Weekly Whack: Netscape for Dummies
Netscape for Dummies
December 15, 1996

As the holiday season rapidly approaches the administration of Feff World, (Feff and the other guy), are busy Christmas shopping and studying for finals. Time is a bitch for any college student in the midst of finals season. As a result, we have not had much time to perform our Feff World duties, and these past two Whacks have been a bit late-coming. But fear not, the fall semester is coming to an end and we will be back on track in time for Christmas and next week's seventy-fifth Whack. So for this week, to whet your appetite, I have a little thing I wrote not too long ago for my Internet class. My professor liked it, and you may too. So without further adieu I give you: Netscape for Dummies.

Before We Get Started:

Before we get started, it is assumed that you have already read, or have knowledge of the content, of the following books:

* "Turning on the Computer for Dummies"
* "Windows for Dummies"
* "Using the Mouse for Dummies"
* "Applied Utilitarian Theory for Dummies"

All four books are essential in learning to use Netscape. Also it is assumed that you actually have a modem or some network connection, or Netscape won't exactly be of the greatest use to you. And finally, it is also assumed that you have Netscape. If you don't have Netscape, then it is really of no use to try and teach you how to use it.


Congratulations on choosing Netscape as your graphical Web browser! Instead of contributing to Bill Gate's massive empire by buying Microsoft's Internet Explorer, you decided to throw a bone to the little guy. However this now means that you are on HIS "list".

If you don't already know, a graphical Web browser is a program that allows you to navigate the World Wide Web smoothly and easily, while seeing the Web how it was meant to be seen, with pictures and the works. There are numerous graphical Web browsers available, but Netscape seems to be the most popular among Internet users.

Getting Started:

Before you can even consider using Netscape, you must first turn on your computer. I'm not about to go over how to do this, but if you need help refer to "Turning on the Computer for Dummies". From there you must find the Netscape icon in Windows, and open it (see "Windows for Dummies" and "Using the Mouse for Dummies"). A quick scan of the screen will reveal that the layout of Netscape pretty much goes as follows:

* Title Bar (contains name of program and name of current Web page)
* Menu Bar (File, Edit, View, Go, Bookmarks, Options, Directory, Windows, and Help)
* Hot Keys (Back, Forward, Home, Reload, Images, Open, Print, Find, and Stop)
* Location Box (where the address of the desired Web page is entered)
* More Hot Keys! (What's New!, What's Cool!, Handbook, Net Search, Net Directory, and Software)
* Display Screen (where the contents of the Web page are displayed)
* Status Bar (shows progress of Netscape in loading Web pages)

Try not to be intimidated by the complexity of the Netscape screen. Most of stuff on it isn't really necessary for the beginner Web surfer, and is solely there for decoration. Only about three people, and one very smart dolphin, know how to use all the features of Netscape.

The Quest Begins:

I think at this point you should be ready to use Netscape. Basically all you have to do is type the address of a Web page into the "Location Box" and press enter. If you don't have a Web address handy, I suggest "Yahoo!" which can be found at http://www.yahoo.com . "Yahoo!" is a great place to start exploring the World Wide Web, not to mention that they are helping to fund the creation of this book.

When you finally enter a Web address, the little wiggies inside of Netscape start working and the contents of page begin to appear in the display screen. If at any time, or for any reason, you want the little wiggies to stop working, you simply click on the "Stop" hot key. You can view the entire contents of a Web page by using the scroll bars at the bottom and to the right of the display screen. You'll notice that there are certain words or phrases within a Web page that are highlighted or blue. These are links, and by clicking on these, you are taken to another Web page. If you want to go back to a Web page you were just at, you click on the "Back" hot key, which is sort of like the "Rewind" button of a VCR. Likewise, the "Forward" hot key is similar to the "Fast Forward" button. Eventually you'll get the hang of things as you explore more and more.

A Few Final Words:

Now you should have a general familiarity with how to use the basic functions of Netscape. Where you choose to explore on the Internet is solely up to you. Just go to the Web pages that you are most interested in, and that will bring you the greatest happiness (see "Applied Utilitarian Theory for Dummies"). However when you get tired of reading Bob Dylan lyrics, and viewing nude pictures of Mother Theresa, please come back to this book. In later chapters we will build on your basic knowledge of Netscape and go over some of the more advanced functions and features. Until then, Have Fun!

Well that is all for that, I hope it was entertaining as well as educational. So to conclude this Whack for this week, Bill Gates actually does have a "list"; there really is a dolphin that knows all the features of Netscape; and if we all were utilitarians, there would be no finals.

Now for this week's special feature, Feff's top ten methods of keeping his sanity while studying for finals:

10. Recite the alphabet
9. Play a one man game of Rocks, Paper, and Scissors
8. Whistle Billy Joel songs
7. Count backwards to 0, starting from 100
6. Cut my toe-nails
5. Chew about five pieces of gum at the same time
4. Watch The Simpsons
3. Fold my socks
2. See how many times I can click my pen in one minute
1. One word: Minesweeper