TouchStoneSoftware| Monthly Newsletter
TouchStoneSoftware Monthly Newsletter, Issue #4

Welcome to the fourth edition of the TouchStoneSoftware Monthly Newsletter. I can’t believe that summer is coming to an end already. You are receiving this newsletter because you are a BIOS Update customer. The last 3 issues have been a tremendous success and our readers have asked us to continue to provide valuable tech tips and answers to common computer questions.

We would like to acknowledge Mr. John Kirkup of Ampthill, Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom as the iPod Shuffle winner from the August Newsletter. Mr. Kirkham had been attacked by a virus named “Antivirus XP 2008”. We have provided a tech tip that will help remove that nasty virus and get your system running smoothly again.

We will continue to offer a free iPod Shuffle to the reader that offers the best suggested topic or technical question for our October edition. Please see the details of the contest in the right column.

If you feel that you don’t want to receive this newsletter on a monthly basis, that’s no problem. There’s an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Working Remotely Has Never Been So Easy

I know we have mentioned BeInSync over the last couple of months, but the reader response has been overwhelmingly positive. Please see this recent submission we received:

"Working from home on my personal computer and keeping my files up-to-date has never been so easy since I discovered this neat little software program called BeInSync.

Gone are the days when I used to email myself and then re-save the latest version of the document back on my work PC. I no longer curse when I can’t access ‘that file I need’ and there’s no more confusion or chance I will ever lose my files since they are always available to me. It’s BeInSync’s genius synchronization that’s taken care of all this for me.

The remote access lets me get my virtual hands on any file I need. Whether I need access to a work file from home or I’m at a friend’s house and want access to the music on my laptop; I simply login and voila!

I’ve even got my extended family in on the game! We use the Share feature to swap photos (since we don’t live in the same part of the country). Although it took a bit of convincing initially on my side, since we’ve started using this we’ve never looked back and we never worry about large photos clogging our inboxes.

The online backup is the icing on the cake; it gives me the peace of mind I want – no more worrying about losing important files, photos or happy memories.

I only have great things to say about BeInSync. I truly think it’s one of these programs that once you have it you can’t live without it. It’s so simple and just makes my life easier. If my parents can figure out how to use it, I’m sure anyone can!"

Lucy C.

Try BeInSync Free 14-Day Trial

General Computer Tech Tips
Advantages of Windows XP Service Pack 3

One topic that has been coming up a lot involves Windows XP and Service Pack 3. “Are there any significant differences from Service Pack 2?” “Can I install SP3 if I only have SP1 on my system?”

SP3 doesn’t significantly change the customers’ experience with the operating system. It includes a limited number of new functions.

SP3 is not considered as innovative as SP2 was. The essence of this Service Pack is to bring together all the patches for XP that has been released. In addition to the patches intended for improving the safety of your OS, SP3 also contains a few new changes that should provide better network collaboration and easier administration.

Service Pack 3 is a cumulative patch, so you can install it even if you are currently running XP SP1. With that being said, Microsoft recommends installing SP3 on a system that already supports SP2.

Various tests done with SP3 have found that it delivers a measurable performance boost. Since SP3 was supposed to be mostly a bug-fix/patch consolidation release (unlike w/Vista SP1), Microsoft made no promises of improved performance for XP. The unexpected speed boost comes as a nice bonus!

Windows XP/Vista Related Tech Tips
Changing the Format of Time and Date

We have had a lot of people asking us how to change the format of the time and date within Windows. By default, Windows will use the native format of your particular version of Windows. You may get the European date and time format for Europe or some other foreign land. Even though it’s an easy thing to do most people would not ever think of looking in the place where you can change it. To change the date and time format for Windows:
  1. Go into the Control Panel and select Regional and Language Options.
  2. Click the Customize button under the Regional Options tab.
  3. Select custom format options for Time and Date, as well as for Numbers and Currency, if you choose.

Windows Registry Related Tech Tips
Copy, Cut & Paste Alternative

Have you ever wanted to move a bunch of files around and found it to be a pain in the neck? Typically, when you want to move a file you most likely choose Cut/Copy and then Paste the file into its new location. There is an easier way to do the same thing by adding a Copy To and a Move To prompt to the menu when you right-click a file. These new prompts will save you a bunch of time when dealing with a folder full of files.

We made a file that will automatically make these registry changes for you:

Download ZIP File

If you would like to edit the registry yourself, please follow the directions below:
  1. Navigate to the following location in your registry: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\
  2. You should have a key in there called ContextMenuHandlers.If you do not have that key, please create it (Right-Click on the folder and choose New and then Key).
  3. Create two new keys under ContextMenuHandlers called Copy To and Move To.
  4. Next you will need to change the value of both of these keys to the following:
Copy To: {C2FBB630-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}
Move To: {C2FBB631-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}

Perform a Registry Scan now

Driver Related Tech Tips
Fix For Missing CD or DVD Problem

Have you ever gone to read a CD or DVD and found it missing in My Computer? Maybe giving an error code 39 or 19 in the device manager? Here’s a quick solution to those missing CD blues.

Note: This tip deals with editing the registry. It is always suggested that you backup the registry before making changes.
  1. Log on to Windows by using an account that has Administrator rights and permissions.
  2. Start Registry Editor - Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK. (Vista users omit "Run").
  3. 1.Click on the plus signs (+) next to the following folders in the left side of the window:
    • SYSTEM
    • CurrentControlSet
    • Control
    • Class
    • {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  4. Look for any of the following names in the right side of the window:
    • UpperFilters
    • LowerFilters
  5. If any of the items above are listed, right-click on them and choose Delete.
  6. Save any open documents, and then restart your computer.
  7. Open My Computer and check to see if your CD or DVD drives have returned.
  8. You may need to reinstall CD or DVD burning software.

Advanced User Tech Tips
Removing Variants of “Antivirus XP 2008” Virus

There is a nasty virus out there that seems to be making the rounds called “Antivirus XP 2008”. It may also be called XP 2008 Antivirus, 2008 Antivirus XP or some other variant. This virus seems to be a particularly tricky one to remove and masks itself as what appears to be a legitimate windows application. You will be prompted to buy a piece of software with the same name as one of the variants listed above. It is being sold as a way to remove a virus on your system. Doesn’t it seem ironic that a virus is telling you that you have a virus and that it needs to be removed? They claim that the only way the virus can be removed is to buy their software. This is not true. Follow the instructions below to remove this virus from your system:

  1. Unregister the following DLLs: shlwapi.dll and wininet.dll (This can be done from a command prompt by typing in regsvr32 /u and then the filename.dll).
  2. Kill the following processes if running in Task Manager: XPAntivirus.exe, XPAntivirusUpdate.exe, xpa.exe, xpa2008.exe.
  3. Search for and delete the following files: xpa.exe, xpa2008.exe, XPAntivirus.exe, XPAntivirusUpdate.exe, shlwapi.dll, wininet.dll, XPAntivirus.lnk, Uninstall XPAntivirus.lnk, XPAntivirus on the Web.lnk, XPAntivirus.url, XP Antivirus 2008.lnk, Un-install XP Antivirus 2008.lnk.
  4. Remove the Following key in your registry: HKEY_USERS\Software\XP antivirus

Can I reset my computer to USB 1.1 from USB 2.0 as my video camera requires USB 1.1? How do I know if my system supports USB 2.0?

- Colin N., Arleuf, France

There is no need to do that. Any device that requires USB 1.1 will work on systems that have USB 2.0. When USB 2.0 was developed one of the requirements was that it needed to be backwards compatible, which it is. There is nothing that you need to change on your system in order for this to happen.

USB 2.0 was designed to enable faster transfer speeds as USB became more and more popular in the general marketplace. Devices like portable thumb drives and external hard drives require a faster transfer rate in order to accommodate large file sizes.

To check to see if your system supports USB 2.0 simply go into device manger and expand the Universal Serial Bus selection. If you see something called USB Enhanced Host Controller present then your system supports USB 2.0. You can always add a USB 2.0 card to your system that comes in a PCI card for desktops and PCMCIA card for laptops.

For more information on USB 2.0 you can refer to:
I am using MS Outlook running on Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 installed. Outlook will not send any emails but I have no problem and receive all my emails. Whenever I send an email it just gets stuck in the outbox, what would cause this?

- Lloyd M., Amarillo,TX

While there are many things that could cause this there are usually a few common things that cause it.

The first thing you want to do is make sure that your outgoing server information is spelled correctly. If the correct information is not in there then it cannot connect to the mail server.

The other problem has to do with server authentication. Most people using an email client are checking their work and or corporate email, which is stored on a server of the network they are already logged into. If you are not connected to that network and want to send an outbound email, the first thing that you need to do it log into the mail server. In order to accomplish this you will need to setup up your mail client so that the “outgoing server requires authentication” is enabled.
I have a picture from our last family vacation that I would like to use as my desktop wallpaper. How do I put that picture on my desktop?

- Mark, New York, NY

This is a very common task that more and more users are doing now that almost everyone has a digital camera. To change your desktop wallpaper to a custom picture follow these steps:
  1. Right-Click on your desktop and select Properties.
  2. Select the Desktop tab.
  3. Click on the Browse button and navigate to the picture on your hard drive. (Note: You will need to select “Background Files” to “All Picture Files” from the dropdown menu.)
The file should now show up in the background list and simply click OK to make the change.

Picasa's Facial Recognition Helps Sort Photos
Amazon Enters File Shipping Business
Blackberry Storm Could Unseat iPhone
Yahoo! Making Radical Changes to Homepage
Google's Chrome vs. Other Browsers

Monthly Contest

Do you have a computer question that you would like answered? Do you have a tech related topic that you would like us to research and write about? If so, we want to hear from you!

The subscriber with the best question or topic suggested for our September issue will win a free iPod Shuffle. Just visit the form below to contact us.

Enter Now!

XP/Vista Shortcuts

Here are a few interesting shortcuts you can use with Windows XP and Vista

Windows XP + Vista
Windows Key + R:
Shortcut for opening the Run Window (Handy for many of our tech tips).
Windows Key + D:
Minimize all windows or restore all windows.
Microsoft Word Shortcuts
Shift + F3:
Change the case of letters. Highlight a sentence and this command cycles through capitalizing the first letter in the sentence, first letter in all words, or All Caps/All Lowercase.
CTRL + Spacebar:
Return font to the default format for the style. This is very helpful if multiple people are working on a document.

Quote of the Month

"If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled and no one dares criticize it."

- Pierre Gallois


Browser Add-on of the Month

GooglePreview for Firefox:

NewTabURL is probably my favorite add-on that is available for Firefox. After installing Firefox, the default function for clicking the “new tab” button is to open an annoying blank page. With NewTabURL, you can set each new tab to open up with whichever URL you choose. For most people, the page set as “home” seems to be a logical choice. For me, it’s a page that I have set up with lots of links that I use daily.

Another cool feature is when you copy a URL and hit the “new tab” button; it will open that URL without you having to paste it into the location bar.

NewTabUrl works with Firefox 2 & Firefox 3, too. I wish it was a standard feature!

NewTabURL was created by Sogame

Site of the Month

Techie Site of the Month: can be used to detect autostart programs, spyware, adware, homepage hijackers, unverified drivers and many other problems. Comparing your current scan with previous scans to see what's different is an excellent way to pinpoint a problem and know which process to kill.

Another neat thing is that you can import and export your results online and let other people help you to solve your problems. You can use the help forums to get expert advice.

Whether you consider yourself a novice Windows user or an expert, this utility has you covered. Runscanner will scan a PC and generate a report about every program running, all your device drivers, and potential malware. is a completely free program.

Fun Site of the Month

Tired of dealing with automated answering machines? Are you sick of ending up in an endless loop of phone prompts when you try and call your credit card or cable company? is a site that provides the “best” phone number to call and often times the backdoor digits to get you in touch with a live person sooner.

Why navigate through four or five menus or wait 20 minutes for someone to pick up your call?

Vocab Test

RSS Feed

RSS Feeds are within the family of web feeds which can provide information like news updates, blog entries, audio, and video.

When you add an RSS Reader (Feed Reader) to your computer or website, you can get up-to-the-minute updates for any feeds that you subscribe to. The publisher of this information just needs to make a simple change on their end to broadcast these changes automatically to all their readers.

Popular RSS Feeds include the NY Times, The Motley Fool, and ESPN. Subscribing to these feeds and adding them to your home portal (iGoogle, My Yahoo!, etc.) allows you to read all your favorite information without having to leave that site.

Stat of the Month

LCD TV Sales in North America

30-34 inch LCD TVs
Q2 2008

Samsung 17.60%
Sony 12.80%
Phillips 8.00%
Sharp 7.20%
LG 6.50%
Vizio 6.00%
Toshiba 4.39%
Westinghouse 2.94%
Panasonic 2.40%
Polaroid 7.60%
Others 30.67%
Total 100.00%

*Source: iSuppli Corp. Sep 2008

Google Tip

Did you know that you can use Google like a phonebook to look up listings?

This can be done by typing the command rphonebook: prior to the residential listing you are looking for. For example:
Type: rphonebook: George Glass NY
This will provide you with all listings for people named George Glass in the state of New York.

Do you use Google to look up the weather forecast?

To do so, just type weather: followed by the name of the city, state or zip code. See below:
Type: weather: Boston, MA
This will give you a 4-day weather forecast for Boston, MA.

Want to Write?

Would you be interested in being a contributor to our future newsletters? If you are a technically minded person and you're looking for a platform to express yourself, our Newsletter is the perfect place to share your knowledge. Just email us and let us know what you want to write about.


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