Dwight Watt Georgia Kiwanian Article September 2004


Windows XP Service Pack 2

The end of August Microsoft finally released Service pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP (Professional or Home version). Service Packs usually contain corrections to errors in programs and also sometimes enhancements. Although this service pack includes both of these, it more importantly is a security enhancement. Microsoft has been promoting this service pack all year.

I installed Service Pack 2 on my home computer running Windows XP Professional at the end of August. Several observations:

1. It definitely wants to set security settings tighter, set firewall on, and checks that you have an anti-virus program and it is up to date.

2. It is large and Microsoft is apparently overwhelmed with demand or did not plan on demand for downloads. I tried thru the first weekend, and Microsoft kept saying the servers were busy and to try later even at 2 AM Sunday morning. However apparently computer people are church goers as at 8 am Sunday morning suddenly I could download it or geeks take their nap then.

3. It does block pop-up ads on web pages and allows an obstructive option to view those pop-ups if you want to.

4. Problem and solution on pop-ups. If you are like me and check work e-mail from home using a webmail client to Exchange and Outlook, it will not let you respond to those messages as it sees the response as a pop-up so the respond message box never appears. Solution turned out to be simple and only opened those pop-ups while still blocking all the other pop-ups still. In Internet Explorer click Tools, then Pop-Up Blocker, and then choose Always Allow Pop-Ups From This Site assuming you have your webmail page currently displayed. Otherwise choose the last item Pop-up Blocker Settings and then click Add and insert the domain name of website you will permit (in my case it was www.hgtc.org). Then the e-mail works and you are still blocking all the other ads.

5. The Pop-up Blocker appears to be like using Tivo to watch TV. I suspect advertisers and sites will figure a new way around to get the advertising money, but lets enjoy the non irritation of pop-ups while we can. The other ads are still there and i don't mind them as they are like in paper or magazine not coming between my eyes and the story's print.

From my experience so far I would recommend installing Service Pack 2 on Windows XP if this is your operating system. It appears top tighten security as advertised. You still need an anti-virus program that is current and current signatures (no more than two weeks old) with it.

Beginning this year Georgia Kiwanis will have a competition for club and division web sites. Areas of the contest will be that you need to identify your club and its meeting place and time and links to the district web page and international web page, a way to contact the club, currentness of information, friendliness of site and appeal of site. Your web sites are a potential recruitment tool. When I worked in Columbia South Carolina in the mid 90s the web was the way I found a club to join there. If you donít have a website start working on one, if you do, look at ways to improve it. I had the privilege of judging similar competitions this summer in the New York District and the Kentucky-Tennessee District. There was a variety of web sites.

If you have questions about your web site or the District web site contact me at Dwight-watt@att.net