IN THIS WEEK'S ON-LINE ISSUE:
   1.   Microsoft Announces End of Support Dates for Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows XP Service Pack 1
   2.   Updates Last Week
   3.   Spring Cleaning – Don't Forget Your Computer
   4.   Domain Names and Email Addresses
   5.   Domain Registrations | Register a Domain Name
   6.   My Computer Security Software Recommendations
   7.   Feedback from the last issue
   8.   Recommend my Terry's Computer Tips Newsletter to Your Friends

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1.  Microsoft Announces End of Support Dates
for Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows XP Service Pack 1

Microsoft's latest announcement on the end of Extended Support, also known as End of Life, of Windows 98, Win98SE and WinME is on their End of Support page. They also announced end of support for Windows XP Service Pack 1 -- upgrade now to Service Pack 2 for free.

Win98, Win98SE and WinMe

Quoting their web page:

July 11, 2006 will bring a close to Extended Support for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Me as part of the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy. Microsoft will retire public and technical support, including security updates, by this date.

If you have a computer running Windows 98, 98SE or ME, be sure to get all your Windows Updates well before that date. While we seldom have problems with Windows Updates, if you do have a problem — you want to have a chance to get it fixed before the end of support date.

WinXP Service Pack 1

Quoting their web page:

On October 10, 2006, Microsoft will end all public assisted support for Windows XP Service Pack1 (SP1). After this date, Microsoft will no longer provide any incident support options or security updates for this retired service pack...

What's the message here? You should already be running Windows XP Service Pack 2 for many reasons, including support, stability and security. Get your system updated to SP2 before October 10th.



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2.  Updates Last Week

Microsoft (operating systems, email, web browser, office suites):
No updates last week. Mcrosoft releases almost all updates once per month, on the second Tuesday. The next "Patch Tuesday" is scheduled for June 13th.

Firefox (web browser, www.mozilla.com, free):
Current version 1.5.0.3, released May 2. This was a security update for a "denial of service" issue, where an attacker could crash Firefox.

Opera (web browser, www.opera.com, free):
No updates. Current version 8.54, released on April 5, 2006. This was a security update release. Opera 9.0 Beta (9.00.b1) is now available for those who wish to try it.

Netscape (web browser, http://browser.netscape.com, free):
Current version 8.1.

SeaMonkey (web browser, email, HTML editor, newsreader; www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey; free):
Version 1.0.1 was released on April 13th. This was primarily a security update.

Eudora (email, www.eudora.com, options: paid, sponsored or free/lite):
No updates this week. Current version 7.0.1.0, released 12/21/05.

Mozilla Thunderbird (email, www.mozilla.com, free):
New release version 1.5.0.2, released April 21, 2006.

OpenOffice (office suite — spreadsheet, word processor, presentations, graphics, web design; www.openoffice.org; free):
Version 2.02 released for Windows during the week of March 6th.




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3.  Spring Cleaning – Don't Forget Your Computer

We take our computers for granted. We turn them on and they work (well, if we haven't gotten tangled up in adware, viruses or Windows decides to misbehave <grin>).

As we do our Spring cleaning (that's Fall cleaning for those of you in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other points south of the Equator), we do some of the major cleaning jobs around our homes. And, inside our homes...

But, who thinks of about cleaning the PC?

I'm not talking about cleaning our computers from adware, spyware, viruses, deleting old files we no longer need (You buy a new hard drive so you can store more, right? I do!). I'm talking about real cleaning.

PC's get dirty in their insides, too. We use cooling fans to blow air through our computers. Most computers have heatsinks with cooling fans on the CPU. Some even have heat sinks with fans on the video cards, too. The hot new video cards are not only "hot" from a demand point of view, they are hot temperature-wise also.

Depending on your PC's design, you might have only a power supply fan that blows out of the case, where the case is designed to bring the cooling air in from the front. Or, you might have fans blowing in and fans blowing out, in order to increase the air flow.

You might have some of the new 120mm fans, which spin more slowly to reduce noise while moving the same amount of air as 80mm fans.

However you system is designed, it pulls in air for cooling and then blows it out.

And, along with that air comes dust. Even in a clean house, you have dust that will enter your computer and interfere with its cooling. If your computer is in a dusty environment, say a computer in a mechanical shop, you'll get even more dust into it.

For our cleaning process, we have two major steps:

  1. Unplug the case and open it up
  2. Using a can of compressed air (available at your local computer shop or office supply store), blow the dust out of the computer

Pay close attention to the heat sink on the CPU. It has a tendency to actually plug with dust. You might find that out the hard way. Today's computers watch the CPU's temperature and have thermal cutoffs — if the CPU gets too hot, the computer will shut down without warning!

While this may protect the expensive CPU from permanent damage, it does little for your blood pressure as you lose your work (or the game you were playing!).

Don't forget to blow the dust out of the power supply, too. You might even want to take the computer outside to blow it out.

Do not use vacuum cleaners or brushes, though. Just use a can of compressed air. Electronic components on the motherboard and cards, including but not limited to memory and the CPU, can be damaged by static electricity if you



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Part 1  Part 2  Part 3

Volume 1, Number 50 — Sunday, May 28, 2006
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Copyright © 2006 Terry A. Stockdale.  All rights reserved.


 

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