Mini-Article — Search Engines

By | July 5, 2005
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July 2005 Newsletter

Hello and welcome to the July edition of my newsletter.

There’s lots of good stuff this month! Read below about Search engines, and if you’ve got photos that you need to sort out, have a look at the download link at the end of the newsletter!

Mini-Article — Search Engines

Several people have asked me lately about Search engines. Most people know how to use them in a basic way, but want to know a bit more about how they work. So here you go:

The order of words: In most search engines (and certainly in www.google.co.uk, which is the most popular), the order of the words doesn’t matter. So if you type in VIOLIN BOW or BOW VIOLIN you’ll find the same pages, it doesn’t only find the words if they’re in that order.

If you do want it to only find the words in a particular order, or you want it to find a specific combination of words, you can use quotation marks. If you type in “DOUBLE BASS”, including the quotation marks, it will look for sites listing exactly that. A site that contained “and I caught 6 bass, double the number Brian caught” wouldn’t come up. Watch out, though, neither would “DOUBLEBASS” as one word.

Another question I sometimes get is whether capitals matter. Most search engines ignore them, so you can happily type in holidayHoliday or HOLIDAY. Or even hOlIdAy if it takes your fancy.

Reader’s Question

A simple one this month: How do you get the euro sign up?

On most new keyboards, you can find the euro sign on the “4” key, underneath the dollar sign. Even if it’s not shown there, on a reasonably modern PC you can get it up by holding down ctrl & alt and then pressing 4 at the same time. Easy when you know how!

Tip of the Month

In case we get any end-of-summer thunder storms, it’s worth knowing that if there is a thunder storm, you should unplug your computer modem from the phone socket. Even if you don’t get a “direct hit” from the lightening, the electric charge from the phone line can damage your modem.
One extra tip: remember to do this before you go to bed if it looks like a storm’s coming. In our house, this is my job and it’s not that much fun when my wife pokes me in the ribs half an hour after I’ve fallen asleep to say “It sounds like a storm’s coming, did you remember to unplug the modem?”

Download of the Month

I mentioned at the start that I’d found something that will help you sort out all your photos. It’s PhotoPlus 6, from a company called Serif. You can download it for free from www.freeserifsoftware.com/software/PhotoPlus. It does take a little while to download unless you have broadband, so it’s best to wait until the evening or weekend to download it on cheap rate. Serif are obviously hoping that once you’ve used it, you’ll want to buy the more up to date version (this is one from a year or two ago), but if you haven’t got a photo editing program, this one will do what you need: red-eye reduction, cropping the edges of a photo, sharpening a blurry picture and so on… it’s all there.

Right, that’s all for the month. If you have any questions about PCs puzzling you, or you’ve got any comments or suggestions about this newsletter, let me know — just reply to it.

If you want to unsubscribe, you can do so by replying to this email with unsubscribe as the email subject.

Have a good month,


Tim Wakeling

PS

Next month you’ll find out about how to make text bigger on screen, as well as the usual selection of tips and a useful download!

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