The Bug Report

The only Bug that's good for your computer!

A Publication of the Greater South Bay PC Users Group

Volume 18 Number 8

August 2000








Software Library News


Membership Notes

The Care and Feeding of Inkjet Printer Cartridges

Computer Hot Tips








By John Sellers







Our September presentation will be on products from Elettro Inc. Dean Palermo, President, is to be the featured speaker.


Elettro Inc. has available now three CD’s which offer an exclusive opportunity to try hundreds of cutting edge software programs and MP3 songs from bands around the globe without paying full price for each individual program’s package or artists’ album. Customers are able to save valuable time and money with 100 Top Downloads Software and Music Compilation CD.


By using any or all of these CDs in your catalog you can save hours of researching what’s hot and what’s not on the Internet and hours of downloading time. Elettro has accomplished much of the homework of the customer. You may obtain knowledge through these CDs on the latest most popular worldwide technologies in this unique approach.


These CDs feature the top freeware, software and demos on the Internet today! Elettro has entered in agreement with over 150 software companies representing over 600 software programs and over 40 worldwide bands representing over 200 MP3 songs and the list keep growing. With the “no return policy” at retail stores concerning software and music, Elettro Inc. presents a risk free 100 Top downloads Software and music Compilation CD.  The use of these products minimizes the pre-purchase anxiety of software.


A word about Elettro Inc., it is a Los Angeles based Internet Web-Design and Multimedia technology organization with satellite offices currently in Canada and Texas. It has been in business for five years and followed the trends of Internet and software technology. They offer their dynamic products through combined experience in the retail field; knowledge of the consumer needs via progressive skills.


You are invited to touch and feel the consumer experience of the 100 Top Downloads Software Compilations CD. Coming soon are CDs 4, 5 and 6 that allow customers to continue analyzing the latest in software and music. Please visit their web page for complete details on today and tomorrow’s products.






By Frank Chao





Hello again. Welcome to the twenty-fifth "Internet Talk" article. It is part of the fourth newsletter that is edited by Vernon Lym. In this newsletter, we   welcome Liz Orban back as an article writer. Most of you know that she was as our newsletter editor for approximately two years. Vernon is seeking written input from additional club members, so please turn on your computer and send him something about you and your computer in .doc or .txt format. 




Herman Krouse, our club's vice president, continues to conduct the Internet  SIG. This "Special Interest Group" has been going strong for about 5 years.  It usually meets on the third Friday of each month at 7:30pm. These training sessions are a great way for you to learn more about the Internet and how you can use it.




By the time that this article is published, I will have just started teaching two "Computer Information Systems 13" classes at El Camino College.  The syllabus of each class is now available on-line. See the top of my personal home page at

You can still participate in this educational experience, either as a student or as a volunteer lab assistant. If you can help us out as a volunteer lab assistant, I can get you a free parking pass. Contact me for details.




Sometimes when you are using Netscape or Microsoft Internet Explorer, you will find that Web pages do not print properly.  Part of the page may be truncated or some of the fonts or graphics may not show up correctly on your printout.A workaround for these sorts of problems is to use the "Windows Clipboard", also known as "Copy and Paste".


Here are the steps:

    1)   Use your mouse to perform a single click on "Edit" on the Menu bar of your Web browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape)

2)   Single click on "Select All" on the pull-down menu.

3)   Single click on "Edit" on the Menu bar of your Web browser again.

4)   Single click on "Copy" on the pull-down menu.

5)   Start any version of "Microsoft Word" or some other full-fledged "word processing" software. ("Wordpad" or "Notepad" will not work for this.)

6)    After a document or "new document" window is available in "Microsoft Word", perform a single click on "Edit" on the menu bar of Microsoft Word.

7)   Single click on "Paste" on the pull-down menu (of "Microsoft Word").

A graphical image of your "too wide" Web page is now in your Microsoft 'Word document. This image can be resized as needed.

8)   Finally, print your document from within the "Microsoft Word" window.




1) Where to type in URLs: A neighbor of mine kept complaining that Web access on his new computer was slow and confusing. I decided to find out what was happening.  I watched him turn on his new Windows 98 computer. Then he double-clicked on his "Dial Up Networking" icon for connecting to MSN (which is the Internet Service Provider that he is stuck with for the next 3 years). After his modem was through dialing, "Microsoft Internet Explorer" started up and it took him to


I then asked him to go to my personal homepage.

He then proceeded to type the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for my personal homepage into the "Search the Web" box at MSN's Web site.

Believe you me, if that is where you think URLs are to be entered, it will take you forever to get anywhere on the World Wide Web.

URLs should usually be typed into the "Address Bar" of a "Microsoft Internet Explorer" window.

If there is already a URL in the "Address Bar", use either mouse button to perform a click to the right of this URL. This should cause the entire URL to highlight. Next, use your keyboard to type in the URL that you wish to go to.  Then either use your mouse to click on the "Go" button on the "Address Bar" OR press the "Enter" key on your keyboard.


2) If your "Address Bar" is missing in a "Microsoft Internet Explorer" window:  Use either mouse button to click on "View". Then click on "Toolbars". Then click on "Address bar".


3) "Address Bar" of  "My Computer" and "Windows Explorer:  The "Address bar" in "My Computer" and "Windows Explorer" windows in Windows 95, 98, and 2000 can also be used for typing in URLs. Enter a URL into the "Address bar" of a "My Computer" or "Windows Explorer" window.  Then press once on the "Enter" key of your keyboard. Either a new "Microsoft Internet Explorer" window will open up OR your "My Computer" or "Windows Explorer" window will turn into a "Microsoft Internet Explorer" window. If you have a good Internet connection, this "Microsoft Internet Explorer" window will now take you to the desired URL.


4) You Can Put an "Address bar" on the Taskbar:  If you are using Windows 98, or Windows 2000, or the later versions of Windows 95, you can put an "Address" box onto the Taskbar by doing the following:  Right click on the gray area of the Taskbar (not on any of the Application buttons). A "Context Menu" will pop up. Then use either mouse button to click on "Toolbars". Finally, use either mouse button to click on "Address".




The various distributions of the Linux operating system have their pros and cons.  One definite pro is in the ability of Linux to use low-end computer hardware to act as a firewall for a local area network. In the present month (August 2000), my big Linux project was to build a Linux firewall.

A friend of mine asked for help in setting up a Linux firewall for his DSL always-on connection to the Internet.  He was looking for an inexpensive way to add a firewall.  He was also sharing one Internet account between his computer and his wife’s using a hub.  But, since he had a single static IP address, he had to unplug the Internet from one computer while the other one was on the Internet.  He had an older 75-Megahertz Pentium computer that he was willing to dedicate for use as a firewall.


Liz and I went to the TRW swap meet and found network interface cards (NICs) for $10 each.  They were state-of-the-art PCI 10/100 Ethernet cards.  The company that imports these cards from Taiwan, TrendNet, is located in Torrance. The vendor that we found at the swap meet turned out to be the

Vic Montti

Regional Sales Manager

Trendware International, Inc.

3135 Kashiwa St.

Torrance, CA 90505

Voice Phone = 310-891-1100 ext. 115

Fax = 310-891-1111


He stated that their NICs were sold through Fry’s and other stores.  He stated that the cards had a one-year warranty.  We decided to try out their NICs.


When we got home, we decided to test the cards. I started by installing one of the cards into a Windows 98 computer. Upon re-booting this computer, it immediately recognized the card as a "Realtek RTL8139(A) PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter". I was then able to load a "Windows 98" driver from the "driver diskette" that came with the card.


I started reading various Linux newsgroups and devoured various books about firewalls.

I read all I could at


I read that certain commands and switches were necessary.  However, I later read in a newsgroup posting that a simple firewall had already been created.  People in the newsgroups were raving about the program. Like most Linux programs, it is downloadable for free. 


The developers of the "Linux Router Project" have created a super-efficient firewall program that fits on a floppy and runs completely in RAM.  The documentation at the various Web sites indicated that a computer that is being used as a firewall does not need to have a hard drive.


My friend gave us the older computer to take home and set up.  I downloaded a floppy disk image file from

This image file was used to was used to create a Linux "boot floppy".  l then inserted the floppy, and turned on the computer. Nothing happened after the usual "Power On Self Test". I learned that a configuration file was telling the computer to load a super-formatted floppy disk driver and I needed a regular 1.44-Meg. floppy disk driver.  This was easy enough to correct by editing the name of the floppy driver.  This was successful, and after another re-boot,  the firewall program started loading.


This floppy-based firewall program was supposed to work on any computer from a 386 and up.  We loaded Windows 98 on the hard drive, installed one of the NICs, rebooted and Windows recognized it immediately.  We installed the second NIC with the same results.  I rebooted with the Linux firewall floppy.  The program recognized the keyboard, mouse, and monitor. However, it did not recognize the NICs. After looking at some configuration files, I concluded that I needed a Linux driver for the NICs. 


I went back to the newsgroups and the Linux web pages, and someone had posted an updated "driver" file for the Realtek NIC.  I downloaded that and followed some simple instructions and the firewall finally recognized the two NICs.  At this point, I shut down the computer disconnected the hard drive.

I had only loaded Windows 98 onto the hard drive for the purpose of testing and characterizing the NICs.


Now, it was time to return the computer to my friend’s house and hook it up to his DSL connection.  I had a short Ethernet cable coming out of each NIC in the firewall computer.  I plugged one Ethernet cable into his DSL modem and the other into his 10Base-T hub.  I booted up the firewall computer and it found all of the hardware and started loading.  It was time to set up the Internet accounts.  My friend provided his DSL "host", "mask", "gateway" and "Domain name server" settings, which were typed into the configuration files of the Linux firewall program.  The DSL provider now "talks" only to the firewall computer and outsiders cannot see any of the other computers on the network in his house.  If a hacker tries to get into my friend’s network, he will find only a small, unfriendly program running totaling in RAM and nothing else.


The other two computers in my friend’s house are now on an internal network.  The firewall program recognizes the two computers using “internal”, private IP addresses..  There are 252 possible of these private IP addresses that can be used, in the current configuration that I have provided.  These “internal” numbers are not legitimate on the Internet. Hence, no routers on the Internet will pass packets of data that contained with these addresses.  The computers in my friend’s house will talk to each other and to the firewall.  The firewall will then strip off the “private” IP addresses and assign its legitimate "host" address when passing data packets through to the Internet.


In addition to the protection provided by keeping those on the Internet from accessing your internal computers through your “always-on” connection, this setup provided a second benefit.  My friend no longer has to unplug his computer when his wife wants to go on the Internet with their single DSL account.  Both computers can be on the Internet at the same time.  In addition, my friend reports that both connections are now faster.  I can’t explain why that happened, but it’s nice all the same.  Since Linux programs  are open source, many talented programmers are working all the time to update programs such as the "Linux Router Project" that I utilized.





If you have any questions or problems, I can be contacted by the following methods:

1. Leave a voice message for me at 310-768-8951.

2. Send me e-mail at:

3. Send me "snail" US Postal Service mail to

      Frank Chao

      PO Box 6930

     Torrance, CA 90504-0030.

Or sell your computer and take up golf instead !








Software Library News

By Bob Hudak





I found a few programs this month that interested me so I put them in the Library hoping that you will find them of use on your computer. I am putting a number of programs on a CD that I talked about in the past, like, ZoneAlarm, which is a firewall that makes your computer invisible to hackers, Enditall, which turns off all the programs that load at startup. [You want to turn them all off when installing a new program or burning a CD.] It only takes three mouse clicks to do this. This month’s programs will also be on the CD. Our library disks sell for $3.00 and a CD for $10.00. If you buy the CD it is a much better value because it has many more programs on it, some of which are too large to put on one disk. I found that if I split programs over several disks, members had a hard time handling this. CD’s are the way to go.

So what is new this month? One of our ex presidents and RAM SIG leader, Sheldon Chelsy, turned me on to the program on disk # 30, called Stress Relief, (also on CD).You can run this great time-out program from the disk or put it on your hard drive. I found that my grand children love this thing.  It has a number of tools that help destroy your monitor screen.  You can spray paint it, burn it, shoot it, turn termites lose on it, cut it up with a chain saw, or use a hammer to bust it up etc.. It also has a power washer to clean things up. All this destruction comes with sound effects. If you turn up the sound you will get a call from our web master, Rich Bulow, to TURN IT DOWN!

Disk # 35 has two programs (also on CD). For all cat lovers we have a program that will let this cat walk all over your screen, fall from the top, and pop up out of different places. It even takes time out to have some milk for lunch, pretty cute, another one for the grandkids to enjoy. On the same disk is a program called WinDate that can calculate the number of days from one date to another. I found it useful to adjust the cost of bonds that were bought over par and called before maturity. Works really well. You can figure how long ‘til Christmas or how many days it has been since you were born. A nice little tool to have.

I am the keeper of a number of books that have been donated to the club by Frank and Liz. I have carted some to SIGs, and members have seen the great value and bought many. If you are interested in networking or programming books at a give away price, call me at (310) 323-0579.

I talked with the president and CEO of Elttrc Inc., Dean Palermo, tonight’s presenter, about their 100 Top DownLoads CD’s. As you will see he is very knowledgeable about music handling programs and the MP3 type of compressed music. I have not full checked out their programs so I do not want to say too much about them this month. So far they have three CD’s and the forth is ready to hit Fry’s next month. I have autorun turned off on my computer and had a little trouble getting the CD to run. The usual ways did not seem to work. I told Dean of the problem and suggested a “Readme_First” file to help people get started. He liked the idea and said it would be on the next CD they put out. It looks like he is interested in putting out the best product he can. The CD runs like an internet web page; different links to areas of interest. If you are on line, it will search out files that are not on the CD. There are a number of MP3 music files to which you can listen, right from the CD, if you have a player loaded on your system. I used WinAmp and it worked great. There will be more on these CD’s next month.

How About A New SIG?

I have been talking a lot about music this month. I do not play music, and only listen to country music on the radio.  I am interested in how all this music stuff works. How can you transfer some of your old records and tapes to a CD? How can you clean up the sound? How do you convert MP3 format to one that can be put on a CD? How does NAPSTER work? Can you really find some of the old music out there? How many of you have some of the same questions running through your mind? How many members would like to attend a SIG where we can work on answering these questions? We need members to join such a group that have some answers. I cannot find a member that has all the answers and would like to be the SIG leader. I do not know where all the hidden talent is, so, if you call help please call me. If you are interested in a SIG let me know [Editor’s note: NAPSTER is in a bunch of legal trouble right now, maybe they will disappear soon. There are other related sites, however, perhaps, when the smoke clears, there will be a site that will fill our needs.]





By Liz Orban






I’m sure many of you frequent the TRW swap meet each month, but you may not make it to Santa Ana for the ACP swap meet every second month.  Frank Chao and I made it to both in August. 


It’s always fun to run into someone you know. I was watching for GSBUG members but I didn’t see any.  Frank did run into a Unix programmer at TRW.  I had been introduced to him once at an LA Freenet demonstration in Encino.  He talked about a recent job in Phoenix where he worked on Kermit and came up with a command that he posted on the internet and the original creator of Kermit contacted him and used his work.


At ACP, I came face-to-face with a co-worker when we first arrived.  Ryan was carrying a monitor he had purchased.  I asked if any other co-workers were around and he told me Doug was there, but we didn’t run into him.  Later in the morning, Frank ran into two El Camino teachers.  Mr. Schlueter was on leave while attending college to get a masters in e-commerce.  He had taught Linux and Frank was his student assistant.  Mr. Wakefield teaches community education computer classes.




A coworker, Regina, had bought a new Dell desktop for her nephew’s birthday.  She asked me to look for educational programs, particularly math.  At TRW, I found a high school preparation program and a math master program.  Each were only $10 and including the box and all of the documentation.  She also asked for CD-RW disks.  The gold ones were only $17.99 for 25 disks. 


At TRW, we noticed one of the vendors was based in Torrance:  Vic Montti, of TrendNet.  His NICs were only $10, which seemed cheap.  We had paid $30 at NexCom in Torrance for cards made by 3Com.  Frank said we could take a chance at that price, and they turned out to work well.  When we went to ACP the next day, I priced NICs.  Most of them were more than $10, but one no-name brand was $9.95.  However, it did not say anything about a warranty and the company selling them did not give an address.


I had been thinking of replacing my printer for some time.  I bought it in 1995, before most printers were capable of printing quality photos.  It was an HP 660C and I bought it at the Pomona swap meet.  I had read that the Epson 900 was the best for photo quality as well as text, so I kept waiting for one to show up at a swap meet.  And I did see one at ACP.  Actually two.  West Tech, who has an office in Torrance on PCH, had two for sale for $279 with a $50 rebate to reduce that to $229.  The salesman said the printers were $309 in the store so I bought it at the swap meet.  He said I’d have to wait for a printed receipt to be mailed from the store because Epson wouldn’t accept a handwritten receipt for the rebate.  I was skeptical about ever getting that rebate, and I haven’t seen the printed receipt in the mail yet.  In addition, the coupon with the printer stated that the rebate ended in April.  But Epson had an online offer for a $50 rebate if the printer was purchased by July 31 and the paperwork sent in by August 31.  Well, I purchased the printer on July 30 but have yet to receive the paperwork from West Tech.  So my skepticism was justified. 


I also saw a PCI to firewire card (IEEE 1394) for $65 at ACP.  This was the first firewire I had seen at the swap meets and it indicates that the product is getting popular. 


My coworker, Regina, mentioned she needed to find some reasonably priced computer furniture.  AllTech had three computer desks on display at ACP priced from $80 to $139.  They had vertical metal posts with horizontal imitation wood shelves and wheels that could be locked so they wouldn’t roll.  Some also had metal racks for CDs.  The furniture was quite compact and space-efficient.  I noted that RK Computer Furniture in Rosemead advertised the same furniture in the Micro Times.  They have more colors and styles so I went there after work, since I am currently working in Monterey Park.  As it turned out, Regina’s sister found a computer desk for $74 at Sam’s Club, I bought one from RK for $149 and another coworker bought one from RK for $80.




Membership Notes

By Keith Decker


Our membership total is presently 160, and has remained between 149 and 160 for the past year. For most members the renewal due date is October 1.  I will be sending out renewal reminder notices soon. If you will please take a moment to fill in the included questionnaire it will help us to be informed of your wishes.  I will bring your comments and suggestions to the attention of the Board of Directors. Obviously all wishes cannot be granted, but at least you will be heard. I have worked with this board of directors for two and one/half years and can assure you they are a very capable and dedicated group.


To very briefly summarize the comments from last years notice/survey/questionnaire:

All who answered enjoyed at least one and in most cases several of the SIGs. (Special Interest Groups)

Many members enjoyed the RAM session that follows our general meeting, including the exchange of information between members of the audience.

Many thanked the club officers for their unpaid dedication to their duties.

Six members expressed a desire for a meeting place closer to their home – generally in the Torrance/Lomita area.

Five members thought the present meeting time is too early.


When you receive your renewal reminder please take a moment to fill it out so the board can get a more accurate picture of your wishes.


Keith M. Decker – Membership Chairman  (310) 540-0794


If you know a friend who would enjoy membership in GS-BUG, have them mail a check to: GS_BUG Inc.

Mail To:

GS-BUG Inc. – Membership

P.O. Box 6950

Torrance, CA  90504-6950

Membership information is on the last page of your newsletter. They should include their name, complete address, phone No. and  E-Mail address if they have one.  Have them include your name as a reference and you will receive a four month extension to your membership.  If you have any questions do not hesitate to call me.




The Care and Feeding of Inkjet Printer Cartridges

By Vernon Lym






Last Month, at the general meeting, a question was posed as to whether anyone had actually refilled an inkjet cartridge. Only three hands went up. Apparently this is not a common practice among the club members. Let us look at the issues involved.


1.                   Is it legal?

2.                   Will it hurt your printer?

3.                   Is difficult?

4.                   Is it economical?

5.                   Is it worth your time?


Legality? Once you have purchased the cartridge it is yours. You can do anything you want with it. You can put it in your printer, use it for a doggie toy, or just throw it away.


What about the printer issue? The printer couldn’t care less whether the cartridge is new or old or how many times it has been refilled. Some printer manufacturers say you will void your warranty. This is nonsense. Who is going to tell? surely not the cartridge. If you are concerned about this just put in another cartridge and send the printer off for repair.


Difficulty? How hard can it be to put the syringe needle through the hole and squirt in the ink?


Economics? These days, printers are cheap. The manufacturers are expecting to make the profit from selling you the supplies. That is why the ink costs an arm and a leg [and don’t forget the special paper].


Time? Filling the cartridge takes far less time than driving to the store to buy another unit.



Run a test page that prints a stripe for each ink in the cartridge. Each should be a continuous stripe for each color, with no lines. Lines in the stripe indicates clogged nozzles. These may usually be cleared by using the print head cleaning routine of the printer. A missing stripe usually indicates that that color has run out of ink. When this happens it is best to refill the cartridge within a few hours to prevent internal drying. [See below for a suitable storage procedure.] If upon refilling the unit the stripe does not reappear then a wake up procedure will likely restore life to it.


What can be done to extend the life of your units? The worst enemy of your cartridges is the tendency to dry out. To prevent this never leave it in the printer for any extended length of time. Unless you use it every day, remove the units and store them in a zip lock bag along with a wet paper towel.


Next Month:  Reviving apparently dead cartridges.


Remember: Never throw away a dysfunctional or empty cartridge, they can usually be saved





Computer Hot Tips

By John Sullivan


Here's a few tips I picked up recently, along with the credit for who published it. (Some may only work in Windows 98)


CAPS Lock Key


Having trouble typing because you keep hitting the CAPS Lock key accidentally? Download the $7.00 shareware program "SmartCaps" (from ). It puts a delay in the key so that a quick tap won't activate it, and also can play a sound when you turn the Caps Lock on or off.


Another program, "CapsWiz" ($10.00 shareware from ) lets you totally disable the Caps Lock key, or selectively turn it off, and can even correct text that you typed in the wrong case! (thanks to Mossberg's Mailbox in the Wall Street Journal for these two.)


Icon images


Changing Shortcut Icons: If you don't like the icon Windows is using for the Shortcuts on your computer, you can change it. Click on the icon once with the Right Mouse Button (Shortcut Icons, only) and select "Properties" from the menu. In the window that opens, click on the box labeled "Change Icon...". You'll see a bunch of icons that you can choose from. If you don't see one that you like, go up in the text box near the top of the window and change "C:\Windows\System\shell32.dll" to "C:\Windows\moricons.dll" and you'll see a bunch more! (thanks to Jeff Levy!)


Drag and Drop Files


File Manager from Windows 3.1 had the option to open two or more windows at a time, and drag and drop files between them. Ever wish Windows 98 (or 95) could do the same thing? It can. Click the START button, then click "Run..." and type "winfile" (no quotes), then click OK. Now you've got the old style File Manager. Go up to the menu at the top labeled "Window", then select "New Window". Go back up to the Window menu again and select either Tile Horizontally or Tile Vertically. Each window can display a different drive or folder and you can drag/drop between them. (Jeff Levy)


Help from the Experts


Check out on the Internet (thanks to Bob Hudak for finding this one)


Real Microsoft Help


Want help with Microsoft products directly from the Microsft staff? Go to the Microsoft Online Support Knowledge Base ( at ). Don't know what to ask for? Get a master list of Knowledge Base articles emailed to you. Just send an email to and in the Subject line type the word "index" (no quotes). Leave the body of the message blank. (Jeff Levy)


Help for Macintosh users


Got a friend who needs help with a Mac but doesn't know where to go? The Orange County Mac Usersgroup meets in Long Beach on the last Tuesday of the month, 7 pm., Emerson Elementary School Auditorium, 2625 Josie Ave. (562)413-9623 .


Single Registry Entry Backups



Does installing new software upset the programs that you use for .bmp, .jpg, .htm (etc.) files? You can't stop software from making changes in the Registry when you install it, but you can make a copy of your individual Registry setting, then restore it when you need to. Open the Registry Editor (click START, then Run, then type regedit and click OK). Click on the plus signs to open "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes" and then highlight the file type you want to save. (like .jpg). Then go up to the menus at the top and select "Registry, Export Registry File". Give it a name and save it in a folder where you can find it again. This will save just the single setting, and not the whole Registry.


If you ever need to reset your .jpg filetype, just find the backup file that you made and double click it. (thanks to Lincoln Spector at PC World magazine.)


(All tips and tricks published in PC World magazine can be found on their Website at : )


More Shareware


PC World magazine also recommends the following shareware programs, which are available at their FileWorld site ( ):


"AdsOff" - removes banner ads when surfing the Net; also can disable pop-up windows.


"Motherboard Monitor" - monitors the temperatures in your computer and sets off an alarm if they get too hot (requires one of the newer motherboards with built in temperature sensors)


New Type of Virus


Normally text files are safe from viruses, but there's a quirk in Windows. There's a type of file used by Windows called a Shell Scrap Object, with the extension " .shs ". Even if you have "Show All Files" enabled in Windows, the .shs extension may not show up! A Scrap file can contain anything, even a virus! Malicious programmers can write a virus file, and give it filename with a " .txt.shs " extension. When you get the file, the .shs is invisible, so all you see is the .txt and you assume it's safe. When you try to read it, you get the virus! How do you beat it? Update your anti-virus software to the latest version right now! (thanks to the Associated Press)


New Phone Scam


Some web sites have VERY small print on the bottom of the page that says (words to the effect) that entering the website will "cause the user's modem to dial a toll number overseas - at a cost of $7 or more per minute." This started out as a scam on X-rated sites, but is spreading to other sites, according to PC World Magazine.


Need more tips and tricks? Make sure you attend our SIG meetings; you'll always learn something new!