The On Ramp

The Blue Mountain Internet Customer Newsletter

 Issue # 41 March 2007 
Greetings from the Editor  by Carol Hall Tech Tips  by Colin
Name the Place Crossword  by Tami Rochelle Germ Free Computers  by Cheryl Hooker
Clean Up The Left-Overs  by Gena Bybee FAQ's  by Matt Stephens
Nutrition Wordfind  by Carol Hall Spring Cleaning Your PC  by Rachel Yount
Spring Cleaning Your Mac  by Rachel Yount Movie Review  by KJ Newby
Google Earth  by Jon Alexander Picturefind Puzzle  by BMI Staff
Pocatello, Idaho  by Mike Rochelle Sports Web Sites  by Victor
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Greetings from the Editor
by Carol Hall

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Spring is underway,and along with that we all face many spring clean-up chores! Although most of you probably don't associate spring cleaning with computers...they too appreciate a little lift! I hope the tips and helps we have provided you will help your computer have a fresh new start!

I hope you enjoy this edition of .The On Ramp!
I welcome your comments and additions to the newsletter! Please email me at
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Tech Tips
by Colin

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Here is a fix to a common problem for dialup users - lLosing the connection every time you check your e-mail.
  1. Click on the Tools menu at the top of Outlook Express.
  2. Click on Options at the bottom of the list.
  3. Click the Connections tab and make sure that the "Hang up after sending and receiving" box is unchecked.
  4. Click Apply and then OK to close the window.
It would best to restart your computer at this time. You should now be able to send and receive email without getting disconnected immediately. If you still have disconnect issues when checking e-mail, give us a call for more support.
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Name the Place Crossword
by Tami Rochelle

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Congratulations to Debbie R. of Baker City OR for winning the drawing for the February 2007 Crossword! Debbie received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account!. Jump to our March Name the Place Crossword
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Germ Free Computers
by Cheryl Hooker

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Since this is spring clean up month, I would like to suggest the following clean up for your computer:

There are a minimum of 3 critical types of protection for your system that should be installed prior to browsing on the internet. Once you have a problem, it is harder to get rid of the problem than it is if you would have protected your system from the start.

1.  Make sure you are scanning your system each time you use it, everyday is not too often, you should use a minimum of 3 scans every time:
      One scan for viruses (EZ Trust AV, Norton, McAfee, etc., for example) a Spyware removal scan
and an Adware removal scan
Infectious bugs can cost a great deal of money in the way of repairs. However, if you take the time, a few simple and necessary steps can ensure that your system is kept running smoothly. Look at it this way: "Think of it as a car; you wouldn't drive your car without oil, transmission fluid, or insurance".   These are some of the things that protect your car and ensure that it will be road worthy. The same should be true of your computer system; it is an investment, a very large investment!!

I hope the following information will be helpful in how to protect and maintain your computer. Just because you have programs installed on your computer does not mean that they are performing the necessary scans to keep you safe and free of infestation. There is more information about security at our website: BMI Homepage . Login with your email address and password, click on the support link, and go to the protecting you and your computer section in the center of the page.

Another useful tool is Google. Anything you need to know is just a search away. Go to Google Search and enter your search criteria in the search box, you will be amazed at what you can find!!

 BMI offers many free software downloads, just another benefit of being a BMI customer. Another way we can thank you for your continued business.

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Clean Up The Left-Overs
by Gena Bybee

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So you cleaned out your refrigerator. Now you have all those leftovers...Oh what to do with them?

Here are some neat sites with tips on ways to use leftovers.

A recipe for leftover mashed potatoes:

Potato Cakes

Potato cakes are rich and satisfying whether you make them for breakfast in the place of pancakes or for a side dish at dinner. The recipe is slightly different for each of them, though.

Dinner side dish:

Add three or four eggs to about a cup of leftover mashed potatoes.  Add salt, and pepper if desired.  Mix in enough flour to make a sticky dough that's not too stiff to drop by tablespoons full into a skillet of medium hot fat. Fry the cakes until they're golden brown on both sides and brush with butter. Serve while they're still hot for the best flavor. (If you're staying away from fried foods, you can bake this in a greased casserole at about 350 for thirty minutes or so - enough to cook the egg. Check it by inserting a knife in the center. It should come out clean.)

Breakfast potato cakes:

Use one or two eggs, and a heaping teaspoon of baking powder for each cup of potatoes. Mix well. Add enough flour to make a dough that's still a little sticky but can be shaped with your hands. Fry the same as dinner cakes, and serve with butter and syrup, honey, jelly, jam, or molasses.

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by Matt Stephens

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Hello everyone. I really didn't have anything this month that would qualify as a "Frequently Asked Question" so I decided that I would give you  a little chore"

It's time to clean your computer. I'm sure that every once in a while you dust off your monitor, but just think of all those cute little dust bunnies that have taken up residence within the case of your computer. Is that really a problem? I can hear some of you asking...well, yes it can be, and here is why.

In a single word, the answer is heat. Inside your computer there are a couple of fans that move air in and out of your case to keep things running at a cool temperature. When dust builds up inside your machine it can act as an insulator making it hard to cool the machine down. If you leave your machine running all the time, this can eventually lead to memory, processor, motherboard and power supply failures. So it's a good idea to keep your computer clean. This is especially important if you have pets, as the shedding hair tends to be attracted to the small confines of the computer case.

 For some of you, the thought of opening your computer can seem challenging. For those of you that are scared to death of what might be inside there, or just worried that you'll never get it hooked back up and working again, the help of a teenager might come in handy. Grandmas and Grandpas, get your grand kids. They'll think it's great that they get to help you out. (Well, I would anyway).

Here is a list of things you will need:

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • A can of compressed air, or an electric leaf blower (I found on eBay a very small leaf blower for only a penny plus shipping. $18.01 total shipped to my door, and it's perfect for this)
  • A dry day or a garage to work in
  • Half an ounce of courage (optional)

Okay, so you have everything you need. I know that some of you got a chuckle when thinking about working on your computer with a leaf blower, but let me tell you something about that. A can of compressed air will only supply you with air flow for a short time before the propellant gets so cold that it won't compress any longer. Then you have to wait for the can to warm up to use it again. An electric leaf blower will supply you with all the forced air you need, at a flow rate that is not going to damage the inside of your computer, but will move the dust out. About the leaf blower I ordered. It is about 18" long, 7" wide and puts out about 600cfm of air. Like I said, perfect.

The first thing you'll want to do is turn the computer off. Pull the case out a bit from where it was, and see if you can label where things go with a piece of masking tape or something similar, then unplug everything from the back of it and take it outside (if it's dry out) or into the garage. Some place where you won't mind a bunch of dust blowing around.

Most cases have one or two screws on the side of the computer opposite of where everything plugs in. Remove those screws and slide the side case off. Turn it so you have the most light to see what you're doing and be careful not to touch anything inside the machine (Pretty nasty, isn't it?)

 Okay, now take your air source and blow in the back of the power supply (on the back of the computer, usually towards the top, where you unplugged the big black power cable). This will blow all the dust from inside the power supply into the case. Once there is no more dust blowing in, you can use the air to blow the dust bunnies out of hiding.

A couple of notes here: First of all, some of you may have that urge to reach in and start grabbing the dust bunnies if they're big enough. Please fight off this urge. The combination of your feet, the carpet or floor, static in the air, your cloths and the dust build up will inevitably cause static discharge, and that is just the type of thing we are trying very hard to avoid. Static can harm the components inside your computer. If you don't reach in, you should be fine.

Also, if you are using a can of compressed air, make sure you always keep it level and upright. If you tilt it, the propellant inside will come out in a liquid form Electronic devices are like little boys. They don't like baths.

Okay, so we can continue. Once the fog of dust dies down, blow things out until you get the dust out of the case. It's not a bad idea to blow out the front of the machine as well, as dust will build up in your floppy drive and CD drive.

Now, just replace the case on the side of the computer, put the screws back in, plug it back in and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. If you recruited a helper for this process, pat them on the back instead. As a kid, chocolate chip cookies always helped me get through a tough job (just a suggestion).

The outside of the case can be wiped down with a static free cloth to get the dust off. I usually use a micro-fiber cloth as they don't leave lint behind either. (They also work perfectly for detailing the inside of your car, but that's another lesson we may tackle down the road.)

That about does it for the physical cleaning of your computer. Feel free to send me suggestions on questions you may have. No question is too simple. I will use them in a future column. Just send any suggestions you may have to or you can even include them in a little note with your payment when you send it in.

Until next time, have a wonderful day, and get out there and enjoy the spring time!

Clean Computer
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Nutrition Wordfind
by Carol Hall

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Congratulations to Liz M. of Pendleton OR for winning the drawing for the February 2007 Wordfind! Liz received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account!
Click here to goto the Feb 2007 Nutrition Wordfind
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Spring Cleaning Your PC
by Rachel Yount

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It seems to be that time of the year again. Time to clean out the garage, maybe the dusty old attic. What about your computer?? Many computer owners don't know how to clean out there computers. Over time computers will start running slowly and may not work as well as when you took them out of the box. Here are some sites that will help you to clean up your computer effectively and efficiently to get it back up and running the way it should.

Computer Clean Up This site is designed to allow you to go in and do simple clean up. Your computer saves information like temporary internet files to allow you to open web pages faster and also cookies (not the edible kind) and sometimes those files can become corrupted.  Cleaning those files and cookies out will help a lot.

Spyware and Adware  
Spyware and Adware are major threats to computer's stability, efficiency and security. Here are some of the symptoms of spyware and related programs and how to remove these types of threats. Spyware and Adware can severely slow down and cause problems on your computer

Clean Computer Help  
This site allows you to clean up the computer and also has many different free tools that you can download to assist in clean up. Such as Spyware clean up tools and Adaware clean up tools and many others as well

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Spring Cleaning Your Mac
by Rachel Yount

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There are many easy sites to find for Windows but what about your Macintosh?

This month we are focusing on spring cleaning and no-we don't mean the house. When I talk about spring cleaning it is for your computer. Even this needs to be cleaned routinely. Here are some wonderful sites to help walk you through that process.

 Clean up Your Mac's Hard Drive   This site allows you to remove duplicate files and deleted applications' files from the Preferences, Extensions, and Control Panels folders.  It also removes attachments and downloaded files

Mac Sweeper: This site offers a free download that actually does it for you rather than you doing it yourself. Have someone else clean your computer free of charge. That's like someone coming in and cleaning your house for free!!!   There are also some free tools you can download to assist you in cleaning up your computer:

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Movie Review
by KJ Newby

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Monthly Movie Review This month we are taking a closer look at Samuel L. Jackson's latest thriller Snakes on a Plane.

Here's the plot:

A young man named Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) witnesses a vicious and powerful mobster Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson) brutally murder a prosecutor bent on putting the crime mogul behind bars. Kim's men raid Jones' house and attempt to kill him, but are stopped by Nelville Flynn (Samuel L Jackson): an FBI agent who convinces Jones to fly to LA to testify against Kim. Aboard the flight are an obnoxious British Businessman, a famous Hip Hop star, an anxious man with severe flight anxiety and his wife, a young woman and her dog, and a ticking crate full of vicious and venomous snakes unleashed by an assassin to bring down the plane along with the witness to Kim's brutal murder. Can the passengers come together to survive or will Kim's plot succeed?

I watched "Snakes on a Plane" last night with Samuel L. Jackson and let me tell ya'... "I don't really have a fear of snakes but this was a little disturbing"...LOL...I found myself wondering if I really needed to see this...Made it through the show and all in all it's pretty darn good.  If you don't like snakes, well you might not want to see this...

Happy viewing!  From new releases to old use The Internet Movie Database for the best in movie info!

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Google Earth
by Jon Alexander

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Want to go traveling but don't have the money? Is there not enough time to take a vacation because you have to keep working? Would you like to have the same type of fun that you had went on vacation when you were a kid?

Try this Google Earth  (Best with a Broadband connection)

Google Earth is a virtual globe program that was originally called Earth Viewer and was created by Keyhole, Inc. It maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS over a 3D globe.

It is available under three different licenses:

1.Google Earth, a free version with limited functionality;
2.Google Earth Plus, which includes a few more features; and
3.Google Earth Professional, intended for commercial use.

For a quick tour around this wonderful planet we call home I would suggest putting a check mark in the Google Sightseeing tour down the left side of the Google Planet page and then clicking on the Play button pointing to the right. You will find yourself bounding across the planet faster than Superman.

Have fun!

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Picturefind Puzzle
by BMI Staff

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Congratulations to Betty E. of Florence, OR for winning the drawing for the February 2007 Picture Find puzzle! Stacy received a $25.00 credit on his BMI account!
. Go to PictureFind Now
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Pocatello, Idaho
by Mike Rochelle

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As an ongoing service to our customers, BMI is spotlighting a city or town in our coverage area. This month is Pocatello, ID .

The city of Pocatello, Idaho is located in southeast Idaho and nestled at 4,448 feet in the western foothills of the Rocky Mountains along the Oregon Trail. Pocatello boasts a population of 51,446 Pocatello has an unusually desirable four-season climate where clear, sunny and dry is the norm.

The city has 32 parks, a Museum of Natural History, the Fort Hall Replica, Golf Courses, Swimming Complex, Bike & Hiking Trails, Pocatello Junction, Skate Park, and the Pocatello Zoo. This is just of few of the attractions visitors and residents enjoy.

The area of the city along the Portneuf River was inhabited by the Shoshoni and Bannock peoples for several centuries before the arrival of Europeans into the area in the early 19th century. In 1834, Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth, a U.S. fur trader, established Fort Hall as a trading post north of the present location of the city. The post was later acquired by the Hudson's Bay Company and became an important stop on the Oregon Trail...a branch of which descended the Portneuf through the present-day location of the city.  A replica of the Fort Hall trading post is now operated as museum in southern Pocatello.

The discovery of gold in Idaho in 1860 brought the first large wave of U.S. settlers to the region. The Portneuf Valley became an important conduit for transportation of goods and freight. In 1877, railroad magnate Jay Gould of the Union Pacific Railroad acquired and extended the Utah and Northern Railway, which had previously stopped at the Utah border, into Idaho through the Portneuf Canyon. "Pocatello Junction", as it was first called, was founded as stop along this route during the gold rush.

After the gold rush subsided, the region began to attract ranchers and farmers. By 1882, the first residences and commercial developments appeared in Pocatello. In 1962 Pocatello absorbed nearby Alameda and became for a time the largest city in Idaho. Pocatello remains one of the state's largest cities.

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Sports Web Sites
by Victor

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If you are a sports fan you'll want to look at these links as they show you all kinds of sports scores and sports upcoming games.

Football:   The first place to look is NFL FOOTBALL .  Here are links to every single team in the NFL and lots of news about different teams.   You can even keep track of scores and stats.  Go to the NFL shop and you'll find a variety of stuff to buy.

Basketball:   NBA BASKETBALL is another good site.  We are in the middle of the season, so you can catch up on all the game stats.  There are also many videos and news articles.  Check the schedule to see who is playing today. 

Baseball:  Are you a baseball fan? Then here's a site for you:   NML BASEBALL .  With upcoming events and games starting in a few weeks, you can learn who is playing who this year as all the schedules are posted.

Each one of these sites are the official sites of each major league sport. Put on your sports colors and check out how they are doing .

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

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