|NOTE: These instructions are obsolete now, but it is no longer necessary to verify that the CYBERsitter installer scans your hard drive to check whether you have visited the Peacefire web site. This is because the CEO of CYBERsitter has admitted in an article in PC World that the installer program was rewritten to look in your browser's cache to see if you had visited our site. There is nothing left to prove. These instructions will remain posted for interest's sake.|
Before reading any further, download a copy of the CYBERsitter
installation program from POW distribution in the U.K. immediately by clicking on:|
Due to the sensitive nature of this revelation, CYBERsitter manufacturer Solid Oak Software is likely to call POW distribution and ask them to remove this demo copy from their server as soon as possible.
(You can get a copy of the CYBERsitter installer from Solid Oak Software's web site, but you have to submit your e-mail address in order to get an authorization code by e-mail, and they have much tighter control over copies of the installer program and will probably stop giving out copies almost as soon as this "how-to" page is made public.)
It was recently proven that the installation program for CYBERsitter, a program advertised as a strongly conservative smut-blocker, scans the user's hard drive for information about web sites you have visited before installing. If you are using Internet Explorer as your browser and you have visited the Peacefire web site recently, the CYBERsitter program will detect that and refuse to install, displaying a phony error code on your screen. This document describes how to independently verify that CYBERsitter scans your hard drive for this information.
In adding this "feature" to their installation program, CYBERsitter is apparently reacting to the information on our page, CYBERsitter: Where Do We Not Want You To Go Today?, which caused CYBERsitter to add Peacefire to its list of blocked sites in December 1996 and resulted in a threat of a lawsuit against our web site.
If the above procedure does not work, try the following:
How it works
When Internet Explorer visits a web site with the URL "http://www.yourdomain.com" or "http://www.yoursite.org", it saves (caches) a local copy of the web page on your hard drive, calling it yourdomain.html or yoursite.html. It does the same with images on the Web -- when you load the image peacefire.gif on the Peacefire web page, Internet Explorer saves a copy on your hard drive called "peacefire.gif". These files are located in four directories, cache1, cache2, cache3 and cache4, which are all located in the directory "c:\windows\temporary internet files\".
(Netscape also caches files on your hard drive, but it gives them random names and so a program running on your hard drive cannot easily detect whether you have visited the Peacefire web site using Netscape.)
The version of cybsetup.exe, the CYBERsitter installation program, which can be downloaded from the U.K. FTP site, scans your hard drive for the file peacefire.html. If it finds one, it will refuse to install and display the message "I/O error # 17. Aborting installation."
At least one other version of cybsetup.exe, which was available from the Solid Oak Software web site until recently, scans your hard drive for the file peacefire.gif as well. Since the version of cybsetup.exe that you have might be different, turning on image loading when you visit the Peacefire web site will increase the chances of the CYBERsitter installation program aborting on the first try, and renaming the peacefire.gif file will help ensure that the installation program will work on the second try.
If you don't have (and don't want to download) Internet Explorer 3.0, create a file called peacefire.html and a file called peacefire.gif on your hard drive. Run the CYBERsitter installation program, and you should get the message "I/O error # 17. Aborting installation." Then delete the files peacefire.html and peacefire.gif from your drive and re-run the CYBERsitter installation program. This time, you should get to a dialog box saying, "You are installing the TRIAL version of CYBERsitter 2.11..." etc. Click Cancel, since the installation is guaranteed to go through at that point and you don't need to proceed.
If you had been running Internet Explorer 3.0, then IE would have created two files named "peacefire.html" and "peacefire.gif" on your hard drive when you visited the web site http://www.peacefire.org. These are the files that are detected by the CYBERsitter installation program, which then refuses to install.
If this does not work, see the troubleshooting section above.
Comments, questions and errors to: firstname.lastname@example.org