Newsletter Comments from SCScompA

Newsletter Date: July 1, 2000

A busy June for us -- and, I guess for all of you as well.

A lot of Raleigh, North Carolina, USA golf -- with some short vacation trips in-plan as our summer progresses. Our PC will get its normal workout with pictures from golf/travel/vacation-spots. I guess the same, for you. Good luck with your logging of summer activities and arranging pictures for your friends/family members viewing. Certainly, logging trip information and organizing a report and associated sets of pictures is one of my favorite PC-related activities. If you are "matched" in that favoritism and have pictures/news you want to share with others using your PC and network provider -- and, you could use some assistance or ideas: Give us a shout.

Contact me regarding any matter in this newsletter that causes you concern or you want to otherwise discuss.

Dave Shogren
eMail to:


Miscellaneous Matters

Following, are some items worthy of more discussion than there is time for in this newsletter. The comments are placed here with the intent to let you know what we are working on. If you want to discuss any of the following in more detail, get back to us at
  • In earlier newsletters I mentioned that we run Windows 2000 on our home computers and are happy with that operating system. We run it on our PC and on our laptop. As part of those discussions, I mentioned we were using America Online 5.0 Beta and we were also happy with that on both Windows 2000 and Windows NT. Well, I am happy to say that this "goodness" is continuing with America Online's early look at their Beta for Version 6. We started using their Beta version 6 in June and although we use the final Beta 5.0 as our main America Online: Version 6 beta appears to be a nice move as well. I have no idea when either the Beta 5.0 or Beta 6.0 will become official. Certainly, the final Beta 5.0 is a more likely first-out option. Whichever one comes out first, from our home computer's (PC and laptop) point of view: I am pleased with America Online on Windows 2000 as a home user and I believe you would be, as well, if Windows 2000 is in your plan.

  • With regards to America Online:

    • Why have multiple screen names for your home location?

      In addition to being able to control some user preferences (for example, if children are involved in the Internet work/use there may be reasons for different options for them than for the home's adult users. I realise this statement needs to be discussed/explained -- but, I use that as an example) multiple screen names can be of value for:

      Managing eMail per user.

      Increasing the amount of server storage on America Online's machines that the home user can use for storing pictures and other matters to be shared with family/friends outside the home. Currently, for each screen name, America Online offers free use of 4 meg storage. If you have the maximum of 7 screen names, you may use 28-meg of storage. We find this sufficient for our use.

    • Offline use of America Online.

      Sometimes it is very nice to, when you are online, "quickly" read eMail onto your PC (it comes from the America Online server machine) and when you are offline, start America Online without signing on and doing a more detailed analysis/review of the eMail you read onto your PC. Then, after you have read the eMail in some detail, write any eMail response while you are offline at your own convenience. This will save you phone/dial time and in some cases: phone costs -- if you are in a situation where that is important.

      Sometimes, saving an Internet Web page (clicking on File-->Save As) while online and later browsing its information, printing some of the Web page's contents or cut/paste, etc. from it while offline can be of value.

      Printing, extracting information from eMail for printing, cut/paste of information from eMail and moving that information into an application such as Microsoft Word for printing or another use, may also be an offline use of America Online.

      Backing up your "on the PC" eMail and other preferences is also an offline activity. For now, the America Online "organize" directory is the key item to be backed up.

      Take advantage of offline use of America Online; it may save you time and, even, money! The same comment may apply to other internet providers if you are not an America Online user. Give offline use a look!

  • Keeping your home PC powered on 24 hours a day.

    Well..... ours is kept powered on if we are not on vacation. I would recommend doing that if the home user:

    1. Has a need for getting to the PC applications on a "regular" basis.
    2. Has a battery-type/capable surge protector connected to the PC.
    3. If connected to an "always there" internet provider / network access -- or, for that matter is "ever" online to an internet provider -- has a PC security/backup procedure in place.
    4. Makes use of a backup procedure for its PC and significant data on the PC -- and, is able to restore that PC/data or knows how to get assistance in doing the restore/rebuild of their PC.

    Some things to do if you keep your home PCs powered on a lot:

    • When you initially power up the PC, as usual, make sure devices such as display screen, printers, scanners, and external modems are powered up.
    • When you "stop work/use" of the PC for an extended period (more than an hour, overnight, etc.) turn off the external devices.
    • When you "resume work/use" of the PC, turn on those devices you need (display screen and -- probably-- the printer, at least).

Don't hesitate to contact with any comments on the above or for any related discussion.

Some Comments Regarding Internet Search/Use

As part of the updated lab exercise work done in June, there was some discussion about Internet use in conjunction with search engines.

Following, are a couple of selections from lab pages. If you have any comments on this topic let us know.

......... This is from a question/answer page in the lab:

  • While in the search engine part of this lab: Take a look at the current time on your watch or clock. Use the America Online search engine to find a Web page you are interested in. What company or person's Web page were you looking for? "17th Century English painters". Did you find a matching Web page that fit your purposes? "I found 131 -- but, it turned out none were exactly what I wanted".

    What was the resolved Web page address that you ended up with -- if you found a good page? "As I mentioned, none were exactly what I wanted". Take another look at the current time on your watch or clock. How long did it take you to find a Web page you wanted -- it you did find a Web page you were happy with! "I spent 15 minutes browsing the pages".

    Was the Web page of value/interesting for your current use? "Yes -- Interesting but not valuable in this case"! Would you recommend that Web page to others? "No".

    Note: The above "looked-at", "thanks-but-no-thanks", "interesting but not overly-valuable" scenario comes along in Internet searching as in any similar activity. Many times we go to a museum, a shopping center, a library, or other place or watched a movie or TV program and ended up not finding/getting out of the visit/look what we wanted. Hopefully, however, we are successful enough with the Internet searching and browsing that it ends up contributing to our overall use/value of a home computer.

......... This is from a related-to-the-above page in the lab:

  • Note: One lab user commented the following, and I think it worth repeating: "If I have only a general idea of what I want to find, it is very difficult and it takes a lot of time to find specific information. The more information I have before I start searching and browsing, the more specific I can ask and search on -- and: find… and be successful with".

    This is, basically, true -- and, I appreciated the comeback (above).

    One comment back to the lab user: The point you make is well taken. However, keep in mind that Search Engines and other offerings from Internet providers and well-used Home Pages are continually trying to improve. Don't let the lack-of-success discourage you. Plus, as a reminder: The Search Engine you are using often has ulterior motives (advertising and pointers-to-fellow-companies) of its own. This is, in my opinion, OK as long as you are willing to use different search engines and keep in mind that use of the Internet is, as with any similar matter, a reasonable cost and "fun" activity that sometimes ends up with success and sometimes a "waste of time"! We wish you good Internet searching!

Example of a Small Web Page for Family/Friends

This month's example of a small Web page which would be pointed to by letting family/friends know the web page address (mentioned in an eMail, for example) can be seen by clicking on: Summer 2000 Dessert

The file is a combination of very basic HTM commands (script) and the pointed-to JPG pictures. SCScompA has a lab exercise you can download which will assist you in building similar files for your home computer environment. The HTM part of the lab exercise would apply for any of your Web browsers, but the lab examples showing how to move the files to the Web use America Online.

Lab Exercise: Examples of Getting Started With and Using America Online and the Internet

The lab exercise I update of "Examples of Getting Started With and Using America Online and the Internet" is 95% finished. Let me know if you are interested in doing the lab. As with all SCScompA labs, if you download it and make use of it, send SCScompA $10 USA. Then, if you have questions and the questions can be handled by eMail, we will give you no-charge help in that way, as long as we have the resources. If it turns out you need direct hands-on assistance, we do that as well, at a rate of $25 per hour -- if you live within easy travelling distance of Raleigh, NC, USA!

The lab update resulted in more material than would easily fit online in one file. It has been separated into two parts and you need to download both parts to make use of the entire lab. Once downloaded, you -- and, SCScompA -- treat the two parts as one lab.

Following, is from the Table of Contents of the lab.

  • Getting Started with America Online - Some Comments
  • Offline Examples
    • Some Involvement of America Online and Windows
    • Starting America Online - Offline!
    • Using Offline Help
    • Screen Names
    • My AOL and Preferences - Offline
    • Mail Center - Offline
    • Write Mail - Offline
    • Mail Waiting to be Sent - Offline
    • Attaching a Picture or a Document - Offline
    • Moving eMail Information to Another Application such as Microsoft Word or WordPad - Offline
    • Setting up Internet Favorite Places - Offline
    • Backing up AOL Organize - Offline
  • Online Examples
    • Starting America Online - Online!
    • Main America Online - Online Panel
    • eMail Address and Screen Name
      • Online Panels and Some Windows' Matters
    • My AOL and Preferences - Online
    • Screen Names
    • Mail Center - Online
    • Write Mail - Online
    • Read Mail - Online
    • Offline Mail - Online
    • Internet
      • Controlling the Displayed Web Page Panel
      • Going to the Web
      • Internet Favorite Places - Online
      • Web Page Frames
      • Other Web Page Activities
      • Summary of Web Page Actions You Should Know How to do By Now!
    • Internet Access Without Using Favorites
      • Searching - And and Introduction to Search Engines
      • White Pages - Finding an Address and Telephone Number
      • Other-Than America Online Search Engines
    • Channels
    • Listening to Internet "Radio"
    • Using Netscape or Microsoft Internet Explorer Outside of America Online
      • Trying to Use America Online from Netscape or from Microsoft Internet Explorer
    • Switch Screen Name
    • Backing up AOL Organize
  • Summary and Final Work/Review
    • Paper Exercise - Question and Answer - Part of Lab 10 Final Work/Review
    • Lab Exercise Part of Lab 10 Final Work/Review
  • Appendix
    • Worksheet – America Online
    • Selected Answers to Lab 10 Questions
  • Your Questions and Answer worksheet

If you have any comments/questions or want the SCScompA lab exercise mentioned above, let me know (


Freecell Game/Deal of the Month

We continue, in our household, doing Freecell deals from 1-to-32000! We will NOT accomplish this task. We know that. However, as we go along in our for-fun-effort, yet frustration... I will mention once in awhile specific Freecell deals we find challenging.

Note: If you are running your PC on Windows 98, it is possible you have to specifically install Freecell. Just install Accessories/Games.

Let me know if this Freecell game and the number of times we had to restart to solve the deal is about what you find. If you are going to attack deals 1-to-32000 and want to interact with us in that regard, let me know what thousand-or-so you are going to start with. We have completed deals through 1000. Now, we are attacking 1001-to-2000 and I would recommend you start with 2001! At the rate we are going (a little more than 100 deals a month) it will only take us 24 more years to complete the 32000 deals without your help. If you let us know what you have completed, it will take us less time!

  • Freecell Deal Number: 828.
    Number of times I had to re-start to complete in lost-count moves: 7

    Deal 598 continues to be the most difficult one we found in deals 1-1003.

Let me know how YOU do!

If you want to see our list of Freecell Deals 1-thru-what we are working on now and our comments on how many times we had to restart the deal to find a solution, let me know -- or click on: SCScompA Freecell Table of Completed Deals

To contact me about anything on this Web page, please: send mail to:

Or send snail-mail to:

P.O. Box 58223
Raleigh NC 27658


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