That’s the title of a great YouTube video by teksyndicate.com and it’s one of the most accurate, in my opinion, independent reviews of Windows 8 that I have seen. I thought it was just me, that I was getting old, and that I had no time or excitement for new operating system software. To my relief I found that I have not turned into a techy version of Victor Meldrew – well not yet anyway (those of you that know me – stop laughing NOW!). Read this entire article »
It’s something I’m being asked time and time again and it’s a difficult one to be honest. I hope this month we can shed some light on when you should say “yes” when your computer asks you to update something and when you should be wary.
Microsoft tries to release its new updates on the second Tuesday of each month. It is generally referred to as ‘patch Tuesday’, so you can expect your computer to prompt you to install updates around this time. Sometimes there is an extraordinary ‘patch Tuesday’ 14 days after the normal event. Operating system patches are created to plug holes in the programming code that runs your computer, most of them are written for specific purposes and it’s always a good idea to install these patches and updates as they are one of the best ways to keep your computer both up to date and safe from problems. Read this entire article »
This month we return to the subject of backups. There are so many people that simply do not look after their data properly and end up losing it because they just haven’t taken the time to back it up. There are even more that “think” that they back up their data, however when it comes to the crunch their well‐laid plans fail because of an identifiable flaw in their backup solution. Read this entire article »
Over the past few months Microsoft have been offering all of its Windows users (you guys) an optional upgrade as part of the Windows Updates programme. Most of you will have seen a message offering to upgrade your computer to include Internet Explorer 9 at some point over the past few months.
So this month and next I thought we would talk about what web browsers are, why there are so many and what is new in Internet Explorer 9 and whether you should bother downloading it. Read this entire article »
So, there I was, sitting in a bar with our editor – a rare, chance meeting you understand, I wouldn’t want you to get the impression that either of us spend much time in the bars of Gran Alacant!
We were talking about the benefits of using online storage as an alternative to using CDs or memory sticks and Dave was extolling the benefits of DropBox and how, by using it, he can keep three copies (his phone, his laptop and his PC) of his important data synchronised whenever any of the three computers connect to the Internet. Read this entire article »
Firstly a quick reminder that we have changed our office phone number. We had a number of customers tell us that they could not get through to our old “700” number so we have changed it to the number that you see at the bottom of this page – 902 906 200. Read this entire article »
This month I have been contacted by a number of people, who like myself, who have been unfortunate enough to be affected by the loss of TV in our area. All of them are asking the same question – “How do I use a proxy server to access my favourite TV programmes?” Read this entire article »
Microsoft Office has, for a long time now, been the de facto standard in office software suits; many people have the product installed on their computer. Microsoft Office consists of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and depending on the version, Microsoft Access. It’s a popular misconception that Microsoft Office comes with Windows XP or Vista for free – it doesn’t. Read this entire article »
This month I would like to take some time to expand on a subject mentioned in last month’s article. I have been contacted by a number of people who have bought PC’s or laptops from computer stores – some of them from VERY large stores in Spain. When purchasing their Spanish computer they have been offered a “conversion” to the English version of the supplied operating system either Windows XP or Vista. However, and this is the problem, they have not been given the appropriate restore media in English. Read this entire article »
VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) – what is it then?
Put simply it’s the ability to talk to other people via the Internet, just like we are already used to doing with a ‘conventional’ telephone.
Many of us are used to using the Internet to look at web sites, to do this our computer uses a language or protocol1 - HTTP2 and TCP/IP2 are the protocols used when browsing web sites and POP32 and SMTP2 are used for email. For those of you that have not yet fallen asleep these terms are explained at the bottom of the page.
So, for everything that we do involving one computer talking to another your PC automatically uses a specific protocol. VOIP is simply the generic term used to describe the action of transmitting a voice over the Internet.
One of the major advantages in using VOIP is that, more often than not, it’s much cheaper than using a conventional telephone; in fact in most cases a call from one VOIP user to another VOIP user anywhere in the world is free!
In order to take advantage of this new form of communication you must first download and install some software onto your computer. This is pretty easy, but if you are not familiar with the process then you might want to ask your local IT guy to help you. There are a number different programs that can be download but the most commonly used Skype, an English version if which is available from www.skype.co.uk, it’s also highly recommended that you have a fast Internet connection – broadband is preferable.
Once you have installed Skype I suggest that you purchase a headset (combined microphone and ear-phones) to get the best quality. Skype also has the ability to utilise a web-cam if you have one; so that you can have video conversations as well, the web-cam, speakers and microphone (or headset) will all be setup automatically by Skype as part of the installation process.
When you have your software setup and your headset working it’s time to start testing that it’s all working properly, this is easy with Skype as they provide a free call testing service, all you need to do is dial (using the Skype software) “echo123”, this will connect you with the call testing service and they will ensure that you can both hear and be heard.
Now all that’s done, you just need to start to add the contacts that you would like to talk to using the “plus” sign from within Skype, if your contacts are also Skype users you will then be able to tell when they are on-line and therefore available for a chat, of course the more you get used to the software the easier things will become.
1 Protocols are instructions that computers use to communicate with each other, they are a kind of computer language.
2 HTTP (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the protocol used to create web pages, TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) is the protocol used to transfer those pages to and from our computers, POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) is used to deliver email messages to our computers and SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is used to deliver our emails to other people – surely you must be asleep by now?