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Vol. 17  No. 3  Supporting PC Platforms Newsletter:.May-June 2001
 CONTENTS 

Netscape v6.0: Going, going.

WP 6.1 for Windows under ... OS/2 Warp 4? 

Safely saving PC work at home

Vacation Planning

Final bytes

Schedule

 
Netscape v6.0: Going, going. 
 By Bob Wallace

Several issues ago (Jan-Feb 2001) we discussed the new Netscape browser, version 6.0, and noted at the end of that article:

  "Will we go back to Netscape v4.x?    Still toying with that thought, but also
  still tinkering with this latest version."

Among other issues noted in the earlier article as San Francisco Computer Club logo

being features missing from this latest Netscape browser, these:

  Slower to start up than v4.x;
  Frame pages not available, based on
  notification from web sites visited;
  URL window had to be manually 
 cleared before typing a new URL;
  Print Preview not available.

Sufficient time has passed to consider keeping Netscape v6.0 up and running, or drop it and go back to the v4.x Net-scape browser. That choice has now been made, in part based on the issues noted above, and a pair of e-mail messages within the past week noting that one Internet Service Provider (ZoomTown,  part of Cincinnati Bell) has advised their clients that v6 will not be supported. More on those e-mail messages a bit later.

Experience with Netscape v6.0's browser here on a Celeron 433MHz computer with 64 megs of RAM can be termed as only disappointing. Too much time was eaten up waiting for the browser to get started, then jump to the home page at Netscape before going elsewhere.  Going back to Netscape v4.77 finds it loading quicker than one might have guessed it did based on all that previous experience with it before trying Netscape v6.0 for a few months.

Another bone of contention comes in v6.0 with the URL window which does not change to an active space within the browser to allow typing in the name of the next web site you want to visit. This meant invariably clicking into the URL window, using the "End" key to get to the end of that line of text, or the "Home" key to move to the front, then delete all the characters sitting in that space. Netscape v4.x allows clicking on that URL window, which then becomes 'active' in the sense that one can begin typing in the next URL address to go elsewhere without taking the time to remove all characters first. For those sites already visited, one can click on the drop-down window to choose any of the previous sites visited with Netscape v6.0, but not having been to a site previously meant the necessity for going through the steps noted above.

Print Preview within Netscape v4.x allows for looking at what you're likely to print from a web site before cllicking on the "Print" icon to get it printed. In Netscape v6.0, clicking on the "Print" icon went directly into print mode, with no idea of how much paper you might need for a given web page, nor whether you might be wasting paper with only a few lines being printed on one or another of the pages, then jumping to the next page for whatever might get printed on that sheet. In too many instances, Netscape v6.0 printed a banner at the top of the first printed page, then jumped to the second page to print a full page in most instances. Those banner page printouts drove me to distraction!

Whether Netscape v6.0 actually had a problem in displaying frames within its browser is open to question. Depending on the setup at the web site visited with Netscape v6.0, if that site made a check of which version of Netscape (or MS's IE browser) you were using, any check of the version number that disallowed a check for a version 6 of Netscape would be likely to show what would be viewed by that site as an error in version numbers, being higher than the version 4.x most Netscape users would be likely to use on their computer.

On several occasions, frame pages were displayed quite correctly, al-though recent visits to the National Hockey League's web site (nhl.com) found their frames overlapping to the point of being unable to click on items in the main frame that had been ovelaid by the left-most frame without doing some clicking on the browser page to get some realignment of that page to allow for clicking on the item being requested at the moment.

Getting started (or re-started) with Netscape's v4.77 browser meant going over some of the details noted in the January-February 2001 issue. That included clicking on the Netscape icon to get to the Properties screen to change the pathname to the browser version you want to run, then change the pathname to the subdirectory where that program is stored on your hard drive. It takes only a moment to do both those items, so long as you're sure of which pathname(s) to supply. In this instance, Windows 98 Second Edition makes a check to verify that what you type in is accurate, not allowing you out of the Properties screen until a match is located.

Once through that step or two, get on the Internet and download the version of Netscape v4.77 you want. Two are available: Smart Download, named sd_cc32d477.exe, or the file without Smart Download, the file named as cc32d477.exe. The latter file was selected last week, totaling 22,931K bytes. Getting that much data over a dial-up connection will take some time, whereas fetching it with a cable modem takes only a couple of minutes.

Once you have the latest version, get off the Internet, click on the Start button, click on Run, then supply the correct path and filename to install. If you're satisfied with Netscape v4.77, you may want to go into the v6 subdi-rectory and remove any files no longer needed, and any subdirectories under that v6 subdirectory. After that, one reminder to go into the System Tools window and choose Disk Cleanup first, then run the Disk Defragment program to clean up your hard drive just a bit.


WP 6.1 for Windows under ... OS/2 Warp 4?
By Bob Wallace

Were you to not be advised that this issue was being edited on a different 'platform' than previous issues had been, you might be hard pressed to see any difference between this and earlier newsletters. In fact, after looking at this issue, you may well be incapable of seeing any difference in the results.

Most previous issues have been edited on Windows-based computers, whether that system was running Win-95 or Win-98 SE, despite some number of files being edited on the laptop or desk-top computer here before being inser-ted into the WordPerfect program from a diskette. That method has now been changed effective with this issue after re-reading the system requirements for WordPerfect v6.1 for Windows and learning that this version included the ability to run under Windows 3.1 or Windows 3.11, or either of the later versions of Windows 9x.

Once that was figured out, it took very little time to install WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows on the OS/2 Warp 4 desktop computer here, in large part helped along with the CD drive installed on this computer. Attempting to install a program of this size on the laptop would be a major challenge without the CD drive being available, although an add-on CD drive could be hooked up externally to attempt it.

Once through the installation, getting WordPerfect up and running means clicking on the OS/2 System icon, the Command Prompts icon, the either of the Win-OS/2 icons: full-screen or windowed. Both bring up the window that allows for starting WordPerfect. A quick glance at the monitor would show very nearly the same view from within the word processor that you'd expect under any other version of Windows. A more calculated glance at the monitor would show that this is indeed running under OS/2 Warp 4, as the Warp logo can be seen at the top of the screen, along with some part of the rest of that status line.

Once into the program, there is no way of detecting which platform you're running WordPerfect under, without giving it some thought at least. Each command available from with WP under Windows is available under OS/2 as well, and works likely as quickly under OS/2, despite the CPU on this desktop system running at 'only' 133 MHz in place of the 433 MHz CPU on Lois's Datawise system.

Putting together a test issue Saturday of last week proved interesting, if for no other reason than for printing that off by way of the Hewlett-Packard 693C printer that had been tied to my wife's computer before she decided that it was time to upgrade her printer. The HP is a hand-me-down printer, but it works, and does so quite well, despite not being labeled as being specifically for use with OS/2 Warp 4. Checking through one of several CD disks that came with Warp 4 found a copy of the appropriate HP driver for use with OS/2. The evidence in front of you on these pages ought to convince you that it does indeed work.

As you will note from several articles on succeeding pages, inserting files from Judy Oliphant went just as had been the case while running Word Perfect under Windows, so no change in that part of the program. Ongoing checks of other functions will be made over the next weeks and months, but at this juncture no diminution of program usage is expected, including the use of Spell Check or Grammar Check, both of which are included within the Word Perfect 6.1 for Windows program, and installed as part of this overall setup.


Safely saving PC work at home
By Judy Oliphant

Saving your work and keeping it organized on your PC are very im-portant. If you want to get the most out of your computer.

One of the major benefits offered by your computer is that it prevents you from having to do things over.Back when I was running my BBS we had this un documented rule among the Sysops (System Operators) called the Kiss Rule = Keep it Simple Sweetie.
Brings back some good memories talking about this. Well, if  you remember that rule and apply it to your PC and your files then you will save yourself a lot of time. You will be updating all your documents, but by saving them, you will be following the
Kiss Rule.  And you will have more time for yourself, have less stress, and your life will be enriched greatly.

Always back up your files even if you think it is not important, ah I will never need that again, until that one day where did I put that file on how to edit that photo, or where is the article that George wrote on the right of passage of one operating system to the next. That is why saving your documents is so very important, you don't want to loose these changes. So the key to this is store your work on your computers the hard disk is where most of your work will be stored. It is also a good idea to save an extra copy of your work to a floppy disk. Name that floppy SMYB
= Save My Butt; you never know what might happen. The wife or boy friend or grandchild could come over and be playing Blue Clues and decide to delete by accident. Oh, look what I found! So all your work is gone into the recycle bin. Your hours of work on that spread-sheet is gone.

Where and how to store this work., well you know that your computer has many drives, the main one is the hard disk, which is inside of your system. This is also called "the C drive". Some
computers have large disks that are divided into other drives, they are often called drive E, F, and so on. It is best to save your work in one of these drives if you have more then one drive, you can also make folders with in that drive letter.

On my system here I have a folder called Judy, then one called Judy 1, Judy 2. within each of these folder I have folders and files that are important to me. Judy 1 is all the recipes that I
have down loaded from the net and they are all in different folders within that one folder called Judy 1, so I have a BBQ folder, and a main dish folder, soup/salad folder. all with in the Judy1 folder.My main filing system, here is called Judy. from there all these various folders are off from Judy.

All the activities that I do for Active Worlds my 3d modeling program has a sub folder that I have created called Mystuff, all my reports that I have to turn in weekly are saved, in there. This makes for easy access when ever I am called on to turn over a report for my activities with in the Active Worlds system.

So saving your work saves me some time and most of all it follow that path of the KISS rule.  Another way that you can do this is to always save your work to a floppy disk. I have done both I have saved my work 3 ways, I save it to a floppy disk, make two of them in fact, saved it to the hard drive, and then backed up the hard drive to a tape. Made two complete back up tapes of my C drive.

All the articles that I have written for the SFPCC Newsletter I made a folder called SFPCC. This folder is also in the main filing system Judy. I can go back and edit any article for the newsletter with just the click of the mouse.

Okay, so you are pondering the ques-tion: how do I name these files and then save them?  Easy as tieing your shoes. Sure, you say.

1. To save a new document, click on the file in your menu of the program you are using, Next, click Save in the drop-down menu. Now you need to name your document and you choose which drive and folder to store it in. [Default here is the 'currently-logged'
drive, usually C:, but can be any other legally named drive. -Ed.]

2. Some programs like Microsoft Works let you choose what type of
file to save it as. Usually the default is fine. Type in the name of your doc-ument in the filename box.

3. Click on the down-arrow to the right of Save In. You will see a list of drives and either the C drive (hard disk) or A the floppy drive. The contents of the drive will be shown to you this will appear in the main part of the window.

4. Double-click the folder where you want to put your work. Click Ok to save.

5. The next time you save that doc-ument just select Save from the File Menu and it will be saved into the same location.

Takes a little time to organize a well working filing system for yourself on your computer, but once you do this you will be surprised at how well it works, and how much time you have to
really having a good time on your computer. And this is what we want to try and do here, is have fun with our computers.


Vacation Planning
By Judy Oliphant

Okay, so it's May already and I am talking about vacations and it is not too late, it's just May. Ever have that feeling that you just want to take off somewhere?  But where to go, and what will I find when I get there. And what are prices, and what if I decide
to drive instead of flying, or I might want to fly there, get a hotel, and then rent a car. What's up there to see and do?  Do I need to go shopping for new clothes before I go?  Always a fun
thing to do. Shopping is a Bay Area Pro Sport, and this is always a fun thing to think about before any vacation.

Have you ever thought about using one of the travel planners on the Internet to plan your vacation?

Recently I used Expedia.com from Microsoft to check on flights for a up and coming trip I am making to Portland, Oregon the second week in August. This site was very useful. I put in where I was flying out of, the dates that I wanted to fly, and what airport and to where. In this case it was SFO to PDX for Portland, Oregon, coach, no children, one adult.

Within seconds I received the lowest airfares for both United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, and deals on rental cars and hotel rooms. Since I already have a room and I won't be needing a

rental car, I am happy with the airfare that I received 

Expedia.com will give you the lowest airfare for the times and the dates that you are traveling on most major airlines. Also, they will give you many combinations of airlines, like in my case I had the choice of United or Alaska. I picked United Airlines, adding up those mileage plus points anywhere I can.

Plus, Expedia gave me some hotels to check out. From this point I did a search on the net for Portland, Oregon, found sites that gave me information where to go, what to see, and maps; a full family guide of information.

Since one of my travel partners this year is someone from Holland that has never been to the USA, and I will be his travel guide here in San Francisco, and in Oregon someone else will be
taking over, my friend from Holland logged on to the site and was able to take the information to his travel agency and get on the same flight from here to Portland that I am on, and learned a little about the area that he will be visiting.

The reason for this interest in Portland, Oregon this year? This is the site of an Active Worlds Reunion, where people from all over the USA and Europe will gather to meet with one another, some for the first time, and some to say hello and how are things going with you since the last time we met.

This year I am lucky enough to have  traveling with me two gentlemen from Holland. One last year I met for the first time, and took down to the potluck where he met all of you, and yet
another from Holland that says, "Judy, I've never been to the USA before. Are you sure they have beer over there?"  And what about this free coffee, and Millbrae Pancakes?  I will also be traveling with a good friend of mine who is flying in that morning from
Arizona to catch up with the two from Holland, only to get a hug in real life.

While I am in Portland, Oregon this year, I will be visiting the Rose Gardens, the Science Tech Museum, touring the Widmer Brewery, learning about how they make their beer, and their root beer, sampling a root beer float since they make their root beer there, sailing up the Willamette River, dining on broiled salmon, Caesar
salad, and wine while viewing the beautiful scenery. Enjoying the afternoon with people I only know as Motorcycle Mom, PickleMe Elmo, Cleopatra, Techno Qeek, QRV, Panter, and not to mention a cablecar gal, and a Luggage and many more. Also learning a little bit more about 3D animation from the experts from 3D Max, and
hoping I have the winning numbers for True Space.



Final bytes
By Bob Wallace

Now that Sunday Champagne Brunch is finished here at the house, time to put together this bi-monthly issue of the SFPCC Newsletter. Several issues need to be brought to your attention, so here we go.

Here we are into the last month before summer vacations begin shortly after Memorial Day, and lots of folks are curious to know just how much 'our' energy crisis will affect our vacation plans, much less any plans we may have for computing. Given the likely possibility that daytime blackouts will be the rule rather than the exception, my guess is that we'll see far more use being made of laptop or portable com-puters, those large desktop systems sitting at the house silent during the day when 'rolling' blackouts are likely.

While working on desktop computers during the summer months when we'll be looking at using air conditioners to help cool our homes in addition to our businesses, saving your data will be-come critical very quickly. Those programs allowing for the automatic timed backup of data files may help, but only to the degree that a blackout does not occur while you're waiting for the next 'save' period to roll around. In most instances since January, rolling blackouts seem to change from one grid to another at the top of the hour, but what we've experienced thus far in this year is not necessarily a guarantee that it's going to continue that pattern when we get into the hottest part of this summer.

One change of e-mail address needs to be noted for one and all. Judy Oliphant made a change to her address late in April. Internet messages going to Judy should henceforth be addressed as follows:  jlossf@earthlink.net

As noted in the piece on Page 2 about editing this issue of the SFPCC Newsletter, installing WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows on the OS/2 Warp 4-based computer means no longer having to edit articles on one computer, copy those data files to a diskette to be moved to the Win9x-based computer normally used by Lois. The only need for going through that little drill comes when a piece comes in that's been edited using a word processor that saves in a manner not recognized by WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows. On the few occasions that such is likely to happen, moving a file to diskette for reading by WordPerfect or MSWord on my wife's computer will be the excep-tion to the new rule.

For members, guests or vendors, edit your submissions in your favorite word processor, but save that work using the ASCII DOS Text method of "Save As" from within your word processor. That choice will make it far easire to work with your text file without having to wade through the header information MSWord, WordPerfect and other Windows-based word processors are happy to do when saving in their 'native' or default format. Choosing the "Save As" function to save your work will bring up a secondary window that includes changing from the default to some number of alternative selections, text or ASCII Text or DOS Text being in there named with at least one of these options.
 
 

Have ideas for a future meeting topic?  Pass your thoughts on to anyone at the monthly meeting, or post it to the club's group e-mail address:

     sfpcc-l@yahoogroups.com

This list sends your single message to a group of club members, and can serve as a springboard for discussion on this or other potential subjects to discuss at future meetings. We also encourage you to consider presenting a subject of interest to you and what you do with your computer that may well be of interest to others at the monthly meetings. Your Executive Board can not anticipate every subject that may interest everyone in the group, so any help will definitely be appreciated.
 
 

As suggested earlier in the article about dropping Netscape's browser v6.0, two recent e-mail messages moved between San Mateo and Cincinnati discussing what the local ISP in Cincinnati has noted for their clients. Be aware that ZoomTown is the ADSL provider in that area, and is a part of Cincinnati Bell. Under the heading "Netscape 6.0 News," the following, quote:

Netscape 6.0 is not a supported browser for the ZoomTown service. After extensive testing, ZoomTown has found and identified numerous problems within the browser itself and found it to be unreliable for many ZoomTown products and services. ZoomTown Technical Support does not anticipate announcing support for Netscape 6.0 in the future.

End quote. This message generated a message from this end of the line that returned the following, quote:

Actually, they have never supported it. It took them this long to determine that it is completely broken and can't be fixed. They have been trying to get the thing to work properly with all of the parts of the domain since it came out. The previous notice on the site was that it was not supported, but they were working on it.

End quote. Both messages were posted by Mike Schmieg, a former GT Sysop living in the Cincinnati area, and a member of an e-mail group that includes some number of former GT Sysops and a few of their callers.


Schedule

May 10: PictureIt - digital editing of your pictures.

June 14: Tentative: Microsoft.

July 12: ActiveWorlds

August 9: Potluck

This is the prospective lineup as of Sunday, May 6. Any ideas for future meeting topics can be sent to Judy Oliphant at: jlossf@earthlink.net
or to the club's group at:  sfpcc-l@yahoogroups.com
 

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