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Published 11-Oct-2001
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Get Internet Explorer

webWiz Online is published fortnightly, usually a fortnight before publication in print in The Waranga News.
Best viewed at 800x600 screen resolution in 16-bit colour using Internet Explorer V5 or later.
© webWiz Online 2000-1

  E-mail is 30 years old  

Another birthday! It seems with all inventions that the inventor is supposed to remember the first thing done or message sent. However, Ray Tomlinson, email's inventor, has no idea of the content of his first email message in 1971. Can you remember yours?

webWiz thinks his first email post was probably to warn students to keep their messages as short as possible and to hurry up with their late assignments. That was in the early 1980's and the system wasn't referred to as an email system but a send-message system between users on the same computer without any connection to the outside world.

Now that the Internet is the main vehicle for world-wide communications, email makes up a huge amount of the traffic across the 'Net. Anyway, on a practical level, there are couple of sites this week for some tips and tricks for using Outlook Express, both on the PC and the Mac.

  More Memory  

Over the past few months, the cost of computer memory has fallen remarkably. Prices are now at a level of about one-tenth of a year ago with 256Mb costing around $60. That means adding another 128Mb or 256Mb of memory is a very cheap way to increase performance.

Memory is easy to fit to your computer, particularly if you own a model produced in the last 2 or 3 years. Older models, though, are more difficult to cater for. The first job before buying more memory is to check what type your computer uses. So start looking for the manuals that came with your system and check the motherboard manual.

  Star Office Tips  

Having used some parts of Star Office over the past fortnight, webWiz has a few more tips to offer. Firstly, when installing the package, do a custom install and just choose the word processor (Writer), spreadsheet (Calc) and the drawing program (Draw). Leave aside the internet tools and later install the presentation tool (Impress) if you need it.

To help you create graphics, Draw provides a range of clipart as well as many predesigned templates and 3D styles you can apply. Somewhat hidden away is an image editor which you can use to enhance scanned images or photographs or do some editing at the pixel level.

After becoming accustomed to the screen layout, you'll notice some slim arrow buttons. The one at the top left opens the Explorer which allows quick access to the My Documents folder and the graphics samples, among other things.

As with other office suites, you have access to a range of different templates, especially in Writer and Calc. These are accessed when you choose File/New/From Template. So rather than spend time setting out a layout for your needs, you'll find something that just about does what you want, whether it be a personal letter, financial report or brochure.

  Nobel and Ig*Nobel Prizes  

The Nobel prizes have just been awarded for 2001, including the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel eMuseum site is worth visiting to read about past laureates and browse through their writings and work.

The Ig Nobel awards are a satirical comment on various weird and strange inventions during the year. For 2000, an Australian won an Ig Nobel for his patent application for the invention of the wheel.

  International News  

The 'Net provides the opportunity to read major news items as reported in their country of origin or from another country's perspective. All the world's major newspapers have their own sites and they are easy to find.

There are sites such as Headline Spot and Newspaper Links to take you directly to world-wide news sources. If you do need to search for news items, then use News Index. As examples of news reporting from overseas, webWiz suggests the New York Metro and Wired News.


When next online, take a few moments for quiet reflection when you bring up the Phantom Towers, a photographic work that has been artistically re-created in memory of the events of September 11.

On a different level, webWiz is fully aware of the dreams and goals of all golfers: a game (low-scoring of course) at the home of golf, St. Andrews. Now you can take a virtual tour of the course, but its designers point out that this is no replacement for the real thing.

Vignerons can indulge their skills with the Vineyard Challenge, an online simulation of running a vineyard, from the stage of buying suitable ground to harvesting and wine-producing over a number of years. Prospective purchasers of your wines, however, will be looking for real samples for tasting.


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