The first thing you need to understand about this page is that it’s not being administered by a computer expert.  From time to time, however, I do come across interesting and potentially useful bits of information in connection with my internet travels and perusal of computer-related articles and publications.

And when I find something I believe would be of interest to other NARPI members, I will post or expound on it here.  Sometimes it might be merely a personal observation or suggestion for making your computer life easier or more interesting. 

Bottom line, what you will find on this page might or might not interest you.  In those instances where it does capture your interest, there will also be the question of whether or not it is relevant to your particular situation, based upon various factors including your operating system, Internet Service Provider (ISP) and other determining factors.

August 21, 2017
LOGGING IN
When should you login? Only when our computer requires it. When you select an item from the menu, our computer server checks to see if this page is "protected". Protected means it is restricted to NARPI members only. If it is, then it checks to see if you have previously logged in from this IP address. If you have previously logged in from this IP address, you go directly to the page you requested. It takes very little time to test for previous logins and you will not notice the milliseconds delay. If our server was unable to identify you, then you are sent to the login screen.

December 26, 2013
MENUS
About 50% of the menu is visible on most computers. How do you see the lower portion?

  1. The mouse wheel is the easiest tool to scroll up and down through the menu.
  2. Other tools include the up and down arrows, the PgUp and PgDown keys.
  3. The menu will collapse if the cursor leaves the menu for more than one second.
  4. Another way to see the menu is to open the menu and then hold down the Ctrl key and press the - key several times. More and more of the page will become visible. Eventually the entire menu be visible. Small in size, but visible.
  5. The menus are not all the same. There are minor variations on some pages. We're working on standardizng the menus but it will take some time.
USERNAME
  1. We do not use your email address as the username.
  2. Most usernames are as shown in the NARPI MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY. Look closely at the directory, most do not have a period after the initial.
  3. Your spouse may have their own account and username. It works best if they have their own email address. If your spouse would like their own website account (username and password) please make a request by sending an email to narpi.net@narpi.org.
August 29, 2013
PASSWORDS
  1. Only the most recent password will work. Prior passwords are instantly deleted when you request a new password. Passwords can be obsolete before you receive them if you make additional password requests before receiving the prior one. Note the timestamp on the emails.
  2. Passwords are always case sensitive. Upper and lower case matters.
  3. The password email should be viewed as an HTML document. If the email text is all the same size, you are not viewing it in HTML (HyperTextMarkupLanguage). The password itself should be 300% larger than the rest of the text.
  4. Copying and pasting the password eliminates the misreading of the characters.  Some look very similar to others.  For instance, is it a number zero (0) or capital O?  Or, is it a number one (1) or lower case L (l)?  Instructions on how to copy and paste can be found on the Computer Corner page at www.narpi.org.
  5. The passwords that are sent are randomly generated by our computer server.  Don’t try to remember them.  Once you are logged in, use the Change Your Password menu option to change it to something easier to remember.  If you are already logged in, you are sent directly to the Change Your Password screen.  Enter your NEW password twice and click the Submit button.  If both copies of the password are identical, the password is changed.  Passwords can be any combination of letters and numbers but must be at least six characters long.
  6. Logging in is only necessary if your IP address has changed or you are trying to change your password or you are trying to access the New Members page.  If we can identify you, most of the protected pages can be accessed without logging in.  Over 77% of those downloading the July NARPI NEWS did so without logging in.

August 7, 2013
COPY AND PASTE is something you should know how to do. It’s a simple process that works with any program that puts text on the screen. Copying is done by selecting the text to be copied and then copying it. To select the text, place the cursor at the front or back end of the text, then press and hold down the left mouse button. While continuing to hold down the mouse button, move the cursor to the other end of the text to be copied. Doing this should be highlighting the selected text. When the cursor is positioned at the other end, release the mouse button. The selected text should remain highlighted. Now hold down the Ctrl key and then press the C key. That’s all there is to copying.

Now, the pasting step is even easier. Open the program or screen you want to insert the text into (login screen?) and move your cursor to the point where you want to place it. Click on the spot and the “|” should be blinking slowly. Hold down the Ctrl key and press the V key. The contents that was copied will be pasted into the selected spot. With passwords, the text copied will be displayed as a series of dots. The number of dots should match the number of characters copied. The dots are a security measure.

I use copy and paste daily. You will too. One thing you should be aware of is that not everything being viewed is text. Copy and paste will not work with text that is actually within picture or image. How can you tell the difference? You can’t. A little bit of experience with “copy and paste” and you will know the difference.

CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD
Once you are logged in, we suggest that you change the password to something easier to remember. You can do this by clicking the “Change Your Password” menu option. If you are not currently logged in you are sent to the login screen. If you are already logged in you go directly to the Change Your Password screen. Enter your NEW password two times and then click the “Click to Submit” button. If the two passwords are identical, the password is changed. The only requirement for a password is that it has to be at least six characters long. Passwords are always case (upper and lower) sensitive.

NARPI NEWS
About 75% of those downloading the July, 2013, NARPI NEWS did not have to login to obtain it. They had previously logged in from their current IP address and we were able to identify them. For them, the download began immediately. If we cannot identify you, you are sent to the login screen. Those using portable devices (away from home) will probably have to login each "session" where they attempt to access a protected page.

NARPI NEWS (updated 1-26-2014)
If you are unable to open the NARPI NEWS file, try downloading a new copy of Adobe Reader. There is a link on the Special Downloads page that will take you to Adobe. Older versions of Adobe Reader may have diffeculty opening the new files. So far this has resolved the problem. Adobe Reader is FREE. Download and installation takes only a few minutes.

April 23, 2013
Always view the password email as an HTML document. Viewing it as "plain text" will result in the message being displayed in the font style and size that you have specified (or the default settings). The default settings for plain text are usually smail and plain. If the password email is all the same size text, then you are viewing in the plain text mode.

The HTML password email uses larger fonts and the password itself uses an unusual font and is about 300% taller. The combination results in an image that should be easy to read on any size screen. Passwords are ALWAYS case sensitive.

September 27, 2010
SCREEN SIZE Did you know that, on our website, you can make the text size larger or smaller? By holding down the Ctrl key and then hitting the + or - key will increase or decrease the size of the text.

With Internet Explorer and FireFox, the magnification is shown in the bottom right of the screen. With Google Chrome, click the "Customize and control Google Chrome" button in the upper right area. The Zoom feature shows your current zoom setting.

March 29, 2007
CHILD SAFETY.  At this site you enter your address and a map will pop up with your house as a small icon of a house. There will be red, blue and green dots surrounding your entire neighborhood. When you click on these dots a picture of a criminal will appear with his or her home address and the description of the crime he or she has committed. http://www.familywatchdog.us/

May 18, 2006
If you are unable to open a file, it may be because that file type (.CSV) has not been defined on your machine.  Computers use a table to associate file types with specific programs.  Usually this table is automatically updated when a new program is installed.  Once in awhile, unknown file types are encountered.  An example is the Comma Separated Values (CSV) files that we use send out our monthly NARPI EMAIL DIRECTORY.

You may need to manually modify the table to associate the new file type with a specific program.  With Windows XP the process involves a number of steps but they can be completed in a minute or two. 

1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Open Folder Options.
  3. Open File Types.
  4. The file types are in alphabetical sequence.  Scroll down until you find the desired file type. If it is not there, click the New button and enter the file type.  Do not enter the period (.).  If the file type is there, click on it.
  5. In the lower portion of the “Folder Options” popup you will see “Details for ….”  The next line says “Opens with:” and lists the program name.  In this case it is blank.  Click the “Change” button.
  6. A “Windows” popup appears and asks whether to use a web service to find the appropriate program or to select the program from a list.  The second option is usually best.  Click on your choice and then click “OK”.
  7. The “Open With” menu appears and after a short pause, while the computer looks up the available programs, a list of programs appears.  Click on the appropriate program and then click the “OK” button.  That’s all there is to it.  Now when your computer encounters that file type it will use the program you selected to open it.

For the NARPI EMAIL DIRECTORY I recommend a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel or the spreadsheet that comes with the FREE OpenOffice suite of programs.  They will improve the readability of the information and allow you to sort it into any sequence you desire.  With Microsoft Excel you have to manually adjust the column widths.  With OpenOffice the column widths are automatically expanded to the width of the widest item in each column.  Both programs are available on our Special Downloads page.

July 19, 2005
If you’re tired of having to remember to update and run your antispyware program(s) or you don’t yet have such a program, consider downloading Microsoft’s recent entry to the antispyware field.  The program, called Microsoft AntiSpyware, can be downloaded free of charge from Microsoft’s website, www.Microsoft.com.  They do ask you to submit to  a Windows validation process in connection with the download, but it’s not mandatory.

One of the nice features of Microsoft’s program is the fact that it is self-updating and automatically performs routine scans on a schedule you determine during the process of setting the program up on your computer.

July 19, 2005
ZoneAlarm recently announced another updated version of their free for non-commercial users firewall which can be downloaded by CLICKING HERE. Be advised there is a so-called learning curve associated with effective use of this program but, on balance, it’s worth the effort.

November 17, 2004 (revised 6-26-09)
FireFox is web browser that is intended to compete against Internet Explorer and was first introduced in 2004. Version 3 is now available and is a FREE download from Mozilla.org.  Built on the highly regarded Netscape platform, Firefox is making a splash in an area previously dominated by Microsoft Internet Explorer. Features such as an effective pop-up window blocker and one-click access to the latest news headlines (and stories) make this web browser well worth a tumble.  It has nothing to do with Outlook Express, your email program, and does not require that you delete Internet Explorer. When you install it, however, you do have to decide whether or not you want it to be your default browser.  I suggest you try it that way; you can still use Internet Explorer any time you like and, if you decide you don’t like Firefox (I’ll be surprised), you can always remove it or return to Internet Explorer as your default browser.

May 4, 2004
Do your correspondents a favor; use HTML for outgoing emails.

There are two formats for sending email: plain text and HTML.  Of the two, HTML is head and shoulders over plain text, especially when it comes to copying and forwarding emails you receive.  In addition, however, the HTML format allows you to customize your outgoing emails, including the use of a font that suits your personality.

To make sure your emails are set for the HTML format, go to Tools in your Outlook Express menu bar and click on Options.  Next, click on the Send tab and make sure the HTML option is checked under Mail Sending Format.

Next, click on the Compose tab and select your personal Font, Font style and Size under the Mail option; you will note the selection process allows you to view the font as it will appear in your emails.  If you weren’t previously using the HTML format, you will also notice the addition of a menu bar below the Subject line of your email window; this menu bar allows you to further customize your emails with touches such as italics, bold, underline and font colors.

January 24, 2004
Beware of wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.  A few weeks ago, I read an article concerning identity theft and how some perpetrators are now generating official-looking emails which purport to be from legitimate internet vendors and other big-name corporations which ask that the addressee click on a hyperlink that will take them to the firm’s website where they will update their profile or perform some sort of verification which (you guessed it) includes financial information, i.e., credit card and/or bank account particulars.

These operators have devised very official looking emails, complete with company logo and, if you click on the hyperlink to comply with their request, the web page you reach will also look very official, even down to the web page address.  Less than a week ago, I received an email purportedly from eBay.  I was immediately suspicious of it for two reasons: the article I had recently read, and the fact that I had never done business on eBay.  On that basis, I deleted it without following the hyperlink.  In retrospect, I should have visited eBay’s security center or the FTC’s ID Theft website.  As a matter of fact, I probably should have started with our alma mater’s own identity theft web page.

Anyway, the bottom line is that you need to be wary of any email that asks you to provide any personal information whatsoever.  Indeed, your antivirus program notwithstanding, you should think twice about clicking on any hyperlink appearing in an email of unknown or questionable origin.