ABC Tower   Nightlife, 14 February 2003

Tips & Hints

Posted 16 February 2003

The first full show of 2003 and we covered a lot of ground without mentioning Valentine’s day. Our callers covered a lot of ground with an lot of discussion about Internet access charges. Subjects we discussed were the different types of virus and broadband Internet access.

Virus scares seem to be tapering off as we get wiser to the tricks of the virus writers. The latest trick of multiple extensions doesn’t seem to have affected many people. Although the number of new viruses seems to be tapering off so take care with the files you receive over the net.

The subject that generates a lot of heat is the relative costs of broadband. There is no doubt that Australia doesn’t score well in headline comparisons and our broadband providers could do better. Despite the costs, broadband still has advantages compared to dial up.

We got to a lot of callers and some of the subjects they raised included.

The MS Config tool

Later versions of Windows come with the Microsoft Configuration Tool. This handy little beast allows you to turn on and off the programs that start with your computer. To open it, click Start, Run and type msconfig and click "OK."

In the Startup section of msconfig there is a list of programs that start with your computer and check box beside each. By taking the tick off a program you can stop it from starting. You can use this to troubleshoot a misbehaving computer or to disable unwanted programs.

If you have Windows 2000 or Windows 95, this tool doesn’t come standard with your system. You can download and install it from here. Just follow the instructions to install.

Big Internet bills

A problem that we hear a lot of on the show is big Internet bills. While broadband users are prone to them, dialup users can also be victims. There are measures both business and home users should take to reduce the risk of getting a huge bill.

The Porn Dialler Scam

This nasty little scam is another way to get a huge bill, this time on your telephone account. As this problem has been around for a while we’ve covered this previously. The scam is so prevalent that the relevant industry body has their own page to deal with this matter.

We recommend disabling all 1900 and international access from any telephone line that is connected to a computer.

Thanks to everybody who tuned in. We expect the next computer spot will be mid-March. If you’d like to know when we’ll be on, subscribe to our newsletter.

Happy computing.
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