Issue 180 - March 27, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2311 Subscribers in 56 Countries ====

Welcome to the 180th issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly of news and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is your first issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me two or three issues, I know that you will come back for more!

You can reach me at with any suggestions or comments.

Recommend PCIN at

Support PCIN at



The weather can be so screwy around here. A few weeks ago we were having Spring weather in Winter. We had a day here where it was around 20° C or 70° F. Yesterday we received 10-15 cm of snow with temperatures approaching -10° C or 14° F. And now the snow is gone already! Hopefully that was the last bit of snow we will get.

Lisa will be happy with the results of last week's poll. 51% of the people who voted in the poll think that we'll have a girl. It was a slim margin of victory, but she'll take it :-)

Over the last several weeks Chris and I have completed 3 new software reviews and 1 hardware review. We still have several other reviews that we are working on. Make sure that you check out the Update section below. Any new pages or updates to pages will be listed there.

Graham and Chris

Return to the top


Antitrust Probe of eBay Closed, No Action Taken

"U.S. antitrust authorities have closed an investigation without taking any action into eBay Inc.'s conduct toward online auction sites that list eBay's content, the company said on Monday.
The probe by the Justice Department's antitrust division examined eBay's licensing program and a now-settled lawsuit eBay had filed against Massachusetts Bidder's Edge, an auction aggregator that agreed to stop posting eBay content on its site. Aggregators are search-driven sites that help users keep up-to-date on several auction destinations simultaneously."

For more info:

Spammers lose in small-claims court

"Free-speech group has won a legal round in its fight against unsolicited e-mail, invoking Washington state's anti-spam law.
The King County District Court in Bellevue, Wash., on Monday granted Peacefire $1,000 in damages in each of three complaints filed by Peacefire Webmaster Bennett Haselton. The small-claims suit alleged that Red Moss Media, Paulann Allison and Richard Schueler sent unsolicited commercial messages to Haselton that bore deceptive information such as a forged return e-mail address or misleading subject line."

For more info:

Hackers find new way to bilk eBay users

"Someone other than Gloria Geary had access to the Washington artist's eBay account last week.
Using Geary's user ID, the person set up an auction for an Intel Pentium computer chip. Not only that, but the person changed Geary's password so she could no longer access her own account--or cancel the bogus auction.
Geary, who discovered the auction Friday, was able to convince eBay to pull down the auction over the weekend, but not before suffering through a stressful day of worrying about how the auction would affect her legitimate listings.
'I felt totally violated. I was shaking,' Geary said. 'It's appalling the ease at which they totally took over my account.'"

For more info:

MS sued over patents by former exec

"Network Commerce, an Internet commerce tools and services company headed by a former Microsoft executive, said Monday it is suing the software giant for allegedly violating a patent on conducting electronic commerce.
Seattle-based Network Commerce said the patent covers a method for online shopping that uses separate servers and a piece of software to coordinate downloading of software, music and video over the Internet."

For more info:

Return to the top

POLL of the WEEK

Here are the responses from the last poll:

What sex will Lisa and Graham's baby be?

It's a Boy!  48.78 % (20)
It's a Girl! 51.22 % (21)

Total votes: 41

Visit to participate in the new poll this week:

Which auction site do your prefer?

Return to the top


Visit the new and improved PCIN FreeHelp Forum at to post your questions or answer others.


Recently installed Win XP upgrade. Now, for some reason, when I boot up with everything displayed on screen, i then try to connect to my ISP and have no success. Most of the time, I can't get the start to open Everything seems to be locked. Then if I do a ctl, alt, delete, and I can get it to work. Right after I installed XP, it worked fine - now this problem.


Do you use Dial-up? If so, does the modem pick up the line and dial? What was the previous Operating System before Windows XP?

If you have a suggestion, visit the General Discussion forum at and click on the "Win XP - After boot up, can't connect to ISP" subject.

Return to the top UPDATE

Check out these new or updated pages on the site:

Annotis Mail 1.1 Software Review

Avocent SwitchView KVM Switch Hardware Review

Connectix Virtual PC 4.2 Software Review

PurgeIE 4.04 Software Review

Return to the top


Searching Multiple Knowledgebases

Subscriber Steve Henthorn sent this in:
I would like to recommend a site which I read about in a recent issue of another zine:
FreeAnswers @ - taps the knowledgebase of different vendors.
With this site you can choose your operating system and vendor as well as determine in advance how many results you want posted to your screen (up to 50). Questions are asked in natural language and results are quick and ranked in order of relevance. This is a lot quicker than having to motor to the vendor's site and trying to type in a question that will match their specific language (wording).
Thanks for a great zine. Keep up the great work!
Steve Henthorn, Pub., Ed.-in-Chief
SPHERE Publishing House (no spam here)
Web page:
CC online:

The Webby Awards

Subscriber Pat Clary sent me a link to the 2001 Webby Award web site. The web site describes the Webby Awards as:
"From online galleries and up-to-the-second news sources, to interplanetary exploration and cyber-communities, The Webby Awards nominees exemplify the kinds of sites that Internet users visit daily for information and entertainment."
You can find out who was nominated at and you can see the winners at

Other Google Options

Last week I mentioned a program that let you start a Google search without having to open IE first. Well, Google has several utilities of their own that let you "enjoy the power of Google Search":

Return to the top


PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying the tips in this newsletter.

  1. If any of the links are too long to fit on one line, you may have to cut and paste.
  2. You can only win one contest every 30 days.
  3. To subscribe another address or unsubscribe, please visit and follow the appropriate links.
  4. Recommend PCIN to others at and be entered in a monthly draw.
  5. There are only 2 ways to get on the subscriber list. You have either been subscribed by filling out a subscription form on any of the pages on my site, or you have requested FreeHelp from me in the past.
  6. If you have a web site or run your own newsletter, please email me at and I will add it to the subscriber web pages that I have on my site.
  7. Support PCIN by visiting

Return to the top

Graham Wing can be reached at
Chris Empey can be reached at

Copyright 1998-2002, Graham Wing. All rights reserved.

This publication may be reproduced in whole, or in part, as long as the author is notified and the newsletter is presented as is.

Support PCIN by visiting

PC Improvement News Home Page

PC Improvement News Archive