"Christians And The Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 3, No. 3:  January 18, 2002.



The latest revision of this issue of "CATI" can be accessed
online at http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati66.htm.  The
Web page edition makes it especially easy to visit the links.

Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2002 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  See
the end of this issue for more information on "CATI."


This week's issue contains not only some brand-new material
(an article on how you can use free anti-spam software you can
download from the Internet to filter out unwanted junk from
your email), but also an updated version of an article that
was published earlier in CATI (the first part of a discussion
on how to download, unzip, and install programs from the Web).

For Christians, knowing how to download, unzip, and install programs from the Internet is an important skill.  For that
reason, I published the first part of a discussion of that
topic last year, but for some reason I failed to publish the second part.

Thus this week I am re-publishing the first part (somewhat
updated), with plans to publish the second part in next
week's issue of CATI so that CATI readers will have the
information together for their convenience.  (My apologies
for not publishing the second part earlier.)

One reason for reprinting an earlier article is to bring
the information up-to-date and to call the attention of
newer CATI subscribers to the material.  But another reason
is that CATI is essentially a one-person effort, and events
of this past week did not make it possible for me to write
another brand-new article.  (But I did warn you that I
might have to do that from time to time in order to meet my
goal of coming out with an issue each week in 2002, D.V.)

As always, I very much enjoy hearing from CATI readers, and
of the articles published in CATI, the more helpful ones are
often the result of email notes I have gotten from readers
of CATI.  So please share your thoughts with me by writing
to me at cati@traver.org (more than you may realize, my
hearing from you is what keeps me going!).


Like everyone else who uses email, Christians also sooner or
later have to deal with the problem of "spam."  In some ways
it is easier to avoid "bad stuff" on the Web, because all you
have to do is "not go there."  In the case of email, it is
more difficult, because without your going to the "bad stuff"
(or even "not-so-bad stuff" that is still a waste of time),
it comes to you! <sigh>

As I said, we're talking here about the problem of "spam."
"Spam" is "unsolicited email," usually of a commercial nature
(although "commercial" may be too dignified a term to apply to
a category which includes invitations to visit pornographic
sites, to get involved in get-rich-quick schemes, etc.).  The
spam comes unrequested and unwanted, and people put up with it
because they know of no ways to combat it.

Well, there are things that can be done, only one of which
will be dealt with in this article.  (We may discuss others at
some future point in time).  As a CATI reader, you know that
it's possible to filter out "bad stuff" on the Web through the
use of parental control software (programs such as CyberPatrol
or CyberSitter) or the use of a family-friendly ISP (Internet
Service Provider).  Wouldn't it be nice if something like that
were possible for email?

Well, it is!  Some very powerful (but easy-to-use) anti-spam
software is available, and most of the better programs are
actually free!  It's like having a secretary who sorts your
mail before it gets to you, saving you a lot of time, effort,
and trouble.  The "good stuff" gets to you, the questionable
stuff is marked as such, and the obviously "bad stuff" (if
you set up the program this way) can be disposed of before it
even gets to your computer.

Important:  Most of these programs work only with standard
email accounts (sometimes called POP3 accounts).  If you are
using instead AOL, MSN, or Web-based email (e.g., Yahoo or
Hotmail), you may need to attack spam in a different way (and
we may have suggestions for you in a future issue of CATI).

If you are on AOL, you may find the following to be helpful:

Anti-Junk E-Mail Tips for AOL Users

And if you are not able to use anti-spam software, you may
find this page useful and encouraging:

CompuGenie's Anti-SPAM Help

On that page, CompuGenie (Robert W.Schmitt?) questions the
value and effectiveness of anti-spam software, but he offers
some good general suggestions on combating spam that may be
helpful to anyone.

But I myself am persuaded that current anti-spam software can
be very helpful in fighting spam, so if you have a standard
(POP3) email account and thus are able to use such software,
I recommend that you try it.

The WebAttack site, an excellent site of downloadable software
related to the Internet, is the best source I know of on the
Web for anti-spam software:


Some of the software is free (known as "Freeware"), while some
of it is not (but rather "try-before-you-buy" software also
known as "Shareware").

Here are the specific pages where you can find descriptions of
(and actually download to your computer) anti-spam software:

WebAttack: Anti-Spam Tools: Freeware

WebAttack: Anti-Spam Tools: Shareware

Note that most of the freeware programs have a rating of four
or five stars, while most of the shareware programs have a
rating of only three stars.  So cost is certainly here no
obstacle to your obtaining outstanding protection from spam
for your email.  The free programs are as good as (or often
better than!) the ones you pay for!

My advice is that you avoid entirely the three-star programs
(unless you find one that has a very attractive feature that
other programs lack) and that you try out one of the four- or
five-star programs based on the program descriptions.  (If
you try a program and don't like it, simply uninstall it and
try another.)

In particular, in the freeware category you might try Spam
Buster or Spam Weasel.  Although I know less about them, EmC
and SpamEater Standard may be also worth considering.  (The
program PureMail takes a different approach to filtering.)
If you're more comfortable with software that costs money,
in the shareware category you could try our SpamEater Pro,
SpamKiller, or MailTalkX. (These range from $20 to $30 in

Here are some Web pages for the products I've suggested you
might consider:

Spam Buster

Spam Weasel


SpamEater Standard (free) and
SpamEater Pro ($24,95, shareware)

SpamKiller ($29.95, shareware)

MailTalkX ($19.95, shareware)

In general, such programs act as an intermediary between your
host server and your email client (that is, the program you
run on your computer to get, read, write, and send email,
e.g., Outlook Express, Eudora, or Pegasus).  As I suggested
earlier, an anti-spam program acts like a secretary who will
check your mail and see to it that the junk mail is discarded
before the rest of the mail is put into your "In" box.

If set up properly, "filtering" can be very effective (and
some of the software - although easy-to-use - is surprisingly
sophisticated, with some of the programs checking your email
against lists of thousands of known spammers in addition to
letting you set up, if you like, your own detailed rules for
filtering.  All of the software can be customized:  At the
end, you are the one who decides what gets through and what

If you are getting spam in your email box and have wondered
if you could do something about it, you now know that help
is available (at least for those with standard POP3 email
accounts) and is inexpensive or free.  (It doesn't even cost
money to test-drive the shareware.)

If you somehow got on a spammer's mailing list and are, for
example, receiving unwanted invitations to visit pornographic
sites, you can stop the messages from coming to your emailbox.
Don't write back to the senders (that only encourages them,
because it confirms that a real live person is receiving email
at that address).  Instead, make use one of these anti-spam
software programs to take charge of what gets in your emailbox
and what doesn't.

For those who are interested in reading further on this topic
(not only anti-spam software, but handling spam in general),
About.com has quite a bit of helpful material, including lots
of links to useful articles elsewhere:

About.com: Anti-Spam Tools
(Includes reviews of SpamKiller, Spam Weasel, Spam Buster,
and EmC)

About.com: Spam: General Information (Page 1)
About.com: Spam: General Information (Page 2)

About.com: Spam Fighting, Tips, Tricks and Secrets

About.com: Spam Filtering (Page 1)

About.com: Spam Filtering (Page 2)


[This article is being reprinted with some updating from CATI,
2/9.  One reason I'm reprinting it is that for some reason I
never followed through with a "Part Two," an omission I hope
to rectify in the next issue.  I described how to download a
program called FreeZip, but I didn't go on to describe how to
use it.  This article and the next deal with especially useful
skills you will need if you are to get maximum benefit from
the Internet.]

If you're looking for simple, step-by-step instructions on how
to download, unzip, and install programs from the Web, this
article is intended for you!  I'll even tell you how to get
and install a free and easy-to-use program to unzip the files.
(If you already know how to do all this stuff, feel free to
skip over this article and the follow-up article on the same

Don't let that term "unzip" intimidate you.  It simply means
"unpack."  Before you go on a trip, you probably pack your
clothes in a suitcase.  If you're like me (and I hope you
aren't in this respect), you stuff and squeeze all you can
into that suitcase, because you don't want to have to take
two suitcases.  Finally, it's all packed, and you leave for
your trip.

After you get to your destination, what do you need to do?
That's right -- you need to unpack that suitcase!

Well, it's like that when files take a trip over the Internet.
To "zip" a file is similar to stuffing and squeezing it into
a suitcase.  (The "zipping" process makes the file take up
less room.)  When the file gets to its destination (perhaps
it's a file you're downloading to your computer?), it needs to
be "unzipped" (i.e., unpacked).

There are various software programs that can be used to pack
and unpack ("zip" and "unzip") files.  One good full-featured
program is called WinZip, but it costs money and it can be a
bit complicated to use.

Thus I'm recommending that you try a free and easy-to-use
program called FreeZip.  Important:  there's also a copycat
FreeZip! program (with an exclamation point) out there that
you do NOT want!  Here's where you can get the right one,
the good FreeZip rather than the copycat:

DS Software: Freezip version 1.4.9

Here's how FreeZip is described:

"FreeZip is a small, fast and efficient Zip utility for
compression and decompression of files and directories in
Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000. FreeZip integrates with Windows Explorer
and uses file associations and context menus to zip or unzip
files and subdirectories. If you know how to use Windows
Explorer, then you do not have to learn anything new to use
FreeZip. The setup is a single-click process and there are no
options or settings involved."

"Compression" and "decompression" are simply different words
to refer to the "packing" and "unpacking" I mentioned earlier.
"Windows 9x" is a shorthand way of referring to Windows 95 or
Windows 98.  Basically, if you have Windows 95 or later, you
can install and use FreeZip.

Although the program is free, it has gotten top ratings at
Tucows and other software sites as well as elsewhere.  Here,
for example, is what Chris Parillo had to see about Freezip
in his Lockergnome newsletter:

"Novices: Confused with ZIP files? Do other ZIP proggies
[i.e., programs] offer too many confusing options? Do you
just want to download things and get on with your life?...
If you have ever used the Windows Explorer, then there's
nothing new to learn with this puppy. Quick, painless, and
nicely integrated with Explorer."

By the way, don't confuse Windows Explorer with Internet
Explorer.  Internet Explorer is a Web browser program, but
Windows Explorer is a file manager program.  My Computer on
the Windows desktop is really just a simplified version of
Windows Explorer.  (If you right-click with your mouse on
the My Computer icon on the desktop and choose "Explore,"
what you get is Windows Explorer.)

Here's how to get and install the FreeZip program.  Go to
that location on the Web that I mentioned earlier.  Then
scroll down the page to where it says "Download FreeZip
v1.4.9" (with "FreeZip" underlined) and click on "FreeZip."
That should start the process.

Here's the sequence of what to do next (minor details may vary
somewhat, depending on what version of Windows you are using):

(1) Choose "Save this file to disk."

(2) Click on "OK."

(3) At the next display, keep clicking on the icon at the top
right with the arrow in the yellow box until it says "Desktop"
to the left.  (The yellow box at this point probably turned

(4) Click on the next icon to the right (the yellow box with
no arrow in it).

(5) Where it says "New Folder," replace "New Folder" with
"My Downloads" and press enter.

(6) Double-click on "My Downloads."

(7) Click on "Save."

The download process should begin and continue until it is
done (at which point you may or may not be expected to click
on "Close" to close that box or window).

You have now successfully downloaded FreeZip to your computer!
There's no need to unzip the software (it wouldn't make much
sense for you to be expected to do that, since you presumably
downloaded FreeZip because you need it to 'unzip" files), so
the next thing to do is to install FreeZip.

Disconnect from the Internet and close your Web browser and
any other software that may be running.  The "My Downloads"
folder should now be visible on your Windows desktop.
Double-click on the "My Downloads" folder to open it, and
then double-click on freezip.exe inside to install FreeZip.
Click on "Yes" and then soon thereafter click on "OK."
Believe it or not, you have now successfully installed
FreeZip.  That's all there is to it!

You may have noticed some interesting things stated in the
license agreement (which is unlike most other agreements
you may have read):

HELP....  FreeZip is Freeware. Free for private or business
use. Free for distribution and publication, but in unmodified
package. FreeZip can be freely bundled with any product or
application. Individual permissions are not required...."

Incidentally, if in the preceding step you do not see a file
named freezip.exe but do see one named freezip, this means
that Windows is set to hide file extensions for known file
types and that .zip is a known file type, which means that
you most likely already have software installed to zip and
unzip files.  In that case, it's up to you to decide whether
or not to continue with the installation of FreeZip.

If it helps any in making a decision, I have more than one
"unzip" program installed on my computer with no problems,
and I think you may like FreeZip enough to switch over.
It's the one I use on a regular basis.

Next week we plan on downloading and unzipping some files
using FreeZip, but now we should do a little housecleaning.
I suggest that you right-click on freezip.exe (or freezip,
depending on your Windows settings) and choose delete to
get rid of the original file that you downloaded, since it
is no longer needed.  (If you should need it again, you can
always download it again.  Or, if you like, you can keep a
backup copy rather than deleting it.)  Then click on the "x"
in the upper right corner of the "My Documents" folder to
close that folder.

What about the "My Downloads" folder itself?  You could
delete that as well, but I suggest that you keep it around,
since we'll be using it in the next article in this series.

As I said, next time we expect to be downloading, unzipping,
and installing software, but don't panic if you've never done
anything like that before.  Once again I will be providing
you with step-by-step instructions.

These are important skills for a Christian on the Internet to
have, and if you've never done these things before, it may
surprise you to see how simple it is to learn how to do them.
Hang in there!  See you next week?


Like to know what this is?  This is the sixty-sixth issue of
a free newsletter devoted to "Christians And The Internet"
("CATI," pronounced "Katy," but spelled with a "C" and an "I"
for "Christians" and the "Internet").

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Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2002 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.