Homefront Reporter | September 2005

Link to Offering advanced technology with a personal touch

Protect Your PC
How To Get Free Microsoft Security Updates For Your Computer


Ask The Help Desk
Is There A Shortcut When Using Online Drop-Down Boxes?

Sites Of The Month
Great Sites To Check Out In September!

Short Tutorial
Opening And Saving Received vCard Information


Welcome to the Homefront Reporter

Welcome to our September 2005 eNewsletter! Be sure to check out our "Sites of the Month" section. There is a very helpful site for do-it-yourself appliance repair. Also, this month's "Short Tutorial" section will show you how to open and save received e-mail vCard attachments to your address book.

The goal of each of our monthly eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. To meet this goal, each monthly newsletter will usually contain information related to:

  1. Warnings on a recent virus, e-mail hoax or security issue that may affect you
  2. An update on new services and other local interests
  3. An answer to a frequently asked Internet related question
  4. Some fun, seasonal websites to check out
  5. A short, step-by-step tutorial on an e-mail or browser related task

We think you'll find the information contained in this newsletter to be a valuable tool for enhancing your Internet experience. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click HERE.

To see what's inside this issue, take a look at the index to the left and thanks for reading!

- The Homefront Reporter Team

Protect Your PC - How To Get Free Microsoft Security Updates For Your Computer

Protecting your computer from viruses, worms, and other hacker attacks is an unfortunate part of life on the Internet. Because Microsoft Corp. products have proven vulnerable to such threats, the company helps its customers fight back with its security updates system.

A list of Microsoft security updates, available at http://www.microsoft.com/security/bulletins , is updated, when needed, on the second Tuesday of each month. If you use Microsoft products (such as Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, and MSN Messenger, among others), we strongly recommend you visit this web page monthly to download the critical software fixes (called "patches") listed there. At this web page, you can sign up to receive e-mail, instant messaging, or RSS alerts each time a major security update is released.

The Microsoft Windows Update website ( http://update.microsoft.com ) provides another easy way to quickly install software fixes for Microsoft products. When you visit this web page, your PC is automatically scanned for missing critical software updates, providing you a list of updates that you can choose to install.

It's important to remember that Microsoft will NEVER e-mail you software updates or patches as e-mail attachments. Malicious hackers have been known to send spoof e-mail messages that appear to come from Microsoft, urging you to download the accompanying attachment to prevent infection by a virus or worm. These attachments are actually worms or viruses themselves. If you are not currently set up to automatically receive software updates from Microsoft, ALWAYS be sure to go to Microsoft web pages to download Microsoft-related patches and service packs rather than doing so via links e-mailed to you.

Of course, it is vitally important to use and regularly update your computer's anti-virus software. Always scan file attachments of all incoming e-mail messages, even messages from people you trust. Many viruses and worms are spread over networks, through attachments, and by sharing storage media such as diskettes, Zip disks, and CDs. You have the ultimate responsibility for protecting your computer against these threats.

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3 Rivers Communications plans to disable the mail.3rivers.net setting to our email server effective September 15, 2005. Most of our Internet subscribers have been set up with the correct settings or have already made the necessary changes to their Internet e-mail options. If you have had Internet service with us for over 3 years and have not updated your computer, you may need to make the setting change. Please verify your e-mail settings are correct or contact our 24/7 technical support at 1-800-796-4567. We will be happy to walk you through the verification steps to make sure you have smooth e-mailing after the 15th of September!

Correct e-mail settings are as follows:

  • incoming: pop.3rivers.net
  • outgoing: smtp.3rivers.net


3 Rivers Communications is now offering NetXL+, a new and improved dial-up or broadband accelerator service. Click here to learn more. NetXL+ offers:

  • Accelerates dial-up up to 6 times faster
  • Ad and pop-up blocker
  • Spyware protection
  • Parental controls
  • Privacy protection
  • System tools
  • Great image quality and speed
  • Only $4.95 per month

If you are a current Propel customer, there is no additional cost to upgrade and the process is easy.

  1. Click here to visit our registration/downloads site.
  2. Enter your name, state, and email address and click Submit.
  3. Once you click Submit, an email will be sent to you containing a link to our downloads page as well as an access code. You will need to enter this access code during the installation process.
  4. Download the Accelerator and follow the prompts to install.

If you currently use Propel, please upgrade by September 15th, 2005, to continue to take advantage of accelerated Internet service. If you do not upgrade, you will still be able to surf the Internet, but not at an accelerated pace. Need Assistance?

Would You Like To Help? - Here's How You Can Join The Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort

In the early stages of Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross was already in the process of launching the largest mobilization of resources for a single natural disaster in its history. The priority of the American Red Cross is to meet the urgent, critical needs of storm victims by providing emergency shelter, food, and water. To find out how you can help or to donate online to the American Red Cross, go to http://www.redcross.org/.

The Salvation Army is another critical organization providing much needed assistance to both storm victims and first responders in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A $100 donation to The Salvation Army will feed a family of four for two days, plus provide two cases of drinking water and a household clean-up kit. To donate online to The Salvation Army or to find out other ways you can help, go to: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn.nsf

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Ask The Help Desk - Is There A Shortcut When Using Online Drop-Down Boxes?

Question: Sometimes when I'm using a drop-down box while making a purchase online, it takes forever to scroll down to the item I'm looking for. Is there a better way?

Answer: Yes, there is a better way. We'll illustrate how with an example.

Let's say you're filling out an online shopping cart form that asks you to select the item you intend to purchase from a drop-down box. The site's drop-down box includes dozens of products (listed alphabetically) for you to choose from. If you are purchasing an apron, you're all set since your product starts with the letter "a" and will be listed towards the top. But what if you are buying an umbrella? You'd have to scroll down through lots of products to get to "umbrellas."

Here's a quicker way. When you get to a drop-down box, type in the first letter of the item you're hunting for. You'll find that items beginning with that letter start popping up in the box. So, for the example above, simply type in the letter "u" and products starting with "u" (there can't be many) will come up. No more scrolling!

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Great Sites To Check Out This Month

Discover Free Money Online
http://MissingMoney.com -  MissingMoney.com's national database contains 8 million abandoned items valued at about $2 billion. It's the only free, state-sponsored, state-endorsed national database listing unclaimed assets from 26 states. Additionally, the site provides links to state offices not currently included in its online database. The site is sponsored by the NAUPA (National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators). Simply type in your name and it does the searching for you. The site says that 1 in 8 Americans has unclaimed money ... one of them could be you!

Do-It-Yourself Appliance Repair
http://Appliance411.com -  This site offers free repair help for do-it-yourselfers when it comes to fixing broken washing machines, dryers, microwaves, garbage disposals, humidifiers, dishwashers, stoves, trash compactors, water filters, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, and more. Looking for an owner's manual for your make and model? Appliance411.com can help. Looking for the model number on your appliance but can't locate it? You've come to the right place!

See Our Nation's Fall Foliage By Rail
http://amtrak.com -  Autumn is a great time of the year to travel the states to see the many colors of nature. Why not leave the driving to someone else this fall and travel by train? AMTRAK operates the U.S.'s national passenger rail service and offers a variety of scenic tours throughout our beautiful country. AMTRAK's website provides information on schedules, fares and reservations, station locations, and on their "Small Groups Save Big" travel savings program.

Learning Science Can Be Fun
http://ars.usda.gov/is/kids/ -  This site is an interesting learning resource targeted toward kids ages 8-13. (Adults can learn a lot here too!) The website is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture and was developed by the Agricultural Research Service information staff in Beltsville, Maryland. Topics reviewed include "Tastes Like Chicken" (edible bugs), "Vinegar: More Than Just A Salad Dressing," "Powerful Plants Meet Tough Tanks," and "What's Good About Sewer Bacteria."

The World's Largest Balloonfest
http://www.balloonfiesta.com/ -  The end of this month marks the beginning of the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. Albuquerque, New Mexico, hosts this annual event which this year runs from September 30th through October 9th. Over 700 balloonists participate in simultaneous liftoffs and a variety of flying accuracy competitions. Balloons with special shapes (i.e. piggy bank, stagecoach, cow) are also a part of the event agenda. Check out the site for a huge picture gallery and more event details.

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Short Tutorial - Opening And Saving Received vCard Information

Last month we provided tutorials on how to create and send vCards via e-mail. Remember, vCards are digital business cards that can be attached to outgoing e-mail messages. The vCards usually contain text-based information (such as address, phone, and fax numbers) and appear as attachments that have a ".vcf" file extension name.

The tutorials below show you how to open and then save information contained within received vCards to then be placed into your address book.

Opening/Saving a vCard in Outlook Express When Using Windows XP:

  1. When receiving a vCard attachment from a friend or a business associate, first save the vCard attachment to your desktop.

  2. Open your address book by clicking your cursor arrow on its icon in the Outlook Express tool bar or by going to the Outlook Express "Tools" menu and clicking on "Address Book" from the drop-down menu.

  3. When the Address Book Window opens, click on the "File" menu and drop down to "Import." Click on "Business Card (vCard)" from the resulting submenu.

  4. When the "Import Business Card (vCard)" window opens, navigate to the saved vCard on your desktop and click on it to select it.

  5. Click on the "Open" button.

  6. The vCard properties window will open. Click "Okay" to save and close. The vCard information will now be saved onto your Outlook Express address book.

Opening/Saving a vCard in Entourage When Using Macintosh OS X:

  1. Double click your cursor arrow on the vCard attachment.

  2. The vCard will open in its own window.

  3. Click on the "Save" button on the vCard's button bar. The vCard information will be saved to your Entourage address book.

Opening/Saving a vCard in Mail.app When Using Macintosh OS X:

Double click your cursor arrow on the vCard that you were sent. Your address book will open automatically and display the information that was in the vCard.

Opening/Saving a vCard When Using Mozilla-based E-mail Programs:

While the Mozilla based e-mail software programs (i.e. Netscape 7.2 and Thunderbird 1.0) can send vCard attachments, they don't allow you to import the contact information directly into your address book. However, the information shows up in the preview window so you can simply copy and paste the information into a new address book entry.

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We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It's our way of keeping you posted on the happenings at our shop. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click HERE.

Thanks for your business!

Best regards,

The Homefront Reporter Team
3 Rivers Communications
Offering advanced technology with a personal touch

3 Rivers Communications
202 5th St S
PO Box 429
Fairfield, MT 59436

1-800-796-4567 406-467-2535

(We have used our best efforts in collecting and preparing the information published herein. However, we do not assume, and hereby disclaim, any and all liability for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions resulted from negligence, accident, or other causes.)

©2005 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.

Trademarks: All brand names and product names used in this eNewsletter are trade names, service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.