That's a smart machine If your tired of taking out the trash or doing the dishes, register at the Computer Museum (you can use a nickname) and learn the basics of designing a robot to do those boring chores. Unfortunately, before your robot can tackle cleaning up your room, you'll have to design one that explores the surface of Mars or hunts for sunken treasure. Cool enough? There's plenty more to do at www.mos.org/tcm/tcm.html like learn about networks, the Internet and the history of computers. For example, if you think your computer is old, take a look at the UNIVAC made in 1951. It's as big as your living room and cost about a million dollars! The computer you're using right now sits on your desk and is thousands of times faster! (This site is no longer available.) Your mission: Search the Oceans for Lots of Cool Stuff Are alligators sneaky? What fish can keep one eye out for food and the other eye out for danger? How did the Mosquitofish get its name? Take a virtual dive into the Florida Aquarium at www.flaquarium.org and learn the answers to these and other questions as you explore the deep, blue wonders of Florida's ocean environment. Conduct experiments like making a hydrometer or comparing freshwater to saltwater and then head for the play pond and match critters or take a quiz about the stuff you've learned. Finally, if things about Florida's ocean life still seem murky, visit the answer tank and ask an expert at the Florida Aquarium.
This 4Kids Detective game has expired. To play the current Kid Quest Challenge, go to www.4Kids.org/kidquest/.
1. The Computer Museum collection dates back how many years?
Dear Daniel: Your computer is safe from viruses if all you do on the World Wide Web is just surf around or read e-mail. Fortunately, downloading pictures or words is pretty safe too but look out if what you download is not what you expected. There is a chance you will contact a virus if you download something like an application or a program and then run it. So, be cautious if you are downloading a program from a person's Web site and not from a company--especially if they claim it does something that sounds too good to be true. For more information go to http:// isteonline.uoregon.edu/ istehome/ edtechnews/ antivirus/ Viruses.html. (This Web site is no longer available.) Dear Amy: What is Shockwave anyway? I see it mentioned on a lot of Web sites. Is it too big? --William, Pocatello, ID
Dear William: Shockwave is one of the latest plug-ins to deliver high quality sound and animation over the World Wide Web. It works with the newest Web browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer so you can do interactive things like play games over the Internet. Macromedia Shockwave players are free and available from http://get.adobe.com/shockwave. Before you download the plug-in go to the Help and Resources info to see if your computer has the capability to support it.