Monday, June 30, 2008



I regularly receive emails from clients letting me know the next big virus is coming. Sadly, in almost if not all cases, the clients have been tricked.

This is what is known as a hoax virus.

It is simply an email that has been designed to trick people to warn others. As a result lots of people pass on the hoax to others creating a great deal of concern for their friends.

If you receive a virus warning then don't send it on to others unless you know there is a real virus. In the last three years I have received dozens of such warnings and every one has been a hoax.

Often these messages claim to have been checked and well known names are mentioned. It is these very same names that you can use to help you check the virus is a hoax.

For example in the message I received today was the statement:

"This is the worst virus announced by CNN."

If this were true then if I visit the CNN site then there is no doubt it would be a major news item. A check of the CNN site shows no mention of any such virus.

Next we see that Microsoft is mentioned.

"It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. "

A quick visit to the Microsoft site and again no mention of a virus. Not a mention of the virus there either.

As you can see a quick check of the sites being mentioned pretty much tells us it is a hoax.

You may also wish to check the major newspaper sites. Unless the newspaper itself is tricked, if the virus threat is real, it will soon appear in the media.

I would also suggest asking your source. If they have not checked or personally know about the virus from their contact (not via email), it is a good chance they have too been tricked.

The good thing about a virus hoax is it has usually been around for a while. If you take the main words from the email and search using Google, you will often find the hoax has been reported. But you really need to take care here. Only check the sites which you know are well known sites such as the anti-virus companies. Going to a site which is not known could in fact be a trick to infect your computer. I have seen this happen on a Windows XP SP1 computer.

In this case I decided to search for the phrase "opens A POSTCARD IMAGE" including the quotes using Google. This returned an entry from hoax-slayer which confirms it is a hoax. But since I don't know if hoax-slayer itself is a friendly site or not, I would not suggest this site to others. Yes it is best not to trust sites when it comes to viruses.

It should also be kept in mind that in general Google is not a good place to search for up-to-date information. Google can take weeks to index a site and I have seen a new virus come out on the weekend from Asia and infect Australian computers on Monday morning.

If clients contact me and this will happen in the case of a real infection, if I see the infection hit more than one client then there is a real issue and I will post about the issue as quickly as possible. This blog may be your best source of information in the case of a real outbreak.

In my case I don't see these unwanted emails as I use a product I wrote called OzEfilter. OzEfilter lets me view a list emails from people I don't know, safely at the mail server. I then delete the emails before they reach my computer. In fact I've deleted over 57,000 such emails. I've not had one virus infected email reach my computer in nearly three years.

One thing I do find is when people send these hoax emails on they can feel pretty silly. No one likes to think they have been tricked. It can be quite embarrassing to go back to everyone and let them know you were tricked.

So please check your facts and your source first before helping a virus hoax achieve its goal. Your friends will appreciate the extra effort you take.

Happy hoax slaying - Kelvin Eldridge

Thursday, June 26, 2008

VPS work-in-progress on JustLocal.


I would like to let everyone know that JustLocal is evolving and that's a good thing.

JustLocal is a participant in Virtual Profit Sharing. Currently if a Virtual Profit Sharing member refers a business to JustLocal, the business has to manually enter the member's code in order for the member to share in the profit.

I am currently upgrading the system so the VPS member's code is automatically transferred to the order form. This will take some time and I appreciate your patience.

If you find anything unusual that you feel we may not have meant to do (we often do unusual things) then please feel free to let us know. Your feedback and assistance is appreciate.

Thanks in advance - Kelvin

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jewellery Expo at Watsonia Neighbourhood House on the 26th of July 2008.

The Watsonia Neighbourhood house sent us the following event information for the upcoming jewellery expo.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Jewellery at Watsonia Neighbourhood House, 47 Lambourne Road, Watsonia.

Meet members of the Monday Night Jewellery Class. See their creative designs. All items will be for sale. Orders taken.

Saturday 26th July 2008, 10.30am to 3.00pm. Enquiries 9434 6717

You can find information about the Watsonia Neighbourhood House by clicking on the image at the bottom of the JustLocal postcode page 3087.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Spellcheck bug in Firefox 3.0

A user of the Australian English dictionary files contacted me to let me know the words "Colorful" and "aluminum" were not picked up correctly by the spelling checker. This was quite strange since the words are not in the dictionary.

On further investigation of Firefox 3.0, I found if you open Firefox 3.0 and then paste "Colorful aluminum" into a form, these words will not be correctly identified as being wrong.

To get around this glitch turn Check Spelling off and then on again using the context menu. Once the spellcheck is working, the spellcheck continues to work.

There is no need to report this as a problem to me (the creator and maintainer of the Australian English dictionary files) as the problem is not in the dictionary, but is with Firefox 3.0. Please report the problem to the Firefox project.

Thank you Andrew for bringing this to my attention.

Happy spellchecking - Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, June 16, 2008

Interest charged even though you pay off your credit card in full by the due date?

Are you being charged interest on your credit card even though you pay it off in full and by the due date?

I recently received a question from a person because even though they paid of their credit card off each month in full and by the due date, they were still being charged interest. Whilst outside the scope of what I do I decided to investigate since I have also fallen for this credit card trap so I thought I would share my experience with others.

There are a few gotchas with credit cards.

1. If you miss paying off a credit card by the due date then you get charged interest on the next statement and it applies to all purchases made since the start of the statement period.

Miss paying off your credit card in full also affects how you are charged interest on your purchases from that point on.

2. If you don't pay off your credit card in full then every purchase from then on incurs interest at the going rate. There is no interest free period on purchases when you owe money on your credit card.

The trap however is if you pay the full amount due stated on the statement, you are not paying off the full amount since some interest has already been incurred between the statement date and when you pay. You always receive the statement a few days after it is printed.

In order to stop being charged interest you need to have your credit card owing you money at the next statement end date.

One way to do this is to keep the card owing you money for the entire following month. If you don't want to pay interest in your purchases during the month this is the way to go.

Another way is just before the statement end date check the balance of the credit card and pay off the credit card plus a bit more so that at the next statement the credit card owes you money. You may end up paying some interest on purchases using this approach.

Another way is to use another credit card until the credit card is paid in full and no interest has been charged. This may take two statement cycles.

If all you ever do once you miss paying off your credit card in full is to pay the amount due, you will continue to pay interest on your credit card.

I hope this experience helps others to tame their credit card. - Kelvin Eldridge

NOTE: This information should not be considered as financial advice. It is for general information only.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007

Recently, Nigel, who is one of the Australian English dictionary file users, let me know that Microsoft support sent him to the JustLocal site to solve his Outlook Express problem. His spellchecking in Outlook Express was not working since installing Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007.

What I found really interesting which I wasn't aware of, is the student edition of Microsoft office, previously the Teacher and Student edition in 2003, was now replaced by the Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 edition.

This means many more people can afford to run Microsoft Office on their home computers. Retirees like Nigel are one group who benefit and I suspect there are many more.

With the ability to load the software onto three computers, it should cover the needs of most families, including grandpa or grandma's computer.

We've added a copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 to The Great Give-Away so there is a copy up for grabs. If you can't wait and want to take advantage of Microsoft's $40 petrol voucher offer, you can buy now and if you win the free copy, we give you the option of getting a second copy, or a refund of the purchase price plus delivery.

Thanks Nigel for you feedback - Kelvin

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Firefox 3 Australian English dictionary files now available.

Firefox 3 is just around the corner.

I have now updated the files to work with Firefox 3 and also made some minor changes as requested by a number of users.

You can find the Australian English spellcheck files on most JustLocal ( pages at the bottom of the page by clicking on the following graphic.

You can also go straight the dictionary page at

As the creator and the maintainer of these files for the last five years I would like to thank you for your ongoing support. Without your support producing these files would not be viable.

Happy spellchecking - Kelvin.