Computer Solutions

Buggy, buggy Internet Explorer!

How could this happen? Blame monopolies! When Microsoft launched its browser war against Netscape a few years ago, we all lost. By encouraging Web site developers to “optimize for Internet Explorer,” Microsoft killed off the competition by offering Web surfers flashing images and pretty sounds. Internet Explorer now holds a commanding 95 percent of the Internet browser market. Because of that market dominance, however, Internet Explorer engineers have been lax about browser innovations and battening down its hatches.

In the wake of these serious security events, the software giant posted instructions to secure your Internet Explorer. In a nutshell, the instructions say to increase the security settings within Internet Explorer, turn off JavaScript and ActiveX, and start reading e-mail in plain text (because Outlook uses Internet Explorer to render HTML). In other words, we should turn off everything Web developers have been told to optimize for. No more flashing images, no more cute sounds, just bland old, flat Web pages. And if you do follow these instructions, many Web sites you use every day simply will not work properly. Thanks a lot, Microsoft! Hello FireFox!

TECH TOYS

DVD burning is a great way to preserve your precious memories. DVDs tend to be more durable than their VHS counterparts, and it’s unlikely that you’ll accidentally record over your DVD vacation videos to tape the latest episode of Gilligan’s Island. DVDs also add an extra cool factor to vacation videos, school plays, family reunions, and other special occasions, making preserving memories more enjoyable and creative. It’s time to buy a DVD burner!

ASK A TECHIE

Question: I have broadband internet and want to have it on my second computer in another room in my house. I was told by a friend that I can buy something called a splitter and then have internet access on both computers. Is this right?

Answer: You can share your broadband internet access across your two computers, but a splitter isn’t what you need. You need an internet router and a network interface card (either wireless or Ethernet) for each computer. If your two computers are desktops in neighboring rooms, consider an Ethernet setup. In this case, you need an Ethernet card for each computer, and one router. You also need a Cat5 cable connecting each computer to the router.

Please send your tech questions to helpme@tumblerridge.net and we?ll publish your answer in a future column. Call Computer Solutions at 242-3404 for all your computer needs.