Emailing Photos
It's actually quite easy when you know how. Have a look at our specially created web page here

Browser wars
Browser development continues apace right now with new versions of Internet Explorer (10), Firefox (24) and Opera (13), and , Google Chrome (29). Also Apple has its own browser, Safari, in a Windows version. All the new browsers feature higher levels of security and Firefox has regained its crown as the fastest, most memory efficient of all.

Is one browser better than any other? Internet Explorer remains the market leader with 57% of the market share. Next come Firefox and Google Chrome with 18%.

Of course, as webmaster, I do my best to test this website with all browsers. You'd be amazed how something that works well with one browser does not fare so well with another. However, this is not as much of a problem as it used to be as browsers are now much more standards compliant than they used to be.

Antivirus Software
All those using Windows based PC's should have good antivirus software installed. This will update its virus definitions frequently to help it seek out the latest worms and trojans. If you don't want to fork out for programs offering 'total internet security' there are some good free programs available. One of the best is Microsoft's Security Essentials, Other good ones inclde AVG and Avast.

Mac and Linux users do not really need antivirus software. The reason is simple. They make up approximately just 10% of the desktop computer market, and, since these are Unix-based operating systems, they are more difficult to crack. It's just not worth the bad boys' time to try to write the viruses.

Firewalls
All versions of windows since XP Service Pack 2 come with a software firewall that is enabled by default. Mac computers running OS X v10.5 and 10.6 include a technology called the Application Firewall. Firewalls control connections made to your computer from other computers on the network including others on the internet. Firewalls come in two flavours, hardware and software. The hardware versions are now quite cheap and you will often find them incorporated in DSL modems and broadband routers. It is quite possible to operate with both types of firewall at the same time.

For those wishing to use an alternative firewall to that offerd by Windows there are many excellent products on the market. One of the best known software products is Zone Alarm, and trial versions are often found on computer magazine discs, or you can download it from the web (see the bottom of this page). Alternatively, firewalls come as standard with products such as McAfee and Norton's Internet Security suites.

Browser blues !
Note that some pages on this website open up in a new browser page and the BACK button in this instance may not take you back whence you came - just close or reduce the new window to go back. This is especially true of linked external websites in order that there can be no mistaking that the website is not part of the Swift Owners' Club website.

Email enhancement programs and services
These allow you to view and manage your email in useful ways not always available in standard email clients such as Windows Live Mail. Before we take a look at them it's worth noting that most ISP's allow you to log into your email account via their web page. Once inside you can view, read, reply and delete your e-mail. This is especially useful to check for any junk mail, or any mail that has a whacking great attachment that will cost an arm and a leg to download! It's also useful if you are away from home but have access to a PC. However if you have an ISP without this facility, these free email services come into their own.

One such service is available from MailReader.com This provides a sophisticated web-based POP mail reader, with many options, including SSL access for added security, the ability to view and save attachments, an address book, and many advanced mail composition functions. Similar services can be found at www.eprompter.com, mail2web, Net My Mail and XS2Mail

Yet another program is Mailwasher from Australia! Navigate to http://www.mailwasher.net. This program has the facility to fool others into thinking that your e-mail address does not exist by bouncing the unwanted mail back and deleting it from the ISP's server. It then opens (for instance) Outlook and you download the rest of your (wanted) e-mail as usual. This is especially useful as it is NOT recommended that you answer unwanted emails to get yourself off their email list - it only confirms you exist to robots! The free version works with one email address only so it may not be ideal for everyone.

Anything that helps you monitor your incoming mail must be a bonus, especially as these programs are free. With the proliferation of viruses about these days, you just cannot be too careful. If anyone else has any useful utilities they would like to share, just email me with the web address.

Email attachments
Always be very careful before opening any unsolicited attachments - even if sent by family and friends. Even if your virus checker says they're safe it could simply be that they contain a virus so new the virus checker does not recognise it. I have been caught out in this way. If in doubt delete the email or at least wait a week before re-checking it with your anti-virus software.

When sending attachments always be mindful of their size, especially if the recipient does not have a broadband connection. A 10Mb attachment will take around 25 mins to download on a fast 56k modem. One of the biggest culprits in the large file league are graphics (picture) files. However it's often not difficult to reduce the size of such files without adversely affecting their quality by using simple photo editing software . Also some files (not normally picture files) can be greatly reduced in size by compressing them inside a zip file- see below

Had trouble accessing the Members only area of the website?
Firstly you must have the current username and password. These are given to by the Club's Membership Officer on joining. One or both of these are changed early each January and notified in the Rally Book for that year. Secondly the words must be entered exactly as they appear. Pay particular attention to spacing (or lack of it) between characters and be aware that the words are cAsE seNsitiVe. Because the password appears just as blobs when you type it in it's easy to miss the fact that you might have caps lock enabled such that all letters appear as capitals, so do watch this one.

Nothing changed since your last visit to this website?
Computer browsers stores web pages as you download them. This means that the next time you want to view those pages they can be delivered very fast. This process is known as caching. The downside is that, if the page has changed, you will see the stored page rather than the latest one. You can get your browser to clear its cache by asking it to delete its temporary internet files or (with more recent browsers) to delete your browsing history. In IE8 go to Tools/Internet Options/General and click the delete files button. You can check if any page you are viewing may have since been updated by pressing F5 or clicking the refresh button on your browser to re-load the page.

Zipping up files
All vesions of Windows since XP have a zip facility built in as standard. It can be accessed by right clicking a file and selecting 'send to' from the drop down list. XP can also see what is in zip files and extract the information for you. If you're using an earlier version of Windows you will need a utility such as WinZip. You can download an evaluation version here

If you're running a Mac then the equivalent is Stuffit. A basic version called Stuffit Expander is available for free download here. There is also a Windows version.

Some useful utilities
1. Most of us know what a Search Engine does. It searches for web sites that contain words or content you specify. You'll have your favourite, it could be Google, Yahoo, Bing, AltaVista, etc but how about using something that will search several search engines at the same time? Copernic Agent basic is one such program, and it's free. You can pay for a better version if you like it, or stay with the freebie. The same applies to a similar utility WebFerret

2. Acrobat reader Adobe Acrobat Reader is a free program used to view Portable Document Files (PDF files). You need it to view some pages in our website. Sadly it's become very bloated over the years and is now a massive 20.8mb download, meaning it will take approximately 50 mins to download on dial up modems. You may also find the program on computer magazine cover discs. If you wish to download it now simply click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph.

3. With many of us having digital cameras these days, photo editing software is a must. You probably found that you got such a program with your camera but, if not, here's one or two free ones you might like to try. The first of these is PhotoPlus, which claims to allows beginners and professionals alike to produce incredible images for print, multimedia and the web. The second is Picasa from Google. In addition to the normal features It has a unique face recognition facility and can scan all your pictures for particular faces. Last but not least is GIMP for Windows. GIMP is a popular open-source image editor originally developed for Unix/Linux. Often lauded as the "free Photoshop," it is extremely powerful but is not for beginners.

4. Winzip - see the "Zipping up files" item above. WinZip is now at version 15.0. Click the pic to download an evaluation version

5 If you think you need to have a firewall (that is a means of actually stopping hackers trying to attack your machine while you are on the W3 for any length of time) then you could not do much better than ZoneAlarm which comes with a 15 day free trial. You may also find the program on computer magazine cover CDs.

6. A FREE email enhancement utility, ePrompter Check your email accounts for junk and large attachments without downloading them first!

7 Mentioned above, also try Mailwasher from www.mailwasher.net This program also allows you to bounce mail back, giving the impression that your email address does not exist! VERY useful to use against spammers.

8.A good source of Windows information for fault finding is www.annoyances.org This covers Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7.

9. If you are looking for Drivers of the computing variety - try www.driverguide.com

The Swift Owners' Club and/or the Webmaster, can accept no liability for any problems however caused, by the use of items downloaded to your computer from any links above. You download and use these at your own risk!

You are strongly advised to individually virus check any item you download from any site on the internet

Sep 2013