Thursday, January 13, 2005

Internet-Computer Tips 1-10 (Advanced)

These are the back issues of the e-newsletter "Internet Tips" advanced level from 2004. Starting with the next issue, all e-newsletters will be posted here instead of emailed. *These tips have been compiled through a variety of sources, including Stef Morrill from South Central Library System, and Tom Mighell from, among others.

Advanced Tip: Internet-related File Types
Are you wondering what all those file types you see on the web are about? This web page will list the common file types and where you can get more information about them:

Advanced Tip: Introduction to mailing lists
An electronic mailing list allows you to read information or opinions about a specific topic. Many mailing lists offer subscribers to share their views or questions on the topic; some mailing lists only offer subscribers the information from the list owner or manager, not a chance to post their own messages. For more information about the basics skills and commands required for mailing lists, see the article at this web address:

Advanced Tip: Retrieving Form Information
You're filling out a form on the Internet -- you submit it, and find there's an error. When you go back to fix the error, you find all of the data in your form is gone -- you have to start all over again. Don't you just hate that?There's a way to prevent that from happening. In Internet Explorer, go to Tools, then Internet Options. Select the General Tab and then the Settings button. Check the box next to "Every time you start Internet Explorer." If you're using Netscape, click Edit, then Preferences. Double-click Advanced, and click Cache. Set the memory cache to at least 1024KB, and the disk cache to a minimum of 7680KB. Then clear both caches. Even after you do this, it might still not work properly -- you may have to click your browser's refresh button to see the data. [Taken from "Internet Legal Research Weekly" Issue 134; 11-24-03]

Advanced Tip: Where was I?
If you've been working on a long document and will be continuing work on it at different times for the next few days, each time you open the file, you start out at the top and have to scroll down to where you were the last time you worked on it. This is tiring and confusing, depending on the length of the file. The next time you open that long document, press SHIFT-F5. You should be taken to the point where you were last working. Use this any time you want to get back to your working spot after you have been scrolling through a document.

Advanced Tip: Bookmarks v. Favorites
Curious as to what the difference is? Not much. "Bookmarks" are Netscape's term for what are essentially internet shortcuts. "Favorites" are MS Internet Explorer's term for them. They both work the same way. When you're on a page you want to get back to, you click the Favorites or Bookmarks menu (depending on the browser) and usually you'll find an option to add the page to your favorites / bookmarks. Click that, add the page, and it appears on your favorites or bookmarks menu.

Advanced Tip: Incomplete URL's (web addresses)
Trying to find a website, but only know part of the URL? Use Google's "allinurl" syntax to find the site. Type allinurl:[search terms], and Google will return a listing of all the sites with those words in the URL.

Advanced Tip: TROUBLESHOOTING: What to do when:
Your search produces no results:
*Make sure you read the tool's description, options, rules and restrictions. Not all search tools are created equal.
*Make sure your spelling is right. If you're not sure, use substrings (if allowed).
*If you use logical operators (Boolean operators), check your syntax.
*Try to be less specific in your query. Do not overspecify a search. You might miss relevant documents.
*Try synonyms and variations on words.
*Use another search engine.

Your search produces too many results:
*Try to be more specific.
*Identify common words that are important to your search.
*Try to think of words that uniquely identify what you're looking for. Some words are of little value, because they identify lots of documents. The more distinctive a word, the more useful it will be for sharpening your search.
*Try searching by an exact phrase, title, or name enclosed by quotation marks.
*Try to use as many relevant keywords as possible; it will help to uniquely identify what you're looking for.

Advanced Tip: Don't Forget "Find on Page" searching
You use search engines to find certain words on the web. Don't forget that you can find certain words on the current web page you're viewing by pressing CTRL+F. Simply type the word to look for and press ENTER. (This command can also be found under "Edit" on the toolbar)

Advanced Tip: Anti-Virus SoftwareKeep your antivirus up-to-date. Set it up to check for updates automatically at least once a day. Remember that most antivirus software is on a subscription basis. When your subscription runs out it will not update anymore and you will not be protected from any virus that is created after your subscription runs out. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is available for all single home users.
Check your computer for viruses online for free. This should not be used as a replacement for full time antivirus software installed on your computer. and

Advanced Tip: Answers That Work
Do you ever pull up your computer's Task Manager and wonder what all those programs are? Check out Answers that Work -- click on Task List and then navigate over to the name of the mysterious program. Answers that Work will tell you what the program does, and whether you can safely remove it.