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December 2000 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
www.5starsupport.com

December 2000 Issue

Inside this issue:

1) Notes from the editor
2) All about Bandwidth
3) Christmas Links
4) How to update Device Drivers
5) Helpful Web Sites
6) Questions and Answers
7) Windows 95/98 Tips
8) What is Netiquette? (Take the Netiquette Quiz)
9) Tools of the trade
10) Contact Information

#############[ 5 Star Support ]############### 

[1] Notes from the editor:

Hello subscribers,

First, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope you all
will have a fun and safe holiday season.

Next, I would like to welcome three new volunteer technicians to 5 Star
Support.

1) Shawn Russell
Hamilton, Ontario

2) Kayla Sierra 
Folsom, California

3) Matthew Wire
Bewdley, England

You can read a little bit about these three at: 
<http://www.5starsupport.com/techs.htm/>
Thank you Shawn, Kayla and Matthew for your help! I hope that you all
will learn a great deal while affiliated with this team. Also, I hope to
learn a lot from each of you.
Welcome aboard!

Thank you for subscribing to the 5 Star Support monthly Newsletter. I
hope you find this issue both helpful and informative!

Best wishes,

Vince Underwood
President/Editor
5 Star Support

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[2] All about Bandwidth:
by Vince Underwood

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount
of time. For instance, an average Web page that takes 45 seconds to
download over a 28.8K modem loads almost instantly over a faster
connection, such as a T-1 line.

Essentially, bandwidth is how many bytes that leave your web site in a
specific period of time.

Unfortunately, not all service providers use the same definitions to
measure and charge bandwidth. Some call it "hits" and measure it in their
own way.

But I think the safest definition is to use bytes, and a good service
provider will give you a report of exactly how many bytes your site is
sending out. Many don't, particularly where you don't have your own domain.

Bandwidth has 3 components that form its calculation:

1. How many people come through your site.

2. How many bytes you allow each person to access.

3. The measuring period within your charging time frame.

The equation looks like this:

Visits X bytes X measuring period = Bandwidth during your charging period.

Now, when receiving an email, the amount of information that is included
will take a certain amount of time to process by your mail server. This
information is measured in Bits per second. So, if you have a small
amount of data being processed by your mail server, your Bandwidth is
affected very little. 

But, if you were to be sent a bible's worth of content, this might be
enough to reduce your bandwidth so drastically that it could crash your
mail server. This all depends on the amount of load already put on the
server by other users and the bandwidth they are using at the time. This
is a good example of why servers HATE spammers. They eat up a ton of
bandwidth (sending bulk mailings), causing trouble for everyone.

For digital devices, the bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per
second(bps) or bytes per second. For analog devices, the bandwidth is
expressed in cycles per second, or Hertz (Hz). Bandwidth can apply to
telephone or network wiring as well as system buses, radio frequency
signals, and monitors.

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[4] How to update your Device Drivers
by Vince Underwood

Most hardware manufacturers regularly release updates of these drivers to
fix problems or improve performance. These updates are normally available
on the manufacturers' respective Web sites. 

Procedure: 
Highlight the My computer icon on your desktop, then click the right mouse
button. 

Select Properties from the menu displayed. 

Your hardware devices will be listed under the Device manager tab. 

Click the "+" sign next to the type of device, then select the relevant
product. 

The Driver tab provides more information about the hardware, such as the
manufacturer's name. Write this information down as manufacturers and
model numbers may vary even for one model of computer. 

Click Change driver and follow the instructions on the screen. 

Note: Some devices don't have a Driver tab. In this case, you may be able
to view information about the driver by selecting the icon that is
specific to that particular type of hardware in the Control panel (e.g.,
the modem icon). 

See your hardware documentation and Windows help for more information. 

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[6] Questions and Answers:

<>Question:
When I Perform Shutdown the Computer Restarts. I've tried Disabling
Fast shutdown, swapping PCI cards, Configuring hardware and Software
settings. No Go!!. Any suggestions?

<>Answer:
First thing to try is to reset defaults in BIOS do this by hitting delete
or F 10 once every two seconds while the computer is starting and select
the option for load setup defaults then exit saving changes.

If that doesn't work then go to control panel double-click on the system
icon and then click the tab that says device manager here you will see a
list of items click the plus sign beside system devices and you should see
Advanced Power Management at the top of the list, click this once so it is
highlighted. At the bottom of the box you will see a button that says
"Remove," click this. It will warn you that you are about to remove this
device, click OK and it will prompt you to restart windows. Choose Yes. 

When it reboots it will open back up to control panel. Double-click Add
New Hardware and let it check for plug and play devices then have it check
for non-plug and play devices when it's done it will offer to show
details. Click this and you will see Advanced Power Management is there.
Click finish and restart the system one more time and your problem should
be solved!

-------------------------------------------

<>Question:
Internal Intranet. Server detailed is 'live' server but this problem
exists on 'dev' server also (Viglen PIII 500MHZ, 256Mb RAM, 17Gb HDD). I
use FrontPage 98 to create new 'One Page' websites on server. The website
is no-longer created with a default.htm page, now it's a default.asp page.
I rename this .asp to a .htm page. Users (department staff) create their
own pages on 'dev' server and publish to 'live' server. When users publish
this (renamed) default.htm file it is published to the live server as
default.asp! This then causes link problems. I have no idea why this is
happening. I have no recollection of doing something that would cause
this. I am unaware of anybody else doing anything. This never used to
happen and I would say has been happening for last three months only. If
you can advise in any way I would be very grateful. Thanks for your time.

Additional information:

Both servers (dev and live) have SQL Server 6.5 installed at SP5a. Both
have Site Server 3 installed at SP2. Live server also houses in-house
databases. Dev server also acts as a QA server for some Intranet
applications (.asp based).
This has always been the case.

<>Answer: (as submitted by the guest at the Solution Center)
"The Master Detail level of IIS needed to be amended in the ISM (MMC). The
documents ordering for each website (within the Default Web Site) were
correct, i.e. default.htm for static websites and default.htm/default.asp
for dynamic websites (db driven). However one level above (Master Detail
level) the ordering of these documents was default.asp/default.htm and it
was this that was causing FrontPage to create new websites with a
default.asp and change the file extension from .htm to .asp when
publishing."

------------------------------------------

<>Question:
I woke up this morning to one of those awful problems (computer-wise). My
Front page2000 program and Fireworks3 won't open. So far everything else
seems to work.

Error message A device attached to the system is not functioning. Then
MSVCIRT DLL file is linked to missing export MSVCRT.DLL ??-U@yapaxi@z Does
anyone have the slightest clue? Fireworks has same problem. All other
programs seem to be working. I tried reinstalling and get same error. I
downloaded MSVCRT and put it in FP directory, no help. I am out of
business. Help!

<>Answer:
Go to Start button go up to "Find" Click on files and folder. Type in
msvcirt.dll, msvcrt.dll then hit find. You should find both files in
C:\windows\system\. Change (using rename) the Dll Extensions to .bad. You
may only be able to change one of them, that's OK. NOTE: Rename only the
files in c:\windows\system\ there could be more. Go to Start> Settings>
Control Panel. Double-click on Add and Remove programs. Scroll down to
find FrontPage2000 then double-click on it. Click on "Repair
FrontPage2000." The next option screen will have 3 dot boxes, put dots in
last 2. Hit next. A little later it will ask you to put disk in CD ROM
drive. When reinstall is complete it will ask to reboot, choose Yes. That
is it. 

-------------------------------------

<>Question:
I cannot copy to my 3.5 floppy drive.I can read from the drive.
I can drag and drop to it but it just won't copy to. Most of the time when
I copy, I right click, then copy to. I have also tried to copy to other
ways
with no success. Any suggestions?

<>Answer:
Floppy drive fixes:
1. Check to see if drive is unchecked in Tweakui.
2. Check system for a virus
3. Restart the computer. Hold CTRL while the system is booting.
Pick Command prompt only and test the drive. (example: C:\>copy *filename
A:)
4. Restart your computer by holding down the CTRL key and use the
"boot menu" to enter a safe mode windows session. Then in Device
Manager, locate and delete floppy drives *and* the floppy disk
controllers. Restart to see if Win98 re-detects properly.
5. If using a tape backup unit, remove/disconnect to see if
floppy function returns; if so, hunt for new tape drivers.
6. If using Norton Utilities, upgrade to 3.07 (or later, if
available) and/or disable Disk Doctor against the floppy drive.
7. Start> Run> msconfig> Selective startup> Un-select all
entries> restart> turn on one startup item, in turn, with restarts
between. When floppy ceases to function, you know the problem
is in the last file activated, so search and edit as needed.
8. CMOS settings are incorrect: write down all settings, then
re-set to defaults, restart to CMOS, re-enter the written down settings.
9. CMOS settings are incorrect: if "Swap Floppies" is enabled,
disable it.
10. Ribbon cables are 180 degrees out, or otherwise
mis-aligned/tilted: to correct, properly position connectors and
tracer color wire always to pin number 1 at both ends.

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[7] Windows 95/98 Tips:

SWITCHING BETWEEN LANGUAGES ON THE KEYBOARD 

Recently, a reader wrote in to ask how he could switch quickly from 
using standard English lettering to using the Greek alphabet. From the 
Keyboard control panel, you can designate a keyboard shortcut for 
switching between languages. First, go to Start, Settings, Control 
Panel and then double-click the Keyboard icon. Click the Language tab 
and choose either Left-Alt-Shift or Ctrl-Shift to choose a keyboard 
shortcut for switching languages. When you're finished, click OK. 
Incidentally, as long as the Enable Indicator On Taskbar icon is 
checked on the Language tab of the Keyboard control panel, you can 
also switch languages by clicking on the language indicator in your 
System Tray. 

----------------------------------------------

CHANGE ICON USED FOR FILE TYPE 

Aren't the icons that Windows 95 uses for files, plain and boring? 
Fortunately, you can change almost any file-type icon on your system. 

Inside an Explorer window, select View, Options (or View, Folder 
Options). Click the File Types tab, and under Registered File Types, 
select the file type you want to redress. Click Edit, then click 
Change Icon. (Note: If the Change Icon button is grayed out, you can't 
change the icon for that file type. Sorry.) 

Select your icon of choice, then click OK. (Or click Browse, navigate 
your way to another icon file, such as c:\Windows\System\Pifmgr.dll or 
c:\Windows\System\shell32.dll, click Open, select an icon, and click 
OK.) Click OK two more times, and the change is complete. 

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[8] What is Netiquette?:

The conventions of politeness recognized on Usenet and in mailing lists,
such as not (cross-)posting to inappropriate groups and refraining from
commercial advertising outside the biz groups.

The most important rule of netiquette is "Think before you post". If what
you intend to post will not make a positive contribution to the newsgroup
and be of interest to several readers, don't post it! Personal messages to
one or two individuals should not be posted to newsgroups, use private
e-mail instead.

When following up an article, quote the minimum necessary to give some
context to your reply and be careful to attribute the quote to the right
person. If the article you are responding to was posted to several groups,
edit the distribution ("Newsgroups:") header to contain only those groups
which are appropriate to your reply, especially if the original message
was posted to one or more inappropriate groups in the first place.

Re-read and edit your posting carefully before you post. Check the
spelling and grammar. Keep your lines to less than 70 characters. Don't
post test messages (except to test groups) - wait until you have something
to say. When posting humorous or sarcastic comments, it is conventional to
append a smiley, but don't overuse them.

Before asking a question, read the messages already in the group and read
the group's FAQ if it has one. When you do post a question, follow it with
"please reply by mail and I will post a summary if requested" and make
sure you DO post a summary if requested, or if only a few people were
interested, send them a summary by mail. This avoids umpteen people
posting the same answer to the group and umpteen others posting "me too"s.

If you believe someone has violated netiquette, send them a message by
private e-mail, DO NOT post a follow-up to the news. And be polite, they
may not realize their mistake, they might be a beginner or may not even
have been responsible for the "crime" - their account may have been used
by someone else or their address forged.

Be proud of your postings but don't post just to see your name in pixels.
Remember: your future employer may be reading.

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[9] Tools of the Trade:
by 5 Star Support tech Matt Jobson

Since the dawn of time people have been arguing about what’s better in
relation to the tools and products they use.

We’ve heard the Pepsi and coke fight, the Nintendo and Sega and Sony
fights, the PC and Macintosh fights, the Netscape and Internet Explorer
fights, the Nvidia and Voodoo fights etc.

There are 100’s upon millions of these arguments about what’s the best
product.
The same problem exists with 2D and 3D Graphics programs. You’ve heard the
names and companies. Adobe, Corel, Metacreations, Avid, Kinetix, Newtek,
Hash, Pixar, Alias Wavefront...just to name a few.

It's great when you can afford all this software. These are great tools
for stunning graphics. But the Question has to be asked...Are they more
than just a tool to get the job done? The answer is:

Find your favorite CG(Computer Generated) Picture and open up “Paint”
(using any Microsoft product) Click on “Start” Then “Programs” then
“Accessories” then “Paint” Then go to “file” and select “open” and then
search thru your directories and find the picture that you want to view.

Once opened. Click on the “magnifying glass” and then click on “x8”, then
hit “Ctrl + G” and look closely at every Pixel (little square in the
grid). Each pixel is coloured in the 16 Million (16-bit) Colour Palette.

Depending off course on your screen colours and the amount of colours used
in the picture. But the standard resolution these days is 16 Million
Colours. Anyway, the hard colours like red, green, blue, black and white
are usually quite hard to pick in a CG picture, simply because there are
many shades of those colours used.

The conceptual idea here is that what you can create in any of these
programs, you can create in Microsoft Paint. As no quality is lost and
it’s just mere shades and mixes of the basic colours that are used to
define the 3D/Special effects looks. These 3D Programs aren’t even
actually 3d. And when you have finished rendering they CERTAINLY ARE NOT.

The same goes for movies. Remember when you were a kid and you drew a
stick figure in the corner of your school book spanning 40 or so pages,
and then flicked
the book to watch the character move? Well, that’s exactly how they do it
in both 2D and 3D movies. 1 Frame at a time.

In the end, all of those terms and theories studied by artists in relation
to their respective software is meaningless, if you have the skills and
patience to sit their for hours upon hours in “Paint” shading and mixing
colours then you have the ability to save yourself the anguish of
listening to others mock other people because their software doesn’t seem
to do as much as some other software.

So why do we spend all day arguing about what is better? Why don’t we
spend more time on actually doing something with this powerful software?
Don’t get me wrong I love this software. I’d find it way harder to draw
and share so perfectly from scratch. And it does cut design and drawing
time that it usually takes to do a sufficient CG job.

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[10] Contact Information:

This Newsletter is brought to you by 5 Star Support - Free Technical
Support

If you have any questions regarding this Newsletter, please contact:
webmaster@5starsupport.com

We would love to hear from you!

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

Regards,

Newsletter Staff

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