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Van Horn Advocate


Tuesday, Aug. 5, 1997


Peggy McCracken

Click, wait, click
easiest way to buy

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OK, you computer illiterates. Stop up your ears, because I am going to talk dirty.

Did you know you can buy stuff over the Internet with a few clicks of the mouse and have a printed receipt within seconds? I completed my first totally digital transaction over the weekend, and I am estatic!

Needing anti-virus software to protect our web computer from attacks by those hackers who like to give everybody hell, I studied computer magazine reviews to find the best buy. Then I entered the name of that company in the web address slot, with the proverbial dot-com after it, then pressed enter. Presto, chango, up on my screen comes the company home page.

I click on an icon that says Anti-Virus, and up comes another page listing all their anti-virus software. I chose one for Windows 95, click on "Download," and here it comes. My downloaded files go into the Netscape folder, so I opened that folder, double-clicked on the anti-virus file, and it installed itself.

Once installed, the program automatically checked every file I tried to open, whether on a floppy disk, CD or hard disk. It also checks every filed downloaded from the 'Net, a necessity because that's where most of the viruses hide.

After using the program free for 30 days, I had to either buy it or it would kill itself off. So I clicked on the button labeled "Buy Now" and got a form asking for my name, address, e-mail address, credit card number and expiration date. Trusting them to have a secure site that no hacker could steal my credit card number from, I entered it and said a little prayer.

Back comes a message to wait while they checked out my number with MasterCard, which took only a few seconds. Once approved, it prompted me to click on another button to print out a receipt. That's all there was to it. No roaming the mall hunting for a software store; no digging out cash to pay for it; tearing off the shrinkwrap; no reading instructions and installing the program.

Of course, MasterCard debits my bank account at the end of the month, so I won't even have to write them a check. Now is that easy, or what?

Software is a natural to sell over the Internet, because it is nothing but electronic words and numbers, and they are easy to transmit. The company has no cost to put the program on a disk and/or CD, print a manual, shrinkwrap and mail it, thus saving big bucks. And who gets the savings? You and me, of course. Software prices have dropped dramatically.

I got an e-mail this week from a new Swedish electronic software store that offers software in 10 languages and accepts all major currencies. The process is just like the one I described, except they have to give you a password to decrypt the file you have downloaded. But with E-mail, it still takes only a few seconds.

If you're interested, the web address is, and the e-mail address is

Editor's Note: Peggy McCracken is an Enterprise writer and website manager whose column appears each Tuesday.


Special election important to all

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A special election scheduled for Saturday seems to have everyone confused. This is a very important election and judging from early voting, very few people will be voting.

It was called by the state legislature at the urging of Gov. George Bush in an effort to reduce school taxes. This is going to done, if the proposal passes, by increasing homestead property tax exemptions, to make it simple. The exemptions would be increased by $10,000.

Bush is attempting and pledges to continue to work on reducing property taxes in Texas.

On election day, in-town box voters may cast ballots at the Reeves County Civic Center. Those voting Box 4 will vote at Toyah City Hall while Box 5 voters will go to Balmorhea Senior Center. Those voting Box 6 will cast ballots at the Saragosa Multi-Purpose Center and Box 9 voters will mark paper ballots at the Red Bluff Office in Orla.

We believe this measure should be passed as it gives relief to everyone, in particular those who can least afford to pay taxes. Whatever your opinion, be sure to vote.

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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