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Newsletter Archive

Issue 25


--- THE NEWBIE CLUB INSIDER Issue 25 March 25, 2001

Written by Tom Glander, mailto:tg@newbieclub.com
and Joe Robson, mailto:jr@newbieclub.com

Your subscribed address: "{emailaddress}"

====================================================


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 groundbreaking PC learning
system here... http://newbieclub.com/wfncopy


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

<< MENU >>

==> 1. Tom's Thoughts: "I'd Do It Again."
==> 2. Tutorial: "Cure For Messy Desktops"
==> 3. Joe's Place: "Call Me Old Fashioned"
==> 4. Joe's Geek Ad of the Week ...
==> 5. Tutorial: "Are You About to Crash?"
==> 6. Linda's Office ....
==> 7. Administrivia

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

-------- Unsolicited Testimonial

Hi Tom,
Just wanted to send you a note of thanks.
I purchased All your E Books and have learned a great deal from
them. Still going through them and learning more all the time.
..... Anyone not making good use of them, as far as I am
concerned, is missing the BOAT.

Thanks to you Tom and Joe you're an inspiration.

Bill Decker


======================================================
1. --- Tom's Thoughts: I'd Do It Again
======================================================

Hello {firstname},

When was the last time you sat down with a bunch of parts and
tried to build something? Could have been a model car, a new
entertainment center for the TV, or the assembly of a bed
frame.

Or simply tried to follow the directions on a sewing pattern.
(Hey, if you've never looked at the directions on a sewing
pattern, just run down to the local WalMart store and take a
gander at one sometime. You're in for a headache of monstrous
proportions.)

How about trying to follow the directions on how to install
some new piece of hardware in your computer? My eyes always
roll back and slip into a coma when I look at that stuff.

I built a computer from the ground up this week, actually
hooking up the wires and stuff where everything belonged. And
it worked. Yea, I was kind of surprised. But then something
went wrong with the gizmo bit, and instead of yanking out all
my hair, I just went to the GURU I bought the parts from and
told him to fix it. (Nothing a little money won't fix when it
comes to a computer, right?)

Point: technical stuff even baffles the techies at times. And
when the techies are mystified, where do they turn?

To the Engineers, of course. (Images of techies riding a little
train at the Zoo with an engineer astride his little locomotive
come to mind. Uh, woops, wrong image!)

So what do you do when you get stuck? Work you way up the ladder
of help. Start off by asking your question in the Forum. There
are 1,441 messages in there right now. And everything is listed
by topic. So you can take 5 minutes to explore and learn. Do it
now: http://newbieclub.com/forum

If you really get stuck, the best thing you can do is call
someone on the phone, or take the whole box to a computer
repair place. Sometimes, however, they'll make things worse.
Which is a tough place to find yourself. Sometimes, it just
seems easier to use the computer for a paperweight. Or a boat
anchor.

All the same, I'd do it again. What? Build another computer,
of course. Or course, I'm a masochist. (Not REALLY!!)

This issue, we'll look at cleaning up the mess you call your
desktop or "computer screen." Don't need 67 icons cluttering
up your world? Fine. Let's sweep out the trash.

Later on Joe says "Call Me Old Fashioned". I think I prefer
Joe. It's easier to spell!

And Linda ???????

Onward and upward!

Take care,

Tom

P.S. Hey, have you seen the revamped Newbie Club Website yet?

It's cleaner, easier to navigate, and it's 'cool'. At least we
thinks so. We'd really appreciate your opinions and feedback.
Please pay a quick visit now and let us know what you think.
http://newbieclub.com Thank you in advance.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Geek-Speak Buster: Active Window

The active window is the part of the screen you're using.
The part that the mouse and keyboard actually work on.
Windows can be "grayed out" or inactive, but you can still
see them. This can lead to confusion and migraine headaches.
For a nice pain-free tutorial, visit this page:
http://newbieclub.com/anatomy and learn even more.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



------ How to build your own Website in 2 days or less.

The Newbie Club has brought together 4 individual authors -
including a Newbie - to create the very first Newbie-Speak
publication of it's kind. The Newbie Club First Website Builder
shows you how to create, write, present, backup, promote and
publish your First Website. And all accomplished with FREE
programs, and graphics. This groundbreaking 4 volume
publication makes Website ownership a reality for ALL NEWBIES.
And about time too. Free trial at http://newbieclub.com/builder


=================================================
2. Cure for Messy Desktops
=================================================

What can you do with the various icons spread out like dew drops
across you computer screen? Do you really need all 67 of them?
Probably not. So let's clean up a bit, shall we?

Icons are of course representations of the actual program. Not
all icons however represent the actual physical location of
the program they refer to. This particular breed is known
as the shortcut icon.

You can safely DELETE shortcut icons. You know it's a shortcut
when you see a small arrow in the lower left corner of the icon.
Also, you can double check yourself by RIGHT clicking any icon,
looking at its PROPERTIES and you'll see if it's a shortcut or
not.

Every item that makes up the stuff you see on your computer
screen (called "objects" in techie-speak) has associated
properties. Just as there are properties of a pencil (it's
cylindrical in shape, made of wood, has an eraser, etc.) there
are properties of computer files. (Their size, the date they
were created, where they live on your hard drive - called the
"path" - etc.)

So which icons can you safely remove?

Well, here's a list of what you CAN'T remove.

1. My Computer
2. Network Neighborhood
3. My Documents
4. Recycle Bin

(Actually, you can even remove the above, but that's even more
advanced, and you have to use a special program to do it.)

Now, if you delete an icon, you'll receive a warning message if
you're about to delete a program. So if you know nothing more than
"I want to save anything Windows tells me is a program" and you
just started highlighting icons and pressing the Delete key, you
could safely remove anything that WASN'T a program. (You
"highlight" an icon by clicking on it.)

You can really clean up your desktop this way, and if you have
stuff you REALLY want on the desktop, you can always create a
shortcut - a NEW shortcut, fresh and useable - at any time. This
is explained in Windows for Newbies, along with 50 other basic
tutorials, along with dozens of tips and tricks. More on that
here: http://newbieclub.com/wfncopy

So clean up you desktop without fear of loss. Then redecorate
by changing the wallpaper to something that goes with the new
Spartan look. Details here: http://newbieclub.com/wallpaper


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Discover how to create stunning letters, presentations, greeting
cards, promotional materials, memos, reports and more - just like
the professionals. 'MS Word MAGIC' is the latest Newbie-Speak
ebooklet from the Newbie Club. And it's guaranteed to delight
Newbies and Not-So Newbies alike - all for just $9.95!
Read about it here http://newbieclub.com/wordmagic


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


=================================================
3. Joe's Place "Call Me Old Fashioned".
=================================================

Hi {firstname}, how's your memory?

The past few weeks have really tested my attitude and belief
that I'm not *really* a Lunkhead.

I've been in business for over 30 years, and have made a moderate
success of most of those years. So I suppose I'm not really
stupid. But the past few weeks have really made me question the
degree of my intelligence, and sometimes even my sanity.


First of all I bought a Cellphone. Disaster coz I couldn't
understand the darned instruction booklets - all 3 of them.

Yet I'd used one for years without any bother at all. But there
again, it didn't have the 4 million 'helpful' attributes of
today's gizmos. Pity I don't have any use for 3,999,998 of them.
All I want to do is make and receive calls quickly and easily,
but it seems I'm old fashioned ....... Is it Me?


Then I bought a new TV. It's only 6 years since I bought the last
one, and it took about 15 minutes to plug in and tune it.

This one took an hour before I gave up and phoned the helpline.
A HELPLINE to advise on plugging in a TV? Seems there was a
'simple' step missing in the manual which rendered the whole
process unintelligible. The manufacturers know about it of course
- but have done nothing to correct it. Why should they when you
can call the Helpline. After an hour of frustration.

The next day I took it back to the store because it had a fault.
I'd already struggled to get it into my car when I bought it. 
Now I had to repeat the whole process. My last TV was delivered 
to my home and plugged in. Now they want $30 to deliver it 1000 
yards up the road........ Is it me?


Two days later I hesitantly attempted to tune in the new Video
player. I managed that in less than an hour. It only records 4
channels at the moment but I'll get round to finishing the
installation - some day......... Is it me?

Then we ordered a new kitchen table with 6 chairs....

"It comes as a flat pack, but it's easy to assemble" lied the
salesman.

"When can you deliver" I stupidly asked. He looked at me rather
strangely and told me it was 6 weeks. That's probably how long
it takes the boat to travel from Taiwan.

Well, it only took 3 weeks and I went to collect it. Of course
it wouldn't go anywhere near the trunk of my car. To say I was
annoyed is an understatement, and I REFUSED to pay $40 dollars
for delivery ("only takes 4 days Sir"). 3 days later I managed
to borrow a van and picked it up. 2 guys loaded it for me and 
off I went.

When I got home I discovered that my wife and I weren't as 
strong as those 2 macho men, and we couldn't lift it into the
house. They'd packed an 8 foot solid pine table and 6 chairs 
into ONE box! So we unpacked it outside and carried it in piece
by piece.

When I assembled it, the extending leaf didn't fit. The
Taiwanese mustn't realize that we Brits don't like a 2 foot hole
in the center of our tables. The bread crumbs fall through onto
the floor!

A 'customer service' man arrived 4 days later. He gazed down
into this 2 foot gap in the table top and innocently asked "and 
what seems to be the trouble Mr. Robson?"

I asked him to guess, but he declined. So I told him!

No problem - they're going to supply me with a new extending
leaf. It only takes 6 weeks for the ship to sail from Taiwan.

Is it me?

It took a week for me to drum up the enthusiasm to assemble the
kitchen chairs. Clutching a tiny pathetic scrap of barely 
legible 'assembly leaflet' and a screw driver I managed it in 
only 2 hours - the FIRST one I mean!

Then I realized that I had assembled a vital piece upside down!
Nowhere did it warn me of this danger in the 'assembly leaflet'.
It looks fine, and to the 'untrained eye' no-one would know the
difference. Except that the seat squab is loose because I can't
screw it down. Still, it will do for a guest.

Anyway, I know better now, so the remaining 5 will be OK.
Assuming all the parts are in the boxes.... Is it Me?


Our new sofa and armchairs arrived last week. We bought it from
an old established 'proper' furniture retailer who was more
concerned that we bought the correct furniture, than simply
trying to sell us anything with profit in it. And they didn't
insult my intelligence by asking for a delivery charge - even
though we lived 20 miles away from their showroom.

Two very pleasant men asked us which room it was to go in. They
insisted that *they* move the existing furniture - not us. Then
one of them laid a large piece of cloth inside the entrance of
our home. Why? So they wouldn't dirty our carpet with their
work boots!

They spent 10 minutes arranging the new furniture and rearranging
the cushions. They insisted we sit in all the seats and examine
the suite for any signs of damage.

Then they *thanked* us for our business and made to leave. Man,
I was SO grateful I gave them a $10 tip! We need more furniture
for another room, and guess where we'll buy it?

Call me old fashioned if you like, but wasn't it ALWAYS like
that?

Or is it Me?


Keep smilin' {firstname}.

Joe

P.S. I'm buying a new computer soon. Shouldn't be a problem
though, I'll just plug it in and start surfing :-).


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Geek-Speak Buster: Domain

A set of names that have the far right ending in common.
For example, ".com" is a domain under which all addresses
ending in ".com" are located. Same applies to ".net" and
".org" and any other dot whatever. A domain is different
from a domain name. But we always tend to mix things up
just a bit, don't we? Why not get your own domain and
domain name? You can do it, and learn more about the whole
domain thing here: http://newbieclub.com/domains

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

------ Finally. A Totally Newbie-Friendly Unzipper!

Some Zip programs are frustratingly confusing to use. But it's
essential to have one if you're downloading stuff from the Net.
'Unzip Wizard' is so simple it's impossible to go wrong. That's
because it's specifically designed with Newbies in mind. And
The Newbie Club has arranged a special discount for you at this
page. So now you can save AND unzip without embarrassment!
http://newbieclub.com/wizard

*************************

------------ It's Not Just Amazing .... It's MAGIC!

Don't let ignorance of your keyboard stifle your creativity and
steal away your time. When you discover how much you can really
achieve with that humble beige tray of keys, you'll be astounded
- or your money back! Click to http://newbieclub.com/keyboard
and prepare yourself for a MAJOR revelation! Hey, it's 
ONLY $9.95!



=================================================
4. Joe's Geek-Speak Ad of the Week
=================================================

Remember my article last week about the stupidity of paying
$9.95 for a CD of email addresses? If you missed it you can read 
it in the archives at http://newbieclub.com/ and click on 
'Insider Archives'. Well I'm skipping the Geek ad this week to 
reproduce a GENUINE Spammed email Ad I received earlier this 
week ...


"You are receiving this email because I paid $70.00 for the list
your email address appears on. This list was purchased from
mailinfo.com. If you feel you should not be on this list, please
email myemc204@yahoo.com?subject=why am I on your list?
Otherwise, if you will allow me to send you my promotions, please
reply to this message with yes in the subject and a copy of
this email attached.

Thank You For your Time

P.S. I got burned for SPAMMING the 1st email I sent to a short
version of the above List."


You know, I felt so sorry for the sender I *almost* replied!


=================================================
5. Are You About to Crash?
=================================================

Fact: Your computer doesn't manage itself very well. Yea, so
what else is new?

Does your computer crash, lock up, freeze, or go on strike when
you least expect it? Does your mouse cursor have a fit of the
herky-jerkies and stutter and skip across the screen? Could
be your system resources are down to about nothing, and your
computer is gasping for e-air. (New concept there - electronic
air.)

Anyway, here's what you can do to check on this right this
instant. And then I'll give you some cures, okay?

1. RIGHT click on the icon in the upper left corner of your
screen that says "My Computer".

2. Scroll to the bottom of the context menu that appears and
click 'Properties'.

3. On the System Properties window that appears, click the
far right tab named 'Performance'.

We're going to look at the amount of System Resources you have.
(Right now, I have 51% system resources available, so I'm
safe.)

If your system resources are down in the 30% range, you could
be about to crash. The next program you try to open could
freeze up the whole business. Parts of your display can "drop 
out" and disappear. Stuff may lock up and become unusable.

So what to do? The only cure to replenish your resources is a
reboot. A what? A restart. Shut down your computer. Turn it
off. Then turn it back on. This will reset everything, and
may even cure other problems. In the heat of the moment, we
forget that computers have to be restarted every so often. So
maybe that's what yours needs now.

Check on your resources. See how much you have free. Try to
work within a 35% or higher range. And if things seem goofy,
do a quick check on the Properties of My Computer. It may be
gasping for e-air.




*************************


----------- Bill Gates Never Taught It This Way...

If he had, then everyone with Microsoft Word would be an expert.
Linda Johnson is a terrific Personal Tutor of Microsoft Word and
we have persuaded her to write down her knowledge in a series of
'Bite-Sized' eBooklets - 'MS Word MAGIC!'. The first release is
called 'Fonts, Fun and Formats'. Learning techie stuff was never
so entertaining and FUN. Get your first helping now of this 
wonderful tutorial of the Worlds Favorite Program for ONLY $9.95
at http://newbieclub.com/wordmagic Man it's beautiful!


=================================================
6. Linda's Office Corner: What's My Version?
=================================================

I've received lots of email from various people I've tried to
help stating that some instructions I give don't work when they
try to apply them. Nine times out of ten, it's because they
are using a different program or version than the one I am
explaining.

For example, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Works are totally
different programs. Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook are
also totally different programs. And, Office 97 and Office
2000 are different versions.

Microsoft Works is an Integrated software package which DOES
include a word processor, spreadsheet, and database manager
inside it, but these features do not contain nearly as many
options as the full programs Word, Excel, and Access, which are
all individual programs inside the Microsoft Office Suite.
Outlook Express is an email-only program which is free and is
part of Internet Explorer. Microsoft Outlook is much more than
email and includes a high-end calendar/task/appointment managing
system.

So, does this mean my tips or instructions won't work for you,
if you don't have the exact program or version that I am
referring to? In most cases, the answer to this is No, they
will still work, but you might have to do some searching to find
what I refer to.

To find out exactly what program you are using and its version,
go to the help menu inside that program and select "About
<name of program>". This box will tell you exactly what program
and version you have.

Hang in there!

Linda
www.personal-computer-tutor.com

Linda Johnson is an MS Office personal tutor, and also has a
terrific Website at http://www.personal-computer-tutor.com
which she's been making even more readable than ever. Check it 
out!

*****************************************


So you're not such a Newbie after all? Curious about the
database that makes Windows act the way it does? Then this
ebook will give you a quick, easy understanding of what's
going on inside. It's called 'The Registry For Newbies' and
you can read all about it here http://newbieclub.com/rfncopy/
See Techie-Speak translated into Newbie-Speak by an expert!

*****************************************

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, and type the address into your email
client's send to line. Life with AOL is tough!)

Backing up your stuff: backup@newbieclub.com
mailto:backup@newbieclub.com

Organize your files: organize@newbieclub.com
mailto:organize@newbieclub.com

10 PC tips: newtips@newbieclub.com
mailto:newtips@newbieclub.com

Finding files: findfiles@newbieclub.com
mailto:findfiles@newbieclub.com

Take the load off your PC: msconfig@newbieclub.com
mailto:msconfig@newbieclub.com

See how easy it is to get info to people? Get your own FREE
autoresponders at http://newbieclub.com/ottofree.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Got your FREE exclusive Newbie Club eBooks yet?

"Guide To The Internet - An Overview" features the combined
advice of 18 of the Internet's most successful marketers.

"Scientific Advertising On The Internet" contains the world
famous Claude C. Hopkins' Classic, (currently being sold at
Amazon for $11.96) plus observations and Copywriting Tutorials
by
Newbie Club co-founder Joe Robson, who is also co-author of the
blockbuster "Make Your Words Sell" with Ken Evoy. Details at
http://myws.sitesell.com/webcopy.html

Get both Newbie Club books FREE from The Newbie Club Academy at
http://newbieclub.com/academy/


*****************************************

Want to start an Internet Business, but don't have a product to
sell? Become a Newbie Club Affiliate. It's widely regarded as
one of the most professionally run programs on the Net. You'll
get LOTS of support and help, have access to the private
Affiliate Clubroom - and it's FREE!
Details here ... http://newbieclub.com/affiliate

*****************************************



I have to finish with a comment on Joe's article. I know we all
face these same kinds of issues every day. I just finished 
installing a new network card in my computer. Of course the
instructions were useless. (I dont' even bother reading the
directions anymore. Without fail, they don't REALLY help.)

So what can be done? Beats me! Call a guru, I guess. Or do 
what Joe does. Write about it. :-)

I'll chat with you again soon.

All the best,

Tom

=================================================
6. Administrivia
=================================================

You subscribed with this email address:

"{emailaddress}"

To subscribe or unsubscribe, or to change your name if you're
not pleased with its appearance, please visit the subscription
management page... http://newbieclub.com/manage/

Back issues of the INSIDER are found here...
http://newbieclub.com/issues

... and permission granted to forward this email to someone you
know. Just don't spam anyone with it!

=====================================================
The TNC INSIDER is a production of The Newbie Club(TM) and is
owned by Roglan International LLC, whose partners are
Tom Glander mailto:tg@newbieclub.com and
Joe Robson mailto:jr@newbieclub.com.
=====================================================

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

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