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tech support information on the Web.
Issue 73 - 2nd April 2002
Welcome to Support Alert, the email newsletter that
points you to the best technical support resources
on the Internet.
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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'm sure that that you've got a few grievances with just
about every software product you use. I do, and high on my
list is Microsoft Outlook XP.
The good news is that some of it's worst annoyances can
be easily overcome. Here's how:
All versions of Outlook since 2000-SR2 including XP,
"protect" your computer from virus's and hostile scripts by
totally denying you access to a wide range of executable
attachments. This is really annoying, especially when you
receive a file from a trusted source and you simply can't
read it or even save it to disk. There are a number of
solutions but one of the best for XP is Attachment Options
from http://www.slovaktech.com/attachmentoptions.htm. This
free Outlook COM add-in, gives you, rather than Microsoft,
complete control over the file types you want to open.
Outlook doesn't have a mail preview function where you can
view your mail before downloading. Previewing is an really
important email feature at it allows you to delete or bounce
large unwanted messages, obvious viruses and junk mail before
downloading. There are several third party products that will
provide this function but my favourite is MailWasher, which
integrates nicely with Outlook and it's free too. Get it at
Both the above products are full featured freeware, though the
authors suggest you could optionally make a donation. If you
use the products you really should chip in what you can afford.
A final tip. Have noticed you noticed how Outlook XP mangles
the layout of many plain text messages? That's because XP has
a "feature" to remove "extra" blank lines from messages. The
default option at installation is "On" Turn it off now, so
that you can see your messages just like the author intended.
Select Tools/Options/Preferences/Email Options/ and deselect
"Remove extra line breaks in plain text messages."
Do you have your own pet solutions to common software
annoyances. If so send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
and I'll try to feature them in a future issue.
IN THIS ISSUE
1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
- Open Tech Support
- Security Clinic
- Updated HFNetChk
- Visio XP SDK
- Elementary, Dr Quincy
3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
- More from GreyMagic
- Oracle Isn't Immune
- Tame those Malicious Java Applets
4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
- No Crawlers Please
- The Cari Worm
- History Of The Internet
- Microsoft Into English
5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
- Word XP Tricks and Tips
- So what is CRM?
1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
Open Tech Support
Here's a neat tech support site that includes loads of info
to help you keep your PC running smoothly. If you've got a
software or hardware problem you'll probably find the answer
here. Assuming you find another PC to connect from, of course!
We've mentioned this site before, but it continues to add
new features and is getting even better all the time. This
free IT security site not only has loads of useful info, but
the free "clinic" lets you ask advice from more than 100
There's a new version of Microsoft's free Hotfix checker
available. This excellent tool checks your server by
interrogating an online database, and reports which security
fixes you have installed and which ones you still need to
obtain. Well worth a download.
Visio XP SDK
Microsoft has released a free SDK for Visio XP, to allow
developers to call the Visio API and build custom applications.
And if you don't know what an SDK is, you don't need one!
Elementary, Dr Quincy
Computer forensics is a growing industry. It involves examining
a computer to search for evidence of a crime. And we're not
talking fingerprint powder and magnifying glass here, but
software tools to examine file timestamps, recovery of erased
data, and so on. Here's one product which claims to offer
the complete toolkit in a single software suite.
Netaphor has launched PDAlert, a program which runs on PDAs
for wireless monitoring of SNMP-managed devices. This allows
you to troubleshoot your network without being tied to your desk.
3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
More from GreyMagic
GreyMagic's first security advisory was a bit of an eye-opener
for Microsoft. It showed how Internet Explorer can be made
to run any executable file on a Web site visitor's PC, even
if all scripting is disabled. Now GreyMagic has found another
related bug which is just as serious. If you use IE5 or IE6
under Windows, check this out.
Oracle Isn't Immune
Microsoft normally gets all the bad press whenever security
problems are discussed. But sometimes other companies face
the firing line too. This time it's Oracle, and the 37 separate
vulnerabilities that CERT has discovered. If you run an Oracle
database then check this out asap.
Tame those Malicious Java Applets
Microsoft has re-issued a security patch originally posted
at the beginning of March, which updates the Java VM under
all versions of Windows. The patch is described as "critical"
by Microsoft, as it fixes a problem that could allow malicious
Java applets to capture information from the PCs of visitors
to a Web site.
4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
No Crawlers Please
Got a website? Want to be able to control which bits of it
get indexed by search engines? Here's a clue: yes you do,
otherwise you risk having your private files being findable
by anyone on the Web. What you need is a robots.txt file.
The Cari Worm
A new worm is doing the rounds, which arrives in users'
mailboxes as a .SCR file attachment called "cari". Executing
the attachment will delete certain key files from a Windows machine.
History Of The Internet
For something that was only invented 15 years ago or so, the
Internet has come a long way. But how, and why, did it start?
And what were the major milestones in its development? If
you're interested in such things, this excellent online history
of the Internet is worth a read.
Microsoft Into English
Have you noticed how announcements from Microsoft don't always
use the words that other people would use? Bugs aren't bugs,
for example, but issues. And when Microsoft's own staff
accidentally release viruses, these aren't actually viruses
but prank macros. For more examples of Redmondspeak check
out this unofficial Microsoft-English online dictionary. It's
disrespectful, sure, but still rather funny.
5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES FROM ITP
Word XP Tricks and Tips
April's issue of PC Support Advisor is published shortly,
and includes a superb collection of tips and tricks for
users of Word 2002. If you run Office XP you can check out
the complete article online for free, even if you're not
currently a PCSA subscriber.
So what is CRM?
In the April edition of PC Network Advisor, we take a look
at Customer Relationship Management. Just what is this new
CRM buzzword all about? How can it help your company, and
what does it cost to implement? Find out in PCNA. Or read
the article online for free, right now.
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