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Jewish World Review April 3, 2001 / 10 Nissan, 5761

The Computer Maven by James Derk

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Consumer Reports

Internet Explorer 6.0...get rid of temporary Internet files -- MAILBAG bulges, let's get to it:

Q. Microsoft has just released Internet Explorer 6.0; should I download it and install it?

A. That depends. Microsoft has released a "beta" version of the new browser (they call it a "Preview"). It is available at Microsoft's Web site ( and is about 13 to 20 megabytes in size. It adds some new functionality (including better handling of cookie files and better toolbars.) But it is beta software, which means you should be expecting some small problems and know that you will have to reinstall the final version when it is released. (And forget it if you are running Windows 95.)

Q. What is the best search site on the Web?

A. That's a matter of some opinion, but I adore Google ( The site uses some artificial intelligence to make search results much more relevant. Better yet, you can download the site's toolbar that attaches itself to your browser for even easier searching. It's free: get it at "" (Note: you need Internet Explorer 5.0 or later)

Q. I used to use the Deja site ( to read Internet newsgroups. The site has been bought out and now does not allow posting of new articles. Is there a site out there that does allow posting?

A. Yes, the venerable Deja site has been bought by Google (see above). At this point, the site allows just reading and searching the newsgroups. To post, consider several other sites, including MailAndNews ( and EasyUsenet (

Q. Whenever someone e-mails me a file, I am asked what program I want to use to open it. What should I pick?

A. This usually happens if you're dealing with a file type unknown to your computer. If it is a graphics file, select a photo viewing software. If you don't have one, select your Internet browser, which can read most files. If you guess wrong, you can always change it. To change the association for a file type, click a filename or icon to highlight it and then hold down the Shift key while you right-click it. Select "Open With" from the pop-up menu and choose which program you want from the dialog box that appears. If you can't find the program you want to use, click the "other" button and browse your hard drive to find it. Uncheck the box in front of "Always use this program to open this type of file" before clicking OK. That way you will change the association for one viewing only, just in case that program is the wrong one for reading that file type. Once you're sure you have the right association, you can go back and set it permanently.

Q. How can I clear out all of the files my browser has collected?

A. Open Internet Explorer. Hit TOOLS (across the top) and select Internet Options. In the Temporary Internet Files area, click Delete Files, then select Delete All Offline Content.

WEEKLY WEB WONDER: Ever wonder how you sound at the other end of the tech support phone? Head to "Tech Tales" ( for some funny stories.

James Derk is computer columnist for Scripps Howard News Service. Comment by clicking here.


03/28/01: Tips on traveling with a laptop
03/20/01: Naughty e-mails...which side up...see a castle
03/16/01: Personal choices for the computer
03/06/01: Apollo printers...CD problems...more
02/27/01: Good firewalls to keep your computer safe
02/12/01: How to set up a LAN party
01/30/01: Used computers... picture.exe...other problems
01/23/00: Cool computer tricks

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