VISUAL NEWSLETTER – AUG 2008           

 


ADWARE/SPYWARE UPDATES

 

For those users currently using Spybot for Adware and Spyware protection, please make sure that you are using version 1.5 or above. Earlier versions are no longer supported which means that you will not be protected from new bad software on the Internet. Any time you notice peculiar warnings or increased popup ads, be sure to run Spybot and select the option to “Scan for Problems” and then “Fix Problems”, if  found.

 

Keep in mind that any warnings about viruses or problems with your computer that pop-up while you are on the Internet are almost always ads trying to sell you something. By clicking “OK” you are giving them permission to install their trial software on your computer and it may actually cause you a lot of trouble down the road. Most of the time it will just keep reminding you to buy the official copy of the software to fix your imaginary problems and many of these programs are very difficult to remove once installed.

 

INTERNET EXPLORER 7.0

 

If you have recently upgraded Internet Explorer to version 7.0 via Microsoft Windows Updates you may experience “Publisher Not Verified” warning messages when running some older programs such as Libra, Access 2000, etc. These messages are activated by the security functions within the new version of Internet Explorer, which tries to determine whether certain types of files are safe by virtue of a registered publisher.

 

You can eliminate these warnings in Windows XP by making one of the following changes to your computer setup. In Windows XP Professional Edition you can fix the problem as follows:

 

1) Select Start/Run and type GPEDIT.MSC and click OK

 

2) Go into User Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Attachment Manager / Inclusion List For Low File Types

 

3) Select Enable and add the file extensions you want to run without warnings. In the case of Libra these would be “.bat”. For Access add “.mdb”. If you want to add multiple file types separate them with a semi-colon.

 

Another option that works for Windows Home and Professional Edition is to go into Internet Explorer Properties. Go to Security / Local Intranet / Sites / Advanced and add the drive letter of your server that contains the program you want to run. In the case of Libra this would typically be “L:” This will create an exemption for the shared files on local drive L:

 

VISTA COMPATIBILITY ISSUES

 

For a large number of users Microsoft Office 2000 has been a staple product for a number of years now. As the occasional user migrates to Windows Vista a small number of incompatibilities have been noted. The most common of these occurs when users try to configure Microsoft Outlook 2000 or 2002 to perform e-mail functions. The program refuses to store e-mail names and passwords, which requires you to key them in each time you go into Outlook. While this has a certain nuisance value, e-mail continues to function. Microsoft has officially dropped support for MS-Office prior to 2003, so don’t expect a fix anytime soon.

 

When we first encountered this problem we went over Microsoft’s support materials in detail but no where did it say the older program was just incompatible. We had to search third part reviews to confirm this fact.

 

For users who want to resist Microsoft’s gentle nudge to upgrade to MS-Office 2007 there is a new free alternative to Microsoft Office available at www.openoffice.org. This free office suite can read standard Microsoft file formats and supplies the equivalent of Word, Excel & PowerPoint free of charge.

 

PERSONAL FILE / E-MAIL BACKUPS

 

More and more users are beginning to use USB Flash Drives to backup their personal files. Most of these files can be found in the My Documents folder located under Documents and Settings and your User Name.

 

In most cases this does not however backup your e-mail files which are often located in more obscure locations. I usually recommend migrating these files to a sub-folder under My Documents called My E-Mail. The method to accomplish this varies dependant upon the e-mail program you are using. In either case, manually create the My E-Mail folder before proceeding with the file relocation as follows:

 

In Outlook Express, go into Tools / Options / Maintenance / Store Folder. Select Browse and locate the My E-Mail folder and select it. When you exit and re-enter Outlook Express it will relocate your files.

 

For Microsoft Outlook you need to copy and paste the OUTLOOK.PST file into the My E-Mail folder. Then use Tools / Options / Mail Setup / Data Files to browse to the newly created mail folder.

 

Once you relocate these files, a backup procedure can be created to backup personal files to your USB drive.