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                      Support Alert
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                www.techsupportalert.com

                Your pointer to the very best
           tech support information on the Web.

                Issue 58 - 15th August 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.

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FROM THE EDITOR

No one can deny that Napster was a popular service.  Before the
legal arguments started, the system had around 70 million regular
users.  The recording industry, rather than recognising a new
lucrative market, decided not to work with Napster and instead
had the system shut down.

Now the whole thing is happening again, this time with movies.
Take a look at www.divx.com.  You'll find an encoder which can
shrink digitised video by a factor of 10 or so.  This means that
a full-length movie, in full-screen format, will fit on a CD-R
disc that you can burn from your own PC.  And if you have a
fast internet connection such as DSL, you can download a complete
film in around an hour.  "In about the same time as it takes to
have a pizza delivered" is the way that the divx site puts it.

If you buy a PC today it will probably have a hard disk of at
least 20 GB.  And you'll probably get a CD rewriter in there too.
That's everything you need to download, play and copy movies.
And it works, too.  I personally know people who have obtained
recent movies via the Internet, and they're very happy with the
quality of the final file.

The film industry is, of course, rather worried about this.
There's little that they can do about divx itself, as it's
just a file format and a compression algorithm and thus not
illegal in itself.  But if Hollywood is to survive in its
present form, the movie people need to learn from the
Napster/MP3 debacle.  That will teach them how NOT to deal
with the problem.

Robert Schifreen
editor@techsupportalert.com
 

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IN THIS ISSUE

1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
    - Teach people about virus hoaxes
    - How to analyse Firewall Logs
    - Help On The Net
    - Smooth Upgrades to Windows 2000
    - A virus?  In PDF files?
    - Support 24 hours a day
    - Save That Drive

2. UTILITIES
    - Borland DelFree?
    - Tiny Private Firewall
    - Code Red II Killer
    - New version of WinGate

3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
    - QuickBooks Printing Problems
    - New Keyboard Software
    - Wireless Security Problems
    - NT4 Security Rollup

4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
    - So, er, what is a firewall exactly?
    - Free Bryce 5 Demo
    - IE5.5 SP2
    - Is the Internet Up or Down?
    - WordPerfect Trial Too
    - Visicalc!

5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
    - Office 2000 and IntelliMirror
    - IA-64 and Itanium

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

Teach people about virus hoaxes
Although they mean well, staff who fall for viruses hoaxes and
who forward emails to the entire company simply clog up the mail
server and cause additional problems.  Here's a useful article
which explains how to avoid perpetuating a myth.
http://click.techrepublic.com/Click?q=ba-m-95QXpKTQkNcJtwx51plcBEPdRR

How to analyse Firewall Logs
So, you have a firewall. And it produces detailed log files
which tell you what it's detected.  But you don't really understand
enough about the log files to work out what's been going on.
This site is what you've been looking for.
http://www.robertgraham.com/pubs/firewall-seen.html

Help On The Net
One of the better free support sites that we've listed here
in the past has a new home.  So if you've been trying to
find www.helponthe.net recently, here it is.
http://www.helponthenet.com

Smooth Upgrades to Windows 2000
Rolling out Windows 2000 in your company?  Learn from others' mistakes,
in this useful paper from Gartner.
http://click.techrepublic.com/Click?q=84-CCDyQ60TVzYnAz_IOnThpJ0yU9RR

A virus?  In PDF files?
One of the great features of Adobe PDF is that these files
can't carry viruses.  Actually, that's not true.  Acrobat v4
introduced the ability to embed executable Javascript code
in PDF files, which we always thought was a Bad Idea.  And now
someone has created the first PDF virus, using VBScript.
http://www.kaspersky.com/news.asp?tnews=1&nview=1&id=216&page=

Support 24 hours a day
Here's a great site which offers paid-for support for all
aspects of PCs and Windows.  It may not be free, but we still
think it's rather good.
http://www.tech24.com

Save That Drive
DriveSavers is a US-based company which recovers data from
damaged hard disks.  So if your office has been hit by a
tornado or been ravaged by fire, and your backup tape was
still in the server, there may still be hope.  The company
even lists Sean Connery among its previous customers.
http://www.drivesavers.com

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

Borland DelFree?
Borland has released a Personal Edition of Delphi v6, its tool
for developing Windows applications.  It's completely free
to download and use, for non-commercial personal use.  If you've
always wondered why so many people prefer Delphi to Visual Basic,
now's your chance to find out.  For nothing.
http://www.borland.com/delphi/personal/index.html

Tiny Private Firewall
If you need a firewall for your PC or server and you don't
fancy ZoneAlarm, then TPF may be the answer.  It's small,
it works, and it's free for non-commercial use.
http://www.tinysoftware.com/download.php

Code Red II Killer
Microsoft has released a free tool that removes the Code Red II
worm.  If you run Internet Information Server or Personal Web
Server, you should run this tool.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/security/tools/redfix.asp

New version of WinGate
WinGate is a great Windows utility that allows PCs on a
network to share a modem and even an internet connection.
The latest version, 4.4, is now available to download.
http://www.wingate.com

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

QuickBooks Printing Problems
BugNet is currently reporting a problem with QuickBooks 99, 2000
and 2001.  Mailing labels sometimes fail to print if you use
the option to select only those within a range of zip codes.
Intuit has released details of a workaround.
http://www.bugnet.com
http://www.quickbooks.com/support/faqs/win3/1949.html

New Keyboard Software
Microsoft has released a new version of the IntelliType Pro
software, which includes a number of new features plus support
for Windows NT.
http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/keyboard/keyboard.asp

Wireless Security Problems
A security hole has been discovered in some wireless
networking products.  Read all about it here.
http://www.theITportal.com/shorts75

NT4 Security Rollup
If you run NT4 (and SP6a) then you should install the latest
Microsoft security package.  It's a 20 MB collection of all the
recent security patches, including protection from Code Red.
However, be aware that there are problems with the package on
Compaq servers so check out Compaq's site before installing.
http://www.compaq.com/support/files/server/us/download/10541.html
http://www.microsoft.com/security

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

So, er, what is a firewall exactly?
Not quite sure what a firewall is?  Need a simple explanation,
either for yourself or your users? You'll find it here.
http://www.wilders.org/firewalls_m.htm

Free Bryce 5 Demo
Corel has a free 30-day demo copy of Bryce v5.0 available for
download from its Web site. Bryce is the company's latest
Windows and Mac tool for creating landscapes and animations.
http://www.corel.com

IE5.5 SP2
There's a new release of Internet Explorer 5.5.  The SP2
release fixes a few bugs, and is the final release of the
IE5.x platform.  IE6, which is currently in beta, will
be released shortly before Windows XP ships.
http://www.microsoft.com/ie

Is the Internet Up or Down?
This great site lets you monitor the state of the Internet,
so if you're having problems getting into many sites you'll
know whether it's a local problem to you or a more major one.
http://InternetTrafficReport.com

WordPerfect Trial Too
Corel is also offering 30-day trial versions of WordPerect
Office 2002.
http://www.corel.com

Visicalc!
Remember the very first spreadsheet?  Before Excel or
Lotus 1-2-3 there was Visicalc, by Dan Bricklin.  The original
program is now available as a free download for your PC, and
is just 27 KB.
http://www.bricklin.com/history/vcexecutable.htm

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

Office 2000 and IntelliMirror
Windows 2000 includes a feature called IntelliMirror
that makes it easy to roll out Office 2000 to all your
users in a few easy steps.  At least, that's what Microsoft
claims.  Is it really that simple?  The latest issue of
PC Network Advisor investigates.  And you can read the
complete article online, free of charge, right now.
http://www.pcnetworkadvisor.com

IA-64 and Itanium
Intel is now shipping the Itanium chip, the first CPU in
its new family of 64-bit processors.  But performance is
disappointing, and you'd be better off waiting for its
successor.  So says the report in the latest issue of
PC Support Advisor.  You can read online, in full.
http://www.pcsupportadvisor.com

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                  ABOUT SUPPORT ALERT

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