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April 2001 Issue


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5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter

April 2001 Issue


Inside this issue:

1) Notes from the editor
2) The Motherboard part 1
3) The Modem
4) Helpful Web Sites
5) Windows 95/98 Tips
6) HTML Tips
7) Questions and Answers
8) Contact Information

[1] Notes from the editor:

First, I would like to welcome 5 new techs to the 5 Star Support team. 
1) Keith Stevenson 
2) Scott Billups 
3) Jenny Sciborski 
4) Jon Williams (JW)
5) Christopher Bates
It's nice to have you all aboard!
You can read a little bit about each of these new techs and the others at: 

DLL File Downloads

As always, I am constantly adding to the other technical information pages to help you find quick answers 
to you questions.

Welcome to all new subscribers, I hope you will benefit from the articles herein. If you find this newsletter helpful, please help support it by sending it to your friends and colleagues. Thanks for your support!


[2] The Motherboard Part 1
What does the Motherboard do?
by Vince Underwood

Many people believe that all motherboards are alike and that when shopping for one, the lesser price would be okay. This is not true at all. If you choose a motherboard just because of price, I am afraid you will spend a great deal of time troubleshooting or recovering from system problems.Just because the motherboard doesn't process information, print tasks or store data, doesn't mean that it isn't an important part of your internal functions. 

What it does do is channel all of the communications to the proper device thru controllers when requested. With the proper motherboard, the communication between the controllers, system memory, the central processing unit (CPU) and these devices will go smoothly and (mostly) error free. 

Motherboards also contain important computing components, such as the basic input/output system (BIOS), which contains the basic set of instructions required to control the computer when it is first turned on; different types of memory chips such as random access memory (RAM) and cache memory; mouse, keyboard, and monitor control circuitry; and logic chips that control various parts of the computer's function.

Other than being in control of all communications, the motherboard is also the supplier of power to many devices thru sockets, cables, pins and plugs. Many of the controllers that control (to a great degree) the reliability, performance and compatibility of your entire system reside directly on your motherboard. Every device in your system needs to communicate with a controller that transfers data to and from system memory where the processor can access it.

So, as you can see, the motherboard is in fact the life of your system. Its constant flow of information being routed quickly and correctly to the right place at the right time, makes this piece of hardware as important as any other in your system. 

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[3] The Modem:

A modem may either be internal (connected to the computer's bus) or external ("stand-alone", connected to one of the computer's serial ports). It consists of a modulator to convert computer information into a telephone signal and a demodulator to convert it back again. Hence the name "modem" (MOdulator - DEModulator).

The most common modem on the market today is the 56K modem. The 56K modem became a "standard" back in 1998. The 56K indicates that this modem is capable of receiving and sending data at a maximum rate of 56,000 bits per second. Notice that I mentioned that it is CAPABLE of such speeds. In order for a 56K modem to achieve this speed, your phone line would have to be capable of such speeds also. FCC regulations limit the speed to 53k,but modem makers are fast at work to sidestep and/or waive this rule. 

Other things that factor into your actual connection speed are; the transfer rate in the current connection, and the number of users using the same connection. Also, be aware that if you buy an external 56 KBPS modem, your download speed could be slightly limited by your PC's serial port capability in some cases. Eventually, we will be able to achieve 56Kconnections. This is dependent on the ISP's (Internet Service Provider) upgrading to V.90 modems. This will not happen until the available equipment is strictly tested and all of the bugs are worked out. Until then, I have heard of users obtaining speeds of slightly above 50,000 bits per second. Speeds of 40,000 - 44,000 are more common. That's not so bad.

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[4] Helpful Web Sites:

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[5] Windows 95/98 Tips:

Quick access to the Windows folder:

If you are constantly fooling around inside your Windows folder, you know how many steps it takes to gain access to it via the mouse. With this tip, you can access the Windows folder with one easy step using the Run command. Here's how:
Go to Start> Run. Type: 

(that's two periods) in the Open box and click OK. The Windows folder  opens instantly. 


<>Add time and date to Notepad:

If you have a need to add the time and date to your Notepad document, here's how: Place the cursor where you'd like the date and time to appear, then press F5 on your keyboard. The current date and time now appears (as defined by your system clock and calendar). 


<>Speed up the refresh rate:

When your desktop displays many icons in full color, it often takes longer to refresh and reload. To speed things up a bit, try this:  Click on the Display icon in the Control Panel. Click on the Effects tab and look for the box that says "Show icons using all possible colors." Unchecking this often speeds up the computer. 


<>Delete fonts from your system:

Go to Start> Settings> Control Panel> Double-click on the Fonts Icon. Highlight the fonts you want to delete then navigate up to File and choose Delete. 
Note: You can highlight specific fonts by holding down the CTRL key while clicking on the font file. Or you can select a range of font files by holding down the SHIFT key while clicking on the font files. Or, you can select all of the files with one fell swoop by going up to Edit (in the top navigation bar), and choose "Select all". 


[6] HTML Tips

<>Text Formatting:

There are many effects that can be applied to text formatting. These can be very useful. 

This HTML will display the following text: 


As you can see, the SMALL tag makes the text smaller. The STRIKE tag puts a horizontal line through the text, the BIG tag makes the text larger, and the STRONG tag has the same effect as the B tag.


<>Line break spacing:

There are two main types of HTML tag which create a line break. For a regular line break such as between this line and the previous one, is created with the tag at the end of the text.  A full paragraph break, such as the one between this line and the previous paragraph, is creating by using the  tag at the end of the text.


<>Eliminate Paragraph Breaks:

Paragraphs are block-level elements no matter what your style sheet says, and browsers will put space between block-level elements. It may break the rules of fine typography, but that's just how browsers render paragraphs. You might consider an HTML paragraph that includes all the text within a section, and just insert a line break and a few non-breaking spaces where
you want a new "visual" paragraph. When you start a new section, make a new paragraph, and first words, text-indent, or other CSS properties will only apply to that division. 


<>The Table Tag:

Use the CAPTION tag to add a description to your table: <CAPTION>Your caption here</CAPTION>

You can use the BGCOLOR attribute to change the color of a table element:
<CAPTION>This demonstrates the use of color</CAPTION>
<TR><TD BGCOLOR=BLUE>blue</TD><TD>yellow</TD></TR>
<TR BGCOLOR=GREEN><TD>green</TD><TD>green</TD></TR>

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


In MS Excel when I insert a comment the start default has "Robbie:". I'm currently putting in definitions for these comments so I want them all the read "definition:". Is there a way I can change the default.


Yep, Tools> Options> General tab. Whatever is in the User Name textbox is entered in the comment.



When I run Scan Disk, I shut down everything I can think of: I disconnect from the LAN, close Norton Anti-Virus, close all software, disable the screen saver, - but something still keeps trying to write to the hard drive. I get a message repeatedly that says that Scan Disk has restarted 10 times because something is trying to write to the hard drive, and asks if I want to continue. I answer "yes," but this makes Scan Disk take much longer than usual to complete. Any suggestions?


Give this help link a try:



When I go to use the CD-ROM the message "D:\ is not accessible. Device is not ready." I have reinstalled the drive and it still doesn't work, what should I do??


Well, there are a few things that could be happening. The first thing is to make sure the CD is recognized by the drive and in there correctly. For example, some drives have a hard time recognizing CD-RW or CD-R disks. If you use a different type of CD, like an extended capability disk or a multi-session one from a CD-R, you may have troubles. the first thing would be to eject the disk and then put it back. Sometimes this handles problems. Also, if you have one of those unlabeled CD's, make sure it is not in there upside down. If needed, try a different CD and see if it still happens. If this isn't the problem, and you've double-checked the configuration (cables, master/slave setting), then it may be a drive problem. In this case, you can test on another machine or try another drive. A CD-ROM repair can be done, but it is probably cheaper to just buy a new one. 



Approx. one month ago I was creating a template for some graphics. Now all my documents are infected with a code similar to what I've typed below. It affected every word document, I can clean it up & re-save it but it will revert to the same garbage, sometimes 3-6 pages of it at the end of the document. I know there must be a setting to fix it but don't know
how. I re-installed Office 97 and it didn't fix the problem. Can you help?

Heading 1
Heading 1
Default Paragraph Font
" "
Word entry
" "
" "
Root Entry
" "
It will go on & on from here !!!


Open the File, Open dialog and change the Files Of Type setting back to word documents *.doc. You have it set to the Recover Text from Any Document option.



Just got a W95CIH infection in spite of having the latest updates for Norton Antivirus. The latter is unable to delete the files (not used in Win 2000)

Additional information:

I have two HDs fitted into a "mobile rack". I am using the 2nd HD (O/S ME)right now to avoid infecting someone else!


I have been told that the below virus software cleans this virus very well!

It is free for 30 days then you can purchase it or not.

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[8] Contact Information:

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I hope that you found my newsletter interesting and informative!
Thank-you for subscribing to the 5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter.

If you find this Newsletter useful, please support it by sending it to all of your friends and colleagues.

Best Regards,

Vince Underwood
Editor - 5 Star Support
A Total Learning Environment

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