From:         Patrick Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 20 JUL 2006 - Goodbye Win9X / Llamas


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, site of the 2007 winter Olympics' cross country luge event. After a much-needed summer vacation, our little bus of Internet happiness is back to start its twelfth year of clogging up your email inbox with completely useless information. :-)

On with the show...

Bye Bye Windows 9X!
Audience: All legacy Windows users

To celebrate Tourbus' birthday, our friends at Microsoft have prepared a little present for everyone who uses Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, or Windows ME. On July 11th, 2006, Microsoft stopped supporting those platforms. No, really. No more security updates, no more technical support, nothing. You are now, officially, on your own.

Wait, there's more.

On October 10th, to celebrate the 107th anniversary of the start of the Boer War [or something like that,]

Microsoft will end all public assisted support for Windows XP Service Pack1 (SP1). After this date, Microsoft will no longer provide any incident support options or security updates for this retired service pack...


Fortunately, if you have Windows XP, Microsoft isn't completely abandoning you. All you have to do is upgrade to Windows XP Service Pack 2. If you have been religious with your Windows Updates -- and if you haven't, I'm turning this bus around right now! -- you probably upgraded to Service Pack 2 back in early 2005.

If you haven't upgraded, though, or if you just want to double-check that you truly are running Windows XP Service Pack 2, check out my March 2005 Tourbus article titled "How to Safely Upgrade to Windows XP SP2" at

If you have Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, or Windows ME, and don't want to upgrade to Windows XP, things are a little more complicated. To protect your legacy operating system from future exploits, I STRONGLY recommend that you

1. Stop using Internet Explorer and switch to an alternative web
browser such as Mozilla Firefox, available for free at

Of course, I've been saying this since late 2004 [see ] and the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a branch of the US Department of Homeland Security, started recommending that you "use a different web browser" back in mid-2004 [see ]. If you still have Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, or Windows ME, using Internet Explorer is the surest way to infect your newly orphaned computer with viruses, spyware, and malware. STOP USING INTERENT EXPLORER! You don't need to uninstall Internet Explorer -- in fact, you can't. Just stop using it.

2. Get a firewall. I've also been saying this since 2004:

I fact, if you read that article, you'll get a pretty good idea of why you need a firewall. And if you have a relatively fast connection, check out

Yeah, yeah ... this is shameless self-promotion for my "Computer Privacy & Security Essential Training" movies at But the first four movies in chapter two are absolutely free and show you what firewalls are, how they work, and even how to set up and secure a [non-wireless] hardware firewall/router.

What sort of hardware firewall should you get? I recommend getting a US$75 - $100 router made by Linksys, D-Link, or Netgear. You can find routers on the shelves of every major big box retailer including Wal-Mart and Office Depot.

As for a software firewall, check out

This is a page Microsoft recently created that has links to software firewall vendors that still support older versions of Windows

3. Get a good, up-to-date antivirus program. This is something
I've been saying forever, but check out

for something I wrote SEVEN YEARS AGO about the need for a good antivirus program.

Which antivirus program should you get? Well, if you already have an antivirus program, it's probably really outdated and not protecting your computer as well as it should. I recommend uninstalling your old antivirus program [using Add/Remove Programs in your Control Panel] and installing a brand new antivirus program specifically designed for your older version of Windows.

I am a HUGE fan of a US$40 antivirus program called "Eset NOD32 for Windows 95/98/ME." You can download it at

Make sure to download the Windows 95/98/ME version, not the one for NT/2000/XP.

If you don't want to pay for an antivirus program, check out the free version of AVG antivirus at

It also runs on older versions of Windows.

Do those three things, and you should be able to keep using Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, or Windows ME for years to come.

A Personal Note
Audience: Everyone

I have a little announcement to make: I am getting married. No, really. My girlfriend Christine and I have set a date (July 7th, 2007 -- 07/07/07) and a location (Las Vegas.) Of course, I haven't actually ASKED Christine to marry me yet. But she and I have set the date and location. :)

The next sticking point is deciding where we're going to register. I've suggested and, but Christine wasn't too receptive to those. I'll keep you posted.

Audience: Llama!

And, finally, I leave you this week with these heart-felt words of inspiration:

Llama llama Cheesecake llama Tablet brick potato llama Llama llama Mushroom llama Llama llama duck

Confused? Visit this link and all will be revealed:

Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again soon.

           .~~~.  ))
(\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
/o o  \/     .~
{o_,    \    {
  / ,  , )    \   
  `~  -' \    } ))    AOL Instant Messenger: Squirrel2K
_(    (   )_.'
---..{____}                  Warning: squirrels.

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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