Frequently Asked Questions, Reply 4

Computer Basics

Answer to FAQ

Hi John,
In answer to your questions, first of all, let's get a few of things clear.  We are talking about several different things.  AOL was actually doing five jobs for you.  They acted as your internet service provider, mail server, and your used their internet browser, email program and address book.  That might sound good, but you had to be online to access your information. 
Now MSN is your internet service provider. 
The Internet Explorer is your browser program.  However, there are others you can use.  Hotmail is acting as your email service and email program.  Although, I would suggest you setup Outlook Express as your email program.  It is by far a better program and you can access your mail without going online.
The Windows Address Book is your address book program.  You usually access this through Outlook Express, although you can put a shortcut on your desktop, if you wanted to.
I know this sounds a little confusing, but if you think about it, what we are talking about is 5 separate jobs, two services and three programs.  Using the programs mentioned is better because you have your documents on your computer, instead of on the internet where anyone can get hold of your information.
If you go back to our website, www.ercomputers,com, take a look under the PC Basics section.  There you will find notes on all the above programs.  Read through those pages, if you still have any questions, please let me know.  I would be happy to answer them for you.  If you have a small screen and frames would pose a problem, you can also find the pages through our at
Finally, I would suggest you upgrade your Internet Explorer to 6.0.  Go to,  There you will find the link to the upgrade.  Please note, this is a three stage operation.  First it will download a small file starting file that will only take a few minutes.  When that is done, click on the 'Open It'  button, when asked.  At that point, you may be asked a few more questions then the real installation file will begin to download.  That one will take a while to come it as it is big.
This part will take a while.  How long, will depend on your connection speed.  When the download is complete, you are ready to do the installation.  If the installation doesn't start automatically, you will find it in your computer under the C:\WINDOWS\Windows Update Setup Files folder.  Double click on the file named  ie6setup.exe.  When the window comes up and asks what kind of installation you want to do, click on the Custom button to verify that Outlook Express will be installed. 
I hope this has help clarify some of your confusion.  If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.



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