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January 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  

January 2001 Issue:

Inside this issue:
1) Notes from the editor
2) Random Access Memory (RAM)
3) Free up disk space
4) Helpful Web Sites
5) Questions and Answers
6) Windows 95/98 Tips
7) HTML Tips
8) The Video Card
9) Contact Information

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

[1] Notes from the editor:

Hello Subscriber,

Happy New Year! I hope that this new year brings a wealth of happiness to you all.

I would like to welcome Gary Avrett to 5 Star Support as our newest volunteer technician. He is a very bright addition to this already talented team. I hope you learn a lot while affiliated with this team Gary, welcome aboard! You can read a little bit about Gary on the web site.
<http://www.5starsupport.com/techs.htm/>

In addition to the new pages I have added many tips and tricks to all of the Technical Information pages.

<>Coming soon:
I am working on a "Installing Windows ME" page. That should be finished soon.

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[2] Random Access Memory (RAM)
by Vince Underwood

It is the most common computer memory which can be used by programs to perform necessary tasks while the computer is on; an integrated circuit memory chip allows information to be stored or accessed in any order and all storage locations are equally accessible. 

Memory chips are organized in what are called banks. A bank is 1 to 4 memory card sockets, the minimum number of chips that must work as a unit. An older computer with a 386 or an early 486 chip usually has a 4 socket bank of 30-pin SIMM (single in-line memory module) modules. A later model 486 requires only one socket of 72-pin modules. Pentium machines have two socket banks of 72 pin modules, meaning you must install RAM in pairs. 168pin DIMM (dual in-line memory module) is the latest version of Ram Memory, often called: PC100 and SDRam and are found with Pentium II and III. In all of these systems, the bank must be full for your system to operate. 

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[3] Free up disk space:
by Vince Underwood

Here are a few different ways to free up a little space. 

1) In Windows 98 go to Start> Programs> Accessories> System tools> Disk Cleanup. A resulting window will pop up and it will want to know what drive you want to cleanup. Choose C:, it should default at your C: drive. Click OK. In this next window, you will see some entries that can be cleaned. Place a check next to; Temporary Internet Files, Downloaded Program Files, Recycle Bin and Temporary Files. Click OK. That should free up quite a bit right there.

2) In Windows 95/98 go to Start> Find> Files or Folders..., in the "Look in" box, make sure that your C: drive is listed here. If is not, use the scroll bar to scroll to it, then click on C: to bring it into the text box.
Now type in 
*.tmp, *.gid, *.bak, *.fts  then click "Find now". Once your computer is done searching for these files, it is OK to go ahead and delete them. Go to Edit, then Select All, then press Delete on your
keyboard. Files with these extensions (.tmp .gid .bak .fts) were meant to be temporary ones for various help files, databases, cache files and program files and are, in most cases, recreated as needed.  They definitely will take up some serious space on your computer over time.

3) Go to Start> Settings> Control Panel> Add/Remove Programs. In here, feel free to remove any programs that you have not used in ages or do not ever intend to use in the future...your computer will love you for it :-)

4) Lastly, there are always Freeware/Shareware utilities that will help to free up a bunch of space for you. The site listed below has many to choose from. Enjoy!
<http://shareware.about.com/library/ctools/bl_more_space.htm>

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[5] Questions & Answers:
Questions & Answers generated from 5 Star Support

<>Question

WHEN I boot up into windows the screen displays multiple small vertically (up down) separated screens. Desktops are tiny but functional. Out of Win 98 screen is fine. Is there a virus maybe that does that?

<>Answer:

Monitor controls set to highest pixels with low refresh rate will cause this.

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<>Question:

I WANTED TO KNOW IF I COULD HOOK ANOTHER COMPUTER INTO MY CURRENT ONE. I WAS LOOKING AT GETTING AN E-MACHINES TOWER AND I WANTED TO KNOW IF IT CAN BE HOOKED INTO MY CURRENT ONE TO SHARE THE MONITOR, KEYBOARD, AND MOUSE?

<>Answer:

The answer to your question is yes. However you do need an extra piece of hardware to share the monitor/keyboard/mouse between the two machines. What you need is a KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) Switch, an example of which can be found here www.lindy.com under products>catalogue>sharing, converting & extending>Keyboard, video & mouse (KVM) switches.
-Matthew Wire
5 Star Support Tech

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<>Question: 

My CD-ROM drive will not work does anyone have any ideas why. If I insert a disk I get an error message saying that I have no disk in the drive even though I do. This just started happening and I don't understand why.

<>Answer:

Check for boot sector viruses. Check that nobody installed real mode drivers in config.sys and/or autoexec.bat. Check for and delete any noide keys you find in the registry. 

See if it works in dos. Replace the ide cable sometimes one goes bad or your cdrom cant tolerate a 36" one after a while. 

Cdroms often have a very limited life these days especially if you use them a lot. Sometimes you have success with a cleaner or manually cleaning the head.

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<>Question:

Perhaps you can help with this problem:
I want to save a PowerPoint presentation as an HTML. So I go to the FILE drop down on the toolbar where the save options are located. There is a LIVE option for Save and Save AS. However, although I can see the SAVE AS HTML option, it is not available (i.e., pale lettering that won't accept a click). Also note that while working in PowerPoint on a friends PC the save as HTML IS available. I am Lost...Please Help!
PowerPoint 97 Windows 98

<>Answer:

If the "save as HTML" is grayed out, it probably means that you didn't originally install "Web authoring" when you installed PPT97. If memory serves me correctly Web Authoring is not installed if you select "Typical"
when you first install Office 97. 

What you should try is to exit all active programs and insert your Office 97 CD. Run Setup and when it opens, select Add/Remove and then find Web Authoring and select it. That should do the trick. 

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<>Question:

I often get a message saying "Explorer caused a general protection fault in module KRNL386.exe at 0001:0001:000075a8" When I click "continue" I get a standard blue screen with a message at the bottom: Error:OE:0187:BFF8E64B This happens often especially when I click "OK" or "Apply" in the system
configuration utility (msconfig).

<>Answer: As posted at the Solution Center

I was able to fix the problem by replacing krnl386.exe from the WinMEcab files. That has fixed things (for now)

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[6] Windows 95/98 Tips:

<>Create a Shutdown Icon:

If you would like to initiate the shutdown command right from your desktop, here's how: Right-click on your desktop and choose New, Shortcut. In the command line, enter:

rundll.exe user.exe,exitwindows 

and then click Next. Choose a name for the shortcut in the next box (probably something like Shutdown) and then click Finish. You can now double-click this icon to shut down your computer, without going to the
Start menu. 

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<>Turning off Windows animation:

A good way to increase your system performance is to turn off the Window animation. The animation mostly affects the way your window's minimize and maximize, other features are affected as well. With animation turned off, your windows will not shrink and grow when maximized and minimized, but will snap instantly into position. To turn off the animation carefully follow the instructions below.

Windows 95:

IMPORTANT: See "Backing up your registry" (above) before continuing. 

To access the registry editor, go to "Start", "Run", and type "regedit" (without the quotes). Click "OK" Navigate the following: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\.Default\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowsMetrics. Right click on "WindowsMetrics" in the left pane, select "New" and slide your mouse over to "String Value". Type "MinAnimate" (without the quotes) to name a new string value. Hit enter on your keyboard. In the right pane, right click "MinAnimate" and select "Modify". In the edit string dialog box that is now created, type "0" (without the quotes). Click "OK". Close out of the registry editor and reboot. If you would like to change back to having Window Animation, navigate back to "MinAnimate", right click on "MinAnimate" and choose "Delete". Close out of the registry editor and reboot. Windows 98: Right click an empty place on your desktop, choose "Properties", click on the "Effects" tab, now uncheck the box that says, "animate Windows, menus and lists". Click on "Apply", click on "OK". The next time you reboot you will notice the difference.

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<>Disable CD-ROM AutoPlay 

In Windows 9x, most CDs begin to play as soon as you insert them into your CD-ROM drive. If you find this auto feature annoying, you can easily disable it. Go to your Control Panel, double-click the System icon, then click on the Device Manager tab. Find your CD-ROM drive in the list and go to the properties page. Click on the Settings tab and there you will see an Auto Insert Notification box with a checkmark next to it. Simply uncheck the checkmark and restart your computer. From now on, you can be in control of starting your CDs.

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[7] HTML Tips:

<>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:
<TABLE BGCOLOR=YELLOW>
<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>
</TABLE>

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<>Eliminate Paragraph Breaks in Style Sheets:

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. 

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<>Use common fonts:

When setting your fonts with the FONT FACE="" command, it's best to choose fonts commonly found on computers. Fairly safe choices include Arial, Century Gothic, and Times New Roman, and any default fonts for Windows or Microsoft Office. If you choose a rarer font, many users may end up with the wrong font displayed on their screens.

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<>Using the ALT Tag:

Because users might not enable graphics in their browsers, some visitors might not be able to navigate your site using image-based buttons. Thus, it's a good idea to use text alternatives by means of the ALT variable in the IMG SRC tags. Simply insert the ALT=" " syntax into your image tags and should the graphic not load, a text-based link will.

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[8] The Video Card:

The video card in your system plays a significant role in the following important aspects of your computer system: 

Performance: The video card is one of the components that has an impact on system performance. For some people (and some applications) the impact is not that significant; for others, the video card's quality and efficiency can impact on performance more than any other component in the PC! For example, many games that depend on a high frame rate (how many times per second the screen is updated with new information) for smooth animation, are impacted far more by the choice of video card than even by the choice of system CPU. 

Software Support: Certain programs require support from the video card. The software that normally depends on the video card the most includes games and graphics programs. Some programs (for example 3D-enhanced games) will not run at all on a video card that doesn't support them. 

Reliability and Stability: While not a major contributor to system reliability, choosing the wrong video card can cause problematic system behavior. In particular, some cards or types of cards are notorious for having unstable drivers, which can cause a host of difficulties. 

Comfort and Ergonomics: The video card, along with the monitor, determine the quality of the image you see when you use your PC. This has an important impact on how comfortable the PC is to use. Poor quality video cards don't allow for sufficiently high refresh rates, causing eyestrain and fatigue.

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[9] Contact Information:

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