PuterGeek.Com News
Issue # 41

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Hello everyone from Gallup, NM!

I've been rather busy on the road for the last few weeks.  The weather is starting to get cold, so we've had to dodge the snow a few times.

I'm almost finished with the new look for PuterGeek.Com.  Some of you make think it a bit plain, but I'm trying to keep the masses happy :-)

There's a new poll up, and some new pages as well.  Come on in and see what you think!

Ever see a never ending story?  Well, now you can add to one on PuterGeek.Com.  It's a really cool script the creates the page.  You can read the story so far, then you can add to it.  The results can be quite funny!


Here's your chance to get your own website known to more people.  You can now add a link to any website you like to PuterGeek.Com.  Whether it's your personal homepage, a business website, or just a website you think is really neat.  PuterGeek.Com gets over 5000 visitors per month so traffic on your site should increase by adding a link here.


Of course, if you'd like to place a link to PuterGeek.Com on your website you can get code samples here.  Please email me when you add a link to PuterGeek.Com.


I want to remind all of you about our free web-based email.  There's no strings here!  You get a 6 meg mail box with the ability to send attachments too!  Plus by using it, you'll be helping me to get the PuterGeek.Com name out to more people :-)  You can signup on any page on the website, just look for the teal colored box in the upper left corner of the page.

If any of you haven't rated this newsletter on Infojump.com www.infojump.com please do so now.  Think of it as a way to thank me for putting out thus newsletter.  You can either click on the link here;


Or, if you'd rather give me a lower score, you can find the rating link on the navbar about half way down the page :-)

 We've got a new horror story written by Amy (my wife);


 There's a couple of new pages at the Amy's Corner section of the website;


 Here's a subject that I've been thinking about for quite some time.  I think I want to try to recoup some of the cost of running PuterGeek.Com.  I spend about $75.00 per month on the site in real cash, as well as the 30+ hours I spend on the website, newsletter, and helpme requests.  The best idea I can come up with is banners/sponsors.  Now, before you freak out, I hate banners too!  But what if you only saw one banner per page, and no matter how long you're on a given page it doesn't change?  So the only time the banner could change would be when you move to another page on the website.  What if the banners were for real businesses, ones that you and I would actually use?

 There are two ways I could go here, the first is for me to find a few (3-6) sponsors, check them out myself, and then if I like them, I'd put up their banners in a rotation.  The second choice is to go with some kind of banner program.  It would be less work for me, but we'd never know what kind of junk would show up on the website.

 So what to you think?  If you have any ideas, comments, or suggestions please email me at webmaster@putergeek.com?SUBJECT=Banner

 If any of you might want to be a sponsor of PuterGeek.com please note the following;

PuterGeek.Com averages about 30,000-40,000 page views per month, with an average of 2,000-3,000 unique visitors per month.

 Like this newsletter? Tell a friend and you could win $10,000!
Here's an easy way to let friends and family know about the PuterGeek.Com Newsletter.

 Now, on with the good stuff!

 From the Funnies http://users.erols.com/hmmd

 Stuff to remember when Emailing:

 1.  Big companies don't do business via chain letters.  Bill Gates is
not giving you $1000, and Disney is not giving you a free vacation. 
There is no baby food company issuing class-action checks. 

Proctor and Gamble is not part of a satanic cult or scheme, and its logo
is not satanic. 

MTV will not give you backstage passes if you forward something to the most people. 

The Gap is not giving away free clothes.  You can relax; there is no
need to pass it on "just in case it's true." 

2.  There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans.  No one is waking up
in a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it
happened to their cousin.  If you are hell-bent on believing the
kidney-theft ring stories, see:
<http://urbanlegends.tqn.com/library/weekly/aa062997.htm> And I quote:
"The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests for
actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell their stories."
 None have.

That's "none" as in "zero."  Not even your friend's cousin. 

3.  Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200 cookie recipe. And even if
they do, we all have it.  And even if you don't, you can get a copy at:
<http://www.bl.net/forwards/cookie.html> Then, if you make the
recipe,decide the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on. 

4.  If the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium that
went to particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think this information would reach the public via an AOL chain letter? 

5.  There is no "Good Times" virus.  In fact, you should never, ever,
ever forward any email containing any virus warning unless you first
confirm that an actual site of an actual company that actually deals
with viruses.

Try: <http://www.norton.com> And even then, don't forward it.  We don't care.   And you cannot get a virus from a flashing IM or email, you have to download it....ya know, like, a FILE! 

(Editor's note: Now we are being told that e-mail CAN have a virus
attached and you DON'T have to open the attachment to get the virus.
As of this writing, I have yet to hear of anyone getting a virus
this way, nor do I expect it to occur, but, sigh....)

6.  There is no gang initiation plot to murder any motorist who flashes
headlights at another car driving at night without lights. 

7.  If you're using Outlook, IE, or Netscape to write email, turn off
the "HTML encoding." Those of us on Unix shells can't read it, and don't
care enough to save the attachment and then view it with a web browser since you're probably forwarding us a copy of the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe anyway.

  8.  If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message
from a friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of
headers showing everyone else who's received it over the last 6 months. (Think Cut and Paste) It sure wouldn't hurt to get rid of all the ">>>" that begin each line either. Besides, if it has gone around that many times we've probably already seen it. 

9.  Craig Shergold (or Sherwood, or Sherman, etc) in England is not
dying of cancer or anything else at this time and would like everyone to
stop sending him their business cards.  He apparently is no longer a
"little boy" either. 


10.  The "Make a Wish" foundation is a real organization doing fine
work, but they have had to establish a special toll free hot line in
response to the large number of Internet hoaxes using their good name
and reputation.  It is distracting them from the important work they do.
Also, the American Cancer Society does not give 3 cents for each person you forward e-mail to. They ask for you to donate money money, they don't give it, as if they could know how many e-mails you sent out...sheesh. 

11.  If you are one of those insufferable idiots who forwards anything
that "promises" something bad will happen if you "don't,"-- then
something bad will happen to you if I ever meet you in a dark alley. 

12.  Women really are suffering in Afghanistan, but forwarding an e-mail won't help their cause in the least. If you want to help, contact your local legislative representative, or get in touch with Amnesty
International or the Red Cross. 

13.  As a general rule, e-mail "signatures" are easily faked and mean
nothing to anyone with any power to do anything about whatever the
competition is complaining about. 

14.  KFC really does use real Chickens with feathers and beaks and feet. No, they really do.  Why did they change their name?  In this health
conscious world, what was KFC's name?  Kentucky FRIED Chicken.  FRIED is not healthy. So with the help of a focus group, they changed the name to KFC. It's short, doesn't offend dieters and it's easy to remember. 

15.  Another thing, just because someone said in a message, four
generations back, that "we checked it out and it's legit," does not
actually make it true. 

PS: There is no bill pending before Congress that will allow long
distance companies to charge you for using the Internet. 

Bottom Line...  composing e-mail or posting something on the Net is as
easy as writing on the walls of a public restroom. Don't automatically
believe it until it's proven false...ASSUME it's false, unless there is
proof that it's true. 

Too cute...

While walking through the woods one day, I was surprised to hear
a child's voice. I followed the sound, trying in vain to understand the
child's words. When I spotted a boy perched on a rock, I realized
why his words had made no sense: He was repeating the alphabet.

"Why are you saying your ABC's so many times?" I asked him.

The child replied, "I'm saying my prayers."

I couldn't help but laugh. "Prayers? All I hear is the alphabet."

Patiently the child explained, "Well, I don't know all the words, so I
give God the letters. He knows what I'm trying to say."

Dog property laws:

1. If I like it, it's mine.
2. If it's in my mouth, it's mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I'm chewing something up, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it just looks like mine, it's mine.
8. If I saw it first, it's mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it
automatically becomes mine.
10. If it's broken, it's yours.

How dogs and men are the same:

1. Both take up too much space on the bed.
2. Both have irrational fears about vacuum cleaning.
3. Both mark their territory.
4. Neither tells you what's bothering them.
5. The smaller ones tend to be more nervous
6. Neither understands what you see in cats.
7. Neither does any dishes.
8. Both break wind shamelessly.
9. Neither of them notices when you get your hair cut.
10. Both like dominance games.
11. Both are suspicious of the postman.

How dogs are better than men:

1. Dogs do not have problems expressing affection in public.
2. Dogs miss you when you're gone.
3. Dogs feel guilty when they've done something wrong.
4. Dogs admit when they're jealous.
5. Dogs are very direct about wanting to go out.
6. Dogs do not play games with you -- except fetch (and they never
laugh at how you throw).
7. You can train a dog.
8. Dogs are easy to buy for.
9. The worst social disease you can get from dogs is fleas.
10. Dogs understand what "no" means.
11. Dogs mean it when they kiss you.

From the Langalist www.langa.com

Nice Little Freebie Utility

 Reader Michael D. Lawler (who works as a support tech at GW Micro)
found a cool--- and free--- utility:

      Fred: check out resman from http://www.entechtaiwan.com .
     This program is a great tray-based process killer for when
     control-alt-delete doesn't work. It also lists your system
     resources and allows you to free RAM like you describe with
     rampage when you feel that you need to do so.

 Nice, Michael. It's sort of a combination of Resource Meter, a Task-
Killer, and RamPage all in one. Thanks!

 NOTE:  This is a small, clean program.  I like it! - Peter

 Beware The CueCat

 Surely you've heard of the CueCat by now: It's a free, pen-style bar-
code scanner being given away by a company called Digital Convergence in what they're calling the largest, fastest hardware rollout in computer history: They plan to distribute 50 million of the devices
by the end of next year.

 Here in the US, it's being promoted in newspapers, magazines, and on television; it's also being handed out in the national chain of Radio
Shack stores. You almost can't avoid it.

 The primary benefit of the CueCat is that you can scan in specially-
formatted bar-code information printed in ads; the bar-code is
usually just a URL. The CueCat software turns the scanned code into a
standard URL and feeds it to your browser, which then takes you to
the page.

 It seems a little silly to me to have to install extra hardware and
software (with all the concomitant potential for instability therein)
primarily to avoid typing a URL: CueCat seems a product aimed at raw
newbies who are terrified of typing "http:" or who don't know that
most browsers don't even need the "http://www." (For example, in most
browsers, langa.com and http://www.langa.com get you to the same

 And there are major privacy concerns: To use a CueCat, you have to
register it, which involves providing personal information (name,
email, zip code, gender, age...) to Digital Convergence. Plus, each
CueCat has a unique serial number software-embedded inside it. This
gives the company everything it needs to track you: Because it knows
who you are and which CueCat you own, the company can, if it chooses, track every ad you ever scan. By using a CueCat to go to a web site instead of simply typing the URL, Digital Convergence now has a way to "look over your shoulder" as you shop.

 Worse, their database was set up poorly, and that treasure-trove of
online personal information almost immediately came under attack by
bad hackers---"crackers"--- who successfully stole at least some of
the personal information there. This is not confidence-inspiring.

 Privacy groups hate the CueCat: The Privacy Foundation, for example,
has issued a lengthy and scathing warning about the CueCat. See

 Plus, the darn thing just doesn't work very well. Its bar codes are
nonstandard, and lack a "start" bar on the left: This leads to
frequent scan failures in standard left-to-right scans. (Oddly, the
CueCat codes do have a proper "Stop" code on the right, so reverse,
right-to-left scans usually work. Who designed *that* format?)

 And all this is mainly just to avoid having to type some URLs.

 My advice: The CueCat's a dog. I don't have one on any of my PCs, and I have no plans to add one. I recommend you avoid it, too.

 The second problem is that /OPT is a hidden command. Some readers dropped to pure DOS and typed SCANREG /? to see a list of all available commands.  "OPT" was not listed, and so these readers assumed that OPT was not a valid command.

 That's a reasonable assumption, but--- due to a very weird decision on
Microsoft's part--- it's an erroneous one: OPT *is* a valid command for
the Win98 versions of ScanReg. For example, in one KnowledgeBase article (
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q201/6/55.ASP ) Microsoft specifically states, "The /opt command-line switch causes the Registry Checker tool to optimize the registry by removing unused space." But for reasons known only to Microsoft, they hid the OPT command. (Duh!) It's there and it works, but it's not listed as part of the command set.

 And while we're on the subject: ScanReg actually does a lot more than
compact your Registry: If you're curious about learning more of ScanReg's tricks, here are some links to get you going:

      How to Customize Registry Checker Tool Settings:

      Description of the Windows Registry Checker Tool (Scanreg.exe):

      Diagnosing and Resolving Hardware and Hardware Driver problems with ScanReg and ScanRegW:

      Windows 98 Advanced Tips for Maintaining Your Computer:

        3) FREE Alternatives to ScanReg

 Users who can't use ScanReg /OPT may wish to look at other free registry-maintenance tools, such as Microsoft's RegClean: It runs on Windows 95 and 98; NT workstation and Server versions 3.51, 4.0; and Windows 2000 Professional. You can download (again, for free!) from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/release.asp?ReleaseID=18924

You can find lots of information about using RegClean at

No single Registry tool does it all--- but RegClean (and ScanReg, if you
have it) cover a  lot of ground and will help keep your Registry running
lean and mean. Check 'em out!

From Lockergnome www.lockergnome.com

SoftCAT v1.10.01 [2.2M] W9x/2k FREE


{Manage software registrations} You need to be a bit more AR. How many times have you called for service on a certain piece of software and the technician asked you for the registration or serial number? The better question might be: Did you even know what the number was? Hey, don't worry, we've all been there. Let SoftCAT (no relation to :CueCat) keep track of your software for you. Categorize your software into over 20 data fields for easy reference, including program title, type, and installation date. You can even password protect the database and make backup copies. Call customer support with confidence, reading off the serial number before they even finish saying "Press one for..." And won't you feel foolish if it's a wrong number?

Fortress User Authentication v2.41 [465k] W9x/NT/2k FREE


"In many companies, controlling and registering user logins in the network is a problem. Network OSes support their own user control and authentication methods -- but many times the vulnerabilities are evident. In other cases, companies need some additional features that are unreachable through the standard solutions. [This] knows what users are logged in your network, elapsed session times, incorrect logins operations, etc. Additionally, you can allow or deny network resource access without make changes to user policies."

NoteTab Light v4.82 [1.0M] W9x/NT/2k FREE
SIA 2000 Award Winner


This Fookes guy is awesome. NoteTab is a free NotePad replacement and a handy HTML editor. Manage multiple files with a simple, tabbed interface. Search files, strip HTML tags and format text quickly. (Formerly called "Super NoteTab") 100% free -- no ads and no nags.
NOTE: I love this editor! - Peter


Shutdown Launcher v1.0.0 [2.0M] W9x FREE


Get up and shut down! Shutdown Launcher is a Windows Shut Down Dialog replacement that runs user-specified software when Windows shuts down, such as a backup or defragmentation program. It uses wizards to simplify configuration of common tasks.

Button Artist v1.0 [318k] W9x FREE


{Create buttons for the Web} These days you have to look good. Dressed up like a million dollar trooper; trying hard to look like Mr. Looper. Er, Hooper. What? Well, something like that. It's always good to look your best when you venture out into the world of business. Why, even your buttons are an expression of yourself. Small white buttons? Very acceptable. Big Mickey Mouse pants with yellow buttons? Probably only acceptable in the Valley. Speaking of buttons, this handy program lets you create buttons for your multimedia presentations and/or Web site(s). It even includes multiple button exporting, allowing you to create a ton of buttons all at once. Who's got the button?


Geek News


{Important data for users} Remember that Blind Melon video with the girl in the bumble bee outfit? How she searched and searched for someone she could identify with... and finally came upon a field full of other dancing bumble bee girls? That's kind of what being a geek is like. Nobody really understands a geek better than other geeks, so it's nice to have a site created just for those of us who like to take long, slow sips from the nectar of Compudom. Technology news, Q&A sessions with big name nerds, news for techdorks, articles for and about geek-type things, and a message board for you to post your thoughts and criticisms are all included here. It's almost too good to be true... *sniff* excuse me, I'm starting to get emotional.

MaxxChat v1.0.1d [4.2M] W9x/NT FREE


{Deluxe IRC client} How many thoughts can a person have at one time? Some days it seems like I only have one. Not one at a time; I mean one for the ENTIRE day. Other days, my head is a jumble of thoughts. Can I create a backup disk for my brain? Sometimes you have to juggle a lot of things at once, especially when you're online. With this handy IRC client working directly from your Desktop, you can chat with your friends, view stock quotes, listen to Net radio and television stations, send instant messages, and do a number of other things while maximizing your Desktop real estate. You can even access an online dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedia... just in case you need to call someone a "sulfurous latitudinarian" and want to make sure you spell it correctly.

Open Outlook Express Links in a New Browser Window Unearthed by a Lockergnomie


 When you receive an e-mail message in OE that contains shortcuts to Web pages or other Internet resources, the URL is opened in a new Microsoft Internet Explorer window the first time, but any other URLs in the e-mail message are opened in the same Internet Explorer window when you click them. This behavior occurs whether or not you have enabled the "Reuse windows for launching shortcuts" option in Internet Explorer properties. You need to change the file associations for Hypertext Transfer Protocol under the folder settings in Windows Explorer."

DESKcam v1.0 [802k] W9x FREE


{Upload screen shots instantly} It's not WebCam... it's DESKcam. Unlike the former, DESKcam allows someone to view your computer screen as you type, surf, download recipes or anything else you might be doing on any given Sunday (or Friday). Why would anyone want to see what you're doing? Well, your guess is as good as mine, but who are we to say what's hip and what's unhip? It used to be hip to be square, but now it's not. I think trapezoids are in style this season, actually. A more practical (albeit not as weird) use for DESKcam is as a teaching tool. Say you want to show someone in another state how to perform a complicated task on their computer. Well, stop mincing words and show them via DESKcam. See how easy that was? Huey Lewis may have been right after all. NOTE: opens port 2323 on your PC.

Peter Crockett - webmaster
website: http://www.putergeek.com/
mailto: webmaster@putergeek.com
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Last Revised: 10/23/2000