Internet Starting Points

For someone who is new to the Internet, it can be a intimidating place. This starting points page is just a small sampling of the wide variety of websites that exist on the Internet, and many can lead to other sites of interest on the Internet. You can also use a search engine to find more sites of interest on the Internet.
Please Note: Clicking on the links below will open up a new Internet browser window. These sites are external to CalWeb Internet Services, and are neither endorsed or maintained by CalWeb Internet Services. Some sites may require registration in order to access information.
Internet Related
Here are some sites related to the Internet itself.
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News
The world is a constantly changing place. These web sites will let you read news stories as they are posted, and you can often search the archives for older articles, or articles of interest.
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Current Conditions
Why wait for the weather report? You can get the current conditions on-line.
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Entertainment
That's entertainment! Here are some information sources for entertainment news, as well as finding out things about your favorite show or movie.
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Sports
Keep up with the area's major league sports those these web sites:
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Searching The Internet
It is estimated that there are over five hundred and fifty billion documents stored on the Internet. A search engine will allow you to find specific documents on various web sites. While search engines have features in common, there are differences as well. Always visit the help links for each search engine before beginning a search. Many of the search sites contain other features as well. As a reference guide, see InfoPeople's Search Tools Chart for some common search engines and terms to use.

Subject Directories
Subject directories are a good place to start searching. Directories usually consist of sites that are selected by professional searchers for their quality. They are generally arranged alphabetically in subject categories. If you are not very familiar with your subject or appropriate terms to use to search, a good directory will usually lead you to the right information.

Search Engines
Search engines are basically robots that go out on the Internet, collect information randomly, and index it. They are not usually very selective. They do, however, let your refine your searches. Always visit the help page before searching.

Meta-Search Engines
Meta-search engines search several search tools at once. They are timesavers, but they may also retrieve unrefined results.

For an extended list of search engines and directories on the Web, go to Beaucoup. Beaucoup lists over 2,500 search engines and lets you link to them easily.Top

Kid's Sites
Here are some kid-friendly sites that are also educational as well.
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Reference Sites
Need to find out information quick about a particular subject? How about a spelling of a word? These sites will help.
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Electronic Books
There are a growing number of free electronic book (e-book) collections maintained by volunteers on the Internet. Most of the free e-books have had their copyright expire, and are now in the public domain, and many of them are considered classics. In addition, university presses and the US Government are also contributors to the free e-book collection. Here is a sampling of some of the sites:

More book listings can be found here. Most of these files are in either plain-text or HTML format. However, in order to view some of these books, you may need to download and install Adobe's Acrobat reader or Microsoft Reader.Top

Education Links
Here is a list of the local colleges in the Sacramento area. They often have course schedules on-line, and most even allow you to register on-line.
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Government Links
In many capacities, we deal with the government. Fortunately, information can be found at your fingertips, as well as some interesting trivia.

Voter Information and Bill Status

Federal Government

State Government

City Governments

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Maps & Travel
Need assistance to finding a particular place? Not only will these sites come up with a location on a map, but even allow you to generate directions on how to get there. Plus, if you are traveling overseas, you can get information on what to expect.
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Transportation
Need help getting around the area? These sites will help, especially during commute times.
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Shipping
You can keep track of packages through these links:
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Helpful Programs
In some cases, you will need to install some additional programs called "plug-ins" in order to view web content or download material. Here are the links to the most commonly used ones on the Internet.
  • QuickZip, WinZip, and Power Archiver – File compression program for handling ZIP archives that people send you. Windows XP users already have a ZIP utility installed.
  • StuffIt – File compression program for handling StuffIt (.sit) archives that people send you via e-mail. This is mostly used on the Macintosh.
  • Apple’s Quicktime – Plug-in for playing Quicktime movies.
  • MacroMedia Flash and Shockwave – Useful for playing Marcromedia Flash movies.
  • RealAudio’s Realplayer – Program for playing real-media files. You will usually need just the Free ReadOne Player.
  • WinAmp – Program for playing sound files of various formats, including MP3s.
  • Adobe’s Acrobat Reader – Many printed documents on the Internet are also available as Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)  files. This viewer will allow you to view these documents.
      • Microsoft Word Viewer If you do not have Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office installed on your computer, this will allow you to view Word documents (.doc) people send you.
  • Microsoft Excel Viewer – If you do not have Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Office installed on your computer, this will allow you to view Excel spreadsheets (.xls) people send you.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer – If you do not have Microsoft PowerPoint or Microsoft Office installed on your computer, this will allow you to view PowerPoint (.ppt) presentations people send you.
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Virus and SpyWare Information
Unfortunately, we live in a age where computer viruses can be sent even through the e-mail and through file attachments. Here is a list of sites where you can get more information about some current viruses, including scanners and virus removal tools.

SpyWare is a new category of software where you install a program from the Internet. These programs monitor which sites you go to and design advertising specifically targeted to you. Some SpyWare can slow down your computer or cause unwanted windows to pop up.

  • PestPatrol – Comprehensive site about SpyWare.
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Software Sources
There is a lot of software which is available to download and use on the Internet that perform various functions. Many of the software is available as "shareware", where you are allowed to try the program and, if you like it, pay a fee to utilize all of the functions of the program.
Miscellaneous Links
We couldn't categorize these links elsewhere, so we placed them here.

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