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IBM reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time, without notice. IBM is not responsible for photographic or typographic errors. Reseller prices may vary. Warranty: For a copy of applicable product warranties, write to: Warranty Information, P. IBM makes no representation or warranty regarding third-party products or services.

Footnotes: 1 Embedded Security Subsystem: requires software download. License agreements may apply. Accessible system memory is up to 64MB less than the amount stated, depending on video mode. Accessible capacity is less; up to 4GB is service partition. Service levels are response-time objectives and are not guarantees. Onsite 24x7x2-hour service is not available in all locations. Trains Planes Automobiles Three reasons not to lug around a heavy notebook.

They're our thinnest, lightest" notebooks ever. Yet, they're really big on features, like a full-size keyboard Some models are just 2. Other models feature the longest standard battery life of any leading brand notebook" 1 8-cell battery required, not shown. You might want to keep an eye on it. Ultralight weight. Longest- lasting standard battery. Only on a ThinkPad. Calls must be received by 5pm local time in order to qualify for Next Business Day service.

Featured monthly lease payments based on prespecified end-of-lease purchase option; documentation fee and first month's payment due at lease signing; taxes are additional. Options cannot be leased separately. IBM and IBM Global Financing reserve the right to alter product offerings, specifications or financing terms at any time, without notice. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

Visit www. Take a look at some of our latest models. And get connected. Select IBM ThinkPad notebooks now include airbag-like technology to help protect your hard drive from some damage caused by drops and jolts. Rescue and Recovery: Lost your data because of a software crash or virus? Recover previously saved data in minutes with our one-button solution. Access Connections: Switch between wired and wireless connections. Embedded Security Subsystem 2. Our combined hardware and software solution is designed to protect user data and keep it private.

Access IBM: Get the help you need, when you need it. One button on your ThinkPad notebook brings you a world of resources and assistance. Only IBM offers these features to protect your users, connect them, and keep them working. Each ThinkCentre TV desktop featured here can give them the efficiency; productivity and edge they need with the following ThinkVantage Technologies: Rescue and Recovery: Lost your data because of a software crash or virus?

Use NavCode on the phone or on the Web. Box , RTP. Footnotes: 1 Embedded security system: requires software download. Service period begins with the equipment date of purchase. Easy to deploy. Priced right. This test was performed without independent verification by the VeriTest testing division of Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. A description of the environment under which the test was performed is available at ibm.

Battery life and recharge times will vary based on many factors including screen brightness, applications, features, power management, battery conditioning and other customer preferences. For a list of onsite replaceable parts, contact IBM. Support unrelated to a warranty issue may be subject to additional charges.

Contact IBM tor details. ThinkVantage, ThinkVision. Ultrabay and UltraNav. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of other companies. All rights reserved. Windows makes setup and troubleshooting easy with its wizards and other built-in features. This month's cover story articles will help you get started with a variety of devices.

PC Today is not published in conjunction with Microsoft, and it has not been endorsed or sponsored by Microsoft. The use of the Microsoft and Windows trademarks in this publication does not represent participation in, or endorsement of, this publication by Microsoft. Sandhills Publishing- copyright by Sandhills Publishing Company. Reproduction of material appearing in PC Today is strictly prohibited without written permission. Printed in the U.

GST RT Box , Lincoln, NE Subscriber Services: Periodicals postage pending at Lincoln, NE. Right after that, check out our latest software reviews, including this month's head-to-head challenge. If you're ready to get more entertainment value out of your PC, this section is just for you. To top off this issue, here's our monthly blend of fun facts, statistics, and trivia.

CST Sat. The acronym actually stands for Media Access Control. It's the all-in-one device that lets you go into the office, without going into the office. Find out more at www. WHEW You really shouldgetout more. Mobile' Get more from life" A wireless service contract with T-Mobile USA and other devices enabled with Bluetooth wireless technology may he required for applicable wireless communication.

Not all Web content may he available. Restrictions apply. See a retail brochure for details. However, major developments relating to Longhorn Server, the enterprise version of the OS, may soon have significant impact on business professionals who work with the OS.

Microsoft has an- nounced that it will offer Longhorn Server cur- rently slated for in modular versions. These "role-based" versions of Windows will only perform the specific task such as print serving, inventory management, or retail transac- tion processing required of the server on which they reside.

Consequently, users may find them- selves unable to perform the range of tasks previ- ously available to them unless they have access to a fully functional Windows server. This limited functionality will be similar to that of dumb termi- nals used with mainframe systems in the past. The approach represents a radical departure from Microsoft's current "one size fits all" mentality for Windows. Microsoft already offers two modular versions of Windows: one for storage servers and the other for Web servers.

However, these two Microsoft has announced it will offer Longhorn Server in modular, role-based variants. According to current plans, the upcoming role-based OSes will not include any code other than that needed for the designated task or tasks. The resulting OS will be leaner, faster, cheaper to operate and maintain, and less cumbersome for people to learn and operate.

With their smaller code footprint which translates to fewer drivers, ports, and supported file types , the OSes will also be more impervious to cracking, a key benefit in today's security-conscious marketplace. After the announcement, open-source propo- nents quickly pointed out that the model is similar to that of Linux, which has a stripped-down core from which developers can structure myriad configurations.

They suggested that Microsoft's concerns regarding competition from Linux might have prompted the decision. Microsoft representa- tives, however, stated reduced maintenance costs and security as the primary reasons for the new Windows model.

For more updates on Microsoft's server products, visit www. JBoss is a leader in second- generation Linux — end-user software developed from the Linux code base. More information about HP's open-source offerings is available at www. The new release will include the core components of Office plus a new accounting program, Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting. The new addition puts Microsoft in head-to-head competition with Intuit, whose QuickBooks accounting software is extremely popular with small businesses.

Microsoft attempted unsuc- cessfully to acquire Intuit in The offering will also incorporate an updated version of Outlook that includes Business Contact Manager. Businesses using the new Microsoft Office Edition can take advantage of such financial components as signature-ready tax forms, integrated checks and other online forms, and support for direct deposit.

To learn more or participate in beta testing, visit the Microsoft Office Online Web site www. According to the terms of the agreement, MSN Music will offer hundreds of thousands of free music downloads from GarageBand. Additionally, any GarageBand musician will be able to submit songs for free or paid distribution.

To check out the current selection of offerings, visit music. Cardmembers will enjoy special offers such as a buy 10, get one free download deal. The com- pany recently announced a new software initiative, Micro- soft Smarter Hospitality www. Hospitality companies ranging from Hyatt International and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to MGM Mirage are onboard with the initiative, and numerous hospitality and food service vendors are pledging support.

The two OSes have been running at a furious pace, each one at- tempting to score another vic- tory with a governmental entity or major corporation. Now, Linux can chalk up another one in the win column, but the loser this time was Sun, not Microsoft. According to the school's information technology services manager Alan Dempster, Victoria made the decision based on lower pro- jected operating costs.

Scientists at the Xerox Research Centre Europe in Grenoble, Switzerland, have written software that lets camera phones over- come many of the problems that plague these devices, including underexposure in poor lighting and excessive image distortion. It performs this magic through a four-step process that includes techniques, such as exposure and color correction, usually found only in image editors. According to Christopher Dance, senior scientist and image processing manager at XRCE, the technology is so powerful it will facilitate the development of camera phones that can capture, process, and transmit not only high-quality images but also docu- ments.

Dance says the software could enable remote employees to capture information from handwritten notes, documents, screens, whiteboards, or other surfaces and then immediately transmit it. Ultimately we will be applying business-to-business document functions to the basic consumer 'snapshot' technology and, in doing so, will have changed the way in which people communicate. The scientists developed a generic technique for the identification of image content such as buildings, animals, air- planes, books, and faces.

With this technique, PC users could perform searches for an image based on its content rather than its file name, location, date, or user comment fields. The system works by training a computer to map the key fea- tures of an object, which Xerox calls "patches," and then classify sets of these patches. This classification lets the computer assign an image to a particular category or categories. According to Dance, early versions of the system could confuse an image of a stack of tires and an image of a car because they both contain some of the same patches.

In order to overcome this, the program examines patches collectively and determines when key patches are missing. For example, the program would not confuse a stack of tires with a car because the machine would recognize that other key patches, such as headlights or windows, were missing. In addition to developing this software for different applica- tions, Xerox will continue to extend its categorizer to handle more visual categories and to incorporate difficult cases where the object of interest occupies only a small fraction of the field of view, Dance says.

For more information on Xerox's new tech- nologies, visit www. Small enough to wear-big enough to shoot a minute movie. You can set a restore point using System Restore, a feature that automati- cally monitors and tracks changes to your system. To access this feature, right-click My Computer, click Properties, and choose the System Restore tab. Two updates we highlight this month illustrate the need for using a restore point. The second, an update to DirectX 9.

In both cases, a restore point would allow users to revert to system settings that were in place prior to any problems arising. Find these and other Windows updates at windowsupdate. The latest in- carnation of the popular Windows Media Player isn't just a cos- metic improvement over its predecessor, although it does sport a redesigned interface. Instead, WMP 10 offers users new Smart Jukebox features to help you manage your media library and to sync music files with portable devices.

In the Monitor Folders dialog box, ac- cessed through the Add To Library link, you can choose the folders on your hard drive you want WMP 10 to monitor for additions, deletions, or other changes to media files and then update your li- brary accordingly. Another new feature in the library, Auto Playlists, organizes tracks based on your listening prefer- ences such as music you like to hear at night or on the weekends.

You can then burn these collections to a CD. The more you use WMP 10 to listen to music, the more accurately its automatic rating system will rank your music files ac- cording to your preferences. Another prominent new feature in WMP 10 is that you can automatically and manually sync media files to more than 70 different types of portable devices without needing to install drivers.

Finally, you can shop a vast online mall to purchase music and video files, or buy live content such as Major League Baseball broadcasts , from within WMP With a speedy Internet connection, you can download and install this hefty file in just a few moments. You may see an error message regarding the installation of certain hotfixes when you attempt to upgrade to Service Pack 1. This is due to a problem with the Branches. The role of this file is to assist Windows Installer in correctly choosing which version of an update to install.

This critical download corrects a problem that may result from installing that update. OpenMG is a rights and management technology that helps distributors ensure the legal use of digital content such as downloaded music files. Microsoft has identified 23 OpenMG-com- pliant programs that may not work properly — or at all — due to the in- stallation of update Update will correct this incom- patibility issue after you have installed it and restarted your system.

WebDAV Web-based Dis- tributed Authoring and Versioning is a technology that allows administrators to remotely monitor and adjust content on a Web server. It is an extension of HTTP, the set of rules that govern how messages are formatted and sent over the Inter- net. This protocol also determines how Web servers handle HTTP requests, such as when you enter a Web address into your browser.

An attacker, sending a specially crafted HTTP message to a Web site pow- ered by an affected server, could exploit this vulnerability and cause WebDAV to use up all available memory on the server just to process the request, resulting in a DoS denial-of-service attack. Provides s Collects pe,, Networks,,.

The problem stems from an un- checked buffer in NetDDE, which can result in the overflow of data to the wrong buffer. This leaves the system vulnerable to an attacker remotely exe- cuting code. The attacker potentially could gain control of the system, in- cluding the ability to install applications, manipulate data, and create new user ac- counts.

Or, he could run code that could result in a system failure. By default, NetDDE services do not automatically run on the affected sys- tems listed above — NetDDE is set to start manually on all systems but WinServer , on which it's disabled — so that lessens the chances an attacker has of successfully exploiting this vul- nerability.

Keep in mind, however, that NetDDE services can be launched by an application that re- quires their use, even if the startup setting is set to manual. Thus, one workaround for this vulnerability is to disable NetDDE services.

The accompanying Knowledge Base ar- ticle offers step-by-step instruc- tions for doing this from within the Control Panel. This update changes the way NetDDE services handles a com- munications request before passing data along to the proper buffer. Win users also should note that this security update replaces those released with Microsoft Bulletins MS andMS Anytime you enjoy rich mul- timedia features through your PC, whether by playing a game, watching a video, or listening to music, you're uti- lizing Microsoft DirectX, a set of APIs application programming interfaces in- cluded in all Windows systems.

When you install this new version of DirectX, you're updating some security and performance features. He has served as managing editor for Windows Magazine and editor for several other computing publications. Catch up with Scot at his newsletter Web site www. During that time, I've come to know something about the makeup of the magazine's readers through comments and questions youVe emailed me. I'm happy to say that PC Today's readers are extremely intelligent and show a wide range of computer expe- rience.

You're thoughtful, inquisitive, eager to share what you know, and not afraid to ask questions about what you don't. Here are a few of the more inter- esting emailed reader questions over the last several issues of the magazine. I found all the information helpful, but I'm wondering about your apparent distaste for Norton Internet Security. While you recommend both Norton Antivirus and Norton Personal Firewall, you advised against purchasing Norton Internet Security, which contains them both.

Can you tell me why? Virginia A. I've been testing and writing about Norton products, and those of its many competitors, for a lot longer than I care to remember. Since Symantec bought Norton over a decade ago , the company has increasingly focused on buil- ding a product that has a huge value proposition. In other words, they bedazzle you with a long list of features, including a rebate coupon in the box and a low purchase price.

For years this worked pretty well, but as Windows and its applications became more complicated and security threats mounted, software utilities became more complex. These days, products such as Norton Internet Security have a lot of moving parts. Since new versions of most Norton products appear every autumn, they're on fairly tight development cycles.

The honest truth is that Symantec hit a patch of time where the individual prod- ucts worked pretty well, but when they were rolled up in large packages, there were a lot of nagging problems, ranging from irritating to serious. I tracked this trend based on the number of complaints I got from readers of this column and Scot's Newsletter. A couple of Symantec execs came out to see me last year to talk about my con- cerns.

While we didn't see eye to eye on all of the issues I raised, they told me that the versions of their utilities would have improved interoperability. A very real part of the problem is the complexity of installation issues that have to do with so many versions of both Windows and past versions of Norton products.

Also, older versions of Norton products did not uninstall themselves as well as they should have. Symantec has millions and millions of customers, adding to the com- plexity. The problems were there, and they were clearly less likely to bite you if you bought the standalone versions of Norton products than either Norton Internet Security or Norton System Works.

Hence, my recommendation. I find the product line to be rela- tively unimportant in terms of new fea- tures, but it is a significant improvement over the and earlier versions in terms of overall usability. I believe that makes the versions the best crop of Symantec products to come along in quite some time. I'm still not that keen about Norton Internet Security. There are several pri- vacy features in this product that may go too far in trying to protect you.

That level of protection is probably good for some people. But there's an immaturity about some of the privacy features that leaves me feeling that Symantec and the entire desktop security marketplace needs to rethink how to help us protect crucial personal data on our machines without driving us all crazy in the process. Second, does Firefox come with an email program the way Internet Explorer comes with Outlook Express?

Brian H. Excellent questions. Firefox was fi- nally released in November , just a couple of months after I wrote about it in PC Today. I am finding it a delightful browser that I use in place of Internet Explorer much of the time. By the time you read this, you'll be able to read my review of Firefox 1.

To answer your questions: First, you can install Firefox so that it is either your default browser or a secondary browser. The default browser is the one that opens when, say, you click a URL in an email message. Even if you make Firefox the default browser, you can still use Internet Explorer or any installed browser just by launching it from its pro- gram icon on the Task Bar or Desktop.

The first time you launch Firefox after installation, you're offered the choice to make it the default browser. You can change your decision at any time by opening a Firefox browser window and clicking Tools, Options, and General. Firefox can't access Microsoft's Win- dows Update Web site windowsupdate. You can always use Internet Explorer to access Windows Update. There's also a third-party Fire- fox extension or plug-in called Win- dowsUpdate 0.

Access the extension at update. Second, at press time, Firefox's com- panion email program, Thunderbird, was approaching its 1. It is not known at this time exactly how Mozilla or Netscape will package the new-generation browser and email pack- ages. Firefox does not currently contain specific buttons or menu items that call Thunderbird.

But the two programs will most certainly work together. Firefox is a lightweight browser that has many of the features most of us need. It is not as fully featured as Internet Explorer, older Mozilla or Netscape browsers, or most notably Opera. The reason why so many people are em- bracing Firefox is that it has some features that IE doesn't have such as basic tabbed browsing and better bookmark manage- ment , supports standard Web specifica- tions, and is a small, 4.

It's also extremely easy-to-use, with a user in- terface that's familiar to Windows users. Firefox is available in Windows, Mac, and Linux versions. Should I let it? Enough time has gone by, though, that it's clear WinXP SP2 is a far less prob- lematic release for the average home user than some people expected.

As a result, I have few misgivings about suggesting you go ahead and install it now. Something else that I should say: So much was made of SP2 last year that I think the overall buzz may have made the update seem larger than it is.

If the orig- inal WinXP's version number was labeled 1. In fact, the messages on this topic were so long and eloquent there wasn't space to reprint even one here — never mind my response. I was surprised by how willing PC Today's ardent Linux users are to be completely honest about both the pluses and minuses of their oper- ating system of choice.

So add one more trait to PC Today's readership: integrity. If you'd like to comment on or question anything I write in this column, please feel free to email me at scot pctoday. More than one such email has already served as inspiration for column topics. Please send your feedback to christian pctoday. But you can't just insert a phone or cable wire, connect to the Internet, and surf away.

Before you even think of going on- line with your new PC, you'll need to run through a security checklist to ensure it's fully protected because most new PC con- figurations are woefully inadequate for safe online activity. In a perfect world, computers would have adequate security right out of the box. This would seem to make sense be- cause other crucial things in our lives in- clude the necessary security functions: Our ATM cards have PINs and our resi- dences have deadbolts and security sys- tems.

Yet the security of most new PCs, whether they come from big-name manu- facturers or your local computer shop, leaves much to be desired. Unless you plan on never connecting to the Internet and are assured that no one will ever have physical access to your new PC, it is vul- nerable as soon as you plug it in. That's the bad news. The good news is that it's not terribly difficult to secure your new PC, and once you perform these steps, you can get down to the real business of enjoying your new toy or work device, if that's what you must call it in the presence of others — I under- stand.

Even better, you won't need to shell out money for this security because the tools you'll use are either already in- cluded with Windows or are available for free on the Web. Patch Up Windows For all of its power and flexibility, Win- dows constantly falls prey to crackers who work hard to ferret out security holes in the OS' code. Microsoft does a decent job of releasing patches for Win- dows as holes are discovered, and many of these patches are contained in service packs. The most recent release for WinXP is Service Pack 2, which could already be installed on your system if it's only a few months old, because OEMs original equipment manufacturers had access to it before consumers did.

Check to see if SP2 is already installed on your system by right-clicking My Computer on your Desktop and clicking Properties. On the General tab, if Service Pack 2 is listed, you don't need to worry about holes in Windows, but you'll still need an antivirus application and a fire- wall configuration that scans both in- bound and outbound connections.

A more secure way to obtain and in- stall the service pack is to use another PC with Internet access to download it. If you have another PC, got to www. After you download it, burn it to a CD and install it on your new computer. After you install the service pack, enter the Security Center control panel. Make sure Automatic Updates is configured to automatically download and install crit- ical updates for your computer, or at least set the utility to notify you when new up- dates are available.

If you're more cau- tious about what's being installed on your PC a commendable trait , configure these updates so they aren't downloaded and installed in the background: You always have the right to know up front the com- ings and goings of your PC. For basic protection, it does an adequate job of protecting your computer from inbound threats. However, the Windows Firewall won't protect your computer from mali- cious outbound connections.

This means if you download a malicious program that is not detected by your antivirus or other security software, that program can easily connect to the Internet and provide a passageway for someone to access your computer. In fact, many hardware fire- walls included with networking hard- ware, such as routers, don't do much to protect against outbound connections, ei- ther. Ideally, you should use a hardware- based firewall check your networking equipment to see if it includes one along with a free third-party firewall such as ZoneAlarm www.

At the very least, use one of these third-party firewalls. When it's installed, enter the Security Center and disable the Windows Firewall. After you configure your firewall and update Windows with the latest service pack, you can now address other security areas such as antivirus and anti-spyware. Once these elements are in place, you can start to gather other pieces of the security puzzle. Again, if you have an- other Internet-connected computer, it's best to download any further programs using that computer, burn them to a CD, and install them on the new com- puter, although at this point you have a slightly larger safety net when using a properly patched WinXP installation.

Amazingly, Microsoft still doesn't in- clude antivirus software with its oper- ating systems, so you'll need to install an antivirus program immediately. After you download and install the program, make sure you download the most re- cent virus definitions so you're pro- tected against the latest threats. Keep the program running in the background at all times and configure it to scan your incoming email for hazardous attach- ments or other malicious code.

As you install other software, such as office productivity applications, you should immediately check for updates to those programs because online threats aren't limited to just your operating sys- tem or incoming viruses. Never assume that any program you're installing either from a CD or the Web is the most recent version or includes the most recent patches. Instead, visit the developer's Web site before installing the software to see if a recent patch is available for down- load. If it is, download it and have it ready to install immediately after you in- stall the software.

For Microsoft applica- tions, like the Microsoft Office suite, you can simply visit the Windows Update Web site and let the online utility search for updates, but just be sure to do it right after you install the software. More For Good Measure Once your firewall is in place, WinXP is patched, antivirus software is running, and your programs are up-to-date, you can branch out even further to protect other parts of your system.

Technically, at this point you can browse the Web and use other Internet resources without any major risks. But keep in mind that you'll quickly accumulate spyware and adware as you browse the Web, so the sooner you install a good, free spy- ware scanner such as Lavasoft's Ad- Aware www. Along with all the aforementioned steps, it's wise to have a system backup plan in mind before you do anything. Even with good antivirus protection, you can still fall prey to a new, previously unrecognized threat that can wreck your system.

With a backup at hand, you'll have little to worry about. Last but not least, make sure you use strong pass- words on everything from Windows to your Internet account. Never discount the possibility of someone infiltrating your PC in person; all of your attempts to shield yourself from online attacks won't protect you from someone sitting at your PC and stealing as much infor- mation as possible. Although this all might seem like plenty of work, it's really not, especially if you consider it part of the normal routine of setting up a new computer.

WinXP's latest service pack finally in- troduced security measures we should have seen years ago, and that trend will continue with Longhorn, the code name for Microsoft's next OS. But in the mean- time, never expect that any computer you buy, borrow, or find is protected be- cause chances are high it isn't. Once you're in the habit of applying these se- curity measures to any new computer, you'll more easily enjoy the benefits of that new hardware instead of fretting about new infections.

My wife and I got new cell phones not long ago. Both models not only support the usual phone functions, but they also work as AOL Instant Mes- senger clients. Whenever Fm away from my desk, I usually have my phone turned on, but the phone tends to page me with messages at the most awkward moments: when Fm driving, when Fm counting change, when Fm standing in line at the post office with armloads of packages, or, well, you get the idea.

The actual hassle is fast outweighing the the- oretical convenience. That prompted me to ask: What are the social consequences of being able to take our computing technology with us and being able to stay in touch at all times? We are turning into an unwired society, a world of wireless networking and cellular devices, where we really can take it all with us. But instead of becoming more productive or efficient, oftentimes we just find ourselves end- lessly distracted or harassed.

As with the spam epidemic or many of the other maladies of the information age, no one really saw it coming. We just sort of woke up in the middle of it one day. Three Consequences Of Being Wired There seems to have been three major consequences of becoming unplugged: an increase in distraction, the all-perva- siveness of work, and the erosion of solitary life. My weekend trips to New York City serve as good examples of distraction. While in the city, I usually camp out in a Starbuck's with my Wi-Fi-equipped laptop, nursing a sweet roll while working on my novel.

If I need to look something up, Fve got the whole of the Web right there with me. Unfortunately, that also means I have a million reasons not to work; there are days when I wind up calling it a day after typing one para- graph and surfing the Internet for two hours. It gets worse if I have AIM on, just in case someone needs to contact me — which inevitably turns into an excuse for all manner of idle chitchat.

I wind up getting the most work done when I turn my cell phone off and keep my AIM client and Web browser closed. Another common way distractions occur, and certainly one of the most dangerous, is when people attempt to answer their cell phones while driving. Many people don't bring the headset with them into the car in the first place, or if they do, they only remember to attach it to the phone after the phone rings which is in itself a dangerous thing to do while driving.

So much for safety first. Then there is the new pervasiveness of work. It's never possible for you to be out of the office when you bring the office with you, or when you are the office. This used to be a problem that only freelancers experienced; they would get calls at 1 a. Now this "always-on" concept has spread to everyone with a work cell phone, a wire- less laptop, or a PDA.

And the irony is that we feel like we are getting less done than ever because we keep getting dis- tracted by, well, other work. The erosion of solitary life is the most troubling of the three for me because it can be the hardest to explain. It is the notion that just because you have a Web site, a blog, or a cell phone, you must constantly tell everyone your whereabouts, your prejudices, or your deepest feelings about everything under the sun.

In such an environment, it's suddenly gauche to keep secrets from people even when it is probably better for everyone involved. For an en- tire generation, blogs and instant mes- sages have become the way to socialize. I fear this has come at the expense of the subtleties of in-person conversa- tion, which is as much about what you do not say as it is what you do say. Emoticons just aren't a substitute for personal presence or body language.

All these things affect me personally. Now that I have a cell phone, a blog, a wireless laptop, and so on, people seem to think that if I don't post any- thing for a day or two, or if I don't an- swer my phone immediately and let my voicemail pick up the call, some- thing is wrong. People wonder if I am ill, if I am ignoring them, or if they did something that made me not want to respond. A lack of optional activity on my part has become a cause for totally unfounded paranoia on their part.

Not everyone is like this, of course, but enough people are to make it irritating; and the ones who don't act this way now may eventually act this way when they see others making it into an acceptable behavior. How Rude All of this points toward something that has, I think, largely gone missing from all of our talk about technology: its impact on manners.

When the tele- phone came along, society was still by and large governed by a relatively gen- teel code of behavior. Despite the tele- phone's startling newness back then, there was an understanding that ex- isting etiquette covered the new-fan- gled device, as well.

You didn't simply walk into someone's house unan- nounced, and likewise, you didn't simply call someone and start talking to them without identifying yourself and your purpose for calling. For that reason the presence of the phone was not as disruptive as it might have been, at least not at first. Now all of that has simply van- ished. We're not only bombarded with unsolicited phone calls, but equally unsolicited junk mail, email, instant messages and SMS short message service text messages; you name it.

What few lines of defense exist against this sort of thing have to be drawn by the individual. The idea that a mere so- cial code could keep you from spam- ming someone has become quaint if not downright laughable. Technology has allowed people to be rude, pushy, insensitive, and hostile in ways never before imagined. Some of my acquaintances use their blogs mostly for posting passive-aggressive attacks on people they believe have wronged them.

It's ugly and uncom- fortable, not just for the people they are attacking, but also for the innocent bystanders who have no idea they are wading into a fight and don't want to be forced to take sides on something they know nothing about. We tend to invent things first and then let the ethics fall where they may, or we pay excessive attention to certain things and completely ignore others. Did the scientists who invented the MP3 audio-compression format at Fraunhofer Laboratories worry about how their work could lead to wide- spread music piracy?

I doubt they ever imagined it was an issue, and it wasn't until the genie had already exploded out of the bottle that people realized there was a problem. Civilizing Technology As hard as it might be to do this, we must develop the etiquette needed to live well with our technology. I'm no Luddite; I don't believe for a second that we would be better off consigning our gizmos to the junk heap.

But if we want to use new devices wisely, then we need to adopt common-sense behav- iors that govern their use and presence in our lives. Netiquette, the commonly accepted code of behaviors for the Internet, was one of the first things people learned about Internet usage in its early days. I'd like to see ISPs and tech gurus push harder a netiquette that would cover such things as how to format an email message don't use a giant signature, don't use HTML email unless you absolutely have to , what to expect of others in their online behavior for instance, if someone doesn't re- spond to your email, that doesn't mean they are ignoring you, it may simply mean they had nothing to say in re- sponse or add to your message.

For one of the best and most authoritative overviews of netiquette, check out the Netiquette Home Page at Florida At- lantic University www. We also need to learn to leave the gizmos behind or turn them off when we don't need them.

Doing this makes the distinction between work and leisure time all the more solid. As great as these devices are and as convenient as it is to be in touch, merely being in touch is no substitute for human contact and actu- ally having something to say. Contact Dave at dave pctoday. Will he clobber something on the system or install spyware by answering a question the wrong way?

Will you have to spend hours trying to clean up his mess? Maybe it's your own mistakes that you need to avoid; sometimes I can't even trust myself when I'm re- searching the latest spyware threats and surfing to dangerous sites. There is an extra secure way to run a program in Windows XP that is useful for those times when you can't trust the fin- gers touching your keyboard — or the pro- gram they are using. It's called Protect My Computer, and it does just that by en- suring that the program doesn't access most areas of the hard drive and Registry.

Because it limits what a program can do, many programs cannot even use it; they fail in different ways because they don't expect to be denied access. W Protei com] iter and data from unauthorized program activity This option can pre ining your I cause the program to function improperly, C The following user: E Adr Cancel The Protect My Computer option in the Run As dialog lets you lock down your PC to pre- vent guests or yourself from wreaking havoc.

Internet Explorer is one of the programs that will run with Protect My Computer, and it offers extremely secure browsing. It's not something that you would use every time you ran a browser or other pro- gram because it is intentionally limited in what it allows a program to do. Also, it isn't meant to protect you against a devious person at the keyboard who intends to mess up your PC. You'd gen- erally start a browser in Protect My Computer mode, sit a person down in front of the keyboard, and ask him to only use the browser and nothing else.

It's a guest room, not a prison cell. The FAT32 format does not provide any user-based security, so the limits that WinXP tries to impose on files won't do any good. To find out the for- mat of your drive, open My Computer and right-click the drive and then click Properties. The file system format is listed on the General tab.

You'll get a dialog box similar to the one shown in the screen shot at left. Usually the defaults are just what you want. It will run the program using your current account, but it applies sig- nificant restrictions on what the pro- gram can access. There are many nuances to Protect My Computer, but most of them I learned through first-hand experience.

The best discussion I have seen is in Aaron Margosis' blog weblogs. I haven't figured out how to create a shortcut or command line that would automatically use the Protect My Com- puter option to run a program, but Fm still looking. Browser Sandbox When Internet Explorer runs with Protect My Computer, it has Read-Only access to parts of the Registry and no access at all to the directories that hold your browsing profile.

As a result, add-ons while using Protect My Computer, but you can run any that are already installed. However, they are still subject to the limitations on the Registry and files, and many Internet Explorer add-ons can't handle those limits. Macromedia Flash animations won't run. Most Sun Java applets won't start. This can be a drawback if you were hop- ing to use Protect My Computer as a way to let kids safely play on your PC because sites children visit often use ac- tive content such as Flash animations.

When running a protected IE browser, you may get some spurious errors, but it usually plows ahead successfully once you click OK. For example, I use a local file on my hard drive as my home page and IE can't load that.

Instead, it gives me an error message and loads a blank page. Download it at www. The MBSA performs an audit of your computer's security, reporting the problems it finds and explaining how to fix them. Highly recommended. None of the pages browsed are kept in the Temporary Internet Files, as they normally would. These restrictions alone are a big plus.

Not only do they prevent people from changing these items or cluttering up your system, but they also avoid anyone being able to snoop around in your files. Cookies that automatically log you into some sites won't be available, either. For other Internet Explorer features, the story is a bit more complicated. You can't install new ActiveX controls or If Internet Explorer hangs or crashes when you try to run it with Protect My Computer, you may have one or more browser toolbars or add-ons that become totally confused when they aren't able to get to the Registry or disk.

I have used IE with the Google Toolbar and it worked fine. Features like the form filler don't have your data in them, but that's exactly what you want in a locked-down brows- er. Features such as tabbed browsing and excellent support for style sheets make IE look old and creaky. Since most people are still run- ning IE nowadays, spyware writers have focused on IE exploits.

That alone means that you're less likely to get spyware while using Firefox — at least until Fire- fox becomes more popular. Still, all browsers are going to have security holes; although the Firefox team tends to patch bugs quickly, it's too easy to put off updates and leave your PC open to exploits.

Plus, Firefox won't stop risky user behavior such as saving a spy- ware-laden program off some Web site and running it. Because Protect My Computer limits what the browser can do, it can limit the damage from browser bugs and user blunders. Unfortunately, Firefox doesn't work with Protect My Computer.

Most likely, it cannot access one of the configuration files that it needs to start. It's hard to tell because the program does nothing when you launch it; there are no error mes- sages. There is a Bugzilla report filed for the problem bugzilla. You can use Protect My Computer with other applications, as long as they don't demand access to restricted areas. There are sometimes a few spurious error messages, but the doc- uments I edited were fine. Whether you use it as way for guests to safely use your PC or as a flameproof suit for your own Web travels, the Pro- tect My Computer option can be mighty handy.

Experiment with it awhile and keep it in mind when you need a little extra protection. Due to the volume of mail that he receives, he cant promise to answer all messages, but he does his best. A Hunka Hunka Burnin' Screen To paraphrase a familiar slogan, a computer screen is a terrible thing to waste. Maybe you're lucky enough to have a new-fangled LCD liquid- crystal display monitor, but chances are good that you're still using an old- fashioned CRT cathode-ray tube mon- itor.

CRT technology is more than years old, and it has improved greatly over this period, but at least one problem remains. If you've ever been in an airport and observed that one of the arrival or de- parture television screens was turned off, you may have noticed that you could still see where the cities and times and gates were displayed.

That's be- cause the image was burned into the screen. And computer CRT monitors are subject to the same problem. CRTs work by shooting electrons at the front of the screen, which is coated with phosphors. These are chemicals that glow when excited by electrons, and this is what produces the image you see on the screen.

The phosphors don't last forever, though; they gradu- ally grow dimmer with time. The problem is that if you leave a static image on the screen for hours — or days or weeks — at a time, only certain phos- phors get hit, thus aging more than the others, and you end up with an image burned permanently on the screen. Send For The Screen Savers! Fortunately, there are some easy ways to prevent CRT burn in, even in Windows 3.

You can simply turn off the monitor when you're not using it, and that will reduce your chance of get- ting a burn in. This assumes that when you are using the computer, you are changing the screen contents and not leaving it on the same image all the time. Not everyone remembers to turn off their monitor, which is why screen saver utilities were created. They wait until you haven't done anything on the computer for a while and then replace the image with something else.

Usually, the screen saver has moving images on a black field, which prevents any image from burning into the screen. Note that some utilities that purport to be screen savers put up a background image and then move objects within that image, such as fish in a fish tank. The problem with these utilities is that they can end up burning in the image of their back- ground, and thus don't save your screen at all! In the dark days of DOS, you had to run a screen saver in the background, which could cause conflicts with your application software, especially those that wrote directly to the display hard- ware and avoided using the comput- er's video BIOS calls.

So when Win3. It's easy to set Win3. In the Main pro- gram group, double-click Control Panel. Within the Control Panel window, double-click the Desktop applet to open the Desktop window. In the box marked Screen Saver, click the Name drop-down menu. There youTl find the different screen saver choices available.

None disables the screen saver, and the Blank Screen choice just puts up a black screen. Flying Windows and Starfield Simulation create 3D motion with objects that seem to fly out of your screen at you. The Marquee option lets you send a message scrolling across your monitor. Once you've picked your screen saver, you can set the length of idle time required before it replaces your working image using the Delay field. Click the Setup button to find even more settings. The choices in the Setup window will vary depending on which screen saver you have chosen.

For ex- ample, Flying Windows lets you choose how many Windows logos to set in motion at a time and how fast they fly. The Starfield Simulation has similar settings. The Marquee setup lets you choose the text, font, fore- ground and background colors, size, position, and speed of the scrolling text.

This gives you an endless variety of messages and appearance for your screen saver. All three screen savers also have a Password Protected option in the Setup window. This lets you set a password that you'll have to type before the screen saver will let you return to your work. This is handy to protect your PC from prying eyes when you leave your computer unat- tended. But keep in mind that it provides only limited protection; someone can al- ways reboot your computer to defeat the password requirement.

After you've chosen your screen saver and its settings, you can choose the Test button to see how it will look when activated. You can then return to your work screen by moving the mouse or pressing any key. Take A Peek Sometimes all you want to do is check the contents of a file. You don't need to make changes or print it or add to it; you just want to take a quick look. Unfortunately, this usually means that you have to load its original application and then open the file.

If the application is something with extensive capabili- ties — such as a word processor — the program may be rather large and take a long time to load. Wouldn't it be great to avoid wasting that time? Windows 95 introduced the Quick View feature to address this problem. Find a file in Windows Explorer and right-click it. If a viewer is installed for that type of file, you will find a Quick View option in the context-sensitive pop-up menu. Choose Quick View, and a window will open, showing you the contents of the file.

This works with graphics and text files alike. The Quick View program does not have filters for all file types, however, so it will not work with every file. One major change is that the settings are now reached through the Display Properties window. Although you can use Control Panel to open this window, the fastest and easiest way to get to it is to right-click any empty part of your Desktop and choose Properties.

There youTl find that the screen saver settings have a tab all of their own. The Win95 screen saver drop-down menu contains the same choices as Win3. As with Win3. There is also a Preview button that lets you test the settings and see your choice before you commit.

If you don't see these screen saver op- tions in your drop-down menu, it is pos- sible that they were not installed with your original Windows installation. You can fix this easily. Choose Start, Settings, and Control Panel. Select Accessories and choose the Details button. Scroll down to the Screen Savers line, select it, and then choose the Details button again. If any of the lines on the Screen Savers window are empty, select them, and then click OK until you're prompted for the Win95 installation CD.

Return to Display Prop- erties to test them out. This made it possible for the computer to signal the monitor through the graphics adapter, causing the monitor to go into energy-saving modes. You can define an interval after which the monitor will go into a standby mode, from which it can turn back on fairly quickly.

You can also define a second interval after which the monitor will power off completely. The result is that you can save a significant amount of power — especially with power-hungry CRT monitors — when they are left on and unattended. If they both support it, the Plug-and-Play feature will iden- tify the situation, and the energy saving options will be available.

If not, then these choices will remain grayed out on the screen. It serves as the starting point for opening any programs or Windows tools that you need, and you can customize it to quickly access the items you use most often. That being said, it makes perfect sense to rely on the Start menu to find what you need.

But oftentimes, we don't use the Start menu to its full advantage be- cause we are not sure how it works. If you have questions about using the WinXP Start menu and making it work for you, here are some answers. How is the Start menu organized? Although you may not realize it at first glance, the WinXP Start menu is or- ganized into three areas. The left side consists of shortcuts to programs and applications, the right side contains links to special folders and Windows features, and the bottom area holds the Log Off and Turn Off Computer buttons.

In ad- dition, the left and right sides contain dividing lines for added organization. Let's take a closer look at these areas. On the left side, the list above the top line is known as the Pinned Items List. It holds shortcuts that you add pin to the Start menu.

The list below the dividing line consists of your most fre- quently used programs. WinXP automat- ically compiles this list based on the v -J Shortcut to projects applications you use most often. Final- ly, below the most frequently used pro- grams list is the All Programs menu, which points to all of the applications installed on your PC. Or listen to our entire catalogue with our high-quality unlimited streaming subscriptions. The downloaded files belong to you, without any usage limit.

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