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Sams Teach Yourself Windows 98 in 10 Minutes
     

Sams Teach Yourself Windows 98 in 10 Minutes

by Jennifer Fulton
 
Sams Teach Yourself in 10 Minutes is a tutorial-based book, organized into a series of easy-to-follow, 10-minute lessons. These well-targeted lessons teach you in 10 minutes what some books take several hours or days to teach. You ll learn how to: Make the most of this latest upgrade to the Windows family Wander the Internet with Internet Explorer 4 Receive

Overview

Sams Teach Yourself in 10 Minutes is a tutorial-based book, organized into a series of easy-to-follow, 10-minute lessons. These well-targeted lessons teach you in 10 minutes what some books take several hours or days to teach. You ll learn how to: Make the most of this latest upgrade to the Windows family Wander the Internet with Internet Explorer 4 Receive Internet content through the Active Desktop Take advantage of the newest multimedia hardware Automate your system maintenance tasks Update Windows 98 with the latest drivers Send and receive email with Outlook Express Subscribe to Web Channels with Internet Explorer 4

  • Compact, portable tutorial teaches just the basics of Windows 98 in a simple, tasked based approach
  • Any task can be completed in less than ten minutes to get you back to work quickly
  • Perfect first choice for anyone who s used similar software in the past, newcomers to a subject or infrequent users of software or technology

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780672313301
Publisher:
Sams
Publication date:
05/08/1998
Series:
Sams Teach Yourself Series
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.41(h) x 0.62(d)

Read an Excerpt






Teach Yourself Windows 98 in 10 Minutes -- CH3 -- Subscribing to Channels and Working Offline


[Figures are not included in this sample chapter]


Teach Yourself Windows 98 in 10 Minutes



- 3 -

SUBSCRIBING TO CHANNELS AND WORKING OFFLINE


In this lesson, you'll learn about the Web and how it fits into Windows 98.
In addition, you'll learn how to display Web content on your Desktop and how to customize
that display to fit your needs.

INTERNET BASICS


The Internet is a vast worldwide network of networks that connects various businesses,
government offices, universities, research centers, and so on. Through the Internet,
you can access data from these networks, such as scientific research, sales and product
information, and travel and weather data.


You connect to the Internet through an Internet service provider (ISP). You can
connect to an ISP via a modem (called a dial-up connection) or through your
company's network (a direct connection). If you need help setting up your
Internet connection, see Appendix B, "Configuring for the Internet or an Online
Service."


The World Wide Web supports the transmission of graphics, sound, animations, and
formatted text--unlike other parts of the Internet, which are strictly text-based.
Thus, the part of the Internet you'll visit most often will probably be the Web.


To view Web pages (the documents that make up the World Wide Web), you need a
Web browser. Windows 98 comes with Internet Explorer, a popular Web browser from
Microsoft; however, you might want to use Netscape Communicator from Netscape Communication
Corporation instead. Both are compatible with Windows 98. In Lessons 24 and 25, you'll
learn how to use Internet Explorer. If you decide to use Netscape Communicator, you'll
find that the general Web searching techniques described in Lessons 24 and 25 apply
to it as well.


Most Web browsers (including Internet Explorer and Netscape Communicator) have
components that handle the non-WWW elements of the Internet, so you won't have to
install a bunch of special programs in order to send and receive email or visit newsgroups.
For example, you'll learn how to use Outlook Express to send and receive email and
to view newsgroups in Lessons 26 and 27.

WHAT IS A SUBSCRIPTION?


As you learned in Lesson 2, "Navigating the Windows 98 Desktop," Windows
98 offers two different Desktop options. The Active Desktop lets you display active
(live) Web content on your Desktop, where it is easily accessible. To select the
content you want to display, you set up a subscription. A subscription allows
you to obtain current information from an Internet source. The information is refreshed
right on your Desktop at intervals you select.


You can display the contents of various channels or the contents of a conventional
Web page on your Desktop. A channel is a special Web page that can update
itself, changing the Desktop display by constantly adding up-to-date information.
The Active Desktop uses push technology--the idea being that, through channels,
businesses on the Web can automatically push their information to your computer instead
of your having to log onto their Web site and pull the data down.





Pay to Play?  Currently, it costs you nothing to subscribe to most
channels, although that might change in the near future.



MSNBC is an example of one channel to which you might subscribe. You can select
from many different kinds of channels with the Channel bar. A subscription (a live,
constantly updated Web page) is typically displayed in a full-screen window, although
you can resize the window to display other subscriptions at the same time if you
want.


In addition, Microsoft offers many Active Desktop items (such as stock tickers
and weather displays) through its Active Desktop Gallery. A Desktop item is displayed
in a small window on the Desktop (see Figure 3.1). Note you have to remain connected
to the Internet to maintain live channel or Active Desktop item content on your Active
Desktop.


You can also display a static (conventional) Web page (one that doesn't
automatically update) on your Desktop. For example, if you find a Web page you like,
you might want to view it on your Desktop. Such a page can automatically be downloaded
to your system once a day (or following whatever schedule you prefer). After the
page has been updated for the day, its contents on your Active Desktop don't change.

SUBSCRIBING TO A CHANNEL


When you first display the Active Desktop, it contains no active Web content.
To select what you want to display, you subscribe to either a channel or a static
Web page. You can add as many Active Desktop items to the Desktop as you want.





Connect First  In order to complete these steps, you must have already
established your Internet connection. See Appendix B for help.



To subscribe to a channel, follow these steps:


1. If needed, change to the Active Desktop by right-clicking the Desktop,
selecting Active Desktop from the shortcut menu, and selecting View As Web Page.



2. If the Channel bar doesn't appear on your Desktop, display it by selecting
Active Desktop | Customizing my Desktop, and then choose Internet Explorer
Channel Bar on the Web tab of the Display Properties dialog box.



3. Click a channel (such as the Disney channel) or a category (such as entertainment)
on the Channel bar, as shown in Figure 3.1. You can also select channels through
the Start menu by choosing Favorites and then Channels.

FIGURE 3.1  To subscribe to a channel, select it from the
Internet Explorer Channel bar.





Channel Selector  To view all the channels available to you, select
Channel Guide from the Channel bar. Internet Explorer downloads the current list
of channel categories. Click a category such as Sports, and a list of channels appears.
Additional channels can be viewed by selecting the ranges of numbers in the Findings
column. Select the channel you want to add by clicking its logo.




4. If you're not currently connected to the Internet, you'll see a dialog
box prompting you to connect. Click the Connect button. A Dial-Up Connection dialog
box appears. Click Connect to connect to the Internet.



5. If you selected a category (such as News & Technology), you need to
click the channel to which you want to subscribe. After you select a channel, it
appears in the Internet Explorer window. Each channel is set up a bit differently,
so follow the onscreen instructions to subscribe to the channel you select. Typically,
you need to click a button called Add Active Channel or Subscribe.



6. When you add a channel, the Modify Channel Usage dialog box, shown in Figure
3.2, appears. Select the option you desire:



No, just keep it in my Channel Bar  This option adds the channel to the
Channel bar as a button. You can then use this button to quickly display the channel's
contents, since the channel will not be updated on your system automatically.



Yes, but only tell me when updates occur  This option lets you control
when a channel is updated on your system. When a change occurs, you'll be notified.
You can then choose to update the channel. You might want to choose this option if
you connect to the Internet via modem.



Yes, notify me of updates and download the channel for offline viewing  This
option automatically updates your channel and then tells you that the channel has
been updated. This option is good if you have a permanent (network) Internet connection.

Customize  Use this option to control exactly when and how the channel
is updated. See the next section for details.



7. If the channel you select has a screen saver, you'll be asked if you'd
like to replace your current screen saver with it. Click Yes or No, as you prefer.

FIGURE 3.2  Select how or if you want the channel to be updated.




Initially, channels appear full-screen on the Desktop. To reduce them to the size
of a window, click the Full Screen button on the toolbar at the top of the screen.
You can then resize the window as needed in order to view more than one channel at
once.


Some channels offer an option for adding a Desktop item as well. Follow these
steps:


1. Follow the preceding steps to display a channel you like. When you
see the option to add a Desktop item, click Add to Active Desktop.



2. You'll see a message asking if this is okay. Click Yes.



3. You'll see a verification dialog box confirming your selection. Click Yes.
To change the frequency at which the Desktop item is updated, click Customize Subscription
and then follow the steps in the next section.

You can move Active Desktop items. Move the mouse pointer to the top of the item's
window, and a title bar appears. Click this title bar, click and hold the mouse button,
and drag the window wherever you like.


You might also prefer to remove the Desktop icons in order to make more room for
Web content. To do so, right-click the Desktop and select Properties. Click the Effects
tab and select the option Hide icons when the desktop is viewed as a Web page. Click
OK.

Customizing a Subscription


You can easily customize when a channel is updated to your system through the
Customize option that appears in the Modify Channel Usage dialog box. Follow these
steps:


1. In the first screen of the Subscription Wizard, you can choose to Download
only the channel home page or Download all content specified by the channel (which
might be several pages). Make your selection and click Next >.



2. When a channel page changes, Internet Explorer notifies you by adding a
red gleam to the channel page's icon. If you'd also like to be notified by email,
select Yes. Otherwise, select No. Click Next >.



3. Select how often you would like this channel updated. If you're connected
to the Internet though a network, you might want to use the Scheduled option. If
you choose this option, select the schedule you want to use from the drop-down list,
or create one of your own by clicking New. If you select the Scheduled option and
you use a modem to connect to the Internet, be sure to select the option Dial as
needed if connected through a modem as well.



However, if you connect through a modem, you might prefer to select Manually. If
you select this option, the page will be updated when you choose Update All Subscriptions
from the Favorites menu of the Scheduled Tasks accessory (select Programs |
Accessories | System Tools | Scheduled Tasks to reach
the menu) or right-click on the Desktop and select Active Desktop | Update
Now. (See the section "Working Offline and Updating Subscriptions" for
more information on how to manually update a channel.) If you select New to create
your own schedule for updating the subscription, continue to step 4. Otherwise, click
Finish.



4. Select Daily, Weekly, or Monthly, and then select the Days on which you
want the update to occur (either every weekday or at intervals you select--for example,
every 3 days).



5. Select the Time at which you want the update to occur (either the exact
time or at intervals you select).



6. If you want to allow Windows 98 to vary the actual update time by a few
minutes (in order to avoid all the other users who have selected the same time),
choose Varies exact time of next update to improve performance.



7. When you're through making your selections, click OK. You're returned to
the Subscription Wizard. Click Finish. You will then be returned to the Modify Channel
Usage dialog box. Click OK.

You can change the update schedule of an existing subscription by right-clicking
its logo on the Channel bar and selecting Properties. Click the Schedule tab, and
then make the appropriate selections on the tab to change the schedule.

Subscribing to a Web Site or an Active Desktop Gallery
Item


In addition to subscribing to a channel, you can select items from Microsoft's
Active Desktop Gallery for use on your Desktop. You can also display the contents
of a static Web page on your Desktop. Simply follow these steps:


1. If needed, change to the Active Desktop by right-clicking the Desktop,
selecting from the shortcut menu, and then selecting.



2. Right-click the Desktop and select from the shortcut menu that appears.
Then select.



3. Click the Web tab in the Display Properties dialog box, as shown in Figure
3.3.



4. Click.



5. You'll be asked if you want to visit Microsoft's Active Desktop Gallery.
If you do, click Yes. If not, click No and skip to step 12.

FIGURE 3.3  Adding a Web page or Gallery item to the Desktop.


6. If you're not currently connected to the Internet, you'll see a Dial-Up
Connection dialog box prompting you to connect. Click the Connect button to connect
to the Internet.



7. The Gallery appears in an Internet Explorer window. Click a category such
as News.



8. Click an item to view its description. For example, click Microsoft Investor
Ticker.



9. A page describing the item you selected appears. Click Add to Active Desktop.



10. A confirmation box appears; click Yes to continue.



11. The Add item to Active Desktop (TM) dialog box appears; click OK to add
the item to your Desktop. If you want to change the time at which the item is updated,
click Customize Subscription and follow the steps in the preceding section to customize
the item.



12. If you answered No in step 5, the New Active Desktop Item dialog box,
shown in Figure 3.4, appears.

FIGURE 3.4  Adding a static Web page to the Desktop.


13. Type the address of the Web page you want to add to the Desktop in
the Location text box, and click OK.



14. The Add item to Active Desktop (TM) dialog box appears; click OK. If you
want to customize the way in which the page is updated, click Customize Subscription
and follow the steps in the preceding section. If the site requires a password, you
will need to choose Customize Subscription and enter the password.



15. You're returned to the Display Properties dialog box. Click OK.

Using a Web Page as Your Desktop


In Lesson 8, "Customizing the Appearance of Windows 98," you'll learn
how to select a color or a graphic image for use as your Desktop background. You
can also use a Web page as your Desktop if you like. However, unlike channels, the
Web page won't be automatically updated on your Desktop when the live Web page changes
on the Web.


First, download a copy of a Web page to your hard disk (using the File | Save
As command in your Web browser), and then select the page from those listed on the
Screen Saver tab of the Display Properties dialog box. See Lesson 8 for more details.

WORKING OFFLINE AND UPDATING SUBSCRIPTIONS


If you have a dial-up (modem) connection to the Internet, you probably won't be
connected to the Internet at all times. Whenever you're not connected, you're considered
to be working offline.


When you select a channel or perform any other Web-related task when you're not
currently connected to the Internet, you'll see a dialog box prompting you to connect.
To continue working offline, click the Work Offline button.


When you work offline, your subscriptions won't be updated. You can update them
manually by connecting to the Internet, right-clicking the Desktop, selecting Active
Desktop from the shortcut menu, and selecting Update Now from the cascading menu
(or you can select it from the Start menu--Start | Settings |
Active Desktop | Update Now.


You can also manage your subscriptions with the Scheduled Tasks accessory, which
you'll learn more about in Lesson 23, "Disk Management." For now, follow
these steps:


1. Click the Start button, select Programs, select Accessories, select
System Tools, and select Scheduled Tasks. The Scheduled Tasks accessory appears.



2. Open the Favorites menu and select Manage Subscriptions. A Subscriptions
window similar to the one shown in Figure 3.5 appears.

FIGURE 3.5  You can update all or just one of your subscriptions.


3. To update a single subscription, click it and then click the Update
button on the toolbar at the top of the window. To update all your subscriptions,
click the Update all button. (You can also select Update All Subscriptions from the
Favorites menu.)





Update Automatically  If you connect to the Internet through your
modem, you can tell Windows to log onto the Internet when needed and to update your
subscriptions automatically. See the section "Customizing a Subscription"
for help.



You can also update a subscription by right-clicking its logo on the Channel bar
and selecting Update Now.

CANCELING SUBSCRIPTIONS


After setting up a subscription, you might want to unsubscribe to it (cancel it).
(To change the update schedule for an existing subscription, see the section "Customizing
a Subscription.") Follow these steps:


1. Click the Start button, select Programs, select Accessories, select
System Tools, and select Scheduled Tasks. The Scheduled Tasks accessory appears.



2. Open the Favorites menu and select Manage Subscriptions. The Subscriptions
window, shown in Figure 3.5, appears.



3. Right-click on the subscription you want to change, and select Properties.



4. Click the Subscription tab. Then click the Unsubscribe button. A Confirm
Item Delete dialog box will open. Click Yes to remove this subscription permanently.

Rather than unsubscribing to it, you can temporarily hide an Active Desktop item
by following these steps:


1. Right-click the Desktop, select Active Desktop, and select Customize
my Desktop. The Display Properties dialog box appears.



2. Click the Web tab, and then click the check box in front of the item you
want to hide to remove the check mark. The item disappears from the sample area at
the top of the dialog box.



3. Click OK.

In this lesson, you learned about the Internet as it relates to the Active Desktop.
You learned how to subscribe to channels, Gallery items, and static Web pages. You
also learned how to adjust schedules for updating Web content is updated and how
to remove Web items from your Active Desktop. In the next lesson, you'll learn how
to open, close, resize, and move windows.


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