is perfect. Regardless of how good a package is there will always
be updates and revisions.
way of dealing with this is to occasional bundle all the updates
into one big package, throw in some new features and eliminate
a pile of bugs. Experienced Microsoft customers wait until the
first service pack of any Microsoft product.
the first service pack for Vista will start appearing in the
Windows Update service. If you are using Vista it should appear
as an optional update. When it does, we recommend you install
ahead with the installation, make sure you have a full backup
of your system. While we haven't heard any negative reports
about the service pack, things can go wrong with such a major
are some applications that don't work with Vista after the service
pack is installed. Some notable programs are Zone Alarm Firewall,
Bit Defender Anti Virus and the Fujitsu Shock Sensor. There
will certainly be more to be added to Microsoft's
pack itself doesn't seem to have many changes to the look and
feel of the system. Microsoft have concentrated on making improvements
on the underlying system with things like better file copying
the service pack is an important update if you are running Windows
Vista. We recommend you install it at the first opportunity.
it time to buy Windows Vista?
the release of the first service pack heralds the time to consider
buying a new Microsoft product. So is it time to move to Windows
not. For most users, there are few compelling reasons to buy
Vista and a good number of reasons not to. The least being compatibility
problems with even recently released hardware and software.
If you own
an existing system running XP there is absolutely no reason
to install Vista on it. In fact in many cases you may lose features
It is becoming
difficult to buy a new system without Vista so if you do buy
a new machine running the newer Windows make sure you have enough
memory to get the most from it. We recommend a minimum of 2Gb
for any Vista machine and Vista Home Premium or Vista business
is preferred over Vista Home Basic.
originally intended to stop selling XP at the beginning of
the year, but the market's lack of enthusiasm forced Microsoft
deadline is the end of July so if you are looking for a new
computer, it's worthwhile checking out Windows XP systems before
they are withdrawn.
Microsoft will extend the deadline further and they have already
created a loophole for computer builders catering to the small
business market who can continue to sell XP until the beginning
of next year.
that some suppliers, such as Dell, don't publicise that certain
systems can be supplied with XP. If you want an older system,
insist on it and you will probably find XP becomes available
when you threaten to take your money elsewhere.
April radio spots are on over the next two weeks. For listeners
in WA, Victoria and Tasmania the AFL coverage clashes with
our Friday Night Nightlife spot but you can listen online
at the Nightlife
Online listeners are welcome to call or send in their comments.
next Weekend spot is 10am Sunday, April 13 when we'll be
discussing a new idea to preserve emails. Listeners outside
of Sydney can tune in on the
nationally on ABC Local Radio
April 4 at 10.15pm when we'll
be looking at the
new breed of ultra portable computers and taking your calls
on Microsoft Vista and other computer issues.
you'd like to call or offer any suggestions about the shows
newer Microsoft Office files
has introduced a new Office file format for both the 2007 Windows
edition and 2008 Mac version. The new XML based format has a
number of advantages over the older formats but older versions
of Office cannot read them.
If you are using an older version of Microsoft Office we recommend
you download the Office Compatibility Kit for
Windows (the Mac version is still under development) from
the Microsoft website so you can read Office 2007/8 files.
Office 2007 and 2008 will almost certainly be sick of being
told their files can't be read. The solution for this is to
change your default file formats to the older versions of Word,
Excel and Powerpoint. We'll have how to do this on our IT
Queries website in the next few days.
Apple's web browser
which comes built into the Apple Mac and is available for Windows
computers. We've never really recommended it as an alternative
to Internet Explorer as we've found it somewhat slow compared
to Firefox and Opera.
3.1 version, which Apple claims is quicker than the previous
versions, was released last week to so far good reviews.
Apple have decided to bundle Safari into their iTunes and QuickTime
upgrade program. This means you will asked if you want to install
Safari by the Apple updater in the next few days.
not installing it unless you want to try it out. To stop the
installation, just take the tick off the box alongside the Safari
option when the installer box pops up.
a big rise in bank scams in the last few weeks. Today St George
a warning about Internet hoaxes circulating over the last
few weeks. We have one claiming to be from St George in our
inboxes this morning.
nifty little scam went around over the weekend claiming to be
an online survey from the chief executive of the ANZ Bank. Fill
in the details and you might win a Sony laptop computer. Or
so they say.
these are phishing expeditions where the aim is to steal your
account details, PINs and passwords so they can loot your bank
never give out valuable information by email or over the phone.
The ANZ bank has some
very good advice on how to deal with these issues.
is Dummies Month and the publishers, John Wiley Australia,
are offering a $10 cashback on all Dummies titles. Check
out your local bookstore for more promotions
and special offers. We'll also have the new edition of PCs
for Dummies on the shelves for the end of the month.
One of the
things we've seen over the last few years has been the increasing
sophistication of spyware and virus writers. A
story over the weekend tells of how the rights to use compromised
computers are being sold by hackers.
reason for this trade is botnets, where a network of infected
computers is used to attack other computers or to send out spam
like the phishing scams mentioned above.
ago virus writing was an amateur hobby; today it is big business.
This another good reason to secure
us a question
sister website, IT
Queries answers common computer problems.
your computer has a frustrating problem, have a look for an
answer at IT Queries.
If you don't find one, just ask on the IT Queries site
and we'll get a solution for you.
of the month: CAPTCHAs
the web, you might have noticed many sites now require you to
copy some strange looking characters into a box before you can
continue. These are called CAPTCHAs which stands for Completely
Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.
of a CAPTCHA is to stop automated programs signing up for services
or filling comments pages with spam. To date it has worked,
but these things are always a race between the good and bad
see CAPTCHAs get more complex in the next few years as the bad
guys get better at beating them.
Senior's week is between the 6th and 13th of April. As part
of the week PC Rescue's managing director, Paul Wallbank, will
be giving a talk on the Bridging the Digital Divide at the
Council Of The Ageing, Level 5, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
from 9am, April 9.
like Paul to speak at one of your functions, contact
us for more details.
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If you have
a topic you'd like us to discuss on the websites, Smart Company
blog or the radio spots please don't hesitate to contact
us through the website.
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