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Subject: Upgrading drivers commentary and anti-virus advice
Date: Sun, 21 May 2000 02:33:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: Eva
To: Tip Group

Yes, there are commercial versions of driver updating software such as 'oil changer' or whatever. I must caution you that upgrading all drivers all the time is not necessarily a great idea, sometimes newer versions are changed to the point where backwards compatibility with the original hardware is compromised and you will have trouble where there wasn't any before. Unless a major bug fix or software improvement is in order, do it only upon careful analysis of what the upgrade is offering to do. And of course be absolutely sure you have the original drivers backed up in case you need to go back to those. You know the expression: "don't mess with success"? I suggest that you follow that :) so far, the only drivers I have seen worth upgrading are the CD burner ones (easy CD creator) and you already have installed the version I upgraded mine to. Oh, and I did flash upgrade my BIOS and that even turned out to be unnecessary for me at this time. The motherboard manufacturers even advise people not to do it unless absolutely necessary (such as for upgrading to a faster processor which the current BIOS version does not support).
p.s. Has anyone in the tip group received the 'love bug' virus in their e-mail? If so I hope my earlier tip on not opening (which means not clicking on it) any attachment you weren't expecting helped you to avert disaster. Remember if you are sending a file attachment, please say so in the body of your e-mail message to the recipient so they know to expect it. It might also be a good idea to mention exactly how many attachments you are sending in case a virus one has decided to piggyback along with the legitimate attachment!

p.p.s. Another suggestion for your consideration: since all of the recent virus attacks are on users of Windows Microsoft Outlook e-mail program only (this is because it is the most widely used program and therefore most available to spread the virus) then simply don't use that program and switch to eudora, Netscape's own e-mail client or some other non-microsoft product. I recommend Netscape because it is free and easy to use. Of course there will be other viruses which will pass through all e-mail programs in the future so this is only a partial defense. The best defense is to pay attention to what arrives in your mailbox and be paranoid :) oh yeah--and don't accept floppy discs from strangers!!

When I get through finals crunch next week I'll tell you how I handle defending my computer from viruses...

On Sat, 20 May 2000, Eric Raimy wrote:

When you come up for air, you may want to ask me about the free Netscape plug-in I downloaded tonight. It scans all the programs, drivers, etc. on your computer, and notifies you when more recent versions are available, and includes a link to download the newest version. it found quite a few things that could be updated on margarita, although most of the updates were quite minor--I might have ver 4.100 and the current version might be 4.120, for example. this is a service that has been available for a fee; nice to see it for free now.
~ ~ ~ ~ Eric Raimy -- Freelance Journalist ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
eraimy@mindspring.com / telephone 510-547-7369
snail mail: 4327 Montgomery St., Suite C,
~ ~ ~ Oakland, California 94611 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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