ONLY   £1.95    ICE IN PLAIN ENG
                                LISH                                  ISSUE 322 24 JUN to...
Windows®. Life without Walls™. Dell recommends Windows 7.



       Everyday uses.
       For everyone
       in the famil...
Dell Studio 17                                                      Dell Studio XPS 16                            Dell Stu...
Simple Clear Ad
               vice
           Approved by
                                                  Contents
    ...
ISSUE 322
                                                                                                        24 June ...
NEWS
R
R
            ECRIME



    Search results link to scam sites
    Study reveals ‘poisoning’ affects one-third of po...
NEWS                                  R
                                                                                  ...
NEWS
R
R
     x IN BRIEF...                               BROADBAND                                                       ...
NEWS                                  R
                                                                                  ...
HOW TO                  USE WINDOWS’ EXPERT TOOLS
     COVER
     STORY




                                              ...
USE WINDOWS’ EXPERT TOOLS                                     HOW TO

         The command prompt isn’t so useful in
     ...
HOW TO                             USE WINDOWS’ EXPERT TOOLS



 R      THE PITFALLS
        OF CHANGE
                   ...
USE WINDOWS’ EXPERT TOOLS                                 HOW TO

                                                        ...
Computer active 07 2010
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Computer active 07 2010

  1. 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. 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 www.dell.co.uk. If you wish not to receive further marketing material via fax or direct mail please inform us via mail: delluk@clientmail.eu.com; post: Dell - Suppressions. 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 www.dell.co.uk/consumerservices/termsandconditions. 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. 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 dell.co.uk/studio 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. 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 editor@computeractive.co.uk favourite Timelord, the Doctor, and return to one of gaming’s oldest heroes in Prince of Persia www.computeractive.co.uk/facebook 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 letters@computeractive.co.uk 17 BEST BUYS Technical help: noproblem@computeractive.co.uk 24 Vodafone 28 Digital note takers Consumer problems: Sure Signal Take notes digitally or convert consumeractive@computeractive.co.uk Boost your mobile your handwriting into Ideas for articles and Workshops: phone signal using editable text with our pick ideas@computeractive.co.uk the internet of digital note-takers By post: Computeractive, Incisive Media, 32-34 Broadwick Street, London W1A 2HG 24 4 www.computeractive.co.uk
  5. 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 www.computeractive.co.uk 5
  6. 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 www.snipca.com/x1633 qSymantec’s investigation found that on average at warn users of these http://linkscanner.avg.com 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 www.ico.gov.uk “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 www.snipca.com/x1632 6 www.computeractive.co.uk 24 June - 7 July 2010
  7. 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, www.sky.com/3dpubs 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. www.o2.co.uk Safari 5 web browser release, balloting its 55,000 members as www.cwu.org 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. www.google.com/chrome 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. www.symantec.com decide if it is necessary to no moving parts. www.computeractive- For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk upgrade and guide you Cleaning everything out direct.co.uk 24 June - 7 July 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 7
  8. 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. www.snipca.com/x1615 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 Humyo.com 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 www.privacyinternational.org 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 www.humyo.com 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 www.gamesaid.org 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. www.abilitynet.org.uk 8 www.computeractive.co.uk 24 June - 7 July 2010
  9. 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 www.snipca.com/x1626 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. www.hp.com/uk implementation the European most of us take holidays abroad.” www.microsoft.com Commission has said people are www.snipca.com/x1617 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 www.historypin.org The handsets use the models cost from £499. For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk fourth version of the iPhone www.apple.com/uk 24 June - 7 July 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 9
  10. 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 www.computeractive.co.uk 24 June - 7 July 2010
  11. 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 google.com and pressing Enter. allows Windows to Ping can be left running by adding -t, for communicate with a example typing ping -t google.com 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 www.futuremark.com 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 www.snipca.com/x1562 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 www.snipca.com/x1564 Windows Sysinternals spyware and adware but it doesn’t into which every other If you know how to create a bootable CD, www.snipca.com/x1563 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 www.computeractive.co.uk 11
  12. 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 www.snipca.com/x1605. This version isn’t quite as easy 12 www.computeractive.co.uk 24 June - 7 July 2010
  13. 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: www.computeractive.co.uk 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 www.computeractive.co.uk 13

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