CeePrompt! Computer Connection

Get set for Stockton debut of on-line banking

by Cathi Schuler

I'm not going to discuss the Internet and the World Wide Web this week...well maybe just a little. I promised myself I'd try to explore other topics of interest since not all readers are connected to this electronic labyrinth, or even online....yet. But finding a computer-related topic that doesn't somehow link back to the Internet or World Wide Web is almost impossible these days. Whether your shopping for a new computer or software, s eeking technical support or in need of an upgrade, you'll invariably be steered toward the Internet.

And that's exactly where I went to find the most recent release of Intuit's Quicken 5.0 for Windows, which features online banking. Although I have the latest software version 5.0, I didn't have the latest release of version 5.0 which I wanted so I cou ld help beta test the new online banking services soon to be offered by the Bank of Stockton.

Information about your software version, release and licensing can usually be found under the Help menu in most Windows applications. Click on the word Help from the menu bar and then click on the option that includes the word "About..." What you see amounts to a formal introduction of sorts. "Hello, I'm WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows. I was released on 11/4/94. I'm licensed to CeePrompt! My serial number is WP61XYZ85029 and, by the way, you have 70% of your system resources (memory) free at this time. Thank you and have a nice day." Escape key to continue.

This is important information that you need to know how to access. Oftentimes you'll be asked for your software version or license number for upgrades or problem-solving long after the printed documentation has mysteriously disappeared. Not all applic ations will report back on your available system resources from the Help menu, but most of the more sophisticated programs usually do. As a sidenote, if you don't see your name or company name as the licensed or registered user, you may have pirated or illegal software on your syst em and you aren't legally entitled to support and upgrades. "Computer User" usually isn't a licensed user.

When I chose Help, About Quicken from my Quicken menu bar, the program indeed introduced itself as the latest version 5.0, but it was release "d". Bummer. I needed release "f". As Murphy's Law would have it, this of course occured on a Sunday afternoo n when traditional means of technical support were unavailable. Undaunted, I jumped on the World Wide Web in search of a Quicken fix.

A speedy search for Quicken from the Yahoo index landed me at the Quicken Online homepage . The first option under "Hot Information" read: "Update Quicken 5 for Windows free. You ca n download this new release in just minutes." Eureka! It was, in fact, just that easy. Within minutes I downloaded the software, followed the instructions in the "Readme" file and voila! My release 5.0d for Quicken was updated to release 5.0f and I was soon downloading my bank statement, checking cleared transactions and getting ready to pay bills electronically.

I never thought paying bills could be fun, but electronic bill processing proved to be easy and a blessing for my busy lifestyle. Regular checks are issued electronically for local vendors and national firms alike from a list of payees that I personall y customize. No stamps, no envelope stuffing, or signing checks. Just click and go. Statement information can be updated daily to track cleared checks and deposits and multi-levels of security insure the privacy of account information online.

Online banking will soon be available to all Bank of Stockton customers and they won't have to worry about downloading software from the Internet for either Quicken o r Microsoft Money. The lastest versions and releases of both these products will be s upplied to bank customers for free, while supplies last. A very helpful and trained support staff of Online Banking Specialists are also available during regular business hours to help problem solve any online banking problems. But for those of us who ten d to keep odd hours, it's nice to know that additional help and support is just a local connection and few mouse clicks away in cyberspace.
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