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Mail 169 September 3 - 9, 2001 

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This week:



Monday  September 3, 2001 LABOR DAY

If there is a modern social thinker whose work I find exemplary, it's Roepke, so this is good news:

 Subj: Wilhelm Roepke Biography Coming

This looks like it should be interesting: 

Rod Montgomery == monty


And some good news:

This link presents commentary by a well-known web interface authority, saying that extensive graphics are a poor idea for web sites such as his (and yours). Thought you'd like to know you've done something right. The useit site is worth looking at otherwise also. 

Michael Juergens mikejuer on 09/03/2001 at 8:11:16 AM

So. Thanks.


Re: Your comment....

" Sklaryov's wife is afraid to come to the US. Do you think this may be a good time to travel abroad now that we have asserted that activities not criminal the one's own country can be prosecuted as heavy duty felonies if the US can lure you to within its borders? I can't think of a sillier precedent to get on the books. "

The issue seems to have gotten precedent from the german government:

It seems there is an American "nazi worshiper" web page publisher in a german prison, or was, and the Clinton State Department thought it was a real good idea to let him rot there. (Caveat. This may be a urban legend of the internet.)

>From what I saw, I get the definite impression there are a lot of people in our country that would like to use the U.N. to do an end run around the Constitution. This looked like another step.

Regards, Ron

Indeed. Of course a pro-nazi publisher would probably do well to avoid travel in Germany, or Israel, lest he spit on the sidewalk...

And here is Microsoft:

In the last couple of days, Microsoft has released the final version of Internet Explorer 6 for the Windows Platform.

I don't notice many differences, but once again... Microsoft has made changes that seem to make no sense. Similar to the changes in FrontPage that you have been writing about.

A friend of mine likes to coin the phrase: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it..."

Nobody at Microsoft seems to know this concept.

Between IE versions 4 and 5, Microsoft made a major change in how IE follows links. They added a new Advanced "feature" called "Recycle Windows". What this means is that if you have 4 IE Windows open (as I often do), and you are in the third Window and then click a link, IE will go back to the first Window and cause the link to appear there, rather than in the Window you clicked in. VERY annoying, counter-intuitive, and not at all like other web-browsers do it. In other words, the way Microsoft wants it to work, not the way a user wants or expects it to. The usual Microsoft 'We know better than you about how you should use your software application" nonsense.

In IE 5, if you turned this feature off. IE behaved like you would expect it to. If you clicked in a window, that's the window that would change. You could always right click on "Open in New Window" to get it in a new window.

In IE 6, Microsoft "fixed" this behavior. If you leave this option on, it "re-uses" other non-related windows to display your pages. If you turn the re-use option off, it now ALWAYS generates a new page with the link, it only re-uses the current windows sometimes. And I haven't yet figured out what criteria is used to decide when to use the current window or make a new one.

I wish Microsoft would put it back to IE 4.x/Netscape/Opera/iCab behavior:

- Clicking on a link IN a browser page causes that page to browse to that link. - Right Clicking and selecting "Open in new Browser Window" opens a new window and puts the link there. - At no times does IE override my choices.

And what's funny is that the Macintosh Version of IE does this properly. I guess the Macintosh team is more interested in usability than exerting their preferences on the users.

Also, I dislike how IE will change windows on me automatically. I can be in a window filling out a form, or entering an E-Mail reply on Yahoo Mail/MSN/Delphi, and another window will finish loading a page, and rather than blinking the title bar title in the taskbar, IE will change context while I'm typing, often causing extreme havoc as my keystrokes are interpreted by the wrong page.

This is NOT smart behaviour.

This kind of thing doesn't happen on the Mac, and is one reason I am looking at abandoning Windows altogether for MacOS.

MacOS may not be as "smart" as Windows, but it sure works the way I do..

Regards, Al Hartman

Join the Macintosh Emulation List... 

"Why are we now traveling into space? Why, indeed, did we trouble to look past the next mountain? Our prime obligation to ourselves is to make the unknown known. We are on a journey to keep an appointment with whatever we are." -- Gene Roddenberry

Regarding Netslaves:

I haven't received anything so far. Mind you, I have cookies blocked unless I've manually added the site to the IE 5.5 trusted sites list, and I use a HOSTS file to block some ads (mapping a fair number of ad servers to I've also got ZoneAlarm as a sentry on my DSL line.

I am not a member at netslaves; I avoid most subscriptions to try to limit spam.

In addition, I don't use Outlook or Outlook Express; too many exploits have occurred with them for me to be comfortable. I run Pegasus Mail and Xnews instead.

On another note entirely, I find your broadband problems incomprehensible. I live in Canada's capital city, Ottawa, and have at least three distinct options for broadband - Cable goes for $40 Canadian per month; wireless (at 2mb shared up and down) is $50 CAD per month, and DSL starts at $30 per month( 1.2Mb/160k), up to $99 per month (residential 3M/800K line with a static IP).

In closing, I'm torn between two sentiments: I thoroughly enjoy your site and want to see it continue to prosper; on the other hand, it's a distraction which keeps you from writing more fiction, another thing I'd like to see.

David P.

I hear that Ricochet may come back. I sure hope so. And the cable guy says we will have internet cable access in a couple of months. So perhaps things are changing. Perhaps...

As to Netslaves, I am not where I can do much testing. I do know that something told me I had "opted in" two porno sites during the trip down here, and the last thing I did before I closed down in Chaos Manor was access that netslave site. I need to look into this again, probably with a fake return address and see what happens.

Did you try switching on disk indexing in Windows 2000? It's well hidden, but according to the developer, who wrote about it in Dr Dobbs sometime in the last year or so, it's very sophisticated, updating indexes on-the-fly.

I think - Do Start, Search, Find Files and Folders. There's a link from the left hand side to the indexing service which tells you all about it.


Jeff Veit

I have turned it on. Haven't tried it yet.

Dr. Pournelle,

If win2k disk indexing is anything like the win9x "fast find" utility, you'd do best to turn it off whenever system response is important to you (when playing games for example). Fast find had the annoying tendency to scan your hard drive for index changes right as you lined your opponent up for a shot, causing your entire system to pause while the disk drive chattered furiously for a second or two.

The ramifications of this are obvious especially in an online gaming environment. NOT RECOMMENDED.

Sean Long

I suppose I shall soon find out...



This week:



Tuesday,  September 4, 2001

From: Stephen M. St. Onge

Subject: You Can't Win

Dear Jerry:

It turns out there is a new problem with the proposed missile defense system -- it might work. See  for more on the dreaded danger.

Best, Stephen

The left has always been consistent on this. Ballistic missile defenses are not needed because you can smuggle in nuclear weapons. They won't work because they are technically impossible. And they will work so well that they will cause an arms race (with countries that don't have the wherewithal to be in an arms race, but this is not in the sinister side's arguments). And they will work so well that they will cause nuclear war with peace loving countries provoked by the threat of a US nuclear shield. I have not read the piece you cite but I suspect it contains at least two of the above, none of it new.


Dear Dr. Pournelle:

Your statement in the 9/4 View:

"I am also incapable of glaring inconsistencies. My problem (or strength depending on how you look at it) is following logical implications. If this happens, what events will that force?"

hits the nail on the head about what is wrong with a majority of SF. Scenarios set in the future where technologically advanced races don't have the logical extensions of what already exists both technically and socially. A case in point: A SciFi Channel space opera series [and a good one, too] has space-going dreadnaughts with FTL capabilities and munitions that could reduce a planet to its component quarks using only point-and-shoot cannon - no fire-and-forget, no "smart" guidance, just the equivalent of the targeting they had at the battle of Jutland.

Sometimes such things are plot devices, but if so, then drop in a line explaining why. It's only laziness - or worse, ignorance - otherwise.

-- Pete

Indeed. The real problem for space opera is making things work given hydrogen bombs and the like. Piper used collapsed metal and anti-gravity and hoped readers wouldn't notice the obvious problems there. At least he tried. I worked hard on the Mote in God's Eye universe to come up with consistent technologies for space battles.

Many don't bother. It seems to work for them, and I wish them well of it, but I am cursed with an analytical mind...

Dr. Pournelle,

The Register has an article about McAfee patenting virus updates over the Internet. Our Patent office is on the ball, isn't it? I'm surprised someone hasn't yet received the patient for using a carbon element to inscribe on cellulose sheets. Sometimes it seems as if the people that work there don't live in the same century that the rest of us do. 

Dean Sanchez

No comment...


Since the Justice Department has decided to go ahead and prosecute the Sklyarov case, I'm wondering if there might not be some method to their madness: When there's a bad law on the books, find an egregiously bad application of that law and prosecute it. With any luck, the judge who tries the case will be an adult, and not only toss the case, but declare the law unconstitutional.

If that's the game, it's a dangerous one, especially in the light of what modern courts seem to be turning out by way of decisions.

Just a thought..........

............Karl Lembke

Indeed. Thanks.


Re that movie of Steve Ballmer hollering "Developers!", I'd love to mung the sound track to make it seem that someone in the back of the room yelled "Heil Microsoft!" once he was done.

Keep the faith,

-- Nicholas Bodley |@| Waltham, Mass. -- Please reply to Opera browser user and fan, registered Autodidact, polymath and eclectic (all, to some extent)

No comment. None. Zero. Nil.

Jerry, How do I through my 2 cents worth in on the discussion. I want to say that controlling ground as and always will be a job for the infantry I was an 11B2p in VietNam and I stand by the proposition that one cannot say that they are in control of any real estate unless one can stand a 19 year old kid with a rifle on it and keep him there. VietNam is a fiasco I would not care to see repeated again or inflicted on any population again. In closing I want to take the liberty of recommending Gerry Nicosia's new book Home to War. He did a pretty good job of chronicling the rise of the antiwar vets movement and the trials and tribulations of getting the VA to be responsive to our needs. I was there and knew many of the people mentioned in the book. Keep up the good work, I read a lot of your books and really like the Janissaries series.

Jim Ketola

That was Ted Fehrenbach's point in This Kind Of War, still one of the great military classics of all time...

Viet Nam was a fiasco that won the Cold War: wars of attrition are always messy. We of course didn't realize that was what we were in.



This week:




From Greg Cochran:

8th grade NAEP math (1996) 8th grade NAEP science (1996) per-pupil $ per capita income

California 17, 34, 49     | 20, 27, 53 $5235 $26570 (13th)

Connecticut 31, 40, 30  | 36, 32, 32 $8097 $36263 (1st)

Maine 31, 46, 23 41      | 36, 23 $7012 $22078 (36th)

Montana 32, 23, 25 41  | 37, 22 $6552 $20046 (46th)

New Mexico 14, 36, 49  | 19, 30, 51 $5866 $19587 (47th)

North Dakota 33, 44, 23 | 41, 37, 22 $6486 $20271 (45th)

percentages are at or above proficient, basic, below basic.

North Dakota appears to have the highest average academic achievement of any state while having a low per capita income. Maine and Montana do much the same, and somehow do better than the richest state, Connecticut. While spending less money. What's so special about North Dakota, Montana, and Maine?

Which is in fact an interesting question.

Hello Jerry, I'm a big fan of your Chaos Manor column and have been reading it since I first subscribed to Byte back in the mid 80's. I was rather depressed when Byte stopped publishing, but thanks to the Web I can still get my dose of Chaos.

I have an email reader dilemma. This is one that I’m sure lots of others share and so I’m hoping it is worth your time and attention. I have frequent need of accessing my email for 2 different computers. I’d like to keep the email files on my primary PC and occasionally connect to them and read email from my laptop. I’ve kind of been able to force earlier versions of Outlook Express to do this. However, it required modifying some registry settings and tricking OE into thinking that the mail was local. I have a 100Mbps Ethernet network at home and still remotely accessing my large inbox was slow. Recently I upgraded to the current version of Outlook Express and this method stopped working. Outlook Express would start to come up with the remote mail and then just hang. I then tried Eudora. I got that to work but it is slow and occasionally it gets confused and leaves lock files so both computers think the mail is in use by someone else.

What I need is an Email reader program that is designed to allow several computers to share access to email files. I have several email accounts and they are all hosted on POP3 severs. Life would be easier if I could collect all the email onto an IMAP server and leave it there, but that’s just not possible right now.

I would appreciate any advice you might have on this subject.

I would also like to say that the collaborative works you have written with Larry Niven are some of my all time favorites. In particular I have enjoyed “The Mote in God’s Eye”, “Footfall” (GREAT!), “Lucifer’s Hammer” , and just this summer I read “The Gripping Hand”. I look forward to more!

Klif Niessen ( Virgina

What I do is use Outlook 2000. I keep a copy of outlook.pst in a folder called /outlook so that it is easy to find. When I am about to leave here I close down Outlook on Regina (the dual Pentium Compaq that normally handles mail); copy the outlook.pst file across my network to the machine I am carrying (portable or a desktop that goes to the beach with me); and get out of here, usually shutting down Regina. 

Outlook 2000 on the machine I am carrying has all my mail accounts, plus Roberta's account. Hers is set to leave the messages on the server as well as download them (where rules then put her mail into a separate folder she can look at). Mine are usually set to simply delete mail as it is downloaded although with the portable I may leave mail on the server. I deal with all the mail normally and when I come home I fire up the machine I carried, copy outlook.pst back to Regina, and turn on Outlook 2000 on Regina. This works pretty well.

It's probably not optimum for everyone, but it works for me. And I get a LOT of email.

Now why didn't I think of that? It works for Outlook Express, anyway.

Advice from a newsgroup:

To avoid spreading computer viruses, create a contact in your email address book with the name : 0000 (or similar) with no email address in the details.

This contact will then show up as your first contact in your book. If a virus attempts to do a "send all" on your contact list, your PC will put up an error message saying that: "The Message could not be sent. One or more recipients do not have an e-mail address. Please check your Address Book and make sure all the recipients have a valid e-mail address."

Regards, Tim Herbst

Looks like a good idea.

Now something to think about:

In response to this weeks column at Byte: "Most of those surveyed were unhappy with the reliability of their Compaq computers, whether desktop or laptop, and not very happy with their servers"

Like you, I find this astonishing. While I can't speak for Compaq desktops or laptops, I have been a heavy user of Compaq servers over the past few years. I love Compaq servers - they are very robust and seem to display a very reassuring commitment to detail. I've had a Compaq servers that warned me of failures weeks before I would have noticed them myself, and have continued working in the face of disasters. I currently work at a company that uses Dell servers, and to quote you I find them "good enough". But I still think Compaq servers are better.

On the other hard, the service and support issue is tricky. Unlike Dell, where you always deal with the 800# tech support line, Compaq seems to prefer to work through VAR's for support issues - at least at the small to mid-size market. Having a good VAR makes the difference, and I've switched VAR's when I didn't get the support I wanted. Finding a good VAR is tough, and finding an average VAR is easy.

At the height of the dot-com boom here in Seattle, I had excellent support from several VAR's. However, as the boom died all the VAR's started merging and cutting staff in response to declining sales - and the support started to go downhill. I think that may be the issue behind the report - its a reflection of VAR support rather than Compaq support.

On the other hand, I wonder where the Compaq servers are going to go during the course of this merger. I'm not a fan of the HP servers, and I've met very few system admins that were. If HP is wise, they will keep the Compaq server group intact, otherwise Dell may claim even more market share. My two cents anyway.

Thanks, -Rod 

Thanks. I need to ponder this.

And on that subject:

Compaq professional gear is very reliable. Compaq home computers, on the other hand, are not. They mostly work fine out of the box, but two years later when someone decides to upgrade them (either the OS or the hardware) they just don’t work correctly, and you get very little help from Compaq to resolve the problems with their hardware. They just don’t care.

To make matters worse, Compaq still uses their oddball BIOS hard disk partition that complicates system configuration. Numerous parts in their home computers are over-integrated, many components are completely proprietary. Unlike a good Taiwanese motherboard “white box” system, you cannot go to Compaq’s site and find BIOS and/or driver updates, honest problem/resolution guides, and so on.

Just compare to and you will see what I mean. Pick a 2-year old Asus motherboard and see how much information you can find about it on Asus site. Then do the same for a 3 year old Compaq. The Asus has all the information one would need to install the motherboard, update the BIOS, lists of common problems and resolutions, and detailed specs. You will be lucky if you find more than a very general paragraph or two about any specific model on Compaq’s site.

I don’t like any of the large vendors much better, either. If you can’t build a computer yourself (I do) you are better off going to the local white box vendor and have them build you a system. It will cost about the same or slightly more than the mass-market junk, but it will be a far better computer. Chances are the locally built box will be AMD-equipped, and thus a much better deal than any of the Intel based system.


In fact I tend to build my own white boxes, but I have to say that all my Compaq Professional systems I have had over the years have been extremely reliable under hard use, and are very well constructed and easy to work on (once you remember you will need Torx screwdrivers). With modern stuff building a pretty good server isn't beyond me, either, but I do like Compaq servers a lot.


And Roland says he is glad we have all our problems in order... 





This week:


read book now


Thursday, September 6, 2001


Your correspondent wrote: "Unlike a good Taiwanese motherboard "white box" system, you cannot go to Compaq's site and find BIOS and/or driver updates..."

I'm sorry, but this is simply not true. Go to and follow the bouncing ball, you will find BIOS, drivers, and all sorts of other goodies for every Compaq ever made as far as I can tell. Including DOS support, early versions of Windows,long-obsolete NIC's, etc.

On the matter of support from VAR's, I agree. It is almost impossible to get good server support from VAR's, they just don't understand enterprise requirements. I bought IBM Servers for my company, purely and entirely because IBM support them directly, using their own people, and you simply cannot beat IBM hardware support. The actual servers are pretty good too. Pick up a Dell server by its corners and you can feel it bending. Not so a Netfinity. 'Nuff said.

Finally, if I told you the whole truth about my experiences with Compaq laptops, I would probably get sued, or fired, or both. We use Thinkpads now.

Keep up the good work,

Andrew Duffin

Dr. Pournelle:

I assume you've already seen these: 

but you may want to post the link for others to look at.

Tom Brosz

Spidoni does a great job with my ships... And Larry's

I found this and thought you might be interested :-)

>From today's SANS Bulletin ...


--30 & 31 August 2001 Microsoft Reader Encryption Broken

A programmer says he has broken the most stringent level of protection in Microsoft Reader, the company's e-book software, according to Technology Review. The programmer is not releasing the code and is maintaining his anonymity due to his fear of being prosecuted for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).,4586,2809412,00.html 


What a screw up. So now we have the news that the crypto on Microsoft's much heralded eBook has been cracked. But abiding by the DMCA reasonably prevents anyone from being able to demonstrate the proof. This of course means that crack claims can no longer be challenged by asking for proof, since it will be reasonable to withhold proof in light of the DMCA.

So, did the guy really crack Microsoft's eBook? We don't know. Microsoft doesn't know. And neither do the skittish traditional book publishers who are correct to worry about the security of eBooks.

And Microsoft can't get much needed feedback to properly enhance their crypto. If they really think their crypto is any good (who ca tell), you might imagine that they are wondering how it was cracked.

It's difficult to see that anyone is being served by the free speech gag aspect of the DMCA.

This needs little comment. We will see more of same.

Shame, Adobe. Shame.

Dr. Pournelle,

I, as many 'Internetzos', would like to believe that 'the Internet' is the open and free world...the world that allows us (all of us) to do and say what we want (within 'reasonalble' limits). We (internetzos) all know, that was never the case. The Internet was not invented. It was a result of the US "Cold War Effort", that, among other things, ended the Cold War. Originally, the Internet was 'Top Secret'. The commercialisation came much later. Now, all of it is in the open market. The security net of US 'Bombenbauer' (bomb builders) is no longer in the 'open net' (they have an even cooler net!) .

The question is, IMHO, who decides what crosses the open net now? You? Me? What about "trade secrets"? What about art? What about stuff that is just plain questionable, such as child porno, or child prostitution? Is it OK to lament the trials and fears of Sklaryov, and not worry about the trials and fears of "Olga from Kiev, age 13"?. Is it reasonable to allow neo-nazis to promote neo-nazi-ism in the virtual world? Who should decide this kind of stuff? Where should this be decided? Where do we draw the line in the Internet? Skalyov, Olga or Copyright?

you think about this kinda stuff, so I asked, Regards, Juergen Schmalacker

P.S. In Germany there is a saying about people that act the way Adobe does: Tu was Du nicht lassen kannst " do what you can't resist" In LA it would/could be translated as: whatever

Wasn't classified. I was using an at sign in my name in the 70's. Most of the old ARPAnet was paid for by DOD DCA, and then later by NSF, but it wasn't classified.

I  think most of your questions answer themselves. They were asked by the office of the chamberlain in royal times: shouldn't book sellers be licensed, and printers submit their screeds to the palace before being allowed to publish?

As to pornography this is a bit of a smoke screen. We had control of pornography in public places for hundreds of years; it is only recently that we have courts that say they can display "INSIDE! Joy spreads, gives head, swallows!" with illustrations at waist height on a stand across the street from Carpenter School in Studio City. For years Bernie's kept stuff like that in a back room visited only by those who wanted to go in there.

But I would rather have pornography than censorship. And the child pornography laws are abused, as in the case of the man in Iowa whose house was searched because they knew he had a child pornographic magazine: they knew because a postal inspector mailed it to him and they watched him take the mail inside. 

If you believe National Socialism will surface again unless it is suppressed by the Geheim  Staats Polizei then you don't have a lot of faith in democracy -- which Weimar Germany most assuredly was not. And perhaps National Socialism will rise again. But is your cure not almost as bad as the disease?  But you do ask questions about the hard subjects.


Hello Jerry, I just stumbled across your webpage after doing a lookup on a quote of yours that someone had on an online post ( I think). I spend a lot of time on the 'net due to my (lacking) job situation, so I decided to have a look at your site when I saw this, below:

"I am also toying with the notion of a subscriber section of the page. LET ME KNOW your thoughts."

Although I'm not a regular on your page (yet) I just wanted to share my thoughts on this! Essentially, I like the idea that the internet is used for obtaining information for free. However I also appreciate that the quality of information would improve if a person/people are being paid to spend time specifically on improving their knowledge to give better informed information. And I tend to feel that the best way for this to happen is that those people who are highly respected in the field(s) off this kind of service (good information for free, better information for a price).

Also, I especially feel that the best way to draw attention to an informative website is to provide a quality of information that is already good, and that the only reason for people to pay for an extended service would be to provide information that actually takes research, time, directed expertise, etc, to provide that service. This would then have a cumulative effect on various commercial websites that provide information that may or may not be of good quality and useful.

I hope that the above doesn't come across as authoritive, as I am definitely not an authority on the matter. I would like to know your response to the above, please get back to me at: istolz@ - I would appreciate it greatly!

Thank you very much for your time, I will look forward to hearing back from you!

Sincerest regards- Ian O Stolz 

Actually as you read on you will find that I run this like KUSC (my local classical music station): if enough people subscribe I stay open, and if not enough do I cut back or quit... A subscriber page would cost time and effort I don't have. I gather Bob Thompson and others have done this with mixed results. I find so far that it's worth staying open, although sometimes it's the way a cat accepts the inevitable, 'just barely.' 

From: Stephen M. St. Onge 

subject: green weapons Dear Jerry: Thanks for posting the link from Roland Dobbins (  ) informing us about environmentally friendly killing. Good to know we won't harm the little animals while we kill people.

But one thing puzzles me. The article states rocket fuels produce "hydrochloric acid, the main cause of acid rain." Gee, I thought the main cause of acid rain was SULFURIC acid, from burning fossil fuels in autos and power plants. Could it be that Prof. Klaptoke doesn't know what he's talking about? Or maybe the Reuters misunderstood him? Or maybe the whole acid rain threat is hysteria and lies?

On second thought, scratch that last idea. Surely no one would ever lie or get hysterical about the environment, no?

Best, Stephen

Now really...  It is astonishing how many things mature Americans are now willing to pretend to believe lest they get into trouble. School children have it worse of course.

And this should be enough for today.










This week:



Friday, September 7, 2001

Open with some notes from Roland:

Dennis E. Powell on the DOJ stance . . . 


Where's the ACLU?,4586,5096701,00.html?chkpt=zdnnp1tp01 


Good article on Sklyarov's actual presentation. 


And of technical interest

This should've been done ages ago . . . these folks who developed the Stanford Checker deserve great kudos.

Roland Dobbins

And a press release of interest:



 Contacts: Paul Vogel, (503) 805-5139, (503) 684-7219 Joseph M. Burton, Duane, Morris & Heckscher LLP, (415) 371-2214.

For Immediate Release


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (August 30, 2001) - After federal charges were brought against his company and one of his employees on Tuesday, Alex Katalov, president of ElcomSoft Co. Ltd., responded saying, "I am saddened by the Justice Department's treatment of my employee and friend, Dmitry Sklyarov. This is a very unfortunate and misguided attempt to enforce the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It appears that the Justice Department is looking for its first test case under the DMCA, but they have mistakenly singled out an individual, simply for developing a program."

Sklyarov was originally arrested at a computer and Internet conference in Las Vegas on July 16th, after he delivered a presentation.

"My top concern is for Dmitry, his future, and that of his young family," Katalov said. "Dmitry has been detained in San Francisco for a month and is unable to return to his home. ElcomSoft did not violate the letter or the intent of the DMCA, which we will prove in due time. Dmitry should not be made some sort of example."

Sklyarov's Attorney, Joseph M. Burton of Duane Morris in San Francisco, said, "The government wants you to think this is about copyright infringement and enforcing the DMCA. It's not." Burton asserted that ElcomSoft and Sklyarov will refute the Justice Department's allegations. "According to the indictment this situation existed for a sum total of 25 days. This hardly would seem to merit criminal prosecution," Burton added.

In their arrest of Dmitry Sklyarov, the government apparently thought they had a rogue cyber-pirate or "hacker." Ironically, ElcomSoft and the government have in the past and continue to work hand-in-hand to fight crime. ElcomSoft Co. Ltd., is a ten-year old company that develops software to recover computer passwords and provide computer security. ElcomSoft also helps identify, trace and shut down hackers, software pirates and cyber-thieves. Their software and consulting services are used in over 80 countries and by U.S law enforcement agencies from the FBI to county sheriffs and local police departments.

The DMCA exists to prosecute those who have no regard for property and intellectual property rights. "ElcomSoft is the exact opposite of those kinds of people," Katalov stated. "We have worked for so long and so closely with law enforcement in this country, you can imagine our surprise that the Justice Department thinks we are criminals. We hope ElcomSoft will have the opportunity to make our case in U.S. courts."

ElcomSoft, ( is headquartered in Moscow, with approximately 20 employees. Its Password Recovery Kit software is sold and licensed to a majority of Fortune 500 companies and major accounting firm in the U.S., as well as U.S. military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

# # #

Alexander Katalov also pointed out that in response to numerous inquiries, a defense fund has been established. Those interested in contributing to Sklyarov's defense fund should make donations by wire to:

First Union National Bank Philadelphia, PA ABA #031201467 Account #: 2000104359781 Account Name: Duane, Morris & Heckscher LLP Escrow Account

Contributors MUST reference "The Dmitri Defense Fund - R0247-2" on all incoming wires.

Donations by Check should be sent to the following address:

The Dmitri Defense Fund c/o Duane, Morris & Heckscher LLP 100 Spear Street, Suite 1500 San Francisco, California 94105 USA

Checks must be payable to "DMH Escrow Agent for Dmitri Defense Fund".

-- ElcomSoft Co.Ltd. Member of Association of Shareware Professionals (ASP) Member of Russian Cryptology Association (RCA) 

And finally


I stopped the hassles of keeping mail in sync home and away a few years ago by getting a portable SCSI drive for all my mail and taking it to and from work.

Since SCSI is no longer the only way, I suggest users look into solutions such as portable USB or Firewire drive which are cross platform. For those with less storage, a Zip or Jaz or anything else is fine too.

Regular backups are highly suggested "just in case."


Thanks. There are lots of such drives of course, and as long as they are not big capacity unsealed cartridge drives work well. Gigabye unsealed cartridge drives don't seem reliable.




This week:



Saturday, September 8, 2001

Read this and think about it:,1283,46655,00.html 


-- Roland Dobbins <> 

Then think about it some more. Club Fed, anyone? Empires are always controlled by the powerful within them. 

"Don't panic, but go check out,1283,46655,00.html since it is likely to become the subject of a lot of discussion."

- Okay, I read this. Eek. At what point would it be all right to go ahead and panic?

Tom Brosz (wondering how much my old Beta VCRs are going to be worth on the black market)

Well, maybe this is the time to panic...






This week:


read book now




Getting Column Out





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