"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 cati@traver.org.  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.

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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 cati@traver.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 cati@traver.org.  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.