Link to Polar E-Connections



Windows XP Service Pack 2
Update Information And Precautions

From Polar!

Ask The Help Desk
What Do The Numbers In Versions Of Browsers Mean?

Sites Of The Month
Great Sites To Check Out In October!

Short Tutorial
Printing Out Your Address Book



Greetings from Polar's E-Connections Team

Now that fall has officially arrived, you'll probably be spending more time indoors enjoying the Internet. October's eNewsletter provides you with more information about Microsoft's SP2 software and introduces you to some websites that are sure to entertain and educate surfers of all ages. We'll also show you how to print out the Address Book included in your e-mail software program just in case you want to get an early start on those holiday cards!

The goal of each of our monthly eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. To meet this goal, each monthly newsletter will usually contain information related to:

  1. Warnings on a recent virus or e-mail hoax that may affect you
  2. An update on new services and other local interests
  3. An answer to a frequently asked Internet related question
  4. Some fun, seasonal websites to check out
  5. A short, step-by-step tutorial on an e-mail or browser related task

We think you'll find the information contained in this newsletter to be a valuable tool for enhancing your Internet experience. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click HERE.

To see what's inside this issue, take a look at the index to the left and thanks for reading!

- The E-Connections Team

Windows XP Service Pack 2 - Update Information And Precautions

In last month's eNewsletter, we discussed the release of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP Service Pack 2 -- better known as SP2. Microsoft's purpose for this free security software is to make users of Windows XP safer from cyberattacks. The plan is to release the software update gradually to Windows XP users across the globe over a several month time period.

Microsoft has since added some new helpful resources for XP users who plan to download or have already downloaded SP2 from the Microsoft website. (Note that Windows XP Service Pack 2 is still a work-in-progress. Download the early version of SP2 at your own risk.)

Helpful Windows XP SP2 Resources:

Microsoft's SP2 Support Center - Microsoft has developed an online Support Center for Windows XP users who have already or who are considering downloading SP2. Use this link to reach the Support Center:

What Happens If Your Computer Won't Start After Installing SP2? - Apparently this happens. Uh oh! Microsoft provides information to assist users when this occurs. Go to:

Firewall Information - Windows XP users have the option to continue to use their current firewall protection and turn off the firewall software (called "Windows Firewall") that comes with SP2. To find out more about Windows Firewall and how to adjust the settings after downloading SP2, go to:

Ordering Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) On CD - Microsoft now has a specific link for ordering SP2 on CD. To order, click on this link: The web page says to allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

Precautionary Items Regarding Windows XP Service Pack 2:

  1. You may want to consider waiting to download this early version of SP2. Keep in mind that SP2 is a work-in-progress. Microsoft's goals for SP2 are admirable but, as is the case with the release of any new software, there are bound to be bugs. SP2 is no exception. Download the early version of SP2 at your own risk.
  2. Windows XP Service Pack 2 DOES NOT REPLACE the need for third-party a) Virus Protection, b) E-mail Filtering, or c) Firewall Protection. If you use third party anti-virus software programs from companies like Symantec and McAfee, for instance, you'll still need to continue to regularly update your software and scan e-mail attachments for viruses as you've done in the past. SP2 does not include robust protection in these three areas.
  3. Some software programs may not work after downloading SP2. Microsoft admits that SP2 has caused compatibility issues with other software programs -- even some Microsoft programs. We suggest that you contact your software vendors before you download SP2 to make sure their software is compatible. For a list of dozens of software programs which may incur performance issues once a user downloads SP2, go to:
  4. The firewall installed when you download SP2 is automatically "turned on." An Internet firewall helps to protect against intruders gaining access to (hacking into) your computer via the Internet. Unlike the Windows XP program you have now, SP2 makes the firewall feature "turned on" by default. This new firewall protection is actually the cause of many of the performance issues of software programs mentioned in item #3 above.
  5. SP2 may take a long time to download. Users of Windows XP may find challenges when attempting to download SP2 via the Internet. Microsoft estimates that download file sizes could range anywhere from 80 megabytes to 270 megabytes. That's big. Depending on your Internet connection speed, the download process could become very lengthy. The alternative is to order a free installation CD-ROM from Microsoft. (See above for more information.)

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FASTER Speeds - From Polar!

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Ask The Help Desk - What Do The Numbers In Versions Of Browsers Mean?

Question: When I upgraded to Windows XP, I noticed the numbers behind the name of my browser (Internet Explorer) jumped up to 6.0. I've seen this sort of thing with other software programs as well. Some programs have as many as three numbers after the name of the product. What do these numbers mean?

Answer: The numbers behind each version of a piece of software do have specific meanings. Software developers update their programs on a periodic basis. A standard numbering or lettering sequence is used to differentiate between updated versions.

The first number listed after the name of a software product represents the "major" version number. Normally these are only changed if there have been many major improvements to the program. For example, Internet Explorer 6 is the sixth major version of Microsoft's browser.

The second number represents a minor update. Possibly a feature or two has been added to improve the program, but the overall program has remained the same. For example, Netscape 7.2 is the seventh major version and has had two minor feature updates.

The third number (sometimes separated from the first two with a period, sometimes not) represents a bug fix. Adobe's Acrobat Reader is now up to 6.0.2. It's had six major versions, no minor updates, and two bug fixes.

While this updating format is used for many software programs, some use letters rather than numbers, especially for minor updates and bug fixes.

To find the version number of a program on your computer, with the program running, click your cursor arrow on "Help" on the program's menu bar, then find "About (PROGRAM NAME)." The version number should be listed there. On a Macintosh, with the program running, look under the program's name next to the apple on the menu bar for the "About" information.

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Great Sites To Check Out This Month

Vote On Your Favorite Guinness World Record -  Guinness World Records is giving everyone a chance to vote for their favorite world record of all time. Among the choices: longest gum wrapper chain, greatest number of people to fit into a Mini Cooper auto, longest home run hit, largest pizza, and the most consecutive pogo stick jumps. Is there a record you'd like to attempt to break? This site provides information on the official rules. Note: The record for the "fastest tomato ketchup drinker" looks pretty soft -- that is if you really love ketchup.

Extreme Makeover - Home Edition Returns For Second Season -  ABC's popular Extreme Makeover - Home Edition television show has returned for its second season. The official website provides bios of cast members (including Ty Pennington), great before and after photos, stories about the families who've had their homes "improved," and previews of upcoming shows. If you know a family who has a home in desperate need of attention due to circumstances beyond their control, you may submit their name for consideration via a downloadable application form.

Speeding Up and Slowing Down Time -  This is a fun site sponsored by the Science Museum of Minnesota. Watch slow motion video clips of things that normally appear very quickly, i.e. a cat lapping milk, the blink of an eye, a jackhammer in action, glass breaking, a water balloon being dropped, and a fire cracker exploding. You'll also find speeded up versions of things that normally take place over a long period of time, i.e. crawling snails, making an ice sculpture, moving shadows, constructing a building, and the aging process of a person. It's a fun site for both adults and kids.

Fun Learning Site For Younger Kids -  This is a fun learning, storytelling, game site geared mainly for primary aged kids. The site's goal is to enable parents and teachers to help young children strengthen learning skills in unique and playful ways. Storytelling will never be the same. The kids will love the moving animations as you read these interactive stories to them.

NASCAR's Chase For The Nextel Cup -  Although forty-three drivers will race each weekend, we're down to just ten championship-eligible racers in NASCAR's new playoff-style championship format. And it's making for some exciting competition in NASCAR's Chase for the Nextel Cup. Get the very latest standings, inside stories, interviews, schedules, audio and video clips, driver and crew chief bios, and more. If you can't get to the events in person, the next best thing can be found at

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Short Tutorial - Printing Out Your Address Book

The holidays are fast approaching and it may be useful to have a hard copy of the information found in your e-mail client's Address Book. Follow the steps below to print a copy of your entire Address Book.

To print out your Address Book using Outlook Express 6 for Windows XP:

  1. Open your Address Book by clicking on its toolbar icon.
  2. Select "View" from the menu bar located at the top of the Address Book window and select "Sort By" from the resulting drop-down menu. A submenu will appear with choices that allow you to choose whether you want the list sorted by name, e-mail address, phone number, and so on.
  3. Go to "Edit" on the menu located at the top of the Address Book window and click on "Select all" from the drop-down menu. This will select all entries in your Address Book for printing. You can also pick out certain addresses for printing by holding down the "Ctrl" key while clicking.
  4. When you are ready to print, press the "Print" button on your keyboard, or press the "Ctrl" + "P" keys on your keyboard, or use the File menu located at the top of your tool bar.
  5. At the bottom of the print screen, you will see additional printing options such as a business card, memo, or just a phone list. Experiment with some of these styles to see which suits your needs best.

To print out your Address Book using Netscape 7.1 for Windows XP and Mac OS X:

  1. To open your Address Book, go to the "Window" menu located at the top of the Netscape 7.1 menu bar. Select "Address Book" from the resulting drop-down menu.
  2. From the "File" menu located toward the top left of your Address Book tool bar, select "Print Address Book" from the drop-down menu.
  3. When the print dialog screen appears, click on the "OK" or "Print" button.

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We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It's our way of keeping you posted on the happenings at our shop. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click HERE.

Thanks for your business!

Best regards,

The E-Connections Team

Polar E-Connections

(We have used our best efforts in collecting and preparing the information published herein. However, we do not assume, and hereby disclaim, any and all liability for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions resulted from negligence, accident, or other causes.)

2004 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.

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