See the Archives for previously published Bulletins
Webmaster Bulletin # 26
Over the years, I have been
urging everyone to be very cautious with their presence on the Web. In
particular with regard to email. Because of recent events, this would
be a very good time to re-emphasize necessary email precautions.
Again, DO NOT OPEN ATTACHMENTS. The general assumption is that if the
attachment is from someone you know, it will be safe. It is wiser to
save the attachment in a Folder created for just this purpose. Then,
you can open the folder and scan whatever the document is individually with
your up to date Anti-Virus application. It may be a
duplication of effort, but it is well worth doing.
Lately, I have been
receiving some insidious messages that appear to be legitimate. None
of them have been. Be alert for the following: (1) An email
purportedly from a financial institution (may even be your bank) requesting
verification of your account. Any online message your bank wants to
send you will be in your online account. If you do not have an online
account with your bank, you should institute one. To date, I have
received emails from 8 different supposed banks. (2)
An email telling
you that a family member, friend, co-worker, classmate etc., has sent you a
greeting card or postcard. Delete immediately. A legitimate
online Greeting Card Company will always notify you using the senders name.
To date, I have received 10 such emails. (3) An email directing you do
download a security fix for any Microsoft application. Microsoft
never, ever, ever does this. Delete it and go to Microsoft's web site
to check for any updates required.
Webmaster Bulletin # 25
instituted a change in the Daylight Savings Time beginning and ending dates.
As a result, any electronic device with a clock that is designed to
automatically change with the advent of DST will no longer be able to do so
on the previously correct date. Many devices will require manual
adjustments. With computers the effect will be be manifested
differently depending upon the current Operating System. To assist in
determining the parameters involved I have researched available data and
created a white paper to enable you to determine what you will need to do in
order to maintain your system time correct.
Please review the
following PDF document:
Impact of Daylight Savings Time
If you need Adobe PDF Reader click here to
go to the Newsletter Archives Page for the link.
Return to Webmaster Page
Webmaster Bulletin # 24
Beginning in June Microsoft implemented
the Windows Genuine Advantage Program for WindowsXP. The program has
reverted from opt-in to a requirement for Automatic updates. I have
included the first Q and A from a Microsoft web page.
Q: What is the Windows
Genuine Advantage Notifications program?
A: Windows Genuine
Advantage Notifications is an opt-in program launched by Microsoft in select
markets as part of its continued effort to combat counterfeiting and to
create a better Windows experience for users of genuine Microsoft Windows
Customers will be invited to install WGA Notifications
through Automatic Updates (AU) to confirm that they are running genuine
Windows. Customers who are running genuine Windows and opt-in to the program
will not see any messages. Customers who are using a non-genuine version of
Windows will receive a message during logon that their copy of Windows
appears to be non-genuine and will be directed to the WGA Web site to learn
more. Users who choose not to obtain a copy of genuine Windows will receive
periodic reminders. While the program is presently opt-in, as it expands
later in the year, it may become a requirement for the AU service.
Regardless of genuine status, users will not be denied access to critical
security updates. Users who have not validated their computers as genuine,
however, will not be able to install many updates, including Internet
Explorer 7.0 and Windows Defender. If your version is deemed to be
illegal, you will be given several options to correct the situation.
If you have any questions, contact me:
Return to Webmaster Page
Webmaster Bulletin # 23
|| There has been a change in the way that
Microsoft does updates. Previously, one had to update their version of
Windows and then update any other products such as the Office Suite. A
recent change has placed all of the update eggs into one basket. Just
go to www.microsoft.com and click on
the Microsoft Update link shown on the left panel of the window. In
the update window, click on the Express Install button and Microsoft will do
the rest. If any priority updates are available, they will alert you
so that you may download and install them. Bear in mind, critical and
high priority updates will always be provided.
However, should you have an unlicensed and/or unregistered copy of Windows,
there may be a time when you will be asked to verify your copy. At
this point, you will no longer be able to download or install any adjunct
upgrades such as Internet Explorer, Media Player, MSN or Windows Messenger
and so forth. While you are at the Microsoft site, check out the other
neat features. Select the "Windows" link and then the version link
that you have. Then look for the "How to" link. Here you will
find many ways to better use your Windows system. Or, you can click on
the "Office" link in the Microsoft Home page. Click the "Training"
link. There are many training options for the various applications.
Learn all there is to know about using "Word" or "Outlook" or "Excel" even
"FrontPage" (which I have"). Best of all, it is all at the very low
price of "Free"! Take advantage.
Have you ever tried to contact a business by
phone and were required to listen to numerous options without getting a real
HUMAN response to your call? Like Credit Card Companies, Utilities,
Insurance Companies and so on. Well, there are ways around the menu's.
To find a list of the known methods, visit:
http://gethuman.com/us/ and hopefully,
the one you need will be available. I am going to add this link to our
links page so that you will have it when needed. Good luck.
Return to Webmaster Page
Webmaster Bulletin # 22
|| It has come to my attention while
reviewing the various mailboxes for the Whetstone.net email that some of the
members with email addresses are not checking their email. I am aware
that there has been a problem with spam and In addition to increasing the
spam filtering capability, I also removed some from various mail boxes.
Most of you should be able to access your Whetstone email using either
Outlook Express or Outlook. Other email clients will work as well.
If you have set up the client you use, receiving messages should not be a
problem. Sending email using this address can be problematic with most
"Internet Service Providers". Due to filters that the ISP uses,
sending email using a host other than the ISP, outgoing mail will not be
sent. However, this filter may be bypassed if you request the ISP to
do so. The procedure may vary from provider to provider. Check
with yours. In the event that you are still unable to send emails, all
of the Whetstone email may be accessed from our site host. Click here;
save the page as a shortcut to your desktop, enter your Whetstone email
address and password. Click "Login" and read to your hearts content.
We also have a few slots remaining for any member that would like a
Whetstone email address. Go to this page;
Email Address Registration complete the
form and submit it. If there are any other questions regarding email
on the Whetstone.net please do not hesitate to contact me.
Return to Webmaster Page
Webmaster Bulletin # 21
Well, I guess it is time again for my Annual, Semi-Annual
and/or Quarterly advice on "Internet Security". Keeping your PC
safe helps all of us keep ours safe. Be sure that you have
installed all of the Windows Updates for the version you have. For
XP users install the SP2 if you have not already done so. I
encourage everyone to install the AVG
Anti-Virus application. There is free and the latest version
is easier to use, more inclusive, self updating and it is
excellent. Regardless of you Windows version you should also
install the Free version of Zone
Alarm. Particularly if you have a high speed internet
connection. These two will work seamlessly with WindowsXP-SP2.
Microsoft Anti-Spyware should also be a must do. I have
installed it and it found several Spy intrusions that other similar
applications had missed. Finally, I highly recommend an email
reviewer that allows you to view your email before you download it to
your email client. It is also free for use with 1 email address.
As I recommend having several, one for friends and family and one or
more for surfing and shopping, you would be better served by purchasing
the Pro version. Check out
Return to Webmaster Page
Webmaster Bulletin # 20
The latest upgrade to WindowsXP®
has led many of the experts in the field to
declare that this change, listed as SP2 (Service Pack-2) should in fact, be
a new "Version" release. It is that extensive. If you
are not using WindowsXP®
I highly recommend doing so if your Computer
supports it. Professional is the preferred edition. Before
installing SP2 please note these two "CAUTIONS". One, Back up your
entire Hard-Drive. Two, (this is most important) DO NOT install SP2 if
you are not using a legal version of
In retail boxes, Microsoft is enabling its
revised Windows Firewall software firewall utility by default. If you
have a Broadband connection, a Firewall is a must.
So the firewall is on. Turn it off if you're running another one.
Microsoft provides a new Windows Firewall Control Panel just for that
purpose. There are also some advantages of a firewall onboard. Windows
Firewall offers solid basic protection; it's better than ICF (Internet
Connection Firewall, the utility it replaces), and it's a lot better than
nothing. Windows Firewall is easier to configure, and more important, it's
better about staying out of the way of your applications. It also now has
improved protection during boot and shutdown, something all top-notch
software firewalls provide.
For my money, either ZoneAlarm 4.5 or 5.0 Pro or Symantec's Personal
Firewall 2004 would be better bets for protecting road warriors out in the
wild. On the other hand, Windows Firewall is about to be onboard, and you
already paid for it.
Windows XP Service Pack 2 version of Internet Explorer 6 may be the largest
bone of contention for companies. Test it first, and expect Microsoft to do
its utmost to clear the way for major incompatibility issues with enterprise
For the home user there should be fewer problems if any.
One of the best new features of SP2's Internet Explorer is the Add-On
Manager, available from the Internet Control Panel's Programs tab. It gives
you a way to enable, disable, and configure ActiveX controls, browser help
objects, and browser extensions. The primary purpose of this tool is to
provide a user interface for controlling things that have already been added
to your Internet Explorer installation. When, for example, you have already
said yes to an ActiveX program Information Bar query and later decide you
don't want that program on your computer, the Add-On Manager is the tool
that solves that problem.
When you disable an ActiveX applet and you visit a site that wants to use
it, the IE status bar shows a balloon pop-up informing you that the program
is disabled and can be re-enabled in Add-On Manager. Add-On Manager is a
very useful addition to Internet Explorer.
SP2 also provides a new Attachment Manager that works with Outlook Express,
Windows Messenger, and Internet Explorer by identifying and preventing
potentially unsafe attachments during the opening process. When this occurs,
the attachment is prevented from opening and a pop-up is offered to both
warn you and offer options for controlling it. IE also has download
monitoring that offers the same sort of protection for downloads from Web
most visible new feature in Windows XP Service Pack 2 may well be the least
important for most IT people and their organizations. Still, Windows
Security Center may be the right tool for some users' desktops.
Security Center is a new Control Panel applet with system-tray notification
whose sole purpose is to ensure that you're aware when your computer is not
adequately protected by a firewall, antivirus software, and the latest
Windows and IE updates. At its heart, WSC is three sensors that check your
security configuration and indicate visually when your computer's protection
isn't up to snuff. The antivirus sensor is the most complex. It's designed
to check whether an antivirus program is installed, whether that program is
running, and whether it's updated with the latest antivirus definitions.
When any of the security checks for antivirus, firewall, or critical Windows
updates aren't met, Windows Security Center alerts you with system tray
pop-up notifications that open the large WSC Control Panel. A colored light
system--not unlike the U.S. government's terrorist-threat-level
warnings--gives you instant feedback about whether your system is good to
So far so good, but in all major prerelease versions of Windows XP Service
Pack 2, the ability of WSC's security sensors to accurately detect
mainstream third-party security programs was seriously lacking. The desktop
security products of vendors that have the largest installed base of users,
Symantec and Zone Labs, aren't properly detected by the RC2 version of SP2.
However, the Grisoft antivirus AVG program is recognized and it is expected
that the remaining programs will be recognized by the time SP2 is released
or shortly thereafter.
Safer Message Handling
Many viruses spread
through file attachments to email and instant messages. Virus writers
capitalize on people's curiosity and willingness to accept files from people
they know or work with, in order to transmit malicious files disguised as or
attached to benign files.
Pack 2 introduces the new Attachment Execution Service (AES) to control the
viewing and execution of files attach to messages whether in Outlook,
Outlook Express, Windows Messenger or other messaging applications.
AES looks at a file and determines whether it is safe to view or execute
based on several criteria. First is looks at the file extension.
It knows it can trust text files (.txt), JPEG images (.jpg), and GIF images
(.gif). It can look up the associated application for a given MIME
(you do not have to know what MIME means just that it is a necessary part of
the internet) type and file extension, an make sure the two are consistent.
It can decide whether a given association is safe or dangerous, based on a
list. It can make sure that an antivirus is active and up-to-date
before allowing the user to view or run unsafe files. It can also
check the current security zone of the message source to control its policy.
not relieve you of the need to be cautious with attachments. If you
should slip though, it won't hurt to have a fallback. When AES is
called to determine if the attachment is safe and finds it completely safe
it will be completely available. If the attachment is clearly unsafe,
like a binary executable, it will be blocked: the user will not be able to
open it at all, but will se a notice of the blockage. If the
attachment might be safe and might be dangerous, the user will see a warning
prompt when attempting to drag, save, open, or print the file. If the
user accepts the option (and this is neat), the file will be handled in a
way that is guaranteed to trigger any active antivirus program.
Microsoft makes the Automatic Updates critical security patch online
updating tool more aggressive in Service Pack 2. The goal is to make
less-experienced users turn this feature on, and that's a good thing because
if they're protected, we're all a little better protected, too.
an annoying aspect of Windows XP Service Pack 2's enhanced
Automatic Updates feature. Service Pack 2 automatically installs patches
in certain conditions when you power down your computer.
The way it works is this: When you have pending critical updates for Windows
that haven't been installed, when you shut down (not restart) Windows, the
operating system installs the patches before it powers off. If patches are
already downloaded, it usually takes only a few minutes to install them. But
in tests of SP2 RC1, it has been found that it could take more than half an
hour for your computer to turn off because of this feature.
To understand why (or at least the probable reason why), you have to
understand the new Automatic Update options. The new Automatic Updates
Control Panel is a solid improvement over the controls found on the
Automatic Updates tab buried in the System Control Panel in previous
versions of Windows XP. The new Control Panel offers four options:
Automatic (recommended). Automatically download
recommended updates for my computer and install them [on this
user-specified schedule, defaults to daily at 3 a.m.].|
Download updates for me, but let me choose when
to install them.|
Notify me but don't automatically download or
Turn off Automatic Updates. |
When you choose option 4, there's no automatic installation of patches when
you power-down your computer. But your computer also is unprotected against
the most recently discovered Windows vulnerabilities. Except in the case of
a computer whose system updates are being managed in an organizational
setting, no one should choose the fourth option.
If you choose either option 1 or 2, available critical updates for your
Windows installation will be already downloaded, so at shut down it'll take
a little time for the patches to install before your computer turns off, but
not usually long periods of time. (It'll also make your next Windows
start-up take longer because part of the patch-installation process occurs
on the subsequent restart.)
With option 3, "Notify me but don't automatically download or install"
security updates. What apparently will occur is that, since available
critical updates aren't already downloaded on the computer, Windows SP2
RC1's Automatic Updates code downloades available critical updates and then
installs them before the computer turns off. The process could take over
half an hour to complete.
It should be
noted that even though this background download and installation of critical
updates is a little heavy handed, it's possible to defeat the annoying
aspect. In RC1, the shutdown "Turn off computer" box offers you the option
at the bottom to "Click here to turn off without installing updates." My
guess is that most people will miss this fine print at first. Of course, for
all I know, this user interface has changed. Since there are no updates
available, the "Turn off computer" box doesn't show the fine-print option.
Nit pick or Not
In most regards, Automatic Updates is a boon to Windows users. In fact,
Microsoft's ability to automatically update millions of Windows PCs around
the globe is especially well handled. You may snicker and say, well, they
had to do it, right? But while you may have long since decided that Windows
isn't very well engineered, I would have to disagree with you on that point.
Windows is simply the only seriously interesting target for hackers, virus
and word authors, and spammers.
To be sure,
Windows is hampered by a huge installed base of Windows versions that barely
gave a passing thought to security. But five years from now, that picture
will look a lot different. It's as much the user-experience expectations of
the people who use Windows that have to change as it is the code that
underlies this widespread operating system.
Automatic Updates user interface is vastly improved. Another difference from
previous versions of XP is that during the SP2 installation, Microsoft also
urges (but doesn't require) users to turn on option 1, the most aggressive
Automatic Updates setting, the one that automatically downloads and installs
critical updates on a daily schedule (or a schedule of your choosing). Even
if you go along with Microsoft's recommendation, you can easily change it
later. This is intended to get less-experienced people who might never on
their own turn on Automatic Updates to turn it on. Since it's not mandated,
it's a good thing, because if they're protected, we're all a little better
also is working on the 5.0 version of Windows Update, its Windows-updating
Web site, which handles a lot more than just critical updates. It's
primarily a user-interface update, but one of the underlying improvements is
that you'll no longer be required to restart your computer so often after
applying updates. Windows is now able to wait to install patches on the next
restart. Windows Update also is now able to make incremental installs
("delta installation" in Microsoft parlance). This should be of special
benefit to dial-up users. Instead of installing the same patches over a
patch that's already installed, Windows Update and Automatic Updates are
able to install only updates that aren't already on a specific system.
Automatic Updates has been positively redesigned. In many ways, it's one of
the best reasons to install Service Pack 2.
rest of what's new in Windows XP, highlighted by a new wireless networking
client and setup wizard, is only marginally security related. Find out about
the rest, and what we ultimately think about Windows XP Service Pack 2.
includes a new wireless LAN client that provides a much better interface
designed to help you understand and work with both secured and unsecured
wireless networks. There's also a new Wireless Network Setup Wizard that
let's you add a wireless network to your system either with or without
security. On the face of it, this interface is much better than original
Windows XP and Windows XP SP1 versions of the wireless networking client.
And there's nothing wrong with the upgrade. My only problem with it is that
it doesn't go far enough
These release notes apply to Microsoft
Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) Release Candidate 2 (RC2). You can use the
RC2 version of SP2 to update the following operating systems:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center
Edition and Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004
If you install the RC2 version of SP2 on
a computer running Windows XP Media Center Edition, your operating
system is upgraded to Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004.
These release notes also apply to the
following products in which the RC2 version of SP2 is integrated with the
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition with
the RC2 version of SP2
Microsoft Windows XP Professional with
the RC2 version of SP2
The entire section of release notes may
be obtained at:
Return to Webmaster Page
Webmaster Bulletin # 19
Are you using the same old tiresome Internet
Explorer or Netscape browser? There are updated versions which are
much better. Although, I am still not too fond of Netscape. At
this point, I will not even install it even though I should in order to test
the website pages. The past problems are not worth the aggravation in
my humble opinion. And now, there is a better browser available!
It is called "My IE2" and it looks like this:
Click on the image for a larger view. One
of the best features is the tabbed view. For each new site you visit
from within a site there is a new tab added at the top of the page.
Instead of hunting with the back button you are able to click on the tab to
return to the original page. MyIE2 also supports the "Google" Tool
Bar. If you are like me and have multiple email addresses as well as
multiple log-ins and passwords you will find that the "RoboForm" fill in and
password keeper "Plug-in" has been specifically designed to work with
MyIE2. AdHunter, which suppresses "Pop-ups", "Flash Ads", "Floating
Ads" and other annoying background ads is included. There are several
other neat functions which can make your web surfing easier and safer.
It takes a little bit of learning but is well worth the effort. Go to
www.myie2.com and take the tour. It
is a free application unless you decide to donate to the cause. An
added bonus is that your visit to the "Whetstone" will be easier than ever.
And, if you are having a problem reading some of the articles in the "Newsletter(s)",
MyIE2 has a "Magnifying" feature that makes it easier to read. This,
in itself, is worth the cost (FREE). Also, I suggest that you review
Bulletin #18 and implement as many of the suggestions as you are able.
For those who need a second email address, we
have a few usswhetstone.net addresses available. For those who already
have one, we can now change yours to whatever you would prefer. In
either case, email me at
email@example.com. Include your name, address, last four
digits of your service number and your desired contact name.
Return to Webmaster Page
Webmaster Bulletin # 18
(A long one)
There you have it! Our revered and venerable
President has been bitten by the ether virus and the spam man. As have
all of us I am sure. Your webmaster receives 50 or more spam emails
each day. Twice a many on Sunday. We will devote this Bulletin
to some facets of PC Security and fighting spam.
First, we will tackle the spam. There are
three basic types. Electronic, Postal and POTS (Plain Old Telephone
Service). We have suggestions for each.
Electronic: Primarily in the form of
email. There are many free spam fighters available such as: SAproxy
or Spamihilator for Outlook Express and other email clients. There
is the SpamBayes plug-in for Outlook. (Do a Google search to find
these) I use a program called MailWasher which allows me to select
the items I want Blacklisted and Bounced before I download any email.
The free version will only accept one email address. The Pro version
is about $30.00 and will cover all your addresses. Find it at
www.firetrust.com. If you are
currently experiencing a plethora of spam I suggest the following.
Change your current email address.
Notify everyone of importance what the new address will be and that you
will start using on a specific day. On that day, change to your
new address with your provider and cancel the current one.
If your ISP allows more than one email address
have one for your contacts and add a second for visits where you have to
supply an address on a web site. This will be the one that
attracts the spammers and you can arrange your email client to handle
them separate from your contacts.
Install an anti-spam application.
A word of caution. When you open a spam
email, DO NOT click on the link they provided to "Unsubscribe".
You are only verifying that yours is a good, active address. Also,
you most likely will receive more spam from others.
Postal: When you get those unsolicited
offers (Postal spam) with return postage paid envelopes don't throw them
out. Shred the forms and drop the envelope in the mail along with
any advertisement or letters (if they do not contain your name or contact
information). It costs the sender 50 cents when these envelopes are
returned. It may not cut down immediately on what you personally
receive but at some point the cost will affect how solicitation recipients
Telephone: This is the fun one. If
you have not already done so, sign up for the Do-Not-Call list.
Until all the bugs are worked out, the lawsuits settled and full
implementation takes hold, do this; When a telemarketer (Phone spam) calls
and you answer the phone, be pleasant. Respond by stating: "I'm so
glad you called, give me a minute while I turn off the bath water".
Lay the phone down and forget about it for a few minutes. Than hang
up! Fun Huh?
Included in the spam arena is a little bug within
Windows®. It is
a little know feature that is useful in networks but not home PC's.
The FTC has just charged a company in San Diego with using this feature to
place "Pop-ups" on the screens of unwary people and suggest that by paying
them for their product you can eliminate this annoyance. It is not
necessary to do so. This feature is called Windows Messenger Service.
It is not related to MSN or Windows Instant Messenger. So, it can be
safely turned off. To do so, use this procedure:
Disabling Windows Messenger Service
Pop up spammers are exploiting a feature of the
Microsoft Windows operating systems known as Messenger Service. Despite the
name, Windows Messenger Service doesn't have anything to do with instant
messaging. It is designed to provide users on a local- or wide-area computer
network with messages from the network administrator. For example, a
company's network administrator might send a message to all its users that
the company's network will be shutting down in five minutes. If your home
computer is connected only to the Internet, you may not have any practical
uses for Windows Messenger Service. If your computer is on a business or
home network, however, shutting off Messenger Service might not be the best
approach. Your network should be protected by a firewall.
Disabling the messenger service will prevent the
possibility of pop up spam. To disable the messenger service:
|Click Start, and then click Control Panel
(or point to Settings, and then click Control
|Double-click Administrative Tools. Double-click
Services. Double-click Messenger. |
In the Startup type list, click Disabled.
Click Stop, and then click OK.
Finally, there are the personal
responsibility issues of PC security. We have gone over them in
previous Bulletins. Use an anti-virus and keep it updated. I
suggest that you schedule a specific day each week for this task. As
most viruses and Trojans are generally sniffed out in the first part of the
week and fixes are quickly generated, the best day for this is Thursday.
By the weekend, these things begin proliferating. If you have a
"Broadband" connection, get a hardware firewall or, at the least a software
one. If you are online with dialup for extended periods, get a
If you go to
Webmaster Bulletin #16
you will find the links for most of what we covered in this bulletin.
On a personal note, our site
has received many commendations since we started. As the "Webmaster" I
feel that we can make it even better. Thus, I have been training on a
new web design application. However, the cost of the program and my
budget will make it difficult to purchase and implement. So, if you
have enjoyed your visits and would like to see an even better "Rolling
Stone" Online, send a website donation to Marion Goble and help us progress.
One final thought. If you
have not added the "Google" tool bar to
your browser you are not taking advantage of an excellent way to block
"Pop-Up Ads". Plus all of the other good stuff.
Return to Webmaster Page
Webmaster Bulletin # 17
Even with all of the trials and
tribulations of correcting the problems with the site, the webmaster has
found a few goodies. If you like short-cuts and hate playing with the
mouse, these are for you.
Want to type in an address for a web
site? There is an easy way.
Hold down the "Alt" key and tap
the "d" key. The address bar will now be highlighted. Then:
If the Address is a .com address,
just type the name of the site. Hold the "Ctrl" key and tap the
"Enter" key. The www and the .com will be auto inserted and the site
will be dialed.
If you use a link in a site and
want to go back just tap the "Backspace" key. This will work as long
as the "Back Button" is highlighted. It sure beats using the mouse
to do it. The Webmaster is using this feature more often than not.
But old habits are hard to break. Let me know what you think!
Here is one for the mouse. If
you are on a "web-page", "email", "word processor", or any other page that
has the option to change the "Text Size View" you can increase or decrease
the "text size" easily IF you have a wheel mouse. Just hold down the
"Ctrl" key and rotate the wheel. Don't know if the application you are
using will allow for this? Find out by clicking on "View" in the
"Menu" bar and if there is a "Text Size" option this little trick will work.
Do you "click" on the X in the upper
right corner of an application to close it? A better way is to hold
down the "Alt" key and tap the "F4" key. If you have some Applications
opening in a reduced mode and you have to expand them, they will continue
to do so if you close using the "X". Using Alt + F4 will change this
if you have first expanded the screen.
Although you may have to do so several times in succession. If you are
at your Desktop, Alt + F4 will invoke the Shutdown window. Any
Return to Webmaster Page
Webmaster Bulletin #16
Trouble right here in River City! And, some "Good News" as well.
Actually, where I reside was once referred to as the
"Forest City". Hasn't been called that in quite some time. And
for sure, not since the river burned. Anyway, the webmaster has
encountered some troubling events during the past few months. More
often than I would like, I have received email from various sources, laden
with a virus. Fortunately, I maintain an up to date anti-virus and
have escaped the scourge of the dreaded KlezH. Consequently, I think
that it is again, time to alert our members to the need to have their PC's
protected. I am sure that the attacks I have encountered can be traced
to a site other than that of a member. And, several which were traced
went back to commercial sites. One can never be sure where an attack
will originate. The sagest will insure they are safe.
I would like to
recommend that everyone use the following three Security applications on their
Anti-Virus. Download from
www.grisoft.com. It is free for personal use. Virus
definitions are timely and also free. Don't get mail without it.
Firewall 5.0. Download from
www.sygate.com. The personal version is free. It is not
difficult to set-up and is often higher rated by the experts than some of
the high priced products. For those using WindowsXP Professional©,
this is more capable than the one XP provides. Protection is in both
Download from www.mailwasher.net.
Again, free. However, with a $20 registration you get some
enhancements. What makes this a great little utility is that it
checks your email and lets you know what is in the pipe. Spam can be
deleted, bounced and black listed before it ever reaches your PC. It
will also detect some virus patterns. You can preview all of your
mail and only download the ones you want. Those marked for
processing are left somewhere in the ether. A little patience is
required for set-up and if you forgot your email passwords there is a
problem. Still, it is worth the effort.
good news! The webmaster found a neat inexpensive little
application for displaying photo projects. And, now that we have a
new provider for the server host service, we have an abundance of space
for the "Rolling Stone Online". Consequently, I have reposted the
2000 Reunion in an exciting format. Check it out on the
"Reunion News" page and let me know what
you think. And while you are at it, send a note of thanks to
Jim Dunn for making the
change to the new hosting service possible.
Return to Webmaster Page
“Old soldiers never die.”......... “They just fade away.”
We saw these words
when we visited the McArthur Museum in Norfolk, Virginia during the 2002
reunion. Today, old soldiers do die. It is their benefits that fade away.
enlistment was in December of 1956. It was a voluntary enlistment, so the
recruiter did not have to give is hard sell speech. He did so anyway.
Initially he said something strange. “Congress controlled the purse strings
and therefore, servicemen were only paid if Congress decides to do so.”
“Don’t worry” he said, “the armed forces have always been paid”. “And, if
you serve twenty or more years you are guaranteed a pension”. “In addition”
he remarked, “you will have fully paid medical benefits for life”.
Later, while I
was being processed for separation in 1961 there was a standard retention
pitch. A pension after twenty or more years, lots of sea duty and health
benefits. I honestly do not remember if the health benefits were a lifetime
guarantee at this time. But, as this was detailed when I enlisted I was
under the impression it would be so. There were also the enticements such
as reenlistment bonuses, pet programs of the day and so on. I declined and
accepted my discharge. Many others, before and after me, did not.
Today, they are
seeing the true worth of those recruitment and retention promises. They were
made for more than twenty years and are now deemed worthless. Congress, in
its wisdom, has decided that Medicare is the responsible body. World War II
and Korean era retirees were no longer able to depend on treatment in
military hospitals if the illness is not service related. The promises were
made, they were real and they should be kept. Last year Congress
restored these rights. However, these Veterans had paid Medicare
premiums from 1995 through 2002 when the legislation was enacted. Now
they need to be reimbursed!
I invite all
members and anyone else reading this to contact their Congressman and
Senator. Demand that action be taken to insure that these men may be
restored their rights and dignity in full. Talk to everyone you know, urge them to
follow suit. Understand, the contentious fact is, a cost factor being
inserted when the promise should not allow for this. The Medicare
requirement is a cost borne by retirees and thus, there is no longer free
care. Tricare is for today's retirees not those who should have been
grandfathered out. While Congress has heard the rulings, shifted their
position by voting to allow all enlistees prior to 1957 to receive the care
as promised they left open one problem. Reimbursement.
Note: The U.S. Court of Appeals based in Washington, D.C., ruled
that the government, in recruiting efforts, promised free lifetime health
care to enlistees who served at least 20 years. According to the court, that
promise created a contract that the government breached in 1956.
D. A. Vydra, RD2, Webmaster
Note: Please review Webmaster Bulletin #9 in the
Return to Webmaster Page
Webmaster Bulletin #14 New 05/20/02
WASHINGTON, May 14, 2002 -- The Department of Veterans Affairs has made its
comprehensive benefits guide available for free on the Internet.
Federal Benefits for Veterans
is a 100-page handbook describing benefits provided by the VA and an
overview of programs and services for veterans provided by other federal
estimate most of America's 25 million veterans qualify for at least some VA
benefits, but many are unaware of their entitlements. This handbook includes
a listing of toll-free numbers, World Wide Web information resources and VA
Most veterans are
eligible for healthcare and burial benefits. Many are also eligible for home
loan guarantees, educational assistance, vocational rehabilitation, life
insurance, and compensation for service-connected disabilities. This guide
explains how to access many of these benefits online. For instance, it
provides a Web address and instructions for enrolling via the Internet into
the VA healthcare system. The book describes in detail the priority for care
and services available. Separate sections describe specialized services
available to Gulf War veterans and those exposed to Agent Orange or
The Montgomery GI
Bill and other education benefits are explained in depth. Burial benefits
and employment service are also covered, as are rate charts for the various
forms of compensation VA provides. The book can be purchased through the
Government Printing Office for $5 for U.S.-based customers and $6.25 for
those overseas by calling toll-free (866) 512-1800. By providing it online
www.va.gov/opa/feature/, the VA hopes to make the information available
to more veterans.
By Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service
Thanks and a hand salute to Donald E.
Leach YN, 1959-62
Return to Webmaster Page
Bulletin #13 New 09/01/01
||Many of America's
Veterans were being buried without Military Honors. Traditionally,
there had been an unwritten expectation that the U.S. Government would, upon
request, provide military honors for any deceased veteran. But as
America's veteran population aged, the demand for military burials
outstripped what the Department of Defense could provide. The American
Legion began lobbying the government to provide burial honors for all
honorably discharged veterans. In January 2000, the National Defense
Authorization Act became the first law to mandate the Department of
Defense's responsibility for burial details through its "Honoring Those Who
Served" program. For more details on this program visit:
www.militaryfuneralhonors.osd.mil/ There is also a link on our
Return to Webmaster Page
Bulletin #12 New 07/18/01
Attention: Shipmembers and
any Service Veteran. Did you participate in Operation
Am trying to organize a reunion cruise for Dominic Vets
and notice the Whetstone was there. This will be a 12 day cruise on the Crown
Princess 11/25/01 from Honolulu to Hilo, Maui, Kauai, Christmas Island, Bora Bora, Moorea,
Papeete overnight and ending 12/7/01.
I was in Navy Patrol Sq. 872 and we flew the patrols for the tests from
Christmas and Johnston Islands.
Could you pass the information along?
Return to Webmaster Page
Bulletin #11 New 05/08/01
||Your Webmaster has a healthy
respect for the destructiveness of computer viruses. I attempt to keep updated on all of
the latest attacks as well as detection methods. Though it is most unlikely, keeping
viruses from becoming accessible from our site is a prime responsibility. Anti-Virus
protecting is important, even more so if a computer is connected to the internet. Most
viruses are proliferated by email and are almost always received third hand or later. I
follow specific procedures to insure a possible virus is detected before it is able to
infect my systems.
What might you do to protect
yourself? First, install an Anti-Virus (AV) program. The best of those commercially
available is Norton AV. Another is Inoculate by Computer Associates. Or, there are several
"Free" programs that can be downloaded and which will provide timely
downloadable updates and notification of new virus profiles. I have mentioned AVG from
www.grisoft.com and use it on one of my computers. It works very well and will sit in your
email application to catch incoming viruses. Another free AV is InoculatePE from
www.cai.com. This is also very excellent and is very unobtrusive. Updates are also
downloadable and timely. I also use this program on another computer. Both may be setup to
schedule checks for updates by the user.
Secondly, an AV program is not an end all be all for virus
protection. There are other procedures to be taken which will help ensure a virus free
environment. Follow these steps: Create a new folder in My Documents or other folder of
your choice. Name this new folder "Virus Vault. Save any attachment you receive via
email to this folder. When you click on the "Paper Clip" in MS Outlook or
Outlook Express or the icon for attachments in any other email program such as Eudora or
Netscape Mail (I dont use those) you will have the option to save the file or open
it. Your choice should be to save. You will be asked where you want to save and your
choice should be the Virus Vault. When you want to open the attachment go to the Virus
Vault and right click on the file. A drop-down box will allow you to select the option to
scan with your AV. Select this and the AV program will scan it and advise you whether or
not the file is a virus. If no virus is detected you may safely open the virus. There are
three file extensions you should never open unless you have scanned them first. These are
the DOS extensions.exe, .vbs and .com. (Note: .com is the DOS based command extension and
not the internet based extension).
Now, its time to test your AV program. Take this
and do the four downloads in their prescribed order. There is an abundance of information
to read before you reach the four downloads at the bottom of the page. The instructions
for the download procedure are contained in this information. Two of the files are Zip
files and will hang around in the unzipped folder until you delete them. The first file
should not be downloadable at all if the AV is working. The second or the zips should also
be saved to a floppy disk so that you may test the AVs ability to catch viruses on
disks in the floppy drive. Do the same for any other removable drive you may have.
Thats it, Happy Computing.
Return to Webmaster Page
Bulletin #10 New 04/26/01
||Your webmaster received a copy of this letter in an email.
My response upon reading it was; "So true". I feel fairly sure that most
of us will find the same reaction to be heartfelt. Read and find the memories.
by V. Adm. Harold Koenig, USN (Ret)
I like the Navy.
I like standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my
and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe -
the ship beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drive her
through the sea.
I like the sounds of the Navy - the piercing trill of the boatswains
pipe, the syncopated clangor of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, the
harsh squawk of the 1MC and the strong language and laughter of sailors
I like the vessels of the Navy - nervous darting destroyers, plodding
fleet auxiliaries, sleek submarines and steady solid carriers. I like the
proud sonorous names of Navy capital ships: Midway, Lexington, Saratoga,
Coral Sea - memorials of great battles won. I like the lean angular
names of Navy 'tin-cans': Barney, Dahlgren, Mullinix, McCloy - mementos of
heroes who went before us.
I like the tempo of a Navy band blaring through the topside speakers as
we pull away from the oiler after refueling at sea. I like liberty call and
the spicy scent of a foreign port. I even like all hands working parties
as my ship fills herself with the multitude of supplies both mundane and
exotic which she needs to cut her ties to the land and carry out her
mission anywhere on the globe where there is water to float her.
I like sailors, men from all parts of the land, farms of the Midwest,
small towns of New England, from the cities, the mountains and the prairies,
from all walks of life. I trust and depend on them as they trust and depend
on me - for professional competence, for comradeship, for courage. In a
word, they are "shipmates."
I like the surge of adventure in my heart when the word is passed "Now
station the special sea and anchor detail - all hands to quarters for
leaving port", and I like the infectious thrill of sighting home again,
with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting
pierside. The work is hard and dangerous, the going rough at times, the parting
from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the
'all for one and one for all' philosophy of the sea is ever present.
I like the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as
flying fish flit across the wave tops and sunset gives way to night. I
like the feel of the Navy in darkness - the masthead lights, the red and
green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence
of radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and join with the mirror
of stars overhead. And I like drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad
noises large and small that tell me that my ship is alive and well, and
that my shipmates on watch will keep me safe.
I like quiet midwatches with the aroma of strong coffee - the lifeblood
of the Navy - permeating everywhere. And I like hectic watches when the
exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes racing at flank speed keeps all
hands on a razor edge of alertness. I like the sudden electricity of
"General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle
stations", followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and the
resounding thump of watertight doors as the ship transforms herself in a few brief
seconds from a peaceful workplace to a weapon of war - ready for
anything. And I like the sight of space-age equipment manned by
youngsters clad in dungarees and sound-powered phones that their
grandfathers would still recognize.
I like the traditions of the Navy and the men and women who made them. I
like the proud names of Navy heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut,
John Paul Jones. A sailor can find much in the Navy: comrades-in-arms,
pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent can
In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will still
remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods - the
impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water
surging over the bow. And then there will come again a faint whiff of
stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright
bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in
the wardroom and chief's quarters and messdecks. Gone ashore for good
they will grow wistful about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to
them and a new port of call was ever over the horizon. Remembering this,
they will stand taller and say,
"I WAS A SAILOR ONCE. I WAS PART OF THE NAVY & THE NAVY WILL ALWAYS BE PART OF
Return to Webmaster Page