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.ATI RV360 Emerges
.Firewalls and Virus
.40" LCD Television
.VPN Guide
.Nvidia FX5900 Ultra
.Colin's Weekly Tip
.2nd Colin's Tip!

100th Issue: Prizes, Twice the Tips!

Hello,

Welcome to the 100th issue of the Weekly PCstats.com Newsletter! There have been quite few changes since I started this newsletter in 2001, including no less than three different revisions of the PCstats.com logo! Along the way Colin and his bag of Tips have joined in, and Chris' column has kept us informed on the happenings of the tech industry. More recently, Mike has helped guide you through the rough and tumble world of firewalls, hard drive backups, and even building your own PC.

I'm always pleased to hear that so many of you save each and every copy of the PCstats Newsletter for your own future reference. So, to celebrate the 100th Issue of the PCstats Newsletter I'm throwing a little contest for you this week. Answer seven simple questions about past PCstats Newsletters and you could WIN one killer piece of computer hardware! But first I'd like to thank Albatron, ABIT and the folks at Canada Computers for supplying the prizes we have for you today.

The focus of today's PCstats Newsletter is Guides; the first is a look at Firewalls and Internet Security (Virus protection). With so many viruses floating around I highly recommend you read Mike's guide. Colin has also been good enough to write up some quick instructions to get rid of the latest nasty bug as one of his Weekly Tech Tips. Next up is our review of the Samsung LTM405W, a 40" LCD TV that puts a new spin on wide-screen, 2"-thick, televisions. I want one of these babies... anyone want to buy my left arm? To round things out, we have a review of the nVidia GeForce FX5900 Ultra reference videocard. If you're looking for high frame rates this may be just the ticket you need! Remember to check out the High Tech Low Down as well, and don't forget to send in your entries for the draw right away. Good luck!


Beginners Guides: Firewalls and Internet Security
Read it Now!

Bookmark this PCstats guide for future reference.
When you use the Internet there are dangers around every corner. Viruses, malicious users, Trojan horses, Oh my! If these are just concepts to you, you are either lucky or well protected (or just un-connected). If these names trigger painful flashbacks to when your computer (and possibly your account balance) was rendered inoperable or compromised by one of the above, then join the club. Either way, securing your computer against threats from the Internet is an essential step. If you do not, you will, at some point, regret it. Guaranteed. This article is intended to provide some basic guidelines for securing your computer, and to give the reader a better understanding of how some of these technologies work. It is intended primarily for users of high-speed Internet connections, but most of the article is applicable to dial-up Internet users also. As far as the home or small business user is concerned, Internet security can be broken down into three areas; Anti-virus software, Firewall protection and Recommended practices/Common sense. Continue -- Click Here>>


Samsung LTM405W Tantus 40" LCD Television Review

Read it Now!

Introduced late last year, the Samsung Tantus LTM405W flatscreen television literally blew the scale off the LCD TV industry and laid claim to the title of 'largest screen size' with ease. The aptly named Tantus measures 40" diagonally, making it currently the largest LCD HDTV compatible television on the market. The next closest LCD TV on the market is 37" across... but who really wants to watch a DVD on something that tiny? Backed by years of experience fabricating the LCD panels for computer monitors, Samsung took the challenge of creating a large LCD television head on and produced not only a 40" display which is big enough to compete directly against plasma display's, but one which is superior to plasma on many levels. The stringy speakers shoot out stereo sound which is suitable for watching TV through the built in CATV tuner, but with a total output of 20W the two 28" tall speakers don't offer any really challenge to a good home theatre speaker system. If I were running this beauty in the PCStats labs I'd forgo the SPKL405W speakers altogether and put the money saved there to better use. After all, you wouldn't put a bumper sticker on a brand new Porsche Boxster would you?Continue -- Click Here>>

Advanced Guides: VPNs and Internet Connection Security
The Internet can be a dangerous place for your information. Sure, you are only one of hundreds of millions of users online at any given time, so why would your particular data be in any danger? Well, why not? Take this analogy for example. I could leave the windows open in my house when I leave for work every day, and for years nothing could happen. One day though, someone may choose to enter through that open window and I might just get burned. Nice analogy, that windows idea actually... given the easy availability of freeware software that can capture internet bound traffic on both wired and wireless networks, the idea that someone may at this very moment be sniffing around your Windows installation to see what they can get is not as remote as we'd all like to think. Continue -- Click Here>>


nVIDIA Reference GeForceFX 5900 Ultra Review
Read it Now! As everyone knows, ATi sacrificed one product cycle so they could deliver a superior videocard next. While nVIDIA still needs to work on improving their image quality, the NV35 aka GeForceFX 5900 Ultra has certainly brought them back into contention with ATi for the performance crown. For the longest time, manufacturers used nVIDIA's reference because it saved them time with PCB layout. Why money redesigning something that is already works and is already validated? This time around though, it seems like many manufacturers are reworking the stock FX 5900 Ultra's PCB by using the FX5900 non Ultra layout! Please remember that the only difference between the FX 5900 Ultra and non Ultra is a relatively insignificant 50 MHz core speed. Continue -- Click Here>>

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PCStats now delivers the latest breaking tech news several times a day. A few loyal readers have asked me how to set PCStats as their active desktop so they're always in the loop. Luckily that's pretty easy to do. Because the method to using Active Desktop is not the same on all OS's we'll start with Windows 2k first then follow up with WindowsXP.

First right click on anywhere on the desktop (not on an icon) and go to properties. That should bring up the Display Properties window, from there click the Web tab and check the Show Web content on my Active Desktop box. If your My Current Home Page box is checked please uncheck it and press the "New" button. There enter the site URL, and in our case it's http://www.PCStats.com/#news and press OK. When the Add Item to Active Desktop box pops up just press ok as you do not need a password to view the PCStats page. =) Now that you're back at the Display Properties Window click the OK button.

For WindowsXP users again right click anywhere on the desktop (not on an icon!) and go to properties. Click the Desktop tab and then click the Customize Desktop button, that should pop open the Desktop Items window. Click the Web tab and then click the New button. There enter the site URL http://www.PCStats.com/#news and press OK. It may take a few minutes for your OS to 'synchronize' with the PCstats site. After that's done press the ok button twice and you should be sitting back at the desktop.

The PCStats page should now be shown in a small box on your desktop, you can change the size of the box like you would change the size of any given window (go to the sides and drag) or if you'd like to maximize the page move the mouse over to the top of the page and click the second button. Please note that your icons may move, once you've set the active desktop you can move your icons back to their old positions and you can even place the icons on top of the PCstats webpage! =)

FIND MORE TIPS IN THE PCSTATS.COM FORUMS

Special Tech Tip

Kill The Email Viruses Dead!! The Blaster worm spread through the internet like a wild fire and the worst thing is, you don't have to do anything wrong to become infected! I've had several friends call me up asking how to remove the worm from their system and they routinely scan their computer for virus's and play things safe with e-mail attachments.

The MSBlaster takes advantage of a security hole within WindowsNT/2k/XP and all you have to do is be online to become infected. The first thing you'll want to do is download the Microsoft patch which addresses this issue. Even if you're not infected you'll want to install the patch as it prevents you from becoming infected in the future. Go to MS's Windows Update home page http://www.windowsupdate.microsoft.com or (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-026.asp) to download the security patch first. After you run it, you'll need to reboot. If you're running Windows 2000 you must have Service Pack 2 installed first.

If you are already infected you'll have to remove the worm before you patch your system. Go to Symantec's website and download the custom blaster removal software (http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.blaster.worm.removal.tool.html ) run that and it will remove the worm for you. Once that's done go to Microsoft's Windows update page and patch your system as described above.

Once that's done you'll be protected from worms that take advantage of the RPC Allow Code Execution.... and hopefully that will help cut down on the 1300 virus emails a day I'm receiving from infected systems!

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PCstats Issue
No.100
Circulation: 274,460

The High Tech
Low Down

The current crop of mainstream graphics cards is fairly balanced. ATI's RADEON 9600 Pro goes head to head against the NVIDIA GeForceFX 5600 Ultra. But both manufacturers have plans to release more aggressive value solutions. ATI's part should appear next month based on a processor very similar to the RV350 used today. Considering the overclocking headroom of today's 9600, at least 450MHz is a reasonable estimate for the .13-micron chip. DDR-2 memory has even surfaced as a possibility, running at 800MHz on a 128-bit bus. The card's official name is still under wraps. However, the processor in question is being called RV360.

On the other hand, NVIDIA is banking on a chip it dubs NV36-VT2D, which may feature a 500MHz core and 1GHz DDR memory. Armed with 128MB of RAM and possible a 128-bit bus, expect performance similar to the maligned GeForceFX 5800. Yet, cards based on the NV36 processor are likely to be called GeForceFX 5700. It will also emerge next month, and with a $300 price tag, competitive with ATI's RADEON 9800. And despite NVDIA's distaste for 3D Mark03, it is claiming that the NV36 is capable of scoring higher than 4000 points. That's in the same neighborhood as ATI's upcoming RV360, we reckon.

Check out the Latest Content on PCstats.com.

Written By
Editor-in-Chief
. M. Page
Weekly Tips
. C. Sun
HTLD Columnist
. C. Angelini
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