Lots of folk write and ask me for advice, instructions and general information. I decided that I would put a place on the internet that allows them to visit and see what mischief I am (or have been) up to. Hopefully it will be appreciated - please feel free to press Ctrl + End and go to the bottom of this page and give me some feedback. If you think that it is worth it, please tell your friends, if not, please tell me - thank you.

It is my intention to add something here every 7 to 10 days - the most recent stuff will always be at the top of the page to save you time. My policy and techniques for removing stuff from the bottom - there will only ever be two weeks information shown in this page. At the bottom there will be a link to an index of earlier pages. This way, it will stop the page from becoming too long and unwieldy !

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Not yet published

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General
I seem to have got really tied up with my "Teaching" enterprise - not much to Chat about this time - sorry !!

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Links
I found lots of new wonderful pages on the World Wide Web - sadly most of them are very "Technical" so I put a new section at the bottom of the page


Will this really help E-Commerce ?
A real good looking Web Page producing program.
Are Spam EMails a problem - look here.

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It works for me
It seemed like a good idea to give a list of things that work for me. If it saves some person in the world just a few minutes, then it will be worthwhile.

General - Security on the internet

When your computer is connected to the internet, it is connected to millions of other computers all over the world. It means that when you are collecting or sending EMails or when you are surfing or looking at things on the internet you are connected to a network of other computers. While you may not really have thought it through, if your computer can gain access to all of those millions of other computers, it should not strain your imagination to see that in the hands of a clever or determined user, those other computers can also gain access to yours.

Some accesses to your computer may be for good and legitimate reasons - for example, if your computer has been talking to another computer, it would be legitimate for that computer to send a question to yours to see if you are still there - this would be known as "pinging" your IP address - so a ping could be a legitimate access.

BUT

There are folk in the world that would be delighted to have a look around your computers files for anything interesting. Some will go further and take copies of such files. Worse still there are others that will leave various bad programs on your PC designed to do damage to your files and information - these are ofter called Viruses.

It seems to me that there are at least three things that a careful person would do:-
1. Check how good your security is - you would want to know if your doors at home were insecure
2. Put a good lock on the door.
3. Check that nothing is left on your computer that you do not want.


Check your Security

There is a man called Steve Gibson that knows a lot about computers, the internet and security - visit his site Gibson Research Corporation Homepage. While you are there, you will see two checks that you can carry out DO BOTH OF THEM one is TEST YOUR PORTS and the other is TEST YOUR SHIELDS. You may be very surprised at what you see !!

Error 404 - the missing link
Are you fed up with the Error 404 page - look at http://www.ibrus.com/mybook/my404err.htm


Lock the door

There are programs that will sit and examine all the communications going in and out of your computer and will stop any bad things going or coming. They are generally called firewalls. There are lots of them around. Some of them are very expensive. Some of them need a degree in Rocket Science to configure them.

There is one that I use and would be delighted to recommend - it is free (for personal use) - it works straight out of the box (except it does not come in a box, you download it from the internet !! ) - you tell it what you want to do as you go along. It is very easy to use. Download it from ZoneLabs for free.

Bad things on your computer

First you need to get some protection against bad things being put on your computer - programs to do this are called Virus Checkers - there are loads of them around. I do not claim any special knowledge, you will need to make the selection yourself.

I use one of the "mainstream" ones, Norton Antivirus - not because I know it is the best - it just came as part of the bundle with something else I purchased.

Just a thought - because the Virus Writers never sleep, you need to keep downloading the definitions of new viruses. I do it about once a month (or to be more precise, my software wakes up and does it for me)

As well as Viruses, there are naughty things that are not classified as viruses - while you are visiting Steve Gibsons web site, you will find a program called OPTOUT.EXE - I suggest that you download it (it is free !! ) I try to remember to run it once a week - it weeds out the "naughties" for me.

Cheese to die for

Some folk like Caviar, others Lobsters etc,etc,etc

I prefer things like Roast Beef, Cod and Chips, Bangers and Mash, Asparagus and Butter, Mushie Peas and that sort of thing but it is a bit difficult to sit in an Armchair and eat that sort of stuff whilst pressing the keys on a Laptop PC on your knee (giggle).

BUT

There is a product called ROKA Cheese Crispies - they are Flaky Puff Pastry Squares made with Gouda Cheese. THEY ARE TO DIE FOR !!!!! It is so difficult not to finish a box in one sitting when you start one.

They are made by:- ROKA, P.O. BOX 1111, 8300 BC EMMELOORD.HOLLAND

Lots of good cheese shops sell them - or if not, will obtain them for you.

I get mine (12 boxes at a time) from
Parade Delicatessen
8 Central Buildings
Ealing Broadway
London
W5 2NT
Phone 020 8567 9066

Maybe if you cannot find a supplier near you, you could send a cheque to the Parade Deli and ask them to post them to you. I just looked in COPERNIC and found their site http://www.cheesecrispies.com/

I have just found out that the Parade Deli is not always helpful over the telephone - try http://www.PoshStuff.co.uk they will certainly supply Roka

The Internet - are you lost . . .

To get onto the Internet, you need a program - the program is called a Browser (but of course you know that otherwise you would not be reading this !! ) As you are reading this on a Monitor screen, it is almost certain that you are using a computer program called a Browser. It is likely that it will be either Internet Explorer provided by Microsoft - or - Navigator/Communicator obtained from Netscape. If you don't have Navigator/Communicator, I most strongly recommend that you get a copy - there are many free copies of CDs with a free copy of it on them - lots of computer magazines have free CDs with them, lots of which contain a copy of Communicator. You could try downloading a copy but the files are huge and it takes ages.

When you have started the browser program you need to tell it what webpage you want to look at. Usually there is a place at the top of the window where you can type the address or URL (Uniform Resource Locator) - a technical name for Address.

Now comes the problem - having a browser with no URL is like having a telephone with no telephone number - you can try for hours and not get anywhere !! For telephones, there are telephone directories and a well known telephone number for Directory Enquiries. I have never seen anything that nearly equates to a printed telephone directory but the equivalent to Directory Enquiries is a Search Engine. There are hundreds of them and everyone seems to have their own particular favourites - I guess thatt if you have not got a favourite now, then you soon will have.

YAHOO

The daddy (maybe even the grand-daddy) of all of the search engines is http://www.yahoo.com.

COPERNIC

If I could only have one program on my computer, I think that it would maybe be COPERNIC - it is really brilliant - it allows you to search the ten most popular search engines at the same time - the results are usually SPECTACULAR. It is downloadable from http://www.copernic.com and it is free !! Try it, you will wonder how you ever managed without it.

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Wall Plaques
I am reasonably well known for having pet sayings that I use to death for a week or two before getting a new one. One day recently I was sitting scratching my bum and thinking about nothing in particular - when my brain was disturbed by an idea !! It was to put some of my sayings on "Wall Plaques"

So I did - the one for this week is age

I will publish new ones occasionally.

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VERY VERY Technical Links
For "techie folk . . . . .
Super Gravity, Unofficial Release


FTPortal (FTP not Financial Times !!)
PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
ASPAlliance.com: ASP Kitchen: Classic ASP Articles: Searching Index Server With ASP
Free Site Search Engine -- FreeFind.com
Free Site Search, Professional Search Engine - PicoSearch.com
Search Tools - Information, Guides and News

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Index to previous issues
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Index to addresses
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