Issue 212 - November 06, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2215 Subscribers in 56 Countries ====

Welcome to the 212th 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!

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Nothing new to say this week. Chris will have a review of Object Desktop (software from ) next week.

Graham and Chris

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Why Can't Hackers Be Stopped?

The battle between malicious hackers and system administrators is a never-ending tug-of-war between constantly evolving adversaries. Every time administrators seem to have gained the upper hand, their nemeses change in surprisingly agile ways.
For example, as computer users and network administrators learn to take virus protection more seriously, hackers are beginning to exploit a new avenue of attack: active components. These are modules of code, such as ActiveX controls or Java applets, that are passed between computers or applications. They are routinely, and legitimately, used in thousands of applications.
The potential for malicious active components, or malware, to be distributed over the Internet has been well known for years, but they have been overshadowed by flashier and faster-spreading worms and viruses.

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Bill Gates Views What He's Sown in Libraries

Bill Gates predicted in 1995 that the Internet would help rural people stay put, in part because they would have the same advantages as city slickers in the virtual world.
He made that prophecy in "The Road Ahead," a book whose jacket showed Mr. Gates standing in the middle of an empty highway in remote eastern Washington.
But when Mr. Gates, the richest man in the world, returned recently to the land of no stoplights as part of the last phase of a five-year philanthropic effort to put computers in every poor library district in the United States, he acknowledged that the road ahead was full of blind curves.

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Math discovery rattles Net security

Will Manindra Agrawal bring about the end of the Internet as we know it? The question is not as ridiculous as it was just two months ago. Prof. Agrawal is a 36-year old theoretical computer scientist at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India. In August, he solved a problem that had eluded millennia of mathematicians: developing a method to determine with complete certainty if a number is prime.
Prime numbers are those divisible only by themselves and 1. While small primes like 5 or 17 are easy to spot, for very large numbers, those hundreds of digits long, there never had been a formula of "primality testing" that didn't have a slight chance of error.
Besides being a show-stopping bit of mathematics, the work was big news for the Internet. Very large prime numbers are the bedrock of Internet encryption, the sort your browser uses when you are shopping online.

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Mac OS among least prone to attack

Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh was among the computer operating systems least prone to attack and damage from malicious hackers, worms and viruses in 2002, while Microsoft Corp.'s Windows and the Linux operating systems were the most vulnerable, according to a report by technology risk management company mi2g Ltd.
The report, which will be released Friday, presents data on the discovery of software vulnerabilities and incidents of digital attack for 2002, according to a summary of the report released Thursday.

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POLL of the WEEK

Last Week's Poll

Do you pay to gain access to any web sites?

Yes 11.51 % (16)
No 88.49 % (123)
Total votes: 139    

This Week's Poll

Is technology making life easier for you?

Yes - at work
Yes - at home
Yes - at home and at work
No - It just slows me down
No - It just gives me another way of doing things

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


I have forgotten my windows XP administrative password. Is there any software or any trick by which I can know or change it.


No answers posted yet.

To post a response, visit the General Software Help forum at and click on the "Windows XP Password" topic.

Visit to post a question of your own.

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Check out these new or updated pages on the site:

LG GCE-8400B 40x 12x 40x CD-RW Hardware Review Search

Some Useful Registry Tips

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Graham's Tip:
For some reason last night it came to me to do a search for satellite photos and the first site was the Microsoft TerraServer web site. It has been a long time since I checked out this site. I then did a quick search for Niagara Falls, and sure enough there was a sattelite image from 1995 that shows the 3 falls, and the complex where I work. Pretty neat.
Check it out at
If you visit you can see where I work!

Printing CD Covers

Chris' Tip:
Printing CD covers from most graphics programs is a very easy task. The most difficult part is cutting the image out. Unless you have a border (which could be unsightly if you don't cut right on the line) or the image is a different color than the paper all around, it is very difficult. I always like to cut my images out using a metal edged ruler and an X-Acto knife. When I print my image, whether it be a CD cover or my monthly calendar, I choose the print options and enable printing corner crop marks. This allows me to align my straight edge along the crop marks and cut exactly what I need to cut out without worrying about messing up my image.

Recover a Document if Word Crashes

This is the November 5th PC Magazine Tip of the Day:
"Category: Word 97/2000
Recover a Document if Word Crashes
Go to the Tools menu, then select Options and click the File Locations tab. Empty space next to AutoRecover files means your data is lost. If there is a location, go there and open the document."

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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.

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