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Computer Writings

(Software, patches, techniques, email, internet sharing, ISP's, history, online banking, ad blocking, cable modems, etc.)

Ad and Counter Blocking
A simple way to prevent ads from appearing on your browser is to fool it into thinking that the site containing the ad is on YOUR computer. This fakery can be accomplished by compiling a list of "underdesirable" sites in a "HOSTS" file that is used by all TCP/IP capable computers. (25-Jan-2001)

Avoid Real Email Addresses
It's not very wise to give out your real email address to certain people, as it could end up in a spam database and sold to mass marketers. A better strategy is to use aliases which automatically forward mail to your real email address. Aliases which are heavily spammed could be deleted and re-created as needed. (10-Mar-2000)

ByteCatcher Pro and Cheap VirusScans
Need help downloading large files from the internet? ByteCatcher Pro could help by allowing you to stop and re-start your download, even if you didn't do the stopping yourself. Also, how to get the latest McAfee VirusScan software at a bargain price. (01-May-1999)

Dial-Up Networking v1.3
Upgrading to Windows 95's latest Dial-Up Networking v1.3 as a possible solution to a problematical internet connection. (13-Apr-2000)

Cable Modem Adventures
A review of AT&T; Broadband's @Home cable modem service which yours truly is currently using. Sorry, available only in the U.S. - only in certain parts of the U.S. in fact. (27-Sep-2000)

Eudora Tips
Some tips on using the Eudora email client: 1) The pros and cons of leaving versus removing mail from an email server; 2) How to set up multiple mailboxes with a single Eudora installation; 3) How to limit your exposure to email borne virus attachments. (Mar-1999, Oct-1999)

Fortified Netscape
Netscape web browsers with strong encryption were previously available only to U.S. users. With the release of Netscape's source code, an Australian company now makes available a free patch called "Fortify" which provides the same level of security for international users. (05-Jun-1999)

Free Web and Pop Mail
Free web email can be found almost everywhere, but not free POP email. American Express and Yahoo! provide both with a few catches. Netscape does too, but with a bigger catch: $$$. (26-Sep-1999)

Internet Sharing Solutions (Part 1)
Implementing a LAN-based internet sharing solution using "WebRamp" hardware from Ramp Networks. Discussed are features, setup, ISP support, interoperability, performance, etc. (03-Aug-1999)

Internet Sharing Solutions (Part 2)
Implementing a LAN-based internet sharing solution using software only. There are literally dozens of such solutions on the market. Here we review something called AnalogX Proxy Server. It's simple, it's free, and it works! (06-Jan-2000)

Internet Sharing Solutions (Part 3)
WinRoute Pro represents a midway solution between the WebRamp and the AnalogX proxy discussed in Parts 1 and 2. A software-only solution, it comes bundled with an impressive array of server apps. Most useful are its caching proxy server and its access controls. WinRoute Pro's biggest downside though, is its cost. (25-Jan-2000)

Internet Sharing Solutions (Part 4)
Having gained access to the internet using WinRoute Pro in Part 3, we're now going to limit, or more precisely, control access to the internet. This is done using access controls in proxy mode and packet filtering in NAT mode. (28-Jan-2000)

Internet Sharing Solutions (Part 5)
Internet sharing, Linux style, via the use of IP Masquerading. Topics covered include the network portion of Linux installation, dial-up configuration, and setting up IP forwarding. (18-Nov-2000)

Internet Sharing Solutions (Part 6)
Internet sharing in a home/apartment environment where destructive wiring is a no-no. Here, we're going to use a consumer-grade internet router and a bridge to integrate Phoneline and traditional Ethernet networks. (24-Jan-2001)

JBMail: Bare Bones Email
JBMail is a simple, read-only POP mail client. It allows you to read and delete messages without having to download messages from the server. It's not really a replacement for a regular mail client like Eudora, etc. (10-May-2000)

NetZero: A Free ISP Service
An advertising-supported ISP service that gives you free internet access in the U.S. The catch is that you have to play host to a small window of advertising on your web browser and an ad at the end of your emails. (01-Apr-1999)

Online Banking: SCB Cash Management
A walk through of Siam Commercial Bank's online banking service, "SCB Cash Management". Also, what online services foreign banks offer and some thoughts on internet banks. (12-Oct-1999)

Opera Revisted
Opera is a Norwegian born alternative browser to Netscape and Internet Explorer. It's small, fast, and thoughtfully designed. However, it may feel a bit different from Netscape and Internet Explorer, and thus will take some getting used to. Also, it's not free. (02-Dec-1999)

Speeding Up Internet Access
Various ways to optimize if not speed up your internet access: a) choosing a well-connected ISP, b) using caching proxy servers available at most ISP's, c) caching at your local PC, d) implementing LAN-based caching proxy servers, and e) setting up Multilink PPP connections. (23-Oct-1999)

The History of the Internet in Thailand
A book review detailing the birth and early history of the internet in Thailand. This book may be downloaded from the website of the Network Startup Resource Center in Oregon. (28-Feb-2000)

The Joys of Dynamic DNS
Tzo's Dynamic DNS Service allows you to map a domain or sub-domain name to your dial up IP address. This allows you to inexpensively run or experiment with server applications from your dial-up computer, without the need for a fixed IP address or a business-type ISP package. (13-Nov-1999)

Whither Cable Modem Service?
Lusting after Asia Infonet's cable modem service? Do the math first. Also, Samart's low-cost internet packages are great, but their busy signals aren't. Don't be so eager to believe everything you read. (22-Jul-1999)

(Hard drives, floppy drives, CD drives, media storage, printers, modems, old computers, networking hardware, print recycling, etc.)

Affordable Japanese Networking Hardware
Planex Communications is supposedly the #1 seller of SOHO networking products in Japan. Challenger SuperStore now carries their products. The prices of their Fast Ethernet products - especially their switching hubs - are amazingly affordable. (25-Mar-2000)

An External Print Server: NetGear's PS110
This piece is a logical continuation of my Internet Sharing Solutions, Part 6 article. It deals with the addition of a NetGear PS110 external printer server to my home network. (18-Feb-2001)

CD-RW's, or re-writable CD-ROM's, may sound great, but they may be less functional and less cost effective than the humbler CD-R. (01-Apr-1999)

Debugging a Shared LaserJet 6L
Debugging a shared HP LaserJet 6L on a Microsoft peer-to-peer network. Two major checks need to be performed: a check of the network and a check of the printer drivers. The HPLJ 6L is a bi- directional printer, but this needs to be disabled on client PC's but enabled on the host PC. For non-HPLJ 6L users, this piece offers a peek into network testing and printer sharing. (04-Jan-2000)

Floppy Disk Tips
Some tips on how to make floppy disks work optimally. Included are tips on reformatting and copy verification. (29-Nov-2000)

Floppy Drive Problems
Some possible solutions to intermittent floppy drive problems. (25-Dec-1999)

Golden Oldies: Yesteryear Computers
A photo gallery of some yesteryear computers that I've been saving over time. If your computing days pre-date the PC, hey, take a walk down memory lane. (17-Apr-2000)

Hard Disk Repairs
OnTrack Data is the premier hard disk repair company in the U.S. They offer a range of services and an excellent track record. Their most personalized service is quite expensive, but what they are doing is DATA not hardware recovery - data being much more valuable than hardware. (13-Sep-1999)

Headphone Guy An article on the use of headphones as a replacement for computer-based loudspeakers. (06-Oct-2000)

Printing Thai Fonts
Some tips on printing Thai fonts: a) print TrueType fonts as bitmaps, 2) print at lower resolutions. Also, find specialized Thai fonts to match the applications used. (28-Aug-1999)

Random Mac Disconnects
A few thoughts on random disconnect problems plaguing an Apple iMac. (28-Jan-2000)

Some Uses for Old 486's
What to do with old 486 computers. Use them as print servers, application servers, file servers, backup servers, and yes, even to run Windows in a pinch. The "problem" with 486's are more a state of mind than technical. (01-Jan-2000)

Space Efficient CD Storage
Traditional plastic CD cases aren't very space-efficient. Case Logic's ProSleeve system allows you to store about 4 times more CD's in the same space. (31-Jul-1999)

Switching Between New and Recycled Paper
A convenient way to switch between new and recycled paper. Also, some tips on using recycled paper for printing. (04-Aug-1999)

The Great IBM Clickety-Clack Keyboard
If you're sick of using the cheap, plastic keyboards that come with most PC's these days and are ready for a serious, professional keyboard, read on. (17-Sep-2000)

Virtual CD's
Save wear and tear by converting physical CD-ROMS into speedy, software-based "Virtual" CD-ROMS. Store these on your hard disk and load/unload them at the click of a button. Better still, give PC's without CD drives the ability to run CD-based software. (10-Mar-1999)

Whither WinModems?
How good or bad are WinModems (i.e. software modems)? A quick test shows that they're not all bad, although some can tax your system's resources a lot more than you would think. (13-Nov-1999)

(Utilities, installations, upgrades, optimizations, settings, etc.)

An Alternate Naming Scheme for MP3's
An alternative MP3 naming scheme to insure that artist and song names line up in WinAmp's songlist display. (08-Sep-2000)

Dual Windows Installations
More thoughts on installing two versions of Windows (i.e. Windows 9x and Windows NT) on a single computer. (11-Jan-1999)

Installing Windows Upgrade on a Fresh Hard Disk
How to install the upgrade version of Windows 95/98 on a fresh hard disk using "bait" files. (01-Dec-1998)

Launchmate and Switching Video Modes
LaunchMate can be a replacement for Office 97's toolbar. It's highly customizable, and most notable is its ability to switch video modes on the fly. This is useful for running programs which must run at different colour settings than the default (e.g. old 256 colour games). (08-Jan-2000)

More on Shutdown
A follow-up letter to the Post Database on Wanda Sloan's "shutdown" tip. For those people who can't get Windows to turn this trick, there's always Kjetil Nygard's "Shutdown Utility v3.0". (23-Mar-2000)

Non-Printer Printer Drivers
Some examples of non-printer printer drivers. FinePrint and ClickBook are used to print multiple pages on a single sheet of paper, while Acrobat saves print jobs to a file which is viewable with the Acrobat Reader with all of the formatting retained. All three programs help save paper. (04-Feb-2000)

Office 97 Thai/English Switching
Getting around a non-functioning Microsoft Office 97 Thai/English switcher by making a small change in Windows' registry file. (12-Apr-2000)

Mijenix's PowerDesk Utilities 98 is a great replacement for Windows Explorer, especially for people who use different versions of Windows and want a consistent interface. (01-May-1999)

Notes on Academic Windows 2K and Office 2K
Sick of Windows 98 problems, yours truly gets started on Windows 2000 and Office 2000. Some thoughts on how to obtain Win2K and Office 2K on the cheap, if you're qualified. (16-Sep-2000)

Regional Settings
It's not necessary to use a "Thai" Regional Setting under Thai Windows 95/98. Setting it to "English", for example, provides more data/time formats than the "Thai" setting. (05-Jan-1999)

Sisyphean Windows
A useful (albeit technical) article from Maximum PC on how to revamp your Windows PC after a reinstall and how to keep running it as smoothly as one can ever hope Windows to. (03-Oct-2000)

Sorting File Displays
With the advent of Windows it may no longer be possible to physically sort files in subdirectories, but one can always simulate this by setting DOS's DIRCMD environment variable. (16-Aug-2000)

Sorting Programs Under Start Menu
How to keep the listing of programs under Windows' "Start Menu" sorted using a program called "Q-Sort 2000" from Hyper-Q Software. (04-Oct-2000)

Taming Windows 98
Use 98lite and RamBooster to make Windows 98 less quirky. Also, don't use Microsoft Office's FindFast, and keep the programs in your system tray to a minimum. (21-Sep-1999)

Use Microsoft's TweakUI utility to customize desktop icons and to bypass Windows' logon prompt. TweakUI is useful for many other customizations as well. (10-May-1998)

Viewing Thai under Adobe Acrobat
Tips on viewing Thai fonts when using Adobe Acrobat. In short, use Acrobat's Distiller instead of PDFWriter. (12-Oct-2000)

Windows ME and Me
A story of how yours truly fell into the trap of Windows ME and learned to like it. More to the point, though, field notes on the installation and configuration of Win ME, including how to get Thai working on an English Win ME. (12-Nov-2000)

Embedded Graphics and Word File Bloat
Notes on how to control file bloat when graphics are inserted into Microsoft Word files. (13-Jan-2001)

(Knoppix, KRUD, Star Office, Phat Linux, WinLinux, boot managers, foreign file systems, training)

A Personal Journey into Linux
This article details how I got into Linux and some thoughts I have regarding its future. (12-Apr-2000)

Booting Linux from Windows' Boot Manager
Shows how to use the boot manager that comes with Windows NT/2000 to boot Linux. (08-Feb-2003)

Knoppix: Linux Run From a CD
A hands on review of Knoppix, a Linux distro designed to be run from a CD . (09-Mar-2003)

KRUD: An Up-To-Date RedHat
KRUD (Kevin's Red Hat Über Distribution) is a version of RedHat Linux which contains all of the latest security and application errata. This saves you from having to track down all of these important fixes yourself. The CD is available either as a one-time purchase or a monthly subscription. (09-Feb-2000)

More on Star Office
Sun Microsystem's new Star Office version 5.1 isn't just for Linux - there's also a version for Windows, as well as other operating systems. Also, where to get it. (21-Sep-1999)

NetWare and Linux
A short history of the early attempts to implement NetWare servers over Linux. Also, how to set up a NetWare client for Linux. (18-Feb-2003)

Notes on Linux Training
Some thoughts on two Linux training courses conducted by Kaiwal Software and held at NECTEC: "Linux Fundamentals" and "System and Network Administration for Linux". (04-Apr-2000)

Phat Linux (Part 1)
Phat Linux is a version of Linux that can be installed to and run from a DOS/Windows FAT 16/32 partition rather than from a native Linux ext2 partition. Part 1 covers installation and basic configuration. (07-Feb-2000)

Reading Foreign File Systems under Linux
A piece on reading file systems native to other computer systems under Linux. These include DOS' FAT16/FAT32, Windows' NTFS, OS/2's HPFS and the Macintosh's HFS. Admittedly not a terribly original article, but it does manage to gather lots of disparate information and put it in one accessible place. (24-Feb-2003)

Windows Clients for Linux Servers
The article focuses on ssh, NFS and X clients that run under Windows for the purpose of accessing resources on Linux servers. (20-Mar-2003)

WinLinux: Windows-Assisted Linux
WinLinux 2000 is another Linux distribution that can be installed and run from a Windows FAT16/FAT32 file system. WinLinux adds a Windows-based utility that reads system settings and passes them on to Linux in order to minimize/improve Linux hardware detection. This only works to a certain extent. WinLinux is most useful if you stay with the bounds of the programs it provides. (13-Feb-2000)

(File transfers, font conversions)

Transferring Apple II Files
Some strategies on how to transfer files saved on Apple II DOS 3.3 diskettes to a PC. (11-Nov-1999)

Using Mac Type 1 Fonts on a PC
How to convert Macintosh Type 1 fonts for use on a PC using Acute Systems' TransMac and CrossFont utilities. (10-Mar-1999)

(Password creation, crackers vs hackers, maintenance, recovery, backup)

An Ever Changing Password
Some thoughts on how to create a password routine which employs a constantly changing password. The idea is to use a password algorithm rather than a fixed password. (29-Feb-2000)

Crackers, Not Hackers
The mass media often uses the term "hacker" when it is referring to "crackers". Attempts should be made to use the terms correctly. Also, some thoughts on cracker intrusions, and some consumer-grade software to protect again these. (08-Mar-2000)

Password Crib Sheets
A simple way to write down and hide passcodes on a sheet of paper that can be carried around with you. (24-Jul-1999)

Recovering Lost Microsoft Office Passwords
A review of products from two vendors that can help you recover forgotten passwords from Microsoft Office files. Also, some strategies on creating more easily remembered and recoverable passwords. (25-Jun-1999)

Thoughts on Backup
Some thoughts on backup strategies and technologies. While the focus is on the backup of personal systems, there's also some discussion of corporate backups as well. (30-Jan-2001)

(Greeting cards, games, game machines)

ASCII Art Greeting Cards
Sending seasons greetings using email and embedded ASCII art is a light, low-tech approach for those tired of web-based greetings. Many websites provide such ASCII art for use free of charge. (28-Dec-1999)

Game Classics Redux
Some improved classic games currently in favour at the Khoman household: Pacman, Breakout, Scrabble; plus Commander Keen thrown in for good measure. (25-Jun-1999)

PSX'ing in a Foreign Land
A story of my trials and tribulations in getting a brought-from-Thailand Sony Playstation to work in the U.S. (15-Oct-2000)


CD-Bundled Magazines
Rather than downloading tons of software, a cheaper/easier solution is to buy magazines which come bundled with free CD's. Thailand-based IT.Soft, EasyCD and Multimedia Magazine offer such CD's at Thailand-friendly prices. (02-Feb-1999)

Email, Please
A request for letter writers to Post Database to include their email address so that help can be provided directly/more quickly. (25-Dec-1999)

NAV and Piracy
An admittedly facetious letter on my part that contains a smidgeon about program and definition updates to Norton Anti-Virus (NAV) and McAfee's VirusScan. (09-Sep-2000)

Some Classic Reads
Spring cleaning at the Khoman hovel uncovers some classics from the past: Brooks' "The Mythical Man-Month", Kernighan and Plauger's "The Elements of Programming Style" and "Software Tools", and Huff's "How to Lie with Statistics". (24-Mar-2000)

Sticker Prices, Stickier AOL
Some tips on how to read the fine print in advertisements for computer paraphernalia in the U.S. Also, some horror stories about America Online (AOL). (15-Nov-2000)

Copyright © 1998-2003, Thiravudh Khoman