Volume 2 Number 3 - July 1996
We're still hanging in there with 100+ phone lines. We continue to monitor phone usage and thus far busy signals have not been a problem.
The satellite dish for newsgroups finally arrived. A pole was erected at the northwest corner of the building and the dish was finally aligned with the satellite. Scott and his crew have worked out the kinks and the performance of newsgroups is now where it should be. Newsgroups are now updated several times each day. We urge our subscribers to download a copy of a good news reader and see what the newsgroups are all about.
All of our modems were recently upgraded to 33.6. If you've got one of the newer modems that support this faster rate, you might be able to connect at this new speed. Note that there may be some compatibility problems in negotiating this higher rate between different brands but your 28.8 connection should still work reliably.
The BBS software has also been upgraded and we're keeping an
eye on Mustang Software for more upgrades which will increase
functionality. Remember that the BBS is not available between
9am and 10am daily so that we can backup the system.
One of the problems we've had since the beginning is having an easy way for subscribers to check their hours. Using the FTP tool is not a pleasant experience for beginners or experienced users.
Using Netscape, it is now possible to check your hours and get a detailed listing. Click the Users Only option and the button marked System. You'll see a link which, when selected, will ask for your ID and password. You'll get a total of the hours used and a detailed listing of all your sessions for the billing period.
Many users have asked how to put a counter on their web pages to track how many times they're hit. Webmaster Rick Baker has made that task easier. When you select the above mentioned System button, another option will create the code you need to create a counter. You have your choice of four different counters (they look different). When you fill out the form, you'll get a screen which shows the code necessary to put a counter into your HTML code. Just cut and paste it into your document. It's that easy!
If you want visitors to your page to sign a guestbook, the option is there also to generate the necessary code.
Also in this System area, users are now able to change their passwords. If you change your password, be sure to change whatever programs you use which require a password. At the minimum, you'll need to change your dialer and E-mail programs. If you don't know how to do this, LEAVE IT ALONE!
Who is the mysterious Webmaster and what does he do?
Back about mid-June, Rick Baker was brought on board as the Webmaster for Techline.com. He has worked with Techline.com on an unofficial basis since December. As Webmaster, it's his job to provide Web services for our subscribers.
Rick is becoming fluent with Java, having taught himself the language. He is in the process of learning LINUX so that he can make the transition to take over some of Scott's technical duties, as Scott moves to more of an Internet sales position. The 1987 Aberdeen High School grad has already made significant changes in Techline's home page. Besides being able to check your cumulative time, change your password, and providing code for counters and guest books, Rick has been working on a classified advertisement section, a Web chat area, and other utilities.
"Look for regular changes in Techline's front end," said Rick. "We want to keep the same services available but change the outward appearance from time to time." When asked about things to come Rick said, "We're thinking about having a live camera either in the shop or overlooking the river." He also wants to encourage the use of virtual domains.
It's important to stay on top of the technology because things change so fast on the Internet. Rick spends considerable time staying current on what's popular and the changes in the technology. He continues to add Netscape plug-ins to our server so that users can add these features to their home pages.
Finally, Rick is pushing the staff at Techline to allow pictures to be taken so he can create a Who's Who at Techline page. This will help you to get to know us better.
There are some maintenance items you can do to help reduce the
chances of having crashes. Before you do the items listed, please
run Disk Aid which came with your system disks or CD or Norton
Disk Doctor. You must make sure your hard drive is not corrupt.
Disk Aid or Norton can both fix minor problems, if you have a
major problem, then you may have to re-install your system software.
This means you were on the road to disaster. After you have
checked your hard drive for problems, then do the following.
( the following should be done about every two weeks to every
month, depending upon your computer usage)
Rebuild Desktop................Hold down the Option
and Command keys when starting the computer and wait for
the prompts. (the only things you will loose are comments you
have made in the information boxes, and most people do not make
any comments anyway).
Zap the PRAM.....................Hold down the Option-Command the P and R keys when starting the computer and wait for the second set of chimes and release the keys. PRAM is a memory location which the computer uses all the time and this clears it out, and makes it fresh and gets rid of any problems it has accumulated.
Do these two procedures and you will reduce your chances of crashes.
Lockups are caused by one of three situations:
1. Not enough RAM in the computer
2. Not enough memory allocated to the program, ( you do this in the information window)
If you crash, check out the above situations first, and you may
find the problem quickly. Remember the massage which shows up
on the screen rarely tells anyone but a programmer anything.
Type 1, 11 are memory problems.
The version of Netscape that we point our subscribers to will work well for the majority of Web sites. However, Web technology is changing fast and Version 1.x of Netscape is incapable of doing Java and using the various plug-ins which give added functionality.
We recommend that our subscribers upgrade to the current version of Netscape, which is Version 2.02 as of this writing. Using the newer version will let you see animation, frames, and a variety of other state-of-the-art HTML and Java enhancements. You'll also be able to add plug-ins, small files which attach themselves to Netscape and add increased functionality. For example, with the proper plug-in you can hear sound, MIDI files, and view 3-D animation with Netscape. A wide variety of plug-ins can be found at Netscape's Web site. Just click on "Directory" in Netscape and select "Netscape's Home" where you'll be able to download a current version of the software.
Be aware that if you upgrade your Netscape, it will expire after
90 days and you'll have to download and install another copy unless
you register and pay for Netscape. Version 1.x will not expire.
So, the choice is yours. But if you're not using a new version
of Netscape you're missing a lot.
Bitstream is published on a monthly basis by Techline/Cellular Connection as a service to customers of Techline.com for the purpose of educating users regarding the use of the Internet.