A Publication of the Greater South
Bay PC Users Group
Volume 16 Number 9
An Article Regarding the Y2K Problem
Club News: Elections, Dues, and Projector News
The .ZIP File
Donít Lose Web Page Graphics In IE 4
Installing New Software Programs
Bits & Bytes of Info
Members can post want ads - Free
Software Library News
From the Editor
Scanner Plustek OpticPro 600P
via the Net
An Article Regarding the Y2K Problem
By Jimmie Corones, GSBUG, Inc.
I'm certain most of us are aware how much has been written about the problem of changing the century date in personal computers, yet I'd read of no answers to the problem until I mentioned my feelings to a neighbor. He responded quite surprisingly with an offer to give me a freeware solution, and he delivered it to my door the next morning!
After thanking him almost in disbelief, I put the diskette he gave me into my computer, ran an antivirus check on it and then a directory. It contained an exe file, a text file, and one I couldn't identify by the extension. After typing it to the screen, I decided it must be a text file written in Spanish, which made sense because the company producing the program is located in South Texas. Anyhow, I printed the text file to learn the answer to the year 2000 problem.
The explanation began by asking the reader to subject his computer to four tests. To make these tests, set your computer time and date to 23:59 and 12-31-99. Turn the power switch off and wait for at least one minute. Turn the switch on and key DATE and ENTER at the C:\> prompt. If the date is 01-04-1980, your machine has flunked that test. The remaining tests are made with power on. For the second test, key the same settings for time and date as in the first test, then wait for one minute to pass. Key DATE and ENTER. The year should have changed to 2000. Third, reboot the machine with CTRL-ALT-DEL. Key DATE and ENTER at the C:\> prompt. The year should remain 2000. Finally, set the date for 02-29-2000, then key DATE and ENTER. The screen should show Tuesday, 02-29-2000, which appears in century years only when they are divisible by 400.
My Wyse AT 286 and Packard-Bell 486 both passed the first and third test and flunked the second and fourth. After installing the program, however, both machines passed all four--making me VERY HAPPY to be rid of the millennium bug. Later I ran all four tests under Windows 95 on the 486, and those results were satisfactory also.
If you can get the program from someone nearby--Bob Hudak or me, for example--load the file YEAR2000.EXE into one of your directories that's in a path. Then call for that file from your autoexec.bat at some place after the path has been defined. That's all there is to it. It's a TSR that uses only 500 bytes and drops out if it tests and discovers it's not needed. You can also download the program from the address shown below.
The program is copyrighted by Air System Technologies, Inc., Dallas TX; is suitable for use in AT-class PCs and PS/2s, 286 through Pentium and its clones; and permission is granted to freely copy, distribute and use the program in its complete, unmodified form. Inquiries are invited via
http//rampages.onramp.net/~gtbecker and Email to Info@RighTime.Com.
Club News: Elections, Dues,
and Projector News
Elections will be held in October for club officers. Nominees for office are the same slate of officers as last year. See page two for photos of current officers. Floor nominations will be accepted if the candidate is willing. Be sure to attend and vote!
We also will be holding a vote at the October general meeting on whether to raise the dues $10 a year. Dues have not been raised since the inception of GSBUG, Inc. Be sure to attend and vote!
We will be voting at the October general meeting on whether to purchase a Panasonic computer projection system.
Projectors of this quality generally cost $6,000 but we are fortunate enough to buy a "hardly used" one for $3,000. Be sure to attend and vote!
Renewal of dues will be in October for the following year.
By George Austin, GSBUG, Inc.
Next year's GSBUG Board of Directors, to be seated January 1 1999, will be elected at the October 1998 General Meeting. All seven offices President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and three Members-at-Large are open to candidates.
While we are fortunate that incumbents have all agreed to rerun, aspirants are encouraged to throw their hats in the ring. To volunteer as a candidate, call George Austin, Nominating Committee Head. Do so by September 30 to be included on the preprinted ballot.
Write-in slots will be provided on the ballot for additional nominees from the floor on election night. Winning candidates will be those receiving a majority of votes cast. If no more than one candidate vies for any office, the vote may be taken by hand count.
The .ZIP File
By John Sullivan, GSBUG
(For the following, I am using WinZip v.6.3, and Netscape v. 3.04)
A "ZIP" program is currently one of the most popular of the many file compression\decompression programs that have been used over the years.
If you download a file from the Internet, and it's filename ends in " .zip ", it's a compressed file that was compressed using a ZIP program. Before you can use the file that you downloaded, you have to "unzip" it (decompress it back to its original size).
There are many different zip programs available, but one called "WinZip" by Nico Mak is very popular, and easy to use. It is available as shareware for $29.
In the old days, people had to pay for their BBS or Internet usage by the hour, so if you had a big file to send, it was cheaper to compress it first, and then send it, and then have the receiving person de-compress it.
Nowadays, when most people have "unlimited" Internet usage, zipping a file simply makes it transfer faster (people like fast).
Another advantage of zipping is that you can zip a bunch of files together, and then give them a single name, and then send/receive just one file, instead of a bunch of little ones. So when you download (and unzip) a file, it could be one big one, which was zipped to save transfer time, or a bunch of little ones all bundled together, so that you didn't have to download each one individually.
A third advantage to zipping is that you can take a bunch of files that (together) would be too big to save onto a floppy disk, and zip them into one file which is small enough to fit onto a single floppy. And a side benefit of zip programs is that, if the file you end up with is going to be too big for a single floppy disk, you can go ahead and start to save it onto a floppy, and when the floppy disk is full, the program will tell you to put in another, and another, until it is done. So you can actually save a big file over multiple floppy disks, and when you try to recover it (unzip it), the zip program will put the pieces all back together for you!
This is useful when you want to save your e-mail files onto floppy disk. If, as in Netscape, you save your e-mail into separate folders in the Netscape Mail program, when you view them with Windows Explorer, each "folder" is actually a single file. When you want to save them, they may be too big for a floppy. But if you compress each one with Zip first, then they should each fit onto a floppy.
To use WinZip, open the program, and select "New". This will make a new "archive", which is the fancy term for a compressed file. Now you have to give it a name. You are going to compress a bunch of files into one new file, so you have to tell the computer what the new name will be, and also where it will be on the hard drive (the path). You can call it almost anything, and put it anywhere, but you have to decide the what and where.
When you select "New" a file requester window will open that says "Create", and next to it is the name of the folder in which the new archive will be created. This is your chance to change it. Click on the down pointing arrow, and find the folder where you want to make the new file. Then in the space called "Filename", give it a new name (WinZip will add the ".zip" for you) and click on "OK".
Now the "Add" box will open, and this is where you select what files you want zipped into the new filename that you designated. Again, you may have to change the Path to where the files are that you want to zip. Next to the box labeled Filename, you'll see a " *.* ". This means that it will zip ALL the files in that folder, unless you tell it otherwise. If you want to zip everything, click on the "Add with Wildcards" button. Otherwise, you have to select which files you want zipped. Click the mouse on the first one you want, then hold down the Control key on the keyboard, and click on the other ones that you want. When you're done, click on the "Add" button.
Making and saving an archive that is saved onto multiple floppy disks is called "disk spanning", and is only possible during the initial "Create" function. If you want to try this, select "New", and, when it asks for a new filename, next to the "Create" box, type A:\ first (to designate your A: drive), and then the new filename.
Now when you ADD files to it, it will start with the first floppy disk, and then when that fills up, it will ask for more.
Probably it is easier to compress each big file that you want to save separately, and then just copy that new zipped file onto a floppy.
This will get you started. If you have any questions on this, come to the Windows 95 Intermediate SIG, and we'll try to explain it a little better.
Donít Lose Web Page Graphics In IE 4
By William A. Parradee
Have you ever viewed a Web page that had information and graphics you wanted to keep indefinitely? Or wanted to send it by e-mail?
You save or mail the Web page -- but the graphics are missing when you view the file or the e-mail reaches its destination. Or the graphics are in the file when first viewed but disappear from it after a week or a month.
Internet Explorer 4.0 (IE4) has a way to save Web pages or send them by e-mail that must be used to avoid loss of the graphics. When a Web page that was saved to disk the ordinary way is viewed in IE4, IE4 will retrieve the graphics from the Windows/Temporary Internet Files (TIF) folder. In some cases IE4 will go online for them or offer to do so. When those graphics are gone from the TIF folder, they will be missing when the saved file is viewed. The graphics were never in the saved file; only a reference to their location is in the file.
The Graphics Can Be Included
You can save those Web pages to disk or send them by e-mail in a few seconds and include their graphics. Use a mouse or the keyboard, online or off.
The following directions apply when viewing the Web page online or off-line with IE4. In some IE4 settings, the Web page menu does not show. In that case start by pressing Alt+F instead of clicking File. Or the menu may appear when you move the mouse pointer to the top of the page and leave it for a moment or two. Continue by using a mouse or the keyboard, whichever you prefer.
To Save the Web Page:
1. Choose File, Send, Page by E-mail.
2. Choose Tools, Send Pictures with message.
3. Choose File, Save As...
4. Type a new name or location if desired.
5. Save the file as type Mail (*.eml).
6. Close the e-mail window.
7. Locate the saved file.
8. Change its extension to mhtml.
9. Close the Web page or choose another one.
Now you have a permanent file you can view anytime in IE4.
To Send the Page by E-mail:
If you want only to send the page as e-mail with graphics, do steps 1 and 2 above and complete the address. Add the subject and some text if you wish. Send it or save it to send later.
To Save the Page & Send It Too:
To do both, save the page first by completing steps 1 to 5. Make any entries needed for the e-mail message. Send it or save for later transmission. Finish the remaining steps to change the saved file's extension to mhtml.
Note: If the page is sent before saving it, the e-mail window will disappear. The Web page must be viewed again and steps 1 and 2 repeated before doing steps 3 to 9.
Helpful Hints & Explanations
Step 1 copies the Web page being viewed into an e-mail message. Step 2 adds the graphics when it is sent or saved. Step 2 is critical; if omitted the graphics will be lost. Steps 3 to 5 save the page to disk; step 6 closes the e-mail window; steps 7 to 9 rename the extension of the saved page.
Save the Web pages to a special folder of floppy disk in steps 4 and 5 if desired.
Reduce online time by leaving steps 7 to 9 for a later time. That can also save time when saving several pages from the Temporary Internet Files (TIF) folder.
In step 5, the extension must be eml to work right.
The mhtml extension in step 8 is not an error. It will not work with htm or html as the extension.
The quickest way to close the e-mail window without saving it is to press the Esc key.
Clicking on a highlighted item in a Web page works only if it refers to something on the same page or still available in the TIF folder or when online. With some settings, IE4 will go online to get the item or offer to do so.
To save or send a previously visited page, use Windows Explorer in its Work Off-line mode. Go to the Windows\Temporary Internet Files folder and view it. The History menu may help find Web pages that were visited recently. If any graphics are missing, see the next paragraph.
An IE4 fault sometimes deletes or fails to save a Web page or some of its graphics. To get missing graphics, visit the original Web site again. You may wish to save what you have and ignore missing graphics that are ads or refer to another Web site.
As an experiment, I saved an open TIF Web page with its graphics in less than 24 seconds. I allowed it to use the Desktop as the default location. I used the keyboard, except to right-click the saved file's icon in order to change its extension to mhtml.
Installing New Software Programs
By John Sullivan, GSBUG
At the Windows 95/98 SIG on Aug 28, someone asked how to install new software under Windows 95. I'm glad she asked that question. It reminded me that there are many people who are new to computers and need answers to basic questions that a lot of us assume that everyone knows.
We went on to show how to use the "Run" command (Click on the Start button, then click on "Run" in the menu that pops up.) I explained that most software programs will have a file on the disk called "setup.exe", and this is the one that usually starts the installation process. However, not all programs use that particular command, so it's not standardized. As a matter of fact, I tried to demonstrate the process by using a disk that had the "Juno" e-mail program on it, and it's install command is "junoinst.exe", instead of the "setup.exe" that I was expecting to find.
Anyway, I showed how to open the Run command box, which gives you an area where you can type in the command that installs the software. We also talked about the "Browse" button that you'll see there, and how to use it in case you don't know the spelling of the file that starts the installation process.
I think I decided to demonstrate the "Run" command box because it might seem familiar to people who had used the similar function in Windows 3.1. However in Windows there is always more than one way to do something, regardless of which version of Windows you're using.
After I got home that night, I realized that Windows 95 and 98 provide an "Add\Remove Programs" function, and that I should have demonstrated how to use it! So let's take a minute or two, and go over it.
The "Add\Remove Programs"
If you click your mouse on the Start button (move your mouse so that the arrow on the monitor screen moves onto the "Start" button in the lower left corner of your screen, and click on it once with the left mouse button), it will open up a menu list. As you move the mouse up and down, you'll see the arrow move up and down over the menu. Move the arrow over the word "Settings", and a new menu will open up. Move the arrow over the words "Control Panel" and click the left mouse button on it, one time.
A new window will open up, with a bunch of "icons" in it. One of the icons will be labeled "Add/Remove Programs". Move the mouse so that the arrow is over this icon, and double click on it (click the left mouse button two times, rather quickly). Now a window titled "Add/Remove Programs Properties" will open up, and you'll see a button that says "Install.." Click on this, and you'll get a message telling you that if the software you want to install is on a floppy disk, put it into your floppy drive now (probably called the "A:" drive). If it's on a CD, put it into the CD drive now (naturally). Your CD drive could be named D:, or E: or just about anything, and will be different on different computers, but the "Install.." procedure should find it for you.
Then click on the button labeled "Next", and the computer will look for the command that starts the installation process. It's usually looking for a file named "Setup.exe", and if the particular command is something else (like it was with Juno), it may not know what to do. If that should happen to you, you'll see a window open up that has an area where you can type in the appropriate command, if you know it, or you can click on a button called "Browse" to view your drives, and select the proper command file.
When you click on the Browse button, a window will open that you can use to "Browse" around on your drives until you find the installation command. It will probably start by showing you your C: drive, and this is probably not where the install command is, so you have to tell it to "Browse" the A: drive, if your new software is on floppy disks, or your CD drive, if it's on CD-ROM. Near the top of the window is a box that has the letter "C:" in it, and to the right is a down-pointing arrow. If you click your mouse on this down-arrow, a list will open that shows all of your drives. One should be labeled "3 1/2 floppy A:", and you click on this one if your new program is on floppy disks. There should also be a drive for your CDs, and you'll be able to spot it because it will have a little icon next to it that looks like a CD.
When you select the appropriate drive, it should show you a list of command files, one of which will be the one you use to install the software. Click on it once, and the name will appear down below in the box labeled "File name". Now click on "Open", and the installation process should begin. However, this is not a standardized process, so the command you're looking for may be buried a little deeper. In that case, you may have to get out the instructions that came with the new program, and read them over. They should direct you to where you can find the installation command.
The "Add\Remove Programs" function is a little friendlier to use than just the "Run.." command box, so you might want to try it out the next time you're installing new software.
Installing New Programs from the Windows disk:
If you want to add or remove one of the programs that comes on the Windows disk, the procedure is a little different, because Windows will first look over your computer, and give you a listing of what's already installed. Then you can select to add to it, or remove something from it. When you open the "Add\Remove Programs" window, like above, you'll see a couple of "tabs" at the top of the window, and one is labeled "Windows Setup". When you click on this tab, Windows will search the computer to see how many of its programs are actually on your computer. (Not all of the available ones are installed during the Windows installation procedure, some need to be installed later, when you need them.)
The Windows Setup function will search your hard drive for installed components, and give you a list. You'll see check marks in the boxes next to the ones that are installed. Follow the directions, and find the program that you want to add, and click in the box next to it so that a checkmark appears. * The trick here is that Windows will install, or keep, any programs that have a checkmark next to them, and delete any that do not. So don't remove a checkmark unless you want that particular program deleted! Just click on the one that you want to add, and then click on the "OK" button down below. Windows will then get the appropriate program from your Windows disk, and install it onto your hard drive.
The programs on the Windows disk are arranged in groups. If all of the programs in a group are installed, you'll see the checkmark in a white box. If none are installed, the white box will be empty. However, if only some of the programs in a group are installed, the checkmark will be in a gray colored box. You can see a list of the ones that are installed by clicking once on the group, then clicking on the button labeled "Details". You'll get a listing of that group. Again, you just click on the empty box next to the program that you want installed, and leave the checkmarks alone next to the ones that are already installed, if you want to keep them.
Well, that was a pretty long explanation, but it's actually easier to do than it is to explain. If you have any problems with it, or anything else, come to one of the meetings, and we'll help you.
By Frank Chao, GSBUG
Hello. This is the second in a series of articles about subjects pertaining to the Internet. These articles are based on the comments and questions that GSBUG members send me so please contact me by means of any of the methods listed at the end of this article.
One of the hottest and most controversial issues related to the Internet is that of Web page design. The Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG) has performed an evaluation of Web sites of Southern California-based PC User Groups. I posted their results at http://home.earthlink.net/~fchao2/evaluate.htm The bottom line is that our very own GSBUG web site, which is located at http://www.lafn. org/community/gsbug, ranked 9th out of a field of 17. This is pretty good, when one takes into consideration the small number of people who actually work on our Web site, relative to the number of people who work on some of the "competing" sites.
To make it easy for you to view the various Web sites of the various Users Groups, I have created hyperlinks to all of the various sites at the above-mentioned page at http: // home. earthlink.net/~fchao2/evaluate.htm Please send any comments or suggestions about our Web site to our hardworking Webmaster, Herman Krouse. Herman's e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next, here is an announcement and an invitation for you. The Los Angeles Free-Net(LAFN), a non-profit, low-cost Internet Service Provider (ISP), will host a free seminar on Internet access. The public is invited. Here are the details:
Date: Sunday, September 27, 1998
Time: 1:00 pm to 3:30pm
Location: Tarzana Regional Medical Center
18321 Clark Street , Tarzana, CA
Room: Auditorium (Follow the paper signs.)
Directions: Clark Street is one block south of Burbank Blvd. and one block north of Ventura Blvd. The hospital is in the middle of the block between Reseda Blvd. on the west and Etiwanda Ave. on the east. From the Reseda Blvd. off-ramp of the Ventura (101) Freeway, go south (toward Ventura Blvd.), drive past/through Burbank Blvd., then turn left at Clark Street. Proceed 1/2 long block past Gelson's Market (on the right/south side of Clark Street) and then the hospital will be on the left/north side of Clark Street. Park in the multi-story parking structure. There is no charge for parking there. The Women's Pavilion is just east of the parking structure.
Additional information: Extensive paper documentation will be provided free-of-charge to all seminar participants.
The auditorium has a projection system that is second to none. We use the ceiling-mounted 3-color projector to project transparencies and computer screens onto a screen that can be viewed with ease from anywhere in the room.
During the first half of this session, we will cover the basics of Internet dial-up access, e-mail, and software configuration. During the second half of this session, we will provide demonstrations of software configuration for Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Macintosh, and MS-DOS.
We usually don't get too many requests for demonstrations of MS-DOS-based Internet access. It is a topic that is very near and dear to me but I think that it is like being a master mechanic on Ford Edsels. But, I digress!.
After the formal presentation, we then run various impromptu demonstrations based on questions from the more energetic audience members--the ones who are still awake (just kidding). There are two phone lines in the auditorium so we usually set up one Windows 95 computer and one Windows 3.1 computer and entertain "burning questions". We also set up one Macintosh computer in another room to help out the few Macintosh owners who usually attend.
The audience members range from people who have just purchased computers for the first time ("newbies") clear up to rocket scientist types ("geeks", "nerds"). We provide information to accommodate all levels of expertise.
To find out more about this seminar, either contact me or click on the topmost hyperlink at http://www.lafn.org/webconnect This hyperlink will gradually turn into the official "Agenda and Notes" for this seminar. You might also like to know that we hold this seminar every month. It is not always held in Tarzana. The one at the end of June was in Monrovia. The one in October or November is tentatively planned for Orange County. Attendance at one of these seminars is a great way for you to jump-start your knowledge of how to get on the Internet by using the Los Angeles Free-Net as your ISP.
In order to supplement the training at these seminars, all participants are provided with an extensive packet of paper documentation. This extensive paper documentation is designed to get you through the hurdles of learning about the Internet. This paper documentation is also a good way for you to prove that you really did go to a computer seminar on a perfectly good Sunday afternoon, if you encounter disbelieving friends, relatives, spouses, or your psychotherapist.
If you already have some way to get on the World Wide Web, then another great way for you to get information about the Los Angeles Free-Net is at the ever expanding "Web Connections Help Center". It is located at: http://www.lafn.org/webconnect/wc_help.htm
This series of online Web pages covers much more information that we could possibly cover at the seminars. Between the live seminars and the Web pages at the "Web Connections Help Center", we hope to reduce the amount of pain reliever or flavored alcoholic depressants that you end up taking, as you struggle with getting your computer(s) connected to the Internet. Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, and plenty of other companies keep promising that Internet access will eventually get easier but the reality of the matter is that it seems to get harder and more complex as the years roll by.
Let me know if you have any questions or problems with your Internet access, especially if you are a member of the Los Angeles Free-Net and I will either help you out or find someone that can. I can be reached in several ways:
1. Leave me a voice message. (a Hawthorne phone number)
2. Page me.
3. Send e-mail to me at email@example.com
4. Send me "snail" United States Postal Service mail at Frank Chao, P.O. Box 2548, El Segundo, CA 90245-2548. Hope to hear from a lot of you soon. Happy Web surfing!
Bits & Bytes of Info
By William A. Parradee, GSBUG, Inc.
More E-mail Virus Info
Microsoft Patches for Patches
Microsoft offered another patch for the Outlook 98 and Outlook Express 4.x security flaw. The first patch was offered in July. The updated patch was released in mid-August. Get it at http://www.microsoft.com/security
The first patch corrected a security problem with unopened e-mail attachments. Extra long file names on them cause buffer overflows. The long file name may contain other harmful code which can run on your computer.
Later, Microsoft found another security flaw. The latest patch fixes that and includes the original fix released in July.
Some Netscape products have the same flaw covered by Microsoft's first update. An update should be ready by now. I don't know if Netscape also has the second flaw found in Microsoft's products. To find updates when using Netscape, select Help, Security.
Qualcomm has a patch for the e-mail attachment problem on Eudora at http://www.eudora.com and will soon release Eudora Pro 4.1 with that problem fixed.
Bogus E-Mail Patch
A false patch for the Internet Explorer e-mail security flaw is being sent to users. It claims to be from Microsoft. It may say it is from IESupport@ microsoft.com with "FREE! Your upgrade for Microsoft Internet Explorer" on the subject line. The fake patch sends outbound e-mail to Bulgaria. It may do other things not yet determined. The name of the false patch is IE080898.EXE. Do not run it. Delete it.
Antivirus Companies Merge
McAfee Associates merged with Network General last year to form Network Associates. Now Network Associates has bought Dr. Solomon's Software. Some product lines will be combined. Others will remain separate.
Dr. Solomon's is known for high ratings on virus detection and cleaning. Network Associates is said to have a good user interface and update capabilities. Technical support and driver updates are expected to be available indefinitely for the Dr. Solomon antivirus software.
Free Antivirus Program
The MS-DOS version of F-Prot is free for individual use. It works fine on Windows computers. Many MS-DOS and Windows users of F-Prot believe it to be among the best antivirus checkers available.
The latest release is available at http://www.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/msdos/virus/fp-302.zip and other locations. The zip file contains 1,657K. A Windows version of F-Prot is available for a small charge. The last time I tried to download a file from Simtel, it was painfully slow. About 350 BPS when it should have been almost 3000.
Internet Explorer 5
IE5 is expected to remedy problems with undersized fonts from some sites that are difficult to read, or long waits while IE does fancy things on the screen. A beta version is available from Microsoft for hardy computer users.
IE5 is said to include Dynamic HTML, XML, and Cascading Style Sheets 2 (CCS2). CCS2 lets IE5 users drag and drop on a Web site. Thus, they can change a Web site's looks without actually affecting the Web Site. Off-line browsing works better. Images are saved in the same folder with the HTML file that uses them.
Netscape Communicator 5
Netscape expected to offer a beta version of Communicator 5 by the end of the year. It probably will include Dynamic HTML, CSS2, and Extensible Markup Language (XML). The standards were not completed when previous releases were made.
Web developers mainly blame Microsoft and Netscape for browser incompatibilities that greatly increase the cost of Web site development. For example, an accelerator claims you can surf the Web much faster. But it isn't compatible with your browser. Many software makers and Web site developers are frustrated by such things. Web site developers must ignore new features or make several versions for the different browsers.
The Web Standards Project (WSP) is trying to set standards for Web development. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has guidelines for Web software and display. WSP asks for cooperation with these guidelines by Microsoft and Netscape.
Hackers Release Windows Surveillance, Control Tools
In Las Vegas, at the Black Hat Briefings conference, Back Orifice was released. L0phtcrack 2.5 was to be released a few days later. Unscrupulous hackers can use these programs to take over a Windows 95 or Windows 98 system or view secure transfers between Windows NT servers.
The Black Orifice program can be sneaked into a computer by e-mail and in other ways. The computer user may not know the system is not under complete control.
L0phtcrack 2.5 allows hackers to get PPTP authentication packets on a network. Windows NT machines use PPTP to make transactions between machines and remote clients.
A new version of Microsoft Dial Up Networking (MSDUN) will prevent L0phtcrack's harm in Windows NT. MSDUN is in beta release.
Beware of Bogus Software Company
An angry parent complained about a "bogus software company" in the alt.comp.shareware newsgroup recently. A salesperson phoned and claimed someone there had expressed interest in the product. Neither he nor his wife had done so. The shareware was offered with no obligation to buy. A credit card number was needed to ship the product. I will omit further details and the company's name. Unsolicited phone calls and credit card numbers are a dangerous combination.
Members can post want ads - Free
If you need a computer part or software, post a want ad. If you have something that you canít see yor way clear to donate to the club, post a for sale ad!
Software Library News
By Bob Hudak
I came across a program that should be of interest to Win 95-98 users. It is freeware so it does not require registration to use all of its features. Following is a copy of a review I captured. I was not able to load this program on the club computer. I am in contact with the author to find out what my problem is. Liz loaded it on her machine without a problem. It is V-3.07 so any loading problems should be taken care of. The problem is with the club computer.
by Alfred Bolliger
PrintKey is a system tray-based freebie that lets you do a real "Print Screen" just like in the good ol' DOS days. Whenever the program is active, press the PrintScrn key (or other configured key) on your keyboard. The program's main window pops up to give you several options. The capture can be centered, stretched, reduced, copied to the Clipboard, converted to grayscale, and saved as a .bmp or .jpg file. In addition, you can choose to invert colors, add a frame, mirror the image, print user info and footer text, insert the date and time, and print in landscape or portrait mode. If desired, instant print-screens can occur without going through the dialog box. Then press a button to send your image directly to your printer. Press Alt plus your hotkey to print just the active window, or select a rectangular area of the screen to print. You'll also find buttons for Printer Setup and for launching your default .bmp viewer/editor. PrintKey is a fast way to get hard-copy captures without having to use traditional screen-capture methods and the price is definitely right. FREE!
The best way to learn how to do real work with the computer is to volunteer to help on some project. This month I helped to create a database with name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address. I was just helping a friend who was a little short of time.
First, I needed to scan the list of names from a printed roster. Not having a scanner, I reached out for help from a couple of overworked club members. The next day, with a text file in hand, I was wondering how to put all this info into the database program Rapidfile, a great DOS program. It is pretty easy going from one database to another, because all database progams can do this. But starting out with a text file is something else. There might be an easy way to do it, but I just brought it into my word processor and typed in all the commas to turn it into comma-delineated form. Itís lucky that there were only 85 records.
After this, everything was easy except for printing a double column roster using WordPerfect V 6.0 DOS (what else!). I had to get a couple more club members involved to get me straightened out.
So the lesson here is that it really pays to belong to GSBUG and have such a great knowledge base to draw upon when doing more then playing with icons. At my SIG this month, we can talk about some of problems that I ran into doing this little project.
From the Editor
By Liz Orban, GSBUG, Inc.
E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
As editor, I recently received an e-mail offering jobs demonstrating hardware and software products for major computer resellers. MarketSourcesent the e-mail to say they had open positions beginning September 11, 1998 running through the end of 1999 for companies including Dragon Software and NEC. Pay varies by account and ranges from $12 to $20 per hour. Contact me for a copy of the e-mail or check with www.marketsource.com
At COMDEX last November, I subscribed to a to-be-issued magazine about new entertainment and electronic technology. I had seen lots of computer toys at COMDEX that I hoped would come to market some day, and this magazine seemed like a good way to keep track of them. The magazine seems to concentrate on cameras, DVD, digital TV, images and virtual reality.
One article on the Universal Serial Bus (USB) shed some light on what peripherals that will soon be available for connection to this port. The high bandwidth of the USB, 100 times faster than a serial port and 10 times faster than a parallel port, makes it possible to use new toys and peripherals. The article mentioned telephones which do not need special add-in cards, digital audio, digital cameral, virtual reality goggles and data gloves, and in-car computers. Since the USB is hot swappable, a new user can join a multi-user game "on the fly". Since you can share peripherals between PCs, small businesses can share phones, security devices and displays. Also, with so many devices based on USB, peripherals can be connected and moved between car, home and office. Iím excited about it. Are you?
For those of you trying to learn the basics of Windows95, we have an interactive training CD-ROM available in the club library. It was created by a company that publishes training videos and CD-ROMs and made available to the public at the price of shipping in an attempt to get further orders. I hope you will take advantage of it and use it.
If you read the August issue of Computer Currents, you might have seen an article on the new Macintosh. Although you couldnít tell in the magazine, itís turquoise-colored! And it seems to be targeted at entertainment and imaging users. It comes with a 10/100Base-T Ethernet network adapter, an infrared port, stereo speakers, etc. There is no floppy drive; instead Imation and Iomega make USB superdisk (120MB floppy) and zip drives for the iMac. A USB enabled SparQ drive is also supposed to be available by the end of the year. Epson and Hewlett-Packard have USB adapters for their printers and are promising USB printers for the iMac, and there is a USB scanner from Umax. These high speed peripherals are ideal for those interested in games, photos and movies. CorelDraw 8 for the iMac is also supposed to be available by early September. CorelDraw 8 for the Mac will also handle CorelDraw for Windows and Illustrator files, and save files in HTML.
Scanner Plustek OpticPro 600P
By Jay Leggett, Alamo PC
Reprinted from PC Alamode, 7/98
When the price of a 300 x 600 scanner went to $49.99 (Best Buy) I could resist no longer. Out came the trusty over-used credit card and I was off. The price with tax was $75.41. After my stamp and mail-in rebate I calculate the net cost to be $55.73. I was so excited I was just barely able to get my "Plustek OpticPro 600P" through Castle Hills and to my ghetto apartment without a speeding ticket.
I saw no reason to burden myself with reading any instructions so I scraped a spot on my overloaded desk and down the scanner went. Cable to the printer parallel port, power to the wall plug , CD to the tray and I was ready to scan. I scanned a picture first with "Photo Magic" which comes with the unit. It looked quite good.
Then came the real test. In went a copy of AAA's magazine "Texas Journal". With a click of the mouse I pulled up the included OCR program, "Type Reader"; and, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but an elf and eight tiny reindeer - No! Wrong story. The OCR program had picked up the three column arrangement and had organized the magazine's story in the correct order with only one incorrectly spelled word. Next I tried a correspondence I had received and dropped it directly from the OCR program into a MS Word format file. I looked at the saved file with MS Word and noted the translation had even saved all of the original letter's formatting.
I decided I wanted my scanner and printer on a different parallel port, so with credit card again in hand I headed to CompUSA and picked up one of the $30.00 DIC cards ($2.64 after stamp and rebate). I read the manual only enough to see the card was factory configured to LPT2. In the card went. Cables flew together and I was ready to give it a try again. One quick click on the scanner utility that came with the unit, another click on "Auto Search" and I was in business. A quiet test of my printer on LPTI and all in "my world" was well. That was the limit to reconfiguring the scanner to LPT2.
Things I like
First and foremost was the ease of installation and use. I installed and had the unit running before I discovered Plustek had put an user guide and manual on the CD. The unit did come with a very large installation visual card which is quite good. The included graphics software is O.K. I have full blown Photo Shop so I do not expect to be using the included package, but it is an adequate program. The included Twain scanning works with all my other programs.
I was very favorably impressed with the included OCR program. Usually I have no use for so called "Lite" programs, but this one is an exception. It works well.
Things I do not like
The scanner case is a little flimsy; however, the cover will come off so one can do books. If scattering light becomes a problem while scanning, I can afford some black velvet to cover the unit with the money I have saved.
The included graphics program changed the associations with the graphic files to itself and did not ask!
The net cost, after stamps & rebates, with a second parallel card was $58.37. At that price I would recommend buying several and giving them as Christmas Stocking Fillers.
Jay Leggett has been a member of Alamo PC for almost one year. He is an unemployed, very rotund old man with very few, if any, redeeming social qualities except that he is an excellent ball room dancer. He can be contacted by e-mail at:
via the Net - http://www.bigron.com
Q: Doctor, Doctor, I keep thinking I'm invisible. A:Who said that??
Q: Doctor, Doctor, People keep ignoring me. A: Next!
Q: Doctor, Doctor, I can't concentrate. One minute I'm OK and the next minute I'm blank!! A: And how long have you had this complaint? What complaint?
Q: Doctor, Doctor, I've only got 59 seconds to live. A: Wait a minute, please!
Q: Doctor, Doctor, No one believes a word I say. A: Tell me the truth now, what is your real problem?