Computer and Internet Tips (3)  

If all of a sudden your computer refused to work (yesterday it was still working perfectly) this is the easiest way to get it back to work for someone who doesn't know much about the workings of a computer.
This is how you go about it under Windows XP: Go to Start - Programs - Accessories - System Tools - System Restore. Then click on "Restore my computer to an earlier time", then Next and click on yesterday's date or even earlier. It will then restart and you would find your computer in the situation it was in when everything was working perfectly. By the way any file created after that date or emails received after that date would not be lost. It's only the programs that will be affected (i.e. any program installed after that date - which was probably the cause of your computer crash - would be lost).
If you need to spell a word like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (which incidentally appears in the Oxford English Dictionary and is considered by many to be the longest word in English), don't throw up your hands in despair. Just type the first few syllables in Google or any other search engine (eg. supercalifra) and put an asterisk * after it (supercalifra*). The asterisk is a joker or "wild card" i.e. it can stand for any letter or any number of letters. There, the word is yours!
Similarly if you know that a line in the song in My Fair Lady starts with "The rain in Spain....." and ends with "the plain" but you just can't recall the words in-between just type "the rain in spain * the plain" (keep the inverted commas to make sure the words are in that order) and you will be able to find the whole sentence.
Incidentally to a geek, f**k is not the word that the man in the street takes it to be. It simply means that anything can go in between the f and the k (actually f*k is enough, the second * is redundant).
Has this happened to you? While trying to maximize the screen to read my emails in Outlook Express I closed the left frame containing the Folder List. Try as I could I did not succeed in getting it back until...Well this is the secret. Inside Outlook Express click on View then Layout. Now put a tick on Folder List (it was unticked when you closed the left frame earlier) then OK. Everything should be back in order again.
Instead of typing the full URL address eg. you only have to type yahoo then press the Control key (keep pressing) and strike the Enter key before letting go of both. Cool, isn't it? (Unfortunately this only works in Internet Explorer not in Netscape.) Do the same for Google. Don't waste your time typing   Go ahead, try it now!
Note: In case it doesn't work do this:
Go the the menu bar of Internet Explorer, click on Tools - Internet Options - Content - Autocomplete then put a tick on "Web address". Close IE and when you reopen IE again it should work.
If you wish to maximize screen space for the Internet page you are reading, all you have to do is to press the F11 button. This is a toggle button, that is, by pressing F11 again you will go back to its original state. Go ahead, see it for yourself!
If you are searching for a particular word or name in an Internet page (probably you were sent there by a search engine) but don't know where the key word is in the page, just press the Control button followed by the F button (for Find). You will then be able to type the word in the box. Click on Next and if the word is there it will be highlighted. Go on, find out for yourself if it works! (Type the word "highlighted" for example.) If it doesn't work it is because there are frames in the page so you are actually reading two pages instead of one and it doesn't know in which of the two pages you want the search to be made. To overcome this problem just highlight any word in the page concerned before you use the Control F button.
Using search engines: When you type in the key words don't bother about putting the names of countries in capital letters or typing words like "and, on, in, to, the" as search engines don't normally take them into account. Also, due to the incredible mass of web pages available on any subject under the sun it is always better to put two or three key words than just one eg. not just barcelona but hotels barcelona if you are looking for a hotel. Please note that it is no longer necessary to put the plus sign (+) or the word AND between the two words as most search engines automatically put them in for you.
On the other hand the minus sign (-) has a specific role. Let's say you want to learn all about the city of Paris in France. However if you should type Paris in any search engine the chances are you will also be getting sites with Paris Hilton in it. If you are not at all interested in that little blonde you should type paris -hilton in the searchbox. In this way you will be getting Paris but without Hilton. But if it is the woman you are interested in and not the city of Paris or Hotel Hilton then you should put "paris hilton" between inverted commas.
If you are searching for the lyrics of a particular song just type the song title (put it within inverted commas) followed by the word lyrics. Remember that when you put a phrase between inverted commas the words must follow each other exactly as they are and that the little words like "and, in, to, the" are of the utmost importance. Thus if you are looking for the Beatles song and you type "the fool on hill" lyrics or "the fool on a hill" lyrics it will get you nowhere. You have to type "the fool on the hill" lyrics. When you are not sure of the exact phrase it's better to type only the key words eg. fool hill.
If you cannot recall the title nor the singer of a song you like but you do remember a phrase in the song eg. "i see your face in every flower" just type that whole phrase within inverted commas and there are strong chances that the search engine will come out with what you are looking for. But typing "i see her face in every flower" will get you nowhere as it is not her face but your face in the lyrics. Go ahead, see for yourself!
If a programme (such as Real Player, Internet Explorer, etc.) stubbornly refuses to close and you are stuck with a sandglass icon that refuses to disappear from your screen, the only way to get rid of that programme is by calling up the Task Manager and clicking on "End of task" under Applications. There are at least three ways of calling up the Task Manager, my favourite being the three buttons CTRL, ALT and DELETE. If you prefer, you can also use the CTRL, SHIFT and ESC buttons. Whatever your preference remember that you have to hold all the three buttons together before releasing them (use both hands if necessary). A third way of getting the Task Manager is by rightclicking on an empty space of your taskbar (it's the horizontal bottom bar of your screen).
Do you know how to take a "photograph" of what is on your screen? It's really very simple. Just press the "Print Screen" button (it's to the right on the top row of your keyboard), then open the Paintbrush program from Start - Programs - Accessories, then go to the menu line at the top and click on Edit - Paste. Then click on File - Save Under and that's it. It will be saved as a .bmp file (which actually takes up a large chunk of your memory) unless you change the default file setting to jpg. You can also select just the part of the screen you want for a screenshot. If you need to do this quite often you'll be glad to learn that there is a program which will make your life much easier. It's called MWSnap. Thanks to Keith Paterson, webmaster of Silverhairs for the tip.

Each time you click on your browser (Internet Explorer and Netscape being the most popular) does it open up a page that is of no interest to you? If so why not do something about it? It's really simple. As an example let's say you want to open with my home page each time you click on the browser icon (the same principle applies to any other page). This is what you have to do:
If you are using Internet Explorer: Click on Tools in the menu bar, then Internet Options, under the heading General look at the section titled Home Page. Click on Use current and you will be taken automatically to my home page in future.
If you are using Netscape Navigator: Click on Edit in the menu bar, then Preferences and under Navigator see that both Navigator starts with home page and Use current page are selected.
BTW talking about browsers you don't really have to choose between Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox, Opera or any other browser. I would strongly suggest that you have at least two browsers installed in your PC. The reason is that if for whatever reason your IE doesn't work you can also use the other browser to get into Internet.
Understanding the structure of an Internet address:
Take an address like which you might notice at the top of the page after a search from Google (or Yahoo). It is about the night market in Jalan Petaling (Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown).
Do you see 4 slashes or strokes (not counting the double // that come after http:) in the address? To go to the home page of the site all you have to do is to delete whatever comes after the first of the four single slashes, leaving you with
This is the main address of the site (the others are known as deep links). If you click on this address you will see that the site also deals with other countries besides Malaysia: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, each of which has its own sub-directory.
Or you can also trace backwards. Thus Kuala Lumpur (kl) is a sub-directory of Interesting Places (intplace) which itself is a sub-directory of Malaysia which in turn is a sub-directory of the domain address
I have put together here a number of details that you might need to know at one time or another during your surfing experience.
1.  Your IP address. This is what identifies your computer. Check it here. But if you also need to know its location as well then go to IP2Location.
2.  Your screen resolution i.e. how large your window screen is. Check it here.
3.  Your computer settings. In case you don't know what type of browser you are using or the type of operating system (platform) your computer is running on or whether cookies are enabled in your computer, etc. check it out here. It also has a checklist to enable you to install whatever is missing in your computer in order for it to be capable of high-performance.
Do you find that the size of the words on your Internet page are too small or too BIG ?
Well, you can easily do something about it. All you have to do is to click at "View" in the top menu bar, then "Text Size" then choose the appropriate size (might not work with some web pages though). I took some time to discover this. It's now yours - with no time wasted!
If you need to copy all your "Favorites" (also called "Bookmarks") from your old computer to your new one this is how you go about it: Put a disk in the "A" Drive of your old computer. Open Internet Explorer. Click on File on the top menu bar. Then click on Import and Export. A Wizard page will open to make things easier for you. Next click on Export Favorites. Click on "Next" two times and ask that the file be put in Drive "A". The file will normally be named "bookmark.htm". Leave the name as it is. When you get a message saying that the Wizard has finished its job remove your disk and put it in Drive "A" of your new computer. Repeat the first three steps as above (open IE - File - Import and Export). But this time click on Import Favorites and give the path for the bookmark.htm file in Drive "A". You should see "A:\bookmark.htm" before you click "Next". When there is a message saying that the Wizard has terminated its job click on Favorites and you should be able to see the bookmarks from your old PC there.
Do you want Outlook Express to play a sound when a new e-mail message arrives? This is how you go about it. Open Outlook Express. Click on "Tools" at the top menu bar, then "Options" then "General". Under the heading "Send/Receive Messages" put a tick on "Play sound when new messages arrive" and "Check for new messages every    minutes". Type in the time interval you wish to have your e-mails checked eg. every 5 or 10 minutes. Click OK and that is all there is to it.
Do you want Outlook Express to access all your different e-mail accounts each time you open it? It's possible. Click on "Tools" at the top menu bar, then "Accounts" then "Mail" then "Add" and "Mail" again. From here on you will be guided step by step to type in your different e-mail accounts. For your Hotmail account you should select HTTP as server instead of "pop" as for the other accounts. Please note however that it is no longer possible to have Outlook Express access your Yahoo e-mail account unless you are willing to pay Yahoo for it.
Two other points to get the most out of your Outlook Express:
(i)To make sure you don't lose any messages go to Tools - Accounts - Mail. Highlight the relevant e-mail account then click on Properties. Next click on Advanced and under Delivery put a tick before "Leave a copy of messages on server".
(ii)To protect your Outlook Express with a password go to File - Identities - Manage Identities - Properties - tick Require a password and type in your password twice.
Even if you bookmark a frequently-used site by putting it in your "Favorites" it could still be quite a hassle looking for it each time. The solution is to put a shortcut of the site on your Desktop or better still in the Quick Launch menu bar at the bottom of the screen (by simply dragging the icon from the Desktop to the bottom of the screen). To do this all you have to do is to rightclick on the site that you use frequently then choose "Create a shortcut". I do this for my online English dictionary so each time I come across a new word I can get its definition in no time at all!
This is how you go about saving your e-mail(s) to a disk (or anywhere else for that matter): Open the e-mail you want to save, click on File - Save As and give a name as you would save a Word file (make sure it has got an .eml extension though or you won't be able to reread it). To save a number of e-mails the process is a bit different. Select them all then click on "Forward". This will open a "New Message" box. Don't worry about that. You will notice that all the e-mails appear in the box. Go to "File" (in the New Message box not in Outlook Express) and click on "Save As". All the various e-mails will be saved as one single file. (If you prefer to have each e-mail saved as an individual file click on "Save Attachments".
Have you found so many interesting sites that your Favorites list is getting much too long? Why not put all of them in one page that you can open from your Desktop, for example, then delete the whole list to make way for new sites? This is how you go about it: With your Internet Explorer open (which is the case if you are reading this) click on File then click on Import and Export then Export Favorites, then Browse to find the directory that you want the file to be in. If you want it to be at your Desktop, which is a convenient place to put it in, you could click on the arrow sign for "Up one level". The default name for the file is "bookmark.htm" though you can change it to "favorites.htm", for example. Come on, give it a try now.
Are you tearing your hair out because you can neither save nor open a file attachment that a friend sent you by email? Then open your Outlook Express, go to Tools - Options - Security and untick the part that says "Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus". After you have saved the attachment file that you are expecting remember to go back there again and put back the tick that was there earlier. It is meant to protect you against virus-carrying file attachments that usually carry the .scr, .pif, .exe, .com, .bat or .zip extensions.
I once had a harrowing experience when after having reformatted my hard disk and re-installed Windows XP I could not get Windows XP started because it kept on asking for my activation code which I had since misplaced. To make sure this does not happen again I now copy the following two files from the C:\Windows\System32 folder: wpa.dbl and wpa.bak into a floppy disk. If I ever have to reformat my hard disk and re-install Windows XP I only have to put them back into the same folder (C:\Windows\System32) for Windows XP to be re-activated. (But in order to do this you have to go into Safe Mode).
This has happened at least once to the best of us in the course of our "cyberlife". While using a certain program you are suddenly confronted with a problem - the window just "freezes" and no matter what you did you just could not close it. When this happens this is what you should do: Press these 3 buttons (Ctrl Alt Del) one after another (until all the 3 buttons are pressed) then release your fingers. A window called Windows Task Manager will appear. Click on the "Applications" or "Processes" button of the menu at the top bar. Look for the name of the program that stalled and highlight it. Then click on "End Process". However stubborn the stalled program was it will now disappear from your screen.
Do you have trouble using your keyboard because one of the key buttons got loose or is missing or got jammed? The solution is to type with your mouse (yes, your mouse). How is this possible? Just click on Start, then click on Run, type the 3 letters osk and press Enter. After this open your Word program and start typing by clicking with your mouse on the visual keyboard that is on your screen!
After filling up a form or typing in the key words for a search engine do you always bring your mouse to the GO, SUBMIT or SEARCH button and then click on it? Well, in most cases this is not necessary. All you have to do is to press the ENTER key.
Your browser's top menu bar (that is, the one containing File - Edit- View - Favorites - Tools - Aide) is really indispensable. Yet it could suddenly disappear through some inadvertent action on your part. To get it back click on "Tools" in the upper right corner of your browser and put a tick on Menu Bar. Presto! it has come back.