ABC Tower   Weekend Show 15 May 2005

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Posted 17 May 2005

The May 702 Weekend spot didn’t go quite as planned. We had intended to talk about formatting documents but the news that most Americans and Brits would trade their passwords for coffee was too tempting to resist. There was some serious news.

The most serious is the Sober.O worm. According to Sophos this virus accounted for 75% of all virus infected mails the previous week. If you are wondering what all the German e-mailsá were over the weekend, that too is the work of the latest Sober worm.

On the subject of viruses, the weekend marked the fifth anniversary of the Lovebug virus. This beast was the first that used the victim’s email list to help itself spread itself. It also added the feature of using one of those names as the sender, forever destroying the “I only open emails from people I know” defence.

Network messaging
Earlier versions of Windows had a dinky little utility known as Winpopup. This allowed you to send messages between Windows machines on a network. Windows 2000 and XP have Windows Messaging, but it’s nowhere near as user friendly.

Jennifer called to ask if there is something available for Windows XP. We’ve been asked this a lot and our favourite is a little utility called Winsent. This is freeware and we thank the author for making it available.

New laptop
One caller asked about buying laptops. The advice we give to all computer buyers is to get at least 512Mb RAM and a three years manufacturer’s warranty. The other specs depend upon your needs.

Specifically for laptops we’d strongly recommend the Pentium M chipsets as these are the quietest, coolest and fastest for the money. They also have the advantage of good power management. Battery life is constant gripe of laptop users so get the longest battery you can.

In this case, he wanted the system to watch DVDs in the car. We’d recommend getting a larger monitor model with a 17” screen as well as a DC adaptor for the car. If you’re going to be using it in the car, we’d also recommend finding somewhere secure to put it, having the thing flying around the car if you have to brake suddenly is Not A Good Thing.

The Australian Computer Museum
John called in about the power supply on his Singer 10. Sadly, these are a little out of our league but John really wanted to publicise the plight of the Australian Computer Museum. The Museum has been under threat of being evicted for nearly two years and it looks like the end is near.

If you can assist, the ACM can be contacted through their web page. The worry in the computer industry is so much knowledge and history is being thrown in the skip. There’s a serious issue too as there is a lot of important data saved in obsolete formats.

The next weekend show is scheduled for June 19. But we will confirm this closer to the date and we’ll be talking about wireless broadband. If you’d like to be kept informed of the constantly changing Weekend schedule, subscribe to our newsletter.
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