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June 2003 Issue


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


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5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter  

June 2003 Issue

Inside this issue:

1) Notes from the Editor
2) Industry News
3) Helpful Web Sites
4) Tips from the Community
5) The Binary Number System
6) How Memory Works
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!

As usual, I would like to start this issue by thanking all of the technicians that come to 5 Star Support to help with all of the questions submitted by those in need of computer technical assistance world wide. The 5 Star Technicians currently number 126 strong. 

You can take a look at the profiles of these technicians at:

Coming soon...TechLive Support:

We are in the process of buying a new chat software so that we can provide a "Live" technical assistance feature. We have hunted for the very best software to provide a smooth interface and comfortable surroundings for our guests that need "Live" assistance. We feel we have found the 
best, but we need the funds to purchase it. If you would like to donate a few dollars to this great cause, it would be most appreciated! Just send an electronic payment by way of "PayPal" at:

...or use our mailing address:

5 Star Support
P.O. Box 77861
Stockton, Ca. 95267

Thank you very much for any and all contributions!

Now, just sit back and relax with your favorite beverage of choice and enjoy your June 2003 issue.


[2] Industry News: Sony sets movies to self-destruct 

By CNETAsia Staff 
Special to CNET
May 30, 2003, 10:36 AM PT

A subsidiary of electronics maker Sony is to sell downloadable movie files that self-destruct after a given time. According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei Business Daily, the company's So-net Internet service provider will soon trial the service in Japan. 

Many digital content providers currently use encrypted streaming to prevent people from saving and copying movie files. The downside is that the quality of the video suffers, as it is reduced in size for Web transmission. In addition, people must stay online to view the feed. 

However, allowing downloads of movie files opens the door to illegal copying. 

To sidestep these issues, So-net's new service allows people to download the content from its Web site to their hard drives--but those hoping to add the file to a permanent collection or to copy it could have their attempts frustrated. 

The company has incorporated a digital rights management (DRM) technology from software maker Japan Wave into its service, which should make copying impossible, the report said. 

Instead of saving a video to a single file and location, Japan Wave's technology splits the data into numerous directories on a hard disk. People need to download special software to play back the various pieces as a continuous movie. 

There's a second layer of protection: Those who manage to join up the files won't be able to use them for very long. Software embedded in the file is designed to cause it to self-destruct after a given time, said the report. 

So-net's approach to DRM is part of a growing effort by ISPs to find robust copy protection without restricting people's rights to enjoy the content. 

Earlier this month, Walt Disney announced plans for a trial in the United States. The company said it will start renting self-destructing DVDs that automatically become unplayable after a two-day period. 

Major movie studios in Hollywood are also turning up the heat, joining forces in a slew of lawsuits against U.S.-based DVD-copying software makers like and

CNETAsia staff reported from Singapore.


[4] Tips from the Community:

<>Create a Password Re-Set Disk:
by fishingweasel, 5 Star Technician 

Have you ever had that problem with logging-on only to realize that you have forgotten your password. Well worry no more as you can create a password re-set disk and when ever you have forgotten your password just simply use the disk to log-on and re-set your password again. 
This procedure should also work with Win 2000 and Win ME and also this procedure is for a single computer not a networked environment. 

Click Start 
Click Control Panel 
Click User Accounts 
Click on the account which you want to create a password disk 
Click Prevent a forgotten password which starts the 
Forgotten Password Wizard this is found under 
Related Tasks on the left of the screen. 
Insert a blank, formatted disk into Drive A, and click next 
Enter the password in the Current user account password box 

To use the recovery disk, at the Welcome Screen 

Click the user name whose password is on the recovery disk 
Click the question mark (?) button 
This causes the Did you forget your password message to appear 
Click use your password reset disk, 
this will start the Password Reset Wizard. 

From this point, just follow the wizard's instructions and you will be 
able to set a new password. 


<> Do you ever get any annoying pop-up ads saying that you need to disable a messaging service in WinXp that is a potential hazard for your PC. And these people offer so generously to disable it for you, for the small price of $10. Well, now you can do it yourself for free! What is this messenger service is exactly? Well, it's mostly used on large networks for a system administrator to send out messages to all the workstations to give information (i.e, "The Network will be going down at 
10:00am" ) Normal PC users don't need this service, but it starts automatically by default. Now, to stop this service, here are the instructions: 

1. Right click on My Computer, go to Manage. 
2. On the left side there is a menu, click on Services. 
3. Look on the right hand side, scroll until you see messenger. 
4. Double click Messenger. 
5. In the middle of the window that pops up, you will see "Startup" and 
a drop down menu next to it. Click on the menu, and select "Disabled" 
6. Click "OK" to close the options window, then exit out. 
7. Smile, because you just saved $10 bucks, and cleared up a potential 
hazard in your Operating System. 

Hope this helps everyone! 



<> Windows XP is by far in my opinion the best version of Windows thus far. That said and done, doesn't mean there aren't those little annoyances. 

By far the greatest annoyance is the Clean Desktop Wizard that keeps reminding me that there are icons on my desktop that it can clean. If I didn't want them there, I wouldn't have put them there in the first place!!! LOL!!!! 

If you feel the same way, here is a VBS script that you can run to disable the desktop cleaning wizard. 

1. Open Notepad. 

2. Copy the following text into notepad: 

Option Explicit 

Dim WSHShell, n, MyBox, p, itemtype, Title 
Set WSHShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell") 
p = 
p = p & "NoRun" 
itemtype = "REG_DWORD" 
n = 1 
WSHShell.RegWrite p, n, itemtype 
Title = "Cleanup Wizard is now Disabled." & vbCR 
Title = Title & "You may need to log off/log on" & vbCR 
Title = Title & "For the change to take effect." 
MyBox = MsgBox(Title,4096,"Finished") 

3. Save the file as cleanupwiz.txt 

4. Rename cleanupwiz.txt to cleanupwiz.vbs 

5. Double-click the file to execute the script. 

6. When I executed the script Norton Anti-virus did ask for my 
permission to run the script. I allowed it to run it once. 

That is all there is to it. You will not be prompted to have icons 
cleaned off your desktop again.

posted by: Organized UnCertainty - 5 Star Member


<> Windows 98/SE Speedup Tip:
Posted by Ads, 5 Star Technician

This works for Internet Explorer and AOL but Mozilla handles this differently. 

Don't remember exactly where I found this tip but was glad I found it. 

Using 2 registry entries listed below(copy and paste them with a different name for each into notepad and give each entry the extension .reg) 

If you don't necessarily care to see pictures on a site use the picsFF.reg and when you want to see the pictures use picsON.reg. Put the two reg files on your taskbar or wherever you can access them 
handily.(drag n' drop to taskbar.) Speeds up page delivery when off. Just click on reg file and when Win asks you if you want to add to registry click yes or OK. Changes take effect immediately.If you're on a site and you click one of them the next page on that site may or may not be completely void of 
pictures but the change will catch up. 
[this should be harmless to your registry] 

Copy and paste below into Notepad. 
=================================copy below this line 


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main] 
"Display Inline Images"="no" 

===============================do not copy this line 

Copy and paste below into Notepad. 
==================================copy below this line 


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main] 
"Display Inline Images"="yes" 


=============================do not copy this line 


[5] The Binary Number System:
by David Risely

I'm sure everyone has heard that a computer runs on binary code. But, what is this? Well, basically, it is a number system. Let's look at it: Most people use a number system based on 10. We use the digits 
0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 to form our numbers. All numbers can be represented by any number times 10 to some power. For instance: 

14,393 = 1.4393 x 10^4 

Using these numbers we can form integers, decimals, etc. We all know this, so let me not delve into this any more. 

Now, the reason we cannot use this system of numbering in the computer is pretty simple. Yeah, it would make life easier for us. But, as we know, a computer circuit is made out of transistors. Transistors have two positions- on and off. The computer uses these positions to represent 0 and 1. Since we do not have any systems with 10 stable positions, and we do have the transistor with 2 stable positions, we thus use the binary system. 

The binary system uses base 2 instead of base 10 like we are used to. To compare it, let's again look at base 10: 

234 = (2 x 10^2) + (3 x 10^1) + (4 x 10^0) 

You can see how any number can be represented by a base of 10. In binary we use base 2: 

10111 = (1 x 2^4) + (0 x 2^3) + (1 x 2^2) + (1 x 2^1) + (1 x 2^0)
10111 = 16 + 0 + 4 + 2 + 1 = 23 

So, 10111 in binary is equal to a value of 23. To represent integers, which can be positive or negative, computers typically use a sign notation on the binary. 0 is positive and 1 is negative and this number precedes the the rest of the number. 1 10111 would be -23 for example. How does the computer differentiate this from 110111? Simply be context in the program. 

ASCII code is the term for text characters represented by the computer. Since computers ONLY think in binary, ASCII characters are represented by certain binary numbers. Again, the only way the computer differentiates between the ASCII character and the number itself is by context. There is a whole chart showing all the ASCII characters and their binary equivalents, but who the heck needs to see that? 


[7] Problems and Solutions:
generated from 5 Star Support


Removing icons from clock side of task bar; removing items from "Past 
items" when right clicked on task bar)clock side)>properties>customize


1.Start>Run>msconfigure>unchecked items in start up,reboot.
2.Don't worry about the "past Items." These icons are not taking up 
any space on the hard drive. The programs that they represent however if 
they are still installed will be using up space. If you know that you 
don't need a few of these then uninstall them. You can do this from 
the Add/Remove programs section of the Control Panel. Note: The "Past 
Items" will still who up in that list after you have uninstalled the 
programs. Again they themselves do not use any space and are not a 



Q#W3-11055 Restrictions In Internet Explorer when I click on 
'Tools'-'Internet Options' I get a standard message window which 
This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this 
computer. Please contact your system administrator."


I finally managed to solve it simply by removing following key from 
HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Policies/Microsoft/InternetExplorer/Restrictions Name Data
Default (value not set)
Just remove this=[NoBrowserOptions 1] 



When my desktop computer is directly connected to my DSL modem through 
an Ethernet card, I experience very fast transmissions, typically 
2000-2600BPS. However, when I connect the DSL modem to my 4 port router and 
then on to my desktop computer, my speed drops to 400-600BPS. I have 
two other computers (laptops) that operate at similar speeds when 
connected to the DSL modem but DO NOT degrade when hooked up to the router. 
One has the same OS, Windows 98SE and the other is Windows 2000. All 
three computers are using the same 10/100 NIC cards.


I have tried connecting to each of the four ports on the router and 
have used several different CAT5 cables but the desktop computer still 
degrades and the other computers do not. I have also re-run both the DSL 
and the Router setup files and drivers to no avail.


Changed my NIC speed setting from "autosense" to operate at 10Mbit 



I used to run "MSCONFIG" when I had Windows98SE, but now that I have 
Windows 2000 Professional, what do I use to manipulate which programs run 
at startup?


Download MSCONFIG for Windows XP and copy it into System32.



I can access the Freeserve Homepage, but when I try to click on a hyperlink on any of my search results nothing happens. I go anywhere on the Freeserve site, but when I try to go outwith the 
Freeserve site nothing happens. I can copy the web address onto the URL and click on go to gain access to external websites or use the search facility at the top of the screen, but I still cannot use the hyperlinks on the Freeserve pages.


I came upon this solution by accident in a magazine. Because I have POP UP STOPPER installed, it appears to affect they way that I click on hyperlinks. The solution that I have found works, hold down Ctrl and then click on the offending hyperlink. I am quite sure that there could be an even better 
way, apart from un-installing the offending program.



want to purchase an external DVD-RW drive for backup. my computer has a usb1 port. most dvd-rw drives available have usb2 compatibility. will these products work with my computer, at a lower transfer rate?


To answer your question, all usb 2.0 devices are backwards compatible with 1.1 ports unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. The max transfer rate would be around 900 kb/s, as that is the fastest the port itself can support.


[8] Contact Information:

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