PuterGeek.Com News
Issue # 26

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Hello everyone,
We're sitting here in Weatherford, TX on our way to
Florence, KY. for Monday.  I'm sorry about the short note
the other day, we were in a hurry to pickup this load and I
had just found out about being mentioned in the Langlist
www.langa.com .  I was so excited I just had to tell you

I want to say welcome to all the new subscribers.  As you'll
find, this *newsletter* isn't very polished.  It's just a
jumble of info about the website, any special news I want to
pass on, and lots of tidbits from all the newsletters I

If you want to send me email please follow these

Send it plain text only...I get a lot of email and while
HTML is pretty, it's also larger.

Please do not send me attachments without checking with me
first,... again, on the road I use a 28.8 modem so have

Please always have quoting turned on...my memory isn't good
enough and I'd rather not have to search for prior emails.

To see if I'm home just check the PeterCam
www.putergeek.com/pc/petercam/petercam.htm, you're always welcome to
call anytime you can see me on the cam.  I live in Ohio and
the Phone # is 330-837-2789.  Don't forget the chat page
either, it's at www.putergeek.com/chat.html and since it's
on my server it's very quiet...

Helpme requests go to helpme@putergeek.com
Website stuff goes to webmaster@putergeek.com
And personal stuff goes to crockett@putergeek.com
This helps me to sort my email...

I've been doing a lot of work on the website lately, so
please come by and look around. The site map is at
www.putergeek.com/sitemap.htm and there you're only one
click away from anywhere on the site.

The PowerPoint presentations are no more. I decided they
weren't right for the website.

I've added some photos to the personal section of the site
since we finally got a digital camera.  The Kodak DC290 is
an awesome camera!  MaximumPc rated it a "9".  The only
downside is that it's hard on batteries.

The newsletter is now online at
www.putergeek.com/res/newsletter/newsletter.htm so you can see all old
issues if you like.  There's a form to subscribe and
un-subscribe now as well.

There's a new section under the Windows 98 white paper
section called Performance Tuning - Win98.  Only two white
papers so far but more are in the works.

I'm amazed at how popular the site is becoming....over
10,000 hits since the first of the year.  Now if only one of
those hits would offer me a tech support job.  I'm willing
to relocate! :-)

As always, feel free to email me any comments or suggestions
for PuterGeek.Com!

Now, on with the good stuff...

>From the Funnies http://www.erols.com/hmmd
There was once a young man who, in his youth,
professed his desire to become a great writer.

When asked to define "great" he said, "I want to
write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff
that people will react to on a truly emotional
level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl
in pain and anger!"

He now works for Microsoft - writing error messages.

>From the Langalist www.langa.com
MS Office Security Bug!

Do you use any of the following apps?

    Microsoft Office 2000
    Microsoft Works 2000
    Microsoft PictureIt 2000
    Microsoft HP 2000
    Microsoft Publisher99
    Microsoft PhotoDraw 2000 Version 1

If so, you may have the "Clip Art Buffer Overrun"
which could allow a hacker to run hostile code on your PC.

Microsoft explains it this way:

     "The Microsoft Clip Art Gallery software is used to
allow users to retrieve and use clip art in their documents.  One of the features of the Clip Art Gallery allows the user to download additional clips from the Microsoft Clip Gallery Live web site, and then install that clip art on their computer. To do this, Clip Art Gallery and Clip Gallery Live use a file format called the CIL format to contain the  newly downloaded clips. Under certain circumstances, a very long field embedded in a clip art CIL file could cause a buffer overrun in the Clip Art Gallery software. The buffer overrun could cause the software to crash or, under certain circumstances, could cause the execution of hostile code on the computer where the Clip Art Gallery software was executing. The risk from this vulnerability results from the facts that any web site can host a CIL file and that clip art will normally be processed without prompting the user for confirmation as would be the case with an executable file format".

If you think you're at risk, grab the patch here (it's tiny--- just 96K):


or click here for more info:


Two FREE Automatic "Aureate Mess" Fixes
(and an Aureate change)

Remember the "Aureate Mess" about a "spyware" app that can be installed silently on your system to perform various tasks ranging from managing ad banners to sending information about you to a third  party? We've covered it a lot, so I won't replow old ground: If you need more info, please see
http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2000/mar-2-00.htm ,
http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2000/mar-6-00.htm , and
http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2000/mar-9-00.htm .

In those past issues, I told you of some early anti-Aureate tools that can delete various Aureate DLLs and settings that may be on your system. The trouble with some of these tools is that is that they simply whack everything on the original list of supposed Aureate DLLs that circulated when this story first came to light--- and that original list erroneously included some very NON-Aureate stuff, including parts of Microsoft Media Player. As a result, some people using these crude tools ended up crippling completely "innocent" apps along with the Aureate stuff I told you I was waiting for Steve Gibson's promised app.
(Steve's site is http://www.grc.com ). I got a letter from Steve this week:


     I heard about your mention of [my] Aureate "Antispy", and also read your comment about preferring to wait for my forthcoming solution:"OptOut".  I intended to take a look at AntiSpy so that I could intelligently respond to people who wanted a comparison, but I've been in SUCH a burn to get OptOut written that I never found the time. So, I thought of that, and you, when I  read the following comment from someone who I let play with a very early non-even-yet-complete copy. I explained that it was SO raw that the paint was still wet:

          Gads Steve if that's ALPHA (Wet paint, no beta?
          ::snicker::) I will probably fall over dead when
          the final comes out.. This was a DREAM to run!
          FAST!!! Clean presentation and EASY!! No doubts on
          my end as to what was going to happen, what
          happened, and the end results.. 13 Aureate Process
          Parasite references found! 14 Adbot/Spyware
          entries were found in the registry!

          I also did the deep drive scan, from C: thru H:
          only the 2 fake advert.dll files were found.. (I
          created them).

     Fred, I'll be finishing it this week, and preparing a supporting web site, etc. I'll send you a copy, a URL, and the news as soon as it's ready for your audience ... and the world!

Thanks Steve. I'll post the URL as soon as it's ready.

Meanwhile, the guys at PC Pitstop have generated a simpler

     Fred: [We've] put up a page at
that checks for Advert.DLL automatically, since so many
users have trouble even viewing the DLLs in Windows\System.
If the damned thing is there, it offers a link to an AutoFix
that will rename Advert.DLL to Advert.old. If you rerun the
AutoFix later, you'll be offered the option to name it back
     (if you discover that you like your freeware more than
you fear the Aureate "spyware").

Thanks, guys!

And finally:

A number of readers wrote to me ("Darren" was the first) to
tell me that Aureate  has changed its name, if not its stripes. It's
calling itself "Radiate" now. See

Cool Tool #1 (FREE!)

Most web images are GIFs, JPGs, or PNGs; there are formats
that already include a fair degree of data-compression to make an
image file far smaller than it would be in, say, the Windows
BitMap (BMP) format.

But even though an image is compressed, it may be able to be
compressed further without compromising the visual quality
of the final image! This can be done through a variety of
techniques, including removing unused colors from the stored palette,
slightly shifting colors to more easily-stored values, and so on.

There are a number of image-editing tools that can deliver
impressively compact images; Gif Wizard is perhaps one of
the better-known commercial apps. There also are quasi-free sites such as http://websitegarage.netscape.com/O=wsg/turbocharge/gif_lube
but this site requires a cumbersome double-login process
(once for Netscape Netcenter, then again for the GIF site), and I
actually had trouble with the results--- the site said it "did not
recognize" the format of my standard images. Duh.

There's http://www.peda.com/smaller/, which offers a
shareware tool:
You can download and use a copy for free to compress images;
but if you do this with no real intention of keeping and paying for
the app, it's ethically questionable.

The site I ended up using is http://www.giftools.com, which
offers a variety of image and text tools that run live, online, and
for free.  Check it out!

Cool Tool #2 (FREE!)

One of the slower pages on the old Langa.Com site was the
Search, which was handled entirely locally. I had thought that
keeping things local would make the search faster than one that used an external search engine.

I was wrong.  On the all-new Langa.Com, I'm using "Pico Search," which is a FREE special-purpose search engine. You sign up on the PicoSearch site (http://www.picosearch.com/ ) and the free tool will index your site in a matter of minutes. PicoSearch generates some cut-and-paste code you drop into your site; this creates the fill-in search form.
(If you know HTML, you can modify the form to suit your site's

Once you've set it up, the search is lightning fast: When you click on
the search button, you get your results almost instantly.
And they're rank-ordered for relevancy, and include snippets of the text surrounding the "hit" so you can judge whether or not the
search had actually found what you're looking for.

It's so good it's amazing that it's free. PicoSearch handles
sites up to 1500 pages, and doesn't even clutter the results page
with ads the way some "free" searches do: Instead, you get to brand thead-free results page with your own site logo.

If you'd like to see it in operation, try the Search function at Langa.Com. And if you like what you see, you can add the same kind of search to your site in minutes via the link above.

I should mention that PicoSearch offers two for-a-fee search
options, too; these are geared more to very large sites, and sites
that need a lot of customization. In my case, I found the free tool
perfectly suited to my needs. Check it out!

>From Lockergnome www.lockergnome.com
This tweak is definitely one to pass along to friends.
Windows 98 accesses your swap file (virtual memory) before
it runs out of RAM (physical memory) -- which, from a user's
point of view, is completely nuts. Virtual memory will
always operate slower than physical memory, so why does
Windows 98 insist on using both? Frankly, I don't know.
According to article Q223294 in the Microsoft knowledge
base, this new method is more efficient. Uh huh. Thank
goodness they've posted a fix! Yes, if you have more than 64
megabytes of RAM and you're running Windows 98, you'll wanna
give this a shot. In your SYSTEM.INI file, under the
[386Enh] section, enter: "ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1"
(without the quotes). Reboot, and I believe you'll find your
system more responsive. Your mileage may vary!
NOTE: I'm testing this now - Peter

Coming from the "Blame Default" department,
Lockergnominstrel Wayne Haynes has submitted our first
Windows 2000 tip! When he launched a couple of 16-bit
programs, they would act like they were going to start, but
would suddenly stop. Others would actually GPF (blaming
NETVDM.EXE). In an obscure reference in one of the
troubleshooters, it noted that some 16-bit programs 'MUST
have a DEFAULT printer installed' before they could operate.
Wayne then went into his printer folder and set an active
printer as the default one. Lo and behold, all of his legacy
applications ran without a glitch. How do you spell relief?

As mentioned in previous issues, reinstalling Windows has
become a bi-annual routine for some of us. With every
installation, I've learned something new. Shaun had to do
the deed this past weekend; in fact, he had to do it twice
in a row. Why? He forgot to unplug his USB devices before
starting. Yeah, if you've got non-essential USB peripherals,
be sure they're not plugged in when you're running setup
outside the Windows environment. Obviously, USB keyboards
and mice don't count in this instance. USB scanners, modems,
printers, hubs, webcams, et al should not be attached to
your system during initial hardware detection stages.
Install those once your OS is up and running; you'll
encounter less 'weird' hardware contentions this way.

>From MaximumPC www.maximumpc.com

Dell Recalls 400,000 Notebooks

A glitch in memory chips used in Dell laptops is going to
cost the Austin-based company a pretty penny. Dell issued a
nation-wide recall of over one-third of the notebooks it produced last year.

Complete story:

Microsoft Deals AMD Bad Hand

Microsoft, in another switcheroo, deals AMD a blow this
morning in its X-Box announcement. Instead of using AMD's Athlon, Microsoft will use Intel's Pentium III to pump life into its futuristic gaming box.

Complete story:

The Nuclear Penguin

"Recently several journalists have said that the number of
Linux applications is rising exponentially and is approaching
"critical mass."  If that is the case, then it won't be long before Redmond disappears off the map." - Gareth Barnard

Complete story:

Tweak That Registry

Never let Windows tell you what to do. Toward that end, 3D
Spotlight gets down and dirty with a monster registry tweaking guide.
Your Windows installation will "play nice" forever after applying the
principles in this guide. Check it out.

Complete story:

The Bunk On Windows 2000

"Windows 2000...It's three years late and so heavily bloated
I'm surprised that Microsoft doesn't distribute it on DVD's
instead of CD's.  But hey, Microsoft went to the mat to make this thing stable, powerful, and most of all?stable, right?" - Aaron Fransen

Complete story:

Intel To Get GHz

Intel follows suit and formally launches its 1GHz Pentium -
on time with industry speculation after AMD's 1GHz launch on Monday.
Check out full details plus complete specs of 1GHz systems shipping from Dell, HP and IBM at PC Extremist.

Complete story:

>From Microsoft www.microsoft.com
Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition
How to Use Fdisk and Format to Partition/Repartition a Hard
Disk (Q255867)

Err Msg: Scrscan Caused an Invalid Page Fault in Module...

1394 Host Controller Driver Does Not Retry Busy Devices
Properly (Q252183)

Internet Explorer on the following platforms: Windows 95,
Windows 98 and Windows NT(r) 4.0
Deleted Sites Reappear When You Next Start Internet Explorer

Missing Text When Printing Web Pages to HP PhotoSmart P1000

Description of the Internet Explorer Repair Tool (Q194177)

That's it for now, till next time...

Peter Crockett - webmaster
>From somewhere on the road...
website: www.putergeek.com
mailto: webmaster@putergeek.com

P.S.  I'm playing around with a new search engine for the

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Last Revised: 10/23/2000