Your pointer to the very best
tech support information on the Web.
Issue 63 - 1st November 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
I'd vowed not to put Office XP onto my main PC until Service
Pack 1 was released. That's the way I've always done things,
and it seems to work for me. Leave others to find the bugs, and
then start using the product once the initial tranche of problems
have been ironed out.
But something's been niggling me with my PC for the past couple
of months, and I finally bit the bullet last week and moved
from Office 2000 to XP because I was pretty sure that this would
fix the problem.
For reasons best known to itself, my Windows installation has
decided to stop displaying graphics. Not all the time, just
sometimes. And not in all applications. For example, if I'm
working on a Web page in FrontPage 2000, the graphics for my
page appear perfectly when I'm in design mode, but switch to
preview mode and presto! All the graphics disappear, and show up
as black outline boxes. Go back to design mode and the graphics
And if I load my Web page into Internet Explorer, the graphics don't
appear either. In fact, IE refuses to show any graphics that
reside on my hard disk. Yet if I upload my completed Web page to
an external server, IE shows the full page correctly, complete with
Anyway, I decided that either IE or FrontPage must be the culprit,
so I started by ditching IE5.5 in favour of version 6. The problem
didn't go away. So instead of reinstalling Office 2000 I decided
that this might be a good time to move to XP. After all, whether
the problem is a bug in Office 2000 or a corrupted file somewhere,
switching to a brand new version of Office would be the best
way to cure the problem.
Of course, you've guessed the rest. The problem didn't go
and I'm now left with Office XP where 2000 used to be. I have to
say that Office XP is pretty good, though I immediately noticed
2 stupid things. First, FrontPage 2002 flips the "system"
attribute on all the directories containing the Webs that you
create, so if you go to a command prompt and type DIR you'll think
that something has wiped your files.
Second, Outlook 2002 defaults to sending all mail in HTML format
rather than text. This is just plain rude, because it wastes
your friends' and colleagues' bandwidth for no good reason at
all. I recommend you flip it back to text, if only out of
IN THIS ISSUE
1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
- VB Help
- Modem Help
- Living Without Bill
- Lots of Storage Info
- PerfectDisk 2000
- Swish Sites
- Sweep Those Bookmarks
3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
- Novell Goes Public
- Diskeeper Updated
- Terminal Server Update
- Bug of the Day
4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
- Test your Skills
- Tech Dictionary
- What makes a great Web site?
5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
- Sockets and Slots Revealed
- NetWare 6
1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
Need help with your Visual Basic programming? This great
site includes some excellent articles. Current highlights
include how to alter the Windows system dialog boxes and
how to interact with SQL Server.
Need help with a modem problem? This site has the answers.
Living Without Bill
While everyone else is telling you how wonderful Windows XP
is, we thought we'd be different. So if you're fed up
with all the hype and want to know whether life is possible
without contributing to Bill Gates's profits, here's the answer.
Lots of Storage Info
Having trouble with SCSI terminators, Zip drives, CD-RW,
or any other disk-related matter? This great site has advice
on all sorts of storage-related issues, and a database of
hard disk reliability statistics.
If you're not happy with the disk defrag tool built into your
version of Windows, PerfectDisk might be a better bet. It
works on all recent versions of Windows, including XP, and claims
to do things that market-leading Diskeeper can't.
Our favourite clipboard enhancer, Clipmate, has been updated.
It lets you print text direct from the clipboard, and can even
spell-check text copied or cut from other apps.
Swish is a new $50 tool that lets you create snazzy effects on
your Web site. Why not download the trial version and check
it out on your own home page? It outputs Macromedia Flash
files, but you don't need the expensive Flash creator software.
Sweep Those Bookmarks
Wouldn't it be useful if your browser could automatically
check your list of favourite sites to ensure that they all
still exist? Well, thankfully there's a tool that does
Internet messaging is becoming incredibly popular, with services
such as ICQ attracting millions of users. LANTalk, from EXXZERO,
is a ICQ-like chat service designed for use on a LAN or WAN in
an office environment. Download a free trial copy today.
3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
Novell Goes Public
In August, Novell issued a security patch for GroupWise 5 and 6,
known as the Padlock Fix. The company urged all customers to
install the patch, but didn't disclose details of the problem
that it fixed. On November 23rd, the company will release those
details, so if you run Groupwise it's crucial that you install
the patch by that date. Otherwise you'll probably end up as
the target of all those hackers who will start probing the net
for unpatched servers.
Executive Software has updated Diskeeper 6, its defragger.
DK6 Second Edition runs up to 500% faster, and includes more
features too. If you're running DK6 you can download the
update to Second Edition for free.
Terminal Server Update
Microsoft has released the second version of last week's
patch for WinNT and Win2k Terminal Server. The original
problem concerned a security hole in the product, but an error
in the first version of the patch caused major problems on
Windows 2000 machines. The patch has now been, er, patched, and
is safe to download and install.
Bug of the Day
Want to keep your PC running smoothly? Check out BugNet's
"bug of the day" page every day for the latest info on how
to diagnose and fix common hardware and software problems.
4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
Test your Skills
There are lots of IT certification sites offering free stuff
but by far our favourite is BeachFront Direct. Get free quizzer
downloads on Win2k, Network+, CCNA and more.
This excellent computer dictionary and glossary will help
you if you need definitions of just about any IT-related
WebAttack is a great site for Internet users, offering loads
of useful downloads and features to help you make more
of the Web and to keep your PC running smoothly. A very
professionally produced site, that we liked a lot.
What makes a great Web site?
Trying to attract visitors to your Web site? Looking for
advice on what makes a good site? Here's some useful
information that should help you.
5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES FROM ITP
Sockets and Slots Revealed
If you upgrade your motherboard, will your current CPU
fit the new one? If you buy a Pentium 4, what type of
motherboard slot or socket will it need? The latest issue
of PC Support Advisor finally blows the lid off all those
confusing CPU slot and socket numbers, and explains what
it all means! Read the full article online, for free,
And if you subscribe to PCSA you can read lots more too.
November's issue, hot off the press, looks at alternative
PC keyboards, how to help PC users with physical disabilities,
how to detect and remove spyware from your PC, and much more.
While Microsoft spends millions promoting Windows XP, Novell
is quietly preparing to release a new version of NetWare. The
marketing budget may be tiny, but the product is actually rather
good, according to a review in the latest issue of
PC Network Advisor. Even if you don't subscribe to PCNA you can
still read the NetWare 6 article online free of charge.
Or why not subscribe to PCNA and get access to all of November's
articles including advice on how to get Active Directory up
and running, mobile database access, the latest Windows security
updates, and more.
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(c) Copyright International Technology Publishing 2001