The On Ramp

The Blue Mountain Internet Customer Newsletter

 Issue # 35 September 2006 
Greetings from the Editor  by Carol Hall Crossword: Back To School  by Mike Rochelle
Webmail VS Email Programs  by Mike Rochelle Just for Laughs  by Carol Hall
TV Updates  by Gena Bybee PictureFind : 3 of a Kind  by Ruben Bybee
Accelerated Dialup!  by Nathon O'Neel Progress Reports Online  by Victor Luna
Active Duty  by Colin Miller Homework Help is Here!  by Tony Abrego
Wordfind: Treasures  by Carol Hall FAQ  by Matt Stephens
Online Libraries  by Jon Alexander New Phone System  by Ruben Bybee
Kudos  by Matt Stephens
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Greetings from the Editor
by Carol Hall

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Autumn is here and "Back to School" time has arrived! I hope you enjoy this edition of The On Ramp and I look forward to hearing from you. I have included some great school resources in this edition and hope you will take a moment to look at them. Even if you do not have a student or are not a student yourself, you will find some interesting links to investigate.

I am also pleased to announce that our puzzles are back! I know many of you missed them as much as I did!

I welcome your comments and additions to the newsletter! Please email me at
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Crossword: Back To School
by Mike Rochelle

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Back To School Crossword
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Webmail VS Email Programs
by Mike Rochelle

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Let's talk email:

Email is the quickest way to correspond with people all over the world. There are 2 basic ways to email.

  1. The first way is using your computer and an email client such as Outlook Express. Using an Email Client/Program allows you to download the messages that are sent to you on your computer's hard drive. Once that occurs, you can go back and review the messages, even if you are not connected to the Internet. The messages are stored on your computer.

  2. Webmail is a convenient and a powerful tool for someone to check, respond to, and create email from any computer that is connected to the Internet. With webmail, you are not downloading the message to the computer you are using. You are accessing your email messages on the BMI mail server. Those email messages will stay on the BMI mail server until you access and download them with an Email Client/program such as Outlook Express.
The way email works:

When someone emails you it comes to the BMI mail server and sits there waiting for you do to something with it.

  • You could use Outlook Express, which makes a connection to our mail server and collects all your messages and downloads them to your computers hard drive. Those messages now reside on your computer where you can review, save, respond to, or delete them.

  • With webmail, you make a connection to the BMI mail server where the mail waits for you. You can review, save, respond to or delete these messages as well. The difference is that messages you did not delete will still be on our server when you are ready to download them with an email Client/program like Outlook Express.

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Just for Laughs
by Carol Hall

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Top Ten Signs Your Kid Isn't College Materal:

10. His guidance counselor's file contains two words: "yard work."

9. In yearbook, was voted "Most Likely To Injure Himself Opening a Door".

8. During algebra, he interrupts teacher and asks, "When do we get to whittle?"

7. SAT score? 9.

6. He keeps telling everybody life is like a box of chocolates.

5. Every time he sees a book he says, "What the hay is this dang thing?"

4. He's the only 37 year old in the 4th grade.

3. During appearance on "Jeopardy," he keeps buzzing in and asking, "Alex, can I have some candy?"

2. Thinks "valedictorian" is a brand name of pens.

1. Can't find Waldo.

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TV Updates
by Gena Bybee

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With our busy lives it is nice to know that there is an alternative to being chained to the TV and still not miss your shows. It's called the internet. Cool huh?

The TV networks offer recaps online and sometimes they even offer whole episodes online! Just visit the TV network of you choice online and see what they offer. With some, you can even use your Ipod and download episodes you missed (for a price).

Here are some links to TV networks online:


Careful - there is lots of advertising. Have Fun!
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PictureFind : 3 of a Kind
by Ruben Bybee

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Three of a Kind Picture Find
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Accelerated Dialup!
by Nathon O'Neel

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For dialup customers who can't get broadband or don't want the additional cost, TURBO is for you! BMI's Turbo Accelerator is software that speeds up your surfing and page to page browsing up to 7X faster than a standard dialup connection. Wonder how?

Your computer saves bits and pieces of each website you visit. It's called a cookie or temp file. When you return to these websites, the turbo accelerator uses the bits and pieces the computer saved to display the page quickly then uses the internet connection for the content that was changed. The updated content is sent to your computer in a compressed format to allow quick delivery. This all happens in a matter of milliseconds thus increasing your surfing and page to page browsing up to 7X faster.

If you have BMI's turbo accelerator software, don't clear out your cookies and temp files all the time. Let that library stack up!

If you have never tried our turbo program then we'll give it to you for 30 days FREE. That way you can tell us what you think about it. You also can turn it off and on and actually see the difference when going to the same page. I personally can vouch for it, as my home location doesn't qualify for broadband, so I use Turbo daily. Without it, I would pull my hair out, (what little I have ) But don't take my word for it. Try it yourself.
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Progress Reports Online
by Victor Luna

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<>Going back to school? Do you know how your student(s) are doing?

Well now you can and it's easy with the Internet. Many schools have websites where you can see the progress of your student(s) from attendance to their schedule. Or, if YOU are a student, you can check your own progress!

  • You can see your students grades from your home or work computer
  • You can email their teachers, administrators and coaches
  • Ask for a progress report
  • You can check for school events
  • See school calendars
  • Find programs and classes that might be available for them
  • See schedules of upcoming sport events or tryouts
  • Check for school closures due to inclement weather
All this will keep you informed of how you and/or your student is doing in school. Check out your school's website. Generally, a search on Google will send you to the site. If not, ask the school administrator for the web address.

The "general information" is easily accessed without a user name and password (school calendars, schedules, lunch menu, etc) In order to check on yourself, or your student, however, you will need a security code. This is usually your Student ID number, user name and password. The school admninistrators can assist you in getting this set up. The Internet is an easy and helpful way to keep on top of the school year!
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Active Duty
by Colin Miller

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It's very possible that you or someone you know has a loved one in active duty overseas. They are likely reachable with normal web based e-mail accounts such as gmail, yahoo mail, hotmail, etc. There are methods by which you can communicate with others in the armed forces via the internet. Letters from home now can take on a whole new meaning.

Red Cross
Let's Say Thanks
Soldiers Angels

There's even the old standard - pen pals:

Pen Pals for Soldiers
Military Pen Pal
Be sure to follow the instructions regarding packages. There are specific rules for sending gifts and items other than letters.

This is a way to show your support for the troops.
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Homework Help is Here!
by Tony Abrego

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It's Back to School week. Hmmmm! How wonderful. I bet all the kids are really excited about going back. One more summer gone and now they get to start a new school year!

I found this really cool tutorials and homework helpers site to assist our kids in doing their homework. I thought I might share it with you!

At the bottom, I have listed four of those really great websites. All you have to do is click on the link, and save it as a favorite on your computer. The websites offer tutorial help in Math, English, Physics and other subjects. The sites are also very user friendly and offer a lot of helpful advice on how to study for a test, how to eat better to enhance our memory and a lot more. I really recommend these sites to help our children with their homework and succeed in school.

Ref Desk
Student Questions
Study Buddy
Homework Help
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Wordfind: Treasures
by Carol Hall

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Treasure Hunt Wordfind
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by Matt Stephens

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Subject: Tune Up Schedule and Pointers:

Hello to all of our faithful and wonderful subscribers. Last month I touched on different things that can cause your connection speeds to vary. And at the end of the article I promised that I would write an article that gives you an idea for a tune up schedule. Plus some pointers on what should be tuned up:

A good computer tune up requires software that you may not already have, however don't worry about that. We can provide you with anything you don't have, most of which is for free. Required software is at least one good adware/spyware removal utility (I will make suggestions later on), a good Anti-Virus program, and of course your computer's operating system.

  • The first thing I usually do is get online, and make sure my Anti-Virus is up to date. With eTrust EZ Anti Virus (the AV that BMI sells) all you have to do is right click on the AV icon down by the clock and choose Update AntiVirus. If there are updates, it will install them, if there are no updates, it will tell you that it is currently up to date. At this point, you can get offline.

  • Next, run a complete scan on the Anti-Virus. With our anti-virus program, you just right click on the icon, select EZ-Antivirus and click on Scan My Computer. This step may take a while, so feel free to walk away and have a cup of coffee. Just check back periodically to make sure the screen saver isn''t on. That will cause the scanning to pause.

    If your antivirus program doesn't find any problems, pat yourself on the back for practicing safe surfing.

  • The next step is to run your adware removers. On our Rewards website, we offer 3 different adware/spyware removal programs. I usually run all three of them, because one will pick up things that the others don't. By the time all three run, a fourth doesn't find anything the others didn't pick up.

    To download and install the adware/spyware removers, go to In the center column, you will see a section that is titled BMI Freeware Software Downloads  XP/2000. Three that we offer are Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition, Microsoft Windows Defender, and Spybot Search and Destroy. To the right of each one, click on ftp to begin the download. When you click on it, a pop up window will come up asking if you want to Run, Save or Cancel. Click on Run. This will begin downloading the installation files. If the same window comes up later, click Run again.

    Follow those instructions for each of the downloads. Once you have all three of them installed, feel free to go off line. Then, one at a time, have each program run a system scan. In general, you just double click on the icon that was placed on your desktop, and there will be buttons for you to click on to run a scan.

    Once each of those have run a scan, you may notice that your computer is running more smoothly already. But wait. We're not done yet.

  • The next thing to do is to clean up all the old internet files that your computer is holding on to in the hopes that you will use them some day. Click on Start, then click on Settings, then click on Control Panel. Inside the control panel, find the icon that says Internet Options and double click on it. At the bottom on the right you will find a button labeled Clear History. Click that button and click YES to the popup window.

  • When that is done, click the button above that that says Delete Cookies and click OK to the pop up window.

  • Then, click the button next to Delete Cookies that says Delete Files. When the pop up for this window comes up, put a check mark in the box that says Delete all offline content. Then click okay. That will take a little time, but when it's done, click okay, and close all windows.
  • The last thing I typically do is also the most important - Windows Updates. It's also very easy. Just get online, click on Start, click on All Programs, and click on Windows Updates. The website will launch, and all you have to click on is Express Install, and then the Install button. Once it's finished (if there were any updates to install) reboot the computer and do it again. Continue to repeat this step until it tells you that there are no more updates for you to install.

    One more thing that some computer techs will have you do is a defrag. Basically what this does is take all the pieces of programs that are scattered on your hard drive, and rewrites them in order. It is supposed to make your computer access the files easier, as they will be together rather than scattered. It's also supposed to extend the life of your hard drive because it won't have to work so hard to bring up files.

    People that have worked on computers for many years will warn against using the defrag utility. In rare cases when your computer rewrites the files, they end up coming back with missing files. Some times the missing files are windows system files, and sometimes it's files that other programs require. Due to the dangers involved and the limited benefit to using this utility, I recommend to not use it.

    So with everything in this article, you should be able to optimize your online connection and gain the most performance from your computer. Now you may be wondering at what intervals I suggest. Well, as I briefly stated last month, I usually do this about as often as I change the oil in my car - about once every three months. Take into consideration that I don't use my computer at home very often though. If you use if more often (at least once a day) than you should probably do this about once every month. Keeping your computer tuned up is as important as keeping your car in tune. The more often you drive your car, the more often you need to tune it up, hence, the more you use your computer, the more often you need to tune it up.
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Online Libraries
by Jon Alexander

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Since school is starting again for everyone from kindergarten to Masters Degree students, we are providing a list of online resources that are available to the general public. Chances are your local library is a great place to start!

Public Libraries
Walla Walla Public Library

What is is a knowledge exploration and self-education tool about information technology, especially about the Internet and computers. It contains over 4,500 individual encyclopedic definition/topics, a number of "Fast Reference" pages and learning tools. The topics contain about 12,000 hyperlinked cross-references between definition-topics and direct you to other sites for further information. The site is constantly updated. It started as a dining room table experiment in hypertext. quickly turned into a useful repository for what couldn't be easily remembered. Launched in September 1996 with 350 alphabetized words about computers and the Internet,'s audience grew rapidly, reaching one million page views a month by late 1998. In January 2000, was acquired by TechTarget and became a kind of portal for over 16 other information technology Web sites.

How Stuff Works is an amazing source of credible and easy-to-understand explanations of how the world actually works. Founded in 1998, the site has since grown to be an award-winning online resource for millions of people of all ages. From car engines to search engines, from cell phones to stem cells, and thousands of subjects in between, HowStuffWorks has it covered. No topic seems too big or too small for their editorial staff to describe...or for you to understand. In addition to comprehensive articles, helpful graphics and informative videos walk you through every topic clearly, simply and objectively.

Questia provides access to an enormous online collection of books and journal articles in the humanities and social sciences, plus magazine and newspaper articles. You can search each and every word of all of the books and journal articles in the collection. You can read every title cover to cover.
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New Phone System
by Ruben Bybee

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To offer better service to our customers, BMI recently rolled out a new phone system utilizing Voice Over IP (VOIP) technology. The BMI VOIP server system utilizes Fonality PBXtra hardware and software. This server is housed at the BMI facility and connects to the Internet via our 45 Meg backbone feed. With this new phone system we introduce our rapid response voicemail which routes each voicemail to email for quick handling by staff. Other enhancements include faster call routing and call on hold music with call position and estimated call hold time. Yes, we still answer our phones and no, you do not have to push a bunch of numbers to get to live BMI staff. All calls are very important to us and routed to staff immediately. But in the event that all staff are busy, you will not hear the phone ring and ring and ring. Instead, you will hear music with 60 second announcements letting you know where you stand in the call queue.
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by Matt Stephens

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"You folks at bmi are great. You are all so patient and willing to help. I wouldn't trade you for any other company. Thank you so much for your consideration and kindness. "
-Debra A. Depoe Bay, OR

"I would just like to let all of you at know that I'm truly proud to say who my internet server is. Thanks for being there. "
-Carol K. Union, OR

" This note is to thank KJ for all his help yesterday. He was very informative, helpful and patient!!! This morning there was a quick connection to BMI and it seems to be back to normal. Thanks again! "
-Cathy K. Stanfield, OR

"Thanks Nathon I don't know what I would do with out all of you guys & gals. "
-Chuck S. Bend, OR

"Just a note of appreciation to all the staff at BMI. No matter what the problem, your courteous and helpful support is always there. Thank You!!! "
-Monte W. Walla Walla, WA

"You people are outstanding with your help. Every person that I have talked to has been very helpful and kind to me. Thanks again."
Bonnie R. McKinleyville, CA

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

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