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            Issue 54 - 15th June 2001

Welcome to Support Alert, the email newsletter that
points you to the best technical support resources
on the Internet.

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

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

Check out the following free tutorials available now
at http://www.pcsupportadvisor.com

* Understanding TCP/IP
* How to Dual Boot Windows 2000
* Understanding the OSI 7 Layer Model
* The Windows Registry Explained
* How to Create Bootable CDs
* JavaScript Tutorial
* IPv6 Tutorial

Plus dozens more.

               <<<>>><<<>>><<<>>>

FROM THE EDITOR

According to the music industry, Napster did just one thing.  It
enabled people to download music that they weren't entitled to.
And yes, Napster certainly did do that.  At its peak, there were
often around 2 million tracks available for download.  Now that
Napster has been compelled to filter out search requests for
music by specific recording artists, that total has fallen to
around 50,000.  So it's definitely fair to say that Napster
did indeed enable the downloading of copyrighted music.

But Napster did something else, which is much more important than
allowing the exchange of music.  And this time, it's legally and
morally sound.  Napster was solely responsible for introducing
millions of people across the world to the concept of MP3 music.
News organisations have published and broadcast thousands of stories
about Napster, all of which tended to start by mentioning this
strange technology called MP3 which allows audio tracks to
be copied to a PC and played from a hard disk without taking
up unfeasibly large amounts of disk space.

And so although the original Napster is no longer with us,
its legacy lives on.  The music industry is about to embark
on a huge change.  Sure, 5 years from now you'll still be able to
walk into a music shop and buy albums on CD.  But you'll probably
also be able to download tracks from back catalogues via the
Internet too.  It's something that the music industry has managed
to avoid for too long, but Napster showed that there is real
demand for such a service.  And because the only alternative for
the music industry was to see such a service being offered for
free, it had no choice but to start setting up commercial versions
of what Napster was, and what the various Napster clones still are.

Personally, MP3 has changed the way I listen to music.  My
own collection of CDs is consigned to a cupboard out of the way, as
is my hi-fi.  In its place I have a PC with some decent speakers,
a copy of Winamp, and all my favourite tracks from my CD, cassette
and vinyl collection stored on the PC as MP3 files.  I also
recently bought myself a Logitech cordless keyboard for the PC.  So
I can now sit in the comfort of my chair and select any track to
listen to, without ever having to get up and change the CD.  I
owe a great deal to Napster for introducing me to such a useful
technology.
 

Robert Schifreen
editor@techsupportalert.com
 

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IN THIS ISSUE

1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
    - Office XP Smart Tags
    - Fixing Duplicated File Extensions
    - Lotus Notes
    - Sun's Freeware

2. UTILITIES
    - FinePrint
    - Flash Suite
    - Acrobat for Palm
    - Motherboard Temperature Probe
    - SecureDesk Outlook

3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
    - Tame the Tray
    - Big Problems with Media Player
    - Problems with Exchange Server 5.5 and 2000
    - Netscape 6 Won't Go

4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
    - Password Portal
    - Finding Office XP Cheaper
    - IE5 Accessories
    - Free Search Engine Submission

5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
    - WAP Security
    - Acrobat 5

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

Office XP Smart Tags
Want some more Smart Tags for Office XP?  There are loads of
them online, both free and chargeable.
http://www.officesmarttags.com

Fixing Duplicated File Extensions
Microsoft has issued a Knowledge Base article which
explains how to work around a problem that users of
Internet Explorer are having with file downloads.  In
some cases, the downloaded file has a duplicate file extension
added to the end of the filename.  So if your users are
having this problem, here's where to read about how to fix it.
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q231/7/55.asp

Lotus Notes
Looking for support tips and tricks regarding Lotus Notes?
Needless to say, you'll find everything you want right here.
http://www.lotusnotes.com

Sun's Freeware
Not all of Sun's products are expensive.  In fact, some of
them are actually free.  The most famous of these is its
MS Office clone, StarOffice, though there are others too.
Such as development versions of some Unix platforms.
http://www.sunfreeware.com

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

FinePrint
Here's a great set of printer-oriented utilities.  Create
Acrobat PDF files, or add watermarks to printed documents,
or print up to 8 pages of a file onto a single sheet of paper.
http://www.fineprint.com

Flash Suite
CoffeeCup Software has released Firestarter, its Windows tool
for creating Flash animations for use on web sites.  So if
you want to annoy your site visitors with endless animations
that slow down their quest for information on your company's
products, I guess Firestarter is just what you need!
http://www.coffeecup.com/firestarter

Acrobat for Palm
Adobe has released a version of Acrobat Reader for Palm
hardware.  So if you subscribe to PC Network Advisor or
PC Support Advisor, you can now read your back copies on
the move!
http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readerforpalm.html

Motherboard Temperature Probe
Many modern motherboards have facilities to monitor critical
operating stats such as the temperature on the board, so that
special software can warn the user of impending problems.  If
your board supports it, you'll find free software online that
can tell you the current temperature on your motherboard.
This site has some useful software and FAQs.
http://mbm.livewiredev.com

SecureDesk Outlook
Biodata is a well-known security company, and one of its
major products is SecureDesk, an add-in for Outlook which
provides encryption and digital signatures.  The company
has released a freeware edition for non-commercial use, which
is ideal if you want to add some privacy to your emails.
http://download.cryptoex.com

3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
=====================================

Tame the Tray
The Windows system tray is a neat idea, but too many programs
now install themselves there by default and so it becomes
overcrowded.  BugNet carries a useful article that helps
you deal with this, by configuring which programs run at
startup.  It shows how to track down those apps which put
themselves in your system tray without permission.
http://www.bugnet.com/analysis/0104/sfsystray.html

Big Problems with Media Player
If you're using Microsoft Media Player version 7.0 or
earlier, you should upgrade to 7.1 as soon as possible.
Previous versions contain a dangerous security bug which
could allow a remote user access to your PC.
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/en/default.asp

Problems with Exchange Server 5.5 and 2000
Microsoft has released a patch for Exchange Server.  It fixes
a problem that could allow hackers to send attachments containing
malicious scripts, which could then run on the recipient's PC
without their knowledge or permission.  If you look after
an Exchange Server installation, check this out now.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS01-030.asp

Netscape 6 Won't Go
Various people are reporting a bug with Netscape 6 and the
way that it doesn't clean up after itself.  If you uninstall
Netscape 6, it doesn't tidy up its file associations.  So
double-clicking an HTM file, for example, on your hard disk will
still make Windows try to load Netscape 6.  Which, of course,
doesn't exist since you just deleted it.  Doh!
http://www.netscape.com

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

Password Portal
Forgotten a password?  Can't get into your favourite PC
application?  There's probably a cracker for it somewhere,
and here's a site that will know just where.
http://www.passwordportal.net

Finding Office XP Cheaper
If you want to buy Office XP and you want the cheapest
price, this site will be of interest.  It tracks the cheapest
places to buy Office XP, both online and in person.
http://www.cheaperoffice.com

IE5 Accessories
Did you know that there's an official Microsoft collection
of tools and accessories for IE5?  No, nor did we until
we happened to stumble across it when researching this edition
of Support Alert.  Check out some great free tools that will
make your surfing easier.
http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/IE/WebAccess/ie5tools.asp

Free Search Engine Submission
Got a Web site?  Want to submit it to 40 top search engines
instantly, automatically and for free?  That's what this
site claims to do.  And in return for some cash they'll submit
your site to 75,000 more search engines too.
http://www.submit-express.com

5.  TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES FROM ITP
===================================

WAP Security
Cellular phones with WAP capability can, it claim, allow
users to access information from the internet while on the
move.  But while banks and other companies are rapidly
developing applications for the technology, few people
appreciate the security implications of the new protocol.
The current issue of PC Network Advisor has an excellent
article on the subject.  Check it out online for free.
http://www.pcnetworkadvisor.com

Acrobat 5
Adobe is shipping version 5 of Acrobat, its tool for creating
PDF files.  This new release marks a drastic change in
direction for PDF.  If you're about to buy or upgrade, why not
check out the review and comment in the latest issue of
PC Support Advisor.
http://www.pcsupportadvisor.com

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                  ABOUT SUPPORT ALERT

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