Australian Open Access User Group
These are draft notes prepared just after the meeting.
Q & A
1. Globe-trotting with Terry
Terry Litchfield described the operation of mobile phone and computer email
functions while travelling overseas. He found that IBM was the most versatile
Internet Service Provider (ISP) with service (numbers to dial) throughout
If you want to avoid expensive hotel phone bills you can arrange for
your digital mobile phone to operate overseas (by arrangement with your
Australian phone provider). You can be caught with expensive call diversions
if you don't use the mobile phone correctly. With Telstra's Mobilenet service
you can access Messagebank but at the cost of an overseas call - and some
countries have a minimum one minute charge we could be over $6!
The best way to stay in touch may be to use email - then the only cost
is accessing the local ISP.
2. Internet Browsers - multiple profiles
The latest versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer/Outlook allow several
user profiles to be set up so that different email accounts (or aliases)
can be accessed from the one machine. Setting up the systems sounds a little
complicated but at least it can be done!
3. Excel graphs
Open Access Spreadsheet graphics allows the user to select several cell
ranges and then to plot the values in an "overlay" graph. Also you can
select any range of cells to use for the X-axis labels and legend (level
labels). This is not so easy to do in Excel. Keith showed us some tips:
Windows Tips (see Keyboard Shortcuts under Windows Help):
Shift-Crtl-End - selects from cursor position to bottom right of spreadsheet.
End Arrow - moves to the next blank cell in direction of arrow.
Holding Shift selects on the way.
Alt Backspace - undo
Select non-contiguous areas. Select first area, hold Ctrl then select
Ctrl A - selects all
Excel 97 Tips:
Select first range. Hold down the Cntrl key and select the next range.
Do the same for all remaining ranges.
Press F11 to create an instant graph as a new sheet in the spreadsheet.
The data range shows commas between the ranges.
Excel 97 allows the user to specify the "name" range for legend and
"category (X) labels" (with Excel 5 you need to specify that the "first
row" of data (first range) contains the X-axis labels).
4. OA4 Network
In a WIN95 network OA4 is working fine except that if the PC is not used
for 30 minutes the network seems to crash and this means OA must be restored
(Station Install). The energy saving features of the PC has been turned
off under the CMOS setup.
It is possible that some energy saving features cannot be turned off
by the user - or that the CMOS resets these features when the PC is rebooted.
5. Database joined files
Can a query test whether a date in one table is less than a date in another
table. Unfortunately OA can only do logic checks (< > ) on constants
such as sysdate or "sysdate -30" (note the quotes are needed) - you cannot
compare two fields with anything other than = or <>..
Terry tested whether a recursive query would work
FROM WALMAIN WHERE (NAME IN SELECT NAME FROM WALMAIN) ...
but this didn't work!
6. Melissa virus
This is a Word 97/2000 Macro virus. As usual with Macro viruses, it can
only "infect" your
PC if, with Word 97/2000 you open a DOC file containing the virus.
YOU CANNOT GET INFECTED BY LOOKING AT YOUR EMAIL. However, whenever
email contains a DOC (or XLS) file as an attachment it is best to
save it to disk, run an up-to-date virus checker and then open the document
if it is found to be "clean". Keith demonstrated how to disable autorun
macros in Word 97: Tools / Options / Macro Virus Protection is checked
on. This presents a warning message whenever you go to open a DOC file
that has an autorunning macro. Always select "disable macro" if the warning
message comes up. Note there are claims that Melissa by-passes this warning
system (this might only happen if it succesfully infects the first time).
Another trick is to set Word Viewer as your default program when you
open a DOC file from email or Windows Explorer. Word Viewer does not run
the autoexec macro that causes the problems (see the Microsoft site for
tips on Word Viewer - to make it the default program when you open a DOC
file open the "My Computer" folder, select View / Options / File
Types, find the Microsoft Word entry, Click on Edit, Select "Open" then
click on the Edit button below the list and change theApplication command
line to the Word Viewer path and filename ).
The main difference with "Melisa" is that it reads the user's email
address book and secretly sends email containing a DOC
file with the virus to dozens of people in your email address book - in
this way it can spread exponentially.
Apparently this can only happen at present if the address book is associated
with MS Outlook. However, now that
Melissa has been so successful others will probably try the same
approach with other email software such as Netscape. Another apparent development
is that Melissa disables the
anti-virus function that comes with Word 97. The whole problem would probably
have been avoided if more thought had gone into
the word processing and information management software in the first
The macros viruses are also a problem with Excel spreadsheets.
Notice: Users should not act solely on the basis of the material
contained in this document. Items contained in this document are
presented as possible solutions to problems but do not
constitute advice. In particular, no assurance can be given that
the possible solutions will work in every situation or that loss
of data will not occur. Always back-up data before trying to
rectify a problem.
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