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 (http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/acrobat/readstep.html#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 (http://www.internettrafficreport.com/).
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 http://www.real.com
and also comes bundled with the recently released Netscape
Communicator 4.6 (http://home.netscape.com/download/index.html).
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 Mslide.com at http://www.mslide.com/.
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 http://www.mslide.com/play/wedding/curt_potsic/jill_potsic_peter_egburtson_wedding.html.
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 (http://www.zdnet.com/zdtv/).
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 http://www.zdnet.com/zdtv/callforhelp/answerstips/story/0,3650,2265619,00.html.
They recommended a Video Mail program by Chillisoft (http://www.chillisoft.com.au/)
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 (http://www.scpcug.com/memhome.html).
Douglas Hitzig has much more than just a single page.
He actually has a collection of pages called "Internet
and Computer Toolkit" at http://hitzig.com/.
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 (http://ssplayers.com/)
and The Tearoom Restaurant (http://www.micronet.net/users/~tearoom/).
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 (http://www.micronet.net/users/~tearoom/tools/html.htm)
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 (http://www.allbrevard.com/home/index.html)
on our General Information Links page (http://www.scpcug.com/infolink.html).
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 http://www.appraiser.co.brevard.fl.us/asp/record.asp.
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.