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Issue #1 October 24, 2003 InfoAve Premium


Welcome to the inaugural edition of InfoAve Premium and thanks to all of you who have subscribed! We've designed InfoAve Premium to be easy-to-read and easy-to-print. We hope you enjoy this issue! Again thanks to all of you for supporting our Web sites and newsletters by subscribing. We're very happy to have you with us!


The Top Questions Of The Week

A Question from Brenda:

I know I read in your Information Avenue that you recommend that people get a free Web-based email account to use when signing up for things on a site we're not sure about. But don't these free email accounts also provide extra privacy since they hide your real identity? I love your newsletter! Brenda

Answer:

Thanks Brenda. The answer to your question is no, they don't hide your true identity (in most cases). This is because when you log-in to you Yahoo, or Hotmail (or whatever free account you have) your real IP address is logged. This IP address shows up in the headers of email that you send with that account. This also applies when you use Hotmail/Yahoo or others to send via Outlook or Outlook Express. To see how your real identity is exposed in the headers please click here.


A Question from Hank:

All of a sudden when I try to run Windows Help & Support from the start menu, it won't work. What can I do to get it working again? Thanks for a great newsletter! Hank.

Answer:

If you run some types of Registry Cleaning programs, they may cause this error. But it can have other causes as well. Actually it's a fairly common problem and one for which there are a few free "fixes" available. You can download one fix here. Save it to you desktop, right click it and choose "Merge" and answer "yes" when asked if you want to merge the data into your registry. If you find that fix does solve your problem you can try this one (we've found that one or the other will usually restore you ability to access Windows XP Help & Support).


A Question from Alice

I love Windows XP and I've been using it now for about 5 months. One thing really irritates me though! Every time I install a new program and click on the start menu I get a message that says "New Programs Installed". Is there any way to get rid of that message? I hate it! Thank you, Alice.

Answer:

Yes, Alice, it's very easy to do. Right-click on your Start button, select "Properties" then "Customize". Now click the "Advanced" tab and remove the check mark next to "Highlight Newly Installed Programs" by ticking it. Click OK and you're all set!


A Question from Morgan

I keep seeing and hearing the term "Start Page Hijacker". What in the world is a Start Page Hijacker? Thanks, Morgan

Answer:

A Browser Start Page Hijacker or Browser Home Page Hijacker is a program that once installed, changes your browser's start page to whatever page they want you to see. Some of these programs go so far as to change settings in your registry so that your option to change your start page is grayed out, making it very difficult to change your start page back to what you had originally. It's a very nasty situation and one you should avoid. Be careful when installing programs that appear to be search helpers (Internet Explorer toolbar add-ons or Browser Helper Objects). Most of these are spyware/malware and many contain Start Page Hijackers. If you want insurance against installing a Browser Start Page Hijacker by mistake, we recommend a small freeware program called Browser Hijack Blaster, which you can download from this page.


http://thundercloud.net/infoave/premium/triangle-s.gif (939 bytes)This Week's Tips & Tricks

Visual Sounds

If you're like us, you sometimes turn your sound down or off so you can work in peace and quiet or when you don't want to disturb others around you. But sometimes you'd like to get the program alerts and warnings that are usually indicated with sounds. Windows XP allows you, as an accessibility option, to use "Visual Sounds" to alert you if something is wrong, a program has malfunctioned, or something requires your attention. While developed for deaf users of Windows, these "Visual Sounds" can come in handy when you prefer to work in silence. Microsoft has a very good tutorial on how to set up Visual Sounds in Windows XP. Please click here to see this tutorial.


Lock Your Desktop

If you're going to be away from your computer for awhile and don't want anyone accessing it you can lock your desktop quickly by pressing the Windows Key + the "L" key simultaneously. You can also create a shortcut on your desktop. Right click your desktop, choose "New" then choose "Shortcut" and enter the following (without the quotes) "rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation".


Remove Windows Messenger Completely
InfoAve Premium Advanced Tip

If you're one of those people who don't use, don't like, and don't want Windows Messenger. Here's how you can get rid of it completely.

  • Click Start, Run and enter the following command:

  • RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\inf\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

  • Note: This will prevent a long delay when opening Outlook Express if you have the Contacts pane enabled.   To prevent this, click Start, Run and enter REGEDIT  Go to:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express

  • Right click in the right pane and select New, Dword value. Give it the name Hide Messenger Double click this new entry and set the value to 2.


http://thundercloud.net/infoave/premium/triangle-s.gif (939 bytes)This Week's Site of The Week

Spyware Guide

It's really hard these days to know what is Spyware and what is not. Since spyware has such a nebulous nature and since there is no one single definition on which everyone seems to agree, many companies producing spyware boldly claim "Contains No Spyware". Well that may be true depending on how liberal their interpretation of the word "spyware" is. So how do you know what is and isn't spyware. Do a search on the way, investigate, and use this list of spyware programs as a guide (please note, it is very long but still not complete). It's one of the most comprehensive and well organized lists of known spyware on the Internet...it's called "Spyware Guide". It's our Site Of The Week!


http://thundercloud.net/infoave/premium/triangle-s.gif (939 bytes)This Week's Freeware Program Of The Week

Quicknote

Nope! It's not our Cloudeight QuickNotes. It's a cool little free program we discovered on our travels around the Web. We can't think of a more apt description than the author's own, so here it is:

"Sometimes what you need is not an advanced text processor but a virtual scrapbook to write down an occasional thought, a plan for the day or an Internet URL. With a plain text editor, which can be used for this purpose, you have to run the program first, then create a new file, then type a line or two and save the file. Too many things to do in order to simply write down a thought? Get rid of them with JC&MB Quicknote. Quicknote is an always-available notepad tool that lets you type or copy/paste bits of text anytime, demanding no space on your taskbar and as little memory as it can. The program is accessible via a small line on the top edge of your desktop - move your mouse over it and the tool will 'wake up' and display its resizable window. But this tiny tool has more possibilities than it seems at first glance! Beneath the normal text functions, it can run on startup, let you directly access frequently run programs, encrypt secret texts and even change the system volume by hotkeys. It has also an integrated Task-Manager, and a reminding tool, which can remind you of your notes at certain times, or shutdown automatically your PC. The program is absolutely free, so download this handy tool today and concentrate on content rather than form." Click here to download.


http://thundercloud.net/infoave/premium/triangle-s.gif (939 bytes)How Your Computer Works:

Today's Feature: Your Motherboard

The Motherboard is the large flat piece of plastic (usually dark green) to which all the important circuits are attached. It contains the crucial electronics that keep your machine going.

Attached to the Motherboard you will see:

  • CPU - Central Processing Unit - this is the brain of your computer and carries out all the computing tasks. It looks a bit like an after-dinner mint. Next to this will be the CPU HEAT SINK, which diffuses heat and stops the CPU from overheating.

  • RAM - Random Access Memory - this is the part of the computer that stores the data you are working on and the program you are using. It is the computer's short-term electronic memory, so any data stored in it is lost if the power supply is disconnected (unless you remember to save it). The amount of RAM determines how many programs you can run simultaneously.

  • MEMORY SLOTS - these hold the memory (RAM) chips and dictate the internal memory of your computer (additional memory chips may be purchased to increase this capacity).

  • BIOS chip - Basic Input/Output System - ensures all parts of the computer are in contact with each other. It's the bit that turns things on when you switch on the computer.

  • EXPANSION SLOTS - these are used to add extras such as modems and sound cards.

  • BATTERY - this maintains the time, date and set-up preferences and powers some of the memory chips when the computer is turned off.


    http://thundercloud.net/infoave/premium/triangle-s.gif (939 bytes)A Word About Your InfoAve Premium Internet Alerts Feature

    Whenever we become aware of a serious threat beginning to emerge on the Internet we will send all of our Premium members an alert message explaining what the threat is and how best to protect yourself from it. We will not use this alert system to notify you of the newest virus, Trojans or worms, unless they are beginning to spread wildly and could present an immediate danger. InfoAve Premium alerts will be sent the moment we are able to verify the severity and spread of the new threat.

    Minor threats or new potential threats you should be made aware of will be presented in our regular weekly edition of Cloudeight InfoAve Premium Edition in this section.


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    Best wishes,

    Eightball & Thundercloud
    Cloudeight InfoAve Premium Edition
    October 24, 2003
    Copyright 2003 by Cloudeight Internet

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