Windows-Help.NET Newsletter 21 Dec. 2002, Vol 5 No. 51

In this issue:

w   Happy Holidays!
w   Microsoft Announces Plus! Digital Media Edition
w   Microsoft Security Bulletin
w   Recommended Web Sites
w   Web Site Updates
w   Administrivia

The Utility For Any Serious Windows Tweaker!

Happy Holidays!

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

This is the last issue of the Windows-Help.NET Newsletter for 2002. I know that not all of you "celebrate" Christmas, but most do, so from myself and the entire InfiniSource team I want to wish you happy Holidays and all the best for 2003!

The Newsletter will return to your mailbox with the January 11 issue.

Microsoft Announces Plus! Digital Media Edition

Microsoft Plus! for Windows XP This week Microsoft announced Microsoft® Plus! Digital Media Edition (DME) for Windows® XP, the ultimate photo, music and movie enhancement pack for Windows XP. Plus! Digital Media Edition provides a range of new experiences for anyone who enjoys digital photography, digital music and video.

"Pioneering features in Plus! Digital Media Edition like Photo Story offers photo buffs the ability for the first time to tell the story behind their digital pictures with easy-to-create digital photo albums," said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Packed with cool new innovations like this, Plus! Digital Media Edition takes the photos, music and home movies in Windows XP to a whole new level."

Plus! DME will be the first Microsoft retail product offered for download via the Web; it will cost $19.95 when it is available on January 7, 2003. However, customers that preorder the Plus! DME package early will save $5, bringing the cost of Plus! DME down to just $15.

Plus! DME includes the following applications:

  • Plus! Photo Story - creates a whole new way to enjoy and share digital photos, allowing you to build unique video stories with narration and music.
  • Plus! Party Mode - turn your PC into the ultimate party jukebox, complete with visual effects, song and artist displays and an interactive guest book.
  • Plus! Dancer - turns the desktop into a dance floor with lifelike, high-definition 3-D characters that groove in time to the music that's playing.
  • Plus! Analog Recorder - breathes new life into your music collection, as it creates clean, vibrant digital files using automatic hiss and pop reduction and automatic track splitting, while recording from analog audio sources, such as LP albums and cassette tapes.
  • Plus! Audio Converter - a general-purpose conversion tool offering easy interchange between formats and file sizes. Files can be converted from MP3 and WAV to Windows Media Audio (WMA) or from WMA to MP3.
  • Plus! CD Label Maker - an updated version of the original Plus! CD Label Maker that now supports MP3 and WMA data CDs.
  • Plus! Alarm Clock - turns the PC into a full-featured alarm clock that can play music from your library of favorite tunes.
  • Plus! Sleep Timer - allows you to fall asleep to the music you choose by gradually decreasing volume over time.
  • Plus! Sync & Go for Pocket PC provides a new way to get the latest digital content delivered to your Pocket PC.
  • Plus! Effects and Transitions for Movie Maker 2 - Plus! Digital Media Edition takes the Windows Movie Maker 2 experience even further, adding 50 stunning new effects and transitions from Pixelan Software.

Plus! Digital Media Edition also will be made available in French, German, Japanese, Korean and Spanish. The final release of Windows Movie Maker 2 and Windows Media Player 9 Series also will be available Jan. 7, 2003.

Microsoft Security

Unchecked Buffer in Windows Shell Could Enable System Compromise

Microsoft released a patch for Microsoft Windows XP, because an unchecked buffer exists in one of the functions used by the Windows Shell to extract custom attribute information from audio files. A security vulnerability results because it is possible for a malicious user to mount a buffer overrun attack and attempt to exploit this flaw.

Maximum Severity Rating: Critical

Affected Software Versions

  • Windows XP Home Edition
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition


Recommended Web sites

Each month we will feature a few Web sites here, ones which sent us the most visitors to our Web site in the previous month. We would encourage you to visit these popular Web sites yourself!

Here are some sites in the Top 15 for November 2002:

  • the Inquirer - European site for computer hardware news.
  • Webopedia - "The only online dictionary and search engine you need for computer and Internet technology".
  • Tweak3D.Net - "Your Freakin' Tweakin' Source!"
  • PC Pitstop - Help you to get your PC in top form.
  • - PC Performance Resources.

The Top 15 sites are listed on our Web site.

Web Site Updates

These pages were added/updated in the past 2 weeks. Information on previously updated/added pages is available on the What's New? page for 1 month.

Updated: Foreign Language Search Engines
Added: Paid Listings Search Engines
Updated: Search Engine Information Sites
Updated: Specialized Search Engines
Updated: Employment / Job Search Sites
Updated: Web Meta Search Engines
Added: Video Games and Kids -- Part 5


Windows XP

Added: Improve Hyperlinks Behaviour When Other Browser is Used as Default
Added: Restrict HTML Help from Running Executables
Added: Automatically Log On a User Account
Updated: Microsoft Posts Windows .NET Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack Final Beta version (RC2) for Download
Added: Microsoft Security: Unchecked Buffer in Windows Shell Could Enable System Compromise
Added: Microsoft Announces Plus! Digital Media Edition for Windows XP


Video Games and Kids -- Part 5

Playing for fun, or because of a driving all consuming compulsive, addictive need to play?

Read Full Article
Windows XP Getting Started Tip: Automatically Log On a User Account

If you are the only user on Windows XP, you could save some time by having Windows XP log you into your user account automatically.

Read Tip
Windows XP Tip: Restrict HTML Help from Running Executables

HTML Help is nifty, but there have been a number of security breaches recently involving it. We can add a system policy to specify which Help files can use the Shortcut and WinHelp commands (The Shortcut command is used to run a program that is external to the help file, the WinHelp command runs Winhlp32.exe to display .hlp files). You can also use the policy to completely disable the commands on the system. To do this, you must be the system administrator on the computer.

Read Tip
Windows XP Tip: Improve Hyperlinks Behaviour When Other Browser is Used as Default

If you set another browser (not Internet Explorer) to be the default in Windows XP, and you click a link (hyperlink) the link may open in Microsoft Internet Explorer instead of in your default browser or in the Help and Support Center.

Microsoft have issued a Critical Update which should fix this problem. You can get it from the WindowsUpdate Web site, or directly (Home & Pro, 5.29 MB).
Lockergnome's Top 50 Windows Productivity Tips

"For Every Windows User." Do you have to deal with Windows on a daily basis? Might as well maximize your time with it. You'll find that some of these tips will apply to other operating systems, too. The world of computing isn't so mysterious once you understand how it works. With this GnomeTome, you'll begin to work faster - and smarter.

Get GnomeTomes
Windows XP FIX: Playback of Some AVI Files Skips in Windows Media Player

Playback of .avi files may skip and stutter. The problem seems to occur more frequently when you play back the content from a CD-ROM device.

Microsoft Knowledge Base
Windows XP Tip: Disable Error Reporting

Whenever an application suffers from an error, and is closed down by the system or by you, the Microsoft Error Reporting feature will pop up, asking you if you want to send a report about the problem to Microsoft.

Read Tip
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