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Real Computer Help Online: From the beginner to the seasoned user, this website is designed to answer all of your computer questions and take some of the frustration out of trying to use Windows.



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These instructions are geared toward the single-click method of using your mouse. If you use double-clicking, you should compensate accordingly. Additionally, if any terms used in these instructions are unfamiliar to you, refer to the Glossary for their definitions. Menus and items you click on are shown in yellow.

Click on any of the questions below for the answers. To retract an answer for easier viewing of the questions, click on the question again, not the answer.

Q: What is ICQ and why do I want it?

A: ICQ (I-Seek-You) is an instant-messaging program that lets you know when your friends are online without having to search for them. With ICQ, you can chat, send instant messages back and forth, transfer files and send URL's. We highly recommend this program. To learn how to get ICQ, see the download section on the left.

Q: How do I find a friend on ICQ?

A: Click the ICQ logo, then choose Find/Add Users, then choose Find User - Add to List. You can search for a friend by their Email address, their nickname or their ICQ number by filling in the information in the appropriate field. Click Next and follow the instructions on the screen. If your friend requires authorization, an authorization box will appear for you to type a brief message in. After you've typed your message, click Request.

Q: I hate when my typing makes all that noise. Can I get rid of it?

A: You can get rid of any or all sounds on ICQ. To disable selective sounds, click on ICQ, then choose Preferences. On the Events tab, click on Configure to the right of Play Sounds near the bottom of the window. Select the event you want to disable, for example, the message typing , message bell or message backspace for the typing noises. Once highlighted, click Disable. Repeat for each sound you want to disable, then click OK.

Helpful Hint: To disable all sounds, remove the checkmark from the box labeled Play Sounds on the Events tab by left-clicking on it.

Q: I thought the "eye" beside someone's name meant invisible. Then how come I can see it?

A: The "eye" does mean someone on your Contact List has put themselves on invisible status, but they've put you on their visible list so you will be able to see them at all times.

Q: Sometimes there are 1 or 2 people I don't feel like talking to but I don't want to be invisible to everyone else. What's a good way to handle that?

A: You can put people on Invisible status individually. Click on the name you want to be invisible to, then choose More, then Alert/Accept Modes. On the Status tab, click on Invisible to User, then click OK. When the confirmation box appears, click OK again.

Q: How do I send a document someone?

A: Click on their name and choose File under the Send category. When the Open dialog box appears, navigate to the folder you wish to send, then click Open. When the Send Online File Request box appears, click Send.

Q: When I receive files, they go to My Documents. How do I get them to go to another folder?

A: When you receive a file request, click on the person's name, then click Receive. When the Incoming File Request window appears, click Save As. The Select Directory dialog box appears. The entry under Directories shows where the file will go, in this case, to C/My Documents. To change the destination, for example to C/Windows/Media for wav files, double-click on the Directory C. The Destination entry should now read C: Under the C folders list, scroll down and double-click on Windows; the destination entry changes to C/Windows. Once again, under the Window folders list, scroll down and double-click on Media. Your destination entry will now read C/Windows/Media. Click OK.

Helpful Hint: In case you make a mistake, you can change the destination for your file transfer anytime before clicking OK by starting the process again, beginning with the Directory.

Q: I keep getting messages from people not on my Contact List. Is there a way to prevent that?

A: Click the ICQ logo and choose Security. On the Ignore List tab, put a checkmark in the box marked Accept messages only from users on my contact list by left-clicking on it. Click on Save.

Q: I keep getting people I don't even know putting me on their lists. Is there a way to stop that?

A: You can bar anyone from putting you on their Contact List without your permission. Click ICQ, then choose Security. On the Security tab, check My authorization is required by clicking on the box to its left.

Q: I sometimes hear knocking sounds. What is that?

A: That's the ICQ Global Online Alert. Whenever a user on your list comes online, ICQ tells you by playing this sound.

Q: I've been told I can replace ICQ's online alert sound with a sound file to let me know when a friend comes online. How do I do that?

A: To assign a sound file (wav) for an online alert, click on the person's name, then choose More, then choose Alert/Accept Modes. On the Alert tab, place a checkmark in front of Override Global Alert, then click on Setup Personal User Sounds. Place a checkmark in front of Online Alert, then click Select. Navigate to the folder your wavs are stored in, probably C/Windows/Media. Select the wav you wish to use as your alert, then click Open. You can then test the wav if you choose. If it's the correct one, click OK.

Q: Can I still get messages when I'm "Away"?

A: People will still be able to send you messages when you are in Away status. When you return, be sure to change your Away status so you can receive the messages.

Q: How come when I first come on to ICQ there's a message waiting from someone who's not online?

A: ICQ allows you to send messages to someone who is not online. Click on their name, choose Message under the Send category. The Send Offline Message box will appear. Type your message and click Send. The message will be delivered to the user when he or she comes online.

Q: I found a great web site my buddy would love. How can I send it to him?

A: First, you have to be at the website you want to send. Once there, click on your buddy's name on your Contact List, and choose Send URL under the Send category. You can type a brief message to go with the URL if you want. Click OK.

Q: Can I take someone off my Contact List?

A: Click on the name you wish to remove. Select More, then Delete to remove them from your Contact List.

Q: Can I change a name on my Contact List if I know them as something else?

A: You can rename anyone on your list by clicking on their name, then choosing More, then Rename. Type in the new name, then move your mouse outside the typing box and left-click.

Q: A friend on my Contact List asked me to send her a file but my ICQ didn't have the "Send File" option. Do I have a different ICQ?

A: It sounds like you are in Simple Mode, which doesn't have all the features of Advanced Mode. To change to Advanced Mode, click ICQ, choose Advanced Features, then click Switch to Advanced Mode.

Q: Someone gave me some instructions the other day and I can't remember them. Can I look back to see what they said?

A: You can see your message history by clicking on the person's name, then choosing History, then View Message History. Double-click on any message to open it up into a window for you to read.

Q: How can I get rid of my messages so no one else can see them?

A: In order to delete messages completely, they must be removed from two places. First, click on the person's name, then choose History, then View Message History. When the History box appears, you can highlight a message and click Delete or choose Delete All to clear the History box. Second, click on the person's name, then choose History, then Open Message Archive. Click on the + to the left of Deleted Items. Right click on Messages, then choose Empty. Click Yes to delete the messages permanently.

Q: How do I back up my Contact List?

A: Close ICQ. Copy the folder named Newdb into a different location on your computer (perhaps My Documents) or onto a floppy disk. The Newdb folder should be located in C:\Program Files\ICQ. When the Contact List needs to be restored, copy the backup folder back into the Newdb folder. Again, close ICQ before you begin to restore.

Q: Can I have my ICQ account on my home computer and at work?

A: Back up your existing Contact List onto a floppy disk. (See previous question for instructions on how to back up your Contact List.) When you install ICQ onto the second computer, choose Register as an Existing User, then restore your Contact List from the floppy.

Q: Can my husband and I have different ICQ's on the same computer?

A: Yes, you can have one ICQ programs with multiple accounts. To set up a second account, click on ICQ, then choose Add/Change Current User. Choose Add Another Registered User and follow the instructions on the screen. To switch from one account to the next, click ICQ, choose Add/Change Current User, then Change the Active User.


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