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Topic: OT Alert: Information favor

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  1. #1
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    OT Alert: Information favor

    People have been so generous with their insights, experience, and knowledge over the years that I thought I'd post here for some answers. ( Note to Moderators: feel free to boo this one, if you see fit. ) And it is WAAAY off-topic...

    My wife and I are family mentors for a refugee family from Burma here in Baltimore. We help with English, getting them library cards, figuring out bus schedules, etc. They recently came into a computer; we got it up and running, and they are now interested in getting on the internet. So here are the questions:

    1.) It's a PC, and I am a Mac guy, so how do I check if it has an internal modem? I know there must be something I can do to get a "here's what I am and what I can do" report.

    2.) It runs Windows 98 - will there be problems with connections to the net running that OS?

    3.) Recommendations for a net provider? I have Verizon DSL, and can say it has been very stable - but there may be more cost-effective solutions...

    4.) Anything else I might be missing?

    Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

    And the next post will be about music/GPO. Promise.

    Thanks in advance,
    Ron Pearl

    Website:

    ronaldmpearl.com

    myspace:

    http://myspace.com/rmpearl

  2. #2

    Re: OT Alert: Information favor

    Quote Originally Posted by rpearl View Post

    1.) It's a PC, and I am a Mac guy, so how do I check if it has an internal modem? I know there must be something I can do to get a "here's what I am and what I can do" report.
    For an internal modem you'll be able to spot a phone jack on the back of the machine. You can also go to the Control Panel>System>Device Manager and see it there in the dropdown. A modem is NOT the same a LAN jack (ethernet).

    2.) It runs Windows 98 - will there be problems with connections to the net running that OS?
    There shouldn't be. Randy has repeatedly mentioned he uses a 98 machine still for Internet. I would, however, recommend against it for security concerns. Go XP if the machine can take it, or consider running Ubuntu Linux.

    3.) Recommendations for a net provider? I have Verizon DSL, and can say it has been very stable - but there may be more cost-effective solutions...
    If the machine does have a modem, dial-up plans are about ten bucks a month still, but today's Internet is getting to the point where 56K doesn't cut it. If the machine has a USB port it should be able to handle a DSL or Cable modem (or you can buy/install a network card and plug in via ethernet).

    4.) Anything else I might be missing?
    Yes. Antivirus and Firewall. As soon as a PC is connected to the Internet it needs these two things. A good firewall is vastly more important in my opinion than virus scanning. 98 didn't come with anything. XP has a built-in one, and Norton/Symantec/McAffee/etc make even better ones.

    Hope this helps,
    Reegs

  3. #3

    Re: OT Alert: Information favor

    Hey Ron,
    Talk about timing is everything. Not four days ago I was cleaning out old computer stuff and tossed an ethernet network PCI card. AARGH!

    I'd be glad to help out by sending a new PCI card to you if they need one. I'm sure I can dig up a legit copy of XP too if you would like to get them up to speed on the OS. Let me know, I can get both of them to you within a week.

    -Kevin

    P.S. I also have a nice Matrix graphics card if they need it.
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  4. #4

    Re: OT Alert: Information favor

    "...Randy has repeatedly mentioned he uses a 98 machine still for Internet..."

    Very observant, Reegs! - But to help out with Ron's question, I'm here to say that I no longer use the Windows 98 machine to be online. The central home computer is XP, and via a wireless transmitter, I'm now online through my roaming laptop on Vista.

    SO the caution about Windows 98 on this thread is worth heeding.

    Randy B.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Re: OT Alert: Information favor

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks!! I will see the family - and the computer - on Tuesday, so I'll have a better idea, then. I think it may already have a firewall, as I believe the organization that used it had it as an online machine.

    Kevin - if I can take you up on your offers, I will; I'll pm you if I can use anything. Thanks.

    Appreciate the help.

    I'll keep you posted - this promises to be a big adventure for them.

    All the best,
    Ron Pearl

    Website:

    ronaldmpearl.com

    myspace:

    http://myspace.com/rmpearl

  6. #6

    Re: OT Alert: Information favor

    Still 98ing it here. It works fine, currently using a cable modem. I'm thinking of getting something newer, mostly to run certain applications, but also for greater convenience. I hear the newer machines are electric, so no need to chop wood or to wait for the fire to build up before using it.

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