The WinRag - Special Edition - 19th October 2005

Welcome to the October Special Edition of the Newsletter. This issue we will look at Windows XP tuning, enhancements, and how to get the best out of your operating system.

This issues guides are as follow:

Avoid forced Disconnections - File Sharing in Windows XP - Speed up your Network

Video Formats Explained - Windows Multimedia updates and Codecs

Speed up XP - Enable Prefetcher - News - Seven Pirates arrested in UK

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Avoid forced Disconnections


Some internet providers will disconnect you after an idle period, so if your doing large downloads this will sometimes mess them, so if you want to stay connected follow this simple step.

First open Outlook Express, then click on tools then options. Under general set Outlook Express to check for mail every 10 minutes, and to Connect even when offline. 

Click OK, this should now keep you online.



File Sharing in Windows XP


This tip is on sharing files and folders on a local network in Windows XP. It has been tested on Windows XP Professional (with and without SP2).

Many users of WinXP have experienced difficulty in sharing files and folders over networks whether or not simple file sharing is enabled. The approach that I have found to work consistently is:

1. Disable simple file sharing from My Computer --> Tools menu --> Folder Options --> View tab --> Advanced Settings

2. Open Control Panel --> Administrative Tools --> Services. Enable the Server service by making startup Automatic or Manual. This is a standard service needed for sharing files and folders under WinXP.

3. Open Control Panel --> Administrative Tools --> Computer Management. Scroll to System Tools --> Shared Folders --> Shares. From Action menu, select 'Add share' and follow the instructions.

4. You may also want to add users to Administrator or other groups for shared folder access. Under Computer Management, scroll to Local Users and Groups. To add user to Administrator group, select the group name and choose Add from Action menu. It can also be used to add domain users as local admins.

Sharing files on computers directly connected to Internet is not recommended. However, restrict access to specific users using above procedure mitigates security risks.



Speed up your Network


A simple way to increase your bandwidth by up to 20% is to disable the QoS Packet Scheduler.

You will find this in your network connection. Click on Start, Connect to, Show all Connections. Next right click on your network (Broadband) connection and select properties. Deselect QoS Packet Scheduler and test.

This file is only needed if you operate within a server environment.




Windows Multimedia


It is very important that you have the right files installed for music and video playback. These files are called "Codecs", and believe it or not there are many to choose from.

First download the following file "Windows XP Decoder Checkup" and run it. (Please note that you may need to install Microsoft's Windows Authentication to download this file)

This file will run and check the compatibility of the codecs installed in your computer for Windows Media Player 10. It will also give an option to update.

You can also download by click on the following link: Windows Media Audio and Video Codecs, further Codec packs can be found at




Video Formats 


In this issue we will try and help explain to you what the available different video formats are.

AVI - "Audio Video Interleave"

There are basically 2 different formats, version 1.0 (Which has video and audio streams imbedded in one file) and version 2.0 (Which uses separate files). AVI tends to be very large in size, and will take up loads of room on your harddrive. 

MPEG-1 - "Moving Picture Experts Group One"

MPEG-1 tends to be the format used on video CD and the quality is usually quite poor. MPEG-1 will show videos at the resolution of 352-by-240 at 30 frames per second.

MPEG-2 - "Moving Picture Experts Group Two"

MPEG-2 is a higher quality form of video transmission which runs at 720x480 and 1280x720 at 60 frames per second. It is the standard used on DVD's and requires very little computing power to run, although to covert a file to this format from say AVI will take several hours on a home computer.

MPEG-3 - "Moving Picture Experts Group Three"

A lot of people don't realise that this format existed, but it did and it was designed for HDTV, but later was abandoned.

MPEG-4 - "Moving Picture Experts Group Four"

MPEG-4 is a form of compression used to send video files over the internet. It is based on previous MPEG and Quicktime technology. Only some modern DVD players support this format. 



Speed up XP - Enable Prefetcher


This little tip/trick will allow programs you frequently use to load quicker, but requires editing of the registry.

BACK UP REGISTRY: So to open the registry editor click on "START", "RUN", then type "REGEDIT" (No speech marks). The registry editor will now open, click on "FILE" then "EXPORT". From the save window that appear type in a file name (ie regback.reg), now click on "SAVE". Your registry has now been backed up.

TO DELETE RECENT FILES: Now on the left hand panel click on "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

Next search in the right hand panel for :


and double click on it.

Set the value to 3.


Disclaimer: This information is provided as is and we cannot guarantee that editing the registry will not cause serious damage. You use this information at your own risk.



News - Seven Pirates arrested in UK


Seven individuals have been arrested after Police and Trading Standards officers with representatives from the game and film industries targeted car boot sale counterfeiters in the Staffordshire area on Sunday 16th October.

Operation Carter, which began in August 2005 and is part of a joint venture between ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association), Staffordshire Trading Standards and Police and FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft), came to a successful close at a car boot sale at Wellington Drive, Cannock. Two women aged 40 years and 21 years from the West Bromwich area were arrested along with a 25-year-old man from Walsall for the production and distribution of counterfeit goods and money laundering. Four other people were arrested for money laundering and conspiracy to defraud. All are currently on police bail.

The authorities searched the home addresses of several of those arrested, revealing copied games and DVDs, over 18,000 cash and around 8000 cigarettes.

"This operation has dealt a severe blow to those trading in counterfeit products and makes it clear that piracy will not be tolerated" commented Michael Rawlinson, deputy director general of ELSPA. "ELSPA thanks all those involved for their cooperation and hard work in bringing this investigation to such a successful close."

DS Garry Helsby of Staffordshire Police said: "These crimes are taken very seriously and joint operations such as this one will continue to target car boot sales across the county. Our multi-agency approach is highly successful and anyone involved in this type of activity is warned to expect a visit from the police very soon."

In two and a half months since Operation Carter commenced, seizures of counterfeit goods have now reached 2 million.

ELSPA (The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) represents the interests of the UK games publishers. It has a dedicated anti piracy unit with investigators based across the UK and often works closely with the Police and Trading Standards to combat computer games piracy.

Anyone with any information on computer games piracy should contact the police, their local Trading Standards Office or call the ELSPA anti piracy unit hotline on 08705 133405.






To view the newsletter articles from the present Special editions of the newsletter then click here

Check out our previous newsletter articles from Season 1 click here Check out our previous newsletter articles from Season 2 click here


Recommended Software


WinBackup 2.0

DVD-Cloner II

WinTasks 5.0

SpeedUpMyPC 2.0




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