Sunday, August 16, 2009

Personal MSN


As nice as the MSN Home page is, it’s a trifle cluttered. Fortunately, you can fine-tune MSN’s content to create your own personal version of an MSN start page, and use it to display both local and personalized information.

MSN’s personalized start page is called My MSN. You get to it by clicking the My MSN link at the top of the MSN Home page, or by going directly to my.msn.com.

You can customize My MSN to display a variety of different content, as shown in Figure . You can also customize the page colors and layout (in a three-column design), all by clicking the appropriate links at the top of the My MSN page. Given the wide assortment of content available, you can use My MSN to display only those items of direct interest, such as your local news and weather.

Once you have your My MSN page set up, configure your Web browser so that My MSN is your browser’s start page. That way you’ll go to the news and information you want whenever you launch your browser.

MSN Links


Unlike Yahoo!, which provides easy-to-remember URLs and keywords for direct access to all of its different sites and services, MSN pretty much forces you to return to its home page to access its various content channels. Unless, that is, you know the one page that contains links to the rest of the MSN site— and bookmark that page in your browser.

The page you want is the MSN Quick Links page, located at specials.msn.com/msnmore. Not an easy-to-remember address, for sure, which is why you want to bookmark it. This page contains direct links to all the important pages in the MSN network, including the various MSN worldwide sites.

One Passport


If you’ve used MSN at all, here’s something you’ve probably noticed—you have to sign in to do just about anything. It’s actually the same across all Microsoft sites; Microsoft tracks your access through a service called Microsoft Passport.

Passport (technically called .NET Passport) offers password-protected service to all of Microsoft’s Web sites, including MSN. You sign up for Passport once, and then you can enter any Microsoft site by entering your Passport name and password. In fact, if you already have a Hotmail or MSN e-mail account, you already have a Passport: it’s your e-mail address.

There’s no charge to get a Passport name and password. You can sign up at any number of sites, including the main Passport site at www.passport.net. (Any time you enter a members-only area of MSN you’ll be prompted to enter or sign up for your Passport account.) You can even create special Kids Passport accounts for your children, which helps MSN and other sites obtain parental.

You’ll need a Passport account to take full advantage of MSN. Go ahead and sign up when you’re prompted—it’s free. Then you’ll only have to remember a single name and password whenever you’re prompted to log in, whever you go on MSN. consent before collecting personal information.

MSN Explorer


If you do use MSN Internet access to connect to the Web, you get a nice little bonus—the use of MSN Explorer. MSN Explorer is meant to be a frontend to the Internet, much like that provided by America Online to its subscribers. In reality, however, MSN Explorer is a customized version of the Internet Explorer Web browser—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you know how to use IE, you know how to use MSN Explorer.

As you can see in Figure, MSN Explorer includes a number of buttons on top of what would normally be called the browser window. These buttons take you directly to MSN channels and services; think of them as shortcut links.

The other function of MSN Explorer is to actually connect you to the Internet. You use MSN Explorer to dial into the MSN service (if you’re connecting via dial-up), or to perform log in functions if you’re connecting via broadband.

You’re provided with a sign-in screen that displays your different user names; click a name to connect and sign in.

Of course, you don’t have to use MSN Explorer to access the MSN portal. Even if you’re using MSN Explorer to connect to the Internet, once you get connected you can launch Internet Explorer (or any other Web browser) and access the MSN site from there. Other than the dedicated channel buttons, there’s nothing special about MSN Explorer that’s necessary to use the MSN site; you can also access it via the IE, Netscape, or Opera browsers.

The MSN Home Page


The MSN Home page (www.msn.com), shown in Figure 2-1, is where it all starts. Think of MSN Home as the contents page of a magazine; everything inside is linked from here, with the major items highlighted in some fashion.

Along the top of the page are links to the most popular parts of the MSN
network—MSN Home, My MSN, Hotmail, Search, Shopping, Money, and People & Chat. These links appear at the top of most pages on the MSN site, so you can quickly navigate from wherever you might happen to be.

Just below this link bar is MSN’s Search the Web box. This is where you initiate your Web searches; enter your query into the box, then click the Search button. The center of the MSN Home page contains the “hot” items du jour—featured items, news headlines, stock quotes, and the like. To the left is a column of links to popular services, while the right column contains links to MSN’s content channels. (Yeah, MSN calls its content sites “channels,” as if you were watching TV.) MSN’s wide variety of content and services are organized by MSN’s channels. Many of these channels offer content from third-party providers, which means that MSN offers some of the best content on the Web. All of MSN’s channels are accessible from the MSN Home page.

I already mentioned that you can conduct your Web searches from the Search the Web box at the top of the MSN Home page. MSN also offers a separate MSN Search page, shown in Figure . You access this page by clicking theSearch link at the top of the MSN Home page, or by going directly to search.msn.com. You can choose a particular type of search, or browse through
directory categories.

MSN Secrets

MSN—formerly known as the Microsoft Network—is one of the most popular portals on the Internet, rivaling both Yahoo! and America Online for number of users. (Some sources actually place MSN as the number-one portal in terms of average days per month per user.) That should come as no surprise; MSN has assembled a first-class assortment of content and services, and presents it all in a very attractive package. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Microsoft steers you in the direction of MSN when you use any Microsoft product or service— including Windows. In fact, if you’re a Microsoft user (and who isn’t?), you’d be hard pressed to avoid MSN.

According to Microsoft, MSN attracts a more experienced, more technically savvy user than does chief competitor America Online. That makes sense; in a way, MSN is like AOL for grown-ups.

GeoCities


Yahoo! GeoCities (geocities.yahoo.com) is a really big collection of personal Web pages—the world’s largest. GeoCities hosts millions of personal Web pages, and lets you create your own personal Web page—for free, using a collection of easy-to-use page-creation tools.

As you can see in Figure , Yahoo! GeoCities offers several different ways to create your own Web pages. If you’re an inexperienced Web page designer, you can use the Yahoo! PageWizards to build your page step-by-step using a series of menus and templates. More experienced users can use the Yahoo! Page Builder application, which lets you design and customize your own pages; advanced users can code their own HTML with the built-in HTML Editor. You can even upload pages created with other applications (such as Microsoft Front Page) by using GeoCities’ File Manager.

Whichever method you use to create your pages, you get up to 15MB of space for storage of your pages and accompanying files at no charge—which, for most users, should be more than enough. You also get 3GB of bandwidth per month, but your visitors will be subjected to ads when they visit your page.

If you want to get rid of the ads, you’ll have to subscribe to a paid plan. The GeoCities Plus plan give you 25MB of basic space and 5GB of monthly bandwidth for $4.95 per month. Also available is the GeoCities Pro plan, which gives you your own personalized domain name along with 10GB of monthly bandwidth and 25MB of disk space.

Yahoo! Classifieds


The Yahoo! Classifieds service (classifieds.yahoo.com) is a great way to buy and sell items you’d normally sell in a newspaper classified ad. As you can see in Figure , you’ll find classified ads grouped by the following major categories:



 Autos
 HotJobs
 Real Estate
 Rentals
 Personals
 Merchandise
 Tickets
 Pets

Obviously, some of these categories take you to other sites in the Yahoo! network. (The Personals category, for example, takes you to Yahoo! Personals.) You’ll find unique classified ads in the Merchandise, Tickets, and Pets categories.

When you start browsing or searching the Yahoo! Classifieds listings, you are asked to input your location or zip code. In return, Yahoo! displays those listings closest to your current location. Just like traditional newspaper classifieds, you don’t actually buy anything through Yahoo! Classifieds. Instead, you contact the advertiser directly, via e-mail, and (hopefully) work out a deal between yourselves.

After you find an item or service you’re interested in, display the full listing for that item. Each ad listing should include the seller’s name, e-mail address, and phone number (optional). The easiest way to proceed is to click the Reply to This Ad link next to the person’s e-mail address, which automatically prepares an e-mail to the seller. Compose a message expressing interest or asking a question and then send it out. If all goes well, the seller will respond (hopefully) and at
that point the two of you can attempt to agree on purchasing arrangements.

Selling an item is as easy as clicking the Post an Ad link at the top of the page. Just choose a category, enter a description, and you’re ready to sell!

Yahoo! Auctions


Online auctions are the hottest things going on the Internet today. With an online auction, you can buy or sell just about anything—from closeout merchandise to trendy collectibles. The biggest auction site on the Internet, by far, is eBay— The number-two auction site, however, is Yahoo! Auctions (auctions.yahoo.com).


I’ll be honest with you: Yahoo! Auctions may be the number-two player, but it’s a distant second. If you’re a seller looking for the largest number of potential bidders, you’ll want to skip Yahoo! Auctions and go straight to the much larger base of customers at eBay. However, if you’re a buyer, you can pick up some pretty good bargains at Yahoo! Auctions—and you stand a lesser chance ofbeing outbid by some crazy person in a last-minute bidding frenzy.

Yahoo! Wallet


If you get tired of entering your credit card information at every shopping site you visit, Yahoo! has a solution: Yahoo! Wallet. You can use Yahoo! Wallet to store your credit card information in one place and then have individual sites access your wallet rather than you entering the information separately at each site.

To use Yahoo! Wallet, go to wallet.yahoo.com and click the Sign Up Now link. Enter your Yahoo! user name and password, create a unique security key (kind of a second password), and enter your credit card information. Once this information
is entered, you can use Yahoo! Wallet to speed up checkout at any store at Yahoo! Shopping—and it’s completely secure.

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Computer Networks The History of Local Area Networks, LAN, The Topologies of a Networks, LANs describe different types of transmission Medias, Local Area Networks Access Methods, Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detect, Development of LAN Technologies. LAN -Token Ring, LAN Ethernet Digital, LAN - Ethernet Sun microsystems, LAN - Ethernet Mixed Environment, LAN - Token Ring was introduced by IBM LAN - IBM implementation of Token Ring, Token Ring Novell, LAN Token Ring - in a mixed environment, LAN - Fiber Distributed Data Interface, LAN - ATM, LAN Components, LAN Switching Methods, Virtual Local Area Network, Port based VLAN, Mac based VLAN, Protocol based VLAN, User Base VLAN, PC networks Components, PC networks Shared resources, PC Network operating systems, PC networks Novell Netware, PC networks Windows NT, PC networks IBM LAN Server Computer Programming Languages HTML Language, The Generations of Programming Languages, Different types of High Level Languages, Different types of High Level Languages Disadvantages
Computer Networks - IBM LAN Server, Windows NT Networks, Novell Netware, Network operating systems, Networks Shared, Networks Components, User Base, Protocol based, Mac based, Port based, VLAN, LAN Switching, LAN Components, ATM, Fiber Data, Token Ring, Token Ring Novell, IBM implementation, Ethernet, Sun microsystems, Ethernet Digital, Token passing, LAN Technologies, CSMA/CD, Access Methods, Transmission, Networks, The History of Local Area Networks, LAN