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STILL

ONLY SHARE YOUR PHOTOS TURN YOUR LIFE STORY


1.99 EASIER THAN EVER p38 INTO A PODCAST p40
Googles superb new tool
4 JULY 2017
ISSUE 504 21 JUNE

every issue Youll love what it


Learn something new in p35
Kaspersky v Microsoft p8
adds to your PC

p50

File-dependent software
Unexpected duplicates
Start-up hardware items
...WHY YOU MUST UNINSTALL
Pre-loaded programs
Microsofts useful extras
Files that slow Start-up p50
1.99

First WannaCry...
NOW RANSOMWARE SCAMS CAN YOU THE ADVERT?
U SPOT T
TARGET YOU ONLINE p16 Banish snea
eaky
kkyy ads
d from Windows 10
Welcome
EDITORIAL
Group Editor Daniel Booth
Features Editor Mike Plant
Technical Editor Sherwin Coelho
From the Editor
Production Editor Graham Brown Computeractive moved oces recently, so we
Art Editor Katie Peat
Sorry, no technical or buying advice. needed a big clearout. Its astonishing how
ADVERTISING much clutter had grown around my desk. It
Group Ad Manager Charlotte Milligan
Deputy Advertising Manager Alexa Dracos
seemed to have spread like Japanese Knotweed
through a Cotswolds garden. And yet I was still
MARKETING AND CIRCULATION
Subscriptions Rachel Hare nervous about what to throw away. Would I
Marketing Production Manager Gemma Hills
For subscription enquiries ring 0330 333 9493
need that old coee-stained notepad? Whose safe to remove, and what you must keep.
phone number is on that Post-it note? Should I I hope youll nd it useful, but Ill
PRODUCTION
Group Production Manager pack the kitchen sink? understand if the task of cleaning your PC
Stephen Catherall
Production Controller
I know that many of you have similar doubts doesnt rank particularly highly in your lifes
Maisie Harvey when clearing junk from your PC. You realise achievements. You can share these with other
MANAGEMENT how important it is to do, but worry that youll people by turning your life story into a podcast
Managing Director John Garewal
MD of Advertising Julian Lloyd-Evans accidentally uninstall les that are essential to (page 40).
Commercial and Retail Director David Barker how your PC runs. So in this issues Cover Daniel Booth
CFO/COO Brett Reynolds
Chief Executive James Tye Feature (page 50) we explain precisely whats editor@computeractive.co.uk
Company Founder Felix Dennis

BRAND USAGE AND REPRINTS


Companies can obtain a licence to use approved
quotations from articles, the Computeractive p40
logo and Buy It! logo. Reprints of articles are also
available.

Please contact Ryan Chambers for more


information and rates: 0203 890 4027
Email: anj_halai@dennis.co.uk
Requests to use quotations from articles will
p38 p35
need to be approved by the editor. Please send
requests to: editor@computeractive.co.uk

OVERSEAS LICENSING
Computeractive is available for international
licensing. Contact Nicole Adams at nicole_
adams@dennis.co.uk or +44 0203 890 3998

ONWARD RESALE
This publication may not be resold or otherwise
distributed, whether at, below or above face
value. Nor can this publication be advertised for
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PERMISSIONS
Material may not be reproduced in any form p50
without the written consent of the publisher.
Please address such requests to John Garewal,
Dennis Publishing, 31-32 Alfred Place,
London, WC1E 7DP

LIABILITY
While every care was taken preparing this
magazine, the publishers cannot be held
responsible for the accuracy of the information
or any consequence arising from it. All
judgments are based on equipment available
to Computeractive at the time of review.
Computeractive takes no responsibility for the
content of external websites whose addresses
are published in the magazine.

A DENNIS PUBLICATION
p16 p58
Computeractive is published
fortnightly by Dennis Publishing,
31-32 Alfred Place, London, WC1E 7DP.
Company registered in England. Material may
not be reproduced in whole or part without the
consent of the publishers. ISSN 1461-6211 THIS ISSUE IN NUMBERS HOW TO USE
SNIPCA URLs
Average sales, Jan-Dec 2016, 83,856
copies per issue. 28 We use snipcas to turn long URLs that
Number of languages
Copyright Dennis Publishing Limited
are hard to type into ones that are
WannaCry ransomware
short and simple. They arent websites
was translated into - p7
themselves, which means they wont
be recognised if you type them into
2,000 500 million Google. Instead, you need to type them
Price of Intels new How many people into your browser address bar, then
Computeractive teraflop processor now use Google press Enter. Doing this will take you to
Printed in the UK
- p22 Photos - p49 the correct website.

21 June 4 July 2017 3


Contents 21 June 4 July 2017 Issue 504

REMOVE
In this issue CO
FEA VER
TU
P50 RE
50 Remove hidden junk
without killing your PC

HIDDEN JUNK
Our expert guide to removing
unwanted and unnecessary software
safely and completely

57 Meteorology
Help with Hobbies

58 Banish Microsofts adverts


in Windows 10
Stop irritating promotional pop-ups
and oers you can refuse

60 Watch the world from


your PC
How to see real-time events online

Watch the
Hide Microsofts world go round
adverts p58 on your PC p60

In every issue Windows version


therapy p74
6 News 33 Competition
Win MAGIX Vegas Movie
vie
11 Question of Studio software
the Fortnight
How can we detect online 49 Whats All the Fuss
uss
dating scammers? About? Google Lens

12 Letters 64 Problems Solved

14 Consumeractive 70 Reader Support


ed
Your tech problems xed
16 Protect Your Tech
73 Jargon Buster
18 Best Free Software
Z-Cron 5.0 74 The Final Straw
Ken Rigsby cant move for
30 Buy It! versions of Windows

4 21 June 4 July 2017


Subscribe
cribe
NOW!
W!
See page
ge 62
for our special
sp
subs offer

Palicomp i5 Reviews
Titanium p21
p2
20 Box Cube Essence Quiet GT
Quietly unassuming PC underwhelms
BUY IT!
21 Palicomp i5 Titanium
Mid-table PC upsets the odds

22 Asus VX279Q
A monitor with image problems

23 Nokia 3310
Retro phone has little future

24 Raspberry Pi Zero W
Mini PC goes wireless
Now TV Smart Box
Set top box for alternative viewing

26 Canon Pixma TS8050


Raspberry Pi Zero W p24 Canon Pixma A licence to print better
TS8050
p26 28 LG G6
LG impressive phone stands tall
LGs
D-
D-Link Vigilance DCS-4602EV
Ro
Robust security camera for your home

29 Asus DSL-AC55U
As
Asus router doesnt break speed limits

BUY IT!

THE ADVANCED GUIDE


Workshops & Tips TO WINDOWS 10
14 pages of brilliant workshops and expert tips
ON SALE NOW!
35 Customise Windows 10s 42 Save mobile data on
secret Start menu your iPhone

38 Share photos using 43 Readers Tips


Googles new tool Reach the Control Panel quicker

40 Turn your
y life story
ry 44 Phone and Tablet Tips
into
to a podcast Cast your photos to your TV

46 Make Windows Better


Connect Bluetooth accessories

47 Make Office Better


Quickly insert text you use often

48 Secret Tips For BUY IT NOW FROM AMAZON


Magix Music Maker at www.snipca.com/21617

21 June 4 July 2017 5


News The top stories in the world of technology

Now WannaCry can hack W10


(but its actually good news)
T he WannaCry
ransomware
that paralysed tens
COMMENT
Hat colours matter as much
of thousands of
to hackers as they do to race-
computers in May worldwide
goers on Ladies Day at Royal
can be used to attack
Ascot. Black hat hackers are
Windows 10, security
the bad guys criminals out
researchers have said.
to steal and pillage. More
Experts at US company
ambiguous are grey hat
RiskSense have created a
hackers, who arent malicious
Windows 10 version of the
but may break the law to
security aw called tested by experts looking to software. Dillon said that
uncover security aws. That
EternalBlue that WannaCry nd aws before criminals do. WannaCry doesnt actually
leaves the white hat hackers
exploited in order to better It has published a report need to use this tactic, and
unsung heroes who help to
understand how future attacks explaining how WannaCry urged security researchers to
keep us all safe. We do our
can be prevented. can infect Windows 10, but stop wasting time looking for
cap to them.
No Windows 10 computers left out details that would ways to block it.
were aected by WannaCry only be useful to attackers.
during the attack last month. Sean Dillon, senior research Check for updates check click the Start button,
Despite initial reports that XP analyst at RiskSense, said the To stay safe from WannaCry, type update, then click
machines were most at risk, information would help the Windows 10 users should Windows Update settings
analysis suggests that 98 per security industry develop make sure they have installed from the list of results.
cent of hacked computers new techniques to thwart Microsofts MS17-010 update, Next click the grey Check
were running Windows 7. ransomware. which was released on 14 for updates button in the
RiskSenses research is His team removed a March to x EternalBlue. Update status section. If this
known as white hat hacking, backdoor from the aw, Updates are applied nds any updates, click them.
in which the security of which WannaCry was automatically by default in WannaCry scams you need to
software and systems are using to bypass antivirus Windows 10, but to double- avoid turn to page 16

View computing history from Bletchley Park


You can get up close to the between 1951 and 1957. Start your tour by visiting the museum in two views as
worlds oldest working Restored in 2012, it is one of www.snipca.com/24600 a oorplan and a dollhouse.
computer in a new the museums most famous this should zoom you towards From these click one of the
360-degree tour of the exhibits. the WITCH. From here you circles to go to an exhibit.
National Museum of can use your mouse to explore Other highlights in the
Computing at Bletchley Park. the museum, clicking dots tour include the Hollerith
The Harwell Dekatron, and rotating the screen as you Electronic Computer (HEC),
better known as WITCH, was can in Google Street View. Britains rst mass-produced
used by the Atomic Energy To make it easier to business computer, and a
Research Establishment in navigate, click the bottom-left gigantic disk platter from
Harwell, Oxfordshire, icon (see screenshot) to see the 1950s.

Youll like this but not this


Microsoft has updated its Wordament app Facebook wont give parents access to dead
with more games (www.snipca.com/24611) daughters account (www.snipca.com/24610)

6 21 June 4 July 2017


WannaCry hackers were IN BRIEF

Chinese speaking MOBILE PHONE CALLS


GOING UNDERGROUND
Commuters
Chinese hackers were sentence, But you have on the London
behind the WannaCry not so enough time. Underground
ransomware attack that Some experts had may soon be
crippled tens of thousands previously thought able to use
of computers around the the hackers belonged their phones to
world in May, to the North Korean browse the web
new evidence suggests. Lazarus Group due to and make calls. Under plans
After examining the similarities between from the Mayor of London
ransom message displayed WannaCrys code Sadiq Khan, telecoms
by WannaCry, researchers and earlier attacks companies will be invited
at US security company attributed to them. But to bid for the contract to
Flashpoint found that the German and Russian. But Flashpoints analysis (available provide a 4G service. Many
grammar and punctuation Flashpoint says only the at www.snipca.com/24570) stations currently oer Wi-Fi
in the Chinese versions versions in Chinese and revealed that the Korean- on platforms, but this isnt
indicated the writer was English were written by language ransom note was a available on trains.
native or at least uent in humans, with the others poorly translated version of
the language. showing grammatical and the English text. AMAZON TO SELL
They claim with high punctuation errors indicating WannaCry infected more MEDICINE ONLINE
condence that the language they had been translated than 200,000 computers in Amazon is
is consistent with that of using Google Translate. 150 countries, taking down planning
Southern China, Hong Kong, Flashpoint says the reason thousands of NHS machines to sell
Taiwan or Singapore. the hackers are more likely to in the UK. The attack is being prescription medicine online,
The ransom note was be Chinese than English is investigated by the UKs according to reports. The
displayed in 28 dierent that the English version National Crime Agency, company is advertising in
languages, including French, contains the ungrammatical Europol and the FBI. the US for a pharmacies
market general manager
to tap into a market that is
6,000 drivers use phone despite fines worth an estimated $300bn
a year. It raises the possibility
Nearly 6,000 drivers were of a similar venture in the
caught using their mobile UK, although the company
phones while driving in the would need to register with
month after the Government the Medicines and Healthcare
increased penalties for the Products Regulatory Agency.
oence.
The gures equate to 200
drivers per day in the 28 days
from 1 March, when the Tomorrows
Department for Transport
(DfT) doubled the penalties to
a 200 ne and six penalty
world
points. Additionally, motorists over 2,000 incidents took increased, told the BBC: Will parachutes soon replace
caught using their phone place in London. Driver distraction is a postmen? Amazon has
within two years of getting Drivers reported to the growing menace and its recently been granted a
their licence can now lose it police included a man using worrying that drivers dont patent in the US for a postage
entirely. his phone while driving a seem to be getting the label that contains a built-in
Transport Secretary Chris 7.5-tonne lorry around a message. parachute (pictured), which
Grayling said at the time that roundabout in Bournemouth, Steve Gooding, director of would be dropped from a
using a phone at the wheel and another driving a minibus motoring research charity the delivery drone. Sensors
is as inexcusable as drink- with 10 children on board. RAC Foundation, added: ensure packages come to
driving. Road-safety campaigners Driving is a safety-critical rest in the right
The Press Association used a said that the gures show the activity that requires our full place, while
Freedom of Information tougher laws arent curbing attention. Hands need to be shock absorbers
request to obtain the statistics, this behaviour. The charity on the wheel and eyes looking guarantee a
which show police punished Brake, which wants the 200 out of the windscreen, not soft landing.
5,977 drivers in March. Just ne to be signicantly down at the phone screen.

21 June 4 July 2017 7


News
Kaspersky takes Microsoft to IN BRIEF

court for removing its antivirus GOOGLES CHROME TO


BLOCK ADVERTS
Google has conrmed that
Kaspersky has led a its Chrome browser will
legal complaint against start blocking intrusive
Microsoft for abusing its adverts from next year. In
dominant position by which many users pay a blog post (www.snipca.
recommending its little attention. com/24565) the company
inferior Windows In response said it will tackle adverts that
Defender antivirus. Microsoft said: We are blare music unexpectedly, or
The Russian company condent that the force you to wait ten seconds
alleges that Microsoft security features of before you can see the
removes third-party Windows 10 comply content on the page. Google
antivirus software from program? when they try to with competition has launched a service
PCs when users upgrade to run antivirus software, and for laws. But that wont satisfy to help websites identify
Windows 10, pushing them showing the warning You Eugene Kaspersky, who says adverts that fail to meet its
towards Defender instead. should only run programs that its plain as day that new standards.
It has led an anti- come from publishers you Microsoft deliberately impedes
competition lawsuit with the trust (see screenshot). users from making informed BUDGET ISP TENTEL
European Union, claiming Kaspersky said that these decisions about which GOES BUST
that Microsofts promotion of messages make users feel security software to use. UK broadband provider
Defender uses questionable they are about to commit a He even claimed that TenTel (www.tentel.co.uk)
methods. wrongful action that violates Microsofts French support has gone into administration
In a scathing blog post the default settings from team had told a Kaspersky user and will close at the end
(www.snipca.com/24596) Microsoft. that Windows 10 is of June, aecting around
Kasperskys boss and founder He also said its unfair that incompatible with third-party 10,000 customers who will
Eugene Kaspersky lashed out for three days after a users antivirus software. be automatically moved to
at Microsoft, accusing it of antivirus licence expires, Kasperskys software, TalkTalk. The ISP launched
deliberately confusing users Kaspersky cant use its highly regarded in the in 2013 and sold cheap deals
by casting doubt on the notication system to security industry, has won that were shorter than the
eectiveness of running encourage them to renew it. Computeractives past eight 12-month minimum typically
third-party antivirus. He complained that were antivirus group tests. By oered by larger companies.
He criticised Windows for obliged to use Microsofts own contrast, Defender often came At the time of writing TenTel
repeatedly asking users Do notication system now last, including in our most was assisting customers
you want to run this called Action Center to recent test in January. through online chat (www.
snipca.com/24590) and on
the number 0333 011 2321.
Apple adds drag and drop to iPad
One of the most useful PC tool coming to iPads is the
functions drag and drop is Files app, which keeps all
coming to the iPad. your les in one place,
Apple announced this in helping you manage them
early June when launching more easily. It will show Staordshire University is
iOS 11, the new version of its les stored in your online oering a degree in eSports,
operating system for iPads and services, such as Dropbox in which professional
iPhones, which is expected to and iCloud Drive, as well gamers play for big money
arrive in September. It means as on your iPad. in international competitions.
youll be able to move les, Apple claims these tools Six students will even be
photos, videos and music will make its devices the But more signicant is the given a scholarship worth
using your ngers.. most pow
powerful, HomePod (pictured left), 2,000 to help them fund
It should prove person
personal and Apples rst smart speaker for a career in gaming. Rather
extremely useful intellig
intelligent theyve the home and a direct rival to than studying Shakespeare,
when, for example, e, ever bbeen. the Amazon Echo and Google Descartes or Einstein theyll
dragging and The company also Home. Like those devices, the be playing Super Smash
dropping a photo announ
announced two new HomePod connects to the web Bros, featuring characters
into the body of ann iPad PPros, one with a to answer your spoken called Diddy Kong, Jigglypu
email. 10.5in screen, the questions and play your music. and Mega Man.
Another PC-style le other wi
with 12.9in. Its on sale from December.

8 21 June 4 July 2017


Gmail now thwarts 99.9 per cent IN BRIEF

of scam emails JIHADIST LONDON


WI FI GROUNDS PLANE
A pilot refused to y a plane
Google claims that its Gmail after a passenger spotted
service now blocks 99.9 per that someone on board had
cent of all phishing attempts it named their Wi-Fi network
detects. It says that this is a Jihadist Cell London 1. The
huge achievement because Thomson ight was due
50 to 70 per cent of emails to y back from Cancun in
that Gmail users receive are Mexico to Gatwick Airport on
spam. Tuesday 23 May, just hours
In a blog post announcing after the suicide bombing at
the milestone (www.snipca. Manchester Arena. Police
com/24556), the company were called after nobody
says that Gmails detection admitted to the name. All
rate has been boosted by passengers were taken o
machine learning. This is the ight and own home the
articial intelligence that allows Gmail to delay select them whether they really following day.
allows software to improve by messages around 0.05 per want to send it (see
itself, without any human cent in order to perform screenshot). Google says this WANT A UK VISA?
involvement. more rigorous tests that will stop employees PAY 5.48 PER EMAIL
Andy Wen, senior product determine whether they are accidentally sending sensitive People applying for a visa
manager at Googles counter- safe. In addition, Gmail will data to the wrong person. to visit the UK now have to
abuse technology team, said: block attachment le types Wen acknowledged that pay 5.48 for responses
As we nd new patterns, our that carry a high potential for such warnings become to emails they have
models adapt more quickly security risks, including annoying if they are shown sent to the UK Visas and
than manual systems ever JavaScript (see the full list at too often, but said that Gmail Immigration service (UKVI).
could, and get better with www.snipca.com/24557). uses contextual intelligence The Government, which
time. Google is also strengthening to determine whether the has outsourced the service
He added that Gmail is now its security for companies that recipient is an existing contact to a private company, says
better at spotting polymorphic use Gmail. Now, when an or someone you send emails the charge will mean UK
malware, which are threats employee tries to send an to regularly, and therefore taxpayers pay less for the
that constantly change to email to someone outside the probably safe. This will avoid signicant cost of dealing
bypass antivirus software. company, or not in their displaying warnings with overseas inquiries.
Machine learning also contact list, Gmail will ask unnecessarily he claimed. It was previously free to
email UKVI.

Pocket-sized Card turns monitors into PCs BANNED PLUSNET


ADVERTS TOO FAST
A new computer the size of a powerful Compute Card. Plusnet has
credit card will transform It comes in four versions, all had two
monitors into full-blown PCs. with 4GB of memory radio adverts
Intels Compute Card, and three USB ports. banned
small enough to t in your Two Cards come with because the terms and
wallet, comes with the basic Intel processors from the conditions were spoken
ingredients of a PC a latest generation (seventh), too quickly. The Advertising
processor, memory, storage and a 128GB SSD. Less Standards Authority (ASA)
and Wi-Fi but has been powerful are the two Cards ruled that they were
designed to slot into other with Celeron and Pentium misleading because the
devices to let them work like products. processors, and 64GB eMMC conditions had not been
a computer. Intel says that the storage. spoken in a clear and
South Korean company LG Card can also be slotted into Intel, whose slogan for intelligible manner. Both
has said it will make monitors a smart TV, and into the the product is transform adverts said prices may
that work with the Compute companys new docking everything with one card, change during the term
Card, meaning you need to system so it could be used says that it will be on sale in of the contract, which the
buy only a keyboard and as a desktop computer. In August. Prices havent been ASA said was information
mouse to use it as a computer. future, users should be able to announced yet. Visit Intels customers needed to make
HP and Lenovo are also said to upgrade their computer by site for more information: an informed decision.
be working on compatible inserting a new, more www.snipca.com/24542.

21 June 4 July 2017 9


News

Jane Hoskyn puts the boot into tech villains, jargon-spouting companies
and software stued with junk

WARNING: JUNK AHEAD


Junk oender: Panda PUPs
Panda Free Antivirus Panda Free Antivirus has a lot going for it.
Theres good and bad things It scores top marks for malware-detection
to say about Panda Free in independent tests by AV-Test (www.
Antivirus. The good is that it snipca.com/24597) and AV-Comparatives
scores well in independent (www.snipca.com/24598), and at around
antivirus (AV) tests and is named after 100MB its nine times smaller than Avast Panda Safe Web is not part of the AV - and its
pandas. The bad is that its installer is Free Antivirus. But I cant and wont powered by the dreaded Yahoo
riddled with so many PUPs - including a recommend any product that tries to Perhaps this process is designed to
browser hijacker powered by Yahoo - trick Yahoo adware on to your computer. leave you so exhausted you fail to notice
that it lost my trust long before it had a Before you even get its installer, you the three little pre-ticked boxes for Panda
chance to prove itself. have to negotiate an assault course mined Safe Web in the installer. Two and three
Why do the makers of free AV software with upgrade traps. The Free buttons on (Yahoo and home page) sound dodgy
force us to choose between safety and a Pandas homepage (www.pandasecurity. enough, but the rst one (protection
junk-free PC? Regular readers will know com/uk) are free trials for paid-for against malicious websites, see screenshot)
Ive exposed the PUP tactics of Avast, products that cost from 20.99 per year. seems useful. It certainly is not. Panda
McAfee and Ad-Aware in the past all of To nd a genuinely free installer you have Safe Web is an extension thats completely
whom make free tools that claim to protect to click Home Users, then Free, then separate from the AV. Even if you manage
you but are bundled with unwanted extras. Download, then No, thank you in an to dodge the browser hijacker by
It doesnt even make commercial sense, upgrade pop-up - at which point youre unticking the Yahoo box, youll still install
because it turns users o and makes dumped on to an external Cnet page, an unnecessary extension that could
people like me write articles like this. which feels like a punishment. potentially slow down your computer.

What are they Janes villain of the fortnight


talking about? Mike Collins
What they say Poor Mike. His 17-year-old according to reports they
Samsung (www. cousin Poppy died in the didnt act immediately. Its
snipca.com/24601): Manchester bombing, and gone now, but GoFundMe
Wherein the image photographing he wanted to raise money wouldnt reveal how much
condition comprises an acceleration for her funeral. So he set up money Mike Collins had
value sensed by the first sensor a page on the charity made in the meantime, or
being equal to or greater than a website GoFundMe (see whether hed kept it.
predetermined critical velocity and an screenshot) and waited for I have real problems with
angular variation detected from the the cash to ood in from sites like GoFundMe. Perhaps
angular velocity sensed by the second soft-hearted strangers. its my British aversion to
sensor being equal to or greater than a You know whats coming, dont you? asking for money, but I nd the trend
predetermined critical value. Poppy didnt die. Poppy never existed. unnerving and its wide open to
Mike Collins presumably a pseudonym abuse. By exploiting a terrible tragedy
What they mean had stolen a photo of a real girl and and preying on peoples goodwill,
Samsungs new smartwatch takes a used it to set up the bogus page. The Mike Collins has achieved a new low.
photo automatically when you point it at scam was only exposed when the girl,
an object. The patent has only just been Nisa Ayral, spotted her photo. She urged Want to nominate a villain of the fortnight?
published, so dont hold your breath. GoFundMe to remove the page, and Email us at editor@computeractive.co.uk

10 21 June 4 July 2017


?
Question
of the
Fortnight How can we detect online
dating scammers?
New technology could help to catch catfishing fraudsters

I an Doney thought that at


last he had found love. The
51-year-old from Grimsby,
THE FACTS
keen to get married and start a Online dating scams,
family, befriended a woman known as catshing, have
on a website for single people risen by 42 per cent since
looking to travel abroad. In 2013
2015 he arranged to meet her New algorithms claim to tell
during a trip, but she didnt with 90 per cent accuracy
turn up. Undeterred, he later whether someone is lying
sent her money so she could about their identity online
travel to the UK, and waited Catshing is illegal only if
all day at the airport. Again the perpetrator cons the
she stood him up, claiming victim out of money, not if
that shed had an accident. Mr theyre only after sex
Doney, still thinking she was
genuine, sent her money to about their age and 25 per
pay for her medical bills. cent lied about their gender.
Sadly, this doesnt have a Dr Magdy said sites could use
happy ending. As his the algorithms to build tools
girlfriend demanded more that ag dishonest users and
money, Mr Doney ran up keep social networks of all
considerable debts, even them money. They prey on the Edinburgh University, kinds safe.
starving himself to aord the lonely and gullible, promising working with Lancaster But more is needed to
payments. The pressure began them love but delivering pain University, Queen Mary protect vulnerable people
to tell. First he took an and misery. Mr Doney is just University, London, and from catshing. Pretending to
overdose, then cut his wrists, one of many victims since Kings College, London, have be someone else becomes
before being sectioned under 2013 the number of catsh developed algorithms that illegal only if you defraud your
the Mental Health Act. Finally, scams in the UK has risen by they claim can identify users victim. Campaigners want a
in August 2016, he was found 42 per cent, hitting a record who lie about their gender change in the law so that its a
and age with more than 90 crime to lie about your
per cent accuracy. identity in order to solicit sex.
Since 2013 catfish scams in Instead of analysing dating One victim, 44-year-old Anna
sites, though, they examined Rowe from Canterbury,
the UK have risen by 42 per cent, 5,000 proles on the adult- launched a petition (www.
content site Pornhub. They snipca.com/24633) after she
hitting a high last year when an chose Pornhub because, was lured into an aair with a
according to Edinburgh married man. She said: His
estimated 39m was stolen Universitys Dr Walid Magdy, behaviour was denitely
adult websites are populated premeditated, showing his
hanged at his home. His high last year when an by users who claim to be intent to use women, yet the
suicide note read: Sorry estimated 39m was stolen other than who they are, so current law will not nd his
Ive hurt you all but I cant by fraudsters. these are a perfect testing actions a criminal oence.
see any other way out. No The problem is that dating ground for techniques that The new algorithms came
one can help me now, its my websites nd it hard to detect identify catshes. too late for Ian Doney, whose
own fault. fake accounts. But new By studying how men and suicide shows how devastating
Mr Doney was a victim of a research shows that social women interact with each catshing can be. But with
catshing scam in which networks can be taught to other and their style of time theyll hopefully lead to
fraudsters create a fake identify the signs that an writing, the algorithms less heartache and suering
identity on dating websites, account is bogus. A team of suggested that almost 40 per for genuine love-seekers like
and trick people into sending computer scientists at cent of Pornhubs users lied Ms Rowe.

21 June 4 July 2017 11


Letters
Tell us whats on your mind
Email: letters@computeractive.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/computeractive
Twitter: @ComputerActive
www.twitter.com/computeractive

Dont abuse Amazon need from a phone is something that lets


refund loophole me send texts and photos, and make
In Issue 503 (News, page 7) you calls. The Nokia seems to t that bill. Im
asked readers whether weve used sure Im not alone.
Amazons loophole for 10 refunds. I Joyce Fielding
can conrm that the company oers
refunds for a wide variety of items CA says We agree with Joyce that there
(books, DVDs, cables etc). Im slightly will be many people interested in buying
ashamed to admit this because it may the new Nokia 3310 because not
expose me as an Amazon addict, but I everyone needs an expensive iPhone.
tend to buy something every day from the However, as we reveal in our review on
site. With so many items turning up on home workers was enough. My worry is page 23, its just not very good. Even at
my doormat, its inevitable that some that some children will be tempted to 49.99 it feels like a rip-o, because there
wont work - and its these that I claim stick a virtual-reality headset on their are much cheaper, better basic phones.
refunds for. I would sick parents, and think that their job is
consider it a real done. Yes, technology is great, but in my Facebook is good for
hassle to have to experience nothing beats face-to-face breaking news
package and post them back to Amazon, contact. Thomas Stelling is right
so Im glad that the company takes it on George Stapleton to say that people
trust that they are broken. shouldnt look to Facebook as
I would strongly urge people not to Nokia phone gives me a voice of authoritative news (Letters,
abuse this loophole, though. Amazon all I need Issue 503). Newspapers and TV stations
may be drowning in money, but it wont It doesnt surprise me that Nokias remain, in my opinion, the most trusted
want to be taken for a ride. Im sure it new retro 3310 phone (pictured) sources. But Facebook is a good way to
would close the loophole in a ash if the sold out so quickly (News, Issue 503, page nd out breaking news, because people
trickle of refunds turned into a ood. 6). Ive tried to get to grips with iPhones, often write posts relating to events that
Dawn Ashby and other expensive gizmos, but they just have just happened. The appalling terror
oer me lots of things I dont need. When attacks in Manchester and London were
Im very nervous about the impact Im out and about I have no desire to stare good examples. On both evenings I
of Amazons 10 refund loophole. at my phone constantly ntly checke
checked my Facebook account just before
What happens if customers get so used to its one of the habitsts goin
going to bed, and read peoples
it that they expect other sites, without of modern life that I conc
concern and confusion about what
Amazons billions, to also provide the nd most disagreeable. le. had happened. That prompted me to
loophole? I run a small business online, If I want to go online,, I turn on the TV, which I watched,
selling car accessories. Theres no way I wait until I come home me horr
horried, for a couple of hours.
could survive if my customers en masse and use my PC. All I James Mayhew
demanded refunds for small purchases. I
would urge readers to think twice about
using it, and consider how ordinary
businesses may be aected. Can we put drivers in Faraday cages?
Barry Fisher
I read with turkeys dont vote for
Virtual reality? Dementia interest your Christmas!
patients need human news story Phone Perhaps a better
contact too blocker in cars updates solution would be to
Im sure that virtual-reality can Faradays 19th-century put the driver into a
bring pleasure and relief to cage (Issue 502, page Faraday cage! While
dementia patients (News, Issue 503, page 9). My amusement this may seem a bit
7), but I would like to sound a note of turned to absolute amazement when I crazy at rst, modern technology is
caution. Both my parents succumbed to checked the date and found that it moving so fast that it may be possible
this horric disease, and during my time wasnt 1 April. How stupid can Nissan to surround the driver with some eld
visiting them in residential homes I saw be to think this will really work? If a electromagnetic or otherwise which
many other patients who had been more driver has that little self-control and would prevent him from getting a
or less abandoned by their children. It cannot resist his phone, what makes phone signal. And if that doesnt work,
was heartbreaking. I got the impression Nissan think he will put the phone into just put him in a real cage!
that their children thought that the care the cage in the rst place? After all, Barry Gower
and entertainment provided by care-

12 21 June 4 July 2017


Impossible to beat
Islamic State online STAR LETTER
I hope this doesnt sound too
pessimistic and doom-laden,
but I dont theres anything we can do
Teach perils of ransomware at school
to defeat Islamic State online (Question I would like to thank WannaCry will be the
of the Fortnight, Issue 503). The Computeractive for rst of many large attacks
movement is simply too large, and the the excellent analysis of the over the next few years. I
barbarity of its members so ingrained, to WannaCry ransomware know that a lot of people
be challenged by anti-jihadist adverts attack in Issue 503. It was blame the elderly for
from Western governments. Its an reassuring to read an clicking dodgy links in
impossible task. explanation of what had emails, but I think schools
We have to take a step back and ask not happened that wasnt should do more to educate
whether they can be beaten online, but stued with jargon and children. Theres a lot of
why their sick ideology exists in the rst so-called facts. emphasis on warning
place, and thats a complex question with During the weekend of kids about the dangers
no simple answer. I fear it will take decades the attack I looked in vain of social media, but very
for Islamic States hatred of the West to for an intelligent response. News little about how to avoid malware. The
subside. More moderate generations will programmes on TV tried their best, but next generation needs to be better
need to oust the extremists. Until that they all had the same problem. The informed.
happens, the terrorists will use the most presenters were mostly eloquent, but If anything good comes out of the
modern technology available to spread lacking in knowledge, and seemingly WannaCry attack, its that the word
their evil propaganda. At the moment proud of their technical ignorance. ransomware has now entered common
thats the internet. In 20 years, they may They were interviewing security parlance. As a Computeractive
be using something else. experts who suered from the usual subscriber I rst encountered it several
Colin Coyne problem of experts. They obviously years ago. But I noticed how many of
knew what they were talking about, my friends who arent heavy computer
My Windows Update but were incapable of articulating it in users started to ask me whether I
needs unravelling the kind of language ordinary people had heard of this thing called
This morning I have suered use. It was almost like they had too ransomware. Hopefully its no longer
another lengthy update for much information in their brains and seen as something only tech experts
Windows 10, culminating in pretty their tongues couldnt cope. should be worried about.
pictures extolling the wonders of this I think you were right to predict that Eddie Coburn
new intrusion into my world. Do I want
it? Not really. Can I see any perceivable
benets? Most likely not. Are there
The Star Letter writer wins a Computeractive mug!
things that have been installed which
interfere with my privacy or negatively East Anglia. Could we phone estate built then explained that I
aect my laptops performance? More agents? No way. My wifes ageing phone could use the Moto to
than likely. So will I now wait for the did not know what universe it was in. create a lovely hotspot. Why had I
edition of Computeractive which I bought a Moto G4 phone with an EE not thought of that?
unravels and explains it all? Sure! card. If we stood outside the caravan, we Dan Jones
I also run XP on three other machines. were just about able to telephone. But get
I know where I am on those and, for the on the Internet? (Falls on oor laughing). Designing the Post Offices
most part, know what I am doing. Call So I bought a nifty dongle with an EE first modem
me a Luddite - ne - but my needs are SIM. If I carried the laptop to the side of As one of your older readers, my
simple, like the vast majority of users. the main road I could sometimes get a memories of teleprinters and Telex
Roger Allingham-Mills signal, but the laptop screen remained are very real (Whatever happened to
unreadable in bright sunlight. Wandered Telex?, Issue 502, page 69). Fifty-two
No mobile coverage in round camp clutching laptop with eyes years ago, I think, I designed the rst
my mobile home glued to the little light on dongle and modem for the Post Oce, in pre-BT
So Mr Rigsby with his caravan found the signal wob
wobbled very strangely. days. It worked at 600 Baud (bits per
shows us once more that he Returned to carava
caravan, joined two USB second) at a time when transistors were
lives in the real world (The Final Straw, leads together and, like Mr rst being recognised as reliable.
Issue 501). Last May we sold our house Rigsby
Rigsby, climbed on roof, I also designed one for the military that
and decided to move into a mobile and ti
tied dongle to TV worked at 1500 Baud. I had joined the
home while deciding where we aerial
aerial. Great, until rain Army as a Gunner, but then became a
would like to live. Thee site fuse
fused the insides of the radar technician. So began a career in
ut
was in a eld, yes, but do
dongle. electronics after the war. Thanks for
ust
not in the Hebrides, just Helpful lady living in the memories!
alongside an A road in tent while house being Harold Faulkner

21 June 4 July 2017 13


Consumeractive
Can I get money for
broadband failure? Can anyone use my Facebook
On 4 April I decided to change
photos without permission?
Q my phone and broadband
service from Plusnet to EE. I was Q
I take photos and post
them on my Facebook
told the services would be live on 19 April. page. Recently, Ive had
Although my EE phone service is working, trouble with people using them
its now into the second week of May and without my permission. So I
Ive still got no broadband. EE is blaming told each of them that provided
BT Wholesale. Can I get compensation? they sent me a cheque for 7.50,
Steven Asquith which Id donate to Diabetes
UK, they could continue to use
Its not clear whether Steven them. However, one guy said he
A could claim compensation. EE
didnt charge him for cable
was entitled to use the photos
because Id posted them online,
broadband, instead giving him 15 to pay and then his friend sent a Facebook they wont, then report the matter to
for mobile broadband. But he could argue message threatening to sort me out. Facebook youll nd details at www.
this wasnt a satisfactory alternative and What are my rights? snipca.com/24501 (look under the
therefore, with the disruption, he should Edgar Mills Reporting Copyright Infringement on
be entitled to compensation. Proving Facebook section). One way to prevent
nancial loss would help his case. These photos are Edgars this from happening in the rst place
What is clear is that despite blaming
BT Wholesale, EE breached its contract
A intellectual property. He owns
the copyright, so nobody can
is to tweak the privacy settings for your
photo albums (Facebook explains how
with Steven. He was within his rights to use them without his permission. It at www.snipca.com/24531).
cancel the whole package, paying any doesnt make a jot of dierence that As for the threats, Edgar has
outstanding telephone charges. hes posted them to Facebook, or decided not to pursue the matter.
However, when we contacted Steven anywhere else online. While Facebooks Making threats online can be a criminal
he said EE told him his broadband is terms and conditions do give it a oence harassment or malicious
now live, but hes on holiday so cant (broad) licence to use your work, it communications, as explained by the
check yet. If he returns home to further cant grant this to others. police at www.snipca.com/24502 -
problems, he could ask EE for a deadlock If you nd yourself in a similar so weve advised Edgar to save any
letter to explain what it has done to situation you should rst contact the he receives and report them to
x the problem then send it person using your photos. In many Facebook (via www.
to the Communications cases they wont realise they have done snipca.com/24503) and
Ombudsman (www.snipca. wrong, and will remove the photos. If his local police force.
com/24498).

After three failed repairs, what can I do?


Two years ago I bought a Zanussi force, John Lewis would have had to
Q freezer from John Lewis. It has
been sent away for repair three
refund or replace after the rst failed
repair. But that doesnt mean Arry has to
times. At the beginning of May it was put up with four repairs. Hes covered by
sent for the fourth repair. John Lewis the Sale of Goods Act (SOGA), which
insisted that I put up with these, but Ive states that repairs have to be carried out
not heard anything from Zanussi about within a reasonable time and not cause
when my freezer will be returned. the customer serious inconvenience.
What can I do? Given these rules, were surprised that
Arry Tee John Lewis tried to get the freezer
repaired so many times. probably be awarded a partial refund,
If Arry had bought the freezer Weve contacted both John Lewis and with money taken o to
A after October 2015, when the
Consumer Rights Act came into
Zanussi, pointing out that if Arry took his
complaint to the small claims court hed
reect the use hes had
from the freezer.

14 21 June 4 July 2017


Contact us so we can investigate your case
Email: consumeractive@computeractive.co.uk
Please include both your phone number and address.

We sstand up for your legal rights

What can I do about faulty Chinese phone?


On 15 December 2016 I ordered packaging that the phone qualies for it handles the companys custo
customer
Q an Elephone P9000 phone
(pictured) for 188 on Amazon
Outward Processing
ocessing Relief (OPR). If the
seller doesnt,
t, Roger should
service, including returns, refu
and replacements
refunds
replacements. But
Prime. Im having a problem with this claim back thehe money on his contract is stil
still with
phone connecting to 4G and Bluetooth, HMRCs site by completing Elephone, so at sosome point
so I contacted Amazon. They put me in form BOR286286 (www.snipca. he may need to rreturn the
touch with the seller, whos based in com/24504). ). You can get phone to China.
China. I asked for a replacement but more information
mation on Generally, its nnever easy
was refused. reclaiming taxes
axes and duty getting a refund, repair or
Do I have to send it back to China for on the My International replacement from a seller
repair and face import duties if it comes Shopping website:
ebsite: www. based in another country,
back? snipca.com/24505.
/24505. particularly China
China, where
Roger Knight Since rst
st emailing youll nd lots of cheap
us Roger got
ot back in phones and table
tablets. You
No, Roger wont have to pay touch to say that Amazon cant rely on UK or EU
A import duties because repaired
and replaced products are
has refundeded him. He
was in a good d position
laws, so if you en
problems wed
encounter

exempt from these. He also wont have to because Amazonazon acts as advise getting
pay VAT imposed by HMRC. The seller the fulllment
ment agent
agent for in touch with
should make it clear on the return Elephone, which means us for help.

CASE UPDATE CREDIT WHERE ITS DUE


YOU TELL US WHEN COMPANIES GET IT RIGHT
Check your junk folder for
price-rise emails I had an Acer
Companies are required by law to tell customers Iconia tablet,
if their subscription is increasing in price. Many do which I was happy y replaced both very
this by email, which is why you should regularly with. It was my quickly, and at
check your junk mail folder for messages about price rises. It rst Android no point tried to
could explain why youve been hit by an unexpected increase. tablet, having fob me o, which
Its possible that this is why Computeractive reader Sherrell switched from has happened
Sachse thought genealogy site MyHeritage (www.myheritage. an iPad. But after with other tech
com) hadnt contacted her about the automatic renewal of her about four monthss companies. That
subscription. As we reported in Issue 503, she was shocked that the battery started
d was a few months
the price had risen by 60. failing. Then the ago, and the tablet
She assumed shed have to pay it because she was outside charger stopped working.
rkin I ha
has worked
rk ne since.
the 14-day cooling-off period, during which you can cancel a had to dig out my old iPad If you need to get hold of
subscription and claim a refund. It would have been difficult for while I asked Acer to x Acer I would advise trying
her to prove that she hadnt been contacted, so we got in touch it. I was very impressed their live chat service rst.
with MyHeritage on her behalf. Happily it agreed to refund her with their service. They If you have no luck, try
in full, and even added a years free subscription as a goodwill ringing them (see box).
gesture. It said: The last thing we want is unhappy subscribers. Since the problem Ive
CONTACT ACER:
This is excellent customer service from MyHeritage. The become a regular visitor to
company confirmed Support website www. Acers user forums (www.
to us that it does send snipca.com/24534 snipca.com/24537) which
reminder emails about Email www.snipca. are very helpful.
forthcoming renewals com/24535 Jeremy Carter
to give customers Live chat www.snipca. Has a company impressed
enough time cancel. It com/24536 you with its customer
may be lurking unread Phone 0371 760 1000 service? Please let us know:
in Sherrells junk folder. editor@computeractive.co.uk

21 June 4 July 2017 15


Protect Your Tech
Scams and threats to avoid, plus new security tools

WATCH OUT FOR

WannaCry ransomware scams


Whats the threat? spotted in Google Play (see screenshot),
Scammers are exploiting last months all showing adverts on your phone or
WannaCry ransomware attack by using tablet once installed, making their
fake warnings, websites and apps in developers money. Theyre all useless
order to con people. because WannaCry doesnt target
The scams started to appear within a Android devices.
few days of the catastrophic hack that
paralysed tens of thousands of Malicious Software Removal. According What you should do?
computers worldwide, including many to Action Fraud, the UKs national Always be sceptical of apps, programs,
used by the NHS. People have reported reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, emails and text messages that oer
seeing pop-up messages as they browse one victim was tricked into paying 320. simplistic solutions to security scares.
the web warning them that they have Scammers have also set up bogus Fraudsters follow in hackers footsteps
been infected by WannaCry. If you ring websites, such as http://securityagainst by taking advantage of the fear and
the tech-support number provided in wannacry.com, containing fake support uncertainty that surround attacks,
the message, the scammers ask you to phone numbers, and sent emails particularly those that make headlines
grant them remote access to your purporting to be from BT and Virgin worldwide.
computer, then check whether you Media prompting customers to sign in to Importantly, remember that any
have enough protection on your PC. receive security upgrades. genuine error messages and warnings
After stating condently that youre In addition, Android users should be from Microsoft wont include their
at risk, they charge you a hefty amount wary of apps that claim to oer protection phone number and will never contact
to install the free tool Windows from WannaCry. Dozens have been you to oer technical support.

New tools Google Play Protect


www.snipca.com/24484
ScamWatch
READERS WARN READERS
Heres a truly impressive number: the top of your screen when you have
Google now scans 50 billion apps the Google Play app open. It will Dont click PayPal
every day across users phone and hopefully give you the all-clear with a locked link
tablets to keep its Play store free of green shield and the message No I just received a text message from
malware. problems found (see screenshot). 07895 647001 telling me that my
This is performed by Also part of Play Protect is PayPal account (linked to my quoted
its new Play Protect tool, the Find My Device app, mobile number) had been locked.
which is being added to whic
which is the new name for To restore access I was advised to
any Android device that Andr
Android Device Manager. click this link: http://bit.ly/2qyvt0K.
has the Google Play If you lose your phone or It was obviously a scam to trap the
app installed. It runs tabl
tablet, you can locate it on a unwary (I checked by logging into
continuously in the map online on a computer. my PayPal account, which was of
background looking for If it
its been stolen, you can course functioning normally). It
apps that step out of remo
remotely lock it or erase didnt have the usual spelling or
line, which is Googles data from it. Apple users grammatical errors, so some people
euphemistic way of saying g shou
should use Find My iPhone will be fooled. I never click random
apps that steal your inst
instead: www.snipca. bit.ly addresses because you never
personal data, or infect co
com/24506. know where they will route you to.
your device with annoying ing Chris Read
adverts. Warn your fellow readers about scams at
Youll see it scanning at letters@computeractive.co.uk

16 21 June 4 July 2017


Best Free Software
Jane Hoskyn recommends new programs that wont cost you anything

AUTOMATION TOOL

Z-Cron 5.0
www.z-cron.com
What you need: Windows 7, 8.1 or 10

Z-Cron would make a great name for a sci- villain but also create your own tasks (CronJobs) from scratch, and add
actually this free program is more of a virtual servant. Its a your own batch les if you want.
versatile alternative to Windows Task Scheduler, able to carry The program works well but its interface is not particularly
around 50 boring and repetitive PC tasks according to your easy to use. At rst, all you see is an empty list of Planned
chosen schedule. For example, you could set it to create a Tasks. Those 50 tasks are buried behind a Tools button on the
system restore point once a week, empty the Recycle Bin every window that opens when you click Tasks and, oddly, you
evening and take your PCs temperature every morning. You have to click a line in the list before you can choose a task to
can also set a specic task to run automatically when you ll it. I strongly recommend reading the Help le rst. Z-Cron
launch Z-Cron. is straightforward, eventually it just hides it well.
Z-Cron has been around for a few years, but version 5.0 is To get it, click Download, then zcron.zip, and then extract
the rst new release for Windows 10. It comes with several the ZIP. Run the installer (zcron.exe) as administrator. There
new preset actions (Tools), including connecting to a VPN are no unwanted extras. After clicking Finish youll see the
(and disconnecting), playing a folder of MP3 audio les on a message Program start wasnt congured yet!. Click OK to
loop, and creating shadow copies of les and folders. You can clear it or set the program to run at startup (see below).

1 The Planned Tasks list is 2 Clicking Task opens the 3 To tell Z-Cron when to 4 To see and edit all tasks
empty at rst. This is where new Settings Job window. activate the task and how due to run today, click
all your selected tasks will To congure one of 50 often, click Scheduler then Today. To set Z-Cron to run
appear. To create a new preset tasks, click Tools, then choose time settings. The at startup, click Program,
one, click an empty row in browse the list. Select one, Run As Settings tab lets you then Start, and then tick
the list, then click the Task then click OK. set a task for certain users Run at system startup.
button. only.

18 21 June 4 July 2017


SYSTEM MONITOR
WHAT SHOULD I DOWNLOAD?
GPU-Z 2.1 We tell you what software to use
www.snipca.com/24567
What you need: Windows XP,
Vista, 7, 8/8.1 or 10
What should I use to record
my voice in Windows 10?
Your PCs graphics card is
obviously useful for streaming Id like to make voice recordings on my Windows
video and viewing photos, but
its not all about looks. It also
Q 10 computer, using a plug-in microphone. Whats
the best program for doing this?
inuences the speed and Allan Smith
reliability of your entire system.
GPU-Z reveals how well its Windows 10 actually comes with a recorder pre-
working, and can even monitor multiple cards in one PC.
Version 2.1 adds a new Advanced tab with a dropdown menu
A installed. Find Voice Recorder in your Start menu,
or type voice then press Enter. Youll be prompted
that lets you investigate the specications and health of to plug in your microphone if you havent already, or if your
multimedia software, such as DirectX and OpenCL, that may be PC or monitor doesnt have one built in. Click the blue mic
installed as components for your graphics card. button to start recording, then again to stop. Your recording
GPU-Z comes as a portable program le with an installation is saved automatically. The buttons at the bottom of the
option. To get it, click Standard Version in the box on the left, window let you share it, trim it and rename it (its called
click Download, click the UK ag icon and then run the le. Recording by default), and theres a ag icon for quickly
Under Install GPU-Z?, click Yes to install GPU-Z (only do this marking important points. To nd out more about using
on Windows 7, 8.1 or 10), or click No to instantly run the this tool, see Microsofts website: www.snipca.com/24578.
portable version. If youre after something more powerful, try Audacity
(www.audacityteam.org, see screenshot). This free, open-
source program was updated a couple of months ago to in
its own words properly support Windows
10. The new version (2.1.3) adds Timer
Record and Sound Activated Recording
options so you can capture audio after a delay
(handy for settling yourself and clearing your
throat). It also lets you record sound from
your PC, edit and convert imported audio les, and export
in multiple formats. The editing tools are simply amazing,
ranging from basic trimming to special eects and the
ability to layer and mix multiple tracks.
Audacity is safe and quick to install, and also comes as a
portable program if youd prefer to run it without installing.
Click Download, then Windows, and then choose the
installer or zip le link. For help, immerse yourself in the
superb Audacity Wiki (http://wiki.audacityteam.org).
PDF TOOL

PDF Anti-Copy 1.0 Do you need our advice on what software to use?
Just email us at letters@computeractive.co.uk
https://pdfanticopy.com
What you need: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8/8.1 or 10

Lock down your PDFs so they cant be edited, copied or ON SALE NOW!
converted, using this new tool. As you probably know, PDF is
the best format for letters, invoices, invitations and other ocial The Complete
documents whose recipients may want to print them. Theyre Guide to KODI
guaranteed to look the same on any computer, and when
printed even if they include photos and designs. If you dont
This is a must-have
want your recipient to tweak or copy the document, or convert
manual for anyone who
it to Word or plain text, use this tool to generate a locked copy.
uses the most exciting
Its very easy to do select a PDF, tick Anti-copy, then click
software of 2017
Start Now. The new locked version is saved to the location of
your choice in seconds. Buy it now at
Like GPU-Z, PDF Anti-Copy comes in installable and portable www.snipca.com/24110
versions, both quick to run and junk-free.

21 June 4 July 2017 19


Reviews New products tested by our experts

PC 500 from Box www.snipca.com/24540

Box Cube Essence Quiet GT


More features, less noise

How are you nding that new PC? multitasking it dropped well
Oh, its great! Much better perfor behind, despite having 8GB of
RRRGGHHMMM mance, hang on, let memory (this comes as a single
me just turn this o a minute. Yes, Im module, so you could add another
very happy with it except for the noise in the second slot). Even other
Its very easy to nd yourself in this i3-7100 PCs are faster, so Box
position when you buy a desktop PC. hasnt optimised the processor.
Until you get it set up and run some Still, basic tasks felt ne in
demanding programs, theres no way Windows 10, and although you
to predict how loud the fans will be in dont get a dedicated graphics card
their quest to prevent the processors at this price, the integrated Intel HD
from frying themselves. Graphics 630 managed to run at
least some 3D games smoothly with
quality settings turned down.
An insulated case An SSD would have helped things
by speeding up reading and writing
keeps it quiet, but its of les, but Box has gone for space
rather than speed with a 2TB
practical rather than conventional hard drive. This meant
exceptional booting up and copying les took longer
than wed like. You could add an SSD
keyboard are also supplied, and although
they feel pretty cheap they work well, so
later on the same SATA III interface you wont have to spend extra. Theres
A budget desktop PC with relatively (there are three unused 3.5in bays), but one USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports at the
modest specications isnt likely to be the motherboard has no M.2 slot for front, plus four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0
very loud, but Sutton Coldeld super-fast drives. Then again, if speed at the back, as well as HDMI, DVI-D and
manufacturer Box is taking no chances isnt important to you and you have lots VGA monitor outputs. A USB 3.1 or
with this model. Its Cooler Master of photos, videos and music to store, the Type-C port would have been nice for
Silencio 352 chassis has its front and large capacity may be a good trade-o. faster external storage.
side panels lined with sound-absorbing In fact, Box has worked hard all round
foam, so even when the fans are running to include practical features that are often SPECIFICATIONS
hard, youll barely notice them. Take omitted from desktop PCs. An SD card 3.9GHz Intel i3-7100 dual-core processor 8GB
o one of the panels, or open the reader is built in, so you can view photos memory 2GB hard drive DVD-RW drive 5x
USB 2.0 4x USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet HDMI
hinged door at the front, straight o your digital
st port DVI port VGA port Windows 10 Home
and youll hear the cameras memory card
ca 378x200x453mm (HxWxD) One-year warranty
dierence this makes. rather than fang about
ra www.snipca.com/24540
Even our tough with USB cables, while
wi
benchmark tests didnt theres a DVD writer that
th VERDICT: Disappointing performance
break the silence. They did, lets you play lms or record
le cost it a fourth star, but practical features
however, show up the your own to keep or share.
yo means the aptly named Cube Essence
limitations of the i3-7100 As well as a Gigabit Quiet is still worth considering
processor, which comes Ethernet port to cable to
Et

from the lower end of Intels
tels your broadband router, the
yo
current Kaby Lake range. In Cu
Cube Essence Quiet also ALTERNATIVE: PC Specialist
photo- and video-editing co
comes with 802.11n Wi-Fi. Enigma K3 500 Using
tasks, the Cube Essence Yo
You should add a faster Intels new Optane memory
Quiet GT kept up with 80
802.11ac adapter if you rely to boost hard-drive speed,
other 500 PCs, and wasnt
snt on wireless networking this is a faster i3 PC. Look out
far behind pricier i5 al
all the time. for our review next issue
machines. However, when n A wireless mouse and

20 21 June 4 July 2017


PC 500 from Palicomp www.snipca.com/24543
HOW WE TEST
Computeractive is owned by Dennis
Palicomp i5 Titanium Publishing, which owns a hi-tech facility
for testing the latest technology. Youll
A fast PC without breaking the bank often read references to our benchmark

BUY IT! testing, which is a method of assessing


products using the same criteria. For
There are two ways to build an above- example, we test the speed of every
average PC for a given price. One PC and the battery life of every tablet
previously favoured by Crewe-based in exactly the same way. This makes
manufacturer Palicomp is to buy a relatively our reviews authoritative, rigorous
aordable processor from AMD, Intels and accurate.
distant rival, and overclock it much like Dennis Publishing also owns
those enthusiasts who install jet engines the magazines PC Pro, Computer
on the back of Morris Minors. A while Shopper and Web User and the
back (see our review, Issue 479) this websites Expert Reviews (www.
approach produced the excellent AMD expertreviews.co.uk) and Alphr (www.
Avenger, a 500 desktop PC with more alphr.com). This means we can test
than 500 worth of performance levels. thousands of products before choosing
the most relevant for Computeractive.

Lightning fast with FAIR AND IMPARTIAL


Our writers follow strict guidelines to
tasks and plenty of ensure the reviews are fair and
expansion options impartial. The manufacturer has no
involvement in our tests.

This time theyve gone the other way. you dont play games, that wont bother OUR AWARDS
The i5 Titanium, as the name implies, is you, and if you do, the good news is that We award every product
made of titanium. No, wait, thats just the built-in HD Graphics 630 card that gets five stars our
daft marketing speak. It comes in a produced even smoother frame rates here BUY IT! Buy It! stamp of approval.
standard black plastic case on a steel than in other i5-7400 desktop PCs, It means we were
chassis. But inside is an Intel Kaby Lake making most 3D games easily playable. extremely impressed by the product,
i5-7400 processor. Its not quite as fast as Despite the case having only one (fairly and we think you will be too.
the popular i5-7500, but not only did it quiet) fan, it never got noticeably hot.
stride condently through our photo- Windows 10 booted quickly from the Every product that gets a
and video-editing tests, its four cores 250GB SSD, and theres also a 1TB hard four-star review is given
walked our multitasking benchmark test drive. Theres no room for more internal the Great Pick award. We
too. This makes it considerably quicker drives, which is disappointing for a highly recommend these
than the i3 processor commonly found in desktop PC, but the Asus Prime B250M-A products, although they just fail to meet
budget systems. If youd bought the AMD motherboard has two M.2 sockets for fast the high standard of our Buy It! winners.
Avenger, youd be looking enviously at SSDs. It also supports Intels new Optane
these results. memory, which uses a small SSD to boost PRICES
Then again, you would have an Nvidia hard-drive performance. There are four Our reviews contain a link to the best
GTX GeForce 960 graphics card, while memory sockets, giving you plenty of price we found online at the time of press.
the i5 Titanium has none. That reects room for upgrading from the supplied
the fact that 500 buys less on the global 8GB. The USB Type-C port on the back is
parts market than it did a year ago. But if only USB 3.0, not the faster 3.1, and VERDICT: If you want a compact PC
theres only Gigabit Ethernet, not Wi-Fi. with solid processing power and some
However, an Asus DVD writer drive is upgrade potential, the i5 Titanium is
included and theres a free 5.25in front great value for 500 quid
bay if you wanted to add Blu-ray or a unit

to read memory cards.
ALTERNATIVE: Gladiator
SPECIFICATIONS Computers Enterprise GT
3GHz i5-7400 quad-core processor 8GB memory 500 Despite having the
1TB hard drive 24x DVD writer 2x USB 2.0 ports same processor, this wasnt
4x USB 3.0 ports USB 3.0 Type-C port Gigabit
Ethernet port HDMI port DVI port VGA port
quite as fast in testing look
Windows 10 358x175x410xmm (HxWxD) out for our review soon
One-year warranty www.snipca.com/24543

21 June 4 July 2017 21


Reviews
PC MONITOR 205 from Amazon www.snipca.com/24558
Do I really need...
Asus VX279Q Megatasking?
Close, but no LCD star
What does it do?
Megatasking was one
Our rst thought on unpacking the Asus of the buzzwordsds
VX279Q was drat. Not because we at Taiwans
didnt like the look of it. Quite the Computex tech
opposite: we liked it so much that we trade show in
thought Asus must have sent us the May. It means
wrong model. For just over 200, we multitasking, butt
didnt expect a screen that almost goes more so, made possible
edge to edge (the bezels are only 8mm by processors with more than
wide) in a slim case with a sleekly the two, four or eight cores were used
uncluttered back panel. But thats what to. AMD showed o 16-core versions
you get. The ring-shaped stand oers no of its Ryzen chips, while Intel went
adjustment except a bit of tilt, but still, one better with its 18-core X-Series i9
this is a piece of hardware youd be very (pictured).
happy to have on your desk and come to feel a bit coarse in todays ultra-
back to every day. resolution world, and articial Why would I want it?
sharpening just wont cut it anymore. For now, its all aimed at creative jobs
Touch-sensitive controls make ddling like video editing, 3D animation and
A sleek and with the settings harder than it should computer-aided design (CAD). In these
be, and theres no USB hub to bring your elds, software is constantly working on
attractive design, but PCs ports conveniently to your desktop. multiple streams of calculations behind
The HDMI input has MHL support for the scenes to update everything in
it crucially fails the Android phones and tablets, though response to the user. Whats interesting
(iPhone and iPad users will need Apples is that everyday computing tasks are
screen test Lightning Digital AV Adapter), and there getting more like that.
are DisplayPort and VGA ports too, as When you ask Microsofts Cortana
In fact, its almost a shame to turn it well as basic built-in speakers. To keep or Amazons Alexa a question, for
on. Like the smaller VC239H (see our down the size of the case, the power example, it has to process your speech
review, Issue 490), the VX279Q uses Asus supply has been hived o into a separate and consult multiple data sources.
Eye Care technology, which optionally brick, but for something youll leave When you use a program to apply a fun
reduces the amount of blue light emitted. permanently plugged in thats no problem. eect to a video clip, complex maths
Research indicates that sitting in front of Theres no denying this is a reasonably makes it look right. When you ick
a bluish screen for long periods can aect priced monitor, but what matters is the between browser tabs or apps on your
your sleep patterns, so this is sensible, screen, and its not quite good enough to phone, thats multitasking. The X-Series
although it wont suit colour-critical jobs get our recommendation. Drat. oers up to a teraop of processing
like photo editing. And that goes for the power, meaning it can perform a trillion
VX279Q in general, because in our tests it SPECIFICATIONS (one million million) calculations per
27in IPS LCD 1920x1080-pixel resolution HDMI
only covered 88 per cent of the sRGB port DisplayPort VGA port 1.5W stereo speakers
second.
colour range. 442x623x210mm (HxWxD) Three-year warranty
Thats much better than the pricier and www.snipca.com/24560 Whats the catch?
chunkier AOC I2775PQU (see Issue 503), Price. At the moment, that teraop chip
which only managed 78 per cent, but as VERDICT: This is a better buy than the will cost about 2,000 and thats just
with that model we found the AOC I2775PQU, but its stylish design the processor, not the PC powered by
VX279Qs backlight wasnt doesnt outweigh several problems it. But new tech always starts at the
evenly bright across the with image quality top and then lters down into everyday
screen. Despite good contrast products.

and the wide viewing angles
wed expect from a modern ALTERNATIVE: Philips 276E7QDAB So can I do without it?
IPS LCD panel, the overall 215 For a tenner more, Today, yes. Tomorrow, not only will it let
image quality just wasnt this attractive 27in Full you edit your 4K home videos smoothly,
great. Turning on Asus HD screen is similarly but advanced multi-core processing
VividPixel feature made sparse in features but power will help computers get much
it look worse. Full HD has a better picture easier to use.
at 27 inches is starting

22 21 June 4 July 2017


zon www.snipca.com/24551
PHONE 50 from Amazon

Nokia 3310
Back to the future

Yes folks, weve nally got ourur hands on


the years most exciting phone!ne! Trouble
is, the year is 2000. The eagerly
rly awaited
homage to the 3310 isnt even made by
Nokia, which sold o its mobile-phone
bile-phone
business years ago, but anotherher Finnish
company, HMD, which will also lso be
releasing several Android smartphones.
artphones.
This, though, most certainly ly isntt a
smartphone. The point is the retro appeal,
but thats been rather compromised
omised by a
radical update. Aside from the he basic
shape, which still feels great, and the tiny
spaced-out buttons, its not much like the
and-white
original, replacing its black-and-white
postage-stamp screen with a larger
hable by
colour display thats still laughable
2017 standards.
web browser, based on Opera, but it Android, so you get a full choice of
barely works. You can play MP3 music apps. Several other basic Nokia models
Its retro appeal les downloaded from your PC, if you are available on UK networks for under
rst add a microSD card (from around 20, with Facebook and Messenger
cant make up for its 5). Pehaps the best feature is the built-in built in.
FM radio, which you can use anywhere At the time of writing, just a week
severe limitations free of charge. But you dont get any after the 3310 went on sale in the UK, it
earphones in the box. had sold out in most places, with
In 2000, most people thought putting Oh, and lets not forget Snake. With Amazon promising more stock on 30
a camera in a phone was silly, including its simple premise you move a dot July. We dont really understand why.
the designers of the 3310. But now it has around, collecting other dots, until The only benet over a smartphone is
one on the back, ready to take grainy you crash into your own tail the game the physical buttons, and theyll be too
2-megapixel photos that you can barely is fondly remembered by Nokia nostalgists. ddly for most people who have trouble
see. The LED ash doubles as a torch. Sadly, this is an overcomplicated update. using a touchscreen. As a piece of
It doesnt shoot video, and theres no More games are available, but at 3 nostalgia, it just isnt familiar enough.
front camera for seles or chat. Talking each theyre hardly cheap and are
of chat, you can text (SMS), but theres extremely basic. SPECIFICATIONS
no Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or The phone itself is temptingly cheap. 2.4in 320x240-pixel screen 2-megapixel rear
camera 16MB storage (mostly taken up by built-in
Telegram, so forget communicating with But Alcatels Pixi 3 3.5 (20 plus 10 software) MicroSD card slot Bluetooth 3.0 2G
anyone under the age of 30. top-up from EE: www.snipca.com/ 116x51x12.8mm (HxWxD) 80g One-year warranty
What does it do? Well, theres a sort of 24554) is much cheaper and runs www.snipca.com/24552

2G OR NOT 2G, THAT IS THE QUESTION VERDICT: It sets out to remind us how
simple phones used to be, but only
Like the original, the 3310 relies on 2G now. At the moment its hanging on proves that the era of basic phones is
wireless communication on the 900 in there, but as the devices that use it over and isnt coming back
and 1800MHz wavebands. This service get older and the pressure increases

doesnt even exist in some countries, to release bands for more modern
including the US, which uses dierent purposes, 2Gs days are without ALTERNATIVE: Nokia
wavelengths for 2G, while others have doubt numbered. 216 29 Available from
phased it out completely or are The 3310 doesnt support Wi-Fi at Carphone Warehouse, this
planning to do so. all, so youll need a mobile signal to has a similar screen and
That includes the UK, where 2G was use its very limited web browser, even features, supports Facebook
expected to be already switched o by at home. and is more compact

21 June 4 July 2017 23


Reviews
MINI PC 9.60 from ModMyPi www.snipca.com/24589

Raspberry Pi Zero W
A Wi-Fi PC for under a tenner BUY IT!

Back in the 1980s, the BBC Micro brought only standard form of
computers to schools for just a few storage. Alternatively, you can
hundred pounds. In 2012, the Raspberry buy the Pi Zero W in a bundle, such
Pi Foundation showed how far tech as Pimoronis Zero W Starter Kit (32
had come by launching a computer for from www.snipca.com/24591), which
under 20 quid. With the Raspberry Pi comes with a pre-loaded operating
Zero (see our review, Issue 470) they system, cables and headers to attach
got it down to less than a ver. Now accessories to the ddly mini ports and
heres the happy medium: a Pi Zero control pins, as well as an LED strip to
with Wi-Fi, so its all ready to connect add some visual output. VERDICT: All of these tiny computers
to the internet. To program the Pi, youll need to are a trade-o between size, price
Technically, this is a PC, though it runs connect a monitor with a mini HDMI and features, but this is the best
Linux not Windows. This is open source, adapter and a keyboard and mouse with compromise yet
so you dont have to pay extra, but you do a powered USB hub. As a disposably

need to get hold of the software yourself cheap, low-powered computer, its best
and install it on a microSD card, the Pis suited to projects sthat make it work with ALTERNATIVE: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
internet-connected sensors, screens and 32 This larger board has
as a more
SPECIFICATIONS other interactive gizmos, and if youve nd
powerful processor and
1GHz Broadcom BCM2835 processor 512MB never picked up a soldering iron, nows us
twice the memory, plus
memory 802.11n Wi-Fi MicroUSB power connector
USB OTG port Mini HDMI port (1080p Full HD and
the time to start. Whether youre 8 or 80, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and
audio MicroSD card slot 5x65x30mm (HxWxD) the possibilities are unlimited: see www. Bluetooth 4.1
www.snipca.com/24593 snipca.com/24592 for inspiration.

SET TOP TV BOX 43 from Amazon www.snipca.com/24587

Now TV Smart Box


Freeview and more for less

Its all on the internet now, they keep ready TV aerial to receive
telling us. Watching TV channels from an all the Freeview channels.
aerial, dish or box is so 20th Century. Yet It doesnt record, but you
most of us still do just that. Could we pay can pause a live broadcast for up
less and get more with a dierent box? to half an hour. BBC iPlayer and
Digital boxes like Amazons Fire TV catch-up apps for ITV, Channel 4 and
(from 40, see our review, Issue 462) Channel 5 are included, but theres
and Apple TV (from 139, see Issue no Amazon Prime or Netix. Now is VERDICT: Netix will be a big miss for
463) oer lms and TV shows to rent or owned by Sky, so you can add Sky some, and theres no Amazon, Apple
buy, while Android boxes support apps Cinema for 10 a month, sports from or Google Videos to buy exclusive lms
such as BBC iPlayer and Netix and 7, and so on. But unlike with a and TV, but for regular TV this is a pretty
media players such as Kodi. The Now full-blown Sky box, you dont have good choice
TV box is a bit dierent. As well as to commit long-term.

connecting to the internet, like other The box shows digital content at
boxes, it also connects to your digital- 720p HD, coarser than Full HD. If your ALTERNATIVE: Humax H3 Espresso
Smart TV has Freeview built in, this 80 This box receives Freeview over
SPECIFICATIONS box largely pointless. It wont stream the internet, so you dont
t need an aerial.
802.11n Wi-Fi 10/100 Ethernet Coaxial aerial video from a PC, but can play les It has Netix, but not
input Ethernet port USB 2.0 port MicroSD slot
HDMI port Plays MP4, AAC, WMA, JPG, PNG, GIF
from a USB stick or microSD card. But iPlayer, and only a few
20.5x165x165mm (HxWxD) One-year warranty it does work very smoothly, with an other services
www.snipca.com/24588 easy-to-use programme guide.

24 21 June 4 July 2017


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Reviews
PRINTER 135 from Amazon www.snipca.com/24564

Canon Pixma TS8050


A sharper printer-scanner

Like the TS5050 (see our review, Issue in photos, theres a grey ink
500), the TS8050 is an all-in-one inkjet lerr shading.
for, well, even subtler
printer/scanner featuring Canons new This only works on photo
streamlined design. This pricier model ts
paper, but the results
has a larger screen, although it mostly impressed us, with
displays the same options with more extremely ne detail. l. The
white space around them. It also has a ution is the highest
9600x2400dpi resolution
100-sheet paper cassette in addition to youll see in a mainstream printer. Note standard colour page, or 2.7p for black
that these numbers reect the size of ink only, which is above average. If you do
dots your image les still only need a print a lot of full-page high-quality
Produces extremely resolution of about 240 pixels per inch to photos, theyll use a lot more ink than
take advantage of this. that. Overall, the TS8050 is an excellent
fine details in photos, Scanning was also sharp and accurate, printer, but not cheap to buy or run.
capturing an A4 page at 300dpi in a
while scanning is quick 14 seconds. Black-and-white SPECIFICATIONS
photocopies took 12 seconds, and looked 9600x2400dpi maximum print resolution
sharp and accurate a bit dark, while colour took twice as
2400x4800dpi maximum scan resolution
100-sheet front cartridge Rear photo paper tray
long. Black text prints showed a few USB 2 802.11n Wi-Fi 126x372x315mm (HxWxD)
the rear feed, which takes the form of a aws, but were printed in a decent 13.3 5.5kg One-year warranty www.snipca.com/24566
slot at the back of the top panel with a pages per minute, while colour graphics
vertical prop. The TS5050 advertises this on plain paper were very good, although VERDICT: Its not the most convenient
as holding up to 100 sheets of plain paper, they could have been a touch bolder. for churning out lots of pages, but for
while the TS8050 quotes 20 sheets of Print costs work out at about 7.8p per creative home use this is a very good
photo paper, which youre not supposed all-in-one printer
to load in the front. Again, both USB and

Wi-Fi are built in, with support for all the
usual systems, and theres an SD card slot ALTERNATIVE: Canon Pixma MG5750
to print directly from digital camera cards. 70 This older ve-ink duplex machine
Unlike its stablemate, the TS8050 can lacks an SD slot but is still
print both sides of the paper (duplex), our all-round value-for-
and instead of ve inks it uses six. As well money favourite
as a dye-based black for subtler shading

WHAT SHOULD I BUY? We solve your buying dilemmas

What does my PC need for 4K video editing?


My ve-year-old HP PC has Any PC with a recent i5 desktop can put up with choppy playback (until
Q an Intel i3 processor and is
getting a bit slow for my
A processor, such as the Palicomp
i5 Titanium (500, see page 21)
you render the nal version) or wait for
eects to pre-render every time you
needs. I want a desktop PC that I can will play 4K video smoothly and should make a change. An i7 will speed things
use for basic editing and viewing of be ne for basic editing. But whats up, as would a graphics card if your
Panasonic Lumix G 4K video shot at 24 basic? You may want to apply colour software supports it. Start with the
frames per second (fps). correction, transition eects, system requirements for your editing
I read the reviews in and perhaps more demanding program. Then use Google to nd
every issue, but you options such as motion discussions between users on PC specs
dont always say if the tracking (see screenshot) or that theyve used successfully.
gaming PCs are suitable stabilisation. Even a powerful
for 4K video. PC will struggle to render Do you need advice on what you should buy?
Michael Green these as you watch, so you Email us at letters@computeractive.co.uk

26 21 June 4 July 2017


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Reviews
PHONE 550 from Amazon www.snipca.com/24631

LG G6
A taller, smarter phone

When Apple launched the iPhone 5, HDR IPS LCD display looks fantastic. It
people worried a screen wider than 3.5in only covers 93 per cent of the sRGB
might be too much. So it was taller, but colour range, but a nice balance of
remained the same width as its contrast and brightness make up for it.
predecessor, making it just as easy to The back, in black or silver, is also glass,
grasp. Todays phones tend to be bigger, with Gorilla technology that makes it
but the G6 uses the same trick to remain harder to break, (the phone is rated IP68
usable in one hand. Instead of 16:9 for high protection from water and dust).
widescreen, its exactly twice as tall as it Even so, theres a proper headphone
is wide. Add very small bezels at the sides socket as well as the USB Type-C charging
and a bare minimum at the top and and data port and a ngerprint reader.
bottom, and you get an enormous 5.7in The impressive-looking dual rear camera VERDICT: Already discounted to around
screen in a case the same size as the combines regular and wide-angle lenses 550, the G6 is cheaper than the S8
5.3in G5. for quality pictures in most situations, as and an excellent all-round phone
We found it very practical, and the well as 4K video and Full HD slow motion.

The processor isnt as powerful as the
SPECIFICATIONS Samsung Galaxy S8, and the heaviest 3D ALTERNATIVE: Samsung Galaxy S8
5.7in 2880x1440-pixel screen 13-megapixel dual games suered but only slightly. The 650 Prices are wavering, but this
rear camera 5-megapixel front camera 32GB battery only lasted 12 hours 52 minutes in admittedly excellent edge-to-edge
flash storage MicroSD card slot 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.2 3G/4G Android 7.0 Nougat
our video-playback test (nearly four hours phone is still too expensive, albeit
149x72x7.9mm (HxWxD) 163g One-year warranty shorter than the S8), but fared better in with 64GB
www.snipca.com/24632 everyday use and charged quickly.

SECURITY CAMERA 146 from Amazon www.snipca.com/24636

D-Link Vigilance DCS-4602EV


A tougher security camera

The Vigilance DCS-4602EV does a similar motion-triggered clips accessible from


job to the Neatgear Arlo (196, see our anywhere, D-Link provides a browser
review, Issue 454) or Googles Nest Cam interface and a D-ViewCam program,
Outdoor (179, Issue 498). You mount it for Windows 10, that manages your
inside or outside your house, and it camera(s) and recordings. Its a bit clunky,
records whatevers going on. While the and if you want to access the feed from (PoE) adapter costs a few pounds extra,
other two are slickly packaged consumer D-Links mobile app, for example, you but its fully waterproof and even
products, the DCS-4602EV is more the may need to gure out how to enable port vandal-proof.
kind of thing bought from a catalogue by forwarding on your router. But if you
someone who owns a high-viz jacket, dont mind a bit of tinkering, it means VERDICT: This isnt the easiest option
requiring a bit more technical nous to get you dont have to pay for a cloud service for rst-time security camera users and
it set up. to record from the camera. Googles Nes picture quality could be better, but its
While consumer security cameras Cam might be easier to use, but itll cost robust and good value
come integrated with cloud services you 80 a year.

that make the live stream or The night vision LEDs are eective,
but picture quality generally was only ALTERNATIVE: Google Nest Cam
SPECIFICATIONS fair, despite the resolution of up to Outdoor 179 This is very easysy to
o
Wired 1080p camera with motion detection Full HD. Motion detection, which can set up, but at 80 a year for a
Infra-red LEDs IP66/IK10 rated 10/100 Ethernet
connection Requires 12V external power supply
trigger recording or snapshots, was basic recording subscription it
72x110x110mm (HxWxD) Two-year warranty exible. It needs a wired connection, and works out expensive
www.snipca.com/24635 the required 12V Power over Ethernet

28 21 June 4 July 2017


Reviews
ROUTER 80 from Currys www.snipca.com/24582
That was then
Asus DSL-AC55U
5U This is now!
A router for all connections How technology has changed

Palm Pilot
These days, signing up for super-fast WHAT WAS IT?
broadband with one of the major internet et Launched in 1996, the Palm
service providers gets you a decent Wi-Fi Pilot was a PDA (personal
router as part of the deal. If you have an digital assistant). Cheaper
older model, though, it may be holding and more compact than the
back your connection speeds around the earlier Apple Newton MessagePad,
house. A budget 802.11ac router could be it was popular enough to inspire a
the cost-eective x you need. decade of imitators before the whole
Some routers have no built-in modem, category was overtaken by touchscreen
and must connect to an existing cable smartphones.
modem or switchable modem/router,
while others support ADSL2+ (for copper er HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED?
phone lines) or VDSL2 (for bre). The The Pilot 1000 was about the size and
Asus DSL-AC55U caters for all these, reception. Blue LEDs along the front weight of a modern phone, but squarer
which simplies your choice. As youd let you know whats going on. The and thicker. Its greenish monochrome
expect for the very reasonable price, its DSL-AC55U is congured from your PC LCD screen had 160x160 pixels.
not the worlds most advanced router, through an online interface, which gives Tapping the screen with your nger
but it has a broad set of features. access to a huge array of features. You can woudnt do anything; it needed a prod
set up one or more guest networks and from the small stylus stowed in the
apply parental controls to individual top, which was also used to enter text,
Youll appreciate its devices that let you block internet access handwritten one character at a time, in
at specic times of day. the absence of any kind of a keyboard.
versatility, but it runs A dual-band 802.11ac model like Today, Apple or Android users can
this, supporting both 2.4GHz and the pick from around 2.5 million apps. The
in the slow lane less congested 5GHz, should give you Pilot came with a dozen, and eventually
a step up in speed and reliability from had over 1,000. With no Wi-Fi, anything
Alongside the WAN (modem) and older 802.11n devices. However, the you wanted on your Pilot had to be
ADSL2+/VDSL2 ports, there are four DSL-AC55U oers maximum connection synced via cable from your PC. Later,
Gigabit Ethernet sockets for top-speed rates of 300Mbps on 2.4GHz and Palm released an add-on modem
wired networking and a single USB 2.0 867Mbps on 5GHz respectively, which is that produced speeds of 14.4Kbps
socket. This can be used to connect and quite slow for a modern router. 140 times slower than the slowest
share storage (albeit at limited speeds) or This was borne out in our performance broadband connection today
a printer across your home network, or to tests. At close range we got up to
plug in a 3G/4G pay-as-you-go data 436Mbps, which is good, but 10 metres
ON SALE
dongle from your mobile-phone network
as a backup if your broadband
away at the back of the house this fell to
22.3Mbps on 5GHz and 25.2Mbps on
NEXT ISS
ISSUE Weds
July 5
connection fails. 2.4GHz. Thats below average, and
Its dicult to miss the routers four signicantly slower than BTs latest
adjustable, removable aerials, which let Smart Hub or Virgin Medias Hub 3.0,
you tweak the wireless signal for the best across all distances.

VERDICT: Its cheap and versatile, but


the DSL-AC55U wont break any speed Fire HD 8
records. It might be worth paying more Amazons
for better results budget tablet
gets Alexa,
from just PC Specialist Enigma K3
ALTERNATIVE: TP-Link 80 500 Kaby Lake PC with
Archer D9 AC1900 100 00 an Intel Optane boost
This ADSL2+ modem
These and much more
er
router is much faster over
longer distances Subscribe to Computeractive at
www.getcomputeractive.co.uk

21 June 4 July 2017 29


Buy It
Find out what other products we liked.
Buy our new 2016 Back Issue CD:
15 from www.snipca.com/23209

Our pick of products that have won the Buy It award

LAPTOP DESKTOP PC APPLE iPAD

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699 from www.snipca.com/23375 804 from www.snipca.com/23767 339 from www.snipca.com/24079
Tested: Issue 459 ed: Issue 497
Tested: Tested: Issue 500

Now updated with Intels seventh- Teaming Intels latest i5 processor with The replacement for the iPad Air 2 is
ti processors, thi
generation this lapt
laptop ((nott th
the a Radeon RX 460 graphics card, this slightly bulkier and has a downgraded
2-in-1 version) now edges the ZenBook delivers great all-round performance screen but remains the best mid-sized
below and starts at just 449, but and adequate gaming, helped by a fast tablet, with a sensible 32GB of storage.
mid-range congurations with SSD and M.2 SSD plus a generous 2TB hard Youll need the 549 iPad Pro if you
AMD R7 graphics are the best choice. drive and 16GB of memory. want to use the Pencil stylus (99).

ALTERNATIVE: Asus ZenBook UX305CA ALTERNATIVE: Chillblast Fusion ALTERNATIVE: iPad Mini 4 The smaller
If you want something sleeker, this oers Hubble For advanced performance, this 7.9in iPad is excellent, but Apples
basic performance in a superbly slim overclocked Kaby Lake i5 PC comes decision to sell it only with a huge 128GB
and light metal case. 600 from with a GTX 1060 graphics card. 1,000 makes it unreasonably expensive. 419
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ANDROID TABLET APPLE iPHONE ANDROID PHONE

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 Apple iPhone SE Motorola Moto G4


600 from www.snipca.com/24140 330 from www.snipca.com/21683 139 from www.snipca.com/21685
Tested: Issue 501 Tested: Issue 474 Tested: Issue 479

It may be
b Appl
Apples
ple
e budget
bud
ud t phone,
ho but
Samsungsgss new
w mid-sized tablet
et has a the smaller SE beats most others in the With an attractive 5.5in screen, an
wonderful HDR screen and comes with market with top-end processing power, excellent 13-megapixel camera, a 13-
a pen included, unlike Apples iPad Pro. a great screen and camera, ngerprint hour battery and decent performance,
But its processor isnt the fastest and its recognition and Apple Pay. You should the G4 is the best budget option.
disappointingly expensive, especially consider paying 439 for the 64GB
compared to the 339 iPad 9.7in. model, though. ALTERNATIVE: Samsung Galaxy S7
Restoring the microSD slot to allow
ALTERNATIVE: Asus ZenPad 3S 10 ALTERNATIVE: iPhone 6s A bigger extra storage makes this an even
This 9.7in tablet is like an Android screen, better camera and 3D Touch better top-end phone than the S6,
version of the iPad Air. It has an eight- justify the price, but as with the SE the with a fantastic screen and camera and
hour battery life and 4GB RAM. 298 64GB model (619) is the best choice. incredible 18-hour battery life. 410
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30 21 June 4 July 2017


BUY IT!
Buy It
EBOOK READER SECURITY SOFTWARE PHOTO EDITING

Amazon Kindle (2016) Kaspersky Internet Serif Affinity Photo


60from
57 fromwww.snipca.com/21901
www.snipca.com/21901 Security 2017 49 from www.snipca.com/23739
ed: Issue 483
Tested: 17.99 from www.snipca.com/21532 Tested: Issue 498
Tested: Issue 493

Here: All copy copied


and pasted from issue
489

Kaspersky Internet Security 2017 has won Designed for both full-time professional
Amazons
azons basic ebook reader is now our past eight antivirus tests. Compatible image retouchers and the rest of us
good enough to be our rst choice. Its with Windows 10, the 2017 edition is keen amateurs, this is a beautifully
plasticky, but slim and lightweight, with available at an exclusive reader discount designed and comprehensive program
a decent 4GB storage and good battery on our Software Store. Go to the link for both Windows and Mac users,
life. Consider the 110 Paperwhite if you above for a one-year, one-device licence although so far it performs better on
want backlighting or (for 60 extra) 3G. or buy a two-year, three-device licence for Macs.
just 34.99.
ALTERNATIVE Kobo Aura Glo HDOne ALTERNATIVE: Xara Photo & Graphic
Competing with Amazons
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Oasis, ALTERNATIVE: Avast Free Antivirus Designer 365 For all-round design
this
Kobos
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compactmodel
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hasKobo
a clear
hasscreen
a Almost as good as Kaspersky, but and drawing plus photo lters, this
with
largecontrollable
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PC MONITOR ROUTER MULTIFUNCTION PRINTER

AOC Q2778VQE Synology RT1900ac Canon Pixma MG5750


209 from www.snipca.com/21902
228 144 from www.snipca.com/21903
134 55 from www.snipca.com/21693
Tested: Issue 468 Tested: Issue 474 Tested: Issue 470

Here: All copy copied


and pasted from issue
489
You dont get many frills, but this
compact all-in-one printer/scanner
includes all the essentials, like Wi-Fi
It comes with no extras, such as If youre looking to upgrade an outdated and printing both sides of the paper
built-in speakers or a USB hub, but
Here: All copy copied
router, there are lots of dual-band (duplex), at a reasonable price. Its
this 2560x1440 panel gives you a full and pasted
802.11ac models to from issue
choose from. This fairly quick, running costs are better
27in screen with excellent contrast and 489
This
one suits
one suits
mostalmost
broadband
all broadband
connections than average, and the ve-ink system
colour accuracy at a very reasonable connections
that dont require
and has
an ADSL
plentymodem
of options,
and ensures photos and black text both
price. Its a little laggy for gamers, but such
has plenty
as sharing
of options,
a connected
such asprinter
sharingora come out looking great.
theres no ghosting on motion. storage.
connected printer or storage.
ALTERNATIVE: Brother MFC-J5320DW
ALTERNATIVE: Dell UltraSharp U2414H ALTERNATIVE TP-Link Archer C9 For more business-type tasks, this
This 1920x1080, 24in screen has a Not quite as fast, but this or the D9 (with all-in-one has automatic paper feed
stand that can switch to portrait mode. ADSL modem built in) is a simple and for the scanner and the ability to print
Colour accuracy is excellent. 195
199 from capable router with a stylish design. occasional A3 pages. 233 from
www.snipca.com/21908 109 from www.snipca.com/21909
100 www.snipca.com/21694

32 21 June 4 July 2017


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HOMEPLUGS SOLID STATE DRIVE WEB DESIGN

TP-Link AV1200 Powerline Samsung 960 Pro 512GB Xara Web Designer
Wi-Fi Kit WPA8730 295 from www.snipca.com/23389 Premium 365
125 from www.snipca.com/23766 Tested: Issue 491 70 from www.snipca.com/16955
Tested: Issue 495 Tested: Issue 453

HomePlug adapters use your mains This visual web-design program makes
wiring to extend your network where Made for the fast M.2 interface thats creating sites more like laying out a
Wi-Fi wont reach. This kit provides increasingly common inside PCs, this is document than writing HTML code, and
Wi-Fi at the far end too, so phones and not a cheap option, but if you want an sites can be responsive, meaning they
tablets can connect as well as PCs and SSD you want speed, and this has it in look right on both big and small screens
other Ethernet-equipped devices. spades. Samsungs 850 Evo (150 for without extra work. A basic version is
500GB) is a good budget choice. also available for half the price.
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21 June 4 July 2017 33


2016
Back Issue CD
NOW !
SA LE
ON CON
T
ALLAINS
ISSU 26
M 20ES
FRO
16

Buy it now from Amazon at


www.snipca.com/23209
or search for computeractive cd on Amazon
You can still buy our 2015 CD at www.snipca.com/21619
PU
& LL

Workshops & Tips


Is K OU
su E
e E
50 P T
4

Edited by Sherwin Coelho

14 pages of workshops, tips, guides, problem


roblem solving
35 Customise Windows 40 Turn your life story PLUS
10s secret Start menu into a podcast 43 Readers Tips 47 Make Office Better
38 Share photos using 42 Save mobile data on 44 Phone & Tablet Tips 48 Secret Tips For...
Googles new tool your iPhone 46 Make Windows Better Magix Music Maker

Customise Windows 10s


secret Start menu
What you need: Win+X Menu Editor; Windows 8.1 or 10
Time required: 25 minutes

W henever you press Windows key+X


or right-click the Start button at
the bottom left of your PC screen, you
make it easy to customise this menu so
we recommend using the brilliant free
program Win+X Menu Editor. It lets you
open whats known as the Power User add programs and other items you use
Menu which provides quick access to often, and rearrange and remove
several useful options. Microsoft doesnt existing menu items.

STEP Win+X Menu Editor downloads


1 as a zipped setup le, so youll
need a le-compression
1
program to open it. We recommend
PeaZip (www.peazip.org). In the
installation wizard choose Standard
Installation 1 (there are no unwanted
extras). After youve nished, download
Win+X Menu Editor by going to www.
snipca.com/24541, then clicking the long
Download link above the Donate button.

3
STEP Go to your Downloads folder 1

2 and launch the WinX Menu


Editor Release setup le 2 ,
1 which will open in PeaZip. Here, click
Extract 3 , then click OK at the bottom
right. After thats done, double-click the
WinXEditor.exe setup le within PeaZip,
4 then click Yes to open the program. The
program doesnt add a desktop shortcut.
If you want one, drag and drop the
WinXEditor app icon 4 from your
2 Downloads folder to your desktop.

21 June 4 July 2017 35


Workshops
4
2

2
1
4 1

STEP Now right-click the Start button to reveal your Power STEP To remove an option from your Power User Menu (for
3 User Menu 1 . Youll notice that Win+X Menu Editor
has similar options 2 (though some are named slightly 4 example, Event Viewer), click to select it 1 , then click
Remove 2 . Click Restart Explorer 3 after making any
dierently). In your Power User Menu each section is separated change, then re-open your Power User Menu to see the change
by a line 3 , while in the Win+X Menu Editor these sections youve made. If it isnt applied immediately, you may need to
appear as groups 4 . Well now show you how to use the restart your PC. Its a good idea to make all your changes
program to customise your Power User Menu. (including those in this Workshop), then click Restart Explorer,
then restart your PC.

3
2

5
4

1
2 1
3

STEP Win+X Menu Editor also lets you add items to the STEP Click Restart Explorer 1 to see your added

5 Power User Menu such as programs, settings and


tools you use often. To add a program, such as Chrome, 6 program(s) 2 in the Power User Menu. The process is
similar to add presets (built-in Windows tools). Select
rst select the group you want to add it to 1 , click the Add a the group you want to add presets to, click the Add a program
program dropdown menu 2 , then click Add a program. Now dropdown menu 3 , then move your cursor to Add preset 4 .
navigate to and select that programs setup le 3 (in the Now select one of the seven options 5 , then click Continue.
Program Files folder in your C Drive), click Open, rename the Click Restart Explorer, then reopen your Power User Menu to
option as you want it to appear in your Power User Menu see the option(s) you added.
(optional), then click OK. Repeat this step to add more programs.

36 21 June 4 July 2017


Customise Windows 10s secret Start menu

4 3

1 1

2 2

STEP Well now show you how to add options from your STEP You can also add Administrative Tools, including
7 Control Panel. Select the group you want to add these
to, click the Add a program dropdown menu again, 8 useful options such as Disk Clean-up, Disk
Defragmenter, Windows Firewall, Windows Services,
then click Add a Control Panel item. In the window that opens, and Resource Monitor. Click the Add a program dropdown
click the option you want 1 , then click Select 2 . All Control menu, then click Add an Administrative Tools item. Youll see a
Panel items 3 adds the Control Panel as an option to the Power list of 18 options 1 that you can select 2 or search for 3 , then
User Menu. Alternatively, type the name of a specic Control add (as you did in Step 7).
Panel item in the search eld 4 , then click to select it.

1 3

5
3

4 1

STEP Like the Power User Menu, the Win+X Menu Editor is STEP When youre happy with your changes, click Restart
9 divided into three groups. If you want to add another
group to the former, click Create a group 1 . Youll see 10 Explorer 1 , close Win+X Menu Editor, then open your
Power User Menu to see your customised version 2
Group 4 2 added to the menu. Repeat to add more groups if you (restart your PC if necessary). Make any changes using the above
want. Right-click any item in Win+X Menu Editor 3 for options steps. If you want to undo all your changes, open Win+X Menu
to rename it and move it. To place it in another group, move Editor, click the Restore defaults button 3 , click Yes, then click
your cursor to Move to group, then select the group 4 . You can Restart Explorer.
also reorder items using the arrows on the right 5 .

21 June 4 July 2017 37


Workshops
Share photos using
Googles new tool
What you need: Any website; Android or iOS device Time required: 20 minutes

G oogle has launched a new


tool called Families that
makes it easier than ever to share
items with everyone in your
group with the click of a button.
Well show you how to create
photos, reminders and events your own group, then share
with your loved ones. It lets you photos, reminders and events
add up to ve contacts to your using Googles Photos, Keep
Family group. You can then share and Calendar services.

1
4
1

STEP Go to www.google.com/families, log in using your STEP Group members will receive an email invitation. They
1 Google account, click Get Started, then click Create
Family Group. Youll see all your Gmail contacts listed. 2 need to click Accept Invitation 1 within two weeks of
receipt. After that, they need to click Get Started, Join
Click to select up to ve contacts 1 . A dropdown menu 2 will Family, then View Family to see all group members. Youll
appear next to any contact with more than one email address. receive an email conrmation as each person accepts your
To add people who are not in your contact list, type their email invite.
address 3 , then click Add recipient. Once youve compiled
your group, click Send 4 .

STEP Its easy to manage your group. There are two ways to
3 do this. In Gmail, click your prole icon at the top
right, click My Account, then click the Family group
link in the Account preferences section on the right.
Alternatively, go to www.google.com/families, then click
Manage Group. In both cases, youll see how many more
people you can invite to your group 1 . Here you can also send
invitations 2 , remove any members 3 and delete the entire
group 4 . 3

1
4

38 21 June 4 July 2017


2

STEP To share things with your group, go to


4 www.google.com/families, then scroll
down to Google Calendar, Google Keep and
Google Photos. To share photos, click the Go button STEP Move your cursor to the top left of the rst photo, then click to
beside Google Photos 1 . This takes you to the Google
Photos website in your browser (but you can also 5 select it. Youll now see tickboxes on your other photos, so click to
select the other ones you want to share 1 (as many as you want),
use the following features in the Google Photos app). then click the share icon 2 . In the pop-up menu that appears, youll see a
green Family group icon with a heart at the top left. Click this icon to
share your photos with your group. They can now access your photos and
upload their own to the group.

STEP Well now show you how to create notes that the group can
6 collaborate on. Go to www.google.com/keep (or use the
Google Keep app). Here, name your note 1 , click inside the
Take a note eld, then start typing your note 2 . The Remind me
icon 3 lets you set a reminder (you can choose a time, date and
1
place), while the palette icon 4 lets you add a colour to that note. To 5
share the note with your group, click the Collaborator icon 5 , the
Family group icon, Save, then Done. Members in your group can
now edit this note from their account.
2
4
3

5 STEP To add events to your family group, go to www.google.


3 7 com/calendar (or the Google Calendar app) and click the
Create button at the top right. Here, name your event 1 ,
then ll in the details in the boxes below 2 (place, description,
event colour, notication). Now in the Guests eld, type family,
1 then select the Family (group) option 3 to share your events. You
2 can set group permissions using the tickboxes below 4 . When
youve nished, click Save 5 to share your event invitations.

21 June 4 July 2017 39


Workshops

Turn your life story


into a podcast
What you need: Android phone or iPhone Time required: 30 minutes

T here are lots of free podcast apps, but


CastBox is our favourite and its now
available on Android for the rst time. It
own podcast episodes and upload them to
your own channel. Well show you how to
turn your life story into a podcast, then
lets you subscribe to your favourite podcast share your channel with others. If youd
channels and download episodes to listen like to share it with fellow readers, email us
to oine. Besides that, you can record your a link and well publish it.

STEP Install and open the app


1 (Android www.snipca.
com/24569; iOS www.
snipca.com/24580). Youll see
several podcast category tiles.
Select at least three based on
your interests 1 , then tap Next 2 .
Youll now see a list of popular
podcast channels based on your
selections. Tap the Save (oppy
disk) icons beside the ones you
want to subscribe to, then tap 1
Done. Youll now see your main
podcast screen with four tabs at
the top.

STEP Well now show you how


2 to record your own
podcast episodes, then
upload these to your own podcast 1
channel. First, tap the Prole 2 3
tab 1 , then the Click Here to Log 1
In link 2 for options to log in via
Google or Facebook. Select the 2
account you want, then log in.
Next, tap the microphone icon 3 ,
then Allow. Youll see a blank
screen with three buttons -
Listen, Record and Save. Tap
File name at the top left to see STEP To record, tap the Record/Pause button 1
options to import audio les
from your devices Audio folder, 3 to start (and pause) the recording, then
narrate the rst episode youve prepared.
Downloads folder or your 3 Tap Listen 2 to play it back. When youre happy with
Google Drive account. it, tap Save 3 . This saves your recording as a draft.
Tap the orange microphone icon and repeat the
process to record the next episode(s). The Drafts
section lists your recorded episodes.

40 21 June 4 July 2017


STEP Well now show you how to create your own channel. STEP Its optional, but we think its a good idea to add a
4 Return to the Drafts section, then tap the Upload
button (up arrow) beside the rst episode you want to 5 photo 1 , title 2 and description 3 to each episode you
upload. Finally, select your channel name 4 , then tap
upload. Now tap Create a Channel at the bottom. Personalise the Publish icon 5 to add this episode to your channel. Next, tap
your channel by adding a photo from your device 1 , giving your the Upload button beside your second episode and repeat this
channel a title 2 and a typing a brief description 3 . Next, tap step. When you return to your prole tab, youll now see your
the Categories eld 4 then tap to select three categories that channel name. Tap to select it, tap the share icon at the top, then
relate to your podcast. Finally, tap the Save icon 5 to create send the link that appears to whoever you want via email or
your channel. social-media apps.

5
5
1
1

3 3

4
4

STEP CastBox oers other great features. The Explore icon 1


STEP Finally, tap the Subscribe icon 1 to see all the channels

6 displays podcast channels by category 2 . Tap one 3 to


read a description, check out its episodes and subscribe 7 youve subscribed to 2 . The View icon 3 lets you see
these as a list or tiles. Tap Download 4 to access
to it. Youll see download icons beside each episode. Tap these to episodes youve downloaded. The app tends to bombard you
download episodes to your device. Tap the Search icon 4 to with notications about new episodes in your subscribed
search for a particular podcast channel or category, then tap the channels or new channels you might be interested in. To control
+ icons beside the channels you want to subscribe to. these notications, tap the Prole icon 5 , Settings, Notication
Settings, then switch o the notications you dont want.

4 5
4

1 1
2
3 2
3

21 June 4 July 2017 41


Workshops
Save mobile data
on your iPhone
What you need: iPhone or iPad Time required: 10 minutes

In Issue 503 (page 40) we


showed you how to keep track
of your mobile-data usage on
data, then the free app My Data
Manager will help you keep on
top of it. It lets you set your
your Android phone. If you use monthly data limit, then activate
an iPhone or iPad and have a useful notications to ensure you
monthly limit on your mobile never exceed it.

STEP Install and open the app (www.snipca.com/24573), STEP Select the mobile-data section, tap the green Add Your
1 tap the box at the bottom to agree to the T&Cs, then
tap Lets get started. Next, tap Later on the rst two 2 Plan button, then tap Set Individual Plan. Here, you
can set your plan type (recurring or pre-paid 1 ), set
screens, tap Yes, alert me! on the Data usage screen, then tap your data-renewal period (options include daily, weekly, or
Allow to conrm that. Finally, tap No thanks on the Help us monthly) 2 , and enter your mobile-data limit 3 in MB or GB 4 .
improve My Data Manager Tap Next 5 then select the
section. The app tells you how day/date on which your
much data youve used 1 using monthly plan restarts (call
2 mobile data 2 and Wi-Fi 3 , your service provider if you
3 and in roaming mode 4 . It also dont know this). Finally, tap
estimates your monthly data Do Later, then Close.
usage 5 based on your current
usage. 1

2 4
1 5 3

4
5

5 STEP Well now show you how to set up alerts to ensure you dont exceed your data

2 3 limit. Tap Settings at the bottom right, My Alarms, then select the Mobile tab 1 .
Here, ensure that the Enable Alarms slider is switched on 2 . Youll see that
several types of alerts are switched on by default 3 . Tap to uncheck the ones you dont
1
want. Finally, tap Set Custom Alarms 4 to create your own alerts for example, when
you near a mobile-data daily limit or use up a certain amount of your overall allowance.
Go back, then tap Done 5 to set these alerts.
3

ON SALE
Weds
NEXT ISSUE July 5

Back up les to a memory card


Stop hackers spying on your family
Turn your phone into a scanner
Record video highlights using Skype
4
Subscribe to Computeractive at getcomputeractive.co.uk

42 21 June 4 July 2017


Readers Tips Handy hints and tips from your fellow readers
Email us your tips: letters@computeractive.co.uk

TIP OF THE FORTNIGHT


T
WINDOWS 10

Access the Control Panel with one click


In Issue 503, you mention that updating
your Windows 10 PC to the Creators
Update makes access to your Control
Panel more dicult. However, thats
not the case with my PC, which has
two versions of the Control Panel only
a click away. To set this up, you need to
add your desktop as a shortcut option
on your taskbar.
Right-click an empty section of
your taskbar, move your cursor to
Toolbars, then click Desktop. This adds
a desktop shortcut to the right of your
taskbar. Click the two arrows next to Here, youll also see two Control Panel Panel option opens the Windows 7
Desktop to see a pop-up menu with lots options (see screenshot). Move your version, where you can view items by
of useful options, including all the cursor to the option with the arrow to category, Large icons or Small icons
programs on your desktop. You can access several Control Panel sections using the dropdown menu at the top
click and drag to reorder these items (Appearance and Personalisation, Ease right.
however you want. of Access and so on). The other Control Ramsey Dugdale

Ramsey wins a copy of our 2016 Back Issue CD Buy it on Amazon www.snipca.com/23209

YOUTUBE MUSIC PCs default Music folder. I tend to copy of these notications, click the three dots,
Listen to music from YouTube these les to my phone or tablet to listen then click Turn o notications about
videos wherever you are to them oine whenever I like. friends attending events near you (see
I liked your Workshop on Dave Robertson screenshot below left). On your phone or
downloading YouTube videos to tablet, open the Facebook app, scroll to
watch oine using the free app Hyper FACEBOOK the notication, long-press it, then tap to
for YouTube (Issue 503, page 42). While Turn o annoying Facebook select the above option.
you mainly covered the option to event notications Jenny Myers
download videos oine, the app also I live in a busy part of London,
lets you download just audio from any where events are taking place all FITNESS TRACKER
YouTube video, which being a big the time, especially now that summers Use Fitbits brilliant features
music fan Ive taken advantage of. here. Recently, Ive been inundated by a After my last medical check-up, the
To do that, open a music video of your lot of Facebook notications telling me doctor recommended I take long
choice in Hyper, click the three dots at that friends of mine are attending an walks everyday. Upon hearing this, my
the bottom right, click Download, then event near you even when Ive son bought me a Fitbit tness tracker
click the Audio option (see screenshot expressed no interest in the event at all. (www.tbit.com/uk). It looks sleek on
below). Your downloaded audio les are Thankfully, I have found a way to turn o my wrist and tells the time, so I dont
stored in the Hyper subfolder within your these annoying notications. You can do wear a watch anymore. Apart from this,
this via your PCs browser or via the the tracker tells me how many steps Ive
Facebook app on your phone or tablet. walked and gently vibrates when I
On your PC, click the Notications complete 10,000 steps in a day.
globe icon at the top right of your The feature that most impressed me,
Facebook page, scroll to the most recent however, is that you can set it to vibrate
whenever someone calls or messages you
on your phone, and even set it to vibrate
when you set an alarm. Its very useful for
someone like me who wears a hearing aid
and often misses calls and alarms. You
can activate these by tapping Notications
and Silent Alarm in the free Fitbit
Android, iOS or Windows 10 app.
Alex Carlisle

21 June 4 July 2017 43


Phone and Tablet Tips Brilliant things to do on your device

ANDROID & iOS screenshot below left). Now tap Google


Play your photos as a Photos, then switch on the slider at the
slideshow on your TV top. Youll see all your photo albums
If you use Googles listed with tick boxes beside them. Tick
Chromecast dongle the albums containing images you want
(www.snipca.com/24630), to display on your TV. Images from those
theres an easy way to play photos from albums will now play in random order on
your Google Photos albums (in random your TV screen.
order) as a slideshow on your TV.
To do this, switch on your TV to the ANDROID & iOS
input you use for your Chromecast using Stop unwanted newsletters
your remote control (youll see a default and keep
ep track of travel plans
Google image on your TV screen). Next, Email Fast & Secure
open the Google Home app formerly was previously only
called Chromecast on your phone or available on iOS but is
tablet (Android www.snipca.com/24612; now launched on Android. Whats more, mark them as important (see screenshot
iOS www.snipca.com/24613), tap the it has some great features. As well as above). These emails are then assigned to
three lines at the top left, then tap Devices. letting you unsubscribe from newsletters the relevant tabs.
Youll see your Chromecast name and quickly, it gives you easy access to your The Travel category contains any ight,
PIN code. Tap the three dots at the top travel bookings you have stored and lets train or coach bookings youve made via
right, then tap Backdrop settings (see you track your Amazon orders. email with all the relevant information
Install and open the app (Android (departure time, arrival time, booking
www.snipca.com/24614; iOS www. reference and seat number). The Packages
snipca.com/24615), swipe across the category lets you track any outstanding
introductory screens, log into your email email orders youre expecting (such
account (the app supports Gmail, Yahoo, as Amazon deliveries) or any parcels
Microsoft and all IMAP accounts), then youve sent.
tap To Inbox at the top right. The app
automatically organises your emails into iOS
handy categories. Tap the three lines at Make your iPhone or iPad
the top left (menu icon), then look at the easier to use
Assistant section to see these categories There are several ways you can
Subscriptions, Travel, Packages, Bills & make your iPhone or iPad easier
Receipts and Entertainment. to use, such as making the text on
Tap Subscriptions to see emails youve your screen larger and darker. You can
subscribed to. Here, tap the X icon to also add a permanent onscreen button
unsubscribe from any or the star icon to that gives you easy access to the main

Best New Apps What you should install this fortnight

Skype Path Guide Filmr*


Free Free Free
Android: www.snipca.com/24616 Android: www.snipca.com/24617 iOS: www.snipca.com/24618
Microsoft has given its Android Skype app This app (also from Microsoft) lets you create Filmr makes video editing easy. Select
a complete makeover and added improved indoor navigation paths. It traces where as many photos or videos as you want.
messaging you walk and These appear on
tools. The automatically a vertical editing
best of these creates step-by- ow. Tap and
is Highlights, step directions drag to reorder
which lets you that you can them and move
capture photos share with others. their sliders to
and videos then Shop owners, for trim les. Tap
personalise example, can use and hold a video
them with text it to create a path le for options
and drawings. for customers to to duplicate or
Well show you nd their store delete it.
how to use this from the entrance *Contains in-app
in our next issue. of a shopping mall. purchases

44 21 June 4 July 2017


sections of your device. Well show you features is the option to read ebooks in
how to do both. Microsoft Edge. You can download free
Open Settings, tap General, then titles by going to www.gutenberg.org in
Accessibility. Here, tap Larger Text, then Microsoft Edge, tapping an ebook, then
move the slider to the right to increase tapping its EPUB link.
the size of your onscreen text. Tap the Swipe right to turn pages. Tap any
Bold Text slider to bold up text, making page to see a list of options at the top and
it easier to read. a scroll bar at the bottom. You can also
Next, tap AssistiveTouch, then switch move the bar to scroll through the pages.
on the AssistiveTouch slider. This displays Tap the three lines at the top to display
a white button that stays on your screen the books table of contents and tap any
permanently tap and drag to reposition chapter to go to it.
this wherever you want. Tap the button The search icon lets you nd any word
to access various sections of your device, or phrase within that page. Tap the Aa
including the Notication Centre, Control icon (see screenshot right) to change your
Centre and Home (see screenshot below). display settings. To hear text on that page
Tap Device to see options to lock your (and any following pages) dictated out
screen, rotate it, change the volume or loud, tap the speaker icon. To bookmark
take a screenshot. You can also use the page youre on tap the icon at the top
AssistiveTouch if your devices Home or right these then are accessible in the
volume buttons stop working. bookmarks section at the top left.

Games With Kids


What to play together on your phone and tablet
AGES 0 5
Little Fire Station*
Free www.snipca.com/24621 (Android)
Free www.snipca.com/24622 (iOS)
The games in this app will keep your
toddler entertained and teach them how
iOS a re station works. Our favourites involve
Locate friends and family rescuing a cat from a tree, putting out a
Using Apples Find My Friends house re and identifying objects found in
app, you can locate friends or a re station.
family members on your iPhone
and iPad and also share your location AGES 6 10
with them. Jump Cube*
To set this up, open the preinstalled Free www.snipca.com/24625 (Android)
Find My Friends app, tap All Friends at Free www.snipca.com/24626 (iOS)
the top left, then tap Add. Now enter the This simple game can be both very
email addresses of those you want to track, addictive and very frustrating. You need to
then tap Send. They will receive a location- guide your character along a path of tiles
tracking request that they need to agree of two dierent colours, tapping the left of
to. Once theve granted permission, youll your screen to reach one colour and the
both be able to see each others precise right to reach the other.
location on a map by opening the Find
My Friends app or by going to iCloud.com AGES 11 16
and logging in with your Apple ID. To Monument Valley 2
stop sharing your location, open the app, 4.99 www.snipca.com/24627 (iOS)
tap Me, switch o the Share My Location Monument Valley is a beautifully designed
slider, then tap Done. puzzle game where you help the character
Ro reach a specic point in each scene
WINDOWS PHONE by tapping and moving her architectural
Read ebooks in Microsoft Edge surroundings. In this sequel Ro is joined by
In Issue 502 (page 45), we her child in a series of new puzzles
explained how to update your and landscapes.
phone to the Windows 10 Mobile *Contains in-app purchases
Creators Update. One of the updates new

21 June 4 July 2017 45


Make Windows Better Expert tips for every program

WINDOWS 10
Find out how long your WINDOWS 7, 8, 10
journey will take
Cortana can now tell you how Connect a Bluetooth keyboard or
long itll take you to get home or
to work. It does this by determining
mouse to your PC
the fastest route based on the trac at the If you have a
current time. You rst need to add your Bluetooth
home and/or oce address to your PC. To keyboard or
do this, open the default Maps app, then mouse, its easy to connect them
click the star icon at the top right to see to your Windows PC. You rst
the Home and Work tabs (see screenshot need to turn on the Bluetooth on
below). Select the one you want, enter both your PC and the device
your postcode, then select the correct youre connecting to. On the
autosuggest option. keyboard or mouse, you should
nd a button you can switch on.
Refer to the devices manual if you
dont see this.
To switch on Bluetooth in Windows onscreen instructions to pair them.
7 and 8.1, open the Start menu, The process is easier in Windows 10.
right-click Computer, click Properties, Go to Settings, click Devices, then
then Device Manager at the top left. At switch on the Bluetooth slider (see
the top, youll see a Bluetooth screenshot). Next, click Add Bluetooth
dropdown menu. Click this, right-click or other device at the top and select
the option below it, then click Enable. Bluetooth. Once your PC detects your
To connect your PC to your Bluetooth keyboard or mouse, click to select it,
keyboard or mouse, open your Start click Pair, then follow any onscreen
From now on, simply click your search menu, click Devices and Printers, Add instructions to complete pairing. From
bar at any time and Cortana should a device, then wait for it to detect your now on, your PC should automatically
display the journey time to get home or to Bluetooth device. Next, select the recognise your device whenever the
work, with a rating for trac congestion device, click Next and follow any two are within range.
(Heavy, Moderate or Low). If you dont
see this, click the speaker icon to activate
Cortana and ask How long will it take me across multiple PC folders, then well
to get home/to work?. Next, click the show you how to add these folders to
map tile to get directions to your location the app.
using the Maps app. Open Groove Music, then click the
My music section on the left to see all
WINDOWS 10 music les stored in your Music folder.
Upload all your tracks to Next, click the cog icon at the bottom
Groove Music left, then click the Choose where we
Microsoft has updated its Groove look for music link in the Music on
Music app to automatically this PC section (see screenshot below
import any music stored within left). Youll see your Music folder
the Music folder on your PC. Therefore, selected. To add another folder, click
you should consider moving your music the + icon, navigate to the folder
collection to this folder. However, if you want, click Add this folder to Music,
prefer having your music les stored then click Done.
The app will begin importing your
music from that folder. Repeat this open your Command Prompt, press the
process if you have tracks stored in Windows key, type cmd, then press Enter.
other folders on your PC. Now type tree, then press Enter.
Youll see a tree dropdown menu of
WINDOWS 7, 8, 10 your entire C Drive (see screenshot above).
See all the folders and Lines connecting to the C Drive indicate
subfolders on your C Drive folders, with further lines connecting to
Theres a simple their subfolders. Its a good idea to copy,
Command Prompt trick paste and save this information to a
that lets you display all Notepad le or Word document so you
the folders and subfolders on your PCs can see the contents of your C Drive
C Drive as a tree dropdown menu. To whenever you want.

46 21 June 4 July 2017


Make Office Better Expert tips for every program

WORD

Save oft-used text to insert when needed


If theres a block of text that In the pop-up window that appears
you tend to type often in (see screenshot), name your text, ensure
documents (for example, your the Gallery dropdown menu is set to
home or email address, or a specic AutoText and the Category dropdown
quote), theres an easy way to save it menu is set to General. Type a text
in Word, so that you can quickly insert description in the relevant eld
it when you need to. The feature is (optional), then click OK. Repeat this
called AutoText. process for other passages of text you
First, type the text you want to want to save.
save, format it however you like, From now on, whenever you want to
then select it. Next, click the Insert add your saved text, click the insertion
tab, then the Quick Parts dropdown point in your document, then click the
menu in the Text section at the top Quick Parts dropdown menu and move
right (see screenshot), move your your cursor to AutoText. Youll see all
cursor to AutoText, then click Save your saved passages of text listed. Simply
Selection to AutoText Gallery. click the one you want to add.

OUTLOOK.COM English Premier League, then the the pop-up window that appears, name
Never miss your favourite club you follow. To follow the England the recording, then click the red circular
teams matches cricket team, select Cricket, Countries, (Record) icon and dictate your audio
Outlook.com has a useful feature then England. You can also follow cricket track. Click the Stop icon when youve
called Bing calendars that lets teams playing in the County Championship nished.
you keep track of your favourite (see screenshot below left). Next, click the blue Play icon to hear
sports teams. To use it, go to www. Youll now see all your teams xtures your recording. If you dont like it, click
outlook.com and log in using your have been added to your calendar, and the Record icon again to re-record. When
Microsoft account. Next, click the small youll receive a notication before each youre happy, click OK. Youll now see a
calendar icon at the bottom left to access match is about to begin. small speaker icon on your slide. Click
your Outlook calendar. To add sporting and drag to reposition this wherever you
events to it, click Interesting calendars POWERPOINT want. Moving your cursor to this icon
at the top. Youll see a Bing calendars Record your own narration displays a play icon with options to fast
panel on the right with several options, If one of your PowerPoint slides forward/rewind and change volume (see
including Sports and TV. Select Sports for contains a lot of information, it screenshot below left).
a list of 11 to choose from. might be a good idea to add an
Now, simply select the sports and teams audio commentary to explain it. EXCEL
you follow to add their xtures to your To do this, open your presentation, Get rid of unwanted rows
calendar. For example, to get reminders then go to the slide in question. Click the and columns quicker
when your favourite Premier League Insert tab, the Audio dropdown menu at Theres an easy way to highlight
team is playing, select Soccer, England, the top right, then click Record Audio. In and delete all data in a particular
row or column in Excel using
keyboard shortcuts. To highlight a row,
click any cell within it, then press
Shift+spacebar. You can now delete all
data in that row by pressing the Delete
key, or copy and paste it to another row.
Similarly, to highlight a column, click
any cell within the column, then press
Ctrl+spacebar.
Deleting data in a column or row will
leave you with blank cells. A better
option is to delete the entire row or
column itself. Theres a keyboard shortcut
for that, too. To delete a row, select any of
its cells, then press Ctrl+9. Similarly, to
delete an entire column, select any of its
cells, then press Ctrl+0.

21 June 4 July 2017 47


Secret Tips For

Magix Music Maker


Add eects to your recorded music, connect instruments to your PC,
use a virtual amp and x distorted recordings
Add eects to your hear how your music changes
musical compositions with each tweak. The only
Magixs free music-production program eect that is controlled
Music Maker (www.magix.com/gb/ dierently is the 10-band
music-maker) is a great virtual studio equalizer. It splits your track
that lets you record and mix your own into 10 frequency bands and
music on your PC. One of its best features lets you adjust each one
is the ability to add eects like reverb, separately. For more info, click
echo and distortion so you can give your 10-band equalizer, then the
compositions a more professional feel. question-mark icon to the
To try these eects, rst select the bars right of Graphic equalizer. Lower a distorted sections volume to reduce pops and
within your composition that you want crackles on your recording
to add eects to (click the rst bar, then Identify and x
hold the Ctrl key down and click the last distorted sections with the Control key held down, click its
bar). Next, click the Inspector tab (see If you hear pops and crackles when you end bar. The section youve selected will
screenshot below) above the piano keys play back your composition, you can use be highlighted orange. Right-click it, then
to see a list of eects, such as Compressor Music Makers Peak Meter to reveal the click Volume, Set volume and choose
and 10-band equalizer. Click an eect, problem bars. Click View, Video any of the negative dB Set volume to
then adjust the knobs or drag the white monitor, Show video monitor, then options (see screenshot above).
circle to change its intensity (see screenshot click the Peak Meter tab. Play your track Experiment with the volume settings
below). Play your track as you do this to and youll see a visual representation of it. until you reduce the levels from red to
Look out for any orange in the Peak Meter when you play
red graphics at the high it back. If youre unsure where to start,
decibel (dB) range these you could try the Automatic volume
indicate heavy distortion. reduction option right-click the
To x distortion you selection, then click Volume to see it.
need to lower the
aected sections volume. Play through a virtual amp
To select the entire If you have a USB-to-audio jack cable (see
distorted section, click its box) you can connect your electric guitar
Add effects to your music using Music Makers Inspector control opening bar and then, (and other analogue instruments) to your
PC and use it as an amp. You can then use
Music Makers virtual amp (Vandal) to
Connect a real instrument to your PC tweak your instruments output.
To access the Vandal amp, click Eects
While you can import tracks into www.snipca.com/24525), but such (in the bar at the top), Audio, Audio
Music Maker, play pre-recorded loops cables do add latency a split-second Eects, then Vandal SE. Anyone who has
and record your own tunes using the delay between playing a note and ever used a physical amp will recognise
programs virtual keyboard, youll want hearing it through your PC speakers/ the gain, voicing and equalization knobs
to connect real instruments to your PC headphones. If removing this latency is that let you change the sound. To apply
if you want a more authentic sound. essential consider buying a USB Midi preset eects such as 60s Twang and
You can do this in a couple of ways. box like the M-Audio Midisport (44 Blues Solo click Programs at the top of
The easiest and cheapest way is to use a from Amazon: www.sn
www.snipca.com/ Vandals window, then select a preset.
USB-to-audio jack k cable. 24526). This lets y
you connect
o
There are plenty to multiple ins
nstr
instruments and Refer to Music Makers manual
choose from on microphoho
microphones to your PC If you get stuck, you can access Music
Amazon (such as andd re
removes the Makers manual by clicking Help,
the one pictured, pr
problem of Documentation, then Table of contents.
13 from Amazon: n: la
latency. Click the search tab to search for specic
words.

48 21 June 4 July 2017 Next issue Secret Tips For Copy and paste
Whats All the Fuss About...

Google Lens
Your phones camera can now search the web as well
What is it?
A clever new technology that integrates
your phones camera with Googles
search engine. Your camera will
recognise whats being shown on the
screen, then automatically search for
information about it online. The results
will appear in a box on screen. If it
works as well as Google claims, itll be
the best use of augmented reality yet.

Whats augmented reality?


It places a computer-generated image
on top of whats being shown on a
phones screen, merging the real-world
environment with a digital one. It was
the technology behind the Pokmon Go
game, which became hugely popular
last summer. In it, players collect digital also the species, and show facts about it personal data companies could get from
characters hiding in real locations. These on screen. It can even log your phone Google Lens: The simple act of taking a
type of games are all a bit gimmicky, into your Wi-Fi by reading the setting photo of a boarding pass could tell you a
unlike the benets of Google Lens. sticker on your router (see image lot about a person: their travel plans,
below left). lifestyle, airline preference, seating
Can you give me some preference. This would be priceless for
examples? How does it work? companies wanting to target their
Yes. Point your camera at a ower, and By using what so many technologies adverts to individuals.
it will tell you what species it is (Milk now depend on: articial intelligence.
and Wine Lily in the image above Google claims that its algorithms have Hasnt Google released similar
right). Point it at a restaurant, and it will learned how to recognise objects in a things before?
search for reviews and opening times. photo better than humans can. The Yes you may be thinking of Word
Eat out while on holiday abroad and it companys boss Sundar Pichai dipped Lens, which is part of the Google
will translate foreign-language menus. into his Big Book of Jargon to call Lens Translate app. It can translate words in
If youre at a zoo, Google Lens might an inection point with vision. He photos in 37 languages. Or perhaps you
identify not only the type of animal, but then gushed: The fact computers can mean the dreadfully named Google
understand images and videos has Goggles, which recognises landmarks,
profound implications for our core paintings and barcodes to give you more
mission. information about them. It seems that
both will be superseded by Google Lens.
What is Googles core mission?
Ocially, its to organize the worlds When will it be available?
information and make it universally Not sure yet, but wed be surprised if
accessible and useful. Unocially, its it doesnt arrive by the end of the year.
to make enough money to send Croesus What we do know is that it will appear
mad with envy. rst as part of Google Photos, now
used by 500 million people, and
How will it make money? Google Assistant, which lets you
Advertising. With Google, it always perform tasks such as sending
comes back to advertising. In an messages and searching the web by
interview with Campaign website, Ray speaking into your phone. Soon we
Google Lens signs into your Wi-Fi by reading Dollete, a director at marketing rm could all be looking at the world
your routers settings sticker Phenomenon, revealed the kind of through a dierent Lens.

21 June 4 July 2017 49


REMOVE
HIDDEN JUNK
Your PC will be riddled with programs that
look like junk, but should you install
them? Jonathan Parkyn explains how
to separate the junk from the essential
programs you must keep

T
here are few certainties in same programs, apps and browser recommend it. Some of these might
life beyond death and taxes? extensions installed. be integral to the functioning of your
But another thing were pretty Consider your own PC. Some of its computer, and removing them may
sure of is that every single one software will have been pre-installed have a serious impact. Other programs
of our readers PCs is unique. No two by your PCs manufacturer all these for example, browser extensions
will have the same make, model, programs are often referred to as wont be listed at all. Your rst step,
processor, amount of RAM, graphics card, bloatware. Microsoft will have embedded therefore, is to produce a denitive list
hard drive or operating system. And, of its own products into Windows as of everything thats squirrelled away
course, no two will have exactly the part of its relentless quest to force us to on your PC, before working out whats
use its own apps and services. Then safe to remove.
theres the software you installed In this feature well show you how to
WHAT YOULL LEARN yourself either intentionally or not do exactly that. Well explain which
The pros and cons of the best (yes, were talking about all those dedicated uninstallation programs are
uninstallers and which is best for you hideous PUPs, browser hijackers and best for rooting out hidden programs,
Which programs, apps and browser unwanted extras that get smuggled in apps and browser extensions. More
extensions you should uninstall now whenever you try to install a program importantly, well help you make an
What you must do before you delete you do want). informed decision on which programs
anything from your PCs registry You can get an overview of the you should keep, and which you can
How to remove stubborn les that programs and apps installed on your PC safely delete.
refuse to be deleted by checking Windows list. Click the Start Finally, well explain how to scour your
Which startup items you can remove, button, type add remove, then press registry for program leftovers and how to
and which you should keep Enter. From here you can remove any remove those stubborn we shall not be
listed program or app, but we wouldnt moved programs.

50 21 June 4 July 2017


Remove Hidden Junk Without Killing Your PC

WHATS THE BEST UNINSTALLER?


Before you uninstall anything from the design department
your PC, youll need to make sure you wouldnt go amiss.
have the best tool for the job. Here are The lack of tools to
our top picks. manage your startup
items and remove
GOLD browser extensions is
Wise Program Uninstaller 2.01 also a bit disappointing,
www.snipca.com/24368 though you can easily
Whats great use Windows Task
Wise Program Uninstaller is a lightweight Manager and your
tool thats simple to use and eective at browsers own
what it does. Run it and it will quickly extension manager
provide a list of software installed on instead (see page 53).
your PC. Click an item for the option to
carry out a Safe Uninstall (the standard Verdict
method) or a Forced Uninstall (for Its no oil painting,
persistent programs that refuse to but Wise Program CCleaner speedily loads its list of removable programs
budge). After every uninstallation, Wise Uninstaller is easy to use
Program Uninstaller carries out a deep and was also the most thorough program les, x registry problems, scan for
scan for leftover les and registry entries uninstaller we tested. duplicates and more.
and lets you remove these, too (see
screenshot below). This proved to be SILVER Could do better
better than the other uninstallers at CCleaner 5.30 Free As an all-in-one junk-busting suite of
ferreting out residual junk. www.snipca.com/24366 tools, CCleaner is great, but as an
Windows 10s built-in apps can be Whats great uninstaller, its a little lacking in features.
uninstalled too, and you can choose to Youll nd CCleaners uninstaller listed Crucially, theres no deep-cleaning
list apps and programs together or under Uninstall in the Tools menu, option when removing programs, which
separately (click the icons in the top-right alongside a startup manager (Startup) meant that, in our tests, CCleaner
corner). You can also eject troublesome and a tool for removing browser removed fewer leftover les than Wise
Windows Updates and theres a Custom extensions and tools (Browser Plugins). Program Uninstaller. Theres also no
Uninstall option for persistent programs CCleaner loads its list of removable option to uninstall programs in bulk
that wont respond to the Safe or Forced programs much quicker than Windows youll need to remove them one at a
methods. built-in uninstaller does and lets you time and no tool to force-uninstall
remove Windows 10s built-in apps as stubborn programs.
Could do better well as desktop programs and tools (see
It wouldnt be an exaggeration to say that screenshot above). Verdict
Wise Program Uninstaller is on the plain Of course, uninstalling programs is CCleaner is a great all-rounder, and still
side. Were not expecting pretty colours just one of the many things CCleaner essential for removing junk, but there are
and ashy icons, but a bit of a rethink in can do. It can also purge your PC of junk better dedicated uninstallers available.

HOW WE TESTED
We judged the uninstallers by
ease of use and features oered,
but we also tested each one to see
how eective it was at removing
stubborn software and leftover
les. We pitted each uninstaller
against several notoriously hard-
to-remove programs and some
tools performed better than
others. IObit Uninstaller, for
example, had problems removing
the infamous Ask toolbar when
using standard uninstall methods
(we had to resort to a Powerful
Scan removal), while Wise Program
Uninstaller got rid of it without
batting an eyelid.
Wise Program Uninstaller does a deep scan to search for leftover registry entries

21 June 4 July 2017 51


BRONZE IObit Uninstaller
makes it easy to
IObit Uninstaller 6.3 Free select and remove
www.snipca.com/24365 programs, toolbars
Whats great and Windows 10
Apps
IObit Uninstallers relative lack of features
is actually one of its selling points. Its
lightweight and less complicated to use
than many of its rivals. Choose your
category Programs, Toolbars & Plug-ins
or Windows Apps from the left-hand
pane, then select what you want to
remove and click the bin icon. For
bulk removal, tick all the items you
want to remove, then click Uninstall
(see screenshot right). Uninstall tools, for example are tucked tested PC Decrapier (www.snipca.com/
You can ditch Windows 10 apps and away in a separate Tools menu, rather 24408), which provides recommendations
easily remove problematic Windows than being listed on the left with the others. from other users to help you decide what
Updates, too. The browser extensions to uninstall, and BC Uninstaller (www.
uninstaller (under Toolbars & Plug-ins) Verdict snipca.com/24409), which specialises in
now works for Edge. Easy to use but not as eective as some bulk removal.
of its rivals. Or, if youd rather not install any tools
Could do better at all (youre presumably in the business
IObit Uninstaller doesnt try to install any AND THE REST of uninstalling after all), then you could
unwanted software on to your PC, but Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that consider sticking with Windows built-in
during setup we had to click No thanks Revo Uninstaller (www.revouninstaller. uninstaller. It has zero frills or features
to sidestep the free gift of a Windows com), the program we recommended as beyond the standard removal of programs
Tweak ebook, which was annoying. More our favourite free uninstaller in Issue and apps. If youve upgraded to the latest
importantly, IObit Uninstaller spotted 500s Cover Feature, didnt make the top Windows 10 version (Aprils Creators
fewer leftover les and registry entries three. In this test, Revo nished a close Update), youll nd that the default
than Wise Program Uninstaller. And fourth. We still recommend it, but under uninstaller is now in the Apps & features
were not certain why some of IObit closer scrutiny we found that some of its tool (found under Start, Settings, Apps),
Uninstallers best features its Cleanup best features (leftover scanning and where desktop programs and Windows
Residual (which deletes les in Windows forced uninstall, for example) werent Store apps are all lumped together in a
archive of security xes) and Force included in the free version. We also big, searchable list.

UNINSTALL OR NOT?
Programs you can safely from the Windows Store, too. These can keys for programs currently installed
uninstall be easily downloaded again by opening theyre listed under Software licenses in
Software you can safely uninstall from the Windows Store app, clicking your the report Belarc produces after scanning
your computer falls into three main user icon, then selecting My Library. Click your PC (see screenshot above right).
categories: programs you dont use Show all to reveal all the apps youve Without the original CD or product code,
any more, pre-installed junk you dont previously installed, then click the you might never be able to reinstall the
need and Windows 10 apps you have download icon for any you want back. software without paying for it again.
no use for. As a general rule, always create a Most types of les such as JPEG
Open your uninstaller tool of choice system restore point before uninstalling images, MP3 audio les and Word
and cast your eye down the list of any programs most dedicated documents can be opened in a variety
programs. If there are any programs here uninstaller tools will prompt you to do so. of programs. But some les can only be
you dont recognise or no longer use, That way you can always roll back and opened in the program you created them
then its fairly safe to assume you wont restore the program if you need to. in. Some genealogy programs, for
miss them most can be reinstalled if example, store data in GEDCOM (.ged)
necessary, anyway. Programs you should keep les, which you may no longer be able to
Programs and apps that came Before uninstalling any paid-for open if you uninstall the program itself.
pre-installed with your PC are often programs you own, check you have the In some cases, you may be able to
mostly surplus to requirements original CD or installation le if the export the les to a dierent format from
unnecessary media players, short trial program was downloaded and the within the program or convert them using
versions of paid-for security suites and so product key, if the program needs one to an online tool, like Zamzar (www.snipca.
on. These can usually be removed be activated. This is usually provided with com/24386). But this can sometimes have
without worry and are often available to the disc or, for downloads, it may have unforeseen consequences, such as
download from your manufacturers been emailed to you. If youve lost these, document-formatting errors, so check
support website, should you need them. you can use Belarc Advisor (www.snipca. your les before you dump the original
Its safe to remove apps youve installed com/24384) to view (and print) product program.

52 21 June 4 July 2017


Remove Hidden Junk Without Killing Your PC

Use Belarc Advisor to recover lost product keys before you uninstall To remove toolbars like AOLs, open Windows 10s Apps & features
paid-for programs section

Some uninstaller tools let you remove and select Startup. Here, you can either Which tools are safe to uninstall
the pre-loaded apps that come with click Enabled in the Status & Operation from your browser?
Windows 10, but wed suggest that its column to stop the program launching Toolbars are menu bars that appear in
worth leaving most of these in place, when you boot, or click the bin icon to addition to your browsers standard
because they dont take up much space uninstall the associated program. toolbar. Yahoo, Bing, Ask, AOL and
and have little impact on your PCs You can also disable or enable startup Google are among the most common.
performance. Removing certain apps can items using Windows 10s built-in Task They usually contain a search box and
also have a knock-on eect on others. For Manager (see screenshot below left). To some extra tools or shortcuts. Most
example, the Mail, Calendar and People access it, right-click the taskbar, select Task toolbars are unnecessary and all can be
apps are all closely connected and Manager, then click the Start-up tab. To removed safely.
uninstalling one can cause problems with access the same in Windows 7, click Start, Open Windows Apps & features
the others, so its best to leave these as type mscong, then press Enter and click setting (Windows 10, see screenshot
they are. And under no circumstances the Startup tab. above) or Add or remove programs
should you uninstall the Windows Store control panel (Windows 7), or use your
app doing so will prevent you from Startup items you dedicated uninstaller tool. The toolbar
downloading apps. Reinstalling the Store must keep should be listed among the other
app is tricky, too, and may require Any startup items relating to your software installed on your PC. If it isnt,
reinstalling Windows 10 itself. security software should be left enabled the toolbar could be malware, so scan
and installed switching these o could your PC with your security program.
Startup items you can leave your PC unprotected against Extensions are mini-tools that add
safely remove malware and hackers. extra functions to your browser, such as
A great many of the programs your PC Do you use online storage? OneDrive, blocking adverts, but having too many
launches at startup can be disabled, Dropbox and others run at startup to sync running can slow down your browsing.
though you may want to keep the les and keep your storage up to date, so None are essential, so we recommend
associated program installed if you still you should leave the service enabled in keeping only the ones you use often
use it. Apples iTunesHelper is a typical your startup items. enabled. Disable those you use
oender theres no need for this to run Startup items that relate to hardware infrequently, and uninstall those you
at startup, even if you use iTunes to audio devices or your mouse/trackpad, never use. Extensions are usually disabled
manage your music collection. for example should be left enabled, or removed via your browsers own
IObit Uninstaller has a startup otherwise your devices may not work settings, though many uninstaller
manager built in click the Tools icon properly. Similarly, anything relating to programs, including IObit Uninstaller
your graphics card (Nvidia or AMD), an and CCleaner, have a specialised tool for
SSD or your PCs processor (Intel or removing browser extensions. IObit
AMD), should also be left alone, because Uninstaller, for example, lists these in its
removing these can aect stability and (confusingly named) Toolbars and
performance. If you encounter a problem Plug-ins section.
after youve disabled a startup item, xing
it is usually just a case of re-enabling it Should I uninstall plug-ins?
again. There was a time when plug-ins were
Its also technically possible to disable essential for playing certain online
Windows services background content, such as lms, or running certain
operations that run automatically when types of code Java, Flash and Silverlight
you start your PC. However, wed strongly are the most well-known. These days,
advise against doing so, because though, plug-ins are far less necessary
accidentally disabling the wrong service than they once were, thanks to newer
You can disable a programs startup items in could cause your PC to crash, freeze or web technologies (such as HTML5) and
Task Manager without uninstalling it otherwise misbehave. the fact that modern browsers are

21 June 4 July 2017 53


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Its usually not


worth cleaning
your Windows
registry but
if you do, use
CCleaners
Registry Cleaner

Most browsers now block Flash, but usually


notify you when it is detected

capable of handling most types of online


content on their own. Plug-ins can also
be a security risk older versions of both
Java and Flash have been vulnerable to
zero-day attacks.
If youre worried, you could uninstall secret settings, but we denitely dont
Java, Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft recommend manually deleting or GET A SECOND OPINION
Silverlight from you PC. If they are changing anything if you can help it Establishing whether a program is
installed, youll nd them listed alongside even the smallest slip-up could have worth keeping is often harder than it
all your other programs in your chosen drastic consequences for your system. might seem. You may have dozens of
uninstaller tool. If you do remove them, We occasionally suggest registry tweaks tools installed that youve never used
though, be aware that some online and hacks in Computeractive, but or dont even recognise, but how do
content may no longer work. Many whenever we do, we always make it you know whether to ditch them or
websites havent been updated to use the clear that youll need to back up rst not? Researching the programs online
latest technologies and still rely on (by creating a system restore point) and will help. But you could also try using
plug-ins. follow our instructions to the letter. a free tool called Should I Remove It
Most modern browsers, including Annoyingly, programs you install all (SIRT, www.snipca.com/24392). SIRT
Firefox, Edge and Chrome, now block add to the registry, and often remain scans your computer and lists all your
Flash by default (see screenshot above), there, even after youve uninstalled the programs with crowdsourced ratings
so you could leave it installed and only program itself. Many uninstaller tools and rankings. This wont necessarily
enable it when you need to your perform an optional deep clean to look provide a denitive answer to whether
browser should automatically prompt for redundant registry entries and other the tool is worth leaving installed, but it
you when Flash content is detected. les left behind see page 56 for more. can help you form an opinion.
Some tools, including CCleaner,
Is it safe to remove items from oer the option to scan for and
your PCs registry? automatically clear up any registry However, we would argue that the
The Windows registry is a le that clutter they nd (see screenshot above). benets are rarely worth the risk.
contains all the information and As long as you back up your registry De-cluttering your registry in this way is
conguration options for your entire rst, its unlikely that running a unlikely to x any pre-existing PC
computer. It can be used as a powerful clean-up of this type would ever cause problems or provide much of a tangible
tool to unlock hidden features or change irreparable damage to your computer. performance boost.

DELETE FILES THAT REFUSE TO GO


How to force stubborn Force stubborn
programs off
programs to uninstall your PC with
There are several reasons why a program Wise Program
might refuse to uninstall. If a le is in use, Uninstaller
for example, you might see an error
message while uninstalling. Perhaps the
programs installation has become
corrupted, or it could be part of a larger
suite of tools that was left behind when
the rest of the software was removed.
You can try uninstalling stubborn
programs while in Safe Mode as an
administrator. To start Windows 10 in
Safe Mode, click Start, then click the
power icon. Hold down the Shift key and

21 June 4 July 2017 55


Remove Hidden Junk Without Killing Your PC

click Restart. From the blue Choose an


option screen, click Troubleshoot, IS IT SAFE TO REMOVE DUPLICATE FILES?
Advanced options, Startup Settings,
then Restart. Press 5 or F5 to launch Its easy to end up with a hard drive full of for example, or backup copies of your
Windows in Safe Mode. In Windows 7, duplicate les photos, documents and personal les.
click Start, type mscong, then press so on. You can remove these using tool No matter how you discover duplicates
Enter. Click the Boot tab, check the Safe built into uninstallers. we suggest you take great care when
boot box, then click OK, Restart. Once In CCleaner, for example, click Tools, removing them. Never remove anything
Windows has loaded, right-click the then Duplicate Finder to run a scan. you dont recognise and consider moving
icon for your uninstaller tool and select There are also several free duplicate any duplicate images, documents and so
Run as administrator, then try to nders available, such as Duplicate on to an external drive rather than deleting
uninstall the program again. Files Finder (www.snipca.com/24418). them altogether. This will free up space
Many of the uninstaller tools However, deleting duplicate les can on your PCs main hard drive, but provide
mentioned on pages 51-52 include an be risky, whether you do so manually, you with a backup of your suspected
option to force a program to uninstall, or use an automatic tool. You might duplicates, should you ever discover that
which you can also try. In Wise Program accidentally delete important system les, youve removed something important.
Uninstaller, for example, click the
program you want to remove, select
Forced Uninstall (see screenshot on page you want to remove was
55), click Yes, then click Remove. installed. Click this, then click
Some programs and toolbars that Scan for aected programs
refuse to be uninstalled may be malware, youll see a list of other programs
so its worth running a full scan on your that will be removed or restored
PC to see if your antivirus picks up as a result of restoring your PC to
anything nasty. Try running a security this point. Make a note of these
scan in Safe Mode, too. so that you can reinstall or
remove as required once the
Restore your PC to before you restore process is complete.
installed the program As a last resort, you could
Another way to get rid of stubborn consider restoring from a system
programs is to use System Restore. Click image backup made before the
Start, type system restore, press Enter, program was installed (if you Good uninstaller tools, like Wise Program Uninstaller,
then click System Restore. Check Choose have one). However, bear in also clean up leftover files after removing a program
a dierent restore point, click Next, then mind that doing this will also
tick the Show more restore points box return all your les to the state What you shouldnt do is manually delete
(see screenshot below) and look for a they were when you made the backup. les and folders you nd in your Program
restore point created before the program One way around this would be to make a Files, Program Data or Windows folders.
separate backup of your les Randomly removing les here can cause
as they currently are, then other programs and possibly even
restore these after you restore Windows itself to become unstable.
your system image, but the Many dedicated uninstaller tools
process is a hassle and best will prompt you to perform a deep clean
avoided, if possible. after you carry out any standard
installation, and some appear to work
What if a program I better than others. IObit Uninstallers
uninstall leaves les Powerful scan, for example, often missed
behind? registry entries and residual les that
Sadly, far too many programs Wise Program Uninstaller was able to
leave clutter in their wake uncover (see screenshot above). Its safe
when you uninstall them. to carry out a deep clean but, as ever, we
If you cant uninstall a program, restore your PC to a time Most of this is harmless, but recommend creating a system restore
before it was installed to remove it its messy and takes up space. point before any uninstallation.
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56 21 June 4 July 2017


Help With Hobbies

Meteorology
Theres so much more to the weather than what the
weatherman says. Mike Plant explains how to keep
an eye on the sky without leaving your house
Turn your phone into a Barometer (also known as Barometer:
barometer www.snipca.com/24638), while iOS
If you have a smartphone its probably users should install Barometer &
tted with a barometer. It helps to correct Altimeter (www.snipca.com/24639).
inaccuracies in your phones GPS tracking Dont be disappointed if the apps dont
when youre at any kind of altitude. Most show you too much information at rst
people dont make use of the barometer they can take about three hours before
itself because they dont know its there, they display pressure charts and other
but by installing the right app you can data (this will all happen in the bakground
use your phone to monitor atmospheric so you can continue using your phone as
Click this to access Windys hidden settings
pressure. normal). To access charts and trends in menu to see more information
Android users should try Barometer mu Barometer, for example, tap the Settings
Reborn (www.snipca.com/24637) or mu icon (the cog at the bottom left), then tick strength and direction across the world.
Show pressure graph and Show You can also add overlays of cloud cover,
Altimeter Indicator (see screenshot left). temperature, rainfall and so on using the
icons on the right. For even more control,
Record rainfall in an app click the three vertical dots (see
Tracking how much rain falls on your screenshot above) to see a series of sliders
garden or allotment can help if you grow that will let you tweak it.
fruit and vegetables. Free Android app,
Rainlogger (www.snipca.com/ 24640), Scientic cloud gazing
lets you keep track of multiple rain If you want to categorise passing clouds a
gauges (like this one available for 6 from little more scientically than the usual
Amazon: www.snipca.com/24647) that that one looks like a dog, then the
you place across your garden. You need to International Cloud Atlas the ocial
Tick these boxes to see atmospheric pressure check on each rain gauge at roughly the site of the World Meteorological
trends on the mu Barometer Android app same time each day. Organization is well worth a visit
First install the app, choose a unit of (www.wmocloudatlas.org). It has pages
measure, then tap the + icon to start of information on clouds, but if youre
SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE
adding your rain gauges. Add a name (for only after the basics youll nd photos of
Coin collecting example, allotment), then enter the size the recognised cloud types at www.
As a keen coin collector, I was eager to of your rain gauge (250mm, for example). snipca.com/24603, and youll nd a ow
see what programs you might suggest As you place your rain gauge, tap Get chart designed to help you correctly
for cataloguing a collection (Issue 501, current GPS to add your gauges exact identify any cloud thats overhead at
page 57). As it turns out you location. Tap Save, then tap the name of www.snipca.com/24602.
recommended OpenNumismat, a the gauge to open it.
program Id dabbled with in the past When the calendar screen opens, tap Where is it snowing now?
myself. As good as it is, I wanted to the relevant date, use the slider to record We might be in the midst of a British
suggest another program: Excel. I the amount of rainfall and add any notes summer, but its still snowing somewhere.
customised a spreadsheet to make it in the More information section. To see Snow-Forecast.coms maps (www.snipca.
perfect for my collection and can even graphs of your recorded rainfall, tap the com/24609) let you see where it will
paste images of each coin into it. Even Settings icon (the three horizontal lines at snow in the next week. Snowfall is
better, as its an Excel spreadsheet, I can the top left), then Charts. iOS users can indicated by colour gradients, starting
open it on my friends PCs without any use the similar Rain Log app (www. with green (1-10cm) and progressing
trouble. Sometimes the easiest snipca.com/24644, $2.99 around 2.30). through orange, cyan, purple, yellow and
solutions really are the best. red (150-250cm). Click any map to
Douglas Cook Where the wind blows enlarge it. Some maps are covered by live
Windys website (www.snipca.com/ camera feeds. To see if any are available,
Send your own tips covering any of 24607) and app (Android: www.snipca. click the Webcams link at the bottom of
our past Help With Hobbies pages to
editor@computeractive.co.uk com/24619, iOS: www.snipca.com/ each map, then click the icons that
24620) lets you keep track of wind appear on the map to see footage.

21 June 4 July 2017 57


BANISH
Microsofts
adverts from
Windows 10
Windows 10 is rife with adverts, suggestions and nags intent on selling you
Microsoft products. Mike Plant explains what you need to do to switch them off

Y
oull recognise the screenshot Disable every Start
below as Windows 10s Start menu advert
menu. To be exact, its the Look at the screenshot below left and
untouched, mint condition Start youll see the Start menu is indeed a rife
menu that greets you when you reset with sponsored content. Weve ringed
Windows 10 using the Reset this PC tool two obvious examples the advert for the
(see Issue 498, page 58, for more on that). game Dead Rising 4 available on the
Now take a closer look: how many Microsoft Store app and the orange Get
adverts can you see? Well give you a clue, Oce tile just above it but others are
there are more adverts than you have more subtle.
ngers on one hand no make that two The Skype Preview app, for example,
hands we counted 13 in total. isnt the full Skype app (which you can
And thats just the tip of the iceberg. get from www.snipca.com/24539).
Microsoft subjects you to all kinds of Instead its a beta version thats not fully
promotional material as you use developed. The ve games in the Play
Windows 10. Keep reading and well tell section (after the Solitaire app) arent Stopping app suggestions reduces the
you how to stop all of Windows 10s apps you have installed on your PC, but number of adverts and tidies your Start menu
adverts starting with those in the adverts that take you to the Windows 10
Start menu. Store if you click them. could be any app) is dierent again.
The Phototastic tile (to the Right-click the tile, click More, then
left of Get Oce) also directs Turn Live Tile o.
you to the Store, as does the
Keeper Password Manager tile Remove suggested
(the padlock at the bottom Start menu apps
right of the Explore section) Another irritating intervention on your
and the Facebook, Twitter and Start menu are app suggestions, which
MSN News tiles. appear in the Suggested section of your
Fortunately, getting rid of Start menu (see screenshot above). The
tiles that take you to the way to stop these nuisances is to hide the
Windows Store is pretty Suggested section entirely.
straightforward. Right-click To do that, right-click the suggested
each in turn and select Unpin app in the list, click Turn o all
from Start. The Skype Preview suggestions, then in the window that
app is a little dierent. For this appears, switch o the Occasionally
you need to right-click it, click show suggestions in Start slider.
Uninstall, then Uninstall again.
Removing the advert from Avoid lock screen adverts
The Start menu comes riddled with adverts that look like the Windows Store app (Dead Theres a good chance that the last time
standard tiles Rising 4 in our example, but it you logged on to your PC you saw an

58 21 June 4 July 2017


BLOCK NEW FILE EXPLORER ADVERTS
With its recent Windows 10 Creators online storage service), but theres nothing
Update (see our Cover Feature in Issue to stop Microsoft using the space to sell
501), Microsoft managed to smuggle in a just about anything.
new advertising method buried within To stop these adverts, open File
File Explorer. Explorer, click View, Options, Change
These adverts only appear from time folder and search options, the View tab,
to time, but when they do they typically then scroll down through the Advanced
take up the top third of the File Explorer settings and untick the Show sync
window. So far theyve been used to steer provider notications box. Click Apply to
Disable Windows spotlight to stop adverts on people towards OneDrive (Microsofts save your changes.
your lock screen for Microsoft products

advert. They sit on the Windows 10 lock Click Start, Settings, System,
screen and try to og you Microsofts Notications & actions, scroll down
apps and programs (see screenshot to the Notications section, then switch
above). However, some adverts completely o the Get tips, tricks and suggestions
takeover the lock screen. The most famous as you use Windows slider (see
example was an advert for a Tomb Raider screenshot below left). While youre
computer game that took you directly to here, you should also switch o the
its listing on the Windows Store. slider immediately beneath it to stop
To block these adverts, you need to Microsoft bombarding you with
change your lock-screen type from messages about Windows latest features
Windows spotlight to Picture. To do whenever theres an update.
this, click Start, Settings, Personalization,
Lock screen (on the left), then select Stop seeing Oce365 oers
Picture from the Background dropdown Besides slapping a Get Oce tile on
menu. Choose an image (click Browse to your Start menu, Microsoft also nags
select one of your own), then move the you with pop-ups that try to sell its
Get fun facts... slider to O. Oce365 subscription package. One way Even Windows Ink displays suggested apps
If you want to continue using to stop these is to delete the Get Oce but you can turn them off
Windows spotlight, you can control the app altogether. Open the Start menu,
image shown while on the lock screen. right-click the app, click Uninstall, then these senders section and switch o the
Simply click the Like what you see? link Uninstall again. slider next to OneDrive.
in the top-right corner, then Not a fan. However, Get Oce can reappear
This wont prevent adverts from appearing, following major Windows updates Silence Cortana
but will let you dismiss them when they do. (such as the Anniversary and Creators Left unchecked, Microsofts digital
Updates). Therefore, instead of personal assistant Cortana is likely to pipe
Tame taskbar pop-ups uninstalling the app entirely, you can up with suggestions and Microsoft oers
Keen to increase the take-up rate of its simply banish its nags. To do that, click known as Taskbar tidbits. To disable
Edge browser, Microsoft bombards you Start, Settings, then Notications & these you need to delve into Cortanas
with pop-ups on the taskbar urging you actions. Scroll down to the Get settings. Click the Cortana search bar (its
to give it a go. If youre tired of seeing notications from these senders section usually just to right of the Start menu
Learn more with Microsoft Edge and switch o the Get Oce slider. button), the Settings (cog) icon, then
notications, for example, you can If you dont see the Get Oce slider, switch o the Taskbar tidbits slider.
stop them. it means youve uninstalled the app
already or the app hasnt yet nagged Stop Windows Ink suggestions
you with any oers. If the latter is Microsofts stylus-supporting tool
the case, when the Oce365 Windows Ink might be more suited to use
pop-ups appear go through the on a tablet or touchscreen PC, but you
instructions above. can still use it to draw and jot down notes
on a non-touchscreen PC. To open it,
Banish OneDrive nags right-click the taskbar, click Show
Should you ever ll the free 5GB Windows Ink Workspace button, then
space you get with your OneDrive click the button that appears in the
account, youll soon start seeing notications area. Annoyingly, this also
pop-ups advising you to buy extra launches adverts for suggested apps (see
space. To stop these notications, screenshot above). To stop seeing these,
click Start, Settings, System, click Start, Settings, Devices, Pen &
Stop Microsoft promoting its Edge browser and Notications & actions, then scroll Windows Ink, then switch o the Show
other features by turning these sliders off down to the Get notications from recommended app suggestions slider.

21 June 4 July 2017 59


Watch
the world
from your PC
From planes to trains, and eagles to sharks,
the web can be used to track just about
anything in real time. Mike Plant reveals
the best websites and apps to watch
the world go by

A
t the very moment we write around the world. thrown in for good
this a great white shark is Ocearchs website shows a measure). Download the
patrolling the waters just a few map of the world with Animal Tracker app
miles o the coast of Brenton- tracked sharks represented (Android or iOS). Once
on-Sea, South Africa; the International by a dot (see screenshot done, youll see the world
Space Station (ISS) is directly above the below left). The red dots map with numbered icons
North Atlantic Ocean (at 6.523, -12.789 indicate sharks that have on it. Tap any icon to zoom
to be exact); an East Midlands Train recently been tracked, in and see the individual
(registration C81986) has just left while the blue dots are birds, then tap one to see
Derby bound for Crewe; and a bald those that havent been its information and
eagle is having a rest in the Plum Tree seen for 30 days because movement data (see
Island National Wildlife Refuge in the shark hasnt come near screenshot). You can also
Virginia, USA. the surface. Click a dot, tap the star icon to mark
How do we know? Because weve then click Shark prole to Keep tabs on bird migration it as a favourite so you can
patterns using the Animal
found apps and websites that turn nd out the species and Tracker app nd it more quickly
complex satellite and tracking data into gender of the shark, and to next time.
real-time maps that we can watch on see any available photos. You can also
our PC, tablet and mobile phone click the View track button to see an PLANES, TRAINS,
whenever we want. Read on to nd out overlay of the sharks movements on AUTOMOBILES AND SHIPS
how you can track all of the above and the map. Flightradar24
plenty more besides. www.ightradar24.com
WWF polar bear map Flightradar24 lets you identify any
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE www.snipca.com/24563 plane ying overhead, or see the air
Ocearch shark tracker The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) uses trac across the entire world. Just go
www.ocearch.org data from radio collars tted to female to the website to see a map displaying
Find out if it really is safe to go back in polar bears to map their locations thousands of moving plane icons each
the water by keeping tabs on sharks (apparently the collars wont t on males one representing a real aircraft. Click an
as their necks are broader than their aircraft to see its designation, destination,
heads). Click any of the polar bear icons speed and more youll also see a blue
on the map to get more information line indicating its ight path so far. Click
about that bear, including images and the + and - signs on the right, or use
details of any cubs it has. the scroll wheel on your mouse, to zoom
in and out. You can subscribe for $9.99 a
Animal Tracker year (around 7.70) for even more plane
www.orn.mpg.de/animal_tracker information and to remove the adverts.
Ideal for ornithologists, Animal Tracker There are also Android (www.snipca.
lets you follow the migratory routes of com/24583) and iOS (www.snipca.
birds around the world, including bald com/24584) apps that let you access
Thankfully for us, at least Carl the great eagles, black vultures and ospreys (there the same information on your tablet
white shark doesnt leave US waters are even a couple of ying fox bats and phone.

60 21 June 4 July 2017


Raildar going. You can also get a free Vessel
www.raildar.co.uk/radar.html Finder app for Android (www.snipca.
TRACK YOURSELF
By plotting live data from the UKs com/24586) and iOS (www.snipca. To save yourself
various train operators on a map, Raildar com/24585). having to text the
pinpoints the exact location of the person youre on
locomotives across the countrys rail OUTER SPACE the way to meet
network. You wont quite see the trains ISS Tracker that youre nearly
move in real-time as with Flightradar24; www.isstracker.com there, you can let
instead the map refreshes every few Until we started watching the them track your
seconds. Each train is colour coded International Space Station orbit the location via Google
according to its operator. Click one to earth we hadnt fully appreciated just Maps instead.
see its timetable information. how quickly its moving around Open Google Maps
17,000mph. ISS Tracker overlays a live on your tablet or
feed of the ISSs location, showing where phone, tap the
on Earth its passing over. You can tweak three horizontal
the horizon line, the orbital path and the lines to the left of the search bar, then
units (Imperial or Metric) using the tick tap Share location. Click the contact
boxes at the bottom of the map (see icon (top-right see screenshot), then
screenshot below). choose an amount of time you want to
share your location with this person.
Next, tap Select people, select the
relevant contact(s), then tap Share. The
recipient will receive an email with a
link that opens Google Maps with your
location shown in real time.
Click any train on Raildar to see its timetable
and news of delays
WEATHER SYSTEMS
Tube Map Live Earth weather map
www.snipca.com/24553 www.snipca.com/24555
For those interested in the London Called simply earth, this planet-wide
Underground, the Tube Map Live app for ISS Tracker gives a good sense of just how view displays weather systems, ocean-
iOS is a must (sadly the app, or an quickly the space station is moving surface temperature, ocean waves and
equivalent, isnt available on Android). It pollution levels. Click and drag the earth
shows trains as they move in real-time The Sky Live to spin it and use the mouse wheel to
and also displays a live ticker-tape feed of www.snipca.com/24548 zoom in and out. Click earth at the
the current status of each line. Pinch the This online planetarium shows an bottom-left to change the info displayed.
screen to zoom in and out and tap any interactive map of space that lets you For example, click Ocean (to the left of
line shown on the ticker tape to hide the monitor planets, asteroids, comets and Mode), then Waves (see screenshot
trains on that particular line. space probes. Use your mouse to rotate below) to see an overlay of average wave
the view and zoom in and out using the speed and direction.
Trac England slider at the top-right (or the mouse
www.tracengland.com wheel). To nd a particular type of space
You wont see individual cars, but Trac object, click it in the bar along the top
England does show you a live map of (Comets for example), then click or
trac ow across the UKs major roads search for the objects name. Click the
based on information provided by High Precision Live Sky Chart link (see
sensors on the roads. Green means the screenshot below) to see information of
trac is owing freely, while yellow, red that objects present, past and future
and black (in order of decreasing trac journey through space.
ow) indicate slow-moving trac and Earth lets you see overlays
rl of weather, ocean
temperature, waves and pollution
jams. A road that displays a chequered
pattern is currently closed. UK rainfall
www.snipca.com/24547
Vessel Finder The MET Oces UK rainfall radar map
www.vesselnder.com shows rain across the country. Blue areas
The nautical equivalent of Flightradar24, indicate light showers, with green,
Vessel Finder shows the location of yellow, orange, red, purple and white
ships across the seven seas. Zoom out indicating ever heavier rainfall. Click the
to see global sea trac and click play button at the maps base to watch
individual ships to see information the last few hours of rain.
including a photo, the ships Once you have chosen a space object to keep See Help with Hobbies, page 57, for more
designation and details of where its an eye on, click this to see its exact location meteorological tips

21 June 4 July 2017 61


Problems Solved
PROBLEM OF THE FORTNIGHT Can I use a mouse
with my tablet?
Can I still use My laptop is out of action so Im
dial-up internet? Q having to use an ancient
(second-generation) Nexus 7
Were retiring to a green and tablet. Control is either via very amateur
Q pleasant part of this country.
Broadband is coming to our
nger tapping at the on-screen keyboard
together with an unresponsive stylus, or
remote region but not until the end of a Bluetooth keyboard in use for the rst
the year. Obviously, I need a way to time. My productivity is currently
connect in the meantime. I thought a severely curtailed, and I really miss not
mobile broadband dongle might do but being able to use a mouse. Is there any
scouting trips suggest that the signal is way to use a mouse with my tablet? I
patchy so theres no guarantee well currently have two PC mice a wireless
get a connection that way. It occurred Logitech and very old wired Dell.
to me that I still have my old 56Kbps David Bensley
modem somewhere, last used over a
decade ago. Would it be possible to use You can, and its really easy. All
this for a basic online connection?
Would it work with my Windows 10
A you need is whats known as a
USB OTG (on-the-go) cable,
PC? If so, how would I go about it? Set up a dial-up connection in Windows 10 which can be bought very cheaply (99p
Whatever happened to the dial-up via the Network & Internet setting from Amazon, for example, from www.
panel in Windows? I really dont know snipca.com/24404, pictured below). Pop
where to begin, or even if its Once you have the modem installed the small (male) end of this into your
worthwhile but I only need an email then youll need to set up a dial-up Nexus 7 and then slot your mouses
link, so perhaps dial-up would do? connection. Once upon a time this standard USB connector into the OTG
Pat Fuller would have involved a monthly cables (female) socket. No further setup
subscription to an ISP. But today, and is required. A mouse pointer should
Yes, its possible. A 56Kbps for your purposes, a pay-as-you-go appear on your tablets screen in just a
A connection would be painfully
slow but it would suce for
service such as Freeola (www.freeola.
com) will do the job it charges 2p per
few seconds.
Incidentally, were assuming that the
email. minute for access. wireless mouse has its own USB wireless-
We cant say for certain whether or In Windows 10, click Start followed transmitter dongle. This should work just
not your current modem would work by the settings cog, then Network & as well when plugged into the OTG cable.
with your Windows 10 PC. If the Internet followed by Dial-up. Next, However, be warned that your Nexus will
modem is on an expansion card and click Set up a new connection (see have to power the wireless connection
you have a desktop PC, open up your screenshot), Connect to the Internet, and this will cause the battery to drain
PC, plug the modem into a spare PCI then Next. Now click Dial-up and then much quicker whenever youre using the
slot and see what happens. Windows 10 ll in the form with the connection mouse.
has a load of basic drivers built in, but details (for Freeola, this means typing
its also good at downloading the latest 0845 123 2035 in the Dial-up phone
versions of software where available. number box and then anything in the
The same is true for an external User name and Password boxes). Tick
modem that connects via USB, so if Remember this password, then click
thats what your modem is then plug it Create followed by Close.
in and see what happens. If youve When youre ready to connect, return
retained the modems original driver to the Dial-up screen in Network &
disc and Windows prompts you for it, internet, click Dial-up Connection
then pop it in and hope for the best. followed by Connect, then Dial.
If your PC wont recognise or work Finally, wait for those familiar
with the old modem then modern dial-up screeches and perhaps
replacements are reasonably aordable prepare to emit some yourself when
(such as this 11 model from Amazon youre reminded just how slow this
www.snipca.com/24338). form of internet is! Connect a USB OTG cable like this to control
your tablet using a mouse

64 21 June 4 July 2017


Our experts solve all your tech problems
Email us your problem and well try to help: noproblem@computeractive.co.uk

Can I add my Wi-Fi card to my laptops


white list?
I bought an 802.11ac
Q wireless router, and
wanted to update my The only way to get around this
HP laptop to make full use of would be to replace the BIOS with a
802.11acs faster speeds. I bought a hacked version that removes the
replacement Wi-Fi card, which I built-in white list. While this is not
tted without problems. However, impossible it can be very dicult, and
when I powered up I got an error is also fraught with risk. Getting it
message. This is apparently down to wrong could render your laptop
the BIOS having a white list that permanently useless.
wont allow such upgrades. Is this Make sure you can upgrade your laptops Wi-Fi In the rst instance wed suggest
correct? If so, am I stuck with the card before trying to fit a replacement checking your laptops manual for a list
old card, or is there a way to get around of supported (white listed) components.
the white list? The new network card is includes the Wi-Fi card. If that list happens to include an 802.11ac
an Intel Wireless-AC 7260 (pictured). HP is not alone in applying rmware- Wi-Fi card then youre in luck you can
Mark Brittain level white lists, though they very rarely buy and t that part. If you dont have the
aect the most commonly upgraded parts manual, you should be able to download
Youre not going to like our (meaning the hard drive and memory). it from www.hp.com.
A answer but youve almost
certainly wasted your money.
But a Wi-Fi card is a radio transmitter
and HP must adhere to all sorts of
The only alternative is to ash the
BIOS with a hacked version. For security
For better or worse the white list is real, international and local regulations. So, reasons alone we wouldnt recommend
and implemented by HP at the rmware even though its relatively easy to replace this but if youre determined to proceed
level to prevent the installation of parts the physical component, getting the visit the forums at www.bios-mods.com.
not considered to be ocially compatible. necessary legal permissions to use a Search for your exact laptop model and
The white list applies only to certain particular part in a particular territory is BIOS version and see what the
components, but sadly for you this a whole dierent ball game. community has to say.

Why does Windows break my touchpad?


I have this strange problem. documents.
Q When I switch on my
Windows laptop the built-in
The fact that your
touchpad is working
touchpad works right up until I actually right up until Windows
access Windows. What I mean is that takes over means that
on the Windows login screen I can for whatever reason the
move my nger across the touchpad devices own driver has
and the cursor will move, as expected. been disabled. We cant
However, when Windows properly say how or why this
launches thats it no more touchpad happened but its easy
control! Its driving me potty. Any enough to switch it
ideas? back on.
Jonathan Willis Click Start, then the
settings cog, then click
Your laptop relies on a basic, Devices followed by
A default driver right up until
Windows has nished
Touchpad. Next, in the
right-hand pane under Re-enable your failed touchpads driver in Mouse Properties
launching. At that point, the touchpads Related settings click
driver should take over, enabling any Additional settings. In the Mouse (there should be only one), then click
additional features that it might have Properties box that appears, select the Enable (see screenshot) followed by OK.
such as smartphone-style multitouch Device Settings tab, make sure the Your touchpad should work right
gestures or swipes to scroll through touchpad is selected under Devices away but, if not, a restart should x it.

21 June 4 July 2017 65


Problems Solved
Can I speed up random-text creation?
How do I ditch Ive been dabbling with You dont need a macro. Word
Windows 10 Q document design using Word
A 2013 actually has its own Lorem

Photos? 2013. For layout purposes, I


sometimes need to create placeholder
Ipsum text generator, which is
accessed at any time simply by typing
text columns that I ll with dummy =lorem() within the document and then
I have been a subscriber to (random) Lorem Ipsum text (see pressing Enter. That will create ve
Q Computeractive for many
years and always found it
screenshot below) from the website
www.lipsum.com. This website is very
paragraphs of random text. If you want to
specify a specic number, type a number
very useful. I now need your help useful because it generates an exact in the brackets, such as =lorem(7). You
with a specic problem. I am not number of paragraphs, and I then cut can even specify how many sentences
happy with the Windows 10 Photos and paste the results into Word. However, there are in each paragraph. Typing
app, and want instead to be able to I wonder if theres a way to automate this =lorem(7,2) (see screenshot below), for
access each photo for editing or process. Is a macro the answer? instance, will give you seven paragraphs
repair using another image-editing Carl Holland of two sentences in length.
program that I have always used. Can
you please tell me how to do this? At
one time it was easy, but since
Windows 10 everything seems more
dicult to nd.
Paul Bentley

You didnt tell us which


A program you want to use,
but can you rst check its
denitely installed. If not, do so and, Lorem Ipsum text is useful as a placeholder Adding numbers to this formula gives you a
if prompted, allow it to manage all when laying out documents specific quantity of Lorem Ipsum paragraphs
the le types its able to handle or
at least JPEG, which is the le format
used by most digital photos. Once
thats done, simply double-clicking a
Do I need all these Nvidia updates?
photo le in File Explorer will launch I recently installed an Nvidia Its always sensible to have
your preferred image-editing tool.
If this doesnt work, or you had
Q GeForce GT 740 graphics card.
Because of the regularity of
A the latest drivers installed.
However, GeForce Experience
the other tool installed before its driver updates I have disabled the itself is really all about ensuring your
upgrading from Windows 7 or 8.1 to automatic driver update option in system is optimised for specic games.
Windows 10, then you need to tell GeForce Experience. The updates all If youre not playing these games then
the operating system to use that tool seem to be associated with optimising it these drivers and settings are unlikely
instead of the Photos app. First, press for the latest video games and are usually to be of any benet to you so no, you
Windows key+E to launch File hundreds of megabytes in size. Video dont need them.
Explorer, then right-click a photo games will never feature on my PC, In fact, you dont need GeForce
le, point to Open with, then click although I like to dabble with video Experience either. Its not itself a driver,
Choose another app. editing. Do I really need these regular but a companion app that both keeps
Next, under the Other options driver updates? the cards driver up to date and optimises
heading (see screenshot), scroll John Reynolds the settings for a wide variety of popular
through the list of programs to nd games. If you dont
the one you want, click to select, tick use anything that it
the Always use this box to open oers then feel free
[.jpg] les, then click OK. to uninstall it.
In Windows 10,
rst click Start,
the settings cog,
Right-click followed by Apps.
a photo file,
Now scroll through
then click
Choose the list of installed
another apps to nd then
app for click GeForce
options to
edit your Experience. Finally,
image Uninstall GeForce Experience in Apps & features to stop unnecessary click Uninstall twice
updates (see screenshot).

66 21 June 4 July 2017


Can I dial with voice commands alone?
I have a hands-free device safe. Visit Gov.UKs website (www.snipca.
Q clipped to my cars sun visor
for receiving calls. However, I
com/24568) to review the law and
government advice on using a mobile
cannot make a call without going to phone when driving.
Contacts on my Nexus 5 phone, so cannot To use it, say OK Google followed by
make calls on the move. Could you advise Call and then the name of the relevant
me whether there is an app that would contact OK Google call John Smith,
dial entries in the Contacts app by using for example. No internet connection is
voice commands? It would have to work required for using basic commands
oine as I dont have data as part of my like this. If it doesnt work, rst check
contract. that your phone is up to date. From the
John Miller home screen tap Settings, then swipe up
and tap About phone right at the
Your phone can already do this. bottom. Now tap System updates and, if
A If you have Android 6.0.1
installed, which is the latest and
an update is available, tap Download
followed by Restart & Install. You might
last edition available for the Nexus 5, then need to repeat this several times to bring Enable voice dialling on your phone by
it should be enabled by default. your phone right up to date. switching this setting on
The Nexus 5s voice commands are If voice dialling still doesnt work,
truly hands-free, so you can dial without check that the feature is enabled. Return Now tap Ok Google detection [sic],
taking even a nger o the wheel. This to Settings but this time tap Language & and slide the From any screen and
makes it legal to use, but not necessarily input followed by Google voice typing. switch to the On position.

Why am I upside down in Skype?


Why am I upside down when In Skype, click Tools followed by manycam.com. Wed suggest clearing
Q making video calls with Skype?
Several people have tried to
Options. Now, in the left-hand pane,
click Video settings and then, in the
the tick from the Add MyStartShield
extension to Google Chrome box when
help me correct this, but to no avail. right-hand pane, click Webcam prompted, because you dont want
Can you help? settings. The settings panel will depend or need it.
Julie Bird on your laptops webcam, but youre In ManyCam, select the Video tab
probably looking for a tickbox labelled then, under the Flip & Rotate
This will be because of an Flip: either tick or clear it, as appropriate. heading near the bottom, click Flip
A option in your webcams
driver. These often include a
If you cant nd such an option then
you can install a virtual webcam driver
vertically. Now switch back to the
Video settings pane in Skype,
setting to ip or mirror the image, to give you the options you need, and open the dropdown menu next to
because the screens of many laptops many more besides. Grab and install the Select webcam and choose
can now be rotated through 180 degrees. free version of ManyCam from www. ManyCam Virtual Webcam.

In ManyCams virtual webcam driver click Flip vertically then select ManyCam in Skypes Video settings

21 June 4 July 2017 67


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Problems Solved
?
? Whats the difference between...
megabits and megabytes?
I switched to Virgin transported across a
Q broadband for its 300Mbps
speed. In my chats with Virgin
line each second. Later,
as speeds improved,
its sta kept saying megabits per this became thousands
second, when I always thought it was of bits (kilobits) per
megabytes per second. It was then second and then
that I realised I dont actually know the millions megabits.
dierence! I was too embarrassed to However, an
ask Virgin, so will you help me out? individual bit isnt
Ive see both megabits and megabytes much use to humans:
mentioned in your magazine. its either a one or a Eight megabits are equal to one megabyte
Sid Haslam zero. A group of eight
of those ones and zeros represents a broadband. Modern broadband speeds
These two terms sound very byte. A byte can be used to store an are actually fast enough to be usefully
A similar but theyre
fundamentally dierent units,
individual character, such as a letter of
the alphabet. A kilobyte is a thousand
measured in MB/s a 300Mbps
connection is 37.5MB/s, for example
and by an order of magnitude. bytes (actually 1,024, but lets keep it but thats just not the convention.
Theres history behind why megabits simple), and a megabyte just over a This question is a ne example of
per second (or Mbps) became the million of them. how easily some terminologies and
preferred measurement for broadband Like most of the industry we use Mbps technologies are all too easily confused,
speeds. In the online worlds earliest to denote megabits per second, and so weve decided to make a regular
days connections were measured in MB/s for megabytes per second. The feature of it in Problems Solved.
bits per second (bps), meaning latter is generally used when referring to Want to know the dierence between
literally the number of individual bits memory or drive-transfer speeds, as these technical terms? Email us at noproblem@
of computer data that could be devices work much quicker than computeractive.co.uk.

What are all these thumbs.bd and desktop.ini files?


I am using Windows 10 and Ive those thumbnails. Desktop.ini, on the folders might slow down slightly. Theyll
Q recently noticed some small les
appearing in various places
other hand, stores specic information
about a folder, such as how and where its
also be recreated regularly, so its a bit
pointless. There is a registry hack to
usually called thumbs.bd or desktop.ini. displayed when you open it. prevent the creation of thumbs.db, but
It seems the les can be deleted without No harm will come of deleting these its better to hide system les unless or
causing problems, but why have they les but the operation of the related until you need to deal with them.
suddenly appeared? What are they In any folder window, select the View
for? Can they be stopped? tab, click Options, then Change folder
John Castree and search options. Now, in the Folder
Options box, select the View tab and,
These les are completely under Advanced settings, choose Dont
A normal and youll nd
them all over your hard
show hidden les, folders, or drives (see
screenshot), then click OK.
drive, but only if youve enabled an
ON SALE
option to show system les. Our
guess is that you did that recently,
NEXT ISSUE Weds
July 5
perhaps in response to some How do I remove words
unrelated advice weve oered. from Outlook.coms dictionary?
Theyre created automatically by Why is Outlook slowing down
Windows, both to save time and to
my PC?
remember settings. Thumbs.db will
Whats wrong with my System
be created in any folder that
Restore?
contains images and in which youve
...And many more
viewed those images as thumbnails.
Its a cache le used by Windows to Select this option in the Folder Options settings to Subscribe to Computeractive
speed up subsequent display of hide thumbnail and desktop information files at getcomputeractive.co.uk

21 June 4 July 2017 69


Problems Solved

Reader Support
Having a problem with our recommended software or expert tips?
Email editor@computeractive.co.uk and well do our best to help
Can an old Chromecast
cast my desktop?
option to Run as Administrator doesnt
appear. Any suggestions? A The rst thing to ensure when
setting up Mouse without Borders

Q In Issue 503 (page 27), you describe


how to use a Chromecast to use a TV
Dave Pearce (MWB) is that both of your PCs are
connected to the same network. Once
as a monitor, but I have a rst-generation
Chromecast and the method doesnt
work. Am I correct in assuming that
A We didnt encounter any problems
when installing StExBar, but it
sounds like your PC is struggling to gain
done, open MWB on both PCs. If this
was the rst time you were opening it
you would see the prompt we referred to.
only the new Chromecast (www.snipca. access to its registry, which is necessary However, because youve already been
com/24595) can stream my PCs desktop if its to install new programs. Because trying to use it, were going to assume
to the TV? the Run as Administrator option isnt that it now opens to its main window
Ron Duncan working for you, try logging on to your (the one with three tabs at the top
PCs Administrator account directly. Machine Setup, Other Options and

A The original Chromecast should be


able to cast your PCs desktop in
the same way as the second-generation
To do this, right-click the Start button,
then click Windows PowerShell (Admin).
Note, if your PC hasnt updated to the
IP Mappings).
In this window (on both PCs), click
Go through the setup experience at the
version. First, plug your Chromecast into Creators Update yet, youll need to select bottom right, then click Yes. This will
your TV as normal, then use your TV Command Prompt (Admin) instead. Either make the Lets get started screen appear,
remote to select it from your TVs input way, next type net user administrator / just as it would have done the rst time
options. Next, open Chrome, click the active:yes in the PowerShell box (or copy you opened MWB.
menu icon (the three vertical dots at the the text from www.pastebin.com/ Its important you set up each PC in
top right), then click Cast. When the Cast raw/1NPpy9jx), then press Enter. Now turn. So go rst to the PC you consider
to box opens, look for the small arrow restart your PC. On the login screen, your main computer (well refer to this as
just to the right of the Cast to header, select the new Administrator account, PC 1), then click No on the Lets get
click it, then click Cast desktop (see which wont require a password. started screen. Youll see an Almost
screenshot below). Now click the name Try installing the program again. Once done message, and under that youll see
of your Chromecast in the box. Click Yes its installed, restart your PC again and a security code and your PCs name (see
if a Google Cast Screen Sharing Request log in using your own account, from where PC 1 screenshot below left).
pop-up message appears. Your PCs you should be able to access StExBar. Now go to your second computer (PC 2)
desktop should now appear on your TV and click Yes. Youll now see a screen
screen. Is Mouse without Borders with two empty elds Security code
broken? and Other computers name. Enter the
The first-
generation
Chromecast can
Q I was eager to try the Mouse without
Borders tool covered in Issue 501
(page 58). I tried to set it up for two PCs,
code and the name of your main
computer into these elds exactly as they
appear on PC 1s screen (it is case
cast your PCs
desktop to your
but I didnt see the No prompt you sensitive see PC 2 screenshot below).
TV but you must referred to when setting it up, meaning I Click Link (beneath the two elds) and
make sure you couldnt get a security code. you should be able to control both PCs
select the correct Robert Brody with one mouse.
source
PC 1 PC 2
Why wont StExBar install?
Q I tried to install StExBar while
following your Workshop in Issue
503 (page 38), but I keep seeing a
pop-up message that says The system Enter the security
administrator has set policies to prevent code and PC name
this installation. Ive seen this message exactly as they
before and the usual solution is to right- appear so that
Mouse without
click the installer, then click Run as Borders can connect
Administrator. This time, however, the your PCs

70 21 June 4 July 2017


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Ink Cartridges Photo Papers Albums & Frames


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No.18 Set of 4 30.99 7x5 20 sheets 11.99 Baby 29x32cm 100 pages 12.99 Rio 7x5 four colours 6.99
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Colours 14ml each 10.99 6x4 50 sheets 10.99 Heavyweight Matte 167gsm:
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Compatibles: No.18 Set of 4 14.99 A3 50 sheets 32.99
Set of 8 27.99 No.18 Black 12ml A3 20 sheets 27.99
3.99 A3+ 20 sheets 44.99 A3+ 50 sheets 46.99
Colours 14ml each 3.99 No.18 Colours 12ml each 3.99
PGi9 No.24 USB Pen Drives
Pixma Pro 9500
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Set of 10 44.99 No.24XL Colours 8.7ml each 14.99 T0711-T0714 Originals:
Colours 14ml each 4.99 Compatibles:
No.24 Set of 6 22.99
Cheetah Inks
Originals:
No.300 Black 4ml
No.300 Colour 4ml
12.99
14.99 Memory Batteries
More Canon Inks... No.301 Black 3ml 10.99
No.24 Black 7ml 3.99 Set of 4 42.99 No.301 Colour 3ml 13.49 SDHC & SDXC BP-511 for Canon 12.99
Originals: No.24 Colours 7ml each 3.99 Black 7.4ml 10.99 No.302 Black 3.5ml 10.99 Sandisk Blue LP-E6 for Canon 16.99
PGi520/CLi521 Set of 5 49.99 Colours 5.5ml each 10.99 No.302 Colour 4ml 12.99 33X (5MB/s) LP-E8 for Canon 12.99
PGi520 Black 19ml 11.99 No.26 Compatibles: No.350 Black 4.5ml 14.99 8GB 3.49 LP-E12 for Canon 12.99
CLi521 Colours 9ml 10.29 Polar Bear Inks Set of 4 14.99 No.351 Colour 3.5ml 17.99 16GB 4.99 EN-EL3E for Nikon 14.99
PGi525/CLi526 Set of 5 49.99 Black 7.4ml 3.99 No.363 Black 6ml 17.99 32GB 9.99
PGi525 Black 19ml 11.99 Originals: NB-2L/LH for Canon 9.99
Colours 5.5ml each 3.99 No.363 C/M/Y/PC/PM each 11.49 NB-6L for Canon 9.99
CLi526 Colours 9ml 10.29 No.26 Set of 4 35.99
No.363 SET OF 6 49.99
Sandisk Ultra
PGi550/CLi551 Set of 5 43.99 No.26 Black 6.2ml 9.99
T0791-T0796 No.364 Black 6ml 8.99
266X (40MB/s) NB-10L for Canon 12.99
PGi550 Black 15ml 10.99 No.26 Colours 4.5ml each 8.99 8GB 5.99 NP95 for Fuji 9.99
Owl Inks No.364 PB/C/M/Y 3ml each 7.99
CLi551 Colours 7ml 8.99 No.26XL Set of 4 63.99
No.364 SET OF 4 26.99
16GB 6.99 NPW126 for Fuji 12.99
No.26XL Black 12.1ml 16.99
PGi550/CLi551XL Set of 5 59.99 No.26XL Colours 9.7ml each 15.99 Originals: 32GB 11.99
No.364XL Black 14ml 15.99 64GB 21.99 EN-EL3e for Nikon 14.99
PGi550XL Black 22ml 12.99 Set of 6 88.99 No.364XL PB/C/M/Y 6ml each 15.99 EN-EL14 for Nikon 19.99
CLi551XL Colours 11ml 11.99 Compatibles: Colours 11.1ml each 14.99 No.364XL SET OF 4 59.99 Sandisk Extreme
PG540 Black 8ml 12.99 No.26 Set of 4 14.99 EN-EL15 for Nikon 24.99
Compatibles: No.920XL SET OF 4 51.99 600X (90MB/s)
PG540XL Black 21ml 19.99 No.26 Black 10ml 3.99
Set of 6 19.99 BLN-1 for Olympus 24.99
No.26 Colours 7ml each 3.99 No.932XL SET OF 4 50.99 16GB 9.99 BLC12 for Panasonic 23.99
CL541 Colour 8ml 16.99 Colours 11.1ml each 3.99 No.950XL SET OF 4 79.99 32GB 14.99
CL541XL Colour 15ml 19.99 64GB 27.99 FW50 for Sony 24.99
PG545XL Black 15ml 15.49 T0481-T0486 T0801-T0806 Compatibles: BX-1 for Sony 14.99
CL546XL Colour 13ml 16.99 Seahorse Inks No.15 Black 46ml 3.99 AA 1300mAh (4) 3.99
Hummingbird Inks No.21 Black 10ml 6.99 Compact Flash
Compatibles: Originals: Originals: No.22 Colour 21ml 11.99 Sandisk Ultra AAA 1100mAh (4) 3.99
PGi5 Black 27ml 4.99 Set of 6 89.99 Set of 6 67.99 No.45 Black 45ml 6.99 333X (50MB/s)
CLi8 Colours 13ml 3.99 Colours 13ml each 18.99 Colours 7.4ml each 11.49 No.56 Black 24ml 6.99 8GB 11.99
PGi5/CLi8 Set of 5
PGi520 Black 19ml
CLi521 Colours 9ml
19.99 Compatibles:
4.99 Set of 6
3.99 Colours 13ml each
19.99
Compatibles:
Set of 6 19.99
No.57 Colour 24ml
No.62XL Black 12ml
11.99
14.99
16GB
32GB
15.99
24.99
Filters
3.99 Colours 7.4ml each 3.99 No.62XL Colour 12ml 15.99 Screw-type Filters
PGi520/CLi521 Set of 5 19.99 No.78 Colour 36ml 8.99 Sandisk Extreme
PGi525 Black 19ml 4.99 T0541-T0549 800X (120MB/s) 46mm UV / Haze 4.99
CLi526 Colours 9ml 3.99 T0871-T0879 No.110 Colour 12ml 9.99 16GB 26.99 49mm UV / Haze 4.99
PGi525/CLi526 Set of 5 19.99 Frog Inks
No.300XL Black 18ml 12.99
Flamingo Inks No.300XL Colour 18ml 13.99
32GB 32.99 52mm UV / Haze 4.99
PGi550XL Black 25ml 4.99 Originals: Originals: 64GB 47.99 55mm UV / Haze 5.99
No.301XL Black 15ml 12.99 58mm UV / Haze 6.99
CLi551XL Colours 12ml 3.99 Set of 8 112.99 Set of 8 76.99 No.301XL Colour 18ml 13.99
128GB 94.99
PGi550/CLi551XL Set of 5 19.99 Colours 13ml each 14.99 Colours 11.4ml each 9.99 No.337 Black 21ml 9.99
62mm UV / Haze 7.99
BCi6 Colours 15ml 2.99 Compatibles: Compatibles: No.338 Black 21ml 10.99 MicroSDHC & SDXC 67mm UV / Haze 8.99
PG40 Black 28ml 12.99 Set of 8 27.99 Set of 8 27.99 Sandisk Ultra 72mm UV / Haze 8.99
No.339 Black 34ml 11.99 77mm UV / Haze 11.99
CL41 Colour 24ml 16.99 Colours 13ml each 3.99 Colours 11.4ml each 3.99 No.343 Colour 21ml 11.99 320X (48MB/s)
PG50 Black 28ml 12.99 16GB 6.99 Skylight Filters from: 6.99
No.344 Colour 21ml 12.99
CL51 Colour 24ml 14.99 T0591-T0599 T0961-T0969 No.350XL Black 30ml 13.99 32GB 12.99 Circular Polarising Filters from: 14.99
PG510 Black 11ml 13.99 Lily Inks 64GB 24.99 ND4 and ND8 Filters from: 11.99
CL511 Colour 11ml 15.99 Husky Inks No.351XL Colour 20ml 15.99
No.363 SET OF 6 19.99 P-Type Square Filters
PG512 Black 18ml 13.99 Originals: Originals:
CL513 Colour 15ml 15.99 Set of 8 102.99 Set of 8 78.99 No.364 Black 10ml 3.79 Readers & Cases 49-82mm Adapter Rings 4.99
No.364 Colours 5ml each 3.29 Delkin USB2 Card Reader 9.99
PG540XL Black 21ml 13.99 Colours 13ml each 12.99 Colours 11.4ml each 9.99
No.364 SET OF 4 12.99
Filter Holder 5.99
CL541XL Colour 15ml 14.99 Compatibles: Compatibles: Delkin USB3 Card Reader 19.99 ND2 Filter 12.99
No.364XL Black 18ml 4.99 Delkin SD Card (x8) Case 6.99 ND2 Grad Filter 13.99
PG545XL Black 15ml 11.99 Set of 8 27.99 Set of 8 27.99 No.364XL Colours 11ml each 4.29
PG546XL Black 21ml 12.99 Colours 13ml each 3.99 Colours 11.4ml each 3.99 Delkin CF Card (x4) Case 6.99 ND4 Filter 12.99
No.364XL SET OF 4 16.99 ND4 Grad Filter 13.99
Many more in stock! More Epson inks >>> Many more in stock! Many more in stock!

E&EO. Prices may be subject to change, but hopefully not! www.premier-ink.co.uk Telephone: 01926 339977 or 0800 1077 211 Premier Ink & Photographic 12 Longfield Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV31 1XB
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72 5 - 18 August 2015
www.snipca.com/23280
Jargon Buster Bust more jargon in our A-Z book: www.snipca.com/21616

3G/4G A set of technologies that eMMC Flash storage commonly LED Light-Emitting Diode. An PUP Potentially unwanted
delivers faster mobile broadband. found in cheap laptops and tablets. electronic device that emits light. program. A program that may
Its slower than a solid-state drive. Used on almost all electronic not be desired, despite the user
4K Video with a resolution of at devices, and to provide the consenting to it being downloaded.
least 3840x2160 pixels. Expansion card A card that can backlight for some LCDs.
be tted inside a desktop PC to Roaming charge Fee incurred for
720p A resolution of high- add extra functions or sockets. Loops A set musical pattern that using your phone to receive data
denition video: 1280x720 pixels. repeats itself. via overseas mobile networks.
Extension A program that adds
802.11ac A standard for wireless extra features to your browser. M.2 A standard specication for SATA III The latest and fastest
networks that allows for higher internal PC expansion cards and version of the SATA interface
transfer speeds than 802.11n. Firmware Basic software stored connectors. for connecting internal storage
on a device, such as a music player, devices to a computer.
802.11n A standard for wireless to control its operation. Macro An automated series of
networks that allows for high commands or options that can be SD card Secure Digital card. A
transfer speeds. Frame rate The number of still run at any time. popular type of memory card.
images, or frames, shown per
ADSL2 A newer, faster type of second to create a moving image. Megapixel A measure of the Shadow copy The most recent
ADSL broadband. amount of detail that can be version of a le as saved by
GHz Gigahertz. A measure of recorded by a digital image. A one- Windows.
Benchmarking Comparing how many instructions a chip can megapixel image is made up of a
software and products with an process per second. million dots (pixels). SIM Subscriber Identity Module.
accepted standard. The smart card used by all digital
Gigabit Ethernet A very fast MHL Mobile high-denition link. A mobile phones.
Beta A version of software thats networking standard that can technology that lets you connect a
being tested. transfer data at up to 1,000Mbps. smartphone or tablet to a TV. sRGB A standard RGB colour
space for use on monitors,
BIOS Basic Input-Output System. Graphics card A component in a MicroSD card A small type of printers and the internet.
Essential software that connects a computer that produces the image memory card. Can be converted to
PCs vital components. shown on the monitor. SD size using an adapter. SSD Solid-state drive. Storage
that, unlike a hard drive, uses no
Blue light Light given o by PC HDMI High-denition media Mini HDMI Downsized version of moving parts.
and phone screens. interface. A type of connection that the HDMI cable and connector to
transmits high-denition video and accommodate smaller devices. System restore point Collection
Browser hijackers Programs that audio signals. of system les stored by System
change your default browser, its Modem A device that allows two Restore on a given date and time
homepage and search engine. Hotspot A public area covered by computers to communicate via a to which Windows can revert.
a Wi-Fi network that allows you to phone line.
Cache A temporary space for access the internet. USB 2.0/3.0 Faster successors to
storing information. MP3 Audio le format. USB that are used by devices such
HTML Hypertext Markup as external hard drives.
Cast To send content from your Language. The language used to Open source Software that can
PC, tablet or phone to a TV. write most web pages. be modied by anyone, rather USB Type-C A new connector
than just by the employees of the thats reversible, letting you plug it
Crowdsourcing Obtaining ideas, IMAP Internet Message Access company that created it. in upside down.
information or money from a large Protocol. A method for email that
group of people, usually online. lets the user manage messages Overclocking Making a VDSL2 Very-high-bit-rate digital
stored on a remote server. processor work faster to improve subscriber line 2. Broadband data
DirectX A Microsoft technology performance at the cost of tansmission technology capable
required to run many games in IP68 International Protection requiring more power. of upload and download rates in
Windows. marking. IP68 means a device is excess of 100Mbit/s.
resistant to dust, dirt and sand, and PCI slot Peripheral Component
DisplayPort A new socket for can be placed underwater for 30 Interconnect. A high-performance VGA Video Graphics Array. A
connecting monitors thats still minutes at depths of up to 1.5m. expansion slot for desktop PCs. standard socket for connecting a
relatively rare. monitor to a computer.
IPS A screen technology. Monitors Phishing A form of internet
Driver A le that tells Windows how that use it have wider viewing fraud that tries to trick you into VPN Virtual private network. A
to work with a connected device. angles and better, more accurate- revealing personal details. technology for keeping all internet
looking colours. communication safe and private.
Dual band A mobile phone that Plug-in A small program that
can work at two radio frequencies. JPEG Joint Photograph Experts adds extra features to software or Wi-Fi card A card inserted into
Group. A common type of image to your web browser. a laptop that makes it work over
DVI Digital Visual Interface. A type le created by digital cameras. Wi-Fi.
of display connector. Product key A unique serial
LCD Liquid crystal display. The number that must be typed in by Zero-day attack A malware or
EPUB A le format used by many technology used to create almost the user before a program will security exploit that depends on a
popular ebook readers. all atscreen monitors. launch for the rst time. previously unknown software aw.

21 June 4 July 2017 73


The Final Straw KEN RIGSBY is
Computeractives Mr Angry
This issue Ken Rigsby is being swamped by

Windows overload
D
id you hear that theres a new Alternatively, forget S and Pro and just stand for? I imagine Microsofts miserable
version of Windows 10 on the way? go for Windows 10 Home. Its better than marketing folks also had no idea, henceN.
Its called Windows 10 S. Microsoft S, but a bit worse than Pro. But, if youre Clear so far? Great! Of course if youre
hasnt revealed if the S stands for buying pre-installed, make sure your PC an enterprising sort and setting up in
anything in particular but the company manufacturer hasnt installed Windows business then perhaps Windows 10
boasts that its streamlined for security 10 Home N, because thats a bit worse Enterprise has caught your eye. Sadly,
and superior performance. Much of the than Windows 10 Home (but still a bit thats probably not for you, because its
marketing is aimed at students, and it better than Windows 10 S). Or Windows aimed at companies that want to manage
will also come pre-installed on the new 10 Pro N for that matter, which is a bit their own IT aairs. For the same reasons,
Microsoft Surface laptop. worse than Windows 10 Pro but a bit you can also write o Windows 10 Mobile
So, streamlined, secure, superior, better than Windows 10 Home and Home Enterprise and Windows 10 LTSB. Thats
students, Surface. With all that alliteration N. You cant buy an N edition separately short for Long Term Servicing Branch, in
I imagine Microsofts marketing folks but theres a chance youll end up with it case you were wondering.
looked at each other, shrugged, and quickly when you buy a new PC. Whats the N Oh, did I mention Windows 10 Mobile
agreed just to stick an S on the end. (without the Enterprise)? Its the
A key selling point is that if you use Windows version you need if you want to
Windows 10 S then your only source for use Windows on a tablet or smartphone,
new apps will be the Windows Store. You if you can actually nd such a device.
wont be able to buy or install anything Except in enterprise, where you need
from anywhere else. Youll also have to Henry Ford said car Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise.
use Microsofts Edge browser, as thats Were not done yet. Theres also
the default no change will be buyers could have any Windows 10 IoT for the Internet of
countenanced. If you want to Google the Things, which means a version for any
web then youll have to, er, use Bing. colour, as long as its device that might conceivably connect to
Dont like it? Well, you could always
upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for a few
black Microsoft could the internet. But make sure you get the
right version of Windows 10 IoT because
quid, because Microsoft is oering that as take inspiration theres Windows 10 IoT Core, Windows 10
an option to disgruntled Windows 10 S IoT Enterprise and Windows 10 IoT
buyers. The Pro edition has a few features from that Mobile Enterprise. Oh, theres also
that youll probably never use, but at least Windows 10 IoT Core Pro, which is like
you can install whatever programs you Windows 10 IoT Core but presumably
want, such as Chrome. And actually more professional.
Google the web using Google. Dont worry, were nearly at the end.
But I must also mention Windows 10
Education! That version obviously has
echoes of Windows 10 S but, for some
reason, no Cortana. So thats a bonus.
Henry Ford once famously said that
customers could have any colour car they
wanted, as long as it was black. Microsoft
could take inspiration from that, scrap
the countless versions and consolidate
them into a single version for everyone
Windows 10 Black. Mind you, considering
Microsofts track record, itd probably
turn out being the Blue Screen edition.

Do Windows versions confuse you?


Let us know at letters@computeractive.co.uk

74 21 June 4 July 2017 Next issue Ken spreads the message about annoying email inboxes

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