========================
                      Support Alert
                ========================
                www.techsupportalert.com

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

                Issue 65 - 7th December 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

An interesting week.  Decided to try installing Windows XP
on my home PC.  This machine normally gets used for MIDI
music sequencing, downloading images from my digital camera,
accessing the Web, and as a backup for the office PC.

As recommended by Microsoft, I started by running the Windows
XP compatibility checker.  The report made fascinating reading.
My encryption program which protects the data from the office
would stop working once I upgraded to XP.  As would the modem.
As would the USB driver for the digital camera and the MIDI
sequencer too.  So I went shopping instead.  This PC has been
quite happy running Win98 for the past 18 months, so I'll let
it continue for a while yet.

The moral of this tale:  Make sure you get the latest WinXP
compatibility checker and run it on your PC before you even
consider an upgrade.  You may not like what it tells you, but
it'll save you lots of problems later.

And while you're downloading the compatibility checker, be sure
to get the latest updates to your virus scanner.  Two recent
viruses, called Goner and BadTrans, have been causing major
problems around the world.  One particular company had 20,000
machines infected with BadTrans.

And it's not just the new viruses which are spreading. The old
favourites are still on the loose.  Nimda, which emails the
victim's files to all his Outlook address book contacts, is
still out there.  At least one subscriber to Support Alert
was recently hit by Nimda.  I know this, because his PC sent
me (and all his contacts, presumably) a file from his PC
called passwords.doc.  Which, you guessed it, contained all
his Website passwords, e-trade account details, software
serial numbers, and more.  Oops.

As for me, I refuse to use Outlook.  Now you know why.

Robert Schifreen
editor@techsupportalert.com

 

          <<<>>><<<>>><<<>>><<<>>><<<>>>

IN THIS ISSUE

1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
    - HelpTalk
    - Hard Advice
    - ITHelp Group
    - Live Repair

2. UTILITIES
    - 602Pro
    - Remote Restart
    - Create a Screen Saver

3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
    - Removing BadTrans
    - Unchecked Buffer in Media Player

4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
    - Cheapest compatible inkjet cartridges?
    - Free Publishing Service
    - Hey Mr Producer!
    - Hushmail Pro
    - Check your Vulnerability

5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
    - Linux?  Instead of Windows?
    - Deploying Windows XP Pro

          <<<>>><<<>>><<<>>><<<>>><<<>>>

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

HelpTalk
This site is a favourite hang-out for tech support people
and developers, and a great way to find the answer to your
current IT problems.  It comes recommended by a Support Alert
subscriber, who especially rates their Visual Basic and MS Access
support areas.
http://www.helptalk.com

Hard Advice
Here's a site with all sorts of useful facts and figures to
help you solve hardware-related problems.  From how to install
a new power supply to replacing and configuring a new CPU, and
everything in between.  Recommended.
http://www.viahardware.com

ITHelp Group
Among the many discussion groups hosted on Yahoo is a great
free one that deals with IT support issues.  A Support Alert
subscribers recommends that you take a look.  We do too.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IThelp

Live Repair
Yet another great hardware support site, and another
recommendation from a subscriber.  "This site solved
2 annoying problems in 2 days for me", he says.  You
can sign up for a 30 day free trial.
http://www.liverepair.com

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

602Pro
You've probably heard of StarOffice, the free Microsoft-compatible
office suite for Windows and Linux.  But you may not have heard
that there's another free office suite available too.   It goes
by the rather stupid name of 602Pro, but has millions of users
worldwide and is very highly regarded.  An unlimited site licence
for corporate use is only US$200.
http://www.software602.com

Remote Restart
Do you look after a network?  Would you like to be able
to remotely restart any of the machines on the network?
The ELM Agent will let you do just that.
http://www.tntsoftware.com

Create a Screen Saver
GraFX Saver Pro, now at version 3.0, is a tool that makes it
easy to create Windows screen savers that run on everything
from Win95 to XP.  So if you want to create a corporate
screen saver but don't want to pay a professional, this
will do the job.  Shareware, $75, 15 day trial downloadable.
http://www.cdhnow.com

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

Removing BadTrans
The BadTrans virus is currently causing havoc around the world.
If you've got it, lots of companies have Web sites that explain
how to remove it.  The best we've found is the McAfee page.
http://vil.mcafee.com/dispVirus.asp?virus_k=99069&#removal_instructions

Unchecked Buffer in Media Player
There's a new patch for MS Media Player 6.4, which fixes
an unchecked buffer that could lead to a hacker being able
to gain control of a user's PC.  Microsoft recommends that
users of 6.4, 7.0 and 7.1 all apply the patch.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS01-056.asp

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

Cheapest compatible inkjet cartridges?
At Tech Support Alert we've finally completed our major survey
of the cheapest and best suppliers of compatible inkjet cartridges.
If you're in the market for replacement cartridges, check out the
results.  It'll definitely save you time and money.
http://www.techsupportalert.com/cheap_inkjet_cartridges.htm

Free Publishing Service
Want to publish your own email newsletter?  One way to do so
is to use Topica.  This is a free service for distributing
information by email to large groups of people.
http://www.topica.com

Hey Mr Producer!
Microsoft Producer is a new add-on for PowerPoint XP that
helps you organise slides, video clips, audio etc in order
to put together impressive presentations.  And it's a totally
free download from Microsoft's web site.
http://www.microsoft.com/office/powerpoint/producer/

Hushmail Pro
Hush Communications is now shipping Hushmail Professional, a
new add-in for Outlook 2000 and XP which adds integrated PGP
encryption.  It's the easy way to make sure that your email
messages can't be intercepted and spied on, and that anyone
who access your Outlook mail file can't decipher what it contains.
http://www.hush.com

Check your Vulnerability
GFI, a specialist IT security software company, is offering
a free service to help you check whether your current email
configuration is vulnerable to email viruses.  Sign up online
and you'll automatically be sent some harmless messages which
allow you to see whether undesirable items such as VBscript files
are currently arriving at your machine without detection.
http://www.gfi.com/emailsecuritytest/

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

Linux?  Instead of Windows?
Is Linux a viable alternative to Windows on company
desktops?  Can free office suites like StarOffice really
compete with the excellent but expensive MS Office?  The
new issue of PC Support Advisor has an in-depth investigation
of the problem.  The results will surprise you.  Read the
full article, for free, on the PCSA site now.
http://www.pcsupportadvisor.com

Deploying Windows XP Pro
December's issue of PC Network Advisor has just been
published.  The cover feature is all about how to roll
out Windows XP.  If you're considering upgrading your
company's systems, you must read this first.  And you
can do, for free, from the PCNA online site right now.
http://www.pcnetworkadvisor.com

<<<>>><<<>>><<<>>><<<>>><<<>>><<<>>><<<>>><<<>>>

                  the small print

Subscribe a friend or colleague today!  Send a blank email to
mailto:supportalert-subscribe-aaaa@itp-journals.com, where
aaaa is your friend or colleague's email address (you must
change the @ to = in the friend/colleague's email address).

For archives, plus our huge catalogue of the best tech support
sites on the web, visit http://www.techsupportalert.com.

Support Alert is produced by International Technology
Publishing, publishers of PC Support Advisor and
PC Network Advisor, the standard resource publications
for tech support professionals.

To unsubscribe from this newsletter, send a blank email
to mailto:supportalert-unsubscribe@itp-journals.com.

For lots more free IT newsletters see http://www.freetechmail.com.

(c) Copyright International Technology Publishing 2001