by Rob Zorn
Readers' Forum September 2007
If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send us 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).
Last month Peter wrote in about what he and his partner were doing online with their Globe/Actrix connection, and encouraged others to also write in to get their 15 minutes of fame. We're more than happy to include such letters and give a little publicity to sites hosted with Actrix.
Jim writes: Rob, Just reading the latest issue on Online Informer, great job.
For my 15 mins of fame I would like to point your readers to several websites of the Pye family host on my Internet connection through Actrix. I am an avid Open Source user and developer so these sites are hosted on my Linux server running from the backroom :-).
First off is my sister's Family Tree website that she has put together for my niece's first birthday. It covers our side of the family and my sisters husband's family back to exotic places such as Gelardine, where a road is named after an ancester, Holland, France, Ireland and Scotland. http://www.pyenet.co.nz/familytrees.
My dad, who is restricted to a wheelchair, has published a page on the ZLW (Wellington Coastal Radio Station) that was located on Tinakori Hill overlooking Wellington. Dad worked at the site in the 1950's, he and some of his ex workmates have put together some memories of the site. http://www.pyenet.co.nz/zlw.
I have my own "homepage" that has photos from various mountain biking trips the Wellington Region. http://www.pyenet.co.nz/mtb.
I also have some information on projects both hardware and software that I have published on the web. These include a door monitoring project using the computer's parallel port, complete with circuit diagrams and component layout schematics. Links to some Open Source Software I have on Sourceforge.net and some robotics information. You guessed it at http://www.pyenet.co.nz.
Nathan writes: Dear Rob, I received two of the emails you mention in the last Online Informer which claimed to be postcards. I naively opened the first one. Can you tell me how to check if the Storm Trojan has been installed on my PC and, if so, how to remove it? Thanks, Nathan
Hi Nathan, Storm is a really common virus (and it has a number of other names depending on the variant), and if your anti-virus software is up-to-date, you're probably protected from it. As far as we know, all the big anti-virus products can get rid of it, and it doesn't seem to be one of those that disables anti-virus software. If you want to check that you're clean, you could try Trend Micro's Housecall, which is a free online virus scanner: http://housecall.trendmicro.com/.
Wilma writes: A while ago I read something about a Free PDF Reader from Foxit software, I was looking on their website and couldn't find a free PDF reader. I was wondering if you could help me out. Thanks, Wilma
Hi Wilma, The company behind PDF technology is Adobe, and they offer a free PDF reader called Adobe Reader. If you have broadband, I would go for this one as the original and the best, but it does come to 25 Megabytes.
You can download Adobe here: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.
If you have a slower connection, you could download the Foxit Reader, which is only 2 Megabytes in size, and has many of the same features: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/download.htm.
Creating PDFs is another matter, however. If you purchase some Adobe products (e.g. PageMaker or InDesign), the ability to make PDFs gets added to other software you might have such as WORD, but Adobe products are expensive, and you'd only buy them if you were into desk-top publishing and layout. If you want free PDF makers, there are a number of them out there such as PDFCreator at http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/. I hope that helps.
Colin writes: Dear Rob, After hours of frustration trying to download and install replacement anti-virus software on my PC , I decided to give Actrix support a call (0800-228749)to see if they could help with this problem. Simon answered my Sunday, 8am call and after patiently listening to my tale of woe, and obviously recognising he was dealing with one of Actrix's more ancient customers, he provided me with excellent advice which enabled me to successfully install the latest version of Avast! without a hitch.
Essential to this successful installation was Simon's advice to download from the internet into a download folder, already set up. Maybe there are other readers of the Online Informer who are not aware of this useful tip and could save themselves hours of frustration. My thanks to Simon and other members of Actrix support for their generous help. Best regards. Colin
Hi Colin, Indeed, this is why we pay Simon three times as much as all the other support workers!
When you're downloading software you want to install, you can usually choose to either "Run this file" or "Save to disk" from the download dialog box. Installs work a whole lot better when you save the file to your hard drive and then install it, so you should choose Save or "Save to disk".
It's important to know where you're saving the file, too, so that you can easily find it to run it once it has been downloaded. The easiest place to save it is to your Desktop. You can set the download path in Firefox under Tools/Options/Main. When that's done, downloaded files will go there by default. If you like you can set up a special folder for them. In Internet Explorer, you can browse to where you want to save the file once you click the Save, or "Save to disk" button.
Melanie writes: Hi Rob, I'm a new internet user and chose Actrix as my provider after reading the Consumer write up. Thanks so much for this Informer it's brilliant. I love the way it is set up with brief info then the ease with which you can expand to full items. The article on Passwords was especially informative (I'll cetainly be changing mine). Thanks again, Melanie
Hi Melanie, thanks for taking the time to write in, and we're really pleased you find the Informer useful.
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