--- THE NEWBIE CLUB INSIDER Issue 45 Sep 3, 2001
Written by Tom Glander, mailto:email@example.com
You receive the INSIDER as a benefit of membership in
The Newbie Club. Your membership details are at the end
of this newsletter.
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Respond by writing to Tom at the email address above. Thanks!
Buy One - Get The Other One Free!
Cure your PC rage! This Newbie Club series of 52 picture-driven
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once said that it should be included in every new PC sold. Hey,
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<< MENU >>
==> 1. Tom's Thoughts ... "The FUNdamentals Are the Key"
==> 2. Tutorial ... "Stand by... for Sleep!"
==> 3. Tutorial ... "Resources: Is Your Memory Dwindling?"
==> 4. Linda's Office ... "Make Office Behave"
==> 5. Administration ... "Stuff about your account"
==> 1. Tom's Thoughts: "The FUNdamentals Are the Key"
Requests for tutorials this week come from a few people who
really want to know! "But there's so much to learn," you
say, "so where do I start?"
I can't say "start at the beginning" unless I mention the
The fundamentals, or FUNdamentals. Who taught you how to
use your computer? Anyone?
Who shows you how things work? Maybe you're blessed to be part
of a group of people who gather weekly for discussion. Maybe
you have kids who will take time out to teach you. Maybe you
just learn at your own speed, using this newsletter and others
to glean tips, tutorials, and the like.
I tell people to pick up a copy of Windows for Newbies. It's
not like the Dummies books, because you can't take our product
to bed with you. Unless you have a laptop.
Windows for Newbies is out simple, easy to follow, 52-tutorial
product available on CD-ROM and as a download. It's the one
about which my mother said, "I understand this. I can see what
I'm going to see before I actually see it."
(She was talking about the heavy reliance on screen captures,
or 'pictures' that make this product so easy to comprehend.)
Look over the web page. See if this is something YOU might find
helpful. Visit: http://newbieclub.com/wfncopy/
and get grounded
in the basics.
I'm going to explain why some computers go to sleep (it's
called 'Standby') and why some don't. And what difference it
makes. Then I'll revisit the resource heart of your PC... so
you'll know WHY your machine coughs, sputters, and dies when
you least expect it.
The Clinic Doc has given me full authority to teach, but not
to diagnose. If you need diagnostic services, and some great
training as well (all Doctors are supposed to teach), visit
the Clinic Subscription page: http://newbieclub.com/clinic
Thanks for letting Philip Kapusta know your thoughts on
software. He's reading each one of the survey responses, and
will let me know more after things are tallied up.
Until next time,
P.S. Numbers. If you're following along for fun, this week's
New Member number is: 604
I appreciate YOUR becoming a Member of The Newbie Club (TNC)
and encourage you tell others about us. And and by the way,
if you want to tell folks about us and get paid for it, become
an affiliate. More here: http://newbieclub.com/affiliate
The ankle bone connects to the shin bone. The shin bone
connects to the knee bone. The knee bone connects to the...
you know. Well, a 'path' on your computer is a series of
folders along the way. The path you follow to get to a
specific resource. Kind of like the various parts of your
anatomy connecting to other various parts...
Okay, here's an example:
'cornbread.txt' is the file name. It's found in the
'Recipes' folder, which is found in the 'My Documents'
folder, which is found in the C: folder... which is your
hard drive. So the 'path' to cornbread.txt goes through
the C:\My Documents\Recipes forest. Why does this matter?
It's just lingo. But without knowing the lingo, your
trip through the Black Forest of computers will be filled
with terror and frustration. Right? Of course. :-) And
of course knowing where the cornbread recipe is located
is a good thing. I'm just not sure you'd find one in a
forest. Unless it was a forest of... corn.
B. "Forward slash - back slash"
Ever wondered why the slash is forward (/) in a web
page URL, and backward (\) on your computer? No? Okay.
All Internet resources use the forward slash to separate
one resource from another. Page names are separate from
domain names. The forward slash indicates a 'change in
On your home computer, you'll see the slash is backward,
or leaning to the left. "And never the two shall mingle!"
You can try using a backslash in a Web page URL. But it
won't work. You CAN use a backslash in your browser, like
Do that, and you'll list all the stuff on your computer!
Right through your browser window. But you won't see stuff on
the Internet that way. Who cares? Someone. Somewhere.
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==> 2. Tutorial: "Stand by... for Sleep!"
What's a poor computer to do. It's running all the time, and
needs a break. So it goes to sleep. Then along comes the
master, hits a key on the keyboard, and the poor thing has to
wake up. Okay... what's this all mean?
Your computer, if it's relatively new, has a feature called
'Standby'. That means the power to certain items, like the
monitor, the hard drive, and even the brains, is cut way
down. The system is running in 'suspended' mode. Here's where
to look for this info.
Windows handles the management of its power through the Display
Properties area. Right click a blank portion of your Desktop...
and click Properties. Click the Screen Saver tab. At the bottom,
you'll see 'To adjust the power settings of your monitor, click
Settings'. Click the Settings button.
Now, this is a misnomer, because you can adjust a LOT more than
just the power settings for the monitor. The entire power
management area is available for your use.
Select a power scheme. If you're at home using a desktop PC,
then Always On is best. Below that, select the time your
monitor should stay awake by setting the turn off time. After
1 hour, 2 hours, or never. Whatever. You can select the turn
off time for the hard disk, too.
Your system may have a Suspend or Stand by option in the
Power Schemes area. As you fiddle with these controls, you'll
see they are quite logical and even self-explanatory.
The whole standby thing is based on the internal clock in your
computer. That clock is powered by a battery. That's right.
There's a little battery about the size of a quarter that keeps
your system alive. That battery lasts 'forever' so don't worry
about it. And the clock it powers controls all this Standby and
Sleep stuff. Tick tick tick...
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Some Zip programs are frustratingly confusing to use. But it's
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'Unzip Wizard' is so simple it's impossible to go wrong. That's
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This is a stunner!
-------------- "MYTH BUSTER!" ---------------
Think your mouse is the best way to navigate your PC? Then what
are all those mysterious keys on you keyboard? Learning to use
them will absolutely TRANSFORM your PC experience - and your
creativity. Your keyboard was designed to achieve more than
your mouse could ever even hope to attempt. Yet most people are
never shown HOW! Keyboard MAGIC! by The Newbie Club blows away
the Myths for ever -and opens up a world you never knew existed!
What an eye-opener! http://newbieclub.com/keyboard/
==> 3. Tutorial: "How Much Memory Is Left?"
Let's first of all establish how much memory your computer
has to work with. In case you didn't know, it's ALL about
memory. Without it, your computer may as well be a lump of
Make a quick visit to your System Properties screen. Right
click the 'My Computer' icon, and select 'Properties'.
You'll see the amount of RAM listed (Random Access Memory).
Mine shows 256 MB, which is roughly 256,000 bytes. That means
I have 256,000 little pigeon holes to store stuff in. If you
have 64 MB, or 64,000 bytes, you have 64,000 pigeon holes of
your own. (MB is short for megabyte, and the precise number
is not 256,000 but 262,144, becuase you multiply 256 by 1,024
instead of 1,000 exactly. Techie-stuff.)
Okay, they aren't really pigeon holes, but they are storage
spaces. Places where data is 'poked', 'stuffed', or 'stored'.
How much is enough? The Windows Getting Started book states
that Windows 98 needs 16 MB of RAM to operate. This is a funny
statement. Laugh, then ignore it. You need at least 32 'megs'
as we call them, to operate with any fortune at all. (A 'meg'
is slang for 'megabyte' which is shortened to 'MB'. It's all
about economy of language, right?)
SO... what about your resources? What's this about 'System
Resources' and 'running low'?
Your system resources are the amount of memory Windows has
available to do stuff with. But adding more RAM won't solve
the System Resources memory problem, because more RAM isn't
the issue. The REAL problem is with the way the Windows
operating system handles memory altogether. This gets more
complex and boring as you go, so I'll save the techie-speak.
The bottom line: Resources run out. You can verify this from
the System Properties screen. (Right click My Computer, click
Properties... you know the drill.) You'll see the amount of
remaining resources listed on the Performance tab as a
percentage. Open another program... the percentage of free
resources drops. Close the program, and the percentage rises.
The whole point of this 'lecture' (oh my, we're back in
school?!) is that Windows resources keep on dwindling. As you
keep on computing, opening and closing programs, opening and
closing... resources will eventually drop to nothing. NOTHING
free! But before that, you'll freeze up. Lock up. Stall
Your computer died. The only way to resurrect it is to restart
the whole thing. And a 'reboot' as it's known is the best
way to cure a whole slug of ills. Problems? Reboot. Running
slow? Reboot. Of course a reboot won't cure everything, but
it cures a lot.
So, keep tabs on your resources. Check on them from time to
time... and when they're lower than 30%, consider a reboot.
It'll refresh everything. If you want more information on this,
request my email tutorial on how to use msconfig. It'll help
you figure out the whole resource thing. Just send a blank
(nothing in the subject line and nothing in the message body)
email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the Academy for a list of tutorials you can get by
---- How to Take Stunning Photos with YOUR Digital Camera!
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Enter Digicam Magic! Written by Jann Gentry, this e-book shows
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fun with YOUR digital camera! Of course, The Newbie Club is
100% behind this, so you'll understand everything you read.
==> 4. Linda's Office Corner: "Make Office Behave!"
**NOTE: These tips apply to MICROSOFT OFFICE products. That is,
Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, etc.
Do you wonder why your Excel spreadsheet calculates differently
than your co-workers? Do you want to stop the SpellChecker in
Word? Do you want to change your signature in your Outlook
emails? Welcome to Tools>Options!
Every one of the MS programs has a Tools menu on the menu bar
at the top of the screen and every Tools menu has a selection
called Options. In here is where you tell the program how you
want it to behave according to YOUR needs.
For example, if you find that you enter a formula in Excel but
it doesn't update until you hit F9 and you would rather have it
update automatically, go to Tools>Options and click on the
Calculate tab and in there you will see an option to calculate
automatically or manually. Choose Automatic and you are in
Or, let's say you are a great speller and don't want to be
bothered by Word's SpellChecker anymore. Back to Tools>Options.
This time click on the Spelling and Grammar Tab. Remove the
check from "Check spelling as you type."
Or, you want to change or add a signature to your Outlook
Email. Yep, Tools>Options again. Click on the Mail Format tab,
then click on the Signature Picker button and you're on your
I recommend you explore Tools>Options in all of your Microsoft
programs. Check out some of the cool stuff you can do in there.
Just remember which settings you change so you can change them
back if you don't like the new effect.
This is also a great place to look when something is being
troublesome. Ask any Office troubleshooter where he/she goes
first when something is misbehaving in any of these programs.
I guarantee he/she will say "Tools>Options!"
So, now you're in the know!
Hang in there,
Tutorials by MS Office expert Linda Johnson. Her site is
located here: http://personal-computer-tutor.com
So you're not such a Newbie after all? Like to know what makes
Windows act the way it does? Then this ebook will give you a
quick, easy understanding of your PC's Brain. It's called 'The
Registry For Newbies' and you can read all about it here...
See Techie-Speak translated into Newbie-Speak by an expert!
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Get both Newbie Club books FREE from The Newbie Club Academy at
And don't forget, you can get your own Fully Customizable
Guestbook for your site absolutely FREE. This Newbie Club
creation is so packed with too many features to list here. And
it's an absolute dream to install - no experience needed!
To make changes to your membership details, such as updating
your name or email address, or unsubscribing (huh?), visit your
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The TNC INSIDER is a publication of The Newbie Club and is
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Tom Glander mailto:email@example.com and
Joe Robson mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
(C) 2001 The Newbie Club(TM) All Rights Reserved
Computer problems are solved daily at the Newbie Club Clinic.
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