Almost exactly four years ago,
the US Government went high-profile with an ambitious plan for something
called the "Next Generation Internet." And I do mean
"high-profile:" Then-president Clinton made it part of his State of
the Union address.
The "P" in PC stands for
"personal." But most new PCs ship in a generic state designed to suit
the lowest common denominator among buyers. New PCs are almost never tuned
optimally for performance, and in fact, often arrive with very safe,
conservative settings that are designed more to minimize returns and tech
support calls than to deliver all the performance of which the new machine is
Win9x (and that includes WinME,
which is really just a gussied-up version of Win98SE) all too often has problems
shutting down cleanly. There are many reason why, including the fact that the
hardware power-control standards have changed radically over the last few years:
Hardware shutdown procedures that work fine with one set of power-control APIs
may not work well with the other.
The last issue of this newsletter
discussed a new outbreak of a well-known virus. ( http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2001/2001-01-25.htm#3
) Even though I disguised the virus’ name in the text, it still was enough to
set off email virus-scanners in droves. Hundreds— maybe thousands— of you
didn’t get your issues because your ISP or company (or even PC) has an AV
scanner that was smart enough to fuzzy-match the virus’ name against its
database, but not smart enough to realize that the mere mention of a virus’ name
does not mean that an email carries the virus. Duh!
On January 31, I’ll choose another
monthly winner of a no-strings $30 Gift Certificate for any item at
Amazon.Com— books, software, hardware, kitchenware, toys… To have a shot at
winning, just use the following link to recommend the LangaList to a friend.
Your friend just may find a new source of useful information; I just may gain a
new subscriber; and you just may a $30 shopping spree! (Full details also
available via this link):
No, that’s not a typo: In a recent
issue, I told you about a new patch for the "PowerPoint File Parsing
Vulnerability," a potential security issue with PowerPoint 2000. (See
I didn’t think it would be
controversial. As stated in the previous issue ( http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2001/2001-01-25.htm#4
I’m a belt-and-suspenders kind of
guy when it comes to connectivity: My business depends on it. So, I use a cable
modem as my primary means of communicating, but also have a dual-channel ISDN
line as a backup, plus a collection of regular 56K dial-up modems. Heck, if I
had to, I’d start using tin cans and string.
Reader Richard Clark found a way to
solve a specific problem, but the repair process also is far more widely
applicable: You can use the method he describes to restore almost ANY damaged or
missing system file!
In the last issue, I wrote about a
"promising new free firewall" called "Freedom." ( http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2001/2001-01-22.htm#7
) I ended the brief description by saying: