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Contents Copyright 2001 by Christopher Plummer

Another HUGE INTERNET EDITION. USEFUL tips about MAIL on the Internet.
Another effort to catch up on our GEEK SPEAK REVIEW, UNPREDICTABLY full
of INTERNET terms, spiced up OCCASIONALLY with fascinating Mac trivia,
insightful observation, and personal commentary of questionable merit.
Back by popular demand, I LEAVE MICROSOFT ALONE (well, almost). More
valuable info at the VERY END for you SCAN & SKIPPERS.

(It never ends!! But I'll include these in the GSR, below.) SPAM, TROJAN

Dirty Little Secrets:

No personal commentary of questionable merit, just TIPS here. If you're
not yet up to speed with the Geek Speak used in this article, you might
first want to read the GSR (after 'Know the Difference', below).

NEVER RESPOND to bogus mail - that is, from someone you don't know.
Especially mail that seems as though it must have been mis-addressed, or
screwed up in the system. And ESPECIALLY NEVER RESPOND if it appears to
be a friendly message from someone saying, "By the way, which Cplummer
are you anyway? I'm looking for Compton Plummer." MOST ESPECIALLY NEVER
RESPOND, if you are using AOL, the favorite target of hackers. At best,
these are efforts to obtain likely candidates for spamming. Could be your
reply will provide the scoundrels with a valid userid/mail id that they
can try to crack, or enough information that they can dupe an
unsuspecting AOL service rep into changing your password because they
'forgot it'. At worst they've managed to also send you a "Trojan Horse"
password intercepting program, and replying may actually send them back
your ID and Password! Just trash it.

NEVER respond to the 'to get off this list' or 'unsubsribe from this
list' message that often accompanies spam (unless you are sure that the
email comes from a respectable and legitimate source). If you write back,
you'll be put on the spammers 'active recipient' list, and receive MORE
JUNK! Just trash it.

ALWAYS call your ISP IMMEDIATELY if you seem to be 'locked out' of your
account. It's possible your account has been 'stolen' and some hacker is
wreaking havoc with your mail.

NEVER forward cute 'Internet humor' messages to someone unless you are
ABSOLUTELY SURE they will appreciate it. Internet newbies often circulate
TOO MANY of these messages which usually just annoy JADED INTERNET

ALWAYS use a 'junk' address when you post your comments, enter contests,
or otherwise leave information about yourself on web sites or lists.
Spammers sometimes use 'web-bots', programs that harvest email addresses
from public sites, newsgroups, etc. You can get a free email address from
any number of big web 'portals' - Yahoo, Netscape, Excite, etc - use that
address to divert spam away from your private and personal email address.

NEVER open attachments to an email message from someone you don't know.
Just trash it RIGHT AWAY. Could be a virus, could be spam. Just trash it.

On the Mac there are no viruses that exist in text messages. They have to
be attachments of some kind. Although there are JUNK MAIL 'human chain
mail viruses'. Usually these are an appeal to your sense of charity or
decency or fear, requesting help for some poor victim, or an appeal to
your greed, claiming that you will get $1 for each person you send a
message to, or some such nonsense. If it sounds too good to be true, it
is. Don't respond to a message like this. And PLEASE don't forward it to
all your friends. Just trash it.

Know the Difference:
In the Windows world, Microsoft's domininance of the market and
standardization on Visual Basic for Applications and/or 'Windows
Scripting', plus the security holes in their browser and mail clients
have blurred the line between text mail and attachments. The 'Melissa
Virus' and variants run amok because Windows hackers can count on Windows
PCs having tons of susceptible Microsoft software on them. In the analog
world, genetically altered corn and soy have a similar vulnerability to
pests and disease because the plants are essentially ALL THE SAME. So
far, Microsoft applications on the Mac have avoided most of this

And that's the difference.

Yes, there's still MORE Internet Geek Speak to cover. After this, our
next GSR will go back to plain old vanilla Mac Geek Speak!

To most people, the abbreviation I.E. stands for Internet Explorer,
Microsoft's 'free' web browser. TRUE GEEKS call it IE. They don't waste
syllables when they can use TWO LETTERS! To me, IE stands for an
'Internet Edition' of THIS UNPREDICTABLE NEWSLETTER. BTW, there are TONS
of Microsoft-specific, Internet related abbreviations. But if they don't
have anything to do with the MAC, I'M NOT GOING TO WRITE ABOUT THEM!

Outlook Express. Microsoft's 'free' Internet mail client. Comes, along
with IE, by default, with the Mac OS ever since Steve publicly made peace
with Bill. Some GEEKS call it 'OE' and some call it 'Express', and SOME
would rather PAY for an email client.

'Faces' made of typographical characters. Generally they are more
succinct and visual than an abbreviation. Watch the AOL commercial. They
think they're smart because it only took them SIX VERSIONS to figure out
how to put smileys on a MENU!! I usually only use the wink ;-) or the
plain smile :-) . Sometimes I send someone a kiss, :-x . If you use
really obscure smileys you might impress someone, but chances are they'll
think your keyboard is going bad. %-(

Novice. Someone who is new to the Internet, new to a topic, new to a
newsgroup, etc.

Members send mail 'to' the List, and the List distributes the mail to all
the members. Most lists let you receive the list as a 'digest' which
summarizes all the individual mails into a single daily mail. There are
lists on all kinds of topics. Find a list and join it! You might find
yourself communicating with the people who write your software, or
authors of books you've read, old friends, or someone with a common
interest who lives on the other side of the planet!


Hang out and 'listen' without actually posting. BTW, it's considered
UNCOOL to respond to the individual email address of someone on a list or
newsgroup without also sending your mail TO the list or newsgroup.
(Unless of course you're discussing something 'Off Topic', or if by
consensus members have agreed to 'take the topic offline'.) The idea is
PARTICIPATION. Conversely, it's also good etiquette to copy your email
message to the person who you are responding to, in addition to posting,
just in case they miss seeing your post.

Similar to Lists, but in more of a 'bulletin board' format. I've never
been big on Newsgroups, so I can't tell you much about them. Why don't
one of YOU send a Geek Speak definition to ME??

As a verb, to put someone else down, usually in some public (Internet)
forum. "Man, I really got flamed!" In the old days (more than a year or
two ago), it was usually NEWBIES who got flamed for not showing the
proper REVERENCE and RESPECT to the regular members of Lists and
Newsgroups. As Internet commoners have flooded the system, the elite have
become more tolerant. Newbies still might get flamed for making a dumb
mistake like sending mail by accident to everyone on a LIST. Generally
it's best to LURK without posting until you have a feel for the names and
personalities and etiquette of a list or Newsgroup. Then when you post,
GROVEL appropriately. It's always good to start out a question with, "Oh
great and powerful all-knowing gurus of..."

Internet Service Provider. The company that provides you access to the
Internet. Used to be America Online or Compuserve weren't really
considered ISPs because they gave you access to their own content and
membership. But like everything else, that has changed.

Formerly a 'member/content provider' Online Service, now also an ISP.
Having an email account on AOL is like wearing a red 'bullseye' target on
your shirt for hackers and spammers.

Same as AOL. The hacker spammer part too.

Specifically - Electronic junk mail from 'mass mailer/marketers'.
Generically - Any electronic junk mail (even from a friend or associate).

I can remember the Latin (Whatever happened to ASU's inspiring Dr. Lydia
Haberman?), but not quite the spelling: "Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes".
Of course this means, 'Beware of Greeks bearing gifts,' a statement
derived from Homer's 'The Illiad' which still has significance in our
DIGITAL AGE. It's amazing, isn't it? Or maybe we think things have
changed in a few thousand years, and THEY REALLY HAVEN'T. A 'Trojan
Horse' is a program disguised as something benign like a screen saver or
a JPEG of an attractive female tennis star, but which in fact is a
construction of EVIL INTENT. In reality it might contain a virus or a
password capture program.

The true and original Mac-oriented Internet-focused website and
newsletter. Well-written, informative, timely, good reading. Check it out.


Special Bonus Keyboard Commands
Yet another way to try to restart your Mac. NOT as nice as a true
Shutdown or Restart from the Special menu in the Finder. Pretty close to
CLOBBERING it. This is more like hitting the Reset button or the Power
switch. Works on some Macs, not all (and I'm sure not going to compile a
list of the bizillion models Apple has manufactured over the past 17

If this works on your Mac (works on most PowerBooks), it puts it quickly
into SLEEP mode. Please save your work before trying this, in case you
hit [Ctrl] instead of [Option]! Or in case it does something weird on

I'm sorry these commands aren't consistent on all Macs, but I didn't
design them. Sometimes we have to accept that THAT'S THE WAY IT IS.

TFSB :-)

** CHRIS'S UNPREDICTABLE and OCCASIONAL Newsletter for Mac Users **
Oriented towards, but not exclusively for, Mac Users in Beautiful Western
Central New Jersey. Published Whenever - About Whatever!

Non-profit, non-commercial publications may reprint articles if full
credit is given. Others please contact the editor. Accuracy of articles
is UNPREDICTABLE and not guaranteed. Caveat lector. Publication,
product, and company names may be registered trademarks of their

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"It is a rare case that I would ever have to reboot a Mac server because
it ceased functioning or froze up," he said. "The PCs on the other hand,
keep me gainfully employed."

Peter Visel quoted by Mitch Wagner, Internet Week


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All contents copyright 2000-2008 by Christopher Plummer, ZebraTale LLC, except where noted. Accuracy of articles is UNPREDICTABLE and not guaranteed. Unpredictable was published from 2001 to 2008. Although updated occasionally, this is a historical archive - expect dead links. Caveat lector.
Publication, product, and company names may be registered trademarks of their companies. TFSB :-)