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Energize your Web surfing with the Netscape Power Pack

August 3, 1996


Netscape is still the top software used to browse the World Wide Web via the Internet, and the company now has companion software to make your surfing more pleasant.

Dubbed the Netscape Power Pack, the package is basically a group of four companion utilities for Navigator 2.0. The pack includes Netscape SmartMarks 2.0, Netscape Chat 2.0, Internet AntiVirus protection courtesy of Norton, and CyberSpell, a spell check for Navigator's e-mail software.

SmartMarks 2.0 is more than just a utility to manage your bookmarks file. SmartMarks is what is called a Web agent -- it gives you the ability to retrieve Web pages automatically and stores them on your computer's hard drive. And SmartMarks lets you browse these pages at your convenience without the hassle of going online or even establishing an Internet connection.

While you can't go very ``deep'' into a site (meaning you can't follow every link to every destination), you can go two levels deep, which should be enough for most people.

CyberSpell from INSO Corp. is a handy spell checker for use with Netscape Navigator 2.0. With its 146,000-word dictionary, it can keep your e-mail error free.

The package also includes Norton AntiVirus Internet Scanner, which provides virus protection for files you download via the Internet.

When a file is downloaded, it automatically intercepts the file and examines it for possible virus contamination. It operates automatically; after I installed Power Pack on my PC, I didn't know the scanner was working until I downloaded a file and saw the antivirus icon pop up on the screen.

In addition to the scanner, there's a standalone virus scanner that scans your entire computer for possible viruses. If you have Internet access, I recommend you have some sort of virus-scanning software, and use it regularly. A few years ago, I didn't believe viruses were much of a problem. With the explosive popularity of the Internet, you can't afford to ignore the potential threat.

Netscape's own Chat 2.0 is another major part of the Power Pack. Chat is Netscape's IRC client software. While it works like most other IRC packages, it also has the ability to work in conjunction with Netscape Navigator -- Chat 2.0 users can enter URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) that will be transmitted to other users of the software in the same IRC channel. Users can give each other a tour of their favorite sites on the World-Wide Web.

Netscape Power Pack is available for evaluation from Netscape's Web site; however, you might want to consider purchasing the package. The Power Pack CD contains a large collection of the most popular Plug-Ins for Navigator, including RealAudio and Macromedia's Shockwave for Director.

Sorry Macintosh users, Netscape's Power Pack is available (now) for Windows 3.1, Windows95 and WindowsNT operating systems.

For more information, visit Netscape's home page at http://home.netscape.com/

GAME HINTS. If you're a fan of games like Quake or Duke Nukem 3D, you may want to visit C|Net Central's Web site. In addition to reviews and links to download shareware versions of many popular games, you'll find lists of game strategies, hints, and yes, even cheats. And believe me, blasting aliens in Duke Nukem 3D is much more satisfying when you cheat.

MEMORY TRICKS. If you've ever thought about adding more memory to your PC or Macintosh, now may be the time to do it -- memory prices have never been lower.

I picked up a 4 Megabyte 72-pin SIMM for my PC for under $40 -- one I purchased a year ago was roughly 2 and a half times that price. Check mail order, you can shop around and save some dough before prices return to their higher levels.

RECORD SETTING MOVIE, WEB SITE. The Web site for the movie ``Independence Day'' has racked up nearly as impressive a record as the movie.

On the eve of the movie's official release, the site broke records for the number of ``hits" for a motion picture Web site, recording more than 2 million hits.

The site is rich in content related to the movie, and includes lots of sound files, movie files and an ID4 screensaver you can download.

For more information, point your browser to http://www.id4.com/

Comments and questions about this column may be sent to jbrooks@myoldkentuckyhome.com, or visit www.myoldkentuckyhome.com on the World Wide Web.

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