Info Blue Mountains, Australia,

Getting the Best from the Info

(and other Internet sites)

Related pages: Silicon Gorge


The fact that you've made it this far indicates that you have the basic necessities, but you may not be getting all that we, and many other Internet sites, have to offer.

You can print this page by selecting File -> Print on your browser.


Browser

Microsoft, Netscape, and others are tripping over themselves in the race to extend the capabilities of the Internet, so it is important to have the latest browser. Fortunately, this need not be expensive. In fact, Microsoft give away their Internet Explorer, and do not ask any registration fee. Is it as good as Netscape Navigator? They are so close, that it depends on personal preference; I prefer Internet Explorer.

Some pages require Java. Java is included with the latest versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.

To find out what version you have, click on "Help", then "About..." in your browser. This applies to any Windows program.

Info Blue Mountains can be expected to work best with Microsoft Internet Explorer. In order of preference, we recommend: MSIE 5, MSIE 4, Netscape 4, MSIE 3. MSIE 5 is faster than MSIE 4.

Download Microsoft Internet Explorer
Download Microsoft Internet Explorer


Fonts

Fonts, or typefaces, are sets of letters and other charactors. This paragraph uses a font called Georgia, but if you haven't got that font you are most likely seeing it in boring old Times New Roman or similar. The sub-headings are in Arial, and the next paragraph in Verdana.

Microsoft have designed several fonts specifically for Internet use (they can also be used for printing on paper) and are giving them away. They make versions for Windows and Apple Macintosh. Click here to find out more and to download free True Type fonts, including those used on this site.


Display Colours

Colour monitors have gradually evolved over the years, but even the best are still governed by the settings on your computer.

16 colours
Okay for word processing and spreadsheets.
256 colours
Photos are passable, but not good.
High Colour (16 bit)
Photo quality.

We find that even our background and black and white photos look best in High Colour, I'm unsure why.  However, more colours will slow your display down, so you may need to compromise until you can buy a more powerful graphics card.

To find out what setting you are using:

Windows 95
Select Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Display -> Settings.
 
 

Display Resolution

Most of our pages are designed for the standard 640x480 pixel display, but some are best viewed on an 800x600 display so as to avoid the need to scroll sideways. The resolution can be changed via the display settings.

Unless you want to be known as Squinty, I recommend a screen size of at least 15" for an 800x600 display, and a minimum screen size of 17" for 1024x768.  Microsoft reccomend a mininum of 15" display for Windows 95.

Once again, raising the resolution will give the display card more work and thus slow it down.


Modem

The three most important factors are speed, speed, and speed. In that order. Having said that, I should point out that your local phone line may slow your modem down. Get a 56k modem if you haven't already got one.

If you have an older computer, it may have a slow UART, which will severely limit the speed of the modem. Consult your dealer.

Poor phone lines cause the modem to slow down or drop out completely. Some modems are less affected than others. Consult a comparisom review.


Memory

Often the best way to speed up your computer is to add more memory. If your hard disk seems very busy, you almost certainly have too little. So how much do you need?

Windows 95
16Mb of RAM mininum. If you're buying a new PC, get 64Mb
Windows 98
32Mb of RAM or more. If you're buying a new PC, get 64Mb
Windows 3
8Mb of RAM mininum.

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More information and help: Silicon Gorge

The author, David Martin, holds a Diploma of Information Technology in PC & Network Support.

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Info Blue Mountains, Australia

Copyright 1996 David JW Martin except where other copyright applies. All rights reserved.
Company, brand and product names are the property of their respective owners.
Revised: June 26, 2003.

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