PuterGeek.Com News
Issue # 22

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Hello Everybody!
Since I'm still in town I thought I'd spoil all of you by sending out
another newsletter. :-)

There's a new page on the site at...

It's the same page, but since it applies to both Win95 as well as to
Win98 it's in two places.  This whitepaper was written by a "guest
author".  Yes, I did help a little with content suggestions, but the
flavor and knowledge came from the author.  Please give me feedback
about this page.  If you like how it's laid out (I do!), I'll see if I
can talk the author into writing some more of them. :-)

Also, I've changed the look of the website again.  The background
image is gone for good (I hope).  Please let me know if you like or
dislike the new look.  Is it easier or harder to read?

Now on with the good stuff!

>From the funnies http://users.erols.com/hmmd

Two new additions to the periodic table of elements.

Element Name: WOMAN Symbol: WO Atomic Weight: (don't even go there!)

Physical properties: Generally round in form.  Boils at nothing and
may freeze any time.  Melts whenever treated properly.  Very bitter if not
used well.

Chemical properties: Very active.  Highly unstable.
Possesses strong affinity to gold, silver, platinum, and precious
stones.  Violent when left alone.  Able to absorb great amounts of
exotic food.  Turns slightly green when placed next to a better

Usage: Highly ornamental.  An extremely good catalyst for dispersion
of wealth.  Probably the most powerful income reducing agent known.

Caution: Highly explosive in inexperienced hands.

Element Name: MAN Symbol: XY Atomic Weight: (180 +/- 50)

Physical properties: Solid at room temperature, but gets bent out of
shape easily.  Fairly dense and sometimes flaky.  Difficult to find a
pure sample.  Due to rust, aging samples are unable to conduct
electricity as easily as young samples.

Chemical properties: Attempts to bond with WO any chance it can get.
Also tends to form strong bonds with itself.  Becomes explosive when
mixed with Kd (Element: Child)  for prolonged period of time.
Neutralize by saturating with alcohol.

Usage: None known.  Possibly good methane source.  Good samples are
able to produce large quantities on command.

Caution: In the absence of WO, this element rapidly decomposes and
begins to smell.

Overheard in a computer shop:
Customer: "I'd like a mouse mat, please."
Salesperson: "Certainly sir, we've got a large variety."
Customer: "But will they be compatible with my computer?"


Customer in computer shop: "Can you copy the Internet onto this disk
for me?"
Customer: "So that'll get me connected to the Internet, right?"
Tech Support: "Yeah."
Customer: "And that's the latest version of the Internet, right?"
Tech Support: "Uhh...uh...uh...yeah."


Tech Support: "All right...now double-click on the File Manager icon."
Customer: "That's why I hate this Windows - because
of the icons - I'm a Protestant, and I don't believe in icons."
Tech Support: "Well, that's just an industry term sir.
I don't believe it was meant to-"
Customer: "I don't care about any 'Industry Terms'.
I don't believe in icons."
Tech Support: "Well...why don't you click on the
'little picture' of a filing cabinet...is 'little picture' OK?"
Customer: {click}

NOTE: I just have to add this one too!!!

After experiencing difficulties with his computer, a poor,
incognizant user called the system maker's technical
support line for assistance...

Technician: Hello.  How can I help you today?
Customer: There's smoke coming from the power supply on my computer...
Technician: Looks like you need a new power supply...
Customer: No, I don't!  I just need to change the startup files...
Technician: Sir, what you described is a faulty power supply.  You need to replace it...
Customer: No way!  Someone told me that I just had to change the system startup files to fix the problem!  All I need is for you to tell me the right command...

For the next ten minutes, in spite of the technician's
efforts to explain the problem and its solution, the customer
adamantly insisted that he was right.  So, in frustration,
the technician responded...

Technician:I'm sorry.  We don't normally tell our customers this, but there's an undocumented DOS command that will fix the problem...
Customer: I knew it!
Technician: Just add the line "LOAD NOSMOKE.COM" at the end of the CONFIG.SYS file and everything should work fine.  Let me know how it goes...

About ten minutes later, the technician received a call back from the customer...

Customer: It didn't work.  The power supply is still smoking...
Technician: Well, what version of DOS are you using?
Customer: MS-DOS 6.22...
Technician: Well, that's your problem.  That version of DOS doesn't include NOSMOKE.  You'll need to contact Microsoft and ask them for a patch.  Let me know how it all works out...

When nearly an hour had passed, the phone rang again...

Customer: I need a new power supply...
Technician: How did you come to that conclusion?
Customer: Well, I called Microsoft and told the technician what you said, and he started asking me questions about the make of the power supply...
Technician: What did he tell you?
Customer: He said my power supply isn't compatible with NOSMOKE...

>From the Langalist www.langa.com

AOL Slug-fest Continues!

After my column on AOL woes and the announcement of the US$8 Billion
lawsuit some AOL users brought against the media giant, literally
hundreds and hundreds of you have posted replies in the WinMag BBS
area! For example, reader "Bram" writes:

     MAN AM I MAD! Headache after headache.. and one day all the
     problems I have are described in an article by Fred..
     Praise you.. Damn AOL.

     I have been keeping up to date on Fred's articles and have
     decided to post a message today after reading the latest.
     We have 2 computers in our office, a laptop and Desktop,
     that both have the identical symptoms as described in the
     intial article. Luckily my machine, which until 5 minutes
     ago also had AOL5 on it, is OK. Those 2 computers, since
     Installing AOL5, no longer have access to our NT machine.

     No matter what I do, they cannot login to its shared
     folders nor can they print to its printer. The only thing
     they can do is access the internet via SyGate and our ADSL
     connection. Even uninstalling and restoring original files
     does not fix this.

     I am incredibly pissed off and utterly disgusted with what
     AOL has done...

But some pro-AOL readers have written in, too.

Curiously, some AOLers report that they couldn't link to my column
from within AOL; others said the AOL search function returns zero
hits on the lawsuit of the troubles with AOL5. Veeeery interesting.

FREE Personal Firewall Software!

Ooooo, this is so cool: A FREE product that outperforms some
commercial apps costing $50 or more!

If you've been reading the LangaList for any length of time, you know
that online security is a hot button for me. In fact, it should be a
hot button for us all, because the more time you spend online, the
greater the odds that someone will try to crawl back through your
internet connection to get inside your PC. The threat is real--- it
happens all the time. And with some "always on" connections such as
cable modems and DSL connections, you can be virtually certain that
at least two or three or four (or more!) bonehead miscreant hackers
will try to break into your PC *every day.*

Without protection, they may get in. Depending on how your PC is set
up, these hack attacks may be anything from an annoyance (slowing
down or crashing your computer) to a major headache (potentially
reading files, stealing passwords, and worse.)

I've talked about various trustworthy sites that can sniff back along
your internet connection---much like a hacker would--- and tell you
if your PC has security problems that potentially open it to the
outside world. (See
http://www.langa.com/newsletters/oct-14-99.htm#gibson and
http://www.langa.com/newsletters/oct-18-99.htm#check and
http://www.langa.com/newsletters/nov-18-99.htm#secure .)

And I'll soon have a comprehensive column on online security and the
steps you can take to help lock down your PC and keep intruders at

But this is too good to wait: ZoneLabs is making their personal
firewall, ZoneAlarm, available for free. It not only blocks unwanted
access from outside, but also alerts you if a website or Trojan app
tries to send data from your PC back to the outside world. There are
many commercial products that don't do that!

It's a new app and is a little rough-edged, but when it errs, it
appears to err on the side of caution, and that's good. I like it a

Steve Gibson (who runs the Shields Up testing site that can help
identify your PC's online security problems) also likes ZoneAlarm. In
fact, in his usual over-the-top style, Steve says:

     "It is my FIRM belief that ZoneAlarm 2.0 has the potential
     to become the PERFECT FIREWALL for the typical security
     conscious Internet user."

For more details from Steve on Firewalls in general, see
http://grc.com/su-firewalls.htm .

In any case, you gotta check out ZoneAlarm--- it's FREE so you have
nothing to lose:


Once you have it running (only takes a minute), use Steve's site at
http://grc.com/default.htm or any of the other sites mentioned above
to check your PC and see how secure it really is.

NOTE: I haven't tried this (I use Linux for my firewall ).  But if
Fred Langa likes it, you should try it!

>From the Lockergnome www.lockergnome.com

Strictly CD-it v1.0 [264k] W9x/NT FREE


"Strictly CD-it is an add-in for Microsoft FrontPage 2000 users which
simplifies the process of publishing a Web to blank CD media (CD-R or
CD-RW). It's a five-step wizard with built-in verification features
which prevent the occurrence of known problems. CD-it is also
intelligent enough not to publish those folders which are used only by
Microsoft FrontPage 2000 for configuration purposes. The software
itself is very easy to use, but also somewhat elaborate with its

NOTE: This sounds good, but I have yet to test it...

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