The On Ramp

The Blue Mountain Internet Customer Newsletter

 Issue # 33 July 2006 
INSIDE THIS EDITION
Greetings from the Editor  by Carol Hall Stay Connected  by Colin Miller
Referral Contest  by Mike Rochelle July 4th Word Find  by Carol Hall
Sandkastles.com Online S ...  by Ruben Telecommute  by Mike Rochelle
My Space  by KJ Newby FAQ  by Matt Stephens
American Crossword Puzzle  by Tami Rochelle Ring Ring  by Victor Luna
Cool Sites  by Tony Abrego Ha Ha Ha  by Gena Bybee
First Aid Helpers  by Carol Hall Picture Find Puzzle  by Ruben Bybee
Finding Car Parts  by Nathon Oneel Kudos  by Matt Stephens
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Greetings from the Editor
by Carol Hall


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Greetings to all of you! I hope you enjoy this edition of The On Ramp and I look forward to hearing from you. Summer seems to be well underway, and with that comes vacations! I have included some helpful information for connecting to the Internet while you are on the road.

In addition to that, don't forget...you can access your BMI email from any computer with Internet access (at your cousin's house where you are staying, at the complimentary computer set up in the lobby of your hotel, at a public library, etc). The internet has made it much easier to "stay in touch" while away on vacation, be that a good thing, or a bad thing!

We are still trying to locate and test an acceptable Sudoku puzzle interface to include in the newsletter. As you may have guessed...we don't have one yet, but we will continue to work on it until we find one! Thank you for your patience.

I welcome your comments and additions to the newsletter! Please email me at editor@bmi.net
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Stay Connected
by Colin Miller


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When you're making plans for a vacation this summer, don't forget your laptop with a wireless enabled connection. There are thousands of Wi-Fi (wireless internet hotspots) all over the country. A lot of hotspots are free. Some require a small fee. Many hotels offer FREE WIFI as one of their amenities!

Here is a list of websites with information about wireless hotspots:

WI FI FreeSpot
WI FI 411
WiFinder
JiWire
Wi Fi Hot Spot List
Anchor Free

Don't give up if your laptop doesn't have a wireless connection built in. BMI has additional options for you.

1. BMI has dialup numbers in almost every area of the country. We currently offer nearly 40,000 numbers to choose from. If you have access to a phone jack, we can often get you connected. Give us a call for connection support. We're open 7 days a week.
-OR-
2. BMI also offers a complete line of wireless cards that you can easily attach to your laptop and connect to a WIFI hotspot!
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Referral Contest
by Mike Rochelle


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Enter to win! Each month we choose lucky winners from our Referral Contest. And each Quarter, we draw for a Grand Prize. See below for our lucky 2nd quarter winners!

Congratulations to Fred and Donna G of Scottsburg, OR for winning the June 2006 referral contest! Fred and Donna won a new Dell Computer for referring Kirpal K of Scottsburg, OR to BMI.

To enter our contest, simply refer a friend to sign up with BMI. Both YOU, and your FRIEND, are entered in that month's drawing, as well as the quarterly drawing for a grand prize! It is that easy!
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July 4th Word Find
by Carol Hall


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Congratulations to Opal C of Baker City, OR for winning the June 2006 WordFind contest! Opal received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account!

Go to July Picture Find Now
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Sandkastles.com Online Store
by Ruben


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We are proud to announce Sandkastles.com, a new online store that allows you to purchase a variety of items including all at very low prices. The Sandkastles store is located at www.sandkastles.com. /a> All inventories are warehoused and shipped direct from BMI to you. A number of these products are also available at our partner locations. You can locate the BMI partners at partners.bmi.net. Happy Shopping.
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Telecommute
by Mike Rochelle


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Save gas and time?!? Is it possible?

We have a world of employees and employers that work in many businesses. A lot are in the typical office and water cooler environment. But what about those people that work from home? Could you be a "work at home employee"? The answer is yes in many cases.

With soaring gas prices and long commutes (mine is 75 miles round trip) it would be a welcome relief to work my job from home, even if it were only several times a week. Not only is this a real possibility, it is a real solution. More and more people Telecommute to their workplace, thanks to the Internet.

"What do you need to do to make this happen?"

1. You need a job that is not dependant on you being chained to your desk.
2. You need a broadband connection (DSL, Cable, T1).
3. You need a phone (regular copper wired or a VOIP).
4. A good computer and printer
5. A mutual agreement between you and your employer regarding the requirements, expectations and goals for telecommuting

What next?"

You can set up your "'working from home" environment several ways...depending on your needs.

1. You can VPN into your company's network. If you have business files that you need at home, then you will need access to them. You can access those files through a VPN (virtual private networking) connection to a shared company folder. Or if your computer is accessible from the world, you can share those folders from the portions of your hard drive where they are located. If you edit and save one of them from home, you will have access to it when you go to your office.
-OR-
2. You can connect directly to your own computer at work with a program like PC Anywhere or Terminal Services This type of program allows you to make a direct connection to the computer that sits on your office desk. You can then sit at your computer at home, but the interface allows you to view and work just as if you are sitting at the office computer.
-OR-
3. You can transport necessary forms back and forth from home to office via a "flash drive" These small, portable drives allow to you transfer files from one computer (work to home and home to work) by simply plugging it into your USB port and dragging the files on and off. (BMI has flash drives available for purchase thorugh the new Sandkastles store)

Most companies with an internet connection can be setup to allow you to work from home. If this arrangement is acceptable to your employer, your Systems Administrator at the office can assist you in setting up the best method.
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My Space
by KJ Newby


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This month I will be talking about the pros and cons of MySpace.com.

Myspace is a social networking website based in Santa Monica, California. It offers an interactive network of blogs, user profiles, groups, photos, and an internal e-mail system. It is the world's fourth most popular English-language website and the fifth most popular in the world with more than 89 million registered accounts or profiles.

Each profile contains two standard "blurbs": and "Who I'd Like to Meet" pages. Profiles also can contain sections about standard interests, such as music, television, books, and movies, as well as specific personal details, such as marital status, physical appearance, and income. Profiles also contain a blog. A part of customizing one's "MySpace" is uploading images onto their site. One of the images can be chosen to be the "default image," (the picture that will be seen on the profile's main page, search page, and appear to the side of the user's name on comments, messages, etc). MySpace has also recently added the option to upload videos.

MySpace is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends, share pictures, music and email but it can also have its draw-backs:

MySpace allows registering users to be as young as 14. Profiles with ages set to 14 to 16 years are automatically private. Users whose ages are set at 17 or over do have the option to restrict their profiles, as well as the option of merely allowing certain personal data to be restricted to people other than those on their 'friends list'. The MySpace FAQ page does not go into detail about being under 17 in order to have a private page. The full profile of messaging someone under the age of 18 is restricted to their direct MySpace friends only. According to the MySpace.com Terms of Service, lying about one's age to make one's profile private defeats the purpose of social networking and is considered fraud. Any profile caught doing it will be deleted. However, numerous accounts presently exist which contain direct admittance of a user's actual age in the Headline of the user's profile, despite the displayed age of 17 or under. Many users set their ages at a private degree to lessen potential friend requests from a specific group of people, particularly those who are only looking to increase their friend counts. As an alternative, MySpace.com suggests removing restricted information from public view.

Starting around late June 2006, Myspace users over 18 will no longer be able to add users under 18 as friends unless he/she knows the user's full name and/or email address, and vice versa.

Recently, MySpace has had a number of news reports stating that teenagers have found ways around the restrictions set by MySpace, and have been the target of online predators. In response, MySpace assures parents that the site is safe for people of all ages.

Despite the privacy of young persons' profiles, it is still possible that some may compromise their security and privacy by posting information such as their home address, phone number, or last name due to their lack of experience. This information could, theoretically, put a person in danger.

Just remember to be careful and use a little common sense. For instance, don't give out your real name unless you know a person directly. Never give out your personal phone number or physical address. Never give out your birth date or social security number or any other personal info such as credit card numbers.

Have fun but please be careful.
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FAQ
by Matt Stephens


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Hello again everyone, and welcome to my little corner of the newsletter. As a technician here at Blue Mountain Internet, I am here to help you!. One way I like to do that is by providing you with helpful information about issues you've had in the past, are currently having, or will have in the future. But help!... I'm running out of ideas! If you have had an issue that has frustrated you to the breaking point, feel free to share it with me so I can write an article on it for the newsletter. You can email those ideas to support@bmi.net and put "Attention Matt" in the subject line.

Now on to this month's article. In the last few weeks, the only issue that really sticks out in my head is authentication issues. I'm sure that at least half of you are now scratching your head wondering what I mean. Authentication is the "technical term" for your computer talking to our computer and agreeing on your identity. There are many different places on our network that your computer has to send your username and password for authentication such as the quarantine page or your email page. Let's start with the quarantine page - that wonderful place where your email gets filtered to block viruses and spam. From time to time you will find that you are unable to get into it. Chances are that the error message you get will seem like it's a third or even fourth language and you will stare blankly at it for a while hoping it will go away. But it doesn't. What is the problem? What should you do? You start searching frantically for the tech support number only to find that it's 10:30 at night and all our techs have gone home.

Well, worry not. Just file this article away in your "answers" folder and you'll be able to review it when you need it.

First of all, the issue probably lies in authentication. For one reason or another your computer and ours are not agreeing that you really are a BMI customer. Just follow the list of steps here:

  • Open Internet Explorer
  • Click on Tools
  • Click on Internet Options
  • Click on the Clear History button
  • Click on the Delete Cookies button (Windows 98 and earlier click on settings and view files and delete all the files in the list)
  • Click on the button. When the pop up window comes up, put a check in "Delete all offline content"
  • Click Okay to get out of the internet options window.
  • Go to http://www.bmi.net
  • It should say "welcome visitor", and right under that there is a place for you to log in. Log in with your entire BMI email address (you@bmi.net) and your password.
  • Once the welcome has switched to Welcome you@bmi.net then you can click on Quarantine
  • Verify that the email address is correct. Type your password and log in.
As the page loads, your frantic horror of being lost in an authentication abyss will slowly be replaced with the pride of being able to fix your issue without the help of a tech.

Those same steps can solve many different authentication errors once you are online so store these instructions where you can find them when you need them.

Thank you one and all for reading my light comedy/heavy reality this month. Please remember to send me the questions you want answered so I can put them in here. Have a wonderful month, and I'll talk to you soon.
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American Crossword Puzzle
by Tami Rochelle


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Congratulations to Lona D of Yakima, WA for winning the June 2006 Crossword contest! Lona received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account!

Go to BMI Americans Crossword
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Ring Ring
by Victor Luna


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Many people have cell phones and the latest fad is having ring tones for every occasion, You can have a Christmas carol in December and a love song for Valentines day. You can also have unique ringers for each of your friends. Then when your phone rings, you know who is calling!

It is all available via the internet! Unique ringers are just a click away. You can try to figure how to do it on your phone, but if you have internet access it's a lot easier. First, do an internet search for ring tones and you will find hundreds of websites just for ring tones.

Once at a site, make sure your phone (brand and model) is listed as a phone that can receive these ring tones. Most of these sites require you to sign up for an account and pay approximately $1.99 per ring. Usually, the site will let you preview the ringer you are downloading to make sure it's the ringer/song you want. Here are some links where you can find the ring tone that's just for you.

Jamster
Zingy
Freeringers.net
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Cool Sites
by Tony Abrego


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Here are some cool websites that I really enjoy and hope you will too!

Hobart K - 12
This site is for teachers and has a lot of great teaching tools like lesson planning, starting points, research materials, educational games, language arts and many more.

On Campus
Very educational, very good for kids and adults alike.

yahooligans
Although this site was featured a couple of month's ago in The On Ramp, I couldn't help but show it again. The site is very educational and a great tool for kids to get sound entertainment. It has a Science link, Games, Jokes, Movies, Music just to name a few.
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Ha Ha Ha
by Gena Bybee


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A guy went to the airport and asked for a roundtrip ticket.
The ticket agent asked, "Where to?"
The guy said, "Well, back here, of course."

"They caught a guy last night burglarizing a house 'cause he broke two windows."
"Why'd he do that?"
"One to get in, and one to get out."

Did you hear about the mother who got tired of putting name tags on her son's shirts, so she had his name legally changed to "Machine Washable"?

How come you're only watering half your lawn?" a perplexed tourist asked a guy watering his lawn. He answered "I just heard there was a fifty percent chance of rain."

A poor farmer was visiting Las Vegas. He had no money to gamble, so he watched the games and bet mentally. In no time at all, he'd lost his mind.

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First Aid Helpers
by Carol Hall


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Even if your recipe for Summer Fun didn't include sunburns, bee stings and scrapped knees...there is a good chance you will still get to experience them! Funny how that works! As we spend more time outside enjoying the warmth, going on nature hikes and splashing in the pool, we increase the chances of mishaps. I have listed a few good sites below that will assist you in a little "first aid" should you, or a party member require it!

Kids Health
Mayo Clinic
Healthy Net
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Picture Find Puzzle
by Ruben Bybee


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Congratulations to Carol H of The Dalles, OR for winning the June 2006 PictureFind Puzzle contest! Carol received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account!

Go to July Picture Find Now
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Finding Car Parts
by Nathon Oneel


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Car parts can sometimes be hard to find (and costly) at your local auto parts store. The Internet can make this easier if you know how to search. Even if your search is worded incorrectly, you can usually find what you are looking for.

One of my favorite sites to begin searching for parts is Ebay .Below are a few steps I took while searching:

Go to Ebay
On the left side of the Ebay site, under "Specialty Sites" I click on ebay motors
On the left hand side I click on a section labeled categories, then I click on the section labeled car and truck parts.
I can then type what I'm looking for: A Chevy truck motor.

(The motor I was looking for also came in GMC trucks. Knowing this type of information will help you find what you are looking for)

Once you locate the item, you can review it online, purchase it or continue looking. The most important thing to make your search a success is to be specific about what you are looking for, as well as searching in various sections. Sometimes the item you are trying to find can be listed under different sections or categories depending on what it is.

Another way to find what you need is to use online part finders .This might be faster if you don't want to spend lots of time searching. These types of websites have you fill out one questionnaire which is sent to thousands of wrecking yards across the USA. Within a day, you will get responses from people wanting to sell you that part. You might continue to receive offers for several weeks, but eventually they stop!

Listed below are a few sites that can help you out.

Ebay Motors
Classic Car Parts Finder
Recyclers World
Parts Voice
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Kudos
by Matt Stephens


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"I want to thank your tech for helping me and not thinking here is another senior citizen to deal with He was very courteous and pleasant. Thanks again".
-Fran C. Benton City, WA

"Just wanted to say thanks to Colin for his help with my modem this evening--the new one works like a charm and is more attractive as well. And quite a light show driving back home!"
-Nancy N. Burbank, WA

"I would like to thank Colin for his patience last night when I called about a connection problem. I am not very computer-proficient and he was very patient as he talked me through possible solutions for my problem. Thanks again,"
-Elaine C. Joseph, OR
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Have an interesting Idea for our newsletter?
Please send your comments or requests to info@bmi.net

DISCLAIMER: Opinions and information herein are solely for the purposes of entertainment of Blue Mountain Internet subscribers. Legal, financial or other important decisions should be made on the bases of extensive research and no specific actions should be taken based on information contained within this newsletter. Blue Mountain Internet, its owners and employees are to be held harmless in any and all matters relating to this publication.


The On Ramp is a monthly publication of Blue Mountain Internet.

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