Frequently Asked Questions

What is a ZIP file?
Can I get a computer virus from the Internet?
How can I protect my children from questionable material on the Net?
What is DNS?
What is FTP?
Why can't I find what I am looking for?
What does "HTTP/1.0 404 File Not Found" mean?
What is a search engine?
Can I connect to AOL through National Web Window?
How do I make National Web Window my home page?
What is a cookie?
What does "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down..." mean?
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Q: What is a ZIP file?

A: ZIP files are "archives" used for distributing and storing files. ZIP files contain one or more files. Usually the files "archived" in a ZIP are compressed to save space. ZIP files make it easy to group files and make transporting and copying these files faster. ZIP files save time and space, and make downloading software and transferring email attachments faster.  The most popular ZIP extraction and compression utility is WinZip available at

Q: Can I get a computer virus from the Internet?

A: Yes, we recommend you scan anything you download from the Internet. Two good virus scanners are available for download, and can be found at our Software Center:

While it is possible to get a virus from the Internet, you are much more likely to get a virus from "borrowing" programs from your friends.

Q: How can I protect my children from questionable material on the Net?

A: The Internet has many benefits: sharing of resources and ideas, communicating with people in remote corners of the globe, and huge amounts of readily accessible reference materials. But, like any 'community' it has its darker side. Hate mail, racist speeches, pornographic material, bomb and drug formulas, and other sensitive and inappropriate information is being sent right into our homes along with everything else. There are several programs you can download and purchase to shield content from minors. While these programs do provide a certain amount of security, ultimately the best way to protect your child is through parental supervision.

Net Nanny allows you to monitor, screen and block access to anything residing on, or running in, out or through your PC, online or off. Net Nanny allows you to deal with: WWW URLs, News Groups, IRC Channels, FTPs, E-mail, Non-Internet BBSs, Words, Phrases, Personal Information (address, credit card no. etc.), and control access and use of any local PC files, drives, loading of unauthorized diskettes and CD-ROMs and point & click commands.

Cyber Patrol is used to manage Internet access, limit the total time spent online and block access to Internet sites that you deem inappropriate. Cyber Patrol provides parents, teachers, day care professionals - anyone who is responsible for children's access to the Internet - with the tools they will need to get a handle on an area which can be very dangerous for kids.

SurfWatch is the leading brand of client and server content filtering products. SurfWatch's award winning products are used by parents who want to block their children's access to objectionable material on the Internet, Internet service providers who want to offer filtering to their customers, and employers who want to prevent employees from accessing undesirable information.

CyberSitter - Other less sophisticated filtering software uses huge but simple lists of objectionable sites. CYBERsitter is a super fast and super intelligent content recognition system that uses state of the art techniques to identify and block objectionable material anywhere on the Internet. CYBERsitter identifies and blocks over 44,000 inappropriate web sites alone with a filter file smaller than 50k and absolutely no speed degradation whatsoever.

Q: What is DNS?

A: To simplify a really geeky topic, DNS (Domain Name Services) is a way for computer networks to identify themselves to other computers. Computers address each other by "dotted octet" IP numbers ( where we humans use names ( Some services use this feature to authenticate the claimed identity of a caller.

Q: What is FTP?

A: File Transfer Protocol (FTP), has been around for many years as a standard protocol for transferring files between remote computer systems. Until recently, it was used almost exclusively on UNIX workstations and mainframes, but after PC users gained access to the Internet it became a popular alternative to BBS systems. The biggest limitation was that FTP-compliant software usually used command line interface which wasn't easy for beginners to work with. As the Internet grew in popularity, new standards appeared (Gopher, WWW), providing more user-friendly front-end software. FTP, however, still remains the popular choice among power users and computer professionals, who are willing to trade fancy user-interface for the straight forward power of serious file sharing.  Popular FTP client software can be found at our Software Center.

Q: Why can't I find what I am looking for?

A: With all the information available on the Internet it can sometimes be difficult to find exactly what you want instead of 1500 sites of what you want. Two methods that may help you are:


  • If you got too many results or the results weren't as specific as you want, here are some strategies for focusing your search results. Put quotation marks around phrases or words that must appear next to each other in your results.

    Example: Putting quotes around the words "space shuttle" filters out pages about outer space and those about various spaces closer to home, returning only pages that pertain to the space shuttle.
  • Eliminate or replace generic or commonly used words with more unique terms or add words that make your original description more specific.

    Example: The word program is a term that adds noise - there are lots of programs out there, television, software, etc. Removing program from your search words will produce more focused results.

  • Learn from your results. Often by scanning the results of your original search, you'll discover one that's close to what you want. The title or content of that page can give you ideas for terms that better describe what you're looking for.


If you got too few results or didn't find what you were looking for, here are some strategies for broadening your search results.

  • Try adding synonyms for your original words.

    Example: If your search on bed and breakfasts in Northern California produced too few relevant resources, try bed and breakfasts inns "small hotels" in Northern California.
  • Check your spelling. A single misspelled or mistyped word can turn an otherwise well-defined search into a dud.

Q: What does "HTTP/1.0 404 File Not Found" mean?

A: This is an error message you might run across occasionally while browsing the Net. What it basically means is you've landed on page that doesn't exist on that server. You could have typed in the wrong address or the file (or server) was simply not there. If you followed a link and received this message then the page that linked to it should be updated to accommodate for the change. The World Wide Web is very huge and changing all the time. People and companies sometimes change providers and their pages. So, the place where they once pointed might not be there anymore, or the name of the page has changed. You might try pointing to the server name and browse down through their menus until you find the file you are looking for.

Example: We are trying to locate information on the H P DeskJet 690c printer and a tech support page told us to go to the following address However, that address returned a Not Found error. The tech support page might not be aware that Hewlett Packard recently changed the directory structure of their pages. If we go to and click on "printing and imaging" then click "printers" then click on "DeskJet 690c" we will eventually come to the page we need: We then bookmark this page so we won't have to go through all that again later.

So, with a little investigation we were able to find the file in a different location and we might also find out about other products from H P that interest us. If you fall off your board while surfing, don't give up. Get back on and try again.

Q: What is a search engine?

A: A search engine is a program used to search through a database of information collected throughout the World Wide Web. These companies provide this service free of charge and are supported by advertisers on their pages. Each service has a different database of information, so if you don't find what you are looking for on one; try another. Most of these services allow advanced searches using multi-keywords.   Most popular search engines can be found on our Search page.

Q: Can I connect to AOL through National Web Window?

A: Yes, If you are a current subscriber to America Online and are tiring of dialing a long distance number to access AOL, then you can benefit from having the best of both worlds! National Web Window subscribers who also wish to use America Online may connect to National Web Windwo (a local call) and then connect to America Online through us. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Double-click on the America Online icon.
  2. When the program opens, click the button marked "Setup".
  3. Choose the button marked "Edit Location".
  4. At the "Network" option, choose "TCP/IP" (Not necessary to list a phone number).
  5. Click on "SAVE", then "OK".
  6. Close America Online.
  7. Log into National Web Window.
  8. Re-open America Online.

Q: How do I make National Web Window my home page?

A: If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows 95/98; Click on Start, then on Settings, Then on Internet Options, after that, you simply type in in the Address box, and click on Apply.  If you are using Windows 3.1 choose View from the options bar. Then choose Options. Then select the Navigation tab. In the Customize box, you can select which page you would like to be your home page.

Q: What is a cookie?

A: A cookie is a very tiny piece of text that some WebSites ask permission to place on your computer's hard drive. If you agree, then your browser adds the text in a small file. Its purpose is to let them know when you visit their site. This text, by itself, only tells them that a previous visitor has returned. It doesn't tell them who you are, or your email address or anything else personal. If you want to give them that information, that's your choice. So why do companies offer cookies? Cookies help them evaluate visitors' use of their site, such as what customers want to see and what they never read. That information allows them to better focus their online product, to concentrate on information people are reading and products they are using. If you accept a cookie, nothing affects you immediately. But you know what happens whenever you want to download software, access a premium Site or even request permission to use a special section of a Website? You get asked questions like who you are, where you are from, and your email address. And that happens every time you want to download stuff. If you have accepted a cookie, however, those questions eventually will be asked just once, no matter how often you download software or access these sections. In the future, a cookie will allow you to tell them what information you prefer to read and what you don't. If you're a gamer, for example, they can advise you on content specific to games. Companies want you to accept a cookies because it is easier for both you and them. Understand that accepting a cookie in no way gives them access to your computer or any personal information about you. Cookies are harmless, occupying just a few bytes on your hard drive. They also can be a Web site browser's very good friend. But, if this technology is just a bit to "Big Brother" for you, you can modify your cookie settings. Using Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.x, under the Advanced tab of the Options Windows accessed by clicking on View you can select the option to have your browser warn you before it automatically accepts a cookie.

Q: What does "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down..." mean?

A: If you are using Microsoft Internet Mail and you get this message while checking your e-mail it means that you have sent an e-mail that did not reach its destination.  If this happens, just give us a call or send us an e-mail (you should still be able to send) letting us know.  We will fix the problem and tell you which e-mail it was that was not sent. This is caused by a bug in Microsoft Internet Mail that will halt the program on certain e-mail's.  Most any other e-mail software will not have this problem.

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