Your pointer to the very best
tech support information on the Web.
Issue 76 - 15th May 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
If you're sick of being bombarded with banner ads on every Web
site that you visit, spare a thought for those Webmasters trying
to scrape a living from the system. If you take a good look at
the figures involved, your thoughts may well turn from hatred
If you want to put banner ads on your own Website but you don't
want to get involved in the sales process, then there are plenty
of ad-serving companies that you can sign up with. Doubleclick.com
is the best known, of course, but they only deal with the very
largest sites. There are many others, who will deal with sites
that have as little as 1000 hits per week.
These ad-server sites are, in theory, a great idea for Web site
operators. Just sign up with the site, add a few lines of code
to your site, and select which categories of advert you are
willing to display. Your users then get served with banner
ads while they visit your site, and you get paid by the ad server
company for every advert you display.
That's the good news. There is, though, some bad news, namely
the amount of money that you can make. If your site is popular
enough to serve 10,000 ads per day, the typical payment from
some of the best-known ad-serving companies is about US$1500.
No, not 1500 per day, but 1500 per year. Hardly enough to pay
for the bandwidth.
So next time you're considering blocking banner ads from your
screen, take pity on the poor guys who are trying to provide you
with a useful, free service and are probably having a hard time.
On another note entirely, a friend of mine has been looking for
a Webmaster job recently. She was amazed to discover just how
many employers require Dreamweaver skills rather than FrontPage.
Microsoft Office may have 90% of the market, and Word and Excel
may be the most popular apps in the world but, when it comes
to Web site design, it seems that Microsoft is way behind. Could
it be time for Microsoft to buy up yet another competitor?
IN THIS ISSUE
1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
- Loads of PC Links
- Not The Latest
- Word Speller Updated
- Modem Booster 3.0
- DriveImage 2002
- Free ProTools
- Winamp 2.8 and 3
3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
- PGP 7.x Security Patch
- MSN Chat Control
- IIS Patches
4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
- Get Yourself Hacked
- Security Intelligence Alerts
- Databases Made Simple
- Klez Continues
5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES
- Those Pesky Users
- Windows 2000 Offline Files and Folders
1. TOP SUPPORT SITES
Loads of PC Links
A friend recommended this site to me recently. "If there's a
better collection of PC-related pointers out there", he says,
"then I'd like to know about it". We reckon it's superb.
Not The Latest
The Web makes it easy to distribute new versions of software.
However, this usually means that old versions are taken offline
and can be difficult to locate. You're stuck with updated
versions which are often much larger and full of features that you
don't particularly need. This great site keeps non-current
versions of popular software.
Word Speller Updated
Microsoft has recently overhauled its Office portal site, with
some new features. You can now download two new updates to
Office XP. The speller update "refreshes" Word's dictionary
by adding some street names, technical terms and geographic
locations. There's also a Service Pack 1 for Word XP, which
fixes an important security bug that affects anyone who uses
Word as Outlook's default email editor.
Modem Booster 3.0
inKline Global has released version 3 of its tool for
optimising PC modems. It works by doing 29 separate tests
and tweaking various hidden settings in Windows. This, says
the company, can increase the speed of your Internet surfing
by up to 300%. Download your trial copy now.
PowerQuest is now shipping DriveImage 2002, the latest version
of its tool for backing up entire disk partitions for safety and
to aid in moving to larger drives. It costs around US$50.
ProTools is a well-known audio editing suite for Windows, much
used in the professional broadcast industry for recording and
editing audio files. You can now download version 5 completely
free from the company's Web site.
Winamp 2.8 and 3
Our favourite MP3 player is now up to version 2.8, which includes
some new features and bug fixes. Alternatively, you can download
the latest beta of version 3.0, which includes major new
facilities such as skins. Both versions are freeware.
3. BUGS, SERVICE RELEASES AND PATCHES
PGP 7.x Security Patch
Network Associates has issued a patch for the PGP encryption
program, and specifically the component which wipes deleted
files from the hard disk. If your hard disk uses the NTFS
format and your directory has the "encrypted" attribute set,
file wiping doesn't work because PGP doesn't run with the
necessary privileges to do the job.
MSN Chat Control
A buffer overrun problem in the MSN Messenger and Chat controls
could allow a hacker to run code of their choice on a victim's
PC. Microsoft has issued a fix.
Microsoft has issued a cumulative patch for IIS v4 and v5, which
fixes a number of serious security bugs. If you run Microsoft's
Web server suite, the company strongly recommends that you
download and install this patch as soon as possible.
4. OTHER USEFUL STUFF
Get Yourself Hacked
Security company Qualys has launched a free online service
that simulates a hacker's attempts to hack into your PC via
your Web browser. Just log into the site and you'll get
a report on the openness (or otherwise) of your PC, plus
advice on whether you need to install any security patches.
Security Intelligence Alerts
SIA, from SecurityFocus, is a security alerting service
with a difference. Tell it which products you use, and it'll
keep you informed about only those alerts which are relevant
to you. The service knows about hundreds of vendors and
thousands of products. The only downside is the cost, which
is around US$5k per year.
Databases Made Simple
If you want a database-driven Web site, it couldn't get
much easier than this. Enter details of your database, such
as the number and type of fields, and the site generates
the necessary CGI scripts for managing the database. Just
upload the scripts to your server and the job is done.
The Klez virus continues to spread rapidly. We're seeing
at least 2 copies per day arriving in the Tech Support Alert
office, mostly from subscribers who have been infected and
in whose address books our details are included. If you
haven't updated your scanner recently, do it now. Kaspersky
reckons that 94% of reported virus incidents last month were
infections of Klez.
5. TECH SUPPORT RESOURCES FROM ITP
Those Pesky Users
Being a tech support professional would be a wonderful life if
you didn't have to deal with users. But you do, and users
expect (and deserve) courtesy and professionalism at all times.
Knowing how to deal with people correctly will save time for
both you and them. Read all about it in the latest issue of
PC Support Advisor, or check it out online right now.
Windows 2000 Offline Files and Folders
Just because a user is away from the office network connection
doesn't mean that his server-based files are inaccessible. The
local caching facility in Windows allows the user to work
offline and upload the changes upon reconnection. Find out how
to make it all work in the latest issue of PC Network Advisor, or
check out the complete article at the PCNA website right now.
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