Help for First-Time Users

Welcome to The Harley Hahn Experience, and thanks for signing up to become a member. I hope you have many satisfying hours ahead of you, reading and exploring all the books and other features.

There is a lot of material on this site, and my goal is to help you use it effectively. In a larger sense, I'd also like to help you learn how to use your computer and the Internet more effectively.

So before you begin exploring, please read through this page, so I can spend a few minutes with you. I have some hints and advice that I know will make a big difference. Along the way, I'll also give you a quick preview of the various books and features that are available for you to enjoy.

The Gold Stripes

As you may have noticed, all the pages on my Web site have a green margin on the left. Within The Harley Hahn Experience, you will see three thin gold stripes running down the edge of the green area.

Although the main part of the Harley Hahn Web site is available to the general public for free, this part of the Web site is not. The gold stripes indicate that you are reading a page that contains premium content, information that is accessible only to members of The Harley Hahn Experience.

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Logging In

Before you can use The Harley Hahn Experience, you must log in. The login page is at:

To log in, all you need to do is enter your email address and your password.

If you try to access a page within The Harley Hahn Experience and you are not logged in, you will be taken to the login page. Once you log in, you will be taken automatically to the page you wanted to access.

For example, let's say you are reading one of the online books, and you decide to take a break. You save the address of the current page in your Favorites list (with Netscape, it's called the Bookmarks list). In this way, you will be able to pick up where you left off, whenever you want.

The next day, you open your Favorites list and click on that particular page. If you have not already logged in, you will be taken to the login page instead. However, once you log in, you will be taken auntomatically the page you requested.

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Sizing Your Browser Window

In order to create this Web site, I worked with a talented artist to create a custom design, specifically matched to the material I wanted to display. As a result, the pages on this site are particularly attractive, easy to read, and easy to navigate. (I hope you agree.)

One thing you can do to ensure that the pages look as good as possible, is make sure that your browser window is large enough. If your window is too small, it will force your browser to use extra scroll bars, which will cut down on the usable space. This is especially important when you are looking at the pages in Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages, because each page contains several frames.

Thus, my advice is to resize your browser window before you start reading. Make sure the window is large enough to display the information without extra scroll bars. If you have a small monitor, or if you are using a low resolution setting, you may want to maximize the window, so that it takes up the entire screen.

If you would like some help on how to control the size of your window, see the following section in Chapter 7 of the book Harley Hahn's Internet Advisor:

Managing Your Browser Window

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Finding Stuff on the Net

Of all the questions I am asked, the most common ones have to do with finding stuff on the Net. For example, "How do I find a recipe for low-fat groat clusters?" or "Where can I find information about becoming a turtle doctor?" I am sure that such questions arise in your own life from time to time, so I'd like to teach you how to use the Net to find whatever you need.

As a member of The Harley Hahn Experience, you have several important resources available to you.

First, in the book Harley Hahn's Internet Advisor, you will find an entire chapter teaching you how to find what you want on the Net:

Chapter 11: Finding Stuff on the Net

This is something you definitely want to read. It will take some time, but it is worth it.

Second, the book Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages has more than 15,000 resources organized into 193 categories. All the Web sites have live links, so all you have to do is click and explore. Before you spend a lot of time searching for anything, try the Yellow Pages. Personally, I am surprised at how often I find what I am looking for in the book (and I wrote it).

There are several Web pages that act as doors to the Yellow Pages. First, you can start with the home page, on which I have organized the various categories into what I call "theme areas":

Yellow Pages: Home page

In addition, you can also display a list of all 193 categories:

Yellow Pages: Category list

Finally, there are two lists of topics you can use. One shows the names of the people who are covered in the book; the other is a master list of all topics:

Yellow Pages: People
Yellow Pages: All topics

(The master list is long, so it may take a few moments to load.)

If you are looking for Internet resources for your children, check out this special directory just for kids:

The Little Nipper's Internet Clubhouse:
Table of contents

One last hint: When you are looking at a Web page with a lot of information, it can be difficult to find what you want.

In such cases, you can use your browser's built-in search feature to look for specific words on the current page. Just press Ctrl-F (for Find) to bring up a search box. Then type whatever you want and press Enter. (Try it right now.) Since this feature is built into your browser, you can use it on any page you want.

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Moving Around from
One Web Page to Another

As you use the Web, you will naturally want to move back and forth from one Web page to another. One way to do so is to click on the Back and Forward buttons and, indeed, this is what most people do.

However, there is a much better way: one that will instantly mark you as being so cool that people want to be your friend just so they can say they know you.

Although very few people know it, there are two secret key combinations that will move back and forth between Web pages.

Alt-Left to move back one page
Alt-Right to move forward one page

(Alt-Left means hold down Alt and press the Left-Arrow key.)

Take a moment to try these key combinations right now, so you can see how they work.

Once you get used to these keys, working with Web pages becomes a lot faster, because you don't have to use your mouse to move back and forth. For example, if you want to move back 3 pages, all you need to do is press:

Alt-Left   Alt-Left   Alt-Left

These keys are particularly handy when you are using Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages. When you click on a link, you will be taken to a new page. Once you are finished with that page, all you need to do is press Alt-Left to return to the Yellow Pages.

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Learning to Use Usenet

Usenet is a vast, worldwide system of discussion groups. In the olden days of the Net, everyone knew how to use Usenet. Today, most people don't: they think the Net is mostly email and the Web, which is not true at all. Usenet is a wonderful resource, which you should know how to use.

If you are completely unfamiliar with Usenet, take a moment to read this overview:

What is Usenet?

If you would like to learn how to use Usenet well, the best way is to read the discussion in Harley Hahn's Internet Advisor:

Chapter 13: Usenet

In addition, Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages has a section devoted to Usenet-related resources:

Usenet-Related Resources

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Reading Usenet Newsgroups

As you browse through the various sections of the Yellow Pages, you will notice there are many different Usenet discussion groups (called "newsgroups"). In fact, there are more than 4,000 of them.

To make it easy for you to access these groups, I have designed the online Yellow Pages so that each newsgroup has two different links: one to read the group using a newsreader program, and one to read the group via the Google archive.

If this doesn't make sense to you right now, don't worry. It will once you learn about Usenet, and you will be glad that both types of links are there.

The main thing is, take some time and learn how to use Usenet. It is well worth the effort.

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Blocking Ads, Including Pop-ups

If you are like me, you are bothered by all advertisements you are forced to look at as you use the Web. The regular ads are bad enough, but the pop-ups — the ones that create a new window — are even worse, because you need to close them by hand.

However, it is possible to block most ads, including the pop-ups, by using an ad-blocking program. For a discussion of how this works, along with some resources to help you find a program that suits you, take a look at the following section from Chapter 7 of Harley Hahn's Internet Advisor:

Blocking Advertisements

For more resources pointing to ad-blocking and pop-up blocking programs check out Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages:

Web: Software

Even if you think you don't notice the ads, you do unconsciously. I strongly advise you to block them, especially if you have children using your computer. I predict that once you block the ads, you will notice a big difference and you will never want to switch back.

Note to AOL users: The ad blocking programs may not work if you use the AOL browser. AOL goes to a lot of trouble to make you look at as many ads as they think they can get away with. My suggestion is to use a regular browser, such as Internet Explorer, instead of the AOL browser. In fact, you might want to consider changing away from AOL completely to a regular ISP (Internet Service Provider).

If you are interested in understanding why AOL is the way it is, you will find some provocative ideas in Chapter 1 of Harley Hahn's Internet Insecurity:

The Nature of the Net

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Making Your Own Web Page

Once you use the Web for a while, you will probably start to wonder about making your own Web page. What does it take? Is it a lot of work? Do you have to learn a lot?

The short answer is, making a simple Web page is at least a moderate amount of work. If you want to make a good quality Web site, consisting of a number of pages, it is a large amount of work. You do need to learn a fair bit, but there are tools you can use to make the job easier.

An easy way to get started is to read Chapter 15 in Harley Hahn's Internet Advisor:

Creating Your Own Web Site

Within this chapter, you will find some Internet resources to help you. For further help, you will find a lot more resources in Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages:

Web: Creating Web Sites

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Learning How to Use the Internet Well

There is a lot to learn in order to be able to use the Internet and your computer well.

I could pretend that the whole thing is easy: that all you have to do is spend five minutes reading a few instructions, after which you will be able to get the full experience of using the Net by clicking on Web links and somehow figuring out how to send and receive email.

The truth is, if you want to learn how to use a complicated system well, you are going to have to put in time and effort, and you are going to have to practice. Anyone who tells you anything different is trying to sell you something.

I wish I were able to teach you in person, but I can't. However, as a member of The Harley Hahn Experience, there are several of my books you can read online, and by reading these books and practicing, you can teach yourself everything you need to know to use the Net well.

I have already suggested that you look at various sections of these books in order to learn about specific topics. I would now like to make a more formal recommendation.

What I would like you to do is to start reading Harley Hahn's Internet Advisor in its entirety. This will ensure that you cover all the basics. Don't worry about how long it takes. The important thing is that, by the time you finish, you will be thoroughly grounded in using the Internet. Just as important, you will understand, not only what you are doing, but the technical terms that will enable you need to talk about the Net with other people and to figure things out for yourself.

Although it is possible to skip around from one chapter to another, I designed the book to be read straight through, from start to finish, and this is what I suggest you do. Take as long as you want and, above all, enjoy yourself.

At the same time you are reading this book, I want you to start looking at Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages. Whenever you feel like you need a break, just go to the Yellow Pages, pick a topic that looks interesting and explore. Aside from all the Internet resources, the book itself contains a lot of interesting things to read. My goal is to help you open up to many different areas of life that, right now, are still new to you.

Finally, once you have learned the basics, and you have some experience using the Net, I want you to take a look at Harley Hahn's Internet Insecurity.

Within this book, I discuss modern technology, organizations, and attitudes, and how they affect our society and our personal lives. We will talk about philosophy, history, psychology, science, government, business, relationships and money. Along the way, you will learn about privacy and security, and what it takes to protect yourself and your family as you use the Internet.

For example, did you know that, if you understand what you are doing, you don't need an antivirus program or a personal firewall? That these program will actually get in your way and cause mysterious problems?

Did you know that, with a few simple safeguards, it is possible to avoid spam (unwanted email) completely?

Do you know what to do if you suspect that your spouse is having an online affair? I will explain how to tell if this is the case and, if it is, what you should do about it.

The idea of learning how to use the Internet well and understanding what you are doing is a noble and rewarding goal. In fact, the reason I put together this Web site was to make it possible for you to work towards this goal at your own pace, in a way that is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

For reference, here are links to the three books:

Harley Hahn's Internet Advisor
Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages
Harley Hahn's Internet Insecurity

It's time to start.

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Kid's Stuff, Questions & Answers, and Muds

Aside from the three books we have discussed, The Harley Hahn Experience contains several other features that will interest you.

First, if you have children, there is a special section of the Web site, just for kids, that you will enjoy using:

The Little Nipper's Internet Clubhouse

If your kids are small, you will find a lot of resources to share with them, such as stories to read together. If your kids are a bit older, and you allow to use the Internet by themselves, be assured that everything in The Little Nipper's Internet Clubhouse is safe for them to use.

(If your kids are teenagers, a good place to start them is in the teenager's section of Harley Hahn's Internet Yellow Pages.)

For adults, there are several other features that I think you will enjoy. First, there are two different sets of interesting questions and answers:

Ask Harley
Harley Hahn's Tidbits

These two features are the perfect place to visit when you have a few extra moments and you need a short diversion (especially when you should be working).

Finally, there is an introductory guide to muds: imaginary role-playing environments in which you meet people, have adventures and enjoy a fantasy world.

Muds aren't for everyone, but if you like them, you will really like them. So, when you get a spare moment, check out:

Harley Hahn's Guide to Muds

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Frequently Asked Questions

We have covered a lot of ground on this Web page, and I thank you for staying with me to the end.

That's almost all I have to say and, in a moment, I will invite you to start exploring The Harley Hahn Experience. Before you do, I want you to take a look at one more thing, a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ):

Frequently Asked Questions

Just take a few minutes to skim the questions and answers, and see if any of them interest you. If not, you know where to find them when you need them.

Once you are finished, just jump to The Harley Hahn Experience home page and start exploring:

The Harley Hahn Experience Home Page

And now, enjoy!

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