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February 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  

5 Star Support February 2001 Issue

Inside this issue:

1) Notes from the editor
2) FrontPage 10
3) Windows 95/98 System Resources
4) Is Windows 2000 Really Worth It?
5) Helpful Websites
6) 5 Star Support Questions and Answers
7) How Do ISP's Connect?
8) HTML Tips
9) Contact Information

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[1] Notes from the Editor:

Hello subscribers,

I would like to first welcome Brad McBeth. He joins the 5 Star Support team as a very experienced technician. His eagerness to help is sure a welcome addition to this team. You will find 2 articles that Brad wrote in this issue and more to come in future issues. If you would like to read a little bit about Brad and the other Techs, visit: <http://www.5starsupport.com/techs.htm/>
Welcome aboard Brad!

Next, I have added a few pages to the site:

1) Windows 95/98 Technical Information page 3
<http://www.5starsupport.com/info/techinfo3.htm/>
2) FrontPage Technical Information
<http://www.5starsupport.com/info/fpinfo.htm/>
3) Kernel32 Dll Errors 
<http://www.5starsupport.com/info/kernel32.htm/>
4) Netscape Technical Information
<http://www.5starsupport.com/info/nninfo.htm/>
5) HTML Technical Information
<http://www.5starsupport.com/info/htmlinfo.htm/>

Lastly, I just want to let you all know that 5 Star Support has now gone over 100 pages. This has been a lot of fun(work)for me putting this site together and being able to share it with all of you. 

I probably am not seeing 5 Star Support like you all are, so I need input from you to see if it is moving in the right direction. Please comment on content, navigation ease, appearance, organization...etc. This would be
very helpful! Thank you in advance.

Coming soon: 
1) Windows 95/98 Technical Information page 4
2) Outlook 2000 Technical Information

Thank you for subscribing to the 5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter.
Please support this newsletter and send it to your friends.

Many thanks!

Vince Underwood
President
5 Star Support

Subscribe here:
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[2] FrontPage 10:
by Vince Underwood

This Web development tool has been the tool for millions of people novice and professional alike. The new release is due out in the middle of the year 2001 and is named FrontPage 10. The new tools for this software
include; easily importing graphics and content, thorough analyzing tool to show how visitors are using a site and collaborating with other users through team Web sites, XML formatting and multiple languages. 

If you are interested in designing a web site, I recommend FrontPage very highly. With any powerful piece of software, there is a very large learning curve, but there is so much support out for FrontPage that finding information is fairly easy. If there are any questions about FrontPage, I know of an excellent site that provides the best support I have found on the Internet. Tell them 5 Star Support sent you!

Thomas Brunt's Outfront
<http://www.frontpagewebmaster.com/>

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[3] Windows 95/98 System Resources:
by Vince Underwood

Windows uses resources at every cross road. For an example, when you click on a web site then click a new link inside that web site before the first site has fully loaded, you are wasting resources that have been
allocated to open that site. You will not get them back until you reboot your computer. This is a very small amount of resource loss, but it will definitely add up over time.

Also, when you multitask your computer (running more than two programs at one time), this is also taxing your system resources. The amount of resources being used greatly depends on the type of programs you're
running.

Graphics programs are serious resource eaters and often call for multitasking when working with them. When working in these types of programs, it is a good idea to keep tabs on your system resources so that
you don't lose all of your work due to a sudden memory outage or better known as "the blue screen of death". If you are not familiar with the system performance percentages and how it effects your system, you can use 50% as a warning percentage until you become more familiar with your system resources.

To check your system resources, right-click on the "My Computer" icon at your desktop. Select "Properties" then "Performance". All systems are different and slow down at different percentages. My 466MHz HP Pavilion runs very sluggish at 60% or below, whereas my Packard Bell 133MHz runs no different between 50% and 95%, but it's a 133, it's always in granny gear <grin>.

You can download a great little utility (TClockEx) right from the 5 Star Support web site for free that will put a resource meter in the task bar next to your clock. This clock utility is highly configurable and is very
efficient so it won't tax your system resources. Download it here:
<http://www.5starsupport.com/info/techinfo3.htm#taskbar-clock/>

[4] Is Windows 2000 Really Worth It?:
by Technician Brad McBeth

Is Windows 2000 just another ho-hum upgrade to Windows 95? Don't let the name fool you. Although its interface borrows heavily from Windows 95 and 98, Windows 2000 is actually the successor to Windows NT 4.0, designed for heavy use by businesses. Now, for the first time, businesses get NT's
legendary reliability along with the usability improvements of Windows 98 and support for new hardware, such as USB devices. 

Yet, most home users will want to stick with Windows 98. That upgrade sticks with the tried-and-true Windows 95/98 architecture, adding movie-making software, digital music features, and better support for home networks. 

What's so special about Windows 2000? Its most attractive new feature is simple--unlike Windows 95 and 98, it rarely crashes. You can run Windows 2000 for months without rebooting. Windows 2000 Professional is also a must on new notebooks that support the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) standard, because its power management is as good as it gets. 

Sound attractive? Don't assume that you can or should upgrade. Setting up Windows 2000 Professional, while easier than with Windows NT 4.0, can still be a hassle for even experienced Windows users. Although Windows 2000 supports hundreds of hardware devices, there are still a large number of incompatible devices, and drivers can be hard to locate. The price is high, too. Upgrading from Windows 95 will cost more than $200. 

If you're a power user, you may be willing to look past the hassle and upgrade anyway. Just make sure to pick the right version of Windows 2000. Microsoft has four completely different versions, including Professional (the basic desktop package) and three powerful Server editions. 

The easiest, cheapest, and most hassle-free way to get Windows 2000 is to buy it preinstalled on a new computer. Gateway, Dell, Compaq, and other leading PC makers have been testing Windows 2000 for months. The newest models are finely tuned to take advantage of the new system's advanced features. You can count on the hardware and software working flawlessly together in that scenario.

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[6] 5 Star Support Questions and Answers:
as generated from the 5 Star Support Web Site

Question:

Windows 98 startup takes about 3 minutes. Running bootup log analyzer shows the major culprits being vnbt.vxd at about 27 sec., and ltmodem.vxd at 62 sec. I tried updating Lucent modem driver to latest version. I also tried renaming vnbt.vxd, but failed load only saves about 3 sec. Any suggestions?

Answer:

Do you have a network card installed? If you do, I bet it is set to "Obtain IP Address automatically". If possible set your IP address manually. My experience with both WIN95 and WIN98xx do the same thing with obtain IP address automatically set. WINxx is waiting for a DHCP server to assign it an IP before it times out. The boot-up time is significantly shorter when you set your IP address manually. 

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Question:

My computer is an is like freezing and hanging up no keyboard or mouse everything just stops if I'm online or not on screen savers it freezes on CD ROM games it hangs and it sounds like its skipping. When I'm typing
email I look up at my monitor after typing a few sentences and realize it is stuck two sentences back and I have to wait to it unfreezes and then backspace and continue its like a pause for about 10 to 15 seconds like
its hesitating. Very frustrating and I'm very new to all of this. We have defragmented, rebuilt the hard drive and purchased a new mouse still having the same problem. I really need help because this has been going on
for a couple of months and cannot solve the problem. I have been told it could be my memory (which memory) I've been told it was my windows but we have reinstalled it. I have swapped out every single piece of hardware on my system and nothing has worked. Would very much appreciate your help!!!! Thank you!!! 

Answer:

The first thing I always have people do is shut off all of their programs that are running in the background via the "close programs" window in Ctrl>Alt>Delete. Close all except "explorer" and "systray".

If you don't see a difference, try this:

1.Set "PCI Delay Transitions" to "Disable" under Advanced Chipset in the BIOS
2.Set "Memory hole at 15-16mb - enabled in BIOS

Another user reports that ACPI appeared to be the cause of this. He discovered that his video card was sharing an IRQ with the ACPI driver and that this IRQ was listed in Power Management/Wake-up Events/IRQs Activity Monitoring. He suggested disabling this, and if this doesn't help, disabling ACPI.

This problem has also been linked to the power management software supplied with HP scanners.

Guest's Solution:

Ta da! It was the HP scanner software.

I tried each of the suggestions given. My configuration had all the problems you suggested. I corrected each one at a time independently, then all together, all to no avail.

Then I disconnected my scanner and removed the software, and here I ran into a snag. The uninstall program was, for some reason, corrupted. So I had to back-up my registry, remove all keys and references, then delete the scanner directory completely off my hard drive, and I was successful.

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Note from the Editor: This is a perfect example of persistence paying off! This guest worked at this problem for quite some time and his tenacity is certainly admirable. 
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Question:

I would like to disable some startup programs. How do I tell what the programs that are listed do? Is there a way to remove them, since it seems even after I disable them by unchecking it, the check reappears. 

Answer:

MSCONFIG or any StartUpCop type programs should be kept as a last resort
only. 

The reason I tend to keep Msconfig as a last resort is the fact that  many new programs won't stop loading even if you use Msconfig. The next time you use the main program, the startup module will come back.
RealPlayer, RealJukebox, AIM, Shockwave, Winamp, Eraser, Task Scheduler just to name the ones I know of. I am sure there are more. And from what I understand, these are generally the programs people want to remove.

I really don't want to give the impression that Msconfig is not a "good" tool, it has its use. I don't want to make it sound like there is a danger in using it. As with any system altering utility, care is necessary. If
you need to "test remove" some programs, then Msconfig is the absolute tool to use. Once you've confirmed that the removal of a program has no ill effect on your system, then reactivate it with Msconfig and find the
real way of stopping it. 

For each of the programs in the systray area that you want to close, you have to do the following. You may need to experiment with each, but start by:

Left-clicking on the icon. See if there is an option to stop from loading at startup. If not, then.

Right-click and look for the same option. 

If no again, you may need to open the program itself. Example: ZoneAlarm firewall, double-click on icon, click on Configure and uncheck "Load ZoneAlarm at startup". (I offer this one only as an example. I would NEVER shut down my Firewall). Realplayer has an option somewhere in the preference settings of the program. Same thing for AIM (AOL Instant Messaging), Winamp and Eraser, Volume control, Quick Resolution. Try them all. 

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Question:

After clean install PC with WinME for my friend, everything works fine, Internet connection, sound, video etc perfect, then I shut off PC and plug in my friend's PS2 mouse, because I used mine to install the OS first. Now WinME could not detect this PS2 mouse and I know I have swapped mouse frequently in my own PC with Win98SE without any problem. always auto detect itself.

Even when I went to Device Mgr. where there is a conflict, 2 mouse there and remove all the lines, restart, it would not detect this spare PS2 mouse. BTW, this mouse is new and works perfectly on other machines.

Answer:

Look at the BIOS settings and make sure the PS/2 port is enabled.

To enter the BIOS go here:
<http://www.5starsupport.com/info/techinfo2.htm#entering-bios/>

Best of luck!

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[7] How Do ISP's Connect?:
by Technician Brad McBeth

Most ISPs get their Internet pipes from larger regional companies that buy huge bandwidth pipes from the telephone companies. These telecoms form the Internet backbones. They string out fiberoptic tunnels across the globe, and these cables provide Internet access. You get your Internet access from your ISP. Your ISP gets its Internet connection from a regional service provider. The regional provider, in turn, gets it from the large telephone companies such as Sprint. Larger ISPs such as AOL are big enough to have their own lines. To cut out the middle man, you'd need your own line, the cheapest of which would be a T-1 line. The average consumer probably can't afford a T-1 or even a fractional T-1. Even if you got a T-1, you'd still need the hardware, which is also quite expensive. Realistically, most consumers won't need or use that much bandwidth anyway. If you're aching for more speed than your current setup allows, consider getting a consumer-oriented dedicated line such as DSL or a cable modem. Here's some of what's required to get a T-1: SprintLink charges a port fee of $2,700 per month, with a 4 percent discount for a year, 6 percent off for two years, and 8 percent off for three years. This does not include the $1,000 installation fee or the POP (point of presence), which can cost as much as $1,300. 

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[8] HTML Tips:

Changing defaults within ordered and unordered lists:

To change the default bullet in an unordered list, just add the following element to your <LI> tag: 

<LI TYPE=CIRCLE> will give you a hollow circle bullet 
<LI TYPE=DISC> will give you a solid circle bullet 
<LI TYPE=SQUARE> will give you a square bullet
You can also change the default numbering style for ordered lists. Just add the following element to your <OL> tag: 

<OL TYPE="1"> 

will give you Arabic Numerals 1, 2, 3 
will give you Arabic Numerals 1, 2, 3 
will give you Arabic Numerals 1, 2, 3 
<OL TYPE="A"> 

will give you Uppercase letters A, B, C 
will give you Uppercase letters A, B, C 
will give you Uppercase letters A, B, C 
<OL TYPE="a"> 

will give you Lowercase letters a, b, c 
will give you Lowercase letters a, b, c 
will give you Lowercase letters a, b, c 
<OL TYPE="I"> 

will give you Uppercase Roman Numerals I, II, III 
will give you Uppercase Roman Numerals I, II, III 
will give you Uppercase Roman Numerals I, II, III 
<OL TYPE="i"> 

will give you Lowercase Roman Numerals i, ii, iii 
will give you Lowercase Roman Numerals i, ii, iii 
will give you Lowercase Roman Numerals i, ii, iii 
In addition, you can change the starting number in an ordered list by adding the START attribute to the OL tag: 

<OL TYPE="1" START=3> 

will start the numbering at 3 (or whatever number you specify) 
next consecutive number 
next consecutive number 

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Using the META Tag:
Use META tags to get a more accurate and representative listing of your web site in (some) search engine indexes. By adding your own searchable keywords, you can better communicate with the search engine robots (also referred to as spiders) that index your site. 

Keep in mind, however, that not all search engines rely on robots or recognize META tags. Some search engines ask for a description of your site and keywords when you submit your URL, and will use this text even if you have different information in your META tag. Other search engines don't use robots at all. Yahoo, for instance, relies on you to submit your URL for review, and then Yahoo (real live human) editors will add your site to the Yahoo directory. Of the most popular search engines, Alta Vista, Infoseek and WebCrawler recognize and index information contained in a META tag. 

In addition, when you are trying to come up with a description of your site and appropriate keywords, BE THE ONE WHO SEARCHES. If you were looking for the type of information that your site includes, what keywords would you punch into the search line? What descriptive sentence would lead you to one site as opposed to another? Keep in mind that when a robot visits your site, it will follow links within your site and index them as well. If you change your web site or a single web page, the robot will update the search engine index when it returns to your site anywhere from a couple days to several months later, depending on the search engine. 

META tags are invisible; they will not display when previewing your HTML document through a web browser. For this reason, META tags must fall after the <TITLE></TITLE> tag, between your <HEAD></HEAD> tag, and before the tag as in the following example: 

<HEAD>
<TITLE>This text would contain the title of your page</TITLE>
<META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="This text would contain a description of your page">
<META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="This text would consist of a list of keywords, separated by commas">
</HEAD>

There are many different META tags. You can use one, two, or all of the tags within your web page: 

<META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="your text here">  Depending on the search engine, the text you include after CONTENT will be displayed along with the TITLE of your page in a search index. A single, brief but descriptive sentence is all you need, but you can use up to 200 text characters (a character is a single letter, space, or punctuation mark). Don't make the DESCRIPTION the same as your TITLE. For example, the following code... 

<HEAD>
<TITLE>"Early American Writers</TITLE>
<META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="Early American Writers">
</HEAD> 

...would appear like this in a search engine index that recognizes META
tags: 

Early American Writers
Early American Writers 

If you do not include META tags in your HTML, Alta Vista will index all of the words in your document, and will use the first few words of the document as a short abstract or description in the Alta Vista search index. Similarly, Infoseek will derive an index description from the first 200 characters of your HTML document if you choose not to include META tags. 

<META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="your keyword here, your keyword here">  KEYWORDS should be separated by commas (and spaces between commas are not necessary), and you can include 1,000 characters of text (again, a character is a single letter, space, or punctuation mark). For instance,
if your site consists of information on early American writers, include author names as keywords: 

<META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="Hawthorne, Melville, Poe"> 

Early on, some web masters discovered that if you included the same keyword repeatedly within the CONTENT attribute, you could increase your web site's chances of appearing at the beginning of a search index. Search engines caught on, and now, many instruct their robots not to index web sites with repetitive keywords. In fact, Infoseek clearly states: "The overuse and repetition of keywords may result in a lower relevancy score and possible omission from Infoseek's index." 

<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX">  Use this tag if you don't want a specific page to be indexed by a search engine. If you don't want the robot to index any links contained within your web site, add NOFOLLOW to the tag: 

<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX,NOFOLLOW"> 

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[9] Contact Information:

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

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webmaster@5starsupport.com

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contact: admin@5starsupport.com

I would love to hear from you!

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. 

Best Regards,

Newsletter Staff

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