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Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQ)



Questions About The Web:
Q: How do I access a website I've read about?

Q: What's HTML?

Q: How difficult is it to learn HTML?


Questions About Hardware
Q: What hardware do I need to connect to the Web?

Questions About Software
Q: How can I upgrade my Web browser?

Q: My Netscape browser keeps crashing. What do I do?

Q: What software do I need to listen to music over the Internet?

Q: I get a message that says "Your browser doesn't support JAVA Applets!" I thought that Netscape Navigator 3.0 supports Java? 


Questions About E-mail
Q: How do I find someone's e-mail address?

Q: How can I sign up for e-mail discussion groups?

Q: How can I get off an e-mail list?


Questions About Web Addresses
Q: What's a domain name?

Q: How can I find out if a domain name is available?

Q: How do I register a domain name and what does it cost?

Q: What do the .com, .edu, .gov at the end of a Web address mean?

Q: What's a URL?


Questions About Finding Information
Q: What's the difference between the various search engines like Yahoo and Excite?

Q: Can I find telephone numbers on the Web?


Questions About Safe Surfing
Q: How can I protect my family from offensive Internet material?


How do I access a website I've read about? Enter the address, also known as a URL, short for Uniform Resource Locator, in the window underneath the browser toolbar. In Microsoft Internet Explorer the window is labeled "Address", in NetScape Navagator it is labeled "Location". It is generally not necessary to enter the "http://". Be sure to type in the URL exactly, or you'll get an error message. Now hit the Enter key and presto, you should go to the website.
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What's HTML? Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) can be described as a set of special codes referred to as "tags," that instruct a Web browser how to display a hypertext document. Think of it is as a collection of styles (indicated by markup tags) that define the various components of a Web page. All HTML documents are in plain text (ASCII) format making them universally readable by different Web browsers running on different computer platforms, such as PC and Macintosh.Get Your DotTags Here. Back to Top

How difficult is it to learn HTML? It's not very difficult and there's a gold mine of resources available on the Internet that will explain just about anything you want to know about HTML. A good place to start is with NCSA's Beginner's Guide to HTML and Sandia Lab's HTML Reference Manual. All you need to start is a text editor like Notepad and a Web browser. Compose your HTML pages with your text editor and save it as a text-only file with a .htm extension. Then open the file in your browser to see what it looks like. (Keep in mind that an HTML document can appear different in different browsers.) You can go back to the original HTML files as often as you like to edit them.Back to Top

What hardware do I need to connect to the Web? Besides your PC, you need a modem, various cables and a phone line. A modem translates the digital signals from your computer into analog signals that can travel over a standard phone line. Modems come in different speeds and can be installed inside your computer (internal), or connected to your computer's serial port (external). To connect an external modem to your computer, you'll need a serial modem cable. The cables are usually not included when you buy a modem because there are several different sizes available. These can be purchased at most computer stores. Finally, you'll need a standard phone cable to connect the modem to your phone line. The standard connector on a telephone cable is called an RJ-11. On the back of your modem, you'll probably have two RJ-11 jacks. One is for connecting the modem to a wall jack, and the other is for connecting the modem to a phone.
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How can I upgrade my Web browser? Web browser software is evolving very quickly. Most of our readers are using either Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Explorer. You can download the most recent versions from the websites of Netscape and Microsoft.
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My Netscape browser keeps crashing. What do I do? First of all, determine which version of Netscape you are using. The latest version, 3.0, is more stable that earlier versions. If you don't already have it, you can download it from Netscape's website.Back to Top

What software do I need to listen to music over the Internet? WinAMP is the best Digital Audio / MP3 Software on the Internet. Download the latest WinAmp and www.WinAMP.com Plug-ins are software programs that extend the capabilities of your Web browser. One of the most popular plug-ins, RealAudio, lets you listen to speech and music over the Web. To find out how to download and install RealAudio, go to Real Audio and Real Video.
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I get a message that says "Your browser doesn't support JAVA Applets!" I thought that Netscape Navigator 3.0 supports Java? If you go to the Options menu, select Network Preferences and then the Languages tab, you will probably find that you don't have the Enable Java tab checked. You should generally enable both Java and JavaScript for the best browsing experience. If you are on a company network, your MIS department may have intentionally disabled Java for security reasons. You might want to check with them before enabling it.Back to Top

How do I find someone's e-mail address? Although there is no comprehensive directory of e-mail or Internet addresses, there are several search and reference tools you can consult: 
  • InterNIC Directory Services - the place where you register your domain name also offers "white pages" services
  • Netfind - a simple Internet white pages directory facility 
  • NetPages - a directory of Internet addresses of individuals and businesses either on the Net or reached through an Internet gateway
  • Four11 Directory Services - a free and easy-to-use directory of online users and their e-mail addresses
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How can I sign up for e-mail discussion groups? All you need to participate is an e-mail address. You join an e-mail list by "subscribing" to it. This doesn't mean you have to pay money; it just means you are asking to have your e-mail address added to the distribution list. To subscribe, send an e-mail message to the list administrator who adds your e-mail address to the list. You'll get a reply that gives you all the details you need to know about the list and how to participate. Soon, you'll start receiving mail from other list members.Back to Top

How can I get off an e-mail list? To get off the mailing list, you have to "unsubscribe" from it. This process is handled by sending a particular type of e-mail message to the list administrator with your request. In the body of the message you "unsubscribe" followed by the name of the list and your e-mail address. The process varies from one list to another, depending on what Mailing List Manager the system uses.Back to Top

What's a domain name? It's the unique name that identifies an Internet site. The Internet is made up of hundreds of thousands of computers and networks, all with their own domain name or unique address. Domain names always have two or more parts separated by dots. A given server may have more than one domain name, but a given domain name points to only one server.For example, "whitehouse.gov" is the domain name belonging to the White House computer system. Once a system administrator registers a unique domain name, subaddresses can be assigned to the machines and people on the local network. So the President's e-mail address is "president@whitehouse.gov," the Vice-President's is "vice-president@whitehouse.gov," and so on. The machine that serves up the White House Web pages is called www.whitehouse.gov.

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How can I find out if a domain name is available? In the United States, domain names are assigned and indexed by the InterNIC project (a joint project of the National Science Foundation, AT&T, and Network Solutions, Inc.). Use DotTags.com to find out if your name is available.Back to Top

How do I register a domain name and what does it cost? Domain names are registered in the United States by an organization called InterNIC. PDQ.net will register your domain name with the InterNIC for a $100 Domain Name Application Fee. Customer will be billed an additional $100 direct from the InterNic ($50 per year for 2 years).Back to Top

What do the .com, .edu, .gov at the end of a Web address mean? The domain name suffix is assigned based on the type of organization. For U.S. domains, the suffixes are:
  • .com - corporations
  • .edu - educational institutions
  • .gov - government institution
  • .org - non-profit organizations
  • .mil - military organization
  • .net - network provider
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What's a URL? An acronym for Uniform Resource Locator, a URL is the address for a resource or site (usually a directory or file) on the World Wide Web and the convention that Web browsers use for locating files and other remote services. The first part of a URL tells you the type of resource (or method of access) at that address. The second part of a URL is typically the address of the computer where the data or service is located. Additional parts may specify the names of files, the port to connect to, or the text to search for in a database.Most of the URLs you'll be using start with "http" which stands for "hypertext transport protocol". Http is the method by which HTML files are transferred over the Web. For more information about URLs, read NCSA's Beginner's Guide to URLs.

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What's the difference between the various search engines like Yahoo, Alta Vista and Lycos? Search engines break down into two categories, directories and indexes. Directories are good at identifying general information. They group websites together under similar categories, such as Internet tutorials, English universities and Paris museums. Yahoo! and Magellan are two popular directories. The results of your search will be a list of websites that cover the subject you are searching for.But let's say you want more specific information. Web indexes are the way to go, because they search all the contents of a site, not just the file name. Indexes use software programs called spiders or robots that scour the Internet, analyzing millions of Web pages and newsgroup postings, indexing all of the words.

Indexes Alta Vista, Lycos and WebCrawler find individual pages of a website that match your search, even if the site in general has nothing to do with what you are looking for.

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Can I find telephone numbers on the Web? We recommend you try these directories:
  • BigBook claims to lists over 16 million U.S. businesses.
  • Big Yellow, the NYNEX yellow pages also has links to international directories.
  • Directory of Toll Free Numbers from AT&T means you don't have to pay $.75 for information.
  • InfoSpace lists residential, business and government phone and fax numbers, as well as e-mail addresses.
  • 555-1212.com lists national and international telephone and e-mail directories.
  • Switchboard locates telephone and addresses across the U.S.
  • WhoWhere finds phone numbers and addresses. It's also available in Spanish and French.
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How can I protect my family from offensive Internet material? Filtering services can block acess to and shield users from pornography and other offensive material on the Internet. Learn more about filtering services at sites such as http://www1.surfwatch.com

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