July 1999                                                                                                     

Web Master Wanderings
By Curt Potsic, Space Coast PC Users Group

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SCPCUG Web Master Curt Potsic

Hey, the feedback continues. Seems each month I get more and more phone calls and e-mails from our members. I appreciate knowing you guys and gals are reading my articles. If I can make this column more interactive by your feedback the column will basically write itself and we can all benefit from each other's computing experiences. So let's get to it!

Back in March SCPCUG member Barbara Czenthe had an interesting problem that I thought I might share with you. Barbara wrote "My virus protector (McAfee 4 with current updates) just found Netbuspro.dr in a Acrobat Reader (4.0) file I had on my computer...After the virus protector found this, it automatically deleted it. It was also stored on my zip drive...Besides deleting it, is there anything else I should do? I went to a few of the virus sites, and couldn't find anything about this particular virus. Should I be concerned?"

I had never heard of this virus, but as I explained to Barbara, last I heard there were over 24,000 viruses out there. Other then receiving the Happy99.exe and promptly deleting it before it could do any damage I have never had a virus. I checked my 3.0 version of Adobe Acrobat Reader ( but found nothing. I felt that Barbara was relatively safe at this point as her virus checker had done its job. I did tell Barbara that virus programs sometimes make mistakes and error on the side of safety. Well guess what? Barbara recently sent me a follow-up message with this URL (Uniform Resource Location), from Network Associates Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team. It says "McAfee VirusScan 4.x falsely reported the NetBusPro.dr trojan when scanning Ar40.exe..." It goes on to say the alert was caused because there was identifying code in Adobe's product that had a similar pattern to the NetBusPro.dr trojan. Bottom line was to update your virus definitions. Something we should all do regularly. Even though this may have caused some inconvenience it is better to error on the side of safety.

Let's talk about net congestion. We have all experienced it although you may not be aware of it. You can check the condition of the Internet for net congestion around the world at Internet Traffic Report ( This site will show you the condition of the Internet by location down to the router level. You can check response time and percent packet loss for 27 routers in North America. They will even show you graphs which may aid in helping decide when and where to download that big program.

For a more direct experience with net congestion one only needs to use the program RealPlayer G2 by RealNetworks. For those of you new to the Internet the G2 Player is a free "must have" program. It is available as a separate download at and also comes bundled with the recently released Netscape Communicator 4.6 (
There is also a RealPlayer Plus G2 program which costs. You can read about the details on RealPlayer's site and decide which version you want to download. I have always found the free version sufficient for my surfing needs. What RealPlayer provides is a means of receiving streaming audio and video over the Internet. Streaming means you don't have to wait for the files to download. The audio and video start playing as soon as there is enough information in the buffer. There are over a thousand radio stations and many TV stations on the Internet. The RealPlayer can show you the world. The downside is if the site from which you are receiving the audio and video data is very popular many people will be trying to receive the information at the same time as you. This splits up the bandwidth as you are all trying to share it. Your physical location and the sending site's location also come into play with how the information is routed to you over the Internet. If the router is very busy with other net traffic it causes delays. The result is you will experience interruptions in what the G2 Player is playing (like starting and stopping a tape recorder). Sometimes these are only a few seconds. At other times in may be several minutes. If congestion is really bad you may not be able to receive enough data for anything to play back. The G2 Player normally will warn you in its connection window if it is having problems with net congestion.

So now if you have downloaded and installed the RealPlayer G2 you are all set to put your slide show up on the web. This is intended for those of you that would like to share some of your personal photos with friends and family but are still reluctant to create that web site (even after all the help I have given you). The place to go to is at Here for free you can upload 25 of your favorite photos in JPEG format (must be under 100 KB each) and have them placed in a slide show complete with music that you select. To see the slide show one must have the RealPlayer G2 installed. I tried it by uploading still frames (320 x 240 pixels) I captured from Hi-8mm videos I took of our daughter Jill's wedding. See the result by going to

Jill's Wedding SlideshowMy slide show was up on the net within 24 hours of my uploading the photos to Mslide. Because this is a multimedia presentation with streaming audio and video the data is being received at a very fast rate (faster than a 28.8K or 33.6K modem may be able to handle). Mslide recommends a 56K or faster connection. I have found that it works with a 28.8K connection but sometimes after about the 15th slide the remaining photos don't load completely (the audio continues and apparently has priority, as they are trying to sell CD's, but the bottom part of some remaining photos is black). The way around this is to hit the pause button, move the horizontal slider slightly back, and hit the play button. This causes the RealPlayer to rebuffer the input and then the remaining photos come out fine.

Another one of our SCPCUG members, Robin Mills was recently mentioned on ZDTV. ZDTV is a television network about computing, with an integrated website ( Robin lives in Palm Bay and gets this 24 hr channel dedicated to computing on his satellite dish. Unfortunately for the rest of us, Time-Warner cable has not realized there is a large population of computer junkies here on the Space Coast that would love to receive ZDTV. Anyway, Robin was looking for a good Video Mail program so he sent a message to ZDTV's "Call for Help". They featured his message on the air and you can read ZDTV's reply on the net at,3650,2265619,00.html. They recommended a Video Mail program by Chillisoft ( out of Australia. You can download a 15 day trial and if you like the program it costs only $15. This is a large 7.78 MB download but the best part is it uses Real Player G2 for playback which many people already have so you can easily sent Video Mail to all your friends.

We have added another member site to our SCPCUG Member Home Pages ( Douglas Hitzig has much more than just a single page. He actually has a collection of pages called "Internet and Computer Toolkit" at Doug describes his site as "a kind of mini-Yahoo" and says "I was inspired by an article in PC Mag by John Dvorak, in which he decried the lack of user-created home pages. So I went and did it." He also owns and maintains the web sites for the Surfside Players ( and The Tearoom Restaurant ( I would say Doug is one busy man. Asked him if he would be interested in being SCPCUG Web Master. After all I can't do this forever. I would think after my two terms the members might want a change next year. Doug's answer was he would have to think on that. Well Doug you have until next Spring. Getting back to Doug's site he has all kinds of info for Searches, Research, Tech Help, Computer Magazines, Shareware, Linux, etc. Be sure and check out his HTML Resources page ( for help with creating your own Home Page.

Finally, back at the April Monthly Meeting I mentioned a quick way of getting to Brevard County Tax Records through a All Brevard Magazine link ( on our General Information Links page ( Since that time All Brevard Magazine removed that quick link and you now have to dig through The Brevard County Government site links to find it. Perhaps it proved too popular with everyone checking out what their neighbor's property is worth. I received a couple of e-mails asking how do I find the site so at the risk of starting a taxpayer's dispute you can find Brevard County Property Appraiser Record Searches at They have had over 96,000 visitors since September 1998. Our SCPCUG web site should be so popular.

Note: Web Master Wanderings articles contain links to external web sites. Web addresses are constantly changing. There is no guarantee that the information links provided in this article will remain unbroken or up-to-date beyond the date that this article is originally published.