virus screen   ABC Weekend Show, 11 August 2001

Tips & Hints

Posted 15 August 2001

The IBM personal computer turned 20 on August 12. Twenty years ago IBM answered the challenge posed by Apple and the other upstart computer makers and released a cheap computer for home and small business use. Today over 90% of computers in use are descendants of the IBM personal computer. IBM have a feature on the anniversary, as do ZDNet.

We've had two big virus scares over the last month. The Code Red was more hype than threat, but the Sircam virus is a real problem for PC users. The usual advice applies: Install an anti-virus program on your computer and update it weekly.

Bill's anti-virus program did detect the Sircam virus but now he can't open web pages. It is possible the virus did manage to do some damage, Symantec have a free tool available to clean the damage. If the tool doesn't help then a full virus scan is the next step, if all else fails then Windows may need to be re-installed.

Moving to a new operating system had left Martin's combined printer-fax-scanner almost useless. This is a common problem, before upgrading to a new system you should always check that your equipment will work on it. It is difficult to recommend multi-function devices as they are not paticularly good at any function. Save the bother and buy separate printers, scanners and faxes.

A test of the Inernet Explorer 6 beta has bought Alan's computer to grinding halt. Unfortunately for Alan this will probably mean re-installing Windows. If your computer is necessary to you then you should never play with beta software, betas are for testing. Do you really want to be a crash-test dummy for the software companies?

Old laptops are always problem when you need replacement parts. Margaret has an old Toshiba laptop that didn't come with a CD reader. Unfortunately it is going to be difficult (to say the least) to find a CD for the computer and parallel port CD's are no good for running kids games. When buying a laptop computer keep in mind that your upgrade and replacement options are very limited.

Thanks to everybody who called in and once again our apologies to those we didn't get to. We'll be back on Saturday, September 8 at 11:30. We hope you'll tune into your local ABC radio then.

Happy computing

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