15 - Links
In the previous editions of Computer Corner Iíve explained how your computer works and various means by which you can avoid problems such as viruses and hard disk crashes. Given that the central theme of Computer Corner is to help you get the most from your computer, I thought it might be helpful to start talking about ways you can use your computer to enhance your life. Letís begin with the most obvious first. The Internet is an excellent source for free resources that you can use everyday to save time and money. So in this edition Iím going to pass on some of the links I use regularly and have found very helpful.
http://www.acronymfinder.com: As computer science is still a rapidly developing area of study, the computer industry is ever inventing new technologies and new ways of describing those technologies, and incase you havenít noticed, it usually ends up being in the form of an acronym. Even with all my years of experience with computers and technology I still come across acronyms that Iíve never seen. Thankfully, thereís
acronymfinder.com. With over 325,000 definitions for acronyms and abbreviations youíre sure to find what youíre looking for.
http://www.anywho.com: Have you ever gotten your phone bill and found charges for calls to numbers you donít recognize? If youíre like most people, you pick up the phone and dial the number to find out to whom it belongs. Youíve now been charged twice just to find out who you called the first time. Next time try a reverse lookup on
Anywho.com. Itís free and unless the number is unlisted or a cell phone, youíve got a pretty fair chance of finding out who that number belongs to without having to make that awkward second call.
http://www.m-w.com: With an online dictionary, thesaurus and encyclopedia Merriam Websterís website is an excellent resource when youíre looking for just the right bit of lexicon to make your point. They even provide links for pronunciation of most words.
http://www.howstuffworks.com: Whether itís computers, electronics, cars or home stuff, How Stuff Works provides explanations for the inquisitive mind. Using everyday language you can learn how everything from toasters to turn signals work.
http://www.onlineconversion.com: How many teaspoons are there in a liter? Ok, maybe thatís not the most common conversion question asked, but whether you need to convert miles to meters or tablespoons to cups, youíll find the answer quickly on the
onlineconversions.com. Oh and by the wayÖ there are 202.9439232 teaspoons in a literÖ unless youíre in the UK then there are 216.4158195 UK teaspoons per liter.
http://usps.com: Letís say that you want to send your cousin in Poughkeepsie, NY a present for Christmas but all you have is a street address and a tight budget. Use can use the US Postal Service website to lookup the zip code and find out how much itís going to cost to get it there in time. Youíd also discover that planning ahead and allowing 8 days for shipping Parcel Post will save you a couple bucks over 3 day Priority Mail.
http://maps.yahoo.com/dd and http://www.mapquest.com/directions: Getting from point ďAĒ to point ďBĒ is simple enough if youíve been there before, but finding someplace youíve never been can be a frustrating experience using conventional maps. Yahoo Maps and Mapquest make life a little easier by allowing you to enter a starting and ending address with which theyíll provide you a turn by turn route to follow including mileage and estimated travel time. I use both interchangeably and time permitting, will check both because they sometimes suggest different routes.
These are just a few of the enumerable free resources available on the Internet. Send me your favorite website and if appropriate, Iíll include them in future editions. Speaking of sending me things, Iíve received some great questions from readers and as I was sure more than one person had the same question, some of those became topics for past editions. So in keeping with my goal to provide you with information relevant to your particular situation, Iím going to offer a little incentive. Send me your questions or suggestions for future topics via email
(Juan@JuanMurillo.com) or letter (Computer Corner, c/o Morgan Hill Times, P.O. Box 757, Morgan Hill, CA 95038) and Iíll choose the best question or suggestion as a topic for a future edition of Computer Corner. The winner will receive one hour of free computer service or consulting. All entries must be received no later than 5:00 PM December 5th, 2003 to be considered for the contest. Rest assured that even if your submittal is not selected, I will reply to every question, comment and suggestion.
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