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Archive for the ‘Using The Internet’ Category



Control Internet Access

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

Q:
I don’t want my kids using the internet while I’m gone. Is there a way to stop them?

A:
In my opinion, if you can’t be there to monitor activity, then prevent activity. Call me a mean dad if you want, but online mischief is very tempting when there’s no supervision.

First off, you should create a seperate, limited user account for your children. In XP you… Continue reading

Hotmail Won’t Work in Firefox

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

Q:
I can’t use Firefox to check my Hotmail account—must be Microsoft up to their old tricks. Anyway, is there a way to fix it?

A:
Of course the BMSF (Blame Microsoft First) reflex kicks in during a situation like this. But it most likely is due to a User Agent problem.

What’s a Web User Agent? Well it can refer to a web browser, search engine spider… Continue reading

DSL Downloading vs. Phone Call

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

If you have DSL you can use the Internet and make a phone call simultaneously using the same phone line.

However, if you are downloading a file or program and someone tries to use the phone you might have a problem.

The download can fail or become corrupt.

This doesn’t mean you can never use your phone while downloading, or that it WILL fail, just thought you should know that… Continue reading

Panic Button vs. Dial-up Modem

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

Dial up users—something to think about if you have one of those medical alert panic button devices that dials 9-1-1.

What happens if you are online during an emergency? Make sure the device will clear your phone line before dialing or it’ll get a busy signal and help will never come.

Another solution, if possible, would be to pay the extra money to get a dedicated line for your modem… Continue reading

Adding Firefox Extensions

Saturday, August 6th, 2005

I have been a loyal user of FireFox since it was just a pup, not that I don’t like Internet Explorer, I just like Firefox more. I like anything useful and polished that comes from the Open Source community. “Made by the people for the people” and it’s free—what’s not to like. I also believe if these Open Source programs start catching on it will also really… Continue reading

How Spyware Effects Internet Usage

Saturday, August 6th, 2005

13 July 2005

Once bitten, twice shy. Well, at least that’s what a study conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Project is suggesting.

Their study concludes that the threat of unwanted software programs is changing the way people use the internet. It ended on July 6th, 2005 so the info is quite fresh. In this study are some hard numbers supporting the theory that the majority of adult internet… Continue reading

Stop the “Spim”

Saturday, August 6th, 2005

What is SPIM? If you use an instant messaging service like AIM, MSN Messenger, or Yahoo Messenger then you probably know. It is unwanted commercial messages that pop up, enticing you to click a link for some product or service.

Another IM annoyance is a message from someone you don’t know (or don’t know well). Anyone with your AOL or Yahoo address can use it to send you an IM… Continue reading

Printer Friendly Page

Saturday, July 16th, 2005

When you go out to a web page and find some information you want to print, take a minute and look around the page—you may find a “Printer Friendly” button or link.

It may be at the top (like this page), the bottom, or the side.

By clicking it you should get a plain text copy of the information that you can print out without all the other “distractions”.

~… Continue reading

Run vs. Save

Saturday, July 16th, 2005

Timothy in Arkansas asks:
What’s the difference between “run” and “save” when I download a program?

A:
When you are downloading a file off the internet you may get the option to “Run” or “Save”. Either of these options will lead you to the setup for the program and install it on your computer, but the difference lies in where the setup file opens from.

If… Continue reading

Web Accelerator

Thursday, July 14th, 2005

Q:
What is a Web Accelerator? Is it worth the money?

A:
Who doesn’t want a faster internet connection? Especially those who are still using dial-up. Web accelerators claim to speed up your connection making pages load faster—but do they?

Yes and No. There are two kinds of accelerators: software and server accelerators.

With the software type, pages do load faster, but it’s just “smoke and mirrors”. Most… Continue reading

Take Bookmarks and Favorites with You

Tuesday, July 12th, 2005

Would you like to take your favorites and bookmarks with you wherever you go? If you have a web-based email account (like Yahoo or Gmail) then you can. This is also a great way to send someone your favorites.

First you need to create a bookmarks or favorites html file.

With Internet Explorer go to File / Import and Export to bring… Continue reading

MSN Search Toolbar (Beta)

Tuesday, July 12th, 2005

Well it’s about time, Microsoft. I can’t speak for everybody but I believe that tabbed browsing is one of the best things to happen to browsers since pop-up stoppers. Once I got used to using tabbed browsing there was no looking back and no reason to as far as I’m concerned. I think that the introduction of tabbed browsing with Opera and FireFox set a new standard for what users… Continue reading

Google Security

Saturday, June 18th, 2005

15 June 2005

Google is always adding new products and features. One of these is the Personalized Google Homepage.You can customize it with news, movies, weather, stock market reports and more. How convenient. But there is a dark side.

Google saves your search history. Every person, place, thing, or word you look up is stored in your history (BTW-same goes for the Google Toolbar). This can be cleared or paused… Continue reading

Some people don’t like getting automatic updates. They’d rather go to the Microsoft website and choose what they need.

If you are one of the many people using Firefox, you may discover that you can’t update Windows from the Microsoft update site. You’ll still need to use Internet Explorer to update.

You didn’t think Uncle Bill would make it easy for the competition did you?

~ David

David Samuel Thomas… Continue reading

Close all Browser Windows and Tabs

Saturday, June 18th, 2005

A vulnerability in Firefox led to personal information being stolen.

The best way to avoid the flaw is to close out all tabs and windows before doing any online shopping, banking, or entering personal info.

Not that Internet Explorer has this flaw, but it’s a good practice in any browser just to be safe.

~ David

David Samuel Thomas… Continue reading

Ctrl+Enter Browser Tricks

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

Tired of typing in www, etc. for web addresses?

With Internet Explorer just type the main domain name for any dot-com and hold down Ctrl while you hit Enter.

Firefox let’s you do the Ctrl+Enter thing too and then some. For a dot-net sites hit Shift+Enter. For dot-org use Shift+Ctrl+Enter. Alt+Enter adds “http://www” and dot-com PLUS it opens up in a new tab.

~ David

David Samuel Thomas… Continue reading

Print Pictures from Web Pages

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

What if you come across a picture on a web page that you want to print, but not save?

With Internet Explorer and AOL just right click and select “Print Picture”.

With Firefox and Netscape you need to right click and choose “View Image” to bring the picture up in its own window, then you can print the page.

~ David

David Samuel Thomas… Continue reading

Check & Change Your Dial-Up Number

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

It’s a good idea to periodically check the access number that you use to dial into your ISP. This is especially the case if your area code splits and your modem is set to dial the old area code it may be redirected to a long distance number. This happened a few years back in Rochester, NY causing huge phone bills.

Your ISP should have a list of access numbers… Continue reading

The Cost of Free Internet Trials

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

Free isn’t always free.

Take for instance those free trial disks from AOL and other dial-up ISP’s.

Keep in mind that you will be charged normal rates by your phone company.

Make sure that you choose a local number and be mindful of your calling plan.

If you live in a rural area your only choice may be a toll call, causing your “free” internet trial to cost big bucks.… Continue reading

Turn Off Extra Browser Toolbars

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

Q:
I have extra toolbars (Yahoo, AOL, Google) in my Internet Explorer that I don’t always want up. How can I turn them off?

A:
You can totally turn off third-party toolbars in your Internet Options. If so, check out today’s tip. But, what if you want access to the toolbar without it always being in your face, or if you think you may need it occasionally?

It’s… Continue reading

Secure Website Problems

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

Q:
When try to go to secure websites I get a message saying that the page cannot be displayed. Is it something wrong with my browser?

A:
Could be. You may not have the correct security settings for you to connect to secure web pages. For instance, let’s say you want to get in on one of our great software specials and when you click “Checkout” you can’t… Continue reading

Web-based Email

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

Q:
What is this “web based email” that you always talk about?

A:
Short answer: email that you check using your web browser.

Outlook Express and Thunderbird are referred to as email “clients”. They’re programs on your computer whose main goal in life is to manage your email.

“Web based”, on the other hand, is located on a server and can be accessed from any computer using a… Continue reading

Browser Background Color

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

Q:
I have a computer at home and one at work. I use Internet Explorer on both, but my home computer shows the backgrounds differently. My work computer will show a webpage with a white background, but when I view that same page at home, the background is gray. Which is right, and how do I fix it?

A:
What’s happening is that the page you’re looking at… Continue reading

Slow DSL & Cable

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

Does your DSL or Cable speed seem slower—I mean WAY slower?

Try re-booting your modem—especially if you leave your computer on all the time.

Turn your computer off, unplug the modem (it should be external), then plug it back in.

This may not solve your problem, but it’s the first step to take in troubleshooting.

~ David

David Samuel Thomas… Continue reading

Move Your Temporary Internet Files

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

As you probably know, the pictures and pages from every website you visit are saved in a temporary internet file on your computer. This allows frequently visited pages to come up quicker since the browser grabs the cached data. Cookies, both good and bad, are stored there as well.

There are several reasons that I can think of to go into your temp files. One is to delete… Continue reading

Hidden remnants of Flash

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

I love finding new music and visit many record company and artist web sites. Many times they offer a free MP3 download, but usually sample songs are in RealAudio (blah) or you get 30 seconds of an MP3. Sometimes though you get to hear a whole song. This is usually the case on sites that use Flash.

Flash is a format used to create interactive multimedia websites. Your browser should… Continue reading

AOL Action Cancelled

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

Q:
I went to click a link in an AOL email and it came up “Action Cancelled”. Then I tried to get anywhere on the internet outside of AOL and the same thing happened. What’s going on?

A:
When this happens it is probably due to net congestion. This is especially true of dial up, but I hear it even happens with AOL for Broadband. With millions of… Continue reading

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