Support Alert

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

                Issue 68 - 15th January 2002

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
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.



Just how popular is Microsoft's forthcoming .NET technology? How many companies are planning to use it as the basis of their Web-based applications in the coming months?

As it happens, ZDNet is conducting an online poll to find
out whether companies are thinking of .NET or whether they'll be sticking with Java.  And as of December 21st 2001, the voting was running at around 3:1 in favour of Java.

But after December 21st, things changed.  The figures started to change direction, until .NET pulled ahead with a massive surge of votes that resulted in it gaining a 6:1 margin of the votes.

The boys at ZDNet became suspicious and decided to investigate. And, surprise surprise, it was discovered via the site's log files that a large number of votes in favour of .NET had come from addresses in the microsoft.com domain.  The logs also showed that some people had tried, unsuccessfully, to vote more than
once.  A large number of these attempts also came from within microsoft.com.

Microsoft has not made any public comment about its attempts
to rig the poll in favour of its own products.  And it doesn't have to.  Not only was the company clearly stupid enough to do such a thing, but it was also stupid enough to do it so badly as to get caught.

Clearly someone at Microsoft hasn't heard of the 11th commandment.

Robert Schifreen



    - Software Tip Of The Day
    - Windows XP Tweaks
    - What's Coming?

    - Free Network Scanner
    - Easy Web Pic Downloader
    - Remote Task Manager
    - Enfish Find

    - Exchange 5.5 OWA Patched
    - WebStyle 2.1

    - Microsoft Caught Rigging Votes
    - Online Museum
    - File Extension Database
    - Virus Charts

    - Web Management and Bandwidth Control
    - Microsoft's 2001 Security Patches



Software Tip Of The Day
If you're after tips on Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Windows,
keep an eye on the Nerdybooks site and its excellent "tip of the day" feature. http://www.nerdybooks.com/tipofday.html

Windows XP Tweaks
No sooner had Windows XP hit the streets than people started working out how to tweak it.  You can read the results here, at a great site dedicated to providing info on how to make minor adjustments to Microsoft's latest Windows. http://www.tweakxp.com

What's Coming?
Keep up to date with what new software is just around the corner, with this great site all about beta software. Lots of useful downloads, plus news stories too. http://www.betanews.com


Free Network Scanner
GFI, purveyor of network security products, has 2 freeware offerings on its Web site to help LAN administrators produce hardware audits and file checksums. Recommended. http://www.gfi.com/languard/lantools.htm

Easy Web Pic Downloader
Express WebPictures is a great new tool for downloading pictures from Web sites.  Drag the URL of a page onto the program and WebPictures downloads all the images on that page and stores them on your hard disk for later viewing and sorting.

Remote Task Manager
SmartLine has launched version 3.7.1 of Remote Task Manager, which allows you to remotely control a range of tasks on Windows PCs over a network.  It's great for support staff, and a 30-day free trial version is downloadable. http://www.ntutility.com

Enfish Find
Here's a handy program to help you locate information on your PC, even if you don't know what file it's in.  Enfish Find creates an index of all the text on your hard disk, enabling you to find words or phrases in just seconds.

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

Exchange 5.5 OWA Patched
If you use Exchange 5.5 Server, and specifically the Outlook Web Access (OWA) component, you need to install a security patch which Microsoft issued back in December.  It is possible for a hacker to send an HTML email message that contains a specially-constructed script, which will automatically execute if that message is opened in OWA.  You can't simply work around this by turning off scripting on the server, because OWA requires it to be enabled.  More details, plus the patch, are online now. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS01-057.asp

WebStyle 2.1
Our favourite Web graphics creation suite, Xara Webstyle, has just been upgraded from 2.0 to 2.1.  The new version has loads of new stuff, including better integration with FrontPage and Dreamweaver.  If you've already bought 2.0, installing the downloadable trial version of 2.1 will upgrade you for free. http://www.xara.com


Microsoft Caught Rigging Votes
Here's the full story of how Microsoft was caught rigging
the results of the .NET vs Java online poll at ZDnet. http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2102244,00.html

Online Museum
Remember when computers had 4 KB of RAM and a 5 MB hard
disk?  If not, then visit this excellent online computer
museum and be amazed.  There's pictures of more than 500
old machines, plus factsheets and screen shots and reviews.

File Extension Database
Got a PC or Windows file with a 3-letter extension that you've not come across before?  Want to identify which application produced the file?  Here's a great list. http://www2.ozin.com/threeletters.htm

Virus Charts
Antivirus company Kaspersky has launched a Web site which maintains details on which are the most prevalent viruses at any time.  The list is updated monthly and makes
fascinating reading.

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

Web Management and Bandwidth Control
Does your WAN or internet connectivity often slow down?  Ever wondered why?  It's probably because staff who are supposed to be hard at work are actually listening to music over the Internet or download games to play at home later.  Read all about Web management software in the latest issue of PC Support Advisor or check out the full article right now, completely free.


Microsoft's 2001 Security Patches
The current issue of PC Network Advisor includes a comprehensive list of all the Windows security patches issued by Microsoft in 2001.  The list is helpfully arranged by product, so it's easy to look up the core products used by you or your staff to check whether you need to install any important fixes.  If you don't subscribe to PCNA you can still read the article online for free. http://www.pcnetworkadvisor.com


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