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Helpful Hints

About Viewing Our Site
About Downloading Files
About Interactive Files
About Viruses
About Windows Errors

About Viewing Our Site (back to top)
1. What do I do if I'm having problems viewing or using your site?

If you are experiencing any problems viewing our site, or are simply interested in maximizing your usage of the site, we strongly recommend that you check to see that you have the most current versions of the applications we’re utilizing. Click on to Downloads to get up-to-date.

Please review our other hints below for other specific suggestions. If you are still having problems, we recommend checking with an IT resource near you.

About Downloading Files (back to top)
1. How do I download and save a file?

You can download and save a file in one of two ways. The easiest way is to right click on the file and then click on to “Save Target As…” Then you’ll have the chance to choose where you want your document saved. The other option is to allow a document to open up after you click on it, and then to do a “Save As” from within the application that opens.

2. How do I view a file from the site?

Typically, so long as you have the programs the files run on (e.g. Word, PowerPoint, Acrobat or Flash), it will automatically launch and enable you to view everything once you click on it. If you do not have a program on your computer however and you’re not able to see the file you need, you should download the FREE viewer or reader provided by the appropriate software company. Click on Downloads to get the application you need.

About Downloading Files (back to top)
1. What is meant by an interactive PDF?

PDF stands for Portable Document File and it’s the extension given to an Adobe Acrobat file. An interactive PDF makes it possible to complete forms directly from your computer, so you can skip the step of printing a form out first before you fill it out.

If a form is an interactive PDF, there will usually be an icon or written indication of such. Otherwise, it can be hard to tell if a document is interactive of not.

2. How do you fill out an interactive file?

First, be sure you have the most recent version of Acrobat Reader on your computer (Click onto Downloads, if you don’t). When you’re ready to fill out a form, the first thing you should do is to download and save the file to your computer. When you are ready to begin, open the file, and move the cursor over the area of a response field—when you are over a spot that you can type text into, you should see the icon of the cursor change from a hand to what looks like an elongated “I.” Click into that space and you’ll be able to begin typing. You can hit your TAB key to maneuver to the next field box. Maneuver your cursor in a similar way to place a mark in check boxes.

Be sure to save your document as you work along (go to File>Save)—otherwise you will lose all the information you have filled in. To print your form when you’re completed, go to File>Print.

About Viruses (back to top)
1. What can I do to protect my computer from infections?

Unless someone you know very well and trust has told you in advance that they are sending you an executable file, do not ever double click on an attachment that ends in “.exe”, “.com”, or “.vbs”.

Be sure to install the latest version of a good anti-virus software. If you are an authorized user of LAUSD’s network, you can click on to ITD’s website to download a copy of Norton Anti-Virus. Once you have anti-virus software, be sure you keep the program updated. This means you should download updates each and every week! Then, be sure you scan all floppy diskettes and email attachments before you open them. Also, make sure to install all recommended Windows Updates.

2. What if I get a virus?

If your computer is behaving strangely, or if you think your computer has a virus, use an anti-virus program to find out. If your computer is infected with a virus, DON'T PANIC! Use an anti-virus program to remove the virus yourself, or turn your computer off and contact someone in IT who knows how to remove the virus.

3. Where do all these computer infections come from?

Computer infections started to come on the scene in the late 1980s about the time when business and personal computers started getting connected on a wider-scale level through modems. The number of infections keeps growing now as more and more of us are now connected and at very high speeds no less. Infections come from a wide variety of people for an equally wide variety of reasons. Some people do it for ego to show that they are superior programmers, others do it as retaliation against companies and governments they don’t like, and still others do it for no reason whatsoever. One thing is clear—there is a real cost to these infections. They reduce productivity, and too often they cause irrevocable damage in terms of files that are lost forever.

Glossary of Terms

A computer virus is a small program written to alter the way a computer operates—usually in a way that creates havoc for the individual user or for the user’s larger network. Viruses rely on a host file (e.g. a Word document or executables) to help them spread. Technically, a virus meets two criteria: 1) it can execute itself, and 2) it can replicate itself. In practice, viruses can inflict damage in a number of ways—they can corrupt programs, cause files to be deleted, or even reformat the hard disk. Even the viruses that don’t do explicit damage can cause problems by taking up computer memory and leading to system crashes and data loss. One of the most annoying viruses is the e-mail virus which replicates itself by automatically mailing itself to the people in your e-mail address book.

Trojan Horse
Though a Trojan horse is similar to a virus, the main difference is that a Trojan horse program doesn’t replicate itself. Trojan horses are impostor files that claim to be something helpful or useful. For a Trojan horse to activate, you have to invite the program onto your computer—by either opening an e-mail attachment or downloading and running a file from the Internet.

Virus Hoax
Virus hoaxes are essentially spammed chain letters. They don’t actually harm files on your computer. Rather the harm they inflict is that they clog internet traffic. One of the common subject headers for virus hoaxes is: Forward this warning to everyone you know!

Worms are standalone programs that use computer networks and security holes in software to replicate themselves. A worm will scan the network for another machine that has the same security hole, copy itself to the new machine exploiting the same security hole, and then start replicating from there.

About Windows Errors (back to top)
1. What can I do to avoid error messages?

Be patient. One of the most common causes of error messages is our own impatience. When you are starting or restarting your computer, give the hard drive time to come to a complete stop before you try to start up any other applications. Windows does some file cleanup and system checks when it is booting—if you don’t wait for these processes to finish, they can get stuck causing errors to occur. The same is true if you all of the sudden decide to close a program that you’re in the middle of starting up.

Some other good preventative maintenance steps are to scan you hard drive and to do a disk defragmentation maybe once a month. Note: these steps can take a while, so it’s best to do them late in the day when no one will be using the computer. The directions for how to do these preventative steps will vary depending on which version of Windows you’re using—the most common way is to go to START>PROGRAMS>ACCESSSORIES>SYSTEM TOOLS and then you can pick either SCAN DISK or DISK DEFRAGMENTER from there. If these steps don’t work, contact someone in IT to help you with procedures for your version of Windows.

2. What should I do when I get an error message?

If you get an error message and it’s frozen your computer, close up all your applications and restart the computer. Certain versions of Windows now prompt you to send an error report. You will have to decide whether or not you want to share your problems before the program will allow you to shut down.
LAUSD Ethics Office
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Last Updated: 2/18/2011