| Helpful Hints
About Viewing Our Site
About Downloading Files
About Interactive Files
About Windows Errors
Viewing Our Site (back to
1. What do I do if I'm having problems viewing or using
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
Please review our other hints below for other specific suggestions. If you
are still having problems, we recommend checking with an IT resource near
Downloading Files (back
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.
Downloading Files (back to
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
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”,
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
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 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
About Windows Errors (back
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.