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As my way of saying 'Thank you' to the beautiful SDN community, I'll try to answer as much of your computer questions as I can, for free.

But there is a catch: you can only post them here on this thread. No PM or Email (so that this thread will serve as a repository for other members)

Both Windows and Linux are welcome (I dont have expertise with other operating systems). Hardware or software or networking, ask away.

Other members are also welcome to answer these questions if they like to.

:)
 

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TheWingThing said:
As my way of saying 'Thank you' to the beautiful SDN community, I'll try to answer as much of your computer questions as I can, for free.

But there is a catch: you can only post them here on this thread. No PM or Email (so that this thread will serve as a repository for other members)

Both Windows and Linux are welcome (I dont have expertise with other operating systems). Hardware or software, ask away.

Other members are also welcome to answer these questions if they like to.

:)

i see it now, this is a loosely disguised plea for karma points isn't it? ;)

naw, j/k. very nice gesture :thumbup: i'm sure i (aka decidedly computer-unsavvy person) will be drawing upon your expertise pretty soon :D thanks!!!
 
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spumoni620 said:
i see it now, this is a loosely disguised plea for karma points isn't it? ;)

naw, j/k. very nice gesture :thumbup: i'm sure i (aka decidedly computer-unsavvy person) will be drawing upon your expertise pretty soon :D thanks!!!
Not really. See, I didn't even mention Karma points in the OP, in stark contrast to my Karma whoring in other threads. I just wanted to give back something to SDN :)

You're always welcome to post your questions, feel free :)
 

Ninja

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Farrah said:
are you a computer science or cpu engineering major?
Nope, just a self-learnt geek / medic, no formal training in computers. OTOH, I'm doing research involving using computers in health care :)
 

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I can help as well. I worked several years before and during college in PC hardware repair, system building, circuit board manufacturing, and then later in systems administration (networking, Internet, *NIX) and programming in JAVA and C++. I started college as a comp sci major, but switched out to do neuroscience. I still continued that tradition by working in computational neuroscience with hardware circuits that simulated neurons. I'm a little rusty, but let 'er fly!
 

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so, how can we get sdn to have a 99.99% uptime? (i don't think it's happening anytime soon...hehe.) :D
 

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Yogi Bear said:
so, how can we get sdn to have a 99.99% uptime? (i don't think it's happening anytime soon...hehe.) :D
Move it from a Windows box to a real operating system (hint: *nix) :p Don't ban me for this :D :D :D
 

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TheWingThing said:
Move it from a Windows box to a real operating system (hint: *nix) :p Don't ban me for this :D :D :D
wasn't it running under linux or a similar os when cmz was in charge of this board a few months ago? i remember it was pretty stable then.
 

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Yogi Bear said:
wasn't it running under linux or a similar os when cmz was in charge of this board a few months ago? i remember it was pretty stable then.
Even a nix server will experience downtime if the load is too great. Solution: Buy more servers to distribute it more evenly.

--Vinoy
 

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Yogi Bear said:
wasn't it running under linux or a similar os when cmz was in charge of this board a few months ago? i remember it was pretty stable then.
we were using freebsd for a while, it was working pretty good. maybe we'll switch to it again in the future, who knows. lee needs some fbsd lessons first, though. ;)
 

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imtiaz said:
we were using freebsd for a while, it was working pretty good. maybe we'll switch to it again in the future, who knows. lee needs some fbsd lessons first, though. ;)
What are the specs of the server being used now?

Yes, get off of Windows even if you're getting additional machines.

--Vinoy
 
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I'm about to set up a wireless network in my home. Any advice on how to make it secure against hackers? Do software firewalls work in addition to the hardware firewall built into the router or will there be a conflict?
 

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vinoyp said:
What are the specs of the server being used now?

Yes, get off of Windows even if you're getting additional machines.

--Vinoy
i'm curious too. i think the only server for sdn was a dual xeon. i think lee switched forums between one and two computers for awhile. dunno how it is now.
 

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I have a question for you Wingy.

I have a brand new computer with all new components.

About every 5th or 6th time or so that I turn the computer on, the machine powers up, the disks spin, the fans spin, but the screen stays black and there is no beep to indicate the POST.

So I turn it off and turn it back on and it comes on just fine.

WTF could be causing this?
 

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i think it's a dell system with dual xeons. not sure on the RAM/HDD etc. he was using his home computer, i think it was a pentium III box or something for running advertisements. but there's new servers for all that stuff now.
 

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Alexander99 said:
I'm about to set up a wireless network in my home. Any advice on how to make it secure against hackers? Do software firewalls work in addition to the hardware firewall built into the router or will there be a conflict?
A couple of simple things, and one kind of technical thing:

First, change your wireless network SSID to something non-standard (ie, "wireless" is pretty lame). Turn SSID broadcast OFF.

These two things will protect you from most of the neighbors getting into your stuff.

If you want to go an extra step, enable WEP. You have to do this both at the router and on each computer. This is fair encryption, not great but OK, and probably won't slow things down too much.

Personally, I only do the SSID stuff.

The specific steps to do this are hardware specific, but your owners manual should have the steps reequired.

Have fun!
 

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Goofyone said:
I have a question for you Wingy.

I have a brand new computer with all new components.

About every 5th or 6th time or so that I turn the computer on, the machine powers up, the disks spin, the fans spin, but the screen stays black and there is no beep to indicate the POST.

So I turn it off and turn it back on and it comes on just fine.

WTF could be causing this?
Hmm. Brand new computer? Take it back. Bad mother board. bad / poorly seated CPU, etc.
 

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I agree.

I've done board bring up here in the embedded world. Xtal issues are a pain. I've got this one board where every now and then, It won't come up until I touch two pins to release some capacitance on the lines near the crystal to allow it to oscillate properly for a proper clock signal to the CPU... Go fig.

btw, real men code in asm. ;)
 

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flighterdoc said:
A couple of simple things, and one kind of technical thing:

First, change your wireless network SSID to something non-standard (ie, "wireless" is pretty lame). Turn SSID broadcast OFF.

These two things will protect you from most of the neighbors getting into your stuff.

If you want to go an extra step, enable WEP. You have to do this both at the router and on each computer. This is fair encryption, not great but OK, and probably won't slow things down too much.

Personally, I only do the SSID stuff.

The specific steps to do this are hardware specific, but your owners manual should have the steps reequired.

Have fun!
Dont forget to turn your computer off "shared" and to enable a long 128-bit WEP password-- make it random and alphanumeric. WEP is extremely important to make sure people dont jack your connection.
 

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flighterdoc said:
A couple of simple things, and one kind of technical thing:

First, change your wireless network SSID to something non-standard (ie, "wireless" is pretty lame). Turn SSID broadcast OFF.

These two things will protect you from most of the neighbors getting into your stuff.

If you want to go an extra step, enable WEP. You have to do this both at the router and on each computer. This is fair encryption, not great but OK, and probably won't slow things down too much.

Personally, I only do the SSID stuff.

The specific steps to do this are hardware specific, but your owners manual should have the steps reequired.

Have fun!
mac address filtering is another thing u could do. the router would only take specific network cards that u enter the info for.
 

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Alexander99 said:
I'm about to set up a wireless network in my home. Any advice on how to make it secure against hackers? Do software firewalls work in addition to the hardware firewall built into the router or will there be a conflict?
For the internet, these questions depend on how you have it set up. If you use NAT (Network Address Translation) and you don't forward ports, you're okay for inbound connections. NAT works by taking the one internet address you're given by your provider and assigning it to your router. The router then handles all incoming and outgoing connections from an unlimited (within reason) number of boxen on your home network. With NAT, none of the boxen on your home network have real IPs (Internet Addresses) so nobody can address your machines directly unless you intiate connections yourself or with hidden software installed on your machine. Due to this, there is no need for internal firewall software. Of course I'd recommend the standard virus shield just in case. Most colleges provide this for free.

If you don't use NAT (why?), the situation gets a little more complicated, but still fixable. Let me know if this applies. Since it is a wireless network, the advice of the other users applies. You absolutely want to use WEP so that nobody can tap into your network.

As for the hardware issue posted earlier, I have no clue. It sounds like a motherboard issue to me, and that's no easy fix. You could try flashing the BIOS to the latest version, but I would probably just live with it... Or if it's a store-bought you could take the earlier advice and get an RMA on it.
 
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Ninja

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flighterdoc said:
A couple of simple things, and one kind of technical thing:

First, change your wireless network SSID to something non-standard (ie, "wireless" is pretty lame). Turn SSID broadcast OFF.

These two things will protect you from most of the neighbors getting into your stuff.

If you want to go an extra step, enable WEP. You have to do this both at the router and on each computer. This is fair encryption, not great but OK, and probably won't slow things down too much.

Personally, I only do the SSID stuff.

The specific steps to do this are hardware specific, but your owners manual should have the steps reequired.

Have fun!
Good suggestions. Also, enable MAC based access on your router, and add the MAC addresses of the computers allowed to connect to your wireless router.

Edit: Yogi already said that. Oops :p
 

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Mr Reddly said:
I agree.

I've done board bring up here in the embedded world. Xtal issues are a pain. I've got this one board where every now and then, It won't come up until I touch two pins to release some capacitance on the lines near the crystal to allow it to oscillate properly for a proper clock signal to the CPU... Go fig.

btw, real men code in asm. ;)
Real men code in binary :p
 

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Goofyone said:
I have a question for you Wingy.

I have a brand new computer with all new components.

About every 5th or 6th time or so that I turn the computer on, the machine powers up, the disks spin, the fans spin, but the screen stays black and there is no beep to indicate the POST.

So I turn it off and turn it back on and it comes on just fine.

WTF could be causing this?
Sounds like a motherboard issue to me (not easy to fix) but check these things:

- could be a heating problem - are all fans working properly? did you apply heat sink paste before putting the heat sink on the CPU (if you built your own pc)?

- CPU / Memory not seated properly? take them off, wipe the contacts clean with some clean cloth and put them back properly

Make sure you use anti-static precautions when you open up the PC.

Let us know if this helps :)
 

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when trying to save animated gifs, itll only let me save it as a bmp, and therefore it only saves it as a static image, one frame of the animation. the only option it gives me is to save it as a bitmap. what gives?
 

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uclacrewdude said:
when trying to save animated gifs, itll only let me save it as a bmp, and therefore it only saves it as a static image, one frame of the animation. the only option it gives me is to save it as a bitmap. what gives?
Save optimized.

If you are using ImageReady 7.0 like me, then you need to use 'File-> Save Optimized As... Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S
Also note the "File->Preview In" option. Me likes that one! :)


Oh wait... Are you talking about Internet Explorer? I have the same issue with jpgs. I need to find a place that links to the image and do a "save target as", otherwise, IE wants to save it as "untitled.bmp"... Stupid MS.
 

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uclacrewdude said:
when trying to save animated gifs, itll only let me save it as a bmp, and therefore it only saves it as a static image, one frame of the animation. the only option it gives me is to save it as a bitmap. what gives?
if it wont let you save it as .gif, and doesnt have that option under filetype, save it as a *.* file without an extension.

then, go to windows explorer and add the .gif extension manually to the end of the filename.
 

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Apollyon said:
Autocomplete on WinXP Home with NetScape 7.1 doesn't work. Any help? (PS, I HATE MS, so "use Internet Explorer" isn't the best answer...)
Have you tried Mozilla? http://www.mozilla.org/releases/mozilla1.7b/

its more up to date, so its likely a lot of the bugs in Netscape 7.1 are fixed more quickly in Mozilla.

If you prefer, Mozilla Firefox (browser) and Mozilla Thunderbird (email) are seperate but speedy applications that can take over the function of Netscape as well.

http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/

http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird/
 
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Ninja

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Mythili said:
Got a problem for all you computer geniuses.

I am not able to access my yahoo! mail inbox from any computer at work. However, other people here are able to access their yahoo accounts from work without a problem.

I'm able to get into my account from computers not on the company's network. I am able to get into my yahoo! and all other yahoo applications. It's just my inbox that isn't working. When I log into yahoo mail!, i get the "cannot find server" error message or the "yahoo cannot locate page" error message.

Anyone have any advice on how to resolve this problem?

Thanks!!
I think this could be a problem with your HOSTS file. But to be sure, I want to know:

Does this problem occur always or sometimes? Does it happen with any other websites you visit?

Please post what operating system you use, the browser version.

:)
 
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Great.....was just talking to S.O. last night, trying to figure out what to do with our system.

We finally moved into the 1900s.........much less the 21st Century. We finally got DSL at home.

I was trying to perform Scan Disc and Defrag last night. I usually do that once a week, just to keep system clean and organized.

Before DSL, both Scan Disc and Defrag would usually have to restart a few times. I'd get a message that some other Windows program was running.....I should shut them off to get Scan Disc and Defrag to run more proficiently. But, to my knowledge, I never had anythign running.

Post DSL, Scan Disc and Defrag would start over again so many times, even when I let it run over night, it never finished. I still got the message that there were other Windows programs running.

So, I unplugged the DSL modem, to be sure that it was not causing the problem. I disabled Virus Scan (safe, since the modem was unhooked). I turned off the Scheduler, but that did not change anything.

Any idea either 1) what else I can turn off, or 2) what I can do to get Scan Disc and Defrag running properly? WTF is going on?

HELP!

cheers
 

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TheWingThing said:
I think this could be a problem with your HOSTS file. But to be sure, I want to know:
It cant be the hosts file because it happens only to him (and not other workers) on a variety of different computers.

You can contact Yahoo support, they are generally quite helpful.

If you are looking for an alternative, www.spymac.com gives 1GB of email space for free without the annoying ads that gmail will place.
 

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Gleevec said:
It cant be the hosts file because it happens only to him (and not other workers) on a variety of different computers.

You can contact Yahoo support, they are generally quite helpful.

If you are looking for an alternative, www.spymac.com gives 1GB of email space for free without the annoying ads that gmail will place.
He is a 'she' :p

I think yahoo uses several different severs (us1.mail.yahoo.com, us2.mail.yahoo.com, etc). So, one of them might be restricted by the HOSTS file. I'm not sure if everyone she and everyone she talked to has @yahoo.com or she has something else, like, @yahoo.co.in, @yahoo.co.uk, etc, in which case HOSTS file could be the reason too.

Just making sure. *confused*
 

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redleft123 said:
Great.....was just talking to S.O. last night, trying to figure out what to do with our system.

We finally moved into the 1900s.........much less the 21st Century. We finally got DSL at home.

I was trying to perform Scan Disc and Defrag last night. I usually do that once a week, just to keep system clean and organized.

Before DSL, both Scan Disc and Defrag would usually have to restart a few times. I'd get a message that some other Windows program was running.....I should shut them off to get Scan Disc and Defrag to run more proficiently. But, to my knowledge, I never had anythign running.

Post DSL, Scan Disc and Defrag would start over again so many times, even when I let it run over night, it never finished. I still got the message that there were other Windows programs running.

So, I unplugged the DSL modem, to be sure that it was not causing the problem. I disabled Virus Scan (safe, since the modem was unhooked). I turned off the Scheduler, but that did not change anything.

Any idea either 1) what else I can turn off, or 2) what I can do to get Scan Disc and Defrag running properly? WTF is going on?

HELP!

cheers
First off defragging every week isnt going to help you too much. It takes about 3 weeks to a month of heavy use to defrag the file system (now, if you uninstall and reinstall HUGE programs, like Office, then you might have to do it more often).

Oftentimes a screensaver or spyware can affect defragging. To disable the screensaver, right click on the desktop, go to properties, and turn off screensaver. Also, make sure your computer power settings dont cause it to turn off after x-minutes of keyboard/mouse inactivity.

However, the above really doesnt explain why the problem emerged post-DSL. What could be happening is spyware or a virus is trying to run. Go to www.download.com and download spybot search and destroy. Upgrade the software internally, and run it to see if there is any spyware possibly causing your system to do this.

Also, make sure you have a firewall. This is as important as virus software when you have an always-on, static IP connection like DSL. A good free one is ZoneAlarm, also available from www.download.com.

Hope this helps!
 

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TheWingThing said:
He is a 'she' :p

I think yahoo uses several different severs (us1.mail.yahoo.com, us2.mail.yahoo.com, etc). So, one of them might be restricted by the HOSTS file. I'm not sure if everyone she and everyone she talked to has @yahoo.com or she has something else, like, @yahoo.co.in, @yahoo.co.uk, etc, in which case HOSTS file could be the reason too.

Just making sure. *confused*
Oh, whoops.

Possibly, though it seemed as if she was saying other people get yahoo mail to work on their comp, but not her. Could be something messed up with her account on the yahoo-side of things. Dunno.
 

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redleft123 said:
Great.....was just talking to S.O. last night, trying to figure out what to do with our system.

We finally moved into the 1900s.........much less the 21st Century. We finally got DSL at home.

I was trying to perform Scan Disc and Defrag last night. I usually do that once a week, just to keep system clean and organized.

Before DSL, both Scan Disc and Defrag would usually have to restart a few times. I'd get a message that some other Windows program was running.....I should shut them off to get Scan Disc and Defrag to run more proficiently. But, to my knowledge, I never had anythign running.

Post DSL, Scan Disc and Defrag would start over again so many times, even when I let it run over night, it never finished. I still got the message that there were other Windows programs running.

So, I unplugged the DSL modem, to be sure that it was not causing the problem. I disabled Virus Scan (safe, since the modem was unhooked). I turned off the Scheduler, but that did not change anything.

Any idea either 1) what else I can turn off, or 2) what I can do to get Scan Disc and Defrag running properly? WTF is going on?

HELP!

cheers
redleft, I'm assuming you're running Windows 98 or ME, since that is an extremely common problem. I had to manually close a ton of stuff before running scandisk/defrag:

1. Close everything visible on the taskbar (save your work if necessary).
2. Close everything in the system tray (the area in the lower right corner by the clock) by right-clicking and "closing" or "exiting."
3. Use Ctrl+Alt+Del and "End Task" everything but "Explorer." You'll have to do this repeatedly for every task that is running.

THEN run your ScanDisk, then your Defrag. Hope this helps. :)

Alternatively, you could upgrade to Windows XP and not have to worry about it. :)
 

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Thanks....will try these tonight. I have always turned off screen saver and the power management options while running these two tasks. I have AdAware.......spybot stil needed? Cheers!
 

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redleft123 said:
Thanks....will try these tonight. I have always turned off screen saver and the power management options while running these two tasks. I have AdAware.......spybot stil needed? Cheers!
You probably don't need both. I haven't used Ad-Aware, so can't say for sure.

Instead of Win XP, you can switch to Win 2000 Pro, if your computer is old and not too fast. XP hogs up too much resources. Often, you can get a free academic license for Win 2000 from your school - try asking someone in CS. The Win 2000 academic licenses aren't too restrictive, they allow you to install it on your home computer too, if your school or department has an academic license, and you are a student or faculty.
 

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TheWingThing said:
I think this could be a problem with your HOSTS file. But to be sure, I want to know:

Does this problem occur always or sometimes? Does it happen with any other websites you visit?

Please post what operating system you use, the browser version.

:)
Thanks, Wing Thing! It only occurs with Yahoo! mail and I use IE on Windows 95. This problem arises on all of the computers on my at-work network that I've tried. What's weird is that I am able to log in to access other personalized yahoo pages. It's just my yahoo inbox that won't load.
 

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Gleevec said:
Also, make sure you have a firewall. This is as important as virus software when you have an always-on, static IP connection like DSL. A good free one is ZoneAlarm, also available from www.download.com.
Thanks for this advice. I thought my cable connection was secure with Ad-Aware and Norton AntiVirus. After I downloaded the ZoneAlarm firewall, it's already blocked access to 12 outside IP addresses in the first hour. That's a little scary. :wow:
 

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Mythili said:
Thanks, Wing Thing! It only occurs with Yahoo! mail and I use IE on Windows 95. This problem arises on all of the computers on my at-work network that I've tried. What's weird is that I am able to log in to access other personalized yahoo pages. It's just my yahoo inbox that won't load.
Mythili,
Can you search your C: (go to Start menu> search) for a file named HOSTS (no extension), and rename it to something like HOSTS1 or something, and restart your computer and see if this problem still occurs?

If it still occurs,

1. Can your friends access their yahoo inbox from your computer?

2. Do both you and your friends have the same domain name in your email addresses? (i.e. the part after the @ sign in your email address. eg: yahoo.com, yahoo.co.in, yahoo.co.uk, etc)

3. Can you right click on the link to your inbox after you log in, and copy the shortcut and post it here? Can you also do the same for your friend's inboxes?

If you can get these three, I think I can figure out (or ask more questions). Sorry this is a bit tortuous, but it's an unusual problem, and I need to diagnose it methodically. I hope I'll be able to solve it, but am not sure yet.

:)

Edit: Here's a song for you, dunno if you understand the language though :)
 

Gleevec

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DireWolf said:
Thanks for this advice. I thought my cable connection was secure with Ad-Aware and Norton AntiVirus. After I downloaded the ZoneAlarm firewall, it's already blocked access to 12 outside IP addresses in the first hour. That's a little scary. :wow:
Yeah, static IPs get hit a lot by portscanners.

A firewall is a MUST for anyone without a dialup connection. A lot of bad things can happen without it.
 

vinoyp

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Mythili said:
Thanks, Wing Thing! It only occurs with Yahoo! mail and I use IE on Windows 95. This problem arises on all of the computers on my at-work network that I've tried. What's weird is that I am able to log in to access other personalized yahoo pages. It's just my yahoo inbox that won't load.
Clear your cache and cookies and retry.

--Vinoy
 
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