Your pointer to the very best
tech support information on the Web.
Issue 60 - 15th September 2001
Welcome to Support Alert, the email newsletter that
points you to the best technical support resources
on the Internet.
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Support Alert is sponsored by PC Support Advisor and
PC Network Advisor, the standard reference sources for
Check out the following free tutorials available now
* Understanding TCP/IP
* How to Dual Boot Windows 2000
* Understanding the OSI 7 Layer Model
* The Windows Registry Explained
* How to Create Bootable CDs
* IPv6 Tutorial
Plus dozens more.
FROM THE EDITOR
Well, what can you say? I guess that recent events
make you realise how unimportant some things really
are, in the great scheme of things. Sure, a new
release of Internet Explorer is important news, but
it sort of pales into insignificance right now.
I often write about IT security issues, and one of
the things I've always pointed out is that the Internet
was never designed to be secure. If you want to
protect your information from prying eyes you need
to encrypt it.
But the Internet was, though, designed to be
resilient. So in theory, even if something destroys
a huge chunk of servers somewhere, email and Web
traffic still gets through. It seems that the
theory was indeed correct. Though I wish we'd
never had to find out this way.
IN THIS ISSUE
1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
- Free 'Zine
- Tech Talk
- CPU Central Moves
- IE6 Is Here
- Software Vendor Assistant
- Xara Upgraded
- Outlook Security Bypass
3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
- BugNet's Top 10
- IrDA in Windows 2000
- Keep On Top
- Possible NT Denial of Service
4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
- WPA Changed Again
- Wireless LANs? Secure?
- MS Personal Security Advisor
- IIS Lockdown
- Email Advice
- Your Personal Search Engine
5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
- Benchmarking software and resources
- Borland Kylix
1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
This excellent free weekly email magazine (eZine) contains
lots of useful information on a host of computery subjects,
including how to detect and remove spyware.
This Tech Talk site contains loads of useful technical
information and discussion areas, and is a great resource
for anyone using or supporting PCs.
Here's another great support site that offers free technical
advice to visitors. Why not check it out next time you
have a PC or Windows problem?
CPU Central Moves
The CPU Central site has a new address, so check out the
new home if you're looking for any information on CPUs.
IE6 Is Here
Last week, Microsoft quietly slipped Internet Explorer 6 out
of beta. It's now finished, and available for free download.
Presumably Microsoft is keeping quiet about it because it
is waiting to include IE6 in the massive Windows XP launch
campaign which will be starting shortly.
If you'd like to print a long Word document with more than
one page of the file on each sheet of paper, or you want
to create booklets, then you really need FinePrint. Although
Word 2002/XP has rudimentary booklet-printing facilities,
FinePrint will do a much better job.
Software Vendor Assistant
If you're a shareware developer and you've always wanted a
software tool to help keep track of your promotions, then
SVA might just be the answer. It'll help you manage
registrations, campaigns and much more, and there's also
a database of shareware distribution sites.
The Xara Webstyle suite has been upgraded to version 2, and is
designed to help you create top-quality graphics for the web.
Once you've chosen your styles, eg the font and size for your
buttons, Webstyle then renders the graphic image using its
own engine, leading to perfect results every time.
Outlook Security Bypass
Recent enhancements to Outlook mean that it's hard to send
or execute attachments. In some cases, it's totally
impossible. But if you're sure that you trust an attachment,
there's a tool which allows you to bypass Microsoft's
protection and to execute it. It works by allowing you
to move attachments between Outlook security zones.
3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
BugNet's Top 10
As always, BugNet continues to publish its top 10 list
of the software and hardware bugs that are affecting the
most people currently. You'll find that the latest list
includes problems with Windows 2000 as well as with some
Cisco routers such as the 1700. Check out the site.
IrDA in Windows 2000
Microsoft has issued a patch for the infrared comms facility
in Windows 2000. An unchecked buffer in the code can cause
the machine to crash, requiring a reboot.
Keep On Top
One of the best IT security sites on the Web just keeps
getting better, and is now averaging more than 35,000 visitors
per month. So if you need to keep on top of important
security announcements and bug fixes, add this site to your
Possible NT Denial of Service
Microsoft has issued a security patch for Windows NT 4.0
which fixes a possible Denial of Service vulnerability in the
RPC endpoint mapper.
4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
WPA Changed Again
Despite the fact that Windows XP still hasn't been launched,
Microsoft has yet again changed the way that Windows Product
Activation will work. It has relaxed even further the rules
which govern when and if you will need to reactivate your
Windows installation. You can now change up to 6 hardware
items, rather than 4.
Wireless LANs? Secure?
If you're thinking of setting up an 802.11b wireless network,
you should think carefully about the security implications
first. Programs to monitor the airwaves are already
starting to appear.
MS Personal Security Advisor
This new tool from Microsoft will scan WinNT and Win2k
workstations (not servers) and tell you whether all the
necessary security patches have been installed. It's
the easy way to find out whether your machine is at risk
from internet hackers.
This new IIS Lockdown tool from Microsoft will help
you ensure than your IIS Web server is running at
optimum security Microsoft recommends that you use it
as soon as possible, and we do too.
This excellent site offers advice on how to use email
for commercial purposes. Not just spam, but email
newsletters, mailing lists and other campaigns. Plus there
are lots of links to service companies who can help you.
Your Personal Search Engine
Wouldn't it be handy if there was a Web site where you
could store your favourite URLs? Then you could access
them from wherever you happened to be, using whatever
browser you wanted. It exists, and it's really rather good.
5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES FROM ITP
Benchmarking software and resources
Ever wondered if benchmark figures really reflect
the true performance of a processor? The latest
issue of PC Network Advisor looks in detail at
the whole benchmark issue, and advises on whether
you can really assume that servers with better
benchmarks really are better machines. Read the
full article online, for free, right now.
It's been called Visual Basic for Linux, though
it's really more like Turbo Pascal for Linux. Either
way, this new development environment from Borland
is proving incredibly popular. And you can download
it for free, for non-commercial purposes. Read all
about Kylix in the latest issue of PC Support Advisor,
or check out the article online right now.
ABOUT SUPPORT ALERT
Support 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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