Line One
One Byte at a Time
Y2K revisited

We're still getting a lot of questions about the Y2K issue, so here's a brief review of the Y2K problem. This problem has the potential to reach all of us through its impact on banks, governments, and other large organizations with whom we deal almost daily. But, if you're currently using a computer you purchased in the last two or three years, it's quite unlikely that the Millennium Bug will have any meaningful impact on it.

To find out if your computer is Y2K compliant, download the free Y2K Check Program (2000.exe) from www.y2keasyfix.com. There are complete instructions for downloading and running this program on the web site. You may also want to get the latest updates for Windows from Microsoft. These updates (for Windows 95 and Windows 98) are available as free downloads from www.microsoft.com. With very few exceptions, all you'll need to do with your personal computer to survive the Y2K bug is turn it off on Dec. 31 and leave it off until after the new year.

If you have any software that you rely heavily on, you should also check with the maker of the software or their web site to insure that the software is compliant. Most DOS programs are not Y2K compliant. Most Windows programs should be, but it doesn't hurt to check and be sure. 'Til next month, be safe.

Right Clicking
A right click occurs when you click on an object with the right button on your mouse (as opposed to the left button). In Windows, the left button will activate the item on which you click. The right button, on the other hand, provides you with shortcuts to many windows features. For example, you can right click on your desktop to access the pop up menu. Then select "Properties" to open the display Properties box. This same feature works with most icons on your desktop, your taskbar, and in many windows programs as a shortcut to other features or settings. Give this a try–you may be surprised at the results.

On the Net

We've received several questions about routing using the sites that are available on the Web. We did a little checking, and here are the sites I looked at (with a comment on what they offer):

www.expediamaps.com 

Offered by Microsoft, this was the best site I found. The routing worked reasonably well and the site also offered address lookups and street-level maps to help you find a shipper or receiver.

www.freetrip.com 

This site offers some options on how to calculate the route (which can be helpful in eliminating rural roads, ferries, etc.).

www.mapquest.com  

This is the largest site I encountered. It is used by several other services that offer maps and routing. They also have a street-level lookup and map that could be quite useful in finding a specific address.

Used in conjunction with your truck atlas, these sites can all help you in planning a trip. Just keep in mind that these routes do not take truck restrictions into account, so when they direct you off the interstates, use your trucking atlas to verify that the road is approved for trucks.

Have a site you'd like to share with others? Send your site address to trkrhelp@wcnet.net

This column is provided by John Ewing, an OOIDA member, former owner-operator and author of The Truckers Helper, the complete software solution for your trucking business. If you have questions or need further help with this issue you can e-mail me for a personal response to your questions or concerns. We are also happy to answer any other computer-related questions you may have and welcome your comments and suggestions on this column. Send questions to trkrhelp@wcnet.net or ooida@aol.com.