Common Concerns

 

 

 

 

Computer/Internet

 

Problems Viewing Web Pages?

 

Some/many of you may be having problems reading our "Whispers on the Web" newsletter, or even OTHER pages on the Internet ... for example, your screen/window being "too small" for all the text to be seen .. without moving it back and forth, etc.  One of two methods may solve this problem for you.

(1)  MAXIMIZE your screen.  If, when you access the newsletter, the newsletter content contained in its "window" or "box" does not FILL YOUR WHOLE SCREEN, you can make it do so by "maximizing" the screen.  This is a one-button click operation.  Simply click on the "maximize" button - located in the upper right corner of the window or box containing the newsletter's content.  This button is normally the one just to the left of the "X" button (the "X" button is the furthest to the right and closes the window when clicked).  Hopefully, after you maximize the screen, you can then read the newsletter with no problems.  To return the screen to its default size, merely re-click on the maximize button.  If this solves your problem, then WONDERFUL .. if not -


(2) the following article about screen resolution may well be of assistance and may greatly increase your Internet enjoyment and experience.

From Learn the Net


You may have already noticed that your monitor can be set to different screen resolutions and to display different numbers of colors. For optimum viewing of web pages, we recommend that you use a monitor setting of at least 800 X 600 pixels with thousands of colors. Here's why.


Screen Resolution


Most people think of resolution in terms of photographs or television. In those media, resolution indicates picture sharpness. In the computer world however, screen resolution refers to the dimensions of the pixels displayed on a screen. Your computer may have come preset to a resolution of 640 X 480 pixels. That means that your monitor will display a screen that is 640 pixels wide and 480 pixels high regardless of whether you have a 15, 17 or 19-inch monitor. The size of the monitor does not determine the screen resolution. But the bigger the monitor, the larger the screen resolution you can use. Try it for yourself.

If you have a 14 or 15-inch monitor, switch the resolution from 640 X 480 to 800 X 600 and to 1024 X 768 if your video card supports it. You will quickly see that everything gets smaller as the resolution increases. That's because the monitor is displaying a larger number of pixels in the same screen space. Most people find everything is too small at 1024 X 768 on a 14-inch monitor, but on a 17-inch monitor you'll have additional screen real estate.

Ideally, when viewing web pages, you want as large a resolution as you can get. The larger the resolution, the more of a page fits on the screen.  Since many web pages are too large to fit on one screen, a larger resolution allows you to see more of a page. We suggest using a resolution of 800 X 600 if you have a 14 or 15-inch monitor, and a resolution of 1024 X 768 for 17-inch and larger monitors.


Changing the Resolution


For Windows users, from the Start menu, select Settings, then open the Control Panel folder. Now double-click on the Display icon, then click on the Settings tab to see the current screen resolution.  Change the resolution to the largest you can: 1024 X 768 if you have a 17-inch or larger monitor; 800 X 600 for a smaller monitor.

For MAC (Apple) users, the monitor preferences can be changed in the control panels or the control strip, located on the bottom of the screen.  Change the resolution to the largest you can: 1024 X 768 if you have a 17-inch or larger monitor; 800 X 600 for a smaller monitor.


Screen Colors


The number of colors is also important. Unless you are working with professional graphics and photography and have a computer loaded with memory, avoid using 16 million colors. The best practical resolution to use on the Web is 64,000 colors (High Color-16 bit setting). You get near photographic quality and you'll find many web graphics, like those on Learn the Net, look much better than when your monitor is set to only 256 colors. The Web becomes more visually exciting when you surf at thousands of colors.


See Moniter Settings

 


Phish Bait?


Have Evil Hackers compromised your Ebay account?  Did your bank really lose your account access password?  Did someone use your credit card to purchase a load of stuff at the BestBuy website?   Ummm... no.  Lots of Internet surfers are getting caught in "phish bait" scams which arrive by Email.  They look very official, but the common thread is that they ask you to Email or visit a website and provide some personal data in order to "verify" or "reactivate" your account.  Don't fall for it hook, line and sinker.  Check out this article at ScamBusters.

 

Windows Messenger Service

 

"Shoot the Messenger"   Of Interest To: Windows NT, 2000, XP, and 2003 users in all countries!!


Back in the days of mainframe computing, and *WAY* before the days of instant messaging as we know it, the folks at computer centers needed a way to send emergency text messages to everyone announcing things like


THE PRINT CENTER CLOSES IN 15 MINUTES!  PLEASE PICK UP YOUR PRINT JOBS IMMEDIATELY.

or

SQUADRONS OF SQUIRRELS SPOTTED IN THE VICINITY OF THE SEEBECK COMPUTER CENTER!  YOU WOULD BE WISE TO IMMEDIATELY SAVE YOUR WORK AS WE WILL SOON BE PLUNGED INTO SQUIRREL-INDUCED DARKNESS.


So, built into mainframe operating systems like VM/CMS and UNIX are commands like TELL and WRITE that let you broadcast a simple text message to a specific user or group of users.  (And you get special karma points if you ever used these commands to spook newbies.)


Windows has a similar, built-in feature called the "Windows Messenger Service."  Now this is NOT to be confused with "Microsoft Messenger" or "MSN Messenger," Microsoft's free instant messaging program (a la AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, or IRC.)  *WINDOWS* Messenger Service is a way for mainframe and network administrators to broadcast an emergency text message to all users.


The Windows Messenger Service is, by default, enabled in Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Windows 2003.


And it's about as useless as giving a job application to my ex-brother-in-law! :-)


The problem is that the Windows Messenger Service can be used by unscrupulous spammers to send you an untraceable pop-up message even if your Internet Explorer is closed.  And, even worse, a hacker can use the Windows Messenger Service to break into your computer and do all sort of nasty things "including installing programs, viewing, changing or deleting data, or creating new accounts with full privileges."

(Source: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-043)


By the way, you DON'T need to worry about the Windows Messenger Service if have a Mac, a *nix box, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98SE, or Windows ME.  BUT, if you have Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows 2003, you need to turn this little bugger off. Now!!


You could manually disable the Windows Messenger Service if you want -- the University of Virginia's Information Technology and Communications department shows you how to disable it at -- but if I were you I'd just hop on over to:

Shoot the messenger and download the free "Shoot the Messenger" program.  I *HIGHLY* recommend this program for four reasons:


1. It's free.  Free is good.


2. The Shoot the Messenger program is only 22 kilobytes in size. That's so small it's downright silly.  You can download this program literally faster than you can read this sentence, even on the slowest modem connection on earth.


3. Shoot the Messenger was created by Steve Gibson at Gibson Research, the guy behind ShieldsUp and SpinRite.  Steve is probably one of the most trusted and respected computer gurus on the planet.  Having Steve Gibson [through his Shoot the Messenger program] disable the Windows Messenger Service for you is like having Lance Armstrong fix your bike or Mr. Goodwrench fix your car.


4. Downloading and running Shoot the Messenger keeps you from having to get your hands dirty (or mind boggled) by going to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services > Messenger ...blah blah blah.


Once you have downloaded Shoot the Messenger, just locate the downloaded file on your computer and double-click on the "shootthemessenger.exe" icon or the downloaded file itself.  A little window appears telling you if the Windows Messenger Service is running on your computer.  If it is, just click on the "Disable Messenger" button and then click on "Exit."


That's it.  The Windows Messenger Service is now disabled, and your computer is now protected from both the spammers and the hackers who have been using the Windows Messenger Service to do nasty things to other people's computers.  The file can also "reactivate" the service, should you so desire (but WHY, I would not know).


Oh, and you can delete "shootthemessenger.exe" if you want.  You don't need it any more.  :) You might give it a try!!

Note: #4 above courtesy of the Internet Tourbus.


 

Web sites for local laryngectomee clubs

 

Does your local laryngectomee support group have a web site?  If so, make certain that both WebWhispers and the IAL know about it --- both organizations will provide your club with a no-cost LINK from their respective "Clubs" pages.   Would your local group WANT a web page or two, but is just unsure as to how to go about it?  Well, look no further.  For a mere $20.00 per year, the IAL will, with your club's assistance, create and manage a small web site on its own dedicated server specifically addressed to your needs.  All your club needs to do is contact the IAL webmaster and let him know what needs to be said, presented, etc., and what preferred graphics you have, if any.

 

Virus Helpers

 

Is the "Virus Alert" your aunt just sent you a valid one?  Is Microsoft really going to pay you $200 if you forward an Email for them to 10 of your friends?  Is the government really passing a law that would charge everyone 5 cents for every Email they send?

As  "participants" on the Internet, we are all possible "targets" for Email scams, practical jokes, and other such mischief.   The best way to arm yourself against these things is to be SMART!  Upon getting one of these "warnings" or "scams", BEFORE you react to it and send it on to YOUR family and friends, CHECK IT OUT!!   And this can be EASY!!     One of the best places to go is to David Emery's "Urban Legends and Folklore". This site will permit you to check out virtually ANY "alert", "warning", or possible "scam" that you might find in your Email Inbox.  A quick check with this web site can help you quickly determine what is valid and what is not ... AND could save you some embarrassment.   So, BEFORE you forward "bad information" to your family, friends, and acquaintances ... check it out!!   You'll be glad you did!

What if you need help with a REAL VIRUS that has infected your computer?  Well, a good place to start might be "Urban Legends and Folklore". This site can direct you to the Symantec (Norton), McAfee, and CERT folks whose job it is to find and fight these viruses.  Of course, a good start on fighting Internet viruses is to make sure you are protected ... that is, that you have anti-virus software installed on your computer and that you keep it current.  A mere "ounce" of prevention is worth a "ton" of cure!!    So ... a word to the wise should be sufficient!!



FREE ANTI-VIRUS ASSISTANCE

("Smart Computing", April 2004)

 

 

 

CNET.COM:

 

Thinking of buying a new PC, a new printer, a digital camera, new software?  Would you like a "one-stop" web site for the latest "tech news", hardware and software reviews, hardware and software price comparisons and shopping assistance, hottest downloads, etc.  Probably THE PREMIER SITE is "CNET". I would highly recommend that you at least visit CNET sometime ... and take some time to browse around it.  I think you will be impressed by what you will find ... this web site is truly a GOLD MINE of great advice, accurate information, and invaluable assistance.

 


WebWhispers Vacation Address

 

What if you are going on vacation and want to suspend your WW Emails while you are gone?  What is the easiest way to do this?    EASY!!   From the Email address you use for WW, simply send a BLANK EMail to:  "webwhispers-vacation@mail-list.com".  This will immediately stop Emails from being sent to your address.  When you return from vacation and want to resume getting your WW Emails you simply repeat the process ... sending a BLANK Email to that same address.  That Email will then toggle you back onto normal distribution for your WW Emails.


BLOCKING INDIVIDUAL EMAIL ADDRESSES

 

(WebTV, AOL, Yahoo, Outlook Express, RoadRunner)

 

WebTV Email System

WebTV's older technology has no blocking option available at this time.

America On Line (AOL) Email System

Select "Mail" (upper left corner of screen)
Select "Mail Controls"
On Main "Mail Controls" Screen, select "Next"
Select the Screen Name for which you wish controls to be set.
Select "Customize Mail Controls for this Screen Name", then select "Next"
Select the "Block Email" option on bottom of window, then enter the the complete Email address of the person you wish to be "blocked" in the "ADD" window on the right. Then select "Next"
Set "Controls for Pictures and Files" as you desire (normally "Allow"), select "Next"
Click "Save" to save these Mail Controls.
Select "Close" (The individual is now BLOCKED!)

Yahoo.com Email System

From Main Email Screen, select "Mail Options" (upper right)
Then select "Block Addresses"
Enter the Email address you want BLOCKED into the "Add Block" window and then Select the "Add Block" button.
You are now DONE! Return to Main Email Screen

Outlook Express Email System

When you receive an Email from an entity that do not want to receive from again-----
While still in the email of the person you don't want to receive from again, go up to the top line and click on "message", in there is "block sender".  You click that button and that sender is immediately blocked.  This has to be done while still in the Email from the sender that you want to block.

RoadRunner Email System

RoadRunner customers can contact RoadRunner anywhere in the country and have the master Email servers block any Email address for you completely. You can simply FORWARD any of those spam emails to Roadrunner Spam Blockers at:
spamblock@security.rr.com  Be sure to indicate to them, when you FORWARD the spam that you want the SENDER to be BLOCKED from sending again to your address.
 

 

SETTING UP TO BLOCK SPAM OR UNWANTED EMAILS

Setting up email filters in Outlook Express and Netscape


Microsoft Outlook Express (Windows)

Double-click the junk email message in your Inbox to open it.
Highlight the text of the subject line.
Click the Edit menu, choose Copy, and close the message.
Click the Tools menu, select Message Rules, and choose Mail.
Check the box labeled Where the Subject line contains the following words.
Check the box labeled Delete It.
In the Rule Description field, click the underlined text (i.e., the text that reads, "contains specific words").
Right-click inside the top blank field and select Paste from the menu that appears.
Click Add, and then click OK.
Enter a name for this filter in the Name of the rule field.
Click OK on all windows.


Microsoft Outlook Express (Macintosh)

Double-click the junk email message in your Inbox to open it.
Click the View menu and select Internet Headers.
Scroll through the Internet Headers window, find the subject line of the message, and highlight the text of the subject line.
Click the Edit menu and select Copy.
Click the Tools menu and choose Mail Rules (or Rules in Outlook Express 5).
Click New Rule (or New in Outlook Express 5).
Type a name for the filter in the Rule Name field.
Click the From pull-down menu (or the All Messages pull-down menu in Outlook Express 5) and select Subject.
Click your mouse inside the field to the right and delete any text you find there.
Click the Edit menu and select Paste.
Click the Action 1 pull-down menu (or the Change color menu in Outlook Express 5) and choose Delete message.
Click OK.



Netscape Messenger (Windows and Macintosh)

Double-click the junk email message in your Inbox to open it.
Highlight the text of the subject line.
Click the Edit menu and choose Copy.
Click the Edit menu again and select Mail Filters or Message Filters.
Click New.
Type a name for the filter in the Filter name field (Windows) or Name column (Mac).
If you see a sender pull-down menu, click it and select subject.
Click your mouse in the blank text field to the right of the contains pull-down menu.
Press Ctrl-V (Windows) or Command-V (Mac) to paste the subject text into the field.
Click the Move to folder pull-down menu and select Delete.
Click OK on all windows (on Macs, simply close the filters window).

 

 

 

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