The subject of directories and subdirectories is one of the hardest concepts for people to understand but a very necessary part of automating your day-to-day business operations with your computer.

Regardless of whether you work in DOS or Windows - you need to group similar files together so you can find them easier and for your computer to function more properly. It's kind of like moving into a new neighborhood only to find your favorite supermarket on the east side of town, your barber shop on the west side, your post office in the north end and your babysitter in the south end. You would be spending more time commuting back and forth between all these places than if they were all grouped together just a few miles from your house.

The easiest way to help you understand how subdirectories and directories work, is best understood by anyone who has worked in an office environment before. Every office contained a file cabinet with separate folders for letters of the alphabet. Normally, each letter of the alphabet was also separated into manila folders, each continuing information on a certain person or company. Your telephone directory is even organized in this similar manner.

Directories and subdirectories on a computer system is EXACTLY the same thing. Your computer hard drive is the main file cabinet. A directory is similar to every letter of the alphabet. A subdirectory is similar to the separate manila folders that go inside the particular directory. But the great thing about a computer system is that there is NO LIMIT to the subdirectories you can make. Your file cabinet would get too big if you did this.

That's why, when you purchase a new software program, you make one directory for it - then copy the files to make the program work "into" it. (If your software comes with a self-installing program, it will automatically do this for you.) For example, I have a main directory called "Graphics" on my hard drive. Then I have several subdirectories "inside" this main "Graphics" directory called "People," "Animals," "Office," etc. This way, when I want a graphic of a person, I will know to look for it in the main "Graphics" directory, inside the "People" subdirectory.


Learn to Type... If you are trying to learn how to type, you'll love the software program - Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. It's available for $34.95 from Global Software (1-800-8-GLOBAL).

This program is well worth the money because it actually makes typing fun. I tried this out on my friend Laurie, who had never sat down at a computer in her life. She was labeled as the "typical" hunt-and-peck typist. However, she even loved this program.

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing is menu driven and the more you use it the more it adapts to your particular strengths and weaknesses. (Aren't computers smarter than ever now?) It also entertains you while you learn by providing 2D and 3D graphics, lifelike keyboard and "guide hands" to show you the perfect technique for added convenience. We especially liked the Racing Game, where the faster you type the faster your race car travels.

Can You Run a Company?


When first introduced, it was a hard task just to get the communication software to talk to the modem and get everything worked out just right.

As with all computer programs and software, over the years, communication software has leaped forward dramatically in the last couple of years. There have been several things added to the features available with communication software; but, fortunately, the price has remained stable.

Features-- There are a lot of features that you should look for in software for communications. You should try to get auto-dial, screen capture, phone directories, and macros. In this section, I will tell you a little about each of them and how they work.

NOTE: Do not go out right now and try to get your hands on the most fascinating piece of software you can find. You will be wasting your money. There are several programs out there that will do just as well, and will cost you half as much.

You will find that a lot of the programs that come with your computer will already have communication software installed in them. Microsoft Windows has a program that comes with it called Terminal. GeoWorks has a program that comes with it called GeoComm. And there are many others.

The first thing you should look for in software is compatibility. You need to make sure that the software you buy is able to run with both your computer and your modem. If your computer has a built-in communications program, then all you will have to do is make sure that the modem is compatible. It probably will be.


The same system mentioned on the previous page may be used to memorize a speech by linking a series of thoughts to a series of ridiculous pictures in sequence.

Proper preparation of your speech is half the battle. Know you subject thoroughly then make an outline for the introduction, main body and conclusion. Start your speech with something to startle your audience into complete attention such as a weird statement or funny happening.

In presenting the main body of your speech get the confidence of your audience by letting them know you know your subject very well. Get your points across without argument.

In making your conclusion you can briefly sum up what you have just stated then end with a big bang; recommending action your audience should take or suggesting they change their viewpoint on the subject etc.; finalize with a joke that fits the circumstances, or powerful word pictures they will remember after they leave the meeting.

Make your outline in large print with plenty of space between lines so you will be able to look up without losing your place on the sheets. Rely on your memory for the most important points, including the opening and closing lines.

Practice your speech with a tape recorder and in front of a mirror before the meeting. Work out any apparent speaking problems or things that don't sound just right. Know what you are going to do with your hands and determine the better body movements to go with your personality. Continually make eye contact back and forth across the room.

Take time to think before answering questions. If you don't have the answer, ask another question, refer it to someone else better qualified to answer, answer in general terms, or change the subject (like politicians do) complimenting the person asking the "impossible" question, or by telling a "clean" joke.


As mentioned above a person may train their memory by associating names with specific illustrations. This works just as well with written information.

There are several key words or a key thought in each paragraph of printed matter that can be associated with an illogical or ridiculous illustration. It is much easier to remember and recall ridiculous associations than it is to recall normal and uneventful relationships.

As you proceed through any text choose one or several Key words or key thoughts from each subject and relate the same to a ridiculous cartoon or illustration. Actually "see" it in your minds eye as it relates to the key word or key thought.

When you have occasion to remember a particular matter, the "picture" should automatically appear to you and the entire thought should be recalled. Be sure to SEE the ridiculous picture associated with the printed matter you wish to recall.

As you proceed through a book, practice seeing a picture and relate it to the key words or the main thought of the written material. This method of learning should improve your ability to retain what you read. With sufficient "practice" using this method, many individuals will be able to develop a "photo-Type" memory.

The Key to this memory system is to "see" the "picture" in your "mind's eye". After you have practiced and mastered the system and are able to get instant flashback recall you should be able to read most any text material and visualize ridiculous pictures to associate with the thoughts expressed in the printed materials.

We suggest you prove this system to yourself. As you read the first several pages of information, "see" a picture related to the words or thought. It may be rather difficult to "see" at first but by constant effort and concentration amazing progress can be made. When you have seen the picture, just go on reading the following subject matter and repeat the process. Don't be concerned that you will forget the prior subjects! They should remain imprinted on your mind and recalled later, instantaneously and clearly.

After you have read several pages, recall the first few "mind-pictures". If you originally "saw" the picture as related to the key thought of the printed material, you should remember the basic information.

Try it! It's interesting! After you have mastered this learning system, it should be easy to file various programs away in your memory and recall them as needed to progress in your search for success.


You just called the TV repair shop and the voice on the other end of the line tells you "this is Don Smith". About 5 minutes later you tell your wife that "this guy" will be out to fix the TV in the morning. You can't think of his name although you know he mentioned it on the phone.

This happens all the time to just about any of us unless we have learned to concentrate and implant the name in our memory right at the time we hear it. To do this you first must make a habit of repeating the name back to the person. This action will remind you to store the name in your "Memory banks" each time you hear someone's name, and, within a matter of a short time the "repeating" process can be discontinued.

When you meet someone in person use the same procedure, and in addition, visualize something different, unusual from the ordinary, or "ridiculous" about their appearance, position, or actions that "ties in" with their name. You may have to put the descriptive information on one side of a card or piece of paper and the name on the other side for a while until it is imbedded in your memory permanently. Look at it repeatedly, see the "picture" in your mind's eye as you look at the name, or when you see the name visualize the "picture" you have assigned to the name.

Getting this system to work will require certain changes in your thinking and it may take several days or several weeks to become proficient. After all, you have developed a "bad Habit" over a period of many years and it is difficult to turn it around overnight.

This method also works with anything else work remembering, not just names. When you have occasion to remember something, jot it down and incorporate it into your list . . . No complicated formula . . . Just a system that works with a little concentration.

Red Flags

Most of us think of hype as exaggerated or extravagant claims, made especially in advertising or promotional material. Sometimes it is deceptive and deliberately misleading. While we have become a bit immune to this through constant exposure, it always seems that someone comes up with a fresh approach that is not immediately recognized. There are a number of "Red Flags:" being raised.

Con artists have been around since the beginning of time, and are always willing to take advantage of another "hot prospect". But every scam has "red flags" and a little common sense should prevail so you do not fall prey to them. Let's examine a few we get by email everyday.

"Complimentary Vacation Package" - this one has been around a long time, but has now found its way to the web. It starts off with "Congratulations! You will be our guest in Orlando, Florida, home of Walt Disney World, for 4 days and 3 nights. All compliments of major Vacation Resort Developers." Reading it, you might feel you have won a contest. In actuality, this is not the case. It is a high pressure sales campaign designed to sell you a "timeshare" vacation package.

Another variation promises deeply discounted vacation packages. You pay for a package that seems great on the surface, but in reality is either third rate accommodations or doesn't exist at all.

"Guaranteed Winner" - they state - "You're going to get one of these top five prizes, guaranteed!" In this scam you normally send some information, and either return it by email or fill out a form on a web site. They require that you supply your telephone number to be eligible. You will then be contacted by a telemarketer who confirms that you have been chosen for one of the five "valuable" prizes; however, you must pay a processing fee for handling, customs duties or taxes, and you must send a check or money order to them by overnight mail. The prize usually winds up being small trinkets of minimal value, discount coupons or vouchers, worth far less than what you paid.

Or, you might receive an e-mail informing you that your order has been received and processed, and your credit card will be billed for the charges. The trouble is, you haven't ordered anything. They contacted you using bulk email, using inactive return addresses which prevent you from refuting the orders by email. They do provide a telephone number in the area code 767, which is actually in the West Indies. They try to keep callers on the line as long as possible, and you are reportedly billed as much as $25 per minute. Be aware that your local telephone company may bill for services provided by other companies, and not be able to provide you relief.

Another current scam floating about the web offers you a cut of stolen money from Nigeria that was stolen and they need your help getting the money out of the country. They of course want a cut of the money that they claim will be wired to your personal bank account. You of course are expected to pay them their share up front. The money however never arrives in your bank.

One group sends hundreds of thousands of unsolicited emails to people directing them to web sites promoting the Mega$Nets and MegaResource programs. When you visit one of their web sites you can download copies of the software program which contains a list of five names and addresses. The software program and web sites direct you to send twenty dollars to each of five people listed in the software in order for you to get yourself placed at the top of the list of names. This is simply a variation of the old fashioned chain letter. Actually, there are a lot of chain letters floating about the web and all should be avoided.

Another email promises guaranteed Credit Card approval! One group offered Visa cards to the credit-challenged "to put you back in the mainstream of financial life in high style" at an interest rate of only 4.9%. How? Through the magic of using offshore banks in tax haven countries. There is however a $100 processing fee and $25 per month charge regardless of use.

Some people really believe that they have been selected to be in the Internet Version of "Who's Who". This one started years ago and was sent to every company executive in the country - They will include your listing at no charge - oh, would you like a copy? "Send $98 to us and it will be delivered to your doorstep."

There is no way to adequately cover all the scams that permeate the web. Before jumping into any of these "make a million while you sleep" plans, use a little "due diligence" and check them out.

If you see any of these "Red Flags", run, don't walk to your nearest delete button . The money you save will be your own.

Differences Between ISP Networks

Most Internet traffic is carried on large national networks that cross the country. Individual ISPs connect to this backbone via data pipes of varying sizes. If the provider uses too small a pipe, you may face long waiting periods when accessing other parts of the Internet.

To avoid this problem, check the size of the data pipes used by the ISP. Many smaller services use a single T1 line, a data line capable of handling up to 1,544,000 bits of information per second. While this may sound like a lot, several dozen simultaneous users can easily overwhelm this link. Most business sites will be better off looking for a provider that uses multiple T1 lines, or even larger T3 lines.

Firms should also look into the provider's network redundancy. Ideally, a provider will have more than one connection to the Internet backbone, so you can send and receive e-mail and browse outside sites even if one link is down.

Finally, check the number of connections, or "hops" between your provider and the Internet backbone. Many providers connect to the backbone through another provider. Using an Internet provider that is more than two steps removed from the Internet can slow the speed at which you can access other sites.

Connection To The ISP

Depending on your expected usage, you can connect to the Internet via a dial-up line or via a dedicated data line. If only one person will typically browse the Internet at a time, you should be fine with dial-up service. This means that you use a modem and a regular phone line to connect to the provider. A regular 28,800 bits per second (bps) modem is acceptable for most browsing; however, users who regularly visit graphic-intensive sites may want to consider using an ISDN connection to the ISP. ISDN offers connection speeds up to 128,000 bps, but requires an ISDN "modem" and ISDN service from your local telephone company.

When examining ISPs, make sure they offer a dial-up number in your local calling area. This will reduce phone charges for the connection. You should also inquire about the number of modems the ISP has to handle incoming calls. A good rule of thumb is that there should be one modem for every ten customers.
Businesses that will have several people simultaneously using the Internet will want to consider a dedicated line. Dedicated lines directly connect your office to the Internet service provider. You pay a relatively high monthly charge, but do not pay for each minute of connection time.

The smallest dedicated lines are 56K lines, which can handle 2 or 3 simultaneous users. However, most users will want to purchase a fractional T1 line, which can be increased to handle higher loads in 64,000 bps increments. A full T1 can handle dozens of simultaneous users, and even larger T3 connections are available for the largest firms.

ISP Set-Up

It is estimated that there are more than 2,000 Internet service providers scattered around the country. These range from two-person shoestring operations to national companies with thousands of employees and billions of dollars of network infrastructure.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are businesses that own equipment that enable users to access the Internet for sending e-mail, browsing the World Wide Web, and downloading files. Unlike commercial online services (AOL, Prodigy, CompuServe) who have substantial amounts of proprietary content for users to browse, ISPs primarily function as a conduit to the Internet.

ISP Set-Up

It is estimated that there are more than 2,000 Internet service providers scattered around the country. These range from two-person shoestring operations to national companies with thousands of employees and billions of dollars of network infrastructure.

Connection To The ISP

Top Ten Ways to Support Someone in Being Their Best

One of the greatest responsibilities we have is to support ourselves and others in living at our highest and best. Whether we're parents, partners, friends or leaders, it's incumbent upon us to help others to live as close to their unique potential as we can.

With everything we say and do, we're influencing – positively or negatively – the people we care about. The ideal is to do this with consideration and intention. Here are ten ways you can help others see and realize the best that's within them.

1. Believe in Them

We all have self-doubts from time to time. Our confidence is shaken. We lack the faith in our talents and skills to go for an important promotion or launch a new initiative. Having someone believe in you at these times is priceless. The stories of great men and women are saturated with examples of someone who believed in them even when they didn't fully believe in themselves.

2. Encourage Them

"You can do it." "I know you can." These are words that are all-too-infrequently voiced. Sincere encouragement can go a long way in helping someone stay the course. The more specific you are, the better the results. "I remember when you got through your slump last year and ended up winning the sales contest. I'm willing to bet that you'll do even better this time."

3. Expect a Lot

Your 12 Point Plan for Personal Success

No one becomes successful by accident. Success requires making a plan and sticking to it. It is simple, but does require commitment; it is not hard to do, but does require hard work. The good news is that once you begin, the results start coming almost instantly. The miracle of successful living is that the smallest step towards success attracts more success! Here is a very brief outline of the key points that will help you achieve the highest levels of success.
  1. Look into the nearest mirror - the person staring back at you is the only person responsible for your success. Smile! No one else is the cause of your success or to blame for your short comings. Successful people take full responsibility for their actions.
  2. Smile back at your reflection. Successful people are cheerful, optimistic, and forward thinking. If you think you don't have anything to smile about, smile anyway. Positive thoughts drive out negative thoughts. It's hard to have a negative thought while you are smiling!
  3. Positive self-esteem is the foundation for success. Feel good about yourself and your abilities, achievements and potential. Don't dwell on your mistakes. Remind and praise yourself on your past accomplishments. Congratulate yourself for taking positive steps toward a more successful future.
  4. Believe in yourself. You are here for a purpose. God doesn't make extras just to fill in the scenery. Find your mission and begin working to fulfill it.
  5. Desire to be a success. Decide right now that you will be successful. Commit to being successful.
  6. Associate with successful people. Do what they do. When faced with choices, make the choice a successful person would make. Blow your bonus check on a gambling trip or invest it?
  7. Avoid unsuccessful people. Do not under any circumstances associate with negative people. Negative people are toxic; they destroy, they do not build. They are vampires that can live only by draining the life from others. The odds are greater that they will pull you down faster than you can lift them up. You can choose to stay away from all the negative people in your life. Avoid all the whiners, complainers, blamers and thumbsuckers.
  8. Do what you are best at and what you get the most satisfaction from. There is no reason to stay stuck doing things that are frustrating, boring, unhealthy, unproductive, demeaning or unfulfilling.
  9. Write down a vision of how you want to live your life. Be specific. Where you want to live, what kind of carpet, who your friends are, the pony's name, what the new church rec hall you donated looks like, etc. Make a Future Scrapbook; paste in pictures, drawings, essays, clippings. Make up news headlines about your achievements. Every day visualize yourself as you would like to be - and then act that way!
  10. Write down your biggest goal, the one you most want to fulfill. Write it in the present tense, "I am...", "I have...", "I contribute...". Success is the result of a personal decision, so start your goal with "I". Read your goal aloud every morning and night. Tell people your goal. Make a plan to achieve your goal and stick to it.
  11. Study the science of success. Read books, listen to tapes, watch videos and positive TV programming. Talk to successful people and ask them how they became successful. Fill your mind with positive thoughts and give yourself positive self-affirmations.
  12. Every day do something that brings you closer to your goal. Never give up. You can only fail if you quit trying. Keep on keeping on and you will succeed. Achieving success requires following a system. Begin today by putting these 12 points into daily practice.
Everybody experiences fear of failure, uncertainty, insecurity, low self-esteem, indecision, depression, nervousness and embarrassment. Successful people master these temporary conditions by taking positive action, by sticking to their plan, by maintaining their vision of the future, by learning from setbacks and by redicating themselves to the pursuit of their mission. By following these simple steps you will become successful and achieve all that you desire.


After complaining that I had "too little time" to do all the things that "needed to be done," a mentor said:

    "You have the same amount of time per day that everyone else has...24 hours. You don't need more time. What you need is the discipline to use the time you've got more wisely."
With this in mind, here are seven tips that have equip me to accomplish more each day of my life. These tips will work for you too!

1) PLAN EACH DAY. The last thing you should do each evening (or the first thing you do in the morning) should be to create a "task list" for the upcoming day. Your list will help you set priorities and keep focused throughout the day. In addition to planning each day, I also suggest weekly, monthly, and yearly planning with your life's purpose statement and goals in hand.

2) ORGANIZE YOUR LIFE. One of life's greatest time wasters is a cluttered office or messy living space. How often have you wasted valuable time trying to find that memo, contract, your wallet, or even your car keys. Follow the old adage that says, "Everything has a place and everything should be in its place!" Get your life organized.

3) DON'T BE A MAIL PACK-RAT! I recently visited a friend's office and noticed several piles of mail cluttering his desk. Instead of filing, responding to, or trashing these mailing, he instead seemed to simply sort through them every few days, shifting the stacks from one place to another on his desk. Avoid this time waster and you'll accomplish more each day.


Congratulate us! In just a few weeks we will celebrate ten years of "Success-in-Marriage." Notice our word SUCCESS. We've not just survived ten years of marriage (as a friend recently said of her relationship with her spouse). On the contrary, we have experience SUCCESS in our relationship. By success we mean greater intimacy, better understanding, increased patience, and quality communication.

What is our secret? It a cumulative thing! There are dozens of things we do daily excitement to add romance to our relationship. Here are our seven favorite tips to spicing up your marriage.

1) KEEP DATING. No, not other people! Keep dating your spouse. Hire a baby sitter. Get dressed up! Make special dinner reservations. Buy her flowers. Wear his favorite perfume. Approach each "date" with your spouse with the same desire to impress that you held in your heart on your first date.

2) WRITE LOVE NOTES. Leave them in the brief case, on the mirror, or taped on the computer monitor. Keep them mushy (and a little enticing if your sure nobody else will read them).

3) BACK RUBS. Need I say more?

4) GIVE "LOVE COUPONS." Here's a idea we've borrowed from some friends. Give a coupon redeemable for your mate's favorite activities: dinner in a particular restaurant, tickets to a favorite sporting event, etc. Be creative! If you are really daring give your spouse a "blank-check love coupon." Just be certain you are ready to pay-up when the coupon is redeemed.

Golf Lessons for Life From a Champion

Davis Love III is one of golfs most talented young stars. In August, 1997 he won the PGA Championship. When asked about the inspiration that motivated him to victory, Davis spoke of his father's wisdom and encouragement. In a recent book, Davis explains that his father would leave handwritten notes of advice on the bathroom mirror. Here are some of his favorites notes--and comments for applying their wisdom to our quest for a successful life.

Fun is a choice. We can choose to make our family life, online business ventures, and other endeavors a source of either misery or fun! The truly successful among us will choose to have fun!

Are your associates and distributors enjoying their lives and business ventures. If not, they won't stay. Choose to have fun--and share that fun with your partners.

The number one motivation is creating any successful venture in life is to experience joy. If they sense that you are a person who knows and experience joy--they will be much more prone to join you.

Are your ventures run from the top down. If so, you are heading toward failure. Add elements of participation and partnership and you will create business associates who will walk with you toward your mutual benefit.

What is the "http?"

The "http" stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Most URLs follow this format: It's always followed by a colon (:) and a double slash (//). Secure servers use the https protocol. Look for the added s before the colon when submitting sensitive information like credit card numbers.

What's a URL?

URL is short for universal resource locator also known as a Web address. Every place on the Web has an address or URL. For example, is the URL for Netscape's home page. The URL will appear in the Location box located beneath the toolbar.

What are links?

Link is short for hypertext link or hyperlink. You'll quickly recognize a link when you visit a Web page because it's usually a phrase or image that stands out from the rest of the text and graphics on the page. For example, a link might be an underlined word or an icon that is set apart from the rest of the information on the page. Links connect you to other pages or places in a Web site. Simply move your mouse pointer over any highlighted word, phrase or image that you think is a link. If the word, phrase or image is a link, the on-screen pointer (which usually looks like an arrow) will change to a pointing finger. Another way to tell if you found a hyperlink is to look at the gray message bar at the bottom on the Navigator window. When your pointer is pointing to a link, you'll see the corresponding page's URL.

What's a home page?

It's a starting out point of a Web site, similar to a table of contents page in a book. Every site on the Web has a home page that tells you what you'll find inside. If you see a place that you want to go, simply click the links and away you go.

So how do I surf different web pages?

You can hop from one Web page to another, starting from your browser's home or start page. Click any link to go to another new page, where you can click any link to go to another page, etc. If you know exactly where you want to go, type the URL in the Location bar and hit ENTER. You also can use the Back and Forward buttons located on the toolbar to move among Web sites you've previously visited.

How do I view the World Wide Web?

Open Windows, turn on your modem and make sure it's connected to a phone line. (If you have an internal modem, it's automatically turned on every time you start your computer.) Double-click the icon for the dialer program your ISP gave you. When the Internet connection has been established, double-click the Netscape Communicator icon. (If you have Win95, it's probably on your Desktop or listed under Start/Programs/Netscape Communicator. If you're using Windows 34.x, it's probably in the Netscape Communicator Program Group.) Then stand back as the Navigator screen opens and you're whisked onto the 'Net.

How much does an Internet connection cost?

For a household account, you can expect to pay around $6.99 a month for unlimited access (though less expensive programs are available). In most cases, when you sign up with an ISP, you will receive special installation software that includes a Web browser.

Where do I get a connection to the Internet?

From an Internet Service provider (also known as "ISP" for short). If you just bought a PC or Macintosh, chances are your new computer is already loaded with special offers from many ISPs. To check, left-click the Start button, select Programs, and look for a folder such as "Online Services" or "The Internet". If you see the one you want, say America Online (AOL) or AT&T, clicking on the icon starts the subscription process (you'll need a credit card to finish it). If it's not there, check into popular national ISPs such as Spryne or EarthLink, or check your local Yellow Pages for local ISPs.

Which modem should I buy?

If you don't have a modem, your best bet is to buy a 33.6Kbps modem that you can upgrade to 56Kbps. While it sounds complicated, this is very common. Just make sure when you buy a modem, you ask if it is upgradeable. Generally, there is no charge for a software upgrade from 33.6Kbps to 56Kbps modem. You will want to check and make sure the 56Kbps modem will be compatible with your ISP.

Do I need a special type of modem?

No. Several manufacturers such as 3Com's US Robotics, Hayes, and Motorola manufacture modems. The minimum modem speed you'll need to connect to the Internet is 14.4 kilobits bits per second (Kbps). The current standard is shifting to 33.6Kbps, and new 56Kbps standards are currently evolving.

What kind of computer do I need?

The faster the better. Generally any Macintosh or Windows computer manufactured in the last few years should work fine for accessing the Internet. If you plan on downloading movies or playing games, a very fast processor speed is particularly important.

What do I need to connect to the Internet?

Four things; a computer, a modem, an Internet connection, and a web browser program such as Netscape Navigator. (Included with your Infodisk ProPlus CD)

What does the term "cyberspace" mean?

It's a term for the entire online universe. It comes from a science fiction book called "Neuromancer" written by William Gibson.

I thought America Online, CompuServe, The Microsoft Network, and Prodigy were the Web.

No, they are called online services. They are Internet service providers (ISPs) who provide a connection to the Internet and also provide proprietary content available only to their subscribers.

Isn't the Internet the World Wide Web?

No - the Web is the most popular component of the Internet. Colorful electronic Web pages are chock-full of text and pictures, and many possess audio and video capabilities.

What is the Internet?

The Internet is an all-purpose term to describe the loosely interconnected global computer network linking information and people. Using Navigator to connect to the Internet, you can read the latest headlines, tap into financial services, download new software, listen to live broadcast events, and share ideas, information and E-mail with anyone connected to the Internet.

Netiquette - Watching Your OnLine P's & Q's

An easy mistake that many Internet "newbies" make is to forget what the Internet is. The Internet is, for lack of a better way to classify it, a computer network that many people are using all at once. The key word is people.

It's very easy, since you aren't face to face, to forget that people make up the entire Internet. And, as such, you should conduct yourself as good as, or better than, you would when face to face. Manners are just as important online as in the "real world."

Probably the easiest way to give guidelines for good Internet etiquette, or "netiquette," is to show some examples of the wrong way to act. First, and foremost, the worst thing you can possibly do online, that will rile the most people, is spam.

When you talk about spam in connection with the Internet, you aren't talking about the meat product by Hormel. Spamming is sending large quantities of unwanted, unrequested emails, usually containing marketing messages, as well as mass postings to Usenet groups (commonly called cross-posting). It's the online equivalent to sending a mass mailing via carrier route, so that everyone at every house gets a copy. The difference is that, in the offline world, you pay for your mass mailing. Online, the recipient pays, whether through the wasted time it takes to receive your email, or through the fee they pay to access the Internet. While spamming is easy to do, and sounds attractive to the marketer in us, it is definitely the wrong thing to do, and you will be retaliated against, if you do it.

Retaliation for spamming comes in a variety of flavors. For one thing, your mass Usenet group postings may be canceled by some self-appointed guardians of the Internet who have the technical wizardry to intercept your unwanted messages. They will always send you an email explaining why they did what they did, and, for the most part, they are very fair in doing what they do.

How to Get People to Visit Your Website

If you want to make money in any sort of way with a website, you have to get people (and lots of them) to visit. Whether you have paid advertising at your website, or products to sell, or just information designed to generate leads or orders, it's all a numbers game. The more people you get to travel through your website, the more income you'll make. Thus, it's crucial that you do two important things with your website: provide content that people will want to make the effort to see, and get the word out about your website.


Let's suppose that you want to make money not by selling products or services from your website, but by selling advertising space to other businesses. You could easily create a classified ad website, or even a website with display ads. Big deal. Would you visit a website that was only classified ads more than once, out of curiosity? Probably not, unless...

A. It's devoted to a particular special interest.

There are many websites with general classified advertising, very little focus. I don't look for many of these to generate a lot of long-term income for the person(s) who runs them. There are a few websites, however, with highly focused specialized advertising. These will, more likely, be successful (as long as they cater to a large enough group).

For example, you could start a classified ad website devoted to buying and selling musical instruments. This would greatly interest any musician, who would tend to visit from time to time. The average person will, by nature, visit websites that cater to their individual interests more frequently than a generalized website that may or may not hold anything of interest to them.

Internet Basics & Setting Up A Web Site

  • A Guide To Good Web Page Design (Part 1)
  • A Guide To Good Web Page Design (Part 2)
  • A Low-cost Online Marketing System
  • Actual URL Addresses For Marketing Your Web Site
  • Basic Uses Of Computer Bulletin Boards
  • Common Internet Myths
  • Common Website Questions And Answers
  • Creative Ways To Make Money On The Internet
  • Do-it-yourself Domain -- Building From Scratch
  • E-mail, Auto-responders, Information-on-demand
  • Electronic Advertising Service
  • Getting An Internet Website For Your Business
  • How To Add Hyperlinks To Your Web Page
  • How To Add Video And Sound To Your Web Page
  • How To Choose An Internet Service Provider
  • How To Find Anything On The Internet (Part 1)
  • How To Find Anything On The Internet (Part 2)
  • How To Get People To Visit Your Website
  • How To Increase Your Business With An E-mail Newsletter
  • How To Send Anonymous E-mail
  • How To Send Multiple E-mail
  • How To Write HTML In 10 Minutes Or Less
  • Internet Marketing The Right Way
  • Introduction To Internet Terms
  • Java, VRML And Other Web Enhancements
  • More Internet Terms And Definitions
  • Netiquette -- Watching Your Online P's & Q's
  • On-line Information Services
  • Picking Out Equipment
  • Selecting Your First Computer
  • Setting Up A BBS For Yourself
  • Should I Do Business On The Internet?
  • The Internet E-mail System
  • Using An Online Information Service
  • Using The Internet
  • Valuable Business Links On The Internet
  • Virtual Malls And Other Ways To Market Anything On
  • Web Yearbook -- Make Money Producing Electronic
  • What Exactly Is The Internet
  • What Is A Domain? Understanding Its Economic
  • Why Unsolicited E-mails Usually Don't Work

E-Mail, Autoresponders, Information-on-Demand

Anyone who's used a fax-on-demand system knows how wonderful they are for both the customer and the business. If you need information, you can get it 24 hours a day with one phone call. If you're a business, you can provide your customers with detailed documents anytime they want, with no intervention on your part. It's a win-win situation.

There's a similar win-win situation on the Internet, and it's called an autoresponder (some people also call it a mail-bot, as in mail-robot). This is basically a fax-on-demand system, but it communicates via email instead of over the phone line.

Here's an example of how an autoresponder works:

Suppose you sell audio cassettes and compact disks over the Internet. Rather than putting an extensive catalog on your website or as a printed booklet in the mail, you can make your catalog available from an autoresponder. If someone wants your catalog, they just have to send an email to your autoresponder's address (, for instance). Within minutes (usually, within seconds, in fact), your catalog is automatically emailed to the customer. It doesn't matter if it's 2:00 pm or 2:00 am, or what corner of the world they're in - it's totally automatic.

Here's the best part. Most autoresponders will, at the same time, also send an email to you with the customer's email address. That way, you have a record of how many people requested your catalog and when, and you can follow up via email. Fax-on-demand can't even do that!

How much does this cost? Well, like anything, the cost varies from provider to provider. An autoresponder may be included with your basic Internet service. If not, you can purchase the use of an autoresponder on a monthly basis from literally dozens of sources. You should figure on a $5 to $10 setup fee, and $5 to $10 per month for each autoresponder you rent. If you pay more than this, you may be paying too much. Shop around.

Disclaimer & Product Information:

The text and documents contained in these reports were compiled from a number of different sources, representing many different viewpoints. For that reason, no claims of content accuracy or other legal issues is made. Also, some of these reports were written several years ago, so the information contained in them may be slightly out of date.

No warranty is expressed or implied. These reports are sold and distributed "as is". The reader is advised to seek legal counsel before starting any business or implementing any ideas contained in these documents should the reader need such advice.

Most of the information in these reports applies to people living in the United States. Some of the information MAY be applicable to other countries as well.

There is no copyright on the information in these reports. Permission is granted to reprint, distribute by any means or even resell these reports.

The Internet is a hostile place for newcomers.

False, false, false! The only way you'll catch any guff as a newcomer is if you don't use common sense and jump into things without knowing the proper procedures. As long as you know some basic information, you'll do fine on the Internet.

Just like in the real world, if you don't know how to do something, read the directions first. Almost all Usenet groups and email lists have what are called FAQs, which stands for Frequently Asked Questions. These documents will contain all the basic information you need to know before participating in that discussion group.

For example, suppose you want to participate in the fictitious Usenet discussion group Alt.Fan.Redbirds, a group which talks about your favorite rock group, the Redbirds. The FAQ for that group might have the biographies of each member (so people won't be asking the same "where was the lead singer born" questions all the time), a list of all their records, and any other basic information about the group. Having this information in an accessible document prevents discussions from getting bogged down with the same subjects over-and-over. Also, you'll find information in the FAQ about who the moderator (basically, the boss) of the group is, procedures for posting messages, subjects that are welcomed or should not be discussed in that group, etc. You'll save yourself a lot of grief by reading through the FAQ first thing!

How do you know where the FAQ is? That brings us to the second important skill Internet newcomers must have and use: the ability to ask. Just ask someone in the group, they'll tell you. They won't "bite off your head" or make fun of you because you're new. In fact, almost all discussion groups on the Internet welcome newcomers, because they bring with them a fresh perspective on whatever topic is being discussed. Just post your first message as a short introduction of yourself, along with a request for directions to the FAQ. Check back tomorrow, and you'll probably have a response, whether by email or posted in the Usenet group itself.

Read through this FAQ. If you need more help, contact the group's moderator by email. Either the moderator will volunteer to help, or you'll be given an email address of someone who can help you.

The Internet is, for the most part, a friendly place. And, if you're still nervous about dealing with the "old timers" on the Internet, remember this: they were "newbies" once, too!

It isn't safe to send your credit card number across the Internet.

Yes and no. This is another area that has been unfairly exploited by the media. There are certain precautions you can take to ensure safety when paying for a product online. The advent of secure servers stands to change the way commerce is conducted on the Internet. The server is the primary connection to the Internet at your service provider's location. Secure servers use encryption to ensure that anything that might be intercepted would be useless, as it would be scrambled. If you're accessing a website stored on a secure server, there will be some indication, which varies from program to program, that shows it's secure (Netscape Navigator, for example, has a broken key in the lower left corner for non-secure servers, unbroken for secure).

One thing to realize, however, is that you really aren't that much at risk if you transmit your credit card number through a non-secure server. Here's what someone would have to do in order to steal your credit card number from an email message: they'd have to intercept the single message that contains your information at the exact right time. Chances of that actually happening are low.

In fact, after doing some independent research, I wasn't able to find any instances of this happening. The credit card thefts that have occurred over the Internet have been mass thefts from banking and online service computer systems that contain databases of customer information. Wouldn't that make more sense, anyway? If you were a thief, would you rather spend a large amount of time trying to intercept individual emails, or spend a short amount of time accessing a single source where you could get hundreds or thousands of card numbers, all in one shot? True, criminals aren't always logical, but most of them want to do as little work as possible.

What it boils down to is that sending your credit card via email probably is no riskier than giving your information over the phone to an operator at a catalog company. After all, someone could be listening in on the phone call, or the person at the other end of the line (or someone else in that office) might be running a credit card fraud business on the side. Secure servers just enhance the safety.

The Internet is just a garbage dump of pornography, pedophiles, and other miscreants.

Untrue! While I will concede that there is some unsavory material available on the Internet, it is nowhere near as prevalent as the rumors would lead you to believe.

First, the percentage of material that would normally be considered objectionable is quite the minimum. While it's impossible to estimate the exact amount, my guess would be 1/2%, at most. In other words, no worse than your local bookstore that might have a copy of "The Joy Of Sex" and Playboy for sale. While even that much is too much for some people, most people would agree that it really isn't a problem.

In 1995, though, Time Magazine cited a study by a university freshman for their cover story on Internet pornography. This article grabbed headlines everywhere with its statistics showing huge amounts of child pornography, bestiality, and other sickness traveling across the Internet. What the article didn't tell you was that the statistics weren't based on any credible study, but were estimates that this one freshman, who went on to write a book about how to "pick up women online," had pulled off the top of his head. The study that the article was based on has been 100% discredited, and Time even published a large correction and apology soon afterward. Unfortunately, the rumor was in place by that time, and the retraction didn't get as many headlines as the original article did.

Second, a good percentage of people can't even access areas of the Internet that contain objectionable material. This is because those areas are blocked out by many Internet service providers. These providers either have a moral objection to making those areas available, or they don't want to leave themselves open for any legal issues. Thus, the people who have their Internet connections via these providers don't have to worry about encountering material they dislike.

Finally, if you have a child in the house who's allowed to access the Internet, parental responsibility comes into play. Just as you would make sure that your child isn't at the bookstore mentioned earlier, reading materials you would find objectionable, you should make sure that they aren't able to access raw areas of the Internet. How can you accomplish this?

  • Use a service provider that does not allow access to these areas.
  • Only allow your child to use an online service such as America Online, which has parameters you can set in order to screen out areas you don't like.
  • Use a software program such as SurfWatch, which blocks out areas of the World Wide Web and other parts of the Internet that contain objectionable materials. SurfWatch has a subscription updating system that makes sure your child is always blocked from those areas.

Unfortunately, if you don't like sexually-oriented material, there's not much you can do to prevent it from being posted on the Internet. The Internet is a true bastion of free speech, and with that, comes that possibility that something you might not like will occasionally appear. If you attempt to censor the areas you don't like so that others can't see them, others will censor areas they don't like, so that you can't see them. These might be politically-oriented areas, or other socially acceptable areas that promote opinions others don't like. If it were even physically possible to censor the Internet (and it isn't, whatever politicians try to tell you), there would be such an outcry that it would never happen. Suffice it to say, though, that the sexually-oriented materials online are a severe minimum of what's available, and little, if any, truly perverted material ever makes it online.

Common Internet Myths

As with any other "hot topic," the Internet has been the victim of more than its share of myths, superstitions, and falsehoods. The media hasn't helped, to be sure, but uninformed people are just as much at fault. These rumors, if left to fester, will do nothing but damage the reputation of the Internet and those that use it. This report will debunk three of the most common rumors being spread about the Internet.

Myth #1: The Internet is just a garbage dump of pornography, pedophiles, and other miscreants.

Untrue! While I will concede that there is some unsavory material available on the Internet, it is nowhere near as prevalent as the rumors would lead you to believe.

First, the percentage of material that would normally be considered objectionable is quite the minimum. While it's impossible to estimate the exact amount, my guess would be 1/2%, at most. In other words, no worse than your local bookstore that might have a copy of "The Joy Of Sex" and Playboy for sale. While even that much is too much for some people, most people would agree that it really isn't a problem.

In 1995, though, Time Magazine cited a study by a university freshman for their cover story on Internet pornography. This article grabbed headlines everywhere with its statistics showing huge amounts of child pornography, bestiality, and other sickness traveling across the Internet. What the article didn't tell you was that the statistics weren't based on any credible study, but were estimates that this one freshman, who went on to write a book about how to "pick up women online," had pulled off the top of his head. The study that the article was based on has been 100% discredited, and Time even published a large correction and apology soon afterward. Unfortunately, the rumor was in place by that time, and the retraction didn't get as many headlines as the original article did.