PuterGeek.Com News
Issue # 21

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Hello all,
Just a quick update.  For all you webmaster wannabes out there here a
new (to me) lesson.  No matter how hard you try to be compatible with
all browsers it doesn't always work.  You may have noticed some
banners I put up on the resources page www.putergeek.com/resource.htm
.  Well the "code" that I had to use broke the page in Netscape!  IE
users saw it fine but Netscape users only saw the title and top links,
the rest of the page was blank.  So I had to beg my guru (Andy) to
figure what I broke.  It turned out that some of the code snippets for
the banners was broke.  The catch is I signed an agreement promising
not to alter their code.  So I took down one of the banners.  CNET has
yet to respond to me about it.

The long and short is that while IE is more forgiving....It caused me
not to realize there was a problem...score one for Netscape.

Now the good stuff...
>From Microsoft www.microsoft.com

A new consumer study by ZD Labs found that digital music in the
Windows Media format sounds more like CD-quality audio-in half the
size of MP3 files. The study compared content in Windows Media and MP3
file formats to original CD recordings.

Live via satellite from San Francisco on Feb. 17, 2000, Bill Gates
will announce the general availability of Windows 2000, and will
highlight customers and showcase demonstrations. Find out more about
cities hosting local launch events

>From the Langalist www.langa.com

AOL Class-Action Lawsuit Filed

Just this week, news reports describe how an angry AOL subscriber
hired a lawyer to file:
     ...a class-action lawsuit alleging that the latest version
     of the company's software--version 5.0--constitutes a
     deceptive trade practice and violates consumer-protection
     and computer-tampering laws. The lawsuit, filed Monday in
     federal court in Alexandria [VA], seeks damages of up to
     $1,000 for each of the 8 million people who installed the

The full news story with more details is now making the rounds: You
can read the Washington Post's column on it here:

A related report carried by the Associated Press also says (in part):
     AOL could not be reached for comment immediately, but a
     spokeswoman earlier said complaints about interference by
     its software were overblown and the result of customers not
     understanding that if they click yes during installation to
     allow AOL to become their default Internet browser, AOL
     largely takes over all the online functions on the

Wow! Selecting a default *browser* takes over "all the online
functions on the computer?" That's like asking for a car wash, and
being told that really means you're locked into buying a whole new

In my tests, AOL5 installed networking and system files that had
absolutely nothing whatsoever--- nada, zip, zero--- to do with
choosing a default browser. In actuality, choosing a default browser
should ONLY affect things such as which application opens HTML and
related web files; that's all. There is no part of choosing a default
browser that requires installing network adapters and 4.5 megs of
system files!

Reader JC Ford says the AOL spoksperson "...essentially blames the
users for the problem, but her comments say a lot about AOL's
practices. They are also flat-out wrong. I did not chose to use AOL
as the default browser, and my system was still hosed."
I don't know if the lawyers really have a case, but the AOL
spokesperson's comments make me hope they do:  It really looks like
AOL is either incredibly callous or incredibly clueless. Either way,
it's not OK.

Windows 2000 Readiness Tool Back Online

Last issue ( http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2000/jan-31-00.htm#5) I
told you about a free Win2K compatibility tool from Microsoft that
can help you preview what trouble you might run into installing
Windows 2000.

It might have been coincidence or it might have been that many, many
of you tried the link at the same time (it wouldn't be the first time
that a horde of LangaList readers have choked a server! <g> ), but
the download was not available for a while.

It's back: As of this writing, the link at
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/upgrade/compat/ready.asp is
working fine. If you try it and have trouble, just save the link and
try again in a little while.

Other good pre-install resources are

and http://www.hardware-update.com/.

Out on the road, I saw two bumper stickers I really liked during the
campaign season: "Warning: I Speed Up And Run Over Politicians" and
"If We Quit Voting Will They All Go Away?

>From the Lockergnome www.lockergnome.com

Grab a friend, a D cell battery, and try the following "trick." Find
something heavy you can lift with some amount of resistance (like a
heavy chair). Have your friend stand directly behind you, holding the
battery horizontal with the positive end facing you (pointing towards
the middle of your back). It should be about a centimeter away from
your body. Now, pick up that object -- no big deal, right? Okay, now
have your friend turn the battery around so the positive end faces
him. Now, try lifting that same object again. I'm not going to tell
you what happens, but needless to say, you'll be struck speechless.

Visual Perl Editor v1.0 [379k] W9x/NT FREE


"This will help you create CGI scripts in Perl, offline in Windows.
The program has two panels, one to edit the script and another that
previews the CGI in an internal web browser. You can also test the
script for errors or run them normally. It also supports
code-templates to add to your script, a Query editor to easily create
Query's to be tested with a GET method, a URL encoder/decoder,
bookmarks. Also directions on how to run CGI Perl scripts in windows,
offline, for testing or learning."

>From NeatNetTricks http://www.NeatNetTricks.com

BOOT LOG ANALYZER.  If your computer is booting slowly, this
little freeware utility at http://www.vision4.dial.pipex.com may
identify the source of the delay.  The Boot Log Analyzer reports the
delay with loading each DLL {Dynamic Link Library} and identifies
problems some of the DLL may be having with properly loading.  The BLA
won't fix your problems, but you might be better informed so you can
either ditch the offending software or go looking for a fix.

That's it!  Till next time...

Peter Crockett - webmaster
website: http://www.putergeek.com
mailto: webmaster@putergeek.com
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Last Revised: 10/23/2000