Computer and Network Support for Small Businesses
in the Greater Toronto Area

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Newsletter 6 – April 2004

Summer wants to get here… I think! It’s Monday the 19th April and we’re looking to set a record high for this day… heading to 25 degrees Celsius.

Most of you have managed to stay virus free and minimizing Spam intrusions… good for you!

The Netsky virus had been “bugging” a number of you but with your virus scanning software, you’re alerted to the fact that the virus has been blocked. Unfortunately, you have to acknowledge the trap before you you can continue… this is the only way… it cannot be set to advance automatically. Keep an eye on the expiry of your AntiVirus and renew before it expires.

Spam and Pop-up are the other “bugs”. I continue to recommend Spam Inspector (unfortunately, it’s no longer available as of 15 Dec 2004). This software is relatively inexpensive ($20.00US… oops, now $10.00) and “just works”! You can download a 15 day Free Trial from their site. To cut down on pop-ups, download and install the Google Toolbar ( It’s free and it works. It also places a Toolbar Window in (on) your Internet Explorer.

Spring Cleaning? On your computer too, please! Clean up your disk… under Accessories, System Tools, select Disk Cleanup and get rid of all your Temp files. Also, open your Antivirus software and get rid of the Quarantined files. Finally run the Disk Defragmenter to improve overall disk access performance.

Another tip to get some additional system performance… increase the system RAM. If you’re running Windows 2000 or Windows XP, you need a minimum of 256MB to reduce disk reads and writes. We recommend 512MB if you’re using a number of applications simultaneously.

What about security? A number of my clients have asked about Firewalls. Here’s a brief explanation for you.

Basically, a firewall is a barrier to keep destructive forces away from your property. In fact, that’s why its called a firewall. Its job is similar to a physical firewall that keeps a fire from spreading from one area to the next. As you read through this article, you will learn more about firewalls, how they work and what kinds of threats they can protect you from.

My commitment was (is) to provide you with a page full of useful information to make your computing safer, faster and less troublesome. How am I doing?

If you have found this Newsletter useful, please pass it around. Better still, send me the email address of a friend or colleague, who you feel might benefit from reading it, and I’ll add them to the mailing list. The newsletter only goes to my clients and those people who have specifically requested a copy.