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					 This tutorial aims to
 provide information on a
                              Learn The Net:
 range of things relating
 to using the Internet
                              A Basic Guide
1.   About Modems                    7.    I Spy
2.   All About Broadband             8.    Monitor Settings
3.   Making Connections              9.    MP3
4.   Viruses                         10.   Plug-Ins
5.   Data Backup                     11.   Privacy
6.   File Formats & Extensions       12.   Security Tips
       a) Plain Text                 13.   Safety Tips For Parents
       b) Formatted Documents        14.   Share Your Digital Photos
       c) Compressed & Encoded       15.   Newsgroups
       d) Graphics                   16.   Ten Tips For Smart & Safer Shopping
       e) Sound                      17.   Ten Privacy Tips
       f) Video                      18.   Web Radio

                 Use the Index above or the Navigation Buttons on each page to
                               move back and forward through the presentation
About Modems
Telephone lines were designed to transmit the human voice, not electronic data from

Modems were invented to convert digital computer signals into a form that allows them
to travel over phone lines.

                                  Those are the scratchy sounds you hear from a          Index
                                  modem's speaker. A modem on the other end
                                  of the line understands it and converts the
                                  sounds back to digital information that the
                                  computer understands.                                  Stop

                                    Modem stands for                                    Previous

                              About Modems
                              Buying and using a modem used to be relatively easy. Not too
                              long ago, almost all modems transferred data at a rate of 2400
                              Bps (bits per second).

                              Today, modems not only run faster, they are also loaded with
                              features like error control and data compression. In addition,
                              modems also act like traffic cops, monitoring and regulating the
                              flow of information.

That way one computer doesn't send information until the receiving computer is
ready for it. Each of these features - modulation, error control, and data
compression - requires a separate kind of protocol. That's what some of the terms         Index
you see like V.32, V.32bis, V.42bis and MNP5 refer to.

If you need to replace a modem for an older computer, consider buying an external
one, because it is much easier to install and operate. For example, when your
modem freezes (not an unusual occurrence), you have to turn it off and on again to
get it working properly. With an internal modem, that means restarting your computer
- a waste of time. With an external modem it's as easy as flipping a switch.

About Modems
This table illustrates the relative difference in data
transmission speeds for different types of files under
the best of circumstances.

A modem's speed is measured in bits per second
(bps). A 28.8 Kbps modem sends data at 28,800 bits
per second. A 56 Kbps modem is twice as fast,
sending and receiving data at a rate of up to 56,000
bits per second.

Many things can interfere with the speed of data transfer. These range from
excessive noise on the telephone line, the speed of the web server from which      Index
you are downloading files, the number of other people trying to access the same
file and the overall traffic on the Internet.
Until the end of 1995, the conventional wisdom was that 28.8 Kbps was about the
fastest speed you could squeeze out of a regular copper telephone line.

Today, data transmission for a dial-up connection is typically 56 Kbps.           Previous

                               About Modems
                               DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), a high-speed or broadband
                               technology, has become increasingly popular.

                               A DSL line remains connected to the Internet, so you don't
                               need to dial-up when you want to go online. Typically with
                               DSL, data is downloaded to your computer at rates up to
                               1.544 Mbps and you can send data at 128 Kbps.

Since a DSL line carries both voice and data, you don't have to install another
phone line. You can use your existing line to establish DSL service, provided
service is available in your area and you are within the specified distance from        Index
the telephone company's central switching office.

DSL service requires a digital modem and a network card in your computer.
Prices for equipment, DSL installation and monthly service vary considerably, so            Stop
check with your local phone company and Internet service provider. The good
news is that prices are coming down as competition heats up.

Expect to pay under $50 a month. Some companies now provide free installation          Previous
and equipment when you sign-up for a year of service.

About Modems
Cable Modems

Another option is high-speed Internet access via cable TV.
With speeds of up to 36 Mbps, cable modems download data
in seconds that might take fifty times longer with a dial-up

Because it works over TV cable, it doesn't tie up a telephone
line. Best of all, it's always on, so there is no need to connect
and no more busy signals!


ISDN service is an older, but still viable technology offered by phone
companies. ISDN requires a so-called ISDN adapter instead of a modem, and            Stop
a phone line with a special connection that allows it to send and receive digital

An ISDN line has a data transfer rate of between 57 Kbps and 128 Kbps. You          Previous
have to arrange with your phone company to have this equipment installed.

                                       About Modems
                                       Making Business Connections

                                       Leased lines come in two configurations: T1 and T3. A
                                       T1 line offers a data transfer rate of 1.54 million bits per
                                       second. A T1 line is a dedicated connection, meaning
                                       that it is permanently connected to the Internet. This is
                                       useful for web servers or other computers than need to
                                       be connected to the Internet all the time.

It is possible to lease only a portion of a T1 line using one of two systems:
fractional T1 or Frame Relay. You can lease them in blocks ranging from 128
Kbps to 1.5 Mbps.

The differences are not worth going into in detail, but fractional T1 will be more
expensive at the slower available speeds and Frame Relay will be slightly                     Stop
more expensive as you approach the full T1 speed of 1.5 Mbps. A T3 line is
significantly faster, at 45 million bits per second.

Leased lines are expensive and are generally used only by companies whose                   Previous
business is built around the Internet or need to transfer massive amounts of
All About Broadband

The distinctive chatter of a dial-up modem is rapidly
becoming a sound of the past as broadband sweeps the
globe. According to a recent study almost two-thirds of
Internet users now use high-speed connections. It's no
mystery why when you consider the enormous benefits:

Save Time: Broadband operates from 10 to 20 times faster than a dial-up
connection, enabling the speedy transfer of large amounts of data. For instance
downloading a typical song takes just a few seconds versus perhaps ten minutes
with a dial-up; e-mailing digital photos is almost instantaneous.                         Index

Save Money: If you now dedicate a second phone line for Internet access, you can
cancel it. Also, broadband subscribers usually pay a flat monthly fee, avoiding hourly
usage charges. In the long run, it may actually cost you less for broadband than for      Stop
a dial-up account.

New Services: Once you have high-speed Internet access, a new world of
possibilities opens to you, such as telecommuting, videoconferencing, and Internet
telephony. You can also listen to online radio and watch streaming video, as well as
download film clips and movies.
All About Broadband
Convenience: With broadband you have instant Internet access, 24/7, so you
don't have to connect each time you want to go online--you're always connected.
This makes it easy to access information when you need it, check your e-mail,
and even make phone calls over the Internet. Also, multiple computers can share
a broadband connection, a great feature if a few members of your family want to
be online at the same time.

Built for Speed: While all broadband services make dial-up seem glacial by
comparison, not all deliver the same speed. Most broadband services are
asymmetric, a fancy term that means that the download speed is faster than the      Index
upload speed.
But since you will be downloading much more data, such as web pages and
music, than you will be sending, the download speed is most critical.               Stop
Depending on the type of service - cable, DSL, satellite or wireless - and other
variables, broadband data speed range from 128 Kbps to a screaming 30 Mbps.
(Since a three-minute song is about 3 Mb, at the highest speed, you can            Previous
download it in a fraction of a second--how cool is that?)

All About Broadband

If you have cable TV, your provider may also offer Internet access for an
additional fee, typically $20 to $50 monthly, depending on the plan. To access the
service you need a cable modem, which is usually provided to you. Cable can be
speedy, ranging from 512 Kbps to 20 Mbps, but depending on how the cable
system is configured, speed may decrease if many subscribers are online at the
same time.


DSL, short for Digital Subscriber Line, employs an unused portion of your
telephone line, so there's no need to install another one into your home or office.    Index
The service, which is typically provided by your local phone company, costs from
$15 to $50 monthly for residential customers. To connect, you need a digital
modem, usually provided by the phone company.                                          Stop
Since DSL service is delivered over a dedicated line, bandwidth is not shared with
other subscribers as with cable. But connection speeds, ranging from 128 Kbps to
8 Mbps, depend on your distance from the local exchange. The maximum                  Previous
distance is about three miles. If you live further than that, you can't hook up to
DSL. Those living closest to the local exchange enjoy the fastest speeds.

All About Broadband

With satellite Internet access, you connect via the same satellite dish you use
to receive TV programs. These systems can be one-way or two-way; with a
one-way system, you download data via satellite, but you must upload via a
dial-up phone line; with a two-way system, high-speed data is both sent and
received via satellite.

Satellite service requires substantial set-up fees and equipment and can cost
up to $100 a month; speeds top 6 Mbps.

For people in rural areas, where no other broadband service is available,
satellite is an option, although an expensive one.                                    Stop

Just as bad weather may affect satellite TV reception, the same is true for
Internet service. Also, because it takes time for the signal to travel to and from   Previous
a satellite, you may experience a lag in data transmission, known as latency.
In most cases, this is not a problem, except for aficionados of online gaming.

All About Broadband
Wireless (WiFi)
This relatively new service delivers speedy Internet access via radio waves. WiFi is
typically used in private wireless networks in homes and offices or in public places
like airports or cafes. Speeds can reach 30 Mbps or more.

To access the network your laptop must have a wireless PC card installed. The
good news is that the number of WiFi hotspots is growing and many are free.

With a wireless router, you can set up a local wireless network in your home, so
that you can use your laptop anywhere you wish. But you will still need Internet        Index
access with one of the above options.

Another recent development is Wide Area Wireless (WAW), which is similar to cell
phone technology, except that it delivers Internet access.

WAW can cover large areas, even an entire city. But unless you are lucky enough
to live or work in an area where these wireless networks are deployed, you will
have to settle for another option, at least for now.                                    Next
 Why does speed
                        Making Connections
  matter? On the
 Internet, you are                                                The most common way of going
    constantly                                                    online is still by modem, a device
 exchanging data                                                  that translates the digital signals
    with other                                                    from your computer into analogue
    computers.                                                    signals that travel over a standard
                                                                  phone line.
   Some of these
 digital files can be
     quite large,
especially for audio    Those are the scratchy sounds you hear from a modem's
  and video clips.      speaker. Believe it or not, there is actually meaning in all that
                        noise. A modem on the other end of the line understands it and          Index
  As you will soon      converts the sounds back into digital information
 discover, you want
  this exchange to
 happen as quickly      Modems come in different speeds and are measured in bps or               Stop
    as possible -       bits per second. A 28.8 Kbps modem transmits data at speeds
 especially as time     up to 28,800 bits per second. A 56 Kbps modem is twice as fast,
on the Internet costs   sending and receiving data at a rate of up to 56,000 bits per
       money.           second. Almost all modems today are 56 Kbps

                        If you are purchasing a modem, buy the fastest one available
 You will need a
standard phone       Making Connections
cable to connect
 the modem to        Modems come in different speeds and can be installed inside your
your phone line.     computer (internal), or connected to your computer's serial port
                     (external). These days all new computers come equipped with an
   The standard      internal modem.
  connector on a
telephone cable is   But if you need to buy a modem for an older computer, consider
 called an RJ-11.    purchasing an external one for two reasons. Firstly, they are much
                     easier to install.
 On the back of
  your modem,        Secondly, occasionally your modem will freeze and then will need
 you'll probably     to be reset. If your modem is external you can simply turn it off and
 have two RJ-11      on again. If it's internal, the only way to reset it is to turn off your
     jacks.          computer and reboot, which can take several minutes

                     Getting Wired
   One is for
connecting the       To connect an external modem to your computer, you'll need a                Stop
modem to a wall      serial modem cable. Most likely, your computer will have a
 jack, and the       connector on the back labelled serial, or with the IOIOIO icon. This
  other is for       connector comes in two varieties: 9-pin (male) or 25-pin (female).
connecting the
                     If you only have one of these ports, it will probably be COM1. If
  modem to a
                     you have two, one will be COM1, and the other will be COM2.
                     After you plug in your modem, you can sign up for Internet service
                      Making Connections
                      Usually your set-up program will try and find your modem and its
                      COM port. If it can't, it will ask you which COM port your modem is
                      attached to. If you don't know, the easiest thing to do is try them all.

                      Even if you only have two serial ports, you may be able to select one of
                      four COM ports. Also, there are some other devices that use the COM
                      ports. In some computers the mouse is plugged into a serial port - this is
                      known as a serial mouse.

                      If you've got a serial mouse plugged into COM1, then just plug
                      the modem into COM2. If you don't have a second COM port,
 If you have call
                      you can purchase a card that goes inside your computer that
 waiting service,
                      will give you a second COM port. If this is necessary, you                 Index
 disable it before
                      should check with the manufacturer of your computer.
   going online.
                      Your modem will likely have a connector on the back with
That way, if you're   space for 25 pins. You need to make sure that the serial                   Stop
 online and a call    modem cable you purchase has the right number of pins on
  comes in, you       either side and is the correct "gender."
     won't be
  disconnected.       The best thing to do is to look at the back of your computer and       Previous
                      list the various connectors, the number of pins, and the gender.
                      When you go to purchase your modem, find the cable that
                      matches the connector.                                                     Next
In 1988 a student
     at Cornell
  University sent
  out a virus by      Viruses, worms and Trojan horses are human-made
accident, infecting   software programs created specifically to wreak havoc on
 more than 6,000      personal computers and networks. The chance of contracting
   computers in       one of these computer viruses over the Internet has
 minutes, nearly      increased dramatically. In fact, unless you run anti-virus
    bringing the      software, your computer will almost certainly become
   Internet to its    infected. You can also get a virus by opening infected e-mail
       knees.         attachments.
More recently, the    Some viruses are relatively harmless to individuals. They just
"I Love You" virus    attach themselves to outgoing messages or e-mail
 caused over $1       themselves to all the contacts listed in your address book.          Index
   billion in lost    The sudden flood of e-mail overwhelms mail servers, causing
 productivity as it   the system to crash.
  crippled e-mail
      systems         Other viruses are more destructive and may lie dormant until         Stop
 worldwide. Last      a certain date. Then they spring to life to do their dirty deeds.
    year alone,       Sometimes a strange message appears on your screen, or
    10,000 new        data and programs may be modified. In the worst case, all
  viruses, worms      the files on your hard drive may be wiped out. These                Previous
and Trojan horses     malicious programs start on one computer, then replicate
 were unleashed.      quickly, infecting other computers around the world.
The two most
popularr anti-
    virus        Viruses
programs are
from McAfee      Warning Signs of Virus Infection
  Symantec.           • Your computer starts running sluggishly.

   You can            • It shuts down unexpectedly or crashes frequently.
purchase and
                      • It experiences memory problems or runs out of disc space.
download the
software from         • Unusual files or directories appear on your system.
  websites.           • Strange messages appear on your screen.

 Both offer
   regular       Inoculate Your Computer                                                 Index
 updates to
handle newly     If you download and run software from the Internet, or receive e-
 discovered      mail attachments, there's a good chance of contracting one of
   viruses.      these digital bugs. Protect yourself by using anti-virus programs       Stop
                 to scan your incoming e-mail attachments and alerting you if one is
 There are       infected.
 also many
                 The software also scans your hard drive periodically for viruses and   Previous
 reputable       deletes them.
  available                                                                              Next
  Make sure       Anti-virus software must be updated regularly, as new viruses
    your          appear daily. You can configure the programs to automatically
  computer        download updates, making it easy to stay protected. Otherwise,
  runs anti-      periodically download the updates manually. This is called
    virus         updating the "definitions"
software. If it
doesn't, get it   DO NOT OPEN an e-mail attachment unless you know who sent
 and install it   it. Even then, it's not totally safe, as a sneaky virus that has
immediately.      infected a friend's computer can access the e-mail address book,
                  send a message to everyone, and attach itself. To be completely
   You can        safe, scan the attachment with your anti-virus software BEFORE
either buy it,    you open it.                                                          Index
 download it
from the net      If you receive a suspicious message, delete it immediately from
or get it from    your Inbox. When you delete a message, however, it's still on your
a number of       system. Go into the Deleted Mail folder and delete the message        Stop
  reputable       again to permanently remove it from your computer.
                  Regularly back up your files. Should your system become
                  infected, you won't lose valuable data.                              Previous

                   Data Backup
Think of your                                                     How often do you back up the
    financial                                                     data on your computer? If you're
    records,                                                      like most people, not very often, if
    business                                                      at all. Yet the information stored
  contacts, e-                                                    on your hard drive can be
mail addresses,                                                   incredibly valuable.
 letters and so
                   Data lose happens every day for a variety of reasons:
 What would
happen if it all    The disk drive you use for backups fails for mechanical reasons.
      just          Your computer is stolen--laptops are particularly vulnerable.
 disappeared?                                                                                    Index
                    Your computer is destroyed by fire, floods or other disasters.
  How long
 would it take      A power surge fries your machine (Make sure you have a surge                 Stop
and how much         protector on your computer equipment.)
would it cost to
reconstruct the     An employee accidentally or intentionally erases key data.
 missing data?                                                                                  Previous
                    A virus infects your system.

                    Your hard drive crashes. Sooner or later it will fail; the only
                     question is when.                                                            Next
                    Data Backup
     If you         Computer files can be restored in the event of a crash, but it will cost you
   diligently       several hundred or even thousands of dollars. In the meantime, you may be
back up your        lost without essential data.
 system and
   data and
   store the        What to Back Up
backups off-
site, you're in     The good news is that you don't need to copy all the files on
good shape.         your hard drive. These days, that could entail many gigabytes of
                    data. You only have to back up your own data files, such as
                    word processing documents, spreadsheets, e-mail, digital                  Index
                    photos, graphics, music, etc.
 But most of
 us never do        Basically, any files you've created, downloaded or that were
this - until it's   sent to you. You probably already have copies on CD-ROMs of               Stop
   too late.        your programs--Microsoft Office applications, web browsers and
                    such. In the event that your computer crashes, you can use
                    those to restore the programs or in some cases, you can
                    download replacement programs from the Net.                             Previous

                  Data Backup
 Recordable       How to Back Up Files
CDs cost little
   and also       Files should be stored on removable media like floppy disks, zip disks, CD-
  provide an      ROMs, DVDs, data tapes or an external hard drive. Since floppies only hold
excellent way     1.4 Mb of data, they aren't very practical, unless you have only a few files. On
to share data     the other hand, CD-ROMs hold 650 Mb, so if you have a CD-RW drive,
 with friends     you're in luck.
 colleagues.      • To back up your files, first insert the storage medium in the drive. (If
                    you use an external hard drive, then it should appear in Windows
  DVDs are          Explorer.) If you use Windows, launch Windows Explorer. You'll find
   another          it in the Programs folder under the Start menu.
 option, but                                                                                    Index
  aren't as       • Now locate the files you want to copy. Place your mouse pointer on
common yet          the folder or file, hold down the left mouse button, then drag it to the
    as CD           appropriate drive. Copying files can take a while depending on how
   burners          many you have and the speed of your system.                                 Stop
although the
 prices are       • After you've backed up all the files, open a few to make sure they
 starting to        copied correctly. Now remove the disk, label and date it. Finally,
come down           store your backups in a secure place.

                  • If you follow this procedure regularly, you may sleep better at night
                  File Formats & Extensions
                  When downloading files from the Web, you will undoubtedly encounter many
Why should
                  different types of electronic files formats. The way to identify the file type is
you care?
                  by looking at its extension, typically expressed as a dot followed by 2 to 4
 You need to      letters (.xxx).
  identify the
                  Many sites make files available for both Windows and Macintosh operating
   file type to
                  systems. Your web browser has the ability to identify and display some, but
know whether
                  not all of them, and new ones appear all the time. It's helpful to know about
it will work on
                  the most common Internet file formats, so here's a bit about them.
computer and
 whether you      Most of the files will be either text, graphic, photo, audio or video
  will need a     files. Some may be compressed, others not. The most common                   Index
    particular    compressed files are those with extensions like .ZIP, .SIT and .TAR.
      type of     These extensions represent popular compression formats for the PC,
  software to     Macintosh, and UNIX respectively.                                            Stop
 play, or view    They may be single files or groups of files that have been bundled
         it.      together into a single archive. An archive file can contain video or
                  graphics files, and often contains software programs with related           Previous
                  documentation. Occasionally you may encounter files with multiple
                  extensions like .tar.gz, which usually means more than one type of
                  software was used to compile and compress the file.
  All of the file
formats found       File Formats & Extensions
       on the
  Internet can
     be broken      The most common graphics file formats on the Web are those with the
    into one of     extensions .jpg and .gif. The .jpg is short for JPEG, which is a popular
    two types:      compression standard for photographs and other images. The .gif extension
 ASCII format       stands for Graphics Interchange Format, a standard developed by
    and binary      CompuServe in the late 1980s. Both these graphics formats are platform-
format. ASCII       independent, which means you can view them on a PC, Mac or UNIX
  files are text    computer provided you have a viewer for them.
  files you can
view with any
                    For video, popular extensions are .AVI and .RAM for the PC,
                    .MPG (short for MPEG), which is platform-independent, but
                    requires its own media player, and .MOV and .QT for                  Index
   Binary files
                    QuickTime movies.
  contain non-
       ASCII        QuickTime was initially developed by Apple just for the
 characters. If     Macintosh, but now plays on Windows and UNIX, too.                    Stop
 you display a
 binary file on     Popular audio file formats include .MP3 for both Mac and PC
  your screen,      and .WMA for the PC. Other file formats include .AIFF for Mac;
you will see a      .AU for Mac and UNIX; .WAV for the PC; and .RA for Real             Previous
 lot of strange     Audio, a proprietary system for delivering and playing streaming
 symbols and        audio on the Web.
   characters.                                                                            Next
File Formats & Extensions

Plain Text (ASCII) Files

.html/.htm - The language in which Web documents are authored.
File Type: ASCII This file type requires a web browser, such as Netscape
Navigator or Internet Explorer, for viewing.

                                  .txt - A plain (ASCII) text file.               Index
                                  File Type: ASCII These files can be viewed
                                  with a word processor like Microsoft Word or
                                  a simple text editor like Simple Text or        Stop
                                  BBEdit for the Mac. For the PC you can use
                                  Notepad, a program that comes with the
                                  Windows operating system.

File Formats & Extensions

Formatted Documents
.doc - A common PC format for formatted text files.
File Type: ASCII
Although you may occasionally come across files with this extension that are
not text documents, usually they are documents that were created using
Microsoft Word or WordPerfect for Windows.

.pdf - Portable Document Format, a proprietary format developed by Adobe
Systems, Inc. that allows formatted documents (including brochures or other
documents containing artwork) to be transferred over the Internet so they look
the same on any computer.
File Type: Binary
This file type requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view files and can be         Stop
downloaded from the Adobe website.

.ps - A PostScript file.
File Type: ASCII Though it is technically a plain text file, it is essentially   Previous
unreadable except by a Postscript printer or with the help of an on screen
viewer like Ghostscript, which is available for Mac, Windows, and UNIX.
File Formats & Extensions

Compressed and Encoded Files
.arc - An old and inefficient format for archiving and compression.
File Type: Binary
If you need to exchange files with an older operating system or have old files
to read on a new machine, you may need an ARC program. Stuffit Expander
for Windows will work for the PC (sitexxx.exe). For the Mac try something
called ARCMac.

.arj - A somewhat common format for MS-DOS machines, especially in
File Type: Binary
It is fairly slow and in some cases may do a better job than the more common
gzip, zip and Stuffit formats. You can use Stuffit Expander for Windows or         Stop
WinZIP. On the Mac, try UnArjMac.

.bin - A Mac binary II Encoded File.
File Type: Binary                                                                 Previous
This file type requires Stuffit Expander for the Mac. You download this type of
file as MacBinary or Binary.
File Formats & Extensions

Compressed and Encoded Files
.exe - A DOS or Windows program or a self-extracting file.
File Type: Binary
If this is an executable (self-extracting) file, then it can usually be launched by
double-clicking on the icon on your desktop. This is the only way to tell if it is
an executable file.

.gz/gzip - The GNU Project's compression program, most commonly used for
UNIX and PC files.
File Type: Binary                                                                      Index
For the Mac, use MacGZIP. There are several Windows-based GZIP
uncompressors available.
.hqx - A common Macintosh encoding format.
File Type: Binary
A file with the .hqx extension is a Macintosh binary file that has been
converted into ASCII text so it can be safely sent over the Internet. You can         Previous
use Stuffit Expander to decode on the Mac or BinHex4 (binhex4.bin) to create
and extract Binhex 4 files. Use BinHex13 ( on a Windows
machine to un-binhex it.
File Formats & Extensions
Compressed and Encoded Files
.sit - A Macintosh file that has been compressed using a program called Stuffit.
File Type: Binary
To unstuff a file with a .SIT extension, you need a program called Stuffit Deluxe or
you can use Stuffit Expander for the Mac or for Windows. All three versions can
decompress other file formats as well.

.sea - A Macintosh self-extracting archive file.
File Type: Binary
An archive file is usually a collection of files that have been combined into one to
make it easy to download. Because the archive is self-extracting, you don't need
any special application or utility to launch it. You simply click on the icon from the
Macintosh desktop and it decompresses and unbundles the files.
.tar/.tar.gz/.tar.Z/.tgz - A UNIX archiving scheme that is also available for PCs.
File Type: Binary
Tar, which is short for Tape ARchive, can archive files but not compress them, so
.tar files are often gzipped, which is why you might occasionally encounter the file     Previous
extension .tar.gz. To download and use .tar files on a Mac, you use a program
called Tar. For Windows you can use WinZIP to view and extract archive files.
File Formats & Extensions
Compressed and Encoded Files
.uu - A UUencoded file.
File Type: Binary
UUencoding allows the user to convert binary data into text so it can be sent via e-
mail. You don't often see the .uu extension because many e-mail programs
automatically decode it in a way that is invisible to you. If your mail program doesn't
UUdecode files, then you can use UU Undo for the Mac and WinCode to
UUdecode in Windows.

.Z - A UNIX compression format.
File Type: Binary                                                                          Index
You can use WinZIP to decompress and view files with this extension, or try Stuffit
Expander for the Mac. You can also use gzip to decompress, but not create, these
file types.
.zip - A common compression standard for DOS and Windows that uses a DOS
utility called PKZIP.
File Type: Binary
These files can be decompressed on the PC with WinZIP. You can get copies for
Windows 3.1 and Windows 95/98/2000 (winzipXX.exe). You can also use Stuffit
Expander for Mac or Windows.
File Formats & Extensions
Graphics Files
.gif - The most common graphics file format on the Internet, it stands for
Graphics Interchange Format.
File Type: Binary
If your browser does not have a built-in GIF viewer (but most do), then you can
use Lview Pro ( or PolyView ( to view these graphics
on a Windows PC. On the Mac, a shareware utility called GIF Converter can be
used to view and modify GIFs.

.jpg/jpeg/jfif - A popular compression standard used for photos and still
File Type: Binary
JPEG files can be viewed on any platform as long as you have a JPEG viewer.
You can view JPEG files with most web browsers. For the Mac, use                   Stop
JPEGView; for the PC, you can use Lview Pro or PolyView.

.tiff - A very large, high-resolution image format.
File Type: Binary                                                                 Previous
Use JPEGView for the Mac and Lview Pro or PolyView for the PC.

File Formats & Extensions

Sound Files
.au/uLaw/MuLaw - The most common sound format found on the Web.
File Type: Binary
Macs need Sound App to play this type of file; PCs can use Waveform Hold and
Modify ( which provides support for a variety of formats,
conversion between them, and file editing functions.

.aiff - Another fairly common sound format found on the Web.
File Type: Binary
Although it is a Macintosh format, it can be used on other platforms as well. It
requires the same programs as .au to play.

.mp3 - The most popular file format on the Web for distributing CD-quality          Stop
music. A 1 Mb files is equal to about one minute of music.
File Type: Binary
This type of file requires an MP3 player, which is available for both Macintosh
and Windows.                                                                       Previous

File Formats & Extensions

Sound Files
.ra - A proprietary streaming audio format called RealAudio.
File Type: Binary
Developed by RealNetworks, RealAudio allows you to play sound files in real-
time. This type of file requires the RealPlayer, available for both Macintosh and

.wav - The native sound format for Windows.
File Type: Binary                                                                      Index
On the Mac, you can use Sound App to play .wav files. For the PC, use aveform
Hold and Modify or Goldwave to play these files. There's also a good program
called Win Play! ( that will play it, as well as other popular formats.
.wma - Short for "Windows Media Audio, this proprietary file format was
developed by Microsoft to compete with .mp3.
File Type: Binary
This type of file requires the Windows Media Player.

File Formats & Extensions

Video Files
.avi - The standard video format for Windows.
File Type: Binary
These files need an AVI Video for Windows player (aviprox.exe) or the Windows
Media Player from Microsoft.

.mov/.movie - The common format for QuickTime movies, the Macintosh native
movie platform.
File Type: Binary
You can use a number of applications to play .mov files including Sparkle or         Index
MoviePlayer on the Mac, and QuickTime for Windows.

.mpg/mpeg - A standard format for "movies" on the Internet, using the MPEG
compression scheme.                                                                  Stop
File Type: Binary
On the Mac, use Sparkle to play ,mpg files or to convert them to QuickTime
movies. There are a variety of MPEG Players for Windows and an MPEG FTP
Site that has a large collection of MPEG player resources for all platforms (Mac,
Windows, and UNIX).

File Formats & Extensions

Video Files
.qt - Another extension that denotes a QuickTime movie.
File Type: Binary
Use the latest version of Quicktime for the Mac.

.ram - A popular format from RealNetworks for streaming video.
File Type: Binary
To view these files, you need the RealPlayer, which can be downloaded from


For a comprehensive list and searchable database of thousands of file formats,
visit (
To download software to decompress, view, or play any of the file formats
covered here, visit (

                I Spy
  In the real   Stealth software programs can be secretly installed on your
world, video    computer. These programs, known as spyware, record
   cameras      what you do and send your private information to…well,
 capture our    who knows where? And all this is done without your
every move      knowledge or permission.
   at ATMs,
convenience     What is It?
 stores and
   shopping     Spyware is the name given to a wide and growing range of
                software programs designed to steal your personal information.
                This data is then sent to advertisers or possibly criminals.         Index

   Now, at      Some spyware records your keystrokes. Why would this interest
  startling     thieves? Because when you log in to your financial accounts, they
speed, we're    can figure out your passwords by analyzing what you typed. The       Stop
  possibly      next thing you know, all your money has been transferred out of
                your account.
 being spied
on when we      Other types of spyware may redirect you to unsavoury adult          Previous
surf the Net.   websites. Another type of spyware, called adware, is responsible
                for those annoying pop-up windows that litter your screen.
               I Spy
               Sneaking In

 It's true -   Spyware is typically downloaded from the Internet without your consent. It
               can take the form of a virus or be part of a "free" program that you download,
    Internet   such as Kazaa or other peer-to-peer file sharing programs. Once it's installed
   service     on your computer, it secretly gathers information and transmits it.
  Earthlink    Stop Those Prying Eyes
 found that
the average    Start by finding out if your computer has been infected. If it begins to
  computer     run slowly or you are suddenly barraged by pop-ups, even if you're
               not on the Web, the chances are that it is. Some ISPs, like AOL, offer
               spyware screening as part of your subscription, but it's still a good
     about     idea to scan you computer regularly with anti-spyware software. We
 twenty-six    recommend doing it once a week. Two programd we like are Spybot             Stop
      (26)     Search & Destroy and Adaware
 programs.     Next, if spyware has infiltrated your computer, remove it as quickly as
               possible. Anti-spyware software scans your drives and shows you            Previous
               which programs are installed. You can then select the ones you want
               to remove. Be aware that by removing certain spyware software, it
               might disable the program that originally installed it on your computer     Next
                I Spy
                Spy No More
 Be wary of
  sites that    The good news is that you can avoid secret spyware. Here's how:
offer pirated   Before you download free software, read the license agreement carefully.
 programs.      Very often, part of the deal is that you accept spyware as the price for
                using the software. If this is not acceptable to you, don't download it.
 The same
holds true of   Make sure your computer has a firewall.
 adult sites
  that offer
                                               The Microsoft Internet Explorer
     free                                                                              Index
                                               web browser has security settings
   content.                                    that can restrict spyware from
                                               being installed. Make sure the
These sites                                    security level is set to at least       Stop
are spyware                                    medium (the default setting).
                                               Keep your operating system and
                                               web browser up-to-date. Both          Previous
                                               Microsoft and Apple provide
                                               periodic product updates.
                 Monitor Settings
 Most people     You may have already noticed that your monitor can be set to different
     think of    screen resolutions and to display different numbers of colors. For optimum
 resolution in   viewing of web pages, we recommend that you use a monitor setting of at
    terms of     least 800 X 600 pixels with thousands of colors. Here's why:
or television.
    In those     Screen Resolution
  resolution     Your computer may have come preset to a resolution of 640 X 480
   indicates     pixels. That means that your monitor will display a screen that is
     picture     640 pixels wide and 480 pixels high regardless of whether you
sharpness. In    have a 15, 17 or 19-inch monitor. The size of the monitor does not
the computer     determine the screen resolution. But the bigger the monitor, the       Index
      world      larger the screen resolution you can use.
     screen      If you have a 14 or 15-inch monitor, switch the resolution from 640
  resolution     X 480 to 800 X 600 and to 1024 X 768 if your video card supports
 refers to the   it. You will quickly see that everything gets smaller as the
dimensions of    resolution increases. That's because the monitor is displaying a
   the pixels    larger number of pixels in the same screen space. Most people         Previous
 displayed on    find that text and images are too small at 1024 X 768 on a 14-inch
   a screen.     monitor, but on a 17-inch or larger monitor you'll have additional
                 screen real estate.
                   Monitor Settings
                   Ideally, when viewing web pages, you want as high a resolution
The larger the     as you can get. We recommend using a resolution of 800 X 600
    screen         if you have a 14 or 15-inch monitor, and a resolution of 1024 X
  resolution,      768 for 17-inch and larger monitors.
the more of a
  web page
that will fit on
 the screen.
                                                                Changing the
 Since many
 web pages
are too large                                                                           Index
                                                                For Windows users,
to fit on one                                                   from the Start menu,
  screen, a                                                     first select the
    larger                                                      Control Panel.          Stop
allows you to                                                   Now double-click on
see more of                                                     the Display icon,
  the page.                                                                            Previous

                 Monitor Settings
                                                     Then click on the Settings tab to
                                                     see the current screen
Change the                                           resolution. (For Windows XP
resolution to                                        uses, select Control Panel,
 the largest                                         Appearance and Themes, then
  you can.                                           Change Screen Resolution.)

  We suggest                                         Screen Colors
  1024 X 768                                         The number of colors is also
 if you have a                                       important. If you are
   17-inch or                                        working with professional
larger monitor                                       graphics and digital                 Index

     or                                              photography and have a
                                                     computer loaded with
  800 X 600                                          memory, use the Highest              Stop
for a smaller                                        setting--32 bit.
   monitor.      Otherwise, use the Medium setting--16 bit or 64,000 colors,
                 which is a practical resolution to use on the Web. You get near         Previous
                 photographic quality and you'll find that the Web becomes
                 more vibrant when you surf with thousands of colors.

MP3 enables      MP3
      you to
songs quickly.
  A minute of
                 Digital audio files found on CDs are usually very large. But MP3,
music in MP3
                 a file format that shrinks the audio data while preserving the
    format is
                 quality, has made the distribution of near-CD quality music as
  about 1 Mb,
                 easy as a click of your mouse.
     so your
 average pop     Hear it Now
 tune may be
  about 4 Mb.    To play MP3 files you need an MP3 player, which comes in two
   With a 56     varieties: portable players and software players.
Kbps modem,                                                                           Index
     you can     The portable players are hardware devices similar to CD or
  download a     cassette players. Software players are programs you install on
song in just a   your computer.
 few minutes.
                 You may already have Windows Media Player. If not, you can
If you have a
                 download it from Microsoft. Two other excellent programs are
                 iTunes (, from Apple and WinAmp                Previous
connection, it
   only takes
    After you
  download a
song, you can
    play it as
  many times
 as you want,    Once you have the player installed on your computer, it's time
  and even e-    to listen to some music.
    mail it to   A good place to start is at (,
 friends as an   where you'll find thousands of songs available for downloading.
attachment to    Apple's iTunes software is designed to work with its wildly
      your       popular iPod.
                 While it supports MP3 files, the iPod player works optimally with
 If you buy a    AAC files, an audio file format proprietary to Apple. Also, if you
   portable                                                                            Index
                 buy and download songs from Apple's online music store, they
 player, you     will be AAC files.
 can transfer
 songs from      A good resource for locating specific songs is the Lycos Music        Stop
     your        ( search engine, which
 computer to     claims to index over tens of thousands of songs.
the player for
music on-the-    Try searching for "Sinatra" and see what you get!                    Previous

  Many MP3         MP3
  songs are
perfectly legal,
 because the       You should be aware that some people take songs from CDs,
   copyright       convert them to MP3 files, then post them on the Web or share
holder and the     them via peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa.
performer have
                   This practice has record executives not only fuming, but filing
 granted their
                   lawsuits against the most flagrant violators. Why? Because it
                   violates copyright laws. Free music means that neither the
                   songwriter, performer nor the record company make any money.
   In fact many
                   You can see why MP3 is challenging the status quo.
 musicians see     Having said that, even established performers now make some
    MP3 as a                                                                            Index
                   of their new tunes available as MP3s on their websites. Many
 wonderful way     online music stores sell individual songs that can be downloaded
to get exposure    for under US$ 1.00.
 for their music
       while       While MP3 may eventually be replaced by other formats--
 eliminating the   Microsoft has developed WMA and Apple has AAC--online music
  middlemen -      distribution is here to stay, offering music lovers a symphony of
    the record     songs at unbeatable prices.                                         Previous
companies and
  music stores
To experience      Plug-Ins
 online, you'll
    need a
  computer         Multimedia is one of the most exciting things
equipped with      about the Web--listening to radio programs and
  sound and        music, watching animations and videos, even
 video cards       gaming in three-dimensional space. Life online
 and special       can be a much richer experience when you
   software        aren't restricted to just words and pictures.
 called plug-
                   When you encounter a web page that requires a special plug-
                   in, you will often be prompted to download it.                     Index
 A plug-in, also
referred to as a
                   If the page is set up properly, clicking the appropriate button
                   takes you to the website of the plug-in developer, where you
  extends the                                                                         Stop
                   can download the plug-in. Most plug-ins are free and since
 capabilities of
                   they are small programs, they download quickly.
    your web
    browser,       Whether you use Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, the      Previous
  turning your     procedure is basically the same.
computer into a
  radio or TV.
                  Downloading and Installing a Plug-In
You may have
to restart your   If you don't already have one, create a folder on your hard drive for
   computer       downloading files. We suggest that you name it something like "Temporary
  before the      files." For each plug-in you want to download, create a sub-folder. This will
  plug-in will    make it easy to locate the downloaded program.

 Once you've
 installed the                                              When prompted, check
 plug-in, you                                               the Save to Disk option,
can delete the                                              then click on the
                                                            Browse button and             Index
    file you
 downloaded,                                                locate the folder you
  freeing up                                                created. Now begin the
space on your                                               download into that             Stop
  computer.                                                 folder.

                  After the file is downloaded, close all programs running on
                  your computer. Use Windows Explorer to locate the file on              Previous
                  your hard drive (it will have a name like "plugin.exe") and
                  double-click on it. This begins the installation process.
Get Plugged-In Now

Instead of interrupting your Web surfing to download a new player
every time you need one, take some time to install the most popular

Get animated with Shockwave (,
an older, but still useful plug-in. At the Macromedia Showcase page
you'll find links to exciting "shocked" sites.

Most websites that want to add pizzazz now use Flash, another
popular plug-in from Macromedia. It turns your computer into an
interactive animation machine. After you install it, visit the Site of the    Index

Turn your computer into a radio or television with the RealPlayer
( Once you install the RealPlayer, you can listen to            Stop
the latest newscasts from National Public Radio, CNN, and
hundreds of other sites.

From Apple Computer comes QuickTime                                          Previous
(, a plug-in for playing video clips on
Macintosh and PC computers. Watch movie trailers and other
multimedia with this useful little program.                                   Next
                 The Internet is fast becoming the dominant medium for business and
                 communication, but it still resembles something of a frontier, because there is
The absence      little regulation. Most efforts have relied on the Internet industry to police
of regulations   itself. Although there has been some notable success with self-policing,
 means that      continued abuses have increased calls for government intervention.
everyone who
   uses this     Some aspects of the Internet could undoubtedly use regulation, but this task
  essentially    is not as simple as it may seem. The very nature of the Internet--a loose
     public      constellation of networks comprising millions of computers flung across the
 network can     globe--makes it difficult, if not impossible to regulate.
  be a target
  for anyone
 who has the     While the threat from hackers is low for individuals, a more serious      Index
   technical     threat to personal privacy comes from companies that operate
  know-how       websites.
    and the                                                                                 Stop
   desire to     Many sites require you to register before you can use their services.
 invade their    Often you must provide personal information, such as your name,
    privacy..    street address, and e-mail address. Then as you browse the site,
                 data is collected as to which pages you visited, how long you            Previous
                 remained on each page, the links you clicked, which terms you
                 searched, and so on. After a number of visits to the site, a personal
                 profile emerges. The question is, what do site operators do with this
                 information?                                                               Next
 websites sell
                  Most claim that they use it to personalize your experience on the
information to
                  site. For instance, if a gardening site learns that you are interested
                  in heirloom vegetables, the next time you visit the site, you might
                  be presented with an article or advertisements for rare tomatoes.
  This means
 that you may     However, you can never be certain exactly what is happening with
  find yourself   the information that is being collected.
    unwanted      Junk mail is more of an annoyance than a serious problem. But
   information    what if you read articles about cancer on a health site? Would you
  from people     want this information revealed to insurance companies? Most
or businesses     people consider that an invasion of privacy.                              Index
that you have
  never heard     Many sites now post their privacy policies online. Before you
  of or whose     reveal any personal information, read the policy to make sure you
     sites you    agree with it.
   have never
                  Some sites specifically seek your permission to share your
                  personal data with third parties or to receive e-mail                    Previous
                  announcements. This is known as "opting in". To avoid this, opt out
                  by checking the "No" box.

 A cookie is a
small file that
   is created
and installed
     on your
hard drive by     If you don't want your web surfing behavior to be tracked without your
a website that    consent, configure your web browser to reject cookies. Only the site that
    wants to      created the cookie can read it, and it does not have access to other files on
     collect      your computer. Cookies can be useful for things like storing a password so
 information      you don't have to enter it each time you access the site. But cookies are
  about your      invasive because they are normally set without your consent.
 with the site.
                  To control cookies when using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or a
     As you                                                                                 Index
                  higher version under the Tools menu, select Internet Options.
 through the      Now click the Privacy tab and then select the Medium setting to
      site,       block third party cookies that transmit personally identifiable
information is                                                                               Stop
                  information without your consent.
 stored in the
 cookie. The      With Netscape Navigator 7.0, under the Edit menu, click on
next time you     Preferences, then click on Privacy and Security and Cookies.             Previous
 return to the    You can now choose whether to accept or reject all cookies, or to
site, that data   be warned before a cookie is placed on your computer.
is transmitted
  to the site.                                                                               Next

   If you are      Encryption
 interested in
    efforts to
  regulate the     Protect the privacy of your electronic communications by using
 Internet, visit   encryption, a form of cryptography.
the Electronic
    Frontier       Encryption requires special software to encode your e-mail or
  Foundation       any other files you want to send securely over the Internet.
    website.                                                                          Index
                   The person receiving these files must use the same software to
http://www.eff     decode them.
                   An excellent reference is the World Wide Web Virtual Library's     Stop
       .           Cryptography ( article,
                   which includes an extensive list of related resources.

                  Security Tips
crime cost UK     The openness of the Internet has dramatically transformed global
 businesses       communications, making it easy for people around the world to exchange
   £2.4bn in      information. But the very same openness also creates an enormous problem.
    2004.         Anyone can access the network, yet not everyone has good intentions. Some
                  engage in malicious mischief by unleashing destructive software programs,
                  while others view hacking computer networks as sport. Then there are people
    To avoid      with criminal goals in mind.
  becoming a
    victim of
   misguided                                  1. Use anti-virus software.
 pranksters or                                                                          Index
 cyber-crime,                                   Viruses spread rapidly and can
 take the time                                  damage or destroy your
  to examine                                    computer. New ones appear                Stop
the security of                                 almost daily. It's critical that you
your personal                                   install and update anti-virus
   data.                                        software regularly. Use the
       .                                        program to scan all the files on
                                                your system once a week,
                                                deleting the infected ones.
Security Tips
2. Be wary of e-mail attachments.

  Viruses can hide in an attachment. Opening it will unleash the virus. Don't open an
  attachment from anyone you don't know. Even if you do know the sender, an infected
  attachment may have been surreptitiously sent from an infected machine. The safest thing
  to do is to scan the attachment with anti-virus software before you open it.

3. Install a firewall on your computer.

  A firewall is a software program that blocks unauthorized access to your
  computer. This is particularly important if you have a broadband connection,
  such as DSL or a cable modem. One program that we like is ZoneAlarm. You
  can download it for free for personal use from Zone Labs
4. Protect your passwords.

  Many online services, such as banking, brokerage and e-mail require the use
  of passwords. A secure password is the first line of defense against cyber-         Previous
  snoops. Use a different password for each account, don't divulge them to
  anyone and change them periodically.
Security Tips

5. Update security patches for your operating system and web browser.

   You've probably read about security "holes" that turn up periodically. Once they
   are discovered, you can download fixes. For Windows users, an easy way to
   update your system is by clicking on the Windows Update option under the Start
   menu or by pointing your web browser to this link:

6. Back up your data.
   Make copies of your files in case they become corrupted or your system fails.
   Get in the habit of doing this regularly, at least once a week.

7. Log offline when you are done for the day.                                          Stop

   You are most vulnerable when connected to the Net. If there isn't a good reason
   to remain online, disconnect from the network.

Follow these tips and you will enhance your personal security and the health of
your PC.
Just as in the    Safety Tips For Parents
  real world,
   exercise       You may have heard stories about children being exploited online, whether
 supervision.     through unwanted overtures by adults or exposure to sexually oriented or
                  violent material. Considering the tens of millions of kids who use the Net
Of course this    daily, the frequency with which these incidents occur is relatively small.
is easier said    While it's true that material of a sexual nature can be readily accessed over
  then done,      the Internet, this kind of content represents only a fraction of the vast
  particularly    collection of information online.
when children
may be more
 comfortable      The chances of a child accidentally stumbling across inappropriate
      with                                                                                  Index
                  material are increasing, even though many sites now clearly post
  computers       warnings. Before permitting access, many adult-oriented sites
   than their     require visitors to register and provide a credit card number to
    parents.      verify their age.                                                          Stop

 If this sounds
like you, don't
be intimidated    Unfortunately, a few high profile incidents obscure the fact that        Previous
      by the      cyberspace teems with extraordinary resources for both adults
  technology..    and children
                  Safety Tips For Parents
                  To prevent children from becoming victims, consider these
  You don't
   have to
 understand        Use common sense. Don't just get them an AOL or other
    how an          Internet account and turn them loose.
 combustion        Monitor their activity. Ask them which sites they visit and
engine works        why. Set up the computer in a common area so you can
to drive a car.     keep an eye on things. Check the web browser's History
                    file to see which sites they access.
                   Set limits. It's up to you to determine when your kids can
If a six-year-      go online and how much time they spend.
old can use a
  computer,        Use filtering software. Although not perfect, you can block    Stop
you can too.        selected websites. Here are some products to evaluate:

                            Cyber Patrol (
                            CYBERsitter (

                            Net Nanny (
                 Safety Tips For Parents
   libraries,     Ask your kids to agree to these rules:
 centres and            Don't give out a credit card number online or via e-mail.
colleges offer
  hands-on              Don't divulge any personal information without your
 training, so            approval.
take the time
                        Make sure they let you know immediately if they
to familiarize
                         encounter any material that makes them feel
yourself with
                         uncomfortable.                                               Index
                 Technology expert Larry Magid has an excellent collection of
                 information about child safety on his                   Stop

 Or ask your     website(
kids for help!
                 Another information-rich site with practical tips is GetNetWise     Previous

                 Share Your Digital Photos
cameras and      The chances are that you already have one of these handy
   camera        devices and have amassed a pile of pictures on your PC.
phones have
                 Part of the fun of photography is sharing your images with friends
                 and family. Traditionally, people have made prints from their film
captured the
                 and if you have a colour printer, you can easily print your digital
 public eye.
                 files right at home - no need to spend money for film processing
  Last year
 bought over     But with digital photos you have some 21st century options –
500 million of   e-mailing your images or sharing them online.                          Index
 them in the
                 E-Mailing: Just Attach and Send                                        Stop
Film sales are
                 E-Mailing can be quick and simple - all you have to do is download
falling by 20%
                 the pictures from your camera to your computer, select the ones
     a year.                                                                           Previous
                 you want and attach them to your e-mail. But before you click the
                 Send button, keep a few things in mind.

 Many digital
cameras now
   come with
                  Share Your Digital Photos
software that     Digital images are typically stored as jpeg files (you'll notice the
     you can      .jpg file extension at the end of the file name).
install on your
computer. For     With today's megapixel cameras, snapping a photo at high
 around $100,     resolution can result in an image with a very large file size,
 you can buy      sometimes .5 megabyte or more.
     such as      If you plan to print your photos, you will want high resolution
  Photoshop       images, as they will give you much sharper, clearer prints. But e-
   Elements,      mailing high resolution images presents some problems.
  Paint Shop      Unless you have a broadband Internet connection, it can take a
     Pro and      long time to send these huge files. The same is true for the
    Microsoft     recipient downloading large attachments over a dial-up connection
 Digital Image                                                                            Stop
                  can try anyone's patience.
     Pro that
 easily reduce    Also, large files may clog the recipient's mailbox or worse, your
  file size, as   message may be rejected because it's over the account limit. So        Previous
  well as a lot   what do you do?
     of other
 useful things.
                   Share Your Digital Photos
                   If you have no intention of making prints of your photos, then shoot them at
                   low resolution, say 600 x 800 pixels. Most cameras have a manual control to
                   set the image size. An added benefit is that because the images are smaller,
Remember to        you can store more of them in the camera's memory.
 make a copy
of the original                                     Another option is to shoot at high
file, then save                                     resolution, then reduce the file
   the copy at                                      size of the photos you want to e-
   the smaller                                      mail. You can do this a few
       size.                                        different ways.
  Otherwise                                         If you use Microsoft Outlook for
   you may                                          your e-mail, there's a handy          Index
  overwrite -                                       feature that will automatically
   and lose                                         reduce the size of photo files.
forever - your                                      After you attach the photos, click
 original high                                      on the Attachment Options
resolution file.                                    button, then select the
                                                    appropriate setting.
                                                    Once you've reduced your
                                                    masterpieces to a manageable
                                                    size, just attach and send.
     With the
                   Share Your Digital Photos
  explosion of
      digital      Create an Online Album
                   E-Mailing images works well for sending several snapshots at a time,
 you can now
                   but you may want to create a virtual photo album, complete with
find dozens of
                   fancy titles and captions.
  services for
   building an     In many ways, your album is similar to a personal web page--in this
 online album.     case, it's where you upload and display your personal photos. It's a
    Most are       terrific way to share events like birthdays, weddings, family
  easy to use,     celebrations and vacations.
 with standard
  features. All    Instead of sending the actual images, you simply e-mail a link to the
     of them       album to friends and family.                                              Index
require you to
  register first   You may wonder why these companies offer this service for free.
    and offer      While it may be "free" to build your online album, there is a price to
    password       pay.                                                                      Stop
 protection to
                   Expect to receive e-mail from them promoting their products. They're
  limit access
                   betting that once you become a customer, you and the people you
     to your                                                                                Previous
                   invite to page through your album will order prints or other
                   merchandise from them. After all, they've got to make a buck
  .                somehow.
                  Share Your Digital Photos
                 The following have all been around a while and as of this writing,
 Choose a          they're all free.
service with
                  Kodak EasyShare Gallery (, from
                   the company that brought photography to the masses, provides
                   unlimited storage for your pictures. While you are required to
                   make a yearly purchase to keep your account active, 4" X 6"
After all your
                   prints only cost US $.15 each--cheap enough. But if you don't
  hard work
                   buy something, say goodbye to grandma's 80th birthday
 your album,                                                                           Index
you certainly
don't want to     Shutterfly (, like the other services, lets
  lose it if a     you share photos online, but the service is really geared to
website shuts                                                                          Stop
                   selling custom prints and gift items, such as greeting cards and
  down.            calendars. The site has some good tools for organizing your
                   ever-expanding collection. If you want to mail photos to friends
                   and family, Shutterfly does all the work for you. Downside:        Previous
                   anyone who wants to view your album has to register.

                 Share Your Digital Photos

                  Snapfish ( provides unlimited storage
                   and some handy online picture editing tools. For digital
Don't just let     images, you can upload or e-mail them from your PC or send
your photos        them from your mobile phone to the site. You can also mail in
 gather dust       film for processing and they will automatically put your shots
on your hard       online. Like the other services, you can order all kinds of gifts,
    drive.         like a mug with your mug on it.

Go out there                                                                             Index
 and share        Yahoo! Photo requires that you become a Yahoo! Member,
   them!           but once you join, you can create individual albums--a nice
                   feature. You can also edit or delete your albums. Yahoo! offers
                   unlimited storage and the requisite photo printing and gift           Stop
                   items. Downside: Yahoo! deletes accounts inactive for six

  First you
    need a       Newsgroups
     Both        There are literally thousands of newsgroups covering every topic imaginable--
Navigator and    from computers, social issues, literature and science, to recreation,
   Internet      entertainment, hobbies and current affairs.
Explorer have
    built-in     In newsgroups you can find job postings, business and healthcare advice,
 newsreader      announcements about events, referrals, political and religious discussions--
  software.      even photos you can download.

                                               Newsgroups provide a way to
Do you need                                    quickly communicate with people
     a                                         from all over the world who share
newsreader?                                    your interests, without ever having
                                               to leave your keyboard. You can
   Visit the                                   communicate with them anytime
  Ultimate                                     you like. (By the way, you can read          Stop
  Guide to                                     what others are posting without
Newsreaders.                                   responding.) The great feature of
(www.newsre                                    newsgroups is that anyone can                                 participate, though not all Internet       Previous
 ommended-                                     service providers offer access to
newsreaders.                                   every newsgroup.
                  Determine which newsgroups interest you and subscribe to them.

                  Because of the sheer volume of newsgroups available on the
                  Internet, only subscribe to those that really interest you.

 TRY THIS...      Keep in mind that newsgroups were once the only way to have so-
                  called threaded discussions, where related messages are
   Find the       grouped together.
newsgroup of
your dreams       Today, many websites have discussion group postings. When you
 with Google      are looking for a discussion to join, look at websites as well as
   Groups         newsgroups.

                  A Brief History of Newsgroups
                  Like many services on the Internet, newsgroups had their humble
                  beginnings in an academic environment. In 1979 a couple of Duke
                  University graduate students connected some computers together
                  to exchange information with the UNIX community. At the same         Previous
                  time, another graduate student at the University of North Carolina
                  wrote the first version of the software used to distribute news.

                 This network, called Usenet, grew into a voluntary, cooperative
 You can find    exchange of newsfeeds, eventually evolving into electronic
 some of the     discussion groups. While there are some places that charge a fee
       more      for the newsfeed, Usenet continues to reflect its origins as an
   interesting   academic project designed to distribute information freely to
  information    anyone who wants it.
      on the
                 Usenet newsgroups are transmitted through UUCP (a fee-based
   Internet in
                 system) or NNTP, a more common and free method of transport.
                 The newsfeed can be held on a system until a sister site calls up
    electronic                                                                           Index
                 and gets it, or as is increasingly the case, direct connections
forums where
                 remain open between sites at all times, sending news out to other
 people post
                 nodes on the Net as soon as it is received.
 messages of
      mutual                                                                             Stop
                 Each system administrator decides which newsgroups will be
     interest.   carried on the system. Since newsgroups take up valuable hard
                 drive space and transmission bandwidth, administrators may
                 choose not to carry all hierarchies. The Internet carries many kinds   Previous
                 of resources of which Usenet is only one. Usenet is also carried on
                 networks that are not part of the Internet.

                 Searching Newsgroups
   To access     To read or participate in a newsgroup you must first subscribe to it. One
    them you     way to start is to review a complete list of newsgroups available to you
      need a     from your Internet service provider (ISP). But since there are tens of
     software    thousands of newsgroups, this is a very time-consuming process. (Note
     program     that not all ISPs carry all newsgroups.)
     called a
   that keeps    A more efficient way is to search for newsgroups using some of the
  track of the   same search tools you use to search for websites, such as Yahoo!
 newsgroups      and Lycos. Another service we recommend is Google Groups,
    you have     which lets you quickly search archives of newsgroup postings.
subscribed to.
 Both Internet   If you're new to this, you may not know what to search for. Start by
 Explorer and    looking for lists of newsgroups. For the "official" list of hierarchies
    Navigator                                                                                Stop
                 (the newsgroups starting with comp., misc., new., rec., sci., soc.,
 have built-in   and talk.), see the two-part article "List of Active Newsgroups"
 newsreader      available in one of the following newsgroups:
    programs                                                                               Previous
                Start Your Own Newsgroup
The best way
                If you are interested in starting a newsgroup, don't try it alone the
    to read
                first time around. Find someone who has been through the
                process before. Many arcane customs and rules have sprung up
  is to use a
                around creating new newsgroups.
newsreader      Let's say you are a cactus aficionado and want to start a
   program,     newsgroup at rec.gardens.cactus. The process you would go
although you    through is as follows:
 can use the
    that are                                                                             Index
                •   A formal Request for Discussion (RFD) is posted to
included with       news.announce.newgroup and any other newsgroups related
   Netscape         to the topic.
Navigator and                                                                            Stop
   Microsoft    •   Interested people will discuss the name of the group, where it
    Internet        should go in the hierarchy, and whether your group is really
   Explorer.        necessary. If there is no agreement on these issues at the end
                    of 30 days, the discussion will be taken to e-mail, where the       Previous
                    idea may eventually be killed, or the participant will come back
                    with a new proposal and make a new Request for Discussion.
                 Start Your Own Newsgroup

 Specialized     •   Once the name, place, and purpose of the group are decided, a
  programs           Call for Votes CFV) is posted to news.announce.newsgroups
allow you to         and other related groups. The voting period will be more than 20
manage the           days, but less than 30. Votes are sent via e-mail to a list
huge volume          moderator.
of messages
   in many       •   At the end of the voting period, the results are posted to
newsgroups.          news.announce.newsgroup.

                 •   A mandatory five day waiting period after the vote is posted
                     allows for correction of any errors in or discussion of the vote        Index
  The ones
built into web
browsers are     •   If there are no serious objections and if there were 100 more
more limited                                                                                 Stop
                     "yes" votes than "no" votes, and if at least two-thirds of the total
in what they         number of votes were "yes" votes, the group will be created,
   can do.           and the moderator will send out an announcement.
                 •   If the proposal fails, a new RFD can be proposed after a six
                     month waiting period and the whole process begins again.

                 Subscribing & Reading
  You can
 check just      Once you have downloaded your ISP's newsfeed into your reader
one or all of    software, select the newsgroups you wish to subscribe to. Then visit
    the          those newsgroups whenever you like.
   you've        If you subscribe to a lot of newsgroups, this is the time to have a
subscribe to.    large cup of coffee!

 The simplest    The newsreader software will display a list of all new responses.
  approach is    The best way to manage this is to thread your reader so that it
 to download     groups related responses together.                                      Index
all of the new
                 To do this, order the postings by subject. That way you will see the
                 postings and the responses together.
     from all
 newsgroups                                                                              Stop
  at the same
time and then
  read them.                                                                            Previous

Ten Tips For Smart & Safer Shopping
Online shopping has never been more popular. The reasons are easy to see--buying
online saves time and money. Before you hit the virtual malls, review these tips

1. Always use a secure Internet connection when making a purchase.

Reputable sites use technologies such as SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or SET (Secure
Electronic Transmission) that encrypt data during transmission. You can tell if this
technology is in use when the lock icon at the bottom of your web browser window is
closed. (In no case should you send your credit card number by e-mail.) Another way
is to check the address of the site you are accessing; it should begin with "https".
(notice the extra s rather than just http).

2. Shop with businesses you already know and trust.

Many retailers now offer online shopping. One advantage is that some let you             Stop
return merchandise to their store, instead of shipping it back. If you want to make a
purchase from a store you haven't heard of before, do some research. Start with
Consumer Affairs Also, make sure the site lists a physical address, not just a post
office box. Finally, check to see if it displays seals from consumer protection

You can also check what other shoppers have to say about a particular merchant.          Next
Ten Tips For Smart & Safer Shopping
3. Look for coupons and other discounts.

Many online merchants offer rebates that can save you a bundle of money. To
receive the discount, typically you enter the coupon code in the order form. It's
then deducted from the total purchase price. For travellers, many airline sites offer
weekly specials and e-fares. To keep informed of these discounts, sign up for
newsletters at their websites.

4. Comparison shop.

So-called shopping bots compare prices for products across a number of
websites. You'd be amazed at the range of prices you'll find. Start with this trio:
           PriceRunner

           Shopzilla

5. Be skeptical.
Be wary of deals that appear too good to be true. They probably are. If you have
suspicions, call the merchant and ask those tough questions. No phone number
listed on the site? Then take your business somewhere else.
Ten Tips For Smart & Safer Shopping
6. Check the shipping costs.

Shipping, especially for next day delivery, could make the total purchase price more
than what you would pay in a retail store. At one time, many sites offered free
shipping as a way to attract customers. While those days are over for the most part,
some sites still offer free or discounted shipping for purchases over a certain amount.

7. Protect private information.

All reputable sites should post a privacy policy that explains what they do with
customer information. Take a few minutes to review it. If you don't agree with the           Index
policy - some sites sell data to third parties - don't shop at the site. Even if you have
no objections, don't provide unnecessary information by filling out the optional fields
in the order form.

8. Review the return and refund policy.
How do you return unwanted merchandise? How long do you have? Will you receive
a full refund? Who pays for return shipping? An e-tailer should provide answers. If
not, call the merchant before you buy.
Ten Tips For Smart & Safer Shopping

9. Pay with plastic.

Credit cards offer the same consumer protection whether shopping online or
offline. You can also challenge charges and withhold payment in the event of a
dispute with a merchant.

An alternative payment option, particularly for buying from auction sites, is
setting up an account with Paypal. You electronically transfer money from your
bank account into your Paypal account, then you can use it to pay merchants.

10. Print a copy of your order for your records.

After you submit an order, you will get a screen with details of the transaction.    Stop
Sometimes there is a link to a web page where you can check the delivery
status. You may also receive an e-mail confirmation.

Ten Privacy Tips
Almost everything you do online, whether it's visiting a website or sending e-mail,
leaves a trail of personal data. Some of it remains on your computer, some is
transmitted to third parties. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, you can control
who sees it. In the interest of protecting your privacy, we offer some tips.

1. E-Mail

1.1 Don't mix business and leisure. Get an e-mail address for personal use.

You have little privacy protection with company e-mail. Most businesses claim that it
is their right and responsibility to monitor e-mail because it represents the company,
uses company equipment and travels over the company network. You could argue
the point, but getting a private e-mail address is much easier. Use your business
address for company business only.



Ten Privacy Tips
1.2 Use encryption software.

Unless you encrypt your messages - essentially scrambling the data - your e-mail is
no more private than a postcard. An easy-to-use encryption program you can
download for free is PGP (

1.3 Ignore spam.

Sure, junk e-mail is a nuisance, but it's easier to get rid of than the paper kind - just
hit the Delete key. If you reply to spam, asking to be removed from the list, it just        Index
confirms that your address is valid. You will soon be spammed and spammed again.

1.4 Remove old e-mail from your computer.
When you delete messages, they are still on your system. To permanently remove
them, open the Deleted Mail folder, highlight the messages and delete them again.

Be aware that messages may still reside somewhere on your computer. A trained               Previous
technician may be able to recover them. Messages may also remain on the mail
server and be archived in file back-ups.
Ten Privacy Tips

2. Web Surfing

2.1 Turn on the cookie alert.

A cookie is a small file sent to your web browser by a web server to record your
   activities on a particular website. To block the cookie, set your browser to warn
   you before a cookie is written to your hard drive, then decide whether to accept
   or reject it. Here's how:

 If you use Netscape Navigator 5.0 or a later release, go to the Edit menu,
  choose Preferences, then click on Advanced. Now check this box: "Warn me              Stop
  before accepting a cookie."

 If you use Internet Explorer 5.0 or a later release, go to the Tools menu, then
  select Internet Options. Next, click on the Security tab, then click on the          Previous
  Custom Level button. Scroll down the list. Under the Cookie category, check
  the Prompt option.
Ten Privacy Tips

2.2 Use Anonymizers.

To prevent your activities from being tracked as you browse websites, use online
tools that disguise who you are and where you come from. One reliable service we
recommend is (

2.3 Review sites' privacy policies.

Before you provide any information to a site, read its privacy policy. Every reputable
site should post one. Look for a link on the home page. The policy should state what
information is collected, how it is used, how it is protected, who has access to it, and    Index
if it is sold or shared with third parties. If no policy is available, think twice about
providing personal information.

2.4 Opt-out.                                                                                Stop

Websites that collect personal data may allow you to decide whether the data can be
shared with third parties, such as marketing companies, and whether you want to
receive e-mail offers from them. Typically you check a box, either agreeing to this or     Previous
refusing. You have no obligation to share your personal information with anyone, so
opt-out if the offer holds no interest.
Ten Privacy Tips
3. Your Computer

3.1 Make sure your computer is secure.

If you access the Internet with a dial-up account, the chances of data theft are
minimal. But if you have high-speed Internet access, such as DSL or a cable
modem, watch out. With these "always on" connections, you become a more likely
target for hackers. Be sure your computer has a firewall. Microsoft's XP operating
system has one built-in. But if you need to install a firewall, we recommend

3.2 Clean up your history files, location bar list and cache.

As you surf the Web, your browser both records the addresses of where you have            Stop
been and stores downloaded files in a cache. If you want to keep this information
from prying eyes, clear the temporary Internet files, delete the history files and the
drop-down list under the address or location bar. While this may seem an extreme
step, if you share a computer, or use a public computer, consider doing this. Here's

Ten Privacy Tips

If you use Netscape Navigator 6.0 or a later release,

go to the Edit menu,
    choose Preferences,
    click on Navigator,
    then History.
    now click on the Clear History and Clear Location Bar buttons.

Next, To clear the cache,
   click on Advanced                                                  Index
   then Cache.
   next, click on the Clear Cache button.


If you use Internet Explorer 5.0 or a later release,
     under the Tools menu,
     select Internet Options.                                        Previous
     now click on the General tab.
     next, click on the Delete Files and Clear History buttons.
                  Web Radio
     The          Imagine using your computer to listen to the radio. It may seem
 technology       like a strange thing to do, until you realize that there are
 that makes       thousands of radio stations around the world and most of them
   this all       only broadcast locally. By putting their programming online, these
 possible is      stations can now reach a global audience. Let's say you have just
    called        moved to London from Chicago and long for some blues music.
 streaming        Listen to blues hits from 99.5 The Wolf right over the Net. Best of
   audio.         all, Internet radio puts you in control. You can listen to what you
                  want, when you want.
  means that
    you don't
     have to
 download an      Get Plugged-In
  entire audio                                                                             Stop
file before the   To listen to radio online, your computer must be equipped with a
 music starts     sound card and speakers or you will need headphones. Then you
     to play.     may need an audio player plug-in for your web browser. If you're
                  not sure what this is or you want to know how to install it, read the
                  plug-in article.

                  Web Radio
 Don't expect
 miracles with
 online radio.
   The audio      If you're already familiar with these handy programs, we
 players work     recommend that you download two free ones, RealPlayer from
  adequately      RealNetworks and the Windows Media Player from Microsoft. (By
with a dial-up    the way, both support streaming video, too.)
  but just like   These two plug-ins are not cross-compatible; you can't play a
the rest of the   RealMedia file with a Windows Media Player and visa versa.
    Net, the
                  Windows users may already have the Windows Media Player on
  faster your
                  their system. To find out, click on the Start button, go to All
 connection,                                                                         Index
                  Programs, the Accessories folder, then the Entertainment
the better the
                  Streaming audio technology has been improving steadily though,
                  and may soon deliver the crisp sound we've come to expect from
 Regardless,      CDs. In general, speech sounds better than music.
  you won't
  hear hi-fi                                                                        Previous
audio, at least
   not yet.

                 Web Radio
 Some online     Take Control
programs are     One compensation for the low-fi sound is the control you have over
    indexed,     the program. Just like with cassette recorders, software audio
which means      players have control panels, so you can play, pause, fast-forward
you can jump     and rewind at will.
  right to the
part you want
  to hear, for
 skipping the    Turn on Those Tunes
report to take   Now that you have the audio player installed, what can you listen
  in the local   to? Make your first stop Radio-Locator (           Stop
sports scores.   The site boasts thousands of stations worldwide that have
                 websites. Although only some of them "broadcast" over the Net,
                 there's certainly enough to keep you busy for quite a while. If you
                 just can't get enough of Car Talk click on over to the National Public
                 Radio website ( to listen to highlights of this and other

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