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Dear TechnoFiles:
These are probably pretty simple questions for you but I until recently I was a complete computer dummy but I’m now able to get on the Internet and actually do email!  Every time I start my browser, Internet Explorer, it always starts with a Microsoft page.  I  really want to just start with Google, since that’s how I find everything.  Another quick question:  how do I take a picture of my grandkids on my computer and make it my background for my computer?  Thanks, Lois in St. Petersburg, Florida.  
Dear Lois:
Taking your last question first, sometimes seemingly simple questions are deceptively complicated, and this could be the case for setting a picture as your wallpaper.  While it’s easy to make a .jpg formatted picture your wallpaper, to make it look good when expanded to fill the screen requires a proper size,  which in turn is determined by your resolution. What you want is the picture to fill the screen, and not be stretched and distorted.  To set the picture, simply right click on your desktop, go to properties, choose the desktop tab, and then browse to your picture.  You can tile the picture, center it, stretch to fill- a world of options.  You’ll need to do a little trial and error to see what looks nice, and if your picture doesn’t look good no matter what you do, you’ll need to resize and/or crop your picture to fit your particular screen.  The other question, how to set your homepage in Internet Explorer- just surf to google.com, and then click tools and internet options and choose the button “use current” and your homepage will be set to Google’s homepage.  That one is truly easy.  –Jason

Dear TechnoFiles:
I’ve been to some sites that have an e-mail notification service that sends a message whenever the page changes.  The problem is that not all the websites I like to visit offer this service.  Is there a service on the web that tracks changes for me?  Thanks!  -Mike in Perry
Dear Mike:
There are numerous fee-based services that monitor web pages you specify for any changes, but before you go there, you might want to try a couple of free services first.  The first one is called TrackEngine (www.trackengine.com).  It is very customizable and offers a nifty toolbar icon with which you can simply drag and drop the URL of a web page that you want to monitor.  Another one to check out is Watch That Page (www.watchthatpage.com).  It remains a popular notification service but expect some delays in notifying when a monitored web page changes.  It does offer, however, an option to upgrade to priority service for a fee.  Others to consider include Update Patrol (www.updatepatrol.com) and InfoMinder (www.infominder.com).  Most of the fee-based services offer a free trial period, so you can try before you buy.  
If you want to try some of the free sites, you may want to take a look at TimelyWeb.  I helps you track updates of ftp resources as well as web page changes.  It’s available for download at sites like DownLoad.com (www.download.com) and other download sites.   Also look at ChangeDetect (www.changedetect.com).   It is a free service that will send web page change notifications to your email, pager, ICQ or phone via text message.  
I hope that helps you keep track of changes to your favorite web sites!  -Tina



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