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Newsletter Archive

Issue 17

--- THE NEWBIE CLUB INSIDER Issue 17 January 25, 2001

Written by Tom Glander,
and Joe Robson,

You subscribed using this email address:

Subscription info is at the bottom.

=====GREAT NEWS!=========================

Did you know that the highly acclaimed Newbie Club eBook
'Windows for Newbies' is now available on CD? And you also
get the Download version too. What a fantastic gift for
someone struggling to get to grips with his or her new PC.
Read all about this widely publicized ground breaking PC
learning system here...


<< MENU >>

1. Tom's Thoughts
2. Update on Autoresponder Service
3. Joe's Place: 'Nil techiealis carborundum'
4. Mailbag: Your Questions Answered
5. Virus Spreading: Can Anyone Do It?
6. Eliminating Desktop Shells
7. File Extensions Reveal the Secret


1. Tom's Thoughts

Hello {firstname},

If you've had problems accessing the Site this week, or sending
us emails, Joe explains all. It's the Techie's fault of course!

I want to share some questions that you've been asking, and
try and shed some light on them. Working in the dark with
the beast on your desktop is NO fun at all.

Also, a revisit to the Add/Remove Programs applet to clear
up some potential snafus.

Read on,



Geek-speak Buster: Domain Name

A name for a numbered address for a server
computer that hosts a web site. For example, is the domain name for the address
"" which is where your web browser
actually finds our site. You can get your own
domain name for about $15 a year. And yes, you
can register your own name as "dot com" if you'd
like. How about Hmm, you may want
to try your own name and see how it sounds. More


2. Update on Newbie Club Autoresponder Service

The Free Newbie Club autoresponder service is proving to be a
huge success. The tutorial on using the service is in progress,
and we'll make sure the finished tutorial is comprehensive.
That is, if you even need it, because it's a treat to set up.
Even Joe can use it because he's working on some great courses!

There are many uses for autoresponders, and they're not just
used for big sites. If you have any information at all for your
customers, friends, club members etc. all they do is click on
an email link that you set up, and the autoresponder delivers it
by email in seconds.

You can get as many as you wish at this page ....

3. Joe's Place

Hi {firstname}, I hope you're well. You're not? Hard cheese!

This week, we've been changing over to our own Dedicated
Server. What's that? Hang on while I put on my Techie cap.

A server is a computer that your Internet Service Provider
(ISP) uses to store your Website files. It's shared by heaven
knows how many other people.

When traffic gets heavy, and lots of people request downloads,
autoresponder courses, Free ebooks etc, then the lines get
'bunged up' and slow down. Just like the Freeway at peak traffic

A Dedicated Server is ours and ours alone. It's expensive but
means that we can cater for the ever increasing amount of
traffic that The Newbie Club is experiencing. And our expansion
plans for the near future will not be jeopardized, because we
have our own personal Freeway and only you are allowed on it!

BUT. (Oh dear, there's always a 'but' isn't there?) ....

Even though the Techies assured us that the changeover would be
'seamless', of course it wasn't! (Just Trust Me?) So for a few
days we have had problems with the Site being down, some people
couldn't order stuff, and your emails haven't been getting
through to us. So please bear with us for the next day or so,
if things seem a little disorganized.

Actually, to use my growing Techie knowledge, the problem can
be summed up like this: "DNS Propagation." No, I'm NOT going to
expound on that! Ask my partner Tom about it if you're really
keen on knowing more.

These ramblings of mine are a little brief this week because
I'm busy wading through bundles of complaints.

I can appreciate people getting frustrated, but sarcastic and
hurtful emails are not the best way to encourage a friendly
response from me.

We are moving heaven and earth to bring an abundance of free
help and tutorials to those who need it. That's why we have
spent the cash and effort to move to a dedicated server. But it
seems that all some people are interested in is 'gimme, gimme,

There's a phrase we all use to explain this behavior ...

It's called Human Nature!

Hey, I'm getting morbid here. What's happening?

Perhaps I should stick to my own advice and ....

'Nil techiealis carborundum'. That's Latin for 'Don't let the
Techies grind you down'.

Keep smilin'{firstname}.

Joe Robson

P.S. Nothing to say here. But I always write a PS, so I thought
I'd waste your time just doodling!:-) Right, now back to the
Techie stuff <sigh> ....

4. Your Questions Answered

Q: When I use remove programs from my computer, should I
answer "Yes" or "No" to the question, "Do you want to
remove a shared file?"

A: Shared files have the file extension ".DLL" on them.
That means they're a Dynamic Linked Library file. All this
means is the file in question can be used by different
programs. A word processor and another program may share
a DLL file. So removing that file may cause another
program to malfunction.

You may have seen a message stating that a certain file
cannot be found. That file is needed in order to open
the program you're trying to use. Why is it missing? Could
be that you removed it when you uninstalled another program.

The bottom line: If you aren't familiar with a filename,
and you're asked if you want to delete it, don't. Just
answer "No" to the question. The genie inside your PC will
leave the file alone.


Q: Can I delete old files from my computer? I'm using
Windows 98, and would like to do some intensive

A: You can remove any file with a date older than that listed
in the chart below. These files all belong to older versions
of Windows:

03/10/92 (Windows 3.1)
09/30/92 (Windows for Workgroups 3.1)
11/01/93 (Windows for Workgroups 3.11)
12/31/93 (Windows 3.11)
07/11/95 (Windows 95)
08/10/96 (Windows 95 OSR2)

Check your version of Windows by right clicking My Computer,
selecting Properties, and viewing the System Properties
window. If you're using Windows 98, you may or may not have
any of the stuff listed above. It all depends on whether you
upgraded over Windows 95, and other nerdish factors.


Q: Is it true that a lot of files in my Temp directory can
slow down the startup process of Windows? And why are there
files in that directory, anyway?

A: Yes, it's true. But there would have to be a lot of stuff
there that was never deleted. Normally, programs use the Temp
directory to store bits and pieces of themselves while
work is going on. When you close the program, or an install
of new software is complete, files that were stored in the
Temp directory should be deleted automatically.

But this doesn't always happen.

Using Windows Explorer, open the Temp folder in the
C:\Windows folder. Look at the dates on any files in that
folder. If the dates are older than the last time you
started your computer, you can safely delete them. Don't
delete any file in the Temp folder that has today's date
on it, unless you recognize the file.


Q: I hear the term "root directory" used. What does that

A: The root directory is the lowest point of your folder
structure. It's actually your C:/ drive, without any folders.
It's known as the root, because if you liken the folder
structure to a tree (called a folder tree or directory tree)
then you'll kind of get the picture. The root is the base
of the rest of the tree. Except this tree hangs upside
down, which is confusing.


Q: Is there a safe way to remove files from my computer,
even if I don't recognize them?

A: Ah, maybe. If you're quite sure, but not 100% solid on
the results of erasing a file, just move it to the recycle
bin. The next time you restart your computer, if everything
goes well, and all your favorite programs work, then you
can safely empty the bin and eliminate the file. If
something is whacked, however, restore the files in the

If you have a question about anything computer related, just
send it to Tom Glander care of The Newbie Club... or



Geek-speak Buster: Zine or e-zine

The term ezine is short for "electronic magazine."
"E-zine" and "e-Zine" are spelling variations.
A similar term is "ejournal." There are several usages
of the term ezine. The term is similar to zine,
an earlier usage in print media that derived from
magazine and described "small press" or personally
distributed magazines or newsletters.


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FREE programs and graphics.

It's all in Newbie-Speak and is a dream to use. Get your FREE
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Hey, you can even get a Free Newbie Club autoresponder once
your Site is up and running!


4. Virus Spreading: Can Anyone Do It?

I received a special request the other day, regarding the
spread of a nasty little bug. Mary asked some good questions,
because she's been getting a known viral e-mail attachment
from the same person. "Could they be doing this on
purpose?" she wondered.

Here's some easy to digest info on this subject.

A virus is released by a sick person. It's dropped into
the Internet bloodstream, and it goes to work. As it makes
its appearance in your e-mail, you catch it. But you don't
open it, because you know better. You delete it. Or you
let your antivirus program handle it.

But can one person be sending this virus to you on purpose?
Possibly. They could be attaching it to their mail to you.
But most likely, you're getting hit by an honest transmitter
of the virus. Just like the real thing, we don't know when
we're spreading a virus. We don't even know we've contracted
it. Until symptoms manifest themselves.

If you aren't checking your computer for viral infections,
you're probably spreading one and don't even know it. And
you're doing the rest of the Internet community a big
disservice. Just like washing your hands after using the
restroom, checking your PC for bad bugs on a regular
schedule is the best way to slow down the transmittal
of potentially harmful material.

I'm no viral guru. But I've been down "reformat your hard
drive road" one time too many.

Be smart. Play it safe. Check your hard drive!


Free Newbie Club Courses - by email. Just send a blank
email for the course you need. It's delivered every few
days to your desktop - automatically! (AOL users must
remove the mailto: part of the address.)

Backing up your stuff:

Organize your files:

PC tips:

See how easy it is to get info to people? Get your own
FREE autoreseponders at


5. Techie-Talk: Eliminating Desktop Shells

There are some computer vendors, such as Compaq and
NEC, that have used their own version of the Windows
Desktop. It's called a 'shell' in techie-speak, and it's
also called a 'proprietary shell' meaning it belongs to
a third party, such as the vendors just mentioned.

This shell can be removed, and underneath you'll find the
Windows core. Wanna see if your computer is using a shell
instead of the core? Need to see if there are worms hiding
in there, too? Well, I can't help you with that (your
virus checker is the best bet there) but I can show you how
to play the shell game.

Oh, and by the way, if you are afflicted with a proprietary
shell, it'll take up some of your system resources and make
things load slower.

Open the 'System.ini' file with Notepad. 'System.ini' is
found in the Windows folder. '.ini' files are just text
files with the '.ini' file extension, and can be safely
opened using Notepad.

Now, look at the entries in this file. We're looking for
a line that begins with SHELL=. If the line is there, and
'Explorer.exe' is not specified on the right side of the
equals sign, remove what is there and put Explorer.exe in
its place.

Next time you start Windows, you'll see the normal Windows
interface without the proprietary shell. Be prepared for
a totally different look, if the proprietary shell had
whiz-bang effects and whatnots.


'Registry For Newbies' is a Newbie-Speak ebook that covers all
the Techie stuff you need to know, to really boost your
knowledge of your PC. And your performance. Read about it here:


7. File Extensions Reveal The Secret

If you haven't modified anything on your computer, then
everything is at the default setting. That's what you get
when you don't make changes.

By default, your computer won't display the three letter
extensions on its files. If you open Explorer, you'll
just see the names of files. To make your computer reveal
its file secrets, you'll do the following:

1. Open Windows Explorer
2. Click the View menu item
3. Select Folder Options at the very bottom of the list
4. Click the View tab
5. Uncheck the box labeled "Hide file extensions for known
file types" and click OK.

While you're in this window, poke around a little. Try out
the different views. This is where you can do some easy
customizing to get Windows to your liking. You can always
undo anything you've done if you don't like the results.


If you have questions about anything you've read in this
newsletter, visit the forum. "Just click here".... and ask away. One of our helpful
friends will take care of you.

I love reading your email, but may not have time to get back
right away. Selected questions will be addressed in future
issues of the Insider.

Always the best,

Tom Glander

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The TNC INSIDER is a production of The Newbie Club(TM) and
is owned by Roglan International, whose partners are
Tom Glander and
Joe Robson

(C) 2001 The Newbie Club(TM) All Rights Reserved

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