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  Computer and Internet Tips (2)  

For those who always start typing http://www. for an internet address (url). You will be glad to know that in many cases you don't have to type this part of it at all. In fact the http:// part is often not necessary (though if you should replace it with ftp:// you'll get something else). But you're probably not concerned by this.
As for the www. part most sites don't require it (others, like mine, won't work if you put it in). So when you get a url like http://www.google.com or http://www.yahoo.com just type google.com and yahoo.com
As a matter of fact you don't even have to type the .com part to get the site. In such a case though you'll have to press the Control button then hit Enter. Give it a try to see if it works by just typing "google" or "yahoo". The same is true for all the other sites. Don't complicate your life unnecessarily!
If you want to print an email message from your Gmail account without having to print the column on the left (containing Inbox, Sent Mail, etc) nor the sponsored links/advertisements on the right you have to click on New window (not from File - New Window but "New Window" on the right-side column of your email) and then click on "Print all" from there.
How to send the same email to a number of persons with Outlook Express. There are two ways of doing this with just one click of the Send button. Whichever way you choose, you start by typing the email address of the first person on the list as you would when sending an email to a single person. Once you have done that you have two options:
(a) If you are sending the same email to a number of persons and you want them to know that that same email is being sent to the others in the list just type the other email addresses one after the other (but separated by a semi-colon) in the Cc (= carbon copy) field/line.
(b) However, this is not quite ethical as some of the recipients might not want their names or email addresses to be known to the others. In this case you should type all the addresses in the Bcc (= blind carbon copy) field/line. In this way you don't have to send the emails one by one and at the same time every person listed (remember to separate each email address with a semi-colon) will receive it as if you had sent it to him and him alone. However keep in mind that the name and email of the first person will still be visible to everyone of the recipients. If the Bcc field/line is not there, go to View, click on "All Headers" and the Bcc field/line should appear.
Don't be played out by your Search settings (in Start - Search - Files/Folders). I was, recently, after I was forced to reinstall Windows. I wanted to see if I had a file called sr.sys in my computer but a search through the whole of my hard disk turned up nothing. Yet I found out later that the file actually exists in my C:/Windows/System32/Drivers folder. To make sure this doesn't happen to you go to Start - Search - Files/Folders - All Files and Folders and under "Advanced Options" put a tick in the small box that says "Search in the system folders" and another tick in the one that says "Search in the hidden folders". In this way you can be sure that whatever file you have in your computer will be searched for.
If you have something like 40 or so favourite sites (or sites that you consult regularly) it's not very practical to go hunting for them in your Favourites each time. How about putting all of them in a table?
Go here to learn how to do this.
If there is an unwanted program that always opens when your computer starts you would normally uninstall it from the Start menu or the Control Panel. However when this is not possible (as in the case of Incredimail) what you can do is to go to Start - Run and type msconfig in the box. Click OK and look what's inside the startup tab. You should normally find the name of the unwanted programme there. Just untick/uncheck it and click on Apply. When you restart your computer the unwanted programme would normally not make its appearance.
When installing a program, if you should get a message saying that it could not execute MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows applications because the system file autoexec.nt (or any other file) is not appropriate, don't despair. In my case I just typed the name of the file mentioned in the Google Searchbox and learnt that if one had installed Service Pack 2 for Windows XP (which I did) one would not be able to run any of the older 16-bit programs unless one downloads a patch to fix it. After downloading this patch from the site I was able to install my program without any difficulty.
Sometimes it is not possible to copy something that want from a web page (if the webmaster has disabled the right click). To go round this problem all you have to do is to go to the menu bar at the top of your browser, click on "View" then "Page Source" and you should be able to copy the text from there.
How to copy a video clip from YouTube.
Go to the top of the screen where the url of the video clip is and insert the word kiss BETWEEN http://www. AND youtube.com. The url will now look like this:
Hit your Enter key. In the new page go down to the bottom of the page and click on "Download now".  Go here for a full explanation.
Have you ever wondered how you can type characters such as ¿ ¡ © € æ ñ ± etc. all of which are not on your keyboard? Nothing can be easier as you only need to know where the ALT button is. I have put a list of the most common special characters and how you can produce them separately here.
How to copy text or image from a pdf document i.e. a document created with Adobe Reader (formerly called Acrobat Reader).
To do this you will have to locate in the second row of the toolbar a vertical line with a big "T" next to it. Take your mouse there, click on it and you can now copy the text you want. Incidentally to copy an image you have to click on the button called Graphics Select Tool which is just next to it. Once you do that you will be able to select part or whole of the image that you want to copy. Similarly if you want to do a "Search" for a word or name in a pdf document (which could easily run to 50 or more pages) you will be able to do so by clicking on the pair of binoculars.
(Note: In the latest version you will have to click on Select in order to copy text and the camera icon to copy graphic.)

WARNING on spoof or phishing e-mails. Things are not always what they seem. Just look at the following two links. They are the same, aren't they? Yet, they're not.
The first one is the genuine one, the second one is fake. (I'm using Citibank as an example as it is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, bank in the world)
If you click on the second link you will not be taken to Citibank (or Amazon or Paypal or Ebay, three other common targets). Instead you will be taken to a spoof website (but which resembles the Citibank website to a T) whose aim is to get your account number, password etc. in order to go into your account there.
This is possible because it is quite easy to reproduce the genuine site (including the log-in, account number and password boxes for you to type in the details).
Once you fill them up you've had it. Frightening, isn't it? How not to fall into its clutches? Simple.
JUST DONT CLICK ON A LINK FROM AN EMAIL (PURPORTEDLY) COMING FROM YOUR BANK. If you do online banking (I myself do it as it is very convenient and almost 100% safe, though there is talk of "pharming" nowadays) type your bank URL (the part that starts with http://) yourself into the address box of Internet Explorer or Firefox (at the top of the screen) and make sure you see a tiny "lock". In such a case you should have nothing to fear. One very important thing to remember when you make use of online banking is to log off (or click on the button Disconnect) when you're through with it. The fact that you closed the page doesn't mean that the next person who clicks on your bank link (if you're in a cybercafe or in the office) will not find himself in your bank account, so be warned. This is also true for emails. When you're through with your email, you've got to log off or disconnect. It's not enough just to close the email page because if you do that the next person who clicks on Hotmail or Gmail could find himself in your email account! Frightening isn't it?
How to remove an uninstalled program from the Add/Remove list.
Most of you know undoubtedly that if you want to remove a program that you don't make use of anymore all you have to do is to go to Start - Settings - Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs. But sometimes the program's name still remains even after it has been uninstalled (this was the case with my Awasu program for rss feeds). This is indeed most annoying.
In this case you can remove it manually from the list by going to the Registry (Start - Run and type regedit in the box).
Once you are there develop this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
Highlight the name of the program that has no business to remain there and delete it.
In the worst of cases, though, you might have to re-install the program in order to be able to remove it cleanly.
From time to time when everything works perfectly (your internet connection, your email, etc.) it might be a good moment to "create a restore point". This is even more important before you install a program which you are afraid might create problems. In this way you can always "roll back" i.e. return your computer to the time before you did the installation.
This is how you go about it under Windows XP: Go to Start - Programs - Accessories - System Tools - System Restore and click "Create a restore point". You will be asked to give a description as a point of reference. Since the date is always automatically given I usually just type "Everything ok". If my computer should have problems some time later all I have to do now is to go back to the same place but this time click on "Restore my computer to an earlier time" and look for the day with "Everything ok". In case System Restore just disappears from System Tools (it happened to my PC once) don't worry. Just look for this file and click on it and it will open up System Restore. The file is called rstrui.exe and you can normally find it in the C:\Windows\System32\Restore folder.

If you need to print a page from Internet but do not want to print all the publicity stuff, menu or banners this is how you go about it: Just highlight the text, map or pictures that you want to be printed (with Copy) then go to the top of the page and click on File - Print - Print Range - Selection - OK. That's all there is to it!
Like to see what your favourite website looked like in the past? Just type its URL in the box.
Wayback machine logo
Do you wish to create a web page that opens four of your favourite sites when you click on it? Nothing can be simpler really. You can even open it from your hard disk (if you are connected to Internet, that is). Go here for full details on how to go about creating such a customized page.
Your Internet Explorer window always opens full screen. Then one day it gets screwed up by you-don't-know-what and it never opens up full window again but fills up only a quarter or less of your screen forcing you to click on the Maximize button (the small white square at the top right hand corner of your browser) each time. Before you tear out all the hair in your head try this: Close all the windows that are open (but NOT the one that doesn't open full screen). If you had earlier clicked on the Maximize button for this page reduce it now by clicking on the button next to the Maximize button (the one with two tiny white squares interlocked). All you have to do now is to take your mouse to the four vertical/horizontal lines that enclose this window and drag them upwards, downwards and sideways left or right with your mouse until it fills up the whole screen. There is one last thing to do. Close this enlarged window by clicking on the X next to the Maximize button. Try opening this same page again. It should now fill up the whole screen.
You waste a lot of time looking for the tiny X square at the top right hand corner of your screen each time you want to close a window. The fastest way to close a window is to press Control then W with two fingers of your left hand. To try this open a new window first with Control N then close it with Control W. You'll see how fast (and easy) it is.
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