Category Archives: Web Browsers

Del.icio.us Bookmarking

Del.icio.us Social Bookmarking is a great way to find information that other internet users find helpful.

The basic idea is to use “tags” to label each link saved to your Del.icio.us folder. One can then see other links with similar tags. Each link can have multiple tags. By using tags, one does not need to keep a huge list of hierarchical bookmarks/favorites, but rely on the tags to find helpful sites. The biggest benefit is access to one’s Del.icio.us bookmarks from any computer on the internet.

It is easy to see what other Del.icio.us users find important on a day-to-day basis, and one can often find new web sites that if you knew it existed, you would have already tagged it.

By submitting your own favorite websites, you help shape the views of all the other Del.icio.us users. This is truly a melting pot of ideas.

Internet Explorer 7 Beta

Microsoft has released Beta 2 of Internet Explorer 7 to the public.

Unless you are comfortble with potential problems, it is recommended that you NOT install IE 7. IE 7 is already known to cause problems with some anti-virus programs, and to not work with some online banking, and web mail applications. A mahore security issue was also announced today.

IE 7 is limited to users with Windows XP or newer, so the majority of Windows users will not be able to use it.

For a simpler, and smaller browser, try Firefox or Opera. Both are standards-compliant and fast, and have tabbed browsing, and are free.

Change Thunderbird Welcome Screen To A Webpage

Thunderbird has an option to allow the welcome screen to be changed to a web page of the user’s choice. It can even be a web page stored locally on the hard drive. My Firefox home page is a file on my hard drive. I have links to sites I visit often, such as the sites I administer, or links to my webmail accounts.

On Windows use these steps to change the Thunderbird welcome screen:

click on Tools -> Options

On Linux:

click on Edit -> Preferences

The box labeled Location should contain something like: chrome://messenger/locale/start.html if it has not been changed previously. Click the button labeled Restore Default to undo any custom settings.

Internet Explorer as an FTP Client

There are several tweaks you can make to Internet Explorer that will make it more FTP-friendly. First, you can set up IE so that it can browse FTP directories, just as if they were folders in Windows Explorer:

1. Click Tools | Internet Options.
2. Click the Advanced tab.
3. Under Browsing, check the box labeled Enable Folder View For FTP Sites.

Next, if you’re on a computer that’s behind a firewall, you’ll need to set up IE to use passive FTP:

1. Click Tools | Internet Options.
2. Click the Advanced tab.
3. Under Browsing, check the box labeled Use Passive FTP.

To download a file from FTP use this URL:

ftp://whatever.com/

This will result in the user being prompted for a password. Once the user supplies the password, a directory comes up, and the user can drag and drop files to and from the FTP window. Contact your support representative for this password.

A good free FTP client is FileZilla at http://sourceforge.net/projects/filezilla.

Computer Solutions

Answers to common computer questions. I will post answers to some of the most common questions I have received as a computer support professional.

Any kind of problem solving, whether it is a mystery novel, crossword puzzle, or computer problem, they all involve starting with the simple and moving to the more complex. Think of this as “narrowing the focus”.

A good example is a puzzle. Most start with turning all the pieces picture side up, then trying to put the sides together. Then one finds objects to put together. This is why the sky is usually last, it is the biggest part, and it all looks the same. but by finding a cloud or area of similar color, the focus is narrowed and bit by bit the picture is completed.

This may help explain why when you talk to a computer professional that they ask you all the same questions you just answered, or just went through yourself. This is because they want to make sure they have covered all the bases. Quite often, a review of the basic questions will reveal that something very simple has been overlooked.

Once the quick and the simple tasks have been tried, one must exercise their patience and persevere until the problem is found. An experienced support person will have a lot more items to review before they enter new territory. You may think that when they talk to themselves and mutter in exasperation that it is time to panic. Unless your support person is running in circles yelling, “The sky is falling”, you know that they are not panicked. It is not time to panic until your technician panics. You may be worried and stressed over the situation, but a good support person will re-assure you and keep you informed of your options.

I am sharing here some useful information that may save you a service call, and unnecessary stress.