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REFERENCE & INFO SITES
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What's here?

Some of the best and most popular reference sites on the Internet.

Computer Reference Sites

Smart Computing (in Plain English)

CNet - The Computer Network

Price Watch: Compare street prices from many online computer/electronics stores. Displays the most current prices on everything relating to computers, peripherals and electronics. Prices are submitted to Price Watch by retailers.

Shopping.com: Probably the most popular product price comparison and review site. Prices are submitted to Shopping.com by retailers.

CNet Shopper.com Price Scanner: Another site for checking the latest street prices. Prices are submitted to Shopper.com by retailers.

Blue Book for Everything: The current "fair market values for the most popular products based on actual transactions from online auctions and prices from online retailers. Strong Numbers sorts the raw data into specific related categories based on how consumers actually search for products." (But never depend on one source for current prices. Just searching Google can turn up prices that don't show up in these services.)

ZDNet: One of the popular computer resources on the Internet. (Used to be the one of the biggest and best, but they have downsized.)

ZDNet Reviews: Lots of product reviews by ZDNet. See also ZDNet's Editor's Top Products. A good place to start, but always look at several sources for reviews when researching a product or solution you are considering.

PC Magazine Online: Used to be one of the popular computer magazines in the industry. (Watch for a little too much favoritism to their advertisers.)

Webopedia:ïNew window Definitions for every computer term ever invented (almost)! A bit technical sometimes, but clicking on the underlined "hypertext" links can help. ("Hypertext" links are what tie the whole World Wide Web together. Look up hypertext by clicking on it.) Know what "MODEM" stands for? Here's DSL and broadband. What is a "computer" anyway? Do you know what "software" is? What is a program? How about CPU, BIOS, CMOS, USB, CD-ROM, CD-RW, and DVD? What does "boot" your computer mean? (No, it doesn't mean kick it.) What do "Internet" and "World Wide Web" mean? Where did "bugs"come from (the ones computers get, that is)? What's the difference between megabytes and gigabytes? Microsoft Windows is a GUI ("gooey") based operating system. What is that? If you have an older version of Windows (9x thru ME), it actually runs on top of another much older, basic operating system originally developed for the first IBM PC in 1981 called DOS. I'm sure you know that PC stands for "personal computer", but how did it all begin? And finally, what's a FAQ? (Here's a sample comparison of DSL speeds from BellSouth.)

Webopedia Did You Know? ESD (Static Electricity) and Computers: A good brief in lay terms on what you should know about Electrostatic Discharge (static electricity) and computers.

What is...: More definitions for every conceivable "computereez" term, very thorough.

Online Reference Sites

Internet Public Library: One of the best collections of quality online references and resources in every conceivable category. Reference websites, online encyclopedias and reference works, exhibits, magazines and newspapers, etc. etc.

Internet Public Library Reference Resources: Dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, biographies, experts & how to, genealogy, geography, news resources, periodical directories...

Librarians' Index to the Internet: One of the best sources of information and reference. Open the page to see what's here. Under each category, be sure to click on "more" to see the entire category listing!

Librarians' Index to the Internet - Ready Reference and Quick Facts: Dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, biographies, experts & how to, genealogy, geography, news resources, periodical directories...

eLibrary.com: Very comprehensive online library, "premium" articles available with subscription.

Refdesk.com: One of the best places on the Internet for facts, info, and reference resources about anything.

Reference.com: One of the best places on the Internet for reference resources (online almanacs, dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias, literature databases, etc).

OneLook Dictionary: Searches more than 731 online dictionaries for your word or phrase. Dictionaries in seven languages are available. Be sure to note the "hints" given below the search box for truly effective ways to find what you want!

FindArticles.com: "A vast archive of published articles that you can search for free. Constantly updated, it contains articles dating back to 1998 from more than 300 magazines and journals."

Encyclopedia Britannica Online: By far the most thorough of the online encyclopedias, but... They now charge a fee to view articles. (You can buy the entire Encyclopedia Britannica Deluxe edition on CD-ROM for as little as $25 when it's on sale, which I would highly recommend!)

Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Online: You now have to pay a fee to view many articles, unless you own the CD version.

Encyclopedia.com: Part of eLibrary.com. Probably provides the most free content of the subscription based encyclopedias. Additional articles available upon subscription.

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (English): "Wikipedia is a multilingual project to create a complete and accurate open content encyclopedia." Started in January 2001, there are over 1 million articles in the English version and growing at the rate of about 1,700 articles per day (from ZDNet). This online encyclopedia is constantly improving and becoming very comprehensive. It is the MOST comprehensive of any free online encyclopedia and is actually copied by many other websites on the Net. Anyone can contribute to or create an article. The quality and accuracy can be very poor to excellent. Note that "truth" is NOT in their interest, "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth," and that Wikipedia "...does not publish original thought or original research [nor allow it]." (From Wikipedia's Official Policy on Verifiability.) You should check your research in Wikipedia against more established works, such as the latest releases of commercial encyclopedias and reputable news sources who DO have truth in reporting and research as their aim/interest. (And correct Wikipedia's articles when you find anything wrong. J )

Answers.com: Highly categorized, comprehensive "answers" on any reference topic you are searching for. See Why Answers for a good description of what this site is about as compared to other reference sites. (Uses Wikipedia as one of many of it's sources for articles.)

HowStuffWorks.com

Spartacus Educational Reference: Educational and history reference

Historyplace.com: History reference

World History: History reference. Guess what my favorite subject is? (Next to prophecy and eternal life, that is. You need to look in both directions to know where you're going!)

American Secular Holidays Calendar: Official American holidays for any year past, present or future.

Online Locators
Online "yellow pages", Maps, Zip Lookup

These people/business finders are white and yellow pages on steroids. Very powerful ways to look up any company or person (if listed), including reverse lookup by phone no, and other options.

AT&T AnyWho: Find addresses, phone nos., businesses, etc. (if listed)

Switchboard: One of the most popular and complete people/business finders on the Net

SmartPages: Another good people/business finder. (If you can't find what or who you're looking for on one site, try the others.)

Maps On Us: Detailed street maps of any address in the US. Includes detailed, customizable to your traveling preferences, turn by turn route planner. Very customizable, and you can save your customizations and preferences.

MapQuest: Detailed street maps of any address in the US and other countries. This one often provides a lot more detail than Maps on Us, and has been more accurate in some cases. Also, includes arial photo view, customizable, turn by turn route planner with various options and features to make it as easy as possible to find your way with their maps.

Google Maps: Similar to the others (each has their strengths and weaknesses), but fancier, slicker, overlay street maps over satellite/photo images, drag the map with your mouse, covers the entire globe. Or just type an address with commas in the Google search bar (eg 4550 nw 18th ave, pompano beach, fl) or a phone no.

US Postal Service Zip+4 Lookup

US Postal Service Postage Calculator

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Tutorials, Help, Virus Info
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For fast up and down scrolling

1. Use your [Page Up] and [Page Down] keys on your keyboard.
2. Use your
[é] [ê] arrow keys for line by line scrolling.
3. Hold them down for fast repeat.


How to use your computer's search or "Find" feature on this page

Press <Ctrl>-F

Find dialog box

On your keyboard, press <Ctrl>-F (together) or at top left, click "Edit", then "Find". Type a word (or part of a word) in the Find what box, such as "illegal" (for "Illegal operation error") and press your <Enter> key (or click [Find Next]). This searches "down" the page. For "training", use "train" which will find all forms of the word.

You can keep pressing <Enter> or clicking [Find Next] in the Find box as many times as you want, until you get a "Finished searching..." or "...not found" message. In the "Direction" box, you can then click "Up", and then [Find Next] to search back up the page. Press your <Esc> key or [Cancel] to close the Find box. You can do this on any website.

Back to Tutorials, Help, and Viruses Menu

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What is a program?
(All links open new windows to Webopedia. Click on them for complete definitions.)

A computer programïNew window is classified as "software". (Click on the links for a more complete explanation.) When you double-click an icon or click on a menu item, you are running a program. In fact, everything that your computer does comes from programs stored in your computer. Microsoft Windows is actually a huge program, called an operating system, that runs and controls everything on your computer, including all other programs.

Using your computer is something like how you use your car. You drive your car by controlling it with the gas pedal, brake, and steering wheel. But these things are merely people-friendly "interfaces" or "input devices" (like your mouse and keyboard on your computer) through which you manipulate or control the complicated machinery that makes your car do what it does. These "interfaces" transmit your actions to the engine which turns your transmission thousands of times per minute, to your brake pads, and to the steering mechanism. This all gets your car to take you where you want to go. (Something Microsoft wants to do for you!)

In the same way, programs reside in your computer unseen by you directly (stored on your hard disk drive inside your computer). You are actually running and controlling one or more programs every time you click on an icon or button with your mouse. This causes your computer to hopefully do what you want it to do. (Cars are definitely more reliable!)

A program is a series of coded instructions stored in your computer which have been written by programmers. Everything your computer does comes from these hidden program instructions telling your computer and it's components what to do in minute detail. Your computer and screen are merely responding to thousands of hidden instructions per second telling them what to do in response to the actions of your mouse and keyboard.

A program application is a finished program or set of programs. Some commonly used programs or applications are Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, Intuit Quicken, and Norton AntiVirus. (Viruses are just programs that are written by technically experienced pranksters or criminals.)

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Windows Tips & Tutorials
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Trainingcenter.com: Free sample tutorials from MindLeaders to give you a feel for their paid plans. These MindLeaders tutorials are about the best, most comprehensive, easiest to understand graphic online tutorials I've seen on the Net. These tutorials have lots of realistic, interactive simulation. Check the list of courses to be sure they cover the topics you want, and be sure you are prepared to put the time into it for the next year before you fork over the money! If you can do it, it's well worth it!

CNet Help.com

Microsoft Keyboard Shortcuts: Shortcuts for leading Microsoft products.

HelpwithPCs - Windows XP keyboard shortcuts: A few additional shortcuts.

The Elder Geek: This guy is definitely a Windows geek, but provides help and info that anyone can follow. Excellent, easy to follow instructions, articles and info everything Windows and PCs.

HelpwithWindows: A good Windows help resource for all versions.

HelpwithWindows - All about Windows "system resources": Trying to figure out what all the hoopla is about "resources too low" and why you keep running out of them (Windows 9x)? This help document with additional links explains everything.

File Extensions: One of the best sources for finding out what a file (by name) is for or what program or software uses a file based on its "extension". That three or more series of letters after the period in the name of a file, like .doc (MS Word), .xls (MS Excel), .pdf (Adobe or other PDF reader), .htm (Internet browser such as Chrome or FireFox), etc. You can find out a lot more about such files on this site as well. Keep in mind that in Windows, file extensions can actually be almost any length. The extensions usually only have meaning for identification and program/software association when they are 3 or 4 characters in length.

"FILExt is a database of file extensions and the various programs that use them. If you know the file extension you want to learn about simply enter it into the search box on the left and click on the Search button. If it's in any of the FILExt databases the data we have on that file extension will be shown on a results page. If it's not in any of the databases you will be given a link to a page with hints on how to do further research."

FileInfo.com: Another good file extension website with info on associated programs. "Contains a searchable database of thousands of file extensions with detailed information about the associated file types. Each entry contains information about the file format, a description of the file, and the program or programs that can open the file. Programs for opening the files are listed for Macintosh, Windows, and Linux platforms. For more information about file extensions, view the "What is a File Extension?" page."


Internet Tutorials
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Email addresses ... Website addresses --
What's the difference?

These are two common terms new computer users often struggle with. Here's a little explanation...

Email address -- name@somewhere.com: Everyone on the Internet has an email address, such as yourname@yourinternetprovider.com. Your email address is like your Internet P.O. box. That's the address people will use to send you email, such as kroy@kroytech.com.

Website address -- www.somewhere.com: A "website address" or URL (Universal Resource Locator) is like the actual house address for people or businesses that have websites. People or companies that have built websites have a "home" on the Internet (which is stored on computer "servers") which is accessed by going to their website address, such as www.kroytech.com.

Everyone on the Internet has at least one email address. Not everyone has a website. Only those who have actually created a website have one. This page you are on now is part of my website. The comlete website address (or URL) is www.kroytech.com. My email address is kroy@kroytech.com. I also have an email address through my Internet service provider (ISP): e-kroy@bellsouth.net.

Breakdown of a website address or URL (Universal Resource Locator)
Click on the hypertext links to get explanations for each of the terms in the table below.

http:// www. kroytech. com

G
H
yperText Transfer Protocol

G
W
orld Wide Web

G
domain name: kroytech

G
domain- type: commercial

To get to this website, you can just type in "kroytech.com" (no quotes). The rest is assumed. Or you can just type "kroytech" and <Ctrl>-<Enter> in Internet Explorer. The rest will be added automatically with a .com extension. (Thanks to Beth Blakely, Senior Editor of TechRepublic for that tip.)

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Windows and Software Errors
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Some Helpful Points on Dealing With Computer Errors

Illegal Operation Error

No, you're not in trouble with the law.J If you see this message, a program you are running has tried to do something that is not allowed in Windows. This is one of thousands of possible errors you can get in Windows, usually caused by faulty programming or "bugs". Your Windows (or Mac) operating system and the software that runs in it are tremendously complicated. Windows is telling you that a program or device on your computer (named in the blue title bar) screwed up and tried to perform an invalid programming step or function. Sometimes Windows itself is the cause of the error. These errors are almost always the fault of the manufacturer who created the program or device software that caused the error. Just click the Close Button button when you get the error.

Many recurring "illegal operation" errors can only be resolved by the manufacturer of the program or device that is causing the error. If you keep getting the same error, get more information by clicking the Details Button button. The display will give you the exact error message. (You can ignore the "registers".)

Illegal Operation Error Details

If you intend to seek help, write down the exact error message. (Only the detail message, not the registers.) If you can determine what program or device is causing the error, or you know what software the error is coming from, call the manufacturer's tech support line, or check their website to see if they've posted a solution to your problem.

Most major software publishers and hardware manufacturers have their own websites where they provide technical support info for the most common problems and errors their customers have encountered. If you can't find a tech support number or website for your product, email me, and I'll help you find it. If you cannot figure anything out from a frequently recurring error message, you will probably need to get help from an expert. See the Tech Support section below.

If you are the adventurous type, you can click the TechAdvice.com link below and also the Microsoft Searchable Knowledge Base to see if there is a solution. Search these sites to get answers about any non-Internet related errors or other Issues. You will need some specific details from the error message to successfully get results from your search. This gets a bit technical for beginners, but if you find what you're looking for, it can sometimes be helpful.

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Viruses Spyware, Hoaxes, and Scams
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Both new and experienced computer users should get familiar with the info and warnings here. There are lots of false warnings and pleas in email messages you will get that you can safely ignore. There are also a few things you should know about viruses and Internet scams so that your computer and you won't be victimized by them. If you are really new to computing, a lot of this will seem overwhelming to you. Just skim it for the main points, and come back now and then when you want to check whether a questionable message you receive is legitimate.

The main ideas are:

  1. Don't believe the forwarded warning and hype messages warning you about viruses or anything else, or promising you anything, without at least checking them out by searching in Google and/or some other outside source.
  2. Don't open (or click on) on any attachment links inside email messages you receive from anyone, including and especially from people you know, unless you know what it is and / or you are expecting it.
  3. Get good antivirus software and firewall (ZoneAlarm Antivirus is popular -- includes both firewall and antivirus).


Hoax Information Pages
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"Warning! Urgent! - Forward this to everyone!"
It's All Baloney!

  • "Urgent - Virus alert from Microsoft, AOL and McAfee!"
  • "Urgent Petition - House bill about to be passed in Congress ending the right to free speech - Forward this to everyone!"
  • "Warning! - There is no cure for this virus! It will destroy everything on your computer!"

It's all baloney! That especially goes for virus warnings, unless you signed up with a reputable organization, such as Bugnet or TrendMicro to get email alerts. Most "chain letters" or "urgent" forwarded warnings and pleas like those above are phony! Some unsolicited (unasked for), forwarded "warning" or "please help" emails were real at one time, but have continued to be passed around the Internet for years. These messages will pray on your natural desire to help others, and insist that you forward the message to everyone in your address book. DON'T BELIEVE ANY UNSOLICITED, FORWARDED EMAIL MESSAGES like this without checking them first!

The creators of these gags usually want to see how far and how fast they can get their hoax message to spread on the Internet. They can also save the growing list of email addresses in the message for further gag messages. Some of these messages themselves contain viruses in the attachment. Check it out first, before believing it and forwarding it! Check here under Hoax Sites to see if the warning or chain letter you got is a hoax, before you forward it.

Keep your anti-virus software up to date and don't open unsolicited email attachments. Most anti-virus software can be set up to update automatically on a daily basis. These steps will protect you better than any unsolicited email "forwards", which are usually phony.

Before you forward anything that claims to be alerting you to something or pleading for help, check it out first. The anti-hoax sites below list most of the currently known hoaxes being propagated around the Internet. You can help stop these in their tracks by replying to the last forwarder of the phony message (or "reply to all") and letting them know it's a hoax!

An example of a destructive hoax and virus warning messages being passed around:

AOL virus: Joke's on you This was actually posted plainly as a joke on a joke website. Some unthinking do-gooders thought it was real and forwarded it as a virus warning all around the Internet. Any AOL users who followed the instructions in the message deleted their AOL.EXE file which ended their access to the Internet!

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HOAX INFO SITES: On most of these sites, all you have to do is type in a key word from the subject of the message you got. If it is a hoax message that has been going around, it will usually pop up in your search results, unless it's an extremely new hoax.

For example, the Oct 31 (Halloween) terrorist / shopping malls hoax. Click on Snopes.com below and type in "malls". You will find the malls hoax listed in the results (approximately the 4th one down), with further information available in the link. Searching on "malls on halloween" will narrow your results even further.

Virus Hoaxes

Urbanlegends.about.com Common Virus Hoaxes - A to Z:E*** Lists alphabetically the most common virus hoaxes.

Antivirus.about.com Hoax EncyclopediaïNew window:E*** Another alphabetical list of the most common virus hoaxes.

Urbanlegends.about.com General Information About Virus Hoaxes

Symantec Security Updates - Virus and Email Hoax Page: Virus hoax list (alphabetical) direct from the maker of Norton AntiVirus.

Stiller.com Hoax List: Stiller Research Alphabetic Virus and Forwarded Email Hoaxes List. (Press Ctrl-F in your browser and type in a key word to search through the list).

Vmyths.com: A quality, easy to use site to find whether the latest warning you got is real.

Other Hoaxes

Urbanlegends.about.com - Netlore: Rumors, Hoaxes and Urban Legends: About.com's main "Netlore" (Internet "folklore") and virus hoax index.

Urbanlegends.about.com - Current Netlore: About.com's "constantly updated, categorized index of Internet hoaxes, rumors, chain letters, jokes and email urban legends."

Stiller.com - Alphabetic Hoax List: Stiller Research Alphabetic Virus and Forwarded Email Hoaxes List. (Press Ctrl-F in your browser and type in a key word to search through the list).

Stiller.com - Latest Hoax News: Check here for the latest hoaxes going around the Internet (Press Ctrl-F in your browser to search the list).

Stiller.com - Current Top Five Hottest Hoaxes:EEasy to see with a click whether the message you just got is one of the top five going around the Internet.

Vmyths.com: A quality, easy to use site to find whether the latest warning you got is real.

Snopes.com:E***EXCELLENT *** Urban Legends and Rumors Reference Pages. (Nothing on virus hoaxes though). All the latest urban legends, rumors and hoaxes circulating around the Internet into your mail box. Just pick the category of the topic in question or type in a key word from the subject line of the message you got. If it's a hoax, it'll pop up in the results list with a summary explanation.

ScamBusters.org - Urban Legends: "Don't believe everything you read!" - Lists the most common Internet / email and other hoaxes going around and all the best resources to find out more (if you really want to!)

TruthOrFiction.com:E***EXCELLENT *** Explains the hoax and how it started. "When you get emails with warnings, virus alerts, inspirational stories, business opportunities, and pleas for help...check them out to see if they are Truth! or Fiction!" This one is not always as up-to-the minute as the others on the latest virus / hoax, but is real easy to use and gives you a lot of useful info on each hoax it lists.


About Viruses, Spyware and Adware (Malware)
Anti-Virus Info
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Computer viruses are usually destructive programs created by people that have nothing better to do than to dream up ways to try and cripple computers and even the Internet, if they can. The computer virus problem on the Internet is serious. Until several months ago (2001), I probably had received one or two virus infected emails in ten years of computing on the Internet. Now I'm getting several a week. (Some people are getting hit much more frequently than this!) If these rogue programs had gotten loose on my computer, they would have caused terrible damage to many of my critical files. KEEP YOUR ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE UP TO DATE!

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How to Protect Your Computer Against Viruses

Click here for printable version

You can protect yourself against most real computer virus outbreaks by following the steps below. If you do these you will be well protected against the latest computer viruses.

The two easiest, and most important things you can do are:

  1. Make sure you have the latest antivirus software, and have it set to update automatically at least once a week.
  2. Never click on any unsolicited (unasked for) attachments in your email, even if you are prompted to do so, and you know the sender.

Some of the following instructions are a bit technical if you are new to computing. If you at least follow the above two steps, that will give you at least 95% protection against these pests.

About virus warnings: Email messages warning you about viruses or telling you how to protect yourself against them sometimes actually contain viruses Such warnings are false or they are hoaxes 99.9% of the time. (Except, of course, the ones I send you J). If you click on the attachment in the warning message to "protect yourself" against the "terrible new virus that no one knows about", bang! You're computer is infected. So don't fall for fake virus warnings, and don't open unsolicited (unasked for), email attachments!

The latest trick that is starting to be used by hackers is to break into unsuspecting, unprotected websites and infect the website with program code that will infect whoever visits that site. If you are prompted to download anything answer NO or CANCEL. If you are keeping your antivirus software up to date, it is extremely unlikely that you will be affected.

The same rules apply to instant messaging or "chat" software. Don't open or click on any files or attachments you receive unsolicited (not asked for).

If you do nothing else, do at least these two things (I'm repeating myself, but these steps bear repeating!):

  1. Install the latest antivirus program (I use ZoneAlarm AV) and keep it updated.
  2. Don't click on unsolicited email attachments, even if you are prompted to do so.
    (Answer NO or CANCEL if you are prompted to download or open anything you did not intend to download)

The following steps will protect you against all infected email attachments and most other virus sources. (Most of you are not on corporate computer networks. If you are on a network, the "don't open attachments" rule won't protect you in all cases.)

Steps for complete protection:

  1. Install the latest antivirus program, and make sure it automatically checks for updates at least weekly. You can actually set this up to automatically self-update as often as you want. Be sure your antivirus program is automatically starting up with Windows. Antivirus programs are not perfect, but if you keep them up to date they can catch and disable 95% of any viruses that try to infect your computer.
  2. Be sure you have the latest version of your Internet browser AND all the latest Windows security updates. IF YOU DON'T DO THIS STEP, YOUR ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE WILL STILL TRAP MOST OF THE NEWEST VIRUSES AS OF TODAY. IF YOU HAVE UPDATED YOUR SOFTWARE AS OF TODAY. That will not protect you against the next one, until your antivirus company catches up with a new update.
    You can use
    Windows Update from your Start Menu to update Internet Explorer. Run Windows Update to get a list of what you need to install under "Critical Updates" and "Recommended Updates" Alternatively, you can go directly to the WIndows Update page.
    You need the critical updates to protect yourself from the latest virus outbreaks. Other updates are optional.
  3. Disable previewing in whatever email program you use. This is NOT absolutely necessary, so far, if you have the latest updates installed. Many virus infected attachments will infect your computer merely by being "previewed" when you click on the message header if you don't have the latest updates.
  4. Don't think you can tell a virus-infected email by the subject heading. Most viruses continually change the subject line to keep you from identifying it. But you rarely have to worry about opening an infected email message. It's almost always the attachment within the message that contains the virus. It's when you click on the attachment that your computer becomes infected, if your antivirus software has not been updated sufficiently. There are other ways hackers can get viruses onto your computer, but they are by far the exception.
  5. Don't click on any attachments within email messages, even from people you know, unless you know what it is and you are expecting it. Many virus programs, once they infect a computer, use the victim's address book, and send themselves to each email address it finds there. Thus virus infected email messages will often come from someone you know!
    It's usually when you click on an infected attachment that the virus runs and infects your computer. You can always leave questionable email or attachments unopened in your inbox and send an email to the person it came from to ask them if they intended to send it. (Answer NO or CANCEL if you are prompted to download or open anything you did not intend to download)
  6. Delete any messages you decide not to keep and make sure your Trash folder is set in your email program to be cleared regularly. If you are suspicious of any message, you can zap it into oblivion instead of into the Trash folder by highlighting the message and holding your <Shift> key down when you delete the message. If you have already deleted a suspicious message the normal way, you can go to your Trash folder and delete it from there.
  7. If you want to be super protected, download and install Kaspersky, BitDefender. Avira or Avast. You must also keep your antivirus software running and up to date. This type of program is called a firewall, and keeps prying hackers and robot programs from breaking into your system via the Internet. If you have an "always on" connection (DSL, cable modem, or satellite), I would highly recommend calling your Internet service provider to see if they have good "firewall" protection that keeps you isolated from prying hackers and robot programs. If there is any question, download and install ZoneAlarm. You will need to do a little bit of set up and configuration to get the best use of this software.

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Scams and Frauds
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fraud (frôd) noun
1. A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain.
2. A piece of trickery; a trick.

scam (skàm) Slang. noun
A fraudulent business scheme; a swindle.

Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation; further reproduction and distribution in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

There Internet is being flooded with every conceivable scam and fraud that con artists can devise to get your money. Ignore these offers for quick and/or easy money. If you want to check into it, search the Internet to see if anything is known about the deal, and check sites such as the ones below. There are so many new scams cropping up all the time, no one can keep up with them, so don't go for something until you've managed to verify from some independent, reputable sources their validity and reputation.

ScamBusters: "The #1 Publication on Internet Fraud"

World Wide Scam Network: Details on many of the major scams going around the Internet.

Fraud.org: The National Consumer League's National Fraud Information Center and Internet Fraud Watch.

Internet Fraud Watch: Top 10 Internet frauds.

FTC Consumer Protection Page: Information on known scams to watch out for. Well organized by category.

AT&T Fraud Information: The latest phone scams cons are using that can cost you a lot of money if you fall for them.

National Consumers League: Information, tips, and warnings for online consumers. Auctions: Top fraud complaint.

BBBOnline: Better Business Bureau Online. Check on companies for complaints here.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Pyramid Schemes Site

MLM Survivor.com: Exposés on Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) businesses by a former distributor. Check out the author's story - My Story. MLMs that focus on obtaining unquestioning loyalty to the company, and whose main purpose is to build distributor groups whose main purpose is to build more distributor groups, as opposed to selling a product or service, are fraudulent. Not all MLMs are like this (I'm into one myself!), but too many are.


Other Internet Goodies
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BandwidthPlace Speed Test: Test your modem or broadband (DSL or cable) connection speed. (You should try several test sites at different times to get the best idea of your true "working" speed over the Net. The survey on this test lists other such sites.)
Some other broadband sites to check out:
dslreports.com, cablenut.com (free broadband tuning software), ZDNet Bandwidth Meter (Appears to be estimating on the low side. Don't believe graphs and advertisements indicating faster services than yours), Navas Cable/DSL tuning guide, Navas how to check your connection speed,

Broadbandreports.com: Probably the most comprehensive site on the Net regarding anything related to broadband. All kinds of free tests and tools, tweaks to improve your web surfing speed, broadband devices and service reviews, check your connection security, solutions, forums, help, FAQs, etc.

Allsitecafe.com: "All the best cool sites, best web sites and fun sites too!"

GranGran's This and That: A fun place to visit! This lady started her website without knowing anything. She tells how she did it and how you can get started. Be prepared to wait a while for her page to load if you have a standard modem connection because she has a lot of fancy stuff here!

SpamCop: One of the more popular spam (junk mail) filtering services.

MailBlocks: Spam (junk mail) blocking service. Similar to SpamCop, gets high marks from the editor of AnchorDesk. (See his ZDNet article on blocking spam).

All-Free-ISP: Lists and rates the current free ISPs (Internet Service Providers) (the few that are left) AND discount ones too! There aren't many free ones left, and those that are I would not suggest using due to their poor service, screen hogging ad panels, and non-existent support. There are lots of decent discount ISPs though, from $6.95 to $15/mon. Be forewarned that you won't always get the speeds, service, support, and local connections that you usually get with the higher priced guys. (However, sometimes the big guys aren't all that great either!)

All-Free-ISP Ratings: Lists all the current free ISPs (Internet Service Providers) AND discount ones, rating them 1 - 4.

Yellowstone.net: $9.95/mo. for quality Internet service. No banners, unlimited access. I used them for a year (2002 & 2003) and was pretty happy with the service. Tech support was quick and knowledgeable.

CallWave: If you use your only phone line for dial-up Internet, you don't need a 2nd phone line to avoid missing calls. CallWave plays callers' messages (rather than returning a busy signal or disconnecting you) when they call while you're online. A free service (your phone co. may charge a small monthly fee). It even displays caller ID for $3.95/mo. extra.

And, a plug for my workbenches (Okay, it's not Internet, but here's the best place to tell you about 'em)--

KroyTech Workbenches: Discount computer and industrial ESD workbenches close to the price of used! These are the most well built, heavy duty workbenches and computer desks in the world (that I know of), and at the lowest prices for this quality.

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Data Recovery and Lost Files
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Do-It-Yourself Lost File and Data Recovery
How to recover lost or deleted files on your computer

Here are some possible ways to get your lost or deleted files back if your hard drive is accessible. If your hard drive is not accessible at all, you may need to contact a data recovery specialist. If your data loss problem is caused by viruses, trojans, adware or spyware, you will need to deal with that first, which is a separate issue.

If you have lost files through accidental deletion, either by a computer user or software, you should usually be able to restore or "undelete" them from your Windows Recycle Bin, accessible through the icon on your desktop.

If you have lost your files/data any other way -- through formatting, a corrupted or failed hard drive or partition or by "moving" the files (in Windows 9x) -- your situation is serious. DO NOT USE OR DO ANYTHING ON THE DRIVE UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE RECOVERED YOUR DATA! Most of the data or files you have lost are probably still on the hard drive, but every action you do on that drive after you have lost access will make it less and less likely that you will be able to recover the data.

Here are some steps to follow in attempting to recover your data.

If you hear the slightest of ANY UNUSUAL SOUNDS coming from your computer or hard drive (metallic clicking, scraping, rattling, etc.), shut down immediately and call a computer technician or data recovery specialist. Do not use the computer until the problem has been resolved by a technician.

If you are certain that you do not hear anything unusual, proceed with the following steps.

First, if the problem is not a result of a hard drive problem, check your Recycle Bin.

If the lost files/data are not in your Recycle Bin try the following:

If you have Norton SystemWorks, Norton Utilities or some other similar system utility package ALREADY installed on your computer, find the "Unerase" or "Undelete" option and run it. Then read and follow the "wizard" steps and instructions VERY CAREFULLY. If you do things wrong, you may cause more data loss.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE SUCH A PACKAGE ALREADY INSTALLED ON YOUR COMPUTER, DO NOT INSTALL ONE. Doing so will destroy the files you are trying to recover.


Liability info: These instructions were written by the owner of the KroyTech website to give readers helpful information toward recovering their data. I have no connection with QueTek or Higher Ground Software. These instructions are a work in progress. They do not cover any specific data loss situation. Every situation is different. You attempt to recover your data entirely at your own risk. I am not liable for any loss of or damage to data or hardware that may occur if you attempt your own data recovery.

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A LITTLE TRAVELING FUN
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What's here?

Well, one of the main reasons to get on the Internet is to have fun! On the Net, you can travel around the world right from your computer.

Here are live webcams from around the world. Note the time zones, relative to Eastern Standard Time. You can only see the "daylight only" sites if you click in during daylight hours. So, if you click on Mt. Fuji, Japan at 9 am EST (Eastern Standard Time), it will be 11 pm Japan time and you won't see anything.

Jerusalem, The Western Wall: (7 hrs. ahead of EST. Not always working.)

Mount Fuji, Japan!: (14 hrs. ahead of EST, daylight only.)

Paris, France: (6 hrs. ahead of EST, daylight only.)

New York City, USA - Times Square: View and listen to the live video stream, honking taxi cabs and all (requires Flash Player)!

Travelocity Video Gallery: Go on a video tour of all the most fascinating places around the world. If you do not have either Real Player or QuickTime installed on your computer, you will have to download and install one of them to view.

FlightView: Track almost any flight in progress.
Flight Explorer: Another tracker with more details on flight info and progress.
Flightradar24: Live air traffic and cockpit view in almost realtime

A little background on the East gate of Jerusalem ïNew window: The East gate was walled up by it's Muslim conquerors (the Ottoman Turks) in 1530 A.D. Notice also the cemetery that has been planted in front of it. Many believe this was done to prevent the entrance of the Jewish Messiah through that gate as was foretold by known Old Testament prophecies. However, the shutting of this gate itself was prophesied by Ezekiel around 600 B.C. -- that it would be shut "because the LORD (Jehovah or Yahweh), the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut."

Jesus entered Jerusalem through the East gate around 30 A.D. (long before it was blocked by the Ottomans) as he came down from the Mount of Olives and entered the temple according to our understanding of Luke 19:28-48. He would have entered through the original gate in the wall which was destroyed with the city by the Romans in 70 A.D. Ezekiel says concerning this closed gate that the "Prince" (which the Messiah is often called throughout the Old Testament and Jesus is called in the New Testament) shall enter it again. Jesus, having entered the city, said that he would not be seen again until Jerusalem acknowledges him (Matthew 23:37-39). See Ezekiel 44:1-3.

Question: Will Jerusalem ever acknowledge Him? See Zechariah 12, and his return to Jerusalem according to the prophet: Zechariah 14:1-11 (written approximately 550 BC), and according to Jesus: Matthew 24:14-31. Or All passages together.

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JESUS AND ETERNAL LIFE
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Gospel: 1. The proclamation of the redemption preached by Jesus and the Apostles, which is the central content of Christian revelation.
Messianic: 1. Of or relating to a messiah: messianic hopes.
Messiah: 1. The anticipated deliverer and king of the Jews.

Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation; further reproduction and distribution in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.


Who is Jesus, and The Sites to See
(All links open new windows!)

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KroyTech Computer Services
Serving Ft. Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, West Palm Beach, Florida
2301 W Sample Rd, Ste 5-4C
Pompano Beach, FL 33073-3059
Phone: Kroy Ellis (954) 946-8539
kroy@kroytech.com

Fast, expert computer repair and network service for Ft Lauderdale, Pompano, West Palm
Most emergency calls serviced within 2 hours
For immediate service call (954) 946-8539

Service areas in Florida: Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade Counties, West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, Palm Springs, Lake Worth, Lantana, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Highland Beach, Boca Raton, Lighthouse Point, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Oakland Park, Margate, Ft. Lauderdale, North Lauderdale, Lauderdale Lakes, Sunrise, Plantation, Davie, Cooper City, Dania, Pembroke Pines, Hallendale, Aventura, Miramar, Hollywood.

To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever!


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