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Tips for safe computing

The Science and Technology page column "Utility Programs Can Be Lifesavers," May 6, is informative and timely. Having lost a substantial portion of my dissertation to a corruption of my hard disk, I have learned to depend on utility programs to prevent similar disasters in the future.

However, I would have liked for the author to stress the even greater importance of using antivirus software in conjunction with a backup program.

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Without assuring that your backup is virus-free, you run the risk of reinfecting your hard disk which can cause even greater, irretrievable data loss. Helfried C. Zrzavy, Bennington, N.H.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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