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 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:
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