Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 22:39:29 -0400
From: crispen@INTERNIC.NET

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Hola, muchachos!  :)

I have a couple of things that I need to get out of the way before we pull
our little bus of Internet happiness out onto the Information Supercollider:

     * If you haven't seen the TOURBUS archives recently -- at -- you owe it to yourself to pay the
       site a visit sometime soon.  All of our old TOURBUS posts can
       be found there, and -- even better -- about a dozen of our most
       recent TOURBUS posts have been translated into Espanol and have
       also been placed on the Web site.  The translated lessons are a
       marvelous tool for foreign language students, and they are also
       the only place in the world that you will be able to find "la
       palabra surena del dia hoy."  (If you don't speak Spanish,
       you'll just have to see one of the translations to see what
       this means).  :)

     * From time to time, especially in my Southern Word section, I
       have mentioned "Moon Pies."  Moon Pies are truly a Southern
       staple, along with barbecue and grits.  Well, if you are in or
       around Madrid (Spain) and want to taste an actual Moon Pie --
       which is chock-full of chocolatey, cakey, marshmallowy goodness
       -- send me an e-mail letter.  A friend of mine is spending the
       Summer in Madrid, and I recently sent her a box of Moon Pies.
       If you ask nicely, I'll bet she'll share one with you.  :)

     * Finally, your fearless bus driver really goofed.  Someone -- I
       forget who -- recently sent me an antique post card titled
       "Campus Pets, University of Michigan."  The campus pets?
       Squirrels, of course.

       The card was so cool that I took it to a local art gallery to
       have it framed.  I was going to take a few seconds in today's
       TOURBUS post to thank the person who sent me the card ... but
       the art gallery threw away the sheet of paper that had the
       person's name and e-mail address on it.  :(

       So, if you recently sent me an antique postcard with Michigan
       squirrels on it, THANK YOU!  The card is now framed -- with a
       *triple* mat -- and is hanging on a wall in my apartment.  :)

I'd also like to take a moment to send a special thank you to the folks who
help keep this bus on the road week after week ...

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Last week I wrote

     I couldn't find *ANY* free Mac anti-virus software that offered
     what ViruSafe offers.  The closest free, anti-virus Mac software
     that I could find is called "Disinfectant," and Disinfectant
     won't scan files as they are being downloaded.  :(

Needless to say, I received a *bunch* of letters from some of my fellow Mac
users, most of who think that I was a tad bit hard on Disinfectant (which
can be downloaded at  Paul Collins wrote

     I see no huge advantage in web-download scanning for Mac -- files
     come in other ways (email for one!), and Disinfectant detects
     and disables any known Mac virus that strikes, before it can do
     any damage. "Unknown" viruses are not a problem; the last new
     Mac virus appeared in March '94!

Paul makes a good point.  According to an article that was recently posted
on the Macintosh Evangelist mailing list, there are currently only 35 Mac
viruses, while there are

     - 10,000-11,000 DOS viruses
     - 12 Windows viruses
     - 200+ macro viruses/Trojan horses; 70-90% are cross platform
     - 6 Unix viruses

Those 10,000 to 11,000 DOS viruses affect all DOS, Windows, and Windows 95
machines (but not Macs), and most of those 200+ macro viruses/Trojan horses
are Microsoft Word macros that affect ALL machines running Word (both PC
and Mac).

Last week we focused on *free* anti-virus software.  This week we are going
to take a look at the rest of the anti-virus software available:

     1. Demoware (pronounced "demo-wear") -- Demoware is usually
        software that will only work for a certain number of days.
        Most demoware is released by software manufacturers in the
        hope that you will like their product so much that you will
        decide to purchase their software when the demo expires.  You
        may ask, though, "why on Earth would anyone pay for software
        that they can just as easily demo for free?"  Well,
        unfortunately, most demoware is not fully functional; certain
        important software functions are usually disabled.

     2. Shareware -- Shareware is software that is distributed on the
        "honor system." If you like it, you are expected to pay for
        it.  Some shareware is fully-functional, so you don't really
        have to pay for it if you don't want to (but that would be
        dishonest, wouldn't it?).  A lot of the newer shareware,
        however, will bug you with pop-up screens until you pay the
        shareware fee, and some even borrow from the idea of demoware
        and disable key features until you register the software.

     3. Commercial Software -- This is the type of software that most
        of us are used to purchasing.  You go into a store or Web
        page, pick up or click on a box, and take the software to the
        cash register.

One of the best sites that I have found for both demoware and shareware is
TUCOWS -- The Ultimate Collection of Winsock Software.  Despite its name,
TUCOWS (pronounced "two-cows") not only has Windows-Winsock software, it
also has a *HUGE* collection of both Mac and ... brace yourself ... OS/2

Getting to TUCOWS the first time is a little confusing, but don't panic . .
. I'll show you the way.  To start off, point your Web browser to the
TUCOWS main homepage at

Then, pick a local TUCOWS site that is close to you.  TUCOWS has over 200
affiliate locations around the world, so it probably won't be all that hard
finding a site that is close by.  By using a TUCOWS archive close to you,
you will help keep network traffic to a minimum ... and you may even get
faster downloads!

Once you have accessed a local TUCOWS site, take a look at the left-hand
side of the Web page.  Find and select the platform that you are using
(Windows 95 or NT, Windows 3.x, Macintosh, or OS/2).  A new page will load
showing you all of the software categories that TUCOWS has available for
your computer platform.  You can explore these categories a little later.
For now, let's select the first category (the one in the upper left-hand
corner of the screen): Anti-Virus Scanners.

TUCOWS not only has links to where you download particular anti-virus
software packages, they also have taken the time to review the software as
well.  Each anti-virus software package is graded on a scale of 1 to 5,
with 5 being the best.  You can tell the grade of each software package by
... I swear I am not making this up ... counting the number of cows the
software package receives.

It is important to note that besides demoware and shareware (and some
freeware), TUCOWS also offers virus definition updates.  With the number of
PC viruses growing daily, it is essential that you update your anti-virus
program regularly.  These virus definition updates help you do that.

Unfortunately, virus definition updates by themselves won't do you any
good.  The virus definition updates that TUCOWS offer only work with
particular anti-virus programs, and you have to have actually purchased
that particular anti-virus software package first.  For example, the
"Norton AntiVirus June 1997 definition update" won't do you any good unless
you already own Norton AntiVirus.

So, feel free to download any of the anti-virus demoware and shareware.
These programs will work just fine.  Just remember that TUCOW's virus
definition updates aren't actual anti-virus programs, so you'll probably
not want to download them.

Okay.  We've covered freeware, demoware, and shareware.  The last thing
that we are going to look at is the "big boys": the commercial anti-virus
software packages.

There are literally dozens of commercial anti-virus software packages on
the market today, each of which work quite well.  Which one should you look
at or purchase?  That's completely up to you.  Most PC and Mac magazines
regularly review commercial anti-virus software, and your friends,
co-workers, network administrator, and Internet Service Provider may also
have recommendations about which anti-virus program will be best for you.

Also, as I mentioned in my May 15th post,

     ... [Y]ou might want to see if your Internet Service Provider,
     company, or school has a "site license" that allows them to
     distribute commercial anti-virus programs at a discount . . . or,
     even better, for free.  The cost to repair infected computers is
     often so high that major organizations feel it is
     cheaper for them, in the long run, to give every one of
     their users a free copy of a commercial anti-virus

     Unfortunately, most large organizations do not advertise the fact
     that they give out free anti-virus software, so you are going to
     have to ask around.  Your best bet is to call the helpdesk or
     technical support at your Internet Service Provider, company, or
     school and ask them "do you have a site license to distribute
     anti-virus software?"  (While you are at it, you might as well
     ask them if the have a site license to distribute any other type
     of software as well ...)

According to the mail that I have received from your fellow TOURBUS riders,
two of the most popular commercial anti-virus software packages being
distributed by large organizations are



     Dr. Solomon's

Both of these sites offer demoware versions of their commercial anti-virus
software.  And, as I said a moment ago, there are literally dozens of
commercial anti-virus software packages on the market today, each of which
work quite well.  Which one should you look at or purchase?  That's
completely up to you.

I hope this quick tour of anti-virus software has helped.  Have a safe and
happy weekend, and I'll see you next week!  :)



PACIFIER (phrase).  To move beyond an inferno.
Usage: "I drove pacifier, but the fier department was already puttin'
        it out!

 (Special thanks to Linda Miller Shaw for today's word)


  For info on my new book "Atlas for the Information Superhighway"

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