The Kern River Valley Historical Society is celebrating over 50 years of operation! Our mission is to preserve and communicate the rich and colorful history of this region. The Kern Valley Museum in downtown Kernville, next to the Post Office, welcomes visitors to explore our rich history.


49 Big Blue Road
PO Box 651
Kernville, CA 93238

(760) 376-6683


** NOTICE **




10 am to 4 pm
Thursday through Sunday

We are closed on these Holidays:
New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Admission is Free

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Useful Info


What's Happening

Are you new to computers and the Internet?  Here are some of the terms used, and how to use them. 

THREE ESSENTIAL TERMS:  Mouse, Cursor, and Click

MOUSE:  The plastic thing that looks like a mouse, connected to the computer with a cord. When you move the Mouse, it moves the cursor.  (Try it.  If you don't see the cursor, move the mouse a lot until the cursor comes onto the screen.) 

CURSOR: It blinks.  It can be a little blinking line on your screen, or an arrow, or a capital letter I.  It moves when you move your Mouse. If you move it over a hotlink, it turns into a little hand.

CLICK ON:  When you put the Cursor over something "hot", and you Click On the left front corner of the Mouse, you are instantly transported to the screen that the "hot" thing is linked to.  

HOTLINK:  It can be a line of text (usually in bold type) or an image of any kind.  Hotlinks are active links connecting the webpages of the world.  Find a hotlink on this page by moving the I over some letters in Red. If the red words are Hotlinks, your cursor will turn into a little hand, and the words will become underlined. If you click on those words, you will be taken to the webpage screen they're connected to. 

TO SUM UP:  This is how you get around the Internet --- you "click on" something on your computer screen, and if it is a HOT LINK, it will zoom you across the internet to the screen the hotlink is linked to.  To CLICK ON something,  you first move your MOUSE to make the little blinking line on your screen move.  (Try it.) The blinking line is the CURSOR. When you put the cursor onto a HOTLINK and "click on it", it will whisk you away across the Internet to the website that that hotlink is linked to, somewhere in the world. 


GOTO - Like it says, you go to a hotlink (by moving the cursor over it, and clicking on it) in order to do something.

ICON - A tiny cartoon or symbol for a website that people go to often, like a trademark.  Icons are usually Hotlinks.  


MENU (aka DROP-DOWN MENU) -  A list of active items that "drops down" when you click on the menu icon, or any other hotlink that has a menu in it.  You can choose one of the items in the Menu, and click on it to Goto it.

MENU ICON - Either THREE BARS together, or THREE DOTS in a row, usually in a top corner of the screen.

GO BACK - To return to the previous screen, Click On the left-facing arrow in the top left corner of your screen. 

CLOSE THE SCREEN - the X in the right top corner does that. You won't get your stuff back unless you've Saved them.  

SAVE THINGS - If you want to save something you've just made, to get it back later after the computer is turned off, click on the File link (upper left corner --- Save.  You will then be asked to name the thing you want saved. Do that, then click Save.  

OPEN - This gets the File you've saved back onto the screen.  

COMPUTER - An electronic symbol controller which activates things using those symbols.  The first Computer I ever saw was a little peg-board with lights on it that played Tic Tac Toe that my uncle made.  You could tie it, but never win against it. That was in 1953.  Best Buy now has new computers for $300, that are much more powerful than the ones that landed our first men on the moon.

SCREEN or MONITOR - the computer's "TV" screen.  

KEYBOARD - the computer's "typewriter"

LAPTOP (LAPTOP COMPUTER) - a portable computer that usually opens like a book, flat and sassy

PC, or Personal Computer - early on, PCs were a standing rectangular "tower" and separate "monitor" and keyboard.  But now they come in many configurations.  See them at Target or Best Buy.  

YOUR DESKTOP - your home screen that comes up first when you turn on your computer.  It remains there behind any website you go to.  When you close out all the websites you have open (by clicking the X in the upper right corner of the screen), your desktop will be there.  From your desktop, you can turn off your computer.

You can put frequently-used programs onto your desktop by "saving" them to "Desktop".  A little icon appears on your desktop screen when you save something to Desktop, and you name that icon so you know where to click to retrieve the thing it "contains".   

SAVING:  When you write words (called "text") in a word processing program, or you copy a picture or other text, to want to find it again, so you "save" it.  The steps for saving something are

1. Find the word "File" in the top left corner of your screen, and click on it.  A "menu" of choices will drop down.

2. Click on "Save as"

3.  In the blue rectangle, type a name for your file.

4.  In the top line of the screen, click on "This PC", then click on "Desktop", then click on the rectangle in the lower right corner of your screen that says "SAVE".  That will put your new file onto your desktop, with its name showing.  You can now close out your new file by clicking on the X in the upper right corner of your screen.  You can find this new file again by clicking on its name on your desktop.  

FOLDER: Like a file folder in your filing cabinet, it can hold many files.  You give your files special names, and save them into the right folders.  

MAKING A FOLDER ON YOUR DESKTOP:  With your cursor somewhere on your desktop screen, do a right click (press and release).  A menu appears; one of the items on it is "New".  Click on New. Then slide your cursor around to choose "Folder".  Instantly a folder appears, with a blue bar under it waiting for you to give it a name.  Type a name.  Wala!  You have an empty folder on your desktop, where you can put treasures of all sorts.  Songs, photos, letters.   

FILE:  A single item on your computer that you can look at, edit, save, delete.      

Further clarifications:

TEXT (TEXT FILE) - writing words into a document such as a letter or story or...  Every computer has a NOTEPAD for writing text.  Try yours.

OPEN OFFICE - a free program for writing text, making spreadsheets with formulas in them, and adding photos and other art into the text.  I wrote a 300 page book using Open Office, and would be lost without it.  It is made by Apache, a group of programmers who like what they're doing. 

PHOTOSCAPE - a free program for working with photos; also highly recommended 

DOWNLOAD - getting a copy of something from the Internet; many downloads are free, but "free downloads" are now encumbered with other websites that are decoys, getting you to download their stuff instead of the one you wanted


CURSOR - it's actually a two-part thing, a blinking vertical line that is the point of action on your screen, and a solid vertical line looking like the Roman numeral I --- you use the solid cursor to put the blinking cursor where you want to activate something on your screen; you move the solid cursor with your mouse

LINK (or HOTLINK) - an active symbol or letters or pictures that "take you" to another place on the Internet or in your own computer

MOUSE - a palm-sized sliding thing that moves the CURSOR on your screen; on laptop computers, instead of a mouse there's a pad you slide your finger on which moves the cursor

PC computer - Personal Computer, a computer of the type started by IBM; they are standardized and business oriented

MAC computer - a computer made by Apple, originally called the MacIntosh; designed for highly creative work such as photography, art, movie-making, music, etc.  Macs and PCs used to not be compatible, but that may have changed.  

COMPUTER PROGRAM - a set of commands that cause the computer to do tasks of many, many kinds, from writing letters to painting on your screen to finding music on the Internet

SOFTWARE - another term for Computer Programs

HARDWARE - the computer and all physical objects associated with its use

APP - means Application, a program that functions in a way the user (you) wants, such as showing you the weather report, or which houses are for sale in the world.  When you put an app on your computer, an ICON (little symbol) is added to your DESKTOP (your screen) - you click on that icon to open that APP

INTERNET - the global set-up of computers that allows computers to connect with each other; to "surf" on the Internet with your computer, you need a "service provider" company that has hardware and software 

WEBSITE or WEBPAGE - a piece of writing with images and hotlinks and/or other coded symbols on the Internet; websites are put onto the Internet for any of a gazillion purposes; there are copyright rules about using someone's website information for wide distribution or profit, but copying FACTUAL INFORMATION or other segments of information solely for personal use does not break copyright rules; a website can have one or many web pages

DOMAIN NAME - a unique name, similar to its URL, that allows a person to put up websites using that domain name; all domain names are registered and paid for with one agency; google is a Domain Name, and its URL is; domain names and url's are not case sensitive

HOTLINK - text or other visible stuff (pictures, for instance) that are "linked" by invisible programming to another website or web page; clicking on a hotlink will take you to that website; hotlinks should be a color, usually blue, but sometimes people make hotlinks that look like plain text (why??); if you move your cursor over a hotlink, the hotlink instantly becomes underlined, and the cursor becomes a little hand instead of a capital I

ENTER key - pressing the Enter key activates a choice you have made; it used to also be called "RETURN" but that's only on older keyboards (older computer users might tell you to "hit return" -- they mean you should press the Enter key) 

CURSOR - looks like a capital I if it's being moved in text areas, changing to an arrow in blank places or to a little hand when over a Hotlink; it will not change if it's over something it cannot take action on

BLINKING CURSOR - the Cursor changes to a Blinking Cursor when it is positioned over text and then the Mouse is clicked; the Cursor then becomes a blinking little vertical line about as tall as a lower case L; the Blinking Cursor is the point where your typing goes onto the page; it's also the point where you can start erasing lines of text by pressing the big button that says "Backspace" (usually found in the upper right corner of your keyboard)

PRACTICE:  If you're here at the KRV Museum's website, move your cursor over to any of the dark red letters in the right column - they are hotlinks; you should see the cursor change into a little hand over those dark red letters (and a line appears under them)

MOUSE or MOUSE PAD: the control that moves the cursor; the Mouse looks approximately like a little mouse; it's usually connected to the computer by a wire, but there are wireless ones as well; the Mouse Pad is built into the laptop computer and substitutes for a mouse

CLICK on something - pressing the mouse or mousepad while the cursor is over a place you want to activate; probably 99% of the time you will do a LEFT CLICK, meaning you click the top left side of the Mouse, or bottom left corner of the Mouse Pad, then let go

RIGHT CLICK (top right corner of Mouse or bottom right corner of Mouse Pad) - will give you other functions to choose from; you Click on plain text to put the cursor into the text so you can begin typing or erasing or copying where the cursor is; you Click on a hotlink to connect you to the website that the hotlink is linked to. 

CLICK AND DRAG - you don't just Click and let go, instead you push down on the mouse or pad as if to click, but you hold it down instead of letting go, which lets you move the cursor around the screen while "highlighting" everything the cursor passes over; when you have highlighted what you want, you let go of the mouse's corner (very carefully) and the highlighting stays where you put it

HIGHLIGHT - see Click and Drag above; highlighted parts on a screen are active and ready to be manipulated is some way; if it's text, you can erase it by pressing Backspace or Delete, or you can copy it by pressing Ctrl button and the C key together

UNDO - if you made a mistake, it can often be undone by going to the top line on the screen and clicking on Edit, then on Undo. 

WORD PROCESSOR - a computer program that is used primarily for writing text 

PRACTICE:   If you want to read or go to another page of a website, click on your mouse while the cursor is over the hotlink, and it should take you to that section. 

BROWSER - A computer program that looks around the Internet almost at the speed of light, trying to find the text string you have entered into the browser; Google is one of an endless number of browsers; Dogpile is another

(COMPUTER) PROGRAM - A set of computerized instructions that carry out varying actions on the Internet or on individual computers

PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE - a series of coded commands for making computers do things; such languages are recognized by most computers, so that if one knows the language, one is able to do programming on many different computers.  A simple way to learn how to program your own website is in the book "HTML 3.2 Manual of Style".  HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) can be written by the user with simple commands. 

GETTING YOUR OWN WEBSITE - First you will create and pay for the use of a Domain Name.  If you're a business, your domain name will end in .com.  If you're a non-profit it will end in .org.  Once you've created and paid for it, it is on the Internet. But so far there's nothing in it.  It's up to you to create (or buy$$$$$) the programming language that creates your website.  Much better financially to learn HTML and make your own updates to your website than to pay someone to change this or that, at a minimum of $50 per comma.  I found Mammoth Times, who made my first website for $150.  But changes to it were too costly, so I buckled down and learned HTML.    

URL - Universal Resource Locator; this is a website's address.  It's almost the same thing as your domain name.  The URL of our museum is  There are two ways to "go to" a website: you can "search" for it in a "browser" like Google or Dog Pile, or if you know the exact URL of the website, you can type it in the top line of an Internet-active screen, without any variation in spacing or punctuation.  It doesn't matter if you use capitals or lower case when putting a url into the top window of the screen; you can also put the url into Google's search screen.  Each URL on the Internet is unique, and is owned by someone who pays to use it. 

CASE SENSITIVE - if a name on the Internet only works with the right capitals and lower case letters, it is "case sensitive".  Domain names and email addresses are NOT case sensitive - they will work whether in capitals or lower case or a mixture of both.  But passwords ARE case sensitive.  

www - means "What went wrong?"