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February 2003 Issue


Below, find our archived issue of the 5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter.


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5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter  

February 2003 Issue

Inside this issue:

1) Notes from the editor
2) Industry News
3) Helpful Web Sites
4) Surge Protectors
5) Product of the Month
6) Tips and Tricks
7) Problems and Solutions
8) Contact Information
[1]  Notes from the editor:
by Vince Underwood

Welcome to all new subscribers and welcome back to all of you loyal 5 Star Supporters!  5 Star Support continues to add volunteer technicians to the team.  If you would like to read a little about each of these techs, please visit:


<> Funding 5 Star Support:

I have spent a great deal of my own money supporting this site. 5 Star Support is not what I do for a living, it is a hobby that I enjoy doing. It makes very little money and most of the time it makes none at all. I'll continue to support it all that I can and I hope that the Internet community will find 5 Star Support a worthy enough endeavor to support it as well. There are a few ways that you can help:

1] Send in a small donation via credit card, check or money order.

I am very grateful to all who help support us!


<>New Pages Added:

BIOS Beep Codes:

BIOS Passwords:

Computer Glossary of Terms:

Opera Tips:


I hope each of you will benefit a little (or a lot) by reading this newsletter. If there is something that you would like to see in the future issues, just drop me a note and I will be glad to check into it for you. You will find the contact information at the bottom of this newsletter.  I hope to hear from you!

Now...just kick back, relax and enjoy your newsletter!


[2]  Industry News:

<> Net Security Czar Stepping Down:

WASHINGTON -- Richard Clarke, the top cyber security adviser to President Bush, is confirming plans to resign from the White House, and he raised an ominous warning to colleagues about the destructive effects of future attacks on the Internet.

Clarke, in a e-mail sent overnight Thursday to colleagues, cited damage from the weekend's infection that struck hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide, slowing e-mail and Web surfing and even shutting down some banking systems. He called the attacking software "a dumb worm that was easily and cheaply made."

"More sophisticated attacks against known vulnerabilities in cyberspace could be devastating," Clarke wrote. "As long as we have vulnerabilities in cyberspace and as long as America has enemies, we are at risk of the two coming together to severely damage our great country."

A spokeswoman confirmed Clarke's e-mail as authentic. It was forwarded by the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center to operators of Internet early warning centers.

The Associated Press, citing people familiar with Clarke's plans, reported his decision to resign on Jan. 24. Clarke has spent 11 years in the White House in three administrations, and he was the president's counterterrorism coordinator at the time of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Clarke has focused most recently on preventing disruptions to important computer networks from Internet attacks, compiling recommendations to improve security into a "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace."

In a separate E-mailed document, sent to others, Clarke disclosed that Bush has formally signed the strategy for approval and that it would be released publicly "sometime in the next few weeks."

In his e-mail, Clarke urged companies and government agencies to adopt these recommendations.

He said it was "essential to the health of the nation's economy and the security of the country."

Clarke indicated he would seek a job in the private sector, after spending three decades inside the government. He worked at the departments of Defense and State, then was hired at the White House.

"I hope now to learn how to contribute to these issues as a private citizen," Clarke wrote.


[4] Surge Protectors:
by Vince Underwood

Whenever you buy a computer system, you are always advised to purchase a surge protector to protect your investment. This is a very useful and essential device to have.

Lets first look at what the surge protector does and why it is needed:

To put it simply, the surge protector protects electronic devices from electrical current surges. Current surges are classified as, anything above a designated level of flow. For example; a typical household in the United States is designed to use 120 volts of electricity. Anything above 120 volts would be a current surge.

Many things can cause voltage surges, one more familiar but less common one is lightning strikes. When lightning strikes near a power line, it actually boosts the amount of electrical pressure by millions of volts. This, of course, would cause a huge voltage surge. This is way to much to ask of your surge protector. During electrical storms, it is always best to unplug your computer from the wall outlet.

More common sources of surges, come from large appliances in your home or business, such as;
elevators, air conditioners, washers, dryers...etc. Any high powered electrical device that functions by switching on and then off will cause power surges. As an example, when your air conditioner switches on, it will drop the voltage level for an instant then the voltage will regain 120 volts. Now, you can imagine what is going to happen when the air conditioner switches off...yes, the voltage will spike causing a surge. The damage to your computer will either be eventual or immediate if you don't have it protected.

Now that you can see why surge protectors are needed, lets discuss what they actually do.

A common surge protector called a MOV or Metal Oxide Varistor, is made up of three things; a piece of metal oxide material joined to the power and grounding line by 2 semiconductors. The semiconductors measure the resistance of the electricity. The function of a surge protector is much the same as any pressure-sensitive valve that opens only when there is too much pressure. So, simply put, a surge protector takes the electrical current surge and routes it safely to its ground wire.

Many surge protectors have a built in fuse as a back up and added protection. The fuse is nothing more than a resistor designed to measure the amount of heat created by the electrical resistance. If the electricity surges over a preset amount, the fuse will pop out, causing the circuit to open. No electricity will be allowed to flow through the surge protector or your computer system, until the fuse is reset thereby reconnecting the circuit.


[5] Product of the Month:
eTrex Vista System GPS

The eTrex Vista combines a basemap of North and South America, with a barometric altimeter and electronic compass. The compass provides bearing information while you're standing still and the altimeter determines your precise altitude. The Vista is also designed to provide precise GPS positioning using correction data obtained from the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). The eTrex Vista provides position accuracy to less than 3 meters when receiving WAAS corrections.

The eTrex Vista also boasts an internal memory capacity of 24MB, which allows it to accept downloaded mapping data from GARMIN's MapSource® CD-ROMs, including Fishing Hot Spots®. A silver case gives this unit a high-tech look. New to the product design, GARMIN includes marine aids to navigation in addition to the basemap. These navigational aids will be preloaded into each unit from the factory.

Current Price= $284.99 USD

Click the TechDepot link, then click the consumer electronics tab.


[6] Tips and Tricks:
by Vince Underwood

<> Office 2000 Tip:
Saving Space Using WinZip

Do you have a folder with lots of .txt or other files that when "ZIPPED" really compress?
Try this to save valuable disk space:
Zip all the files into one big "ZIPPED" file.
Then delete the UNZIPPED files and keep the ZIP file in the original folder.
Then when you want to see a particular file, open the main "ZIP" file but don't extract the files, just double click the file of interest right in the WinZip screen and it will open. If you modify the file and save your changes in the normal fashion, WinZip sees the change and asks if you want to update the file in the ZIP to which you of course say yes or OK. The net result is your files take up a lot less disk space and the files are easily accessible.

<> Word Tip:
Insert a Drawing Object Multiple Times in Office

To view the Drawing Toolbar, right-click any toolbar and select Drawing.
To insert a Drawing Object several times double-click the drawing object button (such as Rectangle) on the Drawing Toolbar. The button stays selected or "Sticky."
Insert your Drawing Object several times by clicking in the appropriate locations.
When you're finished inserting the objects click the Drawing Object Button again, or press ESC.
You can also turn any of the Drawing Objects available from the Auto Shapes Button on the Drawing Toolbar into "Sticky" Drawing Object Buttons. Simply click the Auto Shapes Button, point to a category (such as Flowchart), and a submenu of shapes opens up. Drag the move handle at the top of the submenu to create a Floating Toolbar. Then double-click the Drawing Object Button (such as Flowchart: Process). The button now stays "Sticky."

<> Windows 95/98/ME Tip:
Getting in to SafeMode

To get into SafeMode, if your running Windows 95/98
Restart Windows and keep tapping F8 during the bootup.
You want to start tapping F8 after the Drives are recognized on the screen but before the Windows splash screen appears.
A startup menu with 6 options should appear.
Use SafeMode option to start Windows.
If your running Windows ME, press and hold the Ctrl key during bootup to get the menu to select SafeMode.
Press and hold it after the drives are recognized on the screen but before the Windows splash screen.
Select the option for SafeMode

<> Recording Tip:
Recording from Tape to Harddrive to CD

You will need a cable to connect the tape player to your PC.
All PC soundcards come with three connectors as standard, Line In, Line Out (Where you plug the speaker) and Mic. input.
Again most "quality" tape players should have a Line out socket all you have to do is match the connectors (the PC end will be a standard 3.5 mm jack).
Go to Start/Programs/Accessories/Entertainment/Sound Recorder and open Sound Recorder.
Record the tape you may have to play about with the sound levels to get it sounding its best but that Is part of the fun. The file will be in the wave format or *.wav
As for the transfer to CD again that should be easy when you decide which format you want to use i.e. MP3, CD Audio or wav.
The burning software that came with the CDRW will probably do all three. If not do a quick search at and you should find some.

<> Printing Tip:
Printing part of a web site page

Select the part of the page you want to print by dragging (highlighting) the area.
Click on File
Click on Print
Click Options
Put a tick or check in the "Selection" box.
Click OK
Using Netscape you cannot use "Selection" you have to choose certain pages or all pages.


[7] Problems and Solutions:
Compiled from the 5 Star Support database

<> Problem:

W2-8361 Windows Not Starting:
There was an old DOS game that was played on my PC, and the system was shut down w/o properly closing the game. Now whenever I restart the PC, the game starts automatically instead of windows.

<> Solution:

It sounds to me like you have an entry in your config.sys that reads Dos=single.  This is your problem.

There are several ways to correct this issue.  The best way is to edit the config.sys file and remove the line in question.

Before I get into details there is some information I need to know.  You said that you went into MSCONFIG and changed some things.  Your system should be in the Normal mode in MSCONFIG.  If it is not, get your computer into Windows, run MSCONFIG and select normal mode, click on the advanced button, and select the box that says enable startup menu and then restart.

Now when the computer restarts, choose safe mode command prompt only.  You may still be in the silly DOS mode.  That is okay because we will fix it now.

Type ren config.sys *.ysy

press enter

Type ren autoexec.bat *.tab

press enter

Restart your computer, but this time choose normal mode when the menu comes up.  Config.sys and Autoexec.bat are not required for Windows, but they may be required for really old pieces of hardware or programs.  By using the ren command we renamed the files so Windows will ignore them and we should be able to boot into windows just fine.


<> Problem:

Windows 98 doesn't allow me any options on my color settings, just the default 16 colors that Windows uses. I was wondering how I go about fixing this problem, and even wondering if it's possible that my computer doesn't have the component necessary to display more than 16 colors (although I've been told this probably isn't the case). What is it (video card, graphics card?) that makes it possible?

<> Solution:

install any motherboard software you got with the PC.
If this does not help right click on a blank space on the decktop and choose Properties.
Click on the Settings Tab
Click on the Advanced button
Choose the Adapter tab
Click on the Properties button
Click on the Driver tab
Click on the update drive button and follow the prompts (you will need to know the make of the graphics card and will need the driver).


<> Problem:

The Storm Technology Launch Pad kept appearing at startup even though I had unchecked (disabled) it in the Msconfig window.

<> Solution:

Fred Schirmer suggested: After making a new folder on Desktop, Right click on start button. Click on "+" by Programs to expand it. Scroll down to start up and click on it. Select the program, from the list on the that appears in the window on the right. Use Cut & Paste to move the program from that window to the newly created folder. It worked.


<> Problem:

All of my downloaded photos have been converted to text files, and I couldn't view my pictures.

<> Solution:

Mike told me to:
1. Single click on an image file icon.
2. While holding down the shift key, right click in the image, and from the menu, choose "open with" and click on it, then choose the program you want to open the file with (I chose MS Paint), click on it, making sure the "always open with" box is checked.


<> Problem:

How to uninstall NetMeeting in XP

<> Solution:

In NetMeeting -tools -options, uncheck "run in background" and uncheck "put icon in taskbar". Also change the properties in Services.msc to "manual" from automatic. And, in Microsoft net framework in add/remove.


<> Problem:

All of my downloaded photos have been converted to text files, and I couldn't view my pictures.

<> Solution:

1. Single click on an image file icon.
2. While holding down the shift key, right click in the image, and from the menu, choose "open with" and click on it, then choose the program you want to open the file with (I chose MS Paint), click on it, making sure the "always open with" box is checked.


<> Problem:

Some program stopped Internet Explorer and MSN Explorer from opening new pages.

<> Solution:


<> Problem:

Unable to disable use automatic configuration script in IE 6.0 Windows Me. Script placed by MarketScore (previous name Netsetter), program called Ossproxy. Unable at times to connect to Internet because of this proxy.

<> Solution:

Using RegCleaner found Netsetter files and deleted all of the. Unchecked use automatic configuration script and restarted computer and problem resolved


[8] Contact Information:

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