Netscape Navigator Tips & Tricks Eudora
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Netscape Navigator
If you use another mail client, such as the very popular Eudora, you can quickly and easily convert your mail messages from that package into Netscape mail (and vice-versa). This is because Netscape can read any properly formatted text file that contains RFC822/RFC1521 compliant mail data, which includes Eudora. But that's just some geek-speak for why this happens, and you just want to know how to do it, right? Simple, first find the Eudora (or other mail client) files on your computer, then copy or move them into the Netscape "Mail" directory/folder. Navigator mail folders are located by default in the Mail subdirectory. When you open the Netscape Mail window, the messages you copied should be displayed.
Here's a way to produce a nice-looking HTML version of your Bookmarks file, suited especially for printing. First open your Bookmarks file (select Bookmarks|Go to Bookmarks from the menu), then select File|Save As... from the Bookmarks menu. Enter a file name with the HTM extension in the File Name field (such as "bookmarks.htm"), then click save. Now open Navigator and select File|Open File, then browse to the bookmark file you just created and click Open. A nicely formatted HTML version of your bookmark file opens.
The more pages you bookmark, the longer your bookmark file gets. Pretty soon you may find that the bookmark list begins to extend off the left side of the Navigator window, meaning that parts of the names get obscured (particularly if the name is long). This is really caused by the way Windows handles long menu names, so you can't alter Netscape setting to accept longer names. But if you start to get bookmark menu names obscured, start moving some into submenus or delete some that you don't need anymore.
Most Telnet applications provide ways to disconnect from the remote host at any point in the session. Usually you don't even have to tell the host that you're leaving (logging off, to be precise). In the Win 95 Telnet application, just choose Connect|Disconnect from the main menu bar. However, this is a practice that you should really try to avoid. Why? Well, the Telnet remote host software might not realize that you're gone and may keep the connection open. This can last several minutes sometimes, causing Internet traffic jams. So unless you're having some sort of technical problems with the remote connection, be a good guest and log off the proper way--by choosing the menu items or otherwise following the instructions provided by the remote site.
The World Wide Web is just one of many ways to get information from that vast expanse of cyberspace known as the Internet. In fact, as cool as it may be, the Web isn't exactly the optimal tool if you want to do any real research. The information is simply thrown together too randomly, and even the best search engines can be unwieldly and inefficient. Cool for serendipitous surfing maybe, but if you want to hunt for information seriously, try one of the older Internet tools like Gopher. Some call it archaic, but Gopher is still pretty good. You can easily access Gopher servers through Netscape.

We'll get to access in a minute, but first let's look at why Gopher can be a more efficient way to get information. Gopher Internet servers (the name comes from the University of Minnesota where the tool was developed) present information in hierarchical menus and submenus. The subjects are arranged in a top-down, outline format that is much better for logical searches.

Now, Netscape Navigator allows you to log on to Gopher servers, and the contents are presented to resemble Web pages. To do this, you enter the Gopher server's URL in the Location (or Netsite) field as you would any WWW URL. Go ahead, enter


in the Location field. This brings you to the Gopher site of the Internet Wiretap, a storehouse of government documents and the like. Explore the Wiretap if you like; we'll have a couple more Gopher tips coming up.

When Netscape can't access your newsgroups properly it relays the message "Can't read newsgroups." This could mean that there's a problem with your Internet service provider's news server or the network connection information in your Preferences is incorrect. To check the latter, select Options|Mail and News Preferences, then click Servers. Make sure that all the information under News is complete and correct. If you keep getting the message after this, the problem probably lies with your service provider. Contact them to report the problem and see if anyone has been experiencing the same thing.
Once you have accessed a Gopher site (such as gopher://wiretap.spies.com/ or gopher://gopher.well.com), you notice that the menu consists almost entirely of text based links. No eyecatching but slow to load graphics here! The links that have folder icons are actually menu items that lead to submenu items (more folder icons), and eventually to files (page icons). The information is grouped hierarchically, so you click the link to drill down to the subsequent information. You can move around through the menus and files by clicking the Back and Forward buttons, just as you do in a Web site.
Gopher servers are great ways to explore or get information from the Internet. One of the most interesting and valuable of these sites is the previously mentioned WELL Gopher site. To access this from Netscape Navigator, enter the URL


in the Location box. The top menu of the WELL Gopher site appears. To get to some really meaty Internet links, click on the menu titled Internet Outbound. As you can see, the submenu contains a bunch more links, and if you're particularly interested in the Internet stuff, click the menu titled Scott Yanoff's Special Internet Connections. This site--aka, the Yanoff List--contains a vast array of links to Internet resources and info. Be sure to bookmark this list, because you will return to it again and again.

The last few tips showed you how to use Netscape Navigator to access an old Internet tool called Gopher (well, it's older than the World Wide Web). There's another even older Internet technology called Telnet that you can also access through Navigator. And just because it's old, it doesn't mean it's not valuable, as we'll see in a minute.

Telnet allows you to log on to other Internet computers interactively. Telnet sites include vast database-type things like library card catalogs and weather information databases. You can also access text-based online services like the WELL or Echo through Telnet. Also, if you have a Unix account on another Net computer, you can log in through Telnet and run Unix programs through the host computer. Now we won't bore you with the inner workings of all this, but we will show you how to get to it through Netscape Navigator.

First, you can't actually get there directly through Navigator, you must use an external helper application. Windows 95 has a Telnet application built in, but if you use another platform you can find another helper pretty easily (your Internet service provider may include it). The reason for this in general is that WWW browsers and Telnet work the Internet in fundamentally different ways. But that's getting just a little too geeky to get into here. You just want to set up Navigator for Telnet, right?

OK, open Navigator and select Options|General Preferences, then click the Apps tab. Enter the name of the Telnet application in the field Telnet Application. If you have Windows 95, just type in "telnet." If the application is saved on a drive somewhere, click Browse and select it from the list that appears. That's all there is to it, click OK and you're ready for a Telnet session, which we'll tell you about in the next tip.

If you're at a Web site and see the error message "Connection reset by peer," chances are that the remote host has reset your connection. You can usually click Reload to get back on track and bring up the URL normally.
Clicking the Stop button while a Web page is loading interrupts the process. When you do this, however, you sometimes see the message "Reentrant call to interrupt window." If this happens often, open a new browser window to access another site. Wait a few minutes, then go back to the previous window and exit.
When you browse the Web, you inevitably download files. Usually the process goes smoothly, but occasionally a file gives you a problem and you get the message "Unknown file type, no viewer configured for file type or unable to launch external viewer." This simply means that Netscape Navigator has run into a file type that it's not presently configured for (it handles many file types automatically, including JPEG, GIF, and AU formats). If you're simply downloading these files, click on Save to Disk and select the directory where you want to store them. To download in the background, minimize the Saving Location window and head back to the browser.
Sometimes when you have trouble accessing a site, the problem lies in accessing the server itself. You see this in the error message "The server does not have a DNS entry." This could simply be a matter of temporary network slowness, in which case you can try again later. If you're trying unsuccessfully to access a site over your company's network, it could mean that a firewall is in the way. Check with your network administrator about your access. The "DNS" error may simply mean that the page doesn't exist. if that's the problem, try to access the top level of the URL. Finally, the error could mean that the TCP/IP stack is either not present or not working. In that case you should try to reach another site--if you get through to it, the TCP/IP stack is probably working fine.
When you see the message "404 Access Denied," Netscape is telling you that you don't have any right to see the site. This could be because the files are set up so that certain groups are not allowed access. However, it may simply mean that the file-access permissions are set incorrectly. If you suspect this to be the case, send an e-mail to the Web page's owner asking if you can access it. If the settings are correct and you can't get in...well, you just can't get in.
If you're anything like us, you've seen the message "404 Not Found" a bunch of times. This usually indicates that a URL does not exist--meaning that either it really doesn't exist or you typed it wrong in the location box. Another explanation, however, is that you may have your memory and disk caches set too low. To raise the disk cache limit, select Options|Preferences, then click the Cache tab. Raise the cache gradually in increments of 1000 to find out which setting works best.
Using Netscape Navigator (or any other Web browser) invariably leads to occasional connection trouble. You know the problem: You try to access a Web site and all you get is a long wait and a cryptic error message. As we'll see in the next few tips, there are ways to troubleshoot the problems and understand the error messages. But take a few simple steps before going into full troubleshooter mode. First, try accessing the URL a few more times. Often the problem is due to a temporary network glitch that corrects itself. Second, always make sure your own workstation or network connection is not to blame. To make sure that they are working properly, try to access another site immediately after getting the error. If either connection fails, try to troubleshoot as best you can. We'll go over some of the more common errors in the next few tips.
The information in the mail folder and message panes of Netscape Navigator's mail window are divided into columns. If you aren't satisfied with the default column arrangement, you can change the order by simply dragging the column header button to a new location. For instance, if you want the Date column to appear first,just drag it to the very left of the message pane.
When you get your Netscape Navigator mail messages you see that the mail window consists of three separate panes -- the mail folders, the messages, and the current message. By default, these panes are arranged with the mail folders in the upper left of the window, the messages in the upper right, and the current message in the full bottom part of the window. The size of the panes is not static, and you can alter them as need be. For example, you probably want to make the current message pane larger when you're reading that message, or the mail folders pane larger when you want to see the contents of all the folders. To change the pane size, just grab the border with the left mouse button and drag the pane to the size you want.
When you want to send a message in Netscape Mail you have to first open it and access the To:Mail message composition window, right? Well, not necessarily. As with many other things, Netscape Mail provides a couple of ways to send the mail. For instance, there are times when you click a link in a Web page to directly access the message composition window. This is accomplished by including special HTML tags--called MAILTO: tags-- in the Web page. These end up looking like other links, but the page designers often put them in italics to distinguish them. Anyway, when you click on one, the Netscape Mail message composition window pops right up. Many Web designers use MAILTO: tags as an easy and convenient way to solicit feedback.
The quickest way to access Netscape Mail is to click the little envelope icon in the lower-right corner of the Netscape screen. If you're like us, however, you only want to check in when you have new messages on the server. In this case, look for an exclamation point next to the envelope. This is Netscape's way to let you know you have new mail. If you only see the envelope, you don't have any new messages (but you probably still have saved messages). You may, however, see a question mark. This means Netscape cannot automatically check for new messages, probably because it's been told not to in the system setup. To make sure your system automatically checks for new mail, select Options|Mail and News Preferences from the Netscape menu, then click the Servers tab. Where it says Check for Mail click the Every: option, then enter a time interval in the Minutes field.
We told you how easy it is to use quoted text in Netscape Mail messages. In fact, it can be almost too easy. The fact is, using too much quoted text from a message takes up precious bandwidth. Therefore, don't just quote text willy-nilly. Highlight and delete any unnecessary stuff before you send a reply, especially things like signature files and forwarding gobbledy- gook. You should, in fact, only quote the stuff that directly pertains to the new message you're sending. (In other words, if someone sends a message with 10 points in it, and you only want to comment on one, you don't need to quote the other nine.)
One of the best things about using e-mail is that you can include the exact contents of a received message when replying to it. This is referred to as quoted text, and it's useful for a few reasons. You can, for example, remind the sender of the original message or clear up any misunderstandings in the original text. Anyway, quoted text in the new message is set off from the other text by following (line by line) a greater-than symbol (>). Netscape Mail allows you to quote the original message automatically when you reply to any message. To find this setting, choose Options|Mail and News Preferences, then click the Composition tab. The option "Automatically quote original message when replying" should be checked. Of course, if you don't want to quote automatically, don't check this option.
You know that quoted text in Netscape Mail messages is identified by the greater-than symbol (>). You can also use different text styles and sizes to distinguish this from the new text. To set this up, select Options|Mail and News Preferences from the Netscape menu, then click the Appearance tab. There are four text styles available for quoted text (Plain, Bold, Italic, or Bold Italic), and three text sizes (Plain, Bigger, or Smaller). You can choose only one of each.
Once you have Netscape Mail you'll discover that your mail folders fill up faster than a 10 year-old's toy chest. Most people just file their new messages in their respective folders without so much as a second thought, but all these extra bytes clog up your disk space in no time. You have to pay attention yourself -- there's no Mom telling you to clean up your mail folders, but there is an easy way to rid yourself of excess clutter. Select the folder that you want to clean up and choose File|Compress Folder from the main menu. Also, every so often you'll need to select File|Empty Trash Folder. You don't need Mom to tell you what that does.
After you're set up for Netscape Mail, you can tinker around with the Mail (and Newsgroup) configuration. To do this, select Options|Mail and News Preferences, which opens the Preferences dialog box. Each tab contains settings for the way your mail is set up. Take a note of the default settings (and change them if you want) and feel free to fill in any empty fields. For example, you may want to change the appearance of the text fonts or adjust the number of messages you can receive at one time (the maximum is 3,500, for you message maniacs). As with other Netscape Navigator preferences, your best bet is to tweak things a few times to get the settings you really want.
You are no doubt aware of Netscape Navigator's ability to let you access and surf the Internet and send and receive e-mail. You can access the mail client by selecting Window|Netscape Mail from the main Navigator menu or clicking the envelope icon in the lower-right corner of the page (which you probably already know if you're reading this message!). The next series of tips will deal with all kinds of Netscape Navigator e-mail issues.
You know, of course, that pressing the Reload button updates your current Web page with the absolutely latest data. But sometimes -- and we know this may be hard to believe -- you don't get a very quick response. If this is the case, rev up your reload by holding down the Shift key as you click Reload. This should accelerate things.
URL LOADING UPDATE To get a quick update on the status of the URL currently loading, press Ctrl+Alt+T. A dialog box pops up giving you the URL lowdown.
When you want to quickly access your bookmarks for editing, simply press CTRL-B from anywhere in Netscape Navigator. The Bookmarks window opens right up.
Some of Netscape's "about" documents are pretty useful. Others, though, are merely interesting or cool. For instance, if you enter about:marca in the Location box, you get a picture of, well, none other than Netscape guru Marc Andreesen looking like something out of "The X-Files.". Come to think of it, some "about" documents may not be all that cool!
Netscape Navigator is chock full of shortcuts and hidden tricks. Some of these are useful, and some are completely superfluous and are usually called "Easter eggs." Some of the more useful stuff comes in the form of "about:" documents, which you can access by entering the command "about" and a specifier word in the Location box. For example, if you enter about:cache, you get a page that contains a wealth of (potentially) very useful inside dope about your disks' cache.
You know there's a NASA bookmark in your Bookmarks file, but you can't figure out which one it is by the cryptic names? Select Bookmarks, Edit Bookmarks, press Ctrl+F (for Find), type what you're looking for (in this case, NASA) and press Enter. The pointer will jump to the first bookmark that contains that text.
A few tips back, we explained how to view a history of the sites you've visited by typing About:Global in the address book. We meant to instruct you to type About:Global in Netscape's Location field (the same place you type in a URL to visit a Web site) instead of the address book. Sorry for the mistake and happy sleuthing.
When you're in a page divided into frames, it's hard to tell the URL of the active frame. What normally shows is the Location field is the address of the "menu" pane. To find out where you've ended up in your travels through frames, right-click the frame you're curious about and select Frame Info. There you'll see the URL. If you copy it and paste it back into the Location field, the same site will appear without frames.
See a cool image and want others to get it? Sure, you may download it (if it's allowed) then send it to others. But an easier and faster way is to right-click the image, select Copy Image Location, then paste that URL into an e-mail message by pressing Ctrl+V. Let them get their own images!
If you're tired of the useless and read-only View Source screen, select Options, General Preferences, click the Apps tab, and specify an application such as Notepad or WordPad for viewing (and even editing locally) any page's source HTML code.
When reading a long Web page, save your wrists and use keyboard shortcuts to navigate: Page Up and Page Down take you up and down one screenful at a time. Ctrl+Home takes you to the very top of the page, and Ctrl+End takes you to the bottom.
If you want to select all the elements (text and graphics) that you can on a Web page in one fell swoop, press CTRL-A from anywhere in the page. Anything that's selectable highlights immediately.
Need to exit Netscape Navigator quickly? Press CTRL-W from anywhere in Netscape Navigator and- zip - you're outa there!
Like most Netscape Navigator users, you probably have several Web pages open at the same time. To quickly cycle through all these pages, press CTRL-TAB.
You can create a Windows 95 Shortcut for any Web page that you access in Netscape Navigator. To do this, simply right-click on the page and select Internet Shortcut. When the Create Internet Shortcut dialog box appears, enter a description then click "OK." An icon representing that Web page appears on your desktop. You can also do this by dragging the page link directly onto your desktop, or dragging a page icon from your Bookmark list.
One useful aspect of JavaScript functions is that you can run them right from the Navigator by entering them in the Location field. Want to do some quick math for example, but don't want to break out the calculator? Enter


in the Location box, then press Enter. A page that says "4" immediately appears. Of course you can substitute any calculation you want in the "eval" statement, so go ahead and add it up with JavaScript.

If you use another mail client, such as the very popular Eudora, you can quickly and easily convert your mail messages from that package into Netscape mail (and vice-versa). This is because Netscape can read any properly formatted text file that contains RFC822/RFC1521 compliant mail data, which includes Eudora. But that's just some geek-speak for why this happens, and you just want to know how to do it, right? Simple, first find the Eudora (or other mail client) files on your computer, then copy or move them into the Netscape "Mail" directory/folder. Navigator mail folders are located by default in the Mail subdirectory. When you open the Netscape Mail window, the messages you copied should be displayed.
Many Netscape Navigator users discover that they want to startup Netscape with their mail or news windows, rather than the browser window. No problem; all you have to do is select Options|General Preferences, which opens the Preferences dialog box, then click the "Appearance" tab. For the "On Startup Launch" option click either "Netscape Mail" or "Netscape News." Click "OK" to close the Preferences box and save the settings. Now the next time you start Netscape, it launches with the option you selected. Now, if you want, you can also select more than one (or all three) of the options. This means that all the selected options open when you start Netscape, with one maximized in the window and the others minimized.
A couple tips ago we showed you how to create an HTML version of your bookmarks file. Here's a quicker way to accomplish the same thing. Open Navigator and choose File|Open File, then navigate to your "bookmark.htm" file. Click "Open" and your bookmarks open in the Navigator window (in the HTML format). Notice the full path of the file appears in the "Location" box. Now just make this Location a bookmark (choose Bookmarks|Add Bookmark), and the bookmarks file is readily available from the list of bookmarks!
Netscape Mail, of course, allows you to send one message to many users. But suppose you want to send that message to a group, but don't want the other recipients to see who else got it. Easy as pie--Netscape allows this through a Blind Cc field in the Message Composition window. To send a blind message, open a new message, then enter your address in the Mail To field (the message MUST be addressed to someone). The Blind Cc field does not display by default, so if you don't see it, select View|Mail Bcc. Enter all the mailing addresses of the group recipients in the Blind Cc field. Now when you mail the message it'll show each recipient your address and their address, but no others.
Mailing lists in Netscape mail make it easy to send a message to multiple recipients without having to enter all their addresses in the Mail To field. Be aware, however, that you must have a nickname entered for the list when you create it, or it won't get to all the list members. To create a list, open the Message Composition window, open the Address Book (Window|Address Book) then select Item|Add List. Here's what happens if you don't specify a nickname. When you click the list name to mail to that list, only the address of the first person on the list appears in the Mail To field and the message goes only to that person. When you have a nickname specified and click that list name, the list name displays in the Mail To field, and the message goes to all list members.
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