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Windows-Help.NET Newsletter07 Aug. 1999, Vol 2 No. 32

 Microsoft & AOL fighting Messenger War

by Arie Slob

Dear Windows-Help.NET Subscriber,

When Microsoft finally released it's entry into the messenger world, it decided to tap into AOL's AIM user base, giving MSN messenger users the ability to send messages to AOL AIM users, and import their "buddy" lists.

This move was not appreciated by AOL, who blocked access from MSN Messenger Services (MSN MS). Microsoft was not to be outdone, and released a new build of MSN MS, only for the cycle to be repeated.... and repeated... and ... well you get the idea.

Then Microsoft had an idea: they called for an open standard to be set-up! Remember, we're talking about a company which is over-protective of their Windows code! In fact, it is well known that Microsoft only asks for an open standard in areas where it doesn't hold a dominant position.

This all makes perfect (business) sense, when you don't hold the dominant position you want to gain access, and once you have this position you try to protect it. The idea here is to get a foothold in the world of instant messengers, trying to lure users from AOL AIM to it's own messenger service.

Yahoo! tried to do the same thing at the time, when it released its messenger that could also connect to AOL's AIM users, but they quickly lost interest in the cat-and-mouse game of getting blocked by AOL, and decided not to update their messenger to work around AOL's block(s).

Although it seems that AOL is winning the battle at the moment, it's likely they will lose the war, as industry pressure is mounting to work towards a standard. How quickly a standard will come about is a big question mark, as AOL (with their 20:1 advantage in this field) has formed their own advisory committee, which is composed of Microsoft adversaries from such companies as Apple Computer Inc., Novell Inc., RealNetworks Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

A few weeks ago I wrote you that we were in the process of setting up a dedicated server. In fact, we are still busy with that. We had a change of IPP (Internet Presence Provider) in between, and now hope to complete the move before the end of August. If the Web site seems slow, please be patient, we're working on it!

InfiniSource adds application to its software line


Split Large Files into smaller parts

FileSplit is a fast, easy way to split large files into smaller pieces. These smaller files can then be copied onto floppy diskettes or transferred by email. It can be run normally, and in addition it attaches itself to the Explorer right-click mouse menu to let you select and split or merge files. Operation is simple: Select the file, the destination folder for the segments, and the size of the segments. A batch file, created at the same time, can be used to reassemble the pieces.

FileSplit is handy for transferring large files from one machine to another, if you don't have a network and must rely on floppies, or for creating smaller files for transfer over a modem. This is also very useful for transferring files by email... transferring files in several smaller pieces that won't tie up your computer for long periods of time. Filesplit insures file integrity by calculating the CRC signature to detect file corruption when merging files and preserves all file information including file time, date, and attributes. Already an 'Editor's Pick' on several top shareware sites, this award-winning utility is the ultimate choice for splitting files. It's fast, small, and very easy to use.


  • Fast, small, and very easy to use
  • File splitting and merging from the Explorer shortcut menu
  • Batch file generation for users who don't own FileSplit
  • Preserves all file information including file time, date, and attributes
  • Calculates CRC signature to detect file corruption when merging files
  • Can split multiple files in one operation

FilSplit was developed by Partridge Software. You can download a free evaluation from their Web site.

An amazing utility, designed to help you implement the MaxMTU Fix and other speed tweaks effortlessly and easily.   LinkFox... the way browsing was meant to be!

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Last week I asked you about the number of PC's in your household, and their network status. Here are the results:

  • 73% reported that they have 1-3 PC's in their household
  • 26% reported that they >3 PC's in their household

  • 34% are not networked
  • 49% are
  • 15% is planning on networking their PC's

This weeks QuickPoll: How are you connected to the Internet; are you satisfied with your connection (speed)? Participate in the QuickPoll... you'll find it on the Windows 98 Tips home page.

Windows 9.x Tip
My Desktop Icons are Constantly Refreshing
If your having problems with Desktop icons (or the icons in Control Panel) constantly refreshing themselves, you need to increase the cache size for your icons:

Windows 95
Windows 98

Windows 98 Tip
Open and Explore options on Start Menu are disabled
When you right-click on the Start button, you may notice that the Open and Explore options are greyed-out. Solution:


BCWipe ensures that files you have deleted from a disk will not be restored by another person. The program uses military-grade procedures to shred deleted file contents, and it allows you to wipe empty space on your disks. BCWipe is a shell extension for Windows 95/NT and is highly integrated with the operating system. Version 2.13 adds the ability to schedule wipes and to wipe file slacks, the unused space in a disk cluster

Download Now [530KB] (FREE - Win 9.x/NT)

UltraBac is backup software for Windows NT and has been made available without charge provided it is for personal use. UltraBac supports backup to tape and disk. The software recently received the "Best backup software for WindowsNT" distinction from Windows magazine.

A preview Beta version is also available for Windows 9.x.

Download page
Web site

Customize your Windows 95/98 with Tweaking Toolbox for Windows.

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Remember, drive defensively! And of course, the best defense is a good offense!

  Microsoft Security

Microsoft Office 97 vulnerability

Juan Carlos G. Cuartango, a Spanish Web developer discovered a major ODBC vulnerability located in the Jet 3.51 (ODBCJT32.DLL driver). This driver was shipped with Microsoft Office 97.

The vulnerability can be exploited from a Microsoft Excel 97 Worksheet (possibly also from a Microsoft Word 97 document).

If you open a malicious Excel worksheet implementing this vulnerability it will send shell commands to your operating system (Windows NT, 95 and 98 are all affected) that can:

  • Inoculate you with a virus
  • Delete your disks
  • Read your files

More information.

Patch Available for "Encapsulated SMTP Address" Vulnerability

Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates a security vulnerability in Microsoft® Exchange® Server. The vulnerability could allow an attacker to perform mail relaying via an Exchange server that is configured to act as a gateway for other Exchange sites using the Internet Messaging Service.

Affected Software Versions

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5

More information

  Web site updates

These pages were added/updated in the past week. Information on previously updated/added pages is available on the What's New? page for 1 month.
Updated: Internet Search Resources
Added: Microsoft Security: Patch Available for "Encapsulated SMTP Address" Vulnerability
Added: Microsoft Office 97 vulnerability
Updated: IRC Networks and Servers, Listing O - Z
Updated: Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles dealing with Internet Connection Sharing

Windows 98
Updated: Problems running ScanDisk and Defrag
Updated: Problems Accessing Windows Update

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