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Remember instructions about how to access information are printed in blue.

Throughout this posting, there are several opportunities to go to the original site.  They are marked in red.  Put your cursor on the area. If a line appears under the text, click and open in a new tab.

Being a rather practical and at times frugal person, I don’t understand when people tell me that they only use their computers for emailing friends and sharing jokes.  Not that I object to emailing and sharing jokes.  I do it all the time.

Nonetheless, a computer costs so much more than paper and pencil and a stamp!  Why not put it to many more uses.

Knowing where to find free items on the Internet can save you lots of money.

This posting will give you an overview of  many different uses you can make of the Internet in addition to emailing.   Throughout the weeks to come, I’ll give you more details about additional sites and how to use them.

1. Watch Movies and TV Shows

Have you ever seen your grandkids and even their parents looking at the screen of their computer for a long time without touching the keyboard.  Sometimes they laugh out loud or even cry.  You know what they could be doing——watching a movie or a tv show—-FOR FREE.  (Although they could have paid a nominal fee—that is something I’ll write about more in another posting.)

Hulu.comis the site often recommended. However, it is only available in Japan and the USA and its overseas territories. Click here to read about how to use this site.

Sidereel.com is an other tv and movie site that is available more globallyy.  Here is a video that shows you how to use this site.

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2. Talk on the Phone around the World

Skype allows you to use your computer like a telephone.  You can make free computer-to-computer calls.  You and the people who you want to talk with for free must download the Skype application to their computers.  For a nominal fee you can from your computer to a regular telephone.   You also can use Skype on your ipad and smart mobile phones.   The site is not that straight forward.  Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Once it is installed and you learn to use it, you really will enjoy it, mostly for free.

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If you want to make the screen larger on a video, put your cursor over the image at the extreme right.  It will say—full screen.  Click.  You can always return to regular size by using the ESC key on your computer. (on the very top row, extreme left.)

If you want to skip or go back to see again, put your cursor on the small white and red ball on the left and move it to the position you want.

3. Read Books

Amazon is known for selling books.  However, they also have books for free that you can download to your computer,  mobile phone, tablet and of course a Kindle.  If you do not have a Kindle, you need to download a free reading “app” from the Amazon site.  Click here to read more about Amazon and free book sources on the internet.  I will explore the topic of free books more on a later posting.

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4. Free Newspapers and Magazines

No more piles of papers

Although several newspapers are now limiting the number of free articles and charging for full reading of their online additions, you can still easily access thousands of free newspaper from around the world.  Click on  http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/     This site also has links to thousands of magazines and journals from around the globe.  They are organized by popularity and categories.

5. Free “Culture”

You can hear a lecture on global geopolitics by a Stanford professor, see a vintage John Wayne  film, learn Mandarin Chinese,  Study basic music therapy and much more all for free without leaving home.  openculture.com is your portal or gateway   to free cultural and educational material on the web.   Again, this site is just a beginning of all the free culture available to you.

There are many, many  activities that you can do on the web for free and often save time and energy by allowing you to do things like paying bills right on your computer.

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