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CompuServe for Dummies

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CompuServe For Dummies, 3rd Edition, is the perfect reference for anyone who wants to send e-mail, find shareware, research topics of all kinds, play games, chat with people around the world, and connect to the Internet from home or office -- all by using CompuServe, one of the most popular commercial online services available. Completely updated to cover all of CompuServe's new features, CompuServe For Dummies, 3rd Edition, even includes a bonus CD-ROM containing software for Mac as well as Windows users. Plus, ...
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Overview

CompuServe For Dummies, 3rd Edition, is the perfect reference for anyone who wants to send e-mail, find shareware, research topics of all kinds, play games, chat with people around the world, and connect to the Internet from home or office -- all by using CompuServe, one of the most popular commercial online services available. Completely updated to cover all of CompuServe's new features, CompuServe For Dummies, 3rd Edition, even includes a bonus CD-ROM containing software for Mac as well as Windows users. Plus, you get ten free hours of access time so that you can try out everything from CompuServe's CB simulator, chat rooms, and e-mail to its multiuser games, special interest forums, up-to-the-minute stock quotes, news, sports scores, and weather reports. Best-selling author Wallace Wang even takes you beyond CompuServe to the Internet and the World Wide Web and shows how you, too, can publish your own home page.

This new edition of Compuserve for Dummies shows users how to take advanatge of the service's new interface and latest specialty services. Providing a complete overview of Compuserve's classic offerings, this book/CD-ROM also explains the easy way to use this online service to conduct business, join forums, do research, and more. Includes a CD, the latest WinCim sign-up disk, Internet access, and more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568841816
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Pages: 384

Table of Contents

Introduction
The Real Truth about the "Information Superhighway"
Who You Are and Why You Need This Book
How to Use This Book
Part I: Understanding CompuServe
Part II: Communication (GO COMMUNICATE)
Part III: News and Information (GO NEWS)
Part IV: Entertainment (GO ENTERTAINMENT)
Part V: Accessing the Internet (GO INTERNET)
Part VI: The Part of Tens
Conventions Used in This Book
Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go from Here

Part I: Understanding CompuServe

Chapter 1: How CompuServe Works
How CompuServe Works
What CompuServe Has to Offer
Information overload
Talk to me
Play time
CompuServe: the three-headed monster
Why CompuServe Is So Confusing
Chapter 2: Plugging in to CompuServe
What You Need to Call CompuServe
What type of a computer do you need to connect to CompuServe?
What type of modem do you need to connect to CompuServe?
What type of a telephone line do you need to connect to CompuServe?
Getting the CompuServe communications program
Signing up with CompuServe
Configuring the CompuServe program
Changing the baud rate
Changing the modem brand
Changing the serial port
Changing your CompuServe local access phone number
Finding a local access number
Changing your local access number
How to Call CompuServe
Chapter 3: Finding Your Way around CompuServe
Navigating around CompuServe
Using CompuServe's menus and icons
Using the Toolbar icons
Using the Services menu
Using the magical GO command
Your Favorite Places on CompuServe
Jumping back to a previously visited service or forum
Looking for stuff by using the FIND command
How to exit from CompuServe
The Price of Admission
The Standard Plan
The Super Value Plan
Checking your bill (GO CHARGES)
Changing your billing address (GO MEMBER)
Changing your billing method (GO BILOPT)
Changing Your Password (GO PASSWORD)
Getting Help
Yelling at CompuServe's Customer Service
Complaining to CompuServe (GO FEEDBACK)
Canceling your CompuServe membership (GO MEMBER)

Part II: Communication (GO COMMUNICATE)

Chapter 4: Sending and Receiving Electronic Mail (GO MAIL)
Understanding How E-Mail Works
Finding Names and Storing Addresses
Finding someone's CompuServe User ID
Hiding from the public with an unlisted User ID (GO DIRECTORY)
Storing names and User IDs in your address book
Editing your address book
Deleting names and User IDs from your address book
Creating and Sending Mail
Knowing how much mail costs (GO MAILRATES)
Sending e-mail
Sending a binary file through the mail
Using Your Outgoing Messages Folder
Sending mail stored in the Outgoing Messages Folder
Editing (or deleting) mail stored in the Outgoing Messages Folder
Receipts, Priority Mail, and Special Mail
Sending priority mail and getting a receipt
Sending Congressgrams, Santagrams, and valentines
Reading and Deleting Mail
Filing your mail in a folder
Using the CompuServe filing cabinet
Chapter 5: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forums (GO FORUMS)
What the Heck Are Forums?
Finding a list of related CompuServe forums (GO FORUMS)
Finding a forum that interests you
Getting into a forum
What You Can Do in a Forum
What's in a forum?
Your first time in a forum
Viewing forum announcements
Browsing a forum's file libraries
Browsing messages in a forum
Attending a forum conference
Types of Forums
Computer hardware forums (GO HARDWARE)
Computer software forums (GO SOFTWARE)
Computer uses
Professional forums
General-interest forums
Chapter 6: Fun with Files
Types of Files
All about ASCII files
All about binary files
All about graphics files
Searching for Files
Searching by file type
How to Use a CompuServe File Finder
Searching within specific forums
Downloading Files
Downloading a file from within a forum
Uploading Files
Chapter 7: Writing and Reading Forum Messages
All about Messages
How CompuServe stores messages
Threads (messages with multiple replies)
Reading Messages
Browsing through messages in a forum
Quick ways to browse through messages
Browsing messages by topic
Browsing messages by using the message map
Storing messages in your filing cabinet
Searching for specific messages
Writing Messages
Message addresses (to whom are you sending your message?)
Using the forum member directory
Writing a message online (or off-line)
Chapter 8: Communicating through Conferences, CBs, and WorldsAway
Conferences: The Next-Best Thing to Being There
Finding a conference to attend (GO CONVENTION)
Attending a conference
Forum Conferences
Choosing a nickname for a forum conference
Visiting a conference room
Spying on other conference rooms
Starting a private chat group
Breaking off into private groups
Conference etiquette
10-4, Good Buddy: Using the CB Simulator
Talking through the CompuServe CB simulator (GO CB)
CB handles
Cupcake's CB column (GO CUPCAKE)
Losing Your Head and Body at WorldsAway (GO AWAY)
Visiting WorldsAway
Getting around
Talking to others
Gesturing and turning your avatar around
Turning your avatar into a ghost (and vice versa)
Exiting from Dreamscape

Part III: News and Information (GO NEWS)

Chapter 9: News, Sports, and Weather (Film at 11)
International and National News
CNN Online (GO CNN)
News-wire services
Sports and Other Games of Controlled Violence
Sports Illustrated Online (GO SPORTS)
NCAA Collegiate Sports Network (GO NCAA)
Whether You Find Weather News
And now for the weather . . .
International weather and maps (GO WEATHER)
Newspaper Columns (GO COLUMNS)
Your Own News-Clipping Service (GO ENS)
Browsing through the clipping service
Searching by company ticker symbol
Making CompuServe clip news stories for you
Viewing stories inside a clipping folder
Chapter 10: Doing Research on CompuServe
Using the Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary
Grolier's Academic American Encyclopedia (GO ENCYCLOPEDIA)
The American Heritage Dictionary (GO DICTIONARY)
Reading Old Magazine and Newspaper Articles
Magazine Database Plus $ (GO MAGDB)
Computer Database Plus $ (GO COMPDB)
Business Database Plus $ (GO BUSDB)
IQuest $ (GO IQUEST)
News Source USA $ (GO NEWSUSA)
UK Newspaper Library $ (GO UKPAPERS)
Researching Medical, Legal, and Business Information
Health Database Plus $ (GO HLTDB)
NORD Services/Rare Disease Database (GO NORD)
PaperChase $ (GO PAPERCHASE)
Physicians Data Query $ (GO PDQ)
PsycINFO: Psychological Abstracts $ (GO PSYCINFO)
MedSig forum (GO MEDSIG)
Natural Medicine forum (GO NATMED)
Legal Research Center $ (GO LEGALRC)
Commerce Business Daily $ (GO COMBUS)
Entrepreneur's Business Franchise and Opportunities Database (GO EBF)
Marketing/Management Research Center $ (GO MGMTRC)
Patent Research Center $ (GO PATENT)
TradeMarkScan $ (GO TRADERC)
Checking Consumer Reports to Avoid Getting Ripped Off
Consumer Reports (GO CONSUMER)
Consumer Reports Complete Drug Reference (GO DRUGS)
New Car Showroom (GO NEWCAR)
Studying Demographics
The Census Bureau Service (GO CENDATA)
Neighborhood U.S.-State-County Reports $ (GO NEIGHBORHOOD)
SuperSite $ (GO SUPERSITE)
Browsing through phone directories
Phone*File $ (GO PHONEFILE)
Biz*File $ (GO BIZFILE)
Dun's Electronic Business Directory $ (GO DUNSEBD)
Computer Buyers' Guide $ (GO COMPBG)
Other Databases That Didn't Fit Anywhere Else
Books
Government
Education
Chapter 11: Investing and Other Forms of Legalized Gambling (GO INVEST)
Retrieving Stock-Market Quotes
Search for company name, ticker symbol, or CUSIP (GO LOOKUP)
Retrieving stock quotes
Market highlights (GO MARKET)
Commodity prices $ (GO COMMODITIE)
Analyzing Companies
The Company Analyzer $ (GO ANALYZER)
Screening companies $ (GO COSCREEN)
Detailed Issue Examination $ (GO EXAMINE)
Getting Financial News and Advice (GO EARNINGS)
I/B/E/S earnings estimates $ (GO IBES)
InvesText (GO INVTEXT)
S&P Online $ (GO S&P)
National Association of Investors Corporation (GO NAIC)
Investors' forum (GO INVFORUM)
Financial Emporium (GO EMPORIUM)
Financial publications
Buying and Selling Stocks Online (GO BROKERAGE)

Part IV: Entertainment (GO ENTERTAINMENT)

Chapter 12: The (CompuServe) Games People Play
Playing CompuServe's Games Online
Game shows
Role-playing
Mindless entertainment
Finding and Playing Modem Games
The Modem Games Forum (GO MODEMGAMES)
The modem-to-modem challenge board (GO MTMCHALLENGE)
The modem-to-modem gaming lobby (GO MTMLOBBY)
Play-by-Mail Games
Chess forum (GO CHESSFORUM)
Play-by-Mail Games forum (GO PBMGAMES)
Finding Game Fanatics in Game Forums
The Electronic Game Archives (GO TEG)
Epic MegaGames forum (GO EPICFORUM)
Flight Simulation forum (GO FSFORUM)
Game publishers' forums (GO GAMAPUB, GAMBPUB, GAMCPUB, or GAMDPUB)
The Gamers' forum (GO GAMERS)
Role-Playing Games forum (GO RPGAMES)
Sports forum (GO FANS)
Sports Simulations forum (GO SPRTSIMS)
Game Developers forum (GO GAMDEV)
Hot Games Download Area (GO HOTGAMES)
Action Games forum (GO ACTION)
Chapter 13: Using CompuServe as Your Travel Agent
Finding a Place to Go
Adventures in Travel (GO AIT)
Lanier's Golf Database (GO GOLFGUIDE)
Travel forum (GO TRAVSIG)
Travelers Advantage (GO TRAVAD)
Researching Specific Vacation Spots
North and South America
Europe
Asia
Airline Reservations and Other Travel Information
Airline Services Unlimited (GO ASU)
OAG Electronic Edition Travel Service $ (GO OAG)
EAASY SABRE (GO SABRE) and WORLDSPAN (GO WORLDCIM)
Cruise forum (GO CRUISE)
European Rail (GO RAILWAY)
Hotel Guides So You Don't Sleep in the Street
Bed & Breakfast Guide (GO INNS)
Restaurant Guides So You Don't Starve
Get a Passport and Visa (GO VISA)
Find Out Which Countries You Should Avoid (GO STATE)
Chapter 14: Magazines, Shopping, TV, and Movies
Browsing CompuServe's Magazine Rack
Shopping on CompuServe (GO SHOPPING)
The CompuServe Store (GO ORDER)
The Electronic Mall (GO MALL)
The Shopper's Advantage Club (GO SAC)
U.S. Post Office Store (GO POSTOFFICE)
The Gift Sender (GO GS)
Send flowers by computer
Finding TV and Movie Information (GO HOLLYWOOD)
Film festivals (GO FILMFESTIV)
Movie reviews (GO EBERT)
TV Zone forum (GO TVZONE)

Part V: Accessing the Internet (GO INTERNET)

Chapter 15: Browsing the World Wide Web and Internet Forums
Visiting the Internet Forums
Internet New Users forum (GO INETNEW)
Internet Welcome Center forum (GO INETWC)
Internet Resources forum (GO INETRESOURCE)
Internet Publishers forum (GO INETPUBLISH)
Internet WebMasters forum (GO INETWEB)
Internet Commerce forum (GO INETCOMMER)
Internet Developers forum (GO INETDEV)
Internet France forum (GO INETFR)
Internet Magazine forum (GO INTMAG)
Internet World forum (GO IWORLD)
Browsing the World Wide Web
Accessing the World Wide Web
Using some basic navigation skills
Placing bookmarks
Chapter 16: Accessing Newsgroups and Internet Sites
Reading and Writing Messages in USENET Newsgroups (GO USENET)
Using FTP to Copy Files from Another Computer (GO FTP)
Accessing Another Computer through Telnet (GO TELNET)
Chapter 17: Putting Up Your Own Home Page
What Should You Put on Your Web Site?
Using the Home Page Wizard
Creating an initial Web page
Typing text on a Web page
Adding pictures to your Web page
Defining hyperlinks on your Web page
Moving objects around on your Web page
Adding lines to your Web pages
Testing your Web pages
Uploading Your Web Pages

Part VI: The Part of Tens

Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Cut Costs While Using CompuServe
Practice in the Free Forums (GO FREE)
Practice forum (GO PRACTICE)
The CompuServe Help forum (GO HELPFORUM)
The weekly TGIF conference (GO MODEMGAMES)
Subscribe to the CompuServe CD (GO CCD)
Buy a Faster Modem
Read and Write Mail Off-Line
Download File Catalog (Library) Files
Switch to the Super Value Plan (GO RATES)
Download CompuServe's Index File (GO INDEX)
Chapter 19: Neat Things to Do on CompuServe
Look for a New Job
Do Your Homework on CompuServe
Get Fit and Trim
Keep Track of Your Favorite Music
Save the Environment and Protect Wildlife
Download Shareware Programs
Read a 'Zine and Get Politically Aware
Keep Up to Date about CompuServe
Kill a Computer Virus
Get Creative
Appendix A: SpryNet -- the "Other" CompuServe Service
Appendix B: CompuServe Customer Service Phone Numbers
Appendix C: Protecting Your Kids with Parental Controls
CompuServe Parental Controls
Internet Parental Controls

Index

Reader Response Card

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First Chapter

Chapter 14
Magazines, Shopping, TV, and Movies

In This Chapter

  • Browsing CompuServe's magazine rack
  • Shopping on CompuServe
  • TV and movie information

Kids like CompuServe for its games; businesspeople like CompuServe for its news and information databases; and practically everyone likes CompuServe for its direct contact and electronic communication to software and hardware companies. But no matter what you use CompuServe for, you may be surprised to discover that you can also use CompuServe to read your favorite magazines, keep up with your favorite TV shows or movies, and do your shopping without leaving your home (except to go to work and earn money to pay your credit card bills).

Browsing CompuServe's Magazine Rack

Rather than rush to your nearest newsstand to read your favorite magazines, dial into CompuServe. Besides offering the most popular computer magazines such as PC World, Computer Shopper, or PC Magazine, CompuServe also offers non-computer related magazines such as Time (as shown in Figure 14-1), National Geographic, and Playboy. (Don't worry. You can actually see more frontal nudity in National Geographic than you can in Playboy.)

Besides offering the current articles and back issues, many of these magazines also offer separate forums where you can download files, chat with other members about your favorite magazine, or post messages to the magazine's editors and writers.

In case you just want to browse through CompuServe's magazine offerings and don't mind aimless browsing, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+G (Command+G for Mac users) to display the Go dialog box.
  2. Type MEDIA and press Enter.

    CompuServe's media menu appears, as shown in Figure 14-2.

  3. Click on a magazine category that you want to read, such as Sports or Financial.

If you'd rather not waste time browsing through CompuServe's magazine rack, look at Table 14-1, find a magazine that interests you, and jump right to it using the magical GO command.

Table 14-1 Some of the Popular Magazines in CompuServe's Rack

Magazine Name GO Command to Use
AI Expert AIEXPERT
Automobile Magazine AUTOFORUM
Aviation Week AWG-19
CarWorld Connect CARWORLDCO
CompuServe Magazine COMPUMAG
Computer Gaming World CGWMAGAZIN
Computer Life LIFE
Computer Shopper CSHOPPER
Consumer Reports CONSUMER
DBMS Magazine DBMSFORUM
Dr. Dobb's Journal DDJFORUM
Electronic Gamer EGAMER
Entrepreneur ENTMAGAZIN
Forbes FORBES
IndustryWeek Interactive INDWEEK
Inter@ctive Week INTWEEK
Maclean's Online MACLEANS
MacUser MACUSER
MacWeek MACWEEK
Money MONEY
National Geographic NATIONAL
NetGuide NETGUIDE
New York Magazine NYMAG
PC Computing PCCOMPUTIN
PC Magazine PCMAGAZINE
PC Week PCWONLINE
PC World PCWORLD
People PEOPLE
Playboy PLAYBOY
Software Development Magazine SDFORUM
Sports Illustrated SIMAGAZINE
Time TIME
Windows WINMAG
Windows Sources WSOURCES
Women's Wire WOMEN
WordPerfect Magazine WPMAG

Shopping on CompuServe (GO SHOPPING)

Although most people still prefer shopping at malls that cover acres of land, more people are slowly accepting the idea of shopping through their computers. To encourage this trend, CompuServe offers several shopping areas specifically designed to let you browse and buy whatever you want.

To encourage you to browse and spend money, you can spend as much time as you want within CompuServe's shopping areas, and CompuServe won't keep track of time. When you're visiting a shopping area, look for the big (FREE) notice that tells you that visiting that particular area won't use up your precious monthly allotment of CompuServe time. So relax, roam through CompuServe's shopping areas, and see whether shopping by computer is really as convenient as science fiction makes it out to be.

For your protection, CompuServe only accepts credit cards for payment, and for additional security, they ship merchandise only to your credit card's mailing address. If you want to ship merchandise to a different address, you must call a sales representative (and use your voice, not your modem) at 800-848-8199.

The CompuServe Store (GO ORDER)

Like all good tourist attractions, CompuServe sells products to help you use CompuServe (books, binders, and wall charts), along with CompuServe souvenirs (T-shirts and coffee mugs) so that you can show everyone else which online service you belong to. Because you're not likely to find a T-shirt or coaster with the CompuServe logo on it in your local Kmart, CompuServe may be the only place to buy certain items.

In addition to trivia items such as CompuServe caps or pens, The CompuServe Store also sells guides to playing CompuServe's games, additional booklets explaining how to use specific CompuServe databases and financial services, and back issues of CompuServe's own magazine (in case you lost yours).

Besides offering many products at discounts, CompuServe sometimes offers credit (a bribe) for connect-time charges. Depending on the product you buy, CompuServe may reward you with credit ranging from $5 to $25. You can use this credit only to pay for your connect-time charges, but because you're already using CompuServe anyway, you may as well buy something through CompuServe, just to reduce your monthly CompuServe bill.

To visit The CompuServe Store, use the GO ORDER command.

The Electronic Mall (GO MALL)

The Electronic Mall (shown in Figure 14-3) is CompuServe's version of a real shopping mall, offering a wide variety of products from merchants that come and go, just like at a regular mall. Some of the products you may find here include contact lenses, cookies, sculptures, and mattresses from such well-known names as Lens Express, JCPenney, Sears, AT&T, and even the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Because real shopping malls can be confusing enough to navigate with all their multiple levels, bright lights, and endless escalators, CompuServe enables you to search through its Electronic Mall in the following two ways:

  • By department (such as food, clothing, books, cosmetics, and so on)
  • By merchant (JCPenney, Land's End, Sears, and so on)

In addition to shopping for products, you can also request catalogs and brochures (which are usually free) or download ASCII versions of these same catalogs so that you can browse through them right away.

To visit The Electronic Mall, use the GO MALL command.

The Shopper's Advantage Club (GO SAC)

To reduce prices over a broad spectrum of different products, many giant discount houses have sprouted up all across the country. In exchange for an annual membership fee, you get the privilege of buying items at a reduced rate.

Taking this idea to the world of telecommunications, CompuServe offers a similar shopping club called the Shopper's Advantage Club. For a yearly membership fee (available only to U.S. residents), you can shop for more than 250,000 brand-name items at 10 to 50 percent off the manufacturer's suggested retail price (which everyone knows is inflated anyway). To entice people to join, the Shopper's Advantage Club offers a three-month trial membership for $1 so that you can shop without making a commitment. (If only marriages offered this option.)

Get advice for buying electronics

Whether you're a millionaire, successful business executive, or starving student eating macaroni and cheese 364 days out of the year, you probably have a weakness for expensive electronic equipment such as stereos, VCRs, big-screen television sets, and compact disc players.

Which brand is best for you? You could see what Consumer Reports (GO CONSUMER) has to say about different products, but the best form of advertising has always been word of mouth. If people like something, they gladly tell others. If they hate something, you can bet they're more than happy to tell others as often and as loudly as possible.

That's what makes The Consumer Electronics forum (GO CENET) so useful. Members of this forum regularly swap advice about different products, discussing the pros and cons of specific items. For articles, reviews, or press releases about your favorite electronic devices, visit this forum and get the help you need to make a wise buy.

To visit The Consumer Electronics forum, use the GO CENET command.

After you're in The Consumer Electronics forum, leave a message to ask others their opinions about certain stereo, VCR, or television brands. Or better yet, download one of the many files available, listing comparisons of different products and see whether the brand you just bought on sale really is a bargain or a worthless piece of junk that will fall apart on you three days after its warranty expires.

Browsing through the Shopper's Advantage Club is easy. Just tell the Shopper's Advantage Club what type of product you want, along with how much and how little you want to spend. Then a list of products matching your criteria appears on-screen, tempting you with a nonmember price and a lower member price. A few items even have graphic images that you can download and view on your own computer.

If you still don't trust the Shopper's Advantage Club, ask for its free catalog (shipped to U.S. addresses only) and spend your leisure time paging through the various products.

To shop at the Shopper's Advantage Club, use the GO SAC command.

U.S. Post Office Store (GO POSTOFFICE)

Although you can send e-mail for free all over the world, you can now buy postage stamps from the U.S. Post Office Store through CompuServe. You can buy stamps to send your letters and bills, but the U.S. Post Office Store is geared more toward stamp collectors who want the latest Elvis stamp, the limited edition Olympic games stamps, or other types of stamps featuring portraits of people who died long ago.

To visit the U.S. Post Office Store and order stamps for your collection, use the GO POSTOFFICE command.

The Gift Sender (GO GS)

If you need to buy (and deliver) a gift in a hurry, visit the Gift Sender and order a variety of unique (meaning expensive) products ranging from Bonsai trees to fruit baskets, cakes, gourmet cookies, seafood, wine, and prime cut steaks.

To visit the Gift Sender, use the GO GS command.

Send flowers by computer

In case you forget an important anniversary or need to make up to someone in a hurry (because you acted really stupid before), don't panic. CompuServe provides two florists that offer delivery.

  • 1-800-FLOWERS (GO FRESH)
  • Flower Stop (GO FS)

With both services, you can order flowers and have them delivered to almost anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, neither florist has the facilities to send poison ivy to people you don't like, but if you want to send roses or carnations, at least you know that these two services can accommodate your needs.

Finding TV and Movie Information (GO HOLLYWOOD)

Because using a computer means planting your butt in a chair, it's only natural that many people who use computers also enjoy planting their butts in chairs to watch their favorite TV shows or movies.

Although you can't simultaneously use CompuServe and watch TV (yet), you can do the next best thing and visit various TV and movie forums on CompuServe. That way you can keep track of your favorite stars, Hollywood's latest movie developments, and the ever-changing network television prime- time show schedules.

Film festivals (GO FILMFESTIV)

Hollywood isn't the only place where people enjoy making movies. To encourage independent directors, writers, and producers, many cities sponsor film festivals throughout the year. If you like watching well-crafted movies that don't rely on explosions, special effects, or high-priced movie stars, find a film festival near your city or keep track of the different film festivals throughout the world, including the Prague Film Festival, the Montreal Film Festival, and the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

To find news about a film festival near you, use the GO FILMFESTIV command.

Movie reviews (GO EBERT)

The worst feeling in the world is shelling out money to see a movie and then finding it's boring, ridiculous, or illogical. To help you avoid movies that should never have been made in the first place (think of any movie that has Roman numerals after its name, such as Police Academy VI), read a movie review from movie critic Roger Ebert.

Although critics rarely agree on anything, reading multiple movie reviews that pan or praise a particular movie can give you a good idea whether you'll enjoy the latest movie or not. By using movie reviews to help you avoid worthless movies and bringing to your attention excellent movies that you might not have thought about seeing before, you can increase your movie-going pleasure and enjoy your visits to the movie theater more often.

To read Roger Ebert's movie reviews, use the GO EBERT command.

TV Zone forum (GO TVZONE)

Like it or not, television has helped shaped the civilizations of this world (which may explain why we're in such bad shape). For those of you who can't get enough about Seinfeld, E.R., Roseanne, Home Improvement, The Simpsons, Beavis and Butthead, or your favorite soap operas, visit the TV Zone forum and swap ideas, insults, and information with other people just as fanatical about their TV shows as you are.

Don't indulge too much in your favorite TV shows, though, or else you may not have any time left to use your computer and CompuServe. To visit the TV Zone forum, use the GO TVZONE command.

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