From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      Tourbus - 18 Nov 03 - Send Your Name to a Comet / Windows &

TODAY'S TOURBUS STOPS: Send Your Name to a Comet / Windows & Office Updates

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, where my governor can beat up your governor. [Or is that "governator?"] :P

TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors. Please take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank them for keeping our little bus of Internet happiness on the road week after week.

On with the show ...

Send Your Name to a Comet Audience: Everyone

Veteran passengers of our little bus of Internet happiness will remember that back in March of 1998 we showed you how to add your name to a CD-ROM that was placed onboard NASA's Mars Polar Lander. Unfortunately, the Polar Lander was destroyed after encountering a large, white, singing monolith on the surface of Mars on December 3rd, 1999.

Or something like that. I get confused.

Almost 1 million people added their names to the Polar Lander's CD- ROM, and an additional 3.5 million people added their names to the CD- ROMs on the Mars Exploration Rovers which are on their way to the fourth planet as we speak.

Well, not to be left out, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is also offering you the opportunity to add your name to a CD-ROM destined for spaceflight. This time, the CD-ROM will be onboard a spacecraft that will crash into Comet Temple 1 on July 4th, 2005. And, no, that "crash" line isn't a jab at NASA. The goal of JPL's Deep Impact project is to crash a 370 kg (820 pound) mass -- including the CD-ROM -- into the Comet Temple 1 in order to

1. Make a really, really big hole. 2. Observe how that hole forms 3. Measure the hole's depth and diameter 4. Measure the composition of the interior of the crater and the stuff that gets blown out into space. 5. Determine how the hole changes the comet's tail.

According to JPL,

We learn about comets by studying the ice and dust that flows naturally from a comet as it is warmed by the Sun. But we will learn additional information by getting down inside where the more pristine material is hidden. Scientists expect to find hidden clues about how the solar system formed when they look at the structure of Comet Tempel 1

That's cool, I guess, but in my humble opinion the greatest part about this whole project is that my name [and yours too, if you want] will forever be associated with "a spectacular, football field-sized crater, seven to 15 stories deep."

That's just too cool for words.

How much does it cost to add your name -- or even better, your kids' names -- to the CD-ROM? Nothing. It's completely free to everyone around the world. Just hop on over to

and key in your name. Once you click on the "Send my Name" button, a pretty cool, personalized commemorative certificate appears in a pop- up window. And if the certificate doesn't appear, just click on the "click here" link on the page that does appear.

Then, in the months to come, tune in to

from time to time for the latest updates on the Deep Impact mission from its December 2004 launch to its May 2005 impact with Comet Temple 1.

More Critical Updates / Microsoft Office Update Audience: All Windows users (and all PC users who also use Microsoft Office)

Microsoft released three new critical updates on November 11th, so you'll probably want to run Windows Update sometime soon (if you haven't already.) Just open Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Windows Update, click on "Scan for Updates," and then get all of the Critical Updates and Service Packs. [You can ignore the Windows files and driver updates.]

Microsoft now releases critical updates on the second Tuesday of each month, but it is still a good idea to run Windows Update once a week just to be safe. And remember that you need to keep running Windows Update until you get a message that says "There are no critical updates at this time."

As long as you're in the update mood, you might want to run Office Update as well. Office Update checks your computer to see if there are any critical updates or service packs available for your copy of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, FrontPage, Outlook, and so on. Office Update is a completely free service, but there is one small catch: Some of the patches and service packs may require you to put your Microsoft Office installation disk into your CD-ROM drive just to make sure that you actually own Office and didn't steal it from a friend.

So, hunt down the CD you used to install Microsoft Office and then put it next to your computer. [Don't put the CD into your CD-ROM tray, though. Wait for the update to tell you when to do that.] Then, either click on the white "Office Update" link at the top of the Windows Update page or point your Web browser to

Click on the "Check for Updates" link at the top of the page. The rest is pretty self-explanatory.

And, like Windows Update, expect to have to run Office Update a couple of times before you get a "look, buddy ... there are no more updates ... go away" message.

That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week and we'll talk again soon!

           .~~~.  ))
 (\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
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The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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