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Re: autocad failure

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Windoze XP is reported to have "issues" on occasion when you upgrade from
Windoze Me.  There are reports that it does not work right (slow downs,
crashes, or other possibilities) if you have an existing computer that was
originally using Me (or even 98 or 98se) and then upgraded to XP.  I was
concerned about this when I upgraded my Me computer to XP.  For the most
part it seems that I have been computer has generally been fine
(other than some "hanging" when I reboot, resulting in the need to hit the
restart button many times before it boots properly...but I actually
believe that is due to use BootMagic which will allow me to boot into
either XP or Linux [once I get around to installing a version on a second
HD partition]).  I will say that it does behave a little more weird than
my laptop which orginially came with XP.  For example, I can no longer
save JPG images from Internet Explorer (they only option in the save as
dialog box is as a BMP image) on my desktop machine, but I have no problem
doing so with my laptop (or my Mac for that matter).  And have yet to find
a reason for such on M$'s website (and I am _NOT_ going to pay M$ some
absurd amount of money for support on their crappy software).

As to your antivirus program and acrobat not working with XP, you could
upgrade them.  ;-)  I know that Acrobat 4 (which I use) and 5 (my dad
uses) work with XP.  Acrobat 4 is not totally functional as the PDFWriter
print driver no longer works, but the Distiller still works.  And current
versions of all commercial antivirus software should be XP compatible.  I
definitely know that Symantec's Norton Antivirus does (another program
that works a little weird on my desktop...I have it set to automatically
check and download new virus definitions, but it does not seem to
do...instead comes up with a reminder about every two weeks that the defs
are out of date and I should manually check to see if there are new laptop just does it automatically with out me ever
knowing about it...using the exact same version [most current] on both).
I would strongly suggest keeping you antivirus software as current a
possible along with a current software firewall (a definite must if you
have an always on connection, but also a good idea even with a dial-up
connection).  These programs are cheap (in relative terms when compared
with things like structural software, M$ Office, or AutoBad) but they are
pretty critical to keeping your computer from taking a dump on you in this
world of security holes (thanks to M$) and their resulting attacks and
viruses.  Modern day antivirus software has gotten better and better at
dealing with viruses by way of email.  While such programs are not perfect
(they still require the use of definitions that are keyed to specific
"signatures" of they are rather easy to fool just by
"tweaking" a virus, at least until new definitions that come out to deal
with the new strain [case in point is the new recent strain of the Sobig
virus, that you seem to have been hit with]), they are definitely a must.

Another must now adays (for those with _AND_ without an always on
broadband connection) is a software firewall.  I know a lot of people
swear by a broadband router with NAT capability (a "poorman's" hardware is not really a firewall, but provides much of the same
capability so it basicall acts much like a firewall), but that only works
on incoming security attacks.  It does _NOTHING_ about outgoing attacks.
A software firewall will potentially prevent something that DOES get in
from then using your computer to attack others or spread.  Take as an
example the new strain of the Sobig virus that has been around this past
week.  If you have a current version of an antivirus software that had
current virus definitions, then it would have detected and removed the
virus.  If you did not have current virus definitions (they came out
Wednesday for Norton Antivirus just as I was starting to get infected
messages on this email account, which is _NOT_ accesses by my Windoze
email client), then you could have been infected.  The virus would have
then tried to use your email addressbook to send itself to others.  It
does this, however, by way of its own SMTP email program rather than your
email client.  A good software firewall would have spotted a "new" program
that was attempting to access the Net and either blocked it or asked if it
was supposed have access (ZoneAlarm Pro, which I use, does this and I
think their free version of ZoneAlarm does as well).  Thus, in such a
case, your computer might have gotten infected, but the spread from your
computer could have been stopped.  FYI, ZoneAlarm Pro also has some other
features for dealing with virus laden emails.  Then end result is that I
now recommend for anyone with a always on broadband connection to have
both a broadband router with NAT _AND_ a software firewall.  The only
real downside is at first a program like ZoneAlarm will have a bunch of
warnings that pop up when programs attempt to access the internet until
you get the program to "learn" which are permitted (takes a week or so
depending on what type of programs you use and how often you use them).
This can be intimidating for those less comfortable with computers (which
is why I have only done it on my computer and not my parent's least yet).

And for those of you with dial-up connections, I would still suggest a
software firewall.  While a firewall is not really necessary for
preventing hacking attacks (hackers will have a more difficult time with
you since you are a "moving" target that is not online too long), it will
certainly help in today's world of viruses/worms.

A software firewall is also a good idea for individual computers on
corporate networks.  While you don't have to worry too much about hacks
from outside your corporate network (your corporate network is likely
behind a hardward firewall that makes a broadband router with NAT look
like a baby's toy), a software firewall would help prevent the spread of
worms/viruses/trojan horses that get in by some method and then try to
"phone home".

OK, enough of me preaching about practicing safe computing!!


Ypsilanti, MI

On Sun, 24 Aug 2003, David Merrick wrote:

> My AutoCAD 2000i failed to find file ACIST15.DLL during start up.  I rushed
> to my second computer with a CD job file to finish a project.
> The problem is that my updated antiviral program blew up my AutoCAD 2000i.
> Autodesk has a down-loadable fix-it file so that one does not have to
> upgrade to windows XP.
> Autodesk's 1st answer was that my Windows ME had a faulty long-name method
> for files and folders. I was to fix that by shortening some names by adding
> a ~1 to the end of the names I was to cut off. This is done in the
> autoexec.bat file. That did not work. So I then knew I had to switch to
> Windows XP. XP handles true long-names.
> XP installation stopped and reported that AutoCAD plot style program will
> not work with XP. This was listed along with over ten other programs. The
> list included my antiviral program and my adobe acrobat. I looked up
> autodesk for a down-load and accidentally found a new fix for the original
> failure. How was I to remove my anivirus and still upgrade my windows that
> needs to go onto the internet?
> A week later I am back to my home desk with Windows Me. My back up computer
> runs on XP, but it is so slow running explorer, I don't know why, it some
> times takes up to 3 minuets to finished listing a file folder. A more stable
> program but too slow for me. I use the XP for book keeping it is not on the
> web.
> During my week on it, I temporarily hooked it up to the net and boom I was
> hit by a virus or they were already on the thing. Emails were flying out on
> my high speed cable. As I updated the antivirus program, hundreds of emails
> were being sent out or eaten up by my out-dated antivirus program. All
> battle dust has settled and the XP is again disconnected. Computer are
> living things if one is not actively exposing it to the web and updating
> virus reports it might die. A computer in a box may not be up to date to
> handle the new virus world.
> I read that the latest nasty virus was to target a porno site. It seems that
> someone thought that they would make my life better by stopping another perv
> with little regard for the innocent.
> David Merrick, SE
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