Readers' Forum - December 2005

from the December 2005 Actrix Newsletter

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send me an e-mail with the word "Forum" in the subject line. I'll try and get an answer to you by return e-mail, and will also post the answer here for the benefit of others who may have a similar question or problem. By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free. Please also note that questions and answers may also turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (www.actrix.co.nz).

Pat writes: I believe Actrix provides members with a free 'home page' but I can't figure out how to get one set up.  Does the web site have instructions for setting up this home page - preferably simple instructions for people like me who are not very savvy with a computer? And can these home pages be linked to search engines like Google and Yahoo?

Hi Pat, The user home pages are really just space for you to put a web site. There's not a whole lot there we could add to help you with that unless we were to explain how to do HTML etc. Were we to do that, we'd just be doubling up unnecessarily on what's out there on the web in abundance.

If you wanted to get a web site up, I'd suggest you do a Google search on HTML tutorials etc, and get a feel for creating a web site. It isn't too difficult. Here is a good one: www.w3schools.com/html/. You don't need any special tools or programs, though you may need something to edit your images a little. Simple HTML can be created using Notepad, which comes standard with Windows. Your web site's address would be as follows: http://users.actrix.co.nz/yourusername.

Your free personal web space is an ideal place to test your skills and experiment, mainly because it is free and no one will take much notice of it until you publicise it. Once you have some knowledge of how to create a web site, using the upload facility will be pretty straightforward, but you'd be in a better position to ask more specific questions which we'd be happy to help you with.

Yes, you can submit your personal home site to Google and Yahoo, and they would be included in search engine results if you did so.

Those wanting to upload a site to their personal web space should log into My Actrix on the Actrix homepage, and choose User Homepage.

myactrixlogin.jpg (7283 bytes)Carol writes: Hi there Can you please tell me how I can check and send emails on someone else's computer, or at an Internet cafe? Thanks.

Hi Carol, Actrix provides each customer with online access to their e-mail. When you're at someone else's computer or in a cyber cafe, all you need to do is go to our homepage (www.actrix.co.nz ) and log into the My Actrix section of the web site. You will need to know your user name and password to do this. Once inside, choose Web Mail, and you should have access to all your new mail. You can send new e-mails, and reply to ones that have been sent to you.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that this is separate from the e-mail that has already been downloaded to your home computer. Only new e-mails will appear in your inbox (new since the time you last downloaded e-mail) and you won't be able to see any items you sent from home, or that you have stored in mail folders on your home computer.

Bert writes: Hello Rob Can you explain why when I was downloading a program from the Internet and my connection speed was 52.0KBPS it was only downloading at 5.67 kb/sec.? A message that came up informed me that downloading time would depend on connection speed, but there seems to be a big difference between the two speeds. Regards, Bert.

Pete Cranston from the Actrix Help Desk responds: Hi Bert, The difference here is in the jargon. When your computer connects to the Internet the connection speed is reported in Kbps or Kilo bits per second, while download speeds reported by most software are in the format KBps or Kilo Bytes per second. A "bit" is generally thought of as the smallest unit of data whereas a "Byte" is eight bits stuck together. It's an annoying distinction that the general public probably could have done without, but since the two are used quite often it's a good piece of jargon to understand.

So in order to calculate the maximum possible speed for your connection you need to divide the connection speed by eight: i.e. 52Kbps (Kilo-bits per second) = 6.5KBps (Kilo Bytes per second) .

This means the maximum burst or peak speed for your connection in this example is 6.5KBps (Kilo Bytes per second), the average speed will be slightly lower.

For the record, 52.0Kbps / 5.67KBps is above average for a dial up connection.