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  • 1. ONLY £1.79 ICE IN PLAIN ENG LISH ISSUE 310 7 to 20 JAN 2010 SIMPLE CLEAR ADV INSIDE THIS ISH CAM PA I G N ISSUE N ENGL BY T HE PLAI AP PROVED ORKSHOP S TED HOW TO W TRIED & TES MASTER DISC BURNING Get the best 15 PAGES OF EASY PC WORKSHOPS ENHANCE your Excel spreadsheets LAPLINK PC MOVER Switch IT! from XP from your disc MAKE the most out of Windows Mail BUY burner with DESIGN a club logo with free tools to Windows 7 our expert tips ORGANISE music with Media Monkey the easy way
  • 2. Windows®. Life without Walls™. Dell recommends Windows 7. STAR PERFORMERS If you’re into film, music, networking and great design, the Studio not only looks good, but delivers great Hi-Def multi- media performance too. Available in a range of colours and designs. Choose your favorite at dell.co.uk. There’s a Studio for everyone this DELL V515W ALL-IN-ONE WIRELESS PRINTER 2 £ 119 AFTER £30 OFF Price Incl. Savings1 & VAT. Exlc Delivery3 15 17 • Intel® Pentium® processor T4300 • Intel® Pentium® processor T4300 • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • 4GB Memory • Memory 4GB (2x2048MB DDR3 1333MHz) • 250GB Hard Drive • 320GB Hard Drive Free Fall Sensor • 15.6” WXGA LED Screen with True-Life™ • 17.3” HD WLED Screen with True-Life™ • 512MB ATI Radeon® HD 4570 Graphic Card • 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 • Dell 1397 Wireless Card • FREE McAfee® Security Center - 15 Month Protection • 2 MP Webcam • Dell 1397 Wireless Card • 2 MP Webcam DELL SX2210 22” Price Incl. Total Savings1, VAT & Delivery, Price Incl. Total Savings1, VAT & Delivery, WIDESCREEN MONITOR £ 209 E-Value Code: NPUK01-N0053502 E-Value Code: NPUK01-N0074502 £ 429 Shown in Pink. Upgrade for £29. £215 TOTAL SAVINGS £ 529 Shown in Blue. Upgrade for £29. £90 TOTAL SAVINGS Price Incl. Savings1, VAT & Delivery, Click: www.dell.co.uk/laptops FAST, EASY & INTUITIVE – WINDOWS® 7 OFFERS AN EXCEPTIONAL COMPUTING EXPERIENCE McAfee™ - PROTECT WHAT YOU VALUE. Offers due to end 26/01/2010. Subject to availability, prices and specifications are correct at date of publication and may change without notice. Terms and conditions of Sales, Service and Finance apply and are available on request or at www.dell.co.uk. Delivery charge is £20 Incl. VAT per system (unless otherwise stated). Consumers are entitled to cancel orders within 7 working days beginning the day after the date of delivery; Dell collection charge is £23 Incl. VAT for system purchases and £11.50 Incl. VAT for accessory purchases. One GB = 1 billion bytes; actual capacity varies with preloaded material and operating environment and will be less. Dell Inspiron, Studio and XPS laptops and desktops include Microsoft Works 9.0 as standard unless otherwise specified. Promotional offers limited to maximum 5 systems per customer. 1 Saving is difference between price of featured systems when sold as a package versus current standard online sales prices for the basic systems with the promotional components upgraded individually. 2 Dell printers comes with a trial sized cartridge; USB cable not included. 3 Delivery charges range from £5.75 to www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 3. POWERFUL ATTRACTION Precision-built and housed in glistening, high- gloss obsidian black with leather trim and aluminium accents, it’s hard to resist the Studio XPS™. It’s even harder when you experience its sheer power and exhilarating performance. Available in 3 colours: Black Edge-to-edge Premium Backlit (default), Red or White display Styling Keyboard New Year. Go on, Treat Yourself. NEED HELP? ANY PC. ANY PROBLEM. XPS™ 13 XPS™ 16 • Intel® Core™2 Duo processor P7450 • Intel® Core™2 Duo processor P7450 WE CAN HELP! • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • 4GB Memory (2x2048MB DDR3 1067MHz) • 4GB Memory (2x2048MB DDR3 1067MHz) • 320GB Free Fall Sensor (7200RPM) • 320GB Free Fall Sensor (7200RPM) NO FIX, • 13.3” Widescreen WXGA with True-Life™ • 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 210M Graphics • 15.6” 1080p Full HD WLED Edge to Edge Display with True-Life™ NO FEE. • 2 MP Webcam • FREE McAfee® Security Center - 15 Month Protection • 1GB ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics • 2 MP Webcam and Dell Bluetooth Card CALL • Wireless Card 1515 and Dell Bluetooth Card • FREE McAfee® Security Center - 15 Month Protection • Intel® 5100 Wireless Card 0844 444 3122 Price Incl. Total Savings1, VAT & Delivery, Price Incl. Total Savings1, VAT & Delivery, E-Value Code: NPUK01-N00X1302 E-Value Code: NPUK01-N00X1602 Help and advice £29 from £ 924 £65 TOTAL SAVINGS Available in Black (default), Red or White. £ 984 £65 TOTAL SAVINGS Available in Black (default), Red or White. Call: 0844 444 3288 8am-9pm Weekdays, 9am-6pm Saturdays, 10am-7pm Sundays Count on the combination of Dell and Windows® 7 to give you fast, intuitive computing for your day-to-day tasks. Less is more with Windows® 7 - fewer interruptions, fewer steps to complete tasks, fewer delays. £14.95 incl. VATper item for items purchased without a system. Price correct at time of print. Celeron, Celeron Inside, Centrino, Centrino Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel Viiv, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, Viiv Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. For more information about the Intel processor feature rating, please refer to www.intel.com/go/rating. ©2009 Dell Products. Dell, the Dell logo, Presto, the Presto logo, Inspiron and UltraSharp are registered trademarks or trademarks of Dell Incl. Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista and the Windows Vista logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Dell disclaims proprietary interest in the trademarks or trade names of other entities used to refer to them or their products. Dell Corporation Ltd., Dell House, The Boulevard, Cain Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1LF. If you wish not to receive further marketing material via fax or direct mail please inform us via mail: delluk@clientmail.eu.com; post: Dell - Suppressions. DELL PO Box 659 SOUTHALL UB18 7ZB; or fax: 0800 3283071 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 4. Simple Clear A dvice Approved by Contents INTERACTIVE the Plain English Campaign 6 News 66 The Advertising Standards Authority clamps down on video-on-demand ads FROM THE EDITOR 46 Hints & Tips It is traditional Find missing information and make to start the new remote desktop access easier year with a set of resolutions to live 62 Consumeractive Discover what to do if you received two of well and make the same present for Christmas better use of our time.We can’t 65 CA Investigates help you shed the We investigate the differing standards for festive pounds or high-definition TVs 66 Letters take up the violin Do delivery problems ruin the internet but we can make your PC easier to 46 shopping experience? use. Our cover article explains how a set of free online tools can transform 67 The best of the web your web browser, making it faster Stay safe online and keep up with the latest news and simpler to use while adding new features to help you get more from 71 Competition your time on the internet.Whether Win a Sandberg USB to USB Share Link Kit you use Internet Explorer or Firefox to view web pages, this article provides something for everyone, 71 and the range of tools available is quite staggering.And if you’re looking for a January sale PC bargain, see our pick on page 26. Paul Allen editor@computeractive.co.uk www.twitter.com/computeractive www.computeractive.co.uk/facebook TRIED & TESTED How to contact us 16 Sorry,but because of the huge number of 16 Samsung X420 enquiries we get,we can only give technical A slim laptop with long battery life and help and consumer advice through published an efficient processor replies in the magazine – we cannot take phone calls or answer letters personally. 18 Clickfree Transformer SE For subscription enquiries, A simple and effective backup tool see page 74. Letters page: 23 Oregon Scientific letters@computeractive.co.uk WMR100 Advanced Technical help: Weather Station noproblem@computeractive.co.uk Think you can do better than the BEST BUYS Consumer problems: Met Office? consumeractive@computeractive.co.uk 25 January Ideas for articles and Workshops: sales ideas@computeractive.co.uk 18 A choice of By post: computers Computeractive, to suit all Incisive Media, budgets 32-34 Broadwick Street, London W1A 2HG 4 www.computeractive.co.uk www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 5. ISSUE 310 7 to 20 January 2010 HOW TO COVER STORY Page 12 54 No Problem – we answer your home Work wonders with the web computing questions Bring off-screen programs into view in Windows 7 and check mobile phone network coverage Make your web surfing faster, EXCLUSIVE FREE DOWNLOAD easier and more fun with browser 52 PC Tools add-ons for Internet Registry Explorer and Firefox Mechanic 8 Make your computer run faster 28 FEATURES 28 Windows 7 WORKSHOPS on the go Find out how to make Windows 7 run better on a notebook computer 48 Burn after reading We reveal some handy hidden techniques you can use when burning discs 48 15 EASY TO USE STEP-BY-STEP PAGES - page 31 MASTERCLASS 32 Use conditional 40 Keep music formatting to organised with 58 Multiple choice enhance Excel Mediamonkey Discover how attaching a spreadsheets Organise a digital music storage device to a home Spruce up spreadsheet collection with this free network can make it data with conditional software much easier to formatting access files 44 Make the most and folders 36 Design a logo of Windows Mail with free tools in Vista Give your club or society an Read our tips and tricks 58 image makeover with a free for using Windows Mail logo creator in Vista 7 12 - 25 June 2008 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 5 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 6. NEWS R R VIDEO ON DEMAND Harmful advert fears addressed Advertisements in on-demand programmes now rated and restricted CONCERNS ABOUT inappropriate adverts four and five can be shown after 10pm and appearing on video-on-demand (VoD) 11pm respectively. services have been addressed by a new law. The inclusion of online and on-demand Providers of these services, such as video in the AVMS Directive was Channel 4’s 4OD and the ITV Player, must controversial, as some feared that the now comply with the new Audio Visual European Commission was attempting to Media Services (AVMS) Directive that came extend media regulation to the whole into force on 19 December 2009. internet; for example user-generated videos, AVMS is the successor to the Television such as those posted on Youtube. without Frontiers Directive. It imposes the Clearcast pointed out that the directive is British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion only applicable to mass market TV-like and Direct Marketing (CAP Code) on VoD services. Kristoffer Hammer for Clearcast services. This means that in future the said: “Any display advertisements or Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) can 9The law will prevent violent or otherwise offensive audio-visual ads the viewer will see before act if viewers complain about an advert. adverts being shown alongside children’s shows selecting a VoD programme will not be Although VoD adverts don’t have to be covered by the directive.” cleared in the same way as those appearing on companies, said that because of the nature of traditional TV services (called linear TV), VoD services must abide by certain rules, VoD, timing restrictions currently assigned to linear adverts cannot be carried across. The R THE CAP CODE EXPLAINED including banning product placement in all company said it would assign levels for Until now, the CAP has been the rule book for non- children’s programmes. providers that will indicate whether there is broadcast adverts, sales promotions and marketing To ensure that the standards are adhered to, violence, nudity, or potential harm or offence such as those appearing in newspapers. It imposes VoD providers including Virgin, Sky, ITV, in an advert. Level one will be equivalent to similar rules to those that apply to linear broadcasts Channel 4 and Five began checking adverts on adverts which must not be shown around which fall under the remit of the Broadcast Committee of their services before the AVMS became law. children’s programmes, level two for those Advertising Practice (BCAP) code. Clearcast, which monitors the adverts that can’t be shown before 7.30pm, level three www.asa.org.uk before they have been aired for these adverts can be shown after 9pm, and levels x IN BRIEF... INTERNET I WARNING TO ADOBE USERS Security experts are warning Broadband tax payable on multiple landlines Adobe customers to be extra SOME CONSUMERS may duty is payable on both are on a low income). Some areas of the country not vigilant following the discovery of be in for a bit of a shock if lines,” it said. people have said that to considered commercially an attack that attempts to exploit a they have more than one However, the Treasury avoid paying this tax they viable by the operators. vulnerability in Adobe’s Reader landline to their home. said that if customers would have their phone www.snipca.com/x742 and Acrobat products. Security The Government has receive services from two service disconnected and Have Your Say! researchers for Symantec said admitted it will charge the providers but over the just take broadband; but Who should pay for faster that the attack comes as a 50p per month broadband same local loop, the duty is this won’t work as the tax broadband? Let us know at Trojan hidden in a PDF file tax, now called the payable only once. applies to both broadband letters@computeractive.com attachment in junk emails.The Landline Duty, on every line Virgin Media customers and telephony services. attack attempts to lure email regardless of whether they who receive cable The aim of the 50p recipients into opening the are being used or not. broadband and a landline landline tax is to provide attachment.When the file is According to the phone will be charged next-generation broadband opened, a malicious file disables Treasury, which refers to only once. services by 2017 to the Windows firewall and landlines as“local loops” , In the consultation the downloads software.Adobe the“duty will be payable on Government is currently has since confirmed it is all local loops that are made running on the proposals, it investigating the “reports of available for use by an said around 850,000 vulnerability in Adobe Reader and owner whether or not the households would be Acrobat 9.2 and earlier versions” lines are actually used” . exempt from the tax.These and will issue a fix as soon as it If more than one local are people who qualify for has more information. loop is provided in order what is called a social www.adobe.com for an end-user to receive telephony service (those two distinct services,“the who receive benefits or 6 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 7. NEWS R R R R x IN BRIEF... ECRIME WINDOWS I GOVERNMENT Browser battle PLUGS SERVICES The Government is preparing to spend £5m to persuade the public Criminals target social sites resolved The European Commission to use the electronic services put CYBERCRIMINALS WILL make more However, one of last year’s most (EC) and Microsoft have in place by local authorities, use of social-networking sites such as popular scams, deceiving people to ended their dispute over following evidence that around Facebook and Bebo this year to launch download fake anti-virus tools, could whether people should half the population in England attacks and spread malicious software, become less effective as more people be offered a choice of web were unaware of what was security companies have warned. become aware of it. Such software browsers on new PCs. available.The ‘Lose the Queues’ As 2009 ended, they predicted that presented users with fake scan results Following years of campaign starting this year will hackers will release more malicious and bogus warning messages in an wrangling, with the EC highlight the benefits, such as software using attempt to steal imposing several fines flexibility and convenience, of rootkits and other bank details, against Microsoft for accessing council services online. covert methods collect payment anti-competitive behaviour, www.odpm.gov.uk to avoid detection for a fake security both parties have reached by security product or install an agreement that means I FIX COMPUTER software. other malicious people will have a range of PROBLEMS Security firm software. browsers to choose from. The latest issue of our popular Kaspersky said “The fake anti- Microsoft will now offer a Ultimate Guide To series focuses file-sharing virus market has ‘choice screen’ to users of on troubleshooting.Written in plain services could been saturated Windows. This will present a English, we will show you how to become and profits for list of browsers, making it solve problems on your PC and get increasingly cybercriminals easy for users to install any up and running again with simple popular for have fallen,” one of them. step-by-step launching 9More people are aware of fake anti-virus tools Kaspersky said. It will be added to new workshops and attacks, after they But Symantec computers and the existing guides.And with were used to spread several infections said that criminals have not completely Windows XP,Windows Vista many homes having last year. finished with anti-virus-related fraud. It and Windows 7 computers more than one Joseph Souren, vice president of has noted more sites selling legitimate, in Europe, where Internet computer – running internet security at security company but free, anti-virus software such as AVG. Explorer is set as the different versions of CA, said: “It is a cat and mouse game. “Consumers are still being ripped off default browser, for the Windows – we cover Cybercriminals are evolving and are paying for software they can get free,” next five years. XP,Vista and Windows 7 so there is constantly looking for new the company said. www.microsoft.com something here for everyone. vulnerabilities to exploit.” http://free.avg.com/gb-en/homepage We also provide a CD containing full applications and utilities. SURVEILLANCE Some of these are used in the workshops.This issue is on sale JARGON B U S T E R now for £5.99. www.computeractive- Home Office to regulate use of CCTV Techno babble demystified... direct.co.uk THE GOVERNMENT has enforcement powers so Browser A program used appointed a regulator to they can only act in an to view and interact with I INSURANCE TOOL oversee the use of CCTV advisory capacity websites. ADDS SOFTWARE following concern over the David Hanson, minister of CPP is adding new security increasing intrusion into state for crime and policing, PDF Portable Document software to its Identity Protection people’s lives by public and said:“The Interim CCTV Format. A file format that Alert insurance, which is sold on by private sectors. Regulator will help explain allows pages to be viewed banks to their customers. The UK now has more to the public how they can on any PC. According to Financial Fraud Action CCTVcameras and a bigger complain about intrusive or UK, British online banking fraud national DNAdatabase than ineffective CCTV usage.” Rootkit Malicious losses in the first half of 2009 any other country.Richard Forensic science software that hides itself totalled £39m, a 55 per cent Thomas,the previous regulator Andrew Rennison from security software. increase on the same period in Information Commissioner, will serve as the interim 2008, with the cause primarily warned that the UK risked Government and the CCTV regulator for up to a Social networking attributed to malicious software. “sleep-walking into a public. Lord Goodlad, the year, until Parliament Websites that enable you to The Prevx software claims to surveillance society”. committee’s chairman, appoints a permanent meet new people. protect information such as The House of Lords said:“There can be no replacement. Mr Hanson passwords or credit card details Constitution Committee justification for this gradual said research showed over Trojan A malicious that are entered into or displayed warned last year that but incessant creep 80 per cent of respondents program disguised as a by an internet browser during growing public and private towards every detail about supported the use of CCTV harmless program. online transactions. surveillance was damaging us being recorded and to deal with crime in their www.prevx.com the fundamental pored over by the state.” neighbourhood. For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk relationship between The new regulator has no www.snipca.com/x738 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 8. NEWS R R x IN BRIEF... INTERNET PATENT I YOUTUBE MULLS Apple files PAID-FOR SERVICE Youtube is considering launching a subscription service so users can Australia to filter the web Nokia lawsuit Apple has issued a watch TV shows and films online. THE AUSTRALIAN government plans counterclaim to a patent The social networking site has to amend its current legislation to force lawsuit that mobile phone already made deals with a number internet service providers (ISPs) to manufacturer Nokia of broadcasters – including block obscene and illegal websites. has brought against it. Channel 4 and Five – which allow The decision follows a test of Both manufacturers are it to show full-length programmes internet filtering, started in now embroiled in a legal online free of charge. In an 2008 as part of the A$128m battle over technologies interview with Reuters news Plan for Cyber Safety. In a that are fundamental to agency, senior Google executive statement, the Australian making mobile phones David Eun said paid subscription is government said it plans to compatible with one or an option it is considering as it “introduce legislative more standards, including hopes to entice more TV channels amendments to the GSM and 3G. and Hollywood studios to sign up. Broadcasting Services Act to Nokia first sued Apple in www.youtube.com require all ISPs to block RC October last year over 10 (Refused Classification)-rated by website mobile phone-related I MICROSOFT OWNS material hosted on overseas servers. Wikileaks, was patents it said the company UP TO CODE THEFT “RC-rated material includes child sex found to contain had infringed. Now Apple, Microsoft has apologised to a abuse content, sexual violence and the perfectly innocuous sites, including that the computer and iPhone Canadian software developer after detailed instruction of drug use.” of a dentist from Queensland. maker, hit back with a claim admitting that the code used in a Senator Stephen Conroy said the Senator Scott Ludlam, communications that Nokia is infringing 13 new messaging service for the Far scheme “balances safety for families and spokesperson for the Australian Greens Apple patents, and that East was stolen.Work on the the benefits of the digital revolution”. political party, described the policy as even if it were in breach of message exchange service Juku Australian ISPs will use a blacklist of “pointless and simply misguided”. Nokia’s patents, the was suspended after Microsoft restricted sites operated by ACMA, the Last October the UK Government company is itself in breach said one of its employees in China Australian Communications and Media dropped plans to introduce legislation of obligations to allow others had used code from a similar tool, Authority. Critics of the plans have that would force ISPs to block access to reasonable access to them. developed by a company called raised concerns over how this list will be sites hosting images of child abuse and Both suits were filed in a Plurk, without permission.“We are compiled and how easily it can be other illegal content. It said the plans were Federal court in Delaware. obviously very disappointed, but circumvented. They point out that last not needed as self regulation works. www.ded.uscourts.gov we assume responsibility for this year an early version of the list, obtained www.australia.gov.au situation.We apologise to Plurk,” Microsoft said in a statement. MOBILE BROADBAND www.plurk.com JARGON B U S T E R Scandanavia and Slough not so slow Techno babble demystified... SCANDINAVIANS CAN been developed, so people 3G A mobile phone sign up for the world’s first in Norway, Sweden and network that allows fast commercial super-fast Slough will initially have to internet access. mobile broadband service. access the service using a Dubbed 4G (fourth computer. But Samsung GSM Global System for generation) networks, and LG are reportedly Mobile communications. I VIEWBOOK PRO’S download speeds can reach launching handsets capable The digital mobile phone EUROPEAN DEBUT 100Mbits/sec – about 10 of using the new networks system used in the UK and Viewsonic has announced the times that of 3G services. from mid to late 2010. many other countries. European release of its 13.3in Operator Teliasonera, The equipment for the Viewbook Pro and full range of which launched the service Stockholm 4G city network Mbits/sec Megabits per Viewbook laptops. Intel’s newest in Stockholm and Oslo last has been supplied by second. A measure of data ultra-low voltage processors, month, said the service will Ericsson, while Chinese firm transfer speed. There are LED backlight technology and open up new possibilities, Huawei has supplied the 1,024 kilobits in a megabit. other power-saving techniques, including online gaming and adapters needed for Slough the company claimed some web conferencing. and Oslo. LTE, however, is Processor The chip that models of the Viewbook range are UK operator O2 also next major standard in on a roll and a further 17 is the ‘brain’ of the capable of offering an average plans to launch a limited mobile broadband networks are expected to computer. The faster the battery life of 12 hours. Prices for trial to broadband technology and is designed go online this year in the US, processor, the better a the Viewbook Pro range between customers in Slough.The to work alongside existing Canada,Japan, Norway, computer will perform. £699 to £729. networks use Long Term 3G technology. South Korea, South Africa, www.viewsoniceurope.com Evolution (LTE) technology, The only drawback is that Sweden and Armenia. For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk which is considered the no mobile handsets have www.teliasonera.com 8 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 9. 1&1 HAS THE BEST DOMAIN Register new domain names…. NAME FOR YOU! With 1&1 you can choose from 19 different domain types or TLDs. And in case your desired domain is unavailable, our intelligent domain checker offers you alternative suggestions to save you time and effort. … or use the Domain Marketplace If your required domain name has already been registered you can check our online database that contains over 14 million registered domains which are available to buy. To find out more, go to our website. r: Limited time offe 1&1 DOMAINS .com, .net, 1&1, the leading domain registrar worldwide with over 11 million domains registered, offers you the .org, .eu best chance for getting your desired domain name! ■ Great features: 5 Sub Domains, free single page website included. ■ Top services: Fast domain activation, DNS Management, Domain Marketplace. £ 8.99 5 now only per year £ .99 ■ URL and E-mail Forwarding: Do you already have a web address, but is it not easy to remember? Simply register a memorable new domain name and set up automatic forwarding to your existing website – no matter which provider you are with. And it‘s easy to set up e-mail forwarding to your existing e-mail accounts. first year* Go to www.1and1.co.uk for many other fantastic offers. *Special offers available as of 01/01/2010 and for a limited time only. Terms and Conditions apply, please see website for further details. Prices exclude VAT. Calls cost 6p per minute from a BT landline, calls Call 0871 641 21 21 Calls from 6p peroperators andamobiles may be higher. cost other minute from BT landline, calls from other operators and mobiles may be higher. or visit us now www.1and1.co.uk www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 10. NEWS R R 2009 January The year in review We cast an eye back over the biggest stories reported by Computeractive over the past year The beginning of the year was dominated by concerns over BT’s plans to use the controversial advertising technology Phorm, which monitors the websites visited by internet users in order to show them more relevant adverts. After the end of a test the company said it expected “to move towards deployment”. Meanwhile, Microsoft released an early testing version of its Windows 7 operating system for the public to try, while Nintendo’s hugely popular Wii games console caused trouble. Molly Elvig of Colorado sued the gaming giant for $5m (£3m) after a Wii controller flew from her son’s 9April: Fake paid-for security software was a major problem in 2009 hand and smashed a television. April February Fake security software that fools users into paying for February saw computer security experts unnecessary ‘virus removal’ was a major problem in warning of rising infections spreading via 2009, and it hit the headlines in April after security USB memory keys. company Finjan claimed scammers could earn $10,800 The Conficker worm, still active almost a (£7,452) per day. year later, was exploiting part of Windows According to another report, some of those tricked by called Autorun to spread via USB devices. dodgy software might not even notice they have lost Meanwhile, Computeractive readers money. Security firm CPP reported that British 9February: A worm spread via alerted us to a website that was cardholders were USB memory keys using the run by Gary Cooper, a then 16-year-old boy unable to account for Windows Autorun feature from Essex. over £10.8bn of GC’s PCs sold mobile phones and other transactions in the gadgets, but some customers complained of preceding year, with unauthorised charges – Terence Warmbier more than a third of was charged an extra £800 after buying those surveyed unable four phones. to account for a fifth of their monthly March transactions. In March children’s charities called on the eMarch: Youtube clashed with Government to take action to limit access May the Performing Right Society to websites showing images of child abuse. Phorm leapt back into over thousands of music videos The NSPCC claimed that around 700,000 the limelight in May households were as the European connected to the Commission internet via internet 9May: Phorm hit back at its critics on a new website, launched legal service providers (ISPs) accusing them of orchestrating a “smear campaign” action against the that did not subscribe to Government for the Internet Watch Foundation failing to ensure the privacy of internet users. block list. The online retail giant Amazon also stepped in, Youtube users found themselves announcing it would not allow its sites to be monitored up against a different block list as a by the system. spat between the video clip website Phorm fought back with a website in which it accused and the Performing Right Society critics of orchestrating a “smear campaign”. (PRS) came to a head. The rather strange website, which mocked the Thousands of music videos were company’s critics as “privacy pirates”, disappeared a made unavailable in the UK. few months later. 10 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 11. NEWS R R R R June This summer saw a 50p tax on landline telephones proposed to pay for next-generation broadband. Lord JARGON B U S T E R Carter’s Digital Britain report said the levy was the Techno babble demystified... “fairest” way to ensure that everyone in the UK could benefit from fibre-optic high-speed broadband services. Broadband A fast internet Meanwhile three people were arrested and released connection, such as ADSL. on police bail in relation to GC’s PCs (see February). Detective Simon Dovaston told Computeractive that Fibre optic Cables that “enquiries are still required to resolve the matter”, but transmit information as two months later we were told that the investigation pulses of light. had been concluded with no charges brought. File sharing Swapping July 9September: BT announced a trial of new broadband technology files over the internet. In July we reported that Microsoft was planning to that could reach homes up to 12km away from phone exchanges slash the cost of Windows 7 in the UK. At the time, the Freeview The UK’s free company said it would not be selling upgrade licences October digital TV service. in the UK, so full copies of Windows 7 Home Premium A nationwide retune of the Freeview television system would cost just £80 until the end of 2009. had sounded the death knell for some older set-top ISP Internet Service The controversial advertising technology Phorm boxes. Other users found channels such as BBC1 and Provider. A company that made the news again, as both BT and Talktalk ITV moved to new channel numbers, while almost half a provides you with an announced they had dropped plans to use million people lost access to ITV3 and ITV4. internet connection. the technology. Of the UK’s In the same month, Shadow Culture major ISPs this left only Virgin Secretary Jeremy Hunt said a Memory key A term to Media in talks with the company. Conservative government would scrap describe thumb-sized USB the 50p levy on landline telephones storage devices. August proposed by the Government to pay for In August we reported an Ofcom next-generation broadband. Operating system study claiming that only one Governs the way hardware person in nine was getting the November and software components in speed advertised for their The ISP Talktalk opened a new front in a computer work together. broadband internet connection. the fight against a law that could see This did not come as a huge illegal file sharers disconnected from the Set-top box A device that surprise as Computeractive internet, warning the Government that it enables a TV set to receive had been campaigning for would refuse to disconnect its customers digital TV broadcasts. clearer broadband advertising unless concrete proof of their guilt was since 2007. provided. It also launched a campaign USB Universal Serial Bus. Microsoft announced that website, asking visitors to petition Allows connection of upgrade editions of Windows against the proposals. peripherals to your PC. would be available to UK Our next issue brought news that the customers, but raised the cost of Digital Economy Bill, which is planned to Virus A malicious the full versions of Windows 7 9August: The price of introduce a ‘three-strikes’ rule, had been computer program Home Premium to £150. Windows 7 Home Premium rose to £150 included in the Queen’s speech. designed to damage computer data. September December The possibility of a ‘three-strikes’ rule that could see Just like January, controversy surrounded an ISP Worm A program that illegal file sharers disconnected from the internet had planning to monitor its users. This time the culprit was transmits and copies itself been looming for months, but after comments that were Virgin Media, which planned to test a technology called over a computer network. made by Communications Minister Stephen Timms in Cview on 40 per cent of its network. August the debate flared The trial was designed to For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk up again. look for illegally shared Privacy International, music files, but Virgin did not the Open Rights Group and plan to report users to the other organisations warned that it could break copyright owners. Computeractive also got its R SEE ALSO both European and human first look at the Google’s new Top products of 2009 rights legislation. operating system, Chrome OS. www.computeractive.co.uk/ September saw good 2255007 news for would-be Have Your Say! Top software of 2009 broadband customers, as Which events of 2009 interested you the www.computeractive.co.uk/ BT announced a test of a most? Which news stories made you 2255143 new technology that could pleased, happy or annoyed, and what are Complete guide to Windows 7 see broadband reach your hopes and fears for 2010? www.computeractive.co.uk/ homes up to 12km from 9December: Computeractive tested Google’s first operating Let us know by emailing the usual windows7 phone exchanges. system, Chrome OS, which use only online applications address: letters@computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 11 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 12. HOW TO USE FREE BROWSER TOOLS COVER STORY Work wonders with the web Browser add-ons can make your web surfing easier, faster and more fun – we list the very best for Internet Explorer and Firefox Y our internet browser probably works Although there are many add-ons for Internet Explorer, beautifully: both Firefox and Internet and we’ll list some in this article, we’d recommend using Explorer, the two most popular browsers, Firefox if you want the best choice. are fast, stable and simple ways of So what can you do with these small extras for your accessing the internet. browser? The sky is nearly the limit. You can You could, if you wanted, install them download videos from Youtube, keep tabs on and add only the update files that are your email account without needing to login, made available periodically to ensure or block distracting, time-wasting adverts you always had the most up-to-date from view. Alternatively, you can version of your browser of choice. download add-ons that enable you to keep If you did, though, you’d be up to date with social-networking sites missing out. Both Internet Explorer while browsing elsewhere. and Firefox allow you to download Installing add-ons is and install tools, called add-ons that generally simple. can make surfing the web easier, Both Firefox and quicker and more enjoyable. In this issue Internet Explorer have special we’ll list the must-have browser add-ons for websites that gather all the both Firefox and Internet Explorer, and explain add-ons together, allowing you how to install them. to search by keyword or category, and then sort your Useful functions results by the number of The concept of a browser add-on is simple. It’s a tiny downloads they’ve had or program that doesn’t run on its own but instead adds a recommendations they’ve Image: Nick Palmer new function to an existing web browser – normally a received from other users. function that would otherwise require you to install For Firefox, go to yet another program on your computer and run https://addons.mozilla.org, that when required. or visit www.ieaddons.com As they connect to a web browser, for Internet Explorer. add-ons are sometimes known as ‘plug-ins’. Although some add-ons are created by companies, most are created by other users to add a feature that they themselves want. The Firefox web browser has a particularly strong community of add-on authors, thanks partly to the fact that the program is open source, so anyone can examine the code that makes it tick. 9Firefox has a good set of add-ons as the program’s code can be read by anyone 12 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 13. USE FREE BROWSER TOOLS HOW TO Easy does it Once you’ve found the add-on you want, installing it is generally easy. In Firefox, select your chosen add-on and click the green Add to Firefox button. You’ll be given a moment to reflect on your choice, and, once the add-on is installed, you may be asked to restart the browser. This can be postponed until later if you’re in the middle of doing something important. Internet Explorer is slightly more complex, as it divides its add-ons into groups such as toolbars, Accelerators (we’ll explain what this means shortly) and search providers, with a fourth, unmentioned category for everything that works like a Firefox add-on. Installation is a bit more intimidating as well – when you click on most links you’ll be prompted to download an installer that runs as if you were installing a separate application. It’s also not unusual for Windows to 9Annoying website adverts can be banished in Firefox by using Adblock Plus display some stark warnings about your PC’s security, even though you’re downloading from an official Microsoft site. But there is a strong range of add-ons available for the world’s most popular browser, particularly when you consider the role of Internet Explorer’s Accelerators. An Accelerator is an add-on for Internet Explorer 8 that allows you to highlight text and perform a task based on its content. For instance, if you download the Bing Maps accelerator you can highlight a postcode then click the small blue icon that appears and find the postcode on a map without needing to enter it manually. For more on R GET THE BEST BROWSER Accelerators, see our step-by-step guide on page 15. Whichever internet browser you prefer, it’s important to Make surfing faster have the latest version. Using Adobe’s Flash technology is an old copy means missing one of the most important 9IE7 Pro is the best way to stop adverts in Internet Explorer out on new and handy aspects of the internet features, such as Firefox 3’s today. Without it we Each time you see a distracting advert, click on the fantastic address bar, but wouldn’t be able to small ‘Block’ button above it, in the future it – or others more importantly it means watch videos on sites coming from the same company’s server – won’t appear. you’re not protected by the such as Youtube or our For those using Internet Explorer, the best tool for latest security updates. very own blocking adverts is IE7 Pro (www.ie7pro.com). Despite Upgrading Internet Computeractive TV. the name, which suggests compatibility only with an Explorer is simple. To see Sadly, though, Flash older version of Internet Explorer, IE7 Pro also works which version you’re can also be used to well with Internet Explorer 8. It blocks all manner of currently using, open create particularly adverts, including pop-ups and Flash adverts, and also Internet Explorer, click on annoying adverts on adds a number of extra features to Internet Explorer. Help on the menu bar then websites. These often These include mouse gestures, which allow you to choose About Internet take time to load, get in instruct Internet Explorer to perform certain tasks, Explorer, which will show you the way and generally such as going back a page when you draw a shape with the version number. If it’s frustrate you, while some the mouse, and the ability to download videos from less than version eight, go to even include sound effects to websites such as Youtube. www.microsoft.com/ie8 to make the experience even more download and install the infuriating. Browsing engines latest version. Luckily though, both Firefox and The name might sound daunting, but these add-ons can For Firefox users the Internet Explorer offer be very handy. There are many different web browsers latest version of the add-ons that prevent Flash adverts from running. available, and sadly not every website works properly browser is version 3.5. To Firefox’s is the simplest – visit www.snipca.com/x522 with every browser. So if you use Firefox, for example, check your copy click Help and click the green button to install Adblock Plus. you may occasionally come across sites that simply then About Mozilla Firefox, or Firefox needs to restart once the add-on is installed, but refuse to work as you are not using Internet Explorer. to upgrade head to from there you should find visiting heavily advertised An add-on called IE Tab by PCMan, however, can fix www.getfirefox.com. websites a much more restful experience. this. It adds an option to the menu that appears when 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 13 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 14. HOW TO USE FREE BROWSER TOOLS 9Accelerator add-ons can be used in IE8 to help you find the information you want much faster 9Browser add-ons can be easily viewed and managed in Internet Explorer you right-click on a web page. If you find a page that on the internet is easy, actually viewing them can be doesn’t display, simply right-click the page and choose harder, and laboriously clicking through an online ‘View Page in IE Tab’. A new tab will open in Firefox, album of dozens of pictures is dull. Again, however, free but this will use the technology from inside Internet add-ons can help. Explorer to display the page properly. It’s faster and Available for both Firefox and Internet Explorer, simpler than opening another browser just for that one Cooliris is both a standard program you can run from page. IE Tab can be found at www.snipca.com/x525. the Start menu and a browser add-on. It can be R A BETTER BROWSER? Internet Explorer doesn’t have the same problem when it comes to compatibility; as long as Internet downloaded from www.snipca.com/x530 for Firefox and www.snipca.com/x532 for Internet Explorer. Once Explorer remains the most popular web browser, just you’ve installed it and restarted your browser, load a Internet Explorer and Firefox about every website will be designed to work with it. It web page with lots of images on it, and then hover the have plenty to recommend can, however, feel slow to load pages in comparison mouse over one of them. A small icon appears which, them, and 90 per cent of with other browsers. In particular, Google’s slimmed- when clicked on, loads a spectacular 3D wall of images internet users prefer one or down Chrome often reveals pages far more quickly. from the page. You can drag the wall around and zoom the other. But what about the Google Chrome Frame does much the same thing for in on image you want to see more closely, or start an other 10 per cent? Five per Internet Explorer as IE Tab does for Firefox, except it automatic slide show, regardless of whether the site the cent of users use Safari, brings Chrome’s speed advantages to Microsoft’s pictures come from offers one itself. which started as a tool for browser. Microsoft is unsurprisingly rather sniffy about Mac computers only but now the prospect of people using someone else’s technology Social networking can be used with Windows. in its browser, so you have to go to Google’s website at The great thing about sites such as Facebook It’s a neat and tidy looking www.snipca.com/x529 to get it. It’s easy to download (www.facebook.com) and Twitter (www.twitter.com) is browser with plenty to and install, however, and runs very well. that they let you see what your friends are doing, but recommend it – particularly constantly going back to the sites to check them, if its speed. If you get Multimedia opportunities you’re waiting for a message, for instance, is tedious. frustrated with the The number of ways to share your digital photos on the There are various standalone programs that allow you performance of powerful internet is mind-boggling. Sites such as www.flickr.com to keep tabs on things, but a simpler solution is to install online applications such as cater for keen amateurs, while social-networking sites an add-on that allows you to check your favourite sites Google Docs, you could find such as Facebook are perfect for sharing family snaps from within your browser. that Safari makes things with friends and family. But while getting your photos A highly automated solution is Yoono, which claims smoother. It’s free to to “socialise your browser”. It’s download from available for both Internet Explorer www.apple.com/safari. (www.snipca.com/x534) and Firefox Another popular (www.snipca.com/x533), and if you have alternative – and one likely accounts at more than one social to grab increasingly frequent networking site it can be a timesaver. It headlines in the future – is connects to Twitter and Facebook, plus Google’s Chrome.Only the Myspace, Flickr and Friendfeed, as well beta (testing) version as instant-messaging services such as supports add-ons, but it’s Live Messenger, AOL Instant impressively fast and will Messenger and Google Talk. As long as appeal to anyone whose your browser is running it keeps you up current browser has become to date with what your contacts are a mess of conflicting menu doing, which is entertaining, if highly bars and alerts. You can get distracting. You can also share things a free copy from you’ve found online on social www.google.co.uk/chrome. networking sites without needing to 9The IE tab opens Internet Explorer-only websites in Firefox open the site in question. 14 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 15. USE FREE BROWSER TOOLS HOW TO computer and Firefox on the other. It’s free to download from www.xmarks.com. JARGON B U S T E R Techno babble demystified... Breath of life Add-ons for your browser can Bookmark A way of transform your experience of storing favourite websites in using the internet. They can the Firefox web browser for make it faster, or less stressful later reference, much like and distracting by getting rid marking a page in a book. of adverts. Some add-ons are The equivalent in Internet so useful you’ll wonder how Explorer is a Favorite. you ever got by without them. Firefox has a definite edge – its Instant messaging add-ons website is better Real-time text-based organised than Internet communication over a Explorer’s, and the huge network (usually the 9Cooliris is both a standard program and an add-on that can be used to create an image slideshow number of users means the internet), using a program popularity and ratings of each such as AOL Instant Bookmark synchronisation add-on are genuinely useful. Installing them is also Messenger. Bookmarks, known as Favorites in Internet Explorer, slightly easier than it is with Internet Explorer. are a handy way of keeping track of websites that you However, IE8 has some deniably neat touches, such Open source Software use regularly or may want to visit again. Although both as accelerators: our advice is to try both and see which that is developed, released Firefox and Internet Explorer keep track of recently works best for you. to and used by the public, visited sites in a History tool, it’s far easier to bookmark Dave Stevenson free of charge as an a page of handy information than to fish alternative to software from around for it a few weeks later when you can large companies. only remember half the title. On the other hand, bookmarks can be rather Server A computer on a limited if you use more than one computer, as network, such as the neither browser gives you a simple way of internet, that distributes synchronising a list of bookmarks between information to other PCs. two or more computers. Fortunately, there’s a great add-on that can help. Social networking Xmarks is a simple way to keep bookmarks Websites that enable you to synchronised between several computers. First meet new people, with you install the add-on, then create a free notes on interests and account and Xmarks sends details of your photos. bookmarks to its own storage space on the internet. You can then install the add-on on For full definitions visit: another computer, log into your account and www.computeractive.co.uk the bookmarks will be downloaded. The service can even keep bookmarks synchronised tXmarks can help you keep if you’re using Internet Explorer on one track of your favourite websites STEP BY STEP | HOW TO USE ACCELERATORS IN IE8 1 For this example, we’ll use the excellent Bing maps accelerator. Open Internet Explorer 8 and visit www.snipca.com/x545. Click the Add to 2 Using Accelerators is easy – think of them as a useful substitute for copying and pasting into a search box. To access your list of accelerators, 3 Highlight an address or postcode then click the Accelerator button. When the menu appears, hover the mouse over the Bing Maps entry – this may Internet Explorer button, then Add on the dialogue simply highlight some text, and a blue Accelerator be hidden in the All Accelerators section. A handy box that appears after that. Other accelerators from button appears nearby. It doesn’t do anything until map showing the location in question will appear the site can be installed in the same way. you click on it – do so and it produces a list of the immediately. accelerators you have installed. 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 15 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 16. TRIED& TESTED OUR STAR RATINGS LAPTOP COMPUTER | £599 With every product we review, we tell it like it is and give it Computeractive’s SAMSUNG X420 authoritative star rating. Here’s what those stars mean: EXCELLENT ##### WORTH IT ##### OK BY US POOR ##### ##### A slim laptop with long battery life and an efficient processor A BUY IT! AWFUL ##### fashionable OUR STAMP OF APPROVAL abbreviation in mobile computing The Buy It! stamp of right now is ULV. It approval is a sign stands for‘ultra-low voltage’ BUY IT! that a product has exceeded our high and refers to a computer expectations in both processor that is very power quality and value for efficient and great for laptops money. If you see the Buy It! logo you know we were impressed with the product and and other mobile gadgets. we think you will be too. The Try It! Stamp is Samsung says that thanks our equivalent award for software and to the Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 services that are free of charge. ULV processor inside it, its A list of products that we think are the best available in various categories can new X420 laptop will work for be found at the back of the Tried & up to nine hours on a single Tested section. battery charge. We didn’t quite get nine ONLINE REVIEWS hours of useful work out of the If you are looking for reviews of a certain X420 off mains power but we kind of product, the best way to do so is were impressed with the through our website, where you can read stints it did put in: reviews by category and type of product. Go to www.computeractive.co.uk/products depending on how the machine was used, we PRICES squeezed between five and eight-and-a half hours out The prices we print are the suggested retail prices set by the manufacturer. Products of the battery – for basic office work Windows 7 run at a very good speed speakers can be connected.With all can often be found much cheaper on the it’ll be higher, while DVD playback (the X420 can hold a maximum of the impressive credentials of the internet or in shops. will use the battery more quickly. 4GB of memory, and it’s a small X420 we reckon Samsung has a For the latest keen prices on a range Another benefit of ULV shame that Samsung didn’t go all winner on its hands. of products go to www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices processors is that they create less the way here). Scott Colvey heat than a standard computer The X420’s touchpad supports DETAILS TECHNICAL TERMS processor, meaning slimmer the multitouch controls that are Contact: Samsung, 0845 726 7864 AND JARGON designs as with less heat to worry part of Windows 7. For instance, a Info: www.samsung.co.uk about it’s possible to dispense with sweep of a single finger will move Retail price: £599 While we try to keep our reviews free the large cooling fans found inside the mouse pointer across the Buy: www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices from technical language or jargon, it is most computers. Indeed, the X420 screen as normal but this two-finger sometimes unavoidable. See the Jargon is pretty slim (31mm, or just over an gesture can be used to scroll ALSO CONSIDER... Buster column for concise explanations of highlighted words. For an in-depth inch) and, at 1.7kg, not too heavy for through documents or web pages. Apple Macbook: £799 glossary, go to a laptop with a 14in widescreen Pinching with two fingers will zoom A slightly smaller screen, but similar in www.computeractive.co.uk/jargon display.The slimness is in part down in or out of documents. It may processing power, the Macbook comes to the lack of built-in optical drive – HOW WE TEST an external DVD writer, which can be sound complicated but it soon becomes second nature. with Apple’s excellent software suite. ##### Computeractive’s reviewers follow strict plugged in when required, is The X420 has a lovely keyboard, www.computeractive.co.uk/2253600 guidelines to ensure the opinions expressed included in the box. too, with a broad key surface, so you in the magazine are fair, accurate and independent. Every product or service we review is thoroughly examined and tested by The display, which includes a webcam mounted at the top of the don’t accidentally hit adjacent keys, and plenty of travel when the keys WE SAY experts. The manufacturer has no screen area, was wonderfully bright are pressed, making it comfortable An impressive laptop with great involvement in our tests and is never told and clear. Being so thin, it did have to use.The X420 has three USB battery life the result of a review prior to publication. an annoying tendency to wobble ports, connections to wired and Please note that our reviews grade products, not customer service. Reviews when used on the move, though. wireless networks (of all kinds), GOOD POINTS: Multitouch touchpad; are based on opinions. Check the full The Home Premium edition of the Bluetooth, a memory card reader excellent battery life; HDMI connector specification of any product with the Windows 7 operating system is and the HDMI socket (for BAD POINTS: Wobbly lid; weak manufacturer to be sure it will work with your computer. installed, and that Intel SUY7300 outputting movies to a flat panel TV, speakers; 4GB of memory would have We welcome feedback on our reviews – processor is supported by 3GB of for instance). Our only qualm was been better send us an email to memory and a 320GB hard disk. that the built-in speakers are a little letters@computeractive.co.uk These components worked weedy. Still, there is an audio output OVERALL: ##### or discuss our reviews at www.computeractive.co.uk/forums sufficiently well together and make socket so a pair of headphones or 16 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 17. TRIED & TESTED R R PORTABLE VIDEO PLAYER | £120 VIDEO-EDITING SOFTWARE | £50 SONY NWZ-S544 CYBERLINK Great headphones and sound quality POWERDIRECTOR 8 DELUXE S ony’s NWZ-S544 and can handle Video-editing update includes powerful music player, with 8GB of memory, file management and transferring special effect features C comes in at roughly £120 music and video yberlink’s – but Sony does not to the player. Powerdirector publish recommended It can convert isn’t as well retail prices so it pays some video file known as rivals such to shop around. types to a suitable as Adobe Premiere or The Walkman has MPEG4 format for Pinnacle Studio, but it a 2.4in widescreen the player’s bright, provides some display, which is clear screen (though impressive video- slightly bigger than this is a lengthy editing tools at an the one on its process if you do not attractive price. predecessor the already have videos at Like most video- S639F, a well- the right resolution). editing programs, laid out control Photos and music were Powerdirector splits 9Powerdirector 8 offers plenty of power for the price pad, side- much easier to deal with, its workspace into mounted and most major formats three main areas.There’s a Library complaint is that the manual was a volume and are supported. section that displays audio and bit unhelpful at times – we searched output Annoyingly, Sony’s video clips, as well as additional tools in vain for any mention of the controls and Sensme feature, which such as transitions and special upscaling option and had to a lock to stop automatically generates effects. Immediately next to this is telephone Cyberlink to ask for their buttons being playlists, is not available on the Monitor, which allows the user to help in finding it. accidentally pressed while it’s in the S544 even though it was on view individual clips or to play back The manual could have be a bit your pocket.A standard headphone its predecessor. the entire edited project. more helpful, then, but at just £50, socket allows earphones to be The star of the show, however, is Finally, there’s the Timeline Powerdirector is certainly good plugged in but there is an internal the battery life; a two-and-a-half that occupies the entire bottom value – especially for more speaker as well as an internal hour charge provides 40 hours of half of the screen.To assemble a advanced users who are prepared microphone that allows it to be used music playback when using video project simply use the to spend a little time mastering its as a voice recorder. headphones, more than any of mouse to drag clips from the more powerful tools. Annoyingly, the socket used to its competitors. library and arrange them in Cliff Joseph connect the device to a PC isn’t the Laurence Gunn sequence in the timeline. DETAILS standard one, which means DETAILS Beginners who are new to video Contact: Cyberlink, no UK number replacing the cable could be Contact: Sony 0845 6000124 editing can get some help from the Info: www.cyberlink.com expensive if you lose it. Unusually, Info: www.sony.co.uk program’s Magic Movie Wizard, Retail price: £50 the earphones that came with the Retail price: £120 which automatically edits together Buy: www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices S544 provided superb sound Buy: www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices any set of video clips. However, this quality, although the internal latest version concentrates on more ALSO CONSIDER... speakers were not so good – ALSO CONSIDER... advanced tools that will appeal to Adobe Premiere Elements 8: £75 they did a reasonable job, but Cowon D2+: £99 people who already have some A powerful but easy-to-use video editing weren’t particularly impressive A very capable audio and video player, with editing experience. program, available in a bundle with Photoshop when we tried to increase the bass long battery life. ##### There’s a new set of‘power tools’ Elements if you work with still images too. or volume. www.computeractive.co.uk/2246549 that allow users to play video in ##### The programmable equaliser is reverse, adjust the speed of a clip to www.computeractive.co.uk/2249967 useful and has presets for a range WE SAY make it play faster or slower, or crop of musical genres, while the variable bass boost sounded Its quality and battery life balance the a video clip in order to zoom in on a specific section of the video image. WE SAY natural.An FM radio receiver is S544’s lack of extra features Clips can even be rotated. Powerful video-editing tools at a very included – it’s possible to record You can use the new Particle competitive price programmes directly on the GOOD POINTS: Sounds fantastic; Designer to create special effects S544 – and the voice recording simple to operate; rugged such as falling snow or a glittering GOOD POINTS: Affordable; tools was impressive given how small the construction trail of stars in the night sky, and suitable for both beginners and more microphone is. BAD POINTS: Fewer features than there’s also a clever upscaling experienced users Sony’s Content Transfer software some rivals option that can enhance the quality BAD POINTS: Poor manual is supplied as a program on the of standard definition video clips so player itself (it can be installed when OVERALL: ##### that they look a bit more like high- OVERALL: ##### you plug the player into a computer) definition video. Our only real 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 17 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 18. TRIED& TESTED NETWORKING | £120 D-LINK DHP-343/B POWERLINE HD 4-PORT STARTER KIT Enjoy easy networking over your home’s electrical wiring A dapters that use a home’s with a built-in mains plug, and a best results) and can be done with mains electricity wiring to small white box called a switch, with connect it to your router a button on each adapter make a computer network four network sockets and a with the supplied cable.Then but it’s easier using the software). have been around for years, but separate mains cable. Plug the plug the switch into a socket near The DHP-343 worked well in our until recently the technology has single adapter into the mains the equipment you want to connect, tests. It’s more expensive than a required one mains-plug adapter for (extension leads can cause plug in the network cables and network cable, but you do not have each device you want to connect. interference so wall sockets give the that’s it – there are no settings to install cables in inaccessible places. D-Link’s DHP-343/B is one of the fiddle with. It is also a great alternative if first models to allow several devices to be plugged into a single WE SAY Green lights on the adapters indicate the connection status. wireless networks don’t work well in your home. adapter, making it an ideal way to An excellent alternative to standard There is a light on the switch for Kelvyn Taylor hook up a collection of awkwardly networks and a kit that works well each of the four ports plus three DETAILS located peripherals. status lights. One of these changes Contact: D-Link 020 8955 9000 The DHP-343 uses the Universal GOOD POINTS: Simple to install; colour to amber or red if the Info: www.d-link.co.uk Powerline Alliance (UPA) standard. good-looking; easy to use the connection speed drops.This can Retail price: £120 This is a rival to – and incompatible software be caused by electrical interference Buy: www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices with – that of the Homeplug BAD POINTS: Power cable is too or poor-quality mains wiring.While Powerline Association so if you short; status lights cannot be idle, the adapters automatically go ALSO CONSIDER... already have a powerline network switched off into a power-saving mode. Netgear XAVB1004: £99 check which standard it uses. No software is needed but it does A similar product that works with the Everything required is in the box. OVERALL: ##### come with a simple-to-use program competing Homeplug standard. ##### There is a white single-port adapter to change the security settings (this www.computeractive.co.uk/2252621 PERIPHERAL | £65 STORAGE | £100 CLICKFREE TRANSFORMER SE VERBATIM EXECUTIVE The Transformer SE is a small minutes to complete the process of PORTABLE HARD DRIVE cable that plugs into your copying GBs of data.You can also computer’s USB socket and is customise which files are included Verbatim’s Portable Hard Drive used to perform a backup. It in the backup. Executive is a small hard disk has another USB port on the It uses the spare space on any that stores 500GB of files other end, into which you can iPod, or on any hard disk or USB and plugs into a USB socket plug either an external hard key, and can also – cleverly – copy using the supplied cable. It disk, a USB memory key or an music files from your iPod to the can also work with older USB 1 iPod (you will need your iPod- PC. It’s possible to buy cheaper sockets, but you may find it slower to to-USB cable, though, as one backup programs, but the Clickfree copy files over such connections. enough, if a little pricey. If all you is not supplied). Transformer SE automates the The disk can fit in a pocket and need is extra capacity at home, then The backup process so well that it’s easy to comes with a padded case to products based on larger 3.5in disks software built recommend. protect against minor knocks. are better value. into the cable Anthony Dhanendran However, there is no space for the Paul Allen runs as soon as DETAILS lead inside the case. DETAILS it’s plugged in. Contact: Clickfree, no UK number The Executive comes with two Contact: Verbatim 01784 439 781 It’s colourful Info: www.clickfree.com pieces of software: Nero’s Back It Up Info: www.verbatim-europe.co.uk and bright, Retail price: £65 4 Essentials for simple backups, and Retail price: £100 with clear Buy: www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices Verbatim’s own synchronisation tool Buy: www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices icons and which keeps documents, emails and menu options WE SAY a calendar up to date while working on more than one PC – this data WE SAY that indicate what needs to be Simple and effective backup tool for can be encrypted in case it is lost A neat way to back up and transport done.The copying process was more than one computer or stolen. information painless, with the software directing If you need to carry this much us every step of the way. It was OVERALL: ##### data around regularly then the OVERALL: ##### quick, too, taking only about 10 Verbatim Executive is capable 18 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 19. TRIED & TESTED R R DESKTOP COMPUTER | £1,349 JARGON B U S T E R APPLE IMAC 27IN Techno babble demystified... Backup A file, folder or external The largest iMac yet storage device that stores copies of L valued documents. ike previous versions of the Apple iMac, this latest Bluetooth A technology that allows design is an‘all-in-one’ devices (computers, phones, printers computer, meaning the etc) to communicate with each other entire system, apart from the wirelessly over short distances. keyboard and mouse, is enclosed inside the screen unit. Desktop The background area on This top-of-the-range iMac has screen where Windows files and had some subtle changes made to icons appear. it, but the big news is it has grown. The screen on the previous model Encrypt To scramble data – be it was already an impressive 24in but text, audio or video – so it can only be this new model increases the size read by the sender and authorised to a desk-trembling 27in.There are recipient. two main kinds of flat computer screen and as with the previous Firewire A type of connection that is model the new iMac uses the commonly used for digital better and more expensive IPS camcorders. type, which provides noticeably improved viewing angles GB Gigabyte. A measurement of compared to cheaper screens. storage capacity, usually for hard The enormous 27in widescreen disks. 1GB is equal to 1,024MB display has a resolution of (megabytes). 2,560x1,440 pixels, which is twice what many computer screens have, Graphics tablet A device used for but the iMac does not take up as drawing on a computer, consisting of much room on a desk as you might applications. It’s almost everything documents or images, or even if a 'pad' and a pen, which connect to imagine. It’s thin, for one thing, and a home user needs, ready to go. you just want a computer that plays the computer and record the the well-designed stand minimises If you’re a PC user, it’s not hard to DVDs on a large screen it’s an movements of the pen. Useful for the room it uses.The computer get used to the Mac’s operating excellent choice. tracing drawings into the computer. contains an Intel Core 2 Duo system. In fact it’s set up to be easy Ben Frain processor, or you can pay more for to use and your old documents will DETAILS Hard disk A high-capacity disk a faster Core i5 chip. still be useable. Contact: Apple 0800 048 0408 fitted in almost all PCs and used to The 4GB of memory is plenty The iMac was almost silent in Info: www.apple.com/uk store both applications and the and it comes with a one-terabyte operation and it’s not short of Retail price: £1,349 documents and files they create. (1,000GB) hard disk, which is connections and ports: there is a Buy: www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices enough for all but the very largest webcam and an SD memory card HDMI High-Definition Multimedia music and video collections. reader built into the case, along ALSO CONSIDER... Interface. A cable that carries both The iMac includes a wireless with four USB sockets, a Firewire Sony Vaio RT2SY: £1,900 high-definition video and sound. keyboard and the new buttonless port, and connections to An impressive all-in-one PC that runs Magic Mouse (see our review of Bluetooth, wired and wireless Windows, although the screen is a touch High definition A TV picture with a that at www.computeractive.co.uk/ networks. If you have other modern smaller than the iMac’s. ##### higher resolution than normal. 2254276). Using it soon became Macs the screen can even be used www.computeractive.co.uk/2241081 fairly easy but despite this, in as a display for them using its Memory The computer’s temporary practice it doesn’t do much more than a standard mouse. Displayport socket. At £1,349 the 27in iMac is not WE SAY storage area, measured in megabytes (MB). Like all Apple computers, the cheap. However, with the quality A powerful computer with a iMac does not use the Windows and size of the screen, it is good spectacular screen Memory card Small cards that can operating system. Instead it value.The ease of use of the Apple store many megabytes (MB) of data. uses Apple’s equivalent, known as operating system and the excellent GOOD POINTS: Superb screen; very Mac OS X. It’s an elegant alternative supplied software, which makes quiet operation; impressive software Mini USB A standard computer to Windows and includes Apple’s the Mac ready to go as soon as you included connection used for connecting and iLife 09 collection of programs. get it out of the box. BAD POINTS: Expensive charging devices such as phones, This bundle includes great It’s true that a 27in screen is cameras and music players. photo-organisation, web-design overkill for many users, but if you OVERALL: ##### and video and sound-editing want to work with large-scale Continued on P22q 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 19 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 20. 1&1 Web Hosting MY WEB Easy-to-use 1&1 Features ”I need a website to showcase my music, promote my guitar tuition and team building workshops. My website does all this and more, it’s the ideal platform for communicating my projects and getting bookings. 1&1 understand the importance of having a website and make the whole process easy for you, with their hosting packages you have the freedom to make your website into what you want it to be.” Michael John Ross, www.michaeljohnross.com Go to www.1and1.co.uk for many other fantastic offers. *Special offers available as of 01/01/2010 and for a limited time only. Get 6 months free on selected web hosting packages when you sign up for a 1 year package! Terms and Conditions apply, please see website for further details. Prices exclude VAT. Call 0871 641 21 21 Calls cost 6p per minute from a BT landline, calls from other operators and mobiles may be higher. www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 21. SITE Make Having Your Own Website Really Fun Search Engine Marketing Register your website with Google and many other search engines to make your site easy to find. Photo Gallery Showcase your pictures by having a photo gallery on your site for your friends and colleagues to check out. 24/7 Express Support Express technical support Showcase your projects available via phone or Upload your text, e-mail 24 hours music and video a day, 7 days projects onto your a week. website to be downloaded or sampled by visitors. ths free! * on Many packages now 6 m £ .99 OME PACKAGE 1&1 H 4 per month 0. 00 website: £ ion for your perfect The complete solut er luded ■ 1&1 WebsiteBuild ■ 1 .uk Domain Inc 12 pages included ace ■ New: 5 GB Web Sp ■ 1&1 Blog ■ Unlimited Traffic for 6 months, ■ 1&1 Photo Gallery to 400 IMAP/POP3 r month* ■ Up ■ 1&1 easyShop then only £4.99 pe E-mail Accounts timisation Tools ■ Search Engine Op Creator ■ 1&1 DynamicSite or t ■ 24 /7 Express Supp 12 pages included or visit us now www.1and1.co.uk www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 22. TRIED& TESTED UTILITY SOFTWARE | £42 JARGON B U S T E R Techno babble demystified... MPEG4 A standard for compressing LAPLINK PC MOVER digital content. Make the switch from Windows XP to Windows 7 more easily W Operating system Governs the ith Windows 7, way hardware and software in a Microsoft decided to computer work together. exclude Windows XP users from doing a Optical drive A device for reading so-called‘in-place’upgrade, in or writing 5in discs, including CDs, which you leave Windows XP DVDs and Blu-ray discs. installed on the hard disk and move all the programs and your Pixel Short for picture element, documents to Windows 7, which is which is the smallest part of an installed over the top. image displayed on a monitor or This is the option many people captured by a scanner or camera. choose when upgrading Windows, because it usually causes the least Processor The chip that is the hassle, but now it’s not possible. ‘brain’ of the computer. The faster the Fortunately, Laplink’s PC Mover processor, the better a PC performs. will do the job for you. It’s not a one- step process.There is a guide to Resolution The amount of detail doing this on the Laplink website, to shown in an image, whether on which users are directed screen or printed. (www.snipca.com/x672). Whichever mode you choose, BUY IT! Switch Allows more than one PC to the program works by copying be connected to a wired network. your documents and programs into a special folder, and when 9PC Mover guides you through moving your files and programs Touchpad A touch-sensitive pad, you run PC Mover again on the usually a couple of inches square, new PC the files and programs are would be storing certain files. Our begin, and be aware that your which acts as an alternative to a all copied back into the right places. Desktop and most of the experience may not be as smooth mouse on some laptops. If you are moving to a new PC, you applications, even some of the as ours. may also need to check the licences troublesome ones, appeared on the Anthony Dhanendran Trackball A popular alternative to of the programs you are moving new Windows 7 computer. Some DETAILS mice. You roll the ball around 360 (the program warns about this too) programs, such as anti-virus, Contact: Laplink, no UK number degrees with your fingers or thumb in – you may not legally be allowed to cannot be moved, and these will Info: www.laplink.com order to position the cursor. move them. have to be re-installed manually. Retail price: £42 We were sceptical of Laplink’s The program is available in two Buy: www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices Upscale A way that some video claims that the software would work versions: the Pro edition that we devices can improve a signal making as described, so we were pleasantly looked at costs £42 and includes a ALSO CONSIDER... the resulting picture close to high- surprised when it did.The process USB cable to complete the transfer, Microsoft Windows 7: £150 definition quality. failed the first time we tried it, as the while the Home edition without Although PC Mover works with all recent program tried to copy data to the that is £28 (there are a couple of version of Windows it’s particularly good for USB Universal Serial Bus. A portable hard disk we were using for differences – details are on the moving to Microsoft’s latest operating system. standard that allows quick and easy the job.We diagnosed a faulty cable Laplink website). ##### connection of external peripherals and tried again, this time directing it We would still prefer to do a fresh www.computeractive.co.uk/2250854 such as storage devices to your PC. to copy files to a folder on the installation and then reinstall Webcam A video camera designed existing hard disk and then copy that folder to another computer (this applications ourselves.This is the cleanest method and it’s good to WE SAY to connect to your PC. does require having a lot of free hard start on a new computer afresh. Versatile moving software that disk space on the old computer).You But if you are upgrading an old worked well in our tests Wizard A step-by-step process that can also move everything by copying Windows XP computer or you are helps you choose settings. files over a home network or a USB missing installation disks for some GOOD POINTS: Copied both cable (see below). programs, Laplink is useful. applications and documents; Widescreen Screens with an It was a little confusing going Bear in mind that there is always affordable aspect ratio (width-to-height through the options.We found a risk when running this sort of BAD POINTS: Process can be done proportion) greater than the standard ourselves backtracking through the program – especially if you are manually, which is free 4:3 format. step-by-step wizard more than once changing operating systems on the to figure out what options we had same computer – so always have a OVERALL: ##### For full definitions visit: ticked and where the program backup of your files before you www.computeractive.co.uk 22 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 23. TRIED & TESTED R R PERIPHERAL | £89 KENSINGTON SLIMBLADE TRACKBALL Get around your computer with ball control M ost of us are used to using The Kensington Slimblade’s grey Controlling the ball too vague for mice but there are casing and red ball look good and it with a thumb was more our liking – it was alternative methods of has a low profile. comfortable, but this meant hard to select a particular moving the pointer on the screen. However, this low profile was the using the other hand to operate track – you roll the ball to control We’ve looked at graphics tablets main reason that the Slimblade the left and right click buttons, the pointer on screen.Annoyingly, recently, but an older device wasn’t comfortable to use for which was awkward. the buttons cannot be customised making something of a comeback is long periods. Due to the size and Those mouse buttons are any further. the trackball.These can be better height of the ball in relation to the located on the lower half of the There are good alternatives to a for those who find mice hard or wrist rest, we had to raise our device and two smaller buttons mouse, but the Slimblade sadly painful to use. wrists to quite a sharp angle to use toward the top activate Viewing isn’t one of them. A trackball can also sometimes it properly. mode and Media mode.Viewing Andrew Zarkesh be a good choice for people who use mode turns the ball into a scroll DETAILS photo-editing and graphics programs as some can allow more WE SAY wheel, rolling it up and down to scroll on a page. It can also zoom in Contact: Kensington, no UK number Info: www.slimbladetrackball.com precise control of the pointer. Not very comfortable or customisable or out by rotating the ball clockwise Retail price: £89 A good trackball will allow the or anti-clockwise but this didn’t Buy: www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices user to move the cursor while their GOOD POINTS: Attractive design work with all applications. hand remains in a relaxed position, BAD POINTS: Uncomfortable and Media mode lets the user control ALSO CONSIDER... minimising the amount of stress expensive volume and track selection using Roller Mouse Free: £235 exerted on the fingers and wrist the ball and buttons.This only A clever alternative to the mouse, although and ultimately helping to prevent OVERALL: ##### worked fully with iTunes. Skipping it’s expensive. ##### wrist injury. between tracks using the ball was www.computeractive.co.uk/2253950 PERIPHERAL | £170 OREGON SCIENTIFIC The computer software is the weak link. It’s complicated, untidy WMR100 ADVANCED and tricky to set up.The user must determine arcane settings WEATHER STATION such as which Com port the base station is connected to (not obvious with a USB connection) Think you can do better than the Met Office? and the latitude and longitude of your location. M any weather monitors This Oregon Scientific weather If you get around these issues, the include a thermometer and station goes further.Although its software is thorough. It can log barometer and predict the base station has the same type of readings from the weather station weather from air pressure changes. screen display, it also connects so you can see how weather events wirelessly to two sensors that progress over time. It won’t help WE SAY monitor wind direction and strength as well as temperature and rainfall. compass to tell the wind sensor with prediction but the whole station is more about monitoring If you’re interested in meteorology, These sensors took some which way was north.The base and recording than forecasting. this station provides a lot of data with assembly and careful mounting, but station picks up the time from the Simon Williams minimal effort all the kit is well made; there’s a atomic radio clock at Anthom and DETAILS three-piece steel pole to mount the adjusts its calendar and moon Contact: Oregon Scientific 0871 222 1966 GOOD POINTS: Well-made sensors wind monitor on and a mesh gauze phase display accordingly. Info: www.oregonscientific.co.uk and electronics; good cross-section of to filter detritus out of captured There’s a mini-USB socket on the Retail price: £170 meteorological data; wireless links water in the rain gauge. side of the base station which Buy: www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices and auto setup The electronic set-up was made connects to a PC and, once you’ve BAD POINTS: Software is tricky to set easy by the automated nature of the downloaded the display software ALSO CONSIDER... up and use system.The wind and rain sensors from the Oregon Scientific website, Weather Watcher: Free connected automatically and were it’s possible to feed weather data Watch the weather from your computer with OVERALL: ##### calibrated with little intervention, through to this program for logging this software. ##### though we did have to use a and display. www.computeractive.co.uk/2128923 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 23 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 24. TRIED& TESTED STORAGE | £75 MOUSE | £35 KINGSTON V-SERIES MICROSOFT WIRELESS MOBILE 40GB SSD KIT MOUSE 4000 Solid State Disks, or SSDs, are This small but perfectly formed designed to replace hard disks in mouse from Microsoft is designed computers. Unlike hard disks, which to be used with a laptop computer. have moving parts, they use the For that reason it’s smaller than the same type of memory as USB average desktop model, and its memory keys.At £75 Kingston’s tiny USB receiver fits neatly into a 40GB SSD kit is the cheapest we slot on the bottom when not in BUY IT! have seen. use. However, it works just as well The kit includes the disk itself, the with any desktop PC. cables and bracket needed to fit it As well as the usual two buttons it into a desktop PC and a program seconds to start, but the SSD took has a third smaller button to one that can copy the contents of your only 35 seconds.The speed for side and a clickable wheel. One AA laser systems found in other mice it hard disk onto the new SSD. copying files increased by around battery is required, which is worked well enough. The benefit of an SSD is speed.We 50 per cent. It’s silent and with no included in the box. The mouse we tested came in a copied a new Windows 7 installation moving parts should be more The Mobile Mouse 4000 uses rather gaudy shade of yellowish from hard disk to the SSD.With the reliable than a hard disk. Microsoft’s new Bluetrack green, but it’s also available in black hard disk the computer took 52 40GB is not much space so this technology, and although we are and other shades.The retail price of SSD would best be used to store not sure this is any better than the £35 is high, but it can be found WE SAY Windows and programs, with files online for less than £20.At that Gives a real speed boost, and stored on a separate hard disk. Tom Royal WE SAY price, it’s a good buy. Tom Royal includes all the parts and software DETAILS A small but perfectly formed mouse, DETAILS you will need Contact: Kingston 01932 738888 ideal for laptops or small hands Contact: Microsoft 0870 60 10 100 Info: www.kingston.com Info: www.microsoft.com/uk OVERALL: ##### Retail price: £75 OVERALL: ##### Retail price: £35 Buy: www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices Buy: www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices BUY SAVE LIMI TED NOW ! SAVE SAVE TIM E OF FER At Streamline.net we give you everything you need to build a great website, with no technical skills required. Expert help is at hand via phone or email and with free instant activation your website will be live in minutes. Plus buy now and you will save 50% for 3 months as well as receiving a FREE .UK domain. Hurry, this offer is only available for a limited period. WEB HOSTING PACKAGES All packages include:  FREE .UK domain name† A FREE .UK domain name †  FREE easy website builder  FREE Instant activation HOME POWER UNLIMITED  Unlimited website traffic (bandwidth) £1.24pm for 3 months £1.99pm for 3 months £2.99pm for 3 months  Personalised email £1.46 inc VAT. Normally £2.93 inc VAT £2.34 inc VAT. Normally £4.69 inc VAT £3.52 inc VAT. Normally £7.04 inc VAT • FREE .UK domain name • FREE .UK domain name • FREE .UK domain name  Phone & email support • 500MB webspace • 1.5GB webspace • Unlimited webspace • 5 mailboxes • 15 mailboxes • Unlimited mailboxes See website for even more savings when you pay annually or biennially • 5 MySQL databases • 10 MySQL databases • Graphical web stats • Graphical web stats Great value web hosting Call Sales Now: 0844 941 1000 *50% off for 3 months,subsequent months charged at standard price.† Offer applies to first year only.Renewals charged at standard price.Price excludes VAT. Offer valid at time of print. 24 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 25. £ BEST BUYS recommends... Our Best Buys are a selection of the best products reviewed in Computeractive in recent months.Those selected are not necessarily winners of our Buy It! award, but they have fared well enough in our tests to warrant consideration.The prices were correct at the time of printing, but use them as a rough guide only.The prices we have printed below are suggested retail prices. For the latest, lowest prices on a wide range of products go to www.computeractive.co.uk/bestprices. PRODUCT TYPE WE SAY OUR REVIEW PRICE ISSUE RATING COMPUTERS Acer Aspire Revo Desktop computer This tiny PC can clip to the back of a monitor www.computeractive.co.uk/2249084 £245 302 ##### Cyberpower Gamer Infinity Yang Desktop computer Plenty of power, with a good screen at an impressive price www.computeractive.co.uk/2239739 £549 291 ##### Lenovo S10 Mini-notebook A superb netbook that’s ideal for travellers www.computeractive.co.uk/2235714 £250 287 ##### Mesh Matrix II 955BE Hush Desktop computer A fairly quiet computer that’s good for gamers www.computeractive.co.uk/2249282 £799 303 ##### Acer Aspire One D250 Mini-notebook Good hard disk, fast processor and decent battery life www.computeractive.co.uk/2244328 £329 297 ##### Apple Macbook Laptop computer Relatively expensive, but it looks good and works well www.computeractive.co.uk/2253600 £799 309 ##### Dell Studio Hybrid Entertainment computer A good PC that won’t look out of place in the living room www.computeractive.co.uk/2228547 £349 280 ##### HP Touchsmart IQ522UK Desktop computer Touchscreen technology and a big screen www.computeractive.co.uk/2246487 £1,000 299 ##### PRINTING AND SCANNING Canon Canoscan 8800F Flatbed scanner Good-quality scans at a very reasonable price www.computeractive.co.uk/2208404 £165 261 ##### Canon Pixma MP540 Multi-function device Superb prints from a fast printer and scanner www.computeractive.co.uk/2247688 £99 304 ##### HP Photosmart C4480 Multi-function device An all-in-one printer and scanner at a bargain price www.computeractive.co.uk/2249915 £48 306 ##### Epson Stylus Photo P50 Inkjet printer A small inkjet with excellent photo print quality www.computeractive.co.uk/2247756 £90 302 ##### Konica Minolta Magicolor 1600W Colour laser printer Good-quality colour prints, a reasonably priced device www.computeractive.co.uk/2245215 £143 299 ##### PC ACCESSORIES Belkin N1 Vision Router Monitor broadband speeds easily with this router www.computeractive.co.uk/2218753 £130 271 ##### D-Link DAP-1522 Wireless networking Convert your wired devices to make them wireless capable www.computeractive.co.uk/2246551 £180 299 ##### Lacie Datashare Memory card reader Two card readers in one – for MicroSD and SD cards www.computeractive.co.uk/2244950 £10 300 ##### Plantronics Audio 655 Headphones These PC headphones fit well and have a built-in microphone www.computeractive.co.uk/2242599 £50 294 ##### Samsung P2370 Monitor Can show the best high-definition movies www.computeractive.co.uk/2242783 £220 295 ##### SOFTWARE Exif Pro Photo editing An excellent image-handling program www.computeractive.co.uk/2193754 £11 246 ##### Roxio Creator 2009 Media management Covers all the bases and has some neat new features www.computeractive.co.uk/2228817 £50 280 ##### Jufsoft Badcopy Utility software Easily recover files from damaged disks www.computeractive.co.uk/2197103 £20 249 ##### Nero 9 Reloaded Media management Great for all disc-creation tasks www.computeractive.co.uk/2253654 £50 308 ##### Paragon Partition Manager Utility software Manage and optimise your hard disk www.computeractive.co.uk/2217773 £14 271 ##### Serif Pageplus X4 Desktop publishing Packed with features and plenty of templates www.computeractive.co.uk/2250083 £80 305 ##### Sony Acid Music Studio 7 Music software Excellent, easy-to-use tool for budding musicians www.computeractive.co.uk/2206089 £45 258 ##### GADGETS Nikon D90 kit SLR camera The best of the non-professional digital SLR cameras www.computeractive.co.uk/2237028 £850 288 ##### Pure Digital Evoke Flow Internet radio DAB, FM and internet radio that streams music from your PC www.computeractive.co.uk/2231896 £150 283 ##### Apple iPhone 3G Mobile phone Adds clever features such as GPS location finding www.computeractive.co.uk/2222633 £35/mth N/A ##### Creative Vado HD Camcorder Take high-definition video using a pocket-size device www.computeractive.co.uk/2238861 £180 290 ##### Dane-Elec Zpen Peripheral Convert handwritten notes to files that your computer can edit www.computeractive.co.uk/2240086 £74 292 ##### Olympus SP-570UZ Compact camera Zoom ring makes it feel like a professional camera www.computeractive.co.uk/2227663 £340 279 ##### Pentax K-m SLR camera A good-value digital SLR that doesn’t cost too much www.computeractive.co.uk/2237385 £392 289 ##### Ricoh R10 Camera Good pictures and a long lens make the R10 a winner www.computeractive.co.uk/2230085 £200 282 ##### T-Mobile G1 Mobile phone An excellent phone with a good keyboard www.computeractive.co.uk/2230742 £40/mth 282 ##### 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 25 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 26. BU Y IT! £ BEST BUYS JANUARY SALES A choice of computers to suit all wallets 3 1 2 4 1 Medion Akoya E5211 3 MSI CR610 5 Apple iMac 3.06GHz 21in 7 PC Specialist Fusion HD 620 Price: £350 Price: £499 Price: £949 Price: £550 This laptop, exclusive to Sainsbury’s in The CR610 has a large 16in screen, This might be the smallest of Apple’s This computer, reduced from £580, January, has a 15in screen and an Intel which means that while it may not be revamped range of iMac computers, but comes with a 22in widescreen monitor, Pentium Dual Core T2400 processor as portable as some, it’s good for it’s not small – the 21in screen is large an AMD Athlon II X4 620 processor and that’s accompanied by 3GB of memory those who need more screen on enough for working on documents, video 4GB of memory, as well as a 500GB hard and a 320GB hard disk. In addition to which to work. The AMD Athlon II editing and even watching films. It comes disk for file storage, which is enough for Windows 7 Home Premium, it comes Dual-Core processor is powerful with 4GB of memory, a 500GB hard disk thousands of music files and hundreds of with Microsoft Works 9. enough to deal with home and office and Apple’s excellent operating system hours of video. It also includes a Logitech www.sainsburys.co.uk tasks, and it has a DVD drive and and productivity software. speaker system, keyboard and mouse. memory card reader. www.apple.com/uk www.pcspecialist.co.uk 2 Samsung Q320 www.msi.com Price: £599 6 Cyberpower Infinity i7 8 Acer Z5600 23in The Q320 laptop has a 13in 4 Toshiba Satellite L500 Andromeda SE Price: £830 screen, which may not sound like Price: £399 Price: £949 This all-in-one computer includes all of its much, but because it’s widescreen The Satellite L500 is the cheapest The Infinity i7 is a powerful computer, parts, except the keyboard and mouse, it offers lots of room for documents or laptop in our round-up, but that doesn’t including at its heart Intel’s extremely inside the main monitor unit. It will be on for viewing films and television shows. mean it’s a slouch. It has a decent fast Core i7 920 processor and 3GB of sale in January, with a £70 discount from The Pentium Dual Core T4200 15.6in screen and, like all the others, it memory. The graphics are no slouch PC World. It has a 23in screen that can be processor is accompanied by a large comes with the very latest operating either, and it comes with a 22in monitor controlled by touch as well as using the 4GB of memory, Nvidia Geforce G105M system, Windows 7, pre-loaded. It’s and 500GB hard disk. Enter the code keyboard and mouse.With 4GB of graphics and a 500GB hard disk for ideal if you want a computer for office SAVE09 on the Cyberpower website for memory and a 1TB hard disk, it’s up to plenty of storage. and internet tasks. a five per cent discount during January. most home computing tasks. www.samsung.co.uk www.toshiba.co.uk www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk www.pcworld.co.uk 26 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 27. BEST BUYS COMPUTER BARGAINS 5 6 7 8 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 27 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 28. HOW TO USE WINDOWS 7 ON THE GO Windows 7 on the go Tiny ‘netbook’ laptops are flying off the shelves – find out how Windows 7 can help you get the best performance from portable PCs of all types E ven just a few years ago, the idea performance. In this article we will show of taking a computer out and you how to get the best performance about would have struck some from a netbook running Windows 7. people as rather pointless. Many One of the quickest ways to boost consumers chose laptops simply netbook performance is to turn off the because they didn’t take up much space in advanced graphics features that make the home. Those laptops lightweight Windows 7 look great, but which use a enough to carry from home to work or significant proportion of processing power. school were much more expensive and The main culprit is Aero, which produces the aimed at those who had a real need transparent effect on the edges to work on documents while out of Windows and includes handy and about. tools such as Aero Peek and Today’s laptops are lighter and Jump Lists. These are useful cheaper than ever but there’s a new tools but if you need the extra generation of portable computers performance for other tasks, it is that use low-powered processors easy to limit Aero’s processor and solid-state storage to produce use. Right-click the desktop, smaller, leaner and even less select Personalize, scroll down expensive computers called the page until you see ‘Basic and ‘netbooks’. Early netbooks were high-contrast themes’ and sold with Linux, while more choose Windows 7 Basic. You’ll recently Windows XP has been the still get a basic level of Peek and supplied operating system. Jump Lists continue to work. Vista was much rarer, largely because it required more memory Power down and processing power to run than Battery life is an important XP. Windows 7 was designed from concern if you want to use a the outset with portability in computer away from home. mind and despite it being more Netbook processors use less advanced than Vista, most power but their displays netbooks can run it with and other components little impact on still draw lots of energy – just like laptops. The R SHOULD I GET WINDOWS 7 STARTER EDITION? good news is that you can change the settings in Windows 7 to preserve power. Click the Start menu Some manufacturers sell interface, which gives well. Even Microsoft says on icon and select Control Panel followed by Power netbooks that have a very Windows its slick look. You its official Windows 7 blog Options. A selection of power plans is displayed here – basic version of Windows 7 also lose the ability to watch that Starter Edition is suitable a plan is a group of settings that tell Windows how installed called Starter edition. DVDs, use Media Centre and only for those with the very much power to use for various components and when You can’t buy this on disc and change personalisation minimum requirements to dim the display and cut power to some components frankly we wonder why you features such as the desktop (www.snipca.com/x519). altogether. Image: Nick Palmer would want to. background. We think you will get much The default setting in Windows 7 Home Premium is Starter edition excludes a We have tested Windows 7 better value from Windows 7 Balanced, which ensures the processor has enough wide range of features, such Home Premium on various Home Premium than the power to give good performance when in active use by as the Aero graphical netbooks and it runs perfectly Starter Edition. applications while reducing energy usage if the computer is not being used after a set time. The Power 28 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 29. USE WINDOWS 7 ON THE GO HOW TO window, where we can click ‘Change plan settings’ and then ‘Change advanced power settings’. JARGON B U S T E R Wonderful wireless Techno babble demystified... Wireless networking also eats into battery life because the network adapter in the computer is continually Aero peek A tool that using energy. Many netbooks have a switch or keyboard turns every window on the button to deactivate wireless when not needed – screen transparent so the consult your computer’s manual to find out about this. desktop icons beneath can You can also reduce the power consumption of the be seen. wireless adapter in your power plan (although this might affect your web access if the signal strength from Blog Short for ‘web log’, a the wireless network is low). Open Wireless Adapter blog is an online journal or Settings, then Power Saving Mode and left-click news site. ‘Setting’ to reveal a dropdown menu where you can 9Create Power Plans to suit various situations, such as on a train choose your preference. You can always undo changes Dialogue box A window by clicking ‘Restore plan defaults’. that pops up to display or Saver plan is ideal for portable PCs when away from a Our final tip concerns the netbook screen. The request information. mains connection. While Balanced dims the screen relatively small size of some netbook displays can make after 10 minutes of inactivity, Power Saver does this Dropdown menu A list of after five minutes. Similarly, the amount of time Power options that appears when Saver waits to put the PC into Sleep mode is cut by half you click a menu bar or to 15 minutes. Sleep mode cuts power to everything but button. memory, so work in open documents is not lost. To change the power plan your computer uses, click the Jump list A new menu button next to its name so the circle has a blue dot in it built into Windows 7 that and close the Power Options window. appears when a taskbar You can also customise the power settings to save button is right-clicked. even more battery life. Each plan has a link next to it labelled ‘Change plan settings’, which you can click to Linux An operating system change the time Windows 7 waits before switching off that can be freely modified the display or entering Sleep mode. Windows 7 also and distributed by its users. reactivates the display and sleeping components much more quickly than Vista. Memory The computer’s temporary storage area, Customise settings measured in megabytes. Windows 7 also enables you to create your own power plan. Back at the main Power Option window click Operating system ‘Create a power plan’ to devise your own, which is Governs the way hardware handy if you want to have settings for use at home and and software components in at a second specific location. The settings are the same a computer work together. whichever method you choose so let’s create our own plan for using the netbook while on a train. 9Cut wireless power to save the battery Processor The chip that is First choose the settings you want to change, Power the ‘brain’ of the computer. Saver in our case, and give it a name before clicking it difficult to read documents and websites. You should The faster the processor, the Next. Then set how long to wait before dimming the check that your display is set to its native resolution; better a computer will display and entering Sleep mode before clicking Create. open the Start menu, click Control Panel and then perform. Our plan now appears in the ‘Select a power plan’ double-click Display followed by Screen Resolution. The resolution of the display is normally included in Resolution The amount of the netbook’s manual, although Windows 7 can detect individual points or pixels a this. Click the resolution dropdown menu and ensure screen can display. the figure selected has ‘(recommended)’ next to it. Another way to reclaim a valuable proportion of Solid state A device, such display space is to set the Taskbar to appear only when as an MP3 player or it is needed. Right-click the Taskbar and select memory card, that has no Properties. In the dialogue box that appears, click the internal moving parts. box labelled ‘Auto-hide the taskbar’, followed by OK. The Taskbar now appears only when the mouse pointer For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk is moved towards it. There’s no doubt that Windows 7 performs well on most netbook computers. There are more options to conserve battery life, networking is easier and with more touchscreen netbooks due to launch later this year, using a computer while travelling looks set to become even easier. 9Setting a laptop’s display to switch off after a time will save power Paul Allen 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 29 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  • 30. Awarded 4 out of 5 stars by Computeractive SPECIAL OFFER IN THIS ISSUE ONLY* Capture, preserve and share all your special memories with this great all-in-one multimedia package. Roxio Creator is ideal for all ages and includes easy-to-use tools for you to burn, transform and share your vidoes, photos and music, plus much more. Key features: Copy and burn your digital media to CD, DVD and Blu-ray The easy-to-use desktop feature lets you drag and drop files for burning or copying right on your desktop Edit movies and burn DVDs like a professional Use the editing tools to totally transform your videos. You can even back up an entire camera of HD video directly to DVD or Blu-ray without saving it to your PC Create fun movies in minutes Just pick the clips and pictures you want to use, select a theme and music, and let Creator assemble and produce a finished movie Improve your photos and turn them into fun keepsakes Enhance your photos from cameras and mobile phones with the touch-up tools and create amazing slideshows, panoramas and more RRP £49.99 Make the most of your digital music Create personalised mixes and compilations, rip tunes from CDs, digitise your LPs SAVE 40% We say... and tapes, record internet radio and other music playing on your PC and more An excellent range of media Share your special moments easily with friends and family ONLY £29.99 editing software Overall **** Enjoy your digital creations on CD, DVD, your big screen TV, YouTube, iPhones Computeractive - Issue 308 and other portable devices System Requirements: Microsoft Windows Vista (32- or 64-bit), Windows XP SP3 (32- or 64-bit), Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate (32-or 64-bit), 512 MB memory for Windows PLUS! XP and 1GB memory for Windows Vista and Windows 7, Intel Pentium 4 2GHz processor or AMD equivalent and 1GB RAM, Multi-core processor with at least 2GB RAM recommended, DVD-ROM drive, Includes built-in video tutorials to make it fun and easy to get started, 3 GB free hard disk space, Windows Media Player version 10, 11 or 12, Internet Explorer 7, iTunes you can even print step-by-step instructions for easy reference version 8 for some functionality, Internet connection required for registration, product updates, and some features. OFFER ENDS 20TH JANUARY 2010 ONLINE: www.computeractive-direct.co.uk TELEPHONE: 01858 438883 (CODE RD51) Your Details (Block capitals) YES. I would like to buy Title Initials Surname (Enter quantity required) Email J ROXIO CREATOR 2010 Address Post Code Telephone no. Subs No. ONLY £29.99 (if known) *You will find this on bag Payment Options (Please indicate your preferred method of payment) Computeractive is delivered in. + £1.99 pp per item J Cheque Enclosed for £ (Made payable to VNU Business Publications Ltd) J Please Charge £ to my TOTAL £ Visa J MasterCard J Amex J Delta J Switch/Maestro J Issue No. Card No. Complete and post this form to: Valid From / Expiry Date / Signature(s) Date Computeractive Direct, Tower House, Sovereign Park, Market Harborough, Leicester, LE16 9EF Computeractive and Computeractive Direct are published by VNU Business Publications, part of the Incisive Media Group. Please allow 7-10 working days for delivery. J Tick box to receive information about products and services from the Incisive Media Group by email. J Tick box to receive *Offer ends 20th January 2010 information about products and services from selected companies by email. J Tick box if you do not want to receive information about products and services from the Incisive Media Group by post/telephone. J Tick box if you do not want to receive information about products and services from selected companies by post/telephone. (CODE RD51) www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 31. ISSUE 310 JARGON B U S T E R Techno babble demystified... WORKSHOPS Cell A spreadsheet page uses rows and columns to split a page into cells. Rows and Phishing A form of internet fraud that tries to trick you into revealing personal details. In this Issue columns are identified with numbers and letters, so each Right-click Most actions in USE CONDITIONAL cell has a unique co-ordinate, Windows are performed by FORMATTING TO such as D15. clicking the left mouse button. However, since the arrival of ENHANCE EXCEL Desktop The background Windows 95, many programs, SPREADSHEETS area on screen where Windows and Windows itself, make use of Discover how conditional files and icons appear. the right mouse button click to formatting can bring display a pop-up menu with spreadsheet data to life p32 Dialogue box A window that special functions. pops up to display or request DESIGN A LOGO PULL OUT KEEP information. Rip To digitally extract the music data from a CD-Rom or WITH FREE TOOLS Download Transferring files audio CD. Ripping a track from Running a club or society? onto your PC directly from the an audio CD is the first stage of Give it an image makeover internet. compressing it as an MP3 file. with a free logo creator p36 Drag In Windows, the action of Slider A control that enables KEEP YOUR MUSIC ORGANISED clicking on something with the left mouse button, keeping the you to change a setting by clicking and ‘dragging’ a switch. WITH MEDIAMONKEY button pressed and moving Edit song tags and organise a digital (dragging) the object. Spam Junk email sent to large music collection using this free groups of people offering such software p40 Dropdown menu A list of things as money-spinning options that appears when you ideas, holidays, and so on. MAKE THE click a menu bar or button. Named after the Monty Python Spam sketch. MOST OUT Field An individual container OF WINDOWS that can hold a particular type Spreadsheet A software MAIL of information. application for creating sheets Use Windows Mail for of calculations, set out in rows email in Vista? Read our Hard disk A high-capacity and columns. tricks and tips p44 disk fitted in almost all PCs and used to store both applications Wizard A step-by-step and the documents and files process that helps you choose they create. settings. Icon A small image used by WMA Windows Media Audio. A Windows to identify a file or application. compressed digital music format that allows secure encoding of music tracks. R WHAT THE WORKSHOP LEVELS MEAN... MP3 A standard for compressing digital audio. The Worksheet A page of data 1 2 3 Suitable for the most anxious novice, LEVEL 1 deals with simple tasks that every computer user can try. sound quality of an MP3 file is within a spreadsheet such as close to that of CD audio but Microsoft Excel or Lotus 1-2-3. More involved, but simple enough for all to needs only a fraction of the storage space. Zipping Compressing a file 1 2 3 complete, LEVEL 2 may introduce you to new features in applications. using a program such as PKZip Operating system Governs or Winzip to reduce the space it LEVEL 3 will bolster your existing knowledge and the way hardware and software takes up. Unzipping is the 1 2 3 help you to see how much your computer can do. components in a computer process of decompressing the Clear but demanding. work together. file to its original form. For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk NEXT STEP: TURN OVER... R R 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 31 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 32. WORKSHOPS LEVEL 1 2 3 DESIGN BETTER SPREADSHEETS Use conditional formatting to enhance Excel spreadsheets Discover how conditional formatting can bring spreadsheet data to life hen it comes to managing tables of figures, spreadsheets rule You might, for example, have below-target sales figures displayed in W the roost. However, understanding what spreadsheet data is trying to say isn’t always immediately obvious, especially when it comes to large or complex worksheets.That’s where conditional red while those above target are coloured green.This kind of visual signposting has an important part to play in spotting potential problems before they turn into the real thing.This Workshop looks at formatting comes in. It automatically alters the formatting of cells, the way Excel 2003 and 2007 handle conditional formatting and rows, columns and entire worksheets when certain conditions are met. demonstrates a number of different ways to use the feature effectively. Step WE’LL START WITH EXCEL 2003 and tackle Excel Step THIS OPENS THE CONDITIONAL Formatting dialogue box. We want to pick out the months and 1 2 2007 from Step 6. However, we recommend reading the early stages of this Workshop for 2007 users too, as it regions where our target sales of 60 units or contains some general advice about conditional above are being met. So, set Condition 1 by formatting. Start by loading Excel and creating a simple worksheet leaving the first item (Cell Value Is) alone and choosing ‘greater (we’ve put together one that shows monthly regional sales figures than or equal to’ from the second dropdown menu and then over the course of a year). Feel free to copy out the example in our typing 60 into the third box. Click the Format button then the screenshot, though the exact figures aren’t important for our Font tab, select Bold Italic from the Font style list and then open purposes, so just make up some numbers of your own. The beauty of the Color dropdown menu and choose a strong green shade. e conditional formatting is that it can be used to highlight the parts of a spreadsheet that really matter, for example when targets are being hit (or missed). So, we’ll begin by highlighting all the figures in the body of the sheet (not the totals at the bottom) and then click the Format menu and choose Conditional Formatting. (Remember, Excel 2007- specific instructions start at Step 6.) e Step CLICK OK, THEN CLICK OK again 3 to confirm the changes. All the figures in the table that meet the condition are now displayed in green, bold and italicised text. This formatting applies to all the cells in the table so if we change the entry ‘23’ in cell E2 to ‘64’ it will automatically take on the new formatting as shown in the screenshot. Let’s do some more. Highlight the table as before and choose Format, Conditional Formatting. We’re going to apply a second condition to our spreadsheet, so click the Add button. e 32 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 33. WORKSHOPS R R DESIGN BETTER SPREADSHEETS Step REPEAT STEP 2 BUT this time use the ‘less than or equal 4 to’ condition and type in 30. Click Format and select bold and red. Click OK to close. We could add a third condition here (Excel 2003 is limited to a maximum of three conditions applied to any single range) but we’ll leave things as they are for now and instead, set up a brand-new condition for the totals row along the bottom of the sheet. First, click the OK button to close the dialogue box and make the changes. e Step NEXT, HIGHLIGHT THE TOTALS on the bottom 5 row and choose Format, Conditional Formatting again. It’s a new range so we can apply up to three conditions to it; we’re going to set up ‘traffic light’ colours to show how sales are going. We’ll make sure ‘Cell Value Is’ and ‘between’ are selected and then set the two values as 350 and 450, as these are low sales figures. Click Format and then click the Patterns tab, select red and then click OK. Repeat with value ranges to show average and good sales assigning them orange and green patterns respectively. e Step CLICK OK TO CLOSE the dialogue box. Remove 6 individual conditions via the Conditional Formatting dialogue box by using the Delete button or remove the lot by highlighting the whole table, clicking Edit and then Clear and then Formats. It’s also possible to use formulas as conditions. Try this: highlight the table, click Format, then Conditional Formatting. Select ‘Formula Is’ from the first dropdown menu and then type the formula =MOD(ROW(),2)=0 into the empty box. Click Format, choose the Patterns tab and select a nice orange and click OK. Click OK to produce a stripey orange table. e Step HERE’S THE ORIGINAL WORKSHEET in 7 Excel 2007. This newer version of Excel adds many more kinds of conditional formatting but first let’s see how it handles something familiar. Make sure the Home tab is selected on the ribbon bar and then highlight the body of the table again (but not the totals). Click the Conditional Formatting button and then choose Highlight Cells Rules from the menu and then More rules at the bottom. This allows us to set Cell Value conditions just as we did in Excel 2003. Click Cancel. e 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 33 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 34. WORKSHOPS DESIGN BETTER SPREADSHEETS Step ALTERNATIVELY, EXCEL 2007 OFFERS lots of ‘quick’ 8 conditional formatting options. For example, with the body of the table still highlighted click the Conditional Formatting button and choose Top/Bottom Rules and then Top 10%. Use the up arrow on the spin box to increase the percentage to 20 and then pick Green Fill With Dark Green Text from the dropdown menu. (It’s also possible to create custom colour schemes. Choose Custom Format from list to a dialogue box similar to the one we used in Step 2). e Step CLICK OK TO CONFIRM the changes. Then repeat 9 Step 8, choosing Bottom 10% and then adjusting it to 20 and picking red highlights. With both the high and low performers highlighted, let’s add traffic lights as we did in Step 5. Highlight the bottom four totals, click the Conditional Formatting button and select Color Scales and then hover the mouse over the first one – Green, Yellow Red Color Scale. This automatically assigns traffic light colours to the totals, based on their values. e Step NOW LET’S LOOK BRIEFLY at some of the 10 other visual styles that can be applied to cells in an Excel 2007 spreadsheet. Here we’ve increased the column widths so it’s more obvious what’s going. We’ve selected the body of the table and then gone for a little tour around the Conditional Formatting menu. Here for example, we’ve selected Data Bars and chosen orange. Excel overlays horizontal bars on each cell to give a visual indication of the content. e Step CLICK THE UNDO BUTTON (or use the keyboard 11 shortcut Ctrl and Z) to remove the horizontal bars. Open the Conditional Formatting menu again and this time choose Icon Sets. Roll the mouse pointer around the different icons to see how they’re displayed in the table; like the bars, this is a good way to visualise data in a spreadsheet at a glance. Select the three arrows at the top left of the pop-out menu and see what they look like. Then open the menu again and choose More Rules. e 34 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 35. WORKSHOPS R R DESIGN BETTER SPREADSHEETS Step THIS OPENS THE NEW Formatting rule 12 dialogue box from where we can amend the defaults used by Excel for the icon sets (less than 33, greater than or equal to 33, greater than or equal to 67 per cent). We can also change the icon style by picking a new one from the dropdown menu, reverse the icon order (useful for things like flagging high-selling stock items that need replenishing) or simply display the icon on its own, good for presentations or when you don’t want to reveal exact figures. e Step THERE’S ALSO ANOTHER OPTION in the list of 13 Rule Types: formulas. Here we’ve created two extra cells for our sales target. When we hit that target the Total should change colour to indicate our success. So, select that cell on the worksheet, choose Conditional Formatting and then New Rule. Select ‘Use a formula’ and then type it into the empty box. Ours is simply =AND(F14=G14) which changes the format of our total in cell F14 when it equals or exceeds the target in cell G14. Then click Format and define how the cell should look and click OK. e Step ASSUMING OUR SALES TEAM has a fantastic 14 December and manages to increase its take by, say, 100 each, we’ll exceed our target and the Total cell (F14) will assume the formatting defined in the previous step. Here we’ve made the adjustments to the sales figures to demonstrate what happens, the cell is highlighted in red with yellow italic text. Finally, Excel 2007 also lets you view and edit any of the conditions associated with a worksheet. Click Conditional Formatting and choose Manage Rules and select This Worksheet to see them in a list. G 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 35 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 36. WORKSHOPS LEVEL 1 2 3 DESIGN AN ORIGINAL LOGO Design an original logo with free tools Running a club or society? Give it an image makeover with a free logo creator lthough there are various ways to produce a logo, like using a attractive, selection of graphics and some simple text editing that’s A program such as Microsoft Word or dedicated graphics application, many of the steps require design skills or technical knowledge that many home computer users don’t have. designed to make it easy for anyone to create a snazzy logo to use on a letterhead or poster, a website or a compliment slip.This Workshop walks through the main features of the program, demonstrates how to Meet Logoease, a simple, straightforward website with a small, but create a logo from scratch, save it and then add it to a Word document. Step OPEN YOUR WEB BROWSER, click in the Address bar to 1 highlight what’s there, type www.logoease.com and press Enter. When the site loads, click the Sign Up link and fill in the form: name, login ID, password, email address and so on. Then, complete the form by typing in the unique code (this is an extra security measure to prove a human being has filled in the form rather than an internet ‘robot’). Click Submit to finish. Back at the main screen, sign in with the login name and password just created and click Go. e Step AT THIS POINT SOME web browsers display a warning to 2 say that a pop-up window has been blocked. Normally this is a good thing but the Logoease site uses a pop-up window for designing logos so we need to allow it. In Internet Explorer, click the flashing bar along the top and choose Always Allow Pop-ups from This Site and then click the Yes button to confirm. If the browser asks to reload the page, click Retry and at the next screen click a category to load a selection of images. We’ve chosen Animal. e Step WE’VE CLICKED ON A picture of a bird for our 3 bird-watching club logo and Logoease opens it in the editor window. Start by making the picture a little bit bigger. Click and hold down the left mouse button and then draw a square round the picture to select it. Then let go of the mouse button. Logoease indicates the picture is selected by placing it in a green box. Now, use the scale arrows in the toolbox on the right to change its size; we’re using the ‘up’ arrow to make it bigger. e 36 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 37. WORKSHOPS R R DESIGN AN ORIGINAL LOGO Step AS WELL AS CHANGING the picture’s size, we can change its 4 colour as well. Click on any of the elements in the picture to highlight them (they’ll pulse slowly to indicate which ones have been selected) and then click the paint-pot icon in the toolbox. Select a colour from the pop-up palette by clicking on it. Here we’ve changed the grey outline of the bird to pink. Do the same for any other parts in the picture and then click the ‘x’ to close the colour palette. e Step SELECT THE PICTURE AND then drag it out of the 5 way. Next, find the empty text boxes at the top of the toolbox on the right and click once in the first one. This is where we can add text to our logo. Type in the first word and it will appear in the centre of the screen. Select a font for the text by clicking on it and check out more fonts by using the ‘next’ and ‘prev’ arrows. Click either ‘B’ or ‘I’ to make the selected text bold or italic. Here we’ve chosen the Dreamorphans font in bold. e Step ADD A SECOND LINE of text in the same way and then 6 make either of the lines larger or smaller by selecting it (as we did in Step 3) and then using the arrows next to ‘scale’ in the toolbox. Here for example, we’ve made the first line very large and then we’ve selected the second line and this time, used the ‘rotate’ command to turn it 90 degrees. Then, we can click and drag it into position to create an interesting logo shape. e Step HAPPY WITH THE LOGO? Jump to Step 13 to save and download it. Alternatively, read on to try something a little 7 different. Click on the Choose icon to return to the picture gallery. Then select a different picture by clicking on the categories until something interesting crops up. We’ve chosen the Eye category and then selected an interesting drawing of an eye (that co-incidentally looks a bit like a bird). Logoease replaces the existing picture with the new one but keeps our old text. e 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 37 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 38. WORKSHOPS DESIGN AN ORIGINAL LOGO Step MOVE OR RESIZE THE text so that the new picture 8 can be clearly seen and then increase its size and change the colours as per Step 4. This time, though, when clicking on a colour to select it, make a note of the code that appears at the top of the colour palette: it will be a series of eight numbers and letters. We’ll use these codes again in a minute to help match the text and picture colours. Finished changing the colours? Click ‘x’ to close the colour palette. e Step NEXT WE’RE GOING TO increase the size of our first 9 word and position it over the eye. Select and scale the text as before and then use the mouse to drag it into position. By default, the text sits behind the picture which makes it hard to read. To make it sit on top, just make sure it’s still selected and then click on the Bring to Front icon at the bottom of the editing window as shown here. e Step NEXT, WE’RE GOING TO delete the word ‘Watchers’ 10 from our second line of text and retype it on the third line. This will allow us to move (and edit) the words ‘Bird’ and ‘Watchers’ independently so we can do something a bit more interesting with them. The new text may take on the characteristics of the first line: if so, just select it and then scale it down to something more manageable (using the Scale button on the right-hand side). e Step CLICK THE ROTATE BUTTONS to return the second 11 line (the word ‘Bird’) to its original horizontal position and then arrange all three words in an interesting shape. Here for example, we’ve used the grid to position the ‘Cliffwell’ so that it lines up with the left hand edge of the eye and made it wide enough that there’s space for us to put the ‘Bird’ underneath the right-hand side. Then we can position ‘Watchers’ to fill the rest of the space underneath that. e 38 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 39. WORKSHOPS R R DESIGN AN ORIGINAL LOGO Step NOW TO USE THOSE colour codes noted down in 12 Step 8. Select one of the words and click the paint-pot icon. Type in the code for one of the colours used in the picture and then click the Add color button to add it to the bottom of the palette. Then, click on the new colour to assign it to the highlighted word. Then do the same for any of the other words. In this way it’s possible to match the colours used in the picture with those used in the text exactly. e Step TO SAVE THE LOGO as an image file on the computer’s hard disk, click the Save button. This 13 opens the My Saved Logos screen where your logos are stored. To use one, just click in the empty box next to it to put a tick there and then click the Download Logo icon. After a moment, Logoease emails a link (using the address supplied in Step 1) so you can download them. Switch to the email program, open the message and click the link, then follow the instructions to download the logo. We’ve downloaded ours to the Windows Desktop. e Step FIND THE LOGO FOLDER and right-click it. Choose Extract All and then follow the instructions to unzip the 14 contents into a new folder; Logoease automatically creates logos of several different sizes and file types. Here we’ve opened the logo folder window and then launched Microsoft Word on top. We can now click View, then Headers and Footers, and then choose Insert, Picture, From File. Navigate to the logo folder, select a logo and add it to our document in the header area so it appears on every page. G 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 39 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 40. WORKSHOPS LEVEL 1 2 3 ORGANISE DIGITAL MUSIC Keep digital music organised with Mediamonkey Edit song tags and organise a digital music collection using this free software igital audio files are now a popular way to listen to music. Indeed, names, music genre and more. However, rarely if ever is the data D even if you retain a CD collection, it’s likely that you’ll have‘ripped’ many of the discs to store the tracks digitally on the PC’s hard disk or MP3 player. stored in ID3 tags consistent (because somewhere along the line, humans created the information).This can make it difficult to keep albums organised. Each of these digital music files has extra data attached, called an In this Workshop we’ll explain a free application called Mediamonkey ID3 tag. ID3 tags store useful information, such as album and artist can help bring order to a digital music library. Step DOWNLOAD THE MEDIAMONKEY INSTALLATION file from www.mediamonkey.com/download. Click the blue Download 1 Mediamonkey button. Now click the grey Download Now button to get the free version of Mediamonkey (the ‘Gold’ version requires registration, and won’t be our focus here). Save the downloaded file to the Windows Desktop. Now locate the downloaded file, double-click it and work through the installation wizard, accepting the default options unless you have reason to do otherwise. Towards the end of the installation, the wizard will ask which audio file types should be associated with Mediamonkey. To use Mediamonkey for editing ID3 tags, click to remove all the ticks. To use Mediamonkey as a replacement for an existing media player, leave some or all of them ticked. At the last screen click Finish to launch Mediamonkey. e Step THE FIRST TIME MEDIAMONKEY launches, it will 2 ask you whether you wish to add music files to its library. Consider whether you’ll be using Mediamonkey to manage and play files or whether it will serve simply to tidy up the ID3 information stored by music files. If the latter, and you are content to continue using Windows Step THE ADD/RESCAN FOLDERS dialogue box will appear. 3 Media Player or another media-player application, there’s no Use it to browse the PC’s hard disk, selecting folders that need to populate a library.Just click the Cancel button on the contain music by placing a tick in the corresponding Add/Rescan Folders dialogue box and skip to Step 4. Should you boxes. Notice, too, that it’s possible here to set the file later have a change of heart, select the‘Add/Rescan tracks from types to be added. The commonest formats, including MP3 and WMA, library…’from the File menu and continue to Step 3. e are already selected. Click OK when done. e 40 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 41. WORKSHOPS R R ORGANISE DIGITAL MUSIC Step IT’S NOT NECESSARY TO add music 4 files to Mediamonkey’s library in order to manage tracks and ID3 information. Instead, use the left-hand pane to scroll down to the My Computer entry to drill down to particular folders or files. Either way, select a music folder containing tracks that require editing. e Step A TRACK LIST WILL appear in the panel to the right. 5 The headings row above this shows common details about selected songs, including title, artist, album, genre and so on. It’s possible to scroll to the right in this window to view more details (just click and drag the slider at the bottom), as well as resize a column by clicking and dragging the line between each. Right-click this heading area and a dropdown menu of ID3 tag categories will be displayed. Click to tick or untick information as desired. e Step WITH THE CATEGORIES DULY organised it’s time start 6 editing track information. In this screenshot we have a group of tracks that comprise an album. However, some details are missing or incorrect. This is a common problem, particularly where an album has been assembled from various sources. For a quick and easy fix, first using the Ctrl and A keyboard shortcut to select all the tracks. Now right-click the selection and choose Auto-Tag from Web from the pop-up menu. e Step THIS METHOD SEARCHES THE Amazon website for 7 information about the album, including album art. This isn’t a foolproof method but it’s much faster than editing manually and should work most of the time. If an album isn’t found ensure that it is correctly labelled in the Search box at the top. Details and album art are added to track information, provided the relevant boxes are ticked (the default options should be fine). The yellow highlights in the bottom part of the window indicate the parts of the ID3 tag that have been identified as incorrect. They will be changed when the Auto-Tag button is clicked. e 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 41 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 42. WORKSHOPS ORGANISE DIGITAL MUSIC Step IT’S ALSO POSSIBLE TO manually add the ID3 8 information stored with individual tracks. Select a track, right-click and choose Properties from the menu that appears. The Track Properties dialogue box will appear: this shows the available ID3 tag information in fields that can be edited. Enter or change incorrect details here as appropriate. It’s also possible to select all or multiple tracks before opening the Track Properties box, to ensure consistency across particular fields. e Step NOTICE THE ADDITIONAL TABS at the top of the Track Properties 9 dialogue box. These can be used to create in-depth information for music tracks, including lyrics and album art. To add some album art, for instance, select the Album Art tab, click the Add button and browse the hard disk to find a suitable image to add to the album (if you don’t have it, it’s easy to find album art on the web, just do a Google Image search for the album name). Not all media-player applications or digital-audio players support this depth of information, so bear this in mind before getting stuck in. e Step THE ALBUM INFORMATION 10 SHOULD now be a lot tidier, with consistent ID3 tags and album art. Repeat the process for other albums. However, aside from messy ID3 information, there is another issue that often plagues music collections: inconsistent filenames. Our screenshot shows a list of tracks from the same album, but the file names are in a bit of a mess. This can cause problems when playing back files based on filename rather than the ID3 tag title. e Step TO FIX THIS ISSUE, selecting all the tracks (Ctrl and A), 11 right-click and choose Auto-Organize Files. A window appears displaying proposed new filenames (in yellow), alongside the current filenames (in grey). Mediamonkey’s renaming process uses ID3 tag information to change the titles. It’s possible to choose the combination of information used to do this from the dropdown list at the top of the screen. We recommend Track and Title (as per our screenshot) as an efficient way of labelling files. Remember, this information is drawn from ID3 tags, so first ensure that the ID3 tags are consistent. Click OK to apply the changes. e 42 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 43. WORKSHOPS R R ORGANISE DIGITAL MUSIC Step THE FILENAMES 12 WILL BE changed and should now be consistent, as in our screenshot. However, there’s one last Mediamonkey feature that might prove useful for those who demand total consistency across their music collection – and that’s volume equalisation. e Step SCROLL TO THE RIGHT of the main Mediamonkey interface 13 until the Track Volume column comes into view. Select all tracks, right-click and select Analyse Volume. Look at the decibel levels for the various tracks note any that seem to vary wildly from the rest. Running through this process will ensure that you’re not constantly adjusting the volume level on a portable player to compensate for differences in recording loudness across tracks. e Step TO EQUALISE VOLUME ACROSS the selected 14 tracks, right-click and select Level Track Volume. Mediamonkey will now work its way through the album to make sure all the songs play back at roughly the same volume level. This Workshop has only scraped the surface of Mediamonkey. We’d encourage you to experiment elsewhere to find out what else the software has to offer. G 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 43 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 44. WORKSHOPS LEVEL 1 2 3 WORK WITH WINDOWS MAIL Make the most out of Windows Mail Use Windows Mail for email in Vista? Read our tricks and tips utlook Express, Microsoft’s popular decade-old email program, Windows Mail, as well as explaining how to set up a signature to appear O was laid to rest with the introduction of Windows Vista.The replacement,Windows Mail, operates faster and offers protection from malicious emails. But are you making the most of it? Many people on all emails and an auto-responder for when you’re on holiday. Remember,Windows Mail is part of Windows Vista only – it does not come with XP or Windows 7 (though if you’ve just got Windows 7, read set up an email tool and never consider the tweaks that can be made. the box on page 45).We’ll also assume that you already have Windows In this Workshop, we’ll explore some of the most useful features in Mail set up and running and know the basics of its use. Step WINDOWS MAIL INCLUDES A tool called Instant 1 Search. Much like Vista’s Windows Search, this can be used to hunt down specific emails by typing in keywords. The Instant Search box is located in the top-right of the window; just type in the word or words you’re looking for and press Enter. To perform more precise searches, such as those limited to specific dates or from specific people, the Find Message tool offers more options and can be accessed by clicking on the Edit menu, selecting Find, then Message. e Step PROTECTION FROM POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS (phishing) emails and spam has also been improved with 2 Windows Mail. To view and change the settings, click on Tools, then Junk E-mail Options. Use the Options tab to specify the overall junk email policy. There are four settings available, starting with No Automatic Filtering, which allows all emails through except those that come from blocked senders (addresses can be added to this list via the Blocked Senders tab). The highest setting, Safe List Only, only allows emails from predefined addresses. However, we would recommend starting with the Low setting. If junk email still gets through, try the High setting, but be sure to regularly check the Junk Email folder for genuine mail misidentified as junk. e Step STAYING WITH THE SECURITY settings, Windows Mail 3 also features built-in protection from phishing emails (malicious messages that try to get the reader to divulge personal information). To check the current setting, click on the Phishing tab. If the ‘Protect my inbox from…’ box is ticked, any suspected phishing emails will be flagged as such. However, they will still appear in the email inbox. To stop them from reaching the inbox, tick the ‘Move phishing E-mail to the Junk Mail folder’ option as well. Click OK when finished. e 44 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 45. WORKSHOPS R R WORK WITH WINDOWS MAIL Step EMAIL SIGNATURES ADD A professional touch to messages. 4 To set one up in Windows Mail, click on the Tools menu and select Options. From the list of tabs at the top, click on Signatures and you’ll see a variety of options. Click the New button then, in the Edit Signature Text box, type some text to server as your signature.Alternatively, import the signature text from a file: to do this, click on the File option, then select Browse and locate the file that holds the signature text.At the top of the Signatures window, use the tickbox to specify whether the signature should be automatically applied to all emails. e Step WINDOWS MAIL OFFERS THE option to set up an ‘auto- 5 responder’ to tell people that you’re not able to reply to emails. First, use the Windows Notepad program to create the auto response message and save it (use a file name like ‘response.txt’). Now, from within Windows Mail, click on the Tools menu, Message Rules and then Mail: the New Mail Rule window will appear. The first stage is to tell Windows Mail that the rule should apply to all incoming emails. So, in the Conditions section, scroll down to the bottom and select the ‘For all messages’ option. e Step NOW WE NEED TO tell Windows Mail what to do when it 6 receives an email. In the Actions section, scroll down and select the Reply with message option. In the third section, labelled Rule Description, click on the ‘message’ link (this will be blue and underlined). In the window that appears, use the dropdown menu located just above the Open button to change the document type to Text, then browse to where you saved the ‘response.txt’ file from the previous step and double-click it. The New Mail Rule window will reappear, and all that remains is to give the rule a name and click OK. Don’t forget to switch the auto-responder rule off upon your return. G Email in Windows 7 You’ve probably read much about Windows 7. So, if you’ve taken the plunge and bought Microsoft’s latest operating system it may come as a surprise to find that it doesn’t include a tool to handle something as simple as email. The reasons for this relate to company strategy and a desire to preventing other companies claiming that Microsoft stifles competition but the upshot is that Windows 7 has no built-in email program. However, the replacement for Vista’s Windows Mail, called Windows Live Mail, is available as a free download from Microsoft, at www.snipca.com/x584. 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 45 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 46. HINTS TIPS MICROSOFT EXCEL OUTLOOK 2007 Find missing Today View The Outlook Today View is a useful information dashboard-style overview of your Calendar, Tasks and Messages all on one page. To access Outlook Today, click on the Personal Folders I received a large spreadsheet with finance icon in the Folders or Mail View of figures as treasurer for a fishing group I am a the Navigation Pane. member of.All the figures are kept in one sheet in the Workbook and the columns with the previous year’s figures are hidden to stop the need for excessive scrolling. The problem came when trying to unhide these columns. I knew that to unhide a column you have to select the columns on either side, right-click on one of the titles and then select Unhide, but I wasn’t sure what to do if the hidden section went right to the edge of the spreadsheet. To have this view as the opening The solution is to click on the title of the screen when starting Outlook, left-most column and then drag the cursor over to click on Customize Outlook Today the grey square to the left. Let go of the mouse in the top-right corner of the button and right-click on the column heading. Outlook Today screen and select Click on Unhide to reveal the hidden columns. this option. To return to Outlook Entire books may also be hidden.To make them Today at any time just click the visible, click on the Window menu and Unhide. Outlook icon in the Quick Launch Peter Summers THE TIP OFIGHT! part of the Taskbar. FORTN Ken Warren q Hidden columns can be revealed with Excel’s Unhide MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIM X WINDOWS XP WIN WITH Better remote access The Remote Desktop Connection utility built into YOUR HINTS Windows XP is a useful way of accessing other The sender of the Tip of the computers on a home network to fix problems.The Fortnight will win a copy of interface may look basic but there are some useful Syncables Desktop Premium options that make it much easier to use, especially from worth £30 – visit a laptop. www.syncables.com for more Click on the information about how this Start button,All utility keeps documents up to Programs, date across several computers. Accessories, The hint or tip should not and then exceed 150 words and should Printed reference Remote Desktop include a screenshot. Email your Now manuals are supplied as PDF files it can be tricky Connection. contributions with your name getting critical information for Flight Simulator aircraft Rather than and full address to such as stalling or safe landing speed.This information clicking on hints@computeractive.co.uk or is normally supplied on the Kneeboard window, which Connect, click write to our usual can be opened by pressing Shift and F10 together. on the Options address (marking This is not very convenient. However, the aircraft button to see envelopes‘Hints information used for the kneeboard can be found in the more. and Tips’). By aircraft folder as an HTML page that can be loaded and The Remote submitting your edited in Microsoft Word or Open Office Writer.There Access window tip, you are are two files for each aircraft. Click on the Start button does not have to be the same size as the normal agreeing to have and My Computer. Double-click on C:, then Program desktop on that computer, otherwise the window may it published by Files, Microsoft Games, Flight Simulator X, SimObjects, not fit and you have to scroll around to see everything. Incisive Media. Airplanes or Rotorcraft (for helicopters) and then the Click on the Display tab and move the slider to the left to name of the aircraft.The file names start with the name use a smaller resolution. Performance problems can be Email your tips to of the aircraft and end in _check and _ref.These files solved by clicking on the Experience tab and removing hints@computeractive.co.uk open in a web browser so you can quickly print them. ticks from some of the options. Richard Whitten Lester Crowder 46 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 47. Click and save. Go to www.crucial.com/uk/computeractive Your computing can go further. So can your money. You would love a new computer, but you’re finding it tough to find the money in the budget. Here’s a solution. A simple RAM upgrade from Crucial can give you what you’re waiting for, at a fraction of the price of a new system. That means you can enjoy more speed, easier multitasking, enhanced multimedia experience, and more—all without breaking the bank. Plus, our memory features limited lifetime warranties, great technical support, and free shipping.* Find out what a memory upgrade can do for you; Crucial is the solution that makes sense. Go to: www.crucial.com/uk/computeractive to learn more. The Memory Experts SM *Free shipping for a limited time, on all orders delivered via Royal Mail Packet Post First Class within the UK, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man. ©2009. Lexar Media. All rights reserved. Information is subject to change without notice. Crucial, the Crucial logo, and The Memory Experts are trademarks and service marks of Micron Technology, Inc. All other trademarks and service marks are property of their respective owners. Lexar Media is a division of Micron Europe Limited. Phone +44 (0)1355 586100. Fax +44 (0)1355 586101. E-mail crucialeusupport@micron.com. Lexar Media is not responsible for omissions or errors in typography or photography. Ad expires 30 days after publication. www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 48. HOW TO GET MORE FROM BURNING Burn after reading There’s more to your CD/DVD writer than meets the eye; we reveal some handy hidden techniques you can use when burning discs B ack in issue 307 we explained how to burn Creating a CD with text in Windows is surprisingly documents, music and videos to CD, DVD simple and it is supported by the vast majority of and Blu-ray discs. All three processes are modern drives. Apple’s iTunes software is free to fairly simple, so after a little practice you download from www.apple.com/itunes, and includes all should find you can burn most discs with the tools you need. First, import the music that you ease. So is that all there is to know about disc burning? want to use into iTunes – the simplest way is to click Not necessarily. Both disc writers and the software File, then Add folder to library. Once all the music is used for disc creation are surprisingly versatile and can imported, it needs to be labelled. Most music files will be used to do all sorts of things. Did you know, for already include track information, but if yours does not, example, you can use a blank DVD disc to drag and right-click a track and choose Get info. Switch to the drop files in the same way as a USB memory key? And info tab and you can enter track and artist information. do you know how to get more video on a single disc? In Next, choose the tracks you want on your CD. To this article we’ll explain some expert tricks for burning place them in a playlist, select them in the main iTunes eCD text allows you to include discs and, as few people currently own a Blu-ray drive, list, then click File, followed by New Playlist from track titles with your music we’ll focus on CDs and DVDs. Selection. Select the playlist in the left-hand column, then click Burn Disc in the bottom right. In the dialogue Texting times box that appears, tick the option Include CD Text. You might be surprised by what the disc drive can do. An easy way to make more copies One good example is CD Almost any program that can create a video DVD, Text. Most of us have whether it contains a carefully edited home movie or a converted a commercially simple photo slideshow, will give you the option to bought CD, but if you want make several copies of the finished disc. This is fine if to create a compilation CD you want to make a few discs at that time, but in some from MP3 files you have cases you might want to create more later on instead. already saved, then you There is usually an option to save your project but can also include track titles burning this again will not always be quick: often the on the disc. These will be software will need to reconvert all the files you have Image: Nick Palmer displayed by any used into DVD format before burning them. If you compatible CD player. In haven’t made any changes this is a huge waste of time. particular, many CD Even more annoying is that if you accidentally move or players in cars can display delete the video files or photos used in the project, it CD Text information. might not work at all. 48 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 49. GET MORE FROM BURNING HOW TO Instead, check the options at the end of the process when creating a disc, but if you’re experiencing where you would normally create a disc. Look for an option to either create an ISO image that can be burned problems it can sometimes pay to try an alternative. Before you move on, you will need to manually create JARGON B U S T E R over and again, or an option to create the DVD files the VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS folders for the video Techno babble demystified... inside a folder on your hard disk. DVD project on your hard disk. Normally the DVD This will create all the files that would normally be creation software gives the option of saving these to a Blu-ray A type of optical placed on the DVD, but they will be stored on your hard folder it creates at the end of the pre-burning. If not, disc that can store high- disk instead. They will be inside two folders, called copy them back from the disc that will not work. definition films. VIDEO_TS and Insert the unco- AUDIO_TS. To operative disc into Burning The act of writing save these to disc, the PC drive and data onto a CD or DVD. open a burning tool open its contents and add these two using Windows Dialogue box A window folders to a new Explorer – this that pops up to display or compilation. The option is displayed request information. AUDIO_TS folder in the Autorun menu is almost always that appears when Drag and drop To move empty, but make 9The VIDEO_TS folder stores DVD files that are burned to hard disk rather than DVD you insert the disc or something by clicking it, sure you include it you can open My then holding down the left even so, as its absence can sometimes prevent the disc Computer, right-click the disc’s icon and select Explore. button on a mouse. from working in fussy players. Locate the VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS folders and copy them. Again, always keep the AUDIO_TS folder, DVD A type of disc able to Video woes even if it is empty. store up to 8.5GB of data, Every so often you may come across a picky DVD Once the content folders are stored on your hard including full-length player that simply will not accept your home-made disk, use the advanced burning tool included with your movies, with good-quality video discs. If this happens then there is one advanced software: with Roxio Creator, open Creator Classic, and sound and pictures. feature in your disc creation software that might just with Nero open Nero Burning Rom. Create a new save the day. project, and when you need to select a type, look for DVD-Ram A rewritable Just as computer hard disks can be formatted in one that is dedicated to video discs (Nero’s DVD-Video, disc format often found in several ways – Fat 32 and NTFS being the most common for example). set-top DVD recorders. types in Windows – DVD discs can also be written in If discs created with this setting won’t play, look at several different formats. Most DVD software will the alternatives available. Look for an option to create a Continued on P51q attempt to pick the most appropriate method for you UDF disc and, if given the choice, pick UDF v1.02. If this 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 49 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 50. HOW TO GET MORE FROM BURNING of them. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 games console, for example, can play most MPEG4 videos if you download a free update from the Xbox Marketplace. Many programs can convert standard DVD footage to MPEG4, but one of the best is Handbrake. This is free to install from http://handbrake.fr. Once installed, select your DVD source (normally a VIDEO_TS folder) and pick an output option from the menu on the right: there is a setting specifically designed for the Xbox, for example. Click Start and the program will start converting. Handbrake will not convert any copy protected commercial DVDs – although it is possible to circumvent this restriction using other software. However, doing so in the UK is illegal. The tabs at the bottom of the Handbrake interface allow for fine control over the type of MPEG4 video that will be created, which is handy as some DVD players will play only MPEG4 files made a specific way. Another handy option is the Target Size box on the video tab: type ‘500’ here, for example, and Handbrake 9Fix compatability problems doesn’t work or is not available, look for an option will attempt to squash the source into 500MB of space. by creating a UDF disc, ideally called ‘UDF/ISO’; this should create a disc that is Once your MPEG4 files are ready, simply burn them using the UDF v1.02 option acceptable to devices and computers that support to a data DVD. If they will not play, check the manual of either the UDF or ISO file systems. Experiment to find which of these settings, if any, work with the hard-to- please DVD player. Store more DVD discs can hold many gigabytes of data, but that’s still only enough for a couple of hours of footage. Fortunately, if you have a device that supports some form of MPEG4 video, you can use your computer to create discs that contain far more entertainment. Normal DVDs use video that’s compressed (reduced in size) using a standard called MPEG2. This is simple and reliable, but also rather old. MPEG4 is a newer standard that is harder to create and play but which uses far less space – one hour of video can be comfortably squished 9You can convert standard DVD footage to MPEG4 with the free-to-install Handbrake into 1GB of space, for example, or even half that if you are willing to sacrifice some quality. This your MPEG4 player to discover the exact video format means you can get a few movies, or several hours of it requires. We found Handbrake’s iPod video settings television, onto a single disc. worked surprisingly well: besides playing on the iPod Many devices can play MPEG4 videos: look for a Classic they worked on the Xbox 360 console and DivX or Xvid logo on your DVD player to see if it is one Western Digital’s TV HD media player. R UPDATING THE BUILT-IN SOFTWARE Your CD, DVD or Blu-ray disc To get these new features useless. Only use firmware drive should work from the you need to update the drive’s supplied from the moment it leaves the factory, firmware – the software inside manufacturer’s website, close but in many respects these that controls it. Check the all other programs before devices are a work in progress. manufacturer’s website to see performing the update and Manufacturers often continue if new firmware is available; never turn off the computer to work on their products after some even produce tools that while updating the firmware. release, fixing problems or will check for you and update And don’t forget – If you are adding support for more types when necessary. using a laptop, make sure it is of disc. In some cases Be careful when updating, connected to the mains before manufacturers even increase though, as doing so incorrectly starting in case the battery the speed of their drives. could render your drive runs out. 9Drive firmware can be updated via the manufacturer’s website 50 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 51. GET MORE FROM BURNING HOW TO tDisabling multi-session burning allows you to fit many more files on a CD or DVD JARGON B U S T E R Techno babble demystified... so take a look at the front of the drive front for the Fat 32 A hard disk DVD-Ram logo. formatting system used by DVD-Ram is a special Windows 98 and ME. type of rewritable disc that does not require any GB Gigabyte. A special software and can measurement of storage be written to like a USB capacity, usually for hard memory key. Using one is disks. simple: both Windows XP and Vista allow you to drag Icon A small image used by and drop files onto the disc Windows to identify a file or to burn them, but if the application. disc is new it may require formatting first. ISO A file that contains all DVD-Ram discs provide the information found on a Extra space 4.7GB of storage space. Of course, a 4GB USB memory CD or DVD. If you can’t fit all the files you want onto a CD or DVD, key allows you to drag and drop files in a similar some software will allow you to ‘overburn’ the disc, manner but are much more expensive. A 4GB USB MB Megabytes. A cramming on more information than is normally memory key costs around £7.50 and you can buy a pack measurement of storage possible. We don’t recommend this as it tends to be hit of 10 Panasonic DVD-Ram discs for the same price, capacity, usually for and miss, and your drive may get damaged. giving you almost 50GB of drag-and-drop storage. computer memory. Before taking such drastic measures, make sure There’s one other trick for DVD-Ram drives. multi-session burning is disabled. Multi-session Panasonic makes a range of products that record Memory key A generic burning allows you to write some files to a writable television programmes onto DVD-Ram discs. If you term used to describe disc, take it out and then, at a later date, add more. It can own one, transferring recorded television to a PC is thumb-sized USB storage be convenient, so many burning devices. programs are set up to use it. Unfortunately a multi-session disc MP3 A standard for has less room for files than a disc compressing digital audio. created in a single, closed session. The sound quality of an MP3 To ensure multi-session burning file is close to that of CD is disabled, use Creator Classic or audio but needs only a Nero Burning Rom. In Nero select fraction of the storage. ‘No Multi-session’ when creating the new compilation. Some Roxio MPEG2 A standard for programs refer to multi-session compressing digital burning as leaving the disc ‘open’, content that maintains in which case untick that option, high-quality video with while some have an option that CD-quality sound. can be ticked to make a ‘Read- only-disc’. MPEG4 A standard for The simplest way to get more compressing digital files onto a DVD is to make them content that maintains very smaller. If you are burning high quality. backups or other data files to be read on a computer you can get NTFS NT File System. A more on a disc by simply packing file system used by the files in a single Zip archive: Windows NT, XP and Vista. select the files in Windows, right- 9DVD-Ram discs can be used like a USB memory key and offer 4.7GB worth of storage space click one then choose the UDF Universal Disk Format. Compressed folder from the Send To menu. Don’t simple: put the DVD-Ram disc in your PC and drag and A file system for storing data attempt this if you are burning discs to be used in a drop the file ending with .vro onto your hard disk. on optical discs. standalone CD or DVD player though. Rename the file, changing .vro to .mpg, and you have a video file that is ready to play or edit with most video- USB Universal Serial Bus. Ram Raid editing software. Allows quick and easy Finally, here is a little tip that can make life easier and Modern CD/DVD writers are amazingly versatile connection of external save you money. When we discuss disc burning we tend tools that can be used to create all sorts of discs. peripherals such as storage to focus in the most common types of optical disc: CDs, Burning most projects is easy with the right software, devices to your PC. DVD+R and DVD-R. There is, however, one other type though, and we hope that after reading our tips you will of writable optical disc: DVD-Ram. If your DVD writer find it easy to make almost any kind of disc. For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk supports this type of disc it can be surprisingly useful, Tom Royal 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 51 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 52. FREE EXCLUSIVE IIIIIIIII SOFTWARE IIIIIIIII WORTH £30 IIIIIIIII DOWNLOADS IIIIIIIII IIIIIIIII FOR EVERY Make your computer run faster READER PC Tools System requirements: Windows 2000, XP or Vista (32-bit) Download from: www.computeractive.co.uk/mechanic/index Registry Registration: Required – see below File size: 8MB UPGRADE Estimated download time: Broadband: one minute; Mechanic 8 Dial-up: 25 minutes Offer expires: 22 January, 2010 OFFER henever programs are register your copy before then. to save the file, usually the UPGRADE TO W installed on a computer, they put information in what’s called the Registry. When To get your copy of the program, type the link www.computer active.co.uk/mechanic/index into Desktop, then go to the Desktop and double-click the saved file). You need a serial number to REGISTRY MECHANIC 9 they’re removed, some of that a web browser and press Enter. use Registry Mechanic. To get The most recent version of PC Tools data gets left behind, clogs things Type the address directly into the your serial number, follow the Registry Mechanic fully supports all up and slows your computer. web browser’s address bar, and instructions below. Your serial current versions of Windows including There are two answers: one is not into the search box. You number will be emailed to you. If the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of to reinstall Windows, but this is a won’t be able to get hold of the you haven’t receive the code Windows 7 and Windows Vista. hassle. The easy way is to use a file by searching Google or within two hours, check the junk There’s new performance-monitoring Registry cleaning program. PC searching our website – the only or spam mail folder in your technology that gives options to Tools Registry Mechanic 8, way to download it is to go inbox. If it’s not there you may improve the time taken to start and which is free with this issue of directly to the link above. find it easier to use another email shut down your computer. It also has Computeractive, is such a Read the terms and address. If you don’t have access a special manager to control program. It’s the full version instructions on the page, and to another email address you can Windows services and to highlight worth £30. then click the Download Now set up a free one with Google potential problems. button. If you are asked whether Mail (www.googlemail.com). How to download you want to Run or Save the file, See Also: Save 20 per cent on the purchase The download is only available click Run to install it straight If you’re having trouble obtaining our free price – details are on the registration until 22 January, 2010, so make away (otherwise click Save, and download, visit our forum at the following page for the free edition. sure you download the file and choose a place on your hard disk address: www.snipca.com/x45. HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF PC TOOLS REGISTRY MECHANIC 8 1 Download the program as instructed above and run the installation file. Follow the instructions on screen to install the program. It’s best to leave the default options ticked. When you get to the end, click Finish. The program will load and it will 2 When the Registry scan has finished you’ll see a list of potential problems that the program has detected. They’re each shown with a priority (low, medium or high) that indicates how serious they are and how soon you should attempt to fix scan the Registry for the first time. This process should take a couple of minutes, them. To do so, click the Repair button – you’ll be prompted to register before it fixes but it could be longer or shorter depending on your computer. If it doesn’t load the problems. To do so, click the blue Purchase Now button. Despite what it says, automatically you can start Registry Mechanic using its icon on the Desktop or from registration is free – you will not be asked for your credit card details and should not its folder in the Start menu. enter them. 52 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 53. FREE SOFTWARE 3 A web browser window will appear, enter your details and click ‘Request Free License’. Your licence code will be emailed to you – check your inbox for a message from PC Tools. If it hasn’t arrived within a couple of hours, make sure it 4 Once registered you’ll see a message saying the registration was processed successfully (if you get an error message, go back and make sure you entered both the name and the code exactly as they’re shown in the email). Now you’ll be hasn’t been mistakenly put in your junk email folder. Alternatively, try a different email back at the problems page. Click Repair again and this time the program will go address. When the code arrives, type or paste both parts into the appropriate boxes through and fix the problems it’s found. The program automatically makes backups in the PC Tools registration window, exactly as they’re shown. Note that if you have before it tries to fix anything, so in the unlikely event it causes a problem, scroll down previously installed Registry Mechanic on your computer you may need to fully to the Restore button in the main Registry Mechanic window to restore to a backup uninstall it before registering this one. made before your last set of fixes, which should cure the problem. 5 There are several other tools in Registry Mechanic in addition to the basic Registry utility. When you have finished the initial Registry scan and have registered the program, return to the main Registry Mechanic page. Click Compact 6 Back on the home screen, clicking the Optimize Your System button will give you access to a collection of tools showing the current state of the computer. The Processes tab shows which programs are using the majority of the computer’s Your Registry to start the process of checking, analysing and identifying wasted resources, while the Performance tab shows resource usage as a graph. Although space in the computer’s Registry. Fixing this may make it run more quickly – tick the they are similar to the tools built into Windows they show more detail. The box marked Create System Restore Point – this will make it more likely that your files Drives/Space tab shows how much space is left on the computer’s hard disk or disks are safe in the unlikely event that something goes wrong – and click Yes, then follow if you have more than one. The Optimization tab has a button to tweak these settings. the prompts. 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 53 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 54. NO PROBLEM! OA noproblem@computeractive.co.uk ANSWERS TO Basic theme. Click on the window that has opened off- PC PROBLEMS screen to bring it to the top, then right-click on the thumbnail preview, or the entry in the list, STAR LETTER Our team of experts solves your and you’ll see the old-style menu with options to restore, minimise, maximise and move computer, software internet problems the window. When you click on Move, the mouse icon changes to a cross with arrows on it, and you Bring off-screen programs your desktop, or back into view if can move the window using the JARGON B U S T E R into view in Windows 7 Q| I have two monitors, a desktop PC and a laptop, it’s opened somewhere outside of the visible screen. Click on the open application in the taskbar to arrow keys. If the window is open outside of the visible desktop, you can then reposition Techno babble demystified... which are both running select it, then press the Windows it to bring it back into view. Windows 7. I often switch one of key and the up arrow key to Another way to neatly arrange 3G A mobile phone network that the monitors between the maximise the application, or use windows on the screen is by allows fast data transfer. desktop PC and laptop, but the Windows key and left or right right-clicking on an empty area sometimes programs I have left arrow keys to have the window of the taskbar, then choosing Aero The Desktop effects included open on that monitor do not fill the left or right halves of the Cascade windows, Show with some versions of Windows Vista. automatically move into view screen. If the window keeps windows stacked, or Show after I disconnect it. Since I opening in an off-screen area, or windows side by side. This will Defragment or ‘defrag’. To cannot see where they are, I am you prefer the old way, you can also bring any off-screen reorganise the data stored on a hard unable to left-click on the still move it back into view using windows back into view, after disk so it can be accessed as quickly window’s title bar to drag it into the arrow keys, but this is done which you can resize and as possible by the computer. A view. I used to be able to right- slightly differently in Windows 7 reposition them. fragmented disk can adversely affect click on the application’s name in since the taskbar has changed. performance. the taskbar, select Move, then If you right-click on any icon in Is the hardware or use the arrow keys to move the the Windows 7 taskbar, you’ll see software to blame? Dropdown menu A list of options that appears when you click a menu bar or button. window back into view, but this seems to have been removed from Windows 7. Now if I a menu with a different list of options and settings than you would when using Windows XP Q| I am having problems creating DVDs on my computer, which came with right-click on anything in the or Vista, but no Move option. Windows Vista and so isn’t very DVD A type of disc able to store up taskbar, it brings up a different However, if you hover the old. I get similar problems no to 8.5GB of digital data, including menu listing my recent mouse over the icon without matter what disc burning full-length movies, with good-quality documents and options to pin the clicking on it, it will either software I’m using. I’ve mostly sound and pictures. program to the taskbar, but not display small thumbnails with a Windows DVD Maker and Serif the old Move option. preview of each open window, or Movie Plus 5. The writing GB Gigabyte. A measurement of Michael Crink a list of open windows without progress bar reaches about storage capacity, usually for hard disks. 1GB is equal to 1,024MB (megabytes). A| You can use Windows Aero Snap and Shake, which is new to Windows 7, to quickly the thumbnails, depending on whether you’re running a theme with the Aero visual halfway before a message appears that says the DVD writer is no longer connected, and that I move an open application around enhancements, or the Windows 7 should check whether it is Hard disk A high-capacity disk plugged in. This is difficult fitted in almost all PCs and used to because it is an internal drive. store both applications and the After I see this error, I can no documents and files they create. longer access the DVD drive, or load a new disc in My Computer Homegroup A homegroup makes without restarting the PC. it easier to share files and printers on Andy Talbot a home network. HSDPA High-Speed Downlink A| As you say you are having similar problems no matter which software you use, it sounds Packet Access. A way of transferring as though the problem is with the large amounts of data quickly over hardware in the PC rather than mobile telephone networks. the software. Even so it is important not to overwhelm the ISP Internet Service Provider. A computer when burning discs. company that provides you with an Close unnecessary programs and internet connection, either for a fixed make sure that there are no monthly fee or for the cost of local updates for Windows available call charges. that might start installing in the background. Assuming that the problem is Continued on P56q 9Individual windows can be moved by right-clicking on the title bar hardware, there are three 54 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 55. NO PROBLEM! QA R R SOLVING YOUR PROBLEMS Our team of experts is on hand to help solve PC problems. Read on to find out how Please note that we can only reply through the No Problem page – we can’t reply personally by email, telephone or letter. Before sending in your query, please consider the following points as clear preparation helps us identify and resolve problems much more quickly. GTell us which operating system you have and the model number of the PC if known. GBe specific about the problem – what exactly has gone wrong? GInclude details of anything that changed around the time that the fault developed – did you install new software or hardware or sign up to a new service that might contribute to the problem? GIf you see an error message on the screen, make an exact note of its content in your query. GInclude screengrabs to show us what you see on screen when the problem occurs. 9Every mobile provider has a web page where you can check signal strength OTHER SOURCES OF HELP potential causes: the most likely plenty of services available While we can’t solve every individual problem, there are other ways is that the DVD writer is broken, from all the big mobile networks, Computeractive can help. Our Readers to the Rescue online forum is free to use but the cable connecting the but considering how coverage – once you have signed up you can submit a question in the appropriate section DVD writer to the computer can vary between networks, to see if other readers can help you solve the problem yourself. You can also could also be damaged, or the I would like to know if there browse existing questions and answers for tips. The forum address is printed at computer’s power supply may is a way to compare each the bottom of this box. not be powerful enough to write network’s coverage before to DVDs – unlikely with an up-to- I subscribe. Email: noproblem@computeractive.co.uk date computer, but still possible. Simon Ward Write: Computeractive, Incisive Media, 32-34 Broadwick St, W1A 2HG Replacing any of these, especially the power supply, is no easy task unless you’re absolutely A| While plenty of comparisons are made between the maximum speeds Forum: www.computeractive.co.uk/noproblem confident you know what you’re offered by different mobile Homegroup wizard IPv6 is currently not supported doing with PC components. If networks, this isn’t much good if problems by all ISPs, network equipment your PC is under warranty, contact the retailer to arrange a repair. If not, the best thing to do you can’t receive a good signal where you are. Thankfully, every mobile service provider has a Q| I am having problems setting up a Homegroup between my desktop and laptop, or software. Homegroups in Windows 7 is one of the first applications we’ve seen that is take the PC to a computer page where you can enter a both of which are running require you to have IPv6 installed repair shop and ask them to test postcode and it will tell you how Windows 7. I ran the Homegroup on your PC. your DVD writer and, if needed, strong mobile voice, 3G and creation wizard using the To enable IPv6 in Windows 7, replace it with a new one. They HSDPA (or 3.5G) reception is in desktop PC, which gave me a left-click on the Start icon, then will charge both for labour and that area. password to enter on other PCs in the search box, type ‘Network for the new DVD writer. The We’ve compiled a list of these that I want to join the and Sharing’ then click on the good news is that a new DVD online, which you can read at Homegroup. However, when I icon for the Network and Sharing writer is very cheap, you can find www.computeractive.co.uk/ attempt to join the Homegroup Center that appears in the them for as little as £16 online 2254887. These speed-checkers on my laptop, it displays an error programs list. On the right-hand from www.snipca.com/x655, are best used as a rough guide to message telling me I need IPv6. side of this window, you should though you should expect to pay mobile coverage and don’t What is IPv6 and how can I see some information about your slightly more from a retail store. indicate the exact speeds you will enable it? network connection and a link to Watch our video on how to get from a mobile broadband Paul Donovan Local Area Connection. Click install a disc drive at www. computeractive.co.uk/2228086. service. Other factors can come into play that can also affect the signal quality, such as when trying A| IPv6 is a new way of identifying computers on networks that will one day this link to display the properties page for your network adapter. At the top of this, you should see Checking mobile to use mobile broadband indoors. replace the old standard IP the status of IPv4 connectivity network coverage If you spend a lot of time version 4, the kind of address that and IPv6 connectivity. It’s Q| I spend a considerable amount of time working with my laptop on the move, and commuting on the train, be aware that data reception will vary during the journey as the train is made up of four numbers between 0 and 255, eg 10.11.10.75. The problem with version 4 is probable that under IPv6 it will say ‘no network available’, since most routers will assign an I don’t have a mobile broadband moves through different areas. that it will run out of addresses IPv4 address to your network subscription. When I’m away This is no different to the way for the internet in a few years. adapter rather than an IPv6 from the office or my home, I can voice reception can vary in Although the IPv6 addresses will address. On this screen, click only use the internet when I go quality, such as when the train be more complicated, it will be a Properties, then make sure the into a cafe or shop with a is passing through a tunnel long time before the number of box next to Internet Protocol wireless network. I see there are or cutting. addresses becomes a problem. Version 6 is ticked. 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 55 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 56. NO PROBLEM! QA JARGON A| For a file to be defragmented, the defragmentation utility must be The box will adjust its size automatically, but you can click and drag on the blue circles on around text that can be changed. To remove the protection from the document, click on the Stop B U S T E R able to move the different bits of the border in order to change Protection button in the Restrict Techno babble demystified... it around the disk. This cannot the proportions. Formatting and Editing Task happen if the file is being edited; Once the box is in the correct Pane and enter the password for MS-Dos Microsoft Disk Operating imagine what would happen if place, it is time to add the the document. Click on the System. The standard PC operating someone kept moving the protection to it. Click inside the Review tab and then the Protect system before the dawn of Windows. ingredients while you were address box so that the text entry Document button if this Task cooking, even after they had been cursor is inside the box. Click on Pane is not visible. Network adapter A socket for added to the bowl. the Review tab and then on connecting a PC to an office network To avoid the problems of Protect Document. The top Quiet computing or some broadband internet connections. locked files you should try to avoid doing anything else with the computer during option ‘Limit formatting to a selection of styles’ is up to you, but it’s probably best to leave it Q| I like to play Flight Simulator, but I have tinnitus and the fans inside my Right-click Many programs, and defragmentation. Some files are unselected unless you are sure computer are so noisy that I am Windows itself, make use of the right always in use and so can’t be this is something you want to forced to shut down after about mouse button click to display a pop- defragmented, a special file used restrict. Click in the box ‘Allow 30 minutes. I am willing to buy a up menu with special functions. by Windows called the Paging only this type of editing in the new computer, but I need a quiet file is one such file. It is also quite document’, so that a tick appears one, which will handle photo Scroll bar The section of a window big. Given that there will always and then select ‘No changes editing and games. you must use to scroll around when be some files and part of the disk (Read only)’ in the dropdown Jay Croft the window’s contents are too large to display all at once. that the computer can’t defragment, leaving a few fragmented files is A| Computers generate a lot of heat and without fans Taskbar The bar that runs along the nothing to worry about. they would break down bottom of the screen in Windows. It’s more important that very quickly. The you run the challenge is to get rid Thumbnail A small image used to defragmentation utility of this heat with give a preview of a larger image. at least once every couple the minimum of of weeks to keep the inconvenience and Worksheet A single page of data number fragmented files noise. Some computers, within a spreadsheet. to a minimum. and most laptops, vary the speed of their fans For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk Protecting a Word depending on the 2007 document amount of heat being Click OK to close the properties page. Even after Q| How can I create a document which does not allow other generated. Games tend to be the worst for this because they you’ve enabled IPv6 for your people to change or push the computer network adapter, the network delete parts of the text? I to its limits and so the status will probably still say ‘no am using Word 2007. fans never slow down network available’, but this is John Rowland 9You can control what changes can be made to Word documents again and get quieter. sufficient for Homegroups in Windows 7. Click Close on the network status page to save the A| Word 2007 has some quite powerful tools for restricting what other people menu immediately below. Now click in the main part of the If the computer can run your games, photo editing won’t be a problem. settings, then run the can do to a document. Even document. Click in the box It is possible to reduce the Homegroup wizard again. better, it is possible to be specific labelled ‘Everyone’ in the amount of noise generated by a as to what can be edited and what Exceptions section. This will desktop computer by replacing Defrag – don’t worry, must be left alone. As in this allow people to make changes in the existing case fans with fans be happy example, it can create a text box the main part of the document. that have bigger blades; they Q| I am using Ashampoo to defragment my hard disk. It reports that it cannot with an address that cannot be edited while still letting people edit the rest of the document. Click on the button Yes, Start Enforcing Protection and enter a password. The Task Pane will move more air and so can run slower and quieter. There are also various sound-proofing completely defragment all of the Create a new, blank document. remain visible on the kits that help reduce vibration files on the hard disk because Click on the Insert tab on the right-hand side of the document and noise. The website there is either a locked file or Ribbon and then on Text box. and state whether or not you can www.quietpc.com has plenty there is insufficient space on my Select a style for the Text box – edit a region. of products designed specifically hard disk. we used Simple Text Box. Move A useful tool is the ‘Show all to be quiet. The latter seems unlikely as the box to the correct position by regions I can edit’ button. Click There is very little that can be there is 76GB of free space on the clicking and dragging on the on this to select every part of the done to reduce the noise from hard disk. Therefore, it must be border of the text box. The document that can be edited. It is laptops because the fans cannot the locked file, so how can I cursor will change into four also helpful to leave the option be replaced and they have to unlock this and complete the arrows when it is in the correct beneath this button ‘Highlight work harder because there is so defragmentation? place for moving. Click inside the the regions I can edit’ selected. little space. Laptop stands with Anthony J Day text box and enter the address. Square brackets will then appear fans built in can help to keep 56 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 57. NO PROBLEM! QA R R them cool but, unfortunately, they won’t make much difference R READERS TO THE RESCUE when playing games. One thing you can do is to make sure that the fans and Q| I keep getting a pop-up appear to say that there is an upgrade to Firefox. Is this a check for updates. If Firefox has found an update, this option will say something like cooling outlets inside the real message or just spam? Downloading Firefox 3.5.5, notebook are clean, as this can Mike, Computeractive forum click on this instead. Click on make a big difference. We have a video demonstrating this at www.computeractive.co.uk/ A| Firefox automatically checks for updates and you should install them as Update Firefox when the window appears. Arken 2228639. It is also wise to be soon as they appear careful where you put the power to stay safe. You adapter for the laptop. We have should only click on found they can get very hot update Firefox if the during gaming sessions. message looks like We recently reviewed the the one to the right. If Mesh Matrix II 955BWE Hush you are unsure desktop computer that is fitted whether or not it is with sound-absorbent foam to genuine, click on the reduce the volume levels of the Ask Later button and computer. You can read the check for updates by review at www.computeractive. hand. Click on the co.uk/2249282. Help menu and then Retro operating systems More questions and answers at www.computeractive.co.uk/forums Q| I am about to buy a computer running Windows 7 Home Premium. Will Click on Next and select Windows 98 in the operating Windows 98 system access to the internet as security fixes are no this host Microsoft Virtual PC system dropdown menu if it longer created for Windows 98. 2007 and could I then load hasn’t already been chosen and You can do just about anything Windows 98SE as the guest click on Next twice. Select ‘A new on the guest PC that you could on operating system? If this is the virtual hard disk’ and click on a normal computer, but if you case, would I then be able to run Next. You may want to adjust the want to use MS-Dos software, it MS-Dos from Windows 98? size in the next window. Virtual is possible to install that Joseph Pollock PC gives computers 16GB by operating system on Virtual PC A| Yes, you will be able to install and run Windows 98SE in VirtualPC. You will need default, which is very generous for Windows 98. Click on Next and then Finish. using floppy disks. Floppy disks can be accessed like CDs using the Floppy menu the Windows 98 CD or floppies To install Windows 98, insert next to the CD menu. An easier in order to install the operating the Windows 98 CD into the alternative is to use the Dosbox system. Click on the File menu computer, click on the entry for software that already has Dos and then New Virtual Machine Windows 98 in the Virtual PC working, all you will need are the Wizard. Click on Next, leave Console and then on Start. Click installation discs for the old ‘Create a virtual machine’ on the CD menu in the Virtual software. Dosbox can be selected and click on Next. Give PC window that appears and downloaded and installed at no the virtual machine a name. It then Use Physical Drive D: to use cost from www.computeractive helps to call it ‘Windows 98’ as the CD in the Virtual computer. .co.uk/2129109. Virtual PC will recognise this A word of warning, though: be and offer the correct settings. very careful about giving the Missing scroll bars Q| I seem to have lost my bottom scrollbar and the worksheet tabs in Excel 2007. Rita Mortimer A| Click on the Office button in the top-left-hand corner of the Excel Window and then on Excel Options. Click on the Advanced option on the left and scroll down in the main part of the Options window to ‘Display options for this workbook’. Then, click in the boxes labelled ‘Show horizontal scroll bar’ and ‘Show sheet tabs’ and then click on OK to restore the 9You can control the elements that appear in Excel via the Advanced option missing elements. G www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 58. MASTER STORAGE ON A NETWORK CLASS Multiple choice Discover how attaching storage devices to a home network can make it much easier to share files and folders M any households have several computers hard disks, but this compactness belies a significant but sharing information between them additional functionality. For example, the average Nas can be a frustrating affair. It is possible to device can serve as a music-streaming device, a way to share external hard disks over a home connect a printer to the network, a system backup point network but if a computer it is attached to and a means of accessing files remotely over a (secure) is turned off, the files it stores cannot be accessed. Also, internet connection. sharing data across different types of computers, such as Be warned that many Nas devices are sold ‘chassis Windows PCs, Macs, Linux PCs or even games consoles only’, without any hard disks included. This may seem a can be difficult, so it’s no wonder people often give up. little odd but it allows users to buy hard disks that Step forward network-attached storage, or Nas for match their performance and storage needs. short. A Nas device is a hard disk that connects directly It’s also possible to buy a Nas device with space for to a network and can be accessed by any computer on more than one hard disk. This means you can add further the network. Nas drives cost a little more than a normal storage space in the future and mirror the data on the external hard disk drive but the convenience is well device from one hard disk onto another. Disk mirroring worth the cost. In this Masterclass we will explain what (or ‘Raid 1’) is the automatic process of copying data a typical Nas drive can provide as well as how to install stored on the Nas onto both its hard disks. Then, should a and configure it. hard disk fail, the data can be reduplicated on a replacement hard disk from the surviving disk. Benefits of Nas Network-attached storage devices consolidate the Capabilities storage and sharing needs of different computers into a Most Nas drives work with today’s popular computers single, independent device. Physically, consumer Nas so it’s possible to have Windows, Linux and Mac drives tend to be a little bigger than traditional external computers connected to the same Nas. Most Nas devices also include a print server so you can share a USB printer between computers. Nas devices usually share media with an iTunes-streaming service. Once this is enabled, media will be visible to any computer running iTunes. Many can also stream to Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) devices, such as a Playstation 3 or Xbox 360. Many Nas devices also allow remote access. This means it’s possible to connect to the Nas from any computer with internet access. Though every Nas drive handles this in its own way, the principles are broadly the same for all – see the walkthrough on page 60 for an idea of how to proceed. Setting up a Nas device Almost all Nas devices are controlled via a web browser interface, but the exact process differs between manufacturers. However, setting up a Nas device is typically a three-step affair: connect to the network, set Image: Nick Palmer up the users and configure other options and services. Physically attaching a Nas to a network requires only two connections: a power lead and a network cable to connect the Nas to a router. Once powered, a Nas 9Most Nas devices can be set up using a web page device will typically assign itself a network address in 58 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 59. MASTER STORAGE ON A NETWORK CLASS access to all users (all connected users see shared folders by default) it may be preferable to set access restrictions to these JARGON B U S T E R folders. For example, setting the ‘read only’ Techno babble demystified... option on a shared folder enables the contents of the folder to be read but prevents Backup A file, folder or anyone from deleting any files or folders external storage device that stored within. Users can also set up personal stores copies of documents. accounts set on the Nas. Using a separate account with a username and password to Driver Allows Windows to browse the Nas provides access to an communicate with a additional personal folder on the Nas, which peripheral device. will be invisible to other users. It’s often possible to set a quota on both GB Gigabyte. A shared folders and user accounts to prevent measurement of storage, storage space being used up. usually for hard disks. For example, 100GB might be assigned to each user, while Hard disk A high-capacity 9Use a Nas to make music accessible to all networked computer users the remaining space could be disk in PCs and used to used for backups, media and store applications and files. line with the other computers on the network. In the shared storage. case of the Netgear ReadyNAS Duo (read our review at The majority of Nas IP address Internet www.computeractive.co.uk/2249835) we are using for devices support multiple file Protocol address. An our screenshots, a Windows utility is provided to protocols. These are the identifying number of a PC scan the network. Once located the network attached to a network. address of the Nas can then be entered directly into a web browser to access the Nas interface – Notification Area An http://192.168.1.81, for example. area on the bottom of a The initial Nas setup steps deal with time and screen that shows which date settings but later steps deal with programs are running in network host names and IP Windows. addresses and may be confusing. Don’t worry about this though. Raid A system for storing As long as the computers on data efficiently and the network can locate the Nas automatically backing up device by typing the Nas computer hard disks. network address into a web browser, leave the network Router A device used to settings as they are. connects computers or Computers on the network other device to the internet. should now be able to access the Nas. To check, browse to Network Places (XP) or the Server A computer on a Network and Sharing Center network that distributes (Vista/Windows 7). Default shared information to other PCs. folders should also be viewable here. In Windows XP it may be necessary Stream Audio or video to choose ‘Show icons for material that can be viewed networked UPnP devices’ from as it is downloaded from the within the Network Tasks pane of internet or transferred from My Network Places. another computer. Shared folders on a Nas can be ‘mapped’ as network drives. To do UPnP Universal Plug and this in Windows XP, choose Tools Play. A standard for sharing from My Network Places and then media between computers Map Network Drive. Now choose a and network devices. drive letter and browse to the Nas folder you want to use as a network drive. USB Universal Serial Bus. In Vista/Windows 7, click the Map network Allows quick connection of drive button within the toolbar of the peripherals to your PC. Computer screen. For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk Configuring access to the Nas Now the Nas device is accessible on the network, shared folders, user accounts and storage quotas can be configured. While shared folders are great for providing 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 59 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 60. MASTER STORAGE ON A NETWORK CLASS qConserve power consumption by scheduling the Nas to automatically switch on and off 9Shared folders stored on a Nas can be mapped as network drives languages used by different operating systems to so computer users can share files quickly and easily transfer data. If Windows is the only likely system to be attached to the Nas, the only requisite protocol is CIFS password protect the service if needed. Then, within (Common Internet File System). For Linux, consider iTunes on a connected computer, click the Shared enabling NFS (Network File System) and for Mac header and click the service name you set to view any systems enable Appletalk or AFP (Apple Filing of the streamed media. Protocol) if the option exists. With the users and disk To share a printer through the Nas you will first R OUR TOP NETWORK quotas configured, let’s enable some of the services. need to install the drivers for the relevant printer on each computer. Then, physically connect the USB Advanced options and services printer to the USB port of the Nas and add the printer HARD DISKS Not all Nas devices provide the same features but the through Windows (in Windows XP choose Control Western Digital Mybook three most common are iTunes media server, automatic Panel, then Printers and Faxes and then choose Add a Price: £169 ##### power schedule and printer sharing. printer. In Vista, go to Control Panel then Printers and www.computeractive.co.uk/ Although Nas devices are usually left switched on, click Add a printer. And in Windows 7, click Start then 2236746 most households have times when the Nas will not be Devices and Printers before clicking Add a printer). needed (while everyone sleeps, say). The power Be sure to choose the option for a network-attached Netgear Readynas Duo expenditure of Nas can be minimised by using a power printer and browse the Nas device when listed. Select Price: £159 ##### schedule. This allows the Nas to switch on and off at set the relevant attached printer and complete the www.computeractive.co.uk/ times during the day. Some Nas devices require the printer installation. 2249835 same on and off time each day, but others can be configured on a weekly schedule (enabling different Store it all Buffalo Linkstation times to be set at weekends, for instance). Adding a Nas device to your home network is simple Price: £170 ##### To configure the iTunes streaming service on a Nas, and worthwhile. Should you ever run out of storage www.computeractive.co.uk/ you will need to enable and name the service and space, many Nas systems allow the hard disks to be 2237663 choose a folder on the Nas that contains all the music exchanged for larger capacity models. and media for streaming. It’s also possible to Ben Frain STEP BY STEP | HOW TO ACCESS NAS DATA REMOTELY 1 We are using a Netgear Ready Nas Duo drive, but many Nas models have similar features. Download and install the Ready Nas Remote 2 On the Ready Nas Duo, enable the Ready Nas Remote service and then choose the Manage Ready Nas Remote option. Enter the username 3 From the Notification Area right-click the Ready Nas Remote icon and choose ‘Connect to ReadyNAS...’. Then double-click the software for the relevant operating system. Once created in Step 1 into the Lookup box and click find. Ready Nas icon to connect remotely to the relevant installation is complete, register your details and When the username appears in the Found window Ready Nas. All available shared folders and devices record the chosen username and password. Ready below, select it and click the Add button. Now click will then appear. Nas Remote will automatically log the user on. Apply Settings. 60 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 61. www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 62. CONSUMERACTIVE! CA consumeractive@computeractive.co.uk GET SOME Consumeractive sticks up forwant rights. If there’s an issue you your ANSWERS! investigated, get in touch TAKE-BACK POLICY Both my father and to be outside the statutory who said she didn’t want to bother her father. husband bought me time period in which this law We suggested she return the iPod her an iPod shuffle for can be used. The DSRs husband gave her. She told us he had bought Christmas. I really require the buyer (in this case the device online at the Apple store, so we don’t need two and her father) to tell the retailer checked its returns policy. We couldn’t see don’t have anyone to within seven working days, any additional leeway given for the give the spare to. I would starting the day after receipt, Christmas period, but its terms and like to return the one my that they are rejecting goods. conditions state that if the consumer father bought me but I am They do not have to be returned contacts Apple within 14 calendar days of not sure if I can do this now within this time but should be as delivery of the product, then it will accept a it is after Christmas and I soon as is reasonably possible. return. It seems Mrs Preece may be lucky don’t have a receipt. Again, some online retailers are here, but she needs to move fast. This retailer Gilly Preece offering longer requires the customer to call it rather than returns terms, email the returns request. The customer also It really but if they do has to get a return tracking number and CASE SOLVED depends and the Apple will subsequently arrange for the on consumer goods to be collected by a nominated carrier. where Mrs Preece’s accepts these, Although you don’t have to include the father bought the iPod the DSRs won’t original packaging under the rules of the shuffle. If he bought it in-store, apply. We called Mrs Preece, DSRs, you do under Apple’s scheme. there is no legal requirement for a shop to take back unwanted goods. Many people don’t realise this because we are so used to Can you reject unwanted presents and get a refund? generous ‘no-quibble’ returns policies put in The right to reject unwanted goods is unwanted goods back. If it will accept a place by retailers such as Marks and enshrined in the DSRs. Often, a retailer such return, then you will likely be asked for a Spencer and not having to quibble. Over as Apple will give a longer period to examine proof of purchase. If the goods have been Christmas some stores have been offering goods.A retailer can’t force the consumer to bought with a credit or debit card, stores will very good extended policies, but Mrs Preece use its returns policy but if the consumer often only refund to that card. will need proof of purchase. does, once outside the time period given for In these situations, they may let the If her father bought the goods online, then the DSRs, they will be bound by the retailer’s consumer choose an alternative product or she has protection under the Distance Ts Cs. If an item was bought in a shop, it is offer a voucher to be used at a later date, Selling Regulations (DSRs), but she is likely up to the store’s returns policy for accepting and this is legally their right. Would have, because the lady had been able to contact Comet about the faulty The Sky’s the limit CASE should have prove the laptop had an inherent PC. Like many people, she I am having problems making UPDATE In issue 305 we fault. It didn’t matter whether she thought she needed to deal a complaint to Sky TV, which reported on the problems that had a warranty because she directly with the manufacturer – is not helped by the fact I am not Helen McInnes had been having would have been covered by the in this case HP. So, where does one of its subscribers. I don’t with an HP Pavilion laptop she Sale of Goods Act. She also took this leave Mrs McInnes now? have a username, password or had bought from Comet. her case to Comet, not to HP. We said we would contact order number to negotiate the She had contacted HP and was A consumer’s contract is with Comet on her behalf but options on its telephone system. charged £261.92 to have it the retailer, not the manufacturer. explained that she may have a The reason for my complaint is repaired because it was outside It also gives the consumer up to fight on her hands. Comet could the couple who live in the the warranty period. Ms six years (five in Scotland) argue that it would have had the maisonette above my property, McInnes said she read in a during which to seek redress for laptop repaired for less than it who subscribe to Sky’s TV and newspaper’s problem page about faulty goods, so an expired cost Mrs McInnes to do so. broadband services. a woman who had the same warranty doesn’t matter. However, the retailer has Without my knowledge the Sky problem with the same laptop, Although Mrs McInnes’ PC has responded to us and said that if technician connected their also bought from Comet. now been repaired, we believe Mrs McInnes could get in contact service to my Freesat dish. I only Apparently, the lady in question she would have had a good case – with a copy of her receipt – it found this out when my TV had the graphics card replaced by against Comet for a refund for would consider reimbursing her. picture quality degraded and I the retailer free of charge. the repair; except for one thing: Whether this will be for all or checked my dish. The reason for this was Mrs McInnes had never tried to part of the repair it did not say. Arthur Craft 62 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 63. CONSUMERACTIVE R R CASE Mr Craft’s tRepairs SOLVED neighbours were being unhelpful must be deemed “fit for purpose” SHOP SMART! because, despite him asking DISPUTE RESOLUTION them to contact Sky about the is not clear on matter, they continually how many Consumer Direct prevaricated. We don’t know times the www.consumerdirect.gov.uk customer has Government site with advice on what to why – perhaps they were do before you buy goods, how to deal with avoiding having to pay for the to keep disputes and notes on known scams installation of their own dish. sending duff Citizens Advice Bureaux Even if they hadn’t realised goods back. www.adviceguide.org.uk what the Sky installation As a general Find your local CAB office with a postcode technician was up to initially principle, if a search and download factsheets on a because they were under the repair fails range of consumer affairs topics impression the dish was a or an item is Office of Fair Trading www.oft.gov.uk/oft_and_cd communal one, after being still faulty Provides a search facility to help you informed by Mr Craft there after two find trustworthy businesses in various was no excuse not to act. repairs, categories We contacted Sky and the legal Trading Standards asked it to resolve the profession www.tradingstandards.gov.uk problem. After assuring Sky believes Maintained by the Trading Standards the dish was not communal, consumers are Institute, this site helps you find your local office and provides downloadable leaflets, and that Mr Craft owned his entitled to ask for a product recall information and more property, we are happy to say replacement, or their Watchdog the matter has been resolved. money back. The Law www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog We have, however, had no Commission and Scottish Law The popular BBC TV series provides explanation from Sky as to why Commission believe that once guides to consumer topics, including this mix-up happened. should be enough. returning faulty goods and which laws protect you in various situations “Thanks to your intervention, It really doesn’t As part of an overall look at CASE UK consumers’ rights for faulty Sky customer services rang me ONGOING matter if a and offered me one month’s free Sky package as compensation, warranty has expired – it seems this catalogue goods, they have recommended allowing consumers to ask for WE CAN HELP NEED SOME FREE ADVICE? which I declined. The alternative of failures points to a PC that is, a refund or price reduction was a cheque for £10, which I in the parlance of the Sale of after one failed repair or one CONTACT US VIA EMAIL: accepted,” Mr Craft told us. Goods Act, “not fit for purpose”. failed replacement. consumeractive@computeractive.co.uk He said Sky had removed its Consumers do not have to put What the underlying problem or at: Consumeractive, services from his dish, realigned up with repeated repairs for is will be up to Dell to discover, Computeractive, Incisive Media, 32-34 Broadwick St, London W1A 2HG, it and provided a new dish for the goods that are faulty. The Act but we have contacted the Please include both your phone maisonette above. states that repairs must be fit for company about this matter number and address. Unfortunately, We agree £10 is a rather paltry purpose and not inconvenience and will report back with an we can’t reply to all your letters. amount for disrupting Mr the consumer. However, the law update in a later issue. Craft’s TV service for so many months and not verifying the owner of the dish. If Sky had QUICK TIPS: CONSUMER RIGHTS CLINIC checked, it would have been Cancel contracts Restocking fees illegal Wrong PC obvious that no-one else at the A few years ago, I bought a domain I ordered some shoes online but I bought a PC from a small address had a Sky service. name from a web-hosting provider when I returned them as unwanted computer shop but found that it had and paid £36 for two years. Well the retailer charged me a a 2.2GHz processor, not the 2.4GHz Dell hell before the two years had expired I restocking fee of 15 per cent. I was model I paid for. When I took it back I bought a Dell Inspiron 530 ceased to use it. I did not know the also told the shop wouldn’t refund to the store for a refund, the store at the end of November 2008 contract automatically renewed the delivery costs either. manager wanted to send it away from the Dell Outlet store. itself until I cancelled. Mark McDougall for testing. Initially, I was delighted with Don Perry As long as Mr Dougall had made it Kev Jones the performance, but matters Many companies offering services clear he was returning the goods Mr Jones is entitled to the goods he have deteriorated, and I have have an automatic renewal clause in within the specified time period given ordered and paid for. Under the Sale of had nothing but a string of their terms and conditions. This is not by the DSRs, he should have been Goods Act, this PC was not sold to him hardware failures. illegal and it is up to the purchaser to reimbursed the original postage cost. as described. We fail to understand For example, I have had a read a company’s terms carefully. If It is illegal to charge a restocking why the store manager would want to replacement hard disk, you want to cancel a service or end a fee providing the requirements of send it way for repair because it was refurbished graphics card, then contract such as this, make sure you this consumer law have been met by not faulty; just the wrong PC. Mr Jones further failures, more graphics do so before the renewal date, Mr Dougall. is entitled to all his money back. If the cards and motherboards, but still especially if it is for software. Some However, Mr McDougall will have to shop refuses to refund him, he should no working computer. On companies will cancel a contract even bear the cost of returning the goods, report it to his local Trading Standards contacting Dell, it seems my if you contact them after the renewal unless the retailer did not make this office and take the shop to the small warranty has expired. date, but not all. clear at the point of sale. claims court. Martyn Easom 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 63 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 64. 1TB Sto and re all LaC Fea vide your ie H LE tur os in files es o , und D for a sty ne pl music ard ers amb lish ace Dri Wa ide ien blu . glo t e ve s w. £69 £64 .9 .96 spir e 6 c er A B A top ring OOG Lap ptop featAuM 5 2 553 nt valuesor, 4GBremium. la R See these elle ces ep exc re pro 7 Hom An l co ws 0 dua Windo 9.0 0 and £49 .0 more great Wa s 99 Hurry! offers at... £3 whilst stocks last ...www.dabs.com/sale See our full range of over 20,000 products online Prices include VAT which is subject to change on the 31/12/09 but exclude delivery charges. *Free Delivery Promotion: Only orders placed online at www.dabs.com where the total order value exceeds the minimum advertised on our website including VAT (but excluding delivery charges) AND the total combined order weight weighs less than 25Kg qualify for free delivery. Free delivery uses our basic unscheduled service. Surcharges for outlying regions and/or upgrades for premium services will be applied in all cases. For full details, see www.dabs.com/delivery. This promotion may be withdrawn at any time without notice.. Prices and promotions correct at time of going to print but may change or be withdrawn without notice. Check website for latest prices. We are only able to take orders online via our website for delivery to UK addresses. Nothing in this advertisement forms part of any contract. Errors and omissions excepted. dabs.com, National Logistics Centre, Wingates Industrial Estate, Westhoughton, Bolton, BL5 3XU. Email assistance@dabs.com. www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 65. LETTERS R R example) on their wireless We decided not to penalise the devised if the will was there. routers, there are probably thousands of people who forget their password every day. game for this aspect, because the score represents our verdict of the product as a whole, and we The problem is bureaucracy. We are small-minded when it comes to rules and regulations JARGON B U S T E R Hence the question: “Have you stand by the praise and criticism and scared of change. Techno babble demystified... forgotten your password?” that offered in the review. Undoubtedly change will come appears on most websites. I have and our country will be dragged Browser A program, such as Voting of the future u a friend who is totally paranoid kicking and screaming into the Internet Explorer, used to view and about passwords – he has so With regard to your 21st century. interact with websites. many that he has had to install a article about electronic Mike Ellison password manager program. voting in issue 308, I am quite Operating system Governs the Installing Windows 7 u Arthur Lawrance sure that it is not a question of if way hardware and software we get it but when – and in my I have both a desktop components in a computer Call of Duty fails to impress u opinion, the sooner the better. computer and a laptop. work together. I receive your magazine The turnout for the last general If I purchase the Windows 7 every issue and was election was appallingly low, operating system can I put it on Router A device used to connect surprised to read the review of illustrating the indifference of both computers? more than one computer or other Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. the population who either Malcolm Staniland device to the internet. Your reviewer gives the game a decided not to vote or got glowing five-star review. distracted by having something Put simply, you can install a Service Pack A large download The internet is awash with better to do on the day. copy of Windows 7 only that contains lots of big fixes for complaints about the Anything that can raise the once. If you install it on one Windows or other programs. multiplayer aspects of this game likelihood of getting voters to computer you can uninstall it and – the long tradition of making vote is good news. If billions of then install it on another, but you For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk dedicated servers available has been removed in favour of documents and settings intact. a console-like The correct answer is that, in matchmaking system order to do an ‘in-place upgrade’ that produces a from Windows Vista to Windows massively inferior 7, your computer needs to have at gaming experience least Windows Vista Service from the one that PC Pack 1 installed. users have come to That means, of course, that it expect. will be fine if you are using There are also Service Pack 2, but Service Pack numerous reports of 2 is not required. large numbers of hacks or cheats available for Is any software worth paying for? u the game that the publisher seems I don’t see the point in powerless to address. paying for any software I doubt you will applications when you can get a revisit the review at this free, possibly better, alternative. I stage but I believe that 9Video game cheaters can ruin the experience for those they play against online use a variety of software and the you have unhappy only piece I’ve paid for, and use, readers who have bought pounds are moved safely won’t be able to use it on both at would be Windows XP. this game on the strength of through the internet there is no the same time. Microsoft runs I recently installed the McAfee your review. reason why we can’t vote in the spot checks to see whether the Internet Security suite, and it just G McEwing same way. same serial numbers are being didn’t want to activate. I gave up, Why not issue every registered used on more than one computer. and looked at free security suites We can assure you that our voter with a plastic voting card? For two computers, you will I could download, and I found reviewer thoroughly tested Vast numbers of retail outlets need to buy two copies. There is Comodo Internet Security which the game before writing about have card machines that could be a ‘family pack’ available, which included everything I needed. it, and was also using a PC used to take people’s votes. Then contains one copy of the But I’m not just talking about edition of the game. voting could take place over operating system but comes with anti-virus: I used Microsoft The issues you and others have several days rather than on just three licences so you can use it Office Outlook but it was just a with the PC version of Modern the one. It is easy to write a on three computers in your bit boring. I now use the free Warfare 2 are valid. We don’t program to check that any one home. It costs around £150. version of Incredimail or Mozilla agree with the decision the card does not get used more than Thunderbird. I use a program makers made to abandon the once. If it gets lost or stolen then Windows upgrade called Alcohol for CD backups standard approach to it can be reported and cancelled We gave slightly different and Active ISO Burner to make multiplayer gaming, and we just like a credit card. The advice in issues 305 and 306 on my Linux CDs. To clean up the would like to see the company administrative costs of the how to upgrade from Windows computer I use CCleaner and update the PC version to allow election would be lower too. I am Vista to Windows 7 on the same Advanced System Care 3 Free. dedicated servers. sure that a safe system could be computer, keeping all your Edward Richards 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 65 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 66. LETTERS YOUR SAY Ru Your opinion counts! Join the debate on any issue raised in Computeractive Pros and cons of ‘snooping’ u R Isn’t Virgin Media’s STAR LETTER proposal to keep watch over what its subscribers do online illegal (news, issue 308)? Stores pay price of delivery woes Surely the Data Protection Act A serious problem facing all internet must have some relevant businesses is the issue of effective section, or the legislation delivery. Until the courier and delivery controlling phone tapping. firms used by all internet shops are Imagine the uproar if Royal Mail prepared to ring in advance and state a routinely opened post from delivery time with an hour’s leeway selected addresses, if hotels either side, people are just not going to taped all phone conversations, use internet shopping as a safe way to get or if BT intercepted discussions hold of goods. between Virgin’s customers and In the 24 hours prior to writing this its support people. letter I have experienced a failed delivery Or what about Virgin in which the driver did not even wait for extending its proposal to check me to get downstairs to answer the door, that customers aren’t and a courier who delivered a neighbour’s downloading pornography, or goods to my house, although the the council setting up CCTV to neighbour was in. Two other neighbours check that householders are did not get their deliveries despite obeying the local wheelie-bin waiting in all day. Until internet policy? I’m tired of the prodnoses businesses get tough with their delivery wanting to examine everything firms, they will lose business. we do, just in case they Graham Sasse disapprove of it. John Shale Delivery of goods is a bit of a problem u for many internet businesses. If you It’s like CCTV cameras: have had trouble receiving packages if you are doing nothing you have bought online, or if you run an wrong you have nothing to internet business and have to deliver to worry about. I think all ISPs customers, let us know your experiences 9Missed delivery cards like this from have a duty to keep an eye on at the usual address. couriers are a peril of online shopping their customers, to make sure nothing illegal is going on. If HAVE YOUR SAY. WRITE TO US! there is, the customer should be Computeractive, Incisive Media, 32-34 Broadwick St, sent an email explaining what London W1A 2HG. letters@computeractive.co.uk they have done wrong, and if it happens again they ought to be Each issue the writer of our Star Letter will receive a prize. This to your computer, and finally the 2-in-1 banned from the service and the time, we are offering a bundle of products from manufacturer Numeric Mouse, which is a numeric keypad police called in. Sandberg worth £100. This includes the USB Sound Box 7.1 and an optical mouse combined in a single Michael Hastie which allows users to connect speaker systems (including device that’s handy and easy to carry around. surround-sound products) and microphones to their computers. We cannot offer technical assistance or reply Law experts and privacy There’s also the USB Hub Alugear (not pictured), which has personally to correspondence but all letters are groups are still considering seven USB ports for attaching extra peripherals and accessories read by our staff. the legality of this type of behaviour. We will report when more information is available. Rapport is a new program memory it brought back from the I do remember him supplied by some banks that distant past. I was working at saying: “Oh, I can’t do that!” I Working up a Rapport u is said to improve internet Plessey in Ilford some 40-odd asked him why not and he Thanks for your article banking security. We’ll be years ago and there was a replied: “I can only hear in the about safer shopping reviewing it soon. labourer/odd-job man there who one ear!” online through browser security regularly bent our ears about his I would also like to comment 3DTV and hearing u features. You don’t mention a electrical problems. On this on the letter in the No Problem facility called Rapport, though, I had to smile when I occasion, he was trying to set up section from Keith Norton which apparently ensures that read Alex Dow’s letter a new stereo he had acquired. about password reset worries. personal data cannot be in issue 308 about the problems I didn’t realise at the time that He said that “passwords don’t intercepted when you’re passing concerning partially sighted I was the last person he had just get lost or forgotten” – information to a website. My people viewing 3D television. asked about it. The problem really? Aside for all those people bank advised me to use this. Not that it was funny – in fact, it seemed to be that he couldn’t get whose password is simply Have you come across it? is quite serious. stereo. I can’t remember the ‘password’, and those who leave William Magill What made me smile was a exact suggestions I offered but the default name (‘Linksys’, for 66 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 67. LETTERS R R example) on their wireless We decided not to penalise the devised if the will was there. routers, there are probably thousands of people who forget their password every day. game for this aspect, because the score represents our verdict of the product as a whole, and we The problem is bureaucracy. We are small-minded when it comes to rules and regulations JARGON B U S T E R Hence the question: “Have you stand by the praise and criticism and scared of change. Techno babble demystified... forgotten your password?” that offered in the review. Undoubtedly change will come appears on most websites. I have and our country will be dragged Browser A program, such as Voting of the future u a friend who is totally paranoid kicking and screaming into the Internet Explorer, used to view and about passwords – he has so With regard to your 21st century. interact with websites. many that he has had to install a article about electronic Mike Ellison password manager program. voting in issue 308, I am quite Operating system Governs the Installing Windows 7 u Arthur Lawrance sure that it is not a question of if way hardware and software we get it but when – and in my I have both a desktop components in a computer Call of Duty fails to impress u opinion, the sooner the better. computer and a laptop. work together. I receive your magazine The turnout for the last general If I purchase the Windows 7 every issue and was election was appallingly low, operating system can I put it on Router A device used to connect surprised to read the review of illustrating the indifference of both computers? more than one computer or other Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. the population who either Malcolm Staniland device to the internet. Your reviewer gives the game a decided not to vote or got glowing five-star review. distracted by having something Put simply, you can install a Service Pack A large download The internet is awash with better to do on the day. copy of Windows 7 only that contains lots of big fixes for complaints about the Anything that can raise the once. If you install it on one Windows or other programs. multiplayer aspects of this game likelihood of getting voters to computer you can uninstall it and – the long tradition of making vote is good news. If billions of then install it on another, but you For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk dedicated servers available has been removed in favour of documents and settings intact. a console-like The correct answer is that, in matchmaking system order to do an ‘in-place upgrade’ that produces a from Windows Vista to Windows massively inferior 7, your computer needs to have at gaming experience least Windows Vista Service from the one that PC Pack 1 installed. users have come to That means, of course, that it expect. will be fine if you are using There are also Service Pack 2, but Service Pack numerous reports of 2 is not required. large numbers of hacks or cheats available for Is any software worth paying for? u the game that the publisher seems I don’t see the point in powerless to address. paying for any software I doubt you will applications when you can get a revisit the review at this free, possibly better, alternative. I stage but I believe that 9Video game cheaters can ruin the experience for those they play against online use a variety of software and the you have unhappy only piece I’ve paid for, and use, readers who have bought pounds are moved safely won’t be able to use it on both at would be Windows XP. this game on the strength of through the internet there is no the same time. Microsoft runs I recently installed the McAfee your review. reason why we can’t vote in the spot checks to see whether the Internet Security suite, and it just G McEwing same way. same serial numbers are being didn’t want to activate. I gave up, Why not issue every registered used on more than one computer. and looked at free security suites We can assure you that our voter with a plastic voting card? For two computers, you will I could download, and I found reviewer thoroughly tested Vast numbers of retail outlets need to buy two copies. There is Comodo Internet Security which the game before writing about have card machines that could be a ‘family pack’ available, which included everything I needed. it, and was also using a PC used to take people’s votes. Then contains one copy of the But I’m not just talking about edition of the game. voting could take place over operating system but comes with anti-virus: I used Microsoft The issues you and others have several days rather than on just three licences so you can use it Office Outlook but it was just a with the PC version of Modern the one. It is easy to write a on three computers in your bit boring. I now use the free Warfare 2 are valid. We don’t program to check that any one home. It costs around £150. version of Incredimail or Mozilla agree with the decision the card does not get used more than Thunderbird. I use a program makers made to abandon the once. If it gets lost or stolen then Windows upgrade called Alcohol for CD backups standard approach to it can be reported and cancelled We gave slightly different and Active ISO Burner to make multiplayer gaming, and we just like a credit card. The advice in issues 305 and 306 on my Linux CDs. To clean up the would like to see the company administrative costs of the how to upgrade from Windows computer I use CCleaner and update the PC version to allow election would be lower too. I am Vista to Windows 7 on the same Advanced System Care 3 Free. dedicated servers. sure that a safe system could be computer, keeping all your Edward Richards 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 67 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 68. pct ls Spot viruses before they spot you. pctools.co.uk PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus uses layered, intelligent technology to guard against viruses, worms, rootkits, trojans, and other threats. Recent industry tests show that our precise protection leads the industry with powerful 100 percent wildlist and behavioural detection rates.* Here’s to good health! “Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010… totally knocked my socks off!” – www.pcmag.com, 15 October 2009 15 October 2009 Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus 2010 Copyright © 1998–2009 by PC Tools. PC Tools, the PC Tools Logo and Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus are either trademarks or registered trademarks of PC Tools Technology Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. PCMag.com Editors’ Choice Award Logo is a trademark of Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc. Used under license. Reprinted from www.pcmag.com, 15 October 2009, with permission. Copyright 2009 Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. *AV-Test Labs, 1 October 2009. Research commissioned by PC Tools. www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 69. INTERACTIVE R R BEST OF THE WEB What’s your favourite website? Tell us at letters@computeractive.co.uk and we’ll print the best Stay safe online, keep up with the latest news and get chapters of classic books sent to your inbox www.snipca.com/x686 www.snipca.com/x687 A good link to send anyone using their An interesting craft project that will first computer, this article warns of the appeal to anyone who likes a good most common online scams. cuppa; why not make your own tea bag? THE SITE OFGHT! I Rogue Gallery FORTN www.lavasoft.com/mylavasoft/rogues/latest Sadly there are many malicious programs that masquerade as security software.Normally they lure people in by showing pop-ups in web browsers www.lazyfeed.com/start www.dailylit.com warning of security problems.This gallery from the anti-spyware company Read the news as it is published on web The big change to this website is that Lavasoft lists these programs with screengrabs.It also includes information with Lazyfeed. New stories appear as the books are now available free. Text is about the files and registry entries made by the software to help remove them. soon as they are published. emailed chapter by chapter. THE BEST FREE TOOLS FOR YOUR PC Make free calls over the internet, run speed tests on external hard disks and open compressed files TRY IT! TRY IT! SKYPE X-LITE USBDEVIEW HDCLONE FREE IZARC Skype has become the Good as Skype is, it doesn’t A handy little utility, USBDeview This free program will make Although Windows can open best-known way of making actually conform to the SIP lists all of the USB devices that an exact copy of one hard some kinds of compressed voice and video calls over the standard for internet calls. have been connected to the disk to another, which is files, IZArc fills in the gaps internet. Calls are free to other X-Lite does and is a capable computer and can run speed ideal when upgrading to a and integrates into Windows Skype users . phone program. tests on external hard disks. bigger disk. Explorer. Type: Freeware Type: Freeware Type: Freeware Type: Freeware Type: Freeware File size: 1.9MB File size: 9.1MB File size: 62KB File size: 10MB File Size: 4Mb Overall: ##### Overall: ##### Overall: ##### Overall: ##### Overall: ##### Download from: Download from: Download from: Download from: Download from: www.computeractive.co.uk/ www.computeractive.co.uk/ www.computeractive.co.uk/ www.computeractive.co.uk/ www.computeractive.co.uk/ 2219476 2254975 2171086 2151201 2173182 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 69 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 70. Subscribe today and save over £18 on the shop price ONLY £27.97 for one year Never miss an issue 10% DISCOUNT on selected items at www.computeractive-direct.co.uk Order online at www.subscription.co.uk/ca/cp78 Or call 01858 438 870 quoting code cp78 Closing date: 31st March 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 71. INTERACTIVE R R COMPETITION WIN a Sandberg USB to USB Share Link kit WHAT YOU CAN WIN Copy files to a new computer the easy way 40 lucky winners will each receive a USB to USB Share Link cable kit O nce the excitement of a new Computeractive has teamed up computer has worn off, you with Sandberg to offer 40 lucky will find yourself wondering winners a USB to USB Share Link A light is displayed when at www.computeractive.co.uk/ how to move all your important cable worth £24 each. information is being transferred. competitions before the closing documents and emails over to it Rather than having to copy No extra power supply is required date, 21 January 2010. from your old computer. files to an external hard disk, because it draws the power from For more information about the which may need to be bought the USB socket. USB to USB Share Link visit the separately, or trying to remove the The USB to USB Share Link’s Sandberg website www.sandberg.it hard disk from the old computer, usefulness doesn’t end once the Share Link Cable documents are copied because it connects the two can be used to share an internet Question computers together. connection between two What connection does the Setup is easy and computers and to synchronise USB to USB Share Link use? the cable is information and emails in Microsoft A. Firewire supplied with Outlook. It works with Windows XP, B. Serial the Go Suite Vista and Windows 7. C. USB software.The For your chance to one of these 1.5m cable great prizes, simply answer the Enter Free at: supports the fast question shown on the right by www.computeractive.co.uk/competitions USB2 standard. visiting our competition web page ONLINE VIDEO PICKS OF THE FORTNIGHT Learn some Windows 7 tricks, see The Muppets sing Queen and watch T-Mobile’s latest smartphone TIDY THE WINDOWS THE MUPPETS 7 DESKTOP PERFORM BOHEMIAN T MOBILE PULSE PRINTER JAM RHAPSODY Windows 7 lets you easily arrange The T-Mobile Pulse smartphone runs Love and romance is by far the most windows and open applications using It’s almost 25 years since Queen the Google Android operating system popular subject matter for songs, unlike Aero Snap and Shake. Click and drag released Bohemian Rhapsody, easily and is similar in size to the iPhone. Text computer problems, which seldom have any open window to the top or sides of the most famous song the band ever entry is handled by an on-screen songs written about them. However, a the screen and it will resize and produced. It has been parodied many keyboard, and a trackball is set in the musician called Mistabishi has made a reposition itself, making it easier to view times and even made it into films such middle to scroll through web pages. It drum and bass track, with a video, documents side by side. Alternatively, as Wayne’s World. Now, an amusing has a 3.2-megapixel camera with about a printer that stops working and you can shake it to the left and right to cover version by The Muppets has made autofocus, and a sensor that then goes haywire. The track also clear your desktop by minimising every everyone start humming the tune and automatically rotates the display features the most common advice for other window. Our video demonstrates singing the words again. All the famous between landscape and portrait mode. computer problems: “Try unplugging it, how it works. Muppet characters are present. There’s also a built-in GPS receiver. and plugging it in again.” Watch online at: Watch online at: Watch online at: Watch online at: www.computeractive.co.uk/2251515 www.snipca.com/x641 www.computeractive.co.uk/2253929 www.snipca.com/x640 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 71 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
  • 72. Lowering the Cost of Printing! We are a small family owned and run company, specialising in printer ink cartridges, photo paper and photographic accessories. We are based in Leamington Spa, in the heart of Warwickshire, so if you are passing, or live close by, please pop into our shop, and meet Judy - our office dog! MEMORY PAPER PRINTER INK CARTRIDGES EPSON COMPATIBLE ORIGINAL INK USB Pen Drives Ilford Premium Papers Canon Compatibles HP Compatibles 2GB Kingston £6.99 6x4 Glossy 255g (50) £5.99 BCi3e Black 26ml £2.99 No.15 Black 46ml £4.99 At Premier Ink, we stock two types of cartridges for Epson printers - 2GB Sandisk 3 FOR £15.99 6x4 Satin 255g (50) £8.99 BCi3e C/M/Y 15ml £2.99 No.21 Black 20ml £8.99 Originals, which are made by Epson, and Compatibles, which are 4GB Kingston £9.99 7x5 Glossy 255g (50) £14.99 BCi6 B/C/M/Y 15ml £2.99 No.22 Colour 21ml £11.99 made by a UK company called Jet Tec. Using Jet Tec Compatibles 8GB Kingston £18.99 7x5 Satin 255g (50) £5.99 BCi6 PC/PM/R/G 15ml £2.99 No.27 Black 24ml £9.99 is a way of saving money, without compromising on the quality of your 16GB Kingston £32.99 A4 Glossy 255g (50) £8.99 PGi5 Black 29ml £5.99 No.28 Colour 24ml £12.99 prints. Here’re the results from two independent ink tests that agree… A4 Satin 255g (50) £14.99 CLi8 Black 15ml £4.99 No.45 Black 45ml £4.99 Secure Digital (SD) CLi8 B/C/M/Y 15ml £4.99 No.56 Black 24ml £9.99 2GB Sandisk £7.99 £5.99 Ilford Galerie Papers CLi8 PC/PM 15ml £4.99 No.57 Colour 24ml £12.99 “Jet Tec’s colours were superb, with single greys 4GB SDHC Inov8 C6 £9.99 A4 Gloss 290g (35) £9.99 PGi520 Black 19ml £5.99 No.58 Photo 24ml £12.99 and blacks very close to Epson …so Jet Tec wins!” 8GB SDHC Inov8 C6 £16.99 A4 Pearl 290g (35) £9.99 CLi521 B/C/M/Y/GY 9ml £4.99 No.78 Colour 45ml £9.99 - Total Digital Photography Magazine 16GB SDHC Inov8 C6 £29.99 A4 Gold Fibre 310g (10) £9.99 BCi15 Black 5ml £1.99 No.88XL Black 58ml £9.99 32GB SDHC Inov8 C6 £72.99 A4 Fine Art 190g (10) £10.99 BCi15 Colour 7ml £2.99 No.88XL C/M/Y 17ml £8.99 “What we’re looking at here is not only the best choice A4 Matt D/Sided 200g (50) £9.99 BCi16 Colour 7ml £2.99 No.110 Colour 12ml £10.99 Micro SD Cards 1GB Kingston £4.99 £2.99 Premier Ink Papers BCi24 Black 9ml BCi24 Colour 16ml £1.99 £2.99 No.336 Black 10ml No.337 Black 24ml £7.99 £10.99 of ink for the R300 printer, but also the best ink in this group test, period. There’s just no getting away from Ink Test the superb combination of performance and pricing” 2GB Kingston £6.99 4GB SDHC Kingston C4 £9.99 A4 Matt 100gsm (100) A4 Matt 120gsm (100) £4.99 £5.99 PG37 Black 12ml PG50 Black 28ml £9.99 £12.99 No.338 Black 24ml No.339 Black 34ml £10.99 £12.99 - Computer Upgrade Magazine Winner! 8GB SDHC Kingston C4 £18.99 A4 Matt 140gsm (100) £6.99 CL38 Colour 12ml £12.99 No.342 Colour 12ml £10.99 A4 Matt D/Sided 210g (50) £6.99 CL51 Colour 24ml £14.99 No.343 Colour 21ml Cartridge Code: Originals: Jet Tec Compatibles: Suitable EPSON Printers: £12.99 Compact Flash No.344 Colour 21ml £14.99 T001 Colour £24.99 65ml £3.99 70ml, 3 for £10.99 Photo 1200 2GB Inov8 £10.99 PermaJet Papers Canon Originals No.348 Photo 21ml £12.99 T007 Black £22.99 16ml £3.99 20ml, 3 for £10.99 Photo 790, 890, 900, 915, 1290 4GB Inov8 £13.99 A4 Gloss 271g (50) £19.99 BCi3e Black 26ml £10.99 No.363 Black 20ml £6.99 T008 Colour £18.99 46ml £4.99 50ml, 3 for £13.99 Photo 790, 870, 890, 895, 915 8GB Inov8 £19.99 A4 Oyster 271g (50) £19.99 BCi6 B/C/M/Y 13ml £9.99 No.363 C/M/Y/PC/PM 6ml £4.99 T009 Colour £26.99 66ml £4.99 70ml, 3 for £13.99 Photo 900, 1270, 1290 16GB Inov8 £35.99 A4 Parchment 285g (25) £21.99 BCi6 PC/PM/R/G 13ml £9.99 No.363 Set of 6 £24.99 T026 Black £19.99 16ml £3.99 20ml, 3 for £10.99 Photo 810, 830 ,830u, 925, 935 A4 Canvas 400g (10) £14.99 PGi5 Black 26ml £12.99 T027 Colour £22.99 46ml £4.99 50ml, 3 for £13.99 xD Picture Card CLi8 B/C/M/Y 13ml £11.99 HP Originals T036 Black £9.99 10ml £3.99 13ml, 3 for £10.99 C42, C44, C46 256MB Fuji £9.99 Epson Papers CLi8 PC/PM/R/G 13ml £11.99 No.21 Black 5ml £13.99 T037 Colour £11.99 25ml £4.99 31ml, 3 for £13.99 1GB Olympus £11.99 6x4 Photo 190g (70) £7.99 PGi7 Black 25ml £11.99 No.22 Colour 5ml £15.99 T040 Black £19.99 17ml £3.99 20ml, 3 for £10.99 C62, CX3200 2GB Olympus £15.99 7x5 Photo 190g (50) £7.99 PGi9 Clear 191ml £11.99 No.38 Colours, each £26.99 T041 Colour £19.99 37ml £4.99 46ml, 3 for £13.99 Smart Media, Memory Stick, A4 Photo 190g (25) £7.99 PGi9 PB/MB/C/M/Y 14ml £10.99 No.56 Black 19ml £16.99 T050 Black £19.99 15ml £2.99 16ml, 3 for £7.99 440, 640, 660 Photo 700, 1200 Micro M2, Pro Duo, all in stock Many more in stock! 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No.350XL Black 25ml £27.99 T0541/2/3/4, each £13.99 13ml £4.99 21ml, 3 for £13.99 Manfrotto 190XProB £92.95 52mm ND4 or ND8 £10.99 No.351 Colour 3.5ml £15.99 T0547/8/9, each £13.99 13ml £4.99 21ml, 3 for £13.99 Vanguard AltaPro263 £119.95 52mm Circ Polarising £17.99 No.351XL Colour 14ml £29.99 T0551-554 Set of 4 £29.99 £14.99, 3 sets for £42.99 Photo R240, R245 Many more in stock! 52mm Close-Up set of 3 £25.99 No.363 Black 6ml £13.99 T0551 Black £8.99 8ml £4.99 21ml, 3 for £10.99 RX420, RX425, RX520, RX525 58mm UV / Haze £7.99 No.363 C/M/Y/PC/PM £8.99 T0552/3/4, each £8.99 8ml £3.99 21ml, 3 for £10.99 58mm Skylight £8.99 No.363 Set of 6 £39.99 T0591-599 Set of 8 £94.99 Check Website. Photo R2400 Camera Bags 58mm ND4 or ND8 £14.99 No.364 Black 6ml £8.99 T0591/2/3, each £11.99 13ml Check Website. Huge range of bags 58mm Circ Polarising £21.99 No.364 PB/C/M/Y 3ml £7.99 T0594/5/6, each £11.99 13ml Check Website. in stock from 58mm Close-Up set of 3 £32.99 No.901 Black 4ml £11.99 T0597/8/9, each £11.99 13ml Check Website. Kata, Vanguard 62mm UV / Haze £8.99 Kodak Originals No.901 Colour 9ml £16.99 T0611-614 Set of 4 £29.99 £14.99, 3 sets for £42.99 D68, D88 Billingham 62mm Circ Polarising £24.99 ESP Black Series 10 Ink £6.99 No.920XL Colours each £8.99 T0611 Black £8.99 8ml £4.99 21ml, 3 for £13.99 DX3800/3850, DX4200/4250 Naneu Tamrac ESP Colour Series 10 Ink £9.99 T0612/3/4, each £8.99 8ml £3.99 21ml, 3 for £10.99 DX4800/4850 67mm UV / Haze £9.99 Many more in stock! Vanguard Shoulder Bag £18.95 67mm Circ Polarising £27.99 ESP Black Colour Ink £15.99 T0711-714 Set of 4 £29.99 £14.99, 3 sets for £42.99 S20/21, SX100/105/115/200/205/215 Vanguard Sling Backpack £29.95 72mm UV / Haze £11.99 Many more in stock! T0711 Black £8.99 7.4ml £4.99 13ml, 3 for £13.99 SX400/405/415/515, D78/92/120 Kata 3N1 Sling 10 £63.95 72mm Circ Polarising £39.99 T0712/3/4, each £8.99 5.5ml £3.99 13ml, 3 for £10.99 DX4000/4400/5000/6000/7400/8400 Naneu Advenure K3L £69.95 77mm UV / Haze £14.99 T0791-796 Set of 6 £70.99 Check Website. Photo 1400 Tamrac Expedition 5X £90.95 77mm Circ Polarising £44.99 T0791/2/3, each £11.99 10ml Check Website. Billingham Hadley £119.95 Many more sizes in stock! T0794/5/6, each £11.99 10ml Check Website. Many more in stock! T0801-806 Set of 6 £45.99 £19.99, 3 sets for £57.99 Photo P50, R265, R285, R360 T0801/2/3, each £8.99 7.4ml £3.99 13ml, 3 for £10.99 RX560, RX585, RX685, PX650 T0804/5/6, each £8.99 7.4ml £3.99 13ml, 3 for £10.99 PX700/710W, PX800/810FW Camera Batteries P-Type Square Lexmark Compatibles T0870-879 Set of 8 £76.99 Check Website. Photo R1900 Filter System T0870 Gloss £7.99 11.4ml Check Website. Replacement li-ion No.1 Cartridge £10.99 batteries for digital The P-Type square / rectangular Brother Compatibles No.2 Cartridge £11.99 T0871/2/3/4, each £9.99 11.4ml Check Website. cameras, made by filter system consists of three parts: No.3 Cartridge £14.99 T0877/8/9, each £9.99 11.4ml Check Website. Energizer and Blumax 1) An adapter ring that screws onto LC900 Black £3.99 T0961-969 Set of 8 £78.99 Check Website. Photo R2880 the front of your DSLR lens LC900 C/M/Y £2.99 No.16 Black £10.99 No.17 Black £9.99 T0961/2/3, each £9.99 11.4ml Check Website. Canon NB-2L £9.99 2) A filter holder clips onto the ring LC900 Set of 4 £11.99 3) One or more P-Type filters No.26 Colour £12.99 T0964/5/6, each £9.99 11.4ml Check Website. Canon NB-7L £9.99 LC970 / 1000 Black £3.99 T0967/8/9, each £9.99 11.4ml Check Website. Canon LP-E5 £9.99 LC970 / 1000 C/M/Y £2.99 No.27 Colour £11.99 No.31 Photo £11.99 T5591-6 Set of 6 £61.99 Check Website. Photo RX700 Canon BP-511 £12.99 LC970 / 1000 Set of 4 £11.99 T5591/2/3, each £11.99 13ml Check Website. Nikon EN-EL3e £15.99 LC980 / 1100 Black £3.99 No.32 Black £9.99 No.33 Colour £11.99 T5594/5/6, each £11.99 13ml Check Website. Nikon EN-EL9 £12.99 LC980 / 1100 C/M/Y £2.99 T5570, each £32.99 £9.99 Ink Only Picturemate, Picturemate 500 Panasonic S006 £9.99 LC980 / 1100 Set of 4 £11.99 No.34 Black £11.99 No.35 Colour £12.99 T5730, each £32.99 £9.99 Ink Only Picturemate 100 Sony NP-FM500H £19.99 T5844/T5846, each £16.99 £9.99 Ink Only Picturemate 240, 260, 280, 290 AA Rechargeables x4 £3.99 Brother Originals 49, 52, 55mm Rings £4.99 Lexmark Originals Please call or check our website if you cannot find cartridges for your printer. AAA Rechargeables x4 £3.99 LC900 Set of 4 £42.99 58, 62 ,67mm Rings £4.99 No.14 Black £16.99 Many more in stock! 72, 77, 82mm Rings £4.99 LC970 Set of 4 £34.99 www.premier-ink.co.uk LC980 / 1100 Set of 4 £36.99 No.15 Colour £18.99 Filter Holder £5.99 No.23 Black £14.99 ND2 Filter £8.99 LC1000 Set of 4 £42.99 Flash Guns Meters No.24 Colour £16.99 ND2 Grad Filter £10.99 Many more in stock! No.28 Black £13.99 Nissin Di466 GN:33 £89.95 ND4 Filter ND4 Grad Filter £8.99 £10.99 No.29 Colour £14.99 0800 161 3638 or 01926 339977 Nissin Di622 GN:44 £99.95 No.32 Black £15.99 Nissin Di866 GN:60 £229.95 L. Blue Grad Filter £10.99 Dell Compatibles £17.99 No.33 Colour • Royal Mail 1st Class Delivery Premier Ink Photographic Metz 36AF-4 GN:36 £72.95 D. Blue Grad Filter £10.99 Series 1 Black (T0529) £11.99 No.36 Black £16.99 Metz 48AF-1 GN:48 £175.95 L. Sunset Grad Filter £10.99 Series 1 Black (T0530) £12.99 No.37 Colour £18.99 • PP £1.76 Per Order Longfield Road Sekonic L208 £69.95 D. Sunset Grad Filter £10.99 Series 5 Black (M4640) £11.99 No.43 Colour £22.99 • All Prices Include VAT at 17.5% Sydenham Industrial Estate Sekonic L308S £129.95 Circ Polarizing Filter £27.99 Series 5 Black (M4646) £12.99 No.44 Black £18.99 • 100% Money-back Guarantee Leamington Spa, Warwickshire Many more in stock! Many more in stock! Many more in stock! Many more in stock! • Freephone Telephone Number CV31 1XB www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
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  • 74. NEXT ISSUE Issue 311 on sale Thursday 21 January UK'S BEST-SELLING In the next issue... Also in the next issue... COMPUTER MAGAZINE Average sales, Jan-Dec 2008, 177,330 copies per issue. I Solve driver EDITORIAL Editor Paul Allen Deputy Editor Tom Royal problems News Editor Dinah Greek Drivers – the tiny pieces of Reviews Editor Anthony Dhanendran Senior Staff Writer Tim Smith software that allow hardware Staff Writer Orestis Bastounis Group Production Editor Debbie Oliver products to work with your PC – Production Editor Lindsay Parish-Jones can often cause errors and Senior Sub Editor Harry Burrows Sub Editor Craig Harris problems.We explain how to Group Art Editor Nick Palmer Designer Steve Kirk fix them Sorry, no technical or buying advice. I Voting online ADVERTISING Advertisement sales hotline 020 7316 9420 Display ads/media pack 020 7316 9305 We investigate Group Sales Manager Paul Harvey whether the Display Sales Natalie Forsdike, Maria Theocharides-Andreou internet and Classified Sales 020 7316 9420 computers MARKETING AND CIRCULATION are helping Marketing Manager Louise Newland Circulation Manager Helen Knight or hindering Marketing Executive Rahila Ehsan Your online Circulation Executive Laura Kelly public involvement PRODUCTION Senior Production Manager Cathy Mahoney in politics Digital Production Manager Rebecca Yegliss Production Controller Maria Pelton toolkit I Workshops PUBLISHING Chief Executive Tim Weller Use the Ease ofAccess Center, Managing Director, Professional Services fix display driver problems, Graham Harman Group Publisher Dylan Armbrust uninstall unwanted parts of Online applications can be used from Windows,synchronise your PC Annual subscription rates UK £25.77; Europe (including Irish Republic) £65; Rest of World £100 any PC at no charge, with no need to with an atomic clock,calibrate a display inWindows 7,use REPRINTS We offer a full reprint service for reproduction of download or install software. We pick Google Maps in your website, all or part of previous articles. Contact Wright’s Reprints: +1 877 652 5295 out the best free online tools and more (international toll-free). Email: computeractive@wrightsreprints.com. PLEASE NOTE THAT CONTENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OVERSEAS LICENSING Computeractive is available for international licensing. Please contact Joanna Mitchell at joanna.mitchell@incisivemedia.com for Subscriptions and webstore enquiries more information. SUBSCRIPTIONS: For new and existing subscription DISCLAIMER queries go to www.subscription.co.uk/help/vnu, Readers are reminded that the opinions email vnu@subscription.co.uk expressed, and the results published in connection with reviews and/or laboratory EK OF THE WE To order your subscription by post, send a cheque test reports carried out on computing systems (payable to VNU Business Publications Ltd) to: and/or related items, are confined to, and are DEAL representative of, only those goods as Computeractive Subscriptions, supplied and should not be construed as a Tower House,Sovereign Park, recommendation to purchase. Whilst every WINDOWS 7 – Save precaution is taken to ensure that reliability Market Harborough LE16 9EF. and good business practices prevail, the TWEAKS, TIPS 20% Publisher cannot be held responsible for the overall trading activities of any supplier referred DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: to, or advertising within, this publication. To subscribe to the downloadable version of Computeractive, visit www.ziniomags.co.uk. AND TRICKS Incisive Media 32-34 Broadwick Street, London W1A 2HG. Telephone: 020 7316 9000 • Explore Windows 7’s new features We cannot respond to any correspondence personally. WEBSTORE ENQUIRIES: • Install and use the Upgrade Advisor vnu@subscription.co.uk • Use Windows Easy Transfer to move your files and settings • Plus troubleshooting tips and much more! EDITORIAL CONTACTS: See page 4 RRP £6.99 - Our price only £5.59 For all other contacts write to: No materials may be reproduced in whole or in Computeractive, EXCLUSIVE DEALS FROM THE EXPERTS part without written consent from the copyright holder. Incisive Media, 32-34 Broadwick Street, www.computeractive-direct.co.uk © 2010 Incisive Media. Printed and bound by Polestar UK Print Ltd. Mailed by Priority Mailing Newstrade. London W1A 2HG. 01858 438 883 Offer code: RD50 Computer Active is printed on paper from sustainable sources in Finland/Belgium. Distributed by Marketforce (UK) Visit our website: www.computeractive.co.uk Ltd. ISSN 1461-6211 74 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com www.fantamag.com
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