The Bug Report

The only Bug that's good for your computer!

A Publication of the Greater South Bay PC Users Group

Volume 19 Number 5

May 2001





Did you get the AnnaK worm yet?



by Frank Chao


Welcome to the 33rd article in the AInternet Talk@ series. During the Spring break week of El Camino College, where I teach, I and Liz took off for a little cruise in Belgium and Holland. We found the Internet to be alive and well in both of these countries.
As stated in previous articles in this series, you can supplement real travel to near and far places by using Web access to learn about the places that you are planning to visit. Prior to leaving taking off to Belgium and Holland,  I started a Web page about our pending trip
by adding hyperlinks to the on-line itinerary that was provided by our tour company. The Web page that I created is located at
After returning home, I viewed some of the Web sites of the  places that we visited. I then added additional hyperlinks to these Web sites, into my above-mentioned Web page.
While we were roaming through Bruges, Belgium last month, we happened upon an Internet cafe. I paid the equivalent of 4 U.S. dollars for 15 minutes of lightning-fast World Wide Web access.  Using a Pentium computer that was running the Dutch version of Windows 98, I  accessed my Yahoo mail account. Using the ACheck Other Mail@ feature of Yahoo mail, I was able to grab my e-mail from some of my regular e-mail accounts, including my e-mail at El Camino College.  I was also able to reply to e-mail messages from two of my students before I ran out of time. The Internet access at this cafe was excellent. It was faster than Internet access via the T1 link at El Camino College. The cafe in Belgium apparently had an E1 link, which provides a raw data speed of 2.048 Megabits per second. The E1 lines that the telephone companies provide between end-users and Internet Service Providers in Europe are similar to the T1 links that we have in North America. (The T1 links in these parts have a raw data speed of 1.544 Megabits per second.)
Liz and I found Internet cafes and computer stores in many towns in both Belgium and Holland. With the exception of the Internet cafe in Bruges, Belgium, we were unable to visit any of these places due to the fast-paced nature of our trip.
As most of you know, File Transfer Protocol is the main method for copying files from your local computer to a Web server, when you are revising or creating a Web site. In order upload files using FTP, you have to use  software that is called an AFTP client@. My colleague, Dr. Herb Feldman , recommends a free FTP client called ABlue Zone FTP@: In an e-mail message to his fellow mentor/volunteers at the Los Angeles Free-Net, he stated:
AAn alternative FTP client that I use is BlueZone FTP. It is free and can be found at It supports socks5 and works well with lafn. It's pretty straight forward to set up, about the only
problem I had, is when it came to specifying "User". If you use it and have a problem email me at: (
When I typed    into the address box of my Web browser, I ended up at the Web site for a company called Seagull. This Web page stated that Renex has been acquired by Seagull. I then clicked on AVisit Renex Website@.
Finally I clicked on ARegister Free FTP@ and I arrived at:
after downloading and registering the Blue Zone FTP software, I have used it extensively without problems. It is better than all of the FTP software products that I have purchased over the past two years.
I wish to thank Dr. Feldman for telling us about this fabulous free software for performing client FTP file transfers.
If you have a DSL link or a cable modem, you can to learn how to tweak your computer for maximum Internet downloads and uploads at:
This fine Web site was mentioned in the November 21st issue of  APC Magazine@. However, they gave out the incorrect URL.
To learn everything about DSL, including the actual speed of a DSL connection, see DSL Reports at
According to page 30, of the May issue of AComputer Shopper@,  if you need to complain about a service or product that does not meet your expectations, plenty of Web sites can now help you out for gratis:
So please vent online instead of going postal !!


Knowledge is power and understanding how devices and systems work is both fun and empowering. To get a high-level working knowledge about how anything works, go to      to view a fascinating Web site called AMarshall Brain=s How Stuff Works@.
At this site, you can learn about cars, boats, trains, computers, networks, the human body, etc.

For low-cost, quality computer training, try El Camino College. Their Web site is located at:
Kostek Haussmann, a long-time GSBUG member, volunteers time as a computer lab assistant. He teaches students about Web browsers, FTP, and e-mail. Let me know if you wish to participate in a similar manner.
I am currently teaching two sections of a course called AComputer Information Systems 19 --The Internet and Networking Principles@. These classes will conclude at the end of May.
In August, I will teach two sections of AComputer Information Systems 13 B Introduction to Computers@.  One section meets on Tuesday evenings and the other meets on Thursday evenings.
You too can participate as either a teacher or as a student, contact me for details.

In order to make Internet access safe for children, you have to do two things: 
You have to implement Internet filtering software and you have to
activate an Internet rating system in your Web browser software.  To learn more about child-proofing Internet access, see


In order to get an idea of how well the various anti-virus software products work against real live computer viruses, Karl Springer of the Los Angeles Computer Society recommends that you look at
In order to protect yourself from the thousands of computer viruses that exist, you need to install one of the products that is listed at this Website. You also have to keep your anti-virus products current by installing the updates that are available on a weekly basis.
If you have any questions or problems, I can be contacted by the following methods:
1. Leave a voice message for me at 310-768-3896.
2. Send me e-mail at:
3. Send "snail" U.S. Postal Service mail to
      Frank Chao
      PO Box 6930
     Torrance, CA 90504-0030.
Or sell your computer and take up golf instead !



By John Sellers



A representative of Pacific Bell Telephone will make a presentation of the technology available to enhance our access to the Worldwide Web.
The presentation shall be basically technical and provide us with a better understanding the telephone functions for voice, modem operation, DSL and perhaps what the future may provide. Most of our members may not understand the basic telephone fundamentals but are using modems with telephone to access Internet Service Providers to gather information worldwide and to send email letters to others. A simple understanding is desired of the telephone operation within the locality and perhaps what is achieved in long distance switching and number of lines used. The basic difference in voice and that of communicating via the computer. Namely how the modem couples to the phone and what is being accomplished today by the telephone industry to improve their services to enhance the use of the phone for digital packets such as being accomplished today when a PC interconnects via the telephone to ISP and on to web sites for email and other nodes for other destinations.
By  Bob Ackerman, Past GSBUG President
A friend of mine was kind enough to send me a copy of the latest Bug Report that reported the death of Sheldon Chelsy. The news told me that I had lost a friend for over 15 years, and now a very important part of GSBUG is gone.
When I first joined GSBUG in the mid 80's I learned that everything involving GSBUG involved Shelly. He was at the general meetings, at the SIG groups (even the Pig SIG), at all board meetings and other special events. His input was listened to with respect and his suggestions were taken quite seriously. He was the first friend I made at GSBUG. After I moved away in 1994 he remained my friend. We have corresponded over the years through email and telephone and remained in close contact throughout. He was one of the sources that I used to keep in touch with GSBUG.
As the club grew, Shelly was there too. I remember many hours at my home, as well at other locations, pouring over proposed By‑Laws changes and suggestions. We wrote and rewrote and then revised again. I remember board meetings where we hashed out ideas, suggestions and generally argued with others. When I was the Vice President of GSBUG, and then President, I used Shelly as my sounding board prior to a meeting to reassure me that my suggestion was worth considering. He had suggested that I obtain the opinion of certain Board Members since their opinion and mine frequently clashed. Whether my suggestion was good or bad, the Board always decided what should be accomplished for the good of the club. Once a decision was made, Shelly was fully behind the decision.
I remember at the end of each general meeting we had the Bob and Shelly Show where members asked us questions about any computer related topic. One of us usually had an answer and, what everybody didn=t see, was that we reviewed the questions later to be sure that we did answer the question properly. Sometimes, if we were not sure of our answer, we would do a little research to ensure that we did answer correctly. As time went on the questions grew tougher. That kept us on our toes.
When GSBUG needed him to be President, he stepped up and took the role. When GSBUG allowed him to sit back on the sidelines, he did. But whatever GSBUG did, Shelly was there. What most members didn=t see was that behind the scenes Shelly was always there ready to pitch in, give support, offer a suggestion or dish out advice.
Shelly may be gone, but he is not gone from GSBUG. Everything GSBUG has been, or will be was shaped by his input. The respect GSBUG gained over the years in the eyes of members, computer users, other user groups and vendors, was obtained by his involvement in everything GSBUG did. As GSBUG moves forward I know his work will be remembered.
Shelly, my friend, you will be missed.
Bob Ackerman is the Assistant Vice President for the Bank of Kirksville in Kirksville, MO. He can be reach at, or at RR1 Box 627A, Kirksville, MO 63501


by John Sellers



MGI Software, a market leader in photo and video editing software, will be featuring some award-winning products presented by Randal Whittle.
Are you interested in digital photos or video but didn't think you could afford it?  Find how MGI Software can deliver any imaging, anytime, anyplace by attending our next user group meeting!
Two market‑leading products from MGI Software, PhotoSuite 4.0 and VideoWave 4.0, give you unlimited options when it comes to your photos and videos.  PhotoSuite 4.0 is your complete PC photography solution.  It's the fastest and easiest way to edit, enhance, and organize your photos while giving you a creative freedom you've never had before.  Turn your photos into greeting cards or incorporate them into personal calendars, web pages, family letters, and share them with others via email or the Internet.  PhotoSuite 4.0 makes it not only possible, but easy and fun!  And with VideoWave 4.0, you can now capture, edit, produce, and share your own videos on your PC, videotape, and even over the web!  You can add special effects, transitions, sound tracks, and on‑screen text effects along the way.
Also new to the MGI lineup, and which will also be shown, are PhotoVista 2.0 and SoftDVDMax 4.0.  PhotoVista incorporates full‑featured stitching capability enabling VR‑style walk‑throughs and immersive panoramas, enabling you to create stunning panoramic views with tools especially made for use in web pages‑all automatically generated!  SoftDVDMax incorporates an exclusive "Dolby Headphones" feature enabling mobile users to experience a surround‑sound cinema experience right through ordinary headphones.
The guest presenter will be Randy Whittle, speaking on behalf of MGI Software.  Randy has been enthusiastically received at user groups around the country, considered to be one of the most entertaining and dynamic speakers in the user group community.  He holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and works as a Marketing Strategy Consultant that specializes in helping companies identify how their business and the economy will be changed by electronic commerce, helping them to formulate strategies for making such changes work in the firms' favor.
Randy learned very early the importance of feature‑rich and easy‑to‑use software when, without the budget to hire outside resources, he was put in charge of designing brochures and marketing materials for a small startup company.  He later became the founding Director of the Electronic Commerce Program at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business, where he developed an innovative graduate‑level curriculum for business students‑‑the first of its kind as required course curriculum for MBA's at a major business school.  During his tenure at USC, Randy was quoted by Family Money Magazine and arranged for USC to host a week‑long symposium of industry leaders.
 Randy and his wife Vicki are the proud parents of two young children, MacLean and Brittany.  He uses pictures of the family extensively in his presentations to illustrate how personally useful you will find the software.
You will come away from this meeting entertained and informed, and find yourself months later still talking about that great presentation at your User Group meeting.  Randy will provide time for an open Q&A period and will bring valuable door prizes, informative handouts, and special user group pricing for those wishing to purchase these outstanding products at the meeting.  See you then!

By Ben Luna, Coastal Area Users Group, Corpus Christi, TX
The purpose of this article is to briefly describe some of the most common graphic file formats for image files, as well as how to determine which file format to use for Web graphics and print publications. When an image is saved to a specific file format, you are telling your applications how to write the image's information to disk. The specific file format you choose depends on the graphics software application you are using (e.g., Adobe Illustrator, Freehand, Adobe Photoshop) and how and where you will use your image (e.g., the Web or a print publication.)
Graphic file formats can be broadly categorized into bit‑mapped formats and vector formats.
Bit‑mapped formats
This format is a representation, consisting of rows and columns of dots, of a graphics image in computer memory. This is sometimes called raster graphics. The value of each dot, whether it is filled or not, is stored in one or more bits of data. The density of the dots, known as the resolution, determines how sharply the image is represented. This is often expressed in dots per inch (dpi), or simply by the number of rows and columns, such as 640 by 480. To display a bit‑mapped image on a monitor or to print in a printer, the computer translates the bit map into pixels for monitor screens, or ink dots for printer. Programs that manipulate bit‑mapped images are called paint programs.
Following are descriptions of some commonly used bit‑mapped file formats:
BMP: The Bitmap file format is used for bitmap graphics on the Windows platform only. Unlike other file formats, which store image data from top to bottom and pixels in red/green/blue order, the BMP format stores image data from bottom to top and pixels in blue/green/red order. This means that if memory is tight, BMP graphics will sometimes appear drawn from bottom to top. Compression of BMP files is not supported, so they are usually very large. When saving a
file to the BMP format, add the ".bmp " file extension to the end of its file name.
GIF: The Graphics Interchange Format was originally developed by CompuServe in 1987. It is one of the most popular file formats for Web graphics and for exchanging graphics files between computers. It is most commonly used for bitmap images composed of line drawings or blocks of a few distinct colors. The GIF format supports 8 bits of color information or less. In addition, the GIF89 file format supports transparency, allowing you to make a color in your image transparent.  (Please note: CompuServe GIF87 does not support transparency.) This feature makes GIF a particularly popular format for Web images.
GIF, is a "lossy" file format. It reduces an image's file size by removing bits of color information during the conversion process. The GIF format supports 256 colors or less. When creating images for the Web, be aware that only 216 colors are shared between Macintosh and Windows
monitors. These colors, called the "Web palette," should be used when creating GIFs for the Web because colors that are not in this palette display differently on Macintosh and Windows monitors. When saving an image to the GIF format, add the ".gif" file extension to the end of its file name.
PCX: Originally developed by ZSOFT for its PC Paintbrush program, PCX is a common graphics file format supported by many graphics programs, as well as most optical scanners and
fax modems. When saving an image to the PCX format, add the ".pcx" file extension to the end of its file name.
TIFF: Tagged Image File Format is a standard file format for storing images as bit maps. It is used especially for scanned images because it can support any size, resolution, and color depth. When saving an image to the TIFF format, add the ".tif" file extension to the end of its file name.
Vector Graphics
The other method for representing images is known as vector graphics (or object‑oriented graphics.) With vector graphics, images are represented as mathematical formulas that define all the shapes in the image. Vector graphics are more flexible than bit‑mapped graphics because they look the same even when they are scaled to different sizes. In contrast, bit‑mapped graphics become ragged when they are shrunk or enlarged. Programs that enable the user to create and manipulate vector graphics are called draw programs. Images stored as vectors look better on monitors and printers with higher resolution (bit‑mapped images always appear the same regardless of a device's resolution.) Another advantage is that images in vector graphics often require less memory that bit‑mapped images. Almost all sophisticated graphics systems, including CADD systems and animation software, use vector graphics.
Following are descriptions of some commonly used vector graphics file formats:
EPS: The Encapsulated PostScript file format is a metafile format; it can be used for vector images or bitmap images. The EPS file format can be used on a variety of platforms, including Macintosh and Windows. When you place an EPS image into a document, you can scale it up or down without information loss. This format contains PostScript information and should be used when printing to a PostScript output device. The PostScript language, which was developed by Adobe, is the industry standard for desktop publishing software and hardware. EPS files can be graphics or images of whole pages that include text, font, graphics, and page layout information.
JPEG: Like GIF, the Joint Photographic Experts Group format is one of the most popular formats for Web graphics. It  supports 24 bits of color information, and is most commonly used for photographs and similar continuous‑tone bitmap images. The JPEG file format stores all of the color information in an RGB image, then reduces the file size by compressing it, or saving only the color information that is essential to the image. Most imaging applications and plug‑ins let you determine the amount of compression used when saving a graphic in the JPEG format. Unlike GIF, JPEG does not support transparency.
Use JPEG for scanned photographs and naturalistic artwork with highlights, shaded areas, and shadows. The more complex and subtly rendered the image is, the more likely it is that the image should be converted to JPEG.
JPEG, like GIF, uses a "lossy" compression technique, which changes the original image by removing color information during the conversion process. The JPEG file format supports
millions of colors. In theory, JPEG was designed so that changes made to the original image during conversion to JPEG would not be visible to the human eye. Most imaging applications let the user control the amount of lossy compression performed on an image, so you can trade off
image quality for smaller file size and vice versa. Be aware that the chances of image degradation when converting to JPEG increase proportionally with the amount of compression you use. When saving a file in the JPEG format,  add the"*.jpg" file extension to the end of its file name.
Use the JPEG file format for images with only a few distinct colors, such as illustrations, cartoons, and images with blocks of color, such as icons, buttons, and horizontal rules.
PICT: The Picture file format is for use primarily on the Macintosh platform; it is the default format for Macintosh image files. The PICT format is most commonly used for bitmap images, but can be used for vector images as well. Avoid using PICT images for print publishing. The PICT format is "lossless," meaning it does not remove information from the original image during the file format conversion process. Because the PICT format supports only limited
compression on Macintoshes with QuickTime installed, PICT files are usually large. When saving an image as a PICT, add the file extension ".pct" to the end of its file name. Use
the PICT format for images used in video editing, animation, desktop computer presentations, and multimedia authoring.
PNG: The Portable Network Graphics format will likely be the successor to the GIF file format. PNG is not yet widely supported by most Web browsers. Netscape versions 4.04 and later, and Internet Explorer version 4.01 and later, currently support this file format. However, PNG is expected to become a mainstream format for Web images and could replace GIF entirely. It is platform independent and should be used for single images only (not animation.) Compared
with GIF, PNG offers greater color support and better compression, gamma correction for brightness control across platforms, better support for transparency, and a better method for displaying progressive images. When saving an image to the PNG format, add the file extension ".png" to the end of its file name.
CGM: The Computer Graphics Metafile is a format developed by several standards organizations.  CGM is supported by many PC Software products. When saving an image to the CGM format, add the file extension ".cgm" to the end of its file name.
DXF: The Data Exchange File is a format developed by Autodesk. Almost all PC‑based CAD systems support DXF.
GEM: The graphics file format used by GEM‑based applications. GEM is a graphical user interface (GUI) developed by Digital Research.
HPGL: Hewlett‑Packard Graphics Language is one of the oldest file formats. Although it is not very sophisticated, it is supported by many PC‑based graphics products.
IGES: Initial Graphics Exchange Specification is an ANSI Standard for three‑dimensional wire frame models. IGES is supported by most PC‑based CAD systems.
PIC This is a relatively simple file format developed by Lotus for representing graphs generated by Lotus 1‑2‑3. PIC is supported by a wide variety of PC applications.
PICT: Developed by Apple Computer in 1984 as the standard format for storing and exchanging graphics files. It is supported by all graphics programs that run on a Macintosh.
WMF: The Windows file format is used for exchanging graphics between Microsoft Windows applications. WMF files can also hold bit‑mapped images.
The debate over which format is better still surfaces once in a while. My opinion is that each format has its place, just as the native format of the various paint‑and‑draw programs. One format may be better than others in terms of quality; at other times, another format may be better in terms of size. Best way is to take the time to view and store your images in different formats and select the one optimum for your needs, storage capability, and ease of use.
Ben Luna's experience includes writing manuals for computers and software. Email him:
 There is no restriction against anyone using the article as long as it is kept in context, with proper credit given to the author.  This article is brought to you by the Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG), an International organization to which this user group belongs.

Did you get the AnnaK worm yet?   [Here's a quick and easy way to trick the worm]
Rod Ream, Pasadena IBM Users Group
Visual Basic Scripts (VBS) are popular with virus writers. That's because they're easy to create and will launch if sent as an e‑mail attachment. And the recipient double‑clicks on them. But there's an easy, free way for you to defeat Visual Basic Script viruses.
Every file type has a default action that takes place when we double click on a file. The default action for double clicking on a VBS (Visual Basic Script) file type is to open and execute the script file. That means double clicking on the attachment runs or launches the script. This default action is the mechanism that can result in system infection if a user unknowingly launches an infected attachment received in an email message.  
You can easily change this action and stop the accidental launch and execution of a VBS file by making it do something else when double‑clicked on.
Some users have disabled or removed the capability of the system to run a VBS file out of fear of potential viral exposure. However, there's a relatively easy fix for this that will still permit a web page or other application to run a VB script when such function is actually needed, but will block the double click action. The fix is to change the default action to Edit, which causes the file to open in Notepad rather than execute.
Here's the Step‑by‑Step
In Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer), open Folder Options under the View pull‑down menu (moved to Tools in Windows Me). Select the "File Types" tab and scroll to VBScript Encoded File. Click on the "Edit" button ("Advanced" in Windows Me).
What happens is another window will open showing the possible file actions, with the default action indicated in boldface type. The default action is likely "Open." Highlight instead the word "Edit" and click on the "Set Default" button. "Edit" should now appear in bold face.
In some older systems the Edit function may not be listed. In such instances, click the NEW button and enter "Edit" in the action field and "NOTEPAD.EXE" in the application field. When "Edit" has been added make it the default action as shown above.
While in the file type screen, also make sure the boxes for "always show extension" and enable quick view" are also checked. Click "OK" to close the open windows.
Windows usually has several example VBS files on the system, in a folder named "sample." Find one of them and double click on it. If the action caused Notepad to open and display the content  of the file, you've done it correctly and are now safe from an accidental VBS infection.
Rod Ream is senior tech support for the Pasadena IBM Users Group and president of PC Consulting, 626/280‑6850
There is no restriction against anyone using the article as long as it is kept in context, with proper credit given to the author.  This article is brought to you by the Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG), an International organization to which this user group belongs.
Editor: this is a timely piece and something you might consider using right away.
Please send Rod a quick note telling him when and where it was used?