.com.

5.  TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
==========================

The Big Outlook Security Patch
Microsoft recently released an important security
patch for Outlook, which should prevent viruses such
as the Love Bug from happening again.  But installing
the patch has side-effects, such as denying your users
the ability to send or receive any EXE files.  The
current issue of PC Network Advisor has full details.
Read the complete article at http://www.pcnetworkadvisor.com.

Trimming a Windows installation
By removing unnecessary files such as certain DLLs,
you can gain hard disk space and speed up a Windows
PC.   Read all about it in the current issue of
PC Support Advisor, or at http://www.pcsupportadvisor.com.
 

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                  ABOUT PC ALERT

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.

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

Discover how much easier tech support can be!
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