LAB NOTES

LAB NOTES

Professional snoop. The Transmission Control Protocol and the Internet Protocol power the Internet by making possible the transfer of information between computers [GCN, June 12, Page 23].

Winternals Software LP of Austin, Texas, has a new network monitoring tool for examining the protocols' activities on systems running Microsoft Windows 9x, Windows NT or Windows 2000.

The $149 TCPView Pro 1.0 lets an administrator determine, for example, the address of a computer that is snooping around on a network, or which application or process is initiating each individual connection.

It lists all TCP and User Datagram Protocol connections and their remote addresses. Also, it resolves IP addresses to their domain names.

For a free, 14-day trial version, visit the Winternals site, at www.winternals.com.

Surfing the planet. The NeoPlanet 5.1 browser from NeoPlanet Inc. of Phoenix comes with a standard Web directory that lets users point and click their way to the most popular sites.

It features a modem charger for faster Internet action, an e-mail client and a utility called flyswat, also downloadable separately from www.flyswat.com.

Flyswat's clickable hyperlinks appear under words while you are surfing the Internet to take you to additional resources.

Underneath, however, NeoPlanet 5.1 isn't a different browser but more of a software 'skin' over Microsoft Internet Explorer.

You must have Internet Explorer 4 or a later version installed on your system for NeoPlanet to work. To download a free 2M copy, visit its site at www.neoplanet.com.

Sweat tests for printers. On a recent GCN Lab staff visit to the site where Hewlett-Packard Co. tests its printers in Boise, Idaho, we heard that the testing consumes 14 million to 20 million sheets of paper a month. If you stacked that much paper in reams, it would be about nine times taller than the Empire State Building. That's a lot of recycling.

The facility spends about $3.5 million a year on 220 types of test media from around the world. For example, Asian paper uses grass fiber instead of the wood pulp used here.

The printers under test churn away in several controlled environments, including one chamber kept at 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 percent humidity.

Printers get checked out for 180 variables and 25 print quality characteristics. And then they get shaken and subjected to shocks. If all goes well after 18 months of testing, you can buy one.

'Carlos A. Soto, csoto@gcnlab.com,

and Michael Cheek, mcheek@gcnlab.com

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