Welcome to The Funny/Alerts Newsletter. Things got a little "jiggy" last week. A couple of new virii came out that wreaked havok on peoples computers and plugged up email systems. Fortunately, everyone was able to clean things up and restore most of the lost data from backups. Unfortunately, two of the little tricks that we saw were 1) does not require the email receiver to open the attachment for it to execute, and 2) removal of anti-virus software. Needless to say, these are some VERY serious threats to your computer. Keep your anti-virus updated and create a contact in your email address book with the name !0000 with no email address in the details as I mentioned in #011029. This, hopefully, will put the brakes on a virus using the Send All feature of your email.
BTW (by the way), one of these little buggers sent itself to me from a close friend of mine. My system didn't even bother to respond. Eudora, my email program of choice, just ignored it and McAfee quarantined it. Even if it HAD tried to get out, my firewall would have stopped it because Eudora must ask for permission to send email before Zone Alarm will allow it access to the internet. This way I know it's really ME doing the sending.
As I told my friend afterwards, "Damn, I feel just about bullet-proof over here! Hahaha..."


I think that I've found inner peace! My therapist told me a way to achieve inner peace was to finish things I had started. Today I finished 2 bags of potato chips, a lemon pie, a fifth of Jack Daniels and a small box of chocolate candy.

I feel better already.

[thanks to Bob Behling for this one]

On the twelfth day of AOL they gave to me,

12 reasons to cancel,
11 channels not working,
10 hours without email,
9 frozen chat rooms,
8 hours of busy signals,
7 frozen IMs, (Instant Message - DP)
6 disconnection's,
5 web crashes,
4 idiots at tech help,
3 error messages,
2 pieces of junk mail,
and a jerk cursing in a chat room.

[thanks to Roy Howard for this one]

Console Wars

UPDATED November 30, 2001
Previously a war of words and marketing, the platform wars will now be fought with silicon, plastic, and consumer dollars. All three next-generation systems are out, which portends nothing but good things for gamers. 

So with this in mind, the editors at Computer Gaming World, Electronic Gaming Monthly, and Official Playstation Magazine decided to set all three systems up side by side. And keep track of who's doing what over the next few weeks.


Frank X. Mullen Jr. 

Sixty years ago today, Ruth Armstrong, 16, was baking star-shaped Christmas cookies for an event at Reno High School, and Esther Early, a high school student in Wells, was spending a quiet Sunday afternoon with her family.

Sixty years ago today, teen-ager Shirley Morgan Smith had just finished dinner and was listening to music at her home in Oakland, Calif.

Sixty years ago today, these three young women shared the horror that swept across the nation when they heard the news: The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor and plunged America into war.

There were tears and anxiety and anger. The devastation and loss of thousands of lives in that sneak attack cast a pall over Christmas.

As it was then, so it is now. For the people who lived through Pearl Harbor Day, the memories came flooding back on Sept. 11 when terrorists launched a surprise attack on America.

"Both were terrible days for our county," Armstrong said. "For me, Dec. 7 was more horrible because I was so young, and I knew a boy from Reno who was in the Navy and was killed on the USS Arizona. And there were so many boys in my class who would go to war and some of them wouldn't come back." Early said she flashed backed to Dec. 7 after the terrorist attacks. The feelings of horror, dread and disbelief hit her both mentally and physically.

"After Sept. 11, my blood pressure went up for two weeks," she said. "It wasn't fear. It was horror. I was shocked at what human beings can do to one another." But as it was six decades ago, hope and pride sprang up from the ashes.

"It's wonderful to see that people today have the same feelings people did back then," Early said. "The attacks brought Americans together." Smith said she agrees something positive has come from great tragedy.

"I really feel the spirit of Americans is the same now as it was in 1941," Smith said. "But it's unfortunate we seemed as unprepared as a nation on Sept. 11 as we were in 1941. Both attacks were unthinkable, and yet they happened.

"For me, the feeling of disbelief was the same." Book full of memories In "Dec. 7, 1941: Memories of Pearl Harbor and World War II," a book sponsored by the Fransen Humanities Committee and the Washoe County Library, the three women and 16 other Nevadans wrote about Pearl Harbor and how it changed their lives.

For Armstrong, Smith and Early, the war was both far away and very near.

"The announcement that we were involved in world war had the same effect on me as the possible collision of the Earth with an asteroid," Early wrote. "The horror was beyond my comprehension and my mind and emotions froze." Before the attack, the war news from Europe held no more reality than the Greek myths Early studied in school. By the beginning of 1942, the war dominated everyone's life and "we knew beyond a doubt that this was a war for survival.

"Hardly anything we heard or did was not for the war effort," she wrote. "We never doubted that we, in some way, were contributing to winning the war." Armstrong said she and other teen-agers became "world minded" after Dec. 7. They sent letters to places with odd-sounding names, to young men they never met.

"The newspaper listed the names of men from Reno who were killed or wounded the day before," Armstrong wrote. "A lot of tears were shed when we saw a familiar name." Smith said the war marked the end of childhood. She remembers the blackouts, the rationing of gasoline and the patriotic war bond rallies. 

She remembers the terrible day she opened the door of her parent's home to see two men in uniform standing there with a telegram.

"There was a brown U.S. Army car with a single star on the door," she wrote. "The telegram said Tommy (her brother) was missing in action. Late that night in a dark house I heard my father crying." From tragedy to victory The three women said the war changed their lives and taught them that the nation may suffer greatly but never lose hope.

Armstrong graduated from the University of Nevada and married Lamar Smith, a WW II veteran. They had two daughters and traveled the world.

Today, her thoughts sometimes go back to 1941 and ahead to the end of the war on terrorism.

"My grandmother lost brothers in the Civil War and my grandfather fought in World War I," she said. "When I was a girl, wars seemed like just stories. Then came Pearl Harbor and many wars since. I thought we were done with war, at least in my lifetime, but here we are again." Early attended UNR and became a teacher in the Washoe School District and later at Washoe Medical Center. She and her husband ran a family business, Central Credit, and she is now vice president of ElderCollege.

"So many memories have come back to me after Sept. 11," she said. "I had kept them buried for so many years. But the most important thing is that the patriotism of the American people is still aflame. I had thought that people today didn't care as much as they did in 1941. I was wrong. They do." Smith was reunited with her brother, Tommy, after the war when he was released from a Japanese prison camp. She moved to Reno in 1958 and spent 31 years as a librarian, first at UNR, and then at the Desert Research Institute.

Today she follows the war in Afghanistan on television and in the newspaper. She usually avoids war movies, but just had to see "Saving Private Ryan." She said she left the theater during one of the first scenes of the movie: when two officers came to Mrs. Ryan's door to tell her that three of her sons were dead.

"I was suddenly that young person again, opening the door to my parent's house," she said. "It was like that on Sept. 11, too; that feeling that we've been here before." The women said they have no doubt how the latest war will end.

"The war on terror may get worse for us, but I'm not worried," Early said. "World War II taught us we can survive terrible odds. We are the same people now that we were then. Together, we can do anything." 

My Corkboard

This is one of the best screensavers on the market. Corkboard offers download-able add-ins such as Backgrounds ( such as cork, marble, ), Objects (i.e. clocks, name plaques, calendars, lamps, sticky-notes, push pins), Decorations (i.e. hulla girl, bag-0-cash, coffee and donuts), Pets (i.e. dog, cat, parrot, fish) and gizmos (i.e. knocker, chattering teeth). Also, the notepads, sticky-notes and various pieces of paper can all be written on to make your own reminders!
Combine this with suites for nearly every occasion and you have a customizeable desktop that will be the envy of all your peers (no pun intended). And the best part is that it's FREE! All you have to do is register with them to get access to an amazing array of extras (i.e. Masters Paintings, Christmas, Snowman Builder, golf, United We Stand).


Cycle, cycle, cycle, quit.
by Wendy Richardson

As I write this article I've got one email message open and a new one started, 3 Word documents open, 3 Web sites running, Photoshop, Act and Windows Explorer running in the background. Below is a picture of my taskbar. (I used Print Screen to capture it.)

Since it's hard enough to mentally keep track of open documents and programs, don't make it hard to navigate them.

Don't touch that Minimize button 

If you are still minimizing programs or document windows to see other open programs or document windows, stop. Microsoft invented the Taskbar so you could visualize what's open. Before the Taskbar (BT), I would watch students open the same program or document again and again. (No short term memory it seems.) Unlike a stack of papers or books on your desk, open documents have no depth. Without the taskbar or a photographic memory, it's easy to forget what's open.

Alt + Tab + Tab + Tab

I couldn't and wouldn't use the computer without Alt + Tab. If I had to actually click on one of those 11 buttons on my Taskbar right now to switch between programs, I'd not only lose my train of thought, I lose my mind! Instead, I put my left thumb on the Alt key, then, with my left index finger, I press Tab, Tab, Tab. (Kind of like the Hokey Pokey, huh?) When the program I want is highlighted, I let go. (If you've got the dexterity, press Shift while Alt + Tabbing to cycle backwards through documents.)

The best feature of Alt + Tab is the fact that the "stack" keeps reordering. I may have to Alt + Tab + Tab + Tab to go from the Word document I'm working on to the Web site I'm stealing from, but after that, the programs are just one Alt + Tab away!

Ctrl + F6 + F6 + F6

Love this next tip, hate the shortcut. In the old days, cycling between documents (not programs) was easy to remember and easy to teach. After showing the Alt + Tab trick, I would show the Ctrl + Tab (not F6) trick. There was a slight chance a student would use the shortcuts since there was an obvious pattern. Not anymore. Ctrl + Tab is now used in many programs like Word and PowerPoint to insert a tab in a table.

The solution is to use the "impossible to do with one hand" shortcut to cycling through documentsóCtrl + F6 + F6 + F6. (Just press and hold Ctrl while pressing F6 until you see the document you want.) 

Ctrl + F6 works in every program that opens multiple "documents": Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, CorelDRAW, Act, Access, QuickBooks, Quark XPress, etc. I use it so much that I purchased an extended keyboardóthe one with the function keys on both the left side and the top. Feel free to try Ctrl + Tab in non-Microsoft programs (are there any?) and programs that don't use tabs.

The Window menu

"But what about the Window menu?" you ask. Never use it myself. I frequently have several untitled documents, images, etc. open all over the place so my Window menu looks something like this:

I would rather take my chances pressing Ctrl + F6 than clicking Window, selecting a document, clicking Window, selecting a document...

Do I Close, Exit or Quit?

By now you're probably thinking: does this girl ever use the menus? Not for tasks like Close and Exit that have a keyboard equivalent and that I use 50 times a day or more. Whoever came up with these shortcut keys either didn't think we'd use them or had function keys on the left side of her keyboard. As cumbersome as they are to use, they're not that hard to remember. I suggest you start using them.

To close a program, press Alt + F4
To close a document, press Ctrl + F4

You can even close multiple documents in one fell swoop in Word and PowerPoint (not Excel). Shift + click the File menu, then select Close All. If you want to simultaneously close Word, PowerPoint and any other program you have open, Ctrl + click each program's icon on the Taskbar, right-click one of the selected icons, then selecting Close. Who knew?

No matter which method you choose, Windows will never let you get by without saving an unsaved document. If you're asked to save, use the keyboard: press Y for Yes and, you guessed it, N for No.

A couple of women were playing golf one sunny Saturday morning. The first of the twosome teed off and watched in horror as her ball headed directly toward a foursome of men playing the next hole. Indeed, the ball hit one of the men, and he immediately clasped his hands together at his crotch, fell to the ground, and proceeded to roll around in evident agony.

The woman rushed down to the man and immediately began to apologize. She said, "Please allow me to help. I'm a physical therapist and know I could relieve your pain if you'd allow." "Ummph, oooh, nnooo, I'll be all right...I'll be fine in a few minutes," he replied breathlessly as he remained in the fetal position, still clasping his hands together at his crotch.

But she persisted, and he finally allowed her to help him. She gently took his hands away and laid them to the side, she loosened his pants, and she put her hands inside. She began to massage him. She then asked him, "How does that feel?" To which he replied, "It feels great, but my thumb still hurts like hell." 


A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter. 
"What are you doing?" she asked. 
"Hunting flies," he responded. 
"Oh! Killing any?" she asked.
"Yep, 3 males, 2 Females," he replied
Intrigued, she asked: "How can you tell?"
"3 were on a beer can, 2 were on the phone," he responded.

[thanks to Jennifer Leiker for these]


Empower yourself