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Keeping You Connected

November 2005  

AS Consulting's Monthly Newsletter

 
           

Must have downloads:
Refer to my downloads page to get these critical applications!

   


We've skipped an issue. Last month was a much needed vacation, followed by a loss in my family. We are now back up and running with a larger than usual November newsletter!

In this issue:

How to work with a list of files or emails

Inexpensive broadband

WinFixer (spyware)

Take your AOL mail with you

Checking what version of Windows you have

  When was the last time you had your computer cleaned?

Call for an appointment!
(805) 968-6366


Ad-Aware Personal SE (version 1.06)

     
   

Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta1

    How to work with a list of files or emails

Do you want to delete a continuous list of messages in your email inbox? Click the first message, then press and hold the shift key, then select the last message. Now they should all be highlighted. Just press delete, and the whole list disappears! If you have a list that is not contiguous, just hold down the CTRL key while clicking on files. If you click the same file again, it will be deselected.


  Are you backing up?
These days, a good backup is a must!

McAfee's Stinger, downloadable virus removable tool

   
Inexpensive broadband
A lot of my clients are asking me about the new offer from Verizon. They are advertising broadband DSL service for $14.95 per month. Should all of you paying $24.95 per month or more be upset? Not by a long shot. Verizon has just decided that they wish to attract those of you who are not interested in paying a higher rate. Here is the breakdown for the broadband offers in the Santa Barbara area as of 11/13/05:
  • Verizon has three plans:

    The first gives you "up to" 768 Kbps download speed /and 128 Kbps upload speed (Download speed is how fast you can retrieve data from the internet. Upload speed is how fast you can send data to the internet [like sending an email]. As a reference, a dial-up modem will usually give you about 49 Kbps in both directions.) The cost for this service is $14.95 per month with a one year agreement. If your current dial-up plan costs the usual $20.00 per month, then this plan is a no-brainer choice. You'll get about 15x the speed for $5 less per month.

    The second plan gets you "up to" 3000 Kbps Download/ 768 Kbps Upload for $29.95 per month with a one year commitment.

    The last plan offers the same throughput as above but costs $37.95 per month if you are not willing to commit to the one year agreement.
     

  • COX Cable has three plans as well:

    The first offers you Up to 256Kbps D/ 256Kbps U, for $24.95/ month

    The second costs $39.95 for Up to 4,000Kbps D/ 512Kbps U

    And the last charges $54.95 per month for Up to 5,000Kbps  D/ 768Kbps U

Note that if you routinely plan on sending emails with large attachments to others, you'll want to choose a plan with a fairly high upload speed. 

 


  Is your existing system showing its age?
Don't forget, I build my own systems with the highest quality parts available.

If something does go wrong, you won't be speaking to someone in a foreign country, you'll be speaking directly to me!

Other Important Downloads:

Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0

   

WinFixer (spyware)

Many of my clients are asking about a fairly new (and really hard to delete) spyware called WinFixer. Here is some info on how to get rid of it...

Q. For the past week, a window for WinFixer 2005 Program Installer has appeared when my computer booted up. I removed it through Add/Remove Programs. When I reboot, it reappears. If you can help me get rid of this, you'll have my deepest thanks.

-- Joe in Phoenix, listening on KFYI 550 AM

A. I have suddenly started getting a lot of complaints about WinFixer.

At its site (http://www.winfixer.com), it touts its product for its ability to fix various Windows maladies.

However, the complaints I have received describe it as a pest. I also found many complaints about it on the Internet. Victims repeatedly say the program returns after it is deleted. Legitimate programs do not do this. Rather, this is typical adware/spyware behavior.

I downloaded this program and ran the offered scan. It reported that I had 6,227 security threats on the computer! It showed the vast majority as temporary Internet files. In no way could those files be considered security threats.

We tracked this company on the Internet. It appears to be headquartered in Kiev, Ukraine. Its registrar is Innovative Marketing, which claims to be in Belize.

I did not experience the automatic reinstallation problems discussed by others. My computers have the heaviest security known to man (and woman!). That might have blocked that problem.

If you have WinFixer on your computer, and want to remove it, first delete it. Click Start>>Control Panel. Double-click Add or Remove Programs. Find it in the list and click Change/Remove. DO NOT REBOOT!

WinFixer probably is embedded in the Registry. When you reboot, it goes to the Internet and downloads more installation files. That's why you can't get rid of it. So, download and install a custom HOSTS file. That will block its access to the Internet. You can get the HOSTS file at:

http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

Assuming this program is still in your Registry, try several anti- spyware programs to remove it. I found a recommendation for Spy Sweeper on the Internet. I have links to that program and others on my site at:

http://www.komando.com/bestshareware.asp

Also, clean out your Restore points. See the Digital Digressions above.

If nothing else works, use Hijack This! (also available on my site). This powerful program can make a mess of your computer if you misuse it. So get help at a Hijack This! forum. Try this one:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/security

As I said, WinFixer 2005 supposedly fixes flaws in Windows. If you keep Windows updated, run up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware programs, and have a firewall, you're OK. You don't need a cure-all program.


This item reprinted with permission from The LangaList (a free email newsletter available at http://www.langa.com/newsletter.htm), Copyright © 2005 Langa Consulting LLC.


 

If you have a wireless router, remember to enable security!
WEP is good, but WPA is way better.
Feel free to call for assistance.

 

If your web pages are not loading properly, you may need this download

   

Take your AOL mail with you

Since we just talked about pricing and speeds for broadband access, I'll bet you're saying, "I'd love to switch, but I have all of this AOL email that I'd like to keep". Here is a  way you can keep it!

Q. Now that I'm with Yahoo!'s DSL, I really find it silly to continue subscribing to AOL. I'd like to cancel AOL, but I don't want to lose all of my e-mail. Is there a program that can forward my AOL mail to my new Yahoo! address?

A. Itís easy to accumulate lots of e-mail. I just checked the volume statistics for my personal and business accounts. This is different then the mail that gets sent to me through the Web site. I received 338 e-mails yesterday and 25% of it was spam. Argh!

When you have so much e-mail, it can make you think twice about moving to a new service provider. You could forward the messages to the new account, but thatís so old-fashioned.

There is a service called TrueSwitch. It is designed especially to transfer e-mail. Its developers are partnered with SBC/Yahoo! as well as MSN and AT&T. If you switch your service to one of those partners (in your case, Yahoo!), TrueSwitch is free. I like that price. Otherwise, it costs $20.

TrueSwitch will copy and forward your AOL messages to your new account. It can also transfer your address book. And it messages everyone in your address book, announcing your new e-mail address. So, make sure that you clean out your address book first. There may be a few people youíd prefer not to get your new e-mail address.

However, TrueSwitch is not an e-mail forwarding service. It makes copies of your messages once, then sends those copies to your new address once. If you receive messages in your AOL account after the copying process, they will not be forwarded. So cancel that account right away. When you do cancel, the AOL reps may offer to keep the account open, say 30 days at no cost, even though you cancelled. Thatís up to you.


This item reprinted with permission by Kim Komando
Copyright ©2005 WestStar TalkRadio Network.
Subscribe to Kim Komando's free e-mail newsletters at: www.komando.com


 

Is your computer getting slower?
 
Pop-Ups driving you crazy?
 Is it just acting weird?
You may be infected with spyware. Try one of the programs to the left, and if that does not work...

Please call me!

     

Checking what version of Windows you have

Q: How do I know if I have XP Service Pack 2 on my computer? (Or, what version of Windows do I have, XP  or otherwise?)

A: Easy. Just right-click "My Computer" and choose "Properties". In the System Properties box look under "System".

If you see "Service Pack 2" listed there, then it is installed.


This item reprinted with permission from Computer Tips & Techniques, Weekly Edition (a free email newsletter available at www.worldstart.com), Copyright © 2005 WorldStart, Inc.


  Dell & Gateway have announced that their standard warrantees are now 90 days Parts & Labor, it is expected that the other large companies will follow suit. If you want a longer warrantee, you'll have to pay for it.
AS Consulting's systems have always offered a standard 90 days labor and full one year on parts. Unlike the big boys, ASC has no plans to change our warrantee plans. 
(Did I forget to mention that ASC's tech support has always been based in Goleta, CA., not Bangalore, India?) Feel free to call for a free quote on an ASC computer system.
 
     

AS Consulting is now offering email and website hosting. It is rather affordable and (best of all), I personally handle all of the problems associated with your site (i.e., email addresses, domain issues, etc.) click here for all the info: AS Consulting provided Webhosting

 

 

 

If you would rather not be on my newsletter list- no problem! Send me a quick email and I'll forever take you off.
If you know someone who would like to be placed on my mailing list, have them drop me a line as well.

 
The AS Consulting newsletter is brought to you by:
Andy Shapiro, Owner
AS Consulting
You can reach me at: P.O. Box 1728, Goleta, CA. 93116-1728, Voice: (805) 968-6366,
email: asc2@asconsulting.com, Web: www.asconsulting.com

 

See you next month!

 

 ©2005 AS Consulting