- 27 Mar 14 About.com: Word Subject to New Remote Code Execution Attack (includes Macs)
- 27 Nov 12 SMH: Windows 8 sales flounder as critics pan clumsy interface - "a monster that terrorises poor office workers and strangles their productivity"
- 27 Nov 12 CSO: Malware RAT rides hoax news.com.au tsunami [threat] to Australia
[on New Years Eve] - a sad method of using fear to spread a computer
virus. Like earthquakes, tsunami cannot be accurately predicted.
- 7 Apr 12 SMH: Anti-virus can't keep up with threat onslaught.
- 11 May 11 Scientific American: Microsoft's Skype Deal Promises Video Chat for Windows Phones - it is buying voice and video communications provider Skype Global for $8.5 billion. Ominous!
- 23 Oct 10 NewSci: Stuxnet: the online front line
- a few lines of malicious computer code can trip electricity grids,
burn out power-station generators, pollute water supplies and sabotage
gas pipelines... It uses vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows to give an attacker remote control of the specialised factory-floor computers used to control industrial processes.
- 23 Jul 10 New Scientist: PC giant warns of hardware trojan
- Computer maker Dell is warning, according to The Register, that some
of its server motherboards have been delivered to customers carrying an
unwanted extra: computer malware...
- 3 Jun 10 About.com: Spyware Embedded in [Mac] Screen Saver Installer + Google Dumps Windows; Mac or Linux the Choice for New Hires - Google is dumping the Windows OS from all of its computing platforms due to security concerns.
- 27 May 10 BBC: Apple passes Microsoft to be biggest tech company
- 24 Apr 10 BBC: Security update hits Windows PCs - Thousands of PCs around the world have been paralysed by a security update that wrongly labelled part of Windows as a virus.
- 17 Jan 10 BBC: German government warns against using MS Explorer.
- 13 May 09 WP: Can I Recommend Internet Explorer 8? Should I? See the long list of user woes... note that a Coloured Tab add-on is available for Firefox.
- 28 Feb 09 WP: Microsoft: Attackers Target Unpatched Excel Flaw.
- 22 Jan 09 BBC: Windows worm trickery for Vista.
- 17 Dec 08 WP: Microsoft: Big Security Hole in All IE Versions.
- 31 Oct 08 WP: Data-Stealing Trojan Exploiting Just-Patched Windows Flaw.
- 3 Jun 08 BCS: Microsoft issues caution [over Safari bug]
- 4 May 08 PC World: Microsoft Backpedals on Windows Updates - Microsoft
has withdrawn Vista SP1 from automatic delivery in the wake of news
that XP SP3 can cause data corruption in business apps.
- 13 Jan 08 BBC: Warning on stealthy Windows virus
- Many are falling victim via booby-trapped websites that use
vulnerabilities in Microsoft's browser to install the attack code,
which steals login details for online bank accounts.
- 21 Sep 07 DownloadSquad: Microsoft allowing PC makers to offer XP downgrade from Vista.
- 18 May 07 WP: Samba developers quash serious bug - a popular way of allowing Windows clients to print and store files using a Linux or Unix machine.
- 12 Apr 07 WP: Critical Vista flaw...
- 7 Apr 07 Computerworld: Researchers question Vista security after ANI exploit - Microsoft Corp.'s failure to spot the animated cursor bug in Windows Vista
is, at best, a flag to hackers that old flaws may abound in the new
operating system, researchers said today. At worst, it's a
disconcerting sign that Vista's security-oriented development process
- 4 Mar 07 Günther Waldbauer: Demo of a web server for an Open Access 4 database
- access data directly from a DF file "In the next 2 weeks we provide
the Open Access Community with Write Support for databases under PHP..."
- 2 Mar 07 BBC: Net firms tackle Vista headache
Some old installation discs that simplify the task of configuring a PC
for broadband have refused to work on machines loaded with Vista...+ Falling into the Vista trap.
- 17 Feb 07 BBC: Home network security scrutinised + WP: The Dangers of Default Passwords [on routers]
- 15 Feb 07 BBC:
Microsoft fixes 20 security holes - Half of the patches in the update have been rated as critical
- 2 Feb 07 BBC: Vista has speech recognition hole.
- 31 Jan 07 Washington Post: At Microsoft, a Sad Software Lesson
- In my view, we lost our way," Vista's manager, Jim Allchin, wrote in
an e-mail (later posted online) to Microsoft founder Bill Gates and
chief executive Steve Ballmer. "I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft." (too credible to be true!)
- 31 Jan 07 PC World: Symantec warns of new zero-day Word attack
Until the vulnerability is patched, users should avoid opening unexpected Word documents.
- 18 Jan 07 WP: Do Away With HTML Based E-mail - Last week, Microsoft issued a patch to fix an extremely dangerous flaw in Windows that cyber crooks could use to break into your computer just by getting you to open an e-mail...
- 6 Jan 07 BBC: Security bug found in [Acrobat] PDF reader [Firefox and Internet Explorer Windows users are vulnerable] + Rivals battle for connected world [Microsoft Vs Apple]
- 21 Dec 06 BBC: Triple threat targets Word users - Users of older versions of Office are vulnerable...
- 8 Dec 06 New Scientist: Spam choking the internet again.
- 5 Dec 06 IT Wire: More problems with Vista final release?
- 18 Nov 06 PC World: Tips & Tweaks: Put Junk E-Mail in Its Place.
- 11 Nov 06 CPSC: Sony Recalls Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Previous Fires
- Fujitsu, Gateway, Sony and Toshiba notebook computers. About 340,000
batteries in USA (an additional 3,080,000 battery packs were sold
- 27 Oct 06 Scientific American (subs): Malware Goes Mobile - Computer viruses are now airborne, infecting mobile phones in every part of the globe.
- 19 Oct 06 SMH: Apple blames Microsoft for virus-infected iPods.
- 19 Oct 06 WP: Patches Available for Bluetooth Flaw [in Toshiba & Dell laptops]
- 13 Oct 06 waldbauer.com: Now hosts OA4 databases for web-serving purposes - see this site (in German)
- 3 Oct 06 BBC: Microsoft 'taking security risks'
- "Microsoft is stopping security firms from accessing the core of the
[Vista] operating system, called the kernel, and is therefore
preventing them from releasing third-party security add-ons." - unlike
Apple that uses a Unix core.
- 28 Sep 06 WP: Microsoft Issues Emergency Patch for IE Flaw - a flaw that hackers have been exploiting to install spyware on vulnerable computers.
- 10 Aug 06 WP: Microsoft Fixes 23 Security Flaws.
- 3 Aug 06 WP: Hijacking a Macbook [or PC] in 60 Seconds or Less - wireless insecurity.
- 28 Jul 06 WP: Password-Stealing Trojan Disguised as Firefox Extension + Mozilla Issues Security Updates for Firefox + Microsoft to Push Out IE7 as High Priority Update.
- 24 Jul 06 SMH: Microsoft warns about PowerPoint virus - CERT advice.
- 21 Jul 06 WP: Hacked Ad Seen on MySpace Served Spyware to a Million - An online banner advertisement that ran on MySpace.com and other sites over the past week used a Windows security flaw to infect more than a million users with spyware when people merely browsed the sites with unpatched versions of Windows...
- 14 Jul 06 WP: Adobe Issues [Acrobat] Security Update + Microsoft Patches 18 Security Flaws in Windows, Office.
- 7 Jul 06 The Register: Windows Genuine [Dis]advantage malware sighted - The Cuebot-K worm spreads via AOL instant messenger in the guise of WGA - thanks Stephen Withers.
- 6 Jul 06 BBC: Web perils advise switch to Macs. Security
threats to PCs with Microsoft Windows have increased so much that
computer users should consider using a Mac, says a leading security firm...
- 4 Jul 06 WP: Microsoft to End Support Of Old Windows Versions - Microsoft
will end support for Windows 98, Windows 98 Special Edition (SE) and
Windows Millennium Edition (ME). That means users of those versions
will no longer have the protection of software fixes issued by
Microsoft, potentially leaving them exposed to attack when hackers
exploit previously unknown flaws in the operating systems.
- 30 Jun 06 WP: Exploits Target Multiple Excel, IE Security Holes.
- 17 Jun 06 WP: Microsoft Warns of Attack Via Unpatched Excel Flaw.
- 12 Jun 06 SMH: 'Spy' revealed in Microsoft security tool.
- 31 May 06 WP: Fun With Java Updates + New Winamp Version Fixes Major Security Hole
- 25 May 06 WP: Critical Microsoft Patches Cause Havoc.
- 23 May 06 WP: Hackers Exploiting Unpatched Flaw in MS Word - Vulnerability tracking company Secunia rated the flaw "extremely critical," its most dire warning level.
- 15 May 06 CNet: 'Critical' Windows, Exchange fixes coming [Tuesday] - thanks Stephen Withers.
- 10 May 06 waldbauer.com: Demo of a web server for an Open Access 4 database. Access data from a DF file (try uploading your own file to test). Please give feedback to Günther Waldbauer.
- 5 May 06 WP: Duck, It's a Microsoft Patch - can prevent Word & Excel saving to My Documents! Microsoft advice.
- 2 May 06 WP: Two New IE Flaws Found.
- 26 Apr 06 WP: MS Office Flaws Ideal Tools for Targeted Attacks + MS Expands Anti-Piracy Program, Reissues Patch (spyware!)
- 30 Mar 06 WP: Non-Microsoft Patches Issued for [critical] IE Flaw - security experts have identified at least 200 Web sites that are being used to install password-stealing malware on Windows PCs when users merely visit one of the sites with IE. IE: Allowing Only Certain ActiveX Controls to Run in Internet Explorer (thanks Gregory and Sendal).
- 28 Mar 06 WP: Attacks on Unpatched IE Flaw Escalate.
More than 200 Web sites -- many of them belonging to legitimate
businesses -- have been hacked and seeded with code that tries to take
advantage of a unpatched security hole in Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser to install hostile code on Windows computers when users merely visit the sites.
- 24 Mar 06 SMH: Critical flaw bites IE browser .
- 15 Mar 06 WP: Apple Issues Another Mac Patch Bundle + Microsoft Patches: Two for Tuesday.
- 16 Feb 06 WP: Microsoft Issues 7 Patches
- Two of the patches fix "critical" problems that could allow the
propagation of an Internet worm that spreads on its own to vulnerable
PCs without any action on the part of the
- 9 Feb 06 WP: Microsoft
Anti-Virus Pricing Ripples? + Microsoft:
Another Critical IE Flaw + A
Time to Patch II: Mozilla + Spyware
Found Exploiting Winamp Flaw
- 3 Feb 06 BBC: Nasty
Nyxem virus set to strike - A Windows virus is set to
unleash its payload and start deleting files at midnight on 3 February.
- 2 Feb 06 Washington Post: Research:
Buggy, Flawed 'ActiveX' Controls Pervasive + Be
Careful With Winamp Links
- 7 Jan 06 BBC: Microsoft
rushes out Windows fix.
- 5 Jan 06 Yahoo: Microsoft
Prepares Patch for Windows
- 30 Dec 05 BBC: Sites
exploit Windows image
- 15 Dec 05 Washington Post: Opera Browser
Users Urged to Upgrade + Microsoft Patches
Critical Browser Flaw
- 7 Dec 05 Washington Post: Document Security
101 - embarassing metadata in public documents
- 25 Nov 05 BBC: Fake FBI
virus catches net users
- 19 Nov 05 Freedom-to-tinker: Not Again! Uninstaller
for Other Sony DRM Also Opens Huge Security Hole.
- 12 Nov 05 BBC:
[Windows] Viruses use
Sony anti-piracy CDs
- 8 Nov 05 BBC: Microsoft
warns of latest flaws - Three new security holes have been
highlighted by Microsoft
and users are urged to download patches.
- 4 Nov 05 Washington Post: Study
of Sony Anti-Piracy Software Triggers Uproar - File-Hiding
Technique [for Windows PCs] Alarms Security Researchers; Developer
- 18 Oct 05 Some
tips for using Filemaker Pro 8 - takes me back to 1985 and Open
- 18 Oct 05 CERT: Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer,
and Exchange Server Vulnerabilities (11 Oct 05) + Apple Mac
Products are Affected by Multiple Vulnerabilities (17 Aug 05)
- 18 Oct 05 SMH: More
Microsoft holes pending - security updates for Windows.
- 16 Aug 05 SMH: Zotob
worm hits Windows users.
- 10 Aug 05 Microsoft:
Security Bulletin Advance Notification - 15 Sep 05, at least one is
rated 'critical' - thanks Stephen
- 10 Aug 05 SMH: Spammer agrees to $9m settlement with Microsoft
- 28 Jul 05 CERT: Vulnerabilities
in Mozilla - upgrade to v1.7.10
- 19 Jul 05 SMH: Mozilla
patches Firefox flaws - The Mozilla Foundation has patched several
flaws in the Firefox browser and the Mozilla suite of
applications, and is advising users to upgrade.
- 6 Jul 05 Washington Post: Microsoft Warns of [another]
Browser Security Hole.
- 24 Jun 05 SMH: Landmark
case says Perth man sent 56 million emails - A Perth man dubbed a
spam king could face multimillion-dollar penalties in the first court
action taken underAustralia's Spam Act.
- 16 Jun 05 BBC: Microsoft warns of critical
flaws - updates to download
- 11 Jun 05 BBC:
Jackson suicide spam hides virus
- 11 Jun 05 Washington Post: 10
Patches Due Next Week + Apple's
Bushel of Critical Fixes.
- 2 Jun 05 BBC: Bagle virus
peril in empty e-mail
- 27 May 05 Washington Post: Before
You Buy That Anti-Spyware Program...
- 17 May 05 SMH: Sober
worm delivers Teutonic spam -A variant of the mass-mailing Sober worm is responsible for
the recent flood of spam in German
- 11 May 05 Washington Post: Apple
Releases iTunes Security Update + 'Extremely
Critical' Flaws Found in Netscape Browser.
- 11 May 05 BBC: Critical
flaws found in Firefox - Mozilla advice
- 6 May 05 BBC: IBM to axe
13,000 jobs worldwide
- 5 May 05 BBC: Ticket
trap snares Windows users (World Cup virus)
- 28 Apr 05 Washington Post:
'Extremely Critical' Flaws Found in Netscape Browser + Microsoft Releases Eight
Security Updates for Windows - The
TCP/IP flaw, and
another critical problem in Microsoft's Exchange e-mail software, are
extremely serious because they don't require any user interaction for
hackers to exploit them successfully...
- 8 Apr 05 Washington Post: Radio Silence on
Internet Attacks? - the company's DNS servers had been attacked
when employees began reporting that their Internet browsers were being
redirected to a Web site hawking generic Viagra and other prescription
- 1 Apr 05 (no joke!) SMH: eEye
finds more holes in Windows
- 18 Mar 05 BBC: Have
hackers recruited your PC? More than one million computers on the
net have been hijacked to attack websites and pump out spam and viruses.
- 10 Feb 05 BBC: Microsoft releases bumper
patches fixes some IE flaws + Warning over
Microsoft Word files (hidden edits)
- 25 Jan 05 Sophos: W32/Crowt-A
virus - The Crowt-A virus has a very sneaky way of
getting people to open its emails: the subject line, content and
names are lifted from CNN's
site - thanks Stephen Withers.
- 25 Jan 05 CERT: Microsoft Windows HTML Help
ActiveX Contol Cross-Domain Vulnerability + Multiple
Vulnerabilities in Microsoft
Windows Icon and Cursor Processing + Microsoft Windows LoadImage
API integer overflow + Windows XP SP2 HTML Help
Local Machine Zone Lockdown bypass + Multiple
Vulnerabilities in Microsoft
- 25 Jan 05 BBC: Microsoft backs down in EU
- 23 Dec 04 BBC: Santy
worm makes unwelcome visit - Search site Google has inadvertently
helped a worm hit thousands of websites.
- 15 Dec 04 ABC: New
Internet worm disguised as e-Christmas card
- Internet security experts have warned of a
new virulent email worm
particularly successful in infecting computers
as it is disguised as a multilingual electronic Christmas card.
- 10 Dec 04 NewSci: Banking
site hijacked by fraudsters
- 4 Dec 04 CNet: Microsoft
rushes out [another] critical IE
fix - thanks Stephen Withers.
- 30 Nov 04 BBC: Screensaver
tackles spam websites - spam them back!
- 30 Nov 04 About.com: Mac
vs PC - with links
Myths About Mac, Mac and PC: A
Guide to Peaceful Co-Existence and OS Shootout: OS X vs XP
- 26 Nov 04 Znet: It
can pay to criticise Microsoft.
- 26 Nov 04 NewSci: Sprawling
systems teeter on IT chaos + Spyware
floods PCs from a single web page
- 25 Nov 04 BBC: Hi-tech
tools fuel phishing boom + New browser
wins over net surfers + Urgent meeting
in Microsoft case
- 22 Nov 04: Snapshot of Open
Access 4 running in DOSBOX on a Mac. Use Radnor to launch
Dosbox in Mac OS X. Open Access 4 flys on
Powerbook. However, I haven't worked out how to print directly from
Open Access (have to save to file and print later from TextEdit). Also
there might be some maths errors in this version - try using OA
Calculator to check it .
- 20 Nov 04 BBC: Lazarus-like
virus hits computers
- 17 Nov 04 SMH: Critical
unpatched after 105 days.
- 16 Nov 04 BBC: Toxic web
links help virus spread+ Computer use
link to eye disease
- 11 Nov 04 BBC: Firefox
browser takes on Microsoft. Then there is good ol' Mozilla (formerly Netscape)
- 10 Nov 04 The Age: EU presses ahead with Microsoft case
- 5 Nov 04 Enterprise Security Today: Critical
Problem Reported [the bug] can be
exploited to cause a
buffer overflow via a malicious HTML document containing overly long
strings in the "SRC" and "NAME" attributes of the tag. Successful
exploitation of the error allows execution of arbitrary code.-
thanks Stephen Withers. CERT:
- 4 Nov 04 Annoyances.org: Windows
XP Forum for users' experiences with XP SP2. SP2
Halts 15% of Systems, Survey Says + How do I skip
the Product Activation in Windows XP? (you can't!)
- 4 Nov 04 SMH: Keeping an eye out for the Trojan Horse
- 30 Oct 04 BBC: Joke e-mail
virus tricks users - CERT: W32/Bagle
- 28 Oct 04 Consumer reports: DELL LAPTOP
ADAPTERS. Nearly 1 million laptop adapters have been
recalled because they could overheat, catch fire, and possibly give
users an electric shock + DELL INSPIRON
LAPTOP PROBLEM - performance slows when a certain security software
(XP2) is installed.
- 28 Oct 04 BBC: UK report says
Linux is 'viable' [alternative to Windows]
- 25 Oct 04 CERT: Multiple
Vulnerabilities in Microsoft
- 24 Oct 04 CNet: Secure your
wireless networks, or else (thanks Stephen Withers.)
- 21 Oct 04 BBC: Users
face new phishing threats - Some of the most sophisticated phishing
e-mail messages refer people to sites that look exactly the same as the
website of whichever financial firm or online company they are
targeting... sophisticated attacks could catch out up to 50% of people.
Statistics show that a maximum of 3% of people fall victim to current
phishing e-mail attacks.
- 19 Oct 04 WorldTechNews: The internet will collapse
in 2006 (from too much spam!)
- 19 Oct 04 SMH: Nigerian
[email] scam fools financial adviser.
- 15 Oct 04 CERT: Multiple
vulnerabilities in Mozilla products - you probably need to update
to the latest verison (eg Mozilla 1.7.3)
- 13 Oct 04 SMH: A new
king of the block [Spam] + Origin of the term
"spam" to mean net abuse - Monty Python's
- 26 Sep 04 BBC: Virus
writers focus on [Windows
jpeg] image bug - see CERT: Microsoft Windows JPEG
component buffer overflow
- 20 Sep 04 NewSci: [Windows] Software bug raises
spectre of 'JPEG of death'
- 20 Aug 04 ABC: New Microsoft security flaws found
- 13 Aug 04 BBC: Concerns
over key Windows update - Some users are reporting problems when
installing a major security update for Windows XP. For example,
Command virus protection must be updated before the Windows update.
- 7 Aug 04 Bill Bramble: Today I will put on
eBay the Software Products International Open Access III Language
Calls Reference manual for sale, there may be some people who would
like to advance OA to better fields and as this manual is not available
today and was US$1000 to purchase at the time of release. I thought his
book is of value to anyone that may appreciate OA in the way that you
and I do, could use this tool.
- 4 Aug 04 BBC: Net virus
posing as Berg video + PCs hijacked
to spew spam
- 3 Aug 04 BBC: Microsoft
fixes big browser bug. The software giant has released a fix for a
serious security hole in its Internet
- 31 Jul 04 Consumer Reports (USA): Faulty
memory could cause laptops to crash - Memory
modules in 900,000 Compaq and HP laptop
computers have a flawed circuit design that could cause the computer to
freeze intermittently... installed on
laptops sold from March 2002 to July 2003.
- 29 Jul 04 BBC: New
virus exploits MyDoom success.
- 16 Jul 04 BBC: Microsoft
warns of critical flaws [in IE
- 5 Jul 04 Daily Telegraph: Net
virus could cause chaos - The [Outlook] mass mailer worm,
dubbed Evaman, has been likened to the MyDoom worm...messages carrying
the virus usually had subject headings like "failed transaction" and
- 26 Jun 04 BBC: Web
browser flaw prompts warning- IE vulnerability.
- 16 Jun 04 SMH: First
mobile phone virus strikes + Spam
king agrees to stop sending unwanted email
- 14 Jun 04 BBC: Microsoft races to deter
hackers - hazard from clicking on "malicious" web links. So do you
click on the BBC link??
- 5 Jun 04 BBC: [Windows] Worm [Korgo]
eyes up credit card details + Modern gadgets
raise work stress
- 4 Jun 04 BBC: Potter-mania
fuels pesky virus - The Netsky.P [Windows] worm is enjoying a
resurgence by disguising itself as a Potter game...
- 1 Jun 04 The Age: Why Windows is a security
nightmare + Mac's
great red hope.
- 25 May 04 BBC: Apple
tackles Mac security flaw.(Safari)
- 19 Apr 04 SMH: The
claws of the jungle - Cyber jungle laws mean Jaguar and Panther
must give way to the Tiger (Mac OS 10.4 on
- 7 May 04 SMH: Microsoft revs up PC
protection - People should treat their computers like cars,
updating protection programs
as regularly as they fill up with petrol, according to Microsoft
Australia. People should treat MS products with caution!
- 4 May 04 BBC: Sasser
net worm disruption grows - A Finnish bank and Taiwan's post office
are the latest casualties of a virus attacking Microsoft computers.
- 25 Mar 04 BBC: Microsoft
hit by record EU fine.
- 4 Mar 04 TerraDaily: Wave
of viruses, worms sweep cyberspace: experts.
- 3 Mar 04 Yahoo: For Windows
Users, 'Browser Hijacking' Is Only the Latest Threat + Broken Windows: Will Your PC Ever Be
Secure? + File
Sharing Vulnerability Discovered in Mac OS X
- 3 Mar 04 SecurityFocus: Knock, Knock, Knock
- Windows email
- 27 Feb 04 BBC: More
virus misery for mail users - Three new viruses are causing
headaches for people using Windows
computers...Bizex worm that travels via ICQ + Hackers
exploit Windows patches.
- 22 Feb 04 Yahoo: Netsky.B
Tunnels Through Windows
- 12 Feb 04 BBC:
'Protect PCs' Microsoft
users told - another security patch
- 11 Feb 04 MS: Vulnerability
in Virtual PC for Mac - security update for Virtual PC running Windows
- 30 Jan 04 BBC: Virulent
worm targets Microsoft
- A new strain of the Mydoom worm could spread more widely than its
predecessor warn experts.
- 28 Jan 04 SMH: Latest
[Windows] e-mail virus
spreads fast - one of its messages reads:
"The message contains Unicode characters and has been sent as a binary
- 20 Jan 04 BBC: Bagle
virus hides as calculator - Many
people in Australia look like they have been caught out by the [Windows] virus
- 14 Jan 04 BBC: Windows 98
wins support lifeline
- 4 Dec 03 Apple: Mac OS X
10.3: Firewall Unavailable After (Panther) Upgrade Installation
- 8 Nov 03 BBC: Users
face malicious web attacks - Virus attacks on computers which do
damage through HTML in e-mails and websites are set to increase, says a
security expert. These security threats exploit vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Internet Explorer
- 29 Oct 03 BBC: New
Windows virus hits computers + First
look at future of Windows + Panther -
Apple update to OS X.
- 17 Oct 03 BBC: Microsoft
warns of 'critical' flaws - Software giant Microsoft has warned of seven
security flaws in its programs, describing five as "critical" + Odd
mishaps cause computer grief - data disasters
- 20 Sep 03 BBC: Virus
poses as Microsoft update. A Windows virus masquerading as
a security update from Microsoft is spreading via e-mail
- 12 Sep 03 BBC: Windows
faces fresh web worm woe - Microsoft has discovered new
vulnerabilities in Windows
- 20 Aug 03 BBC: New
computer virus hits inboxes Sobig
F spreads by e-mail and by exploiting unsecured network links between Windows PCs. (this is
another Word virus that
sender address at random - someone is sending out infected emails with
my address!) + Apple
fans snap up 'fastest' Mac.
- 16 Aug 03: Microsoft have taken over Virtual
PC for Mac - errgh!
- 15 Aug 03 NZ Herald: Spammers hit below men's belts - NZ
spammer named - get back at him!? Try
to remove your name from one annoying list here.
- 15 Aug 03 BBC: Wiping
out the web worm + Designer's
dream desk for i[Mac]-things
- 12 Aug 03 BBC: Worm blasts
the web - seems that people didn't heed the previous warning about
a Windows flaw! CERT advice.
- 25 Jul 03 BBC: 'Critical'
flaw found in Windows - Microsoft is warning about a severe
flaw that affects many people who use Windows.
Another good reason to switch to Apple!
- 16 May 03 SciAm: Self-Repairing Computers
- 13 May 03 BBC: Sneaky
spreading rapidly. The mass-mailing worm, dubbed Fizzer, is rapidly
computers using the Windows operating system.
- 11 May 03 BBC: Flaw
exposes Microsoft ID service.[MSN
- 5 May 03 BBC: Experts
junk e-mail. + Students get
iPods as study aids.
- 8 Apr 03: Check the screen snapshot. Open
Access 4 running in a window of Windows 98 running in a
window of OS X on an iMac? Yes I have abandoned WINTEL and
bought an Apple. All my old DOS and Windows programs are
running fine and I have all the advantages of the OS X system (a STABLE
unix-based platform). The iMac will talk to WINTEL PCs on a LAN
but I needed to buy a router in
order to have both a cable modem and the LAN working (as I would have
with a WINTEL LAN and a cable modem linked by Ethernet). The router has
cable and wireless
support and so now I can wander around the office with my laptop
and stay linked to the LAN - including data on the iMac. My advice is
that if you are thinking of upgrading to Windows
XP then have a serious
look at the eMac and iMac instead. Add Virtual PC
(~AU$400) and install your old (unused) Windows (95-XP) and you
have a system able to run that "legacy" sofware. You have a
choice of running Microsoft Office (again your old unused
version) under the Virtual Windows or upgrading to the superior
for OS X (on special ~AU$400). It will read and write files
that are fully compatible with WINTEL Office. Why write this today?
Well my old WINTEL PC crashed again and I had to do a c: drive restore using Norton Ghost. Mac OS X
- 28 Mar 03 BBC: Government
crackdown on spam.
- 19 Mar 03 BBC: Software bug
bites US military - a flaw in Microsoft's
Windows 2000 operating system ... A server operated by the US
Army has already been attacked via the security hole.
- 6 Mar 03 NewSci: Email
security flaw triggers global worm watch.
- 4 Feb 03 BBC: Aggressive
bug makes history - The bug targeted a known flaw in Microsoft's SQL database software.
- 31 Dec 02 Nature: Browsers go back
to the future - Computer
redesigned the way the back button works so that it really can retrace
Internet steps. They have replaced the current stacking system, which
records index pages, with one that records every page in the order it
visited. [Of course, in the days when pages couild be cached, this
was what happened. Now that most fancy web pages are created on the fly
the caching no longer works efficiently.]
- 31 Dec 02 BBC: Viruses hit
new highs - 2002 saw lots of new harmful programs
- 21 Nov 02 ABC: Software
- each year bugs in software costs the US economy about $60 US
- 28 Oct 02: Quick reference guide for
JVC DVL series digital video cameras.(16K PDF)
- 18 Oct 02: OpenAccess in a
Novell Network and WinXP Workstations - tip from Alfred Unkrig
- 4 Oct 02 Command.com: W32/Bugbear.A@mm
Worm - a mass-mailing worm that arrives as an email
attachment with a randomly generated name. The subject line and
the message body of an infected email are also randomly chosen,
making this worm potentially hard to identity. The email message
may contain an exploit that allows the attachment to run automatically
when infected mail is viewed; a patch for
this vulnerability is available on the Microsoft site
- 6 Jul 02: Netscape
7.0 - tips and release notes.
- 28 Jun 02 Opinion by Michael Paine: There is a sinister
development with web page designs that are becoming less and less
friendly to Netscape Communicator. The web designers reply that
Netscape users comprise less than 5% of surfers these days. I am not so
that figure, but that attitude is equivalent to a retail store denying
access to customers who are left handed. In case of web pages the trend
seems to be to have fancy web pages pages (that unfortunatley won't
so take ages to reload via modem). My bet is that the most frequently
link in the world is now "Skip intro" when those annoying home pages
- 3 Jun 02 BBC: Watch
out Windows? - Linux fights back!
- 28 May 02 Command.com: Jdbgmgr.exe
- The hoax email refers to the file "jdbgmgr.exe", a legitimate
can be found in your system directory. If you receive an email with an
named "jdbgmgr.exe", it may be an actual virus.
- 17 May 02: Please tell us
your experiences with using OA or any DOS software under WIN2000.
- 21 Apr 02: W32/Klez.H@mm
("Klez") virus. Another virus that exploits Outlook.
The email subject and message can vary. Also it seems to be able to
create a SENDER from the address book! See Semantec
- 9 Apr 02 BBC: Why
one spam could cost £35 - A 2001 survey by the European
Commission estimates that spam costs consumers an estimated $8.8bn a
year worldwide just in connection costs.
- 31 Mar 02 Tip: To check and manage all those programs
that load when you start Windows 98+:
Programs/Accessories/System Tools/System Information
Tools/ System Configuration Utility/ Startup(tab).
The same utility can be loaded from Microsoft Word (Help/About/System
Information) (but not if you have WIN95)
You can also view WIN.INI and other files with this utility (or "Run"
- 29 Jan 02 CERT: W32/Myparty
Malicious Code -
The .com is NOT an internet address -
it is a malicous executable file that affects (infects) systems running
Microsoft Windows. Update 30 Jan - BBC
on to it!
SUBJECT: new photos from my party!
- 18 Jan 02 BBC: Microsoft
to tackle security failings - Bill Gates has declared war on Microsoft's insecure software.
- 10 Jan 02 BBC: Viruses
get flashy - Websites that use animation software to create
flashing graphics have become the latest target of virus writers.
Anti-virus firm Sophos has received a virus that infects Macromedia's
- 7 Jan 02: Block those annoying
- 24 Dec 01 ABC: 'Happy
New Year' computer virus heading for Australia - A new virus
which targets Microsoft Outlook and Outlook
Express users could be heading for Australia. Reezak, which
first appeared in Europe, appears in in-boxes with the subject line
"Hi" and a message that reads "I can't describe my feelings, but all I
can say is Happy New Year." Command.com: Keyluc virus.
- 24 Dec 01 BBC: Fix
your Windows, says Microsoft - Microsoft is urging users of its
new Windows XP operating system to
download a fix for a serious security hole.
- 21 Dec 01 Command.com:
Christmas.exeOutlook worm Subject:
Happy New Year.
- 20 Dec 01 BBC: Microsoft
closes browser holes - Microsoft has issued a patch for
"critical" security holes in its popular Internet
Explorer browser. The software giant said that people
should apply the patch "immediately" to protect themselves against
malicious hackers. Patch
- 10 Dec 01: The last ever Australian Open Access User Group
meeting (well - party!) will be held at Judy Jeffery's house tomorrow
night (Tue 11/12) from 6pm. Despite the end of formal meetings we plan
to keep this website going indefinitely so keep an eye out for User
- 5 Dec 01 BBC: Goner
virus causing e-mail havoc - seems to be another Outlook problem.
- 28 Nov 01 BBC: BadTrans
computer virus strikes - attempts to spread by exploiting
weaknesses in Microsoft e-mail programs. Apparently
just opening the email is enough to get infected.
- 27 Oct 01 BBC: XP
keeps consumers guessing - consumers may balk at paying for XP
because it offers them little that they do not do already...Windows XP, even more than earlier versions of
the operating system, is a resource hog...so far Microsoft has not
provided much information about which older programs will work with
Windows XP. As yet it is unclear whether files and documents created
using older versions of software packages will work with the new
version of Windows.
- 25 Oct 01 BBC: Microsoft's
XP extends reach - Some of the most virulent viruses of recent
months, such as Code Red, have exploited weaknesses in programs that
run on NT and other versions of Windows.
A personal firewall is included with XP, but it is not yet clear how
is. Microsoft's seeming inability to produce secure programs
could foil its grand strategy. Already the US Computer Incident
Advisory Capability has warned about the security
problems of XP.
- 23 Oct 01 Scientific American: When did
the term 'computer virus' arise? + VMyths.com
- 15 Oct 01 CERT: Automatic
Execution of Macros - An intruder can include a specially
crafted macro in a Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint
document that can avoid detection and run automatically regardless of
the security settings specified by the user. NOTE:A similar exploit exists for Microsoft Word,
however the Microsoft Security patch available in Microsoft Security
Bulletin MS01-034 for Steven McLeod's Microsoft Word macro exploit also
protects against this exploit. Symantec urges all Microsoft Word users,
who have not applied the patch in MS01-34, immediately download and
patch as well for maximum protection.
- 28 Sep 01 Request from Alfred
Unkrig: Have you any Information about the File Header Structure
and the Table Structure of OA IV?
It would be of great help. Our intention is to write a new Converter
IV /.df,.if,.mf to dBase Level 7. Furthermore you may know of any
existing Converter from OA IV to dBase level 3 or Paradox (.db). Thanks
for any Information.
- 26 Sep 01: Zip files (see downloads) updated to a more recent verison of
(now supported by WINZIP). The previous versions were created using
and may have caused difficulties.
- 25 Sep 01 CERT: Hidden file extensions can disguise viruses. I
was wondering why some email attachments have odd extensions with two
dots such as xxxx.htm.vbs. It turns out they are exploiting yet another flaw in MS Windows. When you select
the Windows Explorer preference to "show file extensions" not all are
shown. This can disguise a virus-containing attachment. To fix the
problem see this advice from
- 19 Sep 01Commaand.com: W95/Nimda.A@mm
is a new mass-mailing internet worm that is spreading
rapidly around the world. It proliferates as an attachment named
"readme.exe"; it also has the ability to spread using Internet
Information Server (IIS). Also SMH:
"Computers can also be infected if users visit a corrupted website" (apparently
it exploits a weakness in MS Internet Explorer
that automatically runs the attachment - this may be why the virus is
spreading so effectively) Update 20 Sep: See also CERT advice:
Due to a vulnerability any mail software running on an
x86 platform that uses Microsoft Internet
Explorer 5.5 SP1
or earlier (except IE 5.01 SP2) to render the HTML mail automatically runs the enclosed attachment and,
as result, infects the machine with the worm. Thus, in vulnerable
configurtions, the worm payload will
automatically be triggered
by simply opening (or previewing) this mail message. As an
executable binary, the payload can also be triggered by simply running
the attachment. CERT/CC recommends that end
- 5 Sep 01 Command.com:
is a mass mailing internet worm written in Visual Basic. It arrives as
attachment to an email that contains the following information:
Subject: As per your request!
Message: Please find attached file for your review.
I look forward to hear from you again very soon. Thank you.
- 14 Aug 01: Meeting tonight at Judy Jeffery's house. One
topic will be firewalls!
- 14 Aug 01 BBC: Hackers
make house calls - see 9 Aug 01 below (ZoneAlarm). Usually
intention is to infect the PC with a
- 10 Aug 01 ABC: Quantum
computing a leap closer. See our article.
- 9 Aug 01: The Sircam
virus (or a variant) seems to be sweeping around Europe at present.
I am receiving many large, infected emails from Europe. Take care!
Check out ZoneAlarm firewall
software (free for personal use - you will be amazed at how many
attempts there are to breach your PC each hour!).
- 4 Aug 01: New UK website
dedicated to Open Access.
- 30 Jul 01 BBC: Internet's
'very real' virus threat - Yet another breach of Microsoft
security. Code Red exploits a vulnerability in internet server software from
Microsoft on the companies NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 operating
systems. Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows Me users are not affected.Command.com
- 25 Jul 01 BBC: Sircam
virus steals files. Not just Outlook! Command.com advice.
This is becoming rampant and is sending
huge files to random sites!
- 9 Jun 01: Next meeting on 12 June at Judy's.
- 9 Jun 01: Miss World
Virus. Yet another Outlook worm virus
for the gullible!
- 31 May 01Command.com:
Hoax virus encourages you to delete an important Windows system file
- 17 May 01: Request from Peter Schmidt (email) "Does
anyone have a copy of the installation disks for Open Access II? I'd
to view some old files, however my OA II disks have errors on them,
being so old and all. If you've got them and are willing to zip them up
e-mail them tome, I'd be much appreciated"
- 10 May 01 ABC: New
Internet (Homepage) virus spreading quickly around the world. See Command.com.
Subject: Homepage / Message: You've got to see this page!
It's really cool ;0) / Attachment: homeepage.HTML.vbs. When this
attachment is double clicked, the worm is executed and will email a
copy of itself to every recipient in Outlook's
- 10 May 01 DFP: Leave it
(your PC) on or turn it off? The answer is still elusive.
- 6 May 01 BBC: Computers
burnt by CD software - Computers users have been warned about
installing the latest version of one of the most popular CD recording
programs. The latest version of Easy CD Creator is causing
significant problems for computers using the Windows 2000 operating
system. The patch.
- 3 May 01 BBC: Microsoft
warns of 'serious' software hole (Windows 2000 server software).
paper clips attack (from May 2000!) - Security experts
have found a security hole that could be used by malicious hackers to
subvert the paper clip and turn it
against users. Tip: to permanently get rid
of the paper clip rename the Actors sub-directory in the Microsoft
Office/Office folder to, say, XACTORS.
- 14 Apr 01: More great tips
for printing from DOS applications under WIN98. From Steve Hayes,
UK. Overcome partial printouts and missing pages.
- 13 Apr 01 Command.com: Virus alert - W95/BadTrans.A@mm.
W95/BadTrans.A@mm is a mass-mailing internet worm with a remote access
trojan component. When executed, the worm makes a copy of itself named
puts it into the Windows directory. It also drops the trojan file,
"kern32.exe", and a keylogger DLL, named "hksdll.dll", into the Windows
System directory. When this process is complete, an "Install Error"
box with the message "File data corrupt: probably due to bad
or bad disk access" will be displayed. The next time the computer is
the worm will use MAPI to reply to all unread email messages by sending
itself as an attachment.
- 6 Apr 01: Article
about using Ghost to backup up a partition (posted June 2000 but
mentioned in the latest newsletter - due out next week). Also backup tips from Peter Freeman.
- 5 Apr 01 New Scientist:
Smart buffer - A common write error which trashes CDs is solved.
- Software that turns everyday language into computer code could make
- 4 Apr 01 DISPI:
Open Access we feel ourselves obligated to port the Open Access database standard towards the windows
environment. We made an earlier attempt with OAWinBase
however we think it is a lot easier for Open Access users all around
the world to work with old DF/IF/SMK/PMK structures of the good old
Open Access with no conversions needed. Therefore our development team
is working on a way to work with the old structures of Open Access.
We will produce a new Open Access standard called NOAH.
- 2 Apr 01 SMH: Glitch
Explorer browser - Microsoft warned customers that its Internet Explorer Web browser had a security flaw
that could allow hackers to run programs on another user's computer.
glitch causes Internet Explorer to automatically open specially coded
attachments in email without warning, possibly unleashing programs that
could do anything from sending users a harmless message to deleting
files from their computers, the software company warned. Microsoft has
developed a patch that can be downloaded from its Web site.
- 23 Mar 01 The Age: Mac's
new system here at last - More from Apple - software
- 7 Mar 01 AusABC: Destructive
"naked wife" email virus rapidly infecting US computers - Recipients
get an email that says: "My wife never looks like that" and it contains
an attachment, NakedWife.exe, that activates the virus when clicked. Commandcom
- 21 Feb 01: OA4
Forum - Waldbauer Buerotechnik
- 13 Feb 01: Meeting tonight at Judy Jeffery's house. Sorry
there was no newsletter for the December meeting (we partied!).
Great tip from Keith O'Donnell
Get rid of the instant print icon in Word and Excel
and display the pop-up print window like every sensible Windows
Select View / Toolbars / Customize / Commands (tab). Scroll down the
list of icons and find the print icon with 3 dots next to it (
icon...). Drag this icon to your menu bar next to the current print
icon. Now click on the old print icon and simply drag it off the menu
bar. You can do the same for the New File icon.
- 13 Feb 01 Yahoo: "Onthefly"
Worm Uses Anna Kournikova Ruse.
- 5 Feb 01 The Australian: Now
where did I put my mouse? - PCs can cause memory los XXX loose XXX
- 3 Feb 01 ABC: Internet
users spend a fortune on 'spam' Internet users world-wide are
believed to be unwittingly paying $20 billion a year in
connection costs to receive junk e-mail, or "spam".
- 27 Jan 01: Back issues of meeting
notes added (Feb, Apr, Jun and Oct 2000)
- 27 Jan 01: Need to repartition a hard disk without
reformatting? Have a look at Partition Manager from Paragon Software. Allows you to
one large partition (drive) into smaller ones. Limited demo version
- 19 Jan 01 BBC: Linux
virus infection fears.
- 9 Dec 2000: German Open Access
Online Support Forum updated.
- 27 Nov 2000: More on the vicious MTX
virus. Advice from Command Software
- ...a trojan file named "Mtx_.exe" is dropped in the Windows
directory, and the following registry key (which runs the trojan each
time Windows reboots) is created:
If it detects that an e-mail is being sent, it will
immediately send a second e-mail to the same recipient. The second
has no subject and no body; merely an attachment which is
picked from a list of names within the code (the list below plus
- all ending with PIF or SCR)
- 23 Nov 2000: New
virulent virus spreading fast. Command
Software Systems, Inc. today (www.commandcom.com) warned the public
that the software virus known as W95/MTX is
spreading more quickly and has the capacity to block users from going
to certain anti-virus software vendor Web sites thus preventing access
to updates. As a result, users are not able to access the solutions to
protect themselves from this and future virus threats.
W95/MTX is a virus, worm, backdoor access Trojan that
arrives through email as an attachment, and has a variety of decoy file
names. Once launched, itcan wipe out files and be difficult to remove.
Some of the file names being reported to entice the user to
open the virus program include README.TXT.pif, I_wanna_see_YOU.TXT.pif,
NEW_NAPSTER_site.TXT.pif., and I_am_sorry.DOC.pif.
Note that PIF and SCR extension
files might not be scanned by anti-virus software under default
- 31 Oct 2000 IT Australia: Fight
for rights, MS users urged. Windows 2000 licensing and support
policies were too complex and confusing...Microsoft's
decision to dump support for Windows 95...
- 31 Oct 2000 HP: HP
All-in-one products such as the Officejet 635 can cause a freeze/lock
up when changing the printer setup from within an application (for
example changing from portrait to landscape within Word 97 or Ami Pro).
HP suggest changing the printer setup before loading the application!
Also WIN98 needs the latest GDI.EXE (version 4.10.2222) available with
Office 97 SR2 The upgrades can be downloaded from Microsoft's Web
pages at: http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/articles/sr1fact.htmhttp://officeupdate.microsoft.com/articles/sr2howtoget.htm
- 30 Oct 2000 New Scientist: Cracked
code: Microsoft's HQ may have been infiltrated by a trojan horse virus
only Microsoft had read our posting on 30 Sep!
- 30 Oct 2000: The MS patch (see 19 July) for Sydney Daylight
Saving to cope with the Olympics kindly put my system clock forward
an hour again today. Check your PC clock!
- 30 Sep 2000: New worm virus QAZ.
Replaces c:\windows\NOTEPAD.EXE with a worm version that spreads over
networks. Adds a line to the Windows Registry auto-start section (see
example). To remove it you need to replace NOTEPAD.EXE with a clean
copy. You can't do this if the worm is active in memory. To prevent it
loading into memory run REGEDIT.EXE and find the section shown. Right
click on StartIE and select delete, then reboot the PC. To be alerted
if the PC is reinfected try changing the attributes of the clean copy
of NOTEPAD.EXE to 'read
only' (find it with Windows Explorer, right click and select
Top of page
- 12 Sep 2000: Scientific American: The
- 30 Aug 2000 SMH: Palm-top
virus may be only the beginning. Also ABC
- 12 Aug 2000: New German support forum site: Waldbauer Bürotechnik
- 9 Aug 2000: June Newletter now online.
Dozens of tips for using MS Word.
- 19 Jul 2000: Microsoft has a
patch for WIN95/98 to cope with the daylight savings changes for
- 8 Jun 2000 BBC: Has
Microsoft stifled innovation? But the history of the PC shows
that very few innovations originated within Microsoft. All the
software giant has done is roll them into its operating systems and
drive their popularity - often to the detriment of the companies that
did invent them. "We're convinced that innovation will be greatly
enhanced and improved if Microsoft's heavy hand of monopoly is removed
from the industry,"
- 27 May 2000: New virus - Mellisa.BG email
for this email is "Resume - Janet Simons" and it will contain: Attached
is my resume...
- 22 May 2000: ShutDownPlus
allows you to run programs before Windows shuts down.
- 17 May 2000 BBC: At last!
locks out viruses - Microsoft is to close down some of
the functions in its popular e-mail program Outlook
to try to prevent computer viruses causing havoc. The company has been
criticised for allowing Outlook to accept and run almost anything
mail messages. This can help viruses to spread.
- 10 May 2000: Tips for
setting up a HP Officejet 635 (all-in-one) as a network printer.
- 5 May 2000: If you receive an e-mail containing the
following information, delete it, do not open it:
News and Command.com
Body: "kindly check the attached LOVELETTER coming from me."
- 9 Mar 2000 ExoScience: DNA computer
solves chess problem - told you so!
- 27 Feb 2000: OA slow to load on fast Pentiums - Tip from Frank Doevendans - to instantly load
OA press PAUSE then ESC!
- 22 Feb 2000 ABC: Wobbler
virus a hoax - "This is an e-mail hoax, a bad sort of joke. It
is not a virus -- please do not distribute this to others"
- 31 Jan 2000: Tips for WIN95
networks and swapping hard disks
- 16 Jan 2000: Following several inquiries I have added
a Runtime version of Open Access to the Freeware page. This has a
built-in function to convert OA databases to
dBase. See Freeware.
- 2 Jan 2000: For Y2K advice about Open Access and general PC
tips see our Y2K page. PCs with
"motherboards" older than 1997 are likely to get the date wrong each
time they start. The cheapest fix is the add the line DATE to
AUTOEXEC.BAT. The computer will then prompt you for the date each time
it starts (like the original IBM PC did!).
- 2 Jan 2000: New Java Script virus
spread as an email attachment. At this stage it is a nuisance rather
threatening but it is a sign of things to come with yet another security breach. The following is
from Commandcom.com: VBS/The_Fly
e-mail is "Funny Thing" and the body text reads: "If you ride a
motorcycle, close your mouth. :)" If the attached file (The_Fly.chm) is
user will first be prompted to allow ActiveX. If denied, the worm will
then display a message stating: "The picture couldn't be
shown. ActiveX wasn't allowed, please reload and select to use it.". If
ActiveX is allowed it will then display a picture and text: "If
ride a motorcycle, close your mouth. :)" The worm then copies
to the Windows and Windows System directories as The_Fly.CHM and
respectively. It then creates the file, MSJSVM.JS in the Windows
- 12 Nov 1999: BBC report on a new
email virus "Bubbleboy" - not yet in the wild but potentially
BubbleBoy exploits a security flaw in
Microsoft’s ActiveX technology - Microsoft has issued a security
patch for Internet Explorer
- 3 Nov 1999: Tips on
Hyperlinks in MS Access added
- 5/10/1999: The HAPPY99.EXE
virus is doing the rounds! It attaches itself to your outgoing email.
- 25/9/1999: Another email virus hoax circulating "Wobble".
"Please ignore these messages and don't pass them on"
- 25/9/1999: PEERNET.DRV
BMP is a universal file (printer) driver that converts Windows
documents into high quality, serialized BMP files. It adds
a new driver to your WIN95/98 list of printers and, if you choose to
print any document or report with this "printer", it creates BMP
files on disk (1 for each page of printout). Great for distributing
coloured reports from MS Access or Excel. Why did MS provide a
fax driver in WIN95 but not this sensible/useful utility?
On the evening of Tuesday 24 August there will be a special workshop covering conversion of Open Access
databases to Microsoft Access (97). Bookings essential - email Michael Paine or phone
O'Donnell on 02 96532602.
- 11/8/1999: Meeting notes from 10 August are in preparation
and will cover an introduction to MS Access by Keith O'Donnell. One
Windows tip from Keith that can't wait - to deselect highlighted text
in a cell (such as an Access table or Excel cell) press the F2 key. You can then edit the item rather than
replace it. Saves tedious use of the mouse to edit an item.
- 17/6/1999: Web links page revised
into major categories.
- 12/6/1999: As predicted, another virus has appeared that
utilises the slack security of Microsoft Outlook The virus is in
a file called ZIPPED_FILES.EXE that is attached to email with the
words "Hi [Recipient Name!] I received your email and I will send
you a reply ASAP.Till then, take a look at the attached zipped
has more details and a fix
( http://www.commandcom.com/html/virus/explorezip.html ).
The WIN95 Open File window is pretty useless. Try this shareware
- Draft meeting notes for 8 June 1999
available. Suggestion that the August meeting be a workshop on converting Open Access
databases to MS Access. Also Shane Trengrove's tips for memo fields and
a warning about the Ginger virus.
- Tip of the year!? Do find the
Office Assistant (paperclip animation) in Office 97 intrusive,
unhelpful and annoying? See how to get the old help system back with these tips
(one way is to rename the /Program Files/MSOffice/Actors sub-directory
to, say, ACTORSX). Other PC tips
from the same site.
- Apr 99: Notes for April 99 meeting
- Mar 99: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 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". Another trick is to set Word
as your default program when you open a DOC file from email or Windows
Explorer (for some tips see April 99 meeting
notes). Word Viewer/Word Pad does not run the autoexec macro that
causes the problems (see the Microsoft
site for more tips on Word Viewer).
The main difference with "Melissa" 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
that comes with Word 97. The whole problem would probably have been
if more thought had gone into the word processing and information
management software in the first place!
For corporations the timing is disasterous - with April Fool's Day this
week there will be plenty of false alarms. Here is an official
description of the virus: "W97M/Melissa.A is a macro virus that is
currently in the wild reported March 26, 1999). It infects Word 97 and
Word 2000 documents. It is spread via the Microsoft Outlook e-mail
address book." See Command.comfor
- Mar 99: Alfred Unkrig from Germany (email) has noticed
that compiled applications sometimes give problems if there is a
duplicate data file name lower in the searching order. He is
using PREVIEW rather than VIEW in his code and is wondering whether
other users have experienced this problem.
- Notes for Feb 99 meeting available
- using VAR c-call for calcs in PMKs, dependent fields, Bubblejet
printer drivers ...
- Guenther Waldbauer from Austria added to the list of OA Consultants - website currently only
- None of the utilities that come with WIN95 seem to have a
facility to search for text within a file. The WIN95 DOS has a FIND
command that doesn't seem to work properly. Michael Paine has
successfully used the NWDOS FIND command instead (this useful command
by Lindy Kidman a few years ago). The file and tips are in FINDTEXT.ZIP.
- Tip from Marc Sapper: to display the day of the week in a
screen mask or print mask, created a Dependent Field with the following:
The '\' is modulus. replace "testdate" with the name of the date field
you are evaluating. Don't ask why Wednesday is zero! (well...
since you were wondering, OA's day "one" 1 Jan 1948 is a Thursday)
LINKDATE program (written at an OA
in 1991) updated to cope with Year 2000+
- Tips for running Xtree
under WIN95 plus 32-bit lookalikes.
- GEMFIND shareware for locating
gemstones in Australia. Visual Basic program.
- Dec 99:The US Navy has introduced "Smart
with PCs running Windows NT. Quote: The controversy began when the
USS Yorktown, a guided-missile cruiser that was the first to be
outfitted with Smart Ship technology, suffered a widespread system
the coast of Virginia in September last year. After a crew member
mistakenly entered a zero into the data field of an application, the
computer system proceeded to divide another quantity by that zero. The
operation caused a buffer overflow, in which data leak from a temporary
in memory, and the error eventually brought down the ship's propulsion
system. The result: the Yorktown was dead in the water for more than
two hours. (Update: apparently the system was in an "unorthodox"
state at the time)
- F-Prot/Command Anti-virus dealership change. Wayne Sharp
from PSI - Command, Melbourne is now the dealer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Warning about eye damage from laser
- Meeting notes for 13 October
- The DNA Computer - talk by
Michael Paine at the October 1998 meeeting of the user Group. Includes
a program to convert database cross-tab to CSV files (see downloads).
- Thinx Software have
released version 4.0 of their Thinx product and it now includes Smart
DoC. This is a "smart" authoring tool that allows manipulation of
drawings (eg AutoCAD), word processed documents and data from databases.
- See the new German Open Access web page at http://www.klahold.com/oa/.
is also a noticeboard available http://www.klahold.com/oa/forum/index.html
- Problems with recent Pentium PCs and WIN95? I have
recently upgraded a client's fileserver to a 233 Pentium PC running
the most recent version of WIN95. Network OA (Netbios) now no longer
works (illegal access WIN95 message) when launched from WIN95 on the
fileserver but works fine when launched from "station" PCs running
for Workgroups (with the main OA4.SPI file still on the fileserver).
Also OA won't launch from a laptop on the network running a recent
of WIN95. I have not have this problem on another network running WIN95
on an older Pentium and a 486 PC! Wal Shand has reported a similar
(can't find OA4.SPI) after an upgrade. Is there a problem with the
BIOS running DOS software under WIN95??
- See the new international list of
Open Access Consultants
- The Group's Annual General Meeting is on Tuesday 9 June. 6pm
at Chatswood RSL.
- Tips from Shane Trengove
about database memos and converting dates to Lotus 123 and Excel. Also tips about passwords on databases
from Michael Paine.
- Hot news:DISPI has opened a discussion board
Open Access and everything that goes with it. The address is www.dispi.com/wwwboard.
"LANGUAGE IS ENGLISH....So everybody can join....... Please spread the
You can also register
to test the beta version of the new OA.... It is just the database
and the converter ...We need testers and remarks for building a better
version. The next episode is the editor and a deskmanager. The
wordprocessor...We are hard working... If beta testers report with
e-mailadres we keep them posted on the newest developments." (from
DOS is alive and well. Many great features - it will "coexist" with
Windows 95 (but does NOT replace the MS DOS that is needed for WIN95
to boot). It is derived from Novell DOS 7.0 (advice from Caldera, June
- Be careful when trying to install DOS software to Windows
95, especially if the diskettes are copy protected. Without
asking you, WIN95 can change the boot sector of the diskette (to
for those nuisance long file names). See Windows 95
for details. This could explain a problem I have had deinstalling then
reinstalling Ozstation software for System Manager. The installation
reports a DOS disk error and won't proceed.
- Welcome to our new web site! Michael Paine's web directory
was getting a little crowded.
- Meeting notes for April 98
now available. More tips for running DOS applications such as Open
Access under WIN95.
- DISPI are working on the
new version of Open Access for Windows95/NT. See their Demo site for
- Marc Sapper now has the DISPI Year 2000 patch available for
Australian Open Access users - this treats all two-digit years
as 2000 (be careful because 20-04-99 will be treated as 20 April 2099).
Send a cheque for $25 to Microguild, PO Box 3145 Ripponlea VIC 3183 and
specify whether you want the patch sent by email or by diskette through
the post. Marc is the OA distributor in Australia
and also provides programming and technical services. See also PC Bugs in Year 2000 - users of Microsoft
should also see Microsoft's
year 2000 site - there are numerous products with problems that may
need "patches". There are many ways things that can go wrong - OA is
least of your worries!
- Click on
this icon to download it for use in
WIN95 (the one that worked fine under Windows 3.x doesn't work in WIN95
- Automated generation of web pages
from OA Database - I should have saved hours and tried OA from
the start! I have an MS Access database of vehicle crash test results.
I wanted to create a web page
listing all of these crash tests , including links to sites in
Australia and the USA. After playing around with MS Access I decided to
export the data to dBase III format and work on it in Open Access VI.
After a short time I had created a print form to do the job. Just print
to "FILE" and the web HTML page was fully created
automatically. All I had to do was upload it to my service provider.
Some great features are that I have links, where available, and the
"rating" section is color coded, according to
HTML standards (all done within the OA PMK). Creating complex tables in
HTML is usually a nuisance but now it is easy. The PMK file and a
of the database are in WEB_PAGE.ZIP(see
Huff advises that the following things should be checked if you
get the error message "INSERT APPLICATIONS DISK" : 1. Out of
memory due to repeat looping with OA4 DOS command; 2. Lack of disk
3. Wrong version of APP.SPI or OA4.SPI. (must be a matched for version
& networking option); 4 Network workstation may not be logged on to
server; 5. User rights problem in network (Give all users READ and
rights in OA4 directory, CREATE and DELETE rights in data directories,
including SCRATCH); 6. Path (MAP) on network may have been changed so
OA4 fails to find files; 7. Network cables may have been disturbed -
network down, check cables and restart; 8. Network user count may be
up due to incorrect shut-downs (Run STATIONS.OAC); 9. The APP.SPI file
not be shareable (eg network setting).
Jack also reports a client who, when trying to install an additional
network user, got the following mysterious message: "Procedure was
aborted because no serial number was found in OA4.SPI.". Any takers
for an explanation?
Doevendans advises that the Spreadsheet
corruption reported in the October newsletter is not a known OA problem
it might be due to a hard disk glitch. Also, the tip of avoiding disks
in excess of 2Gb is not due to an internal OA limitation - apparently
it has been found to cause problems on some combinations of operating
system and hardware and this has resulted in problems for OA and other
software (for example the early release of WIN95 had problems). Frank
uses OAIII and OAIV on a 4Gb hard disk with no problems.
- Frank also advises
that OASYS.EXE is available as part of the OA Toolkit. This is bundled
with OA Vision and several other utilities for US$50 (or US$100 with
Compiler - less for bulk orders). Essential tools for any serious OA
- On some PCs there might a limit to the maximum "disk space"
that OA will address. If any "volume" in the searching order exceeds
2Gb then OA might hang with a message such as "No room on volume...".
With networks this can be overcome be limiting the virtual disk space.
On standalone PCs you might have to consider partitioning the hard
Other DOS software such as dBase may suffer from this problem (tip from
Keith O'Donnell). We have even heard of WIN95 having problems! Frank
from DISPI has advised that this is
DOS/BIOS/hardware problem rather than an OA limitation.
- Word for Windows and Excel viruses are getting out of
hand (there are 10 new macro viruses coming out
day)! The threat was mentioned in the October/November
96 OA Newsletter. Some Macro
viruses spread as email
- HP Laserjet 5L Printer. Having spent the morning
trying to get my HP Laserjet 5L to work properly again after a hard
disk crash I thought others might be interested in my "solution": Don't
use the SETUP program on the 1st HP Installation disk this installation
tries to be too smart and can cause problems. Instead go to the Control
Panel Printers and select Add then choose "Install unlisted or updated
printer". Now here's the secret - insert Disk 3 in the floppy drive.
For some strange reason HP put the OEMSETUP.INF file on this disk and
not on the first disk. This installs the "PCL" version of the 5L
driver. This is actually more versatile than the drivers intalled by
Once the driver is installed select the setup button. Make sure the
size is set to A4. For "Print Quality" I have found that "Manual
is best. Click on the "Settings" button and the options for manual
settings are displayed. I usually set the "Graphics Mode" to RASTER for
the widest capability of printout (eg good grey scale and pictures).
Another tip for HP printers: To print the lines from the IBM character
set enter the code (27)10U in the initialisation sequence of the OA
printer driver (from the Dec 96 Newletter, see also HP
- The HP website also has new
drivers for running the Officejet LX fax/scanner/printer
under Windows 95. Do not try to install the old driver - it will cause
WIN95 to crash if you try to set up the printer (speed dial list etc).
When you install the updated driver ignore the message about inserting
your old installation disk just click on OK several times. If you
the old disk the installation will fail!
- Open Access still prints in DOS mode when running under
WIN95 (but you might be able set WIN95 to "capture" the output and
add it to a queue instead of interfering with other print jobs). This
means you still need the appropriate printer parameters in your OA
configuration (see downloads - please send us
your custom printer configurations to add to the list). We repeat the
warning that many "budget" laser printers on the market only work with
Windows programs - they cannot be used with Open Access.
Open Access can now be ordered in Australia from:
Marc Sapper, Microguild P/L,
Phone 03 95258960 Fax 03 95258961
Mobile 0419 839839
Marc is a long-standing user of OA and we are grateful for his
involvement with the product.
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International Technical Support
Technical support for Open Access and Windowbase is now provided by
Mr Frank Doevendans, DISPI bv,
5216 EL 's-Hertogenbosch
tel +(31) 73 6141407
fax +(31) 73 6141438
BBS +(31) 73 6141434
Frank would like to hear from OA users around the world.
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Links have moved to conserve space
on this page!
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- Other OA User Groups:
If you would like a site listed here (even if it is just a "snail mail"
address or fax) contact Michael
Paine (fax +61 2 99753966).
- Spain - Asociacion USUARIOS OPEN ACCESS
Mr Jesus Rivero, Serrano,27-28001MADRID
- UK - apparently no longer active
Books on Windowbase
There are presently two Open Access / WindowBase books that
can be purchased to ease the transition from DOS to Windows:
" DASL Desk Reference, A Practical Guide
To Developing WindowBase Applications".
206 pgs. Defines and illustrates each of the WindowBase
script vocabulary words.
" WindowBase Conversion Guide for Open Access Users".
165 oversize pgs. Follows the format of the OA4 Programmers
book, by presenting a side-by-side comparison of the Programmer
language and the WindowBase equivalent.
Sadly, the Author, Tom Solarek passed away during 1997. The books are
published by Super Systems Company
1817 Clark Rd. Rochester, New York U.S.A.
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Open Access 4
Open Access 4 is a DOS multi-function software package.The original
Open Access I was the first integrated DOS package with Database,
Spreadsheet, Word Processor and Communication functions - all with
network support. The Database was very advanced for its time with
relational database support and SQL retrievals.
Open Access evolved to a powerful application development system
with 4GL programming language, compiler and runtime kit. It still has
many powerful features not found in more recent, flashy software. That
is one of the reasons it still has a strong user-base around the world.
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Windowbase was the first Windows relational database. It also had many
advanced features and used the same database engine and networking
controls as Open Access. Unfortunately innovative software rarely
suceeds against the giants!
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Australian Open Access User Group
The Australian Open Access User Group was formed around 1985. It
provides a forum for exchange
of information about Open Access and PCs. The group disbanded in 2001
but decided to keep this web page going.
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load OA_PROG.ZIP - a collection Programmer source code
and tips for using Open Access (DOS) software. This file is a
.zip file and the size is about 45 Kbytes.
- Down load
OA_PRT.ZIP - a collection of extra printer drivers & Postscript
line draw sequence prepared by Terry Litchfield for Open Access
software. This file is a .zip file and the size is about 30 Kbytes.
- a collection of tips for Open Access and Compiler Runtime on a
network OR OANET.SAM
in Ami Pro 3.1 format. The size of each is about 50 Kbytes.
SPP.ZIP- Structured Program Primer for Open Access 4. Automatically
source code for OA applications. Just type in the menu entries and SPP
does the rest, including generation of a help (HLP) file. About 50
zipped. Experienced programmers can make the best use of it. Note that DISPI Netherlands has a demo version
of a similar utility program called DynMenu.
- Download XTAB_CSV.TXT program
for converting Database Cross-tabulation to comma separated variable
files. By Michael Paine. Supplied "as is". (right click to save in
LINKDATE.ZIP for doing date manipulations within Database (eg Day
with a screen mask)
Notice: Users should not act solely on the basis of the
material contained in the documents associated with these Web pages.
Items contained in these documents 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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