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Assistance on Filling Out those Online Forms for the Free Stuff So, you’ve found a great freebie online, or a free trial of some service you have been wondering about, but the form you have to fill out has left you scratching your head. Sometimes the paperwork involved in getting some free stuff can seem a bit like applying for a mortgage or filling out your life insurance policy, and in fact, many people decide the freebie isn’t worth it after all when they’re facing down an intimidating form to fill out. The good news is that you don’t have to miss out on the free stuff just because the form leaves you a little perplexed. This guide will walk you through filling out these online applications, even if this is your first trip around the Internet. Once you get the hang of things, you’ll be filling out these forms in no time at all. First things first: once you have the form open on the screen in front of you, you have to move your mouse so that the cursor sits in the very first empty space on the form, and then click the mouse once. Some forms will automatically place your cursor there when you open them, but if you are not sure, moving the mouse there and clicking won’t hurt anything at all. All you have to do now is start typing, filling in the information they ask for in that field. Filling out the form the entire form is merely a repetition of this process. Of course, you have to be able to move between the fields easily so you can fill in the rest of the form. On some online forms, the cursor will move automatically when you have finished filling in a field, which makes life easy on you, but others do not. To manually move between fields, all you have to do is either hit the “tab” key on your keyboard or use your mouse to move the cursor to the next field, just like you did to start typing in the first field. Hitting “enter” may seem like a natural thing to do, and while it can work on some forms, other forms will submit themselves when you hit enter, meaning you will have submitted a blank form. It is best to stick to “tab” or your mouse to be on the safe side. This technique should allow you to navigate a freebie form fairly easily. There are a few other things you may see on a form that you have to know how to handle. You may be asked to “check” a box or indicate in a little circle (called a radio button) that you accept the company’s privacy policy or some other thing. To do this, all you have to do is move your cursor over the box or circle and click – the check or the dot will then appear. This can also be handy when forms ask for a billing address and a shipping address - if they are the same, you can tick a box stating so and avoid having to type the same thing twice. If a form has several pages, be careful to save your changes for every page as you move along. Usually there will be a button to click at the bottom of the page that allows you to save the work you have done. Especially long forms usually have some kind of side navigation that lets you skip around from section to section instead of moving through the form systematically – this can be helpful if you need to find some info for one section, but want to take care of all of the other work first. Most forms are reasonably user friendly and contain info to walk you through the process. If you get stuck, look for a help icon on the page – this info should clear up any questions you may have.

Web Hosting - Changing Web Hosts, Pitfalls and Planning At some point, nearly everyone finds it necessary to change web hosts. It may be just a migration to another server, or it may be changing web hosting companies entirely. Either way, the process is fraught with potential dangers. But there are ways to minimize the odds of problems and maximize your changes of a smooth migration. Plan, plan, plan. Make a very detailed list of everything that is on your current system. Review what is static and what changes frequently. Note any tailoring done to software and files. Be prepared to remake them if the systems aren't transferred properly or can't be restored. Keep careful track of all old and new names, IP addresses and other information needed to make the migration. Backup and Test Backup everything on your system yourself, whenever possible. Web hosting companies typically offer that as a service, but the staff and/or software are often less than par. Often backups appear to go well, but they're rarely tested by restoring to a spare server. When the time comes that they're needed, they sometimes don't work. Do a dry run, if you can. Restore the system to its new location and make any needed changes. If you have the host name and or IP address buried in files, make sure it gets changed. This is often true of databases. SQL Server on Windows, for example, picks up the host name during installation. Moving a single database, or even multiple ones, to a new server is straightforward using in-built utilities or commercial backup/restore software. But moving certain system-related information may require changing the host name stored inside the master database. Similar considerations apply to web servers and other components. Accept Some Downtime Be prepared for some downtime. Very few systems can be picked up, moved to another place, then brought online with zero downtime. Doing so is possible, in fact it's common. But in such scenarios high-powered professionals use state-of-the-art tools to make the transition seamless. Most staff at web hosting companies don't have the skills or the resources to pull it off. Prepare for Name Changes One aspect of moving to a new host can bedevil the most skilled professionals: changing domain names and or domain name/IP address combinations. When you type a URL into your browser, or click on one, that name is used because it's easier for people to remember. www.yahoo.com is a lot easier to remember than 209.131.36.158. Yet the name and or name/IP address combination can (and does) change. Still, specialized servers called DNS (Domain Name System) servers have to keep track of them. And there are a lot of them. There may be only two (rarely) or there may be a dozen or more DNS servers between your visitors' browsers/computers and your web host. Every system along the chain has to keep track of who is who. When a name/IP address changes, that pair has to be communicated to everyone along the chain, and that takes time. In the meantime, it's possible for one visitor to find you at the new place, while another will be pointing to the old one. Some amount of downtime will usually occur while everything gets back in sync. The Little Gotchas But even apart from name and IP address changes, there are a hundred little things that can, and often do, go wrong. That's not a disaster. It's just the normal hurdles that arise when changing something as complicated as a web site and the associated systems that underlie it. Gather Tools and Support Having an FTP program that you're familiar with will help facilitate the change. That will allow you to quickly move files from one place to the next to do your part to get the system ready to go or make repairs. Making the effort to get to know, and become friendly with, support staff at the new site can be a huge benefit. They may be more willing to address your problem before the dozen others they have to deal with at any given moment. Ok. On your mark. Get ready. Go.

A Brief Guide to Writing Short Stories Effectively (writing short stories) A short story is basically a condensed version of a book or a rapidly progressing story. It has fewer characters than a novel and covers less amount of time. A short story generally is around 6,000 words or 6 pages. Do your research and organization before you begin to write. Outline your plot and the background. Make sure they make sense and flow together. Individually list the events of the story in the order in which they occur. Create your characters. Not just their name and role in the story, but as if they were real people with real lives. By creating more information for your characters you will get a sense of what they would do or how they would be and convey that to your writing. By creating an outline you will have a point of reference to look back upon and make sure you have included all vital points of the story. When writing a short story, you will need a captivating first paragraph. You have roughly 5 to 7 lines to appeal to your reads unlike novels that have the whole first chapter. This can actually make or break your story. You will need to grab their attention and keep it to make them want to read more. By starting the plot in the first few sentences it will make people want to know more. They will keep reading to find out who is involved and why. Keep the timeline of events brief. You are writing a short story and the timeline should match that. A timeline of a day, a week, or maybe even a month is generally the span a story should cover. Use character dialogue as a way to move the plot ahead. In a short story there is no time for general chitchat. By using the character dialogue you are deepening the plot as well as moving it along. Do not add unnecessary characters. By adding them you are wasting time one someone that is not linked to your story or its plot. Provide swift and precise details to keep the story moving. Elaborate descriptions of characters, plot, or surroundings will only waste your words and are not essential to making a good story. Use short words instead of phrases that mean the same thing. Building to the climax should be most of the story. Keep the conflicts building to the climax simple and easy to understand. You writing should be able to evoke the following emotions empathy, pain, hurt, despair, surprise, and desire just to name a few. Since the story is only a few pages long in its entirety it is necessary to maintain consistency through out the beginning, middle, and end. Make sure the dialog and plot complement each other. Keep the same point of view through out the story. You are almost ready to be published. After completing your own proofreading and editing, let someone else read it, a neighbor, your spouse, colleague, or a close friend. Even if they are not writers themselves they will be able to help point out any grammar errors. They will be able to tell you if something just doesn’t make sense. You are trying to fit a lot of captivating information in a small space; it is easy to leave something out. Something you may not catch because you know what is supposed to happen, while your will not. By following these simple rules, you will be able to write a short story that is captivating and effective. Writing short stories isn’t for everyone. Many writers like more detail and for short stories the space is just not available.