"Christians and the Internet" newsletter CATI, Vol. 2, No. 9: June 15, 2001. _______________________________________________________________ TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. A 21ST CENTURY PURITANISM: MITCH CERVINKA'S WEB SITE 2. THE (UN)HIDDEN SECRETS OF (UN)HIDDEN FILE EXTENSIONS 3. UPDATE ON EXXON/MOBIL HOAX EMAIL AND CURRENT BOYCOTT 4. DOWNLOAD, UNZIP, AND INSTALL FILES FROM THE WEB (PART ONE) 5. TWO MORE EMAIL HOAXES: SULFNBK.EXE AND AOL.EXE VIRUSES?? 6. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER _______________________________________________________________ Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is Copyright (C) 2001 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved. For permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact Barry Traver at email@example.com. Permission is hereby granted, however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1) no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety. To subscribe, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, including "Subscribe to CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent. (To be removed from the emailing list, also write to email@example.com, but include "Remove from CATI List" in the Subject line.) _______________________________________________________________ 1. A 21ST CENTURY PURITANISM: MITCH CERVINKA'S WEB SITE One helpful Christian Web site is Mitch Cervinka's A 21st Century Puritanism: A 21st Century Puritanism http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/ What is a 21st century Puritan? Well, his Web site defines a Puritan as "one who seeks a purer, more Biblical form of life, doctrine and worship," and a 21st century Puritan would then simply be such a person living in the 21st century. By that definition I suspect that most of CATI's readers would be 21st century Puritans, and I believe that sincere Christians of various traditions will find much from which to benefit on Mitch's site, even if they differ with the webmaster (as I expect they will) on various particular issues. But who is this Mitch Cervinka, and what does he believe? I think you'll find him to be an interesting person with some distinctive and interesting views. I expect that you will find his site a very helpful resource, just as I expect that you may be fascinated by his own unique blend of convictions, as he expresses them on his Web site: _______________________________ / "I fully agree with the view of God and salvation spelled out in the various Calvinistic Confessions: The Heidelberg Catechism, the Canons of Dort, the Westminster Confession of Faith, the 1689 London Confession, etc. However, on matters of church organization and ordinances, the relationship of the Church to society, and the future of Israel, I do not necessarily agree with these confessions.... "I no longer regard myself to be a Dispensationalist, but neither am I a Covenantalist. I believe that God promised Abraham a literal, eternal land on earth, and that this promise was intended for Abraham and for those of his physical offspring who were chosen by God unto salvation.... "I am definitely a premillennialist, and I believe that Christ will return at the end of the seven-year tribulation period which will precede the Millennium.... "I believe that the Bible is the complete, authoritative, inerrant Word of God, and that it has been faithfully preserved for us through the numerous Greek and Hebrew manuscripts which have survived the centuries.... "I hold a minority view on water baptism... I believe the Presbyterians are right in saying that the mode is sprinkling, but that the Baptists are right in saying that believers only should be baptized. In any case, however, I do not believe that our Lord intended for His Church to divide over the issue of water baptism.... "A local church should typically have several pastors who share the work of shepherding God's flock. These must be men who are spiritually gifted by God to teach the Word of God and to act as leaders and overseers. In Scripture, the terms 'pastor,' 'elder' and 'overseer' were used interchangeably of the same men...." http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/welcome.htm \_______________________________ As I said, Mitch Cervinka is an interesting person with some distinctive and interesting views! I should say that the preceding quotations are a bit misleading, because I think the 17th-century Puritans would agree with most of Mitch's 21st-century Puritanism and certainly with his emphasis on "upholding the five Sola's of the Reformation: Christ Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, the Bible Alone, and Glory to God Alone." In another CATI article, I told how his Web site is a good resource for those who use the new (red) Trinity Hymnal (or other hymnals as well): Trinity Hymnal, Trinity Psalter: Web Resources (Part 2) http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati53.htm#2 In this current article, I'll explore some of the other helpful resources on his site, particularly with regard to good Christian reading material. His section on "Articles" includes links not only to original articles by himself, but also to many articles by significant figures in Reformed (particularly Reformed Baptist) history, such as Charles Spurgeon and A.W. Pink. Here are some of the articles included: Mitch Cervinka: Are All Arminians Unsaved? http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/articles.htm Jonathan Edwards: Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/chs_redemp.htm J.I. Packer: Introductory Essay http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/jp_essay.htm A.W. Pink: The Call of Christ http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/articles.htm Charles H. Spurgeon: Election http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/chs_election.htm Charles H. Spurgeon: Particular Redemption http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/chs_redemp.htm Caution: Mitch Cervinka is a strong Calvinist. Some CATI readers may find him too strong a Calvinist. (One author represented on his site is John Gill, whom some consider to be a hyper-Calvinist, for example.) But Mitch, although a strong Calvinist, does not think that only strong Calvinists will get to heaven. In his article "Are All Arminians Unsaved?," the answer is a well-argued "No," with relevant Reformed writers quoted in defense of that answer. His section on "Books" not only describes many significant books in the Reformed (or Puritan) tradition, but also has links to some which can be found online, including the following: Loraine Boettner: The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (portions) http://members.tripod.com/~Michael_Bremmer/grace1.htm John Calvin, Calvin's Calvinism http://www.gospelcom.net/thehighway/calvin's_calvinism_index.html John Calvin, Calvin's Commentaries http://www.ccel.org/c/calvin/comment3/comm_index.htm John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion http://www.smartlink.net/~douglas/calvin/ Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible http://www.ccel.org/h/henry/mhc2/MHC00000.HTM Matthew Henry, Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible http://www.ccel.org/h/henry/mhc/mhc.html Martin Luther: The Bondage of the Will (excerpts) http://www.efn.org/~davidc/luther.html Arthur W. Pink: The Sovereignty of God http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sovereignty/sovereignty.htm John Piper: The Pleasures of God http://pionet.net/~cultrsch/PLSGOD.HTM Although you can't read them online, here are some other books recommended by Mitch Cervinka (the following titles are books that I could also personally recommend as worth reading): John Armstrong, ed., The Coming Evangelical Crisis Donald A. Carson, The King James Debate Steven Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield Anthony Hoekema, The Four Major Cults Philip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors John MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus John MacArthur, The Gospel According to the Apostles Iain Murray, The Forgotten Spurgeon James I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God John Piper, Desiring God John Piper, Future Grace John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching Marion M. Schoolland, Leading Little Ones to God R.C. Sproul, Chosen by God R.C. Sproul, ed., The New Geneva Study Bible As I said, the preceding books are not available to be read online. If you want to read them (and they are worthwhile reading), you'll need to check your local bookstore or church library. What you will find on the Web site is descriptions of what these books are all about. His "Library" section includes many links to off-site articles or books available for online reading. All of the material is arranged by topic, and here are just some of the topics: Apologetics Arminianism Assurance Baxter, Richard Bible Bible Exposition Biographies Calvin, John Calvinism Christ Commentary Creation Depravity of Man Edwards, Jonathan Election Evangelism Evolution Faith Five Points of Calvinism Free Will Gender Issues God's Attributes Gospel Holy Spirit Justification Luther, Martin Marriage Parenting Perseverance Pink, Arthur Walkington Preaching Predestination Providence of God Puritans, Collected Writings of Puritans, Theology of Redemption Revivalism Roman Catholicism Sovereignty of God Spurgeon, Charles Haddon, Word Studies Worship Here are some of the authors represented: Ankerberg, John Bahnsen, Greg Baxter, Richard Beeke, Joel Beisner, E. Calvin Boettner, Loraine Boice, James Montgomery Bonar, Horatius Bremmer, Michael Bunyan, John Calvin, John Cervinka, Mitch Dabney, R.L. Edwards, Jonathan Frame, John M. Gill, John Gish, Duane T. Grudem, Wayne Henry, Matthew Hodge, A.A. Johnson, Phillip E. Johnson, Phillip R. Kuyper, Abraham MacArthur, John F., Jr. Manton, Thomas Mather, Cotton Morris, Henry M. Murray, Iain Newton, John Owen, John Packer, J.I. Pink, A.W. Piper, John Reisinger, Ernest Reisinger, John G. Sproul, R.C. Spurgeon, Charles H. Vincent, Richard J. Warfield, Benjamin B. Watson, Thomas White, James Whitefield, George Williamson, G.I. Put together the "Articles," "Books," and "Library" sections of Mitch Cervinka's site, and you have quite a wealth of reading resources. Don't expect to agree with all of the material (the various authors would themselves differ with one another on important issues), but expect to find a lot that is worth reading. (If you need some guidance as to what is best to read, your pastor may be able to provide appropriate direction.) There's more to A 21st Century Puritanism! The site also has sections devoted to "Conferences" (rather incomplete, but still useful), "Hymns" (discussed in the previous issue of CATI), and "Links" (lots of links to interesting and useful Christian sites), as well as a "Search" page if you want help in finding something in particular on the site, but I'll let you explore all of these things on your own. Here's the place to start: A 21st Century Puritanism http://www.planetkc.com/puritan/ Enjoy! _______________________________________________________________ 2. THE (UN)HIDDEN SECRETS OF (UN)HIDDEN FILE EXTENSIONS Microsoft Windows may be hiding something important from you. Filenames normally have file extensions (a file extension at the end of a filename is made up of a period plus three letters, occasionally four), but--depending on what your settings are for Windows--you may or may not get be able to see the file extensions. That's important, because knowing the file extension of a file is the key to unlocking some important secrets about what type of file it is. Example: With file extensions hidden, in one directory on my hard drive it looks like I have five files, all with the same name, Word4Word. Yes, each one has a different icon next to it, but here is a case where a picture is NOT worth a thousand words. In fact, the picture does not really make up for the file extension's being hidden. With file extensions NOT hidden, however, it's easy to see that each file has a different filename. Here they are: Word4Word.cfg, Word4Word.frm, Word4Word.frx, Word4Word.vbp, and Word4Word.vbw. The ".cfg" means that that file is a Word4Word ConFiGuration file; the ".vbp" means that that file is a "Visual Basic Project" file, and so on. The file extensions tell something important about what type of file each file is. Here's a list of some common file extensions (don't be concerned if many don't mean much to you right now): .au - audio file .avi - movie file .bak - BAcKup file .bat - BATch file (runs a series of DOS commands) .bmp - BitMaP file (a type of picture) .cab - CABinet file (similar to .zip file) .cfg - ConFiGuration file (similar to .ini file) .doc - word processing DOCument (often Microsoft Word) .drv - device DRiVer file .exe - EXEcutable file (main file that runs a program) .gif - Graphics Interchange Format (a type of picture) .hlp - HeLP file .htm - HyperText Markup language (a Web page) (sometimes .html) .ico - ICOn file .inf - INFormation file .ini - INItilization file .jpg - Joint Photographic experts Group (a type of picture) (sometimes .jpeg) .mid - MIDi audio file (sometimes .midi) .mov - MOVie file (Apple QuickTime) .mp3 - MP3 audio file .mpg - MPG audio and video format .pdf - Portable Document Format (needs Adobe Acrobat) .ra - Real Audio file .ram - Real Audio Media file .rtf - Rich Text Format (a fancy text file) .swp - temporary SWaP file .sys - SYStem file .tmp - TeMPorary file .ttf - True Type Font .txt - TeXT (a plain text file) .wav - WAVe audio file .win - WINdows backup file .wpd - WordPerfect Document .zip - ZIP file (a compressed or "packed" file) You don't need to memorize this chart. Use it for reference. Here's how it can be useful. With file extensions hidden, you see a file named Amazing, and you have no idea what you can do with it, if anything. But with file extensions unhidden, you see that the file is really named Amazing.mid. Looking at the chart, you find that a file with a .mid file extension is a MIDI audio file (and not a document or system file or device driver or something else). If it is a MIDI audio file, that means that you can listen to it, using the Windows Media Player (or any other software you know that can handle MIDI files). Yes, sometimes you can get the same result by double-clicking on a filename, but that can be a dangerous thing to do if you don't know what type of file it is. You could accidentally find yourself doing something that you really wish you hadn't done. By the way, when you're creating files, normally you don't have to add any file extensions yourself. WordPerfect will automatically add .wpd to your WordPerfect documents, and Microsoft Word will automatically add .doc to your Word documents (unless you save a file in Rich Text Format, for example, in which case .rtf will automatically be added as the file extension, and so on). In short, you don't have to WRITE the file extensions. They are put there, whether you can see them or not. The benefit comes from being able to READ them. Are you persuaded of the advantages of being able to see the file extensions? If so, what can you do to change the situation if Microsoft Windows is currently hiding them from you on your computer? If you want to make file extensions visible, open My Computer or Windows Explorer, click on the menus and look for Options or Folder Options. You'll find it different places depending on what version of Windows you are using. (Windows ME, for instance, has Folder Options on the Tools menu.) After you select Folder Options, click the View tab and find the box that says ""Hide file extensions for known file types." If the box has a check mark, click it to remove it. (If you decide later that you don't want to see file extensions, you can easily change things back to the way they were before.) At a future time I hope to say more about the (un)hidden secrets of (un)hidden file extensions (including more about the different common file types).... _______________________________________________________________ 3. UPDATE ON EXXON/MOBIL HOAX EMAIL AND CURRENT BOYCOTT The previous issue of CATI had information on an email hoax message calling for a boycott of Exxon/Mobil: Exxon/Mobil Boycott: Email Hoax with Harmful Intentions? http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati53.htm#3 That article should be read as background for this one. It pointed out that the recently circulating email letter (in several of its versions) calling for a boycott specifically of Exxon/Mobil is a hoax, falsely claiming to be from people who in reality had (and have) nothing to do with supporting such a boycott. The article also pointed out that Exxon/Mobil--because of its support of traditional family values--does indeed have as a result certain enemies (e.g., the gay/lesbian/transsexual/ bisexual community) and certain friends (e.g., the Family Research Council, endorsed by many evangelical Protestants). The purpose of this update is to provide new information that just as some people are calling for a boycott of Exxon/Mobil, so also some people are calling for support of that company and its policies. One such effort was announced just two days ago, June 13, 2001, and it involves an organization known as the American Family Association: _______________________________ / "Current Action Alert "Support ExxonMobil Over HRC Boycott... "June 13, 2001 "The Human Rights Campaign [HRC] called today for a nationwide boycott of ExxonMobil because the company has refused to include sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy and refused to open its domestic partner benefits program to all gay and lesbian employees. "HRC is a homosexual political organization that demands that society accept homosexuality and homosexual relationships as normal. The organization pressures companies to yield to their demands with massive letter-writing campaigns or even threats of boycotts, as is the case with ExxonMobil.... "In its call to boycott, HRC is asking its supporters to: stop patronizing Exxon or Mobil gas stations and their On the Run convenience stores; cut up ExxonMobil gasoline credit cards and Mobil 'Speedpasses' and send half to ExxonMobil and half to the Human Rights Campaign; write or e-mail ExxonMobil, expressing their displeasure with the company's treatment of gay and lesbian employees, customers and shareholders; send to HRC one month's worth of receipts for gasoline purchased from companies with policies aimed at favoring gay and lesbian employees. "HRC is also asking people who already have Exxon Mobil stock to keep it and pledge to vote next year in favor of an anticipated shareholder resolution asking the company to add the words 'sexual orientation' to its written non-discrimination policy.... "ACTION NEEDED "ExxonMobil insists that its current policy already prohibits discrimination of any kind. Urge ExxonMobil to remain firm against HRC's unfounded attack and that the real attack is on one of the key foundations of a healthy society; the sanctity of marriage. "Here are some ways of encouraging ExxonMobil to stand firm: "** Patronize Exxon or Mobil gas stations and their On the Run convenience stores and let them know WHY you are doing so; "** ExxonMobil stockholders should continue to vote against anticipated shareholder resolutions asking the company to add the words "sexual orientation" to its written non-discrimination policy. "** Write or e-mail Mr. Raymond at ExxonMobil expressing your appreciation for fairness with discrimination policies and resistance to whining from the HRC. "Mr. Lee R. Raymond, CEO Exxon Mobil Corp. 5959 Las Colinas Blvd. Irving, TX 75039-2298 Phone: 972-444-1000 Fax: 972-444-1350" http://afa.net/activism/ \_______________________________ Personally, I find AFA's style at times to be unnecessarily abrasive (e.g., is "whining" really the best word to use in the last paragraph?), but the "AFA Action Alert" does lay out the reality of the situation. Although the email message calling for a boycott was a hoax, there is indeed a war going on between two very different ways of defining the family and normal human sexuality, and right now Exxon/Mobil is at the center of that battle. Knowing the facts, you must decide what course of action you should take. Here are the main choices: (1) support the gay/lesbian community in their boycott of Exxon/Mobil, (2) support Exxon/Mobil in its current policies supporting the traditional definition of the family, or (3) ignore the whole thing and refuse to get involved in the dispute.<grin> It's your decision to make. _______________________________________________________________ 4. DOWNLOAD, UNZIP, AND INSTALL FILES FROM THE WEB (PART ONE) If you're looking for simple, step-by-step instructions on how to download, unzip, and install programs from the Web, this article is intended for you! I'll even tell you how to get and install a free and easy-to-use program to unzip the files. (If you already know how to do all this stuff, feel free to skip over this article.) Don't let that term "unzip" intimidate you. It simply means "unpack." Before you go on a trip, you probably pack your clothes in a suitcase. If you're like me (and I hope you aren't in this respect), you stuff and squeeze all you can into that suitcase, because you don't want to have to take two suitcases. Finally, it's all packed, and you leave for your trip. After you get to your destination, what do you need to do? That's right -- you need to unpack that suitcase! Well, it's like that when files take a trip over the Internet. To "zip" a file is similar to stuffing and squeezing it into a suitcase. (The "zipping" process makes the file take up less room.) When the file gets to its destination (perhaps your computer?), it needs to be "unzipped" (i.e., unpacked). There are various software programs that can be used to pack and unpack ("zip" and "unzip") files. One good full-featured program is called WinZip, but it costs money and it can be a bit complicated to use. Thus I'm recommending that you try a free and easy-to-use program called FreeZip. Important: there's also a copycat FreeZip! program (with an exclamation point) out there that you do NOT want! Here's where you can get the right one: http://members.ozemail.com.au/~nulifetv/freezip/ Here's how to get and install the FreeZip program. Go to that location on the Web. Then scroll down the page to where it says "Download FreeZip" (with "FreeZip" underlined), and click on "FreeZip." That should start the process. Here's the sequence of what to do next (minor details may vary somewhat, depending on what version of Windows you are using): (1) Choose "Save this file to disk." (2) Click on "OK." (3) At the next display, keep clicking on the icon at the top right with the arrow in the yellow box until it says "Desktop" to the left. (The yellow box at this point probably turned gray.) (4) Click on the next icon to the right (the yellow box with no arrow in it). (5) Where it says "New Folder," replace "New Folder" with "My Downloads" and press enter. (6) Double-click on "My Downloads." (7) Click on "Save." The download process should begin and continue until it is done (at which point you may or may not be expected to click on "Close" to close that box). You have now successfully downloaded FreeZip to your computer! There's no need to unzip the software (it wouldn't make much sense for you to be expected to do that, since you haven't installed the "unzipper" yet!), so what's next is to install FreeZip. Disconnect from the Internet and close your Web browser and any other software that may be running. The "My Downloads" folder should now be visible on your Windows desktop. Double-click on the "My Downloads" folder to open it, and then double-click on freezip.exe inside to install FreeZip. Click on "Yes" and then soon thereafter click on "OK." Believe it or not, you have now successfully installed FreeZip! Incidentally, if in the preceding step you do not see a file named freezip.exe but do see one named freezip, this means that Windows is set to hide file extensions for known file types and that .zip is a known file type, which means that you most likely already have software installed to zip and unzip files. In that case, it's up to you to decide whether or not to continue with the installation of FreeZip. Either way, it's now time to do a little housecleaning. I suggest that you right-click on freezip.exe (or freezip, depending on your Windows settings) and choose delete to get rid of the original file that you downloaded, since it is no longer needed. (If you should need it again, you can always download it again. Or, if you like, you can keep a backup copy rather than deleting it.) Then click on the "x" in the upper right corner of the "My Documents" folder to close that folder. What about the "My Downloads" folder itself? You could delete that as well, but I suggest that you keep it around, since we'll be using it in the next article in this series. Next time we'll be unzipping as well as downloading and installing software (and again I will be providing you with step-by-step instructions). These are important skills for a Christian on the Internet to have, and if you've never done these things before, it may surprise you to see how simple it is to learn how to do them. Hang in there! _______________________________________________________________ 5. TWO MORE EMAIL HOAXES: SULFNBK.EXE AND AOL.EXE VIRUSES Those energized rabid email hoaxes just keep coming and coming and coming and coming.... I'm grateful to a CATI subscriber for sending me a copy of a new virus warning he or she had received via email. The email falsely claimed that SULFNBK.EXE was a virus file and if found on your computer should be deleted. I've decided that CATI readers in general might be interested in my reply: _______________________________ / Great to hear from you! And thanks for forwarding along the note. I appreciate it.... You're right: It's another virus hoax. <sigh> It has been mentioned in a number of newsletters I receive, including Fred Langa's LangaList. See, for example, the following Web pages: LangaList: The "SULFNBK" June 1st Virus Hoax http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2001/2001-05-31.htm#1 LangaList: How to Restore SULFNBK.EXE; and Hoax Follow-Up http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2001/2001-06-04.htm#1 Here are some of Fred's comments: "Well, SULFNBK.EXE file is a normal part of Windows that's used in managing long file names (the file is usually found in your C:\Windows\Command folder). Antivirus routines don't detect the file because it's not a virus. The 'virus' warning is a complete hoax. "The SULFNBK hoax caught a lot of people off-guard; many, many readers succumbed to the hoax and deleted their (perfectly good) copy of SULFNBK.EXE. Worse, some malicious hackers immediately took advantage of the hoax to spread a *real* virus/Trojan under the guise of offering a 'free replacement copy' of SULFNBK.EXE.... I won't be surprised at all if other miscreants also try to use SULFNBK.EXE for evil intent, as some people now will blow off any warnings involving it." Fred's point is that a virus hoax can have a number of harmful effects. It's not just a matter of causing people unnecessary concern, but it's also a matter of making them more vulnerable to genuine virus threats. Receiving (hoax) virus warnings from friends can put us in a difficult situation (unless, of course, they're simply asking our opinion about a warning they received). The person who [regularly sends such hoax warnings] is actually guilty in a way of violating the commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," but that's not something that's easy to express to him or her tactfully. I thought about sending out a warning about the SULFNBK.EXE hoax in a CATI article, but I decided that regular readers of CATI are already knowledgeable about the existence of virus hoaxes and that I had already published many (too many?) articles about such hoaxes. But the SULFNBK hoax is fairly widespread, so CATI readers might appreciate having accurate information that they can pass along to their friends. So I may follow through on your suggestion to do an article on it. Thanks again for taking the time to write. Hearing from readers is what keeps me going on my CATI project. Warm regards in Christ, Barry \_______________________________ Here is another Web page where you can read more about the SULFNBK.EXE virus warning hoax: Symantec: SULFNBK.EXE Warning http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/sulfnbk.exe.warning.html With the SULFNBK.EXE "virus" in mind, earlier this month Ray Owens--who puts out the Joke a Day mailing list--mailed the following joke out to his subscribers: _______________________________ / "Pay attention: "VIRUS WARNING!!! "It has been brought to my attention that there's an insidious new computer virus which has already affected close to 30 million computers. "Even though I'm running the latest McAfee and Norton viri scans, neither have picked up this virus as it's a mutating virus which isn't set to go off until Friday, June 8, 2001. "As many viri are, this one is transmitted by email. I'm required by law to contact everyone that has received email from me in the last six months and warn them about this virus. "TO REMOVE THIS VIRUS BEFORE IT BECOMES EFFECTIVE: "** Click your start button. "** Click on "Find". "** Click on Files / Folders. "** Change the "look in" input box to "My Computer". "** The named input file should have: AOL.EXE "Once the find engine has located the file, highlight it and press the delete button. "Deleting this file will fix a damaged 30 megabyte area of your hard drive and restore it to full functionality. "WARNING: KEEPING THIS FILE ON THE SYSTEM AFTER JUNE 8 WILL COST YOU $2.90 MORE PER MONTH! "FAILURE TO REMOVE THIS FILE WILL KEEP YOUR "UPPER MEMORY MANAGEMENT" MODULE OF YOUR INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENT (IQ OVER 85) BLOCKED. DELETING AOL.EXE WILL FREE YOUR IQ TO GO ABOVE 85!!! "DELETING THIS FILE WILL ALLOW YOU TO SPELL CORRECTLY AND USE THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROPERLY. "BADLY INFECTED SYSTEMS (I.E., SYSTEMS THAT HAVE DESTROYED YOUR ABILITY TO FOLLOW THE SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS ABOVE) CAN HAVE THE VIRUS REMOVED BY TELEPHONE. CALL 1-888-265-8008 AND TELL THE OPERATOR TO CANCEL THE VIRUS. THE OPERATOR WILL DEACTIVATE THE VIRUS FROM THEIR END. "TECHNICAL NOTE: YOU **MUST** EXPLAIN TO THE OPERATOR YOU'RE ATTEMPTING TO DEACTIVATE THE AOL.EXE VIRUS. THE TECHNICAL SUPPORT OFFICE YOU'RE TALKING TO IS EXTREMELY PROFESSIONALLY EMBARRASSED BY UNLEASHING THIS VIRUS ON THE WORLD AND WILL DELAY DEACTIVATING IT. FOR LEGAL REASONS, THEY MAY EVEN *DENY* THE EXISTENCE OF THE AOL.EXE VIRUS. DON'T FALL FOR THEIR STORY!" http://www.jokeaday.com/7aolexe.shtml \_______________________________ Needless to say, Ray Owens does not have a high regard for AOL or AOL subscribers. In some instances he may be right! Although AOL subscribers who read CATI are more intelligent (and better informed) than to take such a warning seriously, apparently some AOL subscribers did take this joke as a genuine virus warning! If you want the full uncensored account, check the following Web page (which was updated just yesterday, June 14, 2001): Ray Owens' Joke A Day: The Deadly AOL.EXE Virus http://www.jokeaday.com/7aolexe.shtml Now, I know that you're intelligent and informed (after all, you're a reader of CATI, right?), but you may want to warn your friends about email virus hoaxes. Why not suggest to them that they may enjoy reading some of the following CATI articles?: Exxon/Mobil Boycott: Email Hoax with Harmful Intentions? http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati53.htm#3 "It Takes Guts to Say 'Jesus' and Other Email Hoaxes http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati02.htm#3 A Little More on MP3 Files and on Email Hoaxes http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati03.htm#2 Email Hoax: The "Madeline" Murray "O'Hare" Petition http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati11.htm#2 NASA Computers Prove Joshua's Long Day: Another Hoax? http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati18.htm#2 George W. Bush After-Dinner Story: Another Email Hoax? http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati47.htm#1 Email Warning About Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO): True?? http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati48.htm#2 Yes, Virginia, There Are Genuine Email Computer Viruses! http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati49.htm#1 The Madalyn Murray O'Hair Email Hoax: The Latest News http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati49.htm#2 Viruses, Worms, & Trojan Horses: "Live" Computer Threats? http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati51.htm#3 Better yet, why not suggest that they may like to consider becoming CATI subscribers themselves? <grin> _______________________________________________________________ 6. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER This is the fifty-fourth issue of a free newsletter devoted to "Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy," but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the "Internet"). To subscribe, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, including "Subscribe to CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent. Past issues: you'll find archives of past issues of CATI available online at http://traver.org/cati/. ("It's not a pretty site," but hopefully it may be a useful one.) ________________________________________________________________ Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is Copyright (C) 2001 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved. For permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact Barry Traver at email@example.com. Permission is hereby granted, however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1) no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.