Before we get into the newsletter proper, we would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and we hope that you were able to enjoy your time off, if any, during the holiday season. We were actually relatively quiet, which is always nice at this time of the year.


Well, our Windows XP professional edition finally arrived and it has solved most of our networking problems by attaching to our Novell File Server. I have been working on it day in and day out for the last month and can actually say that I am quite happy with it.


Some of the Windows XP features are a little more complicated than Windows 9x versions and some of the networking wizards are actually of little or no help at all, but our overall impression is favourable. It seems much more reliable and predictable when compared to earlier versions of Windows.


The cost of the Windows XP Professional Upgrade is $300, so upgrading your existing computers can be somewhat expensive. Since Pentium III power, large hard disks and 128mb or more of memory is required it is probably only suitable on newer computers.


Since Windows XP will not work until you have registered it with Microsoft, you canít get away with buying one copy and installing it 10 times as some users have done with so many other versions of Microsoft products.Microsoft will require licensing fees for all of the computers you intend to install it on.


Still, the increased reliability and security make it a worthwhile investment if you are purchasing new computers. Windows XP cannot easily be broken into by users that donít know your password. With Windows 9x you can simply bypass the network login and access anything on a users local C: drive. Windows XP prevents this security breach.




Itís interesting to consider the effects that computers have had on our environment. Many of them have been positive, while others are somewhat negative. By monitoring manufacturing processes, computers and software limit waste and make procedures more energy efficient. Individual users can further impact the environment by the ways that they use or misuse their computers.


Computers, like all manufactured items, cause various degrees of pollution in the manufacturing processes that go into building them. Since computers become obsolete very quickly these days, there is also the issue of old computers cluttering land file sites and the like.


To combat this I suggest purchasing quality computers from companies with good environmental records such as Hewlett Packard. Good computers last longer and are more energy efficient to offset their cost.


While many newer computers are energy efficient and have automated sleep modes they still consume energy while they are on. Many user sites leave even their older computers on 24 hours a day and this is a huge energy drain on the system and ultimately causes pollution in the creation of electricity to drive these inactive computers.


Turning off monitors and computers at night, in most cases, causes little or no damage and they can warm up while you get your morning coffee or check your voice mail.


Computer systems often generate reams of paper and with the advent of inexpensive data storage many companies are opting to save data electronically, rather than print multiple copies of invoices and reports since they can always be reprinted as necessary. Good backups are vital to support such data retention strategies.