May 1997

Note: BugNet Editor Bruce Brown is in Jamaica. His column will resume next month.

Three Shorts From Our Newest Reporter...

Teen Hacker Takes Center Stage in Cybersitter Circus

BugNet to the rescue!THERE'S TROUBLE in Cyber-Paradise for parents using Solid Oak Software's CyberSitter program to keep kids away from nasties on The Net. Teen trouble, to be specific.

CyberSitter in the past couple weeks has fallen victim to the tamperings of a certain "group of teenage hackers who disagree with parents (sic) rights to restrict their childrens (sic) access to objectionable material," SOS recently confessed in an e-mail message to users.

According to Netsurfer Digest, a certain Bennett Haselton is the teen in question. Haselton reportedly not only found a way around CyberSitter's filter file, but actually offered a utility that yields up a long list of the Web sites the program is supposed to keep out. SOS says "it was necessary to make some modifications to CyberSitter." Maybe not enough. Netsurfer Digest claims Haselton has kept up, with workarounds for the company's every move.

Here's the fun part: CyberSitter reportedly blocks access not only to porn and what-have-you, but also to sites that are critical of the program itself. Objectionable material, indeed.

Work-around For A Vexing Compaq Deskpro Printing Problem

HELP IS HERE for a printing glitch that has been aggravating a broad range of Compaq Deskpro users.

The symptoms: Only half a page (if you're lucky) prints when using an ECP-enabled, local laser printer from a Compaq Deskpro 2000, 4000 or 6000 under Microsoft Windows 95.

The problem lies in the preinstalled or MS Service Pack 1 LPT.VXD printer driver, reports BugNet subscriber Brian Pecora of Bridgeport, Conn.

"This problem gave us fits," he says.

After consulting Compaq's Tech Support Page on the Web, however, Pecora relays the following, temporary fix: Switch off the ECP printer mode via Windows 95.

Better still, update to the latest LPT.VXD driver, which is available in SoftPaq SP2345. Download it from any Compaq online service or Compaq QuickFind.

Best news: The new driver is preinstalled as part of Windows 95 OSR2 on Compaq computers with serial number x649xxxxxxxx or higher. If you've got one, you're home free.

Finally Everyone Agrees!
Xircom Multifunction Card Functions With H-Ps

ALL'S WELL THAT ends with software and hardware people agreeing.

Microsoft is backing away from its Knowledge Base bug story about the reported incompatibility of laptops with OEM Service Release 2 and 2.1, and a certain Xircom multifunction PC Card.

The article, written in February but released this month, is out of date, says Debra Henry, Microsoft's director for desktop systems support. The article said your machine might hang when you insert the card into the H-P Omnibook 5700CT and 800CT or a Texas Instruments Extensa 570CDT.

Hewlett Packard and Xircom maintained that the Omnibooks, which hit store shelves last week, tested out bug-free with Xircom's CreditCard Ethernet+Modem (CEM28) PC Card.

"There have been later builds of both the hardware and the card," Henry says. She said Microsoft will review the article, and meantime said Microsoft is "not in a position to dispute it."

However, Texas Instruments failed to respond to repeated phone calls, so it's anyone's guess whether Extensa 570CDT users will have a problem.

And, be warned, oh ye users of earlier Omnibooks: H-P and Xircom reps agree that the Omnibook 4000CT and 5500CT may hang if you try to use OSR 2. The earlier models did not come with the machine-specific service release.

"If someone puts it on a machine it's not designed to work on, yeah, it will hang up,'' says David Levine, a compatibility engineer with Xircom.

-- Virginia Herrick

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