Intel wireless networking is near

Helpline

January 17, 2000|By James Coates | James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

I want to add 200-ampere service and electrical wiring updates to my house. What phone jack, cable TV outlets and so forth for computer use should I add?

The idea of wiring houses for computer networking and video and audio hookups is sinking in for many of us just as a revolution of wireless connections appears on the horizon.

When wireless networking arrives, having a house hardwired for computers will be about as useful as having a coal bin in the cellar.

Sources at Intel Corp. tell me that the chip-making giant is about to offer a wireless home networking system that will allow linking of computers through a house by plugging a USB transmitter into the back of each PC. Apple's superb AirPort is selling like hypertext hotcakes: It offers wireless Internet connection and file sharing among a house full of Macs.

If you want to go ahead with a hardwiring plan, check Lucent Technologies' HomeStar system, which is available for $700 to $2,000 installed. This home-wiring network allows you to integrate the control and management of telephones, VCRs, cable televisions, home office equipment, security systems and environment management systems. For details, check www.lucent.com/networks/homestar/index.html.

Our HP660Cse has died. I'm interested in moving to another brand of printer because I'm tired of getting error messages saying that the ink cartridges were improperly installed on the HP. I am considering an Epson or Canon product, strictly for home use.

I too got fed up fiddling with the confusing settings on color ink-jet printers like yours. I also realized that I was happy 99 percent of the time with a nice, clear black-and-white copy anyway.

So, I chucked the cranky ink-jets and bought a nice, cheap Xerox laser printer, the DocuPrint P8. It prints Web pages (albeit in black and white only) much faster than ink-jets, and I love the simple lock-and-load scheme for quick cartridge changes. It's the most useful computer-related buy I've made in the past year.

I use Internet Explorer 5.0 to browse the Web and Corel WordPerfect 2000 as my word processor. I want to use the spell checker in the Outlook Express e-mail program, but Microsoft will recognize only the spell checkers that come with their word processors. Is there a spell checker I can download from the Web for writing e-mail on Explorer?

I'd log on to www.tucows.com, the Internet's premier shareware software resource, to pick up one of the many e-mail add-on spell checkers available there.

Somehow I messed up the way my Open File display works in Microsoft Word 97. My folders in the Open box are arranged in descending alphabetical order. They used to be in ascending order. How can I set this display option back to what it was? BTW, the Save As dialog box displays the folders in ascending alphabetical order.

You stumbled onto a feature of Windows-based software that makes folks crazy. It changes word processors' viewing protocols to what is called a List view.

Go to the Open File dialog box and click a square icon that looks like a clipboard to scale through views. When you get to the one with a bar at the top marked "Name," click on it to change displays from "ascending" to "descending."

I began using the Internet in March. Since October, I have had nothing but problems with e-mail. People say by phone they have received and replied to my messages, but I don't receive their replies in 80 percent of the cases.

My Internet service provider sent me a test message and tells me there is no problem. I have had friends send me test messages and I have received them.

Your problem might be caused by "rules" that have been set in your e-mail software. Rules manage incoming e-mail and streamline its handling. You can set up rules to sort e-mail to different folders, or to the trash bin.

Your software got set wrong sometime. The solution is to go to the Control Panel icon in the My Computer Folder on your desktop. Pick Add/Remove software and delete your e-mail program. Then reload it with no rules set.

Send e-mail to jcoates@tribune.com

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