By Richard Heller
This week well look at some tips to make your Internet use easier and more enjoyable. The first thing we are going to do is set your modem to talk faster to your computer. On a Windows 95/98 computer, select the Start button, choose Settings, then Control Panel. From there, double-click on the Modem icon. Select the Properties tab and select 115,200bps as the maximum speed. Please note this is not the speed that your modem connects to the Internet; this is the speed that the computer uses to talk to the modem internally. A lower speed setting may cause your computer to stop the flow of data while you are on-line, slowing down your online speed.
If you are receiving junk e-mail or Spam, the best thing to do is to ignore and delete it. DO NOT reply asking to be removed from the list. If you do, you have validated your e-mail address, and you will receive more Spam, as your name will be traded and sold to others.
Another problem that you can run into with e-mail is when you receive a file or attachment with it. You should not open an attachment unless you trust the sender, and even then you should use your anti-virus program to scan the file. You are keeping your anti-virus program up to date, arent you? If you dont have an anti-virus program on your computer, or the one that you have is over three months old, either update it or download a free copy of InnoculateItPE from www.cai.com.
To help minimize the amount of junk e-mail that you receive, set up additional e-mail accounts. If your ISP doesnt offer more than one e-mail address, you can always use an e-mail service such as www.hotmail.com or www.juno.com. Use these other accounts when you fill in forms or to control the priority of the e-mail you receive. If you give one address to your friends and a different one to the people you dont want to actually hear from, you can ignore their e-mail.
Another thing you can do when filling out questionnaires on the web is to lie or withhold information. Unless you actually want the company to know your true identity (such as when applying for a loan), do not give out your complete name, use a P.O. box for the address if you have one, and dont disclose your childrens names and ages or what school they attend. Most companies are legitimate, but be hesitant about supplying personal information.
If you would like FREE software, there are a number of web sites you can download programs from. Some of the more popular sites are www.tucows.com, www.download.com, or www.jumbo.com and, for games, www.happypuppy.com.
If you have a PC (no Mac) or Internet question, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and phone number(s), along with computer details such as version of Windows. Not all questions will be answered, and the most interesting or common questions will be answered here.
Richard Heller is an independent computer specialist who specializes in repairs, installation, upgrades, technical support, Internet sharing, data recovery and diagnostics. If you have any computer or service-related questions, please send them to The Rock River Times or email email@example.com.