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19th May 1997
The PC Magazine Saga
As mentioned in Aardvark Daily last week, the New Zealand and Australian editions of PC Magazine are gone - so hang on to the copies you've got, they may become collector's items :-)

Keith Newman has told me that there'll be a memorial site online from Wednesday morning for a limited time. If you want to check out the site later in the week, the URL will be http://wordworx.nzplink.co.nz/pcendx.html.

The site (which was actually up when I checked last night) has some of the articles which were to be printed in the next edition of the NZ edition along with a few "last words" from Keith.

Without exception, all those I've spoken to in the publishing industry have expressed their sympathy for the PC Magazine crew and wish them well in any new roles they undertake.

Will the Net still be any fun?
For a while there was hardly a day went past when Voyager's head-honcho, John O'Hara wasn't featuring in a story about the NZ Net industry.

Not known for being timid and certainly not backwards at coming forwards, it sure seemed as if John's favourite hobby was was giving the PR people at Telecom something to do with their spare time.

Well that's all behind him now, he (and Alistair Stevens) have sold their Voyager shares to OzEmail and although he'll be available in a consulting role, John's exploring new ways of earning a crust and spending his time.

Of course this is very bad news for Aardvark and the rest of those in the Net-news business. With both Chris Tyler and John O'Hara out of the scene, we're going to have to work a lot harder to make the local Net industry seem like an interesting and controversial place.

First Chris, now John!
Peeved!
Sometimes I hate Microsoft!
Regardless of your political or religious beliefs with regards to Microsoft and their role in the computer and Internet industries, you've got to give them credit for creating products that the average punter ends up using.

Sometimes however it's really easy to empathise with the guy who threatened Bill's life last week.

Want an example?

I downloaded the latest (I hope!) security patch for MSIE 3 on the weekend and thought I'd install it so that I could give Explorer another chance - with the constant stream of security alerts that had been issued since I installed 3.0, I'd given it the label "Only use on known safe sites" so it hasn't seen much action of late.

Should be pretty simple to install the 3.5MB of update code, or so I thought.

I have my Windows '95 machine configured so that the partition which is the C: drive is just 200MB. That's heaps enough for Windows 95 and its critical system files and I install my apps onto other 500MB drives (D:, E:, F, etc). My MSIE3 is installed on drive E: which has a couple of hundred megs of free space - so there shouldn't be a problem right? WRONG!

The stupid update program tells me that I need nearly 20MB free on my C: drive - even though I'm installing the patches from the D: drive onto my MSIE on the E: drive. What's going on here?

I've noticed a *lot* of Windows'95 software seems to consume huge amounts of space on drive C:, regardless of the disk you ask it to be installed on - what a crock!

Well... my drive C: only has 12 MB of free space on it and I'm not about to mess around freeing up space - so I guess I'll be spending a lot more time with Navigator in the future.

Net Expo
Oh hell... I'm going to have to give IDG some free advertising.

If you've got time next week, don't forget that the IDG Internet Expo is on from the 26th to the 28th. I'll be on a panel discussing aspects of intellectual property and copyright on the Net as well as giving a bit of a spiel about Net commerce - but that's no excuse for staying away. If I don't see you there I expect to receive a note from your mother!

Net buzz
1st Family strikes again
First Family followup
It seems that 1st Family, the MLM flat-rate Net [apparent] scam operated from the US caught out another NZer this week.

The person concerned had taken their offer at face-value and proceeded to promote the service through an ad on a local newsgroup.

I did receive a thank-you note after I directed them to some rather unflattering emails and the relevant article in Aardvark Weekly. It seems that the guy made a genuine mistake and once he realised the nature of the venture, didn't want to get caught up in such a mess.

This highlights one of the real values of the Net - in five minutes you can do a lot of research as to the credibility, track-record and general opinions of such "opportunities". Let's hope more people take advantage of this.

Commerce Commission gives ISOCNZ the "once-over"
It seems that The Commerce Commission is more than a little interested in how ISOCNZ is handling its monopoly on domain name issuance through its Registry company. The word is that they're doing some investigation at the moment to see whether the monopoly position has resulted in unreasonably high charges.

One thing's for sure - I bet they're not going to be impressed with the invoicing fee that the registry charges!

Ello, ello, what's going on here?

I Can't Believe It's True!
Everyone knows that having a good, short and easy to remember URL is a very important part of developing a commercially successful Web site.

We also know that the Web can be a very graphical and colourful environment so quality graphics and logos are mandatory. Crappy graphics and bad layout is usually an indicator that the site represents a "back-yard" operation.

Well it won't surprise you to learn that the owners of this week's featured site seem to be closely associated with multi-level marketing organisations such as Amway. Once you've clicked on the link - check out the URL in the "Location" line of your browser and then just marvel at the professionalism of this page. Note also how the length of the page itself is only matched by the length of it's URL.

Is bigger better?

 
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