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Feb 12, 1998      		    Vol 4 No 2
NEWS@SYIX is our little newsletter, sent to all the members of SYIX to make
things a bit clearer and easier to understand.
Today we will be talking about issues that concern ALL of us, well, those
of us that are actually reading this anyway :-)
You all get them, the little letters that are warning you "don't read this
email, it contains a virus".  "Join the Crew" is the latest one that I have
seen, all of them are BOGUS.  First a bit about Email.  Just like this
letter, Email is simply TEXT, just words.  A Virus is a program, one that
has to be "ran" in order to infect your system.  Even so called "html"
email is still just words, since html is a "word" based markup system.  So,
EMAIL cannot carry a virus, nor can you get a virus from EMAIL.  BUT, and
this is a big BUT, you can get a virus from an Email ATTACHMENT.  You know,
the little "attached" files that you get on occasion.  If your friend has
the virus, and he sends you the file, you can easily get that same virus,
IF YOU RUN THE ATTACHMENT.  Moral of the story, if you get an attachment in
email, and you don't know what it is or who its from, DELETE it and all
will be fine.
More information on these websites:
The latest word from the technology front is in the adoption of some sort
of actual standard in "56K" modems!  This is great news for all of us, this
"K56flex vs x2" stuff is driving us all nuts....  Newest stuff will be
called "V.90" and some manufacturers will be releasing new code the end of
February.  No word yet on when Lucent (our Terminal Server manufacturer)
will be releasing their version, but I would expect it very soon.  SO,
another upgrade round, more "it don't work" problems, and generally more
confusion.  I hate modem companies.  At least we can get away from this
"K56flex v. X2" stuff anyway.  
We have scheduled install dates for more PRI lines, 23 more incoming dialup
lines are set to be ready on Feb 20.  That means that we should actually
have them on the 21st or 22nd...  Anyway, we have seen a bit of a "8:00pm"
crunch lately, its been taking a couple of redials to get online, a
situation we find disgusting.  Growth is good, busy signals are bad :-)
Just so you know, the lead time on these lines is usually 6 weeks, and that
is forever in this business, so it always seems that they arrive 2 weeks late.
The rivers have been a major concern, a VERY major concern for those of you
in Colusa!  Please keep any eye on the "River Status" page I stuck
together, its got the best sources for that data that I could find,
organized in a fairly easy manner.  Especially hit that river forcast, its
probably the best info on the entire page.  
We have seen MANY problems with "speed" from modems since this rain
started, and we have a theory.  Its very possible that we are seeing "green
copper" problems out there in the field.  PacBell is still WAY behind on
repairs to the local phone system, they have not fixed or repaired many of
the circuits, especially the ones that went under water last year.  So,
corrosion sets in, and when the humidity goes high, that just aggravates
the situation, and line noise increases.  As the noise levels increase on
your phone line, your modem is less likely to work well.  If all was fine
on your modem until about 30 days ago, either wait for the sun to return,
or call PacBell and complain.  Doubt that it will help to complain, but it
can't hurt.  I have created a "line quality" page, that will help you test
your phone line, IF you have a K56flex modem, and a bit of computer
knowledge.  If you are NEW to computers, or don't feel comfortable digging
around in it, please don't try this:
Another thing you can try with the 56K modems, and I know, this sounds
really silly, is add from 1 to 6 comma's after the phone number.  It varies
in results, from none to a dramatic increase in speed, and varies by number
of comma's, but hey, its fun to play with, and might help your connect
speeds.  Just stick them behind the number like this
Fun thing recently started happening on the Colusa phone line, its fixed
now, (or seems to be) but for a while, Colusa's wonderful phone company
didn't have enough circuits to keep our Colusa members happy.  They would
get a "sorry, no circuits available" on local calls to our lines!!!  Only
at around 10:00 pm, and almost like it was on a timer.  Weird stuff these
phone companies do to us lately.  Only relating this, just so you know that
PacBell is not the worse company out there.  Best thing they did lately,
ONE person got billed for long distance to our number there.  Weird bill,
showed all sorts of local calls billed for "minutes".  Never did understand
what they were thinking.
I don't know if we ever released this information, or just kept it a
secret, but we have lines to the Nicolaus area, or anyplace that is a local
call to the "633" prefix.  So, if you know any frustrated internet users
down there that need a real ISP, let them know about it now!  These are
K56flex compatible lines.  SYIX is now a local call from:
Yuba City/Marysville, Parts of Lincoln, Grimes, Colusa, Arbuckle, Oroville,
Wheatland, Smartsville, Nicolaus, North Yuba Area, Live Oak, Meridian,
Beale, Gridley, Biggs, Richvale and all points between.
"BUSY SIGNALS revisited"
Tonight (February 12) PacBell decided to turn off 2 lines on our hunt
group, that promptly killed our hunt group.  Why?  Because next week the
PRI is getting installed.  Why did they kill the lines?  TO DRIVE ME NUTS.
It worked.  I just wanted you to know, we were on it, and it was fixed
around 10:00 pm, but that is after the crunch, and didn't matter any more
then.  Very annoying, I really think PacBell is doing this stuff on purpose
This issue I would like to introduce you to a few old standby's.  Many of
you are new with us the last couple of months, so don't know about these
yet, but they are the sites I still go to first when getting online!  Check
them all out, you might be surprised at what you find.
This is my favorite.  They have added so much to it lately, its almost the
ONLY place you need to go.  Still VERY boring to look at, but it WORKS.
Fast, and easy to get around in.  All the news/sports/weather you can
handle, and lots of little extras.  Check it out, REALLY check it out, you
might be surprised at what you find.
Time-Warner magazines sponsors this site, full of information from ALL of
their magazines.  A bit slow at times to load, its a great site, with lots
to see and learn.
Okay, this is not a usual favorite, but the Olympics are big news, and
interesting reading!  This site is sponsored by CBS, the "official" IBM
site is boring....
There are 2 places on the net to get a general feel from how things are
running "out there".  You can check either one of these sites, the first is
my favorite, but I am a techie kind of guy, the second is MUCH easier to
follow, but I have noticed that IT is down more than the net is....
Well, just one thing there.  I read this one DAILY, its "Anchordesk", and
will fill you in on whats happening out there, both on the net and with
computers.  Easy to read, and doesn't take much time.  Updated daily.
There is really only one general news page you need, its up to date, and
complete.  CNN does the net just as well as they do cable.
This site contains a bit of everything, news to read, software to download,
software to buy, articles to look at, and games to play.  Just all sorts of
things that keep me entertained.  Check it out, look around, use those
little menus on the left side of each screen to see what ALL of C-NET has
to offer.
Once again, thanks for making SYIX.COM your internet company.  We
appreciate your trust and faith in us, and hope that our service and
performance lives up to your expectations!  If you ever have any questions
or comments about SYIX.COM or its staff, please feel free to write to me.
See ya next time!
Dave Overton
Partner - System Administrator 
News@SYIX is our occasional newsletter (when Dave remembers to do it) that
hopes to inform and occasionally entertain the members of SYIX.COM.  All
rights reserved.  Copyright 1998.  Harmfull to lab rats.  Batteries Not
Included. No HTML used to create this EMAIL.
Dave Overton		SYIX.COM - because there IS a difference
(530) 755-1751		         		     (800) 988-SYIX


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