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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Web Programs Explained

All computers use a variety of programs to process your web site requests. Computers include desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Understanding what program you are communicating with will help you and us to train you or help to resolve problems.  Here is some of the more common programs that you should be aware of.

Operating Systems:
The operating system (OS) comes with your computer. The OS is the foundation of your computer and allows other programs to run. While you can switch your OS, not all OS work on all computers.You will have opportunities to upgrade at times. For PC's we recommend to NOT upgrade to Windows/8. If you have it, deal with it, it will get better over time. Apple's current OS is OS X.

Browsers:
A browser is the tool that allows you to see a web site.  Whether the web site is informational like UsaMotorHost or a blog like Web Design Blog or a search engine such as Google Search, you need a browser to see it.  Our favorite browser is Google's Chrome browser. It loads the fastest, loads web sites the fastest and provides the most viewing space for your selected site. Other browsers include Firefox, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer.  You can download any and all of these at Get a Better Browser.

Email Clients:
Your email can be web-based or client-based. Web-based emails are those such as @gmail.com or @Yahoo.com, @Hotmail.com, @AOL.com and others. If you use web-based emails, then your browser is the program you use to access the email.  Note that web-based emails and your address book remain on the web and do not reside on your computer. Hence, they can be accessed from anybody's computer given that they know the password.

Client-based emails are accessed by an email client such as Thunderbird, which is our favorite.  Your client-based emails will reside on the internet email servers for a short period of time, which you can determine. Once you "get" your email, the emails on the internet will be deleted, again depending on how long you decide. We keep our emails on the web for 14 days.  This allows us to access them from any computer (if the password is known) until they are deleted. They will stay on the web indefinitely until you download them onto your computer.  While the NSA probably has access to your email forever, using a client-based email takes them off the web so the typical hacker cannot get access to them.  Other client-based email programs include OutlookExpress, Outlook, SquirrelMail and dozens more.  We highly recommend Thunderbird which is similar but better than OutlookExpress.

A Final Note:
Web sites are not programs. Yahoo is not a program but a web site. You do go to www.Yahoo.com to access your email, but your actual email program is the browser you are using. Get informed, know your browser and your email program; it will enhance your web experience.