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An IMAGinewS Public Service Announcement

Over the past few weeks, Vickie has been plagued with dialogue boxes that pop up intermittently, advertising ad-banning services, diplomas and (of course) porn. I've been at a loss to figure out what it is; I've tried tightening our firewall, yet the damned things still get through. As the dialogue boxes had "Messenger Service" in the top bar, we at first thought it had something to do with MSN Messenger, but even with Trillian shut down and logged off, the messages kept popping up.

Yesterday, I did a little searching in the web, trying to find whether anyone had identified the cause of the problem and found a fix. It turns out that a few places had; the best explanation of the problem and how to fix it that I've seen so far is at the helpdesk of the University of Birmingham.

I think that if Vickie's having problems (and I think the only reason I wasn't was because I share Vickie's Internet connection, so I'm hidden behind her IP address), some of you folks may also have been having them. The fix above is easy to apply and doesn't harm your system in any way (if you're using a work PC, though, I recommend seeing your tech services department before making any changes).

I managed to get the P3-500 that's going to Brook assembled and built yesterday. In doing so, I managed to puzzle out the problem that's had me vexed for ages - where all the front-panel connectors (all those little cables that link your motherboard to the on-switch and hard drive activity lights on the front of your PC's case) connect to on the motherboard. I had to take the front case cover off to do it, but it was very educational. It also had a broken on-switch, so I salvaged the one from Dan's server case (which I will return to the server as soon as I can get another one) and tested the system. It's now built with Windows 2000 Professional with the latest Service Pack. Dan's seeing if he can rustle up a spare on-switch and a pair of floppy drives so I can get Brook's PC fully assembled before Jacqui and Phil arrive on the 17th.

We've been having difficulties with the line spools of our last two whipper-snippers. One (a cheap Razorback) just jammed, and no one seems to stock replacement spools for the other, a Ryobi RLT508A, which uses disposable ones. So yesterday, at Vickie's request, I nipped down to HardWareHouse and bought a big, grunty Ryobi line trimmer that uses a re-fillable 2mm spool. It goes through the long grass by our walls like a band-saw.

So, if anyone wants a spare Ryobi RLT508A, make us an offer.

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