How to Start Up Your E-Mail Client
Nothing can be more frustrating than knowing that your best friend has just sent you some e-mail, but you don't know how to get into the computer system at school to read your e-mail. It doesn't do any good to know that there is help available online because you can't even start the machine, and it's embarrassing to ask lab assistants who are busy helping others with complex spreadsheet questions. So you sit there looking at a blank screen as if your fervent wishes could make it turn itself on.
Turning the computer on really isn't hard. There are two buttons you have to push: the large rectangular button on the CPU (the box beneath or next to the monitor) and the little round button on the monitor (the screen). If you forget to turn on the monitor, the computer will start, but you won't see anything on the screen. After you press these buttons, it sometimes takes a few minutes for the computer to start up and go through its own set-up process and automatically check for new computer viruses. There is nothing for you to do but twiddle your thumbs while this is happening, so practice your thumb-twiddling beforehand so you look like a pro. If the computer doesn't start up properly, it's probably not something you did wrong, and you should try another machine or ask the lab assistant for help.
Eventually, the computer will warm up and a small grey box, called a dialog box, should pop onto the screen. Click on the TAB key until the top window on the dialog box is highlighted. Type your username into this box. (As soon as you start typing, the highlight will disappear and your typing should show up.) Your username is your last name and the last four digits of your social security number, without any spaces. When you've typed your username, click on the TAB key again and the password window will be highlighted. Type in your password, which consists of the first six digits of your social security number—no spaces, no hyphens....