March 1999 - [Page 1] [Page 2] [Page 3] [Page 4]

INTERNET  USAGE  TIPS
  Compiled By Carroll Palmer

Since a principle use of  PCs is to access the internet and the speaker at the February meeting failed to reveal any internet usage tips (as suggested he would in February's newsletter), the following assembly of several tips have been complied from various sources as a substitute to assist  VBCG members in conducting internet activity.
MIME
MIME stands for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension, a standard system for identifying the type of data contained in a file based on its extension.  MIME is an Internet protocol that allows you to send binary files across the Internet as attachments to e-mail messages. This includes graphics, photos, sound and video files, and formatted text documents.  MIME has to negotiate many different operating systems and types of software to perform this amazing feat.  Its invention has been a major step forward in the exchange of non-text information over the Internet.
E-mail programs that allow you to send and receive these types of files are said to be MIME-compliant. Many of these programs now incorporate MIME and have made it practically invisible to the user. You are probably using MIME when you send e-mail with an "attachment" of a formatted file. If not, then your mail program is using something very similar called UUencoding and UUdecoding to achieve the same result.  For those members who want more detailed information about MIME, consult:

www.cis.ohio-state.edu/text/faq/usenet/mail/mime-faq/part1/faq.html

MODEM SPEED
Modems only transmit as fast as the modems they are transmitting to or from.  When modems transmit data to one another, transmission protocol requires they do so at a speed both can support.  However, even if your friends have slow modems, one good reason for purchasing a fast modem is to enable you to access the internet  faster.  It is doubtful you would be making a bad investment by purchasing a high-speed modem unless you plan to shortly upgrade to a new computer.
CACHES AND CACHING
A cache that saves a lot of online time is used by your Web browser software.  Whether you prefer Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer or any other browser, they all take advantage of caching.
When your are out and about on the Web you will often return to paths that you have already visited.  Most browsers make it easy to retrace your steps with a Back button or Go option.  But, as anyone who has spent time on the Web knows, it takes a long time for a page to load up, even with 56K, especially if the page has a lot of graphics.  So the browser sets aside a portion of the hard drive (usually around 10 megabytes (MB) or more) as a temporary cache. Then every page you have visited is stored in the cache. If you return to a page you have already seen, it pops up quickly in your browser from the cache, rather than being completely downloaded again.  Like a normal cache, after it gets full, it will start writing over the least-used information.  Hence, if you have clicked on a number of large "links" and start to retrace, you may find that when you get back the line, some of the older "stuff" slows down to "redraw"  from online.
If you have a large hard drive, you can increase the size of your cache to hold more pages and make your browsing more web and less wait.  Most browsers have a default cache of about 10 MB, but if you have the space and visit a lot of graphics-intensive sites, increase the cache, 20 MB for example.
In Internet Explorer, left-click the View menu, select Options, then left-click the Advanced tab, then Settings.  This gives you the Settings page, where you can select the percentage of your hard drive to be used as a