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October 2001 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
September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002
March 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 December 2002 February 2003
April 2003 June 2003 December 2003 January 2004 March 2004 April 2005
May 2005 July 2005        

5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter  

October 2001 Issue

Inside this issue:

1) Notes from the editor
2) Computer Memory
3) E-Mail Clients: The Internet Mailmen
4) Helpful Web Sites
5) Windows 95/98 Tips and Tricks
6) Industry News: Windows XP
7) Question and Answers
8) Contact Information
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[1] Notes from the editor:

Welcome to all new subscribers and welcome back to all of you loyal 5 Star Supporters! 

5 Star Support has added a few new volunteer support technicians. They are listed below in the order in which they joined.

1) Victoria Lindsay
2) Susan
3) Casey Tart

2 other people joined but wished to stay anonymous. Welcome to all newcomers! Thank you for giving up some of your free time to help others. You can read a little about these and the other technicians at:
<http://www.5starsupport.com/techs.htm/>

Thanks again! Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the 5 Star Support newsletter.

Vince Underwood
Editor, 5 Star Support
<http://www.5starsupport.com/>
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[2] Computer Memory:

There are two basic kinds of information that can be used by a computer: instructions and data; and both types of information can be stored in memory. In either case, the information is stored as groups of bytes. The data stored might be numbers, text, or even a representation of graphic images, since computers are capable of doing remarkable things with visual images as well as with numbers and words.

The memory of a computer is described in terms of the number of bytes available. Typical memory sizes are approximately 640,000 bytes, which is called 640KB, 1 million bytes (1MB), and, in newer systems, 2MB, 4MB, 16MB and even more. If we consider how much data can be stored in 1MB of memory, it is convenient to think that one character of the English alphabet requires one byte of storage. If we were storing a report, then 1 MB of memory might hold about 200,000 English words (assuming 5 characters per word average). Computer memory comes in two basic types: Random Access Memory (RAM), which is used to manipulate instructions and data; and Read-Only Memory (ROM) which is used to store basic instructions that come with the computer (such as the diagnostics of the Boot program).

An important point to remember about the memory of a computer: whereas ROM never changes, RAM is volatile, (sometimes called dynamic), which means that, when the computer is turned off, all data and instructions currently in memory are erased for ever. You need to know this, because often, when you have worked with something important, like a term paper, if you forget to save the paper on auxiliary storage (usually a floppy disk), it is gone, vanished, not there, and you may be very sorry to have lost it.

One other important fact to remember about the main memory of a computer: it is much faster for the CPU to access data stored in memory than data stored in Auxiliary Storage devices. Therefore, in order to work with data, the computer almost always loads it into memory, works on it, and then files it away on auxiliary storage for more permanent safekeeping.

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[3] E-Mail Clients: The Internet Mailmen
by Brandon Ng: 5 Star Support Tech

You probably do it every day. Login, check mail, logout. Login, check mail, logout. After a while, many people begin to wish there was an easier way to check their e-mail. Well, don’t wonder anymore. You can read your e-mail with just a little tinkering and the click of a button using special software called e-mail clients. In this article, I’ll discuss several e-mail clients and their advantages and disadvantages.

There are two basic ways that many people check their e-mail. The first is using a web-based interface, which means logging on to a certain site and typing in a username and password. The second way is using an e-mail client, which connects to a special server where your e-mail is stored and downloading it to your computer. The benefits of an e-mail client are that you can quickly connect to the Internet, download your mail, and read your messages offline, at your leisure.

One of the most popular e-mail clients is Outlook Express, which comes bundled with Internet Explorer (which can be downloaded for free at www.microsoft.com/ie) . Outlook Express is the baby brother of Microsoft’s larger version, Outlook, which comes in the Microsoft Office package. Unless you are a businessperson or require complex scheduling tools, Outlook Express is usually enough for the average user. Outlook Express integrates well with Internet Explorer and other Microsoft products.

Another popular e-mail client is Eudora (www.eudora.com), which has been around for quite a while. Eudora is currently free but runs on the infamous adware platform, in which you are shown ads while using the software. You can, however, pay a small fee and remove the advertisements. Eudora is well known for its easy on the eyes interface and simplistic tools. However, Eudora can very often be a memory hogger and weigh your computer down.

Finally, one of the fastest e-mail clients is Pegasus (www.pmail.com) Pegasus definitely lacks in visual but makes up for it with features, speed, and stability. The program loads fast, but the interface can be confusing at times. I recommend Pegasus for those that are comfortable with e-mail clients and can find their way around them. The complex features are definitely a plus for power users.

Whatever client you choose to use, the fundamental basic behind the e-mail client are the POP (Post Office Protocol) and SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) servers. These are the special servers that allow the client to connect and download your e-mail. The POP server is where the client gets the mail and the SMTP server is where mail is sent. Depending on what service you use for e-mail, you may or may not be able to use clients. The more popular services, such as Yahoo and Hotmail offer pop access. In addition, although your e-mail service may offer POP access, your ISP may require you to use their special SMTP server to send out mail. An important note for AOL users: because AOL uses special software, there is no way to use an e-mail client with an AOL e-mail address. Be sure to check out next months article, where I’ll discuss the ins and outs of Outlook Express.

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<>Windows Login Password:

If your computer came with Windows 98 installed, you may be prompted for a User ID and Password when you start Win98. This allows separate users to define special desktop configurations. If you are the only user of the system and you don't want to enter a User ID and Password, you can disable the Password Dialog box at Windows startup.

1 - Right-click the Network Neighborhood icon on your desktop and select Properties from the resulting menu.
2 - Click on the Configuration tab and select Windows Login from the Primary Login menu.
3 - Click OK and when prompted to restart your computer, select "NO".
4 - Click Start >Settings >Control Panel and double-click the Passwords icon.
5 - Click the User Profiles tab and select "All users of this computer use the same preferences and desktop. settings."
6- Click the Change Password tab, then the Change Windows Password button. Enter your password into the "Original" password text box but Do NOT enter a new password, click OK to save your settings. 
Note: If the "Change Password" tab is not there, you must first log into Windows at the login prompt. If you cancel or "X" out of the Login prompt, the "Change Password" tab will not appear.

The next time Windows 98 is started, the password prompt will no longer pop up.

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<>Updating your system:

To obtain free updates to programs and find some fixes for that bug infested software, connect to Microsoft's Windows Update Web page. The Windows Update Wizard will show you what is available.

1. Click Start, then choose Windows Update to go to the Windows Update Web page.
2. Click Update Wizard
3. Click Update
4. Select the Update that you want.
5. Read the description and click Install
6. Follow instructions to complete installation. 

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[6] Industry News: Windows XP

In my opinion, Windows XP (eXPerience) is to be the best operating system yet from the software giant--Microsoft. It will not be available to purchase until October 25, 2001. Some computer manufactures are currently shipping their computers with this new Operating System pre-installed. 

XP delivers the benefit of the NT kernel system which is far more stable than the (now obsolete) 95/98/ME kernel systems. XP uses a LUNA interface rather than the GUI (graphical user interface). This new interface is supposed to give users a much more streamlined Windows look.

Lets have a look at the minimum system requirements for XP:

*233 megahertz (MHz) Pentium or higher microprocessor (or equivalent) 
*64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB of RAM recommended minimum; 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM maximum) 
*650 MB of free space on a 2-GB hard disk If you're installing over a network, more free hard disk space is required. 
*VGA monitor 
*Keyboard 
*Mouse or compatible pointing device 
*CD-ROM or DVD drive 

According to Microsoft there will be an upgrade option from Windows XP Home edition to the Professional edition. I would suspect that most Windows 98/Me users would use the Home edition upgrade, while Windows 2000 Professional users would upgrade to Windows XP Professional. (In fact, Windows NT and Windows 2000 can only be upgraded to Windows XP professional). 

Pricing on these new Operating Systems has yet to be announced. 

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[7] Questions and Answers:
generated from 5 Star Support 

<>Question: 

Whenever I start my computer I get a message windows encountered an error accessing the system registry. It then gives me the option of restarting which then backs up to a good copy. But that good copy is really bad because upon the next startup it gives me the same error message. I have ran a couple of different virus checkers and nothing comes up. Please help!!

<>Answer:

See "Registry Checker Continues to Detect Registry Damage"<http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q186/9/09.asp/>.

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<>Question:

Can you increase the number of documents shown in the Documents menu off the Start menu?

<>Answer:

No, you can't increase that menu, but, you can try this:

You can see the last 40 or so documents that you have opened by opening your Windows folder and drag-dropping the Recent folder into the Start Menu folder. All of the shortcuts will then cascade off the upper portion of the Start Menu. The last 15 will still continue to cascade off the lower portion of the Start Menu. Unless you have Explorer set to show all files, you won't be able to see the Recent folder. You can open any folder and adjust this setting by selecting View | Options | View from the menu.

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<>Question:

When I use "Start>Search>for files and folders", I am finding that Windows remembers previously searched for entries and tries to autocomplete. How do I disable this feature?

<>Answer:

Go to Start> Find> Find Files and Folders> Go up to Options and de-select "save results". 

That should do it!

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<>Question:

When the computer starts from new or a restart it opens Windows Explorer with contents of my hard drives C,D,E in separate Windows. How do I stop this?

<>Answer:

Follow the link below for help:

It should also apply to the Windows ME operating system.

<http://www.5starsupport.com/info/techinfo.htm#boot98/>

Also, you can check your startup folder to see if the problem is in there:

1) Right-click on the start button
2) Click Open
3) Double Click Programs

These are all of the programs that you have starting when Windows boots up. Check to see if your problem is listed in here. If it is, right-click it and choose Delete. These are all copies of the files that are on your hard drive. Deleting files from here only removes the copy.

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<>Question:

I am designing a website using FrontPage 2002. When I want to test my site by using the preview in the browser option, I get a freeze and then have to do an end task then restart to get going again. Sometimes it tells me that I have no more resources. Could I just need more RAM? I have 164mb of RAM installed.

<>Answer:

It seems that you have enough RAM, so my next question would have to be...how many programs do you have running in Windows ME's background? To find out--Hit CTRL>ALT>DELETE. These are all of the programs that are currently running. I usually have 3 running unless I am multi-tasking. 

What I recommend is performing a "Clean Boot". To learn how, follow this link:
<http://www.5starsupport.com/info/techinfo.htm#cleanboot/>

This is for Windows 98, but I don't believe that this changed. ME is sort of like Windows 98 Third Edition.

If you have any questions as to what some of these programs are, you can refer to this page for help:
<http://www.5starsupport.com/info/startup.htm/>

This should help a great deal in freeing up some memory and should keep your system running smoothly.

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<>Question:

Cannot find a device file that may be needed to run windows or a windows application. The windows registry or system.INI file refers to this device file, but the file no longer exists. If you deleted this file on purpose, try uninstalling the associated application using uninstall or setup program. If you still want to use the application with this device file, try reinstalling that application to replace missing file. bi-di.386 Press a key to continue.

<>Answer:

Go to Start> Run> type in: system.ini then press enter. Under the [386enh] section, you'll encounter a reference to bi-di.386 Place a semicolon (;) in front of that line, save the file and reboot. The message should disappear... 

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[8] Contact Information:

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Newsletter Staff

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