Get hip, cop some more e-mail accounts--you know what I'm sayin'?

You too could probably use a second or third account for times when your mail server is
down or you can't easily get into your mail on the road.

The newest free e-mail accounts are available from the World Wide Web site at Other free mailbox sources
such as Juno, Hotmail and RocketMail have been available for some time.

A helpful Web site for software puzzles is
This address takes you to,
which has a search engine and help desk information on hundreds of Microsoft Corp.

You search by choosing a program from the provided list, then typing in a keyword or
phrase about your problem. The page tracks your last 20 questions. Advanced users can
click on Search Options.

This site isn't just about bugs. You'll find lots of information on hardware and
software conflicts in Microsoft operating systems and applications. When I searched on
"crash" under Windows 3.x, for example, I found 46 documents with references to
specific problems.

A glossary of basic computer terms can be found on the opening search page. Entries are
cross-referenced to other entries but not hot-linked. The glossary helps beginners as well
as experienced users.

Ever had a well-loved mouse stop working years after you lost the documentation and
accessory disk files?

There's a chance you can find a replacement driver on the Internet.

Drivers are the bane of existence for anyone who supports PCs or network hardware.
Unless the hardware is broken, software conflicts or unavailable features usually are the
fault of outdated software drivers.

Look to for quick
links to the latest drivers from many vendors.

This site has sections for BIOS, controllers, CD-ROMs, modems, monitors and other types
of hardware. You'll find such things as a pointer to IBM Corp.'s BIOS page at

How about the latest sound board drivers? Companies from AIMS to Zoltrix have their Web
page links, File Transfer Protocol addresses or both listed here.

One company on the Mice, Joystick and Other Pointer Drivers page lists its Web site as
"one really long URL," which sums up why you should bookmark

Power users who rely on the Net as a reference tool need to be familiar with the
metasites that maintain the latest pointers to thousands of old and new sites.

It doesn't make sense to overload your personal reference database with all the pages
that have the drivers, because their addresses change.

Just build a reference database containing the top metasites and store only a few
important individual uniform resource locators.

The Yahoo site is a good place to start your searches.

A number of acronym reference sites appear under the Dictionary link. The Acronym
Expander is the simplest, consisting of a single dialog box in which you type the acronym
you're interested in.

For example, entering the acronym POTS returns "plain old telephone service"
and "plain ordinary telephone system."

For more help, try the link to the Acronym Lookup page. An entry such as RAM will find
many acronyms containing that character string--for instance, DRAM, EDRAM and ARAMCO for
Arab American Co., a petroleum producer.

These results hot-link to a page that lets you submit new expansions for the given
acronyms or add new acronyms.

A computer and telecommunications acronym page at contains more than
1,200 references, but you can't search. For computer-specific terms, try the Computers and
Internet link.

"Zen and the Art of the Internet," by Brendan P. Kehoe, is the best
introduction to the Web and technical details on the Net. Look at

An online slang dictionary appears at
to facilitate communication with your younger co-workers. I was surprised to see that
"dope" means excellent, not marijuana. "Go postal" is defined, too.
For other dictionaries, look under Yahoo's Reference link.

John McCormick, a free-lance writer and computer consultant, has been working with
computers since the early 1960s. E-mail him at [email protected].

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