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What You Need to Know about All Things PC


Volume 3 Number 24

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The Naked PC -
What You Need to Know about All Things PC
Publisher:           Lee Hudspeth and T.J. Lee
Editor in Chief:     Dan Butler
Contributing Editor: Al Gordon
This issue is for Thursday, November 30, 2000 - Vol. 3 No. 24

Table of Contents

** 01. Letter from the Publisher
** 02. Safely Testing Your AntiVirus Package with the EICAR
       Test File (by Lee Hudspeth)
** 03. "T.J. Lee and Lee Hudspeth's Absolute Beginner's Guide to
       PC Upgrades" (by T.J. Lee and Lee Hudspeth)
** 04. Registry Toolkit by Funduc Software (by Al Gordon)
** 05. PayPal vs. The Freebie Seekers (by Dan Butler)
** 06. Featured Book - "Java Examples in a Nutshell"
       by David Flanagan
** 07. Featured Web Site - The British Library
** 08. Featured Product - Twinklebulbs
** 09. Newsworthy - a potpourri of current events and
       interesting stuff

** 01. Letter from the Publisher

We hope all our readers in the USA had a nice Thanksgiving

Thanks for all your feedback on the TNPC Web site's new look. It
appears that you all like the new layout and find the navigation
easier with the new menus. Remember that the main page is
designed for folks new to TNPC. If you're looking for TNPC
content, articles, back issues, and the like then you need to
either (a) click on the home page link that says "Click here to
enter the TNPC Web site...", (b) click on the "The Naked PC" logo
at the top of the page, or (c) bookmark this page:

We are especially thankful for all the TNPCers who stopped by the
TNPC Store over the long weekend and purchased Micro-Lights. You
can find reader comments about their shopping experiences here:

In this issue Lee points out how to use a perfectly safe and
standardized test file to make your anti-virus package think your
system is infected with a virus. Why? To see if the package is as
good a watchdog as advertised. T.J. and Lee proudly announce
their brand spanking new...

BOOK! With the longish title "T.J. Lee and Lee Hudspeth's
Absolute Beginner's Guide to PC Upgrades," it is long on
productivity enhancement, short on fluff (there's none, we
guarantee it), and has been printed and is working its way
through the warehouses to bookstores everywhere. So we encourage
you to order your copy online today (you can read more about it
in this issue's article #3):

Al knows good software when he uses it, and use it he does; this
time he covers Funduc's Registry Toolkit, Shortcut Doctor, and
Search and Replace.

Meanwhile, Dan contemplates the future of the Internet and
e-commerce ("profits matter") in the context of PayPal and the
controversy surrounding their new "business" accounts.

Jim and Lee are looking for folks to beta test new Office 2002
versions of their PRIME for Office add-ins; for more information
see the third sponsor slot in this issue.

Finally, we'd like to know if any TNPC AOL users are using the
new version 6, and if so how the links in TNPC work for you in
the new software. Drop us a note at:

As always, reader support is what keeps TNPC free, so PLEASE help
us and pass a copy of TNPC on to co-workers and friends (no spam
please!) and remember to always say "I saw it in TNPC!"

+++------------------------- sponsor -------------------------+++

It's time to start thinking about the Holidays and how our Photon
Micro-Lights (the BRIGHTEST lights for their size in the WORLD)
make great Christmas gifts! These little key chain lights offer
reliable, incredibly bright light for any situation. We also sell
lanyards, clips, batteries, and nifty Accessory Kits to go with
your Micro-Light. Comes in your choice of Red, Orange, Yellow,
Green, Turquoise, Blue, and White. Visit the TNPC Store today!

+++------------------------- sponsor -------------------------+++

** 02. Safely Testing Your AntiVirus Package with the EICAR
       Test File (by Lee Hudspeth)

Have you ever tested your anti-virus software?

I recently upgraded from Norton AntiVirus 2000 version 6.0 to
Norton AntiVirus 2001 version 7.0. While configuring the new
version, I remembered having previously tested one or more anti-
virus packages using the EICAR anti-virus test file, and set
about to remember what it was I did before. ("EICAR" stands for
European Institute for Computer Anti-Virus Research.) Sadly,
Norton's help file doesn't get you very far on search terms like
"test", "probe", or "validate". You have to open up the
Readme.txt to find it.

That file states, "To create a harmless text file that will be
detected as a virus, which you can use to verify detection of
viruses, logging, and alert functioning, visit this site:"

Also, a quick search on the Internet like this:

+"anti-virus" +"test file"

will take you right where you need to go.

As you read the aforementioned Web page, you can learn about the
history behind the obvious need for an innocuous anti-virus test
file. The really fun part is downloading the four versions of the
EICAR test file and scanning them to see how well your anti-virus
program performs. Here are descriptions of the four files, and
the test results on my production PC. (Test configuration:
Windows 98 SE 4.10.2222 A and Norton AntiVirus 2001 version
7.00.51F with auto-protect and email protection features turned

1. -- a legitimate DOS program that actually produces
sensible results when you run it; it contains the EICAR test

RESULT: Norton passed.

When I started the download Norton correctly halted the download,
produced an alert that the file was infected with "EICAR Test
String.68", and recommended that I repair the infected file.

2. -- a copy of with a different
filename; according to EICAR, "[provided because] some readers
reported problems when downloading the first file, which can be
circumvented when using the second version."

RESULT:  Norton passed.

Immediately upon renaming the file to, same results as
#1 above.

3. -- contains the test file inside a zip; use to
test your anti-virus program's ability to see a virus inside an

RESULT:  Norton passed.

When I scanned the folder containing the archive, Norton
correctly reported an infection with "EICAR Test String.68".
Clicking the "Virus Info" button reports, "THIS IS NOT A VIRUS.
The EICAR Test File is an internationally recognized, non-virus
code string included for analysis purposes only. Again, THIS IS

4. -- contains the third file (
inside a zip; use to test your anti-virus program's ability to
see a virus inside a multi-level archive.

RESULT:  Norton passed.

When I scanned the folder containing the archived archive, Norton
behaved correctly just as it did with file #3.

Drop me a line and let me know how your anti-virus program fares
against these EICAR test files.

Norton Anti-Virus at

You can reach Lee Hudspeth at:

+++------------------------- sponsor -------------------------+++

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+++------------------------- sponsor -------------------------+++

** 03. "T.J. Lee and Lee Hudspeth's Absolute Beginner's Guide to
       PC Upgrades" (by T.J. Lee and Lee Hudspeth)

The latest book from the publishers of TNPC hits the bookstores
this month, "T.J. Lee and Lee Hudspeth's Absolute Beginner's
Guide to PC Upgrades." This time we've tackled the problem every
PC user faces... do you upgrade your existing system or bite the
bullet and buy a new one? And if the decision is to upgrade, how
do you do it yourself? The good news is that you can successfully
upgrade a variety of your computer's components and live to tell
the tale.

In this 578 page book from QUE, Lee and I show you how to figure
out when to upgrade and when it's time to get a new system. We
cover a plethora of upgrades and walk you step by step through
performing them yourself. We cover how to prepare a system for an
upgrade, finding out the exact make and model of all your
components, opening up a system, and more importantly all the
tips and tricks you need to get the system put back together
again in working condition.

Each chapter starts off with a checklist of everything you'll
need to have on hand and what you'll need to do before you open
up your computer case. The book lends itself to going right to
the upgrade you want to perform and gives you what you need to
know to get your upgrade done with little or no pain and
suffering. We help you figure out when to avoid a "do it
yourself" upgrade and instead call in a qualified professional.

From sorting out RAM types; CD and DVD upgrades; updating your
BIOS; swapping out the motherboard; adding new disk drives;
adding USB; upgrading to a new scanner, printer, monitor,
uninterruptible power supply, practically any peripheral you can
think of... we cover it in this guide. We even delve into
upgrading your software and operating systems, and running
multiple operating systems on one PC.

You can order this book now from Amazon and it should ship any
day now. The book experienced a title change late in its
development cycle and Amazon still has it listed under its
original title ("T.J. Lee and Lee Hudspeth Teach PC Upgrades").
The publisher moved the book from the QUE series "Teaches" to the
"Absolute Beginners" series, thus the title change. (Just so you
know, PC book authors rarely have any input or control over a
book's title or which series it goes into. That's why there isn't
a book with the name "The Naked PC!" At least not yet...) But the
links to Amazon will get you to the right page and the book cover
picture displayed there shows the correct title.

We worked hard--REAL hard--on this tome and believe you will find
it both interesting and extremely useful. Upgrading your PC will
breathe new life into an aging system and give you the latest
bells and whistles - no matter how old or young your computer is,
while saving you a pile of cash. We're confident that we've made
it possible for any user to successfully perform his or her own
PC upgrades.

You can find more information about our new book here:

Or you can go straight to Amazon and order a copy here:

You can reach T.J. Lee at:

You can reach Lee Hudspeth at:

** 04. Registry Toolkit by Funduc Software (by Al Gordon)

Funduc Software is a veritable treasure trove of useful
utilities. Three of the most valuable are Registry Toolkit ($25),
Shortcut Doctor ($15), and Search and Replace ($25).

I use Registry Toolkit constantly for its search and replace
capability in the Windows Registry. It's essential to tidy things
up if you rename or move a program directory or file, for
example. Toolkit can search for your string in the Registry keys
that are saved in binary format, handy for finding those values
that software vendors try to hide from you.

It allows you to move or copy keys--say, if you want to move
something from the current user to local machine, as well as
import and export. It can be used to browse through the Registry,
but that is not a strong suit, as it is slower than RegEdit for
that function.

Registry Toolkit (95/98/NT/2000) is especially valuable for users
of NT4/Win2K, for which Norton Utilities does not include its
Registry search and replace tool.

Shortcut Doctor (95/98/NT/2000) will both verify and edit your
shortcuts. Point it toward a path of your choosing, and it will
scan the shortcuts therein. Another key tool if you rename or
move files and directories. The utility also will clean out your
recent document folder so you don't go chasing after often-broken
links there.

Search and Replace (95/98/NT/2000) is a seriously cool utility
that checks inside files for specific text and can then change
it. Among its multiple applications is to search across a Web
site for items to fix. But it can also be used for more simple
tasks. It is generally faster at a text search than Windows and
your search can be given more parameters.

Ever discover that you have misspelled a word or name throughout
a document, or made some similar mistake throughout a series of
documents? Search and Replace will find and fix your errors
without requiring you to open up each document in the program
that created it. Especially handy if, say, you need to find the
same text string in both Word and Excel documents.

For power users there are scripting and command line functions.
All and all, a valuable tool.

You can reach Al Gordon at:

** 05. PayPal vs. The Freebie Seekers (by Dan Butler)

PayPal, the online money exchange service that we've reviewed and
discussed in past TNPC issues, is taking some serious flak from
the auction community. Among the first to embrace PayPal which
let them accept credit cards in payment for their online auctions
they now feel they've been lied to, cheated, and otherwise
treated unfairly by PayPal. We've been promoting PayPal since it
began and have given you periodic updates. Here's our latest take
on Internet freebies in general and PayPal in particular.

The main problem people are having with PayPal is the charging of
fees for services they think should be free. Granted PayPal built
their customer base by giving out free services. That business
model is old hat. We called it "The Puppy Dog" when I was in
sales. Let the customer take the cute little puppy dog home for
the night and chances were they would become attached to it and
buy it. Same with cars and other products in the off-line world.
In the online world you see free services offered to gain
customers all over the place.

But the PayPal model was not a scam. They provided free PayPal
accounts (and still do) and said early on that they would be
offering "business" accounts in the future. The future is now and
the business accounts are not free. I always knew, and PayPal was
open about the fact that they would charge for business and
other enhanced services in the future. Most of the auctioneers on
services like eBay are upset that they're being classified as

Can you still get a free PayPal account? Absolutely, but given
all the people who have quit their day jobs (maybe they've just
retired?) to trade on eBay how do you tell the personal users
from the business users? PayPal opted for putting limits on how
much money you can process from credit card activities. You can
have a free PayPal account; you just have limits on how it can be
used. Above the limits and your ability to take credits cards is
restricted. To go above the limits you must open a business
PayPal account and pay service fees.

It does appear, from my vantage point, that PayPal is trying to
encourage bank transfers over credit card payments. I would
assume that bank transfers cost them less thereby increasing
their profits.

PayPal's fee structure is changing so frequently now I won't try
to quote their current rates here but their fees for accepting
credit cards are now just a bit higher than what I pay offline.
Have we stopped using PayPal? No, some of our customers still
prefer to pay using that service. Sure it costs us a few cents
but that's the way it goes. It would cost me more than the few
cents in my time to try and talk those customers into a different
mode of payment.

Another complaint is that PayPal (and some other similar
services) now require you to use a valid bank account for
verification. This is how PayPal hopes to knock out the credit
card scammers in the very virtual world in which online
transactions operate. To verify with a bank account you authorize
PayPal to make direct transfers to and from your bank account.
They deposit some change in your account and you have to verify
how much was transferred. Weird but true. Personally I'm
uncomfortable using my main bank account to verify PayPal (or
anyone else's) service. You may be comfortable with that, I'm
not. However, I did not cancel my PayPal account or rant and rave
about this new policy of theirs. I just set up a free bank
account strictly for the purpose of this verification process.

Whether you like or hate PayPal, the bigger message here is that
the Internet is changing. We're seeing a shift back to standard
business procedures like "profits matter." Companies are going to
find a way to make money on their online products and services so
you have to be a responsible and wary consumer.

The most important thing you can do when signing up for a new
online service is to actually read the Terms Of Service (TOS)
documentation. Print it out and mark it up with a pen. Email for
more clarification on anything you are unsure of. Don't sign up
with any service unless you are satisfied that the TOS works for
you. If you decide to join, take the printout and write the date
on the top along with the username you choose for your account.
Basically this is a record of what you are signing up for.

When the TOS changes in the future make a decision as to whether
you will still use that online service. If you stay with the
service print out the new TOS, date it, and file it. Don't throw
out the old TOS printout just yet! Keep them around so over time
you can see trends in the direction a particular company may be
headed. And expect the TOS to change. Many online companies have
grown so fast they simply are trying to catch up with themselves.
Many policies and modes of operating are changing frequently as
companies try to get a handle on this beast called the Internet.

Most of these changes will be in the direction of turning a
profit so expect fees and fee increases over time. If a company
is changing their TOS for legitimate business reasons you can be
sure that similar changes will occur with other services in due
time. Remember, there is no such thing as a "free lunch."

We've mentioned in the past how you will see more and more
Internet services moving from free to paid. Yahoo! has been
talking about how it may move to a fee model. The major search
engines either already have or now are adopting some soft of fee
structure for listing pages.

And this is all happening for a reason. The fact is that
advertising-based revenues for Web sites aren't paying the bills.
Fewer and fewer people click on banner ads and many, present
company included, run programs to prevent ads from being
displayed. While we may not like having to pay for our services
it may become a fact of life. The structure of the Internet hides
a lot of costs from the end users.

You can reach Dan Butler at:

+++------------------------- sponsor -------------------------+++

                PRIME for Office 2002 Beta Program
Here at PRIME Consulting Group we're actively upgrading all our
existing PRIME for Office 2000 add-ins to the next version of
Microsoft Office: Office 2002 (also known as Office 10). We need
testers to help us review these updated products (basically, to
use the products mercilessly and report their likes and dislikes
to us in a private newsgroup). Beta testers who are active will
receive the product(s) they test free of charge. For some
products we are looking for Office 2000 *and* Office 2002
testers, so even if you aren't currently in possession of the
Office 2002 beta, fill out our beta tester application form
anyway. It's fun, it's exciting, it's... PRIME! Please note that
beta tester openings are limited and are provided on a first-
come, first-served basis.

+++------------------------- sponsor -------------------------+++

** 06. Featured Book - "Java Examples in a Nutshell"
       by David Flanagan

"Java Examples in a Nutshell" makes a very slick follow up to
O'Reilly's "Java in a Nutshell" tome. The examples in this book
provide much more depth to those in the earlier Java book. David
Flanagan believes that people learn best by example and we
heartily agree. As a teaching tool this book serves well and
covers a very impressive range of Java topics; from Java Basics
to Graphical User Interfaces to Servlets and much more. With 150
examples and close to 18,000 lines of code we found the book a
handy addition to our reference library.

** 07. Featured Web Site - The British Library

In a fascinating use of modern technology, the British Library
has put two Gutenberg bibles online. Using spy satellite
technology the library photographed two different editions of the
Gutenberg Bible printed around 1454 AD to 1455 AD. The
photographs do make for some very large downloads but the detail
is incredible. We're big fans of old books but on our own would
never get the chance to thumb through these beautiful volumes.
But online we can flip through them to our hearts' content.
Other neat items on the site include leaves from
Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks.

** 08. Featured Product - Twinklebulbs

This is the perfect holiday accouterment for your computer
monitor (that we first featured in TNPC #1.13). Display flashing,
colorful holiday lights just like those you'll be hanging from
your tree and the eaves of your house this Christmas season.
String these virtual lights on or around your Windows desktop,
select various bulb sets (from over 165 sets) and colors for the
bulbs, add background holiday music, snowfall screen savers and
more. Get yourself in the spirit with this $15.00 shareware
program. Be the bane of Grinchs everywhere.

                 WANT TO GET YOUR WORD OUT?
Classified ads in The Naked PC can be yours for ridiculously low
prices. Get your message out to over 60,000 TNPC subscribers.


** 09. Newsworthy - a potpourri of current events and
       interesting stuff

*-* Microsoft has released the second Service Pack for its
flagship Office product. Office 2000 SP-2 can be downloaded (30MB
for the Administrators version, 9MB for the end-user version)
direct from Microsoft. You must have the previous SR-1a (Service
Release 1a) installed. SP-2 includes all individual fixes since
SR-1a (eight, to be exact). However, given Microsoft's track
record for having to fix a Service Pack shortly after releasing
it you might want to wait a few weeks before going with Office
2000 SP-2.

*-* Computer Associates has released their anti-virus software
for the Palm OS handheld computer. This software is available for
free download.

*-* Amazon has FREE (standard) shipping on all orders over $100
shipped to a single USA address for a limited time only. See the
notice in the upper right hand corner of the Amazon main page.

*-* Netscape has released Netscape 6, their latest incarnation of
the popular Web browser.

*-* Microsoft has released DirectX 8.0, the software giant's
multimedia graphics driver for Windows.
Click here to download or read more about this latest release.

*-* OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration here
in the USA) has just released a sweeping rule aimed at repetitive
stress injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, lower back
pain, and sciatica. The rule is already under fire from business

Get more Newsworthy bits on the TNPC Web site:

Have you come across something newsworthy? Drop us a line:

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Personal computers are individual machines with performance that
can vary with components, software, and operator ability. The
Naked PC is not responsible for the manner in which the
information presented is used or interpreted. Also, although we
work hard to provide you with accurate Internet links in The
Naked PC, we are not responsible for Internet links herein that
represent sites owned and operated by third parties. We are not
responsible for the content, accuracy, performance, or
availability of any such third-party sites.

We encourage you to forward this newsletter to your friends,
associates, and colleagues for their review and enjoyment.
However, please do so only by sending it in full, thereby keeping
the copyright and subscription information intact. We do request
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independently rather than continue to receive issues from you.
This helps TNPC grow and prosper, thereby funding its continued

Also, if you wish to post this newsletter to a newsgroup or
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Copyright (c) 2000, PRIME Consulting Group, Inc. and Dan Butler.
All Rights Reserved. The Naked PC is a trademark of PRIME
Consulting Group, Inc.
ISSN: 1522-4422

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