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"Computing With Confidence" #1
-Ask a Computer Pro ---Online Adventures---Webmaster tips and more!
Q- How can I tell if an e-mail has a virus?
A- Purchase  good anti-virus software, they are priced somewhere around $50, However, until you do that, there are a few simple rules to remember.  

1. Never open attachments from someone you don't know!  
    If you have a hotmail account (an e-mail account that is on the internet, instead of on your computer) then,
2.  forward the suspect message to your hotmail.  You can then try to open the attachments, if prompted don't save it to your computer, just open it.  Hotmail is automatically virus scanned, and it will tell you if the message is infected.  
    Sometimes friends computers will send viruses out all by themselves, these are the ones to watch for.  It will say that it's from a friend, but,
3. check the file type of the attachment (the attachment name may look like this -my trip .doc- ) If it is .doc or .gif or .jpeg or .bmp (meaning document/picture file) it is most likely fine, but if it is .exe or .scr (executable, meaning it "does" something) or anything else unfamiliar to you, it is suspect and you are better not to open it.  Consult your friend to see if they actually sent you the file, if not, then you are the lucky one to inform him that he might have a virus.
4  Delete the message completely from your e-mail program, don't leave it in your trash can or your deleted messages file.
Online Adventure Discover the origin and meaning of your name
Computing With Confidence sponsored by  Free Rein Associates, Hope

"Computing With Confidence"#2
-Ask a Computer Pro ---Online Adventures---Webmaster tips and more!
Q- I hear a lot about "defragging" my computer.  What is it, when should I do it, and how will it affect my computer?
A-If your computer seems slow or sluggish, if  it seems to take longer than usual to "boot up" then it is probably a good idea to perform a defrag operation.  You can use Disk Defragmenter to rearrange files and unused space on your hard disk so that programs run faster. You can  start Disk Defragmenter by clicking Start, pointing to Programs, pointing to Accessories, pointing to System Tools, and then clicking Disk Defragmenter.  While your disk is being defragmented, you can use your computer for other tasks. However, your computer operates more slowly, and Disk Defragmenter takes longer to finish. To temporarily stop Disk Defragmenter so you can run other programs faster, click Pause. You are advised, however, to close other programs while defragmenting your disk. You can also run Disk Cleanup to help you free up space on your hard disk. Disk Cleanup searches your hard disk, and then lists temporary files, temporary Internet files, and unnecessary program files that you can safely delete. You can start Disk Cleanup by clicking Start, pointing to Programs, pointing to Accessories, pointing to System Tools, and then clicking Disk Cleanup.  Cookies are something you probably have also heard people talking about.  Clearing  out your cookies and browser's history (a record of all the websites you have visited)  will also speed up your performance.  Open Internet explorer, you do not need to go online, click  Tools, click Internet Options, click General, and here you can delete cookies and clear  history just by clicking the appropriate buttons, click OK.  You should always restart your computer after performing maintenance to give your computer a fresh start with the new settings.
Online Adventure - How many words and phrases can be made from the letters in your name?  Find out at

Computing With Confidence sponsored by  Free Rein Associates, Hope

"Computing With Confidence"#3
-Ask a Computer Pro ---Online Adventures---Webmaster tips and more!
    Have you ever seen pictures on the internet that you thought were impossible?  Someone's head on another person's body perhaps, or a celebrity in a compromising situation.  These pictures are amazingly easy to recreate with just a little knowledge of your Microsoft paint program. Let's start by exchanging heads in  photos. You will need to have two photos in your files to work with, don't worry, they will not be permanently changed.  First thing to do is click start, point to programs, point to accessories and click on paint.   **Click on file, click on open and choose a picture from your documents file that you want to take a head from (click the little arrow to show all files) click on Open.  Now you should have  the first photo open in Paint.  Click the tool that looks like a star , this is freehand select,  pretend that this is a pair of scissors, click and hold your mouse where you want to start cutting, move around the outside edge of the head while holding the mouse button down, don't let go until you've gone all the way around! Let go of the mouse button  and right click on the area you just  outlined, click copy.  Close this picture by clicking the little X in the right hand corner of the window, when prompted to save, click no.  Repeat from ** to open the second picture that will receive the new head, once the second picture is open, click the tool that looks like a dotted rectangle, right click once  and  click paste.  The head will be on top of the second picture now but before you click anywhere you must        
                                                                                          make the head transparent. Click the button on               
                                                                                           the bottom of the tool bar that looks  like a         
                                                                                           transparent green block on top of two other              
                                                                                           coloured shapes. Hold your mouse on the head
                                                                                           and a four way arrow should appear. Click and
                                                                                           hold  the mouse button down while you move the
                                                                                           head over into position.  You can then save the
                                                                                           finished product by clicking file and then clicking
                                                                                           save as , this will save the new picture with a new
                                                                                           name. You should get a lot of laughs from putting
                                                                                           Mickey Mouse's  head on  a celebrity's body or
                                                                                           even giving yourself the body you've always
                                                                                           wanted!  If you make any mistakes, just click edit
                                                                                           and click undo to cancel out your last action.
                                                                                           Different programs will let you do this many times
                                                                                           in a row until all actions are undone!

                                                                                          Online Adventure: www.

 Sponsored by Free Rein Associates Hope BC

"Computing With Confidence"#4
-Ask a Computer Pro ---Online Adventures---Webmaster tips and more!

    Have you ever been surfing the web and seen a picture or an animation that you like?  There is a way to save the image and use it in your documents or e-mail messages.  Some websites, particularly ones whose images are copyrighted will be "right-click disabled".  What that means is that the images can't be saved to your computer.  To save all other images just put your cursor on the image and then "right click" the mouse.  Slide your arrow down and click on "save picture as".  A box will open and here you choose the folder where the image will be saved, I suggest "my documents" or "my pictures".  You can also give the file a new more recognizable name.  
    Now whenever you write a letter in word processor or e-mail you can click  "insert"  then click "picture from file", and include  your new image in your message.  A great place to find some images is at  Many of the fun pages include images of angels, flowers, cowboys, animals etc.,  all of which can be right clicked and saved.  Try this with your own favourite websites to save photos of celebrities, cars, cartoon characters whatever!  You could even search for suitable images to print out and use for greeting cards, wall stencils, flyers and posters.
    Online Adventure: Enjoy a fabulous selection of greeting cards

                 "Computing With Confidence" Sponsored by Free Rein Associates

"Computing With Confidence"#5
-Ask a Computer Pro ---Online Adventures---Webmaster tips and more!

Q-My screen seems too small for some websites, what can I do to get the biggest possible window?
A- If the window is really small on your screen try double clicking on the dark coloured bar across the top of the window, this will make it as big as your screen.  If you still want to see more then click view at the top of your browser window, slide down to full screen    and click once.  This will remove the address bar and the task bar, to restore the window to it's usual size, just click restore at the top right corner of the screen.
Q- Sometimes I really want a friend to see a particular webpage, but I don't think they will go to it if I just send the address. Can I send the page as an attachment?
A- Yes, you can and it is very easy!  Simply go the page yourself, then click on file, slide down to send, slide over and click on page by e-mail.  This will send the webpage as an attachment.
Q- Where can my kids play secure safe online games where they will not be confronted by adult material or advertisements.
A- The best sight I've seen for kids is  It is a secure, kidsafe site.  There is no chat room and e-mail addresses are only obtained  for parental consent                                                                                     
Online Adventure

"Computing With Confidence"#6
-Ask a Computer Pro ---Online Adventures---Webmaster tips and more!

Sophos, a world leader in corporate anti-virus solutions, announced the latest in a series of monthly charts counting down the ten most frequently occurring viruses and hoaxes as compiled by the company.
 For October 2002, the virus chart is as follows, with the most frequently occurring virus/hoax at number one:

    1. W32/Bugbear-A      77.6%  
    2. W32/Klez-H            6.2%
    3. W32/Opaserv-A      2.5%  
    4. W32/Yaha-E           1.1%
    5. W32/Badtrans-B      0.8%
    6=.W32/Nimda-D       0.7%
    6=.W32/Opaserv-C     0.7%  
    6=.W32/Opaserv-D      0.7%  
    9. W32/Elkern-C         0.6%
    10.W32/Opaserv-B     0.5%  

The top ten hoaxes reported during Oct. are as follows:   
    1. JDBGMGR                                     35.7%
    2. Budweiser frogs screensaver              6.5%
    3=.Meninas da Playboy                         4.4%
    3=.Hotmail hoax                                   4.4%
    5=.A virtual card for you                       3.3%
    5=.Bill Gates fortune                             3.3%
    7. Frog in a blender/Fish in a bowl         2.7%
    8. WTC Survivor                                    2.6%
    9. JS/Exploit                                           1.7%
    10.Applebees Gift Certificate                  1.6%
 "After seven months at the top, Klez-H has finally been knocked off its perch by the Bugbear worm," said Chris Wraight, technology consultant at Sophos, Inc.  "Bugbear is a box of tricks that not only spreads via email and network shares, but can also log the victim's keystrokes -- allowing hackers to monitor everything a user types from passwords to bank account details."
   Protection against Bugbear was made available by anti-virus vendors as soon as the worm was discovered.  Users are urged to keep their anti-virus software up-to-date and to regularly download patches to make their operating systems as robust as possible.  Bugbear itself exploits vulnerabilities in Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and Internet Explorer in order to spread.
   Sophos has made available a free, constantly updated information feed so users can always find out about the latest viruses and hoaxes:   For more information about safe computing, including anti-hoax policies, please visit:

Online Adventure: Automatic Complaint Letter Generator You supply basic information regarding the person you wish to complain about and the number of paragraphs . Then push the "complain" button. Amazingly satisfying!

"Computing With Confidence" Sponsored by Free Rein Associates, Hope BC

"Computing With Confidence"#7
-Ask a Computer Pro ---Online Adventures---Webmaster tips and more!
Ergonomics vital to computer users

    With just a few well-chosen purchases and a few dollars you can outfit your workstation with new set-ups to prevent sometimes crippling injuries.
    It may seem like a hassle and an expense but your health should be the overriding concern.  Painless simple adjustments to a computing environment, such as getting a better chair or raising a monitor, may cost a little but makes a huge difference in injuries. Poor positioning combined with no breaks can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)
    Users  should learn about what triggers wrist pain and other repetitive-stress injuries, and make the necessary adjustments.  Because people come in different shapes and sizes, solutions to ergonomic problems differ. However, there are some generally accepted guidelines when it comes to sitting at a computer for several hours a day, day after day. Here's a look at some.
    Your wrist position is key -The ideal  position, most agree, is to be sitting upright or slightly reclined. Your shoulders  straight, upper arms  straight down, close to your body,  elbows at a 90-degree (or even slightly more) angle. Your forearms and hands should be flat and your hands relaxed.
Those who type with their wrists pointed up or down, or extended outward or inward, are asking for trouble. It generally means they're sitting too close or too far away, or they don't have a keyboard that suits them.
Split keyboards - ergonomically designed keyboards sloped in the middle - are growing in use and popularity,       
    Does the mouse fit your hand? -Hands run in all different sizes, but so do mice. What you want is one not too big or too small, but that fits snugly under your relaxed hand. The bottom of your hand should feel the mouse, and the point where your hand turns into your wrist should be on the table.  If you're pooh-poohing this, don't. You'd be surprised how many people suffer hand or shoulder pain because of a mouse that's an unnatural fit. For those already suffering from hand or wrist pain, the answer might be a foot-operated mouse, which eliminates stressful hand motions.
    Monitor: eye level  glare -If it isn't positioned correctly, your PC monitor can cause neck pain, shoulder pain, and eyestrain from glare. Keep it directly in front of you, and at an arm's length in distance. Your neck should be straight, not leaning forward. The top of the screen should be directly level with your eyes. The monitor should be tilted slightly upward. Put stacks of paper underneath it if necessary - and be wary of using a laptop PC in place of your desktop for long periods of time.  Beyond this, glare from poor positioning related to your windows or lighting could result in eyestrain and headaches. Re-position your monitor, and adjust your font size and colour, if necessary.
    Your chair- the most important component? -A good chair may be the most important part of your workstation, because it affects your position more than just about anything else. An adjustable chair, allowing the user to customize the fit, is the better choice ergonomically than a fixed chair with no options.   Besides sitting straight or slightly reclined, a user's lower back should be fully pressed up against and supported by the .back of the chair. His feet should be flat on the floor, or on a foot rest - a platform you can buy inexpensively to help a user maintain a correct sitting position and avoid fatigue.  
Get up and walk around - often
Having the most ergonomically safe workstation possible still may not prevent MSDs. Users must change positions and leave their workstations several times a day to break up the repetitive stresses.  I  recommend drinking water throughout the day. That guarantees you'll take breaks.