Support Alert

Self repairing PCs

IBM has introduced the “Rapid Restore” utility for its line of
PCs that allows end-users to effectively re-image their PCs to
recover from data corruption, virus infections and other
software induced system failures. The utility works by restoring
a system image along with key application data from a hidden
disk partition that cannot be accessed by viruses or
applications.

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Look for Windows Secrets and Support Alert Newsletter

This Thursday, you’ll start receiving the combined publication. It will bear a new logo, Windows Secrets & Support Alert, as shown in the image at left. (This name will be shortened after a transitional period.)

The combined newsletter will have approximately 400,000 subscribers, far more than the 145,000 I’ve been publishing to in recent months. But I’ll have more time to focus on writing as the senior editor of the merged publication. The production help I’m receiving from the Windows Secrets staff is already making my life much easier.

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Locate free online books fast

Andreas Büsing has written to let me know about a search engine for free books. According to Andreas, it searches more than 450 sites and covers “public domain texts, open books, free audio books, ad-supported books and more.

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New search engine shows hits in 3D

This is the first time I’ve seen a search engine combine a 3D display of search hits with the ability to filter search results into subject areas using tabs. The interface works really well and is really worth checking out. Unfortunately, the relevance of the search engine hits is poor compared to Google.

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A smarter way to run command line programs using a hotkey

Last month I described a technique that allowed you to use the StripMail text cleaning utility more conveniently by creating a Windows hotkey that ran the program automatically.

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Thirty sites where you can legally download music

Whether you’re into pop, jazz, metal or classical, there’s something here for everyone.

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USB flash drive freebies

Subscriber Bryan Whitworth writes, “Gizmo, here’s a site that has a hundred or more tiny, free, portable applications. Even I was gob-smacked at what you can put on a stick.”

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Useless waste of time department

Subscriber Noel Glucksman likes wasting time by creating his own M & M characters here, while Andrew Seward prefers to play with this collection of free widgets to create custom signs and images.

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Free Web service offers instant online classes

This is a free web-based Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that allows you to set up web classes immediately after registering. It not only an administrative system but also a teaching system with many features to improve the learning experience.

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A special thanks to Robert Schifreen, the founding editor of Support Alert

Support Alert newsletter was not started by me but by the highly regarded English IT journalist and security consultant Robert Schifreen. When I took over from Robert in July 2002, the newsletter was already well established with a circulation of 12,000.

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