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Online chat room etiquette

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Online chat room etiquette

Online chat room etiquetteManners and protocol of chat room etiquette.
The Internet has opened up a whole new world for us to meet online and converse real time about our hobbies, thoughts, and beliefs. However, as in face to face communication, there are some common courtesies and protocols that must be observed while addressing others online.
  • A first rule of thumb is to use proper judgment when selecting a nickname that you will use in the chatroom. Avoid using any rude or inappropriate names, as this will only cause others in the room to ignore you. Instead, use a name that best describes yourself to others. This can as simple as using your first name, initials, or even a hobby or interest. For example, a chat room about parenting may contain such nicknames as supermom, mom2boys, or suzieb.
  • Now that you have selected your name and are ready to chat, there are some proper greetings you should know in order to initiate a conversation. The best way to accomplish this is to use a simple, pleasant greeting, such as ?Hi Everyone?, or ?Good Morning?. If this fails to catch anyone's attention, you could attempt to address a particular member with a question. An example of this would be ?mikeg, can you recommend any good mystery novels?. The person you are addressing will usually respond, thus launching your chat interaction. While you are chatting, always make sure you do not type in capital or boldface letters, as this is considered yelling in the online world. While it may attract attention, it is hard on the eyes to read, and you will either be scolded or not addressed at all.

  • Many people in chat rooms tend to let their guard down and may insult or verbally abuse you. In fact, there are many instances where someone will enter the chat room just to annoy others in this way. While your instinct is to fire back in the same manner, try to restrain from doing so. You should either ignore the person, or use your chat software to block their messages. If the verbal sparring is a result of a disagreement with another member, try to remedy the situation by politely talking it over together. Remember to respect the beliefs and opinions of others in the room. At the same time, if you find you are in the wrong, be sure to promptly correct yourself and apologize to those that you have offended.
  • Another inappropriate chat room behavior is asking others personal questions such as their age, sex, and marital status. While it is tempting to want to know more about the person you are conversing with, use the same judgment as you would in a face to face conversation. Unless you know the person very well, and you are both comfortable with sharing personal information, refrain from asking such questions.

  • There are some other tips to follow when chatting online. First, welcome and respect any newcomers that are entering for the first time. Offer advice when asked, as they may not be sure what to do or how to converse. Also, if you are a chat room moderator, or regular, try not to overload the room with constant advice or opinions and give others their chance to speak. If your messages are long, try to type and send it in sections to avoid constant scrolling on other members' screens. If possible, send the lengthy message privately or to a couple of members at a time.
  • Finally, remember to treat others online in the same way you would want to be treated. By observing these basic rules of etiquette, everyone can have a better online chat experience.
  • Glossary of Internet Terms (A-L)

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    Glossary of Internet Terms (A-L)

    Glossary of Internet Terms address mask (Subnet Mask) : This is used to recognize the sections of an IP address that concur with the different parts. Also known as the "subnet mask".
    alias : A nickname that refers to a network resource.
    anonymous FTP : This is a method of bypassing security checks when you logon to an FTP site. This is done by typing "anonymous" as your user ID and your e-mail address as the password.
    application : A program that performs for a certain purpose.
    Archie : A method of automatically collecting, indexing, and retrieving files from the Internet.
    ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) : A transfer mode that designates bandwidth using a fixed-size packet or cell. Also called a "fast packet".
    authentication : A method of identifying the user to make sure the user is who he says he is.

    bandwidth : A measurement in Hz that reads the difference between the highest and lowest frequencies of a transmission.
    BBS (Bulletin Board System) : A computer which provides file archives, email, and announcements of interest. Users usually dial in with a terminal program to access these.
    bounce : This term refers to when you send an e-mail to a non-existent recipient and the e-mail is "bounced" back to you.
    BTW : By the way.
    Bulletin Board System (BBS) : A computer which provides file archives, email, and announcements of interest. Users usually dial in with a terminal program to access these.

    CHAP (Challenge-Handshake Authentication Protocol) : A method of authentication when connecting to an Internet service provider.
    Challenge-Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) : A method of authentication when connecting to an Internet service provider.
    CHAT : Conversational Hypertext Access Technology.
    CIX : Commercial Internet Exchange.
    client : An application that performs for a certain purpose.
    cracker : Persons who attempt to gain illegal access to computers. Not to be confused with hackers.
    Cyberspace : According to M.N.A "the world of computers and the society that gathers around them."

    Data Encryption Key (DEK) : Used for encryption and decryption of message text.
    Data Encryption Standard (DES) : Standardized encryption method used most on the Internet.
    datagram : A block of data that can travel from one Internet site to another without relying on an earlier exchange between the source and destination computers.
    DDN (Defense Data Network) : The United States Department of Defense global communications network.
    DECnet : A proprietary network protocol designed by Digital Equipment Corporation.
    dedicated line : A communications line used solely for computer connections, such as T1 and T3 lines. An additional phone line solely for your modem is a dedicated line as well.
    Defense Data Network (DDN) : The United States Department of Defense global communications network.
    dial-up : Most widely used way of accessing the Internet. This involves one computer connecting to another by way of a modem.
    DNS (Domain Name Service) : A name service used with TCP/IP hosts. A DNS exists on numerous servers over the Internet. It is a database for finding host names and IP addresses on the Internet and trying to figure them out.
    domain : An area on host or an IP address.
    Domain Name Service (DNS) : A name service used with TCP/IP hosts. A DNS exists on numerous servers over the Internet. It is a database for finding host names and IP addresses on the Internet and trying to figure them out.
    dot address : IP addresses in the form of 1.1.1.1 in a 4-byte IP address where each number is equal to 1 byte.

    electronic mail (e-mail) : Electronic mail, or e-mail, is a way users with a computer can send messages between each other easily and more quickly than regular mail.
    e-mail (Electronic Mail) : Electronic mail, or e-mail, is a way users with a computer can send messages between each other easily and more quickly than regular mail.
    e-mail address : A person's email address is usually like this: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Userid represents the identification of the person, the @ is what separates the userid from the domain name, and the domain name refers to the host that the person is using.
    encryption : This is what Internet security is built upon. Encryption will scramble information so it is readable only by the intended recipient.
    Ethernet : An Ethernet connection is a LAN (Local Area Network) that consists of computers connected by twisted-pair or coaxial cable. Transfers can be made on an Ethernet connection at up to 10 Mb/s.

    FAQ : Stands for Frequently Asked Questions. FAQ's are available almost anywhere on the Internet. FAQ's are usually used as a place to look for help or advice when working on the Internet or on your computer.
    File Transfer Protocol (FTP) : FTP's are the most widely used format to uploading and downloading files on an Internet connection. FTP's are used so computers can share files between each other.
    Finger : A finger is a UNIX command that displays information about a group or user on the Internet.
    flame : This is a negative response to a newsgroup posting or e-mail message. If makes a newsgroup post or sends an e-mail message that is deemed inappropriate, they might get flamed. The most popular method of flaming is a mail bomb. This is where the sender or poster receives an overwhelming amount of messages in his or her mailbox and their system can crash.
    follow-up : A response to a newsgroup posting or e-mail message.
    FTP (File Transfer Protocol) : FTP's are the most widely used format to uploading and downloading files on an Internet connection. FTP's are used so computers can share files between each other.

    Gopher : A search and retrieval tool for information used mostly for research.

    hacker : A user of a computer who attempts to understand the particulars of a computer. A hacker will look for ways around things while using a computer.
    host : Any computer that is connected to the Internet or a network.
    host address : The address of the host computer which is on the Internet.
    HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) : HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. This is the standard method of publishing web documents onto the World Wide Web (WWW). HTML consists of tags surrounded by brackets.
    hypermedia : A combination of hypertext and multimedia in a document online.
    hypertext : A kind of text that permits embedded links to other documents.
    Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) : HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. This is the standard method of publishing web documents onto the World Wide Web (WWW). HTML consists of tags surrounded by brackets.

    Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) : Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) combines digital network services and voice into one. Users can access digital services at 115,200 bps.
    Internet : A vast, uncontrolled network of computers that is available almost anywhere in the world. Basically, when you sign on to the Internet, you become a part of it.
    Internet protocol (IP) : A packet switching prot+B220ocol that is used as a network layer in the TCP/IP protocol suite.
    Internet Protocol Address (IP Address) : Each computer is assigned an IP address. These are similar to phone numbers. When you attempt to connect to an IP address, you will connect to the computer with that IP address.
    Internet Relay Chat (IRC): Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, allows users to chat on different channels over the Internet. IRC channels are preceded by a # sign and are controlled by channel operators. Channel operators can kick people out of the channel if he or she feels necessary.
    Internet Service Provider (ISP): An organization or company that has a network with a direct link to the Internet. This is done by using a dedicated line connection, usually through a link known as a T1 connection. Users can dial into to that network using their modem. Most ISP's now charge a monthly fee.
    IP (Internet Protocol): A packet switching protocol that is used as a network layer in the TCP/IP protocol suite.
    IP Address (Internet Protocol Address): Each computer is assigned an IP address. These are similar to phone numbers. When you attempt to connect to an IP address, you will connect to the computer with that IP address.
    IRC (Internet Relay Chat): Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, allows users to chat on different channels over the Internet. IRC channels are preceded by a # sign and are controlled by channel operators. Channel operators can kick people out of the channel if he or she feels necessary.
    ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network): Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) combines digital network services and voice into one. Users can access digital services at 115,200 bps.
    ISP (Internet Service Provider): An organization or company that has a network with a direct link to the Internet. This is done by using a dedicated line connection, usually through a link known as a T1 connection. Users can dial into to that network using their modem. Most ISP's now charge a monthly fee.

    LAN : Local Area Network. A LAN allows users to share files between computers, send e-mail and access the Internet. Most companies use Local Area Networks so that users can access information within or outside the LAN.
    leased line : A leased line is a dedicated line that connects a user or network to another network or an ISP.
    Listserv : An automated mailing list distribution system.
    lurking : Lurking involves simply listening or watching and not participating on an IRC channel, a mailing list, or some other type of Internet connection.

    Glossary of Windows Terms (M-Z)

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    Glossary of Windows Terms (M-Z)

    Glossary of Windows Terms macro : A series of keystrokes and mouse clicks that can be abbreviated into a single keystroke or mouse click.
    map network drive : Associating a network drive. Doing this will have the drive appear in My Computer.
    maximize (button) : To make a window appear at its largest possible size. In Windows 95 applications, the maximize button is a square in the top right corner of the window.
    menu : A list of command options that are available.
    menu bar : Displays the names of all the menus available. Located under the title bar.
    menu command : A command from a menu that will perform an action when clicked.
    microprocessor : A miniature-sized processor.
    MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) : A connection of electronic instruments. Basically, it's a digital sound file that can read electronic notes to play music.
    Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) : A connection of electronic instruments. Basically, it's a digital sound file that can read electronic notes to play music.
    minimize (button) : To make a window disappear from the screen and move down to the taskbar. The minimize button in Windows 95 applications is an underscore (_) in the top right corner of the window.
    modem : A device, usually connected to a serial port of a computer, that transmits data over regular phone lines. Modem stands modulatordemodulator ; it converts a digital stream of data into sound for transmission (modulator) and converts incoming sound signals into data (demodulator).
    motion JPEG : Created by the Joint Photograph Experts Group, motion JPEG is a compression/decompression program for video files.
    mouse pointer : A symbol that represents mouse movement. When you move your mouse, the mouse pointer will move on the screen accordingly.
    MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) : MPEG stands for the Motion Picture Experts. MPEG is a compression/decompression program for movie and animation files.
    MS-DOS : Microsoft Disk Operating System.
    MS-DOS based application : An application that does not require Windows and would normally run on a DOS based machine. Most DOS based applications have no problem running under Windows 95's DOS box.
    multimedia : A collection of, but not limited to, animations, sounds, graphics, movies, and so on. Multimedia literally means "more than one type of media."
    multitasking : The possibility of an operating system to efficiently manage more than one task at a time.
    My Computer : An icon which appears on the Desktop of all Windows 95 users. My Computer allows users to access disk drives, view and manage files and folders, and access other areas of Windows 95 such as the Control Panel and the Printers screen.
    My Briefcase : My Briefcase is an item that Windows 95 users have an option to keep it on their Desktop or not. My Computer gives portable users a way to bring data along with them as they travel.

    NetBIOS : A protocol developed by IBM and Sytek that provides users several networking functions.
    Network Interface Card (NIC) : A card that is connected to the bus of a computer that is used to interface to a LAN.
    Network Neighborhood : Network Neighborhood is a utility that users of Windows 95 and NT can access only if they are part of a network. It allows the user view all resources available on their network.
    NIC (Network interface Card) : A card that is connected to the bus of a computer that is used to interface to a LAN.
    null modem : A null modem link is a serial link to another computer directly through the use of a cable.

    object : An item that can be linked to another Windows application that supports OLE.
    Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) : A program for data sharing that allows two non-compatible applications to work together when creating the document that is to be shared.
    OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) : The term OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturers. This refers to equipment or software that was provided, and not purchased by the user.
    OLE Automation : The ability of a server application to make its own objects available for use in a macro language with another application.
    OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) : A program for data sharing that allows two non-compatible applications to work together when creating the document that is to be shared.
    Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) : The term OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturers. This refers to equipment or software that was provided, and not purchased by the user.
    offline : A device is said to be "offline" when it is not ready to accept input.
    online : A device is said to be "online" when it is ready to accept input.
    option button : An item in a dialog box that allows the user to select only one option from a group of options.
    orientation : The setting in which a page will be printed. For example, portrait orientation will print normally, and landscape orientation will print the page sideways.

    palette : A collection or group of tools.
    pane : A distinct area of a window.
    paragraph formatting : Refers to the format style of an entire paragraph in a word processing program. This includes font, indention, alignment, spacing, margins, bulleting and so on.
    parallel port : A port that has a parallel transmission rate of 8 bits at one time.
    parity : A fragment of data added to each byte of transmitted or stored data.
    partition : A section of a hard drive that acts as a separate disk, even though it is not.
    path : The location of a file in the directory tree.
    PB SRAM (Pipeline Burst SRAM) : PB RAM uses pipelining, in which SRAM requests within the burst are executed almost on an instantaneous basis.
    PC cards (Formerly PCMCIA cards) : Small, credit card sized cards that plug into slots of a laptop computer. These cards can be modems, memory, sound, networking, hard drives and so on.
    picon : A still picture, usually a bitmap, that is the first frame of a video clip.
    PIF : A type of file that gives Windows 95 with information so it can run a non-windows program.
    Pipeline Burst SRAM (PB SRAM) : PB RAM uses pipelining, in which SRAM requests within the burst are executed almost on an instantaneous basis.
    pixels : Picture elements.
    play list : A list of tracks that will be played from an audio CD in CD Player.
    plug and play : A capability of Windows 95 that will automatically detect new hardware and peripherals automatically. If you install a new piece of hardware, Windows 95 will automatically detect it, identify it, and read from it the next time you restart Windows 95.
    pointer : The on-screen symbol that represents mouse movement.
    port : A socket or connection that connects devices to a computer.
    port replicator : A device for portable computers that will allow all bus lines to be available externally.
    Postoffice : The machine where all mail messages will be stored for a workgroup.
    Postproduction editing : The process of adding animated overlays, special effects and more to a video production once it has been completed.
    Postscript : A language created by Adobe that will precisely read graphics and fonts.
    primary partition : A partition of a hard drive that can contain an operating system and cannot be subpartitioned. A primary partition drive is the only type of drive that is bootable.
    printer driver : A program in Windows that tells different programs how to specifically format data for a certain type of printer.
    printer font : A font that is stored in the ROM of a printer.
    printer settings window : A window that displays all printers which contain drivers that have been identified by Windows. From here, you can configure any printer you want, with a large group of options available for each printer.
    printer window : A window that displays the status of the current print job for the current printer. From here you can cancel, pause, or restart a print job.
    processor : A regulating device inside a computer that interprets and executes instructions. The processor controls most major functions of any computer, and also performs computations.
    program file : A program that does not use an association and runs an application directly.
    program window : A window that displays a program, and that program's documents.
    properties dialog box (properties sheet) : In Windows 95, a properties dialog box is a box that displays the properties of a certain item, and may allow the user to change its properties directly from there.
    proportional font : A proportional font is a font whose width varies depending on the individual characters.

    QIC : The standard formatting method for most tape backup machines.
    queue : A list of documents that are waiting to be printed that can be viewed from the printer window.
    quick format : A quick and easy method of formatting a floppy disk. Simply erasing the root directory and file allocation table (FAT) of a disk, and not checking for flaws does this.
    QuickTime : A unique compression/decompression scheme for animation files developed by Apple that is compatible with both Macintosh and Windows.

    RAM (Random Access Memory) : Physical memory that is located in a computer. Windows 95 requires 8 million bytes of RAM (8 M of RAM), but is recommended to be on a system with at least 16M of RAM.
    Random Access Memory (RAM) : Physical memory that is located in a computer. Windows 95 requires 8 million bytes of RAM (8 M of RAM), but is recommended to be on a system with at least 16M of RAM.
    Raster font : A font whose characters are stored and read as pixels.
    Read-only : A characteristic of a file which allows it to be only opened and viewed, and cannot be edited.
    Recycle Bin : An icon on your desktop in Windows 95. The Recycle Bin is similar to the trash can of Apple systems. To delete an item, simply drag it to the Recycle Bin. Here, the Recycle Bin will hide the item from view, but won't erase it. This allows you to restore that item if you'd like.
    Registry : A configuration, information database that comes with Windows 95. The registry contains program information, associations, hardware information and so on.
    Registry Editor : A program that comes with Windows 95 that allows the user to edit the registry.
    Repeater : A bus network device that amplifies or repeats bits of data received from one port, and sends each bit to another port.

    SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory) : Ram that can handle bus speeds of up to 100 MHz. SDRAM allows two pages of memory to be opened at the same time. It is also synchronized with the system clock.
    SGRAM (Synchronous graphics RAM) : SGRAM is a single-ported RAM type. SGRAM uses a dual-bank feature to speed performance.
    SIMM (Single In-line Memory Module) : A module on which RAM is packaged. SIMM's must be used in pairs on Pentium motherboards.
    Single In-line Memory Module (SIMM) : A module on which RAM is packaged. SIMM's must be used in pairs on Pentium motherboards.
    SRAM (Static Random Access Memory) : RAM that stores data within an automatic refresh. Reaches speeds of up to 12 ns. Most commonly used in an L2 cache.
    Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) : RAM that stores data within an automatic refresh. Reaches speeds of up to 12 ns. Most commonly used in an L2 cache.
    Sync SRAM (Synchronous burst SRAM) : RAM that is synchronized with the system clock. Sync SRAM reaches speeds of about 8.5 ns.
    Synchronous Burst SRAM (Sync SRAM) : RAM that is synchronized with the system clock. Sync SRAM reaches speeds of about 8.5 ns.
    Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory (SDRAM) : Ram that can handle bus speeds of up to 100 MHz. SDRAM allows two pages of memory to be opened at the same time. It is also synchronized with the system clock.
    Synchronous graphics RAM (SGRAM) : SGRAM is a single-ported RAM type. SGRAM uses a dual-bank feature to speed performance.

    TAPI (Telephone Applications Programming Interface) : Telephone Applications Programming Interface, or TAPI, allows a program to work independently with a modem without accessing the modem hardware directly.
    Telephone Applications Programming Interface (TAPI) : Telephone Applications Programming Interface, or TAPI, allows a program to work independently with a modem without accessing the modem hardware directly.
    Taskbar : A bar that usually runs at the bottom of Windows 95 which shows all tasks that are currently being run. The Start button is usually on the left side of the Taskbar. A clock is usually on the right side of the Taskbar. The Taskbar can be moved to any edge of the screen, and the clock and Start button can be removed if desired.
    task list : A list of applications that are currently running. Windows users can access the Task list by pressing Alt + Tab.
    text box : A section of a dialog box where characters can be entered in order to carry out a command.
    text file : A file containing nothing other than text.
    thumbnail : A small representation of a graphic. A thumbnail is significantly smaller than the real sized graphic, and is usually used to get to the real sized graphic.
    thread : A chunk of a program.
    tile : To reduce and reposition all windows so each one can be seen on-screen at the same time.
    time slice : A quick period of time in which a program is given to access the processor.
    time-out : A quick period of time in which a driver or device must stop performing the current action, and contact the operating system.
    title bar : A bar at the top of most windows that displays the title of each window.
    toolbar : A group of option buttons in some programs that usually make performing certain actions quicker and easier.
    TrueType font : A font system created by Microsoft that makes using fonts simpler and easier. TrueType fonts are able to work in all Windows environments. There are hundreds of TrueType fonts to choose from.

    UNC (Universal Naming Convention) : Universal Naming Convention, or UNC, is the ability of one computer to access, view, and even edit files from another machine without having to assign a drive letter to it on itself.
    Unimodem : A universal modem driver that comes with Windows 95 by Microsoft.
    uninstall : To uninstall a program is to completely remove all files of that program and all associated files in other directories. Simply deleting files from a program's main directory will not remove all of its files. Uninstalling the program will.
    Universal Naming Convention (UNC) : Universal Naming Convention, or UNC, is the ability of one computer to access, view, and even edit files from another machine without having to assign a drive letter to it on itself.
    unprintable area : The area around the edges of paper that a printer is not capable of printing on.
    upload : To send a file to a remote computer, BBS, or FTP site.

    Vcache : A 32-bit replacement for Windows 95 of the older SmartDrive that run under previous version of Windows and DOS. Vcache will dynamically allocate itself and can speed up your hard drive and CD-ROM. Vcache uses more advanced caching methods to do this.
    vector font : A vector font is a font that uses connected points to create characters.
    Video for windows : A group of protocols and utilities for Windows 95 that establishes full-motion video.
    Virtual memory : Virtual memory will temporarily assemble extra RAM by use of permanent media.
    Virus : A computer program, usually made to be spread from computer to computer, that is intended to either annoy the user, or cause harm to his or her computer. Viruses can simply place annoying messages on-screen, or re-format the users hard drive causing a 100% loss of all data on the hard disk.
    ViSCA : A protocol that allows up to seven video devices to be connected together and hooked up to a single serial port.
    Volume : A formatted disk partition that is available for an operating system to use.
    Volume label : The identification of a diskette or volume.
    VRAM (Video RAM) : Used to store pixel values of a graphical display. The board's controller reads continuously from VRAM to refresh the display.

    Wallpaper : The background image or graphic that appears on the Windows Desktop. The wallpaper is customizable according to how the user wants it.
    WAV file : A .WAV file is a digitized sound file.
    Web browser : A program that allows the user to view information from the Internet and access web sites.
    Windows RAM (WRAM) : A dual-ported RAM that exclusively used for graphical performance.
    Winpopup : An applet that allows the user to send messages from one workgroup of a network to another.
    Wizard : A step-by-step group of instructions that will help the user with a particular task.
    Word wrap : The ability of a word processor to move text of a sentence that does not fit on one line of the page to the next line possible.
    Workgroup : A group of PC's that are networked together to do work that users normally would do together.
    WRAM (Windows RAM) : A dual-ported RAM that exclusively used for graphical performance.

    X coordinate : The exact position of an item relative to the left side of the screen. When the item is closer to the right side of the screen, the X coordinate number will increase.
    Xmodem : Used by DOS applications, Xmodem is an error-correcting protocol and other communications programs.

    Y coordinate : The exact position of an item relative to the bottom of the screen. When you move closer to the top of the screen, the y coordinate number will increase.
    Ymodem : A form of Xmodem that has the capability to run batch file transfers.

    Zmodem : A streaming protocol that is a quick way to transfer data.

    Glossary of Internet Terms (M-Z)

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    Glossary of Internet Terms (M-Z)

    Glossary of Internet Terms mail reflector : A mail reflector is a program that distributes information or files to a subscriber of a mailing list, Usenet group, or an IRC channel.
    mailing list : A mailing list is a list of e-mail addresses used to have messages forwarded to groups of people.
    MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) : Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, or MIME, is the standard way to organize different file formats. For example, if you receive an e-mail, which is in a different format than yours, the file will be decoded so you can read it using MIME.
    mirror site : A mirror site is usually set up due to overwhelming traffic on an existing web site. A mirror site is a site that is kept separate from the original site but contains the same information as that site. This is an alternative to users who attempt to go to a web site but cannot due to traffic problems.
    moderator : A person who manages online discussion groups or mailing lists for services such as CompuServe, America Online, Prodigy or the Microsoft Network.
    mosaic : A graphical browser that supports hypermedia on the World Wide Web (WWW).
    Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) : Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, or MIME, is the standard way to organize different file formats. For example, if you receive an e-mail, which is in a different format than yours, the file will be decoded so you can read it using MIME.

    netiquette : Internet etiquette. This refers to proper behavior while using the Internet.
    Network File System (NFS) : A Network File System allows a computer to access and use files over a network, just as if it were a local network.
    Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) : A standard industry protocol for the inquiry, distribution, retrieval, and posting of news articles.
    NFS (Network File System) : A Network File System allows a computer to access and use files over a network, just as if it were a local network.
    NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) : A standard industry protocol for the inquiry, distribution, retrieval, and posting of news articles.

    packet : A standard unit of data sent across a network.
    Packet Internet Gopher (PING) : A Packet Internet Gopher, or PING, is a simple way to time or test the response of an Internet connection. A PING sends a request to an Internet host and waits for a reply message called, what else, a PONG.
    PAP (Password Authentication Protocol) : A widely used method to log on to an ISP without using a terminal window.
    Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) : A widely used method to log on to an ISP without using a terminal window.
    PING (Packet Internet Gopher) : A Packet Internet Gopher, or PING, is a simple way to time or test the response of an Internet connection. A PING sends a request to an Internet host and waits for a reply message called, what else, a PONG.
    Point of Presence (POP) : Installation of telecommunications equipment.
    Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) : A PPP is a protocol that provides a method for sending and receiving packets over serial point-to-point links.
    POP : Installation of telecommunications equipment (Point of Presence). A protocol that allows single users to read mail from a server (Post Office Protocol).
    Post Office Protocol (POP) : A protocol that allows single users to read mail from a server.
    posting : Sending an article to a BBS or a Usenet newsgroup.
    PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) : A PPP is a protocol that provides a method for sending and receiving packets over serial point-to-point links.
    protocol : A language spoken between computers to assist each other in sending and receiving information.

    router : A device that forwards traffic between networks.

    Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) : A standard protocol which is used to run TCP/IP over a serial line. SLIP, however, will not run on a Local Area Network (LAN) connection.
    server : Any computer that can provide resources to another.
    service provider (Internet Service Provider) : An organization or company that has a network with a direct link to the Internet. Using a dedicated line connection, usually through a link known as a T1 connection does this. Users can dial into to that network using their modem. Most ISP's now charge a monthly fee.
    SIG (Special Interest Group) : A Special Interest Group, or SIG, sponsors different items such as IRC Channels, Listservs, and Internet Sites.
    signature : Type that can be automatically added to the end of an e-mail message that will identify the sender. Signatures are usually ASCII text files.
    Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) : A standard protocol used to transfer e-mail messages.
    Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) : A standard Internet protocol. It is commonly used to wire hubs.
    SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol) : A standard protocol which is used to run TCP/IP over a serial line. SLIP, however, will not run on a Local Area Network (LAN) connection.
    smiley : The use punctuation marks to show feelings and emotions. For example, a smiley face is :), and a sad face would be :(
    SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) : A standard protocol used to transfer e-mail messages.
    SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) : A standard Internet protocol. It is commonly used to wire hubs.
    Special Interest Group (SIG) : A Special Interest Group, or SIG, sponsors different items such as IRC Channels, Listservs, and Internet Sites.
    subnet mask (Address Mask) : This is used to recognize the sections of an IP address that concur with the different parts. Also known as the "subnet mask".

    T1 : A connection of a host to the Internet where data is transferred at 1.544 megabits per second.
    T3 : A connection of a host to the Internet where data is transferred at 44.746 megabits per second.
    TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) : Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP, is the basic communications protocol required for computers that use the Internet.
    TCP/IP Stack : This is needed to properly run a TCP/IP protocol. It is made up of TCP/IP software, hardware drivers, and sockets software.
    Telnet : This is the standard Internet protocol to connect to remote terminals.
    TN3270 : A slightly different protocol than Telnet, TN3270 is used to connect users to an IBM mainframe.
    token ring : A token ring is a kind of LAN that consists of computers that are wired into a ring. Each computer is constantly in direct contact with the next node in the ring. A token, which is a type of control message, is sent from one node to another, allowing messages to be sent throughout the network. A Token Ring network cannot communicate within itself if one ring is broken.
    topology : The arrangement of all the computers on a network and the links that join them.
    Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) : Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP, is the basic communications protocol required for computers that use the Internet.

    B27 Universal Resource Locator (URL) : An example of a URL would be http://www.computer.com. A Universal Resource Locator refers to the universal address of an Internet web page. A URL consists of three things. First, it starts with letters such as http, ftp, or gopher that identify the resource type, followed by a colon and two forward slashes. Next, the computer's name is listed. And finally, the filename and directory of the remote resource is listed as well.
    UNIX to UNIX Copy (UUCP) : A protocol that passes e-mail and news through the Internet. Originally, UUCP allowed UNIX systems to send and receive files over phone lines.
    URL (Universal Resource Locator) : An example of a URL would be http://www.computer.com. A Universal Resource Locator refers to the universal address of an Internet web page. A URL consists of three things. First, it starts with letters such as http, ftp, or gopher that identify the resource type, followed by a colon and two forward slashes. Next, the computer's name is listed. And finally, the filename and directory of the remote resource is listed as well.
    Usenet : A.K.A. newsgroups. There are a vast number of different newsgroups worldwide on the Internet, available to almost anyone.
    UUCP (UNIX to UNIX Copy) : A protocol that passes e-mail and news through the Internet. Originally, UUCP allowed UNIX systems to send and receive files over phone lines.

    Veronica : Allows searches of all gopher sites for directories, files, and other resources. Veronica is a search engine that is built into Gopher.

    W3 (World Wide Web) : A collection of online documents on Internet servers worldwide. World Wide Web documents are written in HTML. In order to use the World Wide Web, you must have a World Wide Web browser.
    WAIS (Wide Area Information Service) : A search engine and distributed information service that allows indexed searching and natural language input.
    White Pages : Databases containing postal addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of users on the Internet.
    Wide Area Information Service (WAIS) : A search engine and distributed information service that allows indexed searching and natural language input.
    Winsocks : Acronym for Windows Sockets. A set of standards and specifications for programmers who are programming a TCP/IP application to use in Windows.
    World Wide Web (W3, WWW) : A collection of online documents on Internet servers worldwide. World Wide Web documents are written in HTML. In order to use the World Wide Web, you must have a World Wide Web browser.
    WWW (World Wide Web, W3) : A collection of online documents on Internet servers worldwide. World Wide Web documents are written in HTML. In order to use the World Wide Web, you must have a World Wide Web browser.

    Four tips on writing a computer book

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    Four tips on writing a computer book

    Four tips on writing a computer bookTips about Writing a Computer Book, how to make the process of writing a computer book easier.
    What is it like to write a computer book? Let me start by saying that it can be difficult at times. While writing my first computer book, I also had a full-time job in the computer field, and was helping my wife raise our two children, who were 3 years and 14 months old. Writing a computer book was enjoyable, but not perfect. I offer here a few tips to help you make the process even better.

    Find and Research a Topic
  • If you are interested in writing a computer book, you probably have some computer expertise already. Or, you may be a technical writer who wants to transfer existing writing skills to publish in a lively and interesting field.
  • First, you'll need to find a topic you can be committed to writing upon for 3 and a half to four months. If it is a topic in which you are already an expert, some of your research has been done already. However, nothing can stop a good writer from researching a previously unfamiliar topic or product, and teaching themselves everything they need to know to write a computer book.
  • Computer book topics must be timely. This is the key. So when you choose your topic and focus your research, keep up with current magazines and the Internet to think about which topics are likely to be "next" in the interest of the publisher. Is XYZ Computer delivering a new version of their desktop publishing software? If so, that's an area to investigate first.
  • Are you an expert in a programming language or database tool? Could you focus on it for three or four months--enough to write a book about it? This too, is a topic for further investigation.
  • How will you do your research? Sources of research are many: the Internet, using the software or product you are writing about, and previous books on the subject. I was able to download documents, white papers, and sample programs from industry Web sites, and did much research that way. I found my computer science textbooks from college of general help, and halfway through I bought good college text on grammar and usage.

    Write a Proposal
  • Computer book proposals have many features in common with all non-fiction book proposals. You'll need sections describing your topic, an annotated table of contents and outline, background information about the market, description of competing books in your area, and information about yourself: your qualifications for writing upon such a topic.
  • The proposal also includes a writing sample. This may be a couple of sample chapters, or just one. However, pick a section from the meat of your book--it doesn't have to be chapter one. This sample demonstrates how you write, how you handle examples and refer to figures (you don't need to include the figures at this stage).
  • Your publisher accepts your proposal because they want to market your book. After which, they may request modifications of your outline. This is totally normal, and good. It means the marketing department is taking your book seriously.

    Consider an Agent
  • Articles about writing often address the topic of how to get an agent, and the difficulty of getting an agent when you have not yet written a book. In this case, I had written some articles for computer magazines. An agent read one, liked it, and contacted me via email.
  • As you should do with any unknown agent, I checked a book of literary agents, then decided to give book writing a try. He helped with writing a persuasive proposal, and talked me through my initial concerns (read: fears!).
  • Agents are good at negotiating book contracts. Many features are standard, but agents know about rights that can be negotiated: foreign rights, translation rights (which may not come up with a computer book unless it is very successful), and are good at communicating to the publisher any concerns you have about the feasibility of the schedule.
  • Here I am speaking of the positives of having an agent, but in computer publishing it is very possible to approach the publisher directly. Many computer publishers are eager accept proposals directly from authors. Look through the computer section of Writer's Market and read their guidelines.
  • Advances seem to run from $8000-$12,000, with experienced or best-selling authors getting the higher numbers--or higher. An agent will likely receive 15% of that.

    Keep Making Progress
  • I thought that writing a computer book would be exciting, and it was, but the truth is sometimes I had to drag myself down into the basement after a day's work and putting the children to bed. It is common for a writer to become occasionally bogged down with their writing, but in the computer book field it is made worse because of the fairly tight schedule some computer books are produced under.
  • The key I discovered: make progress. Toward the end of the schedule I was writing mostly on weekends (I was just too tired during the week!). Still, I looked at my outline and told myself: "You've finished chapter seven, start on the introduction for chapter eight." Checking your progress against your outline will help you keep on track.
  • You may occasionally feel merely like a supplier of words. As your understanding of the publishing field improves, this feeling diminishes. Rather than a supplier, think of yourself as one member of a team that includes the author, the publishing company, the project editor, the development editor, the copy editor, the proofreaders, the indexer, the marketing department, and--for getting paid: the accounting department.
  • If you have a concern about some aspect of book writing or organizing your book, call the editor. Once you are over the hurdle of selling the book to a publisher, they have adopted you (at least for a time), and are usually very willing to help.
  • If you have an agent, he or she can suggest a work-around, or intercede, if you have any trouble with the schedule while writing your book.
  • Writing a computer book can be fun: a chance to learn a lot about a specialized and interesting topic. It can also be challenging, but is within the capabilities of most writers willing to do the required research. And, the feeling of holding your first book in your hands is unforgettable.
  • Glossary of Windows Terms (A-L)

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    Glossary of Windows Terms (A-L)

    Glossary of Windows Terms accelerator key : A keyboard shortcut for a command. For example, Ctrl + Alt + Delete is an accelerator key for the task manager in Windows 95.
    activate : To make a window active by bringing it to the front.
    active window : The current window that is being used.
    applet : A small application that cannot run by itself.
    application : A computer program.
    associate : To link a file with a certain program. This way, when you double-click on an associated file, it will open the correct program.
    Async SRAM (Asynchronous SRAM) : Async SRAM is not synchronized with the system clock, so the CPU must wait for requested data from the L2 cache.
    Asynchronous SRAM (Async SRAM) : Async SRAM is not synchronized with the system clock, so the CPU must wait for requested data from the L2 cache.
    attribute : A characteristic or property.
    auto arrange : In Windows Explorer, selecting auto arrange will lock any visible icons into a grid or pattern.

    background operation : This is an action performed by an application when another application is already active.
    backup : A Windows 95 program that allows the user to back up files from a hard disk onto a floppy disk, another computer, or tape drive.
    BIOS : Basic Input/Output System.
    batch program : A text file that tells Windows 95 to perform one or more actions in order.
    binary : A numbering system which uses only two values : 0 and 1.
    BEDO RAM (Burst Extended-data-out RAM) : Can handle 4 data elements in one burst, which allows the last 3 elements to avoid the delay of the first.
    binary file : Any file that has characters other than text.
    bits per second (BPS) : A data transmission speed measurement over a serial link.
    boot partition : The partition of the hard disk that holds the Windows 95 operating system.
    browse : To examine and search through files, directories, the Internet etc.
    Burst Extended-data-out RAM (BEDO RAM) : Can handle 4 data elements in one burst, which allows the last 3 elements to avoid the delay of the first.

    cascade : An arrangement of Windows so each window is neatly stacked with only the title bar of each window is showing.
    CD-ROM drive : A disk drive which uses thin round discs. The amount of information stored on these discs can be very large, and read quickly. A CD-ROM drive is what reads these discs.
    check box : A dialog box, usually square, that records an on or off value.
    clear : Normally refers to removing the check from a checkbox.
    clicking : Swiftly pressing and releasing a mouse button.
    client : Any workstation that connects to another computer's resources.
    clipart : Any image that you can use to add into a document. Clipart comes in many varieties of file types including .CGM, .BMP, .GIF, and .WMF formats.
    clipboard : A temporary storage location in Windows. The clipart will store one piece of information at a time when it is manually added to the clipart or is copied there.
    close button : The X in the upper right corner of a window. When clicked, it will close the current window.
    collapsing : Hiding an additional level of directories beneath the selected directory in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
    color scheme : A selection of colors that the user sees when using Windows. These colors make up the display of applications, dialog boxes, etc.
    COM : COM refers to a serial port on which a peripheral is connected to. A COM port is a communications port. Peripherals plugged into COM ports usually include modems and mice.
    command : An option form an application's menu, or a command typed in by the user, such as at a DOS prompt or at the Run dialog box in Windows.
    command button : A command button, when clicked, will cause an action to occur.
    connection : An established communication session between a server and a workstation.
    control menu : Any menu that exists in every window and allows the user to change its settings such as its size and position.
    Control Panel : A system utility that comes with Windows that allows the use to change a variety if different Windows and system settings.
    conventional memory : Memory located in the first 640K block.
    CPU : Central Processing Unit. This is what you may call the "brain" of your computer.
    current window : The window that you are using right now.
    cursor : The representation of the mouse on-screen. Depending on your settings, the cursor can be many different things.

    database : A group of files or a single file that is designed to hold recurring data types, just as if the files are lists.
    data bits : The number of bits needed to transmit a single piece of information. This number is usually around 7 or 8.
    default button : A command button that will activate once the user presses Enter. The default button is recognizable by a dark outline around it.
    default printer : The printer that will print documents automatically if a different printer is not specified beforehand.
    desktop : The area of the screen where windows are displayed.
    dialog box : A message box that appears on-screen that asks the user for input or relays information to the user.
    Dial-up Networking : Using a modem to dial into a remote site network.
    DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Module) : A module on which RAM is packaged. DIMM's can be used individually on a Pentium motherboard.
    Disk Defragmenter : A Windows 95 tool that organizes blocks of information on your hard drive to shorten the time it takes to read certain files.
    docking station : An external device for use with laptop computers that provides additional options for the laptop. These include a full screen monitor, a mouse, an extra disk drive, serial ports, and many other options as well.
    document : A file created by an application.
    DOS : Disk Operating System. DOS refers to any Disk Operating System such as MS-DOS and PC-DOS.
    double-click : Swiftly pressing the same mouse button twice, while keeping the mouse pointer stationary.
    download : Retrieving a file from a BBS, an FTP site, or a remote computer.
    drag : Holding the mouse button down while moving it to a different position on screen.
    drag and drop : When you click your mouse once and an object and hold it, while simultaneously moving that item to a different location.
    DRAM (Dynamic RAM) : The standard main memory type in most of today's computers. DRAM is stored with information as a series or charges in a capacitor.
    DriveSpace : DriveSpace is a program that comes with Windows 95 that gives the user a number of options dealing with disk drives. These options include mounting and unmounting a drive, compressing and decompressing a drive, checking how much space is left on a disk drive and so on.
    drop-down list : A dialog box such as a File menu that contains one command until it is clicked when a number of different commands "drop-down."
    dual-boot : A dual-boot system is one that when booted, will give the user a choice to boot into either of two operating systems.
    Dual In-line Memory Module (DIMM) : A module on which RAM is packaged. DIMM's can be used individually on a Pentium motherboard.
    Dynamic RAM (DRAM) : The standard main memory type in most of today's computers. DRAM is stored with information as a series or charges in a capacitor.

    EDO RAM (Extended-Data-Out RAM) : EDO RAM recognizes that most of the time when the CPU requests memory for a particular address, it will want some more addresses nearby.
    Explorer : Windows Explorer is a program that comes with Windows 95 that is more advanced than File Manager. This program lets you manage and view files on your system.
    extended memory : Extended memory refers to memory that Windows can access past the first MB (Megabyte) of memory from your system.
    Extended-Data-Out RAM (EDO RAM) : EDO RAM recognizes that most of the time when the CPU requests memory for a particular address, it will want some more addresses nearby.
    external command : A command that requires a separate file to run.

    file allocation table (FAT) : A DOS file system that uses a file allocation table to store information locations, sizes, and properties of files saved on the disk.
    file name : The name that an operating system gives to a file when it is stored to a disk.
    file name extension : A three letter extension after a file name tell you what type of file it its. For example, WORD.DOC is a Word file whose file name extensions is .DOC.
    font : A description of how a certain set of characters should be displayed.
    folder : A folder represents a directory on disk drives. They can contain files, other folders, and programs.
    FPM RAM (Fast Page-Mode RAM) : FPR RAM was the type or RAM found in all PC's before the invention of EDO RAM.
    Fast Page-Mode RAM (FPM RAM) : FPR RAM was the type or RAM found in all PC's before the invention of EDO RAM.

    help : A program that gives you information on how to use Windows and will assist you with any problems you may have as well.
    hidden file : A file that is not visible in Windows Explorer is known as a hidden file. However, you can view these in Windows 95 by changing a setting under Options from the View menu.
    host drive : The physical hard drive where DriveSpace compressed volume files exist.
    hub : A passive or active multiport repeater or wiring concentrator.
    hue : A numerical depiction of a color which is part of a color wheel.

    I-beam : An I-beam (I) is a symbol that appears over places where text can be entered.
    icon : A graphic representation of a file, folder, shortcut, program, etc.
    import : To bring in an object.
    inactive window : A window that is open but is not active.
    insertion point : A vertical flashing line that shows the user where text will be inserted.
    interface : The visible layer which allows a user to communicate with a computer.
    Internet work Packet Exchange (IPX) : A network protocol created by Novell to address packets of data from ultimate destination and source nodes located on a LAN networked with NetWare.
    interoperability : The ability for equipment to work together.
    Interrupt Request Line (IRQ) : A conductor (line) on the internal bus of the computer which can tell the CPU to process certain data.
    I/O address : Input/Output address.
    IPX (Internet work Packet Exchange) : A network protocol created by Novell to address packets of data from ultimate destination and source nodes located on a LAN networked with NetWare.
    IRQ (Interrupt request line) : A conductor (line) on the internal bus of the computer which can tell the CPU to process certain data.

    jumpers : Small devices that act as switches between two pins of a multi-pin header.
    JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) : JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. JPEG is a committee that created a method for storing photographs on computers. Photographs on the WWW (World Wide Web) are usually in either JPEG or GIF format.
    Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) : JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. JPEG is a committee that created a method for storing photographs on computers. Photographs on the WWW (World Wide Web) are usually in either JPEG or GIF format.

    kernel : Responsible for basic process and input/output execution. Also called the core of an operating system.
    kernel driver : A hardware driver.
    keyboard buffer : Memory where keystrokes are stored.
    keyboard shortcut : A combination of keystrokes that, when pressed, will perform a certain action.

    L2 Cache (Level 2 Cache) : A separate memory area configured with SRAM. The function of a L2 Cache is to stand between DRAM and the CPU.
    Level 2 Cache (L2 Cache) : A separate memory area configured with SRAM. The function of a L2 Cache is to stand between DRAM and the CPU.
    license : An agreement that you either agreed to or were assumed to have agreed to with most software titles. When you installed Windows 95, you agreed to the license.
    linked object : Data which is stored in a document that was originally from another application.
    list box : A dialog box that shows all available options.
    local printer : The printer which is directly connected to the computer.
    local reboot : The ability that Windows 95 has to close down a single application that is causing a problem without affecting other running programs.
    logical drive : A logical drive is an extension of an existing drive. For example, you may have a hard drive that takes up more than one drive letter due to its size. A logical drive is the part of that hard drive which is not the main letter, but still part of it. Data from all logical drives is read from the same drive.
    long file name : Windows 95's ability to use file names up to 256 characters long.
    LPT : A parallel port in which the printer is connected to.
    luminosity : Refers to the brightness of a color.

    How to clean a computer

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    How to clean a computer

    How to clean a computerHow to clean your computer, and why it's important to do so.
    The best way to add to the life and performance of a computer is to make sure that the inside stays clean and free of dust. To do this you will need to disassemble the computer and remove all the dust and debris from all the internal parts. Because most computer components are very delicate, it's impossible to use a rag or duster to clean out a computer without the risk of a static charge. Static electricity, even if undetected by you, can still cause your computer parts to be rendered useless. That is why when cleaning it's important to make as little physical contact with the parts as possible.

  • Before starting, you will want to wear a static bracelet. This will keep you grounded preventing the occurrence of a static charge. You will need to touch the case of the computer often to make sure you remain grounded. Start by unscrewing the bolts that hold the case together. After doing this, carefully remove the cover. With a can of compressed air you will want to go through and clean all parts that look visibly dust covered. Make sure to get under parts. Use the air to blow out all the dust and debris from all parts including all fans. A dirty fan especially around the processor can cause it to overheat resulting in permanent damage. For hard to reach places consult your owner's manual to be sure that you correctly remove parts without doing any damage.
  • After removing all the dust with the compressed air, make sure all air intake vents on the case are clean and clear. Replace the cover to the computer after putting all parts back where they belong. Next is cleaning the keyboard. This can be a challenge depending on the brand and style of the board. Some are easy to disassemble and clean while others may require removing each key one by one. Check with the owner's manual before venturing in to clean the keyboard. To clean the board without disassembling the board you can turn the keyboard upside-down and with the compressed air, blow all the dust and debris out from between the keys.
  • Some people find that after using a mouse for a while that they may begin to lose their accuracy and this will cause some people to go out and immediately purchase a new mouse. This is usually unnecessary. The mouse is the easiest part of the computer to clean. Most mice have a track ball. To remove the track ball you will just need to turn the little piece that holds the ball in and the track ball will usually pop right out. Inside are wheels and rollers. On these you will see some matted down lint clinging to the wheels and rollers. To remove this you can use your fingernail to gently scrape this lint off. Check to make sure there are no hairs bound up in the rollers. After scraping the lint loose, use the canned air to blow out the debris.

    Tips for safely cleaning your computer to improve it's performance.
    Your computer is a delicate and expensive piece of machinery, but it does get dirty. If you have a laser printer, your computer gets dirtier than most with all of the toner dust flying around. Computers attract dust, fingerprints, printer ink and anything else you can imagine you don't want on it. Since you can't clean your computer with liquid and it really does need to be cleaned, what do you do? There are several products on the market specifically made for cleaning your computer but they are not all necessary. You can have your computer looking like the day you bought it if you just follow a few simple steps and keep the water away!

  • The first thing you want to do is clean your hard drive's casing. You can do this with a slightly damp cloth or a paper towel lightly sprayed with glass cleaner or a degreasing formula. Be sure to only dampen the towel slightly so that no drips fall from it. Gently wipe down the casing, using Q-tips to clean small places like vent holes and floppy disk drive openings. Give the same treatment to your monitor, using only a damp cloth and Q-tips.
  • To clean your keyboard, pick up a can of air at your local office supply store. That's right, a can of air. These handy inventions force air from a can much like an aerosol but concentrated out of a long thin straw. You can use this air blowing device to clean out dust and debris on your keyboard without taking the whole thing apart. Be careful not to blow dust into your hard drive as this may cause damage to your machine.
  • The mouse is one of the easiest pieces to clean. Wipe down the outside of the mouse with a slightly damp cloth. Next, unscrew the ring from the bottom of your mouse and remove the ball. Dust off the ball with a soft cloth and look inside the cavity of your mouse. There will be dust clinging to the rollers that move the ball and you can just scrape them out with a Q-tip or your fingernail and replace the ball and ring.
  • To keep your computer looking clean longer, purchase an inexpensive plastic covering for your equipment!
  • Jury awards George Wallace $1.3M in Vegas lawsuit

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