MadMod Computing The MadMod Computing Newsletter

Vol. 2005c

Welcome to this edition of The MadMod Computing Newsletter.   We hope that you enjoy the features of each issue and learn some computing skills along the way.

First, a reminder to make backups of your important files, and to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.   Second use a software firewall and/or a router if using broadband.   Last, obtain all the critical Windows updates.

Featured in This Issue
1.     Making Address Books More Useful
2.     Using Notepad
3. (website)

1.    Making Address Books More Useful
I'm very much a fan of making one address book and using it from more than one computer.  My choice is to use the address book in Yahoo Mail (get a free account if you don't have one) because it's available on-line from any Internet-ready computer I choose to use.  The disadvantage is that you must be on-line to access the address book.

If you use an ISP such as Juno or AOL, it's much more convenient and portable if you save your addresses in Outlook Express as a .csv file on a Windows computer.  If need be you can export the address book from one computer to another where it is then imported back into Outlook Express.  The advantage is that you can access the address book off-line; whereas the disadvantage is that you can only get it from one computer.

For access both ways, export from either Yahoo Mail's address book or from the Outlook Express address book as a .csv file--and then import it into the other client!  So now you have the best of both worlds.

2.    Using Notepad
Usually found in Start | Programs | Accessories, Notepad is an underutilized program in my opinion.  I write all my webpage coding (html, javascript) using notepad.  I also use it to park things copied from webpages so I can access them later.  It's sometimes very useful to compose an e-mail off-line using notepad, then copying and pasting the final version into an e-mail letter.

While missing the major features of variable text sizes, bolding, italics, etc., it serves as a quick scratch sheet for brain storms, to-do lists, etc.  I generally save them to my computer's desktop for easy retrieval.

Give notepad a trial and you may find it useful in lots of ways.

3. (website) is a site to find out how other shoppers feel about items that are for sale just about anywhere.  It's kind of like an on-line "Consumer Reports" to help make a more informed decision about a product or service before handing over some dough.

Once you select an item, it's usually rated with reviews that you can read.  Reviews usually detail the positive and negative views of owners of the product.  Beware that some items have mixed reviews and that some of the problems mentioned are really those of the user.  Perhaps the user misunderstood what they had purchased--not the fault of the vendor or of the company's product support.

The phrase "Buyer beware!" applies to most things in the marketplace. can help to sort things out.

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E-mail to the editor: David Mawdsley

Copyright © 2005, The MadMod Computing Newsletter