Readers' Forum - January 2006

from the January 2006 Actrix Newsletter

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send me an e-mail with the word "Forum" in the subject line. I'll try and get an answer to you by return e-mail, and will also post the answer here for the benefit of others who may have a similar question or problem. By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free. Please also note that questions and answers may also turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (www.actrix.co.nz).

Dean writes: Hi. Regarding the "things up close" web site and the US penny [mentioned in last month's newsletter] - A US penny has a relief picture of President Abraham Lincoln on the "head" side, and fittingly, the "tail" side shows the Lincoln Memorial, a well-known Washington attraction with marble columns. The figure "lurking" in the columns on the US penny is simply the statue of Abraham Lincoln (sitting in his chair) which is located just inside the columns of the Lincoln Memorial building. Still, the detail is quite incredible given the size of a penny. See http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/sites/memorial.htm for pictures of the Lincoln Memorial, and the statue. 

Hi Dean, Ah, thanks for that. It makes sense, and I can now see that the figure is sort of seated. I guess I just assumed it was more mysterious stuff to be found on American money. - Ed.

Mick writes: Hi, Lately I’ve been getting pop-ups leaping out for various things (gambling, games, porn) whilst online, although not necessarily with explorer open or on a related web site page. I have recently upgraded my Norton Security 2005 Anti Spy Ware and it is from this point that the troubles has started. How do I get rid of these pop-ups? Thanks. Mick

Pete Cranston, our help desk supervisor responds: I suspect this problem occurring at the same time as the Norton upgrade is probably just a coincidence, but it would be a good idea to open Norton, run LiveUpdate to make sure it has the latest virus and spyware definitions and do a full system scan. If it finds any problems just follow the recommendations, restart the computer and see if the problem has been resolved.

If this doesn't resolve the problem you may want to go to Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs and see if there is anything unusual in here. If you are unsure what a particular item is a good idea would be to go to www.google.com and search for the name. One of the search results should explain what the program is used for and whether or not you would want it installed. If you find anything suspect you can remove it, restart the computer and check if this has had any effect.

If this doesn't help either I would suggest using one or more of the following programs to scan your machine for Adware / Spyware.

Microsoft Anti-Spyware - for users with Windows 2000 or XP only: - www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx

SpyBot - www.safer-networking.org - this is an excellent, and free tool to check your machine for SpyWare and Adware. It supports internet updating, so is able to learn about new SpyWare threats, in a similar way to your virus scanner.
- SpyBot Actrix mirror: http://files.actrix.co.nz/show.php?id=12

CWShredder - www.intermute.com/spysubtract/cwshredder_download.html - this is a program specifically designed to remove variants of CoolWebSearch, a common homepage hijacking application.
- CWShredder Actrix mirror: http://files.actrix.co.nz/show.php?id=14

AdAware - www.lavasoftusa.com - a similar program with similar features to SpyBot, however this program primarily targets adware, rather than all spyware applications. Best used secondary to SpyBot. AdAware provides both free and paid versions of it's software.
- AdAware Actrix Mirror: http://files.actrix.co.nz/show.php?id=13

If you continue experiencing problems I would advise calling the Actrix helpdesk - we may be able to assist further with removal tips for particularly stubborn SpyWare, or it may be necessary to take your machine to a private technician for a thorough clean out.

For more information on SpyWare, some reference material can be found at www.doxdesk.com/parasite/, alternatively searching at www.google.com will provide a wealth of information.

I hope this information is of some assistance. Regards, Peter Cranston

Jack writes: I have Windows XP. Recently I took the computer in to get fixed. Previously, when I used dial up, there was sound, which I prefer, but now it is silent. I asked how to get the sound back, and was told to get to the dial-up icon and in Properties click on Configure, and then click on Enable windows speaker. I've done that, but I still do not get sound on dial-up. I get sound on other programs in my computer.

Peter Cranston responds: Hi Jack, In order to get sound when the computer dials you will need to have 'Enable windows speaker' ticked, so you're off to a good start. The next step is to go to Control Panel, (if it says 'Pick a Category' click the 'Switch to Classic View' text on the left) and open 'Phone and Modem Options'. If this is the first time you have been here it may ask for a country and area code. If it does complete both of these (but nothing else) and then click OK.

The next window should have a Modem tab at the top, so click on this, then the Properties button at the bottom right and the Modem tab at the top of the new window. On this page there should be a Speaker volume setting which you can adjust. Slide the bar to the right to increase the volume and then test the dial up connection again. If there is still no sound you may need to try using different modem drivers. If this is the case it would probably be best if you gave the helpdesk a call on 0800-228749 or discussed this with the technician who repaired the computer.