Setting up your system
An ISP (internet service provider) first sends you a CD or set of installation disks. It’s usually (but not always!) a no-brainer to install. Just follow the on-screen instructions. This will install the software needed for Internet browsing and e-mail, and it will set up the connection. If you run into problems, contact the ISP’s technical support.
I’ll by-pass all the other technical mumbo-jumbo that can be involved in system set-up, but there is one especially practical tip that tech support won’t give you.
If possible, set your screen resolution to at least 800 X 600, and your colours to at least 16 bit 64K colours. All sites will then fit to your screen, and graphic and photo colours won’t be distorted. It’s amazing that most people don’t know their screen resolution can be changed from the lowly industry default of 640 X 480 and 256 colours. They end up viewing a mess of scroll bars on some sites and colours are often yucky. For more useful tips, see LifeSite Viewing Help at www.lifesite.net.
Switching to a different ISP company
If you already have Internet access and are changing to a new ISP, things could get really messed up if they’re not done right. In Windows 95, leave everything as is with the old account and software, go into “My Computer,” then “Dial-up Networking,” and then “Make a New Connection.” Ask the new provider’s tech support to walk you through entering the settings, which simply adds them as a new connection. No software is installed (you already have Internet software on your system). Next, change the e-mail and other basic connection settings in your Internet software. Once it’s working, delete the old connection. Simple! No gnashing of teeth.
This could fill the entire Interim, so just a few basics: you need a browser and e-mail software.
Viewing Internet web sites is always done through a browser program. The two biggies are Netscape (they caused the latest huge Internet expansion with their free browser program) and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE). Windows 95 usually now includes IE. There are others, some very good, but I’ll limit my comments to the big two. Please note that Microsoft’s multi-billionaire head honcho Bill Gates is a big financial supporter of population control and the anti-life United Nations.
I prefer Netscape, but IE is now also very good. A lot of folks install both. Many sites are designed to be viewed best in one or the other, but all sites can be viewed by both. (Even so, there will be some distortions using the wrong browser.) Many sites are designed for both browsers, but it takes more programming to set up a site to use both. Both are currently free.
As with most Microsoft products, IE tends to take over the whole computer system and aggressively push the Microsoft empire at the user through its aggressive code and its links, ads, additions to the desktop, etc. Netscape is less aggressive and not as complex, and the latest version, 4.05, is excellent.
Both browsers have excellent e-mail utilities built in. There are also lots of stand-alone e-mail programs, the best being Eudora, which is what I use. I prefer to keep my e-mail separate from the browser because I have several accounts, and I get a lot of mail. Eudora is available free in an excellent lite version from any shareware site.
There is far, far more that could be said, but we’ll call it quits now on all the technical stuff. To keep up to date or learn new tricks, pick up the free computer papers and talk to friends who are on-line.
Next month, we’ll begin to address topics more obviously relevant to a pro-family newspaper – the real purpose of this series of columns. We’ll explore the many amazing pro-life, pro-family, and religious sites on the web. Pornography on the Internet and what to do about it will also be addressed. It’s not nearly the problem for the ordinary user you may think it is.