This manual contains all the instructions you'll ever need for iMarvel.  iMarvel  is fairly simple to operate, so you don't really need to read any of it before using iMarvel.  You may want to to just skim over the first few pages, then refer to the manual as needed.  If you want to print it out, it's about 40 pages long.

iMarvel Home Page

iMarvel Quick-Start Manual


  A. Introduction
  B. Starting iMarvel
  C. iMarvel Basics
  D. Hiding and Showing iMarvel
  E. Additional Browser Commands
  F. Using Hoo-Hah
  G. Removing iMarvel 
  H. Troubleshooting
  I. Customizing your iMarvel
  J. About Ark Royal Software
 K. The Wizards
    1. Address Book
    2. Alarm
    3. Business Wizard
    4. Calculator
    5. Calendar
    6. Clock
    7. Control Center
    8. Directory
    9. Favorites
    10. Finances
    11. Investment
    12. Internet Traffic
    13. Jukebox
    14. eMail
    15. Mall
    16. Memo Pad
    17. Newspaper
    18. Newsphotos
    19. Radio
    20. Schedule
    21. Searching The Internet
    22. Sports Scoreboard
    23. Television
    24. Tips (Motivation, Cheapskate, Webmastering)
    25. Weather

A. Introduction

  Thank you for trying iMarvel, the program that puts 24 helpful Wizards to work for you.
  iMarvel  is completely free of any charge.  All we ask is that you send us any suggestions you may have that would help us improve it.  A week after you've started using it, a poll will pop up on your computer screen, asking for your comments.  You can also email comments or questions to our staff at the online feedback page.  There's also a live Chat Room.
  Along with iMarvel  comes access to the Hoo-Hah directory, which is shaping up to become perhaps the most useful directory on the Internet!  We'll continually add more pages to the directory, and future versions of iMarvel  will have improved features.  Here are some examples of the good things to come:
  • More Wizards to choose from.
  • More current up-to-the-hour news and sports reports.
  • Ratings of web sites, compiled from a poll of iMarvel  users, to help you decide which ones are worth your time.

B. Starting iMarvel

  Once you've set up iMarvel, it will automatically start each time you open your browser.  It may start slowly the first time, but your browser will keep parts of it in it's "cache" and load it much faster in the future.
  Another way to start up iMarvel  is to type the following address into the address bar at the top of your browser:

  If you'd like to place an iMarvel icon on your Windows '95/98 desktop, here's how:

  1. Load the iMarvel page into your browser.
  2. Right-c lick on the background of the iMarvel window, very close to the edge of the window.
  3. You should see "Create Shortcut" in the menu that pops up. Click on that. A shortcut to iMarvel should then be placed on your desktop.

      You may also want to have iMarvel start up each time you turn on your computer.  This will make iMarvel constantly available, and ensure that every alarm you set will be activated.  To do this in Windows 95/98, take these steps:

  4. Right-click on the Windows "Start" button, then click "Open", then double-click "Programs", then double-click the "StartUp" folder.
  5. Drag the iMarvel shortcut on the desktop into the "StartUp" folder.

  In Windows 3.1: to auto-startup iMarvel, drag the browser icon into your startup folder.

  MacIntosh owners can refer to their manual for auto-startup instructions.

C. iMarvel Basics

  Here's a few tips to help you get started with iMarvel:

  • Whenever you want to use an iMarvel Wizard, click on its name in the Directory Wizard.  The window will immediately be centered on that Wizard (if the Wizard is not present, a new window to it will be opened.)
  • To return to the top of the screen, click any link labeled Top.
  • To see a quick explanation of any graphic, you can usually hover the mouse pointer over it, and a little description box will temporarily appear.
  • Click on a green Help button (You don't need to click this now: wait until you see it inside an <i>iMarvel</i>  Wizard.) for a quick explanation of any Wizard.
  • There are some text-boxes in iMarvel that allow you to search the Web for any term you type into the text-box.  On some browsers you then need to click the GO  button, while other browsers will allow you to simply press [Enter] or [Return] to begin the search.
  • If you find that the daily tips and news graphics are not being updated to the current day, it's because your browser is drawing them from a cache on your hard disk.  To update graphics, try clicking the Reset, Refresh or Reload buttons, or click on the address bar and then press [Return] or [Enter].

Note for Macintosh users:  This manual occasionally mentions a key combination that uses the "Ctrl" key on Windows keyboards.  On Macintosh computers, often the Command key is used instead of the "Ctrl" key.

  Here's a few definitions that may help novices understand iMarvel:

  • A URL is any web address (for example,
  • A Sound URL is any URL that plays a sound (these URLs will usually begin with http:// and end with .ra, .rm, .mid, .smi and many others.)
  • A RealAudio URL is a sound URL that usually ends with .ra, .rm, .ram, .rmm or .smi

D. Hiding and Showing iMarvel

  The iMarvel  window will hover at the top of your computer screen, over the toolbar where it doesn't block your view of the other browser window.  You can hide iMarvel  behind the main browser window in several ways:

  You can switch iMarvel  back to the front in several ways:

  • By clicking on the iMarvel  window itself, if any part of it is visible.

E. Additional Browser Commands

  The following keyboard commands are available in most browsers.  Commands that can be used in only one type of browser are marked (NN Only) or (IE only).  They can all be used in any browser window.

Browser Keyboard Commands
To do this: Press this key:
New Page Commands:  
  Forward to next page Alt + Right-Arrow
  Back to previous page Alt + Left-Arrow
  Go to a new page Ctrl + O
  Open a new window*** Ctrl + N
Page Scrolling Commands:  
  Scroll one line up Up-Arrow
  Scroll one line down Down-Arrow
  Scroll one page up PgUp (Page Up)
  Scroll one page down PgDn (Page Down)
Miscellaneous Commands:  
  Print the current page* Ctrl + P
  Find text on the page Ctrl + F
  Stop loading a page Esc
  Close the active window Ctrl + W
  Reload the current page** Ctrl + R (NN Only)
  Refresh the current page**F5 (IE Only)
  Show a menu of these
  and 10 more options
Shift + F10 (IE Only)

  If you find that any of these commands are not working, click inside the window (on a blank area), then try the commands again.

  * Note: Before printing a multi-frame window, you should first click on the frame you want to print.

  ** When refreshing or reloading the iMarvel  window, a different page will be displayed.  On Internet Explorer browsers, the F5 key may sometimes cause an improper reload.

  *** When opening a new window in Internet Explorer, a toolbar and menubar will be displayed.

Here's some tips on how to navigate through web pages:

  • You can use the tab key to move between boxes.  When you're looking at "radio buttons" and "checkboxes" (they look like this: ) you can use the arrow keys to move up/down/sideways, and the space bar to select a button.
  • When you're in a select-box (example: ), you can press any letter on the keyboard to find the next entry that begins with that letter. (for example, if you click on this select-box you can press "R" to select the "Radio" entry.) The Up-Arrow and Down-Arrow keys can also be used, as well as the PgDn ("Page Down") key.
  • If you have many windows open in Windows 95/98, you can press [Alt]-Esc to move a window to the back. You could also use this key to cycle through all the windows, one by one. You can press [Alt]-Tab to move back and forth between the two top windows on the screen.

  In the Windows operating system, the following icons appear at the upper right of each window:

iMarvel Commands List
Click this symbol in the upper right corner of the iMarvel  window to full-size the window and see the page that is pointed to by the first link.
Click this symbol in the upper right corner of the iMarvel  window to return the window to normal size.
Click this symbol in the upper right corner of the iMarvel  window to shrink it to the Windows 95/98 taskbar.
Click this symbol in the upper right corner of the iMarvel  window to close it out.

F. Using the Hoo-Hah Explorer

  Clicking on the Hoo-Hah  button of the Control Wizard will open a marvelous directory of the best things to do on the Internet.  The purpose of Hoo-Hah  is to point you to high-quality sites, quickly and trouble-free.  If you know of a great site that isn't in Hoo-Hah, please let us know about it! :
  • Hoo-Hah  gives you the all-star sites.  We compiled Hoo-Hah  from lists of sites that have been awarded high ratings by various "Award Sites" on the Internet.  These sites make it their business to scout the Web for the very best sites, and so do we.

  • Hoo-Hah  is about people.  The human guides at Hoo-Hah  look for the best experiences on the internet.  The Hoo-Hah  Chat Room is staffed by a real human being during most daytime hours.

  • Psst... want some free stuff?   The number and quality of free offers on the Internet is truly amazing!  Hoo-Hah  brings you the very best of them in its "Freebies" category.  The "catch" is usually minor: the freebie is "free after rebate" or perhaps they just want your name so they can later market their products to you.

  • Hoo-Hah  lists sites by what you can actually do there.   That way, you can look at the description of a site and instantly decide if it's what you're looking for.  It also makes Hoo-Hah  a nice directory to casually browse for good tips, ideas and worthwhile things to do.   Other directories usually just list the name of site, then give a foggy description of one or two things you can do there.  What a waste of time!
      The listings in Hoo-Hah  are alphabetized according to what you can do there:

    • Buy: Sites with good online shopping.
    • Create: Sites that offer something creative and fun to do.
    • Download: Sites where you can download a good (and usually free) software program.
    • Explore: Sites that offer so many things to do, we can't really summarize them with a more specific word than "Explore"!
    • Find: Sites where you can type in something you're looking for, and find the nearest match in their database.
    • Get: Sites that give away free stuff.
    • Join: Community sites, where the main activity is interacting with other people.
    • Laugh: Sites where you can get some good laughs.
    • Learn: Sites where you can learn new skills and interesting facts.
    • Listen: Sites that offer RealAudio, MP3 or some other audio format.
    • Look: Sites that offer video feeds, such as RealVideo and ShockWave.
    • Play: Sites where you can play great online games.
    • Protect: Sites where you can learn how to protect your safety and your possessions.
    • Read: Sites that carry interesting feature articles, such as online magazines.
    • Receive: Sites that will send you a tip-filled free newsletter.
    • Save: Sites where you can save money, or sites that list thrift tips.
    • Send: Sites that give you a way to send messages, faxes and other communications.
  Why do we call it Hoo-Hah!?  Because when you see how much it does for your Internet experience, you just might jump up and yell...


G. Removing iMarvel 

  To remove iMarvel  from your browser, surf to: and follow the simple removal instructions listed there.

H. Troubleshooting

  The JavaScript technology used by iMarvel is new, and every browser handles JavaScript differently. Your browser may give you an error message at some point. If that happens, you should consult this troubleshooting section of the manual. It should solve most of the problems you may encounter while using iMarvel.

  iMarvel  has been extensively tested on Windows computers.   On MacIntosh computers, testing has been minimal.  If you experience any problems, you can send e-mail to us at the online feedback page.  Normally, you'll receive a reply within 24 hours on weekdays.  Please include all of the following details:
  • The version of iMarvel  you are using (it's in the upper left corner of the iMarvel  window)
  • An exact description of the problem
  • Exactly what steps led to the problem

  Here are some error messages that you might see, and what you can do to correct the problem:

  • "Netscape is unable to locate the server: The server does not have a DNS entry."  To correct this problem, log on to the Web and restart iMarvel.

  • "The URL you requested is not available offline"  To correct this problem, make sure that your browser isn't in Offline Mode.  To check this in Internet Explorer, simply look at the "File Menu" of Explorer.  Make sure there is no checkmark next to the "Work Offline" line.  If there is, click on that line to get out of Offline Mode.

  • If your browser keeps asking you whether you want to save data, that means it is asking permission to use cookies.  To avoid this message, you should change the Internet Options of your browser to enable cookies.  In IE-4, Internet Options is located on the View Menu; on IE-5, it's on the Tools menu.

  • If any window "freezes" and becomes unresponsive, first you should save anything you're working on.  Then hold down the Ctrl  and Alt  keys, and press the Delete   key.  You should see a list of open windows.  Close one  frozen window.  If any other windows remain frozen, close them too.  For best results, you should then restart your computer.

  • An "out of memory"  error means that your browser is too full of pages to run iMarvel.  Close out the iMarvel  page (or some other unnecessary page) and continue browsing.  When you're done browsing, restart iMarvel.  On the MacIntosh, you may need to restart your computer in order to reset its memory heap.

  • An "unspecified error"  error usually means that you've closed out a window before iMarvel was finished writing to it.   Alternatively, your browser may be acting cranky today.  If your browser gives you a chance to continue running scripts, do that.  If not, close out iMarvel  and then restart it.

  If you are using a service such as AOL or CIS (CompuServe), you may need to connect to the Internet without going through their proprietary software.  You can do this by configuring Dial-Up Networking for your browser software.  To find out how to do this, contact AOL or CIS.  The quickest way to do this is to go online and do some online chatting with their support staff.  Or, give them a phone call if you can't find their "online help" chat room.

I. Customizing your iMarvel

  One way to customize your iMarvel  is to visit the Create Your Own iMarvel page at  This method will work with all computer types.
  For IBM PC users, a program is available that allows even more customization, "marvel.exe".  This is faster and allows you a few more customization options.  It uses a pretty old-fashioned "DOS" user interface, which may make it a little hard-to-use for people who are more used to Windows.
  This program is installed on the c:\starbase7\ directory.  To run it in Windows 95/98, click the Start button, then click Run, then type "C:\starbase7\marvel.exe".  To make the window bigger, hold down the [Alt] key and press the [Enter] button.
  The first time you run marvel.exe, the program will ask you if you want to personalize iMarvel.  This will allow you to enter your name, address and other personal data so that iMarvel will work better for you.  For example, naming your hometown will allow the Weather Wizard to easily get your hometown weather.  All your answers are kept on your hard disk, accessible only by you.
  After the program is done, the DOS window may remain on the screen; if so, you can exit the window by typing "exit" followed by [Enter].

  The following menu options are available in this program.  To choose an option, simply press the key that is listed next to that option.

  Personal Data:  You can fill in your name address data, to personalize your iMarvel Start Page (especially the Weather Wizard.)
  Program Data:  Here you can decide what your iMarvel page will look like.

  • Choose the size of a Wizard by typing S, M or L.
  • Choose a background by typing the name of any graphic file located on the /starbase7/ directory.  Possible Custom Backgrounds  are circuits.gif, space.gif, darkwood.jpg and purpcrys.jpg.  Possible Wall Backgrounds  are red_br.gif, western.gif, adobe.jpg and psycho.jpg.   Possible Scenic Backgrounds  are skyline.gif, nitesky.gif, nyclib.jpg and mars.jpg.
  Wizards On Start Page:  This lets you decide which Wizards to include on your Start Page.
  Graphics Options:  You can decide photos for the Photo Wizard, and tips for the Tips Wizard.
  HTML-Only Options:  These options are needed only for the all-HTML Wizards.  To specify a Stock Portfolio, type any stock symbols you want, separated by a space (e.g. "IBM AOL".)  To specify a Signature, type anything that you want to end your messages with.  You can also specify that you want to receive carbon copies for each e-mail message you send using the Mail Wizard.
  Weather/Outdoors Data:  Lets you customize the Weather Wizard further.
  Business Wizard Links:  You can change the links on the Business Wizard to any sites you like.
  Finance Wizard Links:  You can change the links on the Finance Wizard to any sites you like.
  Investing Wizard Links:  You can change the links on the Investing Wizard to any sites you like.
  News Wizard Links:  You can change the links on the News Wizard to any sites you prefer.
  Extra Stores:  You can add any stores you want to the Mall Wizard.
  Extra Favorites:  This menu lets you add any sites you want to the Favorites Wizard.
  General RealPlayer URLs:  This menu lets you add any audio sites you want to the General category of the Radio Wizard.
  News RealPlayer URLs:  This menu lets you add any audio sites you want to the News category of the Radio Wizard.
  Business RealPlayer URLs:  This menu lets you add any audio sites you want to the Business category of the Radio Wizard.
  Sports RealPlayer URLs:  This menu lets you add any audio sites you want to the Sports category of the Radio Wizard.
  Technology RealPlayer URLs:  This menu lets you add any audio sites you want to the Technology category of the Radio Wizard.
  Entertainment RealPlayer URLs:  This menu lets you add any audio sites you want to the Entertainment category of the Radio Wizard.

J. About Ark Royal Software

  Ark Royal Software creates civilized software for the Internet.

  The latest news about iMarvel can be found at

Contact Information: 

  Ark Royal Software
  Kirkland, WA 98034-1542
  14332 NE 126th Ave., Suite #B-203
  Phone: 425-825-8449

  Consumer/Privacy Rights:

  We respect your right to privacy.  Any information that is requested by iMarvel  is written only to your own hard disk, and is not recorded or used by Ark Royal Software in any way.

K. The Wizards

  All 25 Wizards are explained here.  The statements that have a light-aqua background apply only to the JavaScript version of iMarvel.  The statements with a tan background apply only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.

1. Address Book:
  The Address Book is a place for you to keep e-mail addresses.  When you click on any name in the Address Book, the name and address is automatically placed in the Mail Wizard.  You can even address a message to multiple recipients: to do this, hold down the [Ctrl] key while you click on multiple names in the Address Book.
  The buttons in the Address Book are used as follows:
  •   Delete Address:   To delete a name, click on any name in the Address Book and then click this button.  To delete multiple names, first hold down the [Ctrl] key while you click on all the names that you want to delete.   Then click this button to delete them all.

  •   Lookup:   Click here, and you can search online directories for names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses for anyone you want to look up.
Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.
  •   Add Address: To add someone to the Address Book, fill in the Send To: box and the Name: box in the Mail Wizard, then click this button.

  See also: Mail Wizard, Memo Pad.

2. Alarm:

  To set a simple alarm, simply click on the box labeled Hour  and type the hour you want the alarm to go off.  Then click on the Set button to set the alarm.
This section applies only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.   Currently, the all-HTML Alarm Wizard is used to set events in the Schedule Wizard.  It doesn't actually sound audible alarms. 

  All the other fields are optional:
  • Minutes:  Type in the minutes (if you don't, ":00" is used.)
  • AM/PM:  Select "AM" or "PM".
  • Month/Date:  Select a date (if not, the alarm will be set for a time within 24 hours.)
  • Repeat:  You can repeat an alarm any number of times.  Example: if you put "2" in this box, the alarm will ring, then repeat two more times.  To repeat an alarm forever, put "999" in this box.
  • Frequency:  You can put any number of hours in this box, such as 24  to make it a daily alarm.  You can put in any hours:minutes combination, for example 1:30  to make it ring every 1.5 hours.  Or, you can use one of these abbrevations:  for a weekly alarm, put W.  For a weekday (Monday-Friday) alarm, put WD.  For a yearly alarm, put Y.  For monthly alarms, put M.

  • Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.
    Type: Select an alarm type:
    1. The Memo Box will pop up a message window when it goes off
    2. The Radio Alarm will visit the site you have selected in the Radio Wizard, and also play the RealMedia clip. If no site is selected, ABC News is used.
    3. The Midi Alarm will play a file called "alarm.mid" (a Bach melody.) Optionally, you can also type a memo that will appear in a message window.
    4. The Visit Sites alarm will visit all sites selected in the Favorites Wizard.
  Tip: you can use the tab key to move between boxes, and the space bar to push the AM/PM radio buttons.

  The Alarm Wizard is one of the neatest things about iMarvel! It is often better than any other alarm device, because it gives you both an audible reminder and a visible reminder whenever you pass by your computer.  Here's some of the alarms that everyone should consider setting in their iMarvel program (or any other scheduling program):

  • If you do any important work with your computer, a great thing you can do with iMarvel is to set a Memo Alarm  to pop up every 15 to 60 minutes to remind you to save your work. Many people have had computer crashes that wiped out their unsaved work.
  • Use iMarvel as a "reminder system." Think about anniversaries, appointments and any events you look forward to but sometimes miss. When you schedule appointments, you should set the alarm to go off well before the appointment time, to make sure you have enough time to prepare for it.
  • Think about some good habits you'd like to get into. If you have trouble remembering to back up your hard disk regularly, you can set a repeating alarm to remind yourself to do that daily. The possibilities are endless: feeding the dog, a health/hygiene activity, whatever!
  • Leave a message, reminder or love note for someone else who uses the same computer.
  • Yearly flu shots around mid-October. Many places offer flu shots, including public health clinics and some stores (CostCo sells them for $8.) It's very important, but also very easy to forget.

Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.

  When you set a Radio Alarm  or a Visit Sites  alarm,  iMarvel  may stay online and only log off when your software disconnects.  Internet Explorer will normally log off after 20 minutes. To change this setting, click on the View  or Tools  Menu, Internet Options  line, Connection  tab, then Settings  button.
  Here are some more things you can do with the JavaScript alarm:

  • Have iMarvel give you the news you want, at the time you want. For example, you can set it to play a news site every morning at the time you want, instead of waiting for the network news to come on.
  • Customize the MIDI alarm. Currently it plays a Bach melody. If you prefer a different MIDI file, copy it to the /starbase7/ directory as "alarm.mid" (e.g. "C:/starbase7/alarm.mid")
  • How about using it for inspiration and/or learning? Find a supercool site on the web that updates content daily (e.g. a "cool site of the day" site), and have iMarvel download it for you each morning. If you go to Yahoo and search for "of the day" (remember to type the quote marks, to get exact-phrase matching), you'll get over 3000 categories and sites, including Poem of the Day, Joke of the Day and many more.
  • Let's say you're eagerly waiting for news of some important upcoming event on the Web. You can use the "Alta Vista" URL in the Radio Wizard to set an alarm to periodically search for any term you wish.
  • You can use iMarvel to simultaneously download a lot of different sites that you like to visit regularly. For example, you could construct your own "morning briefing" of the news you want.  Set the alarm for anytime in the morning, and it will all be downloaded in about 5 minutes.
      To create a morning briefing, take the following steps:
    1. Add the sites you want to visit to the "Favorites" Wizard.
    2. While holding down the [Ctrl] key, click any number of sites listed in the Favorites Wizard.
    3. Set Visit Sites  alarm to visit those sites regularly. Remember to put "999" in the "Repeat" text-box, which will make the alarm repeat forever.

  • You can minimize iMarvel to the Windows 95/98 taskbar, and alarms will still be activated.
  • When you add a Memo Alarm, try to use alphanumeric characters (A-Z, 0-9).  The browser can't accept quote marks or apostrophes.
  See also: Calendar Wizard, Clock Wizard, Schedule Wizard.

3. Business Wizard:  The following options are available:

  • Order:  Type any office-supply item you want, and click the GO button. You'll get an instant quote from the online site of Office Depot.
  • Track:  You can type any airbill number for an express package from UPS, USPS, DHL, FedEx or Airborne.  Click the GO  button, and their online site will tell you the status of the package.
  • Links:  The 9 links you see in this Wizard will take you to some of the best online sites for small business.
    • Advisor: The SCORE site (Service Corps of Retired Executives) will help any budding entrepreneur or executive get his or her start.
    • Government: The Small Business Administration (SBA) can help you with its sections on Starting Your Business, Disaster Assistance, Financing, Expansion, Pro-Net (government contracting), Regulatory Fairness, Ace-Net (venture capital), SBA Outreach for minorities, and A Shareware Library of Programs to Run a Business.
    • Networking: The Access Business Online is a business-to-business website designed to help businesses work together online, through the BizWiz Network of more than 300,000 companies. It is recognized as a valuable resource if you want to make contacts, or are buying or selling a product or service. All industries. All markets. Worldwide.
    • Get Funding: CashFinder is a loan site that specializes in lending to businesses.
    • CEO Express: This is an excellent portal and reference site for all business people.
    • Credit Check: The EquiFax site lets you run a credit check on any potential customer.
    • Online Office: HotOffice is a good "online office" site for businesspeople and professionals. For a free site, Visto is very good (a PC Magazine Editor's Choice.)
    • Law Office: Nolo Press has some very good self-help legal guides to help you understand the law, patent inventions yourself, etc.
    • Travel Office: is recognized as the leading online business-travel site.
This section applies only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.   Note: the all-HTML version currently allows you to track only UPS packages.

  See also: Finance Wizard, Investment Wizard, Mall Wizard.

4. Calculator: 

Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.   This calculator's wide display lets you see everything you type, so you don't have to worry about whether you mistyped a number.
  You can click on the numeric keypad to enter numbers and operators into the Memo Pad display, or you can type numbers and operators on the keyboard (including the "=" sign.) The "Format" key will align all numbers in a neat column for you. The "Undo" key will undo the most recent calculation.
  "MC" clears memory, "RM" recalls the memory to the main calculator display, and "M+" adds the display to the memory.
  "Sqr" squares the display, "Sqrt" finds the Square Root.

This section applies only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.   With the all-HTML version, all calculations are done at the iMarvel web site.  Type some numbers and operators into the Display text-box (e.g. "5 +9.95+7.49".)  When you press return (or click on the Calculate  button), our server will calculate and display the result.  There are also 12 operations listed in the calculator. When you check any of the boxes next to an operation, that tells our server to perform that operation, after calculating the result.  The operations are performed in the order in which they are listed (e.g. "x 100" is done before "Square".)  The "Column Format" option, if checked, tells the server to list all of its operations so you can examine their accuracy.
  The all-HTML calculator is different from the JavaScript calculator in that the Memo Pad is not used to enter numbers or display results.

  There are 3 Memory functions: MC will clear the memory to zero, m+ will add the number in the Memo Pad to memory, and rm will recall the memory to the Memo Pad.

  See also: Memo Pad.

5. Calendar:
  The calendar displays the upcoming 7 weeks.  The current date is highlighted by a gold-colored rim.  Holidays are shown by a gold-colored underlined date with a special graphic background.  The day of the full moon is shown by a moon-image bakground.  If a holiday falls on the day of a full moon, a yellow circle will appear in the upper left corner of the date box.
  The following additional options are available:

  • Online Calendar:  This button will open a window to Visto, a good calendar/freemail site (a PC Magazine Editor's Choice.)
  • On TV:  This will display a schedule of upcoming TV events.
  • Movies:  Displays a schedule of upcoming movies in your area.
  • On Web:  Displays a schedule of upcoming online events, courtesy of
    Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.
  • View:  This displays a full-screen calendar, described in the Schedule documentation.
  See also: Alarm Wizard, Clock Wizard, Schedule Wizard.

6. Clock:

Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.   The upper clock is a local clock, showing your local time and date (the same time as your computer's system clock.) If you want to make the time more accurate, reset the system clock. In Windows 95/98 you can do this by double-clicking on the little time-stamp on the taskbar.

  To see the current time, click on any box in the Clock or World Clock areas. If you would like the clock to continuously update itself, see the Advanced Commands section. But keep in mind that continuous updates increases the likelihood of a browser freeze or shutdown.

  The Clock Wizard will automatically adjust for Daylight Savings Time. You don't need to adjust the clock to fall back in fall, or spring forward in spring.

  The World Clock will show you the time and date in virtually any country in the world. You simply click on the select-box labeled "Zone" and select the region you want. The clock will immediately show you the time and date there.

  The World Clock is not perfectly accurate. It assumes that every other country has the same adjustments for Daylight Savings Time as your own country. That often isn't true, especially in tropical regions. Also, some browsers do not correctly implement World Time, and can be off by 3 hours or even more.

  There's also an Alarm Clock  clickable icon that allows you to set a timer alarm.

This section applies only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.   The all-HTML clock has a Timer Alarm function.  To set an alarm, fill the two text-boxes with the length of time you want.  For example, if you want the alarm to activate in 1.5 hours, fill the 2 boxes with 1 and 30.
  • Clicking on the Clock  clickable icon will open a site that shows accurate current time for virtually any location.
  • The Time Zone Map  clickable icon will open a map of the world's time zones.

  See also: Alarm Wizard, Calendar Wizard, Schedule Wizard.

7. Control Center:  The following options are available:

  •  GoTo Search: Type any keywords into the GoTo Search Box and it will return a listing of relevant sites.  All search engines have their advantages and disadvantages; the advantages of the engines are its simplicity, fast loading, superior relevancy of results, and 40 listings returned per page.
  •  Help Pages: This is the online manual, which is the latest version of the documentation for iMarvel.  There is also an on-disk manual in your /starbase7/  directory, although this may not be the latest manual.
  •  FAQ Page: This is a well-organized online list of frequently-asked-questions, a great resource if you need a quick answer.
  •  Chat Room: This is an online chat room at  Live tech support is available weekdays, during most daytime hours.
  •  Discussion Forum: You can post any kind of iMarvel-related message here for other iMarvel users to read, as well as our staff. Usually someone will answer it within a couple of days.
    Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.
  • Save:  iMarvel uses two methods to save its settings (such as the alarms you may set when using the Alarm Wizard.) First, it automatically saves them as a "cookie" file on your hard disk. This means that you can close out your browser without losing your settings. But cookies aren't a permanent solution: you can't transfer a cookie to another computer, and they can be lost if your browser crashes.
      So iMarvel also gives you a chance to save iMarvel's settings by clicking the "Save" button. You should save settings (preferably to a file named "/starbase7/saveset.htm") at least daily.
      Cookies can be no more than 4000 bytes in size, which limits the number of alarms and other saved data to about 30-70 entries.
  • Auto-Save:  If you check this box, iMarvel will remind you to save your settings 10 minutes after you make any important changes.
  • Restore:  You may need to use this option if it appears that your browser is not displaying iMarvel correctly. Clicking this button will surf your browser to the saveset.htm file. That file has a button in it which will restore iMarvel's previous settings when you click on it. Any cookie file will be overwritten.
      If you get a new computer, you may want to transfer iMarvel to it.  To do that, just copy the /starbase7/ directory to your new computer, then load /starbase7/imarvel.htm into your browser, and click the Restore  button.
  • Hoo-Hah!  If you click this button it will launch the Hoo-Hah Directory.
  • Reset:  This button reloads iMarvel.  Some browsers are quirky in how they reload pages.  If you click the reload button on your browser, it may redraw the images correctly, but draw the page format incorrectly.  Another way to reload the page is to click on the address bar and then press [Enter] or [Return], which may draw the pages but fail to update the images.  Bottom line: if the page looks wrong, try another reload method.
  • Special:  This button is currently unavailable, but in the future it will implement some advanced commands.

Advanced Commands:

The following advanced commands are available in the iMarvel Control Center.  If an option is marked "(Default)", iMarvel starts with that option already enabled.  To give the command, type it into the box after the "Special:" button and then click that button.  The most useful commands are "/M5", "/Y14" and "/F26".

  • /Y5: Update clock every second. May cause program shutdowns on some browsers if they don't handle JavaScript well.
  • /M5: Update clock every minute. Also may cause shutdowns, on rare occasions.
  • /N5: (Default) the clock is updated only when clicked on, or when an alarm is activated.

  • /47: Decrease the hour shown on the World Clock by one. Useful if your browser doesn't display the World Clock correctly.
  • /57: Do not adjust the hour shown on the World Clock.
  • /67: Increase the hour shown on the World Clock by one. "/77" would increase it by 2 hours, "/37" would decrease it by 2 hours, etc.

  • /Y11: (Default) use .JPG pictures for the Calendar Wizard ("M1.JPG" through "M12.JPG".)
  • /G11: Use .GIF pictures for the calendar ("M1.GIF" through "M12.GIF".)
  • /N11: Don't use pictures for the calendar.

  • /A13: Always open new windows when opening "Sound Site:" URLs. When this URL is a RealMedia URL, the RealPlayer program should then be "spawned" by the window and close it out. If it doesn't close out the window, you can try the "/M13" or "/N13" commands.
  • /D13: (Default) Whatever iMarvel believes is most appropriate for your computer.
  • /M13: Open new windows when opening "Sound Site:" URLs, except for ReadMedia and ".mid" and ".wav" URLs.
  • /N13: Never open new windows when accessing RealAudio URLs. There is usually no need to spawn new windows if the URL is always a correct sound URL. However, some browsers will close down iMarvel when directed to play a sound URL. If the "/N13" option is used, iMarvel will close down whenever it opens a "Sound Site:" URL that is illegal, or when the URL points to a web page instead of a sound.

  • /Y14: Set the pixel depth and width for any new browser windows that iMarvel opens. We recommend that you try out 400x600 windows at first to see how it looks. Then increase it to dimensions about 15% less than your monitor's screen resolution. All numbers are rounded off to the nearest number divisible by 20.
      If you type "1" when you're asked for the screen width, new browser windows will occupy the full width of the screen.
  • /N14: (Default) new windows will be opened at the depth and width that your browser prefers.

  • /T26: (Default) iMarvel  will use "GIF Tailing" to try to make sure that graphics are not loaded from the cache.  However, some browsers (mostly Macintosh ones) do not allow this, so the graphics won't load at all.
  • /F26: Do not use "GIF Tailing."  If your browser has trouble loading graphics, use this option.

  See also: Directory.

8. Directory:  There are two versions of the Directory Wizard, an image  version and a text  version. Whichever version you use, you simply click on a Wizard name or icon to go to that Wizard. If the Wizard is not contained in the current iMarvel page, it will be loaded into the browser window.

  See also: Controls.

9. Favorites:

This section applies only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.   The all-HTML version of the Favorites Wizard keeps your Favorites list at, so you don't have to worry about ever losing any of your Favorites because of a disk crash.

  The following options are available in the Favorites Wizard:
  • Add:  The "Add" button will add a site to the Favorites list that is shown in the select-box.  First, fill in the "Site Name:" box. Then fill in the "Site URL:" box (ignore the "Extra URL:" box, which is used only for the Radio Wizard.) Web addresses should be preceded with "http://".  Then click the "Add" button.  Normally, you'll need to reload the iMarvel page to see the new additions.
      It is recommended that you keep only 10 or 20 favorites listed here (use your browser to keep bookmarks of sites you don't often visit.)
  • Open:  To open any web page, input a URL into the "Site URL" and/or "Extra URL" text-boxes. You can type the URL yourself, or you can select a site from one of the "Favorites" select-box. If you click "Open" with nothing in the URL boxes, you'll visit the ABC News site and hear their hourly RealPlayer broadcast.
      The Favorites Wizard has an "auto-complete" feature: if there's no colon (":") in the URL, it fills in "http://", "www" and ".com" for you. For example, when you type "yahoo" in the "Site URL:" box and then click "Add" or "Open", iMarvel will make it "".
      You can open more than one site simultaneously.  To do this, hold down the [Ctrl] key while you click on multiple sites in the select-box. Each site will be opened in a separate window.
      If you open several sites simultaneously, they will take more time to download. You could try doing something else for a while, then come back to the computer. All the sites will be fully loaded for you within a few minutes.
  • Clear:  The "Clear" button will clear the three text-boxes in the Favorites Wizard.
  • Delete:  The "Delete" button will delete any site that is named in the "Site Name:" box from your Favorites list.

  When you surf to a web page that you want to add to iMarvel, follow these instructions to add the page as a "Favorite". This procedure is meant for Windows 95/98, but MacIntosh users can also do it using slightly different commands. First, open a window to the site you'd like to add. Then take the following steps:

Type The Site Name:

  1. Click on the "Site Name:" box of the Favorites Wizard.
  2. Type in a name that describes the site and/or page.

Get The Site URL:
  3. Click on the address bar at the top of the new site window, to select the URL.
  4. Type [Ctrl]-C to copy the URL to the clipboard.
  5. Click on the "Site URL:" box of iMarvel (if text is there, delete it.)
  6. Type [Ctrl]-V to copy the URL from the clipboard.
  7. If there is any text in the "Extra URL:" box, delete it.

Add The New Site:
  8. Click the "Add" button.
  9. Click the select-box that you'd like to add the site to.
  10. If you want to add the site to another select-box in the Radio Wizard, repeat steps 8 and 9.

If you want to add a sound source, replace step 7 above with these steps:

Add The Sound URL:
  7a. Right-click on any link on the new site window that plays a sound source. The link can be text or graphical. To determine whether it's really a RealMedia link, first hover the mouse arrow over the link or graphic and look at the "status line", the grey bar at the bottom of the window. If it ends in .smi, .ra, .rm, .ram or .ram then it's RealAudio-compatible. If you can't see the ending because the window is small, try enlarging the window. If you can't do that, continue on and see if it's a RealMedia link in step 7d.
  7b. If you're using Internet Explorer, click on "Copy Shortcut" to copy the link to the clipboard. On Netscape Navigator, click on "Copy Link Location". On some older browsers, you may be able to copy text links, but not graphic links. In that case, you'll have to discover the URL of the link and type it in manually.
  7c. Click on the "Extra URL:" box of iMarvel.
  7d. Type [Ctrl]-V to copy the URL from the clipboard.

Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.   After you've added Favorites, always save your settings by clicking the Save button in the Controls Wizard.  After you Save your settings file as /starbase7/saveset.htm, you should save it again under a different name, as a backup copy. We suggest naming files "backup1.htm" through "backup7.htm", one copy for each day of the week.

  If you don't think you'll use a Favorite often, you should delete it. This will reduce the clutter of unused URLs, and iMarvel may run a little faster.

  Here's some ideas for adding more Favorites to your Personal iMarvel :

  • Add some pages that would be good for a "morning briefing". For example, you could add a traffic page and a weather page. To search for a good weather page, look in a search engine such as Alta Vista for "<cityname> weather <station-name>", where station-name is the TV station that you think has the best weather reports. In Seattle, "KOMO" is a good station name for weather. To search for a good traffic page, just look for "<cityname> traffic". Some other good ideas: news pages, pages that cover your favorite hobbies, a radio station, a RealMedia news clip, a classified-ads site, a site that watches travel ticket fares. Your imagination is the only limit!
  • Let's say there's two pages at a web site that you would like to visit at the same time. You can type a web page URL into the "Extra URL:" box and another URL into the "Site URL:" box. Then you'll be able to simultaneously visit those pages in separate windows with one click.
  • You can add any non-web URLs that your browser can understand. Some examples are:

    "" for email
    "callto:" for NetMeeting calls
    "file:C:\path\" to bring up any file on your disk, displayed in the appropriate file viewer

  • You can add URLs from your hard disk. Here's an example of how to add a MIDI file in Windows 95/98: Click on the "Start" button, then "Find", then "Files and Folders". Look for files named "*.mid" on the "C:" hard drive. Type any listed filename into the "Extra URL:" box (example: "C:\windows\media\filename.mid") and then type a name into the "Site Name:" box. You can now add that sound to any of the select-boxes. If you add it to the "Favorites" box, you can play it as an alarm when you use the "Visit Sites" alarm type.
      You can also add .MP3 files and any other multimedia files that you have a player or plug-in for.
  See also: Internet Traffic Wizard, Search Wizard.

10. Finances:  The Financial Wizard will help you optimize your personal finances.  The following options are available:
  • Headline:  The headline at the top shows you some recent interesting consumer news, click on it and you'll see the full story and all the other recent consumer headlines.
  • Term Lookup:  The "Term Lookup:" box allows you to find the definition of any financial term.  Type in "mortgage" for example, and you'll get about 14 definitions of different mortgage terms.
  • Links:  There are nine links to some of the best financial sites on the Internet.  The number next to the Loan link shows the latest loan rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (as reported the previous day at BankRate), which you should watch if you're thinking about buying or refinancing a home.
    • Bank: Wells Fargo Bank, rated as one of the best banks by the Gomez Advisors.
    • Card finder: A credit-card finding tool that will find you a card at a rate you'll like.
    • Credit report: Click this to get a free instant report on your credit rating status with a major credit bureau.
    • Job finder: is the largest job-hunting resource on the Web.
    • Insurance: InsureMarket will compare insurance companies and their rates.
    • Loan: At you can get comparisons of loan rates of various kinds, from many lenders.
    • Real Estate: The MicroSoft HomeAdvisor site is one of the largest and best real estate sites on the Web.
    • Quicken taxes: The Quicken site is a great all-around site for personal finance help, with a good section on saving money on your taxes.
    • Yahoo finance: Another very good all-around finance site.
  See also: Business Wizard, Investment Wizard, Mall Wizard.

11. Investment:
  The Investment Wizard will help you invest your money (although nothing can take the place of wisdom!  "A fool and his money are soon parted.")  The following options are available:

  • Headline:  The headline at the top shows you some recent interesting investment news, click on it to read more about the story. Most news is provided by the online financial site
  • Get Quotes:  Type some stock symbols in the text box, click the GO  button, and you'll see the most recent available stock quotes for them (delayed about 20 minutes, however.)  Here's some examples of what you can type in:

    • $INDU: Dow Jones Industrial Average
    • $COMPQ: NASDAQ Composite Index
    • $SPX: S&P 500
    • $TYX: 30-year bond interest rate
    • $XAU: Gold/Silver index
    • MSFT: Microsoft
    • AOL: America Online
    • IBM: International Business Machines
    Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.
  • Set:  After you type in some stock symbols, click this button to remember them (so you don't have to type them again.)  This feature is useful for storing your stock portfolio in iMarvel.
  • Get:  Recall your stock symbols to the text box.
  • Market Summary:  The green table shows you a market summary, updated twice daily, at about noon (EDT) and 5 PM.
  • Links:  The various links help you research investments further.

    • Real Time quotes: Most sites delay stock quotes by 15-20 minutes. Real Time Quotes are a must for any day trader.
    • Find ticker symbol: At this site, you can type in any company name to find its ticker symbol.
    • Broker: Muriel Siebert was the #1 ranked broker by Smart Money  Magazine, and the #1 ranked mutual fund site by Forbes  Magazine..
    • Market Data:ClearStation is a financial advisory Web site that helps you make better investment decisions by identifying and interpreting stock trends. You'll get a great combination of graphs, daily computer-generated stock ideas and in-depth education. There are sections on Daily Investment Ideas, Portfolio Tracking, Stock News and Research, and Member Discussion. Registration is free, and by joining you'll be able to create an online Portfolio and Watch List. ClearStation was nominated for the 1999 Webby Awards.
    • Stock Picks: has very high standards for journalistic integrity: for example, their writers are not allowed to own any stocks, and therefore write unbiased stories.
    • iFAQ: Here's a page that answers all your basic financial questions and defines many investing terms.
  See also: Business Wizard, Finance Wizard, Newspaper Wizard, Radio Wizard, TV Wizard.

12. Internet Traffic:
  In the graphic on the right side of the Wizard, the only number you need to look at is the large yellow number.  A "50" means that internet traffic is about average. A lower number means there is more congestion, while a higher number means that surfing conditions are better than average.  you can click on the graphic to see the latest report on Internet traffic conditions, courtesy of   The following options are available:

  • USA:  Click here to see the latest report on Internet traffic in America, courtesy of
    Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.
  • Check:  Click here to refresh the traffic graphic, to get the latest reading on Internet traffic conditions.  If you don't get an updated graphic, it's because your browse is caching old images (in that case, refresh the page to get the new graphic.)
  See also: Favorites Wizard, Search Wizard.

13. Jukebox:
  The Jukebox uses MIDI files, and in the future it will play MP3 files too. Most browsers come with a MIDI player already installed, but it usually sounds tinny.  The Crescendo site offers a free basic plug-in (but once again, it's tinny) as well as a better-sounding advanced plug-in for about $20.  The Yamaha plug-in is another nice-sounding MIDI player, and it's also free.  There is an optional "software synthesiser" that's free for 3 months, but the player sounds fine without it. However, Yamaha's installation instructions are somewhat difficult to understand.  The final option is to connect some sort of external MIDI device, a subject that is best investigated at more specialized websites.

  The following options are available in the Jukebox Wizard:

  • Song Links:  Clicking on a text link will open a separate window that plays the song.  When the song is done, the browser will cycle through the 12 songs (to vary the playlist, sometimes a song is skipped.)  If you want to skip to another song, you can click on a link to change the song.
  • Jukebox Icons:  You can click one of the three jukebox icons to visit web sites with more MIDI jukebox songs.
This section gives instructions for customizing this Wizard.   Within a few weeks, we'll make available a program to allow customization of this Wizard.  You'll be able to add or change the MIDI files to any songs you like.

  See also: Radio Wizard, TV Wizard.

14. eMail:
  The Mail Wizard is a good way to quickly send e-mail over the Internet.  The Mail Wizard gives you these benefits:

  • Fast Speed: There really is no quicker web-based e-mail program anywhere! When you send e-mail, it's sent in a separate window without waiting for a response from the server. This way, you can start writing another message immediately, or continue surfing the Web.
  • Carbon Copy: You can e-mail a copy to your own e-mail address.
    Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.
  • Signature: You can create a signature to put at the end of all your messages.
  The Mail Wizard's main drawback is that it does not yet allow you to receive and read e-mail. When someone replies to the messages you send from iMarvel, you'll receive the reply with your usual e-mail application.
Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.   Before using the Mail Wizard for the first time, set your "signature".   Write the usual ending for your messages in the Display area, then click the "Set Signature" button.   Then whenever you compose a message, you can click the "Sign" button to add it to your message.

  To e-mail a message, first fill in the "Send To:" and "Reply To:" boxes with e-mail addresses (you can use the Tab key to move around.)   Fill in the "Name:" box if you want to make an entry in the Address Book.   The "Subject:" and "Carbon Copy:" boxes are optional.
  Now compose a message in the "Memo Pad:" area.   You can use all the normal editing keys to move the cursor around, including the arrow keys.  You can Select some text by holding down the Shift key while you move the cursor.   You can then hold down the [Ctrl] key and press "X" to delete that text to the clipboard (or press [Ctrl]-C to transfer a copy to the clipboard, without deleting it.)   Anything in the clipboard can be pasted to and from your other programs, normally by pressing [Ctrl]-V.
Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.   To send off the message, simply click "Sign", and then click "Send Now".
This section applies only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.   To send off the message, simply click the E-Mail button.

  Here's explanations for the many features you see in the Mail Wizard:

  • Name:  The name of the person who will receive the message.
  • Add?:  When you check this box and fill in the Name:  field, the address will automatically be added to the Address Book when you send the message.
  • Reply To:  Your e-mail address, where you'll receive replies to messages you send.
  • Send To:  The e-mail address you're sending the message to.
  • Subject:  What the message is about.
    Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.
  • Alphabetize:  This will alphabetize words or lines in the Memo Pad.
  • Carbon Copy:  Check this box if you want to send a copy of the message to your own e-mail address.
  • E-Cards:  This opens a window to the Blue Mountain Arts web site, where you can send free electronic greeting cards by e-mail.
  • Organizer:  This opens a window to the Magical Desk web site, which gives you free e-mail, a calendar and address book.
  • FaxAway:  To address your message to any fax machine, type someone's fax number in the Send To: box, then click this button. This feature uses the "FaxAway" faxing service , which covers all of America. At the time of this writing, they give you about 15 free faxes, then they charge about 10 cents per fax. Sign up at FaxAway before you use this feature.
  • FreeFax:  You can use this button to address a message to someone's fax machine using the "TPC-INT" free faxing service. This service is available in about 10% of America, along with many other countries where coverage may actually be more complete. To get a complete list of covered areas, send any e-mail to their auto-responder at
  • ICQ Chat:  To address your message to someone's ICQ pager, type their ICQ number in the Send To: box, then click this button.
  • Mailto:  This link launches the default mail program for your browser (such as Outlook Express), using the address listed in the "Send To:" box.
  • NetGram:  If you click this button, it adds "" to the Send To: box. The NetGram service allows you to send e-mails to postal addresses for less than a dollar each. To learn about the service and perhaps sign up for it, visit NetGram.
    Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.
  • Next Message:  This clears the text-boxes, to prepare for the next message.
  • Preview:  Click this to see how your message looks in a separate window.
  • Recommend:  If you like our programs and you think your friends will too, click this button to recommend them to your friends.
  • Send Now:  To send the message right away, click this link.
  • Set Signature:  The contents of the Memo Pad are stored as the usual ending for your messages whenever you click the "Sign" button.
  • Sign:  Clicking this link will add the stored signature to your message.
  See also: Address Book, Memo Pad.

15. Mall:
  The mall has some great online stores, many top-rated by site judges like, E-Smarts and Yahoo Internet Life.  They give you excellent value for your money: most give you a discount of at least 15% off normal retail prices. The Mall even has a "Free Stuff" site and two "Shopping Agents" that help you shop for the lowest prices.  Both were rated among the "Six Hottest Shopping Bots" by ZDNet.  Three sites in the mall were picked among the "5 Top Shopping Sites" by PC Magazine, when they picked the top 100 web sites: mySimon, and etoys.  Before you go shopping, you may want to read iMarvel's  Online Shopping Tips page for some helpful tips.
  The following options are available:

  • Headline:  The headline at the top shows you an "offer of the day" for a great product at a low price. Click on it to see the full offer, and all the other recent shopping offers.
    Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.
  • Shop For:  Type whatever you're shopping for in this text-box.
  • Shopping Spy:  Click this button to use the "Bottom Dollar" shopping agent to search for the item you typed into the "Shop For" text-box.  This shopping agent will compare prices for you at several different online stores.  (Note:  there is a select-box in the Bottom Dollar store on the right end of the mall, listing categories such as Books and Electronics.  You should choose a category there before you click on the Shopping Spy.)
  • mySimon:  Click this link to use the "mySimon" shopping agent.  MySimon is the unbiased site for comparison shopping on the Internet.  Shoppers compare millions of products from over 1000 merchants in categories like books, music, movies, apparel, computers, electronics, toys, sporting goods, gourmet foods and wines.
    This section applies only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.
  • Text Boxes:  In a text box in any store, you can type whatever you're shopping for. Click the GO  button to find it at that store.
  • Store Signs (, etc.):  Click a store sign to go straight to the store.  In the future, we plan to add a version of each store that you can actually keep on your hard disk.
  • Info:  If you click here, a window will be opened that will present you with information about this store. Usually it will be information from the directory of online stores. There, you'll find a wealth of information about the store, its policies and how highly-rated it is.
  • Go:  Click this button to go straight to the store.
  • Find:  Click here to search this store for whatever you typed into the "Shop For" text-box.

  Some of the stores are: is one of the best full-service discount travel sites online. They have link on their home page that you can click to check the flight schedule of most airline flights. It's also a very customer-friendly travel shop, top-rated in a study by, and ranked #2 among all leisure travel sites by the Gomez Advisors site. Almost every travel subject imaginable is directly accessible from their home page!  The largest and best bookstore on the Internet, which also sells music, videos, electronics, toys, and holds auctions.  One of the Internet's best software stores. 30000 software titles are offered at low to moderate prices, with over 2000 titles available for immediate download and usage. We're impressed by how well designed and easy-to-use their site is.

CDNow:  This online music store has won the top rating for music stores in numerous online rankings. You can listen to thousands of music samples, without necessarily buying the music. Their automated "Album Advisor" helps you find good music based on your own preferences. And their service is great! You can create your personal "My CDNow" page, which lets you keep a Wish List of items you might want to purchase in the future, see discographies of artists you love, get updates on new releases and more. They even allow you to return CD's after you've opened the package (other online music stores will only allow you to return opened CD's.)

FreeShop:  At FreeShop, you can find free and trial offers for many product categories.

eToys:  At E-Toys, you can search for children's toys, games and software. Their search engine can help you narrow down the choices by letting you specify the price range, toy category and the age of your child. If you'd rather trust humans to help you pick toys, they have a "Picks of the month" feature. Their "low price guarantee" is a great added attraction.

Magazine Mall:  A magazine shop with great discounts, great service and a family-friendly emphasis.  A video store with a "Movie Matches" feature: you just type in the title of one of your favorite films, and will provide a list of "Movie Matches" -- similar films that cover the same subject, appeal to the same audience, or provide a similar moviegoing experience. They also carry over 85,000 movie titles (new or used) for sale. Many are hard-to-find classics. VHS, laserdisc and DVD formats are available, all at 15% below suggested retail. You can watch trailers of recent releases, or visit their "Cinema Univeristy."

See also: Tips Wizard.

16. Memo Pad:

    Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.
  • Store:  This button will store the Memo Pad in a "cookie" file on your hard disk.
  • Recall:  This button will recall a stored memo from the cookie.
  • Clear:  This button clears the Memo Pad.
  • Select:  This button selects all the text in the Memo Pad. area.

    This section applies only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.
  • Clear All Fields:  This clears the Memo Pad, and also clears the fields in the Mail Wizard if it is on the same page.

  See also: Address Book, Mail Wizard.

17. Newspaper:  The following options are available:

  • Headline:  The headline at the top is updated within a short time of breaking news.  Click on it to read the full story.
  • More Headlines:  This link opens up a new window to a list of headlines from many sources: Reuters news and sports, Salon, ZDNet, Hollywood Online, Individual Investor, Science Daily, OnHealth, and some fun features such as Tabloid News, Dr. Science and
  • News, Money, Life:  These links lead to sections in the online version of USA Today newspaper.
  • Other Links:  The 15 other links lead to some of the best news sources on the Internet.
  • Get Paper:  This option will retrieve a newspaper with several pages, presented as frames in a single window. Check any of the checkboxes next to the 15 links, then click this button. The News Wizard will then retrieve a newspaper that has the sections you checked.
      If you then use the "Print" option of your browser, all sections would normally be printed. However, some browsers (such as version 4.0 of Netscape) will only print out one section.
      You can also read the newspaper online. In order to read the lower sections, place your mouse arrow directly over the dividing line between frames, and drag the dividing line up to the top of the window.
      We recommend that you not check too many boxes.  More than 5-7 frames may be too much for your browser to handle.  On some Macintosh browsers, this feature doesn't work at all: you just see a blank window.
  • Search Box:  To research any news topic you can imagine, type the news subject in the text-box, then click the GO  button.
  See also: Photo Wizard, Radio Wizard, Sports Scoreboard, TV Wizard.

18. Newsphotos:  This section is very simple: just click on a picture to see the corresponding Reuters news story. You can choose from six photos: World, National, Politics, Entertainment, Sports and Science.

  See also: Newspaper Wizard, Radio Wizard, Sports Scoreboard, TV Wizard, Weather Wizard.

19. Radio: 
  To use the Radio Wizard, you need a RealAudio player. The latest version can be downloaded from MicroSoft's NetShow player might also work. You'll need at least a 14.4K modem, with 28.8K needed for full usage.
  While listening to RealPlayer, it is best to avoid using other programs. "DOS" programs are especially troublesome. You can have windows open to other programs, but they shouldn't be processing anything. If you do use other programs at the same time, you may experience a program shutdown or system lockup. The problem seems to be in RealPlayer or the operating system rather than in iMarvel.
This section applies only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.   The all-HTML version of the Radio Wizard is a collection of links to some of the best RealPlayer sites online.

  The following options are available:

  • Radio On:  Clicking this button will start up the radio.
    Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.
  • Play It:  To play any sound URL, first select any "preset", then click this button.
  • To TV:  If you have the TV Wizard, clicking this button will play the selected RealVideo URL in the TV Wizard.

      There are about 45 sites listed in the 6 select-boxes in the Radio Wizard. The entries tell you how frequently the news clips are updated: for example, "(H WD 6A-1P)" means "Updated hourly on weekdays from 6 AM to 1 PM." (D)" means that it's updated daily.

      Tip: When you're in a select-box, you can press any letter on the keyboard to find the next entry that begins with that letter. (example: in the "News:" select-box, press "P" to select the PBS broadcast.) The Up-Arrow and Down-Arrow keys can also be used. You can use the Tab key to move to the nexe select box, and [Shift]-Tab to move to the previous select-box.

      All these site entries are called "presets". If you have the Favorites Wizard on the same page with the Radio Wizard, you can easily add more presets to the Radio Wizard. You can add any type of URL (web pages, sound URLs, etc.) Before adding sites, you can click the "Clear" button to clear the three "Site" text boxes. To add a preset to the Radio Wizard, type the site name into the "Site Name:" box. Then fill in the "Extra URL:" box with the Sound URL. You should also fill in the "Site URL:" box with the URL for the site's web page. Then click the "Add" button. Finally, click any of the 6 select-boxes in the Radio Wizard to add it to that select-box.

  PRE-PROGRAMMED PRESETS: This list has many of the best sound-oriented web sites available.
  When you click on some links (such as Alta Vista), you may be asked for a term to search for. If you just press the [Enter]/[Return] key, you'll go to the site's home page without searching for a term.

1. General News

ABC Hourly Update from ABC News, updated hourly (3.5 minutes). Includes sports, entertainment news.

Bloomberg World News  from the Bloomberg Media Center website, updated several times a day, about 3 minutes. World news, from a business perspective.

C-Span Live,  coverage of national political and media events.

Fox News Live (for 14.4K modems) from Fox Broadcasting at their World and National News site. News summaries at the top of the hour.

Fox News Live (Video)  direct from Fox Broadcasting. Summaries at the top of the hour.

National Public Radio, on the hour. About 3 minutes of national and world news.

Online News Hour summary by Jim Lehrer from PBS, updated nightly (5 minutes).

2. Business

Bloomberg Business Report, a video report updated several times daily, about 5 minutes.

Bloomberg Business News, a business report updated several times per day, about 2 minutes.

BusinessWeek Hourly Report from BusinessWeek, updated hourly on weekdays, 5:24 AM to 12:24 PM EDT (1 minute.)

The Dollar Holler from The Daily Rocket site, updated daily (1-2 minutes).

3. Sports

CBS Sportsline Sports Minute, can really last 2 minutes or more. Updated daily.

ESPN SportsBeat  from Brent Musberger at ESPN SportsZone, updated hourly, 3:10 PM to 8:10 PM EDT, weekdays (10 minutes).

One-On-One Sports LiveLive commentary from sports talk show hosts, available during waking hours.

4. Science/Technology/Educational Programs

C/Net Tech News Summary  from Brian Cooley at C/Net Radio, updated 8:00 AM, 2:00 PM PDT weekdays (15 minutes).

EarthSky science educational program from Deborah Byrd and Joel Block at the EarthSky site, updated daily (1-2 minutes).

PC Week Tech Headlines  Technology Headlines in RealVideo with Stan Gibson, brought to you by the Ziff/Davis network.

5. Music and Entertainment Sites

Allmusic Reference Site:  Look up song titles, essays, album covers and other stuff. This excellent site covers over 26,000 artists.

ComedyNet:  See RealVideo clips of outrageous comedy.  It's one of the few R-rated links in iMarvel: their racy disclaimer reads, "Bad language offend you? Are you under age? Do you live in a friggin' glass bubble? We here at ComedyNet do not refrain from using certain colorful words and phrases. That's right! We don't hold back, you silly bastards! If you are easily offended, maybe you could try ""  Preview RealVideo clips of movies and read about your favorite movies, stars and directors.

Imagine Radio:  Create your own radio station, which plays only the artists and music types you like. Over a thousand artists are included.

Live Concerts, a web site that shows audio and video of concerts broadcast live on the Internet.

Lyrics Server: Type in the name of a song, and this site will serve up the full lyrics for it. If you ever have trouble understanding the howling vocals of a rock star, you can get the lyrics here. Look over your CD collection and investigate all those songs you had trouble deciphering! Or if you have a teenager, you can find out the lyrics to their favorite songs (if you dare!)

Pollstar Concert List:  Search for concerts by artist, venue, or city. Find out where your favorite bands are playing, or find out what events are happening near you.  A great variety of songs for listening enjoyment and purchase, with continuous-play capability.

6. "General":
A catch-all category for various sites and search engines.

Alta Vista:  A heavy-duty general search engine. You can type in any musical term or lyric, and Alta Vista will track down some sites for you. You could use it to find the name of a song and who sang it, if you only know the lyrics.  A leader in broadcasts on the Internet, with great variety ranging from TV simulcasts to live concerts to audio coverage of Fortune-500 board meetings.

MIT's Radio Station Listings:  You can search for radio stations which broadcast on the Internet here. There are over 4000 radio stations on the Web, from all over the world! Want to find a radio station from your old hometown, or a city you'll be visiting soon? Look here. If you still can't find a suitable station, go to Alta Vista and search for "radio <hometown name>".  Realplayer site: Go here to download the latest version of RealPlayer so you can play sounds on the Internet.

TicketMaster:  Learn about concerts and other events in North America, and buy tickets online. Site Listings:  A great comprehensive all-purpose listing of audio sites.

  As you experiment with the Radio Wizard, you may run into some problems with sound quality. Internet Radio is a young technology, so don't expect miracles from it, especially if you have a 28.8Kbps modem or slower. Your radio may take 10 to 30 seconds to load and run, and sound quality will sometimes be spotty. Here are some ideas to get better sound quality (I'll try to list the best ideas first):

  • Make sure you have the latest version of RealPlayer (as of May 1999, RealPlayer G2 has replaced version 5.0 as the best version). It has much better sound quality.
  • If you load a new web page while listening to the radio, the incoming data will interfere with the radio reception. Try pausing the radio to let the buffer catch up, or stop loading the web page.
  • The Internet may be in a congested state, with too many surfers on it. The greatest congestion is usually between 8 AM and 8 PM, peaking at 11:30 AM. Weekdays are about 30% more congested than weekends. Try listening to the radio at a less congested time.
  • Try a different audio source. Maybe there's some problem at the source of the audio signal. Try calling your ISP to ask which sound sources are the most reliable in your area.
      You could also retry the sound source. The Internet may try a different route to send you the audio signal, one that may be less congested.
  • The sound source may be on a computer far away from your location. This means it has a greater chance of running into "bottlenecks" on the Internet. Find out the location of the sound source if you can, and try listening to less distant sound sources.
  • Check the web pages that contain sound sources. Sometimes they upgrade their RealAudio capabilities (for example, they may upgrade their 14.4Kbps audio stream to 28.8Kbps.)
  • Get some good speakers. You could even try plugging your computer into your home's stereo sound system. This will often eliminate the "tinny" sound of the cheap speakers that come with many computers, and can give you a great improvement in sound quality and hearing range.
  • Get a 56K modem. They can be had for about $100, as of mid-1999.
  • You may have "line noise" in your telephone line that prevents you from getting optimal performance out of your modem. Unfortunately, this is a hard problem to check. If nothing seems to improve your radio reception, line noise is a prime suspect.
  • Get a better Internet Service Provider. Often, a local ISP will give you a better connection than services such as America Online. Talk to a computer guru to find out who has the best deal. Places that sell modems will usually be glad to help you.
  • Ask your cable company if they offer cable-modem connections. Try the phone company for ISDN or DSL connections Ask the DSS satellite-dish company about a satellite connection. All of these connections are very fast, and will cost you maybe $40-$60 per month.
  • Check out the help pages at for more ideas.
  See also: Jukebox Wizard, Newspaper Wizard, Photo Wizard, Radio Wizard, Sports Scoreboard, TV Wizard, Weather Wizard.

20. Schedule:
  The Schedule Wizard displays the alarms that have been set in the Alarm Wizard. You can deactivate an alarm in this list by holding down the [Ctrl] key and clicking on that alarm. If you click it again, the alarm will be re-activated. On most browsers, an active alarm will have a blue color. A deactivated alarm will just sleep in iMarvel's memory.   The following options are also available:

  • View:  This will open a full-screen calendar in a new window. You could use the calendar as your personal schedule.
    Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features. You can make it a picture calendar by placing pictures on the /starbase7/ directory with iMarvel. They should be named "m1.jpg" (for January) through "m12.jpg" (for December.) For best results, all pictures should be 50% to 80% of screen width.
  • Delete:  The "Delete" button will delete all deselected (inactive) alarms from the schedule.
This section applies only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.   The all-HTML version keeps your schedule on, where it will be available from any computer you can access, and is safe from disk crashes.  Repeating alarms are updated whenever you click the View or Delete buttons and refresh the browser window.

  See also: Alarm Wizard, Calendar Wizard, Clock Wizard.

21. Searching The Internet:

This section applies only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.   The all-HTML version of the Search Wizard allows you to search some of the best Internet directories immediately (InfoSeek, Yahoo and NetGuide.) Simply type the search term, then click Go.  To search about 40 other search engines, click the link labeled All-In-One Search Page.

Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.   Here's how to use the Search Wizard to search for anything on the Internet:

  1.   Click on the text-box labeled "Find:".
  2.   Type a search term into this box.
  3.   Optionally, click on the select-box with the list of search directories, and highlight one or more search sites.  If you skip this step, you'll automatically use the Yahoo search site.
  4.   Click the GO  button to start the search.  On some browsers, you can just press [Return] or [Enter].
  You can simultaneously search multiple directories by holding down the [Ctrl] key while you click on several search engines.
  The following options are available:

  • No:  If you want to avoid sites with a certain term, type it here. For example, suppose you want to search for information on mustang horses, but don't want to read about the Ford Mustang Car, type "car" in this box.
  • At:  If you want to search only one site, name it here. For example, you could type "" if you want to search only the pages of the iMarvel site.
  • Exact Phrase?:  Check this box if you want to search for the exact phrase that you typed in the box labeled Find:.
  An effective trick is to use the tab key to move around to various parts of this Wizard.

  See also: Favorites Wizard, Internet Traffic Wizard.

22. Sports Scoreboard:
  Scores from many sports are updated up to 4 times daily (approximately 5 PM, 8 PM, 11 PM and 2 AM, EDT).  Six additional specialized scoreboards are available by clicking the links on the left side of the scoreboard.  Many of these scoreboards have an "auto-refresh" feature, so the latest scores are always shown.

  • NFL:  National Football League scores and headlines at
  • NBA:  National Basketball League scores and headlines at
  • MLB:  Major League Baseball scores and headlines at
  • NCAA:  College scores and headlines, mostly football and basketball at
  • Other:  Scores and headlines for other popular sports at
  • All:  Highlights from all sports at

  The following options are available:
  • To see a specialized scoreboard, click a link on the left-hand side.
  • To see today's latest scores, click the Today  button lower right.
  • To see scores from previous days or weeks, click the -1  and -7  buttons on the lower right.
  • To see schedules of future sporting events, click the +1  and +7  buttons on the lower right.
  See also: Newspaper Wizard, Photo Wizard, Radio Wizard, TV Wizard.

23. Television:
This section applies only to the all-HTML version of iMarvel.   The all-HTML version of the TV Wizard is a collection of links to some of the best RealVideo sites online.

Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.   To play a station, simply click on a button.  If the Radio Wizard is available, you can add more RealVideo presets  to the Radio Wizard, and then play them in the TV Wizard.

  The following additional options are available:

  • On TV:  This will display a schedule of upcoming TV events.
  The following stations are pre-installed in iMarvel.

C-Span Live,  coverage of national political and media events.

PC Week Tech Headlines,  technology headlines in RealVideo with Stan Gibson, brought to you by the Ziff/Davis network.

Fox News Live (Video)  direct from Fox Broadcasting. Summaries at the top of the hour.

Bloomberg Business Report, a video report updated several times daily, about 5 minutes.

Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.  The following controls are available at the bottom of the screen, listed from left to right as you look at the TV Wizard:

  • Play:  Start playing the RealVideo clip (normally you don't need to press this because clicking on a station button will start playing the RealVideo.)
  • Pause:  Temporarily stop playing the RealVideo clip.
  • Stop:  Stop playing the clip, and disconnect from the RealVideo source URL.
  • Clip Position:  You can replay parts of the clip with this horizontal slider.  Just move the clip position marker backwards.
  • Mute:  Switch the audio on or off.
  • Volume:  You can control the volume with this vertical volume slider.  There might also be a volume control on your keyboard or speakers to turn it up some more.
  The television may not work reliably, especially on older computers.  You can often avoid problems by never doing anything else with the computer while the television is on.  Turn the TV Wizard off before you do anything else (including switching or adjusting windows in ANY way.)

  See also: Jukebox Wizard, Newspaper Wizard, Photo Wizard, Radio Wizard, Sports Scoreboard, Weather Wizard.

24. Tips:  Currently, four tip graphics (Motivation, Cheapskate, Webmastering and Shopping) are available, updated daily:

  • Motivation:  A great daily motivational tip!  Just click on the graphic to read an encouraging motivational thought.
  • Cheapskate:  A money-saving or time-saving tip, slanted towards the home economist.  Click on the graphic, and you'll visit the CheapskateMonthly web site.  There's loads of great tips there for living better for less money.
  • Webmastering:  If you're associated with the website design business, this shows a great daily tip for you.  To visit the Association of Ethical Internet Professionals, click on this graphic.  There's some good articles and resources there for webmasters.
  • Shopping:  The daily shopping tip features great deals you can find online, articles to help you become a smarter consumer, and a "weekly freebie" every weekend.
  See also: Finance Wizard, Mall Wizard.

25. Weather: The following options are available:

  • Weather Search Box:  Type in any zip code, or a city/state combination (e.g. "Seattle, WA".)  You'll get a weather report on current conditions in your area, and a 5-day weather forecast.
  • Weather Gizmo:  The animated graphics in the middle of the Weather Wizard tells you the current time and temperature.
    Only the JavaScript version of iMarvel has these features.  When you click on a city name on the right-hand side, it updates the graphic to see the current temperature.  If you don't get an updated graphic, it's because your browse is caching old images (in that case, refresh the page to get the new graphic.)

  • Airports:  This link will display any airport delays for your area.
  • Allergies:  This link will display a national map of pollen concentrations that trigger allergic reactions.
  • Radar:  This link will display a radar weather map, which helps you see and predict local cloud cover conditions.
  • Satellite:  This link will display a satellite weather map, which helps you see and predict local precipitation.

  • Traffic:  Click this link to get a report on traffic conditions on local roads and highways.
  • Interstate:  Click this link to get a report on weather conditions at various points along a local interstate highway.
  • Maps:  Click this link to create a map with driving directions to any point in your local area (or anywhere else in America!)

This section gives instructions for customizing this Wizard.   If you should happen to want to manually customize this Wizard for your own needs, here's how.
  1. Start up a simple text editor (for example, the Notepad  program that comes with Windows.)  You can usually find Notepad  by clicking on Programs, then Accessories.
  2. Load the Weather Wizard into the text editor: the JavaScript version is called jweather.htm, and the all-HTML version is called hweather.htm. These files should be on the \starbase7\ directory.
  3. Search for "Seattle" in this file. Change any mention of Seattle to your own hometown. If you live in a small town, you might need to use the nearest city with a large population instead (say, over 20,000 people.) If you see the letters "WA" (which is an abbreviation for "Washington"). Seattle is mentioned about 3-5 times in this file, so be sure to change every mention of Seattle. on the same line as Seattle, change "WA" to your own state's abbreviation.
  4. If you want to change the airport-delay checker to your hometown, search for "forecast=SEA" in this file. Change "SEA" to your airport's 3-letter abbreviation.
  5. If you want to change the Traffic reports from Seattle to your hometown, search for "wsdot" in this text file. You should see a line with "" on it. Change this to a traffic-report URL for your hometown. At this time, the SmartTraveler site seems to have the best traffic reports:

    • Cincinatti: ""
    • Boston: ""
    • Milwaukee: ""
    • Philadelphia: ""
    • San Francisco: ""
    • Washington DC: ""
    • Chicago: ""
    • Los Angeles: ""
    • New York: ""
    • San Diego: ""
    • Minneapolis/St. Paul: ""

      Another good traffic site is "". If you go to and search for "[CityName] traffic", you'll probably get some good results. Some other sites you may want to check out are:


  6. If you want to change the Interstate highway weather report, look for "Int90" in this file. This is an abbreviation for Interstate Highway 90. Change the "90" to any Interstate highway near you that you're interested in. State highways are not accepted.
  7. If you're using the JavaScript version, search for "Phoenix" in this file. Change any mention of Phoenix to any city that has weather that you're interested in checking. Change "AZ" (Arizona) to that state's abbreviation.
  8. Save the file as a plain text file (which some text editors call an "ASCII file"). The Notepad program automatically saves files as plain text. Don't close the text editor until you've finished all steps in these instructions.
  9. Use your browser to test the Weather Wizard. If it works, great! If not, then use the editor to try again. If the Weather Wizard looks really strange, you probably didn't save the file as plain text (in which case, you should re-install iMarvel.)