A Few Things To Know

The Secret About Box, as mentioned last month, is a simple “Easter Egg” found on most Macs. (An Easter Egg is a trick programers hid in your computer that only work when you do something you normally would not do.) To see this Easter Egg, type “secret about box” without the quotes, in your note pad or any program that is Drag and Drop compatible. Next, select the text with your mouse, and drag it to your Desktop.

One of two things will now happen. In System 7.5, you will be able to play a simple Breakout Game. In System 7.5.1 and up, you will see a flag with an iguana fluttering over Apple’s headquarters. That’s all it is!

Did you know that the Launcher is not really a control panel? It is, but yet it isn’t. Many of you Performa users most likely have an alias of the Launcher control panel on your desktop. As you know, if you close the Launcher, you can always reopen it by simply double-clicking on the alias on your Desktop. However, while most control panels must load at startup to operate, the Launcher functions differently. So, even if If you restart with your extensions off, (hold down the Shift key at startup) you can still use the Launcher! And while it won’t open by itself when you restart with extensions off, you can still just double-click the alias to open it.

Do you have a 15″ or larger monitor? If you do, and you have not changed your settings in your Monitor control panel, you are missing alot. Go open your Monitors control panel, and see if it is set to 640 x 480, 67Hz. If it is, and you have the option, reset it to 832 x 624, 75Hz. You will see a huge difference! Everything will seem a little smaller at first, like your icons, but trust me: after a day or so of getting used to it, you will find it much better. You will have a larger work area, your desktop will be bigger, you can see more of a open window, and more! Yes, there are drawbacks. For starters, those with a TV Tuner card will find out that you must switch back to the 640 x 480 setting to view a picture. And many games require you to use this setting. But I find myself working around that shortcoming. I have put an alias of the Monitors Control panel in my launcher, so that I can switch back as needed.

Never, NEVER throw away your Desktop Pattern Prefs file in your Preference folder. Why? This is where all your neat Desktop patterns are kept. If you throw them away, no more pretty Desktop Patterns 🙁

Thanks to My Mac writer Dustin Roberts for forwarding me the following information. This sort of thing needs to be known about by all, so if YOU know of any scams, please let us know so that we can pass warnings on to other Mac and computer users.

SCAM: Don’t Respond To Emails, Phone Calls, Or Pages Which Tell You To Call An “809” Phone Number

This is a very important issue of Internet ScamBusters! because it alerts you to a scam that is spreading *extremely* quickly, can easily cost you $100 or more, and is difficult to avoid unless you are aware of it.

There are lots of different permutations of this scam, but here is how it works:

Permutation #1: Internet Based Phone Scam Via Email. You receive an email, typically with a subject line of “*ALERT*” or “Unpaid account.” The message, which is being spammed across the net, says:

I am writing to give you a final 24 hrs to settle your outstanding account. If I have not received the settlement in full, I will commence legal proceedings without further delay. If you would like to discuss this matter to avoid court action, call Mike Murray at Global Communications on +1 809 496 2700.

Permutation #2: Phone Or Pager Scam. You receive a message on your answering machine or your pager which asks you to call a number beginning with area code 809. The reason to you’re asked to call varies: it can be to receive information about a family member who has been ill, to tell you someone has been arrested, died, to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc. In each case, you’re told to call the 809 number right away.

Since there are so many new area codes these days, people unknowingly return these calls. If you call from the US, you will apparently be charged $25 per-minute! Sometimes the person who answers the phone will speak broken English and pretend not to understand you. Other times, you’ll just get a long recorded message. The point is, they will try to keep you on the phone as long as possible to increase the charges. Unfortunately, when you get your phone bill, you’ll often be charged more than $100.00.

Here’s why it works: The 809 area code is located in the British Virgin Islands (the Bahamas). The 809 area code can be used as a “pay-per-call” number, similar to 900 numbers in the US. Since 809 is not in the US, it is not covered by US regulations of 900 numbers, which require that you be notified and warned of charges and rates involved when you call a “pay-per-call” number. There is also no requirement that the company provide a time period during which you may terminate the call without being charged. Further, whereas many US phones have 900 number blocking (to avoid these kinds of charges), 900 number blocking will not prevent calls to the 809 area code.

We recommend that no matter how you get the message, if you are asked to call a number with an 809 area code that you don’t recognize, investigate further and/or disregard the message. Be *very* wary of email or calls asking you to call an 809 area code number.

It’s important to prevent becoming a victim of this scam, since trying to fight the charges afterwards can become a real nightmare. That’s because you did actually make the call. If you complain, both our local phone company and your long distance carrier will not want to get involved and will most likely tell you that they are simply providing the billing for the foreign company. You’ll end up dealing with a foreign company that argues they have done nothing wrong.

Leave a Reply