Here are some of the Tutor Tips that were published in the Maynliner and the Active Page monthlies over the years.  Some of them may be out of date now. (Copyrighted by River Judd except where noted.)


BE GOOD to MAMA EARTH

PHONE HOGGS

SURF with your KIDS, plus

CHAT ROOM BULLIES

CD HELP

'MEAT' the ENEMY

VIRUS INSANITY

VIRUS REVISITED

The VIRUS NAG is Back In Town

KID SAFE INTERNET ADVENTURES

A LITTLE HELP from our CYBER FRIENDS

ARE YOU ON ALL THE TIME?

SAFETY TIPS from the MOUSE

BEFUSED and CONFUDLED?

COMPARISON  SHOPPING 

Caution: MAC USERS FOUND GLOATING and GIGGLING

EASY ON THE EMAIL TRIGGER FINGER

BACKUPS


BE GOOD to MAMA EARTH, Faithful Mac Owner

So you've got a couple of dead PowerBook batteries and a few wasted toner cartridges and you don't want to be known around the neighborhood as a ground-poisoner. (Ditto for those lithium batteries inside your desktop computers.)

What to do with these items to keep them out of landfills? Apple would like parts of your batteries back. Just return these items to your Apple authorized dealer.

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PHONE HOGGS

Tired of calling Marg time & again only to get a busy signal ever since she got that darned new fangled Internet.  Try reminding her that most modern email programs are designed to let her read and write email without being on the phone line.   Of course she has to connect for a moment to get the mail but immediately after that she can hang up!  The email is already delivered to her computer and she can read, and write, at leisure.  Otherwise, it's like having the mail man wait at the door while you read and then write a response to today's mail.

There is a way to set your program NOT to send and receive when you first start up. It is better to have it wait until you ask it to do so.   Look under your OPTIONS setting in the menu.  Call if you need help.  Marg probably will be calling you to find out ...

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SURF with your KIDS, plus...

Surfing the Web with you kids is a recommended family improvement project but when you must be way from the tube for a while try this tip

Several companies sell software that filters out Web pages that are inappropriate for kids. You download and install the software which then runs on your computer and blocks your kids from seeing inappropriate stuff without restricting your access.
Some popular vendors include:
CyberPatrol (http://www.cyberpatrol.com)
Net Nanny (http://www.netnanny.com)
SafeSurf (http://www.safesurf.com)
SurfWatch (http://www.surfwatch.com)
Cybersitter (http://www.solidoak.com.com)
Note: None of these programs tells you exactly what they filter out; their idea of what's appropriate or inappropriate may not match yours.

from IDG books

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CHAT ROOM BULLIES

Some people take advantage of the anonymity that Internet chat provides and get quite rude.
You have four good options and one bad option in responding.
The good options:
  - Go to another chat room.
  - Pay no attention to the troublemaker
  - Make the person's comments disappear from your screen. AOL, CompuServe, and ChatDesktop all have easy ways of doing so.
  - Complain to the individual's service provider.
The bad option:
 - Responding in kind to rudeness, which just gives the offender the attention he or she wants and may get you kicked off your service.

(reprinted from Dummies Daily)

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CD HELP

Those wonderful CDs we're so used to nowadays have taken a new turn lately with the advent of moderately priced CD Writers for your computer.  You can now use them to backup important files and make audio CDs for your stereo.  Who'd a thunk it?
Some pointers to keep in mind.  Buy the best brand name quality blank CDs to ensure long life i.e.. decades.  Some of the el-cheapo offerings were testing less than 5 years for data integrity.

Also, keep your CD-R discs in sealed containers away from bright lights, heat and water. CD writers use laser light to write the data on the dye layer, but sunlight, bright room lights and heat cause the dyes to degrade quickly. Water will not harm the plastic disc, but exposure to liquid water may damage the dye layer on top.

Yes, "on top" - damage to the top of the CD will remove the dye that carries the colours that stored the data.  Felt tip pens only, please and no stickers unless designed for that specific use.

RECYCLING USED CD's - when your done with them, or for all those freebies in the mail sew them onto your life jacket to use as mirrors.  They can attract help by reflecting the sunlight towards other boaters.  Really!  Just ask the Coast Guard.

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'MEAT' the ENEMY

SPAM - unsolicited, bulk email - the scourge of our marvelous, new medium. The Internet grew from a need for the easy and free flow of information, and everyone using it should strive to keep it that way. But, alas, human nature includes the hucksters that plug things up with junk.

Check out these Web sites for information about spam and how to fight it, technically, socially, and increasingly legally:

www.spam.abuse.net: A spam overview
www.cauce.org: Anti-spam laws
www.abuse.net: A complaint forwarding service

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VIRUS INSANITY

Just to make us crazy there are 700 computer viruses released every month!  I wish those folks would get a life but 'till then Protect Yourself. Using a computer that shares files (Internet web or email, floppies, CD's, DVD's, Zip cartridges, tapes, networks) absolutely requires  virus protection software these days. There are lots of vendors, free and paid, so just check your favorite software store or web search engine for sources. Get the kind the keeps you UP TO DATE with all the latest virus definitions.  The good ones remind you automatically.  And make sure the program is installed properly and ENABLED.
One easy precaution - TURN OFF YOUR EMAIL PRE-VIEW FUNCTION.  If your email program automatically shows you the first few lines of the selected email in a separate panel then you have already opened the email and any virus has already infected your system.

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VIRUS REVISITED

This is a test to see if you were watching last month - same message again.
To avoid running viruses that are attached to emails simply do not open the email.  Put the email in the trash if you don't recognize who the email is from or if you have been warned about the source or title.
In order to have the opportunity to take this action you must TURN OFF THE PREVIEW function of you email program.  The preview section of the screen is the one that show you the top lines of the message when you select its header in a the adjacent window.  Handy, but deadly these days.
See
www.gulfislands.com/connx/connx/NoPreview.htm if you need help

See also the hundred and one ways to protect yourself by searching for "free antivirus" on the web.

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The VIRUS NAG is BACK in TOWN

I just spent three hours on the phone with a client attempting to repair an assault by a Nimda worm.  Hundreds of Windows and document files were damaged and his main working programs were disabled. Bad enough for the home gamer crowd but when its a bread and butter home business machine you'll come away with a lot less hair.
An excellent virus checker was installed but NOT UP TO DATE.  A setting had turned off automatic updating and scanning.  The worst! You think you're covered and you're not.

Check that:
1) the program regularly gets virus definition files from the Internet,
2) learn where to find the date of the latest definition file installed,
3) check that the scanner automatically checks all file functions like opening, copying, downloading, including email & attachments,
4) set the app to scan all parts of memory and boot records EACH time you boot up.  (It only takes few extra seconds.)
5) schedule weekly scans of all fixed drives (this takes much longer - do it just when you leave the house perhaps)

(For the very best in file damage protection consider using a System Imaging application (like Drive Image or Ghost) to make a snap shot of your core disk space.  If disaster hits there's no need for repair. You just replace the whole setup in 10 minutes from your CD drive. Brute force but fast and thorough.)

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KID-SAFE NET ADVENTURES

Before you even think about letting your kids use the Internet, you must set some rules for them and make sure they understand them. Here are a few of the basics:

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A LITTLE HELP from our CYBER FRIENDS

Want a little help with your taxes this season?  How does inexpensive or free sound to you?
There are $30-ish programs available that ask all the relevant questions so you don't miss something on this year's return.
You can also prepare you return for free on the web.  Try QuickTaxWeb.ca or
www.taxwiz.ca. The same sites also have a place to buy their off-line programs available by download or CD.
You could even help a friend or two do theirs at no extra cost.
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ARE YOU ON ALL THE TIME?

... your computer, that's.  Our favorite slaves have this nasty habit of taking a boringly long time of booting up unlike the trusty light bulb. So we tend to leave them on a lot which is not good for saving energy.  Or perhaps yours is the family fax receiving machine, etc
While it is true that the newer models tend to have monitor and hard drive saving functions that turn them off after a period of inactivity there is a significant problem lurking here in Gulfisland paradise.  Power Outages!
Most operating systems and the complex programs we use for word and picture processing, business bookkeeping and a host of others have a number of files open when they are running.  If the power goes off in mid stride these files can be damaged and you data is open to possible loss.
Moral?  When you will not be around to shut things down before a storm, turn of the computer before going out.  This doesn't get around accidents near and far that leave us powerless, however, and a much better solution is to install UPS (i.e. battery backup).  These go for $100 plus and will give you 5, 10, or more minutes to save your files and shut down.  They can also be hooked up to shut down automatically while you are away.
Now if only we could be so organized about, say, our finances, or politics, or ...

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SAFETY TIPS from the MOUSE

For sensible Internet safety advice that applies to kids and adults, refer to Disney's Safety Tips. After you've got your family on board with these pointers on safety and privacy, check out some of the recommended sites at the bottom of the page for kid-friendly surfing.

For more advice for your next Web adventure, turn to the newly revised
The Internet For Dummies, 8th Edition, by John R. Levine, Carol Baroudi, and Margaret Levine Young.

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BEFUSED and CONFUDLED?

When is comes to searching the Web for information you can quickly get overwhelmed by the amount of information out there.; after all it is the largest library ever assembled by the clever human mind.  Also astounding is the number of Search Engines available.  Here's a nifty guide to selecting which engine is useful for your particular search.  The site was developed by a group of ... (who else?)... librarians.  Fire up your web browser and type in
www.noodletools.com/noodlequest/ to get a checklist of options helping you decide.

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COMPARISON  SHOPPING 

Comparison shopping on the Web doesn't involve driving all over town from store to store. Click your way to better deals with handy comparison sites Price Grabber and My Simon. Both sites look and feel like just another well-organized online store. However, rather than promoting their own inventories, these sites show you who else is selling your item online and for how much. Before you snap up the lowest priced listing just be sure to read all the fine print and factor in shipping charges.

Comparison sites are also a great resource for online auction enthusiasts. Use these sites to determine the fair market value for an auction item and then set your maximum bid accordingly.

Reprinted from eTips at Dummies.com

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Caution: MAC USERS FOUND GLOATING and GIGGLING

With the usual blizzard of security updates that Microsoft Windows users receive there now comes yet another.  There is a file in Windows XP that offers a major security risk.  Malicious programmers could use it to delete files on your machine resulting in lost documents or crashed Windows or programs.  The problem is fixed with WinXP's recently released Service Pack 1 but there are at least two BUTs with this fix.  1) 20% of people installing SP1 say they are having trouble. 2) You can't get there from here anyway (the free download is 33 to over a hundred MEGS is size.)  You can, however, order the CD.

HERE'S A QUICK FIX for this one problem file.  Go to
www.grc.com and click on the "UNPLUG & PRAY" item.  It will let you download a tiny file called XPdite which you can run to close the XP hole.  The site is provided by a major techie, Steve Gibson, who has been my guru for hard drives since the first PC's arrived in the early 80's

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EASY ON THE EMAIL TRIGGER FINGER

when you return home from vacation the first thing you may want to do is get your email.  But, hold on!  UPDATE YOUR VIRUS PROTECTION FIRST.  It may be hard to resist reading email before doing so but the newest viruses are just as itchy to wreak havoc on you system.  And please remember DON'T OPEN ATTACHMENTS unless they have been virus scanned and you know what they are before hand.

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BACKUPS

"Oh quit bugging me about backups" you say.  Alright, consider that from the time your hard drive begins to fail and the moment your documents are gone is about 1/100th of a second.  If you can act faster than that your probably safe - except you'll never know when it will happen.  Here's the alternative:
For all those documents that you have slaved over that you want to find in the future, consider putting them in a single folder (eg My Documents) with appropriately organized sub-folders for your various tasks (eg. home, work1, work2,  family, pictures, music,...)
Then you can MAKE A COPY easily to your floppy or recordable CD (or network if present).  The idea is to have a copy on separate drives, not just in another folder on the same drive.
Watch out for programs that store files in their own data folders that you will need to search for to make a copy.  Make them store your files in you Documents folders by choosing the folder at file save time.  The safest time to backup is right after you have finished editing the file.
Here's a QUICKY BACKUP tip: If you have email, you can always send the file to yourself as an attachment to keep it safe in a remote computer until the next time you get your email.

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