press here to print Newsletter
Issue 19 - May 20, 2007
Table of contents:
Named and shamed:
Waiting for Vista:
Does Microsoft scare you?
Microsoft causes computers to freeze:
Webcam voyeur:
A mouse with half a brain?
A better Quicklaunch:
Have you got what it takes................

Introduction:[ TOP ]
The disapperance of 4 year old Madeleine McCann who was abducted from a holiday apartment in Portugal 10 days ago is still one of the biggest news stories in Europe. I, like everyone else, feel extremely sad for her parents and wider family. I'm also feeling disgust and outrage that there are some lowlife scum using their computers to benefit from this tragedy.

The McCann family have set up a fund to keep young Madeleine in the public eye. This is the website:

However, dozens of bogus "Help Madeleine" websites have sprung up with the sole aim of making money for the sick people who created them. Greed profiting from such tragedy is beneath contempt.

Spare a thought for the McCann family.

Named and shamed:[ TOP ]
Five Web-hosting companies have been identified with myriad infected Web sites residing on their servers.

They are:
Layered Technologies, Internet Services,
Internap Network Services
ChinaNet Guangdong Province network

You have been warned!

Waiting for Vista:[ TOP ]
It seems that a lot of people bought computers last year and were promised a free upgrade to Vista when it became available. Many are still waiting, and apparently getting angry at the delay. If you ask me they should be relieved and happy to continue with XP!,131722/article.html#

Does Microsoft scare you?[ TOP ]
Microsoft learned well from its mentor. IBM mastered the art of FUD (Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt) in its marketing campaigns back in the 1980s and 1990s. This week, Microsoft shot the latest in a long series of FUD shots in a lame attempt to scare the computing community into not using open-source products because "they violate Microsoft's patents."

What a pile of cow manure! Even the lawyer that wrote the report being quoted by Microsoft has come out to tell everyone that Microsoft is misusing the information in his report. He clearly told Microsoft that Open Source software is LEAST likely to be in violation of filed patents as compared to Closed Source products.

Microsoft's attempt to scare us all is pathetic. Personally, I had already decided not to use Vista or any other future Microsoft products except as required by my employer. At home, we will slowly but surely become a Microsoft-free zone. There are so many better choices out there that it is a no-brainer concept.

If we all help each other, we can send a clear message to Microsoft (and others like it): we will NOT be dominated by fear and misinformation. We have choices and the responsibility to exercise such and support organizations that demonstrate ethical behavior and attitudes. Clearly, Microsoft is not in that category.

Thanks to Victor Gascon, a friend and colleague at for this article.

Microsoft causes computers to freeze:[ TOP ]
If you computer freezes during windows update you are not alone. This problem has been with us for a while now, and the usual symptons include 100% cpu usage, with svchost being the greedy hog responsible.

With their message boards groaning under the weight of dissatisfied patchers, Microsoft suggested a fix.

Perhaps not unexpectedly the "fix" doesn't work and I can find no sign of Microsoft resolving the issue. Perhaps they just don't give a damn.

Webcam voyeur:[ TOP ]
if you have nothing better to do you could scour the world's webcams. Get a Google search window and type in;
and press enter.

Have fun.

A mouse with half a brain?[ TOP ]
I read a lot of computer news and sometimes it leaves me puzzled and at the same time smiling at the absurdity of it. Apparently a group of scientists have used a super computer to simulate half a mouse brain. Yes, you read it right, HALF a mouse brain.

Why would anyone do this? Are there any real life mice with only half a brain?

Modelling such a system, the trio wrote, puts "tremendous constraints on computation, communication and memory capacity of any computing platform".

I bet it does.

A better Quicklaunch:[ TOP ]
I use my quicklaunch toolbar a lot, but got fed up with having to use the little double arrows to see all the icons. I now have quicklaunch acroos the top of my desktop, which makes it much easier to use.

If you want to try this:

Right click the taskbar and make sure that "lock the taskbar" is NOT checked.

Click on the pattern of dots to the immediate right of the Start button and hold the click down.

Now drag the mouse to the top of the screen (or one of the sides) and let go.

If you don't like it I'll tell you how to put it back.................... in the next edition. :)

Have you got what it takes................[ TOP ] be a technician?

Our Client-base is constantly growing - but as we get more and more questions from more and more Clients, we are always in need of new Technicians to help us answer them. Helping is very rewarding.
If you get satisfaction from helping out other computer users, or just want to advance your own computer knowledge by tackling real-life problems, then why not consider joining our team!

Why volunteer at

We're all volunteers. No-one makes any money out of

Your computer knowledge will improve greatly as you discover new solutions to problems you deal with every day. As you research problems you'd never even encountered before you will learn even more. The experience can help you if you are interested in getting a promotion into the technical support side of your job.

Because you're a volunteer there's no obligation to do any minimum work on the site. Answer as many or as few questions each day as you desire. It's entirely up to you.

We are constantly improving both the Client and Technician experience. As we grow we add new features to help you answer questions more efficiently. We genuinely care that maintains a high level of quality and service.

Perhaps the most compelling thing is the gratitude you receive from happy Clients. If you get a kick out of helping people and genuinely enjoy putting your computer knowledge to a good use, then become a Technician!

We provide you with a e-mail address to communicate with users if they require further assistance after your initial answers.

You will be amongst other like-minded Technicians - and can discuss your own technical problems with hundreds of other knowledgeable computer experts.

To become a Technician, we ask that you first take a short test. If your follow the directions and provide clear, helpful, thorough, and knowledgeable answers your application will be approved. We are particularly interested in the way you assess the Clients' problems, thoughtfully produce a response, and generally make the Client feel comfortable with your support.

if you want to know more, write to me at


Talkback:[ TOP ]
Ruben Zavala had a problem with one of our tips.

"Received your Protonic News Issue:16-April 29,2007 on subject about putting your P/C in 'Standby'. I followed the instructions on how to do this and did so. But now when I hit the Power button,computer goes on 'Standby',and a few seconds after starts up by itself. Is there a problem? What did I do wrong? Thanx--Ruben"

If you have suggestions please send them to and I will pass them on to Ruben.

You can write to us about other things too, in fact anything at all.

Websites:[ TOP ] For the unlucky few who have Vista. Building a home network - with wires. Building a home network - without wires My favourite football team.

Credits[ TOP ] Editor: Phil Dodd,

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