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Computer & Internet Info. 

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242 COMPUTER help links, 19 FARM SOFTWARE sources, and 10 WEB GUIDES at the SWITCHBOARD
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Check out the internet from your living room easy chair and watch TV simultaneously on the same set.  Tap in to e-mail.  Easy to learn Phillips or Sony equipment required - as little as $100... more

compu.gif (3398 bytes)WHAT THE INTERNET CAN DO FOR
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compu.gif (3398 bytes)  A BEGINNERS INTERNET TUTORIAL
Topics covered in this Tutorial: 

Sending and receiving mail
Sending and receiving files attached to e-mail
Discussion Boards
Searching for resources on the Internet
Chat Rooms
List serves
Downloading files and programs
Precautionary measures to protect against viruses
Using Links
Go direct to  Internet Instruction Guide, Wonderful tutorial in easy to understand language.

Farm Computers Don't Bite Campaign

  'Farm Computers Don't Bite' is our rolling campaign to help beginners come to grips with using computers and the internet. Last year a few organizations including but not limited to libraries and colleges offered free computer and internet sessions. The campaign is for farmers and ranchers to get hands-on experience of using a computer for the first time. Our campaign has three key aims:

* to raise rural awareness of the increasing importance of computers in everyday life
* to reach people who may not have considered returning to
education of this type
* to motivate absolute beginners to 'have a
go' at using a computer, no matter what field they are in.

Groups we hope to help reach are men and women who: recognize computers could offer them benefits for work, their family or leisure but are apprehensive about taking the first step but feel they are being left behind. Many lack confidence about how to access needed information about computers and have little or no chance of taking the first step at present .
This little newspaper launches Web Help for newcomers to come to grips with computers and the internet. To figure out how to help others and give (and help publicize) free 'crash courses' on how to use the internet, We seek all the help we can get in a campaign to help rural people get the most out of computers and the World Wide Web and assist this to become a major tool for those in the farm and ranch business.

Let's spread the word about this wonderful new technology.

   Do you believe it?!! There is one appliance that enables you to talk with friends and family thousands of miles away; do grocery shopping from home; and send your mail in seconds to its destination? This same appliance completes your banking and bill payments from home and delivers your newspaper and favorite magazines on demand. It puts you in
touch with experts such as doctors, teachers, lawyers, scientists and therapists and enables you to talk with people from opposite ends of the state without a telephone bill. It can provide answers to most of your questions. Need to know about a specific disability or syndrome? Use
this appliance! It will give you advice about buying your next car and help you find the dealer who will give you the best price. Or it lets you decide how much you want to pay for an airline ticket for your next vacation. It puts you in touch with your Local extension office or government agency, way to communicate across regions to locate hard to find parts or gives you a voice in what your government is doing.  What is this miracle machine?  It is a computer with an internet connection (or Web TV)!

What is the internet?

The internet is an electronic communication medium that is accessed through a computer connection using telephone lines OR through web TV, a set-top box that delivers the internet to your television set - no need for a computer! 

What can I do with an internet connection?

The internet is many things:
It is electronic mail that enables you to send written messages in seconds instead of days over the telephone lines to anyone else who has email! For more information about email visit the Resources for Beginners Website. You may also want to investigate web-based email.
What is it? What can it do for you? Check out our web site for
additional articles to find out!
It is the World Wide Web, a storage area on the internet for information of all kinds including such things as: library card catalogs; shopping; stock market information and trading and financial planning. Magazines, journals and newspapers; informational sites about almost any topic you can imagine are part of this information storage. Transcripts and recordings of radio and tv shows are accessible over the world wide web.
The web is also a place where you can purchase airline tickets and travel information. It also provides a compendium of recipes, parenting and medical information as well as household know how and much, much more! For more information, subscribe to this newspaper and visit
Understanding the World Wide Web at our web site.
The internet is IRC Chat, electronic rooms where you may "talk" with other people in real time. Talking is done via text by typing your dialogue on your computer or keyboard and reading the dialogue of others from your screen. This is the feature that enables you to conference in real time with colleagues, friends and family across regions without
additional telephone bills. I t is ListServs, Web Rings or Mailing Lists, which are free subscriptions to topical interest groups. All interactions on these groups occur through email. Once subscribed to a group, any message you send to the group goes to every other member of the group. You receive all messages sent by any other member of the group. There are early childhood issues, parenting, livestock, machinery, crop planning trying new methods and ideas, and many more!
These are the virtual farming and ranch lounges and neighborhood coffee klatches of the electronic age! They put you in touch with people from all over the country and the world! If you don't want your email cluttered by group messaging, a Newsgroup might be more your style!
These are topical bulletin boards where people post messages. You participate by going to the board rather than the messages coming to you (via email). They are another way to stay in touch with the world outside your door or community. For more information on News Groups,
visit The Wonderful World of Newsgroups. If you would like to go through a tutorial about the internet go to the usfarmnetwork.com switchboard, click the "web guide" button and Internet tutorial list for a comprehensive collection of online lessons that will walk you through the many functions of the internet. How do I know how to get around on
the net?
Many times pages and sites are listed in our favorite magazines, newspapers and journals. These listings usually include an address (URL that begins with "http://"). This address can be typed into the location box on your browser. Click the "Enter" (for PCs) or "Return" (for Macs) and you will be whisked away to that site. There are several books on
the market that lead you to useful information on the web. The "Yellow Pages" books are good examples of these types of books. If you need information on a topic, but do not have an address for it, the search engines on the web are designed to help you. Click on the "Search" button of your browser. This action will bring up a search engine page.
Searching the web can be a daunting task with over 4 million web pages of information and growing daily! Tip: always use the "tips" or "hints" section on the search engine page before running a search as they all work a little differently and this section will give you necessary assistance!
What equipment do I need to get on to the net?

You need a computer with a modem and web browsing software. You need a subscription to an internet service provider (or to one of the proprietary service providers such as America Online or Prodigy). You can find them in your local yellow pages under "Internet Service Providers." And you need a telephone line. The line that your telephone is now using will work fine, but if you find yourself tying it up with
internet activity, you may wish to add an additional telephone line. For more information about getting online visit Resources for Beginners sites, web guide button at usfarmnetwork.com/switchboard.html

What if I can't afford a computer?

If you think you can't afford a computer because you believe that they cost $1000 or more, you're wrong. The cost of computers is coming down daily. Used and refurbished computers are very inexpensive. It is possible to find used computers that are internet capable for under $200.00. If you still can't afford a computer, you can access the
internet at your local public library. Most public libraries now have computers dedicated to internet use. Many intermediate units also have internet access. School districts are getting wired and may be places where the internet can be accessed in off-hours. If you have a College or University in your area, they too frequently have public internet accessibility.

What can the Internet vast Web Page resources do for me?

The Net has a web page with most every interest and new features are coming on line far faster then you could ever explore! You can access the net from anywhere and any time. You will find pages on the web about specific disabilities; illnesses, contact State agencies and organizations; read newsletters; write to your politicians; and use the Coffee shop Chat room. You can post messages to the Message Board; join listserv groups or web ring groups with interests in feeding cattle, modifying machinery, raising bison. you name it. the Responsive Classroom, the State Interagency Coordinating Council or Local Interagency Coordinating Councils. You can contact a farm consultant; stay up-to-date on upcoming farm shows and conferences; print the most recent goverment forms and formats; or order copies of how to books and videos., find the right farm software. Learning what is ahead and where the Ag industry is going.. Through the website you can stay up-to-date on what you need to know affecting your life and what is happening across the nation. Italics entire paragraph
You may access US Farm Network web page by typing the following address into the location box on any web browser, http://www.usfarmnetwork.com/
click on the switchboard for easy web access.
Where can I get more information?

Most newspapers and publications now include information on a regular basis about getting onto or using the internet. For the truly dedicated, there are many books on the market that can walk you through the steps of getting online and using the internet. The "For Dummies" books are a wonderfully non-tech, friendly series that is easy to read, in language
that does not require a tech degree to understand! If reading
instructions is not your style, find a mentor who is already on the net and ask for lessons. Many local intermediate units are conducting internet workshops. Call them to request a schedule of upcoming internet sessions. Your local community college is probably offering internet sessions as well. They typically are very inexpensive courses. Good
sites on the Web include good beginners' information on the switchboard web guide button. These can be printed out. Internet Instruction Guides and wonderful tutorial written for beginning audience with sections about sending email, attaching information to email, getting around the
web, finding information, participating in chat sessions, accessing bulletin boards, and more! More next month..... 

Go to the Internet Instruction Guide, Wonderful tutorial in easy to understand language.

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