MadMod Computing The MadMod Computing Newsletter

Vol. 2008d

Welcome to this edition of The MadMod Computing Newsletter.   We hope that you enjoy the features of each issue and learn some computing skills along the way.

First, a reminder to make backups of your important files, and to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.   Second use a software firewall and/or a router if using broadband.   Last, obtain all the critical Windows updates.

Featured in This Issue
1.     Thunderbird Backups for Windows or Ubuntu
2.     Ubuntu Anti-Virus 'ClamAV'
3.     Wikipedia (website)

1.    Thunderbird Backups for Windows or Ubuntu
Thunderbird, (now version as described in a previous newsletter, is very useful.  It has a structure for the mail Inbox and Sent folders that can present problems.  Backups of Thunderbird are important to prevent mistakes with anti-virus scanners.  The contents of the Inbox and Sent folders are treated as single files, with another file to watching and recording so that the separate e-mails can be managed.

Backing up Thunderbird in a Windows Computer:  Use a file management tool such as Microsoft Windows Explorer (Start | Programs | Accessories | Windows Explorer) to copy the folder from C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles' to your backup location. (You may need to replace 'Owner' in this path with your Windows login name.)  In the Profiles folder is a folder with a name ending in '.default' and inside that is a Mail folder.  Inside Mail are folders for different accounts and within each are the critical files 'Inbox', 'Inbox.msf', 'Sent' and 'Sent.msf' that would be needed to rebuild the Inbox and Sent folders of Thunderbird if needed.

Backing up Thunderbird in an Ubuntu Computer:  Use the Places menu and choose 'Home Folder'.  In the View menu choose to Show Hidden Files.  Copy the entire '.mozilla-thunderbird' folder to your backup location.  Inside '.mozilla-thunderbird' is a folder 'aqpotnue.default', then inside is 'Mail' and inside that is 'Local Folders'.  In the 'Local Folders' are the critical files 'Inbox', 'Inbox.msf', 'Sent' and 'Sent.msf' that would be needed to rebuild the Inbox and Sent folders of Thunderbird if needed.

Before running an anti-virus scan, be sure to compact the folders from the File menu and backup Thunderbird's critical mail files.

2.    Ubuntu Anti-Virus 'ClamAV'
A common misunderstanding among Linux users (Ubuntu - a Linux Distribution) is that Linux is not vulnerable to viruses, general malware and rootkits.  Linux computers can harbor the viruses, but in large part they can't run without administration privileges (root user) that commonly isn't the case.  By default, regular users don't have those privileges so the downloaded viruses remain dormant.

ClamAV is anti-virus program used by the Linux community that I use with my Ubuntu computers.  It's easy to update and use.  However, I always do a backup of important files (e-mail, financials, documents, etc.) before using ClamAV because an issue with something found in the Thunderbird Inbox or Sent folders may result in the entire contents of these folders being quarantined thus emptying out the Inbox or Sent folders.  Generally the issues arise from bad e-mail attachments.  As a consequence, I usually download the attachment to a folder, scan the folder, and then read the attachment.  Next I delete read e-mails that have attachments to keep my Inbox as clean as possible.

ClamAV is a command-line interface (CLI) program that can be run to quarantine the bad items.  ClamTK is its graphical-user interface (GUI) front end for regular users preferring not to use the CLI.

3.    Wikipedia (website) This is an online total encyclopedia resource for just about any item you can imagine.  Items are supposed to be edited only by individuals with the proper credentials.  Occasional corrections have to be made though most topics are dependable and stable.  Individuals with credentials are usually quick to fix incorrect data and to regularly watch for inconsistencies.

From what I've mentioned, you probably have guessed that what's at Wikipedia can be a moving target of sorts--particularly with new or fast moving items in the news.  Scientific or historical items tend to be well-written and stable.  Medical data is updated as research points to new discoveries or procedures.

I like what I see at Wikipedia as it's useful explaining obscure things too.  Have a look!

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