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RY 20
ISSUE 492 4 17 JANUA

Your friendly guide to tec
Hey Cortana, do the ironing p4



Are you missing out on the best programs? p61

Group Editor Daniel Booth
Features Editor Mike Plant
Technical Editor Sherwin Coelho
From the Editor
Production Editor Graham Brown We answer many questions in Computeractive,
Art Editor Katie Peat
Sorry, no technical or buying advice. but I fear that Is there a God? would be
ADVERTISING beyond us. However, we can certainly conrm
Advertisement sales & media pack
020 7907 6799
that theres a GodMode on your PC, and that
Advertising Director Andrea Mason its your computers best-kept secret.
Group Ad Manager Charlotte Milligan
Deputy Advertising Manager Alexa Dracos In our Cover Feature the omnipotent
Jonathan Parkyn guides you through products that they once charged for. Is there a
Subscriptions Rachel Evans GodMode, explaining how it gives you catch? Well, you may see more adverts, and
Marketing Production Manager Gemma Hills
For subscription enquiries ring 01795 592 926 shortcuts to important PC settings. The tool youll have to keep an eye on your personal
is so useful that it does sometimes feel data, but generally its a positive thing.
Group Production Manager miraculous. Well continue to recommend essential free
Stephen Catherall
Production Controller Also in this issue, we predict which software software throughout 2017, as well as the best
Maisie Harvey
and services might become free in 2017. This is hardware that you will have to cough up for.
MANAGEMENT more than casual speculation there is a Daniel Booth
Managing Director John Garewal
MD of Advertising Julian Lloyd-Evans strong trend for companies to give away
Commercial and Retail Director David Barker
CFO/COO Brett Reynolds
Chief Executive James Tye
Company Founder Felix Dennis


Companies can obtain a licence to use approved
quotations from articles, the Computeractive
logo and Buy It! logo. Reprints of articles are also
p6 p58

Please contact Anj Dosaj-Halai for more

information and rates: 020 7907 6132
Requests to use quotations from articles will
need to be approved by the editor. Please send
requests to:

Computeractive is available for international
licensing. Contact Nicole Adams at nicole_ or +44 (0)20 7907 6134

This publication may not be resold or otherwise p50
distributed, whether at, below or above face
value. Nor can this publication be advertised for
sale, transfer or distribution.

Material may not be reproduced in any form
without the written consent of the publisher.
Please address such requests to John Garewal,
Dennis Publishing, 30 Cleveland Street,
London W1T 4JD

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. p40 p61
Computeractive takes no responsibility for the
content of external websites whose addresses
are published in the magazine.

Computeractive is published
fortnightly by Dennis Publishing
Ltd, 30 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JD. THIS ISSUE IN NUMBERS HOW TO USE
Company registered in England. Material may
not be reproduced in whole or part without the
consent of the publishers. ISSN 1461-6211
How much scammers We use snipcas to turn long URLs that
Average sales, Jan-Dec 2015, 87,565
copies per issue. charge to unlock your are hard to type into ones that are
files - p16 short and simple. They arent websites
Copyright Dennis Publishing Limited themselves, which means they wont
be recognised if you type them into
200Mbps Google. Instead, you need to type them
10 How fast the new into your browser address bar, then
Computeractive BT Basics new capped TeamViewer transfers press Enter. Doing this will take you to
Printed in the UK
limit for phone calls - p7 files - p18 the correct website.

4 17 January 2017 3
Contents 4 17 January 2017 Issue 492

In this issue FEA VER
P50 RE

50 Windows GodMode
What you can do
with Windows hidden control
centre to make your PC work
best for you

57 Is it worth the money?
IObit Uninstaller

58 What software will

become free in 2017?
Our team of experts predict the
programs likely to lose their price tags
Your complete
Y p guide
g to your
y PCs best-kept
p secret
61 Your most popular
programs of 2016
The software you downloaded most the hidden settings you MUST unlock
in the past 12 months

Software to
freeware in

The programs that clicked with you p61

In every issue No such

thing as
6 News 33 Competition a freebie
Win a Kitvision Edge lunch p74
11 Question of HD10 Action Camera
the Fortnight
How can we stop drivers 49 Whats All
using mobile phones? the Fuss About?
Microsoft Home Hub
12 Letters
64 Problems Solved
14 Consumeractive
70 Fast Fixes Firefox
16 Protect Your Tech
73 Jargon Buster
18 Best Free Software
TeamViewer 12 74 The Final Straw
Ken Rigsby calculates the
30 Buy It! cost of freebies

4 4 17 January 2017
See page 62 2
for our special
subs offer

20 Aria Gladiator Centurion Lite
Gaming PC with wide appeal

21 Philips Brilliance
Type-C monitor lives up to its name

22 Xerox Phaser 6022V

This Phaser printer isnt set to stun

23 Logitech M720 Triathlon

A wireless mouse that roars
MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
Powerful card for graphic content

24 Lenovo Yoga 900S

Light hybrid oers slim pickings
Aria Gladiator Centurion L
Lite p20 25 BBC micro:bit
Mini PC proves size isnt everything

BBC micro:bit p25

p2 ePluss
OnePlus 26 OnePlus 3T
3T p26 This mid-range phone is a real plus

28 Anker Ergonomic Wireless

Vertical Mouse
Take control with this wireless mouse
Google Daydream View
VR headset isnt out of this world

29 Buy or wait?
BUY IT! We explain which tech products you
should grab now and which are worth
waiting a little longer for


Workshops & Tips TO WINDOWS 10
14 pages of brilliant workshops and expert tips
35 Make your Start menu 42 Edit videos without
easier to use losing quality

38 Create your own 43 Readers Tips

news feed on your tablet Password-protect sensitive files

40 Control PCs on 44 Phone and Tablet Tips

your home network Watch Netflix movies offline

46 Make Windows Better

Search more easily in Edge

47 Make Office Better

Customise your own font in Word


Google Search at

4 17 January 2017 5
News The top stories in the world of technology

Update your Netgear router

now with security fixes
N etgear has released
emergency rmware
updates for 11 of its
Security expert Graham
routers that are deemed Cluley is right when he
to be at risk of being calls this aw an omen
hacked. Some of these are of what 2017 has in store
among the companys for us. He expects many
best-selling models. more vulnerabilities to be
The aws in the routers unearthed in web-connected
are so serious that even devices and not only routers,
the US Department of
Homeland Security
2 but also home security
cameras and digital video
advised people not to recorders, among others. For
use them until a x was too long manufacturers have
released. underestimated the security
Anyone with a Netgear risks, possibly hoping hackers
router should visit the would be focused more on
companys website to check attacking PCs. The hacks
whether their model requires of 2016, particularly the
a x: devastating Mirai attack in
These are being released rst (see screenshot 2) and follow vulnerabilities in August, but October, proved otherwise.
as betas (which havent been Netgears instructions. claims the company never got We need better protection
fully tested) and then as more You can see the 11 aected back to him. and faster xes.
comprehensive production routers in the box below. After he went public with
rmware updates. Netgears D7000 router was the aws three months later,
Netgear says that the initially listed as a vulnerable the Computer Emergency admitting that more routers
beta xes are a temporary model, but after testing it the Response Team (CERT), part were at risk than security
solution and might not company said it is safe and of the Department of researchers had originally
work for all users. It strongly doesnt need to be updated. Homeland Security, issued its indicated. It took until 13
recommends that all users warning on 9 December December for Netgear to start
install the production Incompetent Netgear ( releasing the updates.
rmware xes. Security researcher Andrew The aws are easy to exploit. Rollins slammed Netgear as
If your router is listed, click Rollins, known as Acew0rm Hackers would be able to incompetent for forcing
its link (see screenshot 1), on Twitter, said that he told access a users router by users to install the updates
then click the Download Link Netgear about the directing them to a website themselves, rather than
that contained malicious code. issuing them directly to
A hacked router could then be routers over the air.
WHICH ROUTERS ARE AFFECTED? assimilated into a botnet, Another leading security
which is a network of devices specialist, Bas Van Schaik,
R6250 R6900 R7900 used for huge internet attacks, who published a temporary
(pictured) R7000 R8000 often to knock websites x before Netgear did, said it
R6400 R7100LG D6220 oine. was appalling and baing
R6700 R7300DST D6400 Netgear rst acknowledged that Netgear didnt act upon
the aws on 11 December, Rollins warning in August.

Youll like this Google Maps now tells you but not this A new type of ransomware
whether a location is wheelchair friendly claims to unlock your les if you infect other
( PCs (

6 4 17 January 2017
Microsoft rushes out fix for IN BRIEF

catastrophic Windows 10 update BBC LAUNCHES

Microsoft has xed a The BBC has teamed up
major aw caused by a with ITV to launch a Netix-
Windows 10 update that style TV-streaming service
prevented many for people living outside
computers from the UK. BritBox will be
connecting to the internet. made available in the US
The problematic update, rst, launching in the rst
which its thought was problem existed before quarter of 2017, before
released in early December, The problem seemed to KB3201845 was released. being considered for other
left some machines unable to particularly aect Virgin Windows updates have countries where theres high
get an IP address from routers, Media and Plusnet customers, caused several problems in the demand for British TV shows.
which they need to go online. hundreds of whom vented past few months. In August It will oer a mix of modern
Microsoft released a their frustration on social the substantial Anniversary shows, including Silent
x on 13 December to media. Many people in Europe Update (AU) caused many Witness and EastEnders,
automatically install and also reported trouble getting computers to freeze. Microsoft and classics such as Fawlty
resolve connectivity online. Before Microsofts x, admitted that the AU was Towers and Inspector Morse.
diculties reported by Virgin published advice on disrupting PCs that had
some customers. how to get online (www. Windows 10 stored on an SSD, ALBANIAS 4G NETWORK
It added that people may and apps and data stored on BETTER THAN UKS
need to restart their PC by It is not clear which another drive. Peru, Albania and Panama
selecting Start on the taskbar, specic update caused the The companys advice was are among 53 countries that
clicking the Power button, problem, but it may have to boot into Safe Mode, then have better 4G coverage
and choosing Restart, not Shut been KB3201845, released move your apps and data to than the UK, according to
down. The same advice was on 9 December. Microsoft the same drive as Windows 10. a new report. The National
being shown in a banner on said this update was Infrastructure Commission
Have you had problems with
Microsofts website (see replaced by the x, which is (NIC) said that on average
recent Windows updates?
screenshot). Youll nd more called KB3206632. However, Please let us know: letters@ people can get connected
help on Microsofts website: some experts said that the only 53 per cent of the time.
Lord Adonis, chair of the NIC,

BT caps phone calls for people on benefits said the UK needs a new
universal service obligation
to ensure that text, talk
BT has capped the cost of calls and data are available to us
to landlines and mobile wherever we need them.
phones for customers signed
up to its Basic package, which
is a special low-cost deal for
people who receive benet. Tomorrows
Households signed up to BT
Basic pay 5.10 a month for
landline rental, much cheaper
than the normal price of Remember the date: on
18.99. However, previously 7 December 2016 Amazon
calls to landlines cost 11.3p delivered its rst item
per minute once the initial anywhere in the world by
4.50 monthly allowance drone. Thirteen minutes after
was used up. starting with 01, 02, 03 Pensions Credit (Guaranteed placing his order, Richard B
BT has now set a monthly (landline), and 07 and 08 Credit), Employment and of Cambridgeshire received
maximum of 10 for calls to (mobile). However, Support Allowance (income an Amazon Fire TV Stick
landlines, meaning the most premium-rate numbers related) and Universal Credit and popcorn. He was part
any Basic customer will pay are excluded. (and are on zero earnings). of a local Amazon Prime Air
each month for calls and You can sign up to BT Basic Customers who are ill and service trial. If its successful,
rental is 15.10. You can add if you receive any of the claiming temporary benets expect more drones in the air
broadband to this for an extra following benets: Income can also apply. soon. Watch the delivery at
4.95 a month. Support, Income-based To nd out if youre eligible
It covers all calls to numbers Jobseekers Allowance, visit

4 17 January 2017 7
IN BRIEF Football trumps Trump in Googles
FLAW EVENTUALLY 2016 search results
Yahoo has xed a security
aw in its email service, Celebrity deaths, sport and
although it took the company politics have dominated what
17 days after being told about people searched for on Google
it. Finnish security specialist in 2016.
Jouko Pynnnen received The company has revealed
$10,000 from Yahoo for its annual end-of-year search
disclosing the vulnerability, lists, showing that Euro 2016
which hackers could have was the top trending search
used to read users emails. It term in the UK, followed by questions were in the top 10,
was a serious aw because the phone game Pokemon Go all peaking in late June: How
victims could have been and David Bowie, who died to vote for EU referendum?,
hacked simply by opening at the beginning of the year. How to get an Irish passport?
an email. No further action, Also in the top 10 were Alan and How to apply for British
such as clicking a link or Rickman, EU referendum/ citizenship?.
downloading an attachment, Brexit, Donald Trump and Brexit also dominated the
was needed. Olympics. Many of these UKs Where is questions,
subjects also appeared in the with Where is Brussels? and
BT HIRES MORE worldwide top 10, which was biggest rise in popularity. Where is my polling station?
CALL CENTRE STAFF topped by Pokemon Go (see At the end of every year coming rst and second.
BT is hiring 500 people in box below). Google also lists the top To see Googles full lists,
Wales and England to work Googles list is based on trending questions. Heading which are broken down by
in its call centres to help the words and phrases, usually the UKs How to list in 2016 country from Argentina to
company hit its target of inuenced by news events and was How to play Pokemon Vietnam visit
answering 90 per cent of current aairs, that show the Go?. Three Brexit-related com/2016.
customer phone calls by the
end of March 2017. Most jobs GOOGLES UK TOP 10 GOOGLES GLOBAL TOP 10
will be created in Swansea, 1 Euro 2016 6 EU referendum/Brexit 1 Pokemon Go 6 David Bowie
Warrington, Doncaster and 2 Pokemon Go 7 Alan Rickman 2 iPhone 7 7 Deadpool
Accrington. It follows BT 3 David Bowie 8 Olympics 3 Donald Trump 8 Olympics
recruiting 1,000 customer 4 Donald Trump 9 US election 4 Prince 9
service sta in January 2016. 5 Prince 10 Deadpool 5 Powerball 10 Suicide Squad

Thats the way cookie warnings crumble

Websites may soon no longer
have to show the cookie
warnings that many people Forget French, Spanish and
nd a nuisance. German will schoolkids
Under EU law introduced in in the future need to learn
2012 all sites must tell visitors their presence, such as on intrusive and irritating. how to speak emoji? In the
if they are using cookies. (see Websites too will be pleased rst job of its kind, London
These are small bits of code screenshot). about the planned changes. company Today Translations
that remember your log-in But a leaked privacy Introducing the cookie is advertising for someone
details, and your preferences directive from the European banners has cost businesses who can convert these
such as language settings. But Commission (EC) outlines around 1.8 billion (1.5 animated gures across
sites also use them to show proposals to let users allow all billion), the EC said. cultures. For example, a
personalised adverts and track cookies by changing a setting It is unclear how Brexit waving hand emoji means
browsing history. in their browser. This would will aect cookie laws, something dierent in
Currently, the warnings mean sites would no longer although the Information China than it doeses in the UK.
which appear when you be required to show their Commissioners Oce, the Want to apply?
rst visit a site ask you to own warnings. UKs data watchdog, has Read more at
click to accept cookies, or Its a change that will be suggested that Britain should www.snipca.
state that if you continue on welcomed by those users who adopt similar privacy laws com/22866.
the site you are happy with see the current messages as as the EU.

8 4 17 January 2017
Billion stolen Yahoo accounts IN BRIEF
sold on the dark web MICROSOFTS NEW
Microsoft is planning to add
Hackers are selling the a new option to Windows
personal details from a billion 10s System Reset that lets
accounts stolen from Yahoo in you remove all programs
2013, security researchers that didnt come built into
claim. Data being sold could the operating system, and
include names, dates of birth, update it to the latest version.
phone numbers, passwords, You can currently use System
security questions and email Reset to uninstall programs
addresses, but not bank and les if you choose but
details, which Yahoo says it keeps you on the same
werent stolen. version of Windows 10. The
The hack, which Yahoo new option is in the Insider
admitted in December, is dark net for $300,000 (around would discourage it from Preview of Windows 10, and
believed to be the biggest ever 242,000). investigating the theft may appear in the Creators
security breach. On Yahoos It claims that three groups thoroughly. Update, due in the spring.
website ( two spammers and one Bob Lord added that the
22916) Bob Lord, the companys involved in espionage have latest attack is unrelated to FACEBOOK CRACKS
chief information security bought the data. InfoArmors the hack Yahoo admitted in DOWN ON FAKE NEWS
ocer, wrote: Based on chief intelligence ocer September last year, in which Facebook has introduced
further analysis of this data by Andrew Komarov said that the details of 500,000 new tools for users to report
forensic experts, we believe an since obtaining the database accounts were stolen in 2014. fake news posted on the
unauthorized third party, in his company had alerted However, he did reveal that site. The social network is
August 2013, stole data military and law-enforcement the hackers behind the 2014 responding partly to criticism
associated with more than authorities in the US, attack had learnt how to forge that fabricated news stories
one billion user accounts. Australia, Canada and the UK. the cookies that Yahoo use to inuenced the US election
Arizona-based security Komarov added that he recognise you when you log in November. You can now
company InfoArmor said that didnt approach Yahoo directly in, meaning a hacker wouldnt select the option its a
in August 2016 a hacking because he was concerned need the correct password to fake news story, or label it
collective based in eastern that the companys planned access a Yahoo account, and disputed which, Facebook
Europe oered the data on the 4.8bn purchase by Verizon could be logged in indenitely. says, means it will be
scrutinised by fact-checking
organisations. Read the sites
Rural broadband: 900,000 homes announcement at www.

too far from phone exchange


More than 900,000 UK homes the growth of superfast WITH WINDOWS 7
in rural areas are too far from broadband is reaching a Almost half of
the telephone exchange to get plateau. Despite 25 million Firefox users
broadband speeds of 10Mbps, premises being able to receive are still running
Ofcom has said. But overall speeds of 30Mbps and above, Windows 7,
the number of homes that only 9.1 million have signed according to the
cant get 10Mbps has fallen by Based on Ofcom research, up for them, a rise of just four browsers latestst
one million since 2015. the Internet Services Providers per cent from 2015. Ofcom Hardware Report (www.
The gures come from Association estimates that says its unclear why more It shows
Ofcoms Connected Nations 1.1bn would need to be spent consumers arent subscribing Windows 7 usage at 45 per
2016 report (www.snipca. in rural areas to achieve this. to faster broadband. cent, much higher than the
com/22910), which tracks the Steve Unger, Ofcoms director Trac management is less 26 per cent of people running
progress of communication of strategy, acknowledged that of a problem, the report said, Windows 10. Windows XP
networks in the UK. It said mobile and broadband because ISPs are better at is the third most popular
that around 1.4 million homes coverage continued to grow, explaining to customers how operating system, at 10
in the UK cant get speeds of but said it was unacceptable their policies work. per cent, despite Microsoft
10Mbps, the speed that Ofcom that so many people and ending support for it in 2014.
considers to be the minimum businesses are still struggling Are you happy with your Firefox will end support for
required to meet the needs of for a good service. broadband speed? Please let us XP and Vista in March.
a typical household. The report also suggests that know:

4 17 January 2017 9

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


Junk oender: Workshop, it installed a PUP called
Auslogics Browser Care BoostSpeed. I removed Browser Care and
Download Now! No adware, no BoostSpeed and cleaned my PC. Three
spyware, no toolbars proclaims the months later, Malwarebytes AdwCleaner
Auslogics Browser Care web page (www. found ve new threats on my PC all It forgets to add Just Auslogics les and folders. I removed them.
a browser-hijacking search engine, This week I tested Browser Care version Auslogics now installs Yahoo junk unless you
upgrade pop-up, unwanted Auslogics 4.1 to see if Auslogics had cleaned up its untick it and click Decline
program and hidden registry junk. act. It had not. Au contraire, Rodney.
Browser Care claims to clean browser I clicked Custom Install and unticked tiny pre-ticked box, for Auslogics Driver
plug-ins, extensions and junk data from Install BoostSpeed. The next screen, new Updater. This time, unticking was enough
your PC for free. We showed you how in a in version 4.1, invited me to Set Yahoo as to opt out. When I clicked Finish, a gaudy
Workshop in Issue 474. But soon after, it your homepage and default search engine advert called Giveaway Club opened in my
began stung its own installer with (see screenshot). I unticked it and then browser, and a pop-up appeared urging
rubbish including les and folders that had two buttons to choose from: Decline me to Improve Performance Now. If I had
blighted my computer weeks after I and Agree and Install. I clicked Decline, clicked it, Id have unwittingly upgraded
thought Id cleared them. Its new version and Browser Care installed. If Id clicked to a paid-for version of Browser Care.
4.1 carries more PUPs than ever. Agree and Install, the PUPs would have To nd so much junk bundled with a
installed anyway even after Id turned program that seemed genuinely useful for
Browser Care despair them down. You may think unticking the cleaning your PC is shocking. Auslogics
When I tested Browser Care in the PUPs was enough to opt out, but its not. began 2016 by impressing us, and ends it
summer, a couple of months after our Theres more. The Finish screen had a as the worst junk oender of the year.

What are they Janes villain of the fortnight

talking about? AVG
What they say Respected security company AVG left Walter says AVG
The Bluetooth Special Computeractive reader Walter Blanchard doesnt have his bank card details, but
Interest Group (www. feeling neither secure nor respected he should double-check. AVGs when he discovered he was about to be Facebook page has loads of complaints
Bluetooth is revolutionizing how charged 64.99 for two years of AVG from users who have been charged
people experience the IoT. Bluetooth 5 Internet Security a subscription he without consent. Many also say they
(delivers) reliable IoT connections and says he never even signed up for. cant remove AVG from their PCs.
mobilizing the adoption of beacons, which AVGs demand is not a scam. Its a Auto-renewal is very lucrative. Take
in turn will decrease connection barriers legal, sneaky and common business Amazon Prime. Amazon currently
and enable a seamless IoT experience. practice: automatically renewing a reports a $2.66bn (2.13bn) operating
product that started free, and which prot but without Prime, itd make
What they mean users may not realise they signed up for. an 800m loss (
New Bluetooth 5 means faster, more AVG Internet Security is free. Users 22911). At least Amazon doesnt
stable connections between Bluetooth are harassed with pop-ups urging them pretend to be a beacon of security and
devices around your home. IoT stands to try advanced features. Click one and righteousness unlike AVG.
for Internet of Things, horrible jargon youre upgraded to a 30-day trial for a
for connected devices and bound to paid-for version. After the trial, two Want to nominate a villain of the fortnight?
be as familiar as selfie within months. years fees are collected in one go. Email us at

10 4 17 January 2017
of the
How can we stop drivers
using mobile phones?
The Government wants phone companies to introduce drive safe modes

N o subject has united

Computeractive readers
more in the past few months
than the irresponsibility of
people who use a phone while
driving. Weve received plenty
of emails from readers praising
the Governments proposals to
introduce tougher penalties
for those breaking the law.
But you seem sceptical that
motorists will change their
behaviour. Campaigners too
believe itll take more than
longer prison sentences and
higher nes.
The Government agrees,
and wants to make it harder
and maybe even impossible
for drivers to use phones. In from eight per cent in 2014 to companies would introduce a
January, ministers will meet 31 per cent two years later. drive safe mode voluntarily THE FACTS
with phone manufacturers Fourteen per cent of drivers because it would restrict what The Government is asking
and mobile networks to tell think its acceptable to make a their phones can do, placing phone companies to
them that their devices should quick phone call up from them at a commercial introduce software that
come with drive safe modes, seven per cent. disadvantage. Instead they prevents drivers from being
similar to the airplane mode Perhaps a more worrying think that the onus should be distracted by calls and texts
that limits what a phone can development is that drivers on drivers to make sure they In Spring, the xed penalty
do during a ight. With around are doing things on their dont break the law. for using a phone while
20 deaths a year attributed to phones that are more Theres also the question of driving will double to 200
drivers being distracted by distracting than simply how the technology would 31 per cent of drivers admit
phones, its felt that restrictions making calls. Almost 20 per work. One option is for to having used their phone
are urgently needed. cent admitted they had sent a phones to have a motion- while driving
sensitive app that turns o the
device when it detects the
Nearly a fifth of drivers admit movement of a car. Apple Baroness Newlove, the
patented such a system in 2014 Governments victims
to sending a text or email for its iPhone, although it commissioner, said: We need
hasnt been implemented. better education and hard-
Whats particularly text or email, or posted a Safety campaigners want hitting messages to ensure the
concerning ministers is that message on social media. As the Government to force next generation know what
using a phone while driving, phones become more phone companies to add drive could happen. Ministers are
which was made illegal in advanced, capable of more safe features. Gary Rae from planning to run a Think!
2003, doesnt yet have the involving tasks, drivers will road-safety charity Brake said road-safety campaign focused
same social stigma as drink nd it even harder to keep that it just needs the political on texting while driving.
driving. Indeed, more people their eyes on the road. will to make this happen. While stronger deterrents
are doing it. The RACs annual The Government wants to As well as legal measures, and social pressure will help,
report on motoring (www.rac. talk to phone companies the Government will use the long-term solution to, because theyve shown little psychological tactics. It aims phone use while driving will
published in September, desire to act on their own. A to make using a phone while surely be a technological one.
found that the number of separate report commissioned driving as socially We hope the Government
drivers who admitted to using by the RAC Foundation last unacceptable as drink driving, nds time in 2017 to tackle
a mobile phone had increased summer concluded that few or not wearing a seat belt. this growing menace.

4 17 January 2017 11
Tell us whats on your mind
Twitter: @ComputerActive

Stop scaremongering Water is essential, electricity may

about Windows 7 be very desirable, but millions
I read Russell Gartons letter in survive perfectly adequately
Issue 491 on Microsofts warning without gas or the internet.
concerning ransomware aecting I am a pensioner with internet
Windows 7. Sorry, but give it a rest. access that is a hangover from
Windows 7 will be updated and patched when I was working and needed
until at least 14 January 2020, so lets stop it. If I didnt have it now, I
the scaremongering wouldnt be looking for it. While
Microsoft and people like Mr Garton others may want me to have it, I
dont understand the massive job it can dont by any stretch of the
be to keep upgrading operating systems. deteriorate, and its allowed me to do so imagination need it. I have an ancient
In my case, it would take me at least a much that would otherwise have been laptop, which is too old to run Windows
week of hard work. I am heavily involved impossible. Im heartened by Microsofts 10 (mercifully) and when that dies, I
in ight simulation, with dozens of dedication to improving this tool in the probably wont replace it.
aircraft to install (if they work in Creators Update even if I usually dread The internet is not my preferred way of
Windows 10, that is). Does Microsoft major changes to Windows because they communicating, banking or purchasing.
care? No, as long as they can keep selling only seem to cause problems. I dont see anti-social media sites (that
new operating systems. Lets Tim Falconer can be conveniently grouped together
just enjoy using Windows ws under the title youtwitface) as the
7, and when 2020 comes Internet as vital as answer to social exclusion.
along we may decide to electricity? Dont be If one in seven pensioners live in
move to Windows 10. ludicrous! poverty, that is deplorable and an issue
Jeremy Newman There is too much talk of the digital that needs addressing long before forcing
divide in our society. I see that as simply them to have internet access by making
I think Russell Garton is being too the dierence between those who are the services they require available only
kind on Microsoft. The company free of digital clutter and those who are online. Doing business over the internet
has only one motive in publishing a slave to it. is seen by companies and the government
warnings about Windows 7 and thats to The idea put forward that internet as a way of shifting overheads to the
scare people into upgrading to Windows access is as important as other utilities, customer, and maximising prots while
10. As it happens, I think people should such as water, gas and electricity, is so appearing to still provide a service.
upgrade, but not because of Microsofts ludicrous as to warrant an LOL emoji! Mike Gosling
malware research. They should upgrade
for the simple reason that Windows 10 is
a major step forward in what an
operating system is capable of.
IBM PC shows how far weve come
Why doesnt Microsoft talk more about I always enjoy reading the little
Windows 10s brilliant tools, such as the Tomorrows World box in your
revamped Start menu, or the ability to set News pages for the glimpses it gives
up multiple virtual desktops? If 2016 into the future. I would like to suggest
taught us anything its that project fear you introduce a Yesterdays World box
doesnt work! Microsoft should as an interesting contrast, to highlight
accentuate the positive instead. how far technology has come - and
Pat Townsend maybe to stop people moaning about
modern computers, which really are
Heartened by new the stu of dreams.
Narrator tools A good example is an advert I found advert certainly makes it feel
I know Microsoft can sometimes on YouTube from 1977 that shows important, with lots of self-satised
get a kicking from Computeractive IBMs 5100 computer (www.snipca. business people boasting about how it
readers, but Id like to praise one aspect com/22908). The claims made about it improves their work. We may sco at a
of the company: how it tries to make sound hilarious now. For example, it computer that had a maximum storage
Windows accessible for people with weighs only 50 pounds (by contrast, of 64KB as we smugly tap away on our
disabilities. I was reminded of this when my modern Asus laptop weighs ve iPhones, but I bet our fancy devices
reading your news story in Issue 491 pounds). will be seen as quaintly prehistoric to
about the forthcoming Narrator tools. Ive But Im sure the 5100 felt like a people in 40 years.
relied on Narrator for the past few years breakthrough back then, and the Matthew Hall
ever since my eyesight started to

12 4 17 January 2017
Dont neglect defence
spending STAR LETTER
Gordon Sealy seems under the
impression that 39bn on defence
is wasted if we do not have a war (Star
We cant trust drivers to stop
Letter, Issue 490). Not true! Defence is using phones
mainly to deter war. If the UK is attacked
we should have spent more on defence; I would like to join the chrous of
enough in fact to deter the attack. I agree Computeractive readers calling
with his well-made point that a digital for stronger penalties for people using
invasion could disable the conventional their phones while driving. No text
armed forces by crippling the electricity message is so important that it cant
supply, transport, communications and wait until you park the car.
so on. I say lets spend more on cyber- But I think its going to be harder to
defence but not at the expense of stop this activity than it was to dissuade that of being inebriated while driving.
conventional weapons. people from drink driving, which was The only answer is for society to be
Nick Clatworthy very common when I was growing up forced to change, and for that to
in the 1960s. The simple reason: phones happen we need technology companies
can be taken everywhere, and indeed to come up with a solution.
are taken everywhere. People wake up, I read a while back that Apple was
check their phone; clean their teeth, working on a phone that turned itself
check their phone; get in the car, check o when it detected the movement of a
their phone. Its become a ritual of car. I would urge governments around
modern life thats irresistible, however the world to team up with tech
depressing that may be to those of us companies to encourage such research.
who remember life before them. Car manufacturers should get involved
Drink-driving is dierent. People too. It requires investment, innovation
dont have a pint every 30 seconds like and leadership, because drivers cant
I share Gordon Sealys concern they check their phones. And its also be trusted to voluntarily abandon this
about Russia hacking our easier to tell when someone is drunk, very dangerous practice.
infrastructure, but I think theres also a and shouldnt get behind the wheel of a Derek Baker
danger that it will try to inuence our car. By contrast, its impossible to tell
politics too. Weve seen recently that before a car journey whether somebody CA says Derek will be pleased to read
Russia has no qualms about hacking is going to spend half of it texting. about the Governments plans to
emails in the US to aect the result of So, unfortunately, society wont introduce technology that stops
elections. Theres no reason to think it change by itself. Nor will the stigma of phones working in cars
wont try to do likewise in the UK and using a phone while driving ever match see page 11.
Europe. Brexit negotiations are a case in
point. If our politicians send emails
containing sensitive information about The Star Letter writer wins a Computeractive mug!
Brexit, you can bet that Russia will try to
leak them in order to stir up trouble. the achievement, but wonder what to aim for, otherwise well be stuck in the
Maybe we should get our retaliation in practical benet it brought. The answer internet dark ages while the rest of the
rst, as they say, and hack the emails of would be too long to list in your Letters world rushes into the future.
Putin and his cronies. page. Nasa made many technological Ian Latimer
Gwen Churchill breakthroughs that have since fed into
devices we now take for granted. Why I wont sign Snoopers
Broadband benefits will Obviously, getting 1Gbps broadband for Charter petition
trickle down the UK isnt as signicant as landing on I wont be signing the petition to
If we all had the attitude of Eric the Moon. But Im condent that the repeal the Snoopers Charter,
Chambers wed have no progress whole of the country rural and urban despite Susan Crawfords impassioned
in anything. In his letter in Issue 491 he will benet from such ambitious plea in Issue 491. Thats because I value
attacks the Government for wanting to infrastructure plans. the freedom to walk the streets of
invest in 1Gbps broadband when millions Stuart Rourke England without being blown to bits in a
cant get speeds of 10Mbps. But its only terrorist attack. To pay for that freedom
by pushing the boundaries of whats As overstatements go, it would be Im happy to give the authorities access to
possible that more universal benets hard to beat Eric Chambers saying my browsing history. It doesnt turn the
trickle down. its morally wrong to prioritise 1Gbps UK into North Korea. It just means we
People often ask what society ever got broadband. I have my doubts whether the have a Government that understands
from Americas Apollo Moon landings. Government will achieve its ambition, how realistic the threat is from terrorists.
They grudgingly acknowledge the scale of but Im condent that its the right thing George Moore

4 17 January 2017 13
Should Amazon
take back Do I have to put up
inherently faulty with repeated
goods? repairs from HP?
I bought an HP Envy y laptop

In May 2015, I
bought a 137.99
Q from Currys for 699.99
99.99 on
29 December 2015. It worked
Snooper DVR-3HD well until September 2016 when the
dashboard camera for my car screen became faulty. Its beenn sent
from Amazon. It stopped charging after back twice to HP for repair,
15 months, but Snooper no longer but the laptops still not
supports this model so cant repair it. working properly. Do I have to
Can I make a claim with Amazon? put up with a third repair?
Gavin Read Harry James
reminded about how the CRA works.
Yes, Gavin can make a claim Absolutely not. Harry y didnt We phoned Currys again to explain
A with Amazon because as the
retailer it has a contract with
A even need to put up with a
second repair. But hes done
that it should refund Harry, or send a
replacement. But Currys could say that
him under the Sale of Goods Act. what many people do, which is to use it hasnt actually had the chance to
Because the camera cant be repaired the manufacturers warranty, instead repair the laptop because Harry went
Amazon must oer a replacement. This of his legal rights with the retailer straight to HP. Technically this is
can be a refurbished model, but must still under the Consumer Rights Act (CRA). correct, but its not much help to Harry
be t for purpose. If Amazon cant do this Using the CRA, introduced in 2015, because Currys would probably send
Gavin is entitled to a refund, but Amazon customers can demand a refund after the laptop to HP, which has repeatedly
can take some money o for the length of just one failed repair. failed to x the problem.
time Gavin has used the camera. For 15 However after we contacted Currys Alternatively, Currys may decide to
months use we think a fair refund about Harrys case, the retailer phoned oer Harry a partial refund because
would be around 100. him to say that because the laptop was hes owned the laptop for a year.
Because Gavin has owned the camera still under warranty he should send it However, we think that three repairs
for more than six months Amazon is back to HP for a fourth repair. Only during this period indicate that he
allowed to ask him to prove the fault is then, said the Currys employee who hasnt had good use out of the
inherent. If so, hell need to pay for phoned him, would the retailer laptop. We would expect
an inspection, but can ask consider a refund or replacement. It Currys to see sense and
Amazon to refund this if the appears that Currys sta need to be refund him in full.
camera is proved to be faulty.

Must I return faulty goods before receiving a refund?

I bought a set of Do It Wiser toner original items have been returned.
Q cartridges through Amazon
Marketplace for my Konica Minolta
If an item hasnt turned up within 30
days, you can demand a refund immediately
printer. However, the cyan cartridge is faulty. you dont have to wait for the retailer to
Amazon says it will refund me, but I have to track down the item. Similarly, you can ask
send the cartridges back, leaving me with no for a refund if an item takes longer than the
way to use my printer. Can you advise me? express delivery you paid for.
Mick Skinner Mick has bought cartridges from the
seller before, so he could contact them
Annoying though this is for Mick, as a loyal customer to see if it will
A Amazon is within its rights to ask
him to return the cartridges. This is
send him replacements as a
goodwill gesture. The company
because retailers are not obliged to give a may not ask Mick to send the
refund or send replacements until the originals back.

14 4 17 January 2017
Contact us so we can investigate your case
Write: Consumeractive, Computeractive, 30 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JD
Please include both your phone number and address.
Unfortunately, we cant reply to all your letters.
We sstand up for your legal rights

Whatt should
h ld I d
do with packages I didnt ask for?
Ive received two unsolicited of making a sale. It seems that shoppers wording of the law, which is that
Q packages from China, and one
from Brunei, containing two
who have bought items online from
China have been targeted in particular.
customers can use, deal with, or
dispose of the goods as if they were
pairs of very small gloves, a keyring, and Amazon customers sometimes buy an unconditional gift.
a small cycle light. Ive not ordered these items from China without realising it. To If the company has requested a
and having checked my PayPal, bank and check a companys location on Amazon, paym
payment, that would be a criminal
credit-card accounts, nd I havent been click its name thenn o
oence under the Unfair
charged. Do I have to return the items, read the Detailed Tr
Trading Regulations (unless
or contact the seller? Is this a scam? Seller Information
on its a genuine error). The
Gary Marshall in the right-hand co
company cant demand
column. that Gary return the
Weve actually no idea if this is a Under the Consumer
umer go
A scam or bizarre business tactic,
but after some research weve
Contract Regulations
Gary doesnt have to
ns An
Anyone who receives
unsolicited goods should
found that many puzzled people have contact the seller or keep
ep checking their bank
received unexpected goods from China. return the items, so andd Pa
PayPal accounts just
We think Gary has been targeted by ants
can do what he wants ts to m
make sure that
inertia selling, which is the practice of with them. This is scam
scammers havent
sending goods to customers in the hope made clear in the stolen
en any money.


BT fixes broadband to end
readers year of frustration End-of-support dates in 2017
Were happy to report that after a year of
constant problems with her broadband, BT Adobe Reader XI Symantec Mobile
customer Jenny Terras now has a reliable 15 October Security
service again. As we reported in Issue 489, 1 March
her connection had been going down up to 50 times a day. BBC iPlayer on Wii U
BT added to her frustration by incorrectly telling her that she 16 January Trend Micro
needed to contact Openreach for help. SafeSync
BT apologised for this, acknowledging that it is responsible for Avira Ultimate 31 January
fixing broadband problems, and sent an engineer to her house Protection Suite
to do just that. Jenny told us: An engineer spent the best part 3 July Ubuntu 12.04
of a day with us, ending up by replacing a considerable length 26 April
of wire in the area. So it sounds like Jenny may have done her Asus Transformer
neighbours a favour by pursuing her problem with BT. Pad (2014) Windows Essentials
However, it took far too long for BT to fix this. If your internet May 2012 Suite
service provider (ISP) isnt responding to your complaints, you 10 January
could consider raising the issue with Ofcom at www.snipca. Google Nexus 5X
com/22829, or by calling 0300 123 3333 or 020 7981 3040. & 6P phones Windows Vista
Although the regulator cant look into individual cases, it will September 11 April
take notice of a large number of complaints and could launch an
investigation into the behaviour of an ISP. Kaspersky 2014 Microsofts lifecycle
While Jennys case has had a welcome outcome, its a stark 8 January for Windows
reminder there are still too many people who cant get a decent
broadband connection. Despite pledges from politicians and Microsoft Office
ISPs about pumping money into the UKs infrastructure to give 10 October
rural areas better connections,
Jenny and many others live too Panda Security for
far from the exchange to receive Desktops 4.50
fibre broadband. June

4 17 January 2017 15
Protect Your Tech
Scams and threats to avoid, plus new security tools


Fake malware warnings in Edge

Whats the threat? has been presented in theory only
A security researcher has demonstrated whats known as a proof of concept. But
how hackers can manipulate Edge so it hackers will be delighted to learn from
shows fake malware alerts that mimic Caballeros blog post (www.snipca.
the browsers genuine red warnings. com/22841) that theres a aw in one of
Manuel Caballero from Buenos Aires the worlds most popular browsers.
said that hackers can display warnings Microsoft will probably x this in an
that look almost identical to those update soon, but until then you should
produced by Edges SmartScreen lter, be especially vigilant when using Edge.
which tells you if youre about to visit a Should they appear, these fake warnings
site it deems to be unsafe. Caballero will be among the most realistic ever seen.
showed that hackers can change the You could disable SmartScreen Filter,
wording of this warning to include a but we wouldnt recommend this. Since
phone number (see screenshot). 2006, when it launched with Internet become more powerful. In December
Calling the number would put you Explorer 7, it has oered reliable 2015, Microsoft gave it the ability to
straight through to them. protection against online threats (just as block drive-by attacks, which are
Googles Safe Browsing has for Chrome, triggered simply by visiting a website
What should you do? Firefox and Opera). Turning it o to avoid you dont have to click anything to
Never ring a phone number in a a threat that has yet to be seen online download the malware. Visit
warning from Edge. Theres no would be an overreaction. Microsofts site for more information:
immediate danger because this threat Over the years SmartScreen Filter has

New tools Vindows Locker Decryption Tools
No, thats not a typing error
theres a new strain of How to spot an HSBC scam
ransomware that spells Windows Ive been an HSBC customer for years
as if with a strong German and never been targeted by scammers
accent. But it uses a depressingly pretending to be from the bank. Until
familiar tactic in an attempt to last month, that is, when I received
con you, namely urging you to an email allegedly from HSBC saying
call a level 5 Microsoft that I needed to update my HSBC
technician (the smiling fellow in Safeguard details. The subject line
the screenshot apparently) who looked convincing: Please complete
will miraculously unlock your Safeguard action. And likewise the
les for a piing $349.99. from title: HSBC Bank. But the
If you phone the number actual email address didnt include
provided, the scammers will connect to whether youre fooled or not. HSBC, and hovering your mouse
your PC, then open a genuine Microsoft Thankfully, the malware is easier to over one of the links shows the URL
support page in the hope of persuading crack than a boiled egg. Malwarebytes of a non-HSBC site. I had my worst
you they are authentic. Next they take wasted no time in publishing a tool suspicions conrmed by this report:
you to a web page with a credit-card that frees your les - just click the link
form and ask you to ll it in. above then click the Download button. Beryl Cole
Its far from the most convincing This YouTube video explains how it Warn your fellow readers about scams at
scam ever. But your PC les are locked works:

16 4 17 January 2017
Best Free Software
Jane Hoskyn recommends new programs that wont cost you anything


TeamViewer 12
What you need: Windows 7, 8/8.1 or 10

TeamViewer was created by and for business people, and its (megabytes per second). The new version also has a
website is still littered with management jargon. But dont be redesigned interface thats easier to use, and lets you leave
put o. This superb free program deserves a place on virtual sticky notes on other PCs.
everyones PC. It lets you share a live, secure video stream of The main downside is that the best new features in
your screen with someone anywhere in the world. You see TeamViewer 12 like the option to connect to phone and
their screen and they see yours, and you can chat and share tablet screens are reserved for business users. With prices
les while youre at it. starting at 30 a month, thats not an option for the rest of us.
This means you can talk a friend through a PC problem And we dont like the way TeamViewer begs you to Buy
without having to visit their house (or let them visit yours). license when you close it. You dont have to all the basic
You can invite family to view your latest photos while theyre features are free.
on the other side of the world, and even give friends a tour of To get it, click Download TeamViewer 12, save and run the
your new laptop. installer, then click Personal/Non-commercial use in the
Its very quick and easy to set up, and secured by unique ID setup wizard. Follow the steps in TeamViewers YouTube
codes and passwords. Video is much smoother and more video ( to set up a connection with
reliable in the new TeamViewer 12, and le sharing is 20 another computer. Once youre connected, youll see the
times faster, with transfer speeds of up to 200Mbps window in our screenshot below.


1 Once youve connected 2 To leave a note on the other 3 To share les, click Files 4 Click the speech bubble to
to a remote computer computer using the new & Extras, then Open le start chatting to the person
(Janes Mac, in our example), Remote Sticky Notes feature, transfer. The Files & Extras on the other computer. The
TeamViewer displays a live click Actions and then click menu also lets you take chat box you can see here
video stream of the other Leave note on the toolbar screenshots and record a is actually mirrored from
computers screen. that appears. video of the remote screen. the other computer.

18 4 17 January 2017
We tell you what software to use

Whats the best program for

removing duplicate files?
I have been an avid reader of Computeractive for

Q some years. I remember reading about programs
for dealing with duplicate les, but now I cant
nd them in my old magazines. Could you help?
GUIPropView Alan Blackburn
What you need: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8/8.1 or 10 The program you remember may be Duplicate &

Your PCs Task Manager lists your running processes. But what
A Same Files Searcher (,
which I mentioned briey on this page in Issue
if you want to investigate a particular folder or browser window, 465. Its worth a look, but theres now a much better
and dont know which process it relates to? One solution is to contender AllDup ( This superb
use NirSofts GUIPropView, which lists all your top-level program is completely free (and junk-free) and treats your
windows (those you can see) and child windows (background les with respect. Its powerful and fast, but it doesnt
processes) with their le location, size and other properties. automatically remove any duplicates until youve double-
To nd out what process a specic window is linked to, click checked them and given it the go-ahead.
and drag the target icon (below File) to the window in question, AllDup guides you through three
and then GUIPropView will then highlight the corresponding main steps: Select source folder,
entry. You can then right-click the entry to hide or close that Search method and then Start
window, stop its associated processes, and more. To get the search. Search methods include
portable program, scroll to the bottom of the page then click the duplicated le names, size, contents,
appropriate Download GUIPropView link (32bit or 64bit). Save date and more, and you can choose
and extract the ZIP, then click GUIPropView.exe to launch it. one or more of these criteria when
searching. Then you review the duplicates, tick those
you want to remove, and nally select Remove all selected
les from the search result in the Remove menu. Its the
most useful le-management program Ive tested for some
time, and Ill take a closer look at it in Best Free Software
when it has its next big update.
To get AllDup, click Download and then click Server #1
or Server #2, then save and run the installer (AllDupSetup.
exe). During setup, tick Add AllDup to the Windows
Explorer context menu. This lets you right-click any folder
and select AllDup search for same to nd duplicates,
without having to launch the AllDup program.

Start Menu X 6.00 Do you need our advice on what software to use?
Just email us at
What you need: Windows 7, 8/8.1 or 10

The return of the Start menu in Windows 10 is great, but its still ON SALE NOW!
cluttered with gaudy tiles for features and apps you may not
want. Start Menu X restores a more practical menu, with The A-Z Jargon
everything you need and nothing you dont. Click a location on Buster Book
the left, such as Control Panel, Documents or Programs
(default), and the big box on the right lls with an at-a-glance
This A-Z guide contains over
list of items in that location. New version 6.00 lets you add up to
950 definitions of computing
ve more folders of items to the menu, and oers alternative
and tech jargon, helping you
styles Classic Start Menu (like XP) or Start Menu 10. You can
take back control of your PC.
even replace the Start button with an Angry Bird or the Apple
icon, if you really want (youll nd these in Options). To get Buy it now at
Start Menu X, click Download then run the installer. Under
license type, click Free version.

4 17 January 2017 19
Reviews New products tested by our experts

PC 600 from Aria

Aria Gladiator Centurion Lite

A desktop PC with added spice

Imagine you really fancy a curry, but the (others have 6GB), and has a few other
local Chinese restaurant has a special small technical restrictions. On the other
oer and you can get a whole banquet for hand, thanks to Nvidias memory-
the price of your usual balti. Do you stick compression techniques its arguably
with what you know you wanted, or let more like a 4GB card. In any case, it made
yourself be swayed? short work of our gaming tests, running a
Dont worry, this is still Computeractive, very challenging shooting game at a
we havent morphed into Takeaway respectable 50 frames per second (fps) at
Weekly. PCs, you see, can be a bit like Full HD resolution, with maximum
dinners. In our oce, we tend to favour quality settings. A less demanding racing
desktop PCs that devote more of their game hit 90fps even at a 2560x1440-pixel
budget to the central processor (CPU) resolution.
rather than the graphics card, so that we Beyond gaming, the value of a GPU is
get our moneys worth in all-round harder to assess. Unlike when you
performance, and we can do a little 3D upgrade to a faster CPU, adding a GPU of the USB ports have DAC-UP, which
gaming and advanced graphics tasks if wont automatically help with every task. helps to get the best from external
and when we need it. Thats our regular Only software specically designed to use digital-to-analogue accessories. Inside
chicken tikka masala, if you like. the relevant type of GPU will benet. The the case, little is tted except the GTX
good news is that Nvidia cards are widely 1060 and a 1TB hard drive, but there are
supported by photo- and video-editing lots of slots and bays for more, including
Its geared towards programs and 3D-animation software, but M.2 for a fast SSD. The four fans (in
also work well in non-graphics tasks addition to the processor coolers) can get
gaming and graphical through CUDA, Nvidias technology for a little noisy, but should stop anything
carrying out general processing work on melting.
tasks, but should the GPU. CUDA users include scientic You might prefer a more powerful i5
appeal to all researchers as well as graphics
CPU, or spend a little more on an i7, but
the Gladiator Centurion Lite is an
A compatible GPU in video-editing attractive option. In the end, it comes
But this years new generation of software, for example, is more likely to let down to your personal needs.
graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia you add colour correction and special
oer such huge amounts of processing eects to your timeline without making SPECIFICATIONS
power at aordable prices real-time playback jerky. But 3.7GHz Intel Core i3-6100 processor 8GB memory
that its tempting to buy a PC its less likely to help with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card 1TB hard
disk 5x USB 3.0 3x USB 2.0 Gigabit Ethernet 3x
that uses more of its budget tasks like transcoding from
HDMI ports 2x DisplayPort 2x DVI ports Windows
on superior graphics one format to another, which 10 Home 48x115x115mm (HxWxD) Three-year
technology. This will already would gain more from a warranty
be important to you if you more powerful CPU. In our
happen to be a gaming PC benchmark tests the Aria VERDICT: Its aimed at gamers, but will
user. Either way, this system scored very well on image also appeal to people who edit lots of
from Aria is well worth a editing despite the i3, pretty photos and videos
look. By using a fairly modest well on video editing, and in

Intel i3 CPU, it leaves enough line with other i3 systems in
change from a sensible 600 multitasking. ALTERNATIVE: Palicomp
budget for a shiny new Audio is also well served. i5 Tremor 750 Iff youre
GeForce GTX 1060 graphics As well as a headphone jack all about the CPU,
U, try a
card, based on Nvidias latest there are rear speaker and very fast overclocked
ocked i5
Pascal architecture. subwoofer connections. processor with a basic
This particular 1060 comes Theres also an S/PDIF AMD R7 370 graphics
phics card
with only 3GB of memory bre-optic socket, and three

20 4 17 January 2017
PC MONITOR 299 from Misco

Philips Brilliance 258B6QUEB/00 Computeractive is owned by Dennis

Publishing, which owns a hi-tech facility
for testing the latest technology. Youll
A new Type of monitor often read references to our benchmark
testing, which is a method of assessing
products using the same criteria. For
Whoever came up with the example, we test the speed of every
expression Any port in a storm PC and the battery life of every tablet
clearly wasnt thinking of the in exactly the same way. This makes
PC market. The last thing youd our reviews authoritative, rigorous
want to be doing in a storm is and accurate.
trying to gure out which port Dennis Publishing also owns
you need to plug a peripheral the magazines PC Pro, Computer
into. Several types of port will Shopper and Web User and the
end up being replaced by the websites Expert Reviews (www.
new USB Type-C format. But and Alphr (www.
if you thought that would This means we can test
simplify matters, youd better thousands of products before choosing
go back and grab your souwester. er. the most relevant for Computeractive.
Type-C refers to the shape of the plug
and socket. Apples new MacBook ook Pro, FAIR AND IMPARTIAL
for example, has four ultra-fast Type-C It covers more than 98 per cent of the Our writers follow strict guidelines to
Thunderbolt 3 sockets. You can also sRGB colour range, with excellent ensure the reviews are fair and
plug USB Type-C 3.1 devices into them, contrast and brightness, making it impartial. The manufacturer has no
but you cant connect Thunderbolt 3 suitable for most tasks. involvement in our tests.
devices to the USB 3.1 Type-C ports on
current PCs. Many screens, however, can OUR AWARDS
connect to both varieties using a simple A stylish monitor, We award every product
Type C-to-DisplayPort cable. that gets five stars our
This monitor is the rst weve seen with with good colour BUY IT! Buy It! stamp of approval.
an actual Type-C input a connection It means we were
which is designed to make everything a accuracy and USB extremely impressed by the product,
bit easier by using the same plug at both
ends of the cable (which, annoyingly, is
Type-C connection and we think you will be too.

not included). Not only that, but the plug Every product that gets a
ts into the socket either way up. The Given that any desktop PC and laptop four-star review is given
Brilliance also has a full set of regular that have Type-C will probably only have the Great Pick award. We
inputs for non-Type-C PCs, and it just one port, it would be ideal to have a highly recommend these
happens to be a rather good screen, monitor that provided more Type-C products, although they just fail to meet
whichever way you connect it. ports. But this one doesnt even have a the high standard of our Buy It! winners.
The 25in panel matches the 2560x1440 single pass-through port to daisy-chain
pixel count of mid-range 27in screens, more Type-C devices. Instead, the USB PRICES
so although it lacks the sharpness of 4K signal from your PC goes to a USB 3.0 Our reviews contain a link to the best
screens, yyou can still t a lot of work in. (not 3.1) hub with three sockets. Thats price we found online at the time of press.
useful, but not quite what we hoped for.
Still, this is a functional and stylish
screen, with narrow bezels, a wide range VERDICT: Type-C denitely seems
of height, tilt and swivel adjustment and to be the future, and this decent,
90-degree rotation for document reading. stylish screen is a step in the right
If you have a Type-C port to plug it into, direction
all the better, but its simply a very good

monitor, as long as youre happy with a
slightly smaller panel than 27in rivals. ALTERNATIVE: BenQ GW2765HT 300
This basic IPS monitor
SPECIFICATIONS oers the same resolution
25in IPS LCD 2560x1440-pixel resolution 2W
and comparable picture
stereo speakers 1x HDMI port 1x USB Type-C port
1x DVI port 1x DisplayPort 1x VGA port 3x USB quality in a larger
3.0 ports 511x571x244mm (HxWxD) One-year 27in screen

4 17 January 2017 21
PRINTER 174 from Amazon
Do I really need a...
Xerox Phaser 6022V Blue-light filter?
Compact colour laserr What does it do?
It cuts out a range of frequencies at
the blue end of the colour spectrum.
In Star Trek theyre always setting
tting Products include PC monitors that
phasers to stun. Xeroxs Phaserser reduce blue light; lters for screens;
is quite happy to mildly impress.
ress. apps that reduce the blue light emitted
The 6022V, like its stablemates,s, by devices; and lens coatings for
is a solidly unremarkable laser
ser glasses that cut blue light.
printer, in this case a budget A4
colour model thats pleasantly ly Why would I want one?
compact. With its cheery bluee lid Studies have shown that exposure to
and kitchen-appliance styling, g, it light from electronic devices and some
looks well suited to home as well energy-ecient lightbulbs, especially in
as oce use. the two or three hours before bed, can
Xerox invented much of thehe disrupt your biological clock. The sun
technology behind laser printers,
ters, emits a full range of frequencies, but
originally as a way of modernising
nising its pages for black and 1,000 for each of it sets before we go to sleep. We may
photocopiers. The output we got from the three colour cartridges. Theres no leave the lights in our houses switched
the Phaser 6022V lived up to its heritage: high-capacity option to make supplies on after dusk, but the yellowish light of
black text was as crisply precise as youd better value for money. These prices incandescent lightbulbs is friendly to
hope from a laser printer, and our colour will vary depending on what deals you our sun-adapted brains. Newer gadgets
documents looked detailed and vibrant, can get on toner. Unocial rells will emit more blue light, and its this that
even if gradients and photos couldnt be a lot cheaper. experts think is messing up our ability to
escape a little of the banding eect we One benet of choosing Xerox sleep (see
often see in this type of printing. although they might not thank us for Blue light seems to suppress the
pointing this out is that third-party hormone melatonin, and this can not
compatible rells are widely available. only inuence your circadian rhythm but
Despite its quality You can nd a full set of four toner could even increase your risk of cancer.
cartridges for around 66, cheaper
prints, its just too slow than Xeroxs prices of 70 for black and Whats the catch?
and expensive to run 55 for each colour.
While most inkjet printers now have
Theres not much
evidence that solutions
to justify this price a colour touchscreen and built-in
scanner, the 6022V is more basic. It
actually help, although
the makers of the blue light
ed ti
doesnt even oer duplex (printing both app f.lux ( have
At an average of just under 12 pages sides of the paper), and although Wi-Fi is compiled an interesting graph of various
per minute (ppm) for our 20-page text built in, you can only print from mobile devices and lters (www.snipca.
document, however, slowing to just devices if you add the Xerox Wireless com/22893). Making all your apps go a
over 9ppm in colour (so much for the Print Solutions Adapter for a mind- funny colour isnt ideal, and for colour-
promised up to 18ppm) it wasnt quick, boggling 140 extra. If you were going related work, such as photo editing,
and the cramped 150-sheet paper tray is to spend that much money, youd have youll need to turn any ltering o.
another clue that this isnt a machine a very wide range of Wi-Fi printers
intended for high-volume users. to consider. So can I do without it?
The question, then, is why you should Were talking about specic
choose it over an inkjet printer, especially VERDICT: This is a solid laser printer and possibly subtle eects.
at the relatively high price. Running costs in a neat chassis, but it really doesnt You need some exposure to
arent persuasive either, working out at do enough to justify its price or blue light to stay healthy, and
around 2.1p for a mono page and an running costs anyway youll get 30 times
exorbitant 15p for colour. Thats partly more blue light standing outside

because the capacity is limited to 2,000 than using a tablet. Eye specialists
ALTERNATIVE: Epson recommend you dont spend long
SPECIFICATIONS WorkForce Pro WF- periods looking at a screen, regardless
1200x2400dpi maximum print resolution 18ppm 5620DWF 190 A fast ast of blue light. Reading a Kindle or similar
quoted speed PCL 6 PostScript Level 3 emulation
USB 2 10/100 Ethernet 246x397x398mm
inkjet printer that does electronic ink device should be better,
(HxWxD) 12.4kg One-year warranty more and costs less to runun but not if you use its backlight.

22 4 17 January 2017
MOUSE 58 from Amazon

Logitech M720 Triathlon

No more Bluetooth bother

Laptops have built-in trackpads that serve is a fa, especially if its wireless,
the same purpose as a mouse, but because youll need to re-pairpair it
whether they work as well in practice is with the other machine each h time.
another matter. The latest big glass- Logitech to the rescue: this is
topped multi-touchpads are wonderfully Bluetooth mouse can stay paired aired with up scroll fast, which is great, although its
responsive, detecting Windows 10 two- to three machines at once. It has a simple not as sophisticated as a touch-sensitive
and three-ngered gestures as well as switch at the front to select them, so two-way scrolling surface like that of
basic cursor movements. However, theres no need to go into settings. One Apples Magic mice.
cheaper laptops come with much less USB Bluetooth dongle is supplied in case
impressive versions that can feel your desktop PC doesnt have a wireless VERDICT: This solidly made multi-PC
frustratingly vague and imprecise. Adding card, but your other system or systems mouse will save a lot of fuss for some
a mouse is the obvious answer, but it galls will need Bluetooth Smart, part of the users, but 60 is a lot to pay for a fairly
to buy one in addition to your PCs mouse Bluetooth 4.0 specication, which is built standard mouse
when you can only use one at a time. And in to work with the Triathlon.

swapping the one from your desktop PC The mouse is a comfortable shape,
though evidently made for right-handers, ALTERNATIVE: Logitech M705 40
SPECIFICATIONS and provides a couple of programmable This also has extra
2.4GHz wireless mouse Requires Bluetooth receiver buttons, which you can assign to buttons and a
(supplied) or device with Bluetooth 4.0 or higher
functions in dierent programs, as well switchable free/notched d
Supports Windows 8 or 10, Chrome OS, Mac OS
10.10 or later Requires 1xAA battery 45x74x115mm as the usual left, right and centre buttons scroll wheel if you dont
(HxWxD) 135g One-year warranty www.snipca. and vertical scroll wheel. The wheel is of need multi-PC connection on
com/22906 the ywheel type, so you can ick k it to

GRAPHICS CARD 196 from Scan

MSI Nvidia BUY IT!

GeForce GTX 1060 3GB
More graphics for less money

When we opened up the Aria Gladiator most demanding 3D games on on the card. The most
Centurion Lite (see page 20), we found the highest settings, it managed demanding games also need as
something unusual: Nvidias new GTX 60 frames per second (fps) at much video memory as possible. Rated at
1060 graphics card, one of the more 2560x1440 pixels, matching pricier
er 120 watts, the 3GB 1060 is power-ecient,
aordable versions of its latest series of 27in monitors. with our test PC peaking at 243W in total
GeForce GPUs, but with only 3GB of its Being an Nvidia card, it should also compared to 290W with an RX 480.
own memory. help with advanced graphics software.
It turns out that this version (available Youll need to check compatibility with VERDICT: This wont satisfy if you might
from a range of partner manufacturers) your programs, but anything that can need more video memory now or later,
also features slightly fewer stream benet from other Nvidia cards, such as but for many users this looks like an
processors the chips that basically do the popular GTX 960, should be able to excellent deal
the work than the standard 6GB unit. use the 1060, whether for graphics

These compromises bring the cost down processing using OpenGL or Microsofts
by about 50, but the 3GB card still held DirectX 12, or converting video via ALTERNATIVE: Sapphire AMD RX 480
up very well in our tests. In some of the OpenCL or Nvidias CUDA. It also supports 4GB 220 Discounts are bringingng g this
Vulkan, a new alternative to OpenGL. tss
nearer the 1060s price. Its
Here you might nd the smaller great, though graphics
3GB two-slot PCI-E 3.0 graphics card 250x111mm
Supports Nvidia SLI, G-Sync, DirectX 12_1, Vulkan, memory limiting: there are video programs favour Nvidia
OpenGL One-year warranty plug-ins, for example, that require 4GB

4 17 January 2017 23
LAPTOP TABLET 999 from John Lewis

Lenovo Yoga 900S

The noveltys wearing thin

The S in the name might stand for slim:

at 12.8mm, this touchscreen laptop-tablet
hybrid is one of the skinnier options. Its
also light, shaving 300g o of the Yoga
900, Lenovos top-end model. This is the
company that took over IBMs laptop
division, so although its become
known for its endless variety of
budget two-in-one hybrids, it also wants
to sell durable mid-range systems to
people who dont mind spending a bit
extra for quality. And quality is what you
see when you open the box. shield-like shape with lots of space in demanding programs and multitasking
between. This confused our ngers, even did slow things down quite noticeably.
if our wrists were comforted by a cosy Its absolutely ne if using Microsoft
It looks classy and faux-leather nish on the area just in Oce and web browsing are the kinds of
front of the keyboard. The touchpad, tasks you have in mind, but look
has sharp resolution, unlike the Yoga 900s, worked awlessly, elsewhere for a desktop PC replacement.
as did the touchscreen. What a low-power processor should
but its keyboard and 2560x1440 pixels, also known as QHD, oer, as well as a thinner case with less

battery disappoint is a very sharp resolution for a screen of

this size, so everything looked amazing
fan noise, is longer battery life. Here the
900S doesnt quite deliver. Our video-
and crisp, and Windows 10s scaling playback test lasted eight hours 39
This build, with its intricate hinge and options allowed us to choose whether to minutes, enough for most work days but
two-tone black-and-aluminium styling, t more in or make it bigger. But our tests not as reassuring as the 900s 11-plus
hasnt changed much since 2014, but it revealed that it only covered 86 per cent hours. The latest 12in MacBook, which
still looks classy. And it still has a full-size of the sRGB colour range, which wont costs a couple of hundred quid more in
USB 3.0 port, as well as the new USB please photo or video editors, despite its m5 conguration, managed 10 hours
Type-C version, which can connect a good contrast and acceptable brightness. 12 minutes, while the cheaper Dell XPS 13
monitor, plus a USB 2.0 that also serves Youll have to take our comments about lasted 11 hours 30 minutes.
as the power input. The keyboard isnt its performance with a small pinch of On the other hand, the bulkier Dell
detachable, but it does fold all the way salt, because our test model came with weighs 30 per cent more and lacks the
back when not required. While youre 8GB of memory, whereas the equivalent touchscreen. So, as ever, it comes down
typing, that hinge keeps the display at m5-processor model in the shops has half to where you choose to compromise.
the exact angle you want. that amount. Thatll make multitasking
Unfortunately, we didnt nd typing more of a chore, and if you need top SPECIFICATIONS
much fun. The 12.5in format provides speed for a full range of tasks you might Intel Core m5-6Y54 processor 4GB memory
128GB SSD 12.5in 2560x1440-pixel screen 1x USB
plenty of room for full-size keys, but for want to consider more expensive variants 3.0 1x USB 2.0 1x USB Type-C 802.11ac Wi-Fi
some reason Lenovo has made the keys of the 900S, which go up to an i7 Windows 10 Home 12.8x305x208mm (HxWxD)
smaller, and given them an odd processor as well as the extra RAM. 999g One-year warranty
Even with 8GB, the m5 is no match
for Intels i-series p
processors, which VERDICT: Its not badly priced for an
come in desktop PCs. The 900S attractive and practical laptop-tablet,
managed to run our 4K video- but the 900S doesnt break any moulds
processing tes
tests, which is more

than can be said for some budget
laptops, but this isnt a budget ALTERNATIVE: Dell XPS 13 899 Less
machine, and it scored about money for a more powerful processor
a quarte
quarter of what wed and a sharper
consider acceptable for a screen, but in
desktop PC at a similar a conventional
price. Windows 10 in non-touch laptop
general was usable, but

24 4 17 January 2017
SINGLE BOARD PC 15 from Farnell Element

BBC micro:bit
A tiny computer for play BUY IT!
and more

The Raspberry Pi (see our review, Issue

473) showed that a simple circuit board
could inspire more digital creativity than
a full-blown PC. Hobbyists, kids and
professionals alike have been using the Pi
for nearly ve years now to program
gadgets, games, robots and all kinds of
video, music and automation projects.
The BBC micro:bit serves similar purposes,s,
but with some notable dierences.

A piece of kit you

can use for an unlimited
range of purposes
The most obvious distinction is the monitor. Instead, you program it from a piece of kit that you can use for an
built-in display the lowest-resolution PC, tablet or phone, connected via the unlimited range of purposes. When we
screen youre ever likely to see, with a microUSB port or wirelessly via Bluetooth. visited the Maker Faire UK show (see
5x5 grid of red LEDs. Technically, thats There are several ways to write code, earlier this year,
one thirty-fth of a trillionth of Full HD, including Microsofts Block Editor, which we already found plenty of companies
which doesnt sound very impressive. But is a bit like Scratch (the programming oering add-ons, and more are appearing
making messages and pictures scroll language schoolchildren use in IT classes). all the time.
across it, much like those displays in shop Lots of help is available online to get you So theres plenty to try, and because it
windows and minicab oces, is great started and troubleshoot. The board has only costs 15 you might end up
fun. It also makes the micro:bit more two programmable buttons for user connecting your micro:bit permanently to
eective as a standalone controller input, a compass and an accelerometer, something you build, then buying another.
system, because it can display its own as well as pins to communicate with For anyone interested in electronics or
indicators and error messages. Yet its still other components, either directly or via just generally putting together things that
small enough it would almost t in a breakout boards from companies such work its an excellent starting point.
matchbox for almost any job. as Kitronik. When not powered via USB,
Unlike a Raspberry Pi, though, the it needs two AAA batteries. SPECIFICATIONS
16MHz ARM Cortex-M0 processor 16KB memory
micro:bit cant function as a standalone The micro:bit doesnt come with a set
128KB storage 5x5-pixel LED display Compass
computer when connected to a proper of ready-made projects. Instead its a Accelerometer Bluetooth LE MicroUSB 25-pin
edge connector 7x85x56mm (HxWxD)

You might wonder why the BBC would be basis of products like VERDICT: For once, our Buy it!
selling a tech product. In reality, its not. the iPhone. recommendation probably doesnt go
The idea of putting the BBC name The micro:bit was far enough if the idea appeals, you
to a home computer goes back to the initiated by the Computer
ter may end up buying several
1980s, when over a million schools and Literacy Programme in 2012

families had a BBC Micro. It was made working with 29 partners, who bore
and marketed by Acorn, which won a most of the cost. After giving away the ALTERNATIVE: Raspberry
berry Pi Zero 4
bid to participate in the BBCs Computer first batch of boards to schools, aiming for This is a computer in itself,
Literacy Programme. The project was an one per Year 7 child across the UK, the but needs a monitor
enormous success introducing millions project was passed on to the non-profit and keyboard. More
of schoolkids to computing and helping Microbit Education Foundation, run by a powerful versions
to develop the ARM chip architecture, the former ARM executive. are also available

4 17 January 2017 25
PHONE 399 from OnePlus

OnePlus 3T
More expensive, but still good value

OnePlus started out by crowdfunding, The OnePlus 3s attractive aluminium

inviting customers to place pre-orders, case, decent 16-megapixel rear camera
and their success allowed them to develop and excellent AMOLED screen are left
a more conventional business model. Its unchanged. The processor is even better,
made some of the best-value phones of matching much pricier phones, and the
the past couple of years. At rst glance, battery has been tweaked to charge ge
the 3T looks like a move in the wrong faster. Strangely, our video-playback
ack test
direction. When we rst reviewed the ran it down in just 13 hours 22 minutes,
OnePlus 3 (see Issue 480), it was a fantastic compared with nearly 17 hours forr the
phone for a very reasonable 309. Then, original OnePlus 3. However, in daily
as sterling fell, it went up to 329. Now use the 3T did seem to last longer a
its been replaced by a new model at 399. reminder that improving battery life is
a complicated business. The one new
feature that did fail to impress us was the
With improved 16-megapixel sele camera, which h often
got exposure and colour balance wrong.
screen, speed and What may persuade you more iss news
storage it remains a that an upgrade to its OxygenOS software
(based on Android 7.0 Nougat) is already
great bargain available in a beta version and will soon
be nished. OnePlus says itll take this VERDICT: It may not be a huge leap
opportunity to sort out a software forward from its cheaper predecessor,
So far, so disappointing. In fact, though, problem that at times in our tests made but this is still one of the best mid-range
the 3T remains a great bargain. For a start, the touchscreen feel slow to respond. phones around
you get a sensible 64GB of storage as We wish it was 309, but OnePlus is still

standard. As with iPhones, theres no showing the big brands how its done.
microSD card slot to add capacity, but ALTERNATIVE: Moto Z Play y
if you think you might need more, a SPECIFICATIONS 341 With 32GB and a microSD roSD
128GB model is available for 439. Bear 5.5in 1920x1080-pixel screen 16-megapixel rear slot, this isnt as fast but it has a
camera 16-megapixel front camera 64GB flash
in mind that Apple still only oers 32GB lengthy battery life and optional
storage 802.11ac Wi-Fi Bluetooth 4.2 3G/4G
in its basic congurations, and charges OxygenOS 153x75x7.4mm (HxWxD) 158g One- accessories
100 extra for 128GB. year warranty

WHAT SHOULD I BUY? We solve your buying dilemmas

Which desktop PC would you recommend?

Im not a gamer, but I do Windows Phone 8 was the last Gladiator Intel Core i5 6500 (see our
Q prefer desktop PCs to laptops.
I have a Windows Vista Home
A version of that operating system
(now superseded by Windows 10
review, Issue 488). But if you dont have
lots of expansion in mind you could
PC, but Microsoft will stop supporting Mobile) that was compatible with consider a compact NUC system
it in April. I also have a Windows Windows Vista. If youre having trouble (pictured), available from online shops
Phone, but Photo Gallery doesnt connecting the phone, Microsofts (such as PC Specialist from 410: www.
recognise it when I connect it with a support page at Or you might want
USB cable. might help. However, Vista is obsolete to wait and see what systems turn up
So Ive decided to buy a new now, so it may indeed be time for a new with Intels new Kaby Lake processors
computer. What would you suggest? Windows 10 computer. (see our tech preview page 29).
And something thats not in the 1,000 You can get a decent general-purpose
price bracket, please! desktop PC with a capable i5 processor Do you need advice on what you should buy?
Dot Wilson for as little as 400, such as the Aria Email us at

26 4 17 January 2017
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WIRELESS MOUSE 12 from Amazon

Anker Ergonomic Wireless

Vertical Mouse Stand up for your wrist
An Ergonomic Wireless Vertical Mouse on your desk and you grip it with
sounds like something that would be your hand at about 60 degrees more
found in the back of Emilys shop and vertical than with a traditional mouse,
brought to Bagpuss for identication. which means your elbow sticks out
Even Professor Yae probably wouldnt less. The chunky device has a soft
guess it was a computer input device. rubbery nish and is shaped to t your Also, annoyingly, the mouse turns itself
And thats the whole point, really: hand comfortably, as long as youre o after 10 minutes idle, requiring a click
it doesnt work the same way as a right-handed (if not, you can start to awaken it.
regular mouse, instead giving a thinking of rude names to call the
dierent shape to hold at a dierent manufacturer). VERDICT: It wont replace the
angle, which could prove very helpful if We liked the feel of this, and the conventional mouse, but a change can
you suer from repetitive strain injury scroll wheel and right and left buttons be as good as a rest (for your wrist), and
(RSI) from using a conventional mouse. are easy to reach, although our this is a cheap and eective one
The Ergonomic Wireless Vertical Mouse thumb struggled to nd the small

(also available with a wire) sits upright Forward and Back buttons. Do be sure
to order some AAA batteries: youll cal
ALTERNATIVE: Evoluent Vertical
SPECIFICATIONS need two, and theyre not included. Mouse 4 80 This is stocked
2.4GHz wireless mouse Windows XP, 7, 8 or 10 and
Linux (not recommended for Mac) Requires 2xAAA While other wireless mouse makers by ergonomic specialists,
batteries (not supplied) 87x58x115mm (HxWxD) quote battery life in years, Anker but its pricey
95g One-year warranty doesnt give you an estimate at all.

VR HEADSET 69 from Google Store

Google Daydream View

Immerse yourself in another world

We love the name Daydream for a theyre powerful

virtual-reality (VR) system, and we enough. The View should
love the look of the View. While other be the rst of several
headsets plastic cases feel like youre headsets running it.
strapping a bin to your head, Google In use, its not quite
has chosen a jersey fabric, in light or as comfortable as it
dark grey or red, to make the Daydream looks: we found the
feel truly wearable. elastic strap ddly to adjust,
Like Samsungs similarly priced Gear and with your phone inserted
VR, the Daydream View uses your (only Googles Pixel models work at the
smartphone to do the work of expensive moment) the whole thing wanted to slide
screens and sensors which you would down our nose. Picture quality will depend VERDICT: When more Android 7
nd in a standalone VR helmet such as on your phone, but our Pixel XL looked phones appear, this should be a cheap
HTCs 800 Vive but it adds lenses to great. However, it also got hot not way into VR, but we might wait for
focus the images for you. While Samsung surprisingly, when it was being asked to version 2
only supports its own Galaxy phones, process intensive 3D graphics inside the

Google has built Daydream software into headset equivalent of a woolly jumper.
Android 7 Nougat, which will eventually Real-time VR scenes followed our head ALTERNATIVE: Samsung Gear VR
run on many handsets as long as well enough not to make us too nauseous, 65 This Oculus-compatible helmet
despite a bit of motion blur. As with other for Galaxy S6 and S7 phones
Requires a compatible phone running Android 7
VR software, there are only a few apps works well for short,
Nougat 99x106x167mm 220g (without phone) available so far, but you can watch simple VR experiences
One-year warranty YouTube VR too.

28 4 17 January 2017
Buy or wait? The Computeractive
2017 will bring more advances in tech products, but
should you hold back before spending money on new kit?
Our Reviews Editor Adam Banks gives his verdict
Products we would like to see

It could take ages, but the Government, No.10: A 21ST CENTURY INPUT DEVICE
BT itself and other ISPs might just seize In the early 1960s, a Stanford University
the moment to shake things up or bring researcher called Douglas Engelbart
forward bre-optic connections to more invented the computer mouse
homes. (pictured below). Apart from detecting
SHOULD I WAIT? Dont expect big changes movement with a light sensor instead
instantly, but think twice about signing a of a ball, its barely changed since.
two-year contract Weve used keyboards since the 1870s
(with the letters in the same order).
WINDOWS 10 COMPUTERS TV BOXES Touchscreens, trackpads and voice
Intels Kaby Lake processors (pictured 2017 is the 10th anniversary of the Apple recognition have been around for 50
above) are nally appearing in laptops. TV (pictured below). Neither this nor its years. And computers are still awkward
For example, the Razer Blade Stealth rivals have made any dramatic advances to operate. Isnt it time we invented a
(1,249 from Amazon www.snipca. lately, so dont hold your breath. If youre better form of input?
com/22831) has an i7-7500U, which uses tempted in the sales by a TV streamer Currently, bots software that
less power while still matching the (see our Do I really need? column in interprets language are quite popular.
performance of many mid-range desktop Issue 491), go for it. But its often impractical to talk aloud to
PCs. Cheaper PCs will follow. Desktop PC SHOULD I WAIT? No, but you may not want your computer.
builders have also begun to oer models to buy anyway One answer could be subvocal
with Kaby Lake processors, but early recognition, in which computers listen
reports on performance suggest minimal to the subtle internal movements we
gains over 2015s Skylake processors. So if make, not only when talking but when
you see a Skylake bargain, we wouldnt reading or just thinking, without actual
necessarily put o buying. By the end of speech. Already used in systems for
the year, Cannon Lake will be replacing astronauts and the military, it can
Kaby Lake in laptops. feel like reading your mind without
SHOULD I WAIT? Probably not physically intruding into the brain.
ntly muttered
Weve all silently
Will 2017 bring an iPhone 8 or keep maybe we
Apple fans waiting again with a 7s? Were could put that
keener to see the more aordable iPhone to good use.
SE 2, rumoured for the spring. Revamped PRINTERS
iPads are also likely, and the question is Inkjet printers will develop in 2017 but
whether the big bezels will disappear. If
so, Android tablets will follow suit but
not in the way you might think. The
technology is now being used
18 Jan
we have a feeling it wont happen just yet. industrially to print products such as CCL Elite Intel i5
Android 8 is expected in the autumn, OLED screens. As for the paper-guzzling Aordable desktop PC with
possibly called Oreo, but for now, dont gizmo on your desk, the best we can the latest Nvidia
vidia graphics
hesitate to choose a phone or tablet with hope for is falling prices on innovations
version 7 (Nougat). that reduce the cost of ink, like Epsons
SHOULD I WAIT? T? Only if youre considering EcoTank system.
an Apple device SHOULD I WAIT? No


Ofcom has decided
cided to enforce a Should you wait before Razer Blade Stealth
split between BT and its wholesale buying a VR headset? Do-it-all laptop with
arm Openreach, h, which owns most Yes! Just keep waiting. new Intel Kaby Lake
hat bring the
of the wires that And waiting. See you processor
internet into UK homes. here next January.
These and much more
The aim is to give more SHOULD I WAIT?
households aordable Yes possibly Subscribe to Computeractive at
ultra-fast internet. forever

4 17 January 2017 29
Buy It
Find out what other products we liked.
Buy our new 2015 Back Issue CD:
15 from

Our pick of products that have won the Buy It award


Asus ZenBook UX305CA Palicomp AMD Avenger Apple iPad Air 2

650 from 500 from 365 from
Tested: Issue 475 Tested: Issue 479 Tested: Issue 437

This metal-cased ultrabook looks much AMDs Athlon X4 880K processor Getting old, but still our favourite
more expensive than it is. Theres no gives this PC solid performance with iPad. Buy with 64GB (429) and
touchscreen or 36-degree hinge, just money left for GTX 960 graphics and youll never run out of space. The Pro
great quality all round and an ultra-sharp a very fast 128GB SSD as well as a 1TB models are great with Apples keyboard
display. The M3 processor is adequate for hard drive. Its not the quietest or most and Pencil, but work out much more
most tasks, though not gaming. expandable PC, but excellent value. expensive.

ALTERNATIVE Dell Inspiron 15 5000 ALTERNATIVE: Dell Inspiron 24 5000 ALTERNATIVE: iPad Mini 2 Slower
If you need a full-size Windows 10 laptop If you prefer your desktop PC in one than the iPad Mini 4, with no ngerprint
with a DVD drive and a desktop PC-level neat box, this Intel i5 system has all recognition and a less vivid screen, but
i5 processor, this is a solid choice. 525 the essentials at a reasonable price. an iPad at this price is great value.
from 815 from 239 from


Samsung Galaxy S2 9.7 Apple iPhone SE Motorola Moto G4

450 from 361 from 150 from
Tested: Issue 462 Tested: Issue 474 Tested: Issue 479

The Sony Xperia Z4 is too expensive It may be

b Apple
Apples budget
ud t phone,
ho but With an attractive 5.5in screen, an
and Googles cheaper Nexus 9 has the smaller SE beats most others in the excellent 13-megapixel camera and
been discontinued, leaving the 32GB S2 market with top-end processing power, decent performance, the G4 is the best
9.7 as the best mid-sized choice. Its a a great screen and camera, ngerprint budget option. 150 from www.snipca.
serious rival to the iPad Air 2, albeit slower. recognition and Apple Pay. You should com/21685
consider paying 439 for the 64GB
ALTERNATIVE: Huawei MediaPad M3 model, though. ALTERNATIVE: Samsung Galaxy S7
8.0 Rivalling Samsungs Galaxy Tab Restoring the microSD slot to allow
S2, this compact tablet has a slightly ALTERNATIVE: iPhone 6s A bigger extra storage makes this an even
larger screen and a ngerprint reader. screen, better camera and 3D Touch better top-end phone than the S6,
Its highly capable except when playing justify the price, but as with the SE the with a fantastic screen and camera and
advanced 3D games. 341 from 64GB model (619) is the best choice. incredible 18-hour battery life. 460 499 from from

30 4 17 January 2017
Buy It

Amazon Kindle (2016) Kaspersky Internet Adobe Photoshop

57 from Security 2017 Lightroom 6
Tested: Issue 483 19.95 from 99 from
Tested: Issue 437 Tested: Issue 453

Here: All copy copied

and pasted from issue

Kaspersky Internet Security 2017 has won Lightroom is the professionals choice
ons basic ebook reader is now our past seven antivirus tests. Compatible for managing and tweaking photos,
good enough to be our rst choice. Its with Windows 10, the 2017 edition is including raw les from DSLR cameras.
plasticky, but slim and lightweight, with available at an exclusive reader discount If you need Photoshop for more
a decent 4GB storage and good battery on our Software Store. Go to the link advanced editing, get both on the Adobe
life. Consider the 110 Paperwhite if you above for a one-year, one-device licence CC Photography Plan for 8.57 a month
want backlighting or (for 60 extra) 3G. or buy a two-year, three-device licence for (
just 34.99.
ALTERNATIVE Kobo Aura Glo HDOne ALTERNATIVE: Xara Photo & Graphic
Competing with Amazons
the Kindle Kindle
Oasis, ALTERNATIVE: Avast Free Antivirus Designer 365 For all-round design
a clear
a Almost as good as Kaspersky, but and drawing plus photo lters, this
7.8in screenlighting.
and is comfortable
130 from to sometimes blocks legitimate software. aordable app has a lot to oer.
read. 190 from Free from 50 from


AOC Q2778VQE Synology RT1900ac Synology DiskStation

215 from
228 140 from
134 DS215j
Tested: Issue 468 Tested: Issue 474 177 from
Tested: Issue 449

Here: All copy copied

and pasted from issue

It comes with no extras, such as If youre looking to upgrade an outdated

built-in speakers or a USB hub, but
Here: All copy copied
router, there are lots of dual-band
this 2560x1440 panel gives you a full and pasted
802.11ac models to from issue
choose from. This This two-drive NAS enclosure has it all
27in screen with excellent contrast and 489
one suits
one suits
all broadband
connections fast performance, easy conguration
colour accuracy at a very reasonable connections
that dont require
and has
of options,
and and plenty of extra features. Its only
price. Its a little laggy for gamers, but such
has plenty
as sharing
of options,
a connected
such asprinter
sharingora aw is that installation is a little ddly
theres no ghosting on motion. storage.
connected printer or storage. but if you want quality network storage,
then this is the obvious choice.
ALTERNATIVE: Dell UltraSharp U2414H ALTERNATIVE TP-Link Archer C9
This 1920x1080, 24in screen has a Not quite as fast, but this or the D9 (with ALTERNATIVE: Synology DS414j
stand that can switch to portrait mode. ADSL modem built in) is a simple and A four-drive NAS thats generally fast
Colour accuracy is excellent. 199 from capable router with a stylish design. and easy to set up and use. 268 from 109 from
107 from

32 4 17 January 2017


Devolo dLAN 1200 Xara Web Designer Win 1 of 3

Triple+ Starter Kit Premium 365 Kitvisions Edge HD10
90 from 70 from
Action Camera
Tested: Issue 444 Tested: Issue 453 Built for the adventurer
who wants to take
photos and videos
anywhere, the Kitvision
Edge HD10 Action
Camera captures
what you do in 1080p
resolution at 30 frames per second.
It records in incredible detail, thanks
to the 170-degree ultra-wide angle
Devolos latest HomePlug adapters are This visual web-design program makes lens and the 4x digital zoom. Once
the fastest weve ever seen. Theyre creating sites more like laying out a secure inside the waterproof case it can
well designed too, with a passthrough document than writing HTML code, and survive depths of 100 metres, making
socket so you can still power another sites can be responsive, meaning they it ideal for scuba diving. To enter, email
device and the design should avoid look right on both big and small screens with edge in
skirting boards and other obstacles. without extra work. A basic version is the subject line by midnight 17 January.
also available for half the price.
ALTERNATIVE: D-Link PowerLine AV2 You can buy Kitvisions Edge HD10
1000HD Gigabit Starter Kit Fast (speeds ALTERNATIVE: Incomedia WebSite X5 Action Camera from Amazon for
of up to 1000Mbps), much cheaper and v12 Evolution It may feel a little basic, 149.99: For
very easy to set up, but the lack of a but this straightforward program outputs more information on Kitvision products
passthrough socket is frustrating. ecient HTML code and responsive pages. visit and follow
27 from 50 from @KitvisionUK on Twitter.


Canon Pixma MG5750 Crucial BX100 1TB Y-cam Evo

60 from 598 from 130 from
Tested: Issue 470 Tested: Issue 445 Tested: Issue 483

You dont get many frills, but this

compact all-in-one printer/scanner
includes all the essentials, like Wi-Fi Smaller and simpler than rivals, this
and printing both sides of the paper all-in-one 720p HD Wi-Fi camera is
(duplex), at a reasonable price. Its triggered by motion. Play back or watch
fairly quick, running costs are better live remotely from your iOS or Android
than average, and the ve-ink system A blindingly fast, high-capacity SSD phone or tablet. A weeks cloud storage
ensures photos and black text both at a low
er p
rice than ever before. If is free, upgradable to 30 days for 3.99
come out looking great. youve been put o buying an SSD per month.
because of the cost, then now is
ALTERNATIVE: Brother MFC-J5320DW nally the time to take the plunge. ALTERNATIVE: Netgear Arlo
For more business-type tasks, this Batteries, which last months, make
all-in-one has automatic paper feed ALTERNATIVE: Samsung 850 Pro these cameras (the price is for two)
for the scanner and the ability to print 256GB An even faster SSD, but its very practical. Cloud storage beyond
occasional A3 pages. 115 from much more expensive per gigabyte. a week costs extra. 280 from 120 from

4 17 January 2017 33
Computeractive 2015
Back Issue CD
Over 100 people have given our 2015
Back Issue CD a five-star review on
Amazon. Visit
to read them, and buy the CD yourself.
Heres what some of your fellow
Computeractive readers have said:
This exceeded my expectations.
You tend to forget the amount of
information there is in each issue.
Simply wonderful.
Keith Hollobone

Have been using these for some An absolute bargain at the price.
years. Great space-savers as well as These 26 issues contain a wealth of
a convenient method of storage and information for all computer users
accessing data. and have already solved some
Maureen Jenner problems I was having. I copied the
files to the hard disc of my PC so I
Excellent product. I have purchased could browse them at leisure
all of the 2015 printed editions. I can without inserting the CD.
now use the disc as a reference Carl Hughes
source, in a compact, easily retrieved
form. Wouldnt be without it. Lived up to expectations and as a
David Nelson new purchaser of the magazine it
gave me access to previous editions.
Invaluable space saver. I have Mr N Tinlin
every issue of this CD back to
Computeractives first appearance
18 years ago and many Windows COMING SOON!
systems back, and they all still 2016 BACK
produce the information asked for.

Margaret Little
& LL

Workshops & Tips

su E
e E
49 P T

Edited by Sherwin Coelho

14 pages of easy-to-follow workshopss and expert tips

35 Make your Start menu 40 Control PCs on PLUS
easier to use your home network 43 Readers Tips 47 Make Office Better
38 Create your own 42 Edit videos without 44 Phone & Tablet Tips 48 Secret Tips For...
news feed on your tablet losing quality 46 Make Windows Better Google Search

Make your Start menu

easier to use
What you need: Start Menu X; Any Windows version (XP to 10)
Time required: 40 minutes

W eve used several

Start-menu replacement
programs over the years, but
need. It lets you access items on
your PC in double-quick time
and oers more customisation
none have as many features as options than Windows own
Start Menu X. While there is a Start menu. You can reposition
paid-for version for 16 with this Start menu, and set an
extra bells and whistles, the automatic timer and a
free version is packed with all keyboard shortcut to shut
the options most people will down or restart your PC.

STEP To install the free version of the program, go to www. STEP The menu is divided into two sections. Move your
1 and click the red Download button 1 .
Open the downloaded setup le, click Yes, tick to 2 cursor to any item in the left section 1 to see its related
options on the right. Some options have further menus.
accept the agreement, then click Next. Now select Free For example, if you move your cursor to OneDrive 2 , youll see
version 2 , then keep clicking Next 3 until you need to click all its folders 3 . Move your cursor over any folder to see all its
Install. Click Finish after thats done, then close the web page contents 4 that you can then click to open.
that opens. The program wont launch, but open your Start
menu (by pressing the Windows key) and youll see that it
looks dierent.
2 3

1 1 4

4 17 January 2017 35

1 5

STEP To detach your Start menu from the bottom-left STEP The Add and Remove icons let you customise which
3 corner, move your cursor to any other corner until you
see a crosshairs symbol, then click and drag it 4 items appear on the left. Click the Add icon 1 to see
four options 2 . Here, move your cursor to Folders, then
wherever you want. You can also resize the menu by clicking select a folder 3 you want to add to this list. If you want to add a
any edge and dragging it. To search for something on your PC, program or app, click Choose your Item 4 , navigate to where
type your search term in the search eld 1 . Youll see your that item is stored on your PC and click OK. Similarly, to remove
search results on the left 2 , along with a link to its website and something from this list, click the Remove icon 5 , then select
the option to install the relevant app 3 (if there is one) from the the item you want to get rid of.
Windows Store. You can also search the web for that term 4 .


STEP The Power Control button at the bottom brings up a STEP There are many ways to customise the program. Click
5 pop-up menu with several options (including Shut
Down, Lock, Restart and Sleep). Each option has 6 the Options button at the bottom right of Start Menu
X, then click Options again. Now ensure Launch the
timer icons, so you can set a time when you want to carry out program with Windows is ticked 1 . By default, Start Menu X is
that action. For example, click the timer icon beside Shut displayed whenever you press the Windows key, while
Down. Youll now see various time values you can select 1 . Windows default Start menu appears when you press
Alternatively, enter the number of minutes in the box 2 , or Shift+Windows. However, you can swap these keyboard
choose a specic date and time 3 . Click Run 4 and your PC shortcuts using the dropdown menus 2 .
will automatically shut down after the time you set.

36 4 17 January 2017
Make your Start menu easier to use

STEP Next, click the

7 Personalization
section 1 . Here, you
can change your Start menu
3 skin (theme) from the default
1 Windows 10 to something
else 2 (there are seven options
to choose from). Youll see any
changes made in the preview
2 pane 3 . If you nd the text in
Start Menu Xs window too
small, increase the Scale 4 to
enlarge it. You can also change
5 4
the default size of the Start
Menu X window 5 .

STEP Next, tick Enable Virtual Groups 1 . This

8 displays six categories (with dropdown
menus) 2 when you open the Start menu.
To choose which items appear within the group
dropdown menus, click the Manage Virtual Groups
button 3 , select a group 4 , then tick to select the
items 5 you want. Click the Edit Group button to see 5
options to change the group name and its default
icon. You can reposition where that section appears
using the right and left arrow icons at the top right.


2 1

3 2

STEP You can also change the default Start menu button STEP The Style section 1 has three options. If you prefer to

9 (Windows icon) by clicking Start button 1 , ticking

Replace the system Start button, then selecting 10 see your Start menu items as tiles instead of a list,
select Start Menu 10. Next, click Advanced options 2 .
another icon (there are 17 options). The Controls section 2 lets Here, you can choose to highlight les that have recently been
you add icons to this Start menu. For example, you can tick updated in the Start menu 3 and hide the captions that appear
Shut Down and Log O if you want to display those icons. The when you move your cursor over the Power and Options
Shortcuts section 3 lets you create your own keyboard shortcuts buttons 4 . Ensure Automatically check updates is ticked 5
for 15 common PC tasks 4 . so youre always prompted to get the latest version of Start
Menu X.

4 17 January 2017 37
Create your own
newsfeed for 2017
What you need: Web browser; Android or iOS (phone or tablet) Time required: 20 minutes

T he Google Play Newsstand app

has always been a convenient
way to get all the latest news stories
higher resolution and they load
faster on your device. The service is
also now available as a website.
on your phone or tablet. With its Well show you how to add your own wn
latest update, its even easier to add news topics, then use the apps
topics of interest. The app now brilliant features so that you stay on
displays videos and photos in a top of the news in 2017.

1 3

STEP To use the web version of Newsstand, go to www. STEP On the Google Play Newsstand web page, youll see
1 in your PCs browser and log in
using your Google account. Ensure its the same 2 news stories relevant to your location. If youre using
Newsstand for the rst time, youll see the big national
account you use on your phone and tablet. To nd out the stories. By default, the weather forecast at the top uses
Google account you use on your device (Android or iOS), open Fahrenheit for temperatures. To change it to Celsius, click the
any Google app (for example, the Play Store, Gmail or Maps), three lines 1 , Settings, the Temperature units dropdown menu
tap the three lines at the top left, then look at your account then change it to Celsius. The four icons are For You (your
email address 1 . magazine feed) 2 , Library 3 , Read Later 4 and Magazines 5
(which includes those youve subscribed to and bought from
the Play Store).

STEP Well now show you how to

3 customise the topics that appear
in your newsfeed. First, click the
Library icon 1 . Youll see a list of topics or
publications you follow as tiles 2 (rst- 4
time users will see a random selection of
tiles). To remove an item, click its tile 3
then drag it to the red Remove section 2
that appears at the top 4 . Google prioritises
your interests based on the way youve
arranged your tiles (important items at
the top), so click and drag to re-arrange

38 4 17 January 2017


STEP Its easy to add publications, topics, sports teams and STEP Likewise, you can also search for and add your
4 people to your Library. To add a news source (for
example, the BBC), type bbc in the search bar 1 . Youll 5 favourite football, rugby or cricket team and celebrities.
At this point, its worth returning to the Library
see a list of relevant search results as tiles. Click the tile you section 1 and prioritising your interests, or deleting any
want (for example, BBC News), then click the Add to Library unwanted ones (see Step 3). To read your updated newsfeed, go
icon 2 . Similarly, you can add other publications - including to the For You section 2 (recent changes may take a day to be
national newspapers (The Guardian, Mail Online, The Times) reected in your newsfeed).
and local ones (Bournemouth Echo, Belfast Telegraph,
Liverpool Echo). You can also search for and add topics youre
interested in (such as brexit, sports, culture).


1 2

1 3

STEP The Newsstand mobile app (Android www.

7; iOS www.snipca.
com/22793) has a few extra features. Tap
STEP All articles have a bookmark icon and three dots. Click the Library 1 , then tap the Digest tab 2 . Here, youll see

6 bookmark icon 1 to save a story to read later (these articles are

available oine on your devices). Click the three dots 2 to see a
the top three news stories in each topic and source
in your library. Explore 3 has several sections
pop-up menu. This lets you hide stories from that publication 3 , receive (including Entertainment, Sports, and News &
fewer stories on that topic, or go to that publications home page within Politics). Select one to see related topics that you can
Newsstand 4 . The more you use Newsstand, the more relevant topics youll add to your list of favourites. Tap the three lines 4 ,
see that you can click to add to your Interests. then Settings. Here, switch on the Deals and oers
slider to display product oers in your newsfeed and
the Daily brieng slider to display every morning
the top news stories of the past 24 hours.

4 17 January 2017 39

Control PCs on
your home network
What you need: Advanced IP Scanner; Any Windows version (XP to 10)
Time required: 35 minutes

I f you have multiple PCs at home

there will be occasions when you
need to access a le on one thats
connected to your home network.
You can access any les on your
network and transfer them
stored on another. Advanced IP between PCs. You can even
Scanner is a brilliant free program remotely shut down any PC on
that gives you control over all PCs your home network.

STEP To download the program, go to www.snipca. STEP First, click the IP button 1 . This enters your PCs
1 com/22897, click Free Download, then click the
Download Latest Version button at the top right of the 2 IP address into the address bar below 2 . Now click
Scan 3 to search for all devices (PCs, phones, tablets,
web page that opens. Click the downloaded setup le, then click printers and routers) connected to your home network.
OK. At this stage, you can select Install 1 to install the program These appears in a list in the main window. Itll also show
on your PC (we selected this) or click Run 2 to install the you the IP addresses of those devices, their MAC address,
portable version. Click Next 3 , select I accept the agreement, and in some cases the Manufacturer 4 . If Network Sharing
then click Install, Yes, then Finish to launch the program. is enabled on your home PCs, youll see a dropdown menu
Install the program on all your home PCs. beside those PCs 5 .

1 4



STEP If you dont see any dropdown 2

3 menus, it means you need to
set up Network Sharing on
your PCs. To do this, open File Explorer,
click Network 1 , OK, then wait until
you see the Click to change panel 2 .
Click it, then click Turn on network
discovery and le sharing. Next, click
No, make the network that I am
connected to a private network 3 , then
click OK. You now need to enable all 1
your PCs to share information without
needing passwords.

40 4 17 January 2017
1 1


STEP Press the Windows key, type manage 3

4 advanced sharing settings, then press Enter.
Youll see three sections with dropdown
menus on the right. In the rst section, Private
(current prole), ensure the rst option (of two) is STEP Now restart Advanced IP Scanner and you should see dropdown
selected under each heading. Next, click the All
Networks dropdown menu 1 , select the rst option 5 menus beside the PCs you want to include. If not, theres another
way to add a PC for remote access. Click Actions 1 , then Add
under both Public folder sharing 2 and File Computer. Now go to the other PC, open Advanced IP Scanner there
sharing connections 3 , and the second option under and note down its IP and MAC addresses (see Step 2). Return to the PC
Password protected sharing 4 , then click Save you want to use for remote access, enter these addresses into the elds
changes 5 . provided 2 , then click Add 3 . The PC will now appear in the Favorites
tab 4 .



3 4

STEP If you want to add other PCs to your list of favourites,
6 right-click them 1 in the Results tab list, then click
Add to favorites. You can now access these devices STEP To remotely shut down connected PCs, right-click the
from the Favorites tab. Next, click the dropdown menu beside
the PC you want to control 2 , then click the Users folder 3 . 7 PC in the list 1 , then click Shut down. Next, tick Use
Windows authentication 2 and enter the remote PCs
Youll now be able to access all les on that PC 4 , as well as username and password in the elds provided. By default,
copy and paste les (using keyboard shortcuts or by dragging theres a 60-second shutdown delay, but you can change this 3 .
and dropping) from one PC to another. You can navigate around You can also choose to shut down immediately or restart the
the remote PC using its address bar 5 . PC 4 . Click the Shutdown button 5 to conrm your choice.

4 17 January 2017 41
Edit videos without
losing quality
What you need: Lossless Cut; Any Windows version (XP to 10) Time required: 15 minutes

W henever you edit the start and

end points of a video le, it
can diminish the quality of the
on a multimedia tool called FFmpeg
that doesnt reduce quality while
editing. The program supports most
videos resolution. Lossless Cut is a popular video formats, but well
new, free portable program that show you how to convert ones that
gives you extra control while arent supported. You can use the
trimming your video and is based same process to edit audio les.

2 4

STEP First, nd your PCs system version (64bit or 32bit). STEP If you dont see the video, you need to convert its
1 Right-click My Computer (on your desktop, on the
Start menu or in File Explorer), click Properties, then 2 format. One of the best free le-conversion programs is
Handbrake. Go to, select the
look under System type. To download Lossless Cut, go to www. download link for your Windows version, then run the Youll see the latest version at the top 1 . downloaded setup le. Open the program on your PC and
Click the Windows version for your PC 2 . Now open your ensure the Container dropdown menu is set to MP4 1 . Next,
Downloads folder, right-click the downloaded zipped folder, click Source 2 , File, then select the le you want to convert.
click Extract All, then Extract. Next, open the Lossless Cut folder Now click Browse 3 , select a save location for your converted
and click the setup le to open the program. Drag and drop the video, rename it at the bottom, then click Save. Finally, click
video you want to edit into the program, then click the Play icon Start 4 to begin converting your video. After thats nished,
at the bottom. If the video plays, skip to Step 3. drag and drop it into Lossless Cut.

STEP To edit your video in Lossless Cut, place your cursor on

3 the timeline approximately at your start point 1 , then
use the controls 2 to determine the exact point. Click
the Set cut start icon 3 when youre happy. Now click the
timeline where you want to nish your video, and repeat the
process, clicking the Set cut end icon 4 when youre happy.
2 2 Finally, click the Export selection icon 5 to start exporting your
video without any reduction in quality. By default, the edited
video is saved in the same folder as the original.


18 Jan
Set a schedule of automated PC xes
Edit multiple photos in one go
5 Set an automatic PC shutdown
1 3 4 Create keyboard shortcuts for clipboard itemss
Subscribe to Computeractive at

42 4 17 January 2017
Readers Tips Handy hints and tips from your fellow readers
Email us your tips:



Protect sensitive files with a password

After reading Issue 489s Best drop les and folders. Having
Free Software I installed the dropped in the document
free PC-optimisation program containing my sensitive info,
Synei System Utilities 4.0 I then clicked Lock & Exit.
( To make sure this had worked,
After trying it out for a few I navigated to the document on
days, I discovered several my PC to nd that its le format
useful tools that you probably had changed and I couldnt
didnt have space to cover. access it (success!).
My favourite is the option to The only way to access your
password-protect sensitive les password-protected items is
and folders. I use a Windows 7 to return to Protect File/Folders
PC and have a document in Synei, log in using your
containing all my bank-account password, select the le or
details and account passwords, folder, then click Unprotect.
which Ive always wanted to secure. screenshot). Youll now be prompted to You can now access the le, make any
Synei System Utilities proved to be enter and conrm a password, then changes, then re-secure it using the
the ideal solution. enter a password hint. After doing this, same steps. Its a great way to protect
Click the Toolbox tab, then click enter your password again. A window valuable info.
Protect File/Folders at the bottom (see will open into which you can drag and Pete Foster

Pete wins a copy of our A-Z Jargon Buster book Buy it on Amazon

EMAIL Never, and the Keep until dropdown right enhances all the colours in your
Fix Thunderbird when it blocks menu is set to they expire (see screenshot photo, making it look more vivid.
access to your emails below left), then click OK. This ensures Bryan Shawclie
Instead of logging into my three you only download the necessary cookies
email accounts via their respective from Gmail and not other websites. Now MUSIC PLAYER
websites, I use Mozillas email client enter your login details and you should Use VLC to listen to radio
Thunderbird ( be able to access your emails. stations from around the world
to manage them in one place. The other Ray Hargreaves VLC media player (www.snipca.
day, Thunderbird logged me out of com/22779) is my favourite media
Gmail. When I tried to log in again, PHOTO EDITING player program. Aside from playing my
I was redirected to a cookies disabled Make washed-out skies more videos and music, it has other useful
page. After a little research I learned vivid in your photos features that are easy to overlook. I only
that my Gmail cookies had been disabled I have an ageing Android phone that recently discovered you can use it to
in Thunderbird, which was preventing doesnt always take great photos. I listen to internet radio stations from
me from logging in. back up my images using Google Photos anywhere in the world.
To rectify this, click Tools, Options, and make use of its editing tools to To do that, click View at the top,
then the Privacy tab in the window that enhance some of my worst snapshots. then Playlist. Next, click Icecast Radio
opens. Next, ensure that Accept cookies Recently, I noticed a new Dark blue Directory (below Internet) on the left.
from sites is ticked, the Accept third- slider in the programs Editing section. Youll see a list of internet radio stations.
party cookies dropdown menu is set to This lets you brighten overcast skies To lter them by musical genre, I type
ideal if you live in the UK! The feature the genre name in the search eld at the
works in Android and iOS apps, as top right, press Enter then double-click
well as on the Google Photos website the relevant radio station.
( Trevor Falls
To use it, open the photo, click the pen
icon to bring up the editing tools, then
tap the sliders icon. Next, click the
dropdown menu beside the Colour slider.
Youll see a new slider called Deep
blue. Move this to the right to add some
vibrancy to the blue tints in your photo. I
also nd that moving the Pop slider to the

4 17 January 2017 43
Phone and Tablet Tips Brilliant things to do on your device

ANDROID & iOS screenshot below left). Youll see the

Download Netix movies and download progress and a Download
TV shows to watch oine Complete message when its nished.
In Issue 491 (see News From now on, you can access this content
page 8), we reported on from the My Downloads section, even
Netixs new feature that when youre oine.
lets subscribers download lms and TV Netix oers the rst month free for
shows to watch oine. Its limited to a new customers, after which its pricing
certain number of titles, but there are still plans start at 5.99 a month (www.
plenty to choose from.
The fastest way to nd content you can
download is by opening the Netix app ANDROID, iOS & WINDOWS PHONE
(Android; iOS Update all your apps in one go, tapping the and set up auto-update
three lines at the top left, then My Your devices apps
Downloads. Next, tap Find Something To are regularly
Download. Youll see a list of all available updated with
titles, which include award-winning new features and security enhancements.
Netix originals like The Crown and Well show you how to update all your app, then Settings. Here, tap Auto-update
House of Cards; ITV shows like Cilla and apps in one go, then how to turn on apps at the top, then select Auto-update
Benidorm and Channel 4s This is the auto-update feature so your apps apps over Wi-Fi only. On an iOS device,
England 90; as well as over 50 movies. automatically update whenever youre open Settings, tap iTunes & App Store,
To download an episode or lm, ensure connected to a Wi-Fi network. then tap the Updates slider to turn it on.
that youre connected to a Wi-Fi network, To update all your Android apps, open On a Windows Phone, tap the Store tile,
tap to select a title, then tap the Download the Google Play store, tap the three lines the three lines (top left), Settings, then
icon next to the episode you want (see at the top left, My apps & games, then tap the Update apps automatically when
tap Update All (see screenshot above Im on WiFi slider to turn it on.
right). On iOS, open the App Store, tap
Updates at the bottom, then Update ANDROID
All at the top left. On a Windows Phone, Scan books and magazines
tap the Store tile, the three lines at the to read on your device
top left, Downloads and Updates, then Ctrl+F is the standard keyboard
Check for updates. shortcut to search for specic
Making sure your apps auto-update terms in your browser, documents
when youre connected to a Wi-Fi or PDFs. The free Android app CTRL-F
network is easy. On Android, tap the uses the same premise, except that it lets
three lines at the top left of the Play Store you search for words within the pages of

Best New Apps What you should install this fortnight

Trusted Contacts CameraSim Laundrapp

Free Android: 1.99 Free
Android: iOS: 1.49 Android:
Googles latest app lets you quickly CameraSim teaches you how to take better iOS:
share your location with people you photos on your DSLR camera. It explains This laundry-service app takes the strain
trust, even if each setting (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, out of washing clothes. First, go to the
youre oine focal length, and so on) and how they impact Laundrapp website (
or your phones your photo. Experiment using the app, before to make sure
switched o. applying the concepts with your camera. the service is
Add your family available in your
members area. If so, you
and closest can use the app
friends, so that to pay to have
you can send your laundry
your location picked up and
(or request dropped o at
theirs) in an a time thats
emergency. convenient.

44 4 17 January 2017
books or magazines that you scan using youll see a graph representing your total
the app. The app converts any scanned storage space, including how much is
pages to a high-resolution PDF, which used and free. Tap this.
means its ideal for saving pages you may In the Storage usage section, youll
want to read later on your phone and now see a number of coloured bars
tablet, without having to carry the book representing the amount of space taken
or magazine around with you. up by System & reserved, Apps &
Install and open the app (www.snipca. games, Documents, Pictures, Music,
com/22849), then tap Skip to bypass the Videos and so on (see screenshot right).
introductory screens. Next, tap the Apart from System, you can tap any item
Camera icon at the bottom right, point it to see a further breakdown. For example,
at a book or magazine page (ensure tap Apps & games, tap the Sort by name
youre standing directly above it in a well- slider, and change it to Sort by size.
lit room), then tap the shutter icon to Here youll see apps that consume the
take your photo. If your photo appears most space (the largest appear rst). If
blurry, tap the X icon and retake it. you dont need a particular app, tap it,
Otherwise tap the tick icon to save it. then tap Uninstall (you can only uninstall device. Here, tap the selection icon (two
Using the on-screen grid, move the apps youve downloaded, not built-in ones). ticks) at the bottom, tap to select the
dots to frame the text you want to read, Similarly if you tap Pictures in the photos you dont want, then tap the bin
then tap the arrow (see screenshot Storage usage section, you can tap View icon at the bottom to delete them and
below). Next, tap Always use English, pictures to see all the photos on your recover valuable storage space.
then tap OK. The app will now scan and
display a high-resolution PDF of your
document that you can zoom into and
read on the go. Use the search icon at the
Games With Kids
bottom right if you want to nd specic What to play together on your phone and tablet
text within your scanned document.
AGES 0 5
Rainbow Slides: Care Bears
2.29 (iOS)
This is a simplied version of the classic
snakes and ladders game that the whole
family can play. Choose the bear you want,
then tap the spinning wheel at the top right
to determine your next move and advance
up the grid. The rst to the top wins.

AGES 6 10
Free (Android)
Free (iOS)
In this Tetris-like puzzle game your child
needs to build horizontal or vertical lines
using blocks that appear at the bottom.
The game ends when they cant place
a block within the grid. You can also
compete in multiplayer mode.

AGES 11 16
Super Mario Run*
Free (iOS)
WINDOWS PHONE This classic Nintendo game is now
Free up storage space quickly available to play on your device. Timing
Most Windows Phones come is crucial as you need to tap the screen
with 8 or 16GB of storage. If your to make Super Mario jump and avoid
device is becoming slower, its obstacles and traps. The longer the tap,
probably running out of space. Thankfully, the higher he jumps. The aim is to collect
theres an easy way to identify space- as many coins as you can in each level.
hogging items and free up storage. Swipe
down from the top of your phone, tap All *Contains in-app purchases
settings, System, then Storage. Here,

4 17 January 2017 45
Make Windows Better Clever tips for every version

Edit photos quickly WINDOWS 10
Microsoft has updated Windows
10s default Photos app, making it Add right-click Google search to Edge
easier to edit your photos quickly.
Open the app, click to select the photo
you want, then click Edit at the top right.
In the right-hand panel, youll see a
button to Crop and rotate your photo
(see screenshot below). The Enhance
and Adjust tabs now give you more
nuanced editing controls.

Highlight any word or phrase right, click Download ZIP, then Save
within Chrome or Firefox and (see screenshot). Now open your
youll see the option to run a Downloads folder, select the
Google search for it. Microsoft Edge downloaded Google-Context-Menu-
doesnt have this option, but theres a Edge-master zipped le and extract its
way to add it using a Google Search contents with whatever program you
extension. use for compressed les. For example,
First, open Edge, type about:ags in if you use PeaZip (,
the URL bar at the top, then press right-click the zipped le, select
Enter. Next, tick Enable extension PeaZip, click Extract, then OK.
developer features (this might put your Now, return to Edge, click the three
device at risk) under Developer dots at the top right, then Extensions.
settings. Microsoft issues this warning Click Load extension at the bottom,
because enabling this feature lets you then navigate to and open the extracted
add extensions from outside the Google-Context-Menu-Edge-master
Windows Store, but this particular folder. Select the Google Search folder,
extension wont harm your PC. Now then click Select Folder. Youll now see
close Edge and re-open it. Google Search added to your list of
Select the tab you want, then move the To download the Google Search Edge extensions. From now on, you can
sliders below the respective options extension, go to www.snipca. right-click any selected word or term in
(Enhance, Colour, Warmth, etc) to com/22776, click the green Clone or Edge to see the option to run a Google
instantly see the changes applied to your download dropdown menu on the search for it.
photo. At the bottom youll see options to
undo your edits, save the le, save a copy
of it, or share the le using compatible WINDOWS 10
apps (such as email and messaging). Print web pages in black and
white in Microsoft Edge
WINDOWS XP, VISTA, 7, 8, 10 Compared with other browsers,
De-select multiple les quickly its not immediately obvious
To select all the les how to print web pages in black
within a folder you press and white in Microsoft Edge. In Googles
Ctrl+A and to select Chrome browser, for example, press
multiple les press Ctrl, then click the Ctrl+P then use the Color dropdown
les you want. These same methods can menu to choose whether you print in
also be used to de-select multiple les colour or Black and white.
in one go. This is especially useful if, say, However, Edge doesnt oer this
you want to delete most of the les in a option. Instead, you have to click the
folder, but not all. In this case, rst More settings link at the bottom after
press Ctrl+A to select all the les in your pressing Ctrl+P. Here, youll see options to
folder. Next, press Ctrl, then click to change your page orientation and paper
de-select the les you want to keep, size. Change the Color mode dropdown
before pressing Delete to get rid of the menu to Monochrome to print in black
selected items. and white (see screenshot right).

46 4 17 January 2017
Make Office Better Expert tips for every program


Create your own default font style

The Home tab in Word has a the dropdown menu if you
range of Styles that you can want to create your own style.
click to add to any selected text. For both methods, click
If you dont fancy any of the default the dropdown menus in the
styles, its easy to create your own. Click Formatting section to see a
the Expand dropdown menu in the range of font types and sizes to
Styles section (see screenshot), then choose from. Click the bold,
click Create a Style. italics and underline icons to
Give your style a name, then click the add those if you want. Click the
Modify button to see a variety of text- colour dropdown menu and
formatting options. You can base your choose a colour. In the pane
style on an existing template or create it below youll see a preview of
from scratch. To use a template, click how your style will look. Click
the Style based on dropdown menu, OK when youre happy with it.
then select the style you want (from Your style will now appear as
Heading 1, Subtitle, etc). Dont change an option in the Styles section.

Move or copy Excel data quickly Make your navigation options
There are standard keyboard more accessible
shortcuts you can use to cut By default, youll see four
(Ctrl+X), copy (Ctrl+C) and paste navigation options at the
(Ctrl+V) Excel data from one column or bottom left of Outlook Mail,
row to another. But you can speed up this Calendar, People and Tasks. The three
process with a useful trick. Well rst dots next to Tasks conceal three more
show you how to move data from one options Notes, Folders and Shortcuts.
column to another, then how to copy it. If you prefer, you can display all seven
The same method applies to rows. options at the bottom of Outlook and
First, highlight the column data you change how they appear.
want to move (this can be the entire To do that, click the three dots next to
column if you want). Now move your Tasks, then click Navigation Options. In
cursor to the columns right or left edge the window that appears, change the
until it turns into a crosshairs symbol number at the top to the number of POWERPOINT
(see screenshot below). Next, click the options you want to show. Tick Compact Improve your presentation
symbol and drag it to the column you Navigation to see the options displayed as If youre giving a presentation,
want to move your data to. To copy icons rather than text. To reposition an the tools in Presenter View will
column data rather than move it, simply option, select it in the list (see screenshot help you enhance the experience
press Ctrl, before clicking and dragging below), then click Move Up or Move for your audience. Press F5 to start
the symbol. Down. Click OK to conrm your changes, playing your slideshow and youll see a
or Reset to revert to the default settings. preview of what your audience will see,
but you (and only you) will also see ve
tools at the bottom. Well explain what
each one does (from left to right).
The pen icon lets you use a laser
pointer, pen or highlighter tool (see
screenshot above) to draw something on
the slide being displayed. The See all
slides icon (four squares) displays all
your slides as tiles, so you can jump to
the one you want by clicking it. The
zoom icon lets you zoom into your slide.
The black slideshow icon lets you
temporarily black out your screen.
The icon with three dots lets you hide
Presenter View and end your slideshow.

4 17 January 2017 47
Secret Tips For

Google Search
Filter search results by date and country, exclude keywords,
roll a dice and search a single site
Search by date left). In the pop-up box enter a start and
Searching on Google is generally end date and Google will only display
straightforward, but there are ways to results published within that timeframe.
lter the search engine if you want more Other options in the dropdown menu
precise results. For example, Google include Past hour, Past 24 hours, Past
delivers results that it thinks are most week, Past month and Past year.
relevant, but they can often date from
some time ago and therefore be no longer Limit results to the UK
useful. If you want results from just the Filtering search results by country is
current year, or youre searching for a another way to narrow your search. You
particular article and know roughly might, for example, enter the search term
when it was published, you can lter the historical facts about Manchester to nd
search results accordingly. out about the citys past. To make sure Use Site Search to have Google focus its
As an example, search for Windows 10 your results dont include websites about search on just one site
in Google. Once you see the results, click Manchester, New Hampshire in the US,
Search tools at the top, then the Any click Tools and select Country: the UK Exclude words from your results
time dropdown menu and select from the Any country dropdown menu. If your search results are overwhelmed
Custom range (see screenshot below with information youre not interested
Focus your search on one site in, you can exclude certain words by
Many websites have their own search using the minus (-) symbol in your
tool, but they can be poor. Thankfully, search term. This means everything
you can use Googles Site Search instead. after the - will be excluded from the
Use the format site:<domain name> in search results. For example, if you enter
your search term to search on just one jaguar speed -car Google will only show
site (<domain name> is the URL after you results for how fast the big cat can
www.). For example, bake run and will leave out anything to do
o will search the BBC for mentions of with Jaguars prowess in the motoring
Filter Googles search results by date of The Great British Bake O (see industry.
publication using the Any time dropdown screenshot above right).
Find similar websites
If youve got a favourite website and want
Search by image to nd similar sites, Google has a search
phrase to help. Type related:<domain
Google is just as good at searching for name> (where <domain name> is the
images as it is words. Search for web address of one website minus the
anything you want an image of, then www. prex). For example, typing
click Images (just below the search brings up links to
bar). To further lter these, click Tools the home pages of other Premier League
and then use the Size, Color, Type and football clubs. The related keyword is a
Time dropdown menus to select from To search Google using an image powerful tool that can easily help you
the options (Large, Medium, Black and (instead of a written search term), go to nd other websites.
white and so on). and click the
If you want the image results to camera icon (see screenshot). Click the Roll the dice
match a certain colour palette, click the Upload an image tab, then Choose File Google can even help if you want to play
Color dropdown menu and select the and navigate to the images location on a board game, but have misplaced your
colour you want. Google will then your PC. Google will upload it and then dice. Just type roll a die into the search
rene the results to show pictures that show results for other images on the bar, and Google will roll a virtual die for
mostly consist of that colour. internet that best match it. you, showing you the results on screen.
Click Roll it to throw it again.

48 4 17 January 2017 Next issue Secret Tips For Chromecast

Whats All the Fuss About...

Microsoft Home Hub

Cortana has kindly volunteered to be your own domestic helper

What is it?
Microsofts grand vision to
turn your Windows computer
into your homes control
centre, letting you perform
actions such as playing your
favourite music and turning
lights on and o just by
talking to it. Its the companys
answer to the home
automation craze that is
sweeping technology
companies. See that
bandwagon over there?
Microsoft wants to jump on it.

How does it work?

Dierently to other products.
Amazons Echo (pictured
below) is a cylindrical speaker
with no screen (we called it a talking it will show your calendar events So you never need to sign
can in our review, Issue 487). Google across several devices an option the into Home Hub?
Home is slightly smaller, but again has screen-less devices from Amazon and Thats right. This makes it faster for
no screen. Both are devices that are Google lack. These will be displayed on everyone in a household to see shared
intended to sit on your coee table or a Welcome Screen, which also contains information, such as documents, apps
mantlepiece, awaiting your commands. to-do lists and sticky notes. So you and bookmarks. Cortana sits idle on
But Home Hub (unrelated to BTs could leave an on-screen message for Home Hub until it detects movement
Home Hub router) is software, and so your husband or wife a shopping list nearby, or you give it a command, such
doesnt require new hardware. perhaps replacing the Post-it note on as turn on the lights or tell me the
According to rumours it will connect all your fridge door. weather forecast.
your Windows devices
laptops, PCs and phones Does this Welcome Can I try Home Hub now?
using Cortana, Microsofts Screen replace my No, its not available yet. In fact, its not
voice-controlled personal desktop? even been conrmed by Microsoft.
assistant that debuted in No, it sits above it. Beneath
Windows 10. And it has one it is your normal PC, with So how do we know all this?
big advantage over the access to the taskbar, Action
ac Through unknown sources speaking
devices from Google and Center, Start menu and so on.
Ce to the website Windows Central. They
Amazon: a screen. gave the site enough information for
Can I still have a
Ca it to recreate what the Welcome Screen
What dierence personal account?
pe could look like (see screenshot above).
does that make? Yes you just need to prove
Ye The report contains so much detail
It means you should be able your identity using Windows
yo that it seems highly likely to be
to do much more with Home Hello, which recognises your
He accurate.
Hub than with its rivals. face. Once you sign out youll
fa According to these sources, early
This ties in with Microsofts st
still be able to see the family Home Hub features will appear in the
aim of Home Hub being ac
account. Microsoft wants to Windows 10 Creators Update, due to
used as a shared service by ma
make it easier to switch arrive before the end of March, with the
all the family. For example, be
between your personal and bulk following in further updates
family accounts by removing planned for late 2017 and early 2018. So
Amazons Echo is a talking
can that performs actions by th
the password for the latter, so until then youll have to leave shopping
responding to your voice th
that it remains always active. lists the old-fashioned way.

4 17 January 2017 49
GodMode Windows GodMode is the best-kept secret on your PC.
Jonathan Parkyn explains how to access it and guides
you through its most important settings

ver the years, Microsoft has PC users because they are completely your way to one of these tools, the
continued adding more and unaware of them. chances are youd never nd your way
more features to Windows. The Did you know, for example, that back to it a second time. Thats where
companys most recent operating Windows comes with a built-in tool for GodMode comes in.
systems Windows 7, 8 and 10 are calibrating your monitor and another GodMode is the name given to a
packed with hundreds of brilliant tools for designing your own fonts? Or that powerful Windows hack that provides
and settings, many of which are Windows can prevent malicious you with instant access to hundreds of
completely overlooked by the majority of programs from harming your PC by hidden tools and settings. GodMode itself
monitoring their activity and shutting is simple to set up and use if you know
them down if they exhibit suspicious how. And thats the problem. Most of it
WHAT YOU CAN DO behaviour? If not, youre not alone, has been secreted away by Microsoft.
Uncover a secret way to access and these are only the tip of the iceberg Instead, the company seems content to
powerful Windows features when it comes to Windows great, push features well never use, such as the
Control your PC like never before with hidden gems. Groove music player and Xbox video-
direct access to hidden tools The problem is that far too many of games app.
Make your PC safer, faster and easier Windows most useful tools are buried in But fear not. In this feature well show
to use the depths of the operating system (OS). you how to get GodMode on your PC,
Create customised mini-GodModes They are hidden within menus, inside introduce you to its best tools and explain
for specic groups of tools other menus, reachable only via yet more how you can use them to improve and
menus. In fact, even if you were to nd streamline your PC.

50 4 17 January 2017
Windows GodMode


Despite being one of Windows lesser-
known assets, GodMode is easy to enable.
Theres no need to hack the registry
simply create a new folder and give it a
specic name.
You can create a GodMode shortcut
anywhere, but we recommend putting
it on your desktop at least initially.
To do this in Windows 7, 8 or 10, right-
click a blank space on your desktop
and select New, then Folder. Carefully
name the folder:
99712043E01C} (or copy it from www.
Now press Enter and the folders image GodMode makes every tool easily accessible by listing each one alphabetically first by
will change (into a Control Panel-style category, then by the name of the setting
icon) and it will be renamed GodMode
(which can be changed see box right). Move GodMode wherever
How GodMode works Accessing GodModes tools from your WHATEVER YOU WANT
GodMode works by combining two of desktop is handy. But if you like to keep
Windows hidden features. The rst is a your desktop clutter-free, or if you like to GodMode isnt Microsofts ocial
secret le-system folder that Windows use the Start menu or the taskbar for name for this feature. In fact, GodMode
uses as the source folder for all Control shortcuts, you can move GodMode there. is so secret, it doesnt have an ocial
Panel items. The second is the operating Adding a GodMode shortcut to your name at all. That means when
systems ability to turn a Windows Start menu is easy. In Windows 7, click you enable it, youre free to call it
le-system folder into something called the GodMode desktop icon and drag it to whatever you want. Once youve
a virtual junction point by using its the Start button, then release the mouse created the GodMode shortcut using
globally unique identier (GUID) the button when you see the Pin to Start the instructions on this page, simply
long number in the folder name you just Menu message. In Windows 10 (and 8) highlight the shortcut and tap F2 to
typed as an extension. right-click the desktop icon and select change its name to anything you want
In very basic terms, the folder you Pin to Start. SuperDuperMode, SecretToolkit,
create on your desktop acts as a shortcut, Adding a GodMode icon to your FluyKittens or anything else.
with the GUID part of the folder name taskbar is a little trickier. If you drag the
directing you towards the secret Control desktop icon to the taskbar, youll be
Panel source folder. What you get when prompted to Pin to File Explorer (in press Enter and click OK twice. Now
you open the shortcut is direct access to Windows 10) or Pin to Windows right-click the shortcut again and select
an unltered list of every Control Panel Explorer (in Windows 7). This just adds Pin to Taskbar. You can now delete the
item, sorted by category (see screenshot a shortcut for GodMode in the Pinned desktop icon.
above right). Its not restricted by the section of your File Explorer jump list
standard Control Panels way of arranging (the menu that pops up when you How to use GodMode
items, which can sometimes make right-click the Explorer taskbar icon). Double-click your new GodMode
specic tools and tasks dicult to nd. If youd prefer GodMode to have its desktop icon (or select it from the Start
Later, well show you how to create own taskbar icon, right-click your menu or taskbar if youve moved it), and
further GodMode-style shortcuts for desktop, click New, then Shortcut. a window will open displaying a list of
groups of tools, such as accessibility In the window that opens, enter the tools and tasks, all neatly arranged by
options, networking tasks and more. following: explorer shell:::{ED7BA470- category: Administrative Tools,
8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} (or Performance Information and Tools,
copy and paste it from www.pastebin. and so on.
com/raw/4tMD2QZ4) into the Type Each tool is listed with a logical,
the location of the item box (see easy-to-understand name, making it
screenshot left). simple to nd the one you need. Want
Click Next, then type GodMode when Windows to show hidden les or folders,
prompted to name the shortcut and click for example? Then just double-click
Finish. This places a new File Explorer- Show hidden les and folders in the
style icon on your desktop. To change this Folder Options section to see the relevant
icon to the Control Panel style, right-click settings. You can also search GodMode
Create a separate shortcut if you want it and select Properties, then Change for a specic setting using the search box
GodMode on your taskbar Icon. In the box, type control.exe, then in the top right.

4 17 January 2017 51
1Schedule almost anything
Want your PC to perform a specic
action at a particular time of day like
turn itself o at night, for example?
Windows Task Scheduler tool lets you
automate a wide range of actions and
specify the precise conditions required
for them to be carried out. We use it all
the time, but for some reason Microsoft
has buried it deep within Windows.
Thankfully, its easy to access using
GodMode just click Schedule tasks in
the Administrative Tools section.
To schedule a common action, such as
starting a program, sending an email or
displaying a message, click Create Basic
Task on the right, then follow the
instructions to name the task, choose a Set your PC to automatically shut down at night using Windows Task Scheduler
trigger (a specic time or event) and
select an action. To shut down your PC at even the operating system itself seems versions of online logins saved by Internet
night, for example, select Daily as your to have forgotten its there. Thanks to Explorer (and Edge on Windows 10), as
trigger, then click Next. Enter the time of GodMode, however, you can nd it easily well as other log-in details, such as for
day you want your PC to switch o and in the Fonts section. Open the tool, then Skype accounts, Microsoft Oce
click Next again. Select Start a program click a blank square in the Select Code subscriptions, network passwords and
as your action and click Next. Then under box and click OK. more. To view these, back them up for
Program/script, click Browse, navigate to Youll now see a grid. Using the Pencil, safekeeping or delete them (if youd
C:\Windows\System32 and double-click Line, Shape and Eraser tools on the left, rather use another password manager, for
shutdown.exe (see screenshot above you can either design a character from example). Double-click Manage Windows
right). In the Add arguments (optional) scratch, or you can click Edit and Copy Credentials under Credential Manager
box, type -s -f -t 0. Character to select a base character that in GodMode.
Not all tasks require this many steps, you can adapt (see screenshot below left). To create a new entry (so that you
but the shutdown command needs to tell Getting the right look can be tricky, but automatically log into a website the next
Windows you want to shut down your PC when youve nished, click File, Font time you visit it in Internet Explorer or
immediately at the time you specied Links, then select Link with All Fonts Edge), click Add a Windows credential.
(without showing a warning screen that and click OK. To insert your new Type the websites URL into the Internet
would stall the process). Click Next, then character into a document, click Start, or network address box (
Finish to save the setting. type character and open the Character com, for example), then enter your
Map. Select All Fonts (Private Characters) username and password and click OK.

2Create your own special

characters or fonts
Windows comes with dozens of fonts. But
from the Font dropdown menu, then
select your character, click Copy and
paste it into your document.
Note: this wont aect Chrome, Firefox
or other browsers.
To back up your saved passwords, click
what if youre looking for something Back up Credentials (Windows 10) or
specic and none of these suit your needs?
Windows has a built-in tool that will let
you create your very own custom fonts.
3Manage and back up
saved passwords
Not many people realise that Windows
Back up vault (Windows 7) and follow
the on-screen instructions. To change or
delete an existing login, click Windows
Private Character Editor has been has a built-in password manager. Called Credentials or Web Credentials (Windows
around since XP and is possibly one of Credential Manager, it stores encrypted 10 only), then click an item in the list,
the most overlooked Windows tools then click Edit or Remove.

4Include Zip les when

searching your PC
By default, Windows completely ignores
the contents of ZIP les when you search
your PC. To change this, and get more
comprehensive search results in general,
click Change search options for les and
folders in GodModes Folder Options
section, then tick the box next to Include
Use existing font characters as the basis for You can set Windows to include the contents compressed les (ZIP, CAB) and click
customised ones in Private Character Editor of ZIP files in search results OK (see screenshot left).

52 4 17 January 2017
Windows GodMode

Get instant access to
and Narrator
GodMode provides a speedy way to get to
useful accessibility tools that otherwise
can be ddly to locate. Open GodMode
and youll nd all 26 of Windows
accessibility tools listed in the Ease of
Access section. However, you can make it
even easier to access the tools you need.
Lets say you often use Magnier.
Right-click the Magnify portions of the
screen using Magnier entry and select
Create shortcut (see screenshot right).
Click Yes if you see a prompt, and youll
now have a dedicated shortcut to the
Magnier on your desktop. This trick Right-click Magnifier (or any tool you want) in Create additional clocks for your taskbar that
works for all GodModes tools. And you GodMode to create a handy desktop shortcut represent other time zones
can also create mini-GodMode shortcuts
for groups of tools see the box on page
55 for more.
down unexpectedly, even if theyre safe.
To get around this, click Add, then browse
to the programs .exe le usually in
8Show hidden folders and
recover lost les
By default, Windows hides certain

6 Stay safe by letting Windows

monitor your programs
Another scandalously under-used
C:\Program Files and click Open. Click
OK when youre nished. This will stop
DEP monitoring that particular program,
folders, because it doesnt trust us not to
muck up those les that are crucial to
Windows working properly. But there are
Windows feature is Data Execution letting it run unhindered. occasions when youll need to access
Prevention (DEP), which helps to protect some of these folders such as the
your PC from malware by monitoring
programs to make sure they use memory
safely. If Windows detects that a program
7Add a clock for a dierent
time zone
If you have friends or family abroad, its
AppData folder (C:\Users\YourUser
Name\AppData). This can often contain
junk youll want to remove, or important
is using your PCs memory in a suspicious good to know what their local time is, so data youll want to back up. Microsoft
way it will automatically shut the that you dont inadvertently Skype them Oce programs like Word, for example,
program down and display a warning. at 3am. GodMode oers a quick way to add store AutoRecover versions of your
By default, DEP is only activated for an international clock to your taskbar. documents in the C:\Users\ YourUser
essential Windows programs and services, Double-click Add clocks for dierent Name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\
but you can enable DEP for any programs time zones in the Date and Time folder, letting you restore documents lost
you want. To do this, open GodMode, scroll section, then tick the top Show this after a crash or an accidental deletion. But
to System, then click Adjust the appearance clock box and select the time zone you you wont be able to nd any AutoRecover
and performance of Windows. In the want from the dropdown menu. Give the les if the AppData folder is hidden.
window that opens, click the Data clock a recognisable name New York, To make hidden system folders visible,
Execution Prevention tab and tick the say, or Bob and Justine, then click OK click Show hidden les and folders
Turn on DEP for all programs and services (see screenshot above right). To view your under File Explorer Options (Windows
except those I select. second clock, move your mouse over the 10) or Folder Options (Windows 7) in the
Its worth noting that not all programs time in the bottom right-hand corner of GodMode panel. Then click the Show
are DEP-compatible especially older the screen (but dont click). Youll see the hidden les, folders and drives option
ones. And enabling DEP for all programs name you typed for your clock and the and click OK.
may cause some of your tools to close current time in that time zone.


9Switch from double-clicking
to single-clicking
Many Windows users prefer to open
programs using a single-click, rather than
The precise contents of your GodMode Information and Tools and Notication a double-click. But if youre sharing a PC
panel and the number of tools oered Area Icons that are absent from Windows with someone who prefers to double-
varies depending on the version of 10s version. The reason? Microsoft is click, then its useful to have a quick way
Windows youre using. In fact, even moving away from the old Control Panel to switch between the two dierent
though Windows 10 is the latest version, environment with Windows 10, shifting methods. GodMode oers an instant link
its actually Windows 7 users who have a lot of the tools and tasks that were to this setting (youll nd it listed as
the advantage here. previously found there into the new Specify single- or double-click to open)
Windows 10 Homes GodMode contains Settings app. Unfortunately, a second under File Explorer Options (Windows
227 individual items, while Windows 7 GodMode doesnt exist for the Settings 10) or Folder Options (Windows 7). For
Home Premiums contains a whopping app, meaning youll just have to live with even quicker access, use the right-click
263 items, including entire sections it when it comes to accessing some of trick we explained earlier (Tip 5) to add a
on Parental Controls, Performance Windows 10s buried features. shortcut to the single- or double-click
setting to the desktop.

4 17 January 2017 53
In the new and updated Denitive Guide
to Google Hidden Tools, the experts at
Computeractive lift the lid on Googles most
popular services to reveal more than 390 ways
to make them even more ecient, useful and
tailored to your needs. These include clever new
add-ons for Chrome, smart hacks for YouTube,
and the best things you can do in Google Maps,
Drive, Gmail and more. Its an essential guide
to unlocking the hundreds of secret settings,
options and tools that Google oers. Youll learn
tips and tricks that you can use every day online.





This 196-page This A-Z guide This easy-

guide is packed contains over to-use
with expert 900 denitions CD-ROM
advice in plain of computing contains all
English, to help and tech jargon, 26 issues of ONLY
you unlock helping you take 2015, giving 45
every hidden tool. Youll learn you one-click access
ss !
back control of your PC. It
how to customise Windows tells you in plain English what to thousands of tips,
10 so it works how you want so-called experts say in workshops, reviews, free
it to, and how to reverse gobbledygook. Keep it next programs, superb apps and
settings that Microsoft keeps to your computer and youll problems solved. It has a
changing. Its also the ideal never again be bamboozled, searchable index, which
troubleshooting guide, with befuddled or bemused by makes it easy for you to nd
xes for every problem. technical twaddle. what you want to read.

at at at
Windows GodMode


10Fix problems with your
PCs memory
When a PC starts behaving erratically
Click Restart
now and check
for problems
crashing, freezing or showing the blue to test your PCs
screen of death, for example you can memory
run a somewhat obscure system tool
called Windows Memory Diagnostic.
Look under Administrative Tools in
GodMode and double-click Diagnose
your computers memory problems to
launch the tool, then click Restart now
and check for problems (recommended)
(see screenshot right).
Your PC will restart and carry out a corner and work your way through the
series of tests on your memory. Once various steps, using the sliders to change
thats done, it will boot to Windows as gamma and colour settings when
normal and show a report of any problems prompted, and using your monitors
identied. If you dont see a report, no brightness and contrast settings to
errors were detected. If you want to see improve the image further. Once youve
the report anyway, you can nd it in nished youll be able to compare your
Windows Event Viewer (see tip 14). If current calibration to the previous one
errors are discovered, youll need to and should notice a big dierence. Try another colour profile to see if this
replace the RAM in your PC. Check your If you tick the Start ClearType Tuner improves your display
manufacturers instructions to nd out option before clicking Finish, you can
what type of memory modules you need also ne-tune the way text is displayed on screen, double-click Change advanced
before you buy (or see our Dont pay for your screen and improve its readability. colour management settings for displays,
PC Repairs cover feature in Issue 483). Again, work your way through the steps, scanners and printers (in GodModes
selecting which text looks best to you Colour Management section). In the

11Calibrate your display

A poorly calibrated display can
each time you are prompted. window that opens, make sure your screen
is selected in the Device dropdown menu
make text hard to see, make photos less
photogenic and may cause you eye strain.
Windows has a screen-calibration tool,
12Improve your PC screens
colour settings
If your screen still doesnt look right after
at the top, then tick the Use my settings
for this device option. Now click Add
(bottom left), select a dierent prole to
with a direct link in GodMode simply calibrating it, it may be possible to improve try (see screenshot above), then click OK.
double-click Calibrate display colour in it using Windows Colour Management Highlight your new prole in the list and
the Display section. tool. This lets you select specially created click Set as Default Prole. If you decide
This launches a full-screen tool designed colour proles and assign them to your you dont like it, try another or select
to walk you through the process of devices, including your screen, printer your previous one in the list and click
making sure colours are accurate. Click and scanner. Set as Default Prole.
the Next button in the bottom-right To change the colour prole for your If you see an error message when
trying to select a prole, it may be for
12 MINI GODMODES YOU CAN USE a dierent type of device (such as a
printer), so try another. If you dont
You can create mini GodModes for on page 51. Here are twelve of the most see many proles listed when you
Windows tools you use frequently using useful ones. Copy the text from www. click Add, you may need to download
the folder-naming technique mentioned additional ones. Adobe, for example,
has a few free International Color
Administrative Tools: GodMode.{D20EA4E1-3957-11d2-A40B-0C5020524153} Consortium (ICC) proles available at
AutoPlay: GodMode.{9C60DE1E-E5FC-40f4-A487-460851A8D915} Click ICC
Backup and Restore: GodMode.{B98A2BEA-7D42-4558-8BD1-832F41BAC6FD} prole download for End Users, then
Default Programs: GodMode.{17cd9488-1228-4b2f-88ce-4298e93e0966} Accept, Proceed to Download and
Devices and Printers: GodMode.{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A} click Download Now. Save the le to
Display: GodMode.{C555438B-3C23-4769-A71F-B6D3D9B6053A} your PC and unzip it.
Ease of Access Center: GodMode.{D555645E-D4F8-4c29-A827-D93C859C4F2A} Back in the Colour Management tool,
Power Options: GodMode.{025A5937-A6BE-4686-A844-36FE4BEC8B6D} click the All Proles tab, then click Add
Programs and Features: GodMode.{7b81be6a-ce2b-4676-a29e-eb907a5126c5} and browse to your unzipped download.
Speech Recognition: GodMode.{58E3C745-D971-4081-9034-86E34B30836A} Open the RGB folder, press Ctrl+A to
System: GodMode.{BB06C0E4-D293-4f75-8A90-CB05B6477EEE} select all, then click Add. Now try
Troubleshooting: GodMode.{C58C4893-3BE0-4B45-ABB5-A63E4B8C8651} selecting a dierent prole again and you
should have more choices available.

4 17 January 2017 55
Windows GodMode

13Choose a convenient time

to run maintenance tasks
Nowadays, many tasks needed to keep
Critical (see screenshot below). In the
lower pane youll see information about
the event, including an event ID, which
your PC running smoothly, such as you can use in a Google search to help
installing updates, happen automatically. diagnose your problems.
The problem is that the default time To nd something specic, such as the
usually 2am isnt necessarily the most Memory Diagnostic report we mentioned
convenient. Most PCs are switched o at earlier, click Windows Logs, System, then
that time, so changing this to a time Find, type a keyword and click Find Next.
when your computer is on, but not being
used, is more desirable.
In Windows 10 only, GodMode oers a
quick way to customise your maintenance
15Find out how stable
your PC is
GodMode oers an alternative way to view
System Restore may need to be enabled on
Windows 10 PCs

schedule. Double-click Change Automatic errors and other PC events. Open the the option to create a special password-
Maintenance settings in GodModes View reliability history tool in the Security reset drive that you can use, should this
Security and Maintenance section, then and Maintenance (Windows 10) or Action ever happen to you and GodMode
select the time you want from the Run Center (Windows 7) section of GodMode. makes it easy to nd the required tool.
maintenance tasks daily at dropdown Warnings, program crashes, Windows Insert a USB stick or SD card, then click
menu. Tick the Allow scheduled failures and other events will be displayed Create a password reset disk under User
maintenance to wake up my computer at in a chart showing how reliable your PC Accounts and follow the instructions.
the scheduled time option, then click OK. has been over a particular period. Select the drive and enter your current
This is a handy way to gauge your PCs password when prompted.

14Check for hidden

PC health problems
Many Windows errors and alerts remain
stability over time, but it lacks the details
(including event ID codes) provided by
Event Viewer (see previous tip). You can,
If you forget your password, insert this
reset disk and start your PC. Then click
the Reset password option on the login
hidden, unless you know how to access however, click Save reliability history to screen and follow the steps. Note that in
the Event Viewer. To do this via GodMode export all the events recorded to a le Windows 8 and 10, this only works if
simply double-click View event logs that a technician may be able to use to youre using a local account to log into
under Administrative Tools. Sadly, the help diagnose your problem. your PC. If you use a Microsoft account,
Event Viewers interface is unwieldy and reset your password by following the
pretty impenetrable. But its still useful
when trying to diagnose what might be 16password-reset
Create a
instructions at

stopping your PC working smoothly.

Click Windows Logs on the left, then
System to see a list of recorded events
Forgetting a password for a website is
annoying, but you can usually reset your
login by clicking the Forgot password?
17Re-enable System Restore
Its always advisable to create a
system restore point before making any
errors, warnings and general information (or similar) link. Forgetting the password big changes to your PC (including when
dating back over several months. Scroll for your Windows account, however, isnt you install new software or tweak your
through and click any agged as Error or as simple to x. To help, Windows oers system settings). But System Restore isnt
the easiest tool to open, and Windows 10
Solve PC
problems by leaves it disabled by default. To access it
checking Event quickly, click Create a restore point in
Viewer for errors GodModes System section.
and looking up
If youre using Windows 10, you may
event ID codes
online see Protection listed as O. Click your
C drive, then click Congure and select
the Turn on system protection option
(see screenshot above). Use the slider to
tell Windows how much hard-drive space
to allow System Restore to use (we
suggest about 10 per cent), then click OK.
Now click Create, name your restore
point and click Create again.
NEXT ISSUE On sale Wednesday 18 January Weds
18 Jan

Why you shouldnt use Plus Get 272GB of FREE

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Discover the best antivirus to install instead your tablet and phone
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56 4 17 January 2017
Is it worth the money?
IObit Uninstaller Free is Mike Plants go-to tool for removing unwanted apps and
software. So, would he be impressed when he paid for the Pro version?

IObit Uninstaller Pro You might have

paid for Uninstaller
Format: Windows XP to 10 Pro, but that wont
Website: stop IObit trying to scare you into
Price: 19 buying its other
Free trial period: N/A

hey say a tidy home means a tidy
mind, but could the clutter on a
computers hard drive say just as
much about a persons psyche? Well, I horizontal lines at the top-right), click
hope not, because having taken a good Settings and scroll down.
look at the state of my own hard drive, I The problem is, the added setting
If you do buy IObit Uninstaller Pro dont
found it bloated with programs and apps doesnt really do anything advantageous.
be lulled into buying the Download
that I barely remember downloading In fact, when I posted a question on
Insurance Service (4) and IObit
never mind plan to use again. Suitably IObits forum asking whether the option
Backup CD (7.80). The former lets you
chastened, I began clearing out those was worth ticking, a moderator told me
download the program for two years
programs that are surplus to my needs. to leave it switched o. His reason?
after you purchase it; the latter is simply
Uninstalling multiple programs at a Well, you might have noticed that some
a disc containing the program. Both are
time is a clunky process using Windows programs uninstall the current version
unnecessary as you can download the
alone, which is why Id always before installing an update. Apparently,
software directly from IObits website.
recommend using IObit Uninstaller to if you tick the box theres a danger that
speed up the process. This time I decided IObit Uninstaller will automatically
to go one better by buying IObit delete your programs settings when that warnings about registry errors and
Uninstaller Pro but would paying for it happens. That would be particularly outdated drivers, when I clicked the
make for a smoother experience still? galling if youve gone to great pains to set Action Center tab (see screenshot above).
it up just as you like it in the rst place. The cure for which was surprise,
Spot the dierence surprise to be found in IObits other
Well no, not really. Uninstaller Pro doesnt The hard sell paid-for programs, such as Advanced
actually add much to the comprehensive So, having found that IObit Uninstaller SystemCare and Driver Booster.
software-removal tools already available Free was all I really needed to restore
in the free version. Just about the order to my cluttered hard drive, I turned
only dierence I could nd was the my attention to what else comes in the
Automatically delete leftovers of program Pro version. Most of this has to do with No. IObit Uninstaller is still the program
uninstalled by other uninstaller option removing malware and adware from my we turn to when removing software.
in the Settings menu (see screenshot browsers. Like asking a doctor for a The ability to queue multiple programs
below). To nd it, click Options (the three second opinion, its good to have an to uninstall one after the other is, as
additional program take a ever, essential and its great that the
look at potential problem latest version can remove Windows 10
browser add-ons. But IObit apps as well as software. The free
Uninstaller didnt nd version provides all the tools I need and
anything that Malwarebytes I was hard pressed to nd a useful
hadnt already removed. addition in the Pro version. Options to
I also found it irritating that, remove malware and adware browser
having paid for Uninstaller Pro, add-ons are ne, but, like me, most
the program still tried to foist users will have other programs for
IObits other programs on to those purposes, making that Pro
This option can only be activated if you buy the Pro version me. I was met with screaming feature redundant.
but IObit told us not to tick it! exclamation marks and

...Pros Dependable software-removal, gets rid of ...Cons Pro version is little different to Free,
unwanted Windows 10 apps and browser toolbars auto-removal option unnecessary, IObit advertising

4 17 January 2017 57
What software
will become free
in 2017?
Last year many programs became free to use. Features
Editor Mike Plant and the Computeractive team predict
which paid-for software will go gratis in 2017

e arent ones to look a gift Dropbox Pro
horse in the mouth here at Dropbox was once the
Computeractive, so leading cloud-storage service,
whenever previously paid- but now Google Drive and
for software becomes free, were usually Microsofts OneDrive have
chomping at the bit. And 2016 was a muscled into the picture.
generous year in terms of programs losing How might Dropbox
their price tag (see our box opposite). The respond? Well Id suggest by
trend began in January with WhatsApp upgrading all users to
waiving its annual subscription, and Dropbox Pro (current cost:
continued all year. LastPass made some of 79 a year or 7.99 a month).
its features free in November. Giving users 1TB (1000GB) of
So which programs, apps and services data, which is Pros default, it
Wake up and smell the coffee, Dropbox 2 GB for free is
are likely to follow suit in 2017, and what could once more reclaim top
not enough storage
is likely to happen with Windows 10? spot and render OneDrive and
Will it remain at its current price or will Google Drive (with their measly 15GB of comes with a paltry 2GB is the bare
Microsoft make it free again? Read on free space) all but redundant. minimum it should consider.
for our predictions. Well revisit them If Dropbox cant bring itself to oer the Look out for our feature on getting the
this time next year to see how many full Pro package for free, more storage in most from free cloud-storage services in
we got right. the Basic account which currently our next issue out Weds 18 January.

Jonathan Parkyn, Computeractive writer:

Pinnacle Studio
For a long time, Pinnacle Studio ( was
one of the few programs Id happily pay good money for. It made
the complicated, unwieldy process of editing video relatively easy.
But then along came smartphone apps, such as GoPros Splice
(iOS, and Quik (Android, www.snipca.
com/22815) and with them my need to buy Pinnacle Studio.
I doubt Im alone in having taken the decision to use these free
apps, and surely Pinnacles market share will be eroded further if
Microsoft really is (as is rumoured) developing a
new version of Windows Movie Maker its own
free video-editing tool.
There are already three versions of Studio: Pinnacle Studio is facing more competition than ever and will need to
Pinnacle Studio 20 (50), Pinnacle Studio 20 respond if Microsoft updates Movie Maker for Windows 10
Plus (80) and Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate
(100). My prediction is that either Pinnacle It will oer a basic selection of eects, leave the programs nicely
Studio will go free, or that a fourth version lets designed interface intact and oer an easy way for users to
call it Pinnacle Studio Free will be introduced. upgrade to one of the paid-for versions should they wish.

58 4 17 January 2017
Jane Hoskyn, Computeractive writer:
Adobe Photoshop Elements
In 2017, paying for photo-editing software will be like buying
bottled air. Previously, enthusiastic amateur photographers like
myself had no choice but to cough up 80-plus for Photoshop
Elements ( But Adobes pricey
program has become the exception that proves a new rule:
good photo software costs nothing.
From the versatile app Pixlr to the brilliant
open-source program Gimp and the free
unlimited storage of Google Photos,
todays best photo tools are free. The
Photoshop Elements can turn frowns upside down, but is that still
latest example is Adobe itself, whose enough to justify its price?
free app-only versions of Photoshop and
Lightroom ( wont go free not with all those who do photos for a living still
share many features with their paying up. But Photoshop Elements has too many free rivals now.
desktop counterparts. I wouldnt be surprised to see it lose its price tag and gain adverts
The professional version of Photoshop within months.

Microsoft Oce
Could 2017 be the year when Oce
software is nally available for free? So
far Microsoft hasnt announced any plans WHATSAPP SOFTPERFECT
to release a new version of Oce FILE ACCESS MONITOR
(currently 120) in 2017, but dont rule Previously, new WhatsApp
out the possibility of a cut-down, free customers had been oered a year-long Ever wondered if anyones been
version. From Microsofts perspective this free trial and then had to pay 69p for each opening your les while your back was
might make sense. Not only would it year thereafter. Last January, WhatsApp turned? File Access Monitor provides
maintain Oces market dominance dropped that subscription fee, stating: a detailed history of who read, wrote
amid increasing competition from free Many WhatsApp users dont have a debit and manipulated the les on your PC so
alternatives such as LibreOce, but it or credit card number and they worried youll know who did what and when. As
might also draw in paying customers who theyd lose access to their friends and recently as October the program cost
nd they need tools above and beyond family after their rst year (www.snipca. 122, but now its completely free. Turn
those in the free version. For me, Microsoft com/22809). to page 40 of Issue 490 for our easy-to-
Oce Free would have to be installable follow Workshop.
software. The only current, free version of VOPT
Oce is Oce Online, but its too reliant LASTPASS
on a fast and stable internet connection This long-standing hard-drive
(which many people still dont have). defragger went free in February 2016 The password manager had
when its creator Barry Emerson died. Vopt been free for a while, but you were limited
Dragon Naturally Speaking is widely considered one of the best tools to one device unless you paid $1 a
Home Edition of its type due to its speed and how it can month. In November that restriction was
Windows 10 oers plenty of options for be congured to run as your PC boots. For lifted and now you can use it to create
voice-to-text tasks basically, dictating more on how to use it see our Workshop and store passwords and share them
something out loud thats then transcribed in Issue 484 (Page 40). At the time of across all your devices. Simply install
into a Word document as text (see Issue writing, its website ( is and sign into LastPass on any PC, tablet
491, page 61 for setup instructions). That oine, but you can get the program by or phone you own.
will put other voice-to-text programs going to the URL above then clicking the
under pressure to lose their price tags. I Download@MajorGeeks link on the right. INSTAPAPER PREMIUM
can see Dragon Home Edition (www. becoming free soon. NIK COLLECTION All Instapaper users were
Dragon, currently 80, not only lets you upgraded to Instapaper Premium
dictate documents, but also lets you Googles Nik, which became free of charge in November, as will be
speak commands to search the web and free in March, is a collection of plug-ins any newcomers to the service. This
open programs. that enhances photo editors such as Paint. means you no longer need to pay to
net and Adobe Photoshop. It adds new search for text within articles and
Plex lighting lters and image eects that you write unlimited notes. You also get
I often wonder whether theres anyone can use to manipulate your photos and digests of up to 50 articles on your
who actually pays for Plex because the get that perfect nal image. See Issue Kindle. See our Workshop in Issue 490,
free version works awlessly. I use it to 474, page 18 for instructions on using it. page 38.
stream videos from my PC to my tablet,

4 17 January 2017 59
What software will become free in 2017?

Sherwin Coelho, Technical Editor:

Stardock Fences
About four years ago my Windows 7 desktop PC was cluttered
with icons representing program shortcuts, documents and
downloaded les. I stumbled upon Stardock Fences (www.snipca.
com/22824) and instantly decided it was worth paying $10 (8)
for. It helped me clean up my desktop by organising icons into
neat, shaded areas called fences.
Fast forward to today and to my Windows 10 PC, where Ive
arranged my Start menu items into tidy sections, can search for
and nd anything on my PC in no time, and use virtual desktops
to launch several programs within their
Stardock Fences was free when it launched, and we think the
own workspaces. Combine these with desktop-tidier will go free again to encourage more people to use it
keyboard shortcuts and I can nd and open
almost anything in seconds. never felt the need to reinstall. Given how seamless Windows
What happened to Fences? Well, I 10 has become, I wouldnt be surprised if the program was made
uninstalled it during a PC spring clean and available for free just as it was when it launched in 2009.

my phone, my PlayStation 4, my TV and

to other PCs. Paying the extra 32 per
year to get a Plex Pass lets me download
videos to watch oine and enjoy
DVD-like extras. But as I only watch
videos that are already on my PC, I can
move them to my tablet anyway. To keep
the software attractive amid the hype
surrounding the similar Kodi, Plex might
make all these features available without
a subscription charge.

Windows 10
One of the biggest unknowns of 2017 is
Windows 10. Microsoft famously made its
operating system free for the rst 12 We cant imagine many people buy a Plex Pass, which is why we expect to see it go free in 2017
months, then slapped a 100 price tag on
it in August 2016. Will Windows 10 revert its latest operating system and spend 491, page 58, for more information on
to being free again in 2017? Im going to money in its app store. what Microsoft is planning for your PC.
go out on a limb and say yes. Microsoft And when might Windows 10 go gratis?
has plenty riding on Windows 10s future Id suggest to coincide with the upcoming Free! Whats the catch?
success and needs more of us to take up Creators Update due in Spring. See Issue PC users are justiably cautious when it
comes to downloading free software.
Surely theres a catch. In the worst-case
Daniel Booth, Editor: Dashlane Premium scenario you might be inviting malware $12 a year compared with Dashlanes or worse on to your PC.
There must have been much gnashing of $39.99 (around 32). If Dashlane seemed Comments from users on Instapapers
teeth at Dashlane when LastPass made it expensive then, it looks extortionate now. blog post (
free for users to share and sync unlimited To stay competitive, Dashlane needs to announcing that its premium software
devices (see page 59). Previously, both copy LastPass and make unlimited usage was now free highlighted these
services charged for that perk, although free. The logic is simple: it would attract suspicions: Whats the catch? Theres
the price dierence was big: LastPasss thousands more users, some of whom always a catch, and Does that mean
would buy more advanced tools. We that development on Instapaper will slow
certainly need Dashlane or another to a crawl? were typical responses.
password manager to make unlimited Instapaper pointed out that the product
sharing free so users can have a decent has gone free because the company has
alternative to the market-leading LastPass. built up sucient customer numbers
My bet is that having noticed how much and income from alternative sources to
press attention LastPass received when it maintain the software without people
went free, Dashlane will go for something having to pay for it. This business model
Will Dashlane join rival LastPass in offering similar. I hope so. Its easier to use than is becoming more popular among
syncing across unlimited devices for free? LastPass, and deserves more users. software developers, which is great news
for all of us.

60 4 17 January 2017
Your most popular
programs of 2016
We recommended dozens of programs in 2016, NUMBER

but which were the most popular with you
and your fellow readers? Heres your top 10

s you will have noticed, every programs, and remnants of Windows
7 Auslogics Browser Care
issue of Computeractive upgrade les. See our Workshop in
(including this page) is peppered Issue 477 (page 35). We all know that too many extensions
with URLs that begin will slow and even stall your browser.
This lets us simplify long, convoluted
3 BootRacer But some extensions can become so
website addresses to make it easier for integrated with your browser they end up
you to access the online content you want Waiting for a PC to boot is infuriating, being dicult to shift. Auslogics Browser
just type the snipca into your browsers so anything that speeds up the process Care takes the pain out of removing
address bar to go directly to that website. is a godsend. BootRacer lets you set the unwanted extensions. However, it now
The other advantage of using Snipca is order that startup items boot in and comes stued with more PUPs than
that we can keep track of how many measure how much time youve saved. Battersea Dogs Home (see page 10).
people click each link, so that we can See our Workshop, Issue 483, page 35.
continue covering the sorts of things that
8 EaseUS Todo Backup Free
most interest you. Here are your top 10
4 10AppsManager
most popular programs of 2016, based on With ransomware and other kinds of
those Snipca clicks. This year Windows 10 became the malware an ever-present threat, use this
operating system of choice for hundreds program to back up your documents,
1 AdwCleaner of millions of people, including many photos, music les and videos with of you. Of course, Microsoft doesnt minimum fuss, so that you can restore
AdCleaner is our readers most-used always get it right, so its a good thing them should hackers target you. It will
program for the third year in a row, that programs like 10AppsManager can also get you out of trouble should your PC
proving that adware remains one of the remove those countless apps none of suddenly break down. See our Workshop,
biggest concerns around. We use it all us will ever use. See our Uninstall Issue 480, page 38.
the time to make sure any program we Windows 10 Apps cover feature,
recommend wont install junk during Issue 468, page 53.
9 4K Video Downloader
its installation process. See Best Free
Software, Issue 484, for information on
5 Windows Repair Toolbox One of our most popular pieces in 2016
the latest version (6.0). was our Download for free Cover
Swiss army knives arent popular because Feature in Issue 486 (page 50). 4K Video
2 PrivaZer of any one tool, but because they are a Downloader proved to be the most useful collection of tools. Windows popular program we recommended in
Junk is the scourge of all modern-day PC Repair Toolbox is very much the same that feature. It lets you download
users, which explains why another and proved popular with our readers high-quality video, audio and subtitles
cleaning program has proved so popular precisely because it bundles all kinds of from YouTube so you can enjoy its
with you. PrivaZer removes over 100 solutions into one handy interface. See content when youre oine.
types of junk les, including broken our Workshop in Issue 478, page 35.
shortcuts, les left behind by uninstalled
10 TDSSKiller
6 UltraDefrag Rootkits are a particularly nasty type of
2015: TOP 10 It would seem that many of you made a malware that hide deep inside your
New Year resolution last January to speed computer. Antivirus software will often
1 AdwCleaner 7 Malwarebytes
up your PCs, because our UltraDefrag overlook them, but not Kasperskys
2 Autoruns for Anti-Rootkit
Workshop (Issue 468, page 40) proved TDSSKiller. It specialises in removing
Windows Beta
very popular. UltraDefrag not only rootkits and should be run at least
3 Google Earth 8 Reason Core
restores order to your hard drives ling once a month. See Issue 471, page 56,
Pro Security
system, but does it faster than any to read more, and turn to page 50 of
4 PC Decrapier 9 IObit
other similar program. Dont use it if this issue to read about the security
5 Belarc Uninstaller
your PC has an SSD itll do more threats you need to know about
6 SlimDrivers 10 CCEnhancer
harm than good. in 2017.

4 17 January 2017 61
Problems Solved
4K Video
Can I dual boot with Windows XP? Downloader work?
A long shot but is it still Windows calculates 1GB as 1024MB.
Q possible to dual boot a
Windows 7 computer with
Soon, to the right of C, youll see a
new partition labelled Unallocated: Q
I have been getting
Computeractive since it began,
Windows XP? I know Microsoft has right-click this and choose New Simple all those years ago. As per the
ended support for XP, and wants Volume, and work through the advice in Issue 486s cover feature, I
everyone to move from 7 to 10, but I instructions, clicking Next at each box. installed 4K Video Downloader and at
avoided the upgrade to 10 because At the third box, set NTFS as the le rst it worked as you said it would.
Im happy with 7. I have recently system, type a name for the partition However, when I try to use it to
obtained an old copy of XP that Id (like Windows XP) and ensure that download videos from websites other
like to set up to dual boot with Perform a quick format is ticked, than YouTube, I get an error message
Windows 7. I have no idea where to then click Next followed by Finish. telling me that the site is unsupported.
start or even if its safe. So, how do Now boot your PC from the Windows What am I doing wrong?
I set up a dual-boot Windows 7/XP XP disc to begin the installation. When Steve Oliver
system, and will I be putting my asked, choose the partition just created
computer at risk by doing so? and work through to complete the Nothing, as such but
Frederick Groom installation. When nished, your PC
will restart and launch straight into XP.
A 4K Video Downloader (www. is designed
Well answer your last To x that you need to restore the for use only with YouTube. We did
A question rst. Yes, theres
some risk in running
Windows 7 boot loader, which has
been overwritten by XPs.
mention that fact in our article, so
perhaps you misunderstood its scope.
Windows XP. In theory at least, unxed Visit to
security aws could allow hackers to download EasyBCD (its free, but you
access your computer and the need to supply your name and email
damage wont necessarily be restricted address). Launch EasyBCD, click BCD
to the XP side of the system. You can Deployment (see screenshot), select the
minimise the risks by installing up-to- Install the Windows Vista/7 bootloader
date security software on the XP to the MBR button and then click
system, but the dangers will only grow Write MBR. Now click Add New Entry,
over time, because Microsoft is open the Type dropdown menu and
ocially done with repairing XP. choose Windows NT/2k/XP/2003.
VideoDownloadHelper lets you download
With that clear, heres how to set up Type Windows XP in the Name box and videos from almost any website
your dual-boot system. First, back up, click Add Entry. Now reboot and you
just in case something goes wrong, and will have a dual-boot system that However, there are ways to download
read through and digest our displays a menu oering a choice of videos from almost any website,
instructions before beginning. Press operating systems. though you need to be careful not to
Windows key+R, type break the law. Video DownloadHelper,
diskmgmt.msc and press for example, is a browser extension
Enter. If your PC has just that works with Chrome and Firefox
one hard drive youll need and its a free download from www.
to free up some space for
an XP partition, so Once installed, visit a website that
right-click drive C and hosts videos and then click the Video
choose Shrink Volume. In DownloadHelper toolbar button to see
the Enter the amount of a list of downloadable videos. If the list
space to shrink in MB is empty, click the play button on a
box, type a gure and video of interest and then try again.
then click Shrink. XP Then, alongside the video you want,
needs at least 1.5GB for click the right-facing arrow, followed
installation, but you want by Download (see screenshot). Now
to allow it 10GB, say, then You can use EasyBCD to complete the process of setting up choose the destination for the
type 10240 because a dual-boot system for Windows 7 and XP downloaded video and click Save
and thats all there is to it.

64 4 17 January 2017
Our experts solve all your tech problems
Email us your problem and well try to help:

How do I move my BT address from Yahoo?

Issue 488s article on ditching
Q Yahoo was interesting, and Id
like to do this. Unfortunately, it
didnt answer a particular need I have
before making the move. I do already alive the company charges 5 a month
have a Gmail account, but it lies unused, for this service.
and that is because Im unprepared to The good news for you is that your
ditch my current email address its on email address is in no
all my business cards and elsewhere, and way tied to Yahoo or even the defunct BT
I really need to be able to keep it going. Yahoo Mail service. The replacement for
Its an old BT address, ending in BT Yahoo Mail is called simply BT Mail,, and for which Im still but BT Yahoo Mail is still referenced on
paying BT a notional amount each month the login page and that probably didnt
to keep alive. Is there any way that I can help your understanding of the situation.
ditch Yahoo and move to Gmail (or You can switch an old BT Yahoo email account So, you can actually take your paid-for
indeed elsewhere) while keeping my to another provider via Windows 10s Mail app email address anywhere
current email address active? you want, whether its Gmail or Outlook
Dr Nick Corcos as the provider for its own email service, or some other email tool, as per 488s
which was called BT Yahoo Mail. Like the feature. You might need BTs server
The advice in our feature is still real Yahoo, BT Yahoo Mail users could details, which youll nd at www.snipca.
A useful to you but we can
understand why you didnt
access their messages via a webmail
interface from Yahoo. However, the email
com/22630, but many tools automate the
setup process. In Windows 10s Mail app,
realise that, as we were talking addresses used BTs for instance, just click the Settings cog,
specically about Yahoo accounts and domain, not or followed by Manage Accounts, then Add
Yahoo email addresses. uk. We assume at some point you ceased account. Now click Other account, type
Your confusion arises because of the being a BT customer, which is why youre your full email address and password and
fact that for a long while BT used Yahoo now paying to keep the email address Mail will do the rest (see screenshot).

How do I stop this Outlook Mail gives

you the option to

Outlook message?
alter the signature,
or delete it
My account has
Q been upgraded with a new
look. I can take or leave it,
though it seems Microsoft insists I take
it. Ill put up with that but along with
the new look Microsoft has taken it
upon itself to add Sent from Outlook
to the bottom of every message I send. I
nd that really annoying, especially as
many of the messages I send are very
short making this interloping text
stand out all the more. I can delete it
but I dont want to have to do this
every time. Is there a way to remove it
automatically, or stop it appearing in change it to a message of your own Finally, in the right-hand pane,
the rst place? choosing, if you prefer). To do this, at untick both boxes or delete the
Judy Porter the top-right of the window message in the editing frame (see
click the cog icon and then choose screenshot). Alternatively keep one
What youre talking about is Options. Now, in the left-hand pane, or both boxes ticked and edit the
A known as an email signature
and yes, you can remove it (or
click to expand Mail followed by Layout
and then select Email signature.
message to say what you want it to
say, and then click Save.

4 17 January 2017 65
Problems Solved
Why are my Adobe Reader icons so big?
How do I hide Ive had a Windows 7 PC for not a big problem but it is annoying, and
my name on Q ages but recently swapped Id just like to have more screen space

Amazon? it for a new Windows 10 laptop.

This all works ne but when I double-
instead of this row of giant buttons. Do
you know why this is happening, and
click to read PDF les in Adobe Reader, how to x it?
Ive been buying products the icons in Reader are enormous. Its Claire Clarke
Q from Amazon for years, but
only recently left my rst Its happening
review. To be honest, this was mainly
because the item in question was a
A because you have
an option set in
bit rubbish, and I wanted to warn Reader that magnies the
other shoppers. However, I didnt size of both the toolbar, and
realise that this would go up with the icons it displays. Normally
my real name. Its not a massive this is set to automatic, but f
problem because I dont really care or some reason thats not the
what people think anyway, but Id case with your installation.
still rather not have my real or full To x it, open the Edit
name attached to this review, or menu, then choose
others I might leave. Is there any Preferences. Now, in the Basic
way to leave reviews on Amazon Tools section, look at the Scale
with a pseudonym, or at least for screen resolution (restart
without my surname? required) dropdown menu.
Michael Delaney Our guess is that this will be
set at 200 per cent, thus
Weve changed your doubling the normal size
A surname here also, because
you asked us to.
of the icons.
Click the menu, choose
To do the same in Amazon, log in Auto-Detect (see screenshot),
as normal and then, at the top-right, You can adjust the display size of icons in Adobe Reader by then scroll to the bottom and
click the Your Account link. Now changing the option in Scale for screen resolution click OK. Now restart your PC.
scroll down to the Personalisation
section and then, under the
Community heading, click Your What are these Windows 10 images?
Public Prole. Near the middle of the
page, click the Edit prole button. What I nd very
In the Edit prole tab, simply edit
the name in the Your public name
Q curious about my
Windows 10 laptop is
eld (see screenshot). Finally, scroll that at startup, before I get to
down to the bottom to nd and then see the normal screen, I see a
click the Save button. picture of some rocks with
Incidentally, this change aects wooden walkways. Before the
both old and new reviews, so the last upgrade the image it
name displayed on your existing showed was of a wooded valley
review will be altered accordingly. with a house in the distance. I
have no idea what Microsoft is
up to do you?
Mike Bowthorpe

Yes, this is just

A Windows 10s lock
screen. You click Choose a new picture for your lock-screen image, or pick
(or tap and swipe up) to move one of your own photos, in the Personalisation settings
on to the login screen, and
then the Windows desktop. By Lock screen. Under Background,
default, the images are supplied by click to open the dropdown menu
Microsoft and regularly rotated. and then choose Picture (see screenshot).
Change your public name in Amazons To customise what you see, click Now choose one of the displayed images,
page settings to conceal your identity Start, followed by Settings, and then or click Browse and choose one of
Personalisation, followed by your own.

66 4 17 January 2017
How can I stop my iPhones controls
hiding automatically?
My old Samsung phone died you cant change it. The intention
Q so my husband upgraded his
iPhone 5 to an iPhone 7, and
is to make the whole screen available
for website viewing.
then gave me the 5. Im getting on okay However, there are a few tricks
with it, but when I scroll through a you can use to reduce the annoyance
website in the web browser both the that this causes you. For starters,
address bar at the top and the back/ theres no need to scroll up to bring
forward controls at the bottom the controls back into view. Instead,
disappear. To get them back I have just tap at the very top of the browser
to scroll back up a bit, which I nd window. Incidentally, if you tap here a
really annoying. second time, Safari will automatically
Ive had a good look through the scroll to the top of the current website.
settings but cant nd any way to stop In addition, you can swipe to navigate
this behaviour. Am I missing something? backwards and forwards through your
Hazel Curtis website history. To go back to the last
page you visited, for example, from the
Youre not missing anything: very right-hand side of the screen swipe
A this behaviour is built into Safari
(the iPhones web browser), and
left; or swipe right from the very left-
hand side to go forwards.
Tap the top or bottom of a Safari web page to
make the address bar and controls reappear

Can I switch
my Windows 10
hard drive to a
new laptop?
My Windows 10 laptop
Q recently went blank and it
made me realise that all my
backups would be useless with a
broken screen. The display xed itself
but I worry how I would get over this
problem. Would it be feasible to have
the same model of laptop as a standby,
and simply put the hard drive from the
old laptop into the new one and boot Microsofts complex licensing terms dictate that software is tied to a specific device
up normally. Would this work?
Paul Davies valid licence. If Windows did detect
the change, itd demand reactivation
It might work with the exact and Microsoft would probably
A same laptop make and model,
but theres a major caveat. We
decline that request.
If the display does eventually
assume your current Windows 10 break, then connecting an external
laptop had the operating system pre- monitor would allow you to
installed, so itll be covered by whats continue using the machine. But
known as an Original Equipment that doesnt mean your backups
Manufacturer (OEM) licence. If your laptop screen breaks, connect a monitor to would be useless. Even if your laptop
Microsofts licensing terms (www. continue using it broke, your backups would allow are complex but the you to restore the data they contain
essence is that an OEM is tied to a the components would be technically the to a new machine. You could keep a
specic device. If you put the old hard same, the actual device would not. So, laptop on standby for that scenario, or
drive in an identical new machine, the while Windows 10 might not actually just buy a replacement if or when the
licence would be invalid because while detect the change, you wouldnt have a actual need arises.

4 17 January 2017 67
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Problems Solved
? Whatever happened to WordPerfect?
WordPerfect, and its development and promotion of Microsoft
Q companions Quattro Pro
(spreadsheet) and Paradox
Oce. By the turn of the century,
Microsofts suite had pretty much
(database), were my favourite oce conquered all the big-name oce suites
programs for many years, both at the to emerge as the commercial victor.
start and subsequently after Corel took One crafty strategy that Microsoft
them over. My wife and I even used employed was to make early Windows
DOS WordPerfect. She used it in an versions of Word able to recognise the
oce environment back in the early most popular WordPerfect keyboard
90s, where it was considered to be the shortcuts: this made it far easier for
best word-processor available and WordPerfect users to make the shift to
oered some important facilities, Microsofts alternative.
which the emerging Word from However, this is the rst Whatever
Microsoft didnt. happened to? with the twist of a
I still have the Windows version on happy ending. The WordPerfect brand
No need to mourn WordPerfect Office its
my XP computer, and it works well. name and products were passed still around, and this year upgraded to X8
What became of the excellent from pillar to post, and you rightly
WordPerfect and why did it, and its remembered that it ended up with Professional version, which sells for
oce suite companions, fail? Corel and in fact its still there, alive 269.99. Theres also an Upgrade
John Hale and kicking. Indeed, the suite is being Edition of the latter that goes for
actively developed, with the most 133.99: if you retain an earlier edition
The story of WordPerfects recent version WordPerfect Oce x8 of WordPerfect, youd be eligible for
A eclipse mirrors that of several
other programs that weve
being released in April 2016.
The Home & Student Edition costs
this deal.
Want to know what happened to your
covered in this section. During the 92.99, and includes Quattro Pro. If you favourite program, website or technology?
90s it failed to keep up with the want Paradox then youd need to buy the Email

What broadband speed will I get?

BT says it has oered to increase telephone exchange and street cabinet all-copper connection is around 24Mbps.
Q my broadband speed to 52Mbps.
My current average is around
are old-fashioned copper wires and, in
many cases now, bre-optic cables
Fibre signals dont suer the same
problem so with less copper in the way,
8Mbps, though it varies. If everybody in dubbed bre to the cabinet (or FTTC). FTTC means higher speeds. Your cabinet
my area except me upgraded to 52Mbps The much-shorter connection between has been upgraded to support FTTC,
would my speed increase? Or would the cabinet and your house is almost hence BTs new oer. You might not see
upgrading to the 52Mbps package certainly copper, though a few homes 52Mbps often or at all but, for the reasons
denitely improve my speed? have been upgraded with bre bre explained, it should be better than your
Aled Williams to the premises (FTTP). all-copper 8Mbps experience.
Copper broadband signals deteriorate If everyone but you switched to the
We could devote an entire with distance, and the maximum speed 52Mbps FTTC package, your all-copper
A feature to exploring all
the factors involved
youd ever be likely to get over an speeds would probably increase because
thered be less contention for total
but, in brief, if literally everyone all-copper bandwidth available from
else in your street moved to the cabinet.
the 52Mbps package then your
speed might increase a bit; and
if you switch to the 52Mbps
18 Jan
package it will probably Whats going on with my
increase a lot. iPad storage?
To understand why you need How do I size images
to know a little about the consistently in Word?
underlying technology that
How do I access my PCs BIOS?
delivers the broadband internet
...And many more
signal rst to your nearest street
cabinet and then to your house. When BT upgrades its street cabinets from copper to Subscribe to Computeractive
Running between your local fibre-optic cables, local broadband speeds are improved at

4 17 January 2017 69
Fast Fixes

Fix Your connection is not secure errors,
stop Firefox clashing with your rewall
and solve password-saving problems

Fix insecure connection rewall, especially if its been recently

error message updated. If youre not certain which
If when trying to open a website in rewall is running on your PC, you can
Firefox you see a Your connection is not nd out by using EnumProcess. Go to
secure error message, it means the, scroll to the
websites security certicate is not bottom of the page and click the
recognised by Firefox and therefore not EnumProcess 1.2.1 link. Double-click
trusted. You should take the warning the download, then click Run to see a
seriously because the website may window listing the rewall thats running
contain malware. If you think the site is Turn off Encrypted connections scanning in on your PC (see screenshot below).
safe, you can check using Qualys website your AV to stop it conflicting with Firefox With this knowledge youll be able to
test page: If you search online for information on how to
get the all-clear, you can force Firefox to Avast users should turn o Enable congure that rewall to allow Firefox
load the website. Click Advanced and HTTPS Scanning; in Bitdefender switch to access the internet.
youll see one of two options: to load the o Scan SSL; in Bullguard untick Show
site using Outdated Security or to Add safe results; in ESET disable and re-
Exception (see screenshot below). Click enable SSL/TLS protocol ltering.
the option you see and Firefox will now If the problem persists, you could
load the website. also try uninstalling your AV before
reinstalling it. This should force Firefox to
place your AV into its store of trusted
programs, therefore preventing any
further conicts. Check the manual of Use EnumProcess to find out the name of the
your particular AV to nd out how to firewall on your PC
properly uninstall it.
Usernames and passwords
Incorrect location shown wont save
Popular websites like BBC Weather and Firefox sometimes fails to save your
Google Maps rely on knowing your usernames and passwords for websites
location so they can instantly provide you you visit. This is due to the Password
Allow a blocked website to open by making it with local information. If websites arent Manager settings. Click the menu button,
exempt from Firefoxs security filter using your correct location, make sure Options, Security, then tick Remember
youre not using a VPN that might be passwords for sites. Next, click the
Fix recurring Your connection is disguising your location. If you arent, try Exceptions button (to the right of
not secure error deleting Firefoxs cached web content Remember passwords for sites) and
Even having carried out the previous x, and cookies to reset location data for check that the site youre trying to log
you may continue to see the Your those websites. into isnt listed. If it is, click the entry to
connection is not secure error message Click Firefoxs menu button (the three select it and click Remove.
when attempting to access websites you lines at the top right), Options, then
know are secure (for example, www. Advanced (on the left). Click the Network or This tab, then the Clear Now button in the THE FINAL FAST FIXES
is probably caused by conicts with your Cached Web Content section. To clear Weve decided to shake up Fast Fixes
antivirus (AV) software. Avast, Bitdefender, stored cookies, click Privacy and clear from next issue. Well use the page to
Bullguard, ESET and Kaspersky all have your recent history. When the pop-up address specic problems you have
HTTPS-scanning features that have been window opens, select Everything from with the programs we featured in recent
known to clash with Firefox. You can the Time range to clear dropdown issues whether thats in Workshops,
switch these o in your AVs settings. menu, then click Clear Now. features, Best Free Software or
In Kaspersky, for example, click Settings, anywhere else in the magazine. Simply
Additional, then Network. Scroll down to No websites will display send any questions you may have to
the Encrypted connections scanning If Firefox suddenly stops displaying any Well aim
section and tick Do not scan encrypted website, then assuming your router and to publish solutions to as many of your
connections (see screenshot above right), phone line are working properly the queries as possible.
then click Continue when prompted. problem is probably caused by your

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Set of 8 83.99 Daisy Inks PP-201 Plus Glossy II 275gsm:
A4 20 sheets 15.99 Grace 29x32cm 100 pages 14.99 Emilia 12x8 two colours 8.99
Colours 13ml each 10.99 Originals: A3 20 sheets 39.99 Grafton 29x32cm 100 pgs 14.99
6x4 50 sheets 9.99 A3+ 20 sheets OFFER 25.99 Rio 6x4 four colours 5.99
No.18 Set of 4 30.99 7x5 20 sheets 11.99 Baby 29x32cm 100 pages 12.99 Rio 7x5 four colours 6.99
CLi8 No.18 Black 5.2ml 8.99 A4 20 sheets 11.99 Archival Matte 192gsm: Accessories: Rio 8x6 four colours 7.99
Pixma Pro 9000 No.18 Colours 3.3ml each 7.49 A3 20 sheets 27.99 A4 50 sheets 16.99 Photo Corners Pack of 250 2.99 Rio 10x8 four colours 8.99
No.18XL Set of 4 54.99 A3+ 20 sheets 36.99 A3 50 sheets 36.99 Photo Stickers Pack of 500 1.99 Rio 12x8 four colours 9.99
Originals: No.18XL Black 11.5ml 16.99 A3+ 50 sheets 52.99
Set of 8 83.99 No.18XL Colours 6.6ml each 12.99 SG-201 Semi-Gloss 260gsm:
Colours 14ml each 10.99 6x4 50 sheets 10.99 Heavyweight Matte 167gsm:
Compatibles: A4 20 sheets 11.99 A4 50 sheets 12.99
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
Elephant Inks More Ink Cartridges... 8GB: 3.29 16GB: 4.49
Set of 10 107.99 No.24 Set of 6 52.99 32GB: 7.99
Colours 14ml each 10.99 No.24 Colours 4.6ml each 8.99
Compatibles: No.24XL Set of 6 87.99
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
No.300 Black 4ml
No.300 Colour 4ml
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
Set of 6 19.99
No.57 Colour 24ml
No.62XL Black 12ml
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! Telephone: 01926 339977 or 0800 1077 211 Premier Ink & Photographic 12 Longfield Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV31 1XB
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In the next issue of our sister title

Web User...
Avoid the programs that look real, but arent


Health-check tips to keep it working


So sites dont keep using your personal data

Smart TVs, webcams, routers
theyre all at it!


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72 5 - 18 August 2015
Jargon Buster Bust more jargon in our A-Z book:

32bit A measure of how much CUDA Compute Unied Device ISO The light sensitivity of a Rootkit Software that gives a
information a computer can Architecture. A system built by camera. Higher ISO numbers allow malicious user administration
process at once. Most older Nvidia to increase computing you to shoot without ash. rights and access to a computer.
computers are 32bit. performance.
LED Light-Emitting Diode. An Safe Mode A way of starting
4G Technology that delivers faster Daisy-chained A wiring system electronic device that emits light. Windows so that various programs
mobile broadband. in which multiple devices are are prevented from working.
connected together in sequence. M.2 A standard specication for
4K Video with a resolution of at internal PC expansion cards. Scaling How operating systems
least 3840x2160 pixels. Dark net Websites that can only display text from dierent programs
be accessed using specic privacy Megapixel A measure of the to make it readable on screen.
64bit A technology that processes networks. amount of detail that can be
information in larger chunks. Most recorded by a digital image. SD card Secure Digital card. A
modern computers are 64bit. Defragger Software that popular type of memory card.
reorganises data on a hard drive so Memory module A narrow circuit
Accelerometer A sensor that les can be accessed quickly. board that holds memory chips. Security certicate A le used to
detects movement. Used in verify the identity of the company
phones to determine portrait or DirectX A Microsoft technology MicroSD A small type of memory running a website.
landscape orientation. required to run many games in card. Can be converted to SD size
Windows. using an adapter. S/PDIF Sony/Philips Digital
AMOLED Active-Matrix Organic Interface. A standard for
Light-Emitting Diode. An Driver A le that tells Windows MicroUSB A miniature version of transferring digital audio
alternative technology to LCD for how to work with a peripheral USB, often found on smartphones, information between devices.
creating at-panel displays. device, such as a mouse. tablets and portable hard drives.
sRGB A standard RGB colour
Aperture An opening that controls DSLR Digital single-lens reex. A Oled Organic light-emitting diode. space for use on monitors,
the amount of light entering a digital camera that uses a moving A thin-lm organic light-emitting printers and the internet.
camera lens. mirror so its viewnder looks out diode used in PC and TV screens.
through the lens. SSD Solid-state drive. Storage
Architecture A set of rules Open source Software that can that, unlike a hard drive, uses no
and methods that govern how Dual boot To set up a PC with two be modied by anyone. moving parts.
hardware and software work. operating systems.
OpenCL A programming standard Subwoofer A special type of
Benchmarking Comparing Emoji An icon showing a facial that can be used across multiple speaker designed to reproduce
software and products with an expression, such as a smile. platforms. deep bass sounds only.
accepted standard.
Extension A program that adds OpenGL A programming standard System restore point The
Beta A version of software thats extra features to your browser. used for work such as 3D modelling. collection of system les stored by
being tested. System Restore on a given date.
Firewall Software or hardware Overclocking Making a processor
Cache A temporary space for that prevents unauthorised access work faster at the cost of it Thunderbolt 3 A very fast port for
storing information. to a computer over a network. requiring more power. connecting external storage to a PC.

Calibration The process of Firmware Basic software stored Partition A large hard drive can be Trac management The practice
checking that colours are accurate on a device to control its operation. split into two or more partitions or of ISPs restricting download and
on a monitor. virtual drives. upload speeds to ensure everyone
GPU Graphics Processor Unit. gets a stable connection.
Client A program used to access A chip designed to create 3D Proof of concept Showing how
and manage email. graphics. a system can be hacked without Transcoding To convert les
building malware to do so. between formats.
Contention ratio The maximum Graphics card A component in a
number of customers that at computer that produces the image PUP Potentially Unwanted USB 2.0/3.0 Faster successors
any one time can connect to shown on the monitor. Program. A program that may to USB.
an internet service providers not be desired, despite the user
network. HTTPS Hyper Text Transfer consenting to it being downloaded. USB Type-C A new connector
Protocol Secure. The secure thats reversible.
Cookie A small text le stored on version of HTTP. Plug-in A small program that
your computer by a website. adds extra features to software or Virtual desktop A desktop you
IP address Internet Protocol to your web browser. can expand beyond the physical
CPU Central Processing Unit. Address. A unique set of numbers connes of your PCs screen.
Another term for a computer used to identify computers and RAM Random-access memory.
processor. websites on the internet. The computers working area. VPN Virtual private network. A
technology for keeping all internet
Crowdfunding A process where IPS A screen technology that Ransomware Malware run by communication safe and private.
a company gets the nancing provides wider viewing angles hackers who lock les on your
to launch a new product from and better, more accurate-looking PC and demand a payment to ZIP le A le that can contain
prospective customers online. colours. release them. compressed documents or les.

4 17 January 2017 73
The Final Straw KEN RIGSBY is
Computeractives Mr Angry

This issue Ken Rigsby doesnt want to spend any dough on

Fake freebies
hey say theres no such thing as a
free lunch, but I know that cant be
true because just before Christmas,
coincidentally at around lunchtime, I was
passing my local Pizza Express. There, in
the window, I saw a poster oering Free
Snowball Dough Balls. All I had to do
was head inside, holler Free Snowball
Dough Balls to a sta member and Id
walk out with free Snowball Dough Balls.
And do you know what? It worked!
The only catch was that the event was
being staged for charity, so the waiter
suggested I throw a few coppers into his
collection bucket. Admittedly, the grump
inside my head began to say: Well,
charity begins at home, so... but then John Hills. He wondered whether I in-game coins or the like. Thatll be 1,000
the Christmas spirit got the better of me shared his dismay about how the word free coins supplied in a virtual wallet
and I dropped a shiny 20p piece in the free is used and abused. And I do. priced in the very
pot. So I acquired my box of steaming, Take oers of free Wi-Fi, available small print at 79.99, give or take. Well,
cinnamon-dusted treats for a price that is everywhere from high-street coee shops okay, itll most likely be your kids or
almost as good as free. and hotel chains to the backs of taxis and grandchildren that fall for these shady
coaches. All you have to do is supply your practices, but this isnt a joke.
name, address, marital status, income In fact, its for just this kind of
level, shoe size and rst-borns birth behaviour that Amazon was recently
certicate. In exchange, youll get a few ordered by a US federal judge to pay
minutes online while you sup your $26.5m in damages, because it was
To get free Wi-Fi just overpriced hot beverage. making it too easy for unscrupulous
Or perhaps youll spend your cab ride developers to fool kids into making
provide your name, using Google Maps to gure out why the in-app purchases in many popular free
driver seems to have a knack for nding games. The rm was also told to issue
address, marital status, the longest trac jams, while his meter refunds to disgruntled parents who
merrily ticks over. But at least you got between them found theyd been charged
shoe size and first- some free Wi-Fi! Of course, the very next upwards of $86m (about 68m at time of
borns birth certificate day your inbox will be weighed down
with marketing spam, because that was
writing, but who knows at time of
reading) by kids using these apps. You
the hidden cost of the deal. can read the whole sorry story (for free!)
Another example is free apps. Have you at
noticed that its now virtually impossible So there you have it. The cost of free to
to pay for a smartphone or tablet app? the likes of normal people like you and
However, while Pizza Express might be You just cant move online for supposedly me is $86m, while Amazon gets a rap
generous enough to enlarge my waist free apps. But these giveaways are littered over the knuckles equivalent to around
with its genuine annual giveaway, there with little catch-you-outs designed to 0.007 per cent of its approximate $350bn
are many other freebies that are nothing catch you out. Tap the wrong button at market worth. That, many would agree, is
of the sort particularly in the world of just the wrong time which from the as good as scot-free!
technology. Take free Wi-Fi, for example. perspective of the crafty developer, was
In a rst for this column, my ire was just the right button at just the right time Which fake freebies do you hate?
inspired by a readers own annoyance and youll end up with 1,000 free Let us know at

74 4 17 January 2017 Next issue Ken rips up his subscription software contracts
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