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The Cutting Edge | Tech Q&A

Stake a Claim on That Clever Domain Name at Registrar Sites

March 16, 2000|JEFF LEVY

Question: How do I get a domain name?

Answer: There are several Web sites that provide Internet domain name registration services. Take a look at http://www.internic.net. This site provides a directory of accredited domain name registrars currently taking registrations in the "dot-com," "dot-net" and "dot-org" domains. A feature called "WHOIS" lets you find out if the domain name you want is already registered.

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Q: What's the difference between a Celeron and Pentium processor?

A: The Intel Celeron processor was designed to provide high-speed performance and cost less than its Pentium cousin. The Pentium processor has more internal "instructions" that enhance a computer's performance in the areas of graphics, speech recognition and multimedia.

Celeron processors can run almost as fast as Pentium chips in typical home and business applications. If you are a die-hard game player or you want the ultimate in sound, motion, graphics or speech recognition capabilities, the Pentium III is the processor of choice.

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Q: I sometimes get e-mail that sends a return receipt to the sender. Is there a way I can turn off that feature on my end?

A: The return receipt feature in e-mail is designed to verify that you, as opposed to anyone else, received a particular message. In that context, you would be notified that the sender is requesting verification from you. At that point you would have the option to either permit or refuse verification through a return receipt.

An automated return receipt system, on the other hand, would be meaningless because although it could verify that the message was received, it can't verify that you are the person receiving that e-mail. If it really bothers you, set a filter to exclude future e-mail messages from that particular sender.

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Q: I have a Mac and a PC at home. Do I need to buy separate printers for each or is there one printer that I can attach to both?

A: Current PC computers can connect with printers through a "parallel" printer port or through a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port. Apple Macintosh computers connect through a special eight-pin "mini din" connection and, in the case of newer Mac systems, through a USB port.

Can you use a single printer to connect to both your PC and Mac? Yes, you can. Epson makes two printers that fill the bill for you. The Epson Stylus Color 740 printer provides connections for the Mac eight-pin socket, USB ports and the standard PC parallel port. You can connect both your Mac and PC computers to the 740 and print from either system.

The Stylus Color 740i does the same thing and comes in the iMac blueberry color scheme. The Epson Stylus Photo 750 provides photographic print quality in a printer that has the same computer connections as the 740 series. In addition, the 750's PC parallel port connection supports high-speed bi-directional printing.

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Q: What is USB?

A: The Universal Serial Bus or USB interface provides a fast and easy way to connect things such as printers, scanners, monitors, Zip drives and pointing devices (mouse, trackball, etc.) to your computer. The USB connection is easy to use because there are no device conflicts to deal with. Once you have installed the software for your USB device, you can connect to the computer while the system is on and running. You also can disconnect from the computer without having to shut the system down. USB connections are faster than standard interface connections.

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Q: I'm new to the Internet and am confused by some of the terminology. Is there a difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web? And why do we call this experience "surfing"?

A: The Internet is really just millions of computers connected through networks of phone lines. The phone lines move information to and from computers called servers. Pure Internet is boring because it consists of paragraph after paragraph of text. The World Wide Web is a just a better way of looking at the Internet by using a software program called a "browser."

Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Communicator are examples of browser software programs. Through the eyes of a browser, the Internet comes alive with color, sound, motion and graphics. In answer to your other question, Vinton G. Cerf is generally credited with being the "father" of the Internet. He created a technology that allows us to send and receive information through the Net. That may have something to do with the common description of "surfing the net."

Jeff Levy hosts the "On Computers" radio talk show from 9 a.m. to noon on Sundays on KFI-AM (640). He can be reached at jefflevykfi@hotmail.com.

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