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Newsletter Archive

Issue 13

--- THE NEWBIE CLUB INSIDER Issue 13 December 20, 2000

Edited by Tom Glander,

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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...


<< MENU >>

1. Tom's Thoughts
2. Tutorial: Screen Savers Will Rescue You
3. Joe's Christmas Reflections
4. Stop Windows from Committing Suicide

1. Tom's Thoughts

Hello {firstname},

Last time I wrote, the snow was deep. Well, it's even
deeper. If you've seen a weather map of the United Sates,
you'll have noticed a band of snow going right across my
front porch. Another 6 inches on top of the 24 makes for
rather interesting conversation in the coffee shop. It's 
nothing to what they're getting in Wisconsin or Canada. 
Everything is relative, isn't it?

Screen savers are just plain fun. There are so many extreme
savers out there. This issue talks about screen savers, and
gives you some cool ways to access them instantly.

"Are you ready for Christmas?" I get asked that question and
still don't have an answer. The whole reason for the season
has kind of taken a back seat to the advertisers. All the
same, this is the end of 2000, and inventory needs to be
reduced. So line up with your credit card and buy the stuff,
won't you? What stuff? I dunno. Whatever it is they're

Maybe your kids want a scooter. Heck, I want one. I'd also
like a concrete scooter park to go along with it. Wanna
see a great scooter? The kind I'd really like? Just drop
by this site for a look at what
this big boy wants for Christmas. Problem is, the wife
sez I'll bust my guts open, so I won't get one.

Enough idle chatter. Let's go fry some bigger fish. It's

Take care,


Geek-speak Buster

Bounce mail: e-mail that's returned to the
sender because it can't be delivered. It can't
be delivered because the electronic postal workers
are all on packet breaks. You probably don't think
that's funny, because you don't know what a packet
is. Read the next Geek-speak Buster to find out.

2. Tutorial: Screen Savers Will Rescue You

You may know about screen savers. Maybe you've even played
around with them. But I'll bet good money you've never seen
them act like this.

Instead of going through all the hokey pokey of click here
and click there, let's make a screen saver that springs to
life from a shortcut. We'll need one tool for this job, and
its name is Windows Explorer.

How to create shortcuts to screen savers:

Once Windows Explorer is open, navigate to the 
Windows\System folder. You'll find screen savers real easy,
as long as your file extensions are turned on. (Check on 
this by clicking Explorer's View menu, then Folder Options, 
then the View tab.

Be sure the "Hide file extensions for known file types" item
is NOT checked.

Screen savers end with the file extension ".scr" and you'll
find a bunch of them. Need help with understanding file
extensions? Bone up here:

Once you've located the screen saver of choice, right click
on it and drag it off to your desktop. (Make sure Explorer
isn't maximized, or you won't see your desktop.) Release
the mouse button and in the resulting context menu, click
on "Create Shortcut Here."

A shortcut to the screen saver is created on your desktop.
You can make a new folder on your desktop (right click a
blank area of your desktop, point with your mouse cursor to
"New" and then click "Folder" on the flyout menu) and give
it the name "Screen Savers." Move your shortcuts into that
folder. Now, when you want to activate a screen saver, just
open the Screen Savers folder, and double click the one
that turns you on.


Here's how to get to your screen saver even faster:

Get there from your keyboard! Set up hot key access to the
shortcut you just created. Right-click the screen saver
shortcut, select Properties, and in the resulting dialog
box, click the Shortcut tab. Click once in the text box next
to Shortcut Key to place the cursor there, then type the 
letter you'd like to use in combination with Ctrl and Alt
keys to start your screen saver. Click OK. Now to try it 
out: From anywhere on your system, hold down the Ctrl and 
Alt keys, while pressing the key you named as your shortcut.
Release all the keys, and the screen saver springs to life.

Read the paragraph again if you have questions. And make a
cheat sheet for your shortcut list. You'll need it because I
can guarantee you won't remember it 30 minutes later.

Now you're supercharged!

Geek-speak Buster

Packet: When you request a web page by typing
it's address into your browser's address bar, or
you click a link, chunks of data are transferred
to your computer. Those chunks of data are called
packets. Each one is separately numbered and has
your address on it. If a packet is lost, your page
won't display. And if the electronic postal workers
take packet breaks, your e-mail is returned as
undeliverable. Hey, I'd rather take a donut break.
Seriously, there are no electronic postal workers
and they don't take packet breaks.

4.Joe's Christmas Reflections

Hi {firstname}, and a Ho, Ho, Ho, to you too!

OK that's the formalities over. Now let's get down to 


Can you imagine how you'd feel if Santa Claus said that to 
you? You DO believe in Santa Claus don't you?

Boy I wish I did. 

Instead of sitting here in front of this darned PC, I'd be 
making out my Christmas Wish List and dreaming of fluffy 
snow flakes, instead of dreading the snow drifts. ..

Of a cuddly guy in a red and white suit and a sack full of 
gifts over his shoulder, instead of the garbage collector 
demanding his Christmas tip ...

Of cuddly red-nosed reindeer, instead of an unfortunate 
stuffed turkey ...

Of real mistletoe and holly, instead of a plastic Christmas 
wreath ...

Of the joy from sneaking downstairs at 5am, instead of 
dragging this tired frame upstairs at 2am ...

Of carol singers outside my door, instead of headbangers 
on TV ...

Of the wonder of the Christmas Fairy Lights, instead of the
4 hours trying to find the bad connection.

Oh happy days!

But then ...

Instead of forcing myself to kiss all my uncles and aunts, 
I'll be giving thanks for all the wonderful things that have 
happened to me since last Yuletide ...

For the warmth and friendliness of those complete strangers
who have emailed their thanks for starting The Newbie Club...

For the fantastic new friends I have made in cyberspace ...

For the mentor I have come to rely on ...

For the fortitude and forbearance of my partner Tom, who 
quietly puts up with my rantings over small insignificant 
events, and forever makes allowances for my 'artistic 
temperament' ...

For the unsolicited help of so many Internet Marketers, who
asked nothing in return ...

For the patience and trust of The Newbie Club Customers and 
Affiliates, who have helped to catapult the Club from 
obscurity to a level we could never have envisaged in just 5
months ...

For the opportunity the British Tax man has given me, to 
contribute such a large slice of my income to help pay
for his 4 week Christmas 'break'.

But best of all ...

Instead of looking forward to the innocent excitement of 
being hugged and spoiled by my parents and grandparents, 
it will be my turn to do the hugging and spoiling - With my
son, my adorable granddaughters and my long suffering
beautiful wife - the only lady I have ever loved, and who 
has somehow maintained the strength to help and support my 
dreams throughout more years than I care to remember.

You know, Ebenezer Scrooge said "Humbug" to Christmas. Well,
if we're honest about it, a lot of it is just that. But 
there is still a small part of our childhood that doggedly 
endures the test of these materialistic times. 

Ho, ho, ho is for Macey's. Gentle snowflakes on a frosted
window pane is for Hollywood. But the true original Spirit 
Of Christmas lives permanently inside all of us.

So if you find you're not expressing your feelings as often 
as you should, grab the opportunity that Christmas gives us 
all, and tell your nearest and dearest ... "I love you".

Next Christmas may be too late.

And we should also give a thought to those who can't 
celebrate at Christmas. Those who have to wait almost a
month before they can raise a glass. Guys with strange 
sounding names like ...

Visa, Master Card, and Amex!

And a ho, ho, ho, to them as well!

Here's wishing the very best to you and your loved ones. And 
whatever you do {firstname}...

Keep smilin'.

PS. I mean it. Just find the opportunity and say those 3 
little words. It costs you nothing, and can make such a 
difference to someone's life!

No - not ho,ho,ho! You know what I mean.

Geek-speak Buster

SSL: Secure Sockets Layer. Geek speak for
high level security in your browser to make
sure your credit card and banking info are
safe. Keeps the crackers out. You'll notice
shopping sites that proclaim a "Secure Server"
and these are probably using some form of
browser security based on SSL, which is a
standard on the Internet.


4. Make a Last Ditch Effort to Stop Windows From Suicide

Right now, you can press three keys on your keyboard, and
Windows will prepare to abort itself. Those three keys are
Ctrl, Alt, and Delete. Pressing them is known by geeks and
nerds as "the three fingered salute." Try it. You won't
hurt anything. You can click the Cancel button.

What happens? When you press the three-key combo, the Close
Program dialog box appears. It's a fail-safe. When a program
stops responding, or a your computer seems to freeze, you
can try the salute. However, things may be so far gone that
even this won't help. So the last ditch effort comes into

This trump card should be help very close to the vest. Don't
let Windows see it, or you'll lose this round for sure.
Here it is...

Try the two fingered salute. Hold down the Ctrl key. Now,
while keeping it depressed, press the Esc key. Ctrl-Esc.
Not "control minus escape" (this isn't math!). Ctrl-Esc
is just shorthand for "hold down the Ctrl key while
pressing the Esc key."

With any luck, the Start menu will open. You'll then be
able to gracefully exit windows without it committing
sudden death on you, requiring a reboot and a run of
Scandisk. (By the way, when you do reboot, and Scandisk
wants to run, you can just press the Enter key and the
process will be skipped. Computers think they're smart.
They put up messages that you obey, because you don't
know differently. But truly smart programs always give
you options and explanations, letting you decide what's

Okay, I'm done. Off the soapbox. And now you know!


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That's it for now. If you want to argue, congratulate, or
just chat, then email me. I'll be happy to entertain all
thoughts on anything, whether related or unrelated to 
anything in this INSIDER issue. Have a great Christmas!

Take care,




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The TNC INSIDER is a production of The Newbie Club(TM) and
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