Back to technology for a moment …

This morning I awoke to find a question from my friend Paul Moor in my email. I was pleased to be able to answer it with what seemed to me remarkably little effort because of knowing how to search for such an answer. I realize many of you may be more adept at this than I, however for those few who might not be, I thought it might prove instructive to lay out the steps (6 of them) I took in finding and providing the answer.

Like many people do, I turned first to Google to find the file extension that Paul was asking about. I recalled from previous searches for this kind of information that there was a site somewhere on the Internet where you could search by file extension to learn what program had created it, but I didn’t recall the URL for that site. So I simply typed in “file extensions” (with the quotes) into Google and allowed it to present me with the choices. As you’ll see in this graphic, the first answer it provided was the one I wanted. So I followed the link.

At the link Google had provided, I used the search facility at that site to type in the extension in question, ZM9, and got these results. Then I followed the link in those results, which took me to the ZoneLabs site, where I used that site’s search facility to look for “MailSafe” and saw this link. Following that link brought me to this page, where I noticed the link I’ve pointed to with the arrow. And that link yielded this clear explanation of what had changed the extension and why. (Here’s the actual link to that explanation.)

Because the link to the page that had the answer was 81 characters long, I decided to convert it, using the very helpful TinyURL site, into a tiny URL, as illustrated by this screen shot, which I then used to send my answer to Paul. My reason for using the TinyURL site was that in some email programs, long URLs are wrapped onto another line which makes them not work when people click on them. As you can tell from the screen shot of the TinyURL site, this service does an excellent job of shortening an 81 character URL into one that is only 24 characters in length.

You may be surprised to learn (or maybe not) that the process I went through to help Paul find the answer to his question is used quite frequently by the employees on the technical support help desks for all kinds of services.

Learning how to search is one of the more important skills one can have in using the Internet.


2 thoughts on “Back to technology for a moment …

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