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
 Notes from the editor:
Welcome to all new subscribers and welcome back to all of you loyal 5 Star
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
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:
Thanks again! Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the 5 Star Support newsletter.
Editor, 5 Star Support
 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.
 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.
<>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
3 - Click OK and when prompted to restart your computer, select
4 - Click Start >Settings >Control Panel and double-click the
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
<>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
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.
 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.
*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.
 Questions and Answers:
generated from 5 Star Support
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!!
See "Registry Checker Continues to Detect Registry Damage"<http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q186/9/09.asp/>.
Can you increase the number of documents shown in the Documents menu off the
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.
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?
Go to Start> Find> Find Files and Folders> Go up to Options and
de-select "save results".
That should do it!
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
Follow the link below for help:
It should also apply to the Windows ME operating system.
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.
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
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:
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:
This should help a great deal in freeing up some memory and should keep your
system running smoothly.
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
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
 Contact Information:
This Newsletter is brought to you by 5 Star Support - Free Technical
Support. If you find this newsletter helpful, please help support it by
sending it to your friends and colleagues.
Thanks for your support!
If you have any questions regarding this Newsletter, please contact:
If you would like to become a 5 Star Support Newsletter volunteer, please
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.