FROM THE TUSTIN NEWS, THURSDAY, APRIL 5, 2001


THE DOC IS IN...

One can find just about anything on the Net

The Internet still amazes me. You truly can find anything on the World Wide Web or on the other Internet services.

Recently I became involved with a sailboat. I have always wanted to own one and one day I was browsing the Web and went to the search engine, www.google.com, probably the best search engine on the Internet. I put in the search words "Flicka sailboat" (without the quotation marks). Flicka is the name of a wonderful, small, ocean cruising sailboat made by Pacific Seacraft, a well known local boat builder.

The first result was the Flicka home page at home.att.net/~seagypsy/. (There is no www in this address and the symbol in front of 'seagypsy' is the tilde.) I clicked on the link and went to their page. Looking down it I spotted "Flickas & Trailers for sale." I clicked on this and went to a new page. On it were listed two boats in Southern California. I followed the link to "SWAN" and then to the broker who had the boat listed. The rest is history!

To find a place to dock my boat I again went to www.google.com and entered the words "Long Beach marina." Here I found all the information on where and how to find a boat slip, rules and regulations, slip maps and how to contact those in charge. They listed an e-mail address and telephone numbers. Now my boat has a home.

Since a boat is a "hole in the water into which one pours money," every boat owner needs a place to purchase supplies and equipment. Off to www.westmarine.com. They have everything for the boat owner and give you the choice of going to their stores or buying on line. Maybe I'll leave my credit card at the store. This will save me having to get it out each time I'm there!

Of course, before purchasing anything significant for the boat, I can go to a manufacturer's Web site and get information about the product. If I want more personal information, I have my choice of 18 newsgroups concerning boating. I find the newsgroups on my computer by going to Microsoft Internet Explorer, clicking on the "Mail" button and choosing "Read News." The newsgroup "rec.boats.electronics" has 362 messages just about boat electronics.

Before departing on a trip, all sorts of marine weather information is available on the Web. I go to weather.noaa.gov (no www) and follow the links to the Weather Fax charts for the Pacific Ocean. Right now I see a low over Southern California and a gale about 300 miles west of Point Conception. Maybe I'll wait until this summer before sailing up to Mendocino!

If you have read this far, I hope you see that this article isn't about boating. It's about all the wonderful information that is available on the Web. Getting to this information is as simple as using a good search engine like www.google.com. Whether your interests are boating, knitting, surfing or airplanes, everything is out there somewhere. Use the Web but don't forget the newsgroups for that personal feedback.

If you have further questions about finding information on the Internet, or other computer topics, visit "Coffee and Computers" at the Tustin Area Senior Center any Friday morning starting at 9 a.m. Bring your questions or just come in and visit.

In the mean time, keep the neurons happy, synapses snapping and enjoy computing.

 _____________________________________________________________________________ Dr. Art Holub is a long time resident of Tustin and teaches computer and Internet courses at the Tustin Area Senior Center and the Tustin Adult School. Visit his web site at: www.arholub.com. This column is written to address the computer adventures and concerns of older adults. If you have comments, questions or suggestions for future columns, Email HIM at: doc@arholub.com.


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