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Springy Dock Tricks

If you drag a file and hover over Dock icons, various useful things happen which are similar to Finder springing. If it's a window, the window un-minimizes from the Dock. If it's a stack, the corresponding folder in the Finder opens. If it's the Finder, it brings the Finder to the foreground and opens a window if one doesn't exist already. But the coolest (and most hidden) springing trick is if you hover over an application and press the Space bar, the application comes to the foreground. This is great for things like grabbing a file from somewhere to drop into a Mail composition window that's otherwise hidden. Grab the file you want, hover over the Mail icon, press the Space bar, and Mail comes to the front for you to drop the file into the compose window. Be sure that Spring-Loaded Folders and Windows is enabled in the Finder Preferences window.

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New Virus, Updates Announced

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According to a bulletin from Professor Gene Spafford of Purdue University, a new Macintosh virus was recently discovered by Mac users in Italy. This virus, dubbed "INIT-9403," has the potential to erase information on hard disks attached to infected computers.

The virus apparently was initially spread through altered versions of pirated commercial software. Once installed by the software, the virus alters the Finder, and may insert copies of itself in various data compression and archive applications. From there, the virus can spread to other Macs. After a certain number of files have been infected by a given copy of the virus, it erases disks connected to the system.

Although the virus has so far only been seen on Macs running the Italian version of the Macintosh operating system, it's important that all users upgrade their antiviral utilities to combat it and help prevent further spread. New versions of Central Point Anti-Virus, Rival, SAM, and Virex, the commercial entries in the Mac antiviral field, are already available and may be obtained from the vendors. Updates may also be available from company BBSs or the Internet. Antiviral updates are typically available in:

ftp://rascal.ics.utexas.edu/mac/virus/

Search strings for the new virus for use in Jeff Shulman's shareware Virus Detective will be sent to registered users. An update to Chris Johnson's free Gatekeeper package is anticipated by the end of this week.

John Norstad of Northwestern University quickly released version 3.4 of his popular freeware utility, Disinfectant, available at:

ftp://ftp.acns.nwu.edu/pub/disinfectant/ disinfectant34.sea.hqx

Norstad has since announced that a bug in 3.4 causes error messages to appear when the user scans the System Folder on a Mac using System 7.1 and System Enablers 003 (for the LC III) or 040 (for the Centris or Quadra 610, 650, and 800). He plans to release an update within the next several days, but assures users that the Disinfectant 3.4 application and protection INIT are effective against the virus. Users should ignore the error messages that appear when the Enabler file is scanned. The protection INIT has no known problems and can be used without fear of erroneous error messages coming up.

Users who typically get their antiviral utilities from the Info-Mac archive at <sumex-aim.stanford.edu> should use another site this time due to the deletion of files by an as-yet-unknown infiltrator (see above for details).

-- Information from:
Gene Spafford -- spaf@cs.purdue.edu
John Norstad -- j-norstad@nwu.edu

 

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