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March 2002 Issue


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


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August 2000 September 2000 October 2000 November 2000 December 2000 January 2001
February 2001 March 2001 April 2001 May 2001 June 2001 August 2001
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April 2003 June 2003 December 2003 January 2004 March 2004 April 2005
May 2005 July 2005        

5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter  

March 2002 Issue

Inside this issue:

1) Notes from the editor
2) Industry News
3) Helpful Web Sites
4) Disk Management in XP
5) Windows Tips and Tricks
6) Hand-Held Device
7) Problems and Solutions
8) 5 Star Support's Top Supporting sites
9) Contact Information
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[1] Notes from the editor:
by Vince Underwood

Hello and welcome to all new subscribers and welcome back to all of you loyal 5 Star Supporters.

I would like to welcome all of the new volunteer technicians that joined the team during the month of February 2002. I list these volunteers in the order in which they joined.

1) Wayne Davison
2) Kevin Davidson
3) James O'Brien
4) Joseph S. Thomas
5) Kevin M. Lapp
6) Randy McElveen
7) Abhishek Srivastava
8) Dr. Mike Hughes
9) Chan Dos

Thanks for sharing your time with those in need of some assistance. I know that they appreciate the effort! You can read about these and many of the other volunteer techs at: <>

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[2] Keeping track of your digital photo's

By Julio Ojeda-Zapata
Knight Ridder

Digital still photography can be liberating. You can take as many pictures as you like -- dozens, hundreds, even thousands -- as often as you wish at little cost.

After you've moved your photos from your digital camera to your computer's hard drive, though, reality sets in. How on Earth will you keep track of all those pictures?

Unlike physical photos, which are easily accessible in albums or shoe boxes, digital photos often become generic-looking and obscurely named files buried in maddening mazes of nested folders. Good luck finding those shots of last year's Mexico vacation. You need photo-organizing software, and fast. Your digital camera may have shipped with such a program, but chances are it's clumsily designed and awkward to use. No matter. Dozens of other options are available, often at little or no cost.

Even Microsoft and Apple Computer are now hip to the digital-photo craze, building picture-organizing capabilities into their recently released Windows XP and Mac OS X operating systems.

The upshot: You'll find those Cozumel photos with just a few clicks. Here are four good options for getting a handle on your burgeoning electronic-picture collection:

Windows XP

If you're using an older version of Windows, the digital-photo features in Windows XP are a powerful incentive to upgrade. These may be all casual digital-photo buffs need to organize their family and travel pics. Once you connect your digital camera to your PC, Windows XP effortlessly sucks your shots onto your hard drive and into a My Pictures folder. Sifting through photos in My Pictures and its subfolders is straightforward. Set files to display as slides or "thumbnails'' so they're easier to scan. Pick the "filmstrip'' option to see photos sequentially with an option to rotate shots. Or view photos as slide shows. Options for copying photos to CDs, setting them as desktop images and ordering prints from online photo finishers also are available.

More info:


Apple iPhoto

The Macintosh maker has done one better on Microsoft with free photo-organizing software that is integrated with the Mac OS X operating system. (It doesn't work with older versions of Mac OS.)

Like Windows XP, iPhoto (with a background assist from OS X) is adept at sucking photos from cameras and plopping them on a hard drive.

The Mac program then shows all your photos as slides in a single window for quick perusal. Thumbnails can be enlarged or reduced with a mouse flick, and shown as "rolls'' -- grouped by import date.

To make photos easier to find, they are assigned keywords such as "kid'' and "birthday,'' each with a button. Click buttons in various combinations to display the shots you want. Photos can be rotated, cropped, purged of red eye, organized into albums, converted to black-and-white shots, Web-published, displayed in slide shows and turned into Kodak prints. More info:

JASC After Shot

The elegant iPhoto makes other photo-organizing programs look dowdy, but the Mac program could learn a thing or two from its competitors.

JASC Software's just-released After Shot for PCs, for instance, boasts features Mac users would dearly love to see in iPhoto.

In addition to album-creation, thumbnail-display and keyword-indexing capabilities, the JASC program has a one-click Quick Fix color-correction feature, manual color-correction options, special effects such as "ripple,'' integrated e-mailing and a slick panorama-stitching option that fuses several shots into one seamless landscape.

A "batch'' mode lets you modify several photos at once. You also can emulate professional photo studios by creating contact sheets with shots in different sizes suitable for printing and sharing. (Windows 98 and higher, $45)

More info:


iView Media Pro

IView Multimedia's iView Media Pro remains the Mac heavyweight of digital-photo organizing in many ways.

While lacking flashy features such as on-the-fly thumbnail resizing, iView's image-indexing features are more powerful than iPhoto's. It has more extensive keyword-indexing capabilities along with other organizing tricks such as captions, categories and text or voice annotating. It displays detailed technical information about pictures and supports a vast number of image- and multimedia-file formats, too.

All of this begs the question: Should Mac users pick iPhoto or iView? Well, possibly both. As TidBITS, the authoritative Mac newsletter, puts it, "The two (programs) are quite complementary. Drag-and-drop works perfectly between the two, with iPhoto importing images dragged in from iView MediaPro and iView linking to images dragged from iPhoto.

"Plus, iView provides simple brightness, contrast, and sharpness adjustments along with basic color-correction tools, but lacks iPhoto's red-eye reduction and black-and-white conversion tools.'' (Mac OS 8.5 or higher, Mac OS X-native, $50)

More info: 

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[4] Disk Management in XP
By Gary M. Avrett 5 Star Support Tech

For all those like me who have upgraded to Windows XP and seem to run into a barrier trying to use Fdisk.exe to remove an NTSF partition there is new hope. I have received quite a few requests for help in people trying to remove an NTSF formatted partition using the FDISK command. Quite frankly I had no answer to the problem. It was only when I upgraded my 10 gigabyte hard drive to a 60 gigabyte unit and wanted to un-partition my older unit to be used as a single partition backup that I also experienced this very frustrating problem.

I used a boot disk obtained from and attempted to remove the partition. What I found was that it stated "No logical Drives Defined", but when I went to remove the Extend DOS partition I received the message that read something to the effect "you must remove the Logical Drive first". This was a real Catch 22 with no seemingly possible remedy. Well, I was frustrated to say the least, as I am sure all those who experienced this are. My thoughts were, how could Microsoft write such a beautiful Operating System and do this to me? Then the stubborn side of me came forward, I was not going to let this defeat me no matter how long or what it took, period!

After Consulting the more experienced in the matter I was told to try XP抯 Disk Management. To my exaltation I tried this and it worked with surprising simplicity! For those curious as I, here is how (if your drive in question is a second drive like mine). I do, of course recommend backing up all of your data, as it will be lost. Having said this, lets go for it:

1. Click on Start then Control Panel then Performance and Maintenance then Administrative Tools.

2. Click on Computer Management

3. In the left hand pane click on Disk Management

4. In the right hand pane right click on the drive in question and select Delete a Logical Drive.

5. Now remove both partitions

6. Create and extended DOS partition (for secondary drive)

7. Create a logical drive using all of the drive space.

8. Format the drive. (The choices are NTSF or Fat 32). With this, is the ability to assign or change the Allocation units (Amount of space saved for each file). If one goes too large, say 32k or 64k, then all small 1 or 2 k Microsoft word files will take up that amount of space resulting in lost drive space. On the other hand 512 bytes will fragment the drive quicker. Something around 2048, in my opinion, is a nice size. In any case I do not recommend anything over 4096. 

I hope this finds you as excited as it did me and I look forward to opening the true potential of Microsoft Windows XP. And one last note: for the very curious click on Start, Programs, Accessories, CMD prompt and type: help

Good Luck!

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[5] Windows Tips and Tricks:

<>Tour Your Computer

The Windows operating system can seem complicated for both newbies
and experienced computer users. Get to know your computer
by going to your desktop

Right-clicking on My Computer
Then click on Properties

General Tab
Here you find information about your system
registered users
manufacturer and support

Device Manager Tab
You can view all of your drives and connections
It is possible to sort by connection or device type
Here you can remove any devices
Click Properties on the Device Manager Tab for more details

Hardware Profiles Tab
Most computers use only one hardware profile
but if you wanted to create a new one you do it here

Performance Tab
Find your system performance
It lists available memory and systems resources
as well as other performance information
Click File System to check the settings for your 
hard disk
removable disk
or troubleshooting
view your graphics and virtual memory settings


<> Windows Key on your Keyboard

The Windows icon key located on the bottom of your 
PC's keyboard is a little-used
It is the shortcut anchor for the following 10 commands

Windows: Display start menu
Windows + D: Minimize or restore all Windows
Windows + E: Display Windows Explorer
Windows + Tab: Cycle through buttons on taskbar
Windows + F: Display find: all files
Windows + Ctrl + F: Display find: computer
Windows + F1: Display help
Windows + R: Display Run command
Windows + break: Display system properties dialog box
Windows + shift + M: Undo minimize all


<> Help for Windows ME

Windows Me comes with a completely revamped HTML-based help system called Help & Support
It's the easiest way to get to the System Information and System Tools utilities
Click Start
Choose Help & Support
Click Assisted Support
Click the System Information link
When System Information appears 
click Tools for a handy drop-down menu


<> Updating Drivers

A device driver is the routine program that links the driver
to the operating system whenever you install a new piece of hardware 
such as a CD-RW to your PC - it is necessary to install
the driver for that hardware
Drivers are also frequently updated to eliminate bugs 
or to incorporate other changes
To download and install a new or updated driver
Connect to the Internet
Right-click My Computer
Click on Properties
Click Device Manager
Click on each device and a new window will open
Click on Drivers
it will tell you what drivers you have
Click on Update
it will check for the latest driver
and update it if you want to
You can also find updated versions of drivers
by visiting the manufacturers' websites


<> ADD Locations To "Your Send To Menu" 

Right Click "My Computer"
Choose Explore from Shortcut Menu
Open Drive C
Open Windows Folder
Open Send To Folder
Click "Up" Button
Right Click the Notepad Icon
Choose "Copy" from the Shortcut Menu
Click the "Back" Button
Choose Edit-Paste Shortcut
Press F2
Rename the Icon as Notepad
This may read very complicated, but it will get easier as you practice

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

<> Problem:

How to configure a network with two computers. Where to retrieve information on all drives and how to use that information during setup.

<> Solution:

Enable file sharing on both computers then find Network - Properties and Identification. Also check if NETBIOS is listed under Netweek connections -- configuration tab. If Not add to list on both computers. After connection has been established, right click each drive and or printer. Scroll down to sharing and enable as necessary. 
Thanks for the prompt and helpful information 5 Star


<> Problem:

Links don't work automatically

<> Solution:

1. You can try opening Internet Explorer and click on Tools then Internet
Options...then Programs tab then RESET WEB SETTINGS then click on ADVANCED
2. You can try going to Control Panel then ADD/Remove Programs...scroll down
to Outlook Express if listed..if not then Internet Explorer...then click
Install and it will ask if you want to remove or Repair


<> Problem:

Q# S1 - 3966 Outlook Express 6 .Lost Contact List.

<> Solution:

Solution provided, acted upon and it worked.
Go to View, Layout, select Contacts and check the box. Missing list has been restored.
Thank you.


<> Problem:

Was having various problems with getting my hard drive repartitioned, reformatted, installing of windows 98 and having my system lock up on various attempts of trying to install windows 98

<> Solution:

The techs provided me with the information needed to get me back up and running. Sadly, we all over looked the fact of proper cooling for my reason why my comp kept freezing up. No worries we all have human error and we all over look the small stuff at times. The techs did a great job and a special thanks to Roger for leading me in the right direction on getting information on how to get an installation disk for my sound card.
Thanks again, for the time and effort from all of you and the lesson as well.


<> Problem:

How to transfer 700Mb of files from an older PC (W98) to a newer PC (W2000) where the older PC doesn't have any backup facility other than floppy disc (i.e. no CD writer or tape drive)

<> Solution:

You can connect two machines using a serial port. This is called a
direct cable connection. However you will need a cable that will do
this. It will need to be a 9-pin female to 9-pin female serial cable.
You plug one end into COM1 of each machine then follow the below
directions to connect the machine on a direct cable network.

1. On your Windows 2000 machine goto Start > Settings > Network and
Dialup Connections and Make a New Connection.
2. Click next then check "Connect directly to another computer"
3. Choose this machine to be the Host and the port is COM1.
4. Select all Users in the allowed to connect screen. (This way you
don't have to set a user name on the 98 machine.)
5. Then click finish.

6. On your windows 98 machine goto Start > Settings > Network and
Dialup Connections and Make a New Connection.
7. Click next then check "Connect directly to another computer"
8. This machine will be the guest.
9. When you are done making the connection you can transfer files in
Network neighborhood of either machine.

I suggest using the faster machine to pull the data files over so you
will get the faster transfer rate.


<> Problem:

Reinstall 3-1/2 Floppy to "Send To" choices.

<> Solution:

Open My Computer to view drives.
1. Go to C:Windows (view in normal mode) not maximized, and resize it so you can see My Computer on the Desktop again.
2. Find the Send To folder.
3. Now open My Computer again and right click on Floppy A and hold the mouse button while moving over to the Send To folder and let go.
4. On the popup menu select Create Shortcut Here.
You can use Windows Exploder and it will be easier to drag and drop to the Send To folder. Windows Explorer is in the Programs Section. Click START then Programs then Windows Explorer.


<> Problem:

HP printer spits out a blank page after printing a document. 

<> Solution:

Solution that seems to work is putting cursor behind last line of text.

All the settings were as suggested already but I don't have an "option" in Word. I suspect that MS Word to which you refer may not be what I have which is Microsoft Word.

Thank you for the fantastic speed with which you answered my question.


<> Problem:

Scan disk could not complete and kept giving me a message that something was running in the background. It started over 10 times without being able to complete.

<> Solution:

Go to START then RUN and type: msconfig then click on OK.
In the Microsoft Configuration Editor click on SELECTIVE STARTUP then
uncheck the box "LOAD STARTUP GROUP"
then reboot the computer and try again...this disables things from running
in the background...
Afterwards you can go back and put MSCONFIG back to NORMAL STARTUP.

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[9] Contact Information:

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