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  • 1. ONLY £1.95 ICE IN PLAIN ENG LISH ISSUE 322 24 JUN to 7 JUL 2010 SIMPLE CLEAR ADV INSIDE THIS NGLISH C A M PA I G N ISSUE AP PROVED B Y THE P LAIN E Fix PC problems quickly and easily with the secret tools computer experts use ORKSHOP S TED HOW TO W TRIED & TES PROTECT YOUR HOME NETWORK Get faster internet 15 PAGES OF EASY PC WORKSHOPS MONITOR your broadband usage PROTECT YOUR FILES FROM FLOOD EASILY create columns in Word OR FIRE access and block SECURE your emails and settings unsuitable sites - free! CUSTOMISE the Windows Start menu ioSafe Solo
  • 2. Windows®. Life without Walls™. Dell recommends Windows 7. Everyday uses. For everyone in the family. A powerful multimedia system perfect for your family Dell Studio 15 £ 579 Total savings ....................... £129 E-ValueTM Code: PCPUK07-N0055807 Ready for a PC that adapts to everything you want to do? Here’s why: Then step up to the faster, smarter performance of a Dell • Intel® Core™ i3-330M Processor PC powered by the new Intel® Core™ i7 processor. • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • 4GB Memory • 500GB Hard Drive Shown in “I’m not Really a Waitress by OPI.” Black Chainlink • 15.6” (39.6cm) HD LED Screen with True-Life™ Comes Standard — Your Choice of 5 Colors for £29. • 512MB ATI Mobility RADEON HD 545v graphics card • 2MP Webcam • McAfee Security Centre 15 month subscription included Offers due to end 28/07/2010. Dell Products, c/o P.O. Box 69, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 1RD, United Kingdom. Subject to availability. Prices and specifications may change without notice. McAfee™ - PROTECT WHAT YOU VALUE. 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. Terms and Conditions of Sales, Service and Finance apply and are available from If you wish not to receive further marketing material via fax or direct mail please inform us via mail:; post: Dell - Suppressions. PO Box 59, ROSS ON WYE, HR9 7ZS, United Kingdom; or fax: 0800 3283071. Delivery charges range from £5.75 to £14.95 incl. VAT (17.5%) per item for items purchased without a system. Desktops and laptops listed include Microsoft Works 9.0 as standard. Actual hard drive capacity will be less due to material and operating system which are preloaded. Promotional offers limited to maximum 5 systems per customer.1. Saving is the difference between the total offer price versus the current online price for the basic system with promotional components upgraded individually. Dell Services do not affect customer’s statutory rights. They are subject to Terms and Conditions which can be found at 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. Microsoft and Windows 7 are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
  • 3. Dell Studio 17 Dell Studio XPS 16 Dell Studio XPS 16 Dell Studio XPS 8100 Premium sound and a full Hi-def display bring Stylish performance with the new Core™ i5 Powerful performance, with the Core™ i7 mobile No compromise design, features and the new Studio 17 to life. processor! processor! performance. Total savings .............................................. £144 Total savings ............................................ £269 £ £ £ £ Subtotal ............................ E-Value Code: PCPUK07-N0074902 629 Subtotal ............................ E-Value Code: PCPUK07-N00X6701 899 Subtotal ............................ E-Value Code: PCPUK07 - N00X6501 999 Subtotal ............................ E-Value Code: PCPUK07-D00X8104 829 ® ™ ® ™ ® ™ ® ™ • Intel Core i3-330M Processor • Intel Core i5-520M Processor • Intel Core i7-740QM Processor • Intel Core i7-860 Processor • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • 3GB Memory • 4GB Memory • 4GB Memory • 6GB Memory • FREE Upgrade to 500GB Hard Drive • 320GB Hard Drive • 500GB Hard Drive • 2TB Stripe Raid 0 Hard drive • 17.3” (44cm) HD LED Screen with True-Life™ • 15.6” (39.6cm) WLED True-Life™ • 15.6” (39.6 cm) WLED Widescreen with • Monitor Not Included • 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 • 1GB ATI Radeon® HD 4670 Graphic Card True-Life™ • 1GB NVIDIA GTS 240 DDR3 Graphic Card Graphics Card • 2MP Webcam • 1GB ATI Radeon® HD 4670 Graphic Card • Integrated HDA 7.1 Audio • 2MP Webcam • 2MP Webcam • Integrated Gigabit NIC • FREE LoJack® software for 1 Year • FREE McAfee Security Centre 15 month • FREE McAfee Security Centre 15 month subscription subscription Need help? Now available: LoJack® for laptops Any PC. Any problem. theft recovery software. We can help! FLEX AREA No fix, no fee. Call 0844 444 3122 Targus Campus Dell P513w All-In-One Notebook Backpack XL Wireless Printer Help and advice from £19 £ £ SOLUTION STATION 44 100 Order today at or call 0844 444 3592 Count on the combination of Dell and Windows® 7 to give you fast, intuitive computing for your day-today tasks. Less is more with Windows 7 – fewer interruptions, fewer steps to complete tasks, fewer delays.
  • 4. Simple Clear Ad vice Approved by Contents INTERACTIVE the Plain English Campaign 6 News One in three results for popular online FROM THE EDITOR searches are 69 dangerous, says study Every PC goes wrong from time 46 Hints & Tips to time. Often Filter your emails in a 65 CA Investigates Yahoo Mail account, manage saved We look at the pros and cons of smart these problems energy meters, which track electricity passwords in Firefox and use Autofill are easy to fix but and gas consumption effectively in Excel sometimes a tricky one comes 62 Consumeractive 66 Letters along that We explain the rules surrounding A blocked credit card prompts a reader to requires more software updates and investigate an ask whether telling your bank you are drastic action, unnecessary broadband fee going away is a secure option and that’s where many of us will think about calling an expert. In this issue, 68 The best of the web though, we explain how to find and 71 Find out how the clock that strikes Big Ben works and design the use 10 of the most useful hidden tools layout of a room that the experts rely on – see page 10. There’s also an exclusive chance to 69 Competition win a laptop worth £400 simply by Win a copy of Magix Music Maker answering our short survey on the 16 XXL and make music with the products and topics that interest you. help of your computer It will take about five minutes of your time – see page 51 for details. 71 Gaming Paul Allen Step into the shoes of everyone’s favourite Timelord, the Doctor, and return to one of gaming’s oldest heroes in Prince of Persia TRIED & TESTED 17 Palicomp How to contact us EXC7 Sorry,but because of the huge number of A powerful PC that’s enquiries we get,we can only give technical ideal for games and help and consumer advice through published other taxing tasks replies in the magazine – we cannot take phone calls or answer letters personally. 26 Norton 360 26 Subscriptions and webstore, Version 4 see page 74. Security and performance Letters page: tools in one neat package 17 BEST BUYS Technical help: 24 Vodafone 28 Digital note takers Consumer problems: Sure Signal Take notes digitally or convert Boost your mobile your handwriting into Ideas for articles and Workshops: phone signal using editable text with our pick the internet of digital note-takers By post: Computeractive, Incisive Media, 32-34 Broadwick Street, London W1A 2HG 24 4
  • 5. ISSUE 322 24 June to 7 July 2010 HOW TO COVER STORY Page 10 56 No Problem – our experts answer your home computing questions Add bullet points in Word, set Windows to remind you when to download updates and get the right keyboard layout How to find FEATURES and use the 10 hidden 48 Lost in translation tools that We explain the potential pitfalls of buying goods from abroad the experts use to fix 52 Defend your network computers Add a safety net to your home by blocking access fast to unwanted websites 60 BACK TO BASICS 60 Share files the easy way 48 52 We explain how to use PDFs effectively and how to make your own using free software WORKSHOPS 32 How to keep an eye on your internet activity Do you know how your 38 Synchronise files and folders using tags Find out how a free tool can broadband connection is keep your files in sync being used? A free tool can reveal all 41 Customise Start menu items 34 Keep your email Discover ways to display messages and favourite folders on the settings safe Windows Start menu Email messages are as precious as any other 42 Organise open personal information that is windows and stored on your computer. running programs Back them up simply, Organise open applications quickly and for free by using free software to create an invisible grid to 36 Create position windows newspaper-style 15 EASY TO USE columns in Word Columns can give your 45 Quickly direct files and folders STEP-BY-STEP documents a lift.We explain how to use them in Word using SendTo The SendTo command is a PAGES - page 31 2003 and 2007 and how to neaten up a layout handy Windows’shortcut. Learn how to use it 24 June257June 2010 12 - - July 2008 5
  • 6. NEWS R R ECRIME Search results link to scam sites Study reveals ‘poisoning’ affects one-third of popular search results ONE THIRD of search results for popular Symantec’s two-week study Google said it had set up a number of queries are ‘poisoned’ , with most linking to used the 300 top search terms, automated systems to constantly scour its dangerous websites, according to Symantec. as identified by Google’s index for potentially dangerous sites. An investigation by the security firm into Trends service, each day, “We add a label to those that appear to be a the growing problem of what is known as recording the first 100 results vehicle for fraudulent sites to protect users search engine optimisation poisoning returned when each was input who might visit them. We also work with found that, on average, at least 10,000 of into a search engine and webmasters to help them keep their sites the 30,000 results checked each day had checking to see how many secure,” the search giant told us. been compromised. of the results were But Mr Khanh warned that criminals are Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a malicious. still finding ways to evade detection. He said means of getting more traffic to a website The company’s Khanh many of the malicious sites will present one from search engines by adding links or Tran said that the single page to search engine ‘spiders’, which index keywords so that it appears to be a more most poisoned search web page content, and another to human popular or useful page. term during the period visitors, concealing the attack. SEO poisoning is when criminals use produced results where these techniques to ensure that their own malicious pages appear prominently over 90 per cent of entries had been R HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF when users search for common terms. compromised. SEO poisoning is a growing threat but there are tools to Such attacks often involve adding fake On some days over help you stay safe. Symantec has released a trial web pages to legitimate but hacked sites. 250 of the 300 terms version of a tool, Safe Web Lite, that will scan search People searching are then confronted checked returned results results and mark any that it knows to be dangerous. with sites that, according to Ashwin where 10 per cent or AVG has a free web tool called AVG Linkscanner which Athalye of Symantec, usually peddle fake more were poisoned. can identify threats in real time and let you know if a security software known as scareware. He said that search page or link is dangerous before you click. engines now attempt to qSymantec’s investigation found that on average at warn users of these least 10,000 out of 30,000 results were compromised dangerous pages. x IN BRIEF... LAW I NHS UNDER FIRE OVER DATA NEGLECT The Information Bill proposed to clarify ‘outdated’ libel law online Commissioner’s Office A PROPOSED bill to 200 years old, said:“For a tChanges to libel laws would give bloggers a (ICO) said it remains change the UK’s law to be effective it has to clearer idea about their legal responsibilities “highly concerned” about “complex”and“outdated” be respected.” the lax data security libel laws would make them The proposed changes that ISPs, blogging website procedures practised by clearer for‘citizen would give internet service providers and others who NHS trusts and medical facilities. It journalists’and bloggers. providers (ISPs) and have an indirect role in revealed that NHS Stoke-on-Trent Although they may not people running blog sites publishing content now failed to file 2,000 paper realise it, these people are and message boards know how long they have physiotherapy records within its often most at risk from clarification about their to act on a complaint. archive system and these may aggrieved companies or responsibilities to avoid “The 14-day period is a have been accidentally destroyed other litigants. being sued. surprisingly long one, or misfiled. Basingstoke and North They are also less able to Currently these third considering how serious Hampshire NHS Trust emailed an defend themselves from parties have to rely on libel actions can be.” unprotected spreadsheet, legal action. But changes wording which is The Bill would also containing 917 patients’ laid out in the bill, proposed ambiguous; stating these effectively reduce the time pathology results, via an by Lord Lester, a Lib Dem companies or sites can in which a libel action must unsecure address to another peer, would take online escape liability for be taken. Currently the department.The receiving content into account. publishing allegedly they would have a clearly constant availability of department had no business need Bob Satchwell, of the defamatory material only if defined period of 14 days in online articles, blogs and to have access to that number of Society of Editors, who they take it down which to act. opinions means legal action clinical records. called the current law ‘expeditiously’when David Woods, a litigation can be launched years after “outdated”and based on informed of it. expert at Pinsent Masons original publication. many practices more than Under Lord Lester’s plans law firm said:“This means 6 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 7. NEWS R R R R x IN BRIEF... BROADBAND MOBILE I CRICKET MATCH Networks to SCREENED IN 3D Cricket fans will be able to watch England’s first Natwest one-day BT strike may hit services cap data use Analysts have international match against A STRIKE by BT engineers and call Computeractive to press. When we predicted that the Bangladesh in 3D.The match, centre staff could have a significant contacted BT it said it would not major UK mobile which will be played on 8 July, will impact on internet services throughout comment on the proposed strike but that networks will be shown at over 1,000 pubs and the UK, the Communications Workers it had contingency plans in place. follow O2 and cap clubs across the UK and Ireland; a Union (CWU) has warned. Although BT would not mobile internet use. list of which is on Sky’s website. Many internet service elaborate on these plans, O2 has introduced a Later in the year, 3D movies, sport providers (ISPs) lease and other ISPs would three-tier data allowance and other content will be available their broadband lines not comment, the system for new and to Sky subscribers at home but from BT Wholesale. CWU dismissed upgrading customers. Tariffs they will still need to have access Like BT, these ISPs what it had heard range from £35 per month to a 3D television. are dependent on about possible for a 500MB allowance, BT engineers to backup plans. rising to £45 and £60 fix faults and keep “We have heard for 750MB and 1GB, I GOOGLE GIVES the network that BT has respectively. O2 said the CHROME A POLISH running. A been asking its changes offer a “more Google has issued a fresh prolonged strike managers about transparent way of charging round of security updates could mean them filling in for customers for data”. for its Chrome web problems suffered by engineering and call Although the move browser, which will their customers taking centre staff but that is has angered some O2 address 11 weeks to put right. laughable,” a union customers, analysts vulnerabilities “We do not want to go on representative told us. stressed that data caps covering the strike and the last time was over A strike by BT workers would would only affect a small Windows, Mac OS X 20 years ago. But BT refuses to budge. It be the first since 1987. The CWU, which proportion of consumers. and Linux operating systems. The is difficult to predict what will happen rejected BT’s offer of a two per cent pay Steven Hartley, principal update comes just days after two regarding internet connections but if the increase this year, and three per cent analyst at Ovum, said he of Google’s competitors in the strike goes ahead, and for a long time, it next year, has been pushing for a five per believes it is just a matter of browser market delivered fixes of could have a significant impact on cent increase. The ballot papers are due time before the other their own.Apple has included people,” a CWU representative warned. to be returned by 5 July and a result is networks follow suit. security patches in its recent The union was in the process of expected the same day. Safari 5 web browser release, balloting its 55,000 members as while Microsoft has bundled a fix for a critical security flaw in ULTIMATE GUIDE Internet Explorer with its monthly JARGON B U S T E R security update. Maintain and extend the life of your PC Techno babble demystified... I SECURITY TOOL THE LATEST issue of our from your PC and starting Blogger Someone who FOR ANDROID Computeractive Ultimate again can seem daunting writes an online journal. Security firm Symantec is Guide shows you how to but if you need to return releasing a free testing version of a make your PC last longer. your computer to its factory GB A storage measurement, security tool for smartphones Our step-by-step settings or want to get back usually for hard disks. running Google’s free Android Workshops and informative its original speed, we show operating system, which is based features, written in our tried you how to reinstall Hard disk A high-capacity on Linux and used for portable and trusted plain English everything from scratch. disk used to store files. computers and mobile phones, style, look at how the tools The free CD is packed this month. Security experts built into Windows and with free and trial software ISP Provides you with an are warning this popularity means third-party software can such Ashampoo internet connection. the threat of hackers attacking keep things ticking over. Winoptimizer 2010 and such devices is growing.The Key maintenance tools Registry Mechanic. Other MB A measurement of Norton Smartphone Security app that are covered include software products such as storage, usually for includes a blacklist system to warn defragmentation through the processes, Auslogics Disk Defrag are computer memory. the user if they download a (reorganising the data on from simple, cost-effective explained in our detailed dangerous application from the your PC) and registry upgrades, such as picking Workshops. Registry A file integrated Android Market and tools to cleaning applications. the right memory, to more Computeractive’s into Windows that stores automatically block telephone Sometimes a simple expensive makeovers such Ultimate Guide to Making data on all hardware and calls or text messages from a upgrade can transform a as swapping a hard disk for Your PC last longer goes on software on your computer. specified phone number. PC.We explain how to a faster storage device with sale 1st July priced £5.99. decide if it is necessary to no moving parts. www.computeractive- For full definitions visit: upgrade and guide you Cleaning everything out 24 June - 7 July 2010 7
  • 8. NEWS R R x IN BRIEF... BROADBAND WIFI I RATTLE RIVALS Google causes WITH FOOTBALL APP An application created for the Net gain from licence fee privacy upset Privacy International (PI) will iPhone and iPod PARTS OF the BBC’s licence fee will be Mr Hunt also said licence fee money make a formal complaint to Touch can turn used to fund faster broadband services set aside to fund independent news UK police regarding Google’s these devices into across the UK, culture secretary Jeremy consortia would instead be used to bring gathering of Wifi data as a football rattle. Hunt has confirmed. the next generation of even faster part of the search giant’s All people need to Underspend on the money put broadband services to rural and Street View operation. aside from licence fee income hard-to-reach areas. Google initially blamed the ADBA do to recreate the BRO sound of a rattle to help pensioners and However, the money collecting of Wifi data on an after downloading the software is to low-income families with the digital TV N set aside for this is limited; calculated at error. But according to PI, a recent audit report released D wave the iPhone switchover will be about £250m per by Google “asserts that the or iPod Touch used to push forward year up to 2012. system had intent to identify around.The England Football the universal service He said that and store all unencrypted Rattle, which has been developed commitment (USC). three market- Wifi content.” It said that by PS Ventures, will speed up or Although he testing projects, Google’s action “goes well slow down according to the speed called this led by a beyond the ‘mistake’” the and vigour with which the device commitment to give government agency, search company claimed, is waved.The application, which every household in Broadband Delivery and had breached the UK’s costs 59p, can be downloaded the UK a minimum UK, will now begin to Regulation of Investigatory from the Apple Store. 2Mbits/sec service “paltry” and “pitifully licence fee look at the best ways and technologies to Powers Act. A spokesperson for unambitious”, he said the deliver this goal. Google said the company I HUMYO GETS Government would support it. Antony Walker, chief executive would not comment further TRENDY “It is a scandal that nearly three officer of the Broadband Stakeholder on the allegations, but in a British online storage service million households in this country still Group, welcomed the news but warned blog post published in May it has been acquired by cannot access 2Mbits/sec broadband that the sums of money offered by the described the collection as the security firm Trend Micro. speeds, and less than one per cent of the Government were small. “a mistake” and that it Humyo, founded in 2007, currently country is able to access the internet “Overall this is positive news. But it’s wanted “to delete the data provides both free and paid-for using modern fibre-optic technology – not going to be easy to deliver these as soon as possible”. services, with paying customers compared to an OECD average of around goals. There is an awful lot to think getting access to an automatic 10 per cent,” he said. about,” he said. online backup tool.A spokesperson told Computeractive that “there will INTERNET be a change in the branding” of the service at some point, but that it would remain “the same product, run by the same people” and would Disabled web users benefit from mobile applications keep its storage servers in the THE GROWTH of qMobile apps are “The other UK. He could not confirm whether applications and websites designed to work on platforms, such as prices will change. for mobile phones and small screens Symbian and other internet-enabled Android, tend to be a bit devices is good news for “In order for of a free-for-all.Apple I PLAY GAMES AND disabled web users, a these mobile has been very SUPPORT A CHARITY leading charity has said. websites and consistent in the way it People with Playstation3 games Robin Christopherson, of apps to work on ensures accessibility, consoles are being encouraged to Abilitynet, said rather than smaller screens, and this applies to the buy a triple-pack of recent titles excluding people with the developers apps it allows. with part of the proceeds going to disabilities, mobile websites have had to make “It won’t approve an charity Gamesaid.The pack, and applications, or‘apps’ , them simpler, application unless it which contains Tomb Raider: make it easier for them to which in turn has meets a certain Underworld, Sega Superstars use the internet. made them more standard,” he said. Tennis and racing game Fuel can As the head of accessible. He also pointed out be bought at the suggested retail accessibility services for the “The that there will price of £30.At least half of the national charity, which developers have obviously always be money raised will be sent to helps adults and children gone back to basics with computer,” he said. some apps some people Gamesaid.The organisation with disabilities use websites.This means that He said Apple in won’t be able to use, and hopes to raise at least £500,000 computers and the internet, people with disabilities, particular deserved that some people may only from the packs. he told Computeractive he from visual impairments to recognition for its strict be able to use mobile was“excited”about the learning difficulties find control over the apps it websites on a computer. developments. them easier to use on a allows for its devices. 8 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 9. NEWS R R R R x IN BRIEF... MOBILE PHONE CHARGES SOFTWARE I WEB TELEVISION Office 2010 BOOM IS COMING There will be a boom over the next four years in the number of Call costs fall in the EU released Microsoft has released the web-enabled TV sets that are sold THE COST of making phone calls from COST OF CALLS WITHIN THE EU consumer version of Office in the UK, according to industry within the European Union has fallen 35p 2010 with new features experts.A number of again; despite a challenge from several 32p including a photo-editing 30 manufacturers are producing sets mobile operators. function in Word to edit Calls made that can download and play From 1 July, charges before Vat for 25 images in documents. content directly from the internet making a call have fallen from just over Calls received More video capabilities 20 without the need for a separate 35p (43 euro cents) last summer to 32p have been added to set-top box or a PC. However, per minute. Receiving a call will now 15p Powerpoint and there is also many in the industry think it will be cost approximately 12p, down from 12p a function linking people summer summer summer summer 10 15-20 years before 3D TV around 15p per minute. with social-networking becomes a mainstream The costs of sending a text message sites. This lets people merge Last Last This This 5 consumer technology. remains at around 10p and they remain their inbox with any 0 free to receive. Mobile operators must social- also ensure that from 1 July they paying up to 70 per cent less when networking site I EMAIL ITEMS TO implement an automatic cut-off facility making and receiving calls and sending such as NEW HP PRINTERS for data downloads. text messages. Facebook and HP has announced a line-up of This will stop users from running up Mobile phone operators T-Mobile, see their most new printers that allow documents an enormous bill by cutting off their Vodafone, Orange and Telefonica O2 recent updates. to be printed from any email- mobile internet access once the cost challenged these limits. But the It is expected enabled device.The range reaches a pre-set level. European Court of Justice ruled at the that the Home includes the Photosmart Premium The default limit is around £40 a beginning of June that roaming and Student e-All-in-one, due in October month but customers can choose a legislation that places a maximum on version will go on sale for priced at £180, the Photosmart different amount if they prefer. People what mobile operators can charge is, in around £109. Plus e-All-in-one, available from must also receive a warning when they fact, legal. An advert-supported September for £150 and the hit 80 per cent of their chosen limit. Giles Chichester, Conservative MEP, version, Office Starter 2010, Photosmart Wireless e-All-in-one, The Roaming Regulations were first said: “This is welcome news, particularly will be pre-installed on available from July priced at £100. introduced in 2007. Since their as we approach the summer period when some new PCs. implementation the European most of us take holidays abroad.” Commission has said people are GENEALOGY SMARTPHONE JARGON B U S T E R Pinpoint your family’s history Apple unveils iPhone 4 Techno babble demystified... FAMILY HISTORY Street View image if it website Historypin wants exists, so they can be seen APPLE HAS operating system High definition A TV people to upload old in the context of how the unveiled its (OS), which Apple picture with a higher photos of places to create street or area looks now. latest incarnation calls iOS4 and will resolution than normal. an interactive historical The project is being run of the iPhone. include support for map of the UK and other by the London-based non- The slimmer running several Mbits/sec Megabits per parts of the world. profit group We Are What and sleeker apps at once. second. A measure of data The pictures are then We Do, in partnership with iPhone 4 has a As this issue of transfer speed. ‘tagged’with dates and Google, which is providing new touchscreen Computeractive explanations so others the online storage space display with a high went to press, Operating system can view them and find for the pictures. resolution of Apple said it is Governs the way hardware out about their history. All copyright and other 960x640 pixels. planning to and software in a computer Photographs can also rights will remain with the Other changes deliver the OS to work together. be placed onto a Google owner of the pictures. include extended most iPhone Other users can view the battery life and a and iPod Touch Resolution The amount of pictures, select dates to new front- users as a free detail shown in an image. view and add their own mounted camera. update on 21 June. comments and links. The back-mounted The OS also supports a Server A computer on a Access to the site is camera is capable of video-chat service called network that distributes free. If users do not have a shooting high-definition Facetime for those with information to other PCs. scanner, a paid-for service video clips, which can be compatible handsets. Price is available so they can edited using the company’s plans are yet to be Wifi Wireless networking. have pictures scanned. new iMovie app. announced, but unlocked The handsets use the models cost from £499. For full definitions visit: fourth version of the iPhone 24 June - 7 July 2010 9
  • 10. HOW TO USE WINDOWS’ EXPERT TOOLS COVER STORY Need a quick computer fix? We show how to find and use 10 hidden troubleshooting tools that the experts rely on I f you have had a computer for a while, you have 1 Command and conquer probably discovered that Windows comes with a Before graphical operating systems such as Windows load of useful tools. You have probably worked caught on, most PCs ran DOS (short for Disk Operating out sums in Calculator, protected files using System), which is a text-based system where you could Backup and, if you read our article in issue 320, move files and start programs by typing commands. In you may even have got the measure of your system with fact, Windows effectively ran on top of this older the Windows 7 Resource Monitor. operating system up to and including Windows 98 and The chances are, though, that there has also been a Me. Modern versions of Windows can still create a time when your computer had a problem and you DOS-like interface using the Command Prompt. weren’t sure if you had the tools to fix it. Windows and the applications that run on it can slow down, go wrong or just act oddly, leaving even confident users baffled. But not all of Windows’ tools are in plain view. When most of us think that it’s time to give up, we may call on an expert who knows how to fix the problem using tools that aren’t tricky to use: Image: Steve Kirk they’re just hidden away. In this article we’ll show you where 10 of these hidden tools can be found and how to use them. 9Run the Command Prompt as Administrator in Windows 7 or Vista 10 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 11. USE WINDOWS’ EXPERT TOOLS HOW TO The command prompt isn’t so useful in everyday computing, but when programs or Windows go wrong it can be a vital tool. On JARGON B U S T E R its own it can be used to give additional Techno babble demystified... instructions to many Windows programs, telling them to behave in a certain way when they Adware Software that start up. Even more importantly, it’s the only way to displays unwanted adverts. run some of Windows’ most useful expert tools, including a few we’ll explain later in this article. In Anti-virus Software that Windows XP, start the Command Prompt by clicking detects, repairs, cleans or the Start button, clicking Run, then typing cmd in the removes viruses. box that appears and clicking OK. Starting a Command Prompt is even easier in Defragment or ‘defrag’. Windows 7 and Vista: simply click Start, type To reorganise the data Command in the Start Menu’s search box and you stored on a hard disk so it should see ‘Command Prompt’ appear top of the 9The System Information Tool lists the hardware in your computer can be accessed as quickly results. Left-clicking this will start a regular as possible by the computer. command prompt, but to run most expert tools you’ll most basic level. To use it, type ping into the command also need to make yourself an Administrator. To do this, prompt, followed by a space, then the device you want Dialogue box A window right-click the ‘Command Prompt’ entry in the search to connect to, and then press Enter. For example, if your that pops up to display or results and choose ‘Run as administrator’. Answer Yes network has two computers named Dave and Sally, you request information. to the User Account Control dialogue box that appears. could check that they can communicate by starting a The command prompt will appear as a black window Command Prompt on the computer called Sally, typing Double-click To click into which you can type text, shown in white. For now, ping Dave and hitting Enter. twice quickly in succession simply close the prompt by typing exit and hitting the If the network is running you should see lines of text on a mouse button. Enter key. Alternatively, you can just close the Window, appear that start with Reply and include a time in but we wouldn’t recommend it if you’re running one of milliseconds. If you get an error message or no answer Download Transferring the utilities described below. then it’s time to check the cable or wireless network. files onto your PC directly For a quick way to check whether your from the internet. internet connection itself (rather than your web browser) is running properly, try typing Driver A program that ping and pressing Enter. allows Windows to Ping can be left running by adding -t, for communicate with a example typing ping -t will carry peripheral device. on pinging Google’s servers until you hit the Ctrl and C keys at the same time to stop it. Encrypt To scramble data This can be handy, allowing you to instantly so it can only be read by the see when your connection problem is fixed. sender and recipient. 3 Info a penny Firewall Software or Nobody remembers every detail about their hardware that prevents 9Test whether two computers or devices can communicate using the Ping tool computer, but there are times when you’ll unauthorised access to a need to check. A full breakdown of a PC’s computer over a network. 2 Just the Ping hardware and software is vital information for anyone Ping is a simple hidden tool that can be invaluable when providing technical support, while even a basic Floppy disk A small, rigid trying to work out what’s wrong with your computer on overview can be checked against the minimum square of plastic used to a network. Like many advanced tools it can only be requirements of some new software you’re thinking store data. Inside the case is accessed from inside a command prompt, so follow the about buying, preventing a costly mistake. a circular magnetic disc. instructions above to open one. Windows provides a handy but hidden way to get The purpose of ping is to test whether two computers both in the shape of the System Information tool. This Hard disk A high-capacity or devices can communicate with one another on the can be run in Windows 7 or Vista simply by typing disk in PCs used to store R both applications and files. GET MORE Instant messaging While Windows comes with plenty of tools, 3DMark/PCMark probably the most powerful and Text-based communication hidden or easily found, these don’t cover comprehensive suite of tools available for over a network. everything you may need. These tests show how fast a computer, or troubleshooting a PC. Even when they do, extra software may its graphics system, is. Because they work Memory The computer’s do a better job of the same thing. Here are the computer hard they can also reveal Microsoft Security Essentials temporary storage area. a few suggestions: any underlying problems that are occurring, such as overheating. Windows Defender, which is included with Motherboard The main Memtest86+ Windows 7 and Vista, protects against circuit board inside any PC Windows Sysinternals spyware and adware but it doesn’t into which every other If you know how to create a bootable CD, watch for virus infections. Download component connects. this is a better memory test than Started in 1996 and bought by Microsoft Security Essentials to add this protection Windows’ own version. 10 years later, the Sysinternals tool is to your computer at no cost. Continued on P13q 24 June - 7 July 2010 11
  • 12. HOW TO USE WINDOWS’ EXPERT TOOLS R THE PITFALLS OF CHANGE system information into the Start Menu search box, then clicking the top result that appears. It’s a bit more hidden away in XP, where you’ll need We have only highlighted a to click the Start button, click Run and type handful of Windows’ hidden c:windowssystem32dllcachemsinfo32.exe tools, concentrating on into the box that appears, before clicking OK. useful ones that are unlikely The System Information Tool starts with a to do any harm to your system summary that usually includes all sorts of computer. There are plenty of handy information and is often the only way to other utilities that can be find out which motherboard is inside the very powerful, but also very computer without grabbing a screwdriver, for dangerous if you click the example. Clicking on the Components or wrong option. Software Environment categories in the left-hand Probably the most pane reveals more detailed information on a PC’s important of these is the hardware or software makeup. Registry Editor, through The search box at the bottom makes it easy to which advanced users can search for a specific component or manufacturer change which software name, which is handy if you’re seeing error 9System Restore takes a snapshot of the PC’s settings for recovery purposes loads when, how it behaves, messages from a component that you’ve never and alter fundamentals of heard of and want to find out what it does. Best of all, would also advise care when using the option to Windows itself. It sounds there’s no need to feel intimidated, as the tool is for ‘Compress old files’, found in Windows XP, as this can inviting, but there are few information only so you can’t damage anything here. liberate lots of space but it can take hours to complete. harmless changes to the registry, and many that could 4 Clean and clear 5 Restore and repair mess up Windows. It’s Today’s computers come with lots of storage space but Most PC users have had a moment where they thought generally one to avoid. even the most careful of users will find that their hard “I wish I hadn’t done that”. In many cases the System Sometimes even a disk fills up with junk over time. It’s hard to know what Restore tool can make that wish come true. The utility harmless tool can be open to is safe to delete, so Windows comes with a tool to help. works in the background, keeping a lookout for big abuse. In Windows NT and Disk Cleanup can be found by opening Computer (My changes such as new software being installed, or a 2000, the simple ‘Net send’ Computer in Windows XP) from the Start Menu or backup being restored. When such a change is about to command could be used to Desktop, right-clicking the disk that’s running out of happen it takes a ‘snapshot’ of the PC as it is. If create a pop-up message on space, selecting Properties and then clicking the Disk something goes wrong, or if the user simply changes another computer on the Cleanup button on the page that appears. their mind, System Restore can be used to return the network. Or every computer, Disk Cleanup looks for files that could be deleted on computer to how it was before the change was made. making it easy for pranksters a disk and presents its recommendations in a list Windows XP users can start System Restore by or troublemakers to grouped by theme. Highlighting an item explains more opening the Start Menu, clicking All Programs, then bombard every PC with about it so you can make an informed decision. Accessories, then System Tools, then ‘System Restore’. spam messages. The The More Options tab makes it possible to cut down Windows 7 and Vista users might find it easier simply feature was disabled by on installed programs, Windows components or to search for the tool from the Start Menu, and they may default in XP, and removed restore points (see below), freeing-up even more space. also be prompted for permission before it will run. from Vista onwards. We would recommend caution, though, as it’s easy to Once started, System Restore lets the user choose the remove something you don’t realise you need. We point they want to restore to, and Windows 7 even shows which programs and drivers might be deleted or re-installed by each restore point. 6 Forget me not A hardware problem can cause Windows to become unstable, but while some are easy to trace there’s one that can be a real pain: faulty memory. Memory problems can cause serious instability, but of course there’s no way to spot a dodgy stick of memory by looking at it. Handily, Windows Vista includes a new Memory Diagnostics Tool – find it by typing memory diagnostic into the Start Menu search box. It’s also included in Windows 7, called Windows Memory Diagnostic. The tool first asks whether you want to restart and perform a check immediately, or wait until the next time you restart your computer manually. When the PC restarts the tool loads before Windows does to perform a series of intensive tests on the memory chips in your computer. You can access more advanced settings by pressing F1 once it has started. qDisk Cleanup recommends Although the tool doesn’t come with Windows XP, it files that can be deleted to free can be downloaded free from Microsoft at up space on your PC This version isn’t quite as easy 12 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 13. USE WINDOWS’ EXPERT TOOLS HOW TO 8 Be resourceful While faulty hardware can cause problems with a PC, many everyday hitches are likely to be down to JARGON B U S T E R software that hasn’t installed properly or which has Techno babble demystified... become corrupted, perhaps for a simple reason such as the computer not being properly shut down. When Operating system this happens to an important Windows file it can Governs the way hardware result in an unstable computer, or one that won’t and software in a computer perform certain tasks. work together. In such a case, it’s a good idea to restore the computer to an earlier time using System Restore Registry A file integrated (see page 12) and to scan with your anti-virus into Windows that stores software, but if this doesn’t solve the problem there’s information on all hardware the Windows Resource Checker. This simple and software installed on command, run from a Command Prompt, causes your computer. Windows to check the status of all the important files it needs to start up successfully. If any are corrupted Router A device used to 9The Memory Diagnostics Tool will help you locate memory problems or missing they are replaced with the correct version connect more than one but you’ll need your Windows installation CD. computer or other device to to use, however, and it will prompt you to create a The resource checker is run by starting a Command the internet. special floppy disk or CD. You’ll have to start the Prompt, remembering to grant Administrator computer from that disc to run the test. privileges if you have Windows 7 or Vista (see page 10). Spam Junk email sent to large groups of people 7 System settings offering such things as Sometimes, if Windows is particularly slow or refuses money-spinning ideas, to start properly it may be because a piece of software holidays, and so on. that loads automatically is causing problems. You can get around this by starting Windows in Safe Mode Spyware Software (press F8 after the computer beeps on startup), but if installed (usually you can get Windows to start up once there’s a far surreptitiously) to monitor simpler method: the System Configuration tool. and report back on a It’s easily found in Windows 7 or Vista by typing computer’s use. system config into the Start Menu search box. Windows XP users can usually run it by clicking Start, Virus A malicious clicking Run, and then typing c:windowspchealth computer program helpctrbinariesMSConfig.exe in the box that appears designed to damage data. and clicking OK. Once started, this powerful tool lets you choose exactly what happens each time Windows For full definitions visit: starts up. The Startup tab lets you disable various other utilities that would normally start with Windows, 9Use the Resource Checker to check all vital Windows files allowing you to weed out any you suspect of being unstable, but you should use care when doing this. If you can’t do this as the computer won’t start We would recommend caution with options on the normally, try starting the computer in Safe Mode (press Services tab, as unticking these can cause more trouble F8 after it beeps at start up). At the Command Prompt, than they fix. Perhaps most useful is the Tools tab, type SFC /scannow and pres Enter. The process of which shows a complete list of diagnostic tools in checking and replacing files can take a while but in Windows, many of them hidden (and several listed in some cases it can save having to re-install Windows on this article). Choose one and click Launch to use it. a PC that seems like a lost cause. 9 Pass the remote New computer users often need a bit of help, and if you’re an experienced computer user you’ll most likely often want to help others out. This is easy if you’re both in the same room but what if you want to help a family member who lives halfway across the country – or halfway across the planet? Since Windows XP, though, Microsoft has included Remote Assistance, which is a brilliant tool that can allow a remote helper to view your computer’s display just as you do. If you’re really stuck, you can even allow them to take control of your computer to directly fix a problem. Unfortunately, Windows XP’s remote assistance has one big problem: unless you’re both using Microsoft’s Windows Messenger instant-messaging tool the firewall built into many internet routers will block it. If you have 9Fix startup problems with the System Configuration tool Windows 7 or Vista on your PC this isn’t a problem. 24 June - 7 July 2010 13
  • 14. HOW TO USE WINDOWS’ EXPERT TOOLS XP users can find Remote Assistance by looking in All Programs on the Start Menu. Windows 7 and Vista users can search by typing windows remote in the Start Menu’s search box. Once started, the tool makes it easy to create a request for help that can be sent as a file, over email, or (in the XP version only) to a user of Windows Messenger (Microsoft’s instant-messaging program). Windows 7 users have a simpler option called Easy Connect. After a final password check, an authorised helper can see the target computer’s desktop, allowing them to see a problem first-hand. The expert can send instructions via chat, or transfer files, such as an anti-virus install program, if the person being 9Speed up your PC by reordering files with Disk Defragmenter helped consents. With complicated The program is very easy to use, but bear in mind that it problems the person may take some time (sometimes it’s best left overnight). receiving help can also allow From Windows Vista onwards, Microsoft changed an expert to take remote things so that disks are automatically defragmented control of their computer, but without you asking, typically once a week. Vista users they can take control back or can check the schedule or manually start even end the session at any defragmentation by typing defragment into the Start time. See our step-by-step Menu’s search box and clicking ‘Disk Defragmenter’. guide below for details. In Windows 7, the tool shows the status of individual disks, giving you even more control. 10 Sort it out The latest hard disks are Tools of the trade 9Remote Assistance lets more blisteringly fast but they still Many of the PC tools we’ve discussed are carefully experienced computer users suffer from a problem that affected the very first ones. hidden away, while others are simply tricky to find from help novices sort out problems When files are saved, they’re broken into chunks that the Start Menu, but all 10 could come in handy over the are written onto the first available slots on the disk. lifetime of your computer. Because these slots often aren’t big enough for the Used carefully they can help you gain a better whole file it ends up spanning many slots, which are understanding of your computer, how it works and interspersed with other slots containing information how to fix it when problems occur. And, as our ‘Get from other files. This ‘fragmentation’ of files slows your more’ box on page 11 explains, even if Windows doesn’t computer down as it has to hunt around for the pieces come with the utility that you need the chances are it of each file. can be downloaded, either from Microsoft itself or from Fortunately, Windows comes with a utility to another company at no cost. defragment the disk. Windows XP users can find it by With such a wealth of tools, you should never find clicking Start, All Programs, Accessories and then yourself stuck with a Windows problem you can’t fix. System Tools, and then choosing Disk Defragmenter. Simon Francis STEP BY STEP | HOW REMOTE ASSISTANCE WORKS 1 The person needing help runs Remote Assistance and sends out an invitation. In this case we’re asking for help from a computer running 2 The person offering help receives the invitation and double-clicks the file. This opens Remote Assistance on their PC (in this case a 3 The helper can now see the desktop of the first PC, allowing its user to show them the problem. If needed, the helper can transfer a file to the problem Windows 7. The file is attached to an email desktop PC running Vista). Remote Assistance sets computer or they can request to take remote control addressed to the person who will help, and a up a secret, encrypted link between the two PCs of it. The user in need of help can then watch as the password automatically created. This step is easiest but before the helper can connect they need to enter expert fixes their computer. to co-ordinate if the two parties talk on the phone. the password created on the first PC. 14 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 15. 15.6” Samsung® 15.5” Sony® VAIO™ “ is always R580 Laptop EB1E0E Laptop the first website The Samsung R580 boasts the new Intel The VAIO E-Series enables you to Core i3 processor, providing blazing computing and a HD LED display. power up and surf in seconds with the one touch web button. I check when I’m • Intel Dual Core i3 330M / 2.13 GHz • Intel Dual Core i3 330M / 2.13 GHz after a gadget or • 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive • 3GB RAM, 320GB hard drive • 15.6” Super Bright Gloss display • 15.5” VAIO display something electrical ” • DVD±RW (+R double layer) • DVD±RW (+R double layer) DVD-RAM • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium B Bellinger - 21.01.10 customer comment 6NBGCV 6LHKCV Free Delivery Available* Free Delivery Available* Panasonic® Canon® Ixus™ DMC-ZX3 Silver 210IS Black The ultra-compact ZX3 digital camera The IXUS 210 combines an ultra-wide features a 25mm wide-angle 8x optical 24mm Canon lens, advanced touch zoom lens and 10x intelligent zoom. screen and HD movies in a stylish design. • 14.1-megapixel high-resolution CCD • 14.1-megapixel • 4x digital zoom • HD Movie in AVCHD Lite and HDMI • 24mm ultra wide-angle 5.0x zoom lens compatibility featuring VIERA link • 3.5” PureColour II Touch LCD • iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode with power • Face detection and frame movie mode O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) 6M9ZCV 6MWQCV Free Delivery Available* Free Delivery Available* Prices valid until 03.07.10 Terms and Conditions. All prices are valid until 03.07.10 after this date prices may fluctuate without notice, please see for the latest prices. If you do not use the advertised URL the prices on the website may differ from those advertised. All offers are while stocks last unless otherwise indicated. All prices include VAT but exclude carriage. *Free delivery uses our basic service for UK mainland. Surcharges for service upgrades and/or outlying UK regions apply. See www.dabs. com/delivery for details.Prices and promotions correct at time of going to print but may change or be withdrawn without notice. 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., National Logistics Centre, Wingates Industrial Estate, Westhoughton, Bolton, BL5 3XU. Email
  • 16. TRIED& TESTED OUR STAR RATINGS MEDIA SOFTWARE | £60 With every product we review, we tell it like it is and give it Computeractive’s NERO MULTIMEDIA authoritative star rating. Here’s what those stars mean: EXCELLENT ##### SUITE 10 WORTH IT ##### OK BY US ##### POOR ##### AWFUL ##### OUR STAMP OF APPROVAL Disc burning, backup and The Buy It! stamp of editing tools for your PC approval is a sign BUY IT! O that a product has exceeded our high ver the years, the two expectations in both biggest names in quality and value for disc-burning software, money. If you see the Buy It! logo you know Nero and Roxio, have built we were impressed with the product and we think you will be too. The Try It! Stamp is their products into vast our equivalent award for software and multimedia suites, including services that are free of charge. features such as video A list of products that we think are the editing, format conversion, best available in various categories can be found at the back of the Tried & Tested DVD authoring and music section. streaming on top of the basic task of recording media to 9Multimedia Suite 10 includes Start Smart for launching utilities ONLINE REVIEWS blank discs. If you are looking for reviews of a certain Of the two, Nero has records in a effectively, but there are some kind of product, the best way to do so is tended to take a more compatible areas, such as picture editing, through our website, where you can read straightforward approach, format, such as where Roxio still has the edge. reviews by category and type of product. providing a powerful, AVCHD), saving time and There is something here for Go to no-nonsense set of tools but preventing potential loss of quality. everyone, from inexperienced users PRICES arguably offering less in the way Multimedia Suite 10 also includes who just want something to burn of hand-holding and integration. Media Hub, a one-stop shop for the odd disc without any fuss, to The prices we print are the suggested retail With Multimedia Suite 10, organising, playing, sharing and experts who want total control over prices set by the manufacturer. Products however, Nero amalgamates three editing your digital photos, videos their media files and the ability to can often be found much cheaper on the internet or in shops. separate facets of its software range and music. Media Hub provides a rip, copy, burn, convert, edit and For the latest keen prices on a range of into one unified suite.The main quick and easy way to make photo share just about anything. products go to Burning Rom tool is still there (and slideshows, listen to music playlists, Jonathan Parkyn now includes Blu-ray burning as post videos on Youtube and so on, DETAILS standard, though it still cannot play like a cross between Windows Contact: Nero, no UK number TECHNICAL TERMS Blu-ray discs), along with tools such Media Player and Google Picasa. Info: AND JARGON as Sound Trax for digitising old LPs It’s easy to use but whether you Retail price: £60 and Cover Designer for printing CD need another media player in your Buy: While we try to keep our reviews free from and DVD sleeves. But this time they life is another matter. It’s also technical language or jargon, it is sometimes unavoidable. See the Jargon are joined by a revamped slightly confusing that the suite ALSO CONSIDER... Buster column for concise explanations of video-editing package, Nero Vision includes Media Hub alongside the Roxio Creator 2010: £50 highlighted words. For an in-depth glossary, Xtra, and a backup utility, Nero Back existing Start Smart, which is in An excellent collection of media-editing go to It Up and Burn. Similar features were itself a‘hub’for launching the software. ##### HOW WE TEST included in previous versions, but Multimedia Suite 10 introduces various utilities contained in Multimedia Suite 10. Computeractive’s reviewers follow strict guidelines to ensure the opinions expressed some big improvements. Nero Vision Xtra, for instance, Though Media Hub has a simple, accessible interface, this approach WE SAY in the magazine are fair, accurate and independent. Every product or service we has gone from being a simple is not consistent throughout Multimedia Suite 10 is complete and review is thoroughly examined and tested editing program to a multi-track, Multimedia Suite 10. Many of the we still like Nero’s plain speaking by experts. The manufacturer has no timeline-based video-editing tools, including Burning Rom involvement in our tests and is never told program with some advanced itself, remain a little more like the GOOD POINTS: Much improved the result of a review prior to publication. Please note that our reviews grade effects, such as support for chroma nuts-and-bolts Nero of old, though video-editing features; good backup products, not customer service. Reviews key (green screen) effects to add a we will admit that this is not program included; useful Media Hub are based on opinions. Check the full person to an existing scene. It also necessarily a bad thing. manager/player specification of any product with the includes an improved version of With the new version, Nero has BAD POINTS: Not all components are manufacturer to be sure it will work with Nero’s Smart Encode technology, gone further to take on Roxio, which as easy to use as others; two ‘hubs’ your computer. We welcome feedback on our reviews – which can create high-definition has historically been better at are a bit confusing at first send us an email to (HD) discs from HD camcorder clips editing files, while Nero has excelled without the need to re-encode the at creating discs of your files.The OVERALL: ##### or discuss our reviews at footage (assuming your camcorder new version does both much more 16 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 17. TRIED & TESTED R R CAMERA | £300 DESKTOP COMPUTER | £700 PALICOMP EXC7 Powerful computing for more taxing tasks T his desktop PC comes as a base unit only. It does not include a keyboard, mouse or screen. But it does come with is a large amount of computing power. The processor inside the Palicomp EXC7 (or the Excalibur X6 1055OC35 Base Unit, to give it its full name) is an AMD Phenom II X6 AM 3 RICOH CX3 1055T, which has had its operating speed increased (known as overclocking) for a A sturdy but expensive stills camera speed boost. It has 4GB of memory, which is R icoh’s cameras tend to be desired on closer inspection. Low as much as we would expect to see bulky and the CX3 is no light performance was good – it from a modern PC, and 1TB of hard exception. Compared with can use fairly long exposures disk space.The graphics card is an the svelte models from other without too great a drop in quality. ATI Radeon HD5770 model with 1GB manufacturers, it’s built like a tank. Although the CX3 shoots video in of its own memory. Combined, they A large 3in screen takes up the high-definition resolution of provide enough power to make easy most of the back panel. It has four 720p, we have seen much better pickings of any office tasks as well as buttons on the back for accessing quality from cheaper devices. more taxing tasks such as playing the menus and the self-timer, The build quality is high and the games and video editing – it among other things, and another camera can withstand a few performed well in both tests. opened the PC’s case to sit the for displaying your photos.And it knocks. But ultimately, despite its The PC comes in a large tower processor properly in its socket has a four-way joystick control that Ricoh CX3’s clever features, its case.The front panel houses the which fixed the problem. Palicomp puts the camera into macro mode average picture quality does not CD/DVD writer and has several said that PCs affected in this way and changes the flash setting. quite justify the fairly high price tag. spare bays for expansion.At the top can be collected and returned It has a decent 10x optical zoom Anthony Dhanendran is a panel with four USB sockets, an under its warranty. lens, equivalent to 28-300mm on DETAILS eSata connection, headphone and Anthony Dhanendran an old film camera and power Contact: Ricoh 020 3239 6327 microphone sockets and the power DETAILS switch.There is also a mode dial, Info: and reset buttons. Contact: Palicomp 01270 898104 for putting the camera in Retail price: £300 At the back it has a network Info: movie-shoot mode, full-automatic Buy: connection,sound outputs (stereo Retail price: £700 mode or one of two custom modes. and optical for surround sound), Buy: The camera can also choose the ALSO CONSIDER... keyboard and mouse sockets,two best settings based on what you Canon Powershot D10: £319 Firewire ports and eight more USB ALSO CONSIDER... are shooting. This chunky camera is freezeproof, waterproof sockets,including two that work with MSI Wind Top AE2220 Hi-Fi: £800 The camera has no viewfinder so and shockproof, with large buttons for easy the latest and fastest USB 3 standard. Performed well and has lots of storage and a images have to be composed using operation. ##### There are not many USB 3 devices touchscreen built-in. ##### the screen and the battery is a available,but its presence here rechargeable type that is charged means you won’t need to upgrade in using the supplied mains charger. The CX3 saves images to SD and WE SAY the future.The graphics card has outputs for DVI and VGA monitors WE SAY SDHC memory cards (not A relatively expensive camera given and an HDMI socket for connecting a An impressively powerful PC that is supplied) but there is a small what it can do flat-panelTV.Inside the case there is great for games and video editing internal memory as well. Other room for expansion,with two features include a level to show GOOD POINTS: Good colour in shots; memory sockets,PCI Express slots GOOD POINTS: Plenty of processing when shots are horizontal and a well built; nifty features (which allow installation of sound power; room for expansion; good ‘dynamic range’option that shoots BAD POINTS: Pricey; poor video cards and modems),drive bays and games performance; USB 3 sockets two pictures at once to capture quality; images sometimes not power connections. BAD POINTS: Few users actually highlights and shadow detail. sharp enough At first the PC would not start. need this much power Image quality was fair.The Palicomp said it had been having colourful shots looked good but OVERALL: ##### problems with components OVERALL: ##### their sharpness left a bit to be becoming unseated in transit.We 24 June - 7 July 2010 17
  • 18. TRIED& TESTED LAPTOP COMPUTER | £1,499 JARGON B U S T E R Techno babble demystified... APPLE MACBOOK PRO CORE i5 15IN 3G A mobile phone network that allows fast internet access. 720p A high-definition TV format. Apple’s laptops get a core upgrade Anti-virus Software that detects, A WE SAY repairs, cleans or removes viruses. pple’s latest laptops are 60 and 80 frames per second; the dominated by the 13in model, which uses an older AVCHD A format for storing Macbook Pro.Although Core 2 Duo chip, performed the If you’re looking for a powerful but high-definition videos. the older, plastic-bodied same task at around 40 frames per portable Mac, this is the one to buy Macbook and lightweight Macbook second, so converting a whole DVD Blu-ray A type of optical disc. Air are still available, the Pro is now is around 15 minutes quicker on the GOOD POINTS: Lots of power; available in three distinct models, i5 model. high-resolution display; beautifully Bluetooth Allows devices to from the relatively cheap to the Despite this power, the Macbook solid body; good value communicate wirelessly. extremely powerful. Pro managed to run for an BAD POINTS: Dubious UK keyboard This makes it impossible to impressive period of time on its layout; anti-glare display costs extra Cropping Cutting an image down to review the entire Macbook Pro battery: Apple quotes eight to nine the desired size and shape. range at once, so instead we’ll look hours, and we managed over seven OVERALL: ##### this 15in model and the cheaper in everyday use.This is helped by a DVI A connection that provides a 13in one separately. graphics system that switches to a digital connection from PC to monitor. The 15in Macbook Pro has three less power-hungry chip when the niggling annoyances: Apple insists main advantages over the 13in main one is not needed. on using its own Mini Displayport eSata A socket for connecting model.As well as a larger display, it The screen has a resolution of connector instead of HDMI or DVI, external hard disks. includes a graphics card with its 1,440x900 pixels and a glossy there are only two USB ports and own internal memory and a finish. It looked great, but we’d be no Blu-ray player. Firewall Prevents unauthorised processor from Intel’s newer, faster tempted to pay the £120 extra to It feels as solid as a rock, access to a computer over a network. Core i5 range. upgrade to the 1,680 1,050 however, and was very comfortable We’ll start with the processor. anti-glare version instead. to use on a lap. Firewire A connection commonly Although the Core i5 chip in this The touchpad was great to use, All in all, we consider this model used for digital camcorders. Macbook has a slow-ish listed but Apple’s UK keyboard layout is to be the Macbook Pro to buy. It’s speed of 2.4GHz, this isn’t a frustrating with a tall, thin Enter far more powerful than the 13in GB A measurement of storage. problem thanks to a newer, smarter key. If you are buying directly from model, and the price is good: the design and the ability to increase in Apple the US keyboard layout is a current going rate for a similarly GHz A measure of how fast the speed for a boost when necessary. no-cost upgrade. specified laptop running Windows processor in your PC works. In our test it was able to convert The rest of the Macbook Pro felt is around £1350, so you’re adding DVD video to a file suitable for as good as you’d expect from a £150 for the Macbook’s GPS A network of satellites used to playback on the iPhone at between £1,500 laptop, with just a few remarkable build quality. pinpoint a position on the planet. Mac beginners with modest computing needs should consider Graphics card Displays the image the cheapest £800 Macbook but if you see on a computer’s monitor. you want a powerful Mac laptop this is the one to pick. Hard disk A high-capacity disk Tom Royal used to store applications and files. DETAILS Contact: Apple 0800 048 0408 HDMI A cable that carries both Info: high-definition video and sound. Retail price: £1,499 Buy: High definition A TV picture with a higher resolution than normal. ALSO CONSIDER... Apple iMac 27in: £1,349 Image stabilisation A feature of If you’d prefer a desktop Mac, this model has newer cameras that combats camera an enormous screen and includes plenty of shake by moving the sensor or lens. processing power. ##### Macro An automated series of commands or operations. Continued on P26q BUY IT! 18 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 19. TRIED & TESTED R R MEDIA STREAMER | £99 XTREAMER the player online DETAILS to get it working Contact: Tranquil PC, no phone number properly and Info: Play music and films it froze on Retail price: £99 on televisions or PCs two occasions, Buy: requiring a reset. T he Xtreamer HD media There were ALSO CONSIDER... streamer is a device capable no problems Conceptronic Grab’n’go: £159 of taking many different types connecting the This high-definition media streamer looks of files from one computer and Xtreamer to the great, performed well and was easy to use. playing them on either a television internet and we were However, it is expensive and the software or other computers. able to watch video services is complex ##### As well as being able to handle device is not much bigger than a such as Youtube and listen to high-definition (HD) video, it can paperback book. internet radio stations. play back other video files (such as MPEG, DivX and Flash), music files The sleek black unit handled HD video reasonably well.With the Using the Xtreamer Live service we were able to watch some WE SAY and photos.The device can device connected to a TV using an mainstream TV channels too.The An affordable HD media player download files from a PC by HDMI lead (which was not player was flaky, crashing now and and streamer that does a lot of connecting it to a wired network, or a supplied), the picture was crisp and again, and not quick at changing the things well USB memory key can be plugged in colours were vibrant after a little channel, but it worked. to access files from that. It can also tweaking of the options.The default The Xtreamer’s manual was poor GOOD POINTS: Can play lots of stream files wirelessly using a USB settings left the pictures a little dark. and no network or HDMI cables are file types; low basic price; small antenna, though this costs extra. Quality was also good when included in the box (though at the and unobtrusive It is also possible to put a laptop- playing media from a USB memory time of writing a wireless adapter is BAD POINTS: Poor connectivity out size (2.5in) hard disk inside the key but not quite as good when being included at no extra cost). of the box; a few glitches with the Xtreamer, which can then be used to streamed from a PC.The menus are Despite its faults the Xtreamer is software; complicated menus store files for playback to a TV or comprehensive, with plenty of an attractive product for those on a over the network to other settings to suit many types of tight budget. OVERALL: ##### computers, yet surprisingly the display. However, we had to update Harry Burrows SECURITY SOFTWARE | £65 MCAFEE TOTAL Unfortunately, is good, but the extra features are there’s no ability not as complete as those in, say, PROTECTION 2010 to back up Norton 360 (see Also Consider). without using the Tim Smith online storage. DETAILS Complete computer protection The Parental Contact: Mcafee 020 7949 0107 from online security attacks Control utility gives control Info: Retail price: £65 M cafee Total Protection is a email in over children’s Buy: comprehensive online Thunderbird, web use, security suite.As well as Eudora Outlook, requiring an ALSO CONSIDER... stopping malicious attacks from Outlook Express, extra password Norton 360: £60 the outside it includes online Windows Mail to access Slow for full virus scans but this security backup, parental controls and and even web prohibited sites. package covers all the bases. ##### PC-optimisation tools. email accounts such as Hotmail. Permission is set using the The interface is simple so users The spam filter can be Windows user accounts on the PC. should never feel lost in a maze of settings. However, while testing the customised with rules based on the sender, subject line and body.This There are five presets based on the child’s age, such as the‘under WE SAY security suite, we were affected can be used to allow all emails from five years’profile that only allows Offers good protection, though by the infamous update that a particular email list if there is a access to child-friendly websites backup and optimisation are limited broke certain computers (see common phrase. and blocks all others. For more The optimising tool, Quick Clean, detailed control you can create GOOD POINTS: Covers all forms of The fix provided by Mcafee on its can remove unwanted files but it your own profiles.A range of security; parental controls; spam website worked perfectly though we doesn’t do much that the Windows blocking categories is supplied, protection covers webmail needed to use another computer to Disk Cleanup wizard can’t. including‘school cheating’and BAD POINTS: Not much online download it. Online backup is included with ‘social networking’ . backup space; expensive Besides anti-virus, spyware 2GB of space in the price, which The retail price is high but it and firewall protection there is can be upgraded to unlimited covers three PCs in the home for OVERALL: ##### an anti junk email tool that protects storage for an extra £40 a year. one year. Mcafee’s virus protection 24 June - 7 July 2010 19
  • 20. TRIED& TESTED ACCESSORY | £70 POWERMAT PORTA as the standard power adapters that come with all electronic goods, albeit much Charge your gadgets without plugging them in more conveniently. Orestis Bastounis T he Powermat can recharge Powermat’s website will DETAILS your mobile phone, music recommend the combination of Contact: Powermat 020 3027 7565 player or Nintendo DS if you receiver and mat you’ll Info: place them on its surface. need when you being Retail price: £70 (receivers around £30) This may not sound likely but it enter your charged with Buy: works because of the principle of device’s a USB cable. induction, a technique similar to the make and The product and ALSO CONSIDER... way electric toothbrushes are model.To packaging are very well Wildcharger: £60 with iPhone adapter charged.The same effect allows the charge a designed.The mat folds up A similar, cheaper product. ##### Powermat to charge three gadgets device you neatly and comes with a carry case at a time, reducing the number of connect it to the (a separate‘Home and Office Mat’ wires and chargers you’ll need in your house. receiver using a small cable and one of the supplied‘power tips’ , costs the same but doesn’t fold up). The receiver comes with a small box WE SAY On its own the Powermat can’t then place the receiver on the mat. in which to keep all the tips. A great demonstration of innovative charge anything, though, except When charging starts, a white light The Powermat is impressive but technology, but simply too expensive using the single built-in USB port. comes on and the Powermat makes it’s very expensive.The mat alone You will also need a receiver, sold a noise, which we found annoying costs £70 and each receiver is GOOD POINTS: An innovative way to separately.We tested the mat and can’t be turned off. around £30. One receiver is charge gadgets; stylish design; with the Powermat Universal It worked well in our tests.We required for each electronic item reduces cabling Receiver, which supports plenty of charged an HP Ipaq handheld you want to charge, so to charge BAD POINTS: High cost; makes different gadgets, unless they are computer, which took roughly two three gadgets at the same time, the annoying noises made by Apple that is.To charge an hours to go from having an empty bill comes to around £160. iPod or iPhone, a different receiver battery to being fully charged, That is a lot of money for OVERALL: ##### is required. which is about the same as if it was something that does the same job ACCESSORY | £45 STORAGE | £260 SCOSCHE SOLCHAT IOSAFE SOLO The Solchat is a hands-free speaker Sound quality was impressive There are rugged hard disks, and for your mobile phone, connecting and if your phone supports voice then there’s the Iosafe, which comes over Bluetooth. It’s designed to be dialling the device will too. Picking encased in a metal shell to withstand used in the car (it comes with a up incoming calls was simple too, both fire and water. mount that attaches to the and it can switch between calls. The large device (it’s the size and windscreen with suckercups) but Callers’numbers are read out, shape of a small toaster) is very can be used elsewhere too. although the Solchat continued heavy (around 7kg) which means There is a micro-USB socket for reading out the caller’s number that you will need to place it down charging (a mains adapter is after they had cut off, which was carefully and then leave it, as it’s not supplied) but there’s also a solar annoying.The Solchat is more easy to move.There’s even a bolt take multiple backups and keep one panel on the device’s back, which expensive than many car kits that hole on the back so it can be in a safe-deposit vault, though the will charge it fully in about 18 hours do a similar job, but the extra attached to the floor. IOSafe Solo is simpler. of sunshine. Using it was fairly easy convenience makes it good value. It’s rated as safe in a fire at 840ºC Anthony Dhanendran and the instructions are clear. Anthony Dhanendran for 30 minutes, and for full DETAILS DETAILS immersion in water for three days at Contact: The Tech Bag 08456 439 397 Contact: Scosche, no UK number 10 feet deep. It’s not officially Info: Info: shockproof but the case is rugged. Retail price: £260 (1TB) Retail price: £45 Several capacities are available: Buy: Buy: we looked at the 1TB model which costs £260, while the 500GB is WE SAY WE SAY £199 and 2TB is £450. Performance was similar to other external USB Will keep your data safe from fire and A good-quality, easy-to-use car hard disks. flood, but too expensive for most speakerphone This disk will certainly keep your home users data safe but its price is high, five OVERALL: ##### times as much as a standard 1TB OVERALL: ##### external disk. It would be better to 20 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 21. TRIED& TESTED NETWORKING | £60 ZOOM WE SAY It works with most USB 3G modems (a list is available at 3G WIRELESS-N ROUTER but you may This router worked a treat but the need to ask your mobile provider advanced options are complicated for the model number of your Share your mobile broadband connection modem, as it’s not often clear. It GOOD POINTS: Can share a mobile also works as a standard router to connection across lots of computers M obile broadband uses the aerial, stand and mains power extend your broadband or cable BAD POINTS: Speed depends on mobile phone network to supply. Plug your 3G USB modem modem.You can connect a mobile signal; some wireless provide a data signal to into the router and it’s ready to go. computer wirelessly or by plugging connection problems your computer so it can access the A short manual explains how to into one of the network ports on internet, usually by plugging in a set up the wireless network, which the back of the device.We had a bit OVERALL: ##### USB adapter. could have been easier.The of trouble with the wireless Normally such connections only configuration screens aren’t the connection with one PC refusing to work with one computer at once, clearest we’ve seen (it wasn’t connect to it, but all the others we If you get a decent connection but we looked recently at the Three obvious which options to fill in tried worked fine, and the wired with a 3G USB modem, though, the Mifi, which can share connections and which could be left blank) but connection worked every time. Zoom makes it easy to share. between several people.The Zoom there aren’t many options to set. The main problem is out of Anthony Dhanendran 3G Wireless-N Router (model Zoom’s control: the DETAILS number 4501, if searching online) performance you get will Contact: Zoom 01252 761 218 does a similar thing, but effectively depend on your network’s Info: converts your mobile broadband mobile signal. In one test Retail price: £60 into a semi-permanent location we got around Buy: connection for the home. Unlike 1Mbit/sec, which was good by the Mifi (see right) it needs to be modern broadband ALSO CONSIDER... connected to the mains. standards, while in another Three Mifi: £50 The box contains the router (a (both were in London) it Compact broadband but tricky to get working. small black device the size of a dropped below 0.3Mbits/sec, ##### double-CD case), a wireless making it less useful. MONITOR | £140 HEADPHONES | £40 HANNSG HP222DGB CREATIVE EP-830 The Hannsg HP222DGB is designed It can be annoying having to stand people turn the volume up too high mainly for use in schools and shops, next to someone on a crowded train on cheaper headphones, risking although it will work in homes too. It who’s listening to music with the damage to their hearing. has a toughened panel over the sound leaking out for all to hear. We recommend most people screen to stop it being damaged by The cheap headphones that are buying portable music players who knocks and things thrown at it. sometimes bundled with many care about sound quality to invest It’s a widescreen model, although music players aren’t good quality, in new headphones. in the 16:10 aspect ratio (the leak sound and pick up noise from The EP-830 set worked perfectly measure of relative height and width outside sources.The EP-830‘noise- and although it is a little on the of the display), rather than the 16:9 isolating’headphones solve most of expensive side: many other sets of of some widescreen monitors (the these problems. headphones will do almost as good resolution is 1680 x 1050 pixels). They are a job, and cost around £20. That means it’s taller than other it reflective. Its design makes it look in-ear headphones, Orestis Bastounis screens, which means it’s not so quite old fashioned but the on- which means they DETAILS great for films but better for web screen menus and buttons along come with rubber Contact: Creative, no UK number browsing, among other things. the bottom of the front panel were grips that go inside the Info: Screen quality was impressive, easy to use. It has both VGA and user’s ear (three grip Retail price: £40 although colours were a little muted, DVI connectors to attach to a sizes are supplied). Buy: and the extra protection does make computer.The tough screen may be Sound quality was bestprices a specialist requirement but this very good and even when WE SAY monitor’s price compares well. Anthony Dhanendran listening to music at fairly high volume in an office WE SAY A tough, decent-quality screen that’s DETAILS there were no complaints of A decent pair of lightweight not particularly expensive Contact: Hannsg, no UK number leaking noise. headphones, but expensive Info: They’re even better at OVERALL: ##### Retail price: £140 removing noise from outside OVERALL: ##### Buy: sources, which is one reason 22 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 22. TRIED& TESTED PHONE | £360 OR CONTRACT MOTOROLA MILESTONE WE SAY pad are available. The keyboard is not BUY IT! great but it’s better Ugly to look at but brilliant to use, this The king of Android phones for typing emails or is the best Android phone for keen messages than email users A fter a shaky start, Google’s tapping the screen. Android operating system The battery lasted a GOOD POINTS: Full keyboard; huge for mobile phones has grown few days in light use but screen; decent battery quickly. Recently we have seen it on surfing the web or running BAD POINTS: Looks like a shiny Google’s own Nexus One and the lots of applications at once black brick stunning HTC Desire. Motorola’s (something Android, unlike Milestone is similar but with a key current iPhone models, OVERALL: ##### addition: it has a full keyboard. can do without fuss) will It’s worth noting from the sap it faster. Expect to start that the Milestone is recharge it every day if you designs. For anyone who sends lots ugly. Some might say its surf the web alot. of messages, though, this is the design is‘chiselled’ but the , An 8GB memory card is Android phone to buy. results are not pretty. included for storing music, Tom Royal Aesthetic complaints aside, photos and downloaded DETAILS however, the Milestone is near applications.And, unlike Motorola’s Contact: Motorola, no UK number perfect.The screen has a high other Android phone, the Dext, the Info: resolution of 854x480 pixels, which anywhere, and satellite software and GPS system ran fast Retail price: £360 or on a contract dwarfs the iPhone’s display and navigation is built in too. and effectively.A free update to Buy: provides more room for websites With the phone closed it works version 2.1 of the Android operating than even the HTC Desire. It can like any other Android smartphone, system is available if your phone ALSO CONSIDER... connect to the internet using with an on-screen keyboard for didn’t have it installed. HTC Desire: £400 or on a contract wireless networks as well as through typing messages and surfing the If you don’t do much typing then Another excellent Android phone, but without the mobile phone network, so you web. Flip it open, though, and a full the HTC Desire and Google Nexus a physical keyboard. ##### get rapid internet access just about keyboard and four-way navigation One are similar handsets with nicer PHONE | £450 ON CONTRACT NETWORKING | FROM £50 NOKIA N900 VODAFONE SURE SIGNAL The N900 is Nokia’s latest internet Vodafone’s Sure Signal is a booster it worked without trouble. In use, it’s phone. It’s heavier than similar for your mobile phone.The idea is unobtrusive – the device sits in a phones, but it combines a large that it plugs into your router, and corner working away. It worked 3.5in touch-sensitive screen with whenever you place a when we tried it in a London flat a full (if small) keyboard.That call on your with poor Vodafone reception also makes it bulky.At almost Vodafone mobile and the call quality 2cm it’s thicker than most phone it’s picked improved noticeably. other phones. up by the device The price is steep, though. The controls were easy to master and sent over the It costs £50 for those already with a tap at the top-left of the Call quality was fine, but internet instead of paying £25 a month or more, screen accessing the Home menu. navigating to the phone-dialler was the mobile phone and £120 for the rest. Web browsing and Nokia’s Ovi too complicated, though Nokia network. It’s useful Anthony Dhanendran Maps application benefit from the regards this as a mobile internet for those of us who DETAILS touch-screen, although it lacks device first, and a phone second. live in areas where Contact: Vodafone 08080 044 423 multi-touch so you cannot pinch the The five-megapixel camera there is little or no Info: screen to zoom out as on iPhone produced good pictures, and sound mobile reception. Retail price: from £50 models.We also had trouble getting from the music and video player We had some Buy: it to register finger-presses. was also impressive (video looked trouble navigating the badly bestprices good on the large screen). Battery designed registration website, but WE SAY life was fair – medium to heavy users will need to charge it daily. registering the device means that only your devices can use the box for WE SAY This is a clever device that’s really Anthony Dhanendran boosting their signal, not just every It works but it’s a shame that aimed at the geekier users out there – DETAILS person in the street. users have to pay for the network’s others might find it too big and fiddly Contact: Nokia 0800 331 6021 It took a day or so for the website patchy coverage Info: to recognise that our Sure Signal OVERALL: ##### Retail price: £450 or on contract was listed on our home network and OVERALL: ##### Buy: to activate it, but once that was done 24 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 23. TRIED& TESTED SECURITY SOFTWARE | £60 JARGON B U S T E R Techno babble demystified... MB A measurement of storage. NORTON 360 VERSION 4 A huge array of security and performance tools in one neat package Mbits/sec Megabits per second. A T measure of data transfer speed. he latest version of the Norton 360 all-in-one PC Megapixel A measure of the level security and protection of detail recorded by digital cameras. suite is an enormous piece of software, not because it takes up Memory The computer’s temporary a lot of space, but due to the sheer storage area. number of tasks it performs. Fortunately it does most of them Memory card Small cards that can well, making it a good choice for store many megabytes (MB) of data. those who prefer one-stop security software rather than using Memory key A thumb-sized USB separate programs for anti-virus, storage device. firewall, anti-spyware and junk email protection. Micro USB A small USB socket. Installation was fairly BUY IT! quick, although the first Modem A device that enables two thing it does is download computers to communicate. updates over the internet (you can skip this but it’s Operating system Governs the not advisable).There is More experienced users will way hardware and software in a no need to configure appreciate the advanced computer work together. technical settings, configuration options, but those although these are who do not need the backup and Optical zoom Magnifying an available in the menu tune-up tools can save £10 by image by adjusting the camera lens. system and the tasks buying Norton internet Security open in separate windows 2010 instead. Phishing A form of internet fraud. making it easy to get lost. Norton Insight feature which Kelvyn Taylor The main screen displays the identifies‘trusted’program files DETAILS Pixel The smallest part of an image. four protection categories: PC that do not need to be scanned. Contact: Symantec, no UK number security, identity protection, backup This has previously been available Info: Processor The chip that is the and PC tune-up. It also includes in other Norton products but it’s Retail price: £60 (includes a one-year ‘brain’ of the computer. anti-spyware, anti-spam (or junk new to Norton 360. licence for three computers) email) and anti-phishing Identity protection includes the Buy: Resolution The detail in an image. protection.The price of the Identity Safe login manager, which software includes 2GB of online can securely save all your ALSO CONSIDER... Router Connects more than one PC storage to be used by the backup usernames and passwords for Avast! Internet Security 5: £50 or other device to the internet. tool, or you can back up using a websites. Parental controls are not Friendly and comprehensive internet security, hard disk or CD/DVD drive. included but Norton Safety Minder but no backup or parental controls. Spyware Software installed to Norton 360 takes control of is a free separate download. ##### monitor and report on a PC’s use. almost the entire security of the PC, New additions include more including the Windows firewall but it detailed information for TB The equivalent of 1,000 gigabytes. did this without upsetting any of our existing security settings and downloaded files and the Norton Safe Search browser add-in, which WE SAY Touchpad A touch-sensitive pad without fuss.The program used shows whether websites listed in Few groundbreaking changes but this used as an alternative to a mouse. little memory, and had little search results are safe. remains an excellent package that noticeable effect on performance in We were impressed with the does its job efficiently USB Allows quick connection of everyday use; the only exception overall level of protection offered peripherals to your PC. was during full virus scans but and the generally unobtrusive way GOOD POINTS: Unobtrusive; little normally these will only run when in which Norton 360 operated.The effect on PC performance; useful VGA Standard socket for connecting the PC is idle.All alerts and default settings are well chosen for diagnostic tools and information; a monitor to a computer. background tasks can be turned off non-technical users, and the online power-saving options for laptops temporarily, or a special quiet mode help file is very good. BAD POINTS: Menu design confusing; Wizard A step-by-step process that can be automatically activated There isn’t much that’s new in full virus scans make PC sluggish helps you choose settings. when a program is running. Norton 360 but since existing Quick virus scans only took a few users get an automatic upgrade OVERALL: ##### For full definitions visit: seconds, thanks partly to the that’s not particularly a downside. 26 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 24. TRIED & TESTED R R CAMERA | £130 PENTAX OPTIO H90 supplied) or internal 32MB memory in two seconds, which is fast for its price range. Compact camera, compact price An Auto Picture mode automatically selects the best T his pocket camera, with a enough to settings for any given scene or BUY IT! retro design, is at first slip into a subject and proved reliable, as did underwhelming but it has a pocket and the H90’s‘digital wide’mode that good resolution of 12.1 megapixels the lens is pastes two images together to give and a longer-than-average 5x protected printed copy but the H90 was quite a wider (21mm equivalent) view optical zoom lens, the equivalent of within the camera body when it is simple to use. than the lens will allow. 28-140mm on an old film camera. not being used. The camera was quick to switch Add digital effects, exposure Keep a finger resting on the zoom The camera costs less than £130. on and shots were saved to the correction and subject tracking control and there’s the ability to A rechargeable lithium-ion battery removable SD memory cards (not auto focus to the mix (it lacks any extend the reach to 6.5x using is included, which allows for 210 image stabilisation), and this small cropping to zoom in on the middle of the picture, which reduces the pictures when fully charged, a slightly better performance than WE SAY Pentax adds up to a big deal. Gavin Stoker resolution to seven megapixels. the AA batteries that area usually Great value, easy-to-use snapshot for DETAILS The zoom can be extended included with budget models. those looking for a small digital Contact: Pentax 01753 792 792 further, though the quality suffered Photos and video (it can record at camera to log their daily activities Info: at this top setting and is best the high-definition resolution of Retail price: £130 avoided. Stick within the 5x limit of 720p) are composed on the H90’s GOOD POINTS: Easy to use, Buy: the optical zoom, however, and the 2.7in rear screen, which is affordable and lightweight; better- camera’s sharpness and image reasonably bright yet not at its best than-average zoom; shoots HD video ALSO CONSIDER... detail are impressive. in sunlight, although there is no BAD POINTS: Modest battery life; no Samsung WB500: £160 The H90 pulls off the trick of viewfinder for composing shots. paper manual; no image stabilisation This slightly more expensive model offers a feeling sturdy but lightweight at We were disappointed that the big zoom lens and other good features. 131g, thanks to a metal body full manual is only included on the OVERALL: ##### ##### construction. However, it’s small software CD rather than as a Get a FREE .COM with every Personal&Plus webhosting package * .COM Buy now at: Packages include:  FREE instant setup  FREE easy website builder  Unlimited Website Traffic**  Windows or Linux  Personlised email  Phone & online support For a full range of web hosting packages ranging from £1.49pm visit or call: 0844 941 1000 Web hosting made easy 2010 All rights reserved. and the logo are trademarks of Dollomore Limited. Product and program specifications, availability and pricing subject to change without notice. Prices shown excludeVAT unless otherwise stated. Terms & Conditions apply, see website for details. *Offer applies to 1st year of registration. Save £9.99 per year. Subsequent years charged at standard rate. **Website traffic is subject to an acceptable use policy. 24 June - 7 July 2010 27
  • 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 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 £245 302 ##### Lenovo S10 Mini-notebook A superb ‘netbook’ that’s ideal for travellers £250 287 ##### Palicomp Excalibur EXC6 Desktop computer Plenty of power – ideal for gamers £600 314 ##### Samsung X420 Laptop computer A slim, portable laptop with superb battery life £599 310 ##### Apple Macbook Laptop computer Relatively expensive but it looks good and works well £816 309 ##### MSI AE2020 Desktop computer Touch control at a reasonable price £599 319 ##### Acer Aspire 1810TZ Laptop computer A good step up in power from netbooks £430 316 ##### PRINTING AND SCANNING Canon Canoscan 8800F Flatbed scanner Good-quality scans at a very reasonable price £165 261 ##### HP Photosmart C4480 Multifunction device An all-in-one printer and scanner at a bargain price £48 306 ##### Samsung ML-1915 Laser printer An inexpensive mono laser printer £79 313 ##### Epson Stylus Photo P50 Inkjet printer A small inkjet with excellent photo print quality £90 302 ##### Xerox Phaser 6125 Colour laser printer A great-quality colour printer £200 306 ##### PC ACCESSORIES Belkin N1 Vision Router Monitor broadband speeds easily with this router £130 271 ##### Clickfree Transformer SE Backup tool Copy files easily to an iPod or external hard disk £65 310 ##### D-Link DAP-1522 Wireless networking Convert your wired devices to make them wireless capable £100 299 ##### Lacie Datashare Memory card reader Two card readers in one, for MicroSD and SD cards £10 300 ##### Plantronics Audio 655 Headphones These PC headphones fit well and have a built-in microphone £50 294 ##### Samsung P2370 Monitor Can show the best high-definition movies £220 295 ##### SOFTWARE Cyberlink Media Suite 8 Media management All you need to play and create discs of various kinds from £50 n/a ##### Exif Pro Photo editing An excellent image-handling program £11 246 ##### Jufsoft Badcopy Utility software Easily recover files from damaged disks £20 249 ##### Nero 9 Reloaded Media management Great for all disc-creation tasks £50 308 ##### Nuance Paperport 12 Scanning Turn paper documents into searchable computer files £72 317 ##### Scrapbook Factory Deluxe Craft This easy-to-use software can create scrapbooks and more £30 303 ##### Acronis True Image Home 2010 Backup Make backups of files or entire disks £35 311 ##### Serif Pageplus X4 Desktop publishing Packed with features and plenty of templates £80 305 ##### GADGETS HTC HD2 Phone The best Windows smartphone yet £* 311 ##### Intel Reader Reading tool Reads printed text out loud £999 311 ##### iRiver B30 Music player A super music and video player with a DAB radio tuner £140 311 ##### Nokia E72 Phone An ultra-slim phone that makes email easy £* 313 ##### Pentax K-m SLR camera A good-value digital SLR that doesn’t cost too much £392 289 ##### Pure Sensia Radio An expensive but impressive internet and DAB radio £250 313 ##### Sony Alpha A230 SLR camera An entry-level SLR camera with advanced features £459 313 ##### Sony Reader Touch Edition Ebook reader Carry a library around in your pocket with this ebook reader £250 311 ##### *Price of phones varies with contract 28 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 26. BEST BUYS £ BEST DIGITAL NOTE-TAKERS Whether you want to take notes digitally or convert your handwriting to electronic editable text, there’s a note taker on the market to suit your needs 1 Oxford Papershow Papershow is a comprehensive kit that 1 comes with a pen and special paper that will record anything you write or draw and send it to your computer. Price: £100 2 Dane-Elec Zpen The Zpen will convert your handwriting from written pages to editable text, although the conversion does not quite produce flawless results. Price: £100 3 Minotes This fun and small note taker may require a bit of practice but it can save handwritten notes to your computer quite easily. Price: £60 2 4 3 4 Livescribe The most expensive pen in our round-up doesn’t convert notes to editable text, but it worked extremely well and records audio. Price: £150 24 June - 7 July 2010 29
  • 27. Awarded 4 out of 5 stars by Computeractive SAVE £25 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 videos, 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 SAVE 50% We say... Create personalised mixes and compilations, rip tunes from CDs, digitise your LPs An excellent range of media ONLY £24.99 editing software Overall **** and tapes, record internet radio and other music playing on your PC Computeractive - Issue 308  Share your special moments easily with friends and family Enjoy your digital creations on CD, DVD, your big screen TV, YouTube, iPhones System Requirements: Microsoft Windows Vista (32- or 64-bit), Windows XP SP3 (32- or 64-bit), and other portable devices Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate (32-or 64-bit), 512 MB memory for Windows 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,  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 7TH JULY 2010 ONLINE: TELEPHONE: 0844 844 0267 (CODE RD76) Your Details (Block capitals) YES. I would like to buy Title Initials Surname (Enter quantity required) Email J ROXIO CREATOR 2010 Address ONLY £24.99 Post Code Telephone no. Subs No. (if known) *You will find this on the bag Payment Options (Please indicate your preferred method of payment) Computeractive is delivered in. + £1.99 p&p J Cheque Enclosed for £ (Made payable to Incisive Financial Publishing Ltd) J Please Charge £ to my TOTAL £ Visa J MasterCard J Amex J Delta J Visa Debit J Card No. Valid From / Expiry Date / Signature(s) Date Complete and post this form to: Computeractive Direct, 800 Guillat Avenue, Computeractive and Computeractive Direct are published by Incisive Financial Publishing Limited, part of the Incisive Media Group. J Tick box to receive information about products and services from the Incisive Media Group by email. J Tick box to receive Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne, ME9 8GU information about products and services from selected companies by email. J Tick box if you do not want to receive information Please allow 7-10 working days for delivery. about products and services from the Incisive Media Group by post/telephone. J Tick box if you do not want to receive *Offer ends 7th July 2010 information about products and services from selected companies by post/telephone. (CODE RD76)
  • 28. ISSUE 322 JARGON B U S T E R Techno babble demystified... WORKSHOPS 32-bit Most home computers are 32-bit, but some newer models are 64-bit. JPEG A common format for image files. JPEG images are compressed and the small file In this Issue size makes them ideal for web Attachment A file, such as a pages. Some image quality is KEEP AN EYE ON CUSTOMISE ITEMS word-processor document, lost with each save. YOUR INTERNET IN THE START MENU sent with an email message. Mbits/sec Megabits per ACTIVITY Discover ways to display favourite Do you know how your broadband folders on the Windows Start Backup A file, folder or second. A measure of data external storage device that transfer speed. There are 1,024 connection is being used? A free menu p41 stores copies of documents. kilobits in a megabit. tool can reveal all p32 ORGANISE OPEN Compression Reducing a Memory key A generic term KEEP YOUR EMAILS WINDOWS AND file’s size by encoding the data. used to describe thumb-sized AND SETTINGS SAFE RUNNING PULL OUT & KEEP USB storage devices. Desktop The background Email messages are as precious PROGRAMS area on screen where Windows Network A way of connecting as any other personal information Quickly organise open files and icons appear. several computers and devices on your PC. Back them up simply, applications by using free so they can share data. quickly and for free p34 software to create an invisible grid Dialogue box A window that to position windows p42 pops up to display or request Notification Area An area CREATE information. on the bottom-right of the screen that shows which NEWSPAPER-STYLE QUICKLY DIRECT Double-click To click twice programs are running. COLUMNS IN WORD FILES AND FOLDERS quickly in succession on a Columns can give documents a USING SENDTO mouse button. Pop-up menu A menu that lift.We explain how to use them in The SendTo command is one appears on screen when you Word 2003 and 2007 p36 Windows’handiest shortcuts. Download Transferring files click something. Learn how to take advantage p45 onto your PC from the internet. SYNCHRONISE FILES Slider A control that enables Drag In Windows, the action of you to change a setting by AND FOLDERS clicking on something with the clicking and ‘dragging’ a switch. USING TAGS left mouse button, keeping the Find out how a free tool button pressed and moving Toolbar A strip of icons that can keep your files (dragging) the object. runs across the top of most synchronised p38 Windows applications. Used to Dropdown menu A list of provide quick access to certain options that appears when you features, such as saving. click a menu bar or button. Upload Transferring Font A set of letters, numbers R information to another and symbols in a certain style. computer on the internet. WHAT THE WORKSHOP LEVELS MEAN... Hard disk A high-capacity USB Universal Serial Bus. A disk fitted in PCs and used to store applications and files. standard that allows quick and easy connection of peripherals 1 2 3 Suitable for the most anxious novice, LEVEL 1 deals with simple tasks that every computer user can try. to your PC. Icon A small image used to More involved, but simple enough for all to identify a file or application. Wizard A step-by-step process to choose settings. 1 2 3 complete, LEVEL 2 may introduce you to new features in applications. ISP Internet Service Provider. A company that provides you with Zipping Compressing a file LEVEL 3 will bolster your existing knowledge and an internet connection, for a using a program such as PKZip 1 2 3 help you to see how much your computer can do. fixed monthly fee or for the cost or Winzip to reduce the space it Clear but demanding. of local call charges. takes up. For full definitions visit: NEXT STEP: TURN OVER... R R 24 June - 7 July 2010 31
  • 29. WORKSHOPS LEVEL 1 2 3 MONITOR NETWORK ACTIVITY Keep an eye on your internet activity Do you know how your broadband connection is being used? A free tool can reveal all ith fast broadband now commonplace few of us give much limits on downloads; and breaking the cap can be costly. So, being able W thought to how our internet connections are used.After all, as long as web pages appear promptly who cares what’s going on behind the scenes? to monitor how applications use a broadband connection can be both revealing and useful. In this Workshop we’ll explore how a free tool called Netlimiter 2 Even so, we all experience internet slowdowns from time to time and Monitor can keep on eye the internet traffic that is flowing across your plenty of broadband subscribers have‘capped’packages that place broadband connections. Step BEGIN BY DOWNLOADING NETLIMITER 2 Monitor. Launch a web browser, type into the Address 1 or Location bar at the top and hit Enter. Look for the 32-bit download link under the Netlimiter 2 Monitor heading (take care to pick the right one here, as the Lite and Pro versions are trial versions that must be paid for after 28 days). If the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears, click Save and then choose a location for the downloaded file. Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder. e Step WHEN THE DOWNLOAD HAS finished locate and double-click the ‘nl_2011_mon.exe’ file to start the 2 installation. Work through the wizard, accepting all the default options (unless you have good reason to do otherwise). At the last step, Netlimiter 2 Monitor will prompt to restart the PC. Click Finish to let it do this. e Step WHEN WINDOWS RESTARTS NETLIMITER 2 Monitor will already be running, indicated by a new icon in the Notification Area. To show the 3 Netlimiter 2 Monitor program window, right-click this icon and select Open from the pop-up menu. e 32 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 30. WORKSHOPS R R MONITOR NETWORK ACTIVITY Step WHEN NETLIMITER 2 MONITOR launches it 4 detects applications that are actively using the computer’s internet connection, displaying them as a list in the main part of the window. However, programs are initially listed by their file name, which won’t always be instantly recognisable. Fix this right away by right-clicking on any entry in the list, then pointing to ‘Show application name’ and click to tick Description. Now, Netlimiter 2 Monitor will list the names of any applications it knows (such as Internet Explorer). e Step THE BOXES TO THE right of each entry under the Connection list 5 show a ‘live’ measurement of each application’s internet use, both incoming (downloading) and outgoing (uploading). Use the Units dropdown menu to change the measurement type. Here, for instance, we’ve chosen Mbits/sec because most internet service providers (ISPs) market broadband packages using this measure. We can see that Internet Explorer is currently hogging 5.92Mbits/sec of our 8Mbits/sec broadband connection, as it is busy playing a Youtube video. e Step THERE’S A FAIR BIT more to explore in 6 Netlimiter 2 Monitor. Just press F1 for full instructions. However, here’s one last handy tip. To view an application’s data use over a particular time period, right-click the application’s name in the Connection list and select Stats. Use the filters on the left-hand side of the Stats dialogue to focus on a particular time period, or change the measurement units. Note, too, that it’s possible to view total internet use in the same way by right-clicking on the computer name under Connection and selecting Stats (useful for those on capped or metered broadband subscriptions). G 24 June - 7 July 2010 33
  • 31. WORKSHOPS LEVEL 1 2 3 BACK UP EMAILS Keep your emails and settings safe Emails are as precious as other personal files on your PC. Back them up simply and quickly hen backing personal information, such as documents and W offers no email-backup options whatsoever, while not all email digital photos, do you remember to include email messages programs are covered by the backup tools in Windows 7 and Vista. and settings? It’s amazing how much important, irreplaceable, That’s where a free tool like KLS Mail Backup can help.They information is stored in email inboxes so it goes without saying that specialise in backing up email messages and in this Workshop we’ll protecting messages is a good idea. The backup tools provided with the reveal how to use KLS to both back up and, if necessary, restore various versions of Windows have a mixed record here: Windows XP your emails. Step LAUNCH A WEB BROWSER, type into the Address or Location bar and press Enter. Click the orange DOWNLOAD under the Latest 1 version heading and click the second orange DOWNLOAD button to start the process. If the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears, click Save and then choose a location for the downloaded file. Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder. Once downloaded, double-click the klsmailbackup.exe setup file. Click Run followed by Continue or Allow (if prompted) to install the program. Follow the setup wizard through to the end, clicking Next at each turn. On the last screen, leave Launch KLS Mail Backup ticked and click Finish to open the program for the first time. e Step THE FIRST TIME THE program is launched you’ll need to 2 click OK to clear the Information dialogue box. KLS Mail Backup supports 12 different email applications, including Windows Mail, Outlook Express, Outlook and Thunderbird. Select your email program from the list and, if relevant, select a personal email profile from the dropdown menu. All elements, such as mail folders, settings and contacts, are selected by default. Unless there is good reason to do so, we suggest leaving everything selected. If backing up more than one profile, or backing up messages from more than one email program, click Add to choose the next one. Otherwise click Add&Close followed by OK to set the backup options. e Step BY DEFAULT, BACKUPS ARE stored in the My Documents folder. To change this, click the folder icon and select a backup drive or shared 3 network folder. If a network folder is password protected, click Connection and tick ‘Connect to network share’ If necessary, enter the . username and password required to access the folder (click the Test button to make sure it’s correct) and click OK. Next, give the backup a descriptive file name, such as ‘email_backup’ Advanced users can work through the other options such as Storage . and Security, but the default settings should be adequate for most people. e 34 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 32. WORKSHOPS R R BACK UP EMAILS Step CLICK SAVE & RUN to back up for the 4 first time. Click Yes and the backup process will start: a red progress bar will appear as the selected files and settings are compressed into a single zip file. Once compressed, the progress bar will turn green and the zip file will be copied to the folder or drive selected in the previous step. When the task completes, open the Tasks menu and choose Test All Archives. Click Yes and the backup will be checked for errors. Assuming no errors are found, click the Close button to finish. e Step THE PROGRAM LACKS SCHEDULING 5 features, so backups must be performed manually; we would recommend at least once a week. To do so, open KLS Mail Backup. Click the down arrow next to the Run button and select Run (Incremental Backup). The process is identical to before: wait for the backup to take place and test the archive from the Tasks menu when it’s complete before clicking Close. An incremental backup is quicker than a full backup, as only mailbox changes are recorded, resulting in a smaller file (and less hard disk space being used). e Step SHOULD YOU NEED TO restore a 6 backup, click the Restore button. To restore the entire backup, simply click Next followed by Restore. If restoring a specific mail folder or setting, choose Selected files and folders. Navigate the backed-up items using the folder tree. By default, everything is selected to be restored: click items to deselect and prevent them from being restored with the rest of the backup. When ready, click Next, leave Replace files selected and click Restore (the backup will be restored, overwriting any existing files and settings with those in the backup). G 24 June - 7 July 2010 35
  • 33. WORKSHOPS LEVEL 1 2 3 USING COLUMNS IN WORD Create newspaper-style columns in Word Columns can really give documents a lift. We explain how to use them in Word 2003 and 2007 tart a new Microsoft Word document and the text will be laid out in S between them and alter the widths of the individual columns; as well as a single column that spans the entire width of a page. However, it’s producing a document that uses a layout that has one, two and then easy to create documents that use multiple columns and mix and three columns.We’ll also demonstrate how to neaten up a layout where match them in the same document. the columns are different lengths.This Workshop uses Word 2003 for In this Workshop we’ll show you how to create multi-column screenshots but we’ve also included instructions for Word 2007.You’ll documents, fine-tune them, add vertical rules, change the spacing need to create a document of at least two pages in length. Step OPEN (OR CREATE) A document in Microsoft Word and 1 position the text cursor at the very beginning. In Word 2003, open the Format menu and, if necessary, click the Expand arrow at the bottom so you can see all the options: now choose Columns. When the dialogue box opens select the two column option by clicking on it. Leave all the other options the same and click OK and Word will reorganise the entire document into two columns. In Word 2007 choose Page Layout and then open the Columns menu and choose Two. e Step IF YOU CHANGE YOUR mind or don’t like the look, it’s easy to 2 rearrange things. With the cursor still at the start of the document, open the Format menu in Word 2003 and choose Columns again. At the dialogue box, select the Right preset and this time put a tick in the box next to the ‘Line between’ option. Then click OK. Here we’ve kept the dialogue box open so you can see the settings and effect together. To open the same dialogue box in Word 2007 open the Columns menu and choose More Columns. e Step TO MAKE A HEADING, click the Undo button 3 to return to the previous column setting (it’s on the button bar in Word 2003 and above the ribbon bar in Word 2007). Highlight the first line in the left column then, in Word 2003, open the Format menu and choose Columns, select One and click OK. Increase the text size to 14pt using the font size dropdown menu on the button bar and then click the Center button. In 2007 click the Home tab and then format the line in the same way. e 36 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 34. WORKSHOPS R R USING COLUMNS IN WORD Step SCROLL DOWN TO THE next 4 page and highlight all the text. In Word 2003 open the Format menu, choose Columns, select the Three preset and click OK. Set the Zoom dropdown menu on the button bar to 50% so you can see both pages of the document. We’ve now used three different column settings, one for the heading, two for page one and three for page two. In Word 2007, highlight the text, choose Page Layout, open the Columns menu and choose Three. Click the View tab and choose Zoom, type in 50% and click OK. e Step LOOKING AT THE SECOND page. It would be nice if all the 5 columns lined up, except that we don’t want to have to write any more text. Fortunately, we don’t have to. Just click the cursor after the last word in the last column and, in Word 2003, open the Insert menu and choose Break. When the dialogue box opens, select Continuous under the Section break types heading and click OK. Word neatens the columns up for you. In 2007, make sure Page Layout’s still selected, open the Breaks menu and choose Continuous. e Step FINALLY, IT’S POSSIBLE TO fine-tune column widths 6 in both versions of Word from the Columns dialogue box (see Step 2). Try this. Open it and remove the tick next to the Equal column width setting. All of the column widths and the spacing between columns are now editable and you can make fine adjustments either by clicking on the up/down arrows next to these settings or by highlighting the numbers there and typing in new ones. Here for example we’ve changed the widths so that columns get narrower from left to right. G 24 June - 7 July 2010 37
  • 35. WORKSHOPS LEVEL 1 2 3 SYNCHRONISE FILES Synchronise files and folders using tags Find out how a free tool can keep your files synchronised using a novel method ile synchronisation is a great way to quickly and easily create F destination folders. However, Syncless is a free tool that works a backups of any type of files but it is particularly useful when little differently. It enables‘tags’to be assigned to any folders you working on a project. Keeping folders in sync means that as the would like synchronised.This means multiple folders can be kept in files are edited in one folder the changes are then mirrored in a second. synch very easily on your computer.And when a folder no longer Some synchronisation tools can be time consuming to configure, requires synchronisation, just remove its tag.We’ll explain how in requiring the user to specify and monitor various source and this Workshop. Step START BY VISITING THE Syncless download page, at and then click the green arrow or the Download 1 Syncless link. If the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears, click Save and then choose a location for the downloaded file. Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder. Syncless is provided as a compressed zip file. To extract the contents, right-click the zip file and select Extract All (or Extract followed by Extract All) before clicking the Extract button. The extracted folder should open automatically but if it doesn’t, open it and double-click the SynclessUI.exe file. e Step READ THROUGH THE INTRODUCTORY screen, click to 2 remove the tick from the box labelled 'Show this screen at startup' and click Start Using Syncless to continue. We’ll begin by configuring a few settings. Click the spanner icon in the upper right-hand corner of the program window to access the Application Options. Most the settings are self-explanatory but ensure Enable Shell Integration is ticked. e Step NOW CLICK THE ARCHIVING tab to configure how Syncless 3 should handle files that have been deleted or replaced. By ticking the first box, Syncless will safeguard against the loss of important information by moving files deleted during synchronisation to the Recycle Bin. As well, Syncless automatically retains older versions of files as they are synchronised. By default, two previous versions are retained but use the slider to choose how many versions of edited files should be saved. Click OK to save the settings. e 38 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 36. WORKSHOPS R R SYNCHRONISE FILES Step SYNCLESS SYNCHRONISES FOLDERS BASED on tags 4 and there are a number of ways to add tags. Assuming the ‘shell integration’ was enabled in Step 2, the easiest way to tag a folder is to right-click it. From the pop-up menu, click the Syncless – Tag option. In the Tag dialogue box that appears, enter a suitable name for the tag in the Name field and click the Tag button. This method can be used to create as many tags as are needed. e Step NOW USE THE SAME method to tag a second folder with 5 the same name – take great care to enter the tag name in precisely the same way, otherwise synchronisation will fail. Once two or more folders have been assigned the same tag, synchronisation is possible. To check which files will be copied from folder to folder, click the Preview button. Close the Preview Synchronisation Changes dialogue box and click the Sync Now button to synchronise files between all folders that carry the same tag. e Step IT’S POSSIBLE TO HAVE Syncless keep tagged folders 6 synchronised automatically. Select a tag by clicking its entry in the list on the right-hand side of the program window then click the Manual switch to the left. The switch will change to read ‘Seamless’ In this mode, any files that are added to or . edited in a tagged folder will be automatically synchronised with other folders using the same tag. e Step TAGS CAN ALSO BE created by clicking the Create 7 button in the Syncless window. Enter a tag name in the Name field and click OK, and the tag will be added to the right-hand list. To assign existing tags to individual files, first select a tag from the list, then either click the Tag button in the toolbar or right-click a tag and select the Tag Folder option. Navigate to the relevant folder and click the Select Folder button. e 24 June - 7 July 2010 39
  • 37. WORKSHOPS SYNCHRONISE FILES Step SYNCLESS INCLUDES A SEARCH 8 tool that can be used to quickly home in on individual tags. Click in the search box above the list of tags and start typing. Matching tags will be automatically displayed. Tags that are no longer needed can be deleted by right-clicking and selecting Remove Tag. e Step TO SYNCHRONISE FILES BETWEEN 9 two or more PCs using Syncless requires a removable storage device, such as a USB memory key. Setting up folder tags for synchronisation is no different to synchronising files between two folders on the same computer (just be sure to select the correct drive when assigning tags). To stop synchronising in this way, click the Unmonitor button in the Syncless toolbar and then click the letter of the removable drive. e Step TO RESTRICT SYNCHRONISATION TO 10 certain file types within a folder requires the use of filters. To do this, right-click a tag in the tag list and select Tag Details. Click the + button and in the Ext Mask field to the right of the dialogue enter a file extension (‘*.jpg’ for JPEG images, for example). Use the Mode menu to indicate whether files of this type should be included or excluded from synchronisation and click OK. G 40 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 38. LEVEL 1 2 3 WORKSHOPS R R PERSONALISE THE START MENU Customise items in the Windows Start menu Discover various ways to display favourite folders on the Start menu in Windows indows provides shortcuts to folders and services that it thinks W menu in the first place – and this Workshop will explain how.We’ll use people use most frequently.That’s why the My Computer icon Windows XP for the screenshots but the principles also apply for typically sits on the Windows Desktop and Documents, Pictures anyone using Windows 7 or Vista.We’ve noted where actual steps differ and other folders are‘pinned’to the Start menu by default. but some folder-naming conventions vary (for example, Pictures may However, it’s possible to change the ways these popular items be My Pictures, depending on the version of Windows used).With that behave and even determine whether they’re displayed on the Start in mind, let’s get customising the Windows Start menu. Step RIGHT-CLICK THE START button and choose Properties from the pop-up menu. When the Taskbar and Start Menu 1 Properties dialogue box appears, make sure the Start Menu tab is selected and click the Customize button followed by the Advanced tab (Windows 7 and Vista users do not need to do the last click). Scroll through the various options in the list until you find My Documents. In our screenshot here the ‘Display as link’ option is selected, which means that when we click on the Documents folder in the Start menu it simply opens it in a new Explorer window. e Step CHANGE THAT BY CHOOSING the option underneath ‘Display 2 as a menu’ ensure the ‘Open submenu’ box is ticked, and then , click the OK button. At the next dialogue box, click OK again. Click the Start button and then roll the mouse pointer up and over the My Documents folder in the Start menu. The little arrow indicates there are folders inside the My Documents folder. Roll the pointer over the arrow to open the menu and explore it, finding folders within folders until you can’t go any further. To open any of these folders, click on it. e Step AS WELL AS THOSE folders placed on the Start menu by default, 3 there are some which are absent. Right-click on the Start button and choose Properties. When the dialogue box opens click Customize; Windows XP users should then click the Advanced tab. Now scroll down. Change My Music to ‘Don’t display this item’ and Printers and Faxes to ‘Display as menu’ (in Vista choose Printers instead and in Windows 7, perhaps Video). Click OK and then OK again. Open the Start menu again. The Printers/Videos item has been added and the Music item removed. G 24 June - 7 July 2010 41
  • 39. WORKSHOPS LEVEL 1 2 3 TIDY UP DESKTOP WINDOWS Organise open windows and running programs Use free software to create an invisible grid and quickly organise open windows indows’ability to display multiple programs and windows at the W windows. In this manner, windows can be quickly tiled and resized by same time is one of the operating system’s cornerstones. simply dragging them into place. However, the Windows Desktop can quickly become a chaotic Despite the reference to Vista in its name, Gridvista works with mess of overlapping program windows and folders. Windows 7,Vista and XP. However, the program is no longer in Gridvista is a free program that can be used to quickly organise the development and is provided without guarantee. In this Workshop we Desktop, using an invisible grid to position open applications and will show you how to download and use this handy utility. Step GRIDVISTA WAS ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED for 1 use on Acer laptops but it will work on any PC and is free to download. Locating the download on the Acer website is laborious so we have created a shortcut to it at If the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears, click Save and choose a location for the downloaded file. Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder. e Step TO EXTRACT THE CONTENTS of the downloaded zip file, 2 right-click it and select Extract All (or Extract followed by Extract All). Now click the Extract button. The extracted folder should open automatically but if not, open it and double-click the Setup.exe file to start the installation process. Click OK to copy the necessary files into place and click OK again when this has been done. The program can then be launched from the Start menu. e Step A FEW THINGS SHOULD be apparent after launching Gridvista. The first is the presence of a new icon in the Notification Area. More noticeable is the 3 appearance of three new buttons in the title bar of running programs and open windows. The first button is used to make windows transparent or change their position on screen. The second specifies whether or not the window should ‘snap’ to the virtual grid we will create momentarily. The final button, meanwhile,‘pins’ a window on top of other open windows. e 42 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 40. WORKSHOPS R R TIDY UP DESKTOP WINDOWS Step THE DESKTOP CAN BE divided up into a 4 number of different grids that serve to quickly organise open windows and running programs. If you are using more than one monitor, different settings can be used on different Desktops. To choose a layout, click the Gridvista icon in the Notification Area and choose Grid configuration followed by Display 1 (more ‘Display’ entries will be listed if additional monitors are installed). Choose one of the six grid layouts. e Step WE HAVE CHOSEN THE LAYOUT called 5 ‘Triple (primary at right)’ This . configuration splits the desktop up into three sections. Two occupy the top and bottom halves of the left-hand side of the screen, while the other accounts for the entire right-hand side. When a grid configuration is selected a brief preview shows how the grid and its sections are laid out. e Step ANY RUNNING PROGRAM OR 6 window can make use of the selected grid. To do this left-click in the title bar of an application or folder window and, keeping the left mouse button held down, drag the window to one of the grid’s frames. The grid is displayed again while a window is being dragged, with the current target highlighted in red. Release the left mouse button and the window will automatically resize to fit this section. e 24 June - 7 July 2010 43
  • 41. WORKSHOPS TIDY UP DESKTOP WINDOWS Step AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD IS to make use of the Gridvista toolbar that 7 appears in the title bar of programs and windows. Click the first of the three icons, point to ‘Send window to grid’ option and choose the grid section to be used. This technique does not offer a preview of grid positions, so you will have to memorise the sections. e Step GRIDVISTA CAN ALSO BE used in multi-monitor 9 settings. Each monitor can have its own grid layout, configured from the Grid configuration menu. There are also a couple of extra features that can be used to control windows. The first is the ability to ‘pin’ a window so it appears on top of other open windows. To toggle this option on and off, click the third button in a window’s title bar (the one featuring a pushpin). e Step TO RELEASE A WINDOW from 8 the grid (so that it can once more be positioned anywhere on screen), click the middle of the three buttons in a window’s title bar to disable the ‘lock to grid’ feature. e Step FINALLY, GRIDVISTA CAN MAKE 10 windows transparent, so it’s possible to see what is underneath. This may come in handy when two or more running programs are overlapping. To do this, click the first button in a window’s title bar and select the Transparency option. Repeat this step to return the window to its normal state. G 44 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 42. LEVEL 1 2 3 WORKSHOPS R R MOVE FILES QUICKLY Quickly direct files and folders using Send To The SendTo command is one of Windows’ handiest shortcuts. Here’s how to take advantage here are countless time-saving tricks and shortcuts built in to the hard disk.Alternatively, SendTo can be used to put selected items into a T various versions of Windows. Of all these, the SendTo command is probably one of the most useful. Certainly, no shortcut is easier to access on your computer. compressed (zip) file or straight into an email message that can be then be sent as an attachment. In this short Workshop we’ll explain how to access and use SendTo to From a single mouse click, for example, SendTo makes it possible to achieve all of these things.We’ll also show how to modify SendTo so move a file, group of files or even entire folders around the computer’s that it works just the way you would like. Step ACCESSING AND USING SENDTO is easy in any 1 version of Windows. Just right-click on a file or folder (or a selection of files and folders) and select SendTo from the pop-up menu. This works in Windows Explorer, the Windows Desktop or pretty much any other application that you might use to navigate files and folders. e Step A SUB-MENU APPEARS BEARING a selection of options. The 2 precise line-up depends on your PC and the applications it has installed, as some programs add their own shortcuts to the SendTo menu. The SendTo menu on our test PC, for example, includes a shortcut to Skype, left-clicking this option would initiate a transfer of the selected file via Skype. However, options that will certainly appear on your SendTo menu include Compressed (zipped) folder, to turn the selected files/folders into a zip file, and Mail recipient, which will attach the selected files to a new email message window. e Step IT’S POSSIBLE TO ADD or remove items from the SendTo 3 menu. You might, for instance, want to add a current work folder so that files and folders can be quickly moved via a right-click. To do this, you’ll need to add the relevant folder or application shortcuts to the SendTo folder on the hard disk. In Windows XP, navigate to your username folder within the Documents and Settings folder (for example, C:Documents and Settings[username]) and then double- click the SendTo folder (note there’s no space). In Windows 7 or Vista, the SendTo folder is more deeply hidden and is typically found in C:Users [username]AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindows. To see it, you may need to deselect the ‘Hide protected operating system files’ option (in Windows Explorer, select Tools followed by Folder Options, click the View tab and scroll down the list under Advanced settings). G 24 June - 7 July 2010 45
  • 43. HINTS & TIPS MICROSOFT EXCEL WORD 2003 Better THE TIP OFIGHT! FORTN Narrow fonts Where text space is tight, you Autofill should use fonts designed for small spaces such as Arial Narrow rather than Arial as this avoids having to use a smaller font size. If you need I f you want to use a formula in a row to reduce text volume only a little, or column of cells,Autofill is a great try using a slightly smaller font size timesaver. Hover the cursor over such as 10.5 instead of 11. the bottom right-hand corner of the Most people insert a whole line cell and click and drag in the correct space to separate paragraphs, but direction to copy the formula. this is unnecessary. Click on the You might want part of the formula Format menu and then Paragraph. to stay the same, such as when Click the Indents and Spacing tab comparing figures in a column to a and set Spacing Before to 0pt and single figure at the top.This is also Spacing After to 6pt so all carriage helpful when copying and pasting returns give a neat 6pt spacing. formulas around a worksheet. Peter Ashford You can lock cell references in a formula so they will not change thanks to Autofill. Insert a $ before both the letter and number. So cell A1 would become $A$1.You can also mix locked and normal references so $A1 would lock the reference to column A but the row reference can change. Dave, Computeractive forum 9 Use the $ character to lock Excel cell references YAHOO MAIL MOZILLA FIREFOX WIN WITH Manage your saved passwords The Saved Passwords tool in Firefox is useful until you YOUR HINTS change a password. If you enter a new password a The sender of the Tip of the message will appear at the top of the page asking if you Fortnight will win a copy of want to change the stored password for that website. Magix Video Easy worth £40 – Click on the Change button to save the change.Wait visit for until the password works before you click on Change. more information about how If the username also changes, you may want to this software remove the old reference altogether. Click on the Tools imports and edits menu and then Options. Click on the Security tab and your home then on the Saved Passwords button. Find the site movies.The hint or whose password you want to remove. Click once on the tip should not site reference and then on the Remove button. exceed 150 words Exo, Computeractive forum and should include Filter new emails automatically a screenshot. Yahoo Mail can automatically filter emails into folders. Email your Left-click on an email from the sender you wish to filter contributions with in the email list. Click on the Actions button and then on your name and Filter Emails Like This… at the bottom of the menu. full address to Enter a name for the filter in the Name box.The or sender’s email address will be included here by default. write to our usual address The basic rule uses this address to identify emails but (marking envelopes‘Hints and you can also set up rules based on the subject or email Tips’). By submitting your tip, text. Click on the down arrow labelled Choose Folder to you are agreeing to have it set where to move the message.You can create a folder published by Incisive Media. by selecting the New Folder option and entering a name for the folder in the text box that appears on the right. Email your tips to Click on Save to create the rule.This rule will only apply to new messages, not those already in the inbox. Sam Chambers 46 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 44. SAVE £5.00 Remove all your online activities so they cannot be traced with this easy-to-use software. Webroot Window Washer 2010 makes sure all your passwords and private data are protected from prying eyes. It can also improve your PC’s performance in minutes by clearing out system clutter from hundreds of programs, such as Microsoft Office and photo-editing programs. Key features: • Easy-to-use interface makes it fast and simple to protect your privacy • Erases all tracks of websites you have visited from your internet history and address • Removes thousands of unnecessary files to increase computer performance • Includes a one-click file and folder shredder • Removes unwanted and deleted files permanently • Built-in safety features to help prevent you from accidentally removing important files NORMALLY £19.95 • Can be set to clean your computer on a regular basis System Requirements: Windows • Enables you to fully erase your hard drive for easy re-formatting - SAVE 25% Vista 32-bit, 2000 or XP, 266 Mhz ideal for when you are giving away or disposing of your PC processor, 5 MB hard drive space, ONLY £14.95 64 MB RAM. Supports Internet • Gives you automatic threat updates Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox and AOL. • Includes telephone, email and web support 3 EASY WAYS TO ORDER ONLINE: TELEPHONE: 0844 844 0267 (CODE RD59) Your Details (Block capitals) YES. I would like to buy Title Initials Surname (Enter quantity required) Email o Webroot Window Washer 2010 Address ONLY £14.95 Post Code Telephone no. Subs No. (if known) *You will find this on the bag Payment Options (Please indicate your preferred method of payment) Computeractive is delivered in. + £1.99 p&p o Cheque Enclosed for £ (Made payable to Incisive Financial Publishing Ltd) o Please Charge £ to my TOTAL £ Visa o MasterCard o Amex o Delta o Visa Debit o Card No. Valid From / Expiry Date / Signature(s) Date Complete and post this form to: Computeractive Direct, 800 Guillat Avenue, Computeractive and Computeractive Direct are published by Incisive Financial Publishing Limited, part of the Incisive Media Group. J Tick box to receive information about products and services from the Incisive Media Group by email. J Tick box to receive Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne, ME9 8GU information about products and services from selected companies by email. J Tick box if you do not want to receive information Please allow 7-10 working days for delivery. 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 RD59)
  • 45. HOW TO BUY FROM ABROAD Lost in translation Spotted a bargain online or while on holiday? Goods bought outside the UK may not be as cheap as they initially seem. We explain all C hecking out the cost of electrical goods when you are on holiday abroad can be a sobering experience. You may find what appears to be bargain after bargain when you compare the price tags to the same products in the UK – despite the less favourable exchange rates. The internet enables us to shop globally and foreign websites also seem to advertise cheaper prices for many items. It’s tempting to buy from abroad if you think you can make a saving but what are the risks? We look at the potential pitfalls and show how you can avoid being left high and dry with goods that may not work in the UK or faulty products that are not covered by consumer protection laws or warranties. We will also look at the hidden charges of buying from abroad to help you decide if a bargain is all it’s cracked up to be. The pound has taken a beating in recent years from its high of $2 to the pound in July 2008. Today a pound only gets you around $1.45. It has also weakened against the Euro since then so shopping from abroad is not quite the bargain-fest it once was. But even with the diminished exchange rates we still seem to be charged more for electronics in the UK. For example, Apple prices the standard 250GB Macbook at $999 on its US website, which translates to £689 at the current exchange rate but in the UK we are charged £849. In the US there is The hidden costs of buying from overseas also a £20 saving on the 160GB iPod. What seems like a fantastic deal may be nothing of A Wii Fit Plus with balance board is £110 on the UK the sort when you start to add up the costs involved Amazon site but costs £75 on the French Amazon and in buying from abroad. Charges such as VAT and £68 on the US site based on exchange rates at the time customs duty can ramp up the final total and negate we checked. Similarly, the Sony Cybershot digital any savings. camera is cheaper on both the French and US Amazon If you shop within the European Union (EU), sites. In the UK we pay £147 but France and America whether online or in person, you can buy electronic pay around £20 less. goods without having to pay customs duty or VAT. Be Image: Kevin February However, US prices can be deceptive as American wary of websites that offer suspiciously big discounts websites and stores generally quote prices excluding as they may be sourcing goods from outside the EU, sales tax, which can add around five to seven per cent at leaving you to pay the taxes when it arrives in the UK. the till, depending on which state you’re purchasing Check the small print carefully, looking for notes on from. Only five states don’t charge this tax. where goods will be dispatched from. 48 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 46. BUY FROM ABROAD HOW TO Are you compatible? Before you buy any electronic product from abroad, check its compatibility with the UK. JARGON B U S T E R A bargain is not a bargain if it doesn’t actually Techno babble demystified... work in the UK. For instance, DVD players and discs are usually region specific so GB Gigabyte. A buying from Europe (Region 2) is not a measurement of storage, problem, as it’s the same as the UK but the US usually for hard disks. uses Region 1. Region codes allow the film studios to NTSC National Television control the release date and price of their System Committee. A TV titles around the world. However, you can standard used in America buy multi-region DVD players and it’s even and Japan, among others. possible to modify some European players to play discs from other regions by tapping a Pal Phase Alternating Line. ‘hack’ code from the internet into your The broadcast TV standard remote control. used in the UK and Europe. 9Check the customs website for a list of items exempt from customs duty Similarly, TVs in the UK work on a different system from some other countries. While the SECAM Sequential Buying from outside the EU is more a more complex UK uses PAL technology, TVs in the US work on a Colour with Memory. A matter. If you bring goods worth more than £390 back different system called NTSC while France works on television standard first from holiday you will be charged customs duty and SECAM. An NTSC TV will not work in the UK. Some used in France. VAT. The amount payable on goods depends on the goods may come with a foreign manual, which will type of product but some electronics such as laptops, leave you struggling if the company has not put an For full definitions visit: desktop PCs, certain digital cameras and mobile English version on its website. Products may also be set phones are duty free. to a foreign Many people escape paying taxes by not declaring language but that items at Customs but if you are caught with undeclared should be easy to goods, expect a hefty fine. change. And most When ordering online and getting items delivered, laptops will be sold VAT is charged on goods over £18 and customs with different duty applies over £135. Calculating charges can keyboard layouts. be complicated so check the customs website Remember that ( for the rules and a full electronics from list of what items are exempt from customs duty. abroad are often For online orders that are liable for Customs charges incompatible with you will also have to factor in a payment to the delivery the UK mains company. Royal Mail charges a ‘handling fee’ of £8 and electricity supply some courier firms charge more. and plug system. Paying with a credit card when buying abroad or Laptops and from a foreign website gives you valuable extra desktop PCs protection but it can be a bit of a shock when you get generally use power the bill and it’s more than expected. supplies that work in several countries but other 9Use Duty Calculator to work Unfortunately, most banks will sting you by adding a devices may need voltage converters. out VAT and customs duty fee onto the exchange rate that they charge. You can Alternatively, you can buy a cheap transformer that save a lot of money by using a special credit card to pay will reduce voltages to match your appliance although for goods when you are overseas, as these give you the these can be expensive. You will also need to buy a plug best exchange rates and avoid any extra, sneaky adapter. Always ask the retailer or manufacturer charges. The Post Office and Nationwide cards charge whether the product is compatible with the UK and if low or no fees when buying goods abroad. not, add up how much it will cost to adapt. R GET HELP ON THE WEB • The UK European Consumer Centre site • The HM Revenue & Customs site ( ) provides advice on buying ( has information on buying from other countries within the EU and helps or bringing in goods from abroad and the rules consumers resolve disputes. on duty and taxes. If you are still baffled ring its • Before you buy, use Duty Calculator helpline on 0845 010 9000. ( to work out the • Check out price-comparison websites like customs duty and VAT liable on your purchases Kelkoo ( and Pricerunner from anywhere in the world. (, which have links to • Courier firm DHL ( their European counterparts so you can see x1589) has a useful section on its website which country has the best bargain. Try explaining the issues around ordering goods ( or from overseas. for the US. 24 June - 7 July 2010 49
  • 47. HOW TO BUY FROM ABROAD Know your rights will find out when it was registered and search for Another important factor to consider when buying customer feedback. It’s worth checking unfamiliar from abroad is what rights you have if a product is websites for negative comments before parting with faulty and needs repair or if you have simply changed your money. And if the website is new you should be your mind after an online purchase has arrived. cautious, especially if prices are suspiciously low. Shopping from a trader within the EU is a safe bet. Buying from outside the EU is an altogether patchier Here, you are protected by the Consumer Sales affair and you risk losing out if there is a problem. Directive, which entitles you to a repair or replacement When you are buying from the US check the small print free if the product fails within carefully. Warranties are two years. For the first six sometimes region-specific months it’s generally assumed and you may not be covered if the problem existed when the the product is faulty. Ask the product was purchased but trader what their returns after that the onus is on you to policy is for overseas prove the goods were faulty. customers. For well-known Some countries in the EU will brands, find out whether the give you even longer than two goods could be repaired or years to return faulty goods. replaced by an outlet in the Each country has different UK or in a shop owned by the consumer laws that apply on parent company. You may be top of the Consumer Sales able to get it fixed here for Directive and some are more nothing. If not, you face a generous than others. Contact hefty charge to post it back or the UK European Consumer pay to have it repaired in the Centre ( to see UK. Some manufacturers what your rights are in a offer an international specific country. warranty, which entitles you If you are buying from a to repairs and customer website based in the EU you support in a different country have similar rights as if the to where you bought the item. company was in the UK. Protect yourself further by Under the Distance Selling using a credit card to buy Directive you are protected 9Howard the Shopping Assistant researches EU websites from abroad. If there is a when buying goods from any problem and you paid more member state. Shoppers are entitled to a seven-day than £100 the card company is equally liable with the ‘cooling off’ period in most online transactions where retailer. This is helpful if chasing the overseas company an item can be sent back for any reason. This begins the is proving tricky. day after the goods have been delivered. However, certain sealed items such as games, CDs and software Is it still a bargain? become exempt if they have been opened. When you Despite the weakened pound you can still save money return the product the trader must provide a refund by buying goods from abroad but beware of the extra within 30 days. The seller has to reimburse your charges, particularly when shopping outside the EU. postage costs if there is a fault but if you have changed Once you have paid any sales taxes, customs duty, VAT, your mind then you will have to check the website’s shipping and credit-card fees the original savings you terms and conditions to find out who pays for the thought you’d made could be diminished or wiped out. return postage. Traders have different returns policies The hassle of shopping overseas can also be and postage costs to Europe can be high. off-putting, especially if there is a problem. The UK European Consumer Centre has a useful tool Incompatible or faulty goods may make you wish you on its website called Howard the Shopping Assistant had not bothered. Buying from abroad is not always ( He’s an online owl who will plain sailing so shop around for the cheapest prices in research a website within the EU and help you decide the UK first as you may find a bargain here. whether to buy from it. By entering its name Howard Laura Frewin R KNOW WHO’S WHO IN THE EU Not all European countries are part of favourites France, Spain, Portugal then the EU consumer protection the European Union. It’s good to and Italy. laws apply. Switzerland and know who’s in and who’s out as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein Liechtenstein are not covered but shopping within the EU gives you and Switzerland are not EU member consumers would have rights protection under various consumer states but they are part of the under the country’s own laws. For sales laws. European Free Trade Association more details visit the EFTA website It also means that you pay no (EFTA). If you shop there you will pay ( customs duty or VAT on goods a lower rate of customs duty on your The list and map of current EU brought into the UK. There are 27 EU goods or often none at all. member states can be found at member states, including holiday If you buy from Norway or Iceland 50 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 48. WIN A LAPTOP SURVEY We want your view Take part in our survey and win a laptop from Win a free one-year subscription to Computeractiv e or one of 10 free subscriptions to Computeractive A s readers of the most popular computer magazine in the The survey covers: UK and Ireland, your informed opinion on the computing G Quality of information in advertisements and technology market is of great importance to us, as G The topics you want to learn more about well as the companies that advertise in these pages and G Your interest in upgrading computers on our website. G The products you find interesting This survey will give those companies an insight into how they G High-street and online brands you trust could make the benefits of their products and services clearer to you. G The importance of recommendation by others The survey should take no longer than five minutes to complete and all information is treated with the strictest confidence. Enter now at WHAT YOU CAN WIN! First prize The first name drawn at random from those who complete the survey will win the top prize of a laptop computer, kindly provided by The Toshiba Satellite Pro L450D has 2GB of memory and a 250GB hard disk. It comes with a media card reader and widescreen display for easy transfer and viewing of photos. There’s a built-in webcam and support for the fastest type of wireless networking available today. 10 runners-up prizes The next 10 names drawn will win a year’s subscription to Computeractive – those who already subscribe will have their current subscription extended by 12 months. Win a Toshiba laptop worth £400 24 June - 7 July 2010 51
  • 49. HOW TO BLOCK UNWANTED WEBSITES Defend your network Add a safety net to your home network by blocking access to unwanted websites T he internet is a big place and to find anything you need a way to pinpoint the websites that offer what you are looking for. The internet keeps track of sites using IP addresses and keeps its own list of sites, like a very large and ever-changing telephone directory. As every Windows user will understand, computers work in a different way to us. They cannot understand text in the same way we do and an address such as does not mean any more to a computer than ‘’ does to you. They are actually one and the same, though, as the Computeractive website presented as text for us and as an IP address for computers. DNS, short for the Domain Name System, is the technology that translates between the two, using a set of records stored on thousands of powerful computers called servers. Located around the 9This page helps you set up your router for OpenDNS globe, DNS servers are owned by internet service providers (ISPs), companies and even governments. Added security and control In theory each DNS server has the same file so there Alternative DNS providers, such as OpenDNS and is no central point of information. With the information Google DNS (see Other DNS Services on page 53), required to access sites spread across so many PCs, offer two main advantages. The first is faster browsing there is no single point at which the internet could be as they can handle the requests faster than ordinary attacked or suffer a technical failure. The idea is that DNS servers, which are at the beck and call of the these computers talk with each other, sharing updates majority of internet users. as old sites disappear and new ones are created. The second is better security and control. They can Anyone who owns a DNS server can amend the list of be told not to answer requests for certain websites. This IP addresses. This is how countries such as China block can add an extra level of protection if you click on a link websites they do not want their citizens to see. in a phishing email by mistake or block people from There are, thankfully, less sinister reasons for visiting inappropriate websites. changing a DNS server file and in this article we will OpenDNS can be used in two different ways. You can eVisit the introduce you to a free service called OpenDNS that set your computer to use the OpenDNS service website and click on ‘Create uses this method to block fraudsters and websites that and then think nothing more of it – there are an account’ to register include distasteful or illegal material. instructions for every version of Windows at This will help protect against phishing attacks and may improve browsing speed but it’s quite easy to get more from the service. Signing up for an account with OpenDNS gives you more control over what you, and other family members, can browse on the internet. You can block sites by category, such as pornography, or blacklist specific websites. Bear in mind that these settings will apply to Image: Chris Ede everyone using the computer (or router if you apply the OpenDNS settings to that) so you cannot block children from Facebook, for example, without being blocked yourself. 52 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 50. BLOCK UNWANTED WEBSITES HOW TO If you want to block children from accessing specific sites then realistically you are better off with some parental control software, such as Windows Live Family Safety, available free at How to get started Registration for OpenDNS is simple and the basic account is free. Start your internet browser, type into the address bar and press Enter. Click on ‘Create account’ at the top right of the page, and then ‘Sign up’ in the OpenDNS Basic box. Fill in the form headed ‘I’m new to OpenDNS and I need an account’. Click Continue when the form is complete. The next page has help for setting it up. Click on the Router link on the next page. This has instructions for many different routers so click on the correct manufacturer. If it is not listed click on the ‘general router instructions’ link. To follow these instructions you will need to access the router’s settings. See the box ‘How to access your router’s settings’ on page 54. Once you have followed the instructions your router will be looking up website addresses in OpenDNS as opposed to your ISP’s. Check your email for the registration confirmation message and click on the link that it contains. This takes you to the OpenDNS Dashboard. The most effective way to use OpenDNS is to set it up on your router. When your computer tries to open a connection to the internet it has to ask the router for the network settings, so if R OTHER DNS SERVICES OpenDNS is by no means the Google Public DNS has only alternative DNS service several technologies to on the internet. One of the protect against so called best known is Google. All you ‘DNS poisoning’. This is need to do is to change your when incorrect DNS servers to and information is sent using the instructions to DNS servers to try shown in the step-by-step to send people to guide on page 55. malicious websites. It promises better Visit www.snipca. performance by working com/x1590 for more differently to most DNS information. servers by using the Google Another alternative is search service to check on NortonDNS, which attempts websites as well as relying to protect you from on the open sharing of malicious websites. Find it DNS information. at 24 June - 7 July 2010 53
  • 51. HOW TO BLOCK UNWANTED WEBSITES OpenDNS has been set up small utility from OpenDNS that will automatically there you will not have to update your account with the current dynamic address. change settings for each It is important to perform this step even if you are using computer by hand. For OpenDNS on a router. Without this information you example the D-Link will not get the correct settings. DIR-655 (a router given Sign in to OpenDNS and click on the Settings tab. away with many Your IP address should be automatically entered in the broadband subscriptions) IP text box, if not, you can see your IP address in the top is easy to set up for right hand corner of the web page. Click on the Add this OpenDNS. To do this, network button. A pop up will appear asking for a name start your web browser for the network. Call this Home and make sure that the and type option labelled ‘Yes, it is dynamic’ is selected. Click on in the address bar and the link at the bottom to install the OpenDNS Updater press Enter. for Windows. Click on Run when asked by your If the router admin page browser what to do with the download. Click on does not appear the router Continue if prompted by the User Account Control may be using a different window in Windows 7 or Vista. Return to the 9Before you add a network to address, so see the box on page xx. The default OpenDNS web page and click on Done. OpenDNS you need to name it username for the D-Link router is ‘admin’ with a blank Click on the install button. Leave the option to start password. Click on the Manual Internet Connection the updater selected and click on Finish. Enter your Setup button and then enter the OpenDNS server OpenDNS username and password and click on Sign in. addresses in the Primary and Secondary DNS Server fields. The addresses are and Click on the Save Settings button. Simply reverse these instruction to set your router to use the automatic settings again. A full list of instructions for different routers can be found on the OpenDNS website at Solving the address problem As there is no need to sign into OpenDNS, the service needs some other way to identify your computer to apply the custom settings. This is done by recognising your unique address on the 9You can customise the filtering level for your OpenDNS account internet, the router’s IP address. Unfortunately, with growing demand for these The updater will appear. Click on the Change network addresses it is rare to get one of your own. Instead, ISPs button and it will update for the network in use. It will assign a new number to your computer each time you also check if you are using the OpenDNS servers. connect to the internet. This is called a dynamic If you click on the close button in the corner of address. The solution to this problem is to install a the window, the utility will close and an icon in the Notification Area will appear. It is also possible to R HOW TO ACCESS YOUR ROUTER’S SETTINGS make the updater even more discrete. Click on the Settings link at the bottom right, select the Run hidden All modern routers have option and click on OK. settings that can be accessed using a web Changing the settings browser. To open the With the updater ensuring you are identifiable by settings page you need to OpenDNS, return to the Settings page. Click on the IP type the router’s own IP address of your network to access the full settings. address into the address The first setting listed in the column on the left is the bar. This is usually given in level of filtering applied to your account. Click on an the router manual but if you option to select the new level and click on View to see no longer have that, there is the exact categories that will be blocked. Click on the a way to discover it. Hold small cross at the top right to close this information down the Windows key and 9To open your router’s settings enter the IP address in a web browser box. Next, click on the Customize link if you are not press R. Type cmd and happy with the options to choose the categories for press enter. Type ipconfig /all in the enter a username and password. Unless you yourself. Hover the cursor over each title to see a command prompt window and press enter. Note already have one, the default username is short description. Click on the Apply button to save down the address for the Default Gateway (this normally ‘admin’ or blank. The password field the changes you have made. is the router) and use that address. Before can often be left blank. If all else fails, contact It is also possible to override the settings to block or changing settings you may be prompted to your router’s manufacturer for assistance. allow specific websites. See the step-by-step guide on page 55 for details about blocking access to unwanted 54 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 52. BLOCK UNWANTED WEBSITES HOW TO tOpenDNS also allows you to set up shortcuts To enable the recording of statistics, click on JARGON B U S T E R the Settings tab and then Stats and Logs on the Techno babble demystified... left. Select the option Enable stats and logs and click on the Apply button. IP address Internet Click on the Stats tab and a summary of the Protocol address. An various statistics will be displayed. Click on the identifying number of a Blocked Domains link on the left to see the computer attached to a domains that have been blocked. network. A computer’s IP By default OpenDNS displays all the graphs address is similar to a using American Pacific Time. This is easy to phone number in function. change and doing so makes the graphs more helpful. Click on the ‘Set your time zone here’ ISP Internet Service websites. We also recommend that you enable the Stats link on the left. Scroll down the account details and Provider. A company that tool. We will explain how and why in a moment. select Europe and then London in the dropdown provides you with an A convenient extra provided by OpenDNS is the menus. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the internet connection. ability to use shortcuts in the browser address bar. page and click on the Save account info button. You could, for example, set up the abbreviation Network A way of ‘CA’ for the Computeractive website. Click on the connecting several orange Shortcuts tab at the top of the screen. Enter computers and devices so the shortcut in the top box and the full web they can share data. address in the box below before clicking on the Create shortcut button. One of the beauties of Phishing A form of this feature is that it does not matter which internet fraud that tries to browser, or even computer, you use as long as it is trick you into revealing on your network. personal details. There are several ways to customise the OpenDNS page that appears if a domain is not Pop-up A window that is recognised or blocked. Click on Customization on displayed by a website, the left. You can also replace the OpenDNS logo. usually over material Click on the Choose button, select an image, click already on the screen. on Open and then on Upload. Refresh the page by clicking on Customisation again to see the image. Router A device used to Select the image and click on Apply. This page can connect more than one also be used to customise the text displayed when computer or other device to a web page is blocked. Enter your message and 9You can also enable statistics to see which sites are being blocked the internet. click on Apply at the bottom. The level of protection and customisation afforded Server A computer on a Recording your traffic statistics by the OpenDNS service is impressive and even though network that distributes What can be interesting is that not all traffic there is a little jargon that needs to be decoded, once it information to other PCs. comes from web browsers. We discovered that the is set up the service ticks away quietly in the most requests came from the antivirus software background protecting your computer and family from For full definitions visit: installed on our computer. The main reason for the dangerous side of the web. And best of all, it’s using these statistics is to check for domains that completely free to use. have been blocked. Tim Smith STEP BY STEP | HOW TO BLOCK ACCESS TO UNWANTED WEBSITES 1 Sign in to the OpenDNS website. Click on Dashboard at the top and then the Settings tab. You should only have one network set up so click 2 Look below the filtering level and select Always or Never block from the dropdown menu. Type the website in the text box without the www, eg 3 To remove a domain from this list, click in the tick box for that domain and then on the Delete button. on the IP address link. and click on the Add domain button. 24 June - 7 July 2010 55
  • 53. NO PROBLEM! OA ANSWERS TO Click on the File menu, & Settings and then Program PC PROBLEMS Settings. Click on the Audio/Midi tab and look for the Multitrack audio buffer setting STAR LETTER Our team of experts solves your at the bottom left of the screen in the Audio Buffer Section. Click on the ‘-’ button to reduce computer, software & internet problems the buffer from 8192 to 4096. This will make the computer respond much faster although New Office, old bullets list replace the asterisk with 1. there may be a slight worsening JARGON B U S T E R Q| I have just upgraded to Office 2007 but I cannot find the option to add bullets or When the change happens a small icon will appear just to the left of the new list with a picture of audio quality. It is quite acceptable to increase this setting again after recording Techno babble demystified... numbers to a list in Word. of a lightning bolt. Click on this music from the keyboard. Peter Bruce to undo the change if you did not Autoformat A tool found in word processors such as Microsoft Word that can automatically change the A| There are a couple of ways to create a list with bullets or numbers. The closest to old want to start a new list. You are not limited to the default list style. Right-click on Updating Office Q| A friend recommended that I looked for updates appearance of text. For example, if a versions of Word is to use the the bullet or number and move for Office on the user types ‘1st’,Autoformat would bullet or number icons in the the mouse over the Numbering website. I was concerned how change this to ‘1st’. Paragraph section of the Home or Bullets entry in the menu to many security updates there tab. Either click on the main part see more options. were. Is there any way I can be Beta Version of a software of the icon to start a list with the reminded of these updates so I application or system still in default format or click on the Music delay am not left unprotected? I have development. Companies make beta versions available to the public for small downwards pointing arrow to select a style from the list. It is Q| I have just installed Magix Music Maker 16 Premium Windows 7 Home Premium. Gavin Brooks evaluation, testing and feedback. Beta software can contain bugs or create problems on your PC. even possible to create your own style by clicking on the Define new bullet or Define new Edition to use with my Midi keyboard. Unfortunately there is an annoying delay between when A| It is possible to set Windows Update to check for updates for other Microsoft number format options at the I press a key and hear the sound software including office. Broadband A fast internet bottom of these lists. from the software. It’s small Click on the Start button, type connection, such as ADSL. A quicker alternative is to take but enough to make it hard windows update and press Enter. advantage of the Autoformat to play along with what has Click on the Change settings link Compression Reducing a file’s option in Word and start typing already been recorded. in the left column. Select the size by encoding the data inside. in a way that it recognises as Robert Potter option ‘Give me updates for Control Panel A tool that is found being a list. Start a new line and type an asterisk followed by a space and Word should A| This is a common problem with all music-making software. The delay is caused by Microsoft products and check for new optional Microsoft software when I update Windows’ and in the Start menu that enables you to tweak the basic functions of automatically convert it to a the computer creating the sound click on OK. Enter your password Windows, your PC and any bullet point. To start a numbered from the key press. or click on OK when the User peripherals attached to it. Default A standard software or hardware setting. Double-click To click twice quickly in succession on a mouse button. If you double-click on an application icon,Windows will then attempt to launch the application. Download Transferring files onto your PC directly from the internet. Drag and drop To move something by clicking it, then holding down the left button on a mouse. Driver A program that allows Windows to communicate with a peripheral device. Continued on P58q 9You can change Music Maker’s settings to reduce the delay that occurs between pressing a key and hearing a sound 56 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 54. NO PROBLEM! Q&A 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. G Tell us which operating system you have and the model number of the PC if known. G Be specific about the problem – what exactly has gone wrong? G Include 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? G If you see an error message on the screen, make an exact note of its content in your query. G Include screengrabs to show us what you see on screen when the problem 9Keep Office up to date by using Windows Update occurs. Account Window appears. Click password into the relevant boxes OTHER SOURCES OF HELP on the Check for updates link and click on the ‘Sign in to my While we can’t solve every individual problem, there are other ways to force Windows to check for account’ button. Click on the Computeractive can help. Our Readers to the Rescue online forum is free to use – updates right away. Broadband Usage link on the left. once you have signed up you can submit a question in the appropriate section to If you want to check what is The next page will display a large see if other readers can help you solve the problem yourself. You can also browse about to updated, click on the pie chart with how much of your existing questions and answers for tips. The forum address is printed at the link underneath the title allowance has been used. Scroll bottom of this box. ‘Download and install updates’. down to see a graph showing Click on an individual update to information over the previous Email: see more information in the three months. Write: Computeractive, Incisive Media, 32-34 Broadwick St, W1A 2HG right-hand pane. Forum: Copy mobile phone photos Check a broadband limit Q| I recently moved my broadband to Talk Talk Q| I have a Nokia mobile phone with a camera and would like to copy the photos I window. Click on the All link in the section at the bottom. You in Classic view. Find the entry for Microsoft Office 2003 and and noticed that there is a charge have taken onto my computer. I can now drag and drop photos left-click on it once. Click on the if you download too much from have bought a cable to connect between the phone and the PC. Change button. Select the Add or the internet. I don’t want to be the two but do not know where remove features in the setup charged more but how can I to go from there. Old and new Outlook wizard and click on Next. Click in check how close to the limit I am? Peter Davis A| David S. Bell Every mobile phone Q| I installed the beta version of Office 2010 on my the box labelled Outlook to make the tick disappear and click on A|There is no realisticsoftware checking this with way of on your computer because there manufacturer has their own software for connecting their phones to a computer. You computer that already had Office 2003 on it. Outlook 2003 stopped working and uninstalling Office Update. Click on Finish when the change is made and then click on the Change button in the Add may be more than one computer are in luck because we think the 2010 has not solved the problem or Remove Programs window on your home network using the Nokia software is one of the best. as it still complains that a file again. Repeat the previous step, internet. Also, we have not Go to and is missing. this time selecting Outlook found any software that can click on the Download link. Ian Carter again, and click on Update to distinguish between the amount of information transferred over the internet and within your Once the software has installed it will automatically start the connection wizard. Click A| We also encountered this problem and solved it by uninstalling and then reinstalling reinstall Outlook. Unclutter your calendar home network that does not count towards the limit. The good news is that Talk Talk on Start, select the correct connection method and click on Next. We selected the cable Outlook 2003. The Office setup program is specific enough that you will not need to remove any Q| I followed the link in a recent Computeractive newsletter to add all the World shows how much information connection and connected the other programs in Office, or even Cup dates to my Google has been transferred on the phone when prompted. Windows restart the computer. You might Calendar. Is there any way I can online account pages. will install the drivers for the not even need the Office CD if hide them temporarily to reduce Start your web browser and go phone. Click on Next when your the setup program saved the files the clutter on my diary? to Click on phone is recognised. Enter a to your hard disk. Have the disc James Anderson the My Account link at the top of the page. Click on the Register Now button if you have never name and click on Next. There is no requirement to create a Nokia account so you to hand if you are not sure if this was the case. Click on the Start button and A| Google Calendar was designed to show several calendars and can hide individual used this web page before to set can click on the ‘Skip this for then Control Panel. Click on Add calendars without removing up an account. now’ link. Click on the Photos or Remove Programs in Category them. Sign in to the Google Enter your email address and title in the Ovi Suite main view or double-click on the icon Calendar website. 24 June - 7 July 2010 57
  • 55. NO PROBLEM! Q&A The different tUse the Power Options in JARGON B U S T E R calendars linked to your account are shown in the left-hand column in two Windows to customise your power-saving scheme Techno babble demystified... sections: My calendars Scroll down and click and Other calendars. The the plus icon next to DVD A type of disc able to store up calendars on display Hard Disk to expand to 8.5GB of data such as movies with have a coloured the menu, then click good-quality sound and pictures. background to their the plus icon next to name that matches the ‘Turn off hard disk Fat 32 A hard disk formatting colour on the calendar after’. Click the system used by Windows 98 and ME. itself. Click on a name Plugged In setting, to turn it off and the then enter a duration. GB Gigabyte. A measurement of background will change Scroll down and storage capacity, usually for hard to white. Click on it again click the plus icon next disks. 1GB is equal to 1,024MB to return it to the diary. to Display, then the (megabytes). icon next to ‘Turn off Back up bookmarks display after’. Change Hard disk A high-capacity disk fitted in almost all PCs and used to store both applications and the Q| I have a large number of favorites in Internet the setting as you see fit. If you are using a laptop, you should also documents and files they create. Explorer. I have change the settings for Windows XP and am ‘On battery’. Hibernate A power-saving mode in considering moving to You may want to use which Windows saves open Windows 7. does so. I know computers can a shorter time when running off documents to a temporary file on the How can I copy them when I use a lot of electricity, so I would the battery to extend its life as hard disk before cutting power to make the change? prefer to keep its consumption much as possible. many components. John JP Wilson to a minimum. How can I set up Icon A small image used by Windows to identify a file or program. A| Website bookmarks, also known as Favorites in Internet Explorer, are transferred my computer so it automatically switches them off? Bernard Rummery Converting a hard disk Q| I have a Western Digital 180GB external hard disk Midi Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A standard for controlling as part of the File and Settings Transfer wizard. You can find more information on making the A| You can make Windows turn them off automatically by using the Power Management that is formatted with Fat 32. How can I convert this disk to NTFS? I have backed up all my electronic musical instruments on move from XP to Windows 7 in settings in the Control Panel. In personal files and folders, but a computer. our video guide at Windows XP, click the Start icon there are some more that I do not in the bottom left, click Control recognise, such as WDsync, and Notification Area An area on the If you would rather not use Panel and double-click on the an odd folder called bottom of a screen that shows which the File and Settings Transfer Power Options icon. a3c4dc36574f8c63e74083a. programs are running in Windows. Wizard, the bookmarks are If it is not visible, click the Peter Forester NTFS NT File System. A file system used by Windows NT, XP and Vista. stored in a folder in the hard disk and it is easy to copy them by hand. Click on the Start button Switch to Classic View link in the top left to show all the Control Panel settings. For Windows 7 A| Hard disks are prepared for use with a process called formatting. This can be done in a and then My Computer. and Vista, click on the Start variety of ways. The two for Pop-up menu A menu that Double-click on Local Disk (C:), button, type Power Options and Windows are called NTFS and appears when you click something. Documents and Settings, the press Enter. Fat 32. NTFS is better, as it is name you use to log into the The Power Options screen more secure and comes with less Right-click Many programs, and computer and then Favourites. in Windows XP looks different limitations than Fat 32, which can Windows itself, make use of the right Hold down the Ctrl button to the one in Windows Vista only store files up to 4GB in size. mouse button click to display a and press A to select all of the and Windows 7. The simplest way to convert pop-up menu with special functions. shortcuts. Click on the File menu, In XP, choose the power between the two is to reformat Send to and then Compressed scheme you prefer from the top the hard disk in Windows. This USB Universal Serial Bus. A (zipped) Folder. This will create menu. Home/Office Desk is will delete every file on the disk, standard that allows quick and easy a singe file containing all the sufficient for desktops, while so you were correct to back up all connection of external peripherals links that can be copied to the Portable/Laptop is perfect for your files and folders first. such as storage devices to your PC. new computer. Double-click on laptops. Underneath this menu There is a Windows the file and follow the wizard are two more to choose when the conversion utility that will leave Wizard A step-by-step process that to extract the files on the monitor and hard disk turn off. the files intact, though making a helps you choose settings. new computer. Choose a duration you are happy backup is a good idea. Click on with for each. the Start button and then on Run. Zipping Compressing a file using a Manage PC power In Windows Vista and Type cmd and press Enter. Type program such as Winzip to reduce the space it takes up. Q| My computer used to switch off the screen and hard disk automatically Windows 7, choose one of the power-saving options, either Balanced or Power Saver, click convert E: /FS:NTFS, replacing E with the drive letter of your external disk, then press Enter. For full definitions visit: when it was left idle for around Change Plan Settings and click You can remove the extra 15 minutes, but now it no longer Change advanced power settings. folders you mention safely. The 58 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 56. NO PROBLEM! Q&A R R long-named folder is a temporary one that Windows has created A| This sounds as though your keyboard layout is set R READERS TO THE RESCUE and the WDsync backup tool is included by Western Digital on the drive. It is safe to either to the wrong region, probably US English rather than English (United Kingdom). Q| I have lost the option for hibernation on my laptop in the shutdown menu and in Click on the Start Button and then on Control Panel. Double-click on the Power delete or back up along with the To change it click the Start the power options for closing Options icon or click on rest of your files, as the disk will icon, then click on Control Panel, the lid. How do I get it back? I Performance and Maintenance continue to work fine with or then on Region and Language. If am running Windows XP. and then on Power Options. without the software. you do not see the icon, choose Gordon Miller Click on the Hibernate tab To format the disk, click the Start icon, then click Computer, or My Computer. either Large or Small icons from the menu in the top right. The Region and Language A| Hibernation has to be enabled before it appears as an option in these menus. and select the option Enable hibernation. Click on OK. Richard Whitten Right-click on the letter of the window opens with the Formats external hard disk, then choose tab open. If English (United More questions and answers at Format from the pop-up menu. Kingdom) is not shown under In the window that appears, Format, click the down arrow of disc it is in a few seconds and change the program Windows click on the menu under File and choose it from the list. Windows Media Player loads when you put a disc in the System, choose NTFS, and from Next, click Location, and automatically launches and plays drive, just select a different the menu underneath called ensure that United Kingdom whatever is on it. option or program in the list Allocation unit size, choose is selected under Current This has stopped happening of actions. You can disable default allocation size. Tick the location. Then click th e now, so I have to load Windows autoplay by choosing ‘Take box next to Quick Format and Keyboards and Languages Media Player myself and no action’. click Start. After the disk is tab and click the Change manually select the disk before it If you wish the menu to appear formatted you can then move keyboards button. will play the content. each time you put a disc in the your old files back on to it. This opens another window. Dave Davies drive, choose ‘Prompt me each Wrong keyboard layout Underneath Default input language, click the down arrow A| Windows XP usually displays a menu when you time’ to choose an action. If you have multiple DVD Q| I have just received my refurbished PC back from the manufacturer, as it was on the right and choose ‘English (United Kingdom) – United Kingdom’ from the menu. put a disc in the drive, but it can be disabled if you choose the option for ‘Take no action’, drives in your computer you will need to perform this procedure to adjust the autoplay settings for broken and needed fixing. Underneath Installed services, which can also prevent the each drive individually. Along with a set of new check to see if a keyboard is menu from appearing in the components, Windows 7 was listed under English (United future if you tick the box labelled Restore the remove icon reinstalled on it before it was returned and now I cannot send email, because every time I Kingdom). If not, then click the add button. In the next window, scroll ‘Always do the selected action’. However, it is easy to turn autoplay on again. Q| I recently installed Windows 7 on my PC and it no longer shows the Safely enter the ‘@’ symbol it produces down to English (United Windows can be set up to use a Remove Hardware icon in the something totally different, Kingdom) and expand the menu different program depending on Notification Area when I plug a usually a pair of quotation marks. by clicking the plus icon. Then the content that is stored on the USB device into the PC. How can How can I get my old keyboard under keyboard click United disc you put in the drive, such as I get it back? layout back? Kingdom and click OK to music, video or photos. Brian Cole-Hamilton John Dawson close the Window. If any other keyboards are now To do this, click the Start icon and click on My Computer or double-click on the My A| Windows 7 displays the icon, but by default it hides icons from the Notification Area listed, besides the Computer icon on the desktop to prevent it becoming cluttered. one you just added, to open a Windows Explorer You can force Windows to always click on its name window. Then right-click on your show the icon. to highlight it, then DVD drive and choose properties Click the arrow on the left click Remove on the from the menu. of the Notification Area, which right. Continue until Click on the Autoplay tab in shows all the hidden icons in the the only keyboard the window that appears. Click Notification Area, and click remaining is English the down arrow at the top to Customize. Scroll down for (United Kingdom). display a menu where you can the option labelled Windows Finally click OK to choose from different types of Explorer, with Safely remove close the window. content that might be stored on a and eject hardware underneath disc. This includes DVD video, it. Click the arrow to the right Autoplay in music CDs, and pictures. of this to display a menu, Windows XP For each type of disc you and choose ‘Show icon and Q| Usually when I insert a DVD or CD into my regularly use in your computer, Choose the option ‘Select an action to perform’ then Play notifications’ to make Windows always display it in the notification area. computer, Windows using Windows Media Player, or You can do this for the other XP detects what type another program if you prefer. hidden icons as well. However, When you are done, click OK if you would prefer them not to tSet DVDs to open to save the settings. appear, choose ‘Hide icon and with a different program Alternatively, if you wish to notifications’ from the menu. G 24 June - 7 July 2010 59
  • 57. BACK TO BASICS USE PDF FILES Share files the easy way Portable Document Format, or PDF, files are all over the internet. Find out what they are, what to do with them and how to make your own using free software T he Portable Document t The red and white Format (PDF) is the icon on websites favoured file format for indicates a PDF file millions of documents stored on the web and eAlong with text and distributed via email every day. graphics, PDFs can In this Back To Basics article include clickable links we will look at how and why the format came about, as well how to download, view and navigate PDF files. For good measure, we will also explain how you can make your own PDFs using free software. PDF past and present The original idea behind the creation of the Portable Document Format was to solve a problem faced by millions of computer users in the early 1990s: sharing eAdobe Reader is available as documents was complicated by a mess of incompatible a free download from the Adobe hardware, applications and operating system software. website. Use it to open and read Adobe’s plan with PDF was to create a document file PDF files format that could be viewed on many types of computer, regardless of the hardware or software. Adobe developed a commercial Get Adobe Reader program called Acrobat The easiest way to understand what PDFs are all about for creating PDFs and is to download the free Reader program. Launch a web then sold it to browser, type into the Address companies, individuals or Location bar and hit Enter. Remove the ticks from and institutions who the ‘Also install’ boxes (unless you really want the other needed to create and products on offer) and click the big yellow Download distribute documents button. If the browser displays a warning, follow the electronically. instructions on the web page to dismiss it (it’s nothing Then it developed a to worry about) and continue with the download. Then free ‘companion’ at the next dialogue box click the Install button. Sit back program called Reader and wait for Reader to download and install. When it’s that could open, but not finished click the Close Download Manager button. edit, those same After you have installed Adobe Reader, the next thing documents. Adobe’s plan to do is find a PDF document to view. The Brighton proved popular and Festival has produced several brochures for its Artists’ today many companies Open Houses. They are a combination of text, pictures, and individuals create web addresses and email details, and perfect fodder for and share documents as a PDF document. Visit and then PDF files. click the link to one of the online brochures. 60 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 58. BACK TO USE PDF FILES BASICS JARGON B U S T E R Techno babble demystified... Desktop The background area on screen where Windows files and icons appear. Dialogue box A window that pops up to display or request information. Double-click To click twice quickly in succession on a mouse button. Field In a database, a field is an individual container that can hold a particular At the next screen click any of the type of information. For tours and then at the following example, if you have a screen click the PDF icon. contacts list of your When the Adobe licence dialogue customers, each entry is box appears click Accept (this will called a record and the only happen the first time Reader various parts of each launches). After a moment the PDF record are called fields. will open in a new browser window. Hard disk A high-capacity Reading a PDF disk fitted in almost all PCs Adobe Reader enables you to view and used to store PDFs within a web browser or applications and files. directly from Windows with no internet connection required. If you Hardware Hardware are viewing a PDF file in a browser, describes the physical it can be saved to the computer’s components of your PC, hard disk by clicking the Save button such as the monitor and in the toolbar that appears just keyboard. below the browser’s Address or Location bar. Now choose a 9Click the double-page icon to navigate long PDFs using a thumbnail view Hyperlink A clickable destination such as the Windows link on a web page or in Desktop and click Save once more. Find the browser. Similarly, clicking on an email address in the a document that takes downloaded file on the Desktop and then double-click same document will launch your email program with you elsewhere, such as to load it into Adobe Reader. the address already inserted in the To field. to another website or a The toolbar along the top contains various navigation later page. aids. The up and down arrows move a page at a time, for Get involved example, while the ‘+’ and ‘-’ change the magnification PDFs are remarkably useful, not to mention widespread Operating system level. Note, too, the Find box, which you can use to online. You will find them used on all manner of Governs the way hardware search for words or phrases contained within the PDF. websites for distributing maps, manuals, brochures, and software components in Also, a click on the little double page icon at the top of academic papers, property details, electronic forms, a computer work together. the column on the left will show all the pages in the historical documents and more. PDF as thumbnails. To print a PDF, click the Print icon. And with Adobe Reader installed on your computer Thumbnail A small image Notice that as well as text and pictures there are and the basics of navigating pages under your belt, you used to give a quick preview hyperlinks, just like the ones on web pages. Click a link are ready to view them all. of a larger image. and the page will be duly opened in the default web Rob Beattie Toolbar A strip of icons R HOW TO CREATE PDFs that runs across the top of most Windows applications. Making PDFs traditionally required Microsoft Office 2007, for instance – get it Alternatively, installing a tool such as Used to provide quick Adobe’s expensive Acrobat software, but from Follow the PDF Creator ( access to certain important since PDF became an open standard a instructions to download and install it and will add a new ‘printer’, called PDF features, such as saving couple of years ago lots of free creation the next time you choose the Save As Creator, accessible from any application and printing. tools have cropped up. option in an Office application you will be with a Print command. Just select the PDF Microsoft offers a free add-in for able to save the document as a PDF. Creator printer to create a PDF file. For full definitions visit: 24 June - 7 July 2010 61
  • 59. CONSUMERACTIVE! CA GET SOME Consumeractive sticks up forwant rights. If there’s an issue you your ANSWERS! investigated, get in touch PVR PROBLEMS My Humax 9200T personal video technology or standards that the The good news is that Humax has recorder (PVR) is not working manufacturer or seller has no say in or been working on a software upgrade. properly. It loads the programme control over. A manufacturer does not The company told us: “We are very guide data slowly and will only play legally have to provide a hardware, software aware that some customers have been for a few minutes before the picture or firmware update unless a device experiencing a slowdown in operation freezes and the remote will not was sold promising this. and usability issues with our PVR models. work. I bought it two years ago and it is Resolving these issues has been a priority. still under warranty. Humax says this is a But unfortunately, due to the complex software problem and an update will be nature of the issues, it has taken longer available but we do not know when. than we had hoped to develop Mrs T Marsland new software to sort out the PVR issues.” This PVR is unlikely to be By the time this issue of CASE inherently faulty and Computeractive is published, SOLVED appears only to be however, the updates will have vulnerable to the complex changes taking been released. To receive place to the UK broadcast infrastructure. updates over the air, In August 2008 and September 2009, we you should leave your reported that upgrades to the Freeview box on standby digital TV system rendered thousands of overnight. If you miss digital set-top boxes useless. this you can download Continued changes have also affected the update from certain Humax PVRs because a higher volume of information now has to be loaded on to them. tA manufacturer does not legally Mrs Marsland wants to know what have to provide updates for a device legal redress she has. Warranties are legally binding on the company that offers them, but can and usually do have specific What does‘fit for purpose’mean? exclusion clauses. But you don’t have to rely In essence this term means that the Changes to technology that the on a warranty thanks to statutory consumer product must do what the retailer or manufacturer or retailer has no control law such as the Sale of Goods (SoG) Act. manufacturer says it will do. over, do not make a product unfit for A favourite phrase people use under this For example if you buy a camera that purpose. So if you buy a new computer and law is ‘not fit for purpose’. But this says it is able to record video and still your old printer is not compatible with it, protection does not cover developments in images, then it must do both. then you have no claim. Collateral damage manager called me a liar. He Mr Snowley says he has a to do with Mr Snowley. Unless I sent an Asus netbook said that although I had a docket written and signed document the retailer wants to legally bought from Currys in March noting only the problem with from Currys that says the only challenge the documentation this year back for repair. It had coloured lines on the screen, he problem with the netbook was held by Mr Snowley, it has to a fault with coloured lines believed the assistant would have coloured lines across the screen. provide a replacement or refund. running across the screen. written whatever I had asked. I If this documentation does not Mr Snowley does not have to When I contacted Currys and take this to mean asking him to mention a cracked screen, he has wait for a repair for damage that asked for an update I was told to omit this damage. the law on his side. Because it occurred when the computer was contact Asus for a report. Trevor Snowley would be difficult to disguise this not in his possession. Asus, however, said there is a kind of damage, Currys would We have contacted Currys to crack on the screen and it is If the conversation have to prove that both Mr ask the company to investigate. CASE distorted down the right-hand ONGOING with the manager Snowley and the shop assistant side. I was told that I would have happened as Mr colluded to hide the damage. Unexpected setup fee to pay £161 to get it repaired. Snowley claims, to accuse a There is obviously damage to I had a broadband and phone When I contacted Currys customer of deliberately the netbook. How this damage package with Tiscali for years. about the damage, which had misleading the store based on a was caused is a matter between When I was called by Talk Talk at not been there originally, the suspicion is appalling. Currys and Asus and has nothing the beginning of April asking if I 62 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 60. CONSUMERACTIVE R R wanted to move to its services, I tA faulty item should be returned agreed and was told that there would be no installation fee as to the store where it was bought SHOP SMART! Tiscali was a ‘sister company’. put up with repeated repairs However, a month later when and can demand a refund or GET YOUR POINT OVER the welcome pack had not a replacement. However, the Stay calm arrived I called Talk Talk and was law is not clear about how Explaining the situation calmly is more told the transfer had not gone many repairs a customer has likely to persuade someone to help. through. My Tiscali service was to put up with. Keep documents, emails cut off but for the rest of May The Law Commission of and receipts Letters, order confirmations and other each time I called Talk Talk I had England and Wales and the official agreements are the best weapon. to reapply for its broadband and Scottish Law Commission Gather the facts phone service. Then at the start want this clarified. They feel Before writing, phoning or emailing, of June I was told that I had to the retailer should have one organise yourself. Write down key points. pay installation costs of £39.99 shot at repairing a product, Don’t rely solely on email because the Tiscali service had Antonia Watson who had a and after that the consumer Websites based in the UK are obliged to ceased which now meant I could problem with a Cooler ebook should be able to demand a provide a postal address for complaints, not just transfer the service. reader that she had been given as replacement or pro-rata refund. so ask for it and use recorded delivery. Ronald Plyer a Christmas present. However, even if such a Don’t isolate yourself Try our web links below for more tips. She had problems with it within clarification is finally made, the G A guide to the small claims We have had a the first week. But instead of manufacturer in this case was not CASE number of contacting the store where it was responsible for giving a refund. court procedure ONGOING complaints from bought, in this case Argos, she A customer’s contract is with G The BBC’s Consumer Page ‘how ex-Tiscali customers since Talk sent it to the manufacturer for the retailer; in this case Argos. to complain’ tips Talk bought this internet service repair. This is a common mistake, And the contract is between how_to_complain provider (ISP) last year. as people think because the goods Argos and the friend who bought G Consumer Direct’s guide to Part of the problem could be have a brand name, they should the device, not Mrs Watson. Also, effective complaining because Talk Talk is moving deal directly with the as her friend was seriously ill, she Tiscali customers over to its fully manufacturer. The misconception didn’t like to bother him for the after_you_buy unbundled local loop network. is reinforced by retailers who receipt or proof of purchase. She A fully unbundled local loop is when a communications often tell their customers to “talk to the manufacturer”. also pointed out that even if the receipt was found, he was not WE CAN HELP NEED SOME FREE ADVICE? provider such as Talk Talk Mrs Watson was not happy to well enough to complain. installs its own equipment in (or be sent a reconditioned unit by We contacted Argos and CONTACT US VIA EMAIL: close to) BT exchanges in order the manufacturer and even less explained the situation. It has to connect end-user lines to their amused when it started offered Mrs Watson vouchers for or at: Consumeractive, own network. This allows these malfunctioning within a couple the full price of the ebook reader. Computeractive, Incisive Media, 32-34 Broadwick St, London W1A 2HG, companies to offer a complete of weeks. She was also not happy We think this is a good Please include both your phone range of broadband and voice that it then refused her a refund. compromise, considering she has number and address. Unfortunately, services without having to use The Sale of Goods Act states no contract with Argos and we can’t reply to all your letters. BT’s main network. It is one of that a consumer does not have to therefore can’t demand a refund. the main reasons the price of broadband has fallen over the QUICK TIPS: CONSUMER RIGHTS CLINIC past few years and more services can be offered to consumers. But Suspect sign-up Misleading adverts Mobile return rejected this is no excuse for the problems I have received an email invoice An online trader is sending me I want to return a mobile phone I Mr Plyer has experience. from a company I have never heard adverts that I think are misleading. ordered online but the Ebay seller We don’t believe Talk Talk of. It says I owe £30 because I have The offers always seem to be will not take it back and give me a should be charging Mr Plyer the signed up for music downloads. I just sold out or out of stock and refund. Should I complain to Ebay? installation costs because it has did visit the site mentioned but did the website suggests more John Prescott had problems migrating his not sign for anything. expensive alternatives. If the Ebay seller is a private service. We have asked the Don Lowther Molly Webster individual they do not have to take company to investigate so it can If you have not signed up for a service This trader could be breaking the back items or give a refund as they get Mr Plyer, who has been don’t get scared into paying for Consumer Protection regulations. This do not have to comply with without a broadband internet something you have never ordered. law introduced in 2008 makes it an consumer law. However, if the seller connection for more than a You don’t want these criminals getting offence to mislead consumers. Certain is a sole trader then they do have to month, back online quickly. hold of your card details. Run your practices are banned, including luring abide by UK consumer laws anti-virus software to make sure no people to a site by claiming to have including the Distance Selling Chilly response unwanted software has been goods for sale that don’t exist. It is also Regulations and Sale of Goods Act. In issue 320 we surreptitiously downloaded. Although illegal for a trader to falsely state that In cases where a sole trader ignores CASE explained how the site is probably hosted abroad and a product will only be available for a the law the buyer can complain to UPDATE contacting the the company does not exist, make a short time to elicit an immediate sale. Ebay and their local Trading wrong company about goods that note of the web address and email The trader should be reported to Standards office. The buyer can also turn out to be inherently faulty contact and report this to Consumer Consumer Direct so this consumer lodge a case in the small claims court can turn into a nightmare. Direct and the Office of Fair Trading. rights organisation can investigate. against such sellers. We were contacted by Mrs 24 June - 7 July 2010 63
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  • 62. CA INVESTIGATES An in-depth look at the latest technology WE INVESTIGATE: Smart energy meters and consumer rights issues R R S mart energy meters This is not to say this will are being installed by happen in the UK or even electricity suppliers across that we should be worried. the UK. They are the latest Legislation here governs how digital devices that allow utility long companies can keep a companies and their customers customer’s data and what they to keep an eye on consumption are allowed to do with it. The of electricity and gas. Department for Energy and The government planned for Climate Change says that, every home in the UK to have a rather than meter data going smart meter installed by the year directly to the power company 2020, although the reluctance of as happens now, it wants the some power companies to install data collected by smart meters them means we may not see to go through a third-party them appearing en masse until company which would take around 2013. responsibility for it, filter it However, some utility 9Smart Meter users can monitor their energy use over time and then pass it on to power companies have begun trials and companies for billing. others have said they will start what is going into the home and heating and Finally, the cost of installing soon. The first company to issue can also provide notifications not leaving the meters is likely to be passed smart meters was the aptly for events such as power cuts. equipment such as TVs and on to customers in higher gas and named First Utility, which has It can also check the power computers on standby.” electricity prices, although the been installing the meters in quality and calculate the home’s expectation is that the lower homes of new customers since carbon footprint. It’s not all good news consumption that results will September 2008. British Gas has Generally, with a smart meter, A smart meter will usually be mean lower bills overall (by 2020 also started sending out what it the energy company will receive installed in a cupboard and no the average saving is expected to calls Energysmart meters to an electricity reading from the monitoring device is supplied, so be £28 a year). customers on certain tariffs. meter every half an hour and a the readings are not as visible or Dinah Greek gas usage reading every day. Each accessible as those from indirect What is a smart meter? smart meter has a mobile phone monitors. However, many power Smart meters are not to be Sim card installed, and the companies are planning internet confused with the home energy readings are sent over the mobile sites and mobile phone Our verdict monitors that you may have seen phone network. applications for customers to Smart meters have (we have reviewed several – see monitor usage. enormous potential for Those Benefits to consumers There are also concerns monitoring and controlling our monitors are known in the We spoke to Bill Wilkins of First about privacy. In the US, energy usage. This can aid industry as indirect metering Utility, who said smart meters which has many more smart people financially and help us devices. They work by having a should end the problem of meters than the UK, privacy meet climate change goals. sensor clamped on to the live estimated bills, which can be too organisations are concerned But there are drawbacks. supply wire of your home’s high. While the main benefit is to about who will get the data, Although the meters have to electricity to measure the the power companies, which can how it may be used and whether be installed without charge, consumption based on the cut costs by using fewer human other companies will have companies will have to pay signals coming through the wire. meter readers, the new devices access to the information. for them somehow. A transmitter then connects can also save customers money. Jules Polonetsky, an American Other concerns include to the sensor to send data Users can monitor their usage privacy expert, said: “Imagine a privacy, data security and wirelessly to a small monitor so history to see how they have device that could tell an observer ‘interoperability’ (what the customer can read the energy been using electricity and gas everything you do in your home, happens to your meter if you consumption. These can be and where they can cut back. down to how often you eat switch energy provider), and useful devices but the data is Mr Wilkins said: “Our microwave dinners, how often these are yet to be answered. ‘second-hand’. This is because experience is that smart meters you wash your towels, and even the meter cannot measure the make customers more aware of what brand of washer-dryer you HAVE YOUR SAY! power coming directly into the their energy usage. It’s hard to wash them in.” home from the energy company, control energy consumption. He highlighted that utility Your say so the readings from the monitor After all, if you want a cup of tea companies can also turn off Have you been offered or issued with are only estimates. you are going to boil that kettle. people’s electrical devices. One a smart meter by your power A smart meter, however, But it can show what we call power company in Maryland company? Do you use an ‘indirect’ replaces the conventional gas the background load, which is proposed discounts to customers electricity monitor? Does it work? and electricity meters in the when electrical and electronic who allowed it to remotely Have you saved money? Let us home, which is why it has to be appliances are used at night or switch off or turn down their know by emailing installed by the company. The when people are at work. For home air conditioning units at meter continuously monitors example switching off lights or peak times on hot days. 24 June - 7 July 2010 65
  • 63. LETTERS YOUR SAY Ru Your opinion counts! Join the debate on any issue raised in Computeractive u Scareware awareness R After reading your STAR LETTER article about scareware in issue 318, I had the same problem described within an A question of trust hour. A window appeared telling I recently returned home from a trip to Australia. me my computer was infected, While I was out there I had been using my credit and it would not let me use any card for a few days when it was suddenly blocked. connections on the internet or After an expensive phone call to the credit card the AVG security functions. company back in the UK I was told that my card I went into the Windows Safe would be unblocked but in future when I am Mode, performed a full scan and travelling overseas I should notify the company of restarted the PC but still no go. the date I leave the UK, the country I am travelling Then a window appeared telling to and the date on which I will be returning. me there was a problem with my I appreciate that if this applies to everyone in proxy. I clicked the Fix button this country who travels overseas it will help to cut and the problem was solved. The down on credit card fraud but I am not sure the fake anti-virus program was home insurance companies will be best pleased to called Antivirus Soft so if any of know that this sensitive information about which your readers see the same thing houses are empty and when the owners are going they know what to avoid. to return is lying about in filing cabinets and on T Chasney hard disks all over the country – especially when u you remember how often sensitive information Last week I was seems to go walkabout from big organisations. subjected to a scareware Ray Dewey attack that took control of my such as this could leak or that a rogue employee at computer. I was unable to do There are quite a few areas in modern life that a bank could feed it to his friends who would go anything and could not even log we just have to take on trust. and burgle the houses. But the chances of that are on to the internet. It was totally An example would be the discussion about slim, particularly as there would be extremely beyond me. I am using Windows online backup in the Letters page of issue 321. We stiff penalties for any company found allowing Vista Home Premium with trust that when a company says it will keep our this to happen. Windows Defender and the online backups secure, it will do so. In this case we We have not heard of any such breaches but if we free version of AVG. Luckily I trust that the banks will keep our information do, we will let you know in the news pages of had updated these just before private. It is certainly plausible that a database Computeractive and on the website. the scareware struck but it overrode them. HAVE YOUR SAY. WRITE TO US! I phoned my ISP, which, after Computeractive, Incisive Media, 32-34 Broadwick St, some time, cleared the mess up London W1A 2HG. and got rid of the scareware – at a cost, of course, but I cannot Each issue the writer of our Star Letter will receive you can make full use of on the computer. It will complain as I have got my a prize. This issue we are giving away a copy of work with any scanner that’s connected to your computer back and it is now in Nuance Paperport Professional 12, which will help computer, and the new version will even work with full working order. you scan your documents for filing and later use. pictures of documents taken using a digital Maurice Jones Paperport will also perform Optical Character camera. Nuance Paperport Professional 12 is worth Recognition (OCR) on the scanned documents so £100. We cannot offer technical assistance or reply u Shortsighted solution that they’re not just stored as picture files – they personally to correspondence but all letters are As a retired optometrist, become searchable, editable text documents that read by our staff. I was interested in Alfred Miller’s letter (No Problem, issue 321) about eye for “ruining their eyesight”. have small sight defects or I suggest that Mr Miller’s strain. He did not mention his Firstly, users should check that muscle imbalances that make it friend gets these factors checked friend’s age or whether she had the ambient lighting (the light tiring to direct both eyes at a task. out. Over 60s can get a free had a recent eye examination. level in the room) is comfortable. Older people will find that NHS sight test, and employees But there is little point in You should not have to look up at their reading glasses are focused regularly using computer screens adjusting her monitor if the the screen. It should be set with too closely for a monitor. A lower should be able to arrange a full lady’s eyesight is the root cause. the top of the display at eye prescription would be better, check via their employers. Many people are unaware of level so you are looking slightly tailored to your working Josephine Bailey the minor vision defects that down. Many people, when distance. Remember that few u cause no problems in daily life concentrating, tend to blink less people have identical focus in Keep your backup safe but the concentration that is frequently, so their eyes become both eyes, so over-the-counter I agree with Heather involved in looking at a computer dry and sore. Try to take short reading glasses, while not Harvey, whose letter screen can be uncomfortable and breaks from the screen. harmful, are unlikely to be was published in issue 320, the poor old PC gets the blame Even those with ‘perfect vision’ suitable for concentrated vision. about backups. 66 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 64. LETTERS R R You should never keep the internet and consult them and that included the Document backups with your computer. Burglaries, fires, accidents and lost equipment would all cause a whenever necessary. Mail, Contacts and web browsing were not mentioned, all of which Map tool, which was very helpful when writing long stories. I now have a newer laptop, JARGON B U S T E R problem if the backup is stored contain valuable tools for the bought in November 2007. This Techno babble demystified... with the computer. serious business user. In future, had a trial version of Microsoft Terry Redhead please arrange for a proper Office that included Microsoft Anti-virus Software that detects relevant review, by someone who Word and the Document Map, and cleans virus-infected files. This issue we’ve reviewed a knows what he is talking about. but it also included a full version fireproof hard disk that will Bob Stringer of a different word processor Database An organised body of solve some of those problems that produced document files related information. (see page 20) but even that will All our reviews (and all ending in WPS. These were not stop a determined (and reviews in other publications incompatible with the DOC files Differential A backup that stores strong) thief. too) are based on opinion and produced by Word. Also, there only the information changed since when we form ours it is in the was no Document Map. the last full backup was taken. context of the readership of u Recycle Epson cartridges I resent paying extra for In issue 321 of Computeractive. In that context, Microsoft Office as I use my PC Hard disk A high-capacity disk Computeractive you our reviewer was looking at the mainly for emails, but I think that fitted in almost all PCs used to store included an envelope in which product from the perspective not having Microsoft Word and applications and files. to return used inkjet cartridges of home users, not business. Like the Document Map incorporated for recycling for charity. Printed all our reviews it was also written into my laptop as standard Incremental An incremental on this envelope was the usual by an expert – in this case one is annoying. backup stores only the information proviso that Epson cartridges who specialises in Mac products. Norman Samuels that has changed since the last could not be recycled. Your Most technology-savvy users incremental backup was made. readers may be interested to will already be aware of the The second program you learn that Epson will take back benefits for them of using an refer to is Microsoft Works, Inkjet printer Type of printer that its own used cartridges for iPad, but we wanted to which was a cut-down squirts tiny dots of ink onto the page. recycling, free. emphasise that it’s also an collection of office programs Visit excellent computer for people (word processor, spreadsheet ISP Internet Service Provider. A Here you may request a supply of who have previously been too and so on) that Microsoft company that provides you with an prepaid envelopes in which to scared or confused by the way a supplied with some new internet connection. return the used cartridges. These computer works. In fact, one computers (and which was also take a few days to arrive by post Computeractive staff member available to buy separately). Proxy server A computer that sits and only one cartridge may be has already bought an iPad for his Microsoft Word is part of between your PC and the internet. returned in each envelope. elderly mother, who is delighted the more expensive Office Take care to use the Epson with it, having never used a collection, but to confuse Safe Mode A way of starting recycling service, as other computer before. matters, for a while Microsoft Windows safely to run basic checks commercial organisations included Word with some copies and repairs if a PC is behaving oddly. of Works, which meant that u charge for their services. Office alternatives Derek Grey I read the CA some people had both Word Scareware A type of malicious Investigates page in and Works on their computers. software that attempts to alarm you And as you have discovered, u iPad disagreement issue 320 which was about into installing dangerous software. I like your magazine Microsoft Office. I bought my the files created by each were but I disagree with your first computer, a desktop model, not compatible. Spreadsheet Software for reviewer’s opinion about the in January 2000. It did not have We agree it was confusing. creating sheets of calculations, set iPad, that it’s “OK for Microsoft Office installed but it Now, with the release of Office out in rows and columns. non-demanding users”. did have Microsoft Word 2010, things are a bit better. This is the portable Microsoft has killed off Works For full definitions visit: device of the future for and it has been replaced by every business user. something called Office Your reviewer did not Starter edition, which will product should have been given appreciate that iWork include proper (but five stars and our Buy It award. (Apple’s office suite) is cut-down) versions of All other details remain as available for a pittance Word and Excel, with printed and the website article for the device. I use compatible files. But it’s ( Bento (Apple’s personal only available with new 2262589) shows the correct score. database) on my iPad computers. In our feature on backing up in and synchronise it with issue 320 we got a detail wrong my Mac. With my Corrections about the Macrium Reflect subscription Our Livescribe Pulse backup software. Contrary to (also available on review (issue 321) had what we said, the free version of Windows PCs) I can keep the wrong score, the program does allow large documents saved on unjustly robbing the scheduled backups, although it product of an award. does not allow for differential or qBob Stringer says the iPad is Instead of the four incremental backups. ideal for the serious business user stars we gave it, the Apologies on both counts. 24 June - 7 July 2010 67
  • 65. INTERACTIVE BEST OF THE WEB What’s your favourite website? Tell us at and we’ll print the best Create a floor plan and play with some music before getting creative with the Graphics Fairy YOU D... RECOMMEN A great tool for planning rooms or entire Another website with some useful craft floors. There are lots of furnishings and project ideas and images that can be even a 3D view of the finished design. used on websites. How the Great Clock works How the Great Clock works is a page explaining how the clock that rings Big Ben works and why it is so accurate. The ringing is accurate because of a mechanism that moves the hammers into a ready position just before the right time. And there is Echo Genesis is an innovative website The best technology should be fun in the famous shelf with old-style pennies used to adjust the stroke of the pendulum. that lets you make music by clicking or our opinion. Geekdad has everything David Panton moving pictures on screen. from Star Wars to Lego. THE BEST FREE TOOLS FOR YOUR PC Edit your videos, back up important documents, take notes and protect your PC from viruses COMODO SAFARI 5 SONY VEGAS JARNAL URANIUM INTERNET MOVIE STUDIO BACKUP FREE SECURITY The latest version of Apple’s A free alternative to Microsoft web browser for Windows PCs Sony Vegas Movie Studio is a Onenote, Jarnal can be used to Uranium can run scheduled Internet Security protects your comes with a Reader mode for powerful video-editing take notes. It works best with backups of important computer with a combined reading long documents program with a clean interface. pen input, but can use the documents to a variety of safe firewall and anti-virus scanner. uninterrupted by adverts. Try it free for 30 days. keyboard and mouse as well. places, including optical discs. Type: Freeware Type: Freeware Type: Time-limited demo Type: Freeware Type: Freeware File size: 2.8MB File size: 31.1MB File size: 102.5MB File size: 12.3MB File size: 8.1MB Overall: ##### Overall: ##### Overall: ##### Overall: ##### Overall: ##### Download from: Download from: Download from: Download from: Download from: 2229556 2264344 2264345 2238911 2217802 68 24 June - 7 July 2010
  • 66. INTERACTIVE R R COMPETITION WIN a copy of Magix Music Maker 16 XXL Make music using your computer with this software and Midi keyboard set WHAT YOU Y our computer can work as a powerful music studio but if you want to include instruments you don’t own or play, CAN WIN music called samples onto a a Midi keyboard can fill in the gaps. Three lucky winners will timeline. It can also record music each receive a copy of Using a Midi keyboard can add with the keyboard using Music Maker 16 XXL. these instruments to a track and synthesisers that mimic real Computeractive has teamed up Six runners-up will instruments or create whole new with Magix to offer three winners receive a copy of sounds.This latest version of Music Music Maker 16 Music Maker 16 XXL that includes a Maker has a new amp simulator for Question Midi keyboard and software. Six recording guitar and audio effects. How many keys does the Music runners up will receive a copy of The keyboard connects to the For your chance to one this great Maker 16 XXL have? Music Maker 16. computer with a USB cable and it computer, answer the question A. 25 The keyboard has 49 full-size also has a standard Midi socket so shown on the right by visiting our B. 49 keys that respond to how hard you it can also be connected to other competition web page at C. 61 play so you can record music with audio equipment. feeling. It has a pitch bend wheel Magix Music Maker 16 XXL can competitions before 9 July 2010. Enter Free at: and a modulation wheel that can be be used to create music by For more details about Music used to control effects as you play. dragging and dropping snippets of Maker visit: ONLINE VIDEO PICKS OF THE FORTNIGHT A thin-and-light laptop, a printer made from Lego and a pen that scans whatever you draw LENOVO ELITE OXFORD THINKPAD EDGE A PRINTER MADE PAPERSHOW A GIANT WALL OF LAPTOP FROM LEGO SCANNING PEN PROGRAMS Lenovo is usually associated with Lego is a truly versatile toy, as it seems The Papershow is a combination of a At Apple’s annual WWDC conference, business computers but the Thinkpad anything can be constructed from its special pen and paper that will record the company both likes to demonstrate Edge is a good choice for home users little coloured bricks. This now includes what you draw, with a tiny scanner in its new products and showcase its too, as it’s relatively light and not a fully working Lego computer printer, the pen that picks up a pattern of dots to current ones. This year a giant video particularly expensive. The model we which is helped by the addition of some track its position. It lets you draw and wall made from multiple 24in screens reviewed has a 13.3in glossy screen, electronics and a felt pen. Although it print a design from an image, then was used to show how popular its App 320GB hard disk and full-size keys, isn’t exactly fast, we’re fairly sure annotate it in real-time, but is an Store is, with falling blocks representing making it a joy to type on. nothing else like it exists. expensive way to take notes. every time a program was downloaded. Watch online at: Watch online at: Watch online at: Watch online at: 24 June - 7 July 2010 69
  • 67. subscribe to Money - guaran back Computeractive If you with C cance a ompu tee: re not l and totally teract receiv satisfie ive wr d ite to for only refund e a fu ll un-ma on all iled is sues £50.70 £27.97 Subscriber benefits Subscribe today at q Pay only £1.07 per issue then enter code cp89 compared to £1.95 in the shops q Each issue delivered direct Or call 0844 815 0054 to your door every fortnight quoting code cp89 q Save 10% on selected items at Closing date: 16th August 2010
  • 68. INTERACTIVE R R GAMING Doctor Who - The Adventure Games: Info: PEGI age rating: N/A City of the Daleks Also consider: Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Adventures; Lego Indiana Jones: The Adventure Continues Free to download from the BBC website Overall: ##### D octor Who fans have had a long wait for a interactive episode of the TV programme, new game based on everyone’s favourite leading you on a relatively linear path Time Lord and his famous blue phone box. through a classic Who plot. Now, the BBC has revealed the first of four The story begins as the 11th Doctor downloadable adventure games based on the (currently played by Matt Smith) decides to good Doctor’s adventures. whisk his assistant,Amy Pond, back to the Unfortunately, the game doesn’t simply hand Swinging ’60s. Instead of Beatlemania, red you the keys to the Tardis and let you go buses and miniskirts, however, the Doctor gallivanting through space and time. Instead, and Amy discover a London that has been City of the Daleks works something like an reduced to Dalek-infested rubble.As the Doctor, it’s your job to work out how time has been altered so radically and put things right. While the TV show itself has broad appeal, this spin off is aimed at the younger end of the fan base.The game is simplistic and can be broken down into exploration, equipment collection and puzzle solving.There isn’t much graphics are somewhat cartoon-like, but this action to speak of, direct confrontation with the suits the medium well.Authentic voice acting Daleks is instant suicide, so a stealthier approach from the cast regulars and instantly recognisable is required.The puzzles, meanwhile, are all fairly Doctor Who sound effects build atmosphere. basic, requiring you to match symbols, navigate There are even some educational elements and a simple mazes and so on. It’s all over relatively few amusing lines of dialogue to enjoy.Apart quickly, too.You can whizz through the game from anything else, City of Daleks is free, so if in around an hour. your household is home to a younger Doctor 9The Time Lord will need help from his assistant in The game’s developer has done a good job Who fan, you’ll definitely want to download this. order to progress through the game replicating the look and feel of the show.The Jonathan Parkyn Prince of Persia: Info: PEGI age rating: 12 The Forgotten Sands Also consider: Assassin’s Creed II; Tomb Raider Underworld A return to form for one of gaming’s longest-running series Overall: ##### Retail price: £35 T he summer blockbuster film imagine William or These ideas are original, and fans season is here again and with Harry could pull off the of The Sands of Time will find a lot to it, the customary slew of poor same wall-running and love. However, the combat can game-of-the-movie tie-ins. pillar-climbing antics become tiresome at times, and the In this instance, however, the that this Prince can do. game doesn’t make the same usual convention is turned on its In addition, you have impact its predecessor did. head.The movie in question, Prince the ability to rewind Jonathan Parkyn of Persia, is adapted from a video time. If you misjudge a game (specifically 2003’s excellent jump, it’s possible to Prince of Persia: The Sands of rescue yourself from Time), while the accompanying 9The Prince is a joy to control but combat can be dull oblivion and try again. game is a new episode designed to The game builds on the sit alongside its big-screen brother the franchise, abandoning many of basics by introducing clever new rather than crudely replicate it in the stylistic and gameplay elements mechanics as the action pixelated form. introduced in later outings. progresses.Another ability, for The storyline in The Forgotten Playing the game involves three example, allows you to freeze Sands takes place directly after the main elements: acrobatics, puzzle water into solid objects, which can Sands of Time.The game looks and solving and combat.The athletic then be used as platforms, poles, feels much like a return to this era of Prince is a joy to control. It’s hard to walls and so on. 24 June - 7 July 2010 71
  • 69. 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) £5.99 BCi3e C/M/Y 15ml £2.99 No.21 Black 10ml £7.99 Originals, which are made by Epson, and Compatibles, which are 4GB Kingston £9.99 7x5 Glossy 255g (50) £8.99 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) £8.99 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) £14.99 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 £9.59 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 £15.79 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 £12.99 Cartridge Code: Originals: Jet Tec Compatibles: Suitable EPSON Printers: 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! PGi9 PC/PM/R/G/GY 14ml £10.99 No.57 Colour 17ml £24.99 T051 Black £19.99 24ml £2.99 26ml, 3 for £7.99 740, 760, 800, 850, 860, 1160 PGi520 Black 19ml £9.99 No.58 Photo 17ml £22.99 T052 Colour £19.99 35ml £3.99 39ml, 3 for £10.99 440, 640, 660, 740, 760, 1160 CLi521 B/C/M/Y/GY 9ml £8.99 No.110 Colour 5ml PHOTOGRAPHIC £18.99 T053 Colour £19.99 43ml £3.99 48ml, 3 for £10.99 Photo 700, 750 PG37 Black 11ml £12.99 No.300 Black 4ml £11.99 T066 Black £4.99 10ml £3.99 20ml, 3 for £10.99 C48 PG40 Black 16ml £15.99 No.300XL Black 12ml £23.99 T067 Colour £5.99 25ml £4.99 48ml, 3 for £13.99 PG50 Black 22ml £22.99 No.300 Colour 4ml £13.99 T0331-336 Set of 7 £102.99 £29.99, 3 sets for £87.99 Photo 950, 960 Camera Tripods Screw-type Filters PG510 Black 9ml £11.99 No.300XL Colour 11ml £27.99 T0331/2/3, each £14.99 17ml £4.99 21ml, 3 for £13.99 Full range of tripods in PG512 Black 15ml £15.99 No.336 Black 5ml £13.99 T0334/5/6, each £14.99 17ml £4.99 21ml, 3 for £13.99 Japanese premium stock from Gorillapod, optical glass filters, CL38 Colour 9ml £16.99 No.337 Black 11ml £17.99 T0441-454 Set of 4 £40.99 £14.99, 3 sets for £42.99 C64, C66, C84, C86, Manfrotto & Vanguard. coated to reduce CL41 Colour 12ml £19.99 No.338 Black 11ml £17.99 T0441 Black £17.99 13ml £4.99 21ml, 3 for £13.99 CX3600/3650, CX6400, CX6600 lens flare and CL51 Colour 21ml £26.99 No.339 Black 21ml £24.99 T0452/3/4, each £9.99 8ml £3.99 21ml, 3 for £10.99 reflections CL52 Photo 21ml £19.99 No.342 Colour 5ml £15.99 T0481-486 Set of 6 £61.99 £19.99, 3 sets for £57.99 R200, R220, R300, R320, R340 CL511 Colour 9ml £15.99 No.343 Colour 7ml £18.99 T0481/2/3, each £13.99 13ml £3.99 21ml, 3 for £10.99 RX500, RX600, RX620, RX640 46mm UV / Haze £5.99 CL513 Colour 13ml £19.99 No.344 Colour 14ml £26.99 T0484/5/6, each £13.99 13ml £3.99 21ml, 3 for £10.99 Gorillapod Original £13.95 46mm Circ Polarising £17.99 KP-36IP Ink & Paper £12.99 No.348 Photo 13ml £22.99 T0540-549 Set of 8 £102.99 £35.99, 3 sets for £99.99 Photo R800, R1800 Gorillapod SLR £29.95 52mm UV / Haze £5.99 KP-108IP Ink & Paper £29.99 No.350 Black 4.5ml £11.99 T0540 Gloss £7.99 13ml £3.99 21ml, 3 for £13.99 Manfrotto 190XProB £99.95 52mm Skylight £6.99 Many more in stock! No.350XL Black 25ml £25.99 T0541/2/3/4, each £13.99 13ml £4.99 21ml, 3 for £13.99 Manfrotto 055XProB £119.95 52mm ND4 or ND8 £10.99 No.351 Colour 3.5ml £13.99 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 £27.99 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 £69.95 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 £82.95 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 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 £92.95 ND4 Filter ND4 Grad Filter £8.99 £10.99 No.29 Colour £14.99 0800 161 3638 or 01926 339977 Nissin Di622 GN:44 £104.95 No.32 Black £15.99 Nissin Di866 GN:60 £229.95 L. Blue Grad Filter £10.99 Dell Compatibles No.33 Colour £17.99 Metz 36AF-4 GN:36 £72.95 D. Blue Grad Filter £10.99 Series 1 Black (T0529) £11.99 No.36 Black £16.99 • Royal Mail 1st Class Delivery Premier Ink & Photographic Metz 48AF-1 GN:48 £175.95 L. Sunset Grad Filter £10.99 Series 1 Black (T0530) £12.99 No.37 Colour £18.99 • P&P £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
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  • 71. NEXT ISSUE Issue 323 on sale Thursday 8 July In the next issue... UK'S BEST-SELLING Also in the next issue... COMPUTER MAGAZINE Average sales, Jan-Dec 2009, 159,210 copies per issue. I Make Vista behave EDITORIAL Editor Paul Allen WindowsVista has a few Deputy Editor Tom Royal News Editor Dinah Greek annoying habits – Reviews Editor Anthony Dhanendran we show how Senior Staff Writer Tim Smith Staff Writer Orestis Bastounis to get them Group Production Editor Debbie Oliver Production Editor Lindsay Jones under control Senior Sub Editor Harry Burrows Sub Editor Craig Harris Group Art Editor Nick Palmer Designer Steve Kirk Sorry, no technical or buying advice. ADVERTISING Advertisement sale hotline and display ads/media pack 020 7316 9308 Group Sales Manager Paul Harvey Faster Display Sales Natalie Forsdike, Maria Theocharides-Andreou, Edward Young, Harry Michael Classified sales 020 7316 9037 I Take a MARKETING AND CIRCULATION internet – Marketing and International better holiday Licensing Manager Joanna Mitchell Circulation Manager Helen Knight Avoid holiday nightmares,pick Marketing Executive Rahila Ehsan free! the best places to visit and Circulation Executive Laura Kelly know your rights if things go PRODUCTION Senior Production Manager Cathy Mahoney wrong – it’s all in our complete Digital Production Manager Rebecca Yegliss guide to online travel advice Production Controller Ryan Griffiths PUBLISHING I Workshops Chief Executive Tim Weller Managing Director, Professional Services Use charts inWord,manage Graham Harman Wouldn’t it be great to make web surfing online passwords with ease, Group Publisher Dylan Armbrust faster without paying more or changing organise your files more easily, Annual subscription rates UK £27.97; Europe (including Irish Republic) £65; Rest of World £100 broadband provider? Well, you can. speed up your PC with a USB memory key and more REPRINTS We offer a full reprint service for reproduction of We explain how all or part of previous articles. Contact Wright’s Reprints: +1 877 652 5295 (international toll-free). PLEASE NOTE THAT CONTENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE Email: OVERSEAS LICENSING Computeractive is available for international Subscriptions and webstore enquiries licensing. Please contact Joanna Mitchell at for SUBSCRIPTIONS AND WEBSTORE ENQUIRIES: more information. For new and existing subscription queries, go to DISCLAIMER Readers are reminded that the opinions WEEK expressed, and the results published in Email AL OF THE connection with reviews and/or laboratory Telephone 0844 815 0054 test reports carried out on computing systems To order your subscription by post, send a cheque (payable to Incisive Financial Publishing Ltd) to: DE SAVE and/or related items, are confined to, and are representative of, only those goods as supplied and should not be construed as a Freepost RSHG-CRLY-RHXS TUNE UP UTILITIES 50% recommendation to purchase. Whilst every precaution is taken to ensure that reliability Computeractive,800 GuillatAvenue,Kent Science Park, and good business practices prevail, the Sittingbourne,ME9 8GU • Increase your PC’s performance with just one click Publisher cannot be held responsible for the • Speed up the startup and response times overall trading activities of any supplier referred DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS: of your programs to, or advertising within, this publication. To subscribe to the downloadable version of • Customise Windows with your own Incisive Media 32-34 Broadwick Street, London W1A 2HG. Telephone: 020 7316 9000 Computeractive, visit personal look and feel We cannot respond to any correspondence personally. WEBSTORE ENQUIRIES: • Fix Windows problems quickly and reliably Email • One copy works on up to three computers Telephone 0844 844 0267 Normally £29.99 Save £15 Only £14.99! No materials may be reproduced in whole or in part EDITORIAL CONTACTS: See page 4 For all other contacts write to: EXCLUSIVE DEALS FROM THE EXPERTS without written consent from the copyright holder. Published by Incisive Financial Publishing Limited Computeractive, Incisive Media, 32-34 Broadwick © Incisive Media Investments Limited. Printed and bound by Polestar UK Print Ltd. Mailed by Priority Mailing & Street, London W1A 2HG. 0844 844 0267 Newstrade. Computeractive is printed on paper from sustainable sources in Finland/Belgium. Distributed Visit our website: by Marketforce (UK) Ltd. ISSN 1461-6211 74 24 June - 7 July 2010