Issue #24
2 September 1996
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Aardvark

Edition #24

MICROSOFT, INTEL AND CYRIX
Intel and Microsoft are two companies which have for some time worked very closely together, the combination of their products often being referred to as the "WinTel" platform.

It was therefore rather interesting to read this week that with the release of Windows NT version 4.0, Microsoft's revised code now causes 6x86 processors from Intel's major competitor, Cyrix, to run 25% slower than their Intel competitors.

Microsoft claims that the changes were to "improve the stability on the 6x86 platform, cynics might think otherwise.

THE MAGICAL MICROSOFT SITE
As reported in Aardvark Daily last week, Microsoft's local internet sites have had their problems, problems which seem to have gone from bad to worse as security bounced from a literal "free for all" to no access at all. Kudos to ICONZ for fessing up to the botch-up and it just goes to prove that nobody is imune to the effects of Murphy's law.

Now if only someone from Microsoft would take a look at www.microsoft.co.nz using Netscape with the images turned off - bad design, but at least it's in keeping with the equally scruffy results you get by tuning Netscape at www.microsoft.com with images off.

Do Microsoft not realise that not everyone has money to burn by surfing with graphics enabled all the time?

HEY, THAT'S GOOD!
While cruising around Microsoft's US website I stumbled across an area which is no doubt well known to some of you but could be quite a gem for those who operate a small business. The site is www.microsoft.com/smallbiz/ and although it obviously contains some "advertorial" content, it also has some surprisingly non-partisan and useful info for the small-business operator. Kudos to Microsoft for this content!

ISN'T THAT STRANGE?
In a generous move, Voyager has sent free copies of the new NZ internet magazine NetGuide to all their subscribers.

At least one eagle-eyed Aardvark reader wrote to me wondering why the middle pages were missing in his copy. On further investigation it turns out that all the "free" copies sent out by Voyager had the middle pages missing. What could have caused this? A printer's error, were these copies just "seconds"?

No, the answer is of course that the centre-fold of that issue contained a large advertisement for Voyager's main competitor - Telecom's Xtra service!

FREE-UP XTRA'S NETSCAPE
Debate has erupted on usenet about the ethics of patching the version of Netscape supplied by Xtra to their subscribers. Users of this browser will be very much aware that there are a number of features contained within Standard Netscape which have been disabled on the Xtra version. A patch file is now available that offers to restore these features - but is it an infringement of Xtra's licensing terms?

A quick browse of the licensing documents indicate that it probably is but I doubt that's going to stop too many people. If you're an Xtra user who is looking for this patch you can visit a special page set up on Web World where, in return for a little "education" you can download it free of charge.

DID YOU KNOW?
Are you aware of the Deja News web site? It allows you to search an archive of usenet postings that go back as far as March 1995. Big deal you might say, other sites such as Alta Vista also offer usenet search capabilities.

The difference is that Deja News has the lofty ambition of keeping all of its collected newsgroup messages online from that date forwards. Obviously this could prove embarassing if you posted something in the heat of the moment and later wished to retract it. Sending a cancel may work if you're quick enough, but once that message gets to Deja News a cancel won't work - so what do you do?

Fortunately you can sent email to comment@dejanews.com and request that all your postings be removed. You can also prevent the archiving of your usenet postings by including the line x-no-archive:yes in the header of the message.

SO AARDVARK CAN'T SPELL
It's good to see that many Aardvark readers were alert enough to spot the deliberate? error made in last week's issue. For those that missed it, there was some subtle irony in the way I spelt Freudian, which was, of course, completely intentional and very witty.... okay, I admit it - it was a mistake! Unfortunately I don't have a spell-checker that handles HTML so this publication is very much WYSIWIT (What You See Is What I Typed). The lucky 100th caller who reported this error won the first prize, free copy of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Second prize of course was two copies. Winners, your prizes can be downloaded at your leisure from www.microsoft.co.nz :-)

AND DID YOU NOTICE
Did you notice that I managed to avoid mentioning the Xtra vs ISPANZ debate this week? (waits for applause to die down)

RIGHT OF REPLY
Anyone mentioned by Aardvark who feels that they have been misrepresented or who wish a "right of reply" are invited to send email to me at av@faxmail.co.nz and the contents of that email will be printed verbatim for all to read.

RIGHT OF REPLY
No right of reply received this week.

FROM THE "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S TRUE" DEPARTMENT:

In a bold initiative (possibly to reduce electronic-shoplifting?), Microsoft's eShop have installed a special security screen that prevents you from entering the shop unless you disclose your identity. Now how friendly is that? It looks like this is not the place to go if you just want to browse without being eternally bombarded by junk-email.

eShop

What's more, this security guard is even smart enough to recognise when you're trying to enter an obviously false email address.

So You Don't Forget!
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Feel free to drop me a line if you have any comments on this publication or interesting news you think might appeal to Aardvark readers.. I'm always keen to receive criticism (constructive or otherwise).


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The entire contents of this publication are copyright 1996 to Bruce Simpson, all rights reserved. Don't copy it without my permission - just ask, I'm unlikely to refuse any reasonable request.


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