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This is the E-Newsletter from MicroSupport.  This publication is sent every few weeks or more often, as we find tidbits that are worth your time!  Tell your friends and associates.... they can sign-up to receive this newsletter at our website.

VIRUS INFO UPDATE  ( back to top )
The last week or two has seen several significant new viruses spring up.... most notably the NIMDA virus.  Like the Code Red virus of last month, this virus is meant to wreak havoc on "internet servers", but can also do damage to the average PC.  Nimda also compromises the security of your PC by creating a "back door" that can be used by hackers to get into your system.  Nimda reportedly can infect your system without you even opening the message!

Also be aware that a bunch of new viruses have started to spread... they all have a common theme... the WTC disaster.  Be vary careful... the damage from these can be cost you plenty.  VOTE.B arrives with the subject line "This War Must Be Done!", and it's attachment can format your hard drive, overwrite files, and create a back door.

Another recent discovery, the Whiter.Trojan, is not widespread yet... but can do serious damage to your system and data... it erases all files on your hard drive!  We're still seeing a lot of the Sircam virus, as well as Magistr... the latter now has at least one deadly variation.

GET A RECENT ANTI-VIRUS PROGRAM and MAKE SURE IT IS ALWAYS UPDATED WEEKLY!!! Having an out-dated program is useless.  We like the new Norton Anti-Virus, for one, as the 2001 or 2002 version will automatically update itself from the internet as needed. Click here to get up-to-date virus information.  If you do not have the time or expertise to make sure your firm is protected, feel free to call our office and make an appointment to have one of our techs review your virus protection status.

Of course, the best way to stop viruses is to have up-to-date virus elimination programs (as mentioned above)... but there is another thing you can do to help stop the spread of viruses that are spread by email:  put a bogus email address in your contact list. Make sure it's at the top of your list (with a name like !1234 or AABC), and make sure it does NOT contain an email address.  This way, the program stops with an error message that indicates it can't send mail to a bad address, and you avoid infecting all your friends.  This is not a perfect,  or guaranteed, solution... but it's such a quick and easy thing to do...  Now, don't forget, you will probably still get infected, but you might stop the virus from spreading.  And some viruses may use their own email routines to do the dirty work....but it's worth a try.

By now, you probably know that you can create shortcuts to your favorite websites by using the "Favorites" feature in Internet Explorer. (In Netscape Navigator they're called "Bookmarks").  But did you know there is a very quick way to create these Favorites?.....   it's as simple as pressing the keystroke combination of CTRL-D (while holding the CTRL key down, press D).  That's it... you won't even see anything... it will simply add the web page you are currently viewing to your list of favorites.

Another way to get to a website very quickly is to put an icon for that website on your desktop, or on your start menu or quick launch bar.... it's much easier than you might think.  Just go the the website, and then drag the little icon that appears at the left edge of the address area (usually a little "e") to your desktop, start button, or quick launch area....  it couldn't be easier!

YOUR INTERNET HOME PAGE  ( back to top )
I'm surprised at the number of people who don't realize that their Internet "Home Page" can be changed.  The "Home page" is nothing more than your starting point when you open up your web browser (usually Internet Explorer).  Your computer will usually come with the home page set to MSN.com or maybe DELL.com.  You can be sure that, out of the box, it will be pre-set to start at some Mega-company website... so that they get more chances to sell you stuff or hit you with advertising.  It's kind of like having a TV that always turns on to channel 12... boy, wouldn't the folks at KPNX like that!

You might like to start your web surfing at a different site... like your favorite search engine (I love google.com), or maybe your company website, or your favorite news website.... other folks may prefer Ebay, or a weather page. 

Changing your home page couldn't be easier....  just go to that page, and then grab the little icon that appears at the left edge of the "address" area (it usually looks like a little "e"), and drag it down and drop it on the little house icon that is on the toolbar just above or below the address area.  The little house icon will probably be labeled "HOME", as it takes you to your "home" page.  That's it... you've just setup your own home page!

WINDOWS XP IS COMING SOON  ( back to top )

  • To be released to the public October 25th... sooner on computers from Dell, Gateway, etc.
  • Don't confuse it with Office XP, which is just the latest version of Word and Excel, and has been out for several months.
  • This is the next generation of Windows, representing a consolidation of the product line (no more separate versions of Windows for consumers and corporate users.
  • Much more reliable than Windows 95/98/me, as it is based on the rock-solid Windows 2000 core.  You should expect to go for weeks (or more) without lockups or crashes. (Bad software may still crash, but it won't take out your whole system)
  • Requires more CPU (300 Mhz or greater recommended), more RAM (128 Megs or more) and more hard drive space... but who cares?... hardware is so cheap now!
  • Comes in 3 basic flavors:  Home, Professional, and Server
  • Streamlined new interface, but classic interface is still available
  • Contains many new features, like built-in remote access, instant messaging, Internet firewall, and data migration tools (for transferring your data and settings to new computers).
  • Much faster, has better security and manageability for networked business users (over Windows 9X).
  • XP should make it easier for software and hardware developers, as they now only have to write software to meet one standard.
  • Requires registration, usually through the Internet.  You won't be able to install one copy on many machines any more. (This is already the case with the new Office XP, too)
  • Will come pre-installed on most new machines, but older versions of Windows will still be available for some time.
  • May not support some older devices or software, but most older stuff is compatible.
  • Most industry experts, and even many Microsoft detractors seem to love it.
  • Find out more at Microsoft.com

As with most new versions of Windows, we don't think most of our business users should rush out and upgrade their systems to XP.  For most of us, XP will sneak into the business on new machines.  Let's be clear about this... we like XP....  it's just by the time you've bought the product, and spent hours upgrading it to XP and upgrading or checking all your applications and drivers, you probably could have bought a new machine with XP already on it!  And that machine will be "XP certified".  And there are always the computer "gotchas" waiting.... like finding out that your video or audio card isn't supported.   Usually, the only time we consider upgrading a business machine to a new version of Windows is when we are having trouble with that machine, and are at the point where re-installing Windows is our last resort.... then we might go ahead and install the updated version.

USEFUL WEB LINKS  ( back to top )
Clicking on any of these links will open the site in a new window.  If you find the site useful, just press Ctrl-D, and it will be put on your "favorites" list.
PlantCare.com - 'pretty much says it all
VolunteerMatch.com - put your patriotism to work
ExploreMath.com - visual tools for learning math... it's helped my kids
TechTV.com - website for the all-computer TV channel... great stuff!
Classic TV & Cartoon themes - got a tune stuck in your head?  TechTV's comprehensive listing... 
Classmates.com -  look up those old school buddies
Movie Show Times - find what's playing, and when, in your neighborhood
Access AZ Dining Guide - when you're looking for that "just right" experience
BankRate.com - everything you ever wanted to know about loans & banking
AudioGalaxy.com - Napster may be dead... but music sharing lives on here

UPCOMING TOPICS  ( back to top )
Be looking for these and more:  more virus alerts & useful web sites, new products, firewalls, remote access,  Office XP, certification, keyboard shortcuts, getting the best prices, Internet shopping, Internet auctions, troubleshooting printer problems, PC utilities, the benefits of PC planning, and much much more!!!

CONTACT US  ( back to top )
MicroSupport, Inc.
1928 E. Highland
Suite F104-502
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(60) 308-4878 (guru)

Our Websites:   www.microlawyer.com   www.microsupport.com

Email:   Email the President     Schedule An Appointment    Ask a Question

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