Hi Fred! I’ve tried multiple Google searches on
this issue, but haven’t been able to find the right combination of keywords to
find the answer to my question. Firstly a bit of background: I have a wired/wireless network at home
consisting of my PC, my brother’s PC and a file server. My computer is
attached directly to the network (and the Internet) via Cat5 to a Netgear
RP614 router. My brothers PC is connected to the network via a wireless
access point attached to my router. I have a share set up on my brother’s
computer for performing various administrative tasks, but my computer is totally
locked down and doesn’t have any sharing enabled. My question is: if my brother somehow catches a worm, trojan or other
malware and the antivirus doesn’t stop it – can this malware come through
this administrative share that I have access to, and infect my PC? Or could
it only infect me if I had a share on my PC for the malware to ‘jump
Love your newsletter. I started with the free edition and have been a Plus
subscriber for several years. I had an experience a couple of months ago that may be of help to some of your
readers. One of my friends got a new computer and wanted me to configure it so
they could surf the Internet safely. The computer is a Compaq Presario, AMD
Sempron 3000+, 256 DDR, 40GB HDD, CD-RW/DVD ROM, Phoenix/Award BIOS and has
Windows XP Home. I installed the free Zone Alarm firewall, AVG anti-virus free
edition and Hitman Pro 2. They were on a dialup connection, so since they were
not using the Ethernet port I disabled it in the BIOS. Several days later they told me that the computer did not have any sound since I
worked on it. I went back and found that when I went into Control Panel – Sound
and Audio Devices, the Device Volume section was grayed out. After a lot of
looking for the problem I ended up calling tech support. They talked me through
about 15 minutes worth of things I already tried to no avail. Then they told me
to reset the BIOS defaults. The sound came back as soon as I did this. Just so I
knew for sure what caused the problem I went into the BIOS and disabled the
Ethernet port again. The sound quit working. I enabled the Ethernet port and the
sound came back. I should have tried resetting the BIOS before calling tech
support but I knew the only thing I did in the BIOS was disable the Ethernet
port. I could not see how that would effect the sound. Just goes to show that
you should never take anything for granted, especially when it comes to
computers. —Dave Mantz
Dear Fred, With regard to the defrag problem
mentioned in the last newsletter ("Defrag Just Won’t Finish;"
http://langa.com/newsletters/2006/2006-06-05.htm#2 ) I’d suggest
looking into DIRMS (see
http://www.dirms.com/. This is a superb defragging program that runs in
a command window under Windows; it does the best defrag job of any program
I’ve seen. —Jim Allen
Hi Fred, What [about] free firewalls these
Fred – When I had trouble recently
getting my browsers (MSIE 6 and Firefox) to recognize and open an SWF file
(shockwave) I found this handy little 385kb freeware program from
Softpedia.com, SWF-Opener. The first two mirrors seem to be dead links but
the softpedia mirror works.
Fred: I am stumped and have used up all my info resources.
Fred: As a long-time reader of your list and an original
subscriber to PLUS, I do not recall your discussing a solution to a common and
annoying problem: Most new printers these days, and all cheap printers, are
"Windows-only" printers, i.e., they no longer contain the firmware needed to
respond to the Escape sequences that we used to embed in DOS files to make
printers do things like Underline, Bold, Italic, double
size & width, and super & sub scripts. That’s a real problem for those of us
who, for whatever reasons of our own, want to control our print jobs with
embedded Escape sequences.
Hi Fred, Thanks for the constant
stream of useful tips – very much appreciated!
Dear Fred, I thoroughly enjoy your letter. Now I’m not
particularly geeky. I run a small architectural firm which means I do the
computer fixes for the most part.
Hello Mr. Langa.
I hope you can help me with this problem. My computer will not defrag. This is
the first time I’ve had a problem with it. When I run defrag it gets to about
12 percent and stops with a message saying some files cannot be defragmented.