Articles and Instruction on How to Use the Naples Free-Net and the Internet

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How to use the Internet through the Naples Free-Net

Now that you have run the installation disk (if not see "How to Setup NFN on Your Computer" on the helpdesk website) your computer has been set up to access and redial into the Naples Free-Net. Here are some things we would like to make you aware of to facilitate your use of the system. We will break these into groups that follow what we view as a natural progression of both possible problems and useful tips.

1.Click on the Icon "Shortcut to Naples Free-Net".

 An icon called Shortcut to Naples Free-Net has been placed on your "Desktop". This is what you will click on to dial into the Free-net. After you have made a successful connection an icon of two connected computers will appear next to the time on the lower right of your "Taskbar" (located in the lower right hand corner of your screen.) This tells you that you are connected and starts timing your connection.  

Please Note: Once you have made a successful connection DO NOT change your settings if on a later date you have trouble connecting. It may be us or Sprint. Try later or the next day.  If that still does not work give the Naples Free-Net helpdesk a call at 417-1400 for assistance.

Now, let's work on getting you online to explore the Internet and all it has to offer:
2. Double Click on the Icon for "Internet Explorer" 

This is a "Browser" program that will allow you to view the pages of the Internet. As the program loads you will go to the homepage of the Free-Net or perhaps a different page (you can set this page in your browser preferences or Internet Options as it is sometimes called on some computers.) Occasionally the screen will stay blank. Click "Refresh" at the top of the screen. If it still does not load click "Favorites" and click a site from your list. You should be able to load a site. If not, then there may be temporary connection problems. Try again later but do not change your settings. 

3. Type the URL Address of the site you want to visit in the Address window of your browser. 

Every site on the Internet has an address like To reach a site you type the address in the address window and hit the enter key on your keyboard, this activates your browser. It searches out the site on the Internet and should display the page on your screen.

The Internet Explorer screen is made of several sections. There are the Standard Buttons, Address Bar and Links. 

Standard Buttons include Back, Forward, Stop, Refresh and Home. Also important are Search, Favorites, Mail and Print. 
1. Back: Use this to go back a page at a time. You can go back several pages. Try it. 
2. Forward: Once you have gone Back you can then go Forward. 
3. Home: Takes you to the Naples Free-Net homepage or whatever homepage you set to appear first when you load Internet Explorer.
4. Refresh: If the page you are going to seems not to be loading click Stop; then click Refresh. 
5. Favorites: There is a sample Favorites file in your program. You may add to this or change it at your pleasure. You may edit this list off-line but you must be online to go to any sites. 
6.Search: This button will open a Search tool for your use. Type in the topic you wish to search for and sites will be displayed for you to click on. 
7.Print: This will print the current page shown on your Internet Explorer. 
8.Mail: This is a link to everyone's favorite to keep in touch with friends, family, and business associates, also known as e-mail. Click it and you can choose "Read Mail", "New Message", "Send a link" or "Send the Page". I'll describe each of these below in the description of Outlook Express, which is your E-Mail program

Time to teach you how to use your e-mail to stay in touch with friends, family, or business associates:

4.Pick up your email by clicking on the "Mail" Icon on the tool bar. 

This loads a separate program, Outlook Express, which is used to transfer (download) your mail from your mailbox on our server to your computer. You can then read it whether or not you are connected to NFN but you have to be connected to download your mail to read it. If you are only reading and responding to your email it is best to download your mail, sign off of NFN, read and answer your mail, save your replies by clicking on the "Send " Icon (this will save the mail in your outbox until the next time you connect). When you have finished reading all your mail and writing all your replies, reconnect and click on the "Send/Receive" button. This will send all of the emails you have completed and download any new ones that have been received while you were off line.

Some of the important buttons of your e-mail program are "New Mail", "Reply", "Forward", "Print", "Send/Receive" and "Address". 
1. New Mail when clicked gives you a blank e-mail form for you to fill in and send. You may notice a small down arrow at the tight side of the New Mail button. Click it and you will be given a choice of some interesting pre-formatted e-mails. Choose one and type in the message you wish to send.  Make sure you have typed in the person's e-mail to whom you wish to send the e-mail to correctly in "To:" box.
2. Reply allows you to write back to the person who sent a message to you. Click it and a pre-addressed e-mail is given to you to reply with. 
3. Forward helps you to send an interesting e-mail to others you know.
4. Print pretty much speaks for itself. Click it for a printed copy of your e-mail. 
5. Send/Receive is the button to click to see if you have any new e-mail or if you have e-mail that needs to be sent out. You must be online to use the Send/Receive button. 
6. Address  button opens an "Address Book" in which you can store all the e-mail addresses of you friends. 
The basic steps to using e-mail are a skill that you will wish to master. Some step-by-step directions to send an e-mail follow. To write the e-mail you do not have to be connected to the Internet. 
1. Open Outlook Express by clicking on its icon. 
2. Click the New Mail button. 
3. Fill in the e-mail address of the person you are writing to. This goes in the field called "To". 
4. Type in a "Subject" for your note in the Subject field. 
5. Press the "Tab" key on your keyboard and write the note. 
6. Connect to the Naples Free-Net. 
7. Press the Send button. 

Here is the procedure for receiving your E-mail without first launching your browser or working before you are connected. To receive your e-mail you do have to be connected to the Internet. 
1. Connect to the Naples Free-Net . 
2. Open Outlook Express . 
3. Click the Send/Receive button. 
4. Your mail will be downloaded to your computer. Keep in mind that some messages that have pictures or other attachments may take time to fully arrive. It may even appear that the process has stopped. Patience is the key here. It may take 10 or 15 minutes or more. 

What is a "Search Engine" and how do I use it?
You have made a successful connection and even checked your E-Mail, now what? We hear so much talk about searching the web using  Yahoo and HotBot and Google. Can they help me and how do I use them? Below we will discuss using Yahoo. The other sites are similar so let's just deal with one for simplicity.

1. Let's say you are still connected to the NFN.
2. Click in the Address box.
3. It will turn the current address blue.  If not, highlight the address.
4. Type in and hit the Enter key on your keyboard.
5. The page of opens.
6. You can type in a search request. Trying to find info about your old hometown is always fun.
7. Try a search on golf in Naples.
8. You also can also search for Maps, People, Weather and Stock info from a link near the top of the page.
9. Once you have entered your topic and hit the enter key you will be given a list of possible links that may interest you.
10. Choose one and click it.
11. If you don't like the site it took you to hit the Back button.
12. Pick another link.
13. If you like this site you may want to add it to your Favorites that was discussed above.

Pictures: A common cause of problems.

  1. We all like pictures and sharing snapshots. On the web it is easy but pictures contain a lot of information and can take a long time to transmit and download. Here are a few suggestions to make your pictures transmit quickly:   
  2. Set your scanner to scan at 72 dpi (that is the maximum resolution your screen can display). 
    Size the picture with your scanning or photo program to a reasonable size (usually something less than 4x5 in). The smaller the better, as long as people can see what you want them to.
  3. Compress your picture before saving it. Use JPEG compression for photographs. Use GIF compression for drawings. 
  4. Save your picture in a file where you can easily locate it. Example, name a folder on your hard drive "My Pictures" and place all pictures there. 
  5. Open your email program, choose new, address and type your email, then click on the paper clip icon "Add Attachments" choose "browse" open the "My Pictures" Folder and select the picture you want to attach, click on attach. Then click on send or send later. Your picture will be attached as a file and will display when your recipient opens their email. 

How to disconnect

When you have finished with your E-Mail and surfing the Internet  you should close Internet Explore and Outlook Express. After you do this you may be asked if you want to disconnect. Anwer "yes" in that dialog box". If you don't get the dialog box you need to click on the 'Shortcut to the Naples Free-Net' icon on your desktop and choose 'Disconnect'.

Want to know more?  
This quick guide is designed to help you get started. To learn more, buy a book or two and work through their examples. A good series are the "Dummy Guides."   NFN also teaches a series of basic courses to help people get started. Check the "Education" link on our home page at

Happy Surfing! 
Your NFN Team

updated Jan 2003-rgb

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