SOME PROBLEMS WE NET ACTIVISTS HAVE WHEN WE SEND OUT FILES

by Anita Sands Hernandez --  astrology@earthlink.net

My internet friends think of me as a net curmudgeon. They hear my voice in my email yelling at them, 'how can you send this illegible mess?' and they think I'm eighty years old and creepy!

Hey, I'm a young and sassy seventy one  but old enough to know that files can go out pretty, even the files you find online that you save and send on (or lazily FORWARD with a single finger punch which are plain text and just a mess<b>.)  THE TRICK is to fix 'em pretty before you send 'em out.

Hate to rain on your parade but much of what you send is nigh illegible. Reason? Might be one of these:

1.) SEND PLAIN TEXT copy when it's FULL OF LIVE LINKS. You can't have your browser settings sending out HTM 'fonted' letters.....because the FONTING does not automatically let you send the info with live links! Now, if THE FILE you forwarded was in html, had LIVE LINKS in it, and you saved it as htm, (which means saving to cache with all of their ads, and whatever dohickies they put on their damn webpage... then cleaning it up, meaning maybe you checked it out from ass to candlestick by entering via microsoft WORD, and seeing if all links were 'alive,' as your reader will maybe attempt to click on LIVE LINKS. Do all that, then you can forward THIS ARTICLE as an htm file and of course you KNOW you must do that as an attachment. Right?

If you grab hold of an HTM article by capturing it with your MOUSE, setting it into an email, it is PLAIN TEXT and the LINKS WILL NOT SHOW UP AT ALL! It will read VISIT THIS FABULOUS WEBSITE. but not as  a live link, i.e. VISIT THIS WEBSITE!  Big difference. ONE IS CLICKABLE, ONE AIN'T!!! The 'on top letters' show but not the live link inserted beneath. Now, I could have written it this way http://www.masterjules.net/webindex.htm both are live links

There are all kinds of ways your browser handles the files which you look at online, or which are sent by pals online.  What do the programmers say? Garbage in, garbage out! You forwarded it with a single punch of the BUTTON and now some hungry net pal receives this fantastic file full of info on the war where USA is killing thousands of third world children every hour but it's either

a.) totally blank (they could 'right click' pick "view Source" and see it in code but it's illegible.
b.) a mess to read with lines that go thirty feet to the right. FORMAT the stuff so it's got a waistline!
c.) or it is CODE infested <20>= and readers go AWWWWWK. CLICK DELETE!

YOU HAVE to teach your browser to send txt by editing preferences on the browser. Otherwise, instead of your reader calling their Congressman, sending the file on to a thousand other people, with pride in this NEAT FILE, they punch DELETE because not only are your margins thirty feet horizontal requiring scrolling on each line (you never edited preferences on your browser to wrap at 65 characters) but also those who receive it just see DEAD LINKS.  LINKS. URLS. You know, http thingies? http://deadlink.com? SEE HOW THAT LINK IS DEAD? See how this one is alive? GREAT WEBSITE HERE!

Take a good look at this live link issue. See how http://home.earthlink.net/~astrology/ is my article archive, my site, it's a link, an URL but see how THAT URL is NOT  ALIVE?  Tell me what good that does anybody? You think they can cut and paste out of an html doc? No! What you gotta do is when you save the files you read online, is save it to your POLITICAL DIRECTORY. USE A FILE manager so you can create directories. Not just C:\ but C;\ACTIVISM and C:\COTTAGEINDUSTRIES and C:\MYWRITINGS.

First, TAKE ANY TEXT YOU LIKE anywhere in CYBERSPACE and highlight it and carry it in your MOUSE to the blank page in "Word." INSTRUCTIONS HERE -- (Note, use them for all your basic tutorials, and bookmark them.) Next, use your word processor ...WORD by Microsoft, early versions are FINE. I believe later versions are overcoded. There are so many word programs out there, over coded that jam my Windows 98SE machine ...totally freezing my browser, or which arrive thru emails from pals, a bunch of code showing. I use a mid 90s NETSCAPE BROWSER which has "PAGE COMPOSER" inside it, the HTM processor for words will not be found in any other browser, but it is inside the very complete wonderful Netscape Communicator browser... THIS PAGE and all my pages are written in it. I use versions so old that the NSA can't get into download NETSCAPE VERS 4.7 online free. 4.5 which I use also, free. IF YOU CAN FIND it, as it's 'unsupported' lately. But every tekkie over sixty yrs of age has it on a floppy or a disc. He'll copy it to a CD for you.

So where were we. You write the article with software which processes words! My OFFICE 97 has Microsoft Word which I adore. (Later, their 2000 is a complete BOTCH as it installs several pages of code up on top, doubling length of article in actual bytes, (though not visible onscreen.) Some writing software will be found in MICROSOFT OFFICE.) If you can get OFFICE 97, it's clean, uncomplicated. Or try finding Netscape Browser with the PAGE COMPOSER in it, and the best email client out there, best address book.

USE WORD to clean it up in html, format in nice print, I always use TIMES ROMAN. Then, highlight all the URLs. Then, click on that CHAIN LINK icon at top of your screen, FILL OUT THE MENU. THEN it comes alive with your LIVE LINK's Net address! Here I'll do that now for you: FIRST I type http://home.earthlink.net/~astrology/ but it's not live til I use the chain icon at top.

http://home.earthlink.net/~astrology/ As Dr. Frankenstein said, "It's ALIVE, it's ALIVE" ANYONE can see it's a live link! It's that color that indicates clickablility, either red, purple or blue, it's underlined. Point a mouse at it and it gives you a sign, on gray ribbon below screen, a LEAPING URL shimmering below on your screen edge. Folks can see the thing is like a magic, Aladdin's carpet, ready to carry them to a neat website and they'll click on it! Your mail outs will be effective at reaching lively minds! PEOPLE go where you sent them! YAY!

2.) Sometimes, YOUR email forward to a pal turns out to be totally BLANK FOR THEM! YEP, cuz it was a quadruple forward, wasn't it? With all the virus detectors people have now, you can't expect the multiple envelopes that are all sealed to just "open sesame!" The second or third level down, there is no FILE WHATSOEVER. Even if you right click on it and say 'forward inline' or 'view source.' EL BLANKO!  Nothing. Bupkes, Niente. Rien. Zip. Nada.

Your RECIPIENT will just go into insane with LEVELS of clicking on /opening blank envelopes until they're screaming your name through the FOAM! That actually can affect your KARMA! The top versions also have stacks of addresses (as it is a forward) bunched like grapes. Makes no difference. The bottom levels are totally blank. I don't think our browsers can capture multiple forwards if we have a virus scanner on and we all do! Anyway, the whole enterprise was like a FLU you didn't want to catch anyway. The reader has long since clicked DELETE.

This NON LEGIBILITY factor happens when you do not bother to SAVE the file that you are admiring, planning to forward, either by highlighting the text, doing CUT, PASTE  into an email by hand. Or when you don't bother to save as a text file, then, cleaning it up with a text editor, erasing all headers! Or don't bother saving it as an HTML file and cleaning it up. You didn't do it cuz you're lazy. Tch tch. Also, you didn't care enough. So what if a thousand Iraqui babies died  because you didn't write your Congressman? You're safe in bum fuck IDAHO! What do you care? Right?

So gang, if you don't want to come off as heartless and lazy, and ruin our group Karma, which AMERICA has come precariously close to doing --- YOU WANT to learn to use your FILE / SAVE BUTTONS, and "SAVE AS" choice, then give that precious file a title that you'll remember, "iraqbabe.txt," then stash it in your directory on C:\NETCACHE or C:\WAR or create some directories for your saves and send outs. I list mine C:\HOLISTIC and C:\BUSHSKIVVY and C:\CONSPIRACY  and so on.

Have you ever created directories with your file manager? You know how to use a file manager? I hope so! Cuz we're talking BAD KARMA if we do not! If not, quickly go to http://www.ztree.com and download a free easy one. Makes Explorer look like a flea-bitten Neanderthal. And Kim its inventor gives you free classes by return email.

NOW when you've cleaned up the "forward" that you liked so much --- at that moment, you address the send out to your LIST. Never click in individual names. Takes too much time. Build a LIST of names which your address book is glad to do ANY ADDRESS BOOK has toggles in it. Play with them. Play with its menus. A LIST is NOT a "NEW CARD" (which is a single friend.) YOU create a LIST and CALL it "MYPALS" well, there can be fifty names in it. Each name in your ADDRESS book was put in with a CARD. Card is one, singular. List is many.

Next, Always BCC the list <mypals> or all the names inside (EEK!!) will TURN visible to all spammers seeking multiple headings and you get spammers who go for these bigger header letters, steal the addresses and spam us all into kingdom come. FOREVER. I get 150 spam letters a day due to being online for 4 yrs! Don't make one of those freaks happy! My carpal syndrome mouse finger won't appreciate it.

BCC the damn list. That's click on the button thingie to the left of  the names, <mylist> and pick BCC not CC which is visible copy. This is a hidden feature. You keep all your names tucked in a list called PALS. Netscape address book lets you name each list. I have star pals,political pals. FAMILY pals. Different lists.GARDENERS. That's a list. Even CAT-OWNERS! YEP! GREAT Cooks LISTS. Gals who take dates with rich men list. Yep! Many LISTS!

So BCC the list name after you type it in, and then only use the TO: button to send it to yourself. Yes, just one person. ONE NAME hanging out on an email with TO: won't attract these nosy hacky spammers who can capture our address lists. Cuz Spam multiplies incrementally each week. Get a bumper sticker now, SAVE OUR KIDS FROM SPAM! BCC your LISTS!

NOW about the stuff we're reading and sending:

TO SAVE A FILE you surf to online, or save email that comes to you:
1.) SAVE IT AS TEXT. IF it has frames and stuff online, try to highlight, capture print. Often publishers give you a PRINTABLE version. Click on that one.
2) NAME IT. Call it wonderful letter.txt or in abbreviation,  wondlet.txt
3.) CLEAN IT UP! I use a TEXT EDITOR (go online and do google search on 'free download text editor' and download one FREE if you don't have one already,) to go into the letter and get all routing marks, headers off it. FROM TO: numbers, servers, cities, relay servers. HUGE amts of routing marks. GET THOSE OFF. Save it as wondlet.txt with just the simple text. Now you can send it as an attachment. That works. Course it's not all frosted with yellow frosting and purple squibbles as is here! But you do that in NETSCAPE COMPOSER or WORD or OFFICE.

REMEMBER what Forward slash is /, and remember what back slash is \. The name/direction tells one in which direction the top of the slash points. Forward slashes tell your computer you're looking for something external to your system, like web pages. Backslashes tell your computer you're looking for something inside your system, like a drive or a file. C:\HOLISM\kidney.htm is where I might store a holistic article. I remember how to find it. How hard is it to use ZTREE or your file manager to run around to your directories. A directory is the tree that forms under the C:  (Call it C-COLON. ) C:\ACTIVISM C:\ECONOMICS C:\HOLISM are some of my own.
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To handle those TREES and the files in them, you will need to download two pieces of free software. A FILE MANAGER like ZTREE and a TEXT EDITOR. Free text editors (share ware,)  are online proving the net is ALTRUISM personified. Do google search on words "free text editor". You find dozens out there. I put my text editor into my file manager, ZTREE before ztree even thought of adding a good text editor which it has now. Now it comes with it. Go to http://www.ztree.com as this is the world's BEST FILE MANAGER and I believe the latest vers. has a text editor in it. Download it in a half minute. Install it. I'm a girl and never studied this stuff yet I could do a download and install. Get a text editor that will format paragraphs. Test and discard til you find one.
Ztree didn't have a built in text editor when I first downloaded it. It may now, KIM HENKEL who perfected it, allows you to write him and ask stuff like that. He's a good answerer, too.

ZTREE is the BEST FILE MANAGER on the planet (free for 30 days, then a small payment, very small and well worth it). CLICK on the URL above and take a look, see it. See what it does. Has a dozen functions for its F-keys. (TOP ROW F-1 etc?) Imagine what it can do. It's a Reworking of XTREE, the pre 32 bit best file manager. Makes Microsoft Explorer look so lame. Kim Henkel its inventor will help you if you need help, all the time. A VERY PATIENT GUY!

COME ON. Stop being SLOPPY! You show up as amateur night in Dixie. Time to bite the bullet. Come out of the Dark Ages. It's of no use continuing to send us  NO LIVE LINKS, or HTM text inside your actual email letter with dead links and those blank forwards & blank saves. You don't have a blank brain. Nor do your pals. The INTERNET is a magic moment in  history. You want to fully participate and shine. And serve the growing knowledge, the evolution, the sharing, by knowing how to save, clean up and pass on! *(READ THE BLANK FILE!)

An activist at heart is an INFO-SHARING person. He/she wants to share that NY TIMES article That BIG CONSPIRACY SITE  article he found online and he's hoping your list of 400 goes to the 400's lists, meaning 16,000 which goes to their lists which adds up to 650 thousand people and if by nightfall it gets to Times X to the Power of twelve, it actually gets to every cyber citizen in uSA and Britain and those peace rallies outside Gov Bldgs are gonna be WELL ATTENDED and publicized. And if you recall how NIXON cowered in the White House during pickets, and how it influenced Nixon's policy. You'll see (if you click on that URL,) that we gotta keep on keepin' on!

So change your lazy habits. Sending a PAGE out of cyberspace to a pal is like sending a big ham or turkey thru the mail!  IT IS CUMBERSOME. It is slow! And it starts to stink along the way! So find another way to skin the cat. (What a horrible metaphor! Where did it come from? Does anyone skin these lovely critters??) I should do a google search on THAT concept and get a picket going to stop whoever's doing it.

Those CYBER pages are too fat. Just extract the damn article. Sometimes one of those big online E-zines or NYC newspapers will smartly offer such, say "CLICK on THIS other VERSION TO PRINT OUT" They are offering you a NON GRAPHIC-KY alternate version without all that HUGE amt of banners, ads, slow loading pictures, just the text ma'am. Nothing but the facts ma'am. You want to click on that. Then you can save it as text. Then you can clean it up. Get rid of cumbersome graphics and  SEND IT ON TO A PAL formatted as HTM as an attachment so it loads fast and is readable. TEXT is not that readable unless you know how to do it. The one thing that's good is that many of the URLS are live links. In HTML you have to work on each URL
to 'turn it live.'  WORD and All webpage software has a chain link at top screen, to do that.

So don't send the actual cyberpage. A pal sent me some NY TIMES headlines. I clicked on it, waited five minutes, just sitting there for those graphic laden NYTIMEs screens to load. They never did. It was like a camel giving birth. First the top of head. Five minutes later, the eyes. The lips and teeth were smiling out at me, the neck was just starting. I QUIT at that point. My blood pressure had gone up too many points. I get floaters in my eyes when that happens!

So be a careful, caretaking Net Activist. In a way, you're sending succulent, fragile pastries through the mail. These are delectible if done right, mailed right.  They can't arrive in pieces. These precious pastries are intended to be consumed and digested! Being a good creator or baker of these pastries requires a careful hand in the packaging! Your readers are dying to discover, delight in the files you found, or in your original writing.  They know that your baking is the most nutritious and one is what one eats! One is what one READS! And babe, you are the best baker, cook, cake froster and fudge wrapper ever! What you send to your pals is heaven on earth, the solution to the planet's problems. It's also how you "show up" as a NET MASTER. Do you send a delicious, instantly consumeable confection that looks spectacular and totally adds brain cells to your recipient so that the moment they eat it, they take off running on their happy mission of joyous activism, to share this file with others so all receive nutriment? Or do they receive a mess totally wrapped in torn codes like >> and  <B> =20 that goes thirty feet over the right margins, requiring right scrolling...on each line! SO that all your recipients do an instant DELETE! Or get dizzy and puke if they try to read it!

It's your choice. I'd say that as so much work was put into the creating and baking, your SENDING should be up to par! Give it a try. At any PC school it's just you and a manual. The teacher never comes over to your desk. The whole semester you duke it out with written instructions. So here they are. Start duking! And if you just can't, get someone fat, sixty and stupid like me who knows how, to come to your house and show you. If you bake me dinner, like I used to do for my young tekkie pals, I 'll come!

LAST, get FREE ONLINE DOWNLOAD of FTP COMMANDER software. YOu will need it to load your website, FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL . F.T.P. is how that's done.

We want to be the best activists we can be. POLITICAL ACTIVISM for reform, change, so our kids have better futures and that is the SOUL OF THE INTERNET! ITS DRIVING RAISON D'ETRE. INSTEAD of prayer, instead of SPINACH, instead of donations to the church, DO TEN MINUTES A DAY OF PC ACTIVISM!

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