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WorldMags.net

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Welcome

Welcome to the latest issue of Windows 7 Help & Advice, the only computer magazine that will inspire you to do more with your PC. How long have you been using Windows? Six months? Two years? More than a few? Well, whatever the answer, you probably know a thing or two about what makes your machine tick. The more you know about how it works, the better equipped you will be to do things when the time arises, such as fixing specific problems or carrying out regular maintenance. You might not know everything, though, which is where we can help. This month, we’ve collated an impressive 100 different ways to get more from your PC – from discovering how to make working with applications more productive, to scheduling regular tasks, and even how to make big screens easier to read. You’ll fall in love with Windows once again!

Adam Ifans Editor-in-Chief

www.facebook.com/windowsmag

THE ONLY COMPUTER MAG TO HELP YOU GET MORE FROM WINDOWS
We pride ourselves in being the only magazine on the shelves to show you exactly how to get the best from the Windows operating system, whether it’s 7, 8, Vista or even XP. Windows 7 Help & Advice also comes with a disc, on which you can find all the great apps covered in the magazine, saving you having to find them online. If you get a chance, take a look at how you can even read the magazine on your laptop, phone or tablet.

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including technical queries and Windows Watchdog 4 | Help & Advice | December 2013 SUPPORT Want more? Visit our website at www. 26 Master Windows 8’s Reliability Monitor 30 Call friends using Viber for Windows 34 Get quick notifications on your PC with Growl 38 Watch classic movies for free with BitTorrent 40 Convert video formats with VLC 44 Create your own custom shortcuts 48 Control your PC with Twitter 50 Discover the best Gmail power tips On your free disc On your free disc On your free disc 62 Four pages of help.com/windowsmag WorldMags. secrets and hints to improve your Windows experience 54 Refresh Windows XP – part 2 Improve your PC’s performance and get help from a friend with Remote Desktop 58 Lightweight networking tools Ten of the best free programs for solving issues with your home network REGULARS 6 Discover Take your education further with free online courses 29 Next month Gaze into the future… What’s happening at Christmas? 32 Subscriptions Save up to 30 per cent when you subscribe today 42 Competition Enter by text to win £10.000 worth of amazing gadgets! EXPLORE The best PC tutorials 61 Overseas reader? Get your mag for less with a subscription “Each month we include as wide a range of tutorials as possible.net FEATURES 14 100 ways to love Windows We reveal the tips.net . to help you use your computer more efciently and inspire you to try new things.facebook.WorldMags.

net Follow us on… www.com/windowsmag December 2013 | Help & Advice | 5 .49 every three months ON THE COVER 100 WAYS TO IMPROVE WINDOWS 14 Fall in love with Windows all over again ON THE COVER UPGRADE 70 Loads of reviews and recommendations 68 Panasonic DMR-BWT720 68 WD TV Live 69 Pure Avalon 300R Connect 69 Humax HDR-S100s 70 Acer Aspire P3 74 Samsung Series 7 Ultra 78 HP Envy TouchSmart 23 82 Dell Alienware 14 84 Hotlist Our roundup of the best laptops.facebook.WorldMags.net CUT-PRICE SUBS OFFER Save up to 30% – pay just £12. tablets.twitter. just for you 10 free tools to boost your home network 58 Diagnose any network problem with these free and lightweight apps WorldMags.com/windowsmag www. phones and more WINDOWS XP SECRETS 54 Bring that classic OS to life with the second part of our XP superguide ON THE COVER 90 Play this Four great new games put through their paces.

WorldMags.net NEW THINGS TO DO AMAZING WEBSITES FASCINATING FACTS WEB LESSONS There’s never been a better time to pick up a new skill 6 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags.net .

and iTunes Radio. and its global repertoire includes institutions based in Barcelona. enter your email address and click ‘Register’ REVISIT THE PAST Next. and sites such as www. Even if you’re not looking to further your career or pursue education. it can be hard to know what to study. com. You’ll potentially spend a lot of time getting to know the intricacies of a subject. who found it difficult to download. too – MOOCs began in America. Princeton and California universities all offer free mini courses on the site. and you’ll find TechRadar’s full guide to iOS 7 at goo. and found it significantly impaired battery life once it was installed. version of the Apple mobile operating system. Warwick and Bath. Is it any good? Don’t worry about that.org let you take part in them from the other side of the Atlantic. As more universities offer more free ways to learn online. then click ‘Continue to the questionnaire’ to proceed LATE REGISTRATION Visit www. It’s fairly straightforward. many have praised Apple’s dramatic overhaul of its OS.uk – has details on all its courses. click ‘Take Questionnaire’ and begin answering the questions that follow WorldMags. Fortunately. so what does it do? Basically. W MOOCs are a great way to add to your CV and tempt adults back into education Distance learning is nothing new. The ‘i’ refers to iPhone and the OS stands for ‘operating system. iOS 7’s release has been met with frustration from users and journalists. UKCourseFinder is at hand. and latest. How can I get it? You’ll need an iPhone 4 or above.ukcoursefinder. Its site – www. which range from standalone modules to full-blown PhD research degrees. as anyone in the world with an internet connection can access the courses. As the Open University is a university like any other. Discover Take an online course WorldMags.’ The number 7 is indicative of this being the seventh. It works the other way. play games. more translucent experience.futurelearn. including Reading. and we’re sure everyone will find a subject that interests them in an online course. you will have to pay for these courses.TAKE YOUR EDUCATION FURTHER ON THE WEB With more than 20 UK universities offering free courses online. or installed from iTunes through your computer.gl/5aLBjY. It consists of a simple questionnaire that offers you a guide to any relevant courses once you finish and submit it. an iPad 2 or above (including Mini) or a fifth generation iPod Touch.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 7 . Apple’s CEO Tim Cook described the latest revision of the operating system as “the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone. iOS 7 I have no idea what that is… Good. and the Open University – which runs FutureLearn – has been educating people via post and the internet for over 40 years. and the courses themselves aren’t of a degree level – they’re also assessed via multiple-choice questions rather than endless essays.open. so it’s important to know whether you’ll enjoy it. Dubbed ‘massive open online courses’ or MOOCs. Today higher education has moved on – most courses are available online for students. because that allows us to use this answer as an introductory paragraph.ac. Peking and Tel Aviv. it makes the iPhone work. a free station based on your listening preferences. surf the web and take pictures. As it’s still in an experimental phase. HERE’S WHERE TO START Find your inner forte While the idea of doing an online course or degree is enticing. A new site. offers completely free short courses in areas such as maths.net The Knowledge. One of the benefits of the Future Learn project is that it’s truly open to all. It also adds new features such as AirDrop so you can share content with people in the vicinity.. but it’s been created with accessibility in mind. so you can make calls. If the project is a success.” What’s changed then? This latest revision rejects previous uses of ‘skeuomorphism’ and pseudo-3D effects in favour of a flatter. the adage of not being able to teach an old dog new tricks has become less relevant. There are also courses that overlap and sometimes it can be hard to know which to go for.com. www. the benefits of the courses are two-fold: people who take them get to add them to their CVs. they can still be an interesting and informative way to spend your spare time.. university-level courses might also be added. However. What’s more is that you don’t even need to enrol on a course or endure Freshers Week to join a course or two with a leading UK university. philosophy and science from more than 20 universities. PASS GRADE You’ll be given a password. complete with class notes. coursera. Okay. Stanford. and they serve as taster courses to tempt adults back to education. The update can be downloaded via Wi-Fi. we take a look at how to find the best adult education on the internet hen we were at university we spent most of the time nursing a hangover in a stuffy lecture theatre.

Very useful! 8 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. but can’t get to it. (pressing [Windows]+[M] will take you here) simply press [Windows]+[X] and you’ll see a quick access menu – this includes quick jumps to essential tools.’ Scroll down and select the tick box next to ‘Use check boxes to select items. you can place a tickbox next to items to make them easier to choose. Fortunately. but the calculator app is full of hidden uses that make it an invaluable free tool many sleeps there are until Christmas! Finally. figure out how many payments are left on your car and even plan how much fuel you’ll need for an upcoming trip or holiday. there was a little game called Solitaire. And all your calculated data is saved in the calculator until you finally close it. ‘Worksheets’ can be used to calculate your mortgage. you can press the underlined key in the menu to open an associated task. but it’s all too easy to click on the wrong thing and lose your whole selection. Fire it up.’ then click the ‘OK’ button. From the Windows desktop. Click ‘Organize’ followed by ‘Folder and search options. The game can be set to deal one card at a time rather than three. Solitary pursuits Before Facebook and BuzzFeed took up the majority of workers’ office time. The card game built in to Windows XP is still a cracker. It’s a great feature because it saves you the trouble of scrolling through the Start menu Struggling to get something to work? Need a tip? Then email us your woes (to windowsmagazine@futurenet. Tip of the month The calculator Go beyond a simple equation Windows 7’s calculator just keeps giving and giving. [Shift] and [Alt] then clicking the deck will deal one – perfect if you can see the card you need. there is something similar baked into the program. Control Panel and File Explorer. but if you’ve got it set to three and you’re stuck. Now you’ll be able to accurately select files and folders.net . Celsius to Fahrenheit and stones to kilograms.com with the subject line ‘Windows Insider’) and we’ll share your perfect Windows tweaks in a future issue. and perfect for idling away a lunch break or boring conference. You can also use the ‘Date calculator’ option to work out the number of days until a certain event – perfect for determining how It may seem like a basic utility. you can press [Alt].WorldMags. Show me the menu While we bemoaned the lack of a Start menu in Windows 8.’ then click ‘View. If you’re truly stuck. move or delete within Windows Explorer. and you can use the check box at the top to select every file or document as well. such as Device Manager. [Shift] and [2] to instantly win the game – you can then impress your co-workers with the bouncing card animation that follows. then click ‘View’ followed by ‘Unit conversion’ and you’re able to convert inches to centimetres. it’s just been tucked away.net Checking in You can use [Ctrl] to choose multiple files or folders to copy. For even quicker access. too. holding [Ctrl].

WorldMags.net WorldMags.net .

” T PLAY TIME Experience the many uses of Chrome with this fun collection of games Also available from the word go is Skype.” wrote Microsoft’s group program manager for SkyDrive apps Mona Akmal. 3A. 2B. the web-based communications service Microsoft bought in 2011 for $8. The biggest change in Windows 8. which was the biggest source of confusion for consumers.chromeexperiments. which was unsual given Microsoft’s massive investment. Once you’ve got the software. Our favourite Experiments include WebGL Water Simulator. Finally. and while the Metro Start screen looked good on computers in Currys. but if you wish to install it on a Windows Vista or XP computer.” says Aga Guzik. 4A. you’ll have to completely format your PC (making sure you’ve backed up your files first). which means your files are permanently and securely backed up online. is completely embedded in Windows 8. com/chrome).1 it will be easier than ever to connect and do more with the special people in your life. “With the SkyDrive app. The crucial ability to quickly shut down and restart the computer is a great addition. 5B.net Download this… Chrome Experiments www.1 is the return of the iconic Windows Start button in the lower-left corner of the screen. which realistically renders a lush swimming pool. Follow us on… www. Map Dive. Windows 8 feels like the operating system we’ve wanted all along. Windows 8 users will be able to download the Win8.WorldMags. and it makes it far easier for people who are upgrading from Windows 7. 6C 22 A) It was stolen by joyriders in Sao Paolo B) It failed its MOT in Bradford C) It crashed into a bus 2 NASA’s Curiosity rover failed to detect which sign of life on Mars? A) Nitrogen B) Methane C) McDonald’s packaging 4 Which well-known chocolate bar has Google partnered with for its latest version of the Android OS? A) Kit Kat B) Tracker C) Wagon Wheel 6 Vacuum manufacturer Dyson’s next product will be what? A) A robot housekeeper B) A smartphone C) A humidifier . but all the changes Microsoft are rolling out are definitely for the best.1 IS HERE The new Win8 update promises some much needed improvements he original launch of Windows 8 last year could have gone better.com/windowsmag 3 How much did Grand Theft Auto 5 make in its first day of sales? A) $800m B) $1bn C) $1.google. too. We feel it’s going to be hard to go back to a more traditional version of Windows just after we’ve got our heads around Windows 8.facebook. which renders a human head with unnerving accuracy. Confused consumers couldn’t work out if it was a tablet operating system or a PC one. A cool new feature is the ability to sort and manage your files and folders when you’re offline.5 billion. It’s also highly adaptable. in which Google Maps’ Pegman falls to the earth and the WebGL skin. to make the most of it.1 update for free from the Windows Store – you can also purchase the software for around £75 (for the standard version) and £125 for the Pro edition. It was notable in its absence from Windows 8. “Edits on this device or another device will be synchronised so that you’re always working with the latest file.5bn 5 The US Court of appeals declared what as free speech? A) Instagram pictures B) Facebook Likes C) Retweets NEXT ISSUE ON SALE November 2013 FRIDAY 10 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags.twitter.com Google’s Chrome browser has fast become our website viewer of choice – it’s quick.1 update it aims to put right past mistakes. SkyDrive. Chrome Experiments is a collection of fun games and cool toys that push the browser to the limits. Microsoft has listened to customers’ feedback and with the Windows 8. Microsoft’s cloud storage product. in any moment. “With Skype in Windows 8. it proved unintuitive and clumsy elsewhere.1. You’ll obviously need Chrome installed (available at www.com/windowsmag 1 What happened to one of Google’s Street View cars? www.net Answers 1C. Microsoft’s head of desktop product marketing at Skype. WINDOWS 8. easy-to-use and powerful. and it’s created an ecosystem all its own. and it’s hugely impressive. but there’s a host of new user-friendly features. you can install it as an upgrade on PCs running Windows 7. Thankfully. you’ll be able to mark any folders or files you want for offline access. If you’ve got Chrome on your smartphone you can use it to play Roll It and Racer.

net .net WorldMags.WorldMags.

WorldMags.net
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MAJORITY OF PIRATED DOWNLOADS?

Henry Winchester reveals a host of fascinating digital facts

WHY DO PEOPLE LEAVE FACEBOOK?

The act of terminating your Facebook account – dubbed ‘Facebook suicide’ – is the subject of research from the University of Vienna. Over half the people who left the social networking site did so due to privacy concerns. 13.5 per cent left due to general dissatisfaction and six per cent deleted accounts because they were scared they would become addicted to the site.

According to research from Kantar, which was commissioned by UK communications regulator Ofcom, almost a quarter of all UK downloads are in breach of copyright, and 58 per cent of internet users have downloaded or streamed at least one illegal item in the last year. However, people who consume a large amount of pirated material make up just two per cent of users.

WHAT’S HAPPENING EVERY MINUTE IN MMO GAME RUNESCAPE?
257 players 208 bosses are
killed
|

die

61,985 weapons are 2,076 cows are
slain crafted

307,000,000 experience points are earned
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Help & Advice | December 2013

Discover WorldMags.net Facts & figures

The British tabloid was founded in 1896 and its website launched in May 2008. The site receives 50.1m unique visitors a month, making it the most popular newspaper website in the world today. Around 200 new news articles are added every day and a total of 42m of these

TOP MAIL ONLINE FACTS
visitors are based in the UK. Around 25 per cent of visitors only look at the celeb gossip stories, while most visitors spend an average of 46 minutes on the site. Somewhat surprisingly, the readership of the website is around 54 per cent male. In the last 30 days, around 50m comments have been ‘greenarrowed’ and 14m have been ‘red-arrowed.’ – the sites own take on the common ‘Like’ and ‘Dislike’ buttons. The site finds its biggest following in the US state of California, and least popular in Wyoming. In the last month, just 14 people have visited the site from the Central African Republic.

£1 IN EVERY SEVEN…

…will be spent online by 2017, according to retail consultancy company Verdict. At the moment, £1 in every 10 is spent online. Just four per cent of people consider shopping in store to be more enjoyable than shopping online, and 67 per cent have made purchases from their living rooms, which indicates a significant rise in the use of second-screen devices.

74 PER CENT…
…of smartphone users have used their devices to get direction or other information about where they are, figures from the Pew Research Center show – 30 per cent have their social media accounts set up to show their locations in posts. The use of ‘check in’ services is decreasing, though – just 12 per cent use Facebook or Foursquare to present their location, down from 18 per cent last year.

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WorldMags.net

TO FALL IN LOVE WITH WINDOWS ALL OVER AGAIN
We reveal the hints, tips and secrets that will open up your heart to Windows all over again

Y

ou may have been using Windows 7 for years or you may be a relative newcomer. However long you’ve been using the operating system, there’s always something new to learn and for more seasoned users there are plenty of little tricks that you may have forgotten. Whichever camp you fall into, we’ve unearthed 100 reasons to fall in love with Windows 7 all over again. If you’ve been using Windows for a few years, you may well have forgotten some of the neat tricks it’s capable of and some of the impressive tools and options that are built in. There are plenty of things that are obvious and easy to discover, but there are numerous other secrets that you can discover just by scratching beneath the surface of your Windows OS. Windows 7 has many layers to it. For some people it’s not something they give a great deal of thought to – it’s simply a necessary part of owning a PC. Many people think of their operating system as dull and boring, but there really is a great deal to love. Over the coming pages we’re going to share with you some of the reasons we love Windows 7. You’ll find all manner of hints and tips to help you to get more from your computer and lots of hidden gems to help you get even more from your beloved Windows operating system.

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insert a blank disc and click the ‘Burn’ button. and so on. 03 Quickly launch Taskbar apps You don’t need to use the mouse to launch programs that have shortcuts in the Taskbar. Press [Windows]+[1] to launch the first icon on the Taskbar.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 15 .Cover feature 100 amazing Windows tips WorldMags.net 01 Burn ISO disc images Just right-click an ISO file and select the ‘Burn disc image’ option. WorldMags. 02 Re-order the Taskbar If you’d prefer that your Taskbar icons appeared in a different order. Select the disc burner you’d like to use. Simple! 05 Close apps without switching to them Hover the mouse cursor over a Taskbar button and click the red cross located to the upperright of a preview to close it completely. you can simply drag and drop them into a new position using the left mouse button. 04 Quickly check the desktop You don’t need to minimise all of your open windows to view the desktop – just move the mouse to the lower-right-hand corner of the screen.

Now when you right-click the icon. and you can easily copy files back and forth between drives. Pr review program m Windows s With more than one instance of a program running you may not be able to tell which one you want to switch to next. KEEP IT SNAPPY Multitask like a pro with the ergonomic snapping feature reduce their size by adding them to a compressed zip file. Just select all of the files you want to work with. 18 16 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. La aunch a new pr rogram window w When a program is running and you click its Taskbar icon you will find that you’ll switch to that app. Enterprise or Ultimate you can use Windows XP Mode to run a virtual copy of XP.msc and press [Enter]. If you’d prefer to launch a new window. 17 14 Ac ccess vir rtual dis sks s If you’ve used Virtual PC before you may well have created a number of virtual drives in VHD format. Never fear – all is not lost! Right-click the shortcut of a troublesome program. To make things a little easier.WorldMags. right-click and then select ‘Send To’ followed by ‘Compressed (zipped) Folder’. right click an empty section of the Taskbar and select ‘Properties’. it’s there. hover the mouse over a program’s Taskbar button to display a preview of any currently running program. Ta askbar buttons on n your terms Want to save space? Multiple Taskbar buttons can be combined into one. just hold down the [Shift] key as you click the icon. Windows can be un-docked by dragging them out of position again. just drag a window to the left side of the screen and it will expand to fill half of it. Click ‘OK’ twice and Windows will take care of your hard drives for you in future. you can avoid having to drag and drop windows between screens by simply pressing the keyboard combo [Windows]+[Shift] along with the left or right arrow keys.’ The Taskbar will disappear until you move your mouse to the very bottom of the screen – it will then slide into view. drag a folder onto the Windows Explorer icon in the Taskbar. Ga ain mor re de esktop space The Taskbar is useful. 07 Us se pinne ed folde ers s fo or fast access Pinned folders come in very handy if you use the same folders often. To pin a folder to Windows Explorer’s jump list. Press [Windows]+[R] at the same time. regular defragmentation is key – but you don’t need to remember to do it manually. Prefer to see every button individually? Not a problem. To maximise the size of your desktop. select ‘Properties’ and move to the Compatibility tab. select ‘Properties’ and use the Taskbar buttons drop-down menu to choose between the ‘Always combine. hide labels’ and ‘Never combine’ options. type diskmgmt.net . Repeat with another window to the right to see both side by side. Tick the box in the Compatibility Mode section and select the version of Windows you would like to pretend you’re using. 11 08 Move bet tween yo our mon nitors If you’ve got more than one monitor connected to your computer. but you may not feel that you need it on display at all times. tick the box labelled ‘Auto-hide the Taskbar’ and click ‘OK. Right-click the Taskbar. It’s that simple! 12 Need to send a number of files to someone but worried they’re too large to attach to an email? Without any extra software you can 13 09 Schedule defragmentation It’s important to look after your hard drive and for the best possible performance. 15 16 Lo ock with h a key pre ess Stepping away from your computer for a few minutes? Keep it safe by locking it with the [Windows]+[L] keyboard shortcut.net 06 10 Ru un two program ms sid de by si ide Don’t bother manually resizing program windows. Co ompatib bility mo ode Some older software that you rely on may not work as you expect under Windows 7. Click ‘Action’ followed by ‘Attach VHD’ and then select the virtual disk you’d like to begin working with. There’s no need for extra software to browse through the contents of such a drive as Windows 7 has built-in support. You can then use it to install and run all of your favourite older software. When a message that reads ‘Pin to Windows Explorer’ appears. Click ‘Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools’ and then click ‘Disk Defragmenter’. On the Taskbar tab. release the mouse button. Click the ‘Modify schedule’ button. You can use Explorer to access the drive just as you would any other. and use the drop-down menu to choose your scheduling preferences. Windows s XP Mod de Still in love with Windows XP? As long as you’re running Windows 7 Professional. Move the mouse over one of the preview and you’ll be able to peak at a full screen preview so you can switch to the right one in an instant.

24 27 28 ClearType looks amazing ClearType ensures that text looks great on your screen. followed by ‘Finish’ and you’re done. it can be quicker and easier if you use check boxes. Re e-arrang ge the If you don’t like how icons are ordered in the notification area of the Taskbar. This gesture will immediately minimise the app. You can quickly tidy things up by pressing [Windows]+[Home] to minimise everything except the current window. See. right-click it and select ‘Map network drive’ and then choose your new drive letter. To do this automatically. The score is out of 7. Select ‘Next’. Any you don’t need can be hidden or deleted. the humble calculator do more than just sums! 23 20 Ch hange window siz zes wi ith a sh hortcut There are lots of ways you can change the size and position of an open window. you could try using the rather handy [Windows]+[T] shortcut as well – both are great for getting a snapshot view of open apps. 34 Check PC performance Open up the System Control Panel and you’ll see a score that gives an indication of the performance of your personal computer. 35 Action Center warnings If Windows detects potential problems with your computer. but it can be fine-tuned to suit your preference. Minimise e all wind dows To quickly minimise all of your open programs and windows.net 19 Ca alculate an nd conv vert The calculator is capable of much more than adding and subtracting – there’s also unit conversion. WorldMags. it’s a good idea to clear out the clutter. Open up the Registry Editor. you’ll be warned via a notification area icon – just click the flag to see what needs sorting. open up the Folder Options Control Panel and move to the View tab. You can then choose how much space should be used to help your computer’s memory 30 29 Sh how all your driv ves If you would prefer to see all drive letters at all times. you can always speed things up by assigning it a drive letter. select ‘Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools’ and click ‘Task Scheduler’.9. Just hit [Windows]+[P] to view projector options. navigate to HKEY_ CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\ Desktop and change the value of the option entitled ‘WindowArrangementActive’ down to ‘0’. Click ‘Create Basic Task’. right-click the Taskbar and select ‘Task Manager’ – then select the Processes tab. Click ‘OK’ and a new check box column will appear that can be used to select any number of files. US SB spee ed up Speed up your computer by simply inserting a USB drive! Plug one in and in the AutoPlay menu that appears select the ‘Speed up my system’ option to enable the ReadyBoost feature. date calculation and more to choose from in the File menu. either press the [Windows]+[M] key combo at the same time. or grab a window with your mouse and shake it. Give netw work cations a letter loc If you have a network folder that you tend to access quite a lot. enter a name and select ‘Next’ before choosing how often the schedule should run.exe before clicking ‘Open’. too. Click the ‘Start’ button and type cttune to access the ClearType Text Tuner and you’ll be guided through the process of getting the best possible look for text. but if you’re more of a fan of using the old keyboard. Press [Windows] and the up arrow to maximise a window. You can also use [Windows] in conjunction with the left and right arrow keys to snap the currently selected window to the left or righthand side of the screen.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 17 . Scroll down to the bottom of the list of options and tick the setting labelled ‘Use check boxes to select items’. Perfect for tailoring the Taskbar to suit your needs. Cy ycle thro ough askbar previews s Ta You can easily use the mouse to select Taskbar previews. Scroll down through the list of options that appear and untick the box labelled ‘Hide empty drives in the Computer folder’ and then click ‘OK’ – now all of your drive letters are visible. then type cleanmgr. you can do that with this handy tip. 33 Project your desktop Built-in support for projectors means that connecting your laptop to a projector is incredibly simple. they can be simply dragged and dropped into new positions. Navigate to the network location in Explorer. or [Windows] and the down arrow to minimise it completely. Fr ree up disk spac ce To keep your hard drive running well. Click ‘Start A Program’ followed by ‘Next’. Open the Folder Options Control Panel and select the View tab. Pr review your fon nts s Open the Fonts folder from the Control Panel and you can preview the fonts you have installed without even having to open anything. 31 32 Take screenshots The Snipping Tools is the perfect way to capture an image of what’s happening on your desktop – handy for screenshots and troubleshooting.Cover feature 100 amazing Windows tips WorldMags. Pr revent window re e-arrang gement If you’d like to disable any window arrangements. 25 21 26 22 more eas sily When you need to select multiple files. 36 Check your memory usage To see which of your running programs are using up your memory. too.

enter your chosen search term and hit the [Enter] key. In the right-hand pane. Use [Windows]+[-] to zoom out again. If you like to be in complete control over how your display is calibrated. Simple. and you can adjust just how sensitive it is to suit your preferences. simply press [F3] to jump to the search box. just hit [Alt] and it’ll pop into view so you can access the menu option you need. click the link labelled ‘Make the mouse easier to use’ and then select the option labelled ‘Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse’ in the ‘Make it easier to manage windows’ section. Claim back this disk space by launching the Registry Editor. 42 Di isable hibernati ion. hold down the [Ctrl] button and click the Taskbar with the left-hand mouse button. You can right-click again to access the undo option. Ta ake cont trol of UAC User Account Control is a great security feature. before pressing [Enter]) and navigate to HKEY_ CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\ Desktop. which has a default value of 400. and it can also be used to check the time in other countries. To proceed. Click the ‘Start’ button. you can click the ‘Start’ button and type dccw to access the Display Color Calibration Wizard. this little solution: launch the Registry Editor (press [Windows]+[R] and then type regedit.net . you can cycle through them backwards. press [Windows]+[+] to zoom in. Hi ide unu used libra aries If there are libraries that you don’t use. Ac ctivate window ws without clicking To save having to click windows to bring them into focus. 54 Arrange your window Right-click the Taskbar and click either ‘Show windows stacked’ or ‘Show windows side by side’. 44 On-screen keyboard If you’re having trouble with your keyboard and need to buy a new one. click ‘Next’ and the wizard will help you to choose the best display settings. simply right-click the shortcut for the program and select the option entitled ‘Properties’. This embedded option is fantastic for taking a much deeper control of the files and folders on your PC. try 50 Access any hidden menus Happen to be missing the File menu in Explorer? No need to worry. but if you add the [Shift] key.net 37 View cloc cks from m ot ther tim me zones s The Taskbar shows you the current time. 45 Qu uick and easy co ommand d promp pt Hold down [Shift] while right clicking a folder and you’ll reveal the previously hidden ‘Open command window here’ option. Change the Target field so that it now reads 43 46 47 49 40 Sp peed up p th he Start t menu If you find the Start menu isn’t responsive enough for you. 52 Jump to search When you want to search for a file within a particular folder. you can claim some space back in Explorer. You can then use the slider to choose when warnings should appear. 38 39 41 Cy ycling backward ds Most people know about the [Alt]+[Tab] keyboard shortcut that can be used to cycle through open programs and windows. Op pen Exp plorer at t My Co omputer You can even take control of where My Computer opens on your machine. To customise this feature. just click the middle mouse button to close the window without having to switch to it. a feature of the Ease of Access Center can also be exploited. Launch the tool from the Control Panel. there’s an on-screen one you can use in the meantime. Click the ‘Start’ button. Use the drop-down menu to select the clock you’d like to add and you can even change the label if you want to.WorldMags. and set both HibernateEnabled and HiberFileSizePerfect to 0. too. type the command osk and press [Enter] to bring it up. Move to the Additional Clocks tab and then tick the box labelled ‘Show this clock’. type uac and press [Enter]. Run as administr rator You can run any program in the Taskbar in the role of an administrator by simply holding down the keys [Ctrl]+[Shift] at the same time. Pe ersonali ised alibratio on display ca Of course it’s not just text that gets displayed on your monitor – there are plenty of images to think about as well. ee up sp pace fre Windows’ hibernation file takes up a lot of space. Click the clock and select the ‘Change data and time settings’ option. Right-click a library in the left-hand pane and select the ‘Don’t Show in Navigation Pane’ option. A value between 50 and 100 will add extra speed. 18 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. 53 Zoom in and out To get a better view of what’s happening on your desktop. 48 Cy ycle thr rough an n app [Alt]+[Tab] is a handy shortcut for cycling through programs. If you want to cycle through just the instances of one program. or in a program. double-click the entry labelled ‘MenuShowDelay’. navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE\SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\Control\ Power. 51 Quickly close window When looking at a Taskbar preview of a program or window.

You can then drag and drop the Taskbar to your preferred position before locking it in place again. Se end To more pla ace es The Send To section of the context menu is very useful.Cover feature 100 amazing Windows tips WorldMags. and this is where Problem Steps Recorder can help – it makes it possible to record what happens on screen and send it to someone who might be able to help. followed by ‘Save As’. 60 Re ecord any problems yo ou expe erience There may be times when you run into a problem with your computer and you don’t know how to remedy it. If you hold down [Shift] while right-clicking a file or folder. you’ll find that you’re able to save in the common Office DOCX format without the need for any additional software or applications – great for quick edits. 55 Co ontrol AutoPlay y Open up the AutoPlay Control Panel and you can take control of what happens when you insert a disc or plug in an external drive. but the WordPad program has more capabilities than you might think. Press [Windows]+[R. 56 Cr reate yo our ow wn shor rtcuts Create your own custom keyboard shortcuts to launch your favourite programs. click ‘Apply’ and then select your account before entering your password. It can be 63 Hi ide your pa ast searc ches On a shared computer. 65 It might seem like a rather simple tool at first glance. You can then opt to boost the size of text by selecting one of the options. you’ll need to launch the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_ USER\Software\Policies\ Microsoft\Windows\Explorer. switch to the Shortcut key field and press the keyboard combo you’d like to use before clicking the ‘OK’ button. type netplwiz and press [Enter]. You’ll then need to create a new DWORD value called DisableSearchBoxSuggestions and assign it a value of ‘1’ before restarting Windows. you will see a ‘Repair Your Computer’ option. the fact that Windows can save the words you search for (and DISC CONTROL Use the AutoPlay Control Panel to customise disc options WorldMags. 61 57 Ge et more e from yo our large monito or Massive monitors with super-high resolutions can make on-screen text too small to read easily.::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069A2D8-08002B30309D} and click ‘OK’. 62 64 Logon automatically Re epair a pr roblema atic PC Problems can arise from time to time and you may find that you’re unable to boot into Windows.exe / root. Right-click a program shortcut and select ‘Properties’. Providing the repair tools are available on your hard drive. You can opt to disable AutoPlay completely as well. Se ee how your PC is being used Windows’ Resource Monitor enables you to see how your processor.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 19 . difficult to explain what’s going wrong to someone else. Give it a try! remember that Windows 7 may be able to help you fix the problem. Click the ‘Start Record’ button and use your computer until the problem you have been experiencing occurs again. Right-click an empty section of the Taskbar and make sure that the ‘Lock the taskbar option’ does not have a tick next to it (if it does. Get to work faster. Click ‘Stop Record’ and then save and email the file. just click it to remove it). type psr and click ‘psr’ in the list of results. type DPIScaling and press [Enter]. memory and hard drive are being used. Click the ‘Start’ button. Move to the Shortcut tab. why not move the Taskbar to the left or right rather than the bottom of the screen? This is a great way to reapproach the way you use your desktop. Press [Windows]+[R]. type resmon and press [Enter].net %SystemRoot%\explorer. you’ll see an expanded list of options in the sub-menu that appears. Before you reach for your installation disc. Restart your computer and press the [F8] key during the start-up process. To stop these suggestions from being displayed. Click the ‘Start’ button. Untick the box labelled ‘Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer’. The graphs give you an idea of how individual programs and processes are making use of your hardware. Click ‘OK’ and you’re done! 58 59 Side screen Taskbar If you’d prefer to make better use of the width of your widescreen monitor. If you click the ‘File’ option. offer these as suggestions to subsequent users) could be a privacy concern for some.

Next. though. before pressing [Enter].net . You can then drag the top of the Taskbar upwards to make it even taller. Right-click an empty section of the Taskbar and select ‘Toolbars’. 74 Windows 7 includes a handy tool called Private Character Editor that can be used to create your own fonts. select the option ‘Stream’. before selecting a computer to use as the playback device. though – press [Windows]+[R] at the same time and type eudcedit. programs by simply shrinking your Taskbar buttons. You can then right-click a music file and select the ‘Play To’ option. You’ll need to set this up in advance. Right-click again and untick ‘Lock the Taskbar’ so you can move the new toolbar to your preferred position – there’s even a ‘Show Desktop’ button. but you can also push music to play on another computer as well. You might want to opt to hide the toolbar label and then re-lock the Taskbar. but the Quick Launch bar can also be 68 Design your own fonts restored. tick the box labelled ‘Use small taskbar buttons’ to shrink them. Make ssure you tick the box labelled ‘Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar’ and then click ‘OK’.net 66 Le eave yourself a he elpful note There’s no need to clutter your desk with a hundred different paper notes and reminders – you can leave electronic reminders on your desktop. minimise and close windows instead. This is great for keeping the boring old desktop fresh and interesting. 69 Ol ld-style e Taskbar r co ontext menus In Windows 7. launch the Sticky Note tool from the Start menu and create notes as and when you might need them. Type %userprofile%\AppData\ Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch and press [Enter]. 75 St tep back k in time e Made an unwanted change to your computer? There’s no need to manually reverse the steps you performed. At the bottom of the dialog you can then choose how frequently the image will change. Ge et more e sc creen sp pace You can see more of the desktop and your running 77 WorldMags. click the ‘Turn on media streaming’ button. 67 Play mus sic on an nother compute er Windows Media Player can be used to play local or network music files. In the window that appears next. copy or delete a file. To see them at all times. you might want to have a larger Taskbar so you can see more buttons or extra running programs. If you would prefer to see options to maximise. Back in Windows Media Player. just press [F5] on the desktop and Windows will automatically re-arrange all of your icons.WorldMags. too. followed by ‘Automatically allow devices to play my media’ – repeat this on other computers on your network. just head to System Restore in the Control Panel and revert your system to an earlier time. click the ‘Stream’ button again and then select ‘Allow remote control of my player > Allow remote control on this network’. you can 76 72 73 20 | Help & Advice | December 2013 De esktop tidying If you have icons scattered everywhere. Even if you don’t want to spend the time creating a complete font of your own. The program isn’t easy to find. Click ‘Desktop Background’ and select all of the images you’d like to include in the slideshow. This simple feature is a great way to help them to stand out. instead. Un ndo tha at move! ! If you accidentally move. hold down [Shift] while you right-click. Ge et more e Taskbar r Conversely. when you right-click a button in the Taskbar you gain access to jump lists. Right-click the Taskbar and make sure that the ‘Lock the taskbar’ option is not ticked. click the ‘Stream’ button and then select ‘Turn on media streaming’. You can even right-click notes to customise their colour. followed by ‘New Toolbar’. so launch Windows Media Player. CAPTURE THOSE ISS SUES Record any problems for future troubleshooting 70 Re einstate e the Qu uick Lau unch It’s not obvious. 71 Vi iew a sli ideshow w on n your desktop Can’t decide which picture to use as your background? There’s no need to settle for just one image when you could use a rotating slideshow instead. View all Windows 7 will save space by hiding some icons from the notification area. Right-click the Taskbar and select ‘Properties’ – on the Taskbar tab. right-click the Taskbar and select ‘Properties’ before clicking the ‘Customize’ button in the Notification area section on the Taskbar tab. Right-click the desktop and select the ‘Personalize’ option. To do this. you can create your own custom characters and logos and quickly insert into any documents you create.

type shell:sendto and press [Enter] to open the Send to folder.net 78 Reduce system volume during a voice call To prevent the music you’re listening to interfering with computer-based phone calls. Move to the Communications tab and select one of the three options to reduce volume or completely mute sounds. As you type. 80 81 83 86 Ke eep bro owsing in n private e You can keep your browsing history private in Internet Explorer by switching to InPrivate mode. you don’t need to hunt through the Control Panel. account. Hi ide app ps away ay in the tra In older versions of Windows some programs only featured Ch hoose your sh hutdown n option ns The power button can be used to do many things – Restart. type cmd. you can opt to automatically have the volume level of system sounds reduced when a call is underway. matching results will be shown straight away and you can just click whichever one matches your search criteria. In Windows 7.Cover feature 100 amazing Windows tips WorldMags. an icon in the system tray (otherwise known as the notification area). document or folder that you need back. Type powercfg-energy and press [Enter]. This will show you what you can do to improve energy efficiency. After about a minute or so of loading you can navigate to the folder you are told about and open up the energy-report. but you can also add your own. Sleep. Se earch fr rom Star rt Whether you’re looking for a file or a program. Press [Windows]+[R]. 89 Ta alk to yo our PC If you can’t type very quickly or just fancy trying out 82 85 MUSIC FOR ALL You can easily share your music between more than one PC WorldMags. Click the link to the left labelled ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ and take a browse through some of the extra tools that are available on your PC. size.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 21 . You can do this by pressing the combo [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[P]. Shutdown. If you’ve Qu uick acc cess ac ccount settings If you need to change a setting relating to your Ad dd new w features to o Windo ows If you feel like you’re missing out on some of the features of your Windows operating system. Ch heck yo our Click the Start button.html. just open up the Recycle Bin from the desktop and you’ll find your files are still there ready to be restored to their original locations. these programs also have a Taskbar button. there’s no need to launch a special search tool: everything you need is in the Start menu. You can then easily create your own shortcuts. Just bring up the Start menu and click your user image to the upper-right and you’ll be taken straight to the rather handy settings screen. It’s easy to forget just how handy the Recycle Bin folder really is. album. The ‘Arrange by’ menu appears at the top of a library window and can be used to order files by date. then move to the Start Menu tab and use the ‘Power button action’ drop-down menu to select the default action. Right-click the speaker icon in the notification area and select the Sounds option. etc. Right-click the ‘Start’ button and select ‘Properties’. You can make things work the way they used to by right-clicking the program shortcut and using the Compatibility tab to force the app to run in Vista mode. right-click ‘Command Prompt’ and select ‘Run as Administrator’. press [Ctrl]+[Z] to undo the pesky action – it can be a real life saver! 79 Cu ustomis se Send To Many programs will add entries to the Send to menu. 88 87 84 Ch hange Library Vie ew When you’re viewing files in a library. Just click the ‘Start’ button and start typing. you can quickly change the way in which files are displayed. etc – and you can choose what should happen by default. Try experimenting with different layouts to find the one that most suits your tastes. accidentally deleted a file. open up the Programs and Features Control Panel.

the Control Panel will appear as a cascading menu to the right. you’ll be presented with a massive list of settings to work with. click the ‘Customize’ button and look through the list of settings generated the Control Panel heading and then select the option labelled ‘Display as a menu’. From there. too. Open up the Registry Editor and make sure you navigate to HKLM\ Software\ WorldMags. as well as enabling a special monitoring feature that will inform you about the websites they visit during their session. When you’re finished. You’ll be guided through the process of creating a disc. while ensuring they’re kept safe.net . To create one. click ‘OK’ and the next time you click the ‘Start’ button. but in reality it is just a fantastically handy way to access a massive range of system options in one place.{ SPEAK EASY The Speed Recognition Control Panel is also a useful tool for dictating notes and documents as well ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C99712043E01C}. just use the special keyboard shortcut [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[N]. Simple. tick the ‘Address’ option. move to a browser and place the cursor in the address bar before typing a URL. 97 Cr reate ne ew fo olders quickly There’s no need to lift your hands from the keyboard when you need to create a new folder in Explorer –there’s a simpler way! To do this handy little trick. 98 95 22 | Help & Advice | December 2013 Pe ersonali ise your PC C’s infor rmation You can change what’s displayed in the System Properties screen to just about anything you like (within reason). Add an address bar to the Taskbar and you can access sites in a flash. Create a new folder and type the name xxx. 91 Al ll settings in one pla ace It’s something that has been dubbed ‘God Mode’. open up the Speed Recognition Control Panel in Windows 7.net something a little nifty. which can be used to encrypt the contents of a particular drive. Us se encry yption wi ith your r drives Providing you’re running the Ultimate version of Windows 7. La aunch a website e from the e Taskbar r Sometimes it can be too much trouble to switch from the program you are working in.WorldMags. a Control Panel menu is a very useful and time efficient tool to have to hand. you’ll have access to BitLocker in the Control Panel. Right-click an empty section of the Taskbar and from the Toolbars menu. This will help significantly reduce the boot times of your personal computer. type a name for the folder and press [Enter]. Click the ‘Start’ button and then select ‘All Programs > Maintenance > Create a System Repair Disc’. 94 Cr reate an n em mergen ncy boot disc It’s always good to be prepared and this is where an Emergency Boot Disc comes in more than a little handy. The Parental Controls section of the Control Panel makes it possible to place restrictions on user accounts that will be used by children. Just don’t go too mad with power! 92 Turn the Control Panel into a menu 93 If you spend a lot of time adjusting system settings of your machine. Here you’ll find everything you need to configure your PC for voice activated control – it’s great for dictation. and at the end of it you’ll be presented with something that can be used to get your PC back up and running again. and when you open up the folder. To use it. 96 Gi ive your Start-u up a go ood spe eed-up Right-click any shortcuts to programs you don’t need in the Start-up group of the Start menu and delete them. Right-click the ‘Start’ button and select ‘Properties’ before moving to the Start menu tab. just click the ‘Turn On BitLocker’ link and create a strong (but memorable) password. 90 Monitor the child dren Any parent wants to let their child use a computer. You can change the ‘xxx’ to anything you like.

Having copied some text to the Adam’s verdict It’s incredible to think that Windows 7 has so much to offer. We hope you’ve learned something new in this feature – it’s amazing that even after four years of use there are still new gems to unearth in Windows 7. Open the Devices and Printers Control Panel. 100 Paste to the command prompt clipboard. Adam Ifans Editor-in-chief WorldMags. SupportURL (REG_SZ) = “Your text here. Model (REG_SZ) = “Your text here”. try this solution instead. Windows 7 is an operating system with great depth and there are plenty of hidden secrets to be found and used to your advantage. SupportPhone (REG_SZ) = “Your text here”.Cover feature 100 amazing Windows tips WorldMags. Then. too. At least not when you press the keyboard-based combination [Ctrl]+[V]. switch to the command prompt window and press [Windows] and hit [Space]. select a network from the list and then choose an available printer. We know we’ve fallen in love with Windows all over again – we hope you have. Using the operating system day in and day out. select a printer and click the ‘Manage default printers’ button. you might well be surprised at what you discover buried in your beloved operating system. followed by the ‘Paste’ button.net 99 Location-based printing options If you use your laptop at home and in the office you can opt to change the default printer based on which network you are connected to. Keep in mind that you’ll need to do this for each of the networks you connect to as well. as if by magic. It doesn’t matter if you’re a power user or more of a beginner. simply click the option entitled ‘Edit’. From the menu that then appears. But if you spend a little time investigating what’s hidden slightly out of view.bmp. tools and techniques that will make your computing life a great deal easier. SupportHours (REG_SZ) = “Your text here”. there are tips. Logo (REG_SZ) = C:\Windows\System32\ oemlogo. Manufacturer (REG_SZ) = “Your text here”. Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\ OEMInformation and create any of the following keys.net . Select the option labelled ‘Change my default printers when I change networks’. adjusting their value however you wish: HelpCustomized (DWORD) = 0. your copied text will appear in the command prompt window! If you’ve tried to copy text from a document or website and paste it to the command prompt you’ll know that it doesn’t really work. As an alternative. it’s really easy to get stuck in a rut and end up using the same tools and options again and again.

net WorldMags.WorldMags.net .

WorldMags. Packed with informative tutorials We all have our list of favourite sites but often we miss out on great features because they’re difcult to use or hidden from sight. Our dedication to the operating system means you get the very best tips and tricks for all versions of Windows.com 26 Master Windows 8’s Reliability Monitor 30 Message and call friends using Viber for Windows 34 Get instant notifications on your PC with Growl 38 Watch classic movies for free with BitTorrent 40 Convert video file formats with VLC 44 Create your own custom shortcuts 48 Control your PC with Twitter 50 Discover the best Gmail power tips “Reliability Monitor gives you peace of mind that your PC hasn’t become infected with malware” Our promise to you… Get more from Windows. software and all your favourite sites Every issue. Get more from your favourite websites Customise Windows to work your way Our exclusive industry access enables us to pack your free disc with full commercial software.net WINDOWS TIPS INTERNET ADVICE YOUR DISC SOFTWARE Welcome Whether you’re stuck for inspiration or want to become a master of your Windows computer. There’s never been a better time to see how your PC can make your life easier! Adam Ifans Editor-in-chief adam. December 2013 | Help & Advice | Use our full software to try new things WorldMags. there’s always something new to try on your PC. Dan shows you how to get smartphone-style notifications on your PC and Alan shows you how to improve the reliability of your Windows 8 machine with the help of Reliability Monitor. We’ll show you how to do more online. This month Christian explains how to do more with your email. Each month we pack it with tutorials covering a range of subjects suitable for all levels of expertise. Each article features step-by-step instructions to make learning new skills fast and enjoyable. we guarantee to pack the magazine with great tutorials teaching you all the best things you can do with your PC.net 25 .ifans@futurenet. From speed-up and security software to superb photo apps. We all know how to do the basics but getting the most from Windows isn’t always easy. our Explore section is the place to come. for a more satisfying web life.

programs and services can still silently crash in the background and bring your whole computer crashing to a halt. if we don’t know about these problems. It also gives you peace of mind that crashes. but like any program or operating system. 26 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. then click ‘View reliability history’. Towards the top you’ll see a graph that gives an indication of your PC’s overall reliability. Anyone can do it Straightforward Tricky in parts minutes W TIME TAKEN 25 SUITABLE FOR Windows 8 Windows 7 Windows Vista Windows XP Step-by-step Investigate Windows 8 reliability issues Performance Monitor 1 Open The Performance Monitor is buried away in the depths of the Control Panel. click the ‘Action Center’ group and expand the ‘Maintenance’ section. To open it. Even at the best of times. we’ll always be at their mercy. The problem is. which comes in the form of the Windows 8 Reliability Monitor. system foul-ups and driver issues are causing your crashes. first open the Control Panel by typing control panel into the Start screen. Then click ‘System and Security’. Windows 8 does contain built-in help options however.WorldMags. Next. Reliability History 2 View Click the down arrow next to ‘Maintenance’. Underneath that is a chart of the different kinds of problem that are keeping your personal computer from scoring a perfect 10. At a glance… SKILL LEVEL indows 8 is fast and reliable. it’s not perfect.net Investigate and improve Windows 8’s reliability “Get to the bottom of your computing woes and nd out what’s troubling your PC with the help of Reliability Monitor. It may only be sent to cache of memory to await a larger disk write. rather than something malicious like malware. either. Here you’ll find the necessary option to view your PC’s reliability. This little-known utility can save you from an unstable system by pinpointing exactly what’s gone wrong. this can be incredibly frustrating for any user. As you can imagine. This creates a report using the reliability data stored.net . Saving your work doesn’t always ensure that it’s been committed to disk.

To learn more.net 27 . click the ‘Weeks’ option at the top. make a note reminding yourself to update each one manually later. You can scroll back and forth over the weeks with the left and right arrow keys. 6 Windows Update issues System updates should happen without any input. Reliability Monitor Special recording software unique to Windows 8 that keeps a full history of updates. Often.Explore Master the reliability monitor WorldMags. To seek out a possible answer. so this is the notification of any success. but it’s certainly worth a try nonetheless. for solutions 5 Check Windows can help solve issues by accessing its online database of previous problems and issues.net Jargon buster! Service Software that runs in the background and handles events that would normally disrupt your apps. click the option ‘Check for a solution’ in the Action column of the relevant entry in the lower pane. add it to your list of updates for later. click on weeks that are highlighted with a yellow triangle. but if it fails. This can also happen with browser plug-ins – Adobe Flash Player is a favourite for this. Double-click on an entry to see the technical details. view 3 Weekly To get a fuller overview of system reliability. you usually won’t be any the wiser. There’s no guarantee that Windows will fix it. Sometimes these crashes cause instability to your system. software reconfigurations and software failures. As well as telling you about failures and warnings. Anonymous report A message about a software crash that’s sent direct to Microsoft. If there are any ‘Failed Windows Update’ entries. December 2013 | Help & Advice | WorldMags. Click on weeks when these occurred to see what they were. To see associated data press [Enter] and a list of all the day or week problems appears in the lower pane. They’re listed in the top three ‘Failure’ lines of the data table under the graph. along with any other crashes and unexpected events that occur. these updates happen silently. troublesome drivers 7 Update It’s likely that as you step back through the reliability history you’ll find certain drivers that keep crashing on you. details 4 Event Critical events are ones that cause internal failures or complete crashes. info messages 8 Investigate Select an entry where there are blue ‘I’ symbols in the data. If you’ve not updated such software recently. You can also see how the system and applications have been updated. Windows Reliability Monitor also tells you about things that have gone well.

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all problems 9 Show At the bottom, you’ll find the option to view all problem
reports. This produces a long list of all the problems Windows and installed software have recently encountered. You can easily sort this list by clicking a column title. By checking this list you might find an anonymous report has been sent to Microsoft to help its programmers with system stability.

available solutions 10 Identify In the list of problem reports, you’ll see solutions listed
for certain applications and drivers. Find one and right-click it, then select ‘View solution’. Reliability Monitor will then access any information regarding the problem. It might provide instructions for you to follow, or give you a link to download a more recent version of the application.

all solutions 11 Check To see if there are any solutions to the collection of
problems your PC has encountered to date, click ‘Check for solutions to all problems’ on the main Reliability Monitor screen. Windows may need to send anonymous information to Microsoft to get solutions. If this is the case, click ‘Send information’ to receive any available answers.

crash settings 12 Set When a program fails, Windows starts looking for a solution,
but this isn’t always appropriate. Click the ‘Back’ button in Reliability Monitor and open the Maintenance section. Click ‘Settings’ to set default behaviour for crashes. It’s best to check for solutions as you go, but you can get Windows to ask you what to do when it crashes as well.

update applications 13 Auto It’s possible for installed software to update itself. To test
this, open the application you want to update –in this case, we’ll use Firefox. Click the ‘Firefox’ button and allow your cursor to rest on the Help menu. Select ‘About’. It’s usual for the About pane in apps to either auto-update the software or to provide an update button for you to use.

the computer 14 Search Finally, if you need to update Windows, it’s time to do so.
Click the ‘back’ button at the top-left of the screen, then click ‘Windows Update’ on the bottom-left. Next, click ‘Install Updates’ – you may have to reboot afterwards, too. Be sure to check Reliability Monitor often for any failures – especially with new updates – to keep your PC looking healthy.

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Help & Advice | December 2013

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Windows 7 Help & Advice is an internationally licensed title and is exported to another 22 countries. Future Publishing Ltd, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2BW Tel: 01225 442244 Fax: 01225 732275 Email: windowsmagazine@futurenet.com Web: www.facebook.com/windowsmag

EDITORIAL
Editor-in-chief Adam Ifans Deputy editor Nick Odantzis New media editor Simon Arblaster Reviews editor Matt Hanson

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Message and call friends for free!

“Viber for Windows is a powerful messaging app that enables you to text and call your favourite people.”
At a glance…
SKILL LEVEL

Anyone can do it Straightforward Tricky in parts minutes

TIME TAKEN

30

SUITABLE FOR

Windows 8 Windows 7 Windows Vista Windows XP

iber is a terrific way to chat to your friends online. Designed predominantly for mobile phones, there’s now also a Windows version of the app. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to install it and start chatting to your contacts within seconds. There is a caveat to Viber for Windows, though – you’ll need to install it on your smartphone first (but we’ll explain about this later on). This feature is required because it uses your phone number to identify you (including texting you a confirmation) – it also relies on the contacts you have on your phone. The advantage of this is that you don’t have to faff around adding contacts afresh, but the downside is that a smartphone is a prerequisite. It can, however, be of any type – Windows Phone, Nokia, iOS and BlackBerry are all supported.

V

Step-by-step Get to grips with Viber chat

the app 1 Install Install the desktop app from www.viber.com. After you’ve
run the installer, you’ll see this screen appear. We’re going to assume you don’t have Viber installed on your phone, therefore we’re going to click ‘No’ on the screen pictured above. Viber will also show you a variety of links that enable you to download the app for each platform.

it on your phone 2 Put You can click the relevant link to download the app for your
smartphone or, if you’d rather do it on your device, just search for Viber in your App Store, Store or Play app depending on what mobile platform you’re using. Once you’ve done this, follow the instructions on your device to set Viber up. Tell it your phone number, and enter the code from the text you receive.

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Help & Advice | December 2013

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December 2013 | Help & Advice | WorldMags. a phone 7 Dial Calling contacts is as easy as using those purple buttons in the Conversations view. click ‘Continue’.net 31 . too. click ‘Yes’ to confirm you now have Viber on your smartphone. Finally. though – Viber can be a little temperamental in this regard.net your number 3 Enter On the Windows app. so you can see your Viber-using contacts are automatically synchronised from your phone. click the ‘Settings’ button in the bottom-left of the window and go to ‘Audio and Video’. though if you’re running it on your smartphone be aware that it will use large chunks of your mobile data plan and might end up costing you extra. check 4 Identity Once again. Calls between Viber users are free. We’re in the Contacts tab here. To proceed. click ‘Back’ to return to the screen we saw in step 1 – from here. You’ll then be asked to enter your phone number. just as you did on the phone itself. Check the box below to say you agree to the terms and conditions (click the blue links if you want to read them as well as the licence agreement). so it will text your phone once more with a code that you will then need to type into the box on the next screen. What’s more. to chat 6 Time Simply type into the box at the bottom of the screen to begin a conversation with a contact. while you can also use the numeric keypad if you wish. Apps such as this are great for keeping in touch. you will need to have set it up on your phone before you do this next stage. You can also add pictures and emoticons to the conversation using the buttons at the bottom of the window. It is easier and less costly to call over Wi-Fi networks. that’s it! 8 And That concludes our quick guide to Viber for Windows – we hope you get a lot from it. Check your microphone and webcam have been detected. If you have problems calling.Explore Message and call friends using Viber WorldMags. The top button on the left takes you to the Conversations screen. these chats are synchronised with your phones. but we’re going to go to it automatically by double-clicking a contact – you can make a voice or video call using the purple buttons. Keep in mind. so you can immediately pick up from where you leave off at any time. Viber needs to check who you are. click ‘Enter Viber’. ahoy 5 Contacts Note the navigation on the left.

Editor-in-chief adam.co. Vista. laptop or tablet. Adam Ifans.49 EVERY 3 MONTHS WorldMags. will show you how to speed up your PC.com START SUBSCRIBING FROM AS LITTLE AS £12. reinstall your operating system should you experience problems. TERMS AND CONDITIONS Savings compared to buying 26 full priced issues from UK newsstand. whether you own a desktop. S Save a fantastic 30% when you subscribe to the magazine today A Windows 7 Help & Advice subscription also makes an ideal gift for a friend or a loved one.WorldMags.net 32 | Help & Advice | December 2013 . Full details of the Direct Debit Guarantee are available on request. not only when they open your present but every month for a whole year! Windows 7 Help & Advice is the essential guide to getting the most out of your PC. and make your computer secure against internet viruses and scams. We also go in-depth with a wealth of features and tutorials which.ifans@futurenet. This offer is for new UK print subscribers only. we’ll show you how to get to grips with the different operating systems. Imagine the look of glee on their face. For full terms and conditions please visit www. whether that’s Windows XP. for example. You will receive 13 issues in a year.myfavouritemagazines. If you are dissatisfied in any way you can write to us or call us to cancel your subscription at any time and we will refund you for all unmailed issues. You’ll even save money as we go to lengths to find the best hardware for you.uk/terms. It’s 100 per cent jargon free and you can get 13 issues of the magazine direct to your door for just £12. 7 or Windows 8.net SUBSCRIBE AND START SAVING TODAY! OFFER ENDS JANUARY 2014 31ST ubscribe to Windows 7 Help & Advice and get the only guide you’ll ever need for getting more from your Windows computer. If this world of computers is new to you. Offer ends 31st January 2014. Prices correct at point of print and subject to change.49 by quarterly Direct Debit.

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S LISTEN You can choose the default sound that Growl’s notifications will chime with when they pop up. right-click its icon in the notification area and select ‘Settings’. All the options here are explained on the opposite page. Wouldn’t it be great if your PC did the same? Originally designed for Apple’s OS X operating system. and enable them to alert you through Growl. Applications tab 2 The Now click the ‘Applications’ icon at the top of the window and you’ll see this screen. and what it should do when it detects that you’re away from your PC.com/gfw/apps. 34 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. These are the plugins that link Growl to popular applications such as iTunes. but essentially it lets you choose when Growl runs.growlforwindows.com.” At a glance… SKILL LEVEL Anyone can do it Straightforward Tricky in parts minutes TIME TAKEN 45 SUITABLE FOR Windows 8 Windows 7 Windows Vista Windows XP martphone users will be used to notifications – messages that tell you when certain things happen.net . growlforwindows. Growl isn’t intrusive though. Step-by-step Set up Growl for Windows your settings 1 Adjust Once you’ve installed Growl. and can be set up exactly how you want.WorldMags.net Get instant notifications “Growl for Windows is a powerful free tool that helps you stay on top of your emails. replies to you on Facebook or mentions you in a Tweet. downloads and more. Facebook or Gmail. You can also mute them all if you want. It’s blank now. You will then see this window. Growl is a notification tool that lets you know when things happen on your PC. or when a file has finished downloading. It’s very useful – you’ll find out immediately when an email arrives. such as when someone sends you an email. but this is where the Growl apps will appear when you’ve installed them (these are the plugins I mentioned about in the introduction above). aspx. where you can decide how Growl works. I’ll show you how some of them work very shortly. These enable Growl to interact with other applications on your system. you’ll also need to download apps to work with Growl from www. As well as downloading and installing the Growl application from www.

The Displays tab lets you decide how your notifications should look. No problem – just ask Growl to send a note to your email address. Check ‘Forward notifications to other computers’ to set this up. You can also choose where on your display you want your alerts to appear. Find your way around its various options using the icons at the top of the screen. IDLE If you don’t use your PC for a while. FULLSCREEN You can disable notifications if you’re running something in full screen. which displays notifications in smart. Growl uses these inside other applications so it can work with them. you can also decide whether it should run as soon as your system starts up. your design 3 Choose Growl’s notifications can appear in variety of ways. you can tell Growl to consider you ‘away’. Explore Get instant notifications WorldMags. Growl will save missed notifications until you return.NAVIGATE This is Growl’s Settings window. Plugin A small application that works inside another and provides extra functions. dark grey boxes. It provides status updates from Windows plus other third-party apps and enables you to change some settings AUTOSTART As well as turning Growl on and off. Growl can even be configured exactly how you want it. December 2013 | Help & Advice | WorldMags. it on 4 Pass Growl can pass notifications to other computers if you’re not at your desk. I prefer the Smokestack design. Say you’re waiting for something big to download and you want to receive a notification on your phone when you’re away from your PC. so pop-ups can appear where you choose. which is very useful if you’re watching streamed TV or a DVD. The zone to the left of the clock in the taskbar.net Jargon buster! A pop-up alert that appears on your PC’s display for a few seconds. and you can choose from an assortment of designs.net 35 .

net an email 5 Send Click the green ‘+’ icon at the bottom of the window. although it’s probably a very low priority in truth! Your notifications will appear in your preferred location as the track changes (mine pop up in the top right corner of the screen). or only if your PC is idle. Here I’ve chosen to choose to forward notifications to an email account. an app that can notify you of messages you receive on Twitter. more apps 9 Try Other installed apps also appear in the Applications tab. Once you’ve installed a plugin.WorldMags. but you can also forward to an iPhone via the Prowl app. because it tells Growl whether you always want notifications forwarded to your email. The final check box here is crucial. and will use your chosen design (I’ve picked the dark grey Smokescreen option). it appears in the Applications tab. you can see notifications on your phone instead of your PC! It’s clever stuff. experimenting 10 Start Now that you understand the basics of Growl. and this menu will appear. iTunes with Growl 7 Use You can make Growl even better by using it with other apps. including the priority we mentioned in step 6. or via the Toasty app if you have a Windows smartphone. Note in the settings shown here that I’ve also asked this Notification not to be forwarded to another device or email account. I recommend choosing the latter option to stop your inbox being flooded! You can also decide to only forward notifications above a certain priority level (all notifications can be given priorities). explore their features and experiment to find the notification settings that are best for you. As you can see. This particular plugin tells you when the track changes while you’re listening to music in iTunes. Here I’ve downloaded the iTunes plugin. This is Trowl. the best thing to do is download some of the add-in apps. in your details 6 Fill Enter your email address. such as when you get sent a spam tweet. notifications 8 See You’ve probably noticed that I’ve given this alert the Emergency priority. There are also more actions you can ask to be notified of in this app. you’ll probably configure too many notifications at first. If you’re anything like me. you can alter settings for this notification.net . but before too long you’ll be wondering how you managed without them! 36 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. That way.

Vista & XP AVAILABLE NOW ON YOUR iPAD AND iPHONE TWO FREE ISSUES WHEN YOU E SUBSCRIB Y A TOD SEARCH FOR “WINDOWS 7 HELP & ADVICE” IN THE APP STORE WorldMags.net Plus essential tips for Windows 8.net .WorldMags.

port forwarding 2 Allow You need to use your router’s admin panel to set up a firewall rule for uTorrent. BitTorrent is a legal filesharing service. Whether it’s books. there are hundreds of depositories filled with legal downloads for you to enjoy.net . You need to enter the primary and secondary DNS settings of your ISP in the appropriate fields. music or video. Y Step-by-step Configure uTorrent to download legal movies torrent client 1 Install The BitTorrent protocol is fast and efficient because it uses many computers (a ‘swarm’) to download lots of file fragments simultaneously. but there are lots of alternatives. too. otherwise it’ll be blocked.com) as it’s so easy to use. This website hosts content that’s in the public domain – typically because the original copyright has expired – and is therefore free and legal for anyone to download. but it’s perfectly possible to use them legally. and is one of the most efficient ways to get files from the internet – you just have to know where to look.net Watch classic movies for free “You don’t have to search eBay for your favourite old lms – many are available to download for absolutely nothing thanks to some great internet libraries.WorldMags. These all work in the same way. BitTorrent has its own official client. there’s no better place to start than www.info. publicdomaintorrents. 38 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. You’ll also need a piece of software called a client to assemble these fragments. but we like uTorrent (www.” At a glance… SKILL LEVEL Anyone can do it Straightforward Tricky in parts minutes TIME TAKEN 20 SUITABLE FOR Windows 8 Windows 7 Windows Vista Windows XP ou hear a lot about illegal filesharing and how ‘torrent’ services are to blame.utorrent. All movies on the site are AVI files encoded in DivX – a standard codec for convenientlysized video files – and most of them are around 600MB in size. If you’re into classic movies. You need to choose a port number (within a range defined by your router) and set the inbound and outbound status options to ‘Allow’.

you might want to set a download cap on your torrent client so that you don’t exceed the monthly download limit set by your ISP.net protocol encryption 3 Enable Some ISPs interfere with filesharing to reduce demands on their infrastructure. This is easy in uTorrent – just click ‘Preferences > Transfer cap’ and enter a value (in gigabytes) that you’re comfortable with. preferences 5 Other If you get the downloading bug. Scroll down and choose a file format (we’ve chosen DivX AVI). but you can delete it. Find something that interests you at www. ‘Off’ or ‘Seeding only’. Click on each square to change this status to either ‘Limited’. sit back and enjoy! December 2013 | Help & Advice | WorldMags.publicdomaintorrents. the show! 8 Enjoy You should find the file downloaded to your chosen destination on your hard drive. Double-click the AVI file. Click ‘Protocol encryption’ and enable outgoing encryption. The files from www. simultaneous connections 4 Tweak Click ‘Preferences > Bandwidth’ to set limits for how your BitTorrent client behaves in a swarm.net 39 .com and click on the link. You can change this at any time. including Windows Media Player and VLC. Go to ‘Options > Preferences > BitTorrent’. Check online for more information about your specific make and model of router. try using the Scheduler option. downloads 6 Schedule If you want to set up your computer so that torrenting behaves in a certain way at a certain time of day. Click the now downloaded file to open it with uTorrent (you can change the file destination or change the name if you want to) and click ‘OK’. but too many can crash your router. uTorrent has an encryption protocol to prevent ISPs from identifying BitTorrent traffic. You can define a maximum download and upload rate and choose a maximum number of connections. you’re ready to grab a free film. which causes download speeds to slow. You’ll see a green grid of time blocks that reflects that your uTorrent account is set to operate normally at all times. then check ‘Allow incoming legacy connections’. To avoid this. depending on how much or how little you download. A higher number should mean a faster download.info are in AVI format and will play using a variety of media players. The torrent file will also be downloaded somewhere. publicdomaintorrents.Explore Watch classic movies for free WorldMags. a movie 7 Download Now you’ve familiarised yourself with uTorrent.

There’s also an option to add a subtitles file if you have one. When you’re ready.videolan. 40 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. try installing one of the many skins available from www. so if you want a more snazzy look instead. it’s not just a great media player. It’s a highly streamlined video player. Amazingly.WorldMags. you can change the speed of subtitles. it’s also fully equipped with everything you need to convert video files. it’s been added to and improved upon by a community of skilled and passionate programmers.org.net . Because VLC is open source software. in the Open Media window. click on ‘Media’ from the top menu and select ‘Convert/Save’. click the ‘Convert/Save’ button again. or change the brightness and contrast if a video appears too dark.” At a glance… SKILL LEVEL Anyone can do it Straightforward Tricky in parts minutes TIME TAKEN 30 SUITABLE FOR Windows 8 Windows 7 Windows Vista Windows XP LC media player is often called the ‘Swiss army knife of video players’ because it gives you such precise control of nearly every aspect of video playback. we’ll walk you through the main features.org/vlc. but it’s also a powerful conversion tool that can deal with almost any le type for your movies. Choose the ‘Skins’ link and follow the instructions to get one. You’ll also find a fantastic array of skins and extensions for VLC that will ensure you’ll want to keep using it long term. tell the audio to play a bit behind the video to compensate for syncing problems. For example.videolan. V Step-by-step Change the format of a video file with VLC and customise 1 Install Begin by installing VLC media player from your free cover disc or by downloading it from www. click the ‘Add’ button and browse to the location of the video file you want to convert. Then. In this tutorial. media 2 Locate When you’re ready to convert a video file.net Convert video files for any device “VLC is one of the best free video players around.

give a filename. then choose ‘Open with > VLC media player’. choose a bit rate and frame rate. you can add a logo on the next sub-tab (Logos) – you can even select the transparency.net 41 . However. Alternatively. You may still have Windows Media Player set as your default player. To get the file onto an iPad. You’ll need to sync your iPad with iTunes to port the film across. we chose a resolution suitable for use with an iPad. By default.Explore Convert video files with VLC WorldMags. Now. a new profile 4 Create Under the Encapsulation tab. pick the MPEG4 codec. select the destination folder. all you need to do is navigate to ‘Tools > Effects and Filters’. watermarks 7 Add To add a watermark when converting a video (typically a home movie). When complete. using the slider. we want what’s best for playback on an iPad. you need to click on the Vout/Overlay sub-tab. we’re using MP4/MOV). You’ll see the main VLC player bar move along as the file is converted and downloaded to your destination folder. under the Video Codec tab. Enter the details in the ‘Width’ and ‘Height’ fields and your converted file will be forced into this ratio (it may crop the original). connect your iPad and select ‘File > Add File to Library’. You can edit. on your tablet 8 Play We’ve now converted the file and can play it back on our PC. so if you want to use VLC right-click the file. Here. select a file type to convert to (in this example. and play back 6 Convert Hit ‘Start’ to begin the conversion. On the Video Effects tab. utilising full screen mode. locate that folder and double-click to play.net file 3 Convert Finally. You can then play it back with the Videos app or use the free VLC iPad app from the App Store. delete or create new profiles using the three buttons located next to the Select Profile drop-down list. open iTunes. December 2013 | Help & Advice | WorldMags. VLC media player comes packed with a few profiles that can convert your video to most of the widely used audio and video formats. select the desired video profile and click ‘Start’. You can also define a particular ratio to export your converted file as – ideal if you don’t like the original format the film was in. which depends entirely on the destination device you want to use. then click the ‘Save’ button. parameters 5 Resolution You will need a bit of prior knowledge when choosing the best resolutions to output your file.

0 CyberLink PowerDVD 13 Ultra Sony BDV-N590W home theatre system Marin Palisades Trail 29er mountain bike X Rocker Rockster gaming chair Phoenix iPad security case Monster® iSport Victory in-ear headphones The Monitor Audio Airstream WS100 is one of the best looking and easiest to use wireless music set ups.net Plus essential tips for Windows 8.000 worth of prizes! There will be one lucky winner of all these great prizes from well-known brands.net . Enter by text today to be in with a chance of grabbing this amazing gadget wishlist Outride by Mophie iPhone mount Sky Broadband Unlimited free for a year Phoenix laptop security carry case David Bowie inspired Momentum Special Edition headphones from Sennheiser Phoenix laptop security travel case Olloclip Quick-Flip case Kaspersky PURE 3. wellrounded sound without the top or bottom falling out. Monitor Audio wireless multimedia system WorldMags.cobalt blue Thin King Anodized aluminium wallet Sky TV free for a year and a Sky+HD Box Monster Game® MVP Carbon on-ear headphones by EA Sports™ .WorldMags.4GHz Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections in order to uphold sound quality and maintain a good connection. Vista & XP Monster® DNA on-ear headphones . It uses SKAA wireless technology instead of 2.black Clicloc watch Coleman Da Gama4 tent and Biker sleeping bag JVC GCXA1 action camera Win £10. The satellites are made from substantial die-cast aluminium and the total system output is 60W – more than enough for a system of this size to create a big.

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Clear the ‘Hide extensions for known file types’ box. 44 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. A Step-by-step Create your first scripts for AutoHotkey it 1 Install The first thing you’ll need to do is to install the AutoHotkey app on your system after you’ve downloaded it from www.net Create your own custom shortcuts “Make your PC your own with this app that helps you create shortcuts to suit your every computer-based need. autohotkey. The potential on offer is almost endless. Not got any file extensions showing? Go to the Control Panel. It’s true that AutoHotkey is a potentially complex app. In this tutorial we’re going to show you how you can automate launching a particular app or a keyboard shortcut to open a new email.” At a glance… SKILL LEVEL Anyone can do it Straightforward Tricky in parts minutes TIME TAKEN 45 SUITABLE FOR Windows 8 Windows 7 Windows Vista Windows XP utoHotkey is a utility that helps you develop specific shortcuts for oft-used actions on your PC. This is because we want to walk you through the whole process. You can also discover more about how it works using the useful help files included with the app as well.net . and select ‘Appearance and Personalization’ and select ‘Folder Options’. It means you can automate plenty of previously tiresome processes and establish a way of working that’s right for you.WorldMags. then click ‘OK’. This process is extremely simple. and you can record mouse clicks and ask for user input when you’re more used to the app. Now. but we’ll help you with the basics. click to rename it – we’ve used the name ‘test’ – then change the extension to AHK.com or from your free cover disc. a text document 2 Create Now right-click on the desktop. but resist the temptation to run the application from the installer and instead click ‘Exit’ to finish the set-up. You can also use AutoHotkey to change [Windows] key combos should you find them unnecessary. go to ‘New’ and select ‘Text Document’ from the menu.

windows. followed by the command you want it to perform. followed by the command itself. so here we’ve found the Microsoft Office folder within Program Files. Next you want to double-click your task on the desktop (or wherever you decide to save your script in future. and a space – which is well. your keys! 7 Press Now it’s time to use your script – press your chosen keyboard shortcut and see what happens. but we thought this was a simple enough thing to get started with.exe) or Calculator (calc. December 2013 | Help & Advice | WorldMags. right-click the file and choose ‘Edit script’ from the menu that appears. you can guess that one. Here. it 5 Save Now save your task – keep in mind that you can leave Notepad open so you can make more edits as you progress. Default Windows applications such as Windows Media Player (wmplayer. exactly as we’d asked. you’ve now created a simple script file for AutoHotkey – it really is little more than a text file which you then add a series of commands to. There are plenty of things you can ask AutoHotkey to do. too. but if you do make any edits to the script and save them. You may have to click the upward arrow if it’s not showing by default.Explore Create custom shortcuts with AutoHotkey WorldMags. you’ll need to choose ‘Reload this script’ by rightclicking the AutoHotkey icon. And there’s plenty more we can show you. we’ve only just double-clicked our script to launch it. as you’ll see. We need to get the full filename for the application we want to launch. which is the [Windows] key believe it or not. Now.exe) can just be referred to by the name of their exe file without a path. Then there are also two colons ‘::’. Here we’ve used ‘#’.net edit your script 3 Now Believe it or not.com. We pressed [Windows]+[Space] as we commanded in our simple script and AutoHotkey launched our default browser and went to www. a task 4 Add AutoHotkey commands consist of the hotkey you want to use.net 45 . To continue. we want to open a URL. apps 8 Launching Now we want to ask AutoHotkey to launch Microsoft Word for us. ‘Run’ is the most common one used by AutoHotkey. We’re now going to add some text into the file so AutoHotkey knows exactly what tasks we want it to perform for us. your script 6 Reload You’ll notice that the AutoHotkey icon now appears in the Notifications area.

So since we’ve made some changes. commands 13 Combining Now we’re ready to write our multi-command script. an email 11 Write As well as what we’ve already taught you. As you can see. put everything on separate lines. you can’t [CTRL]+[A] to select files in Windows Explorer!) Here. we can start to write some more complex scripts with multiple commands to get your computer working to suit your needs and requirements. including automating the typing of phrases you might type often or running a series of mouse clicks without you having to do them. Now start experimenting! 46 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. Note that it doesn’t actually email the person – you still have to write and send the mail as normal. Now you’ve got these couple of basics in place.net the script 9 Write Now copy the file path from the address bar and paste it into your script. we’ve combined several commands in one – to do this. the script 10 Execute Now run the script using your newly-chosen keyboard shortcut. the ‘mailto:’ command can also be used to open your default email application and open a new email auto-addressed to a chosen contact.autohotkey. we’ve chosen [Windows]+[W] for our keyboard shortcut. Word has launched (although we typed the ‘Hello!’ it still wasn’t automatic). exe). There are far more complex things you can do with the application though. that’s it! 14 And And there you go – you now know how to use AutoHotkey to launch various apps on your system and perform basic tasks. ensuring the shortcut and the final return are on their own lines. adding the filename at the end (here it’s winword. characters 12 Getting One of the things you might have to do is assign more unusual commands for the [CTRL] key and other keys (see the full list at www.com/docs/Hotkeys. We’ve deliberately chosen [CTRL]+[A] so you can see what effect it has on your system (if this script is running. We’re going to use ‘^’ character in our next script – this one refers to the [CTRL] key.net . we’ve reloaded the script in the way we’ve shown you before.WorldMags. As you can see.htm). by right-clicking the icon. the easiest way is to use the Windows Character Map and copy the characters from there – or from that web link. To do this. This could be very useful if you’re always emailing the same person.

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Make your tweets private by going to ‘Settings > Security & privacy > Tweet privacy’ and ‘Protect my tweets’. an IP address is not a necessary for TweetMyPC to work.0. for example. but it has a power of its own that goes way beyond just tweeting for fun. too?” At a glance… SKILL LEVEL Anyone can do it Straightforward Tricky in parts minutes TIME TAKEN 15 SUITABLE FOR Windows 8 Windows 7 Windows Vista Windows XP witter is now right up with there with Facebook as one of the world’s best and most popular social networks. Let’s see what you can do with it. 48 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags.4). After you’ve finished creating and configuring the Twitter account.0) is available on the same downloads page. open up TweetMyPC from your desktop. then go to www.WorldMags. Switch to the Download section and download the latest TweetMyPC file (version 4. T Step-by-step Tweet instructions to your PC the latest build 1 Get To install TweetMyPC.net Control your PC remotely with Twitter “You might be used to using Twitter to talk to friends and make your opinions known to the world. The clever developers at CodePlex have managed to create a tiny-but-mighty application called TweetMyPC that allows you to control and access your computer from anywhere in the world by simply sending a tweet with a special command as its content. An older build (version 3.net .com and create another account. a second account 2 Get If you don’t have a second Twitter account just for TweetMyPC. Download it to your computer and follow the installation instructions.twitter. go to http://tweetmypc. com.codeplex. but with this tool you can make it even more simple and convenient – tweeting from a smartphone or tablet. such as VNC. Unlike many other remote access programs. You might be used to other kinds of software to remote control your personal computer. but did you know you can use it as a user interface. but we recommend using the latest iteration on Windows 7 and 8 machines.

This is selected by default so there’s no need to change it. such as ‘ip’. Enter the PIN and hit ‘OK’. notification area 5 The When signing in. From another device. use the Twitter account that’s been linked to TweetMyPC to perform a command. just by tweeting ‘wallpaper’ followed by a URL. December 2013 | Help & Advice | WorldMags. When you’re done. Now try ‘getprocesslist’ (Gmail users only). tweeting 8 Happy And that’s it – you can now control your PC with your Twitter account! You’ll find a full list of commands at http://bit.net your info 3 Enter The main window of TweetMyPC will now pop into existence – fill in the required data to link the program to your Twitter account. too.net 49 . but if you don’t enter a username and password for a usable Gmail account. PIN 4 Enter When you click on the ‘Sign in with Twitter’ button at the top. You don’t have to use one.Explore Control your PC remotely with Twitter WorldMags. You’ll get messages related to it here. control 6 Take Now it’s time to tell our PC to do something with a simple tweet. one of the options that appears is ‘Show in notification area’.ly/d1Tzz6. then useful commands like ‘getprocesslist’. Let’s start with something simple. Click ‘Authorize’ and you’ll then be shown a unique PIN that you’ll need to enter on the pop-up that appears on your desktop. as well as the online status. Some of these commands include the ability to shutdown a PC by tweeting ‘shutdown’ and even the ability to update the wallpaper on your machine from something you’ve found on the internet. rather than a tweet. controls 7 Advanced Next we can try ‘powerstate’. which will display the IP address of the PC you’re connected to. but if you double-click the icon you can bring up the main program window. located just under the ‘Sign in with Twitter’ button. This is handy as it’ll add TweetMyPC to your Windows notification area. ‘getfile’ and ‘getfilelist’ cannot be used in the application. The difference here is that the results are sent as an email. click the ‘Save and Hide’ button to finally activate TweetMyPC. This also tells you the battery percentage of a laptop. which is a useful tweet that will display the current power state of a PC. which will list all the running programs on your PC. The results will then show up as another tweet on your Twitter timeline. your browser will be redirected to the Twitter website for authentication.

if you create a label called Photos. The innovative label system is just one of many amazing things you’ll discover as you read this tutorial. So far.net . Click the ‘Why this ad?’ text. Much nicer! 50 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. aren’t they? Let’s stop them scanning our messages. for instance. The beauty of labels. Now Google will stop examining your emails to personalise ads for you. you can send the email to the Archive. click on ‘Opt out’. For example.WorldMags. it’s exactly the same as folders. Click on the ‘Inbox’ link on the left again and you’ll be able to see your new ad-free inbox. it’s easy to do. however. then apply it to messages with pictures attached. rid of them altogether 2 Get If you want to get of the advertising strip above your inbox messages completely. Now you effectively have two folders doing different things. Now choose the ‘Web Clips’ panel and untick the box at the top. Others let you sort your messages into folders. Even better. is that you can add another one – ‘Vera’s Birthday’. then select the ‘Settings’ option. you can click the label to see all those emails. tricks and tweaks for Gmail.” At a glance… SKILL LEVEL Anyone can do it Straightforward Tricky in parts minutes TIME TAKEN 20 SUITABLE FOR Windows 8 Windows 7 Windows Vista Windows XP ne of the biggest differences between Gmail and other email services is the way you organise your mail.net Discover the best power tips for Gmail “Get more from your messages with our collection of the nest tips. Click the small cog icon on the right-hand side of the page. so don’t delay – let’s get cracking! O Step-by-step Do more with Gmail the adverts 1 De-personalise Those personalised adverts that pick up on words used in your emails and appear at the top of your email list are pretty annoying. but Gmail uses labels. On the left. but the email is in both of them at once. and it will still show up when you click on either of the labels. then click the ‘Ad Preferences Manager’ link.

December 2013 | Help & Advice | WorldMags. then click the star. into Settings 5 Delve Now let’s take a look under the hood and look at Gmail’s options and settings in more depth. The first theme (Light) is the standard one. view 6 Conversation Also in the General Settings tab is the Conversation View setting. then select ‘Themes’ to bring up a list of colours to choose from. Cozy and Compact. then select ‘Settings’. If you stop. When you want to highlight a specific email with a star. It’s a very powerful way of following the thread of an email conversation. galaxy of stars 8 A Don’t forget to click ‘Save changes’ to activate the stars once you’ve finished tweaking your settings. click the cog icon again. Here you can change the display language of Gmail. if you wish to change back at any time. This makes it much easier to keep track of who’s said what when lots of emails are being fired back and forth! star general 7 Four Further down in General Settings.net 51 . there’s just one star available. we come to the Gmail stars. which you can use to highlight particularly important emails. By default. Click the cog icon. drag them from the ‘Not in use’ section to ‘In use’. In this example. You can try these out now by clicking on the cog icon on the right-hand side and selecting each option in turn from underneath the heading ‘Display density’. If you fancy a new look. with replies from everyone all running down the screen in order. and choose whether replies go to one person or all those on an email by default. If you’d like to add more stars. as you can see in the picture above.net comfortable 3 Get Gmail offers three basic ways of viewing your email: Comfortable. There are also three preset groups of stars you can choose. we’ve chosen the ‘All stars’ preset. or ones containing tasks you need to do. Choose the best one for you.Explore Power tips for Gmail WorldMags. Keep on clicking to change the star to whatever you like. just click on the ‘blank’ star on its left. based on your eyesight and the screen size of your device. Gmail offers themes for those of us who want to brighten up our desktops. it will become blank again. Click a theme to try it out. We recommend you leave this option turned on. alter the number of emails that appear per page. The first tab is ‘General’. good looking 4 Hey.

The unique label system is so important in Gmail.net I have your autograph? 9 Can The last parts of the General Settings tab that we’re going to look at are the Signature box and Vacation Responder. a new label 11 Create You can create new labels in two ways: either in the Settings area. with the Inbox 12 Get You may think your Gmail inbox is just like any other – a place where all your email is sent automatically so that you can read and sort them when you have the time. a new window will appear. Think again. you might want to organise ‘Photos of Barcelona’ under a general ‘Photos’ label. whereby emails that fit within specific categories are automatically placed into the relevant tab. and decide which ones appear in the left-hand panel in your email view. The Signature box enables you to create a short message that appears at the bottom of every email you send. but you can also add tabs to categorise your social emails. your tabs 14 Choose When you select this option. To get started. ‘Primary’ is switched on by default. or by clicking on the ‘Create new label’ link on the left-hand side of the main email view. don’t worry – you can easily activate this option to try it out. which appears at the bottom of that panel. labels everywhere 10 Labels. just hit the cog button in the top right corner and select ‘Configure inbox’. You can also get here by clicking the ‘Manage Labels’ link. promotional emails and more. allowing you to customise which tabs you see in your inbox. which appears just above ‘Settings’ on the drop-down menu. Type in a name for your new label and decide whether you want to nest it under an existing label. For example. there’s a whole tab in the Settings area to help you manage it.net . Gmail has a new system of tabs for the inbox. while the Vacation Responder lets people know you’re away from your email by sending an automated message. Here you can create new labels for your emails.WorldMags. resulting in less work for you! tabs 13 Activate If you’re not already using a tabbed inbox (you have just a single inbox that appears when you log into your Gmail account). Check the tick box next to ones you want to activate and then hit ‘Save’ to confirm your selection. 52 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags.

which you can use to talk to other Gmail users when they’re online. change its name. but if you follow our advice here and concentrate on the ones that matter most to you. mark it as read. As you can see. then enter the criteria you want. you can connect your Gmail account to other email accounts you might use. Gmail 20 Enjoy Congratulations – you’ve made it to the end. mark them as read and ensure that they will never be sent to the spam pile. archive it. or ‘Check mail from other accounts’ to pull in mail that’s sent to any of your other email addresses.net hooked up 15 Getting Back in the ‘Settings’ area. Here you can colour the label. Leave fields blank if you don’t care what they contain (for example. and you have the option of only allowing people you’ve pre-approved to start chats with you. just click the cog icon and select ‘Help’ from the drop-down menu. decide whether to save your chat history or not. or the email account provided by your ISP. Filters can automatically label mail as it comes in. power of the filter 17 The Click ‘Create a New Filter’ to decide what Gmail should do with emails that fulfil all the criteria you’ve set. tips 16 Filter The ‘Filters’ tab shows a list of all the filters that are applied to your email. such as Hotmail. leave ‘From’ blank if you don’t want to filter emails from a specific person).Explore Power tips for Gmail WorldMags. December 2013 | Help & Advice | WorldMags. Click the ‘Chat’ tab in ‘Settings’. Here you can turn it on or off. colour-coding them can make life a whole lot easier. Click ‘Create a new filter’. If you get stuck at any point. delete it and so forth. options and stuff to play with than you can count. We’ve decided that any email that contains the word ‘Photos’ should skip the inbox and be sent to the Archive immediately instead. chat 18 Chit Gmail has a neat text-based chat function built into the main screen. remove sub-labels and so forth. under ‘Accounts’. with labels 19 Fun Now we’re going to take a closer look at Gmail’s brilliant label system. We’ve also chosen to give these emails the label ‘Photos’. If you have a lot of labels. You can import mail if you permanently move to Gmail.net 53 . letting you identify each one at a glance. Gmail has more settings. Click on the tiny arrow next to a label on the left side panel to bring up a host of options. you can safely leave the rest alone.

followed by ‘Control Panel’. but make sure you’re fully backed up before you do so. start by making sure that you’re logged on as an administrator. One particularly useful setting is the one that prohibits access so you can stop other users changing your settings. This isn’t available in the Home Edition. Each setting listed here has three options for conguration. You’ll see subfolders for Software Settings. Expand ‘Administrative templates’. we’ll show you how to do more with your user account. choose ‘Start Run’ and enter gpedit. 3 Restrict hard drive access in Group Policy Editor If you want to restrict access to the Start menu.WorldMags. improve your PC’s performance and access it from afar using Remote Desktop You can control what other accounts can do on your computer in a few different ways. then right-clicking the folder and selecting ‘Properties’. and ‘Disabled’ turns it off again.net . for example. Disabling the Run command and search function can help prevent other users nding system les. 2 Restrict folder access in Group Policy Editor You can restrict access to certain hard drives by clicking ‘Start Run’. you can restrict them with Group Policy Editor 54 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. which will stop other people from ddling about with such important things as your System Settings. typing gpedit. Expand ‘User Conguration’ in the left-hand pane. msc in the Open bar. This opens a dialog. Choose the ‘Explain’ tab to nd out more about this setting. By expanding these. In this section we’ll show you some tweaks in the Group Policy Editor and also show you how to restrict access to the Control Panel. Click ‘Add’ and select the user you would like to restrict. In the User Conguration section navigate to ‘Administrative Templates Windows Explorer’ to select the drives you want to restrict.msc and pressing Enter. ‘Not congured’ means you’ll make no change to the current setup. Tick the top box in the ‘Deny’ column to prevent the selected user from accessing. navigate to the ‘Start menu and Taskbar’ section and you can choose from a range of restrictions. Windows Settings and Administrative templates. Group Policy Editor is only included with Windows XP Professional. Note: You may nd that the changes you make in the Group Policy Editor do not seem to be carried out immediately. Select ‘Enabled’ and click ‘OK’. Click ‘OK’. you can nd a range of options to congure. Remember. Windows XP Professional Edition includes the excellent Group Policy Editor. Move to the ‘Security’ tab and you’re ready to restrict access.msc).net Refresh Windows XP Part three in ne xt issue In part two of our essential guide. which is a very powerful tool that enables you to congure what permissions and access each account has. USER CONTROL TIPS 1 Use Group Policy Editor In Group Policy Editor you can restrict folder access by disabling Simple File Sharing. You can force a refresh of the settings by opening a command prompt click ‘Start Run’ and type cmd) and typing gpupdate before pressing Enter. Double-click ‘Prohibit access to the Control Panel’ in the right-hand pane. If you nd that you can’t access the Group Policy Editor gpedit. ‘Enabled’ turns the setting on. It’s worth exploring the various congurations you can make. Here you can alter what appears in the user’s Control Panel. To launch the Group Policy Editor. viewing or modifying the les in the folder you selected. 4 Lock down access to the Start menu STAY OUT If you don’t want certain users getting into your folders. because limited accounts can’t access this tool.

exe entries. Click the ‘Image Name’ column header once to sort processes by name. and type services. Double-click to set the value to the name of the applet to disable using the list in the box above. PERFORMANCE TWEAKS Open the Registry Editor and browse to HKEYLOCAL MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSet ControlSessionManagerMemory Management. so you should only consider applying this tweak on systems with more than 256MB of RAM. type regedit. In Windows XP all encrypted les are coloured green. If you’re using Windows XP Home Edition. change it to Manual by double-clicking its entry and changing its startup type. Switch to the ‘Dependencies’ tab to check if any other services need it. Next. open Registry Editor. you’ll need to edit the Registry to disable access to certain Control Panel applets. To do so. Check the memory consumption of svchost. Double-click a service and identify its le from the ‘Path to executable’ box. and select the Processes tab. Click ‘Start Run’. highlight all the applets and drag them to your desktop to create shortcuts. Don’t disable it unless the service could be a security risk.exe in Task Manager again – use the Commit Charge gure to help determine how much memory you’ve saved. or to all the les and folders. Similarly. then nd all the svchost.000 is a wait of ve seconds. Once you’ve veried that you don’t need a service. Go to HKEYCURRENTUSERSoftware MicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion PoliciesExplorer. Right-click it and choose ‘Modify’. Click ‘Advanced’ and check ‘Encrypt Contents’ to secure data. This will limit the kernel les to physical RAM. Navigate to the directory then right-click it and select ‘Properties’. Choose a lower number to shorten the wait time. telling you whether they are running or not. All currently installed services are shown in alphabetical order. There a number of ways to squeeze out extra system performance in Windows XP. You’ll be prompted to conrm whether you wish to apply encryption to just the selected folder. Click ‘Edit New String’ and name it ‘1’. To disable applets in the control panel go to ‘Edit New Key’ and name it ‘DisallowCpl’. especially for older systems. Search for this le name in your favoured 9 Disable all unnecessary services 10 Reduce hanging time 11 Windows XP has a default hardware prole that loads Help & Advice | Set up custom WorldMags. restart Windows XP. Click ‘OK OK’. Browse to HKEYCURRENTUSER Control PanelDesktop and select the string entry called ‘HungApp Timeout’.Cover feature Refresh Windows XP WorldMags. so you need to verify your service isn’t required by another one you want to use. it’s also possible to force Windows XP to automatically unload DLL les from memory when an application is closed. you’ll need to open the Services console. Double-click the Default) value and change it to ‘1’. Windows XP can apply this setting to just these les. After disabling the unnecessary services. This will encrypt the selected folder. Click ‘Edit New DWord Value’ and name it ‘DisallowCpl’. Beneath the Control Panel tree entry you’ll see four more folders that you can use in order to customise which Control Panel tabs are made available.mmc. Click ‘Start Run’. Windows waits for ve seconds to allow time for any hung applications to be closed properly as you shut down your computer. By default. In this section we’ll cover a cluster of handy Registry and hardware control tweaks. Open Task Manager using CtrlShiftEsc. then click ‘OK’. The number is in milliseconds. Make a note of their size in KB. so the default of 5. or to also encrypt its subfolders. Many services rely on others to function. browse to HKEYLOCALMACHINE SOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows 7 Unload application Reclaim memory and other resources by streamlining which services run on your PC. along with their status. You need to select the folder to encrypt by right-clicking ‘Start Explore’.net Before you disable any Control Panel items. search engine to nd out more about it. You can change this hanging time with a Registry edit. 6 Encrypt an entire folder “Disabling the Run command and search function can help stop other users finding system files” CurrentVersionExplorer and create a sub-key named AlwaysUnloadDLL. Give it a value of ‘1’. Choose the option that suits you and then click ‘OK’. Note that Encrypting File System EFS) is part of Windows XP Professional. 5 Limit control panel access SPRING CLEAN You can disable unnecessary services to free up resources for a faster PC Instead of restricting other users you could always just encrypt important folders in Windows XP. thereby improving responsiveness and performance. Open the Control Panel. 8 Keep the operating system in RAM It’s possible to congure Windows XP systems with large amounts of memory so that the core operating system les are never paged to virtual memory. and compressed les are blue.net December 2013 | 55 . Change the value of the DisablePagingExecutive DWORD value from a ‘0’ to a ‘1’. but not the Home Edition. we advise creating a shortcut for easy access.

If you want a shortcut placed on your desktop. The box under ‘Validate my identity as follows’ should show ‘Require secured password’. You can view available proles and congure how hardware proles will be displayed during the boot process. Even though you can congure a VPN over a dial-up line. the second option is what we’re trying to set up. The Hardware tab gives access to the Device Manager. specifying the VPN connection name and the users allowed access to the connection. select ‘New Connection’ or choose 12 Set up a virtual private network “Remote Assistance means another user can take control of your PC from their own Windows XP machine” Windows XP Professional includes the facility to enable your computer’s desktop to be accessed 13 Access your PC from work with Remote desktop 56 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. A VPN tunnel is a connection between two computers over a LAN. transparent manner using the internet. then click ‘OK’. Here are a few handy ways to remotely tap into your PC’s workspace. then click ‘Next’ to proceed. as well as driver signing options and hardware proles.WorldMags. You now have two choices: dial-up and VPN connection. Click the ‘Hardware Proles’ button to open the Hardware Proles window.net . This login is transmitted and encrypted when you access the VPN gateway. With ‘Prole 1 Current)’ selected. Select the ‘Security’ tab. In the Copy Prole window. Click ‘OK’ to close the applet. Click the radio button next to ‘Connect to the network at my workplace’. A summary screen appears. Right-click the connection icon and select ‘Properties’. check the Shortcut option. Windows XP has made the process simple. and click ‘OK’ to create a duplicate prole you can congure with different settings. Click ‘Copy’. Enter either the IP address of the VPN gateway you want to connect to. click ‘Properties’ to congure basic settings. such as whether the system is a portable computer. here’s how to set up a custom hardware prole. whether you’re away and need to check in with your work or home PC or if you need help with your computer. From Hardware Proles. You’ll be presented with a window asking you to choose the type of connection you want to create. The New Connection Wizard launches and shows what you can congure. If you have an older PC there will be times when you won’t want all hardware to be functioning. you must dene one. From the Network Connections File menu. The ‘Require data’ encryption box should also be checked. Click ‘Next’. WAN or internet network that’s maintained as a consistent. To use your login and domain settings for the VPN validation. then log on. Expand a device type such as ‘Network Adapters’. check ‘Automatically use my Windows login name and password’. If you just want to check on your home computer every now and then. otherwise your connection will be blocked. then right-click the device and choose ‘Disable’ or ‘Enable’ – if disabling. You don’t always have to be in front of your PC to access it. usually representing the gateway you’re connecting to. Click ‘Connect’ to start. To avoid choppy playback as a result of resources being consumed by loaded drivers. give the new prole a descriptive name. Each VPN connection is identied by a name. This is useful for connecting to corporate networks. Open the Network Connections window ‘Start Settings Network Connections’ or ‘My Computer Control Panel’). for instance when watching a DVD. Reboot Windows XP. click ‘Device Manager’. Under Security Options select ‘Typical’. Open the System applet through the Control Panel.net drivers for your installed hardware. applications and services. that option is for non-tunnelling. click ‘Yes’. Select ‘VPN’ and click ‘Next’ to continue. You must identify the gateway at the other end of the tunnel. you may want to consider using Remote Desktop instead. Disabling devices frees up resources for this prole’s specic job. If your connection doesn’t establish itself right away you may need to tweak some parameters. select the new prole. return to the ‘Hardware’ tab. Click ‘Finish’ and a window asks for your user name and password. or its fully qualied domain name. more permanent connection rather than temporary connections you’d use to get to something like a website or FTP server. Although it’s not called a virtual private network. REMOTE ACCESS FEATURES Virtual private networks or VPNs) are a way to link computers together in a secure. If a web connection hasn’t been created yet. Make sure the Windows Firewall is congured and working correctly with your VPN. ‘Create a new connection’ from the Network Tasks panel. such as Basic. Open the System applet.

a password is mandatory. To choose the settings you would like to use. You’ll need to communicate this separately by phone or another email.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 57 . click ‘OK’ and add a password to your account from the User Accounts Control Panel. click ‘Start All Programs Accessories Communications’ or download the Remote Desktop Client. Type an explanatory message and click ‘Continue’. you should set an expiry time or date for the invitation. Remember. Choose ‘Invite someone to help you’ to start the invitation process. Alternatively. To change any options. Moving to the ‘Experience’ tab.Cover feature Refresh Windows XP WorldMags. Here you can choose the resolution and colour depth that remote sessions should run at – choose lower settings if things are running slowly for you. click ‘Invite a friend to connect to your computer with Remote Assistance’. they’ll initiate the process of connecting to your PC. particularly on slow connections. The ‘Remote’ tab also enables you to allow Remote Assistance invitations. You’ll now need to log on using your password. simply clear the tick box next to any of the graphical features you feel you can live without to create your own custom remote desktop prole. You’ll see a pop-up window asking you to accept the connection – click ‘Yes’ to give your friend access and start troubleshooting. by disabling a number of superuous graphical features. you can use the drop-down menu to tell Remote Desktop what type of connection you’re using. Enter the person’s email address and click ‘Invite this person’. 14 Speed up the remote desktop EXCLUSIVE ACCESS Connect PCs together securely over the internet by creating a VPN WorldMags. A screen will appear for you to select your target PC from the drop-down menu or type in its name/IP address and click ‘Connect’. Right-click either the ‘My Computer’ icon on your desktop or the ‘Start’ button and click ‘Properties’. To relinquish control. launch the tool by clicking ‘Start All Programs Accessories Communications Remote Desktop Session’. Once your friend receives the email. tick ‘Allow users to remotely connect to this computer’. close the dialog. For security reasons. plus a password that your friend will need to enter. you can use the PC as if you were sitting at it. This is an extremely useful feature that means another user can effectively take control of your PC from their own Windows XP machine. which can be very handy for troubleshooting a problem you might be having. Click ‘Send Invitation’. From the Remote tab. simply open Remote Desktop Connection and click ‘Settings’. 15 Request assistance from a friend Click ‘Start Help and Support’. allow the connection. Click the ‘Options’ button to expand the dialog and move to the ‘Display’ tab. Finally. you can ask a friend to show you how to solve a problem remotely from other PCs via the Remote Desktop Connection tool. and Windows XP will select the best settings for your setup. You can improve the performance of Remote Desktop sessions. To control your PC from another one. Under ‘Ask for assistance’. If your rewall throws up a prompt. Once done.net HELPING HAND With Remote Assistance.

It’s strong on the basics – for instance. our selection of tiny tools will provide all you need.0.9 Figuring out what’s happening on your network normally involves a whole library of tools. It can even remotely wake up or shut down other systems on your network.9 has a lot of options on offer.WorldMags.net .net Network issues? Diagnose them quickly with these free utilities L ooking for some useful and reliable network utilities? There are plenty of options out there to choose from. the program can display your IP addresses (both local and external). but one of its most useful is the ability to display and test any open network and internet connections WorldMags. yet somehow Network Stuff has managed to cram them all into a single portable application. reveal MAC addresses and run graphical ping or traceroutes. as well as use built-in Whois and DNS tools to get more information on IP addresses. They’re all on your free disc. Unless you really need them.0. scan your network for other systems. | Help & Advice | December 2013 NETWORK CONNECTION Network Stuff 3. On your disc You’ll find all the software mentioned here on your free disc. 1 58 NETWORK STUFF 3. Network Stuff can also display all the currently open network and internet connections. but it’s easy to waste time on the bulky and more heavyweight contenders.

0 Packet sniffing – capturing network traffic for later analysis – can be an invaluable way to diagnose tricky network problems.0.4. too. but DNS Jumper 1. beyond the . and improve your general browsing speed. and that’s it – the program will capture raw packets and save them in a pcap file. if you’re just looking for a list of results. protocols and related Windows services. or invest in some big corporate inventory tool. keep in mind that your systems will need the Remote Registry service to be running for this to work. 4 RAW SIMPLICITY The simplicity of using RawCap as a tool extends so far that it doesn’t require any additional components or DLLs to operate. there’s no help here to analyse the finished results. Just double-click the file.1 PORTABLE When you want to secure your network. And if you do identify malware then CloseTheDoor can even shut down that process. If you’re not sure which one is best for your situation. but CloseTheDoor can help. When you’re happy.0. you could crash your PC. You could check this manually. Just enter the network names of the computers you’d like to audit and it’ll quickly scan them. enter an output file name. This little tool comes with a lengthy list of DNS alternatives. it can test them all to find the fastest. it’s able to apply your preferred DNS settings in a single click – the program can even back up and restore your original settings to reduce the chance of any future problems.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 59 . However. With this great tool you can check the network interface. RAWCAP 0. The program is a command line tool. Right-click something and you’ll find options to search the web for useful information on the process.0. revealing the list of installed applications. Unsurprisingly for a 20KB tool. However. All this information can seem baffling at first. but it’s also straightforward to run from Explorer.1. choose your network interface. in terms of both hardware and software. You can open the file in Notepad too. © THINKSTOCK.0 FAST SOFTWARE AUDIT 1.NET Framework 2.2.Feature 10 best free lightweight networking tools WorldMags. if you accidentally terminate something important. but that’s where a utility like DNS Jumper comes into its own. WorldMags.5 DNS ALTERNATIVES Getting to grips with the many aspects of DNS can be intimidating. and the portable CloseTheDoor will tell you everything you want to know. ports.0 5 If you manage a PC network then you’ll know it’s important to keep track of the software your users are installing. Windows doesn’t exactly make this kind of task easy.net 2 DNS JUMPER 1.COM CLOSETHEDOOR 0. it’s important to understand which processes are listening for connections. And there aren’t many programs that make it as easy as the super-lightweight RawCap.5 offers an easy-to-use interface that tests your connection speeds 3 Changing your DNS settings can improve your online security – it could even give you access to sites you couldn’t reach otherwise. port and how it’s generally used. but the ultra-compact Fast Software Audit – which is portable and only 160KB – could be what you’re looking for.

Add the names of your network computers to the program. regardless of where you’re working. And switching from one profile to another is as simple as selecting it. UDP. then you could try sharing folders. or on specific network interfaces. unfortunately. There’s no complex set-up – just run the tool and it’s ready to go. Windows doesn’t make it particularly easy to access HOSTS. and in a click or two you can then remotely shut them down or wake them up again. and clicking ‘Apply’ – so there’s no more messing around in the Control Panel. then add or remove entries to suit your need. This isn’t just a cosmetic tool.6 7 WorldMags. either. where the monitors flashed to show network activity – thankfully. having a PC woken up just after lunch so it’s ready and waiting when you return. there’s now an easy way to get it back. You can even automate the process – for example. Drag and drop the files you’d like to share and they’ll be easily accessible. You can also customise the program to flash only for particular network traffic (TCP. click ‘Customize’ and set Network Activity Indicator to ‘Show icon and notifications’ to bring it back into place. work. and so on. Windows Vista/Windows 7 will often hide it again – to sort this issue out simply click the arrow to the left of the system tray area. Thankfully. It’s even able to provide details on network traffic (MB’s uploaded and downloaded). Gateway. errors received and much more). However.3 allows you to create separate network profiles for home. But if you can’t get that working as well as you’d like. and anywhere else you’re likely to be using your laptop. HFS 2.2F And there are even system info options to retrieve any free drive space or a helpful list of any automatically stopped services. But be warned – if you try to block a site you’ve just visited then it’ll look like its not working. 9 We often miss the old Windows XP network icon.0 The HOSTS file can be used to tell Windows the IP address of various network or Internet resources. NETWORK ACTIVITY INDICATOR 1. Save the new file.3 If you regularly use a laptop on a couple of networks – such as at home or at your place of work – then chances are you probably waste a lot of time manually adjusting a host of low-level network settings as you switch between each one.6 8 REMOTE REBOOTX 2012 Network management is easier than you think – if you’ve got a copy of RemoteRebootX to hand. failed connection attempts. DNS Server. 10 When you want to share your files with other network users. that is. setting up a web server with HFS could be a simpler approach. 60 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. click ‘Flush DNS’ and everything should now work like normal. but the BlueLife Hosts Editor provides everything you’ll need.net . Each of these can be used to store your IP Address.net BLUELIFE HOSTS EDITOR 1. ICMP). all from your own machine. Subnet Mask. it doesn’t have to be that way. as Windows will cache the previous IP address. Install Network Activity Indicator and it’ll immediately restore the same icon to your system tray. Simple IP Config 2. Just launch the program to view your current HOSTS file. SIMPLE IP CONFIG 2. and a host of useful statistics (open connections. which allows you to improve performance or block some sites or resources entirely. meaning all of those important options are already in place.

All customers will be charged in GBP.TERMS AND CONDITIONS Europe and RoW have no set newsstand prices therefore we cannot advertise the specific savings you will make.co.co. If you are dissatisfied in any way you can write to us or call us to cancel your subscription at any time and we will refund you for all unmailed issues.49 a year for 13 issues Live elsewhere? Pay just £80.30pm weekdays.99 a year for 13 issues www. Prices correct at point of print and subject to change. INTERNATIONAL READERS CAN SUBSCRIBE TOO! Don’t wait for the latest issue to reach your local store – subscribe today and let Windows 7 Help Advice come straight to you WorldMags.net WHY SUBSCRIBE? Stop paying overseas cover prices and save yourself money Never miss another issue All 13 issues a year will be delivered direct to your home or workplace by airmail TO SUBSCRIBE Live in Europe? Pay £71. Offer ends 31st January 2014.uk/terms.myfavouritemagazines.myfavouritemagazines. 8am to 4pm on Saturdays TO SUBSCRIBE GO TO WorldMags.99 a year for 13 issues Live in the USA? Pay just £77. For full terms and conditions please visit www.uk/WOMP2N Or call our helpline on 44) 0)1604 251045 and quote ‘WOMP2N’ Contact centre opening times are: 8am to 9. You will receive 13 issues a year. This offer is for new overseas print subscribers only.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 61 .

The second option here is to purchase your own copy of Microsoft Works 9 .WorldMags. uninstall Works and then reinstall it from the CD. If you can connect via Firewire. saying I must sign a software agreement. Sadly. if this doesn’t work. I’m trying to find Windows 7 USB drivers. then right-click it and choose ‘Hide update’. a two-port PCMCIA card costs £26 in the UK and a two-port ExpressCard 62 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags.net .net WINDOWS HELP HARDWARE FIXES SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS INTERNET TIPS Software NEED CD FOR UPDATE Do you have a PC problem? Get in touch… Email full details of your problem to the support team and we’ll do our best to help windowsmagazine@ futurenet. click ‘Start > All Programs > Windows Update’. our reader has a choice to make. To do this. Once done. because the built-in ones only support transferring data from the memory stick. When I contacted Dell for the disc. Click the update. but will leave Works vulnerable.ly/17A0P7V. which is of poor quality. He could ignore the update. as Sony appears to have done here. If your PC has an ExpressCard or PCMCIA slot. but this isn’t the case here. What’s the best way to transfer video to my PC? Nick’s solution Firewire ports ensure that camcorders can transfer video to newer PCs even when the manufacturer stops supporting them. try installing the update again and inserting the CD in your optical drive when prompted. As a result. but my Windows 7 laptop only has a USB port. which is hardly helpful. It can be bought for under £30. making it a much cheaper alternative to paying Dell. which will cost me £59.com Q I am unable to install an important security update (KB2092914) for Microsoft Works 9 on my Dell PC because it asks for the product CD. Can you help me install this update? HIDE UPDATES Stop annoying prompts about unwanted updates Adam’s solution Our reader told us that Dell’s only suggestion was to uninstall Works 9 because nobody these days uses it. Sometimes the files are placed on the computer so there’s no demand for the CD. Hardware CONNECTION PROBLEM Q My Sony DCR-PC105E camcorder has both USB and Firewire connections. This will prevent you being prompted to install it again. you’ll be able to transfer and edit the video using Windows Live Movie Maker – grab it from http://bit. which I don’t have (the software was pre-installed). there’s no real way around this problem. you can purchase an add-on Firewire card such as those offered by StarTech. it refused to send it.

designed to bring a program or Windows up to date.gfi. she was able to install Microsoft Office 2010. Service Pack A collection of previously released patches. Simon’s solution The simplest. where wriggling it about makes it spring back to life. our reader’s laptop didn’t offer any form of expansion slot. security updates and new features. I’m using AVG 9. fixes. Windows and settings (such as email) first using a program such as GFI Backup Home (www. I’ve downloaded the latest driver from Logitech. MOUSE FREEZING Q After a short period of inactivity. but want to know how to get rid of the other installations (on drives C and D).vmware. AVG disables Windows Defender because it doesn’t want its real-time anti-spyware component to conflict with AVG’s own anti-spyware engine.0 connection.com/13ybrk. Make sure you back up any data WorldMags. but the problem still exists. Hardware Jargon buster! Firewire High-speed interface used as an alternative to a USB 2. Can you solve this glitch? FRESH INSTALL Make sure to wipe your hard drive during the Windows reinstall GET RID OF UNWANTED INSTALLATIONS Q My niece has ended up with two non-working Windows installations on her PC. ly/15jAGJ4 for details.com. which leaves him with two choices: he can either transfer the footage on another computer. most elegant solution is to reinstall Windows XP a fourth time. which is already installed on my PC! We instructed our reader to first uninstall Microsoft Office XP from her computer. primarily used for transferring data. making sure you delete both C and D partitions during the process. my wife’s Logitech Wireless M205 mouse becomes non-responsive unless I press [Ctrl] and [Alt] and [Del] to open Task Manager.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 63 . hopefully enabling him to transfer the footage through that.com). once done.net USB DRIVERS Older camcorders don’t support transferring video via USB ports in Windows 7 Quickfire questions I am unable to install Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student – it keeps asking me for Office XP Service Pack 3. Don’t worry. “You can run Windows XP in a virtual environment if you don’t have Windows 7 drivers” adapter costs £39 – see http://bit. Also known as IEEE1394. Sadly. I’ve got her up and running again with another Windows XP reinstall. so you end up with a single fresh installation of Windows. Windows 7 Professional users can simply install Windows XP Mode.0. from www. Support Technical help WorldMags. otherwise you’ll need a spare retail copy of Windows XP and access to software such as VMWare Player. Is my PC infected? Windows Defender keeps getting switched off during startup. or try running Windows XP in a virtual environment that allows him to capture the USB ports.FIND THE SOLUTION! Office Suite Solution Centre Got a problem with Microsoft Office 2010 or 2007? Check out the dedicated support centre at http://snipurl.

You can either remove this. although our search in Device Manager hadn’t revealed anything obvious. choose ‘English (UK)’ and click ‘Select’ to open the main window. Windows AVOID CONFLICT Make sure you only have one mouse connected! NETWORK CONNECTION ANNOYANCE Q When I try to connect my Dell netbook to a Wi-Fi network. including OpenOffice 3. If it’s currently running. 64 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags.WorldMags. Please help! Matt’s solution When you scan a text document into your computer. which can convert the image into an editable text document.msc and press [Enter]. which can’t be accessed and edited using a word processing tool. but with other connections I have to change advanced settings and select ‘Enable Windows to configure the setting’ on each start-up. To make sure Windows XP always takes control of your Wi-Fi connection. Adam’s solution The eventual solution to this problem was similar to one we featured in issue 47 – our reader discovered that he’d accidentally left an old PS/2 mouse plugged into the back of the computer the Logitech mouse was connected to. right-click your connection and choose ‘Properties > Wireless networks’. it sometimes works automatically. save and edit Office 2007 file formats in earlier versions of Microsoft Office.net Quickfire questions There are no filenames listed in My Music unless I switch to list or details view. Q I scanned in some family steps 1 First Install and open SimpleOCR from www. Right-click ‘Music’ and choose ‘Properties > Customise’. Why does my PC say ‘Explorer has encountered a problem’ whenever I right-click a file and click ‘Delete’? This is usually due to a third-party program. The two mice must have been conflicting with each other – removing the PS/2 mouse resolved this problem immediately. Select ‘View network connections’. avanquest. type services. or visit www. Change the drop-down menu to Music Icons and click ‘OK’.ly/PMoy gives you the ability to open. Locate the Dell Wireless LAN Tray Service entry – double-click this and change its startup type to ‘Manual’. Click ‘Machine print’. Can I avoid doing this when I use these connections? Wi-FI CONNECTIONS Use the built-in Windows XP wireless utility when possible James’s solution This problem occurs when your netbook is configured to use Dell’s built-in wireless utility. You may lose your network connection – don’t panic! Now locate the Wireless Zero Configuration entry. Now choose ‘Start > My network Places’. You should now be able to connect the Windows XP utility. and we were able to trace the problem to a program called PowerDesk. double-click it and change its startup type to ‘Automatic’. instead of the perfectly adequate (and often superior) utility built into Windows XP. Click ‘Start’ followed by ‘OK’ and close the Services management console. Wait while the page is scanned for the preview. Now leave ‘Scanner’ selected under Image Source and click ‘OK’ again. To open it with a word processor. you need to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software such as SimpleOCR.com to download a more recent version.com. click ‘Start > Run’. simpleocr. but I can’t find the file to edit it. Make sure ‘Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings’ is ticked and click ‘OK’. How do I access Microsoft Word 2007 documents in other programs? The Office Compatibility Pack from http://bit. click ‘Stop’ before clicking ‘OK’. and once done you’ll connect automatically in the future. followed by your username.net . document 2 Scan Select ‘Grey’ under ‘Colours’. Click ‘Add page’ followed by ‘Scanner options’ to set up your scanner. Support for Office 2007 is built into later versions of other programs. it’s converted into an image. Can you help me retrieve them? Filenames can only be hidden when a folder is designated as a pictures folder – to rectify this click ‘Start’. click on the ‘A4’ button and then make sure ‘Main driver’ and ‘300’ are selected before clicking ‘OK’. Start by clicking ‘Select scanner’ to choose it. SCANNING IN TEXT history information using Microsoft Works. suggesting that a driver conflict may have been responsible.

If you’re reading this. STATUS: CASE CLOSED Paul’s download speeds are now fast enough for his needs. We had a look into the issue. If you’re experiencing problems and want us to help. however. Paul found a drastic drop in download speeds Simon’s solution… When Paul moved house. he was forced to switch from a cable connection back to ADSL. Ten years on and the site’s a more official enterprise. so we were connecting via a router. WHO KNEW? SamKnows has grown from a simple news site to a trusted source for testing broadband dongle to connect to the internet..” he tells us. or want to nominate a Hero of the Month. which contains instructions for connecting to the internet without using the set-up disc.net One reader wants to keep using his old router. you can go through it correcting misspelled words. offering tools for checking broadband enabled telephone exchanges along with news on ADSL roll out. Instructions for setting up the router can be found in chapter two. but video and music downloaders would have to seek out other solutions. and is the process of converting a (usually scanned) image full of text into recognisable characters that can then be read and edited in a word processing program. “Virgin didn’t have cable in my area.” he says. The download allowance of 1GB a month is perfectly fine for casual browsing and email. finding out what services are available in your area and more.6Mbps.three. get in touch by emailing windowsmagazine@ futurenet. If you’re in the same boat. However. we advised Paul to switch to mobile broadband.co.. with valuable tools for testing exchange distances. results 4 Review A second pane appears at the bottom with the editable text shown. Great for advice on all aspects of broadband. he then saw a large drop in speed from up to 10Mbps to around 1. But with ADSL services the speed of your connection depends on how far from the telephone exchange you are – and when we checked Paul’s connection it turned out he was well over two miles from his local exchange.uk) Hero of the month… SAM CRAWFORD WWW. James’s solution… Peter wanted to switch PCs and move his old Thomson Speedtouch 716v5 modem/router to the new machine: “What I need is the CD driver for the Thomson Speedtouch. Once complete. STATUS: ONGOING We’ve yet to hear back from Peter about how he got on.50 a month and he’s getting consistent speeds of around 3. if it’s reasonably legible. He’s now using a Three Mobile (www. Services Low-level programs that are designed to run in the background without any intervention from the user. Feel like you’re being ripped off? Let us know. click ‘Continue’ and the text should appear clear and legible in the main window.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 65 . tweak your settings and try again.2Mbps. Click the ‘Convert to text’ button and wait while the image is scanned thoroughly and the text extracted. If it’s gibberish. There is a full manual for the router. but can’t find the original driver CD. save your document. has disappeared – swallowed up by new owner Technicolor.SAMKNOWS. to text 3 Convert A preview window appears – if you’re happy. and though we were able to confirm that Thomson had been acquired by Technicolor and there is no longer any downloadable setup software. Peter seemed resigned to getting himself a new modem. you can find the manual online at http://bit. Virgin has been voted the fastest ISP in the UK for two years running.ly/15RH5YG. The cost is £7. An initial search online turned up nothing. the speed of your broadband connection depends on how far from the telephone exchange you are” Jargon buster! OCR Stands for Optical Character Recognition. and another is unsatisfied with his download speeds after moving house COMPANY Thomson READER Peter D NATURE OF COMPLAINT Peter wants to keep his Thomson router after switching computers.COM Sam Crawford started his resource site in 2003. he still may be able to use his router. Given his circumstances.Support Technical help WorldMags. WorldMags. please let us know! COMPANY Virgin Broadband READER Paul Robertson NATURE OF COMPLAINT After moving house. Thomson.com with the subject Watchdog “With ADSL services.

We always review from the viewpoint of our readers. The pace of development in computer hardware means that it is very difcult to compare scores from today with those from. the Series 7 Ultra. so you can use our ratings with full confidence to make your buying decision Our awards… Only the very nest products receive our Best On Test Award. six months ago. 90 Saints Row IV Return to the streets of Steelport and paint the town purple all over again. It is only when you pit the nest products of a certain type against one another – at the same time – that you can really come up with a denitive verdict as to which is the very best in that category. Magazines and websites that review a new product on its own run the risk of confusing or misleading.com 68 Set-top boxes Record live TV. How we review One of the key tenets of our review philosophy is that hardware should be compared against like products wherever possible. we bring you our pick of the best set-top boxes on the market – from catching up on your favourite shows to streaming content. 70 Acer Aspire P3 The new Aspire P3 from Acer is a budgetminded tablet that’s perfect for those looking for a simple.WorldMags. using only acknowledged experts to establish the worth of a product. you can enjoy the best gaming experiences with the power of the formidable Alienware 14 laptop from Dell. Superb Very good We guarantee to test every piece of hardware rigorously and thoroughly. ready for whenever you want to type out a report or relax with a game. 82 Dell Alienware 14 Wherever you are. Good Disappointing RATING EXPLAINED Poor 66 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. You can now take your PC with you everywhere you go. we’re sure you’ll find one that suits you. Our Best Value Award is given to products that quite simply represent the best value for your money.odantzis@futurenet. portable workstation. Nick Odantzis Deputy editor nick.net .net NEW HARDWARE ESSENTIAL ACCESSORIES LATEST GAMES Welcome The days of your computer being a grey box on your desk are long gone. as well as the powerful HP Envy TouchSmart 23 d090ea and the portable gaming monster that is the Dell Alienware 14. too! Our review guarantee We use only acknowledged experts to review products. These will have excellent marks for quality. We also get hands on the sleek new Ultrabook from Samsung. the day-to-day practicality and quality of a product is paramount. Become the president and defeat some aliens. say. This month. download shows and never miss your favourite soap again with the best and brightest set-top boxes you can buy.

Always check when the award was given. we review new hardware comparatively. Even better.net 76 Samsung Series 7 Ultra: What’s inside… a great Ultrabook with a crisp Full HD screen Upgrade 68 Mini test: set-top boxes 70 Acer Aspire P3 74 Samsung Series 7 Ultra 78 HP Envy TouchSmart 23 d090ea 82 Dell Alienware 14 90 Play this: 94 Play this: Magrunner: Dark Pulse 96 Play this: 97 Play this: 78 HP Envy TouchSmart: an all-in-one media centre that’ll suit any family need “ ” Our promise to you… The Upgrade section is your key to finding out about the latest products. Help & Advice | WorldMags. We choose the best products Thousands of new products for your computer are released every year and choosing between them can sometimes be an impossible task. Our experts select only the best hardware and software to feature in this magazine. all designed to help you get more from your PC We’ll introduce you to new stuff You can trust our reviews Our expert reviewers are 100 per cent independent. (Full details of our policy can be found in the opposite page. under ‘Our review guarantee’. software. with years of experience in the world of computing. Further. where the pace of change is a lot slower and single scores can be genuinely useful. However.net December 2013 | 67 . we do not allocate scores to them because this can often be misleading. this isn’t always possible with new products and part of our duty to you is to introduce you a wide range of fascinating new hardware. pitching it head-to-head against other similar products. to ensure it is still up-to-date. The only exception to this rule is on our games reviews. high-quality products are awarded high star ratings. you can be condent that it is an excellent product. trustworthy guide to a wide range of hardware and software.WorldMags. making your decision on which one to choose easier. If you see an item of hardware bearing one of these marks. our awards and star rating system make it simple to nd the best products for your needs. with our recommended products section giving you a fast. very few are handed our Best Value or Best on Test Awards. Wherever we can. services and games. The reviews of standalone hardware and software are just as thorough as our comparative reviews.) Of course. Our rigorous testing procedures mean that only genuine.

net Panasonic DMR-BWT720 Price £400 | $na (www. The WD TV Live also plays a huge array of video and audio file formats. downloads and streaming – the days of the VCR are truly over WD TV Live Price £71 | $100 (www.panasonic. SET-TOP BOXING MATCH Catch-up TV.com) This box of tricks is a Blu-ray player/recorder and Freeview HD PVR in one. Netflix. YouTube and Vimeo. YouTube and Netflix pre-loaded.com) Petite but powerful. with BBC iPlayer. On-demand services are well catered for. Like many modern set-top boxes. whether via USB or the integrated Wi-Fi. too. the WD TV Live offers a rich source of streamed content from iPlayer. It’ll even aggregate downloads and search movie. with a whopping 1TB hard drive for storing up to 259 hours of HD telly.wdc.net .WorldMags. Spotify music is available with a subscription. TV and music databases to create a metadata-rich library of personalised content. it has built-in Wi-Fi for streaming files direct from your PC. 68 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags.

1 surround sound. The PowerVR graphics engine provides channel transition effects and animated menus that will impress any viewer.crystalaudio. also delivering full 5.pure. infinitely improved by Pure’s simplified. Freetime is a backwards-looking EPG that gathers catch-up services into one location. It’s credit-card sized (not to scale here) and can be hidden neatly out of the way behind your TV. easy to navigate eight-day programme guide and user interface. dual-tuner PVR. covering all popular file types.com) If you have no TV tuner and get your entire TV and film fix from internet downloads – as many do these days – all you need is a file player like the MM-Box2.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 69 . but avoid coming across as too gimmicky. All in all.net Pure Avalon 300R Connect Price £350 | $na (www. Humax HDR-S100s Price £249 | $na (www. Freetime. Local and network file support is excellent.com) We haven’t heard much from Freesat lately but now it’s back with its own smart TV guide. it’s a great device to use. and a 1TB version is also available.Upgrade Set-top boxes WorldMags. Crystal Acoustics MM-Box2 Price £55 | $75 (www.com) A no-nonsense 1TB Freeview HD. WorldMags. It has a 500GB hard drive. with 4oD and Demand 5 coming soon. It uses the Realtek 1055 chipset to play any video file format with ease.humaxdigital. BBC iPlayer and ITV Player are already available.

although the same can’t be said for the faux-leather case. Graphics are handled W 70 | indows 8 is great for both work and play.com Does Acer’s two-in-one offer enough to justify replacing your laptop? We weren’t ashamed to use it in public.WorldMags. Sadly. However. The Intel Core i3 3229Y powering this tablet is a previous generation Help & Advice | December 2013 dual-core chip clocked at a mediocre 1.4GHz. it’s certainly heavier than many other tablets on the market. but the result is a tablet that’s half the price of its rivals. the Aspire P3 tablet is very well-made. but finding the balance between portability and usability hasn’t always been easy.acer. The aluminium build looks professional and stylish.net Acer Aspire P3 £529 | $600 www. a robust build and some really great looks. WorldMags. despite its relative thickness to other tablets. if only in short bursts. The lacklustre specifications sheet continues unabated with just 2GB of RAM (which is the minimum you’d need for a decent experience). Despite the bargain price. things are changing and there’s a host of new devices hitting the market that are much thinner and faster. Heavy metal At 900g (1.25kg with the keyboard attachment). the Acer Aspire P3 uses none of this cutting edge gadgetry. It’s great for working at a desk and we even enjoyed surfing the web on the sofa. Samsung boasts that its ATIV Tab features the latest generation processor in a case that’s 33 per cent smaller and lighter. However. so the Aspire P3’s only real advantage is its attractive price point. It’s one of the lowest-powered Intel Core processors. but you get USB and HDMI connectors.net .

The 60GB SSD supplied is also meagre. and a score of just 1. and raises questions about whether the Aspire P3 could be used as a primary machine for your business or family. In some cases this doesn’t matter. which is the norm for hybrid tablets or Ultrabooks. December 2013 | Help & Advice | WorldMags. but when the display is over 11 inches you do notice the difference. The price is right. there’s little opportunity for expanding the storage. but Acer hasn’t done a great job with the dock. with a 1. It’s not comfortable to type on and anything longer than an email is hard work. The thin base flexes even on hard surfaces and often mis-registers key presses. It props the screen up at a steep angle. Firstly. The 11. and it’s not a triumph.0 port. you might want to consider parting with a little more money. and when we started the Aspire P3 up for the first time. offering no way to adjust and it’s more than a little difficult to balance it on your lap. the Acer Aspire P3’s keyboard case is simply built into the case and works using Bluetooth. While many keyboard accessories connect to the laptop physically and even work as an extra battery to aid longevity.6-inch screen is also mediocre. and colours look pale and washed out. A lack of cores The Aspire P3’s Intel Core processor was never going to set any records in our testing labs. With no SD card slot and only one USB 3.080 displays.344 x 768 resolution. If you want to use your tablet for movies or picture editing.Upgrade WorldMags.net 71 . These two factors combine to make for disappointing performance.920 x 1.11pts in Cinebench sadly backed this theory up. and it’s a direct result of both the lack of cores (dual-core is very 2009) and the considerably low clock speed offered by this Asus machine. This is one of the lowest scores we’ve seen from an Intel Core based chip. As well as clarity and picture detail.netTech reviews by the onboard Intel HD 4000. Windows 8 informed us that only 21GB was available – a perilously small amount of space. although the high 400nit brightness does help. Many competing tablets now boast full HD 1. the Acer’s panel also lacks vibrancy. it turns the sleek looking aluminium tablet into the dullest of corporate notebooks.

but you do get a single USB 3. Connectivity There’s no SD card slot to speak of. which unsurprisingly pales in comparison to its pricier competitors.WorldMags.net . and a bulky 1. the Aspire P3’s has a separate battery that will need to be charged up via USB.0 port and a micro HDMI for connecting to external displays. Keyboard While most Windows 8 tablet keyboards add some extra battery life. Build The tablet weighs in at a substantial 900g without its keyboard dock.net Screen The display is bright enough to somewhat improve its low 1. 72 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags.366 x 768 resolution.25kg in total – sadly this is fairly normal for most Ultrabooks.

so to find it on this tablet is a pleasant surprise. then Microsoft’s Wedge has a useful addition of a tablet stand that also doubles as a handy little protective cover. All of the pixel-pushing is left to the on-board Intel chip. A single charge lasted 250 minutes in our tests.com Creative WP-450 £120 | $150 These good over-ear headphones offer a few nifty features and impressive sound quality. too. There are handy buttons on the ear cups themselves for controlling your tunes and they’re comfortable. for most people. Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard £80 | $80 If Acer’s own keyboard isn’t quite for you. www. Originally designed for use with the Microsoft Surface tablet.com An affordable Windows tablet that sacrifices a great deal to meet the low price point Tumi x DJ Vice Brief Pack £68 | $125 This bag features a nice LED-rimmed compartment to make searching for your Windows tablet a doddle. It also means you’re getting next generation longevity for less. poor keyboard and mediocre performance it’s neither suited to replacing your existing laptop or useful in providing an exciting entertainment experience that might rival Microsoft’s Surface. which regularly keeps you waiting in frustration while a program or app struggles to load. this will also work great with your very own Aspire P3. There’s also a Hypalon bottom to avoid any water damage. Still. but we did notice the lack of raw speed in the performance of everyday computing tasks.microsoft. which could make them your wireless cans of choice. if the benefits of Windows 8 are what you’re looking for in a secondary device. Low power often comes with good battery life. which has barely enough power to keep things running smoothly. the solid build and good price make the Aspire P3 worth consideration. Games from the Windows Store still play well. it will be sufficient.netTech reviews Benchmarks mean little without real-world testing. with its bulky build. Apps take a long time to launch and menus often sit for a couple of seconds before springing into life.Upgrade WorldMags. and this is one area where the P3 triumphs. and 1080p video doesn’t miss a beat during extensive playback. However.creative. www. www. but it comes at the price of raw speed. That said. No frills.tumi. no thrills Graphics power on the Acer Aspire P3 is pretty much non-existent. which involve looping HD video and simulating office tasks. Overall the Acer Aspire P3 is a decent Windows 8 tablet that will suffice for those looking for a portable tablet that runs Office and can support external displays and USB devices.com WorldMags.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 73 . This is the kind of battery life we’d expect from newer Intel laptops. and plenty of pouches for all your kit. There’s a general lethargy across the whole operating system. A light smattering of app-based games and the occasional movie or TV show rented from the Windows Store is all most people will need. There’s even a built-in tracker so you’ll never lose your tablet again.

920 x 1.100 www. The Series 7 Ultra runs Windows 8 Pro. alongside the 1. using the touchscreen in desktop mode is somewhat of a letdown. The touch is superbly accurate. but like any other Windows 8 machine.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor. You’ll have no issues playing all but the very latest games on this machine and the AMD-powered graphics ensure the pin-sharp 1. That means that it’s one of the most capable 13-inch laptops around. And so it should – take a look at that price! The cost alone butts it up against rivals such as the Asus Zenbook.net Samsung Series 7 Ultra £1. The main reason for the price is the presence of so many premium features. for flipping through pictures and WorldMags.080 HD touch display is more than adequately supported.net .com A stylish laptop that works hard to justify its hefty price tag P 74 | retty much everything about the 13-inch Samsung Series 7 Ultra shouts premium. chief among them that Samsung has taken the rather unusual Ultrabook step of popping an AMD Radeon HD 8500M graphics chip inside this laptop. thanks to the extra graphical grunt. can have Windows 7 or Windows 8 installed on it should you wish. while running Apple’s Help & Advice | December 2013 OS X straight out of the box.005 | $1.WorldMags.samsung. Dell XPS 13 and Apple MacBook Air – remember that the latter model. Still.

And we think it’s a good idea that Samsung didn’t decide to use a tiny flash drive in tandem with a larger hard drive. which is a rather ugly black. which is surprisingly significant at 1. which it’s done with several models. such as the stablemate Samsung 900X3C. The on-board speakers are also given a nice little boost thanks to JBL sound technology. 128GB isn’t unusual for an SSD inside an Ultrabook at this price point. it doesn’t match up to some other laptops in this particular class. speed – the Series 7 Ultra zips along thanks to the drive as well as the 1.Upgrade WorldMags. You get a fair amount of connectivity.0 tech is such a problem for a premium notebook like this. the display is terrific and we absolutely adored the superbly vibrant and crisp colours that it delivered. The battery life is decent. At a mere 1. with mini Display Port alongside a full-size HDMI jack. switchable headphone/mic port and three USBs – but only one of these is USB 3.net December 2013 | 75 . too.9cm thick. and there’s a pull-down vanity flap for the Ethernet port. and we adored the vibrant and crisp colours that it delivered“ If you have a lot of music or photos you will want to get hold of an external hard drive and possibly make plenty of use of cloud storage. We did find the keyboard ever so slightly spongy to Help & Advice | WorldMags. We can’t wait until bigger SSDs start arriving at this price point. It does seem strange that the extra cost of more USB 3. which can handle eight hours fairly easily. notably the new 13-inch MacBook Air.0.8 GHz Core i5 of course. The only specification that disappoints is the size of the storage. The reason SSDs are used is. including as the Series 5. but it’s still rather limiting if you want to use the Series 7 Ultra as your main machine. There’s an SD card slot.netTech reviews zipping around the Windows 8 Start screen. this is a thin device and the ports have been designed accordingly. “The display is terrific. Unfortunately. but it’s hidden away under a fiddly and plasticky flap – we reckon this will easily shear off unless you’re careful. and it’s a whole half kilogram weightier than ultra-light Ultrabooks. The two-tone lower chassis is designed to hide them away. too – we got six hours in normal use and even managed to eke it out to eight hours by changing the screen brightness and other options. with a lovely brushed metal finish everywhere but the bezel of the touchscreen. Slim and sharp The overall design of the Series 7 Ultra is slim and sharp and is typical Samsung. Significant weight Another drawback of the Series 7 Ultra is the weight. of course.6KG – that’s several hundred grams heavier than some rivals like the XPS 13.

with a design that extends to the whole laptop. we weren’t that impressed with the keyboard and trackpad layout on the Series 7 Ultra from Samsung. The trackpad is a little irritating. use. We think there are two compelling reasons to buy the Samsung Series 7 Ultra: the first is the Full HD screen and the second is the extra graphics support from AMD. but it’s also responsible for the premium price point. There are also pop-ups everywhere to begin with and even though we didn’t accept the trial. we were rather irritated by the Norton security software that was included. This is what really sets this Ultrabook apart from the pack. While the Series 7 Ultra doesn’t have an issue with power. and although they were mostly quite innocuous.net . Still. A little too high in price. the browser and other areas of the desktop were still littered with its detritus. it does have a slight weight problem.WorldMags.net Full HD display We loved the clear and crisp Full HD screen on this machine and the touch capability works great. we think you’re better off looking elsewhere. Brushed aluminium The Series 7 Ultra is one of the best looking Ultrabooks on the market. Keyboard and trackpad Sadly. especially with the Start screen. if portability is what you value over everything else. but you do benefit from some really superb graphical support 76 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. Dedicated graphics The addition of an AMD chip gives this laptop graphics power that has been missing from many Ultrabooks so far. but it’s something you soon get used to with this Samsung machine. mainly because the trackpad buttons are just too easy to click for our liking and we found ourselves easily making erroneous moves when clicking and dragging or performing other complex trackpad manoeuvres. There are plenty of Samsung apps already pre-installed.

10.WorldMags.13 Order online at www.net SERIES O R P H C E THE T SEE WHAT’S COMING NEXT… 24.uk or find us in your nearest supermarket. newsagent or bookstore! WorldMags.myfavouritemagazines.co.net SPECIAL EDITION ON UK SHELVES DELIVERED DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR .

powerful gaming desktops – the idea is to match the very best out there in one fell swoop.296 www. and any other intensive media applications. and it’s also accompanied by 6GB of RAM. the TouchSmart 23 is a bit different. or for travelling light.com This powerful PC tries to do it all. the Envy TouchSmart 23 is a balancing act that’s tilted slightly off-centre. offering a powerful quad-core processor for working. However.WorldMags. but can it really pull it off? he Envy line is HP’s showpiece – it’s a statement to the world about how good it can make higherend PCs. a TV tuner and Blu-ray drive for entertainment. though. only just matching up to the integrated Intel HD 4000 Ivy Bridge graphics you get in other all-in-one machines. On closer inspection. The AMD graphics card is actually much weaker than you’d think. a dedicated graphics card for gaming. 78 Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags.net . The quad-core Intel processor is more than capable.hp. T | It’s an all-in-one PC that aims to be a do-everything-in-one PC as well. and a big 1080p screen for making everything you do look great.net HP Envy TouchSmart 23 d090ea £949 | £1. meaning that it can easily handle video or photo-based editing. because it doesn’t have such an obvious purpose as to be purely for gaming. Ultra-thin laptops.

It’s good to have a Blu-ray drive to perhaps mitigate this. a bedroom or kitchen TV (it has a touchscreen. but seeing as this is just as important a way to watch television as live TV for many people. It seems like an odd decision to us for an entertainmentfocused machine. it would have been possible for HP to include a lower-end processor and more powerful graphics for the price. which is great for recording shows from the digital tuner. but it has a weedier graphics chip than Intel usually includes. Digital TV options It’s a similar story when it comes to some of the entertainment features. presumably because it’s intended to be paired with a powerful GPU. but it obviously decided to prioritise CPU performance over gaming. too). it’s not paired with a small SSD to speed up those boot and December 2013 | Help & Advice | WorldMags. it’s easily powerful enough. The TV tuner on the back means that you can easily turn the TouchSmart 23 into.Upgrade WorldMags. the tuner will only receive standard-definition digital TV channels. though the tray is worryingly wobbly and brittle. but doesn’t work properly with things like the Netflix app – it’s half functional. However. so you could keep the supplied mouse and keyboard hidden. Certainly. but anything new or intensive really struggling (even at a lower resolution than the lovely Full HD screen offers). which worked fine with the supplied TV player software.netTech reviews The particular processor used in the TouchSmart 23 is strong when it comes to CPU power. HP has only included what might be considered the minimum necessary graphics card to bring it up to par with all-in-ones. such as the Dell XPS 18. There’s a 2TB hard drive in the HP Envy TouchSmart 23.net 79 . but unlike most machines these days. and for storing digital HD content from online stores. but if you can live without the gaming prowess. it needs to work better than that to be really useful. say. It all means that the TouchSmart 23 isn’t so great for gaming. with weaker titles running okay. It comes with a media remote. so most shows won’t look great scaled up to 1080p on the big screen.

we doubt you’ll mind too much. with the weak gaming performance and standarddefinition TV tuner feeling more like paying lip service to the concept of being an entertainment centre than really committing to the idea – it also feels distinctly budget in a lot of places. Beats Audio speakers There are some superb speakers in the Envy TouchSmart. but with a Media Centre button that does nothing.WorldMags. though it does darken and colour shift slightly. This is a decent entertainment centre for the whole family. all glossy black and silver. but it’s let down by a few issues 80 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. It’s dominated by the 23-inch Full HD display. and offer a truly impressive degree of stereo separation. Blu-ray drive The 1080p screen can produce great images. The digital TV tuner is part of the media centre credentials here. capable of rich. which is bright and offers fairly good viewing angles. but since you rarely lift a machine like this. Some of the build quality is a little creakier than we’d like for the money. Crisp and detailed It’s something of a looker from the front. it’s a weak addition at best. these are among the best built-in PC speakers we’ve ever heard. it’s not a bad option at all. We thought this was another odd omission. but as long you’re aware of that. although the keyboard’s keys are a bit on the soft side when pressed down. The Beats Audio speakers are even more impressive.net . and it seems like it’d be worthy of the Envy brand at first blush. but it’s still a great screen overall. but actually the TouchSmart 23 is still impressively fast to wake up. clear and pleasingly rich. but doesn’t have a much larger footprint in real terms. However. The HP Envy TouchSmart is a striking machine. though colours seemed a tad less vibrant than some of the best screens out there. but a lack of any Freeview HD features makes it seem a bit tacked on. so give it a good workout with the high-quality video from your Blu-ray collection. Put simply. The TouchSmart’s chunky frame probably helps with its audio prowess. They’re comfortable enough. we came to really ponder a couple of the design decisions. it’s thicker than a lot of all-in-ones. We wonder if the Envy is perhaps better suited to work than play. HD movies look crisp and detailed.net TV tuner Remote control The remote control would be great if it was universally useful. detailed sound and some really impressive stereo separation. but are really tacky and cheap considering the cost of the machine. wake times. They’re loud. The keyboard and mouse are similarly fine to use.

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Alienware is owned by Dell. there’s a full HD WLED FHD anti-glare screen with superb viewing angles.net . The colours on the Windows 8 Start screen still look awesome when viewed from an extremely acute angle. The model we’ve tested here slots in as the third most powerful of four Alienware 14 models on offer in the UK (the selection is slightly different in the US).dell. this is a laptop designed for serious gaming he Alienware 14 is a huge laptop. The next model up has a slightly faster processor – the 3.600 | $na www. The lower two models have a lower-end 82 Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. it’s not a touchscreen.7GHz Core i7-4800MQ rather than the 3. T | and the gaming brand has benefited from the latter’s prowess in building robust laptops.com Powerful and pricey. It has the same 2GB Nvidia GTX 765M graphics. This is an attempt to create a serious but portable gaming laptop.4GHz Core i7-4700MQ seen here – and costs £200 more. The anti-glare coating can make pale colours look a little grainy at first glance.WorldMags. As you’d hope. It’s been designed specifically for serious gamers and their LAN parties. it has a roster of specs to die for and a price to match.net Dell Alienware 14 £1. as well as its buying power. but games look superb on it. Unfortunately for gesture fans.

and while it’s unmistakably different from. there’s also an SD card slot. The top two models – including this one – boast a whopping 16GB of memory. It certainly looks the part. That’s the real raison d’être here: serious power and performance that can be taken from one location to another. It’s a Blu-ray player too. and it has a smooth matte finish that’ll easily resist sweat. but the trackpad is excellent and won’t let you down. As you’d expect. All the Intel processors used in the Dell Alienware 14 series are from the latest generation.77kg. In our tests. the fact the Alienware 14 is heavy doesn’t really matter – it’s all about what it can do. the processor and gaming performance easily outgunned near rivals. but it falls down when it comes to true portability WorldMags. A top laptop for power-intense gaming. but who want the look and feel of a consumer laptop rather than a business-oriented workstation.0 ports and – rather unusually these days – an optical drive. Alienware has really drawn on Dell’s expertise with its most recent laptops. it’s surprisingly heavy.Upgrade WorldMags. The chassis does tend to get warm when the machine is working hard. anywhere on the device. DisplayPort and full mic and headset ports. a Dell XPS 15. so you can have whatever colour you’d like whenever you want.netTech reviews graphics card (the 1GB Nvidia GT 750M) and the very lowest model swaps the 1080p display for a 720p one. launched this summer. two USB 3. say. the Alienware 14 is still a perfectly usable notebook when you’re not gaming. The keyboard feels a little slippery. When we say it’s a ‘portable’. while the lower two models have 8GB (which is still not to be sniffed at). though. this is around the weight of two Ultrabooks. but not hot. which is perfect if you want to connect up a large display and enjoy a good movie.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 83 . Weighty matters There is one crucial thing you need to know about this laptop: at 2. it’s all customisable via the Alienware Command Center. There are lights everywhere. As well as HDMI. from the logo to the touchpad to the lid. we mean in gaming terms rather than the standard set by most notebooks. It’s a machine designed for gamers. In other words. After all. but it’s also great for those who need a high end laptop for applications such as video editing.

net .319 Gigabyte packs value and style into its 14-inch touchscreen notebook There’s no shortage of slender laptops that run Windows 8 well and give you a touchscreen for easy access to your favourite apps.com Screen 14in Screen The standard screen resolution is 1.0 connections. or running hefty image and video processing tools.0 ports. plus all the ports you could want” Connections There’s a full set of ports. including HDMI and an SD card slot. 84 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. This is a lot more power than you’ll find in most Ultrabooks.366 x 768. www.7kg storage that Gigabyte (perhaps better known for its range of motherboards) has packed into the 14-inch U2442T. However. The Core i5 and 8GB of memory Battery would be swift enough on their own. Along with a smattering of handy ports and a decent screen. “Solid case and solid performance.gigabyte. There are also two fast USB 3. which is 1. and you get it without sacrificing too much battery life. plus two USB 2.600 x 900. so if you want more detail go for the HD+ resolution version. it’s hard to really fault the Gigabyte U2442T.WorldMags. few come with the Weight gaming-class graphics and massive 1. we managed five hours on a single charge. If you need more disk space you can add a 1TB hard drive alongside the speedy 128GB SSD that has it starting up in under eight seconds.net TOP OF THE RANGE Gigabyte U2442T £920 | $1. 297 but you also get an Nvidia GeForce mins graphics adapter that kicks in when you’re playing more demanding games.

but if you want a little more space you can always add a 1TB hard drive at a later date. and an AMD Radeon HD 8800M graphics chip for improved gaming performance.6in Weight 2.550 For those of us who want power. this smart looking Ultrabook is ideal. 8GB of RAM.299 | $1. Battery life is shorter than average though.netBuying guide Hardware There’s already a lot of power underneath the hood.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 85 . performance and comfort. www. too.5kg. and it’s heavy at 2.Upgrade WorldMags. The Chronos also has a full-sized keyboard and a Full HD screen.5kg Battery 327 mins Samsung Series 7 Chronos £1.com Control The extra large trackpad supports Windows 8 gestures.samsung. There’s an Intel Core i7 3635QM processor. so you can swipe and scroll easily without having to reach up to the screen. WorldMags. TOP ALTERNATIVES Screen 15.

and you can also tap with 158 up to 10 fingers at once in games or apps. too.acer.5in touch Microsoft Surface Pro £719 | $899 You can take it all with you if you pick up the world’s best tablet PC If you’re familiar with the original Surface RT. www. but what’s really amazing is that it has two 11. 4GB of RAM and a speedy 500GB hard drive round off the hardware side of things a treat. The Surface Pro can run Windows Store apps and normal PC software. www.microsoft. A Core i5 processor. which 1.6kg draw of the Twist. with an Weight Intel Atom processor.net Screen 10. and boasts a standard resolution of 1. It has the same sturdy but sleek case and an even better screen. the details are crisp and the 1. It also has a brilliant sound system from Danish audio expert Bang and Olufsen – ideal for music and movies alike.6in TOP ALTERNATIVES Screen 11.6in touch Weight 1. software and web pages on the desktop are magnified automatically.asus.6-inch Full HD touchscreens packed into the lid – front and back.366 x 768. Battery 310 mins We wouldn’t recommend it over a full-size laptop for serious tasks.WorldMags. and it’s better than ever It might not be the sexiest hybrid laptop we’ve ever seen.com Screen 10.290 The Asus Taichi is just 3mm thick at its thinnest and weighs 1. as well as any peripherals you need. making it ideal for using as a tablet.com Screen 12. It’s good for movies. The screen responds quickly and Battery accurately to touch input. It’s also powerful. and write mins with the digital pen.3kg. www. or when giving presentations. The resolution could even be a bit too high 910g for Windows 8’s desktop view but. It’s a well built device that’s versatile.920 by 1. the Surface Pro has almost all of its advantages and more. but Lenovo’s Thinkpad Twist is a very versatile machine. And it’s a touchscreen. cleverly.080 resolution is ideal for enjoying Weight movies.000 | $1.com 86 | Help & Advice | December 2013 The W510 is a great Windows 8 tablet that slots neatly in between the current choices.26kg offers a good amount of power and battery life. of course. www.com WorldMags. but it would make a great companion to your main PC in the home. but battery life suffers a little.5-inch Gorilla Glass screen is the main draw of the Twist The digital pen is great for taking notes or sketching ideas out REVOLUTIONARY WINDOWS 8 PRO Lenovo Thinkpad Twist £850 | $990 The classic convertible tablet design is back. Weight The 12.5-inch Gorilla Glass screen is the main 1.lenovo.net The 12.1in touch Acer Iconia W510 £549 | $750 .3kg Battery 197 mins Asus Taichi £1. The screen can be rotated so it faces away from the keyboard. including a mins touchpad and TrackPoint inputs. thanks to the roomy keyboard and 219 versatile options for mouse control. but what makes the Twist even better is that it’s ideal for more Battery practical tasks.

This model includes an adjustable backlight for bedtime reading. You also get a generous 1TB hard drive to store Battery all your files. The J3 is slim. which lets you replay a short scene in slow motion. www. mins Battery life in the region of five to seven hours is certainly not to be sniffed at.com Pixels 222ppi Weight 213g Bridge camera Nikon 1 J3 £538 | $697 The third generation Nikon 1 J has had its resolution boosted from 10. and it’s better to think of it as an 11. and it doesn’t have an optical drive. with two fast USB 3.1kg).pioneerelectronics.2m Ereader Amazon Kindle Paperwhite £109 | $119 EVERYDAY COMPUTING HP Pavilion TS Sleekbook £450 | $550 Can the affordable TS Sleekbook 15 really cut it against its mainstream rivals? The HP Pavilion TS Sleekbook 15 gives you a lot of laptop for you money. crisp sound that belies its tiny size. The speaker can be oriented horizontally or vertically so it doesn’t take up much space at all. The Altec Lansing speakers are very 462 impressive for movies and music.2MP.1MP to 14. Visually extreme.amazon. a decent AMD dual-core 2.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 87 .netBuying guide NEW ENTRY There’s a vibrant touchscreen display and an AMD dual-core processor Sport headphones Pioneer SE-E721 £40 | $67 These hooked ’phones clamp around your ears securely.com Wireless speaker JBL Flip £110 | $100 This speaker delivers a finely-tuned. making it easy to use on the move.com Quality 14.2MP Weight 244g Screen 11.jbl. an HDMI output and more. With a bassy sound they’re ideal for up-tempo workout music.Upgrade WorldMags.6in Weight 1. www.com Weight 350g Battery 5 hours WorldMags. and connectivity is very well represented too. Sure. You can even make and receive calls via Bluetooth as long as your phone remains connected. though you might miss physical buttons for page turning when reading one-handed.com Screen 15. but are comfy at the same time. you’d hardly call it slender (at just over 2cm thick) or portable (it weighs 2. www. The 64GB of ash storage means there’s no moving hard drive to add noise and weight. Battery life is excellent and the keyboard and trackpad are great.0 ports. www.5g Length 1.6in The Kindle’s e-ink touchscreen is the finest around. too. then capture a still image at the optimum moment.hp.nikon. but what the Sleekbook does have is a vibrant Weight touchscreen display. but perfect for a park jog.4kg Battery 462 mins HP Envy X2 £699 | $649 The HP Envy X2 isn’t the most powerful of laptops. www.6-inch tablet with an added keyboard.com Weight 6. www.1kg processor with some gaming capabilities and a whopping 8GB of RAM.hp. These include a Slow View mode. but packed with features.

www.toshiba.com Screen 17. Toshiba has created a monster laptop that fully lives up to the tag of desktop replacement. A genuinely tidy little package from Samsung. Power comes courtesy of a quad-core i7 processor. It looks pretty swish as well. Weight There’s a DVD drive. Full HD. and it will struggle with Battery any demanding creative software. www. The pay-off for the steep price is the excellent design.com 88 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags.WorldMags. and the Acer could easily be either an office PC or a small TV in the corner of a room.3in Weight 3kg Battery 195 mins Samsung 5 550P £670 | $940 Quad-core Intel Core power. Weight The 17. N/A At this price you’d expect twice as much RAM and a Blu-ray player – the storage is more than enough for most needs. The screen measures 23 inches. 4GB of RAM and 500GB of 13kg storage.com Screen 27in touch Weight 11. with an integrated Blu-ray drive and 1TB of hard disk space. The i3 processor isn’t suitable for gaming. as there’s a whopping 1TB of hard drive space on offer. along with a 128GB SSD drive for super-fast boot up times and extra-quick access to those essential files. mins Storing your digital data shouldn’t prove tricky either. this is a true family media centre This is a slim machine that has more in common with a modern TV than a traditional desktop PC.samsung.4kg only for high-octane gaming. 8GB of RAM and Nvidia graphics. www. impressive audio – via the JBL stereo speaker and Max Boost subwoofer setup – and Nvidia graphics make this one of the best pound for pound laptops we’ve seen. looks great when playing HD content. as it is as a stylish living room media centre.acer.430 | $1.net . On the media front it also helps that there’s Battery a stereo speaker setup from audio expert Harman 41 Kardon on board.com Screen 23in touch TOP ALTERNATIVES Screen 17. www.497 With a sleek design and a great display. The A720 is equally good as a high-performance workstation. a vivid 1080p display.799 The A720 is slim and has a frameless 27-inch touchscreen. which is more typical of an entry-level laptop than a desktop computer.6kg Battery N/A Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 £1.3-inch.399 | $1.500 Monster laptop with impressive gaming credentials and a nifty 3D display to boot You don’t need to be a serious gamer in order to fully appreciate the impressive specification sheet of the latest big-hitting Qosmio. has an HDMI input for your DVD player or games console and.lenevo. 3D display is perfect not 3. but also for watching Blu-ray movies or editing your high-resolution images.net Multimedia powerhouse that’s much more than a gaming PC The fantastic design means it turns a room into a slick office space BIG SCREEN LAPTOP STYLISH DESKTOP Toshiba Qosmio X870 £1.3in Acer Aspire 5600U £849 | $1. and the isolated keyboard is one of the best we’ve seen. crucially.

0in touch Weight 113g Battery 310 mins HTC 8S £229 | $430 The HTC 8S cuts down on size and power for people who want a phone first and a web browser and digital camera second. yellow. wireless charging stations and speakers in matching colours.com Weight 72g Battery 8 hours WorldMags. letting you control it via your phone.com Weight 175g Power 10W Screen 4. which makes photographing life on the move a pleasure – the results are amazing.com Weight 65g Quality 1080p Internet radio Logitech UE Smart Radio £150 | $180 SMARTPHONE Logitech’s radio is stunningly versatile: it can link to loads of internet music services. With a 4. with a load of features for keeping track of your various activities. www. www.5in touch HD streamer Asus O!Play Mini Plus £96 | $120 The O!Play Mini Plus from Asus lets you stream HD images and video with Dolby surround sound quality. There’s Wi-Fi too. 186g It also has a fantastic eight-megapixel Carl Zeiss camera.nokia. The 920 comes in red. and you can get accessories such as headphones. and its room-filling sound is every bit as good as radios twice the price. but it does come with Dr Dre’s Beats Audio integrated. so there’s no need to attach a cable when the juice is low.co.Upgrade WorldMags.htc. and it comes with YouTube connectivity. working out at the gym or riding your bike.garmin.sony. including last. Its easy to use interface makes it a perfect fitness buddy. The screen is an absolute beauty. which boosts music and gives it better clarity.uk Screen 4. however. www.asus. with a bright and colourful display and the ability to take Weight knocks thanks to its tough Gorilla Glass. The four-inch screen is lacking a little and the five-megapixel camera is a little below par. Battery The real win here is the ability to charge wirelessly N/A with an optional dock. www. edgy design.8 cm Nokia Lumia 920 £419 | $450 A great screen and camera combine to make Nokia’s big phone a winner Nokia’s flagship phone is one heck of a thing to hold.com Length 22cm Height 12.logitech.5-inch display and weighing 186g.com Workout watch Garmin Forerunner 610 £225 | $400 This is the perfect timepiece for going on runs. white and black.net December 2013 | Help & Advice | 89 .netBuying guide The sensor and Carl Zeiss lens make your photos look really amazing Action camera Sony HDRAS15 £187 | $268 Sony’s action camera is inexpensive.fm and Spotify. it won’t sit unnoticed in your pocket. It uses SteadyShot and an Exmor sensor to ensure smooth filming at HD quality. www. but doesn’t skimp on features. www. You’ll find an e-SATA port for connecting to hard drives. The handset is slim and has a vibrant.

We won’t tell you about all of them because that would spoil them. We want to sit you down. throughout your incarceration 90 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. Saints Row IV is still set in the city of Steelport. Geforce 560GT. and you fall to Earth and crash through the ceiling of the oval office. mate. Except it technically isn’t. The game actually starts once you’ve infiltrated a terrorist base to find a nuclear missile. but we want you to know because they’re so gleeful. yanking vital bits of wiring out as Aerosmith’s I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing blares. attached yourself to the side before launch.net “You’re in no position to talk. with you as president of the United States. We want to tell you about the exact section that caused us to crease up with laughter. And we want you to know about the other hundred-odd moments that contorted our real-life faces into real-life grins or our real-life mouths into real-life laughs. that they turn the fourth sequel to what was an average Grand Theft Auto clone into one of the most fun videogames on the market. and clambered up. 4GB RAM Super powers? A presidential seat of power? Welcome to Steelport… Earth. the game starts with an alien attack on Maximum face We’re including this precise description because it sets Saints Row IV ’s tone early. so playful.WorldMags. so joyful. The missile explodes. Except it technically doesn’t do that. At least I’ve got trousers on” Saints Row IV Price £40 Developer Volition Publisher Deep Silver Multiplayer Up to 10 DRM Steam Web www. Congratulations.saintsrow. you’re a hero! Saints Row IV is the only game we’ve ever had to pause because we were laughing too much to play it. either. wave our arms. and perform a poor recreation of the setup and payoff to the whole thing. and better than we could with words like ‘madcap’ or ‘anarchic’ or ‘what?!’ This tone continues throughout the subsequent alien invasion. do accents and voices.net .com Recommended specs i5 CPU.

but we’ve got an idea. and Mass Effect is one of its most visible targets. though. Or as a him with a her voice. Saints Row IV is surprisingly inclusive. There’s no convoluted conversational minefield to unlock fade-to-black frolics here.net “Does my bum look big in this? Yes? Good” Upgrade Play this… ‘Romance’ options are available as a homage to Mass Effect. you can choose to play as a white hovering toilet. Or you’re free to play as a her. We played our Saints Row IV hero for laughs. We created a monster with an ageing wrestler’s body. But you’re also free to play him straight – a man in a suit in an imperfect simulation of an already mad city. By the end of the game. preferring to invite the target of its ribbing in on the joke. It’s even present in the character creator. or a her with a her voice pitch-shifted to 100 per cent. These romance options are pastiches of BioWare’s relationship vending machines – feed enough in and collect your companion below – but they’re also indicative of Saints Row IV ’s desire to simplify. we were given access to a ship with cabins for a crew I’d later rescue. That desire is pervasive and is the best thing about the game. elf-eared weirdo you see in these screenshots is a product of that. any of them can be Help & Advice | WorldMags. Saints Row IV takes games.WorldMags. simply seeing his face kicked us into giggles. then as a giant foam hotdog. it’s never sneering or cruel. It trades on ridiculousness – you can play as a toilet – but unlike Grand Theft Auto. dressing him in a towel. Long ago. if you really fancy. and. or even as a him with Nolan North’s voice. The overweight. Press [R] and you’ll ‘romance’ them. we developed the concept of ‘maximum face’: mutants produced by pushing every slider on an avatar creation screen to full. headed by pantomime villain Zinyak. For the first three hours of the game. hollow-cheeked. Punching out of that sim for the first time. we loved him. and gave him a cockney voice pitch-shifted to 60 per cent. Easy does it Where GTA lauds movies and music as cultural touchstones. Or. Steelport is a city full of cars. This is not one of them Most problems can be solved with a good suplex Virtual Steelport is prone to glitches That never happened in The West Wing. in a Matrix-esque simulation of Steelport (see why it technically isn’t the same place?) – all the way through the 10-hour campaign and 20-plus hours of side missions. We’re not quite sure how that happened. The Steelport December 2013 | Simulation is run by aliens: the muscular. as in GTA before it. or a her with a him voice. Press [E] on a crewmate and you can talk to them.net 91 . a pencil moustache and giant buggly eyes. then in Lara Croft hot pants. He talked like Jason Statham huffing a birthday party full of helium balloons and loomed out of the screen like a child’s drawing of a nightmare made flesh. bipedal Zin. with options unfurling as you play.

to say the least. but there’s a full customisation system for all the cars in the game. They felt good. and this is my favourite store on the Citadel!” You can play as an average Joe if you like. across three big islands. These missions are structured further by your crew.net “I’m an affront to nature. we’d unlocked a glide move that let me float between objectives like a disgusting flying squirrel. It felt awesome. Half an hour into the game. Two hours in. An hour in. find the tallest skyscraper. Fifty storeys above it. Our favourite way to get to a story mission marker was to begin with a long sprint to Steelport’s central island. We could run faster than cars. we unlocked nitrous boosts – for all vehicles. We found ourselves entering mini- trances and collecting these blue orbs for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. we unlocked super speed. Shops can be hacked to provide new clothes and weapon options. Pedestrians and cars would careen away from our impact point. we’d hold right-click and aim the marker that appeared. and cars in our path were destroyed by turbo-charged collisions. We found foot power to be our favourite means of travel. being able to get anywhere in Steelport. turning our creepy hero into a human missile through an upgradeable ability and slamming to the ground with a powerful shockwave. and we’d saunter the few feet to our destination in luminous pink heels. before leaping off and gliding toward our new objective. revelling in the joy of superpowered movement and the camp little yelp our chunky character produced when he collected one. and turn the local populace to the Saints’ side. They felt great. in addition to pilotable alien hoverbikes. It felt glorious. Our alreadyquick cars went faster. Towers can be climbed and turned from angry alien red to calm blue. but we prefer the ‘burlesque wrestler’ look Has anyone seen any birds? Preferably angry ones? hijacked and driven.net . it felt amazing and totally natural as well. and attack helicopters. we also unlocked the power of super jumps. Saints Row IV does everything in its power to make life easy for you. in a minute or two. we barely needed to touch the ground. They’re almost all nippy and handle well. who’ll ask you to perform certain tasks to ‘destabilise’ the simulation. but other cars will sometimes crash into you and knock you off course. Holding [Space] would power up a leap that’d get our costumed terror halfway up a tower-block. as well as a suite of four powers that include ice blasts and telekinesis. Nice and subtle Ten hours in. Any minor inconvenience was stripped away by an upgrade system ripped from console cult favourite Crackdown.WorldMags. bound up it while charging an upgraded tier three super jump. Simulated Steelport is also full of more structured distractions than you could shake a hoverbike at. Again. They know what they’re doing – the mission briefing for one job reads: “We’re stretching out gameplay!” 92 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. Glowing blue collectibles hidden on buildings and bridges around the city let you upgrade your movement capabilities. Three hours in. UFOs. It felt fantastic.

and it’s solved the leery. and the insurance fraud schemes. it’s solved fiddly movement by an intoxicating set of movement mechanics. was designed to push consoles at the end of their lifespan. it’s not broken: Steelport.net Help & Advice | 93 . The simulated setting lets Saints Row IV play where it wants. Wub wub… Upgrade Play this… The alien Zin demand respect and order. a satire. funny. but our i5 CPU and two-year-old graphics card ran it on high without trouble. The setting also enables the game to cast its violence in an acceptable light. using characters from the three previous Saints Row games to make them bombastic. Saints Row was born of Grand Theft Auto. It’s a vast. aliens: all simulations to be suplexed onto the concrete by way of one of Saints Row IV ’s ludicrous melee moves and left to fade into imaginary numbers. and the line “That light had a family”. Graphics options that included v_sync and antialiasing (but no field of view) were more than enough to keep us happy in a city that never chugged as we glided through its skies. exploitative tone of previous sequels through genuine affection for its cast and equality in player December 2013 | character – man. an experience. but then again none of the other three Saints Row titles were either.net Your arsenal of alien weaponry includes a dubstep gun. Others are inspired. Light entertainment But it’s the story missions that are the strongest. it’s become something wonderful. Enemies. particularly the destruction jobs where you’re given the keys to a tank. some of these missions are noticeably weak: clearing waves of foes gets tiresome when they take too long to turn up. and the Audiosurf-a-like minigame where your avatar runs down a three-lane tunnel collecting orbs goes on too long. It’s solved how to tie callous violence to a character you actually want to inhabit by means of a narrative device. the result of chucking all the fun and freedom of gaming into the same handy locale. Fortunately. WorldMags. and by showing its love for the medium. anyone can wield a giant purple bat. but although they both have open cities and freeform violence. mechanically joyful game. and imaginative. the two have diverged. Saints Row IV wants to be a game. with all its moving parts. Saints Row IV is a game that’s comfortable with itself. The standout for us was a Metal Gear Solid-style base infiltration that forced us to shoot every light source in the facility. They’re going to be disappointed However. It’s not the most technically proficient game. Five or six times cutscenes failed to trigger because we were mid-animation when they were due to start – clipping was also a constant problem and enemies occasionally got stuck in the scenery.WorldMags. Grand Theft Auto is desperate to be a film. woman or toilet. pedestrians. where you deliberately ragdoll yourself into traffic to earn some extra cash.

These test chambers feature as part of an improbable space training program for which you. however. have been selected along with six others. This is occasionally fatal and. all decked out in brightly coloured kneepads. Because shut up. Polarised objects sometimes spring off at odd angles for no good reason. playing with magnets never overturns spatial reality in the exhilarating way of Portal’s wormholes. Magrunner doesn’t always produce the sort of reliable physics that these clever puzzles demand. But something is amiss. but it does manage to create some tricky problems of procedure as you identify which mechanisms to activate first. but it’s never quite sure how seriously to take itself.WorldMags. Unfortunately.net Some magnetic fields are spherical.net . spunky hair-dos and visors. Some don’t react at all. If you were told this was the cast of a ’90s Saturday morning cartoon called Rad Kidz.and re- 94 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. a plucky street kid named Dax. GeForce 8800 / ATI Radeon HD 4800 Magnets! How do they work?! Inquisitive rap artists will only be further confused by Magrunner: Dark Pulse. or surf across test chambers on the back of a suddenly repelled cube.4GHz CPU.com Recommended specs 2. timing the rotations so that you can leap between them. but it ultimately plumps for lots of horror. The rapidity with which the plot veers from its day-glo tween-fiction into Lovecraftian otherness is brave. a first-person Portal-alike in which the principle puzzle gimmick – magnetising stuff – functions in exactly the way reality doesn’t. and need to be de. similar charges attract one another and opposite charges repel. enabling you to shunt polarised platforms hither and thither. this provides an enticing canvas for Magrunner’s talented artists. you get a robot dog. What you do in these collapsing arenas. worse.magrunner-thegame. Something ancient and deathless with tentacles and wings and an eternal desire for domination. thanks to a hand-mounted device that can also fire a magnetised robotic canine helper. Dark futurism All the same. isn’t nearly as otherwordly. okay? Ah. and a perplexingly ambivalent finale. 2GB RAM. this little puzzle looks remarkably self-explanatory Magrunner: Dark Pulse A first-person puzzler that doesn’t quite manage to repel or attract Price £15 Developer Frogwares Publisher Focus Home Interactive Multiplayer Yes DRM Steam Web www. In Magrunner. Some sights and sounds are unsettling. you would think nothing of it – after all. Another has you alternate charges to set three platforms spinning on looped rails. One particularly neat puzzle requires you to juggle the polarity of a stack of platforms to shuffle them ever further up a shaft. You can imbue selected objects with either polarity simply by clicking on them. can lead you to mistakenly abandon valid lines of experimentation. some cylindrical. who have fun smashing plasticky futurism into abyssal nightmares.

wrapped in rather dashing aesthetics. an activated magnetic field might send blocks rocketing off into the sky. mate. It’s not obvious why a game designer would want to subject players to this. and as the puzzles get larger and larger.net . Don’t get solenoid Upgrade Play this… Colour blind? The game comes with alternative colour options The term ‘chitinous astral terror’ is so polarising We suddenly have a craving for calamari magnetised before they wake up and smell the Lorentz force. Suffer through these aggravations and you’ll find a game composed of some disappointingly stolid. workmanlike conundrums. turning trial and error into trial and execution. Even when the physics isn’t on the fritz. massaging magnetic fields is finicky. rushing to prop up one end before the other sags. the cost of imprecision gets tedious to undo. It all makes the rulebook for Magrunner hard to interpret. but conceptually sound – an enigma altogether more earthly than its rather odd mythos might suggest. and one ill-advised late-game invention is to add a time limit by way of a deadly manytendrilled shoggoth. Depending on the puzzle. Magrunner: Dark Pulse is rarely scintillating. Numerous other puzzles require you to drag a lift upwards in frustrating half-metre increments. You can toggle the visibility of magnetic fields. Handy! Lovecraft to the max WorldMags.net Chill out. It’s exactly as much fun as trying to pin up several metres of tinsel with a single piece of ageing Blu-Tack.WorldMags. One exasperating sequence requires you to coax a chain of platforms into the sky. and at other times just gently nudge them away. over and over.

You pick a character from standard fantasy races such as elves and orcs. asking: “Okay. Class options range from powerful spirit summoners to the selfexplanatory street samurai. who make their way between the cracks. the third overstayed its welcome. Shadowrun Returns is set in an alternate future in which magic returned to the world in 2012. Between the varied. Shadowrun Returns also comes with a game editor that will feel intuitive to anyone with a basic understanding of scripting. bringing elves. Punchgar the Blooded. We felt like Jack Bauer in the latter half of any season of 24.net Elves are no strangers to using lipgloss Punchgar likes to blend into the shadows like a phantom The first Shadowrun started out in 1989 as a pen-and-paper game Shadowrun Returns The best game here may well be the one you make yourself Price £15 Developer Harebrained Schemes Publisher Steam Multiplayer None DRM Steam Web www. Thrust into this world with only a thirst for violence and an ’80s action-hero disdain for authority. Do it yourself wouldn’t even know existed from having played through it. witches and dragons along with it. throwing a concussion grenade and unloading with machine-gun fire. Shadowrun’s bang-to-buck ratio will depend on the quality of content produced by the developers and the community after release. it drags in places and shines in others.4GHz CPU. with a surprisingly interesting story (but not much else). is a fair bit more powerful than the campaign itself would suggest. With a diverse crew. The action takes place in an isometric world enlivened by turn-based combat and text-based dialogue trees. mercenaries. and the same goes for Shadowrun Returns. represented by a completely different map. it’s a mostly average RPG running in a visually underwhelming engine. Shadowrunners are smugglers. In this world. in fact.shadowrun. any given round of combat could see you summoning a spirit. Like the life of a Shadowrunner. it’s worth the 20-ish hours it will take to complete. offering tools you 96 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. All this while your Decker is in cyberspace.WorldMags. but as it stands today.net . 2GB RAM. trying to complete a combat minigame. our character. found himself wrapped up in a mystery wrapped up in a conspiracy. You can’t really dress it up as anything other than what it is. freelance ghost busters and hackers for hire. each with strengths and limitations. who’s the real bad guy? And can I punch them in the face yet?” Combat is definitely a strength of Shadowrun Returns. just a couple of small mistakes could kill you . The editor. Even with the best party and the best gear. It’s an affectionate adaptation of the tabletop RPG. DX9 3D card The world of Shadowrun is one where freelance trolls with dreadlocks punch trans-dimensional giant insects to death with their bare hands. challenging combat encounters and the somewhat above-par plot.com/shadowrun-returns Recommended specs 1. While the first two acts kept our attention with their slow trickle of clues. built on a low-tech engine. Some of the later encounters are on par with XCOM: Enemy Unknown’s Classic Mode.

which in turn can be transformed into armour. WorldMags. but it nonetheless forms part of an immaculately balanced set of potential upgrades and items built from the junk you find lying around the Militech research facility. these creatures like to avenge generations of their brethren by circle strafing you.teleglitch. Armour that might just help us survive long enough to make it to the next can. the most covetable item in a harsh. Test3 Projects. The pleasure of nabbing a jetpack. then. punishing core. freakish foes as you try to reach the teleporter that will grant you access to the next section. The real core of the game is keeping yourself well enough equipped and upgraded to hold off the next wave of its increasingly tough. Test3’s algorithm dispenses the occasional treat. In that sense. Teleglitch might be a shooter. Your enemies are fought off with crisp. There’s some richly imagined science fiction behind it all too – though pausing to read text from the many. This is what the rogue-like top-down shooter Teleglitch: Die More Edition has reduced us to: a pitiful bundle of pixels pathetically in search of our next hit of tinned protein. hypnotic motion to the game. Yet atmospheric it is. beg – for a tin of canned meat. even if its shooter heritage means we should undoubtedly count it among their growing numbers. just daring you to waste three It’s tough. even in this Die More Edition (which lets you randomise your starting loadout) rejects the slotmachine nature of so many games of this genre (which is characterised by randomised levels and no supply of extra lives if you mess up). There’s a kind of purity to Teleglitch: Die More Edition.net Die More Edition occasionally lets you pick your next location. healthboosting innards. It looks quite cosy and safe Teleglitch: Die More Edition With only a few pixels and sound effects. taut gunplay in which ammo conservation is key. hateful world. As well as being astonishingly. zooming camera and dynamic line-of-sight system December 2013 | lend a queasy. compass and shotgun before you’ve even left the mines has no equivalent in Teleglitch. many terminals sprinkled about the place does tend to interrupt the rhythm of the game. horribly deadly en masse. but clever distortion effects alongside a tracking. We’re not sure the developer. but reliably so.net Help & Advice | 97 . but the randomisation here is more a means of removing familiarity than a way of making each run a distinctly atmospheric experience. Canned meat restores 10 hit points. it’s more of a traditional roguelike than many of the genrehybrids we’ve seen in recent years. They’re all horrible Upgrade Play this… This is where you always start. intended an item so innocuous to be quite so lusted over.com Recommended specs Dual core CPU. 1GB RAM. which works hard to conjure an oppressive atmosphere around a brutal. certainly. once we’ve eaten the delicious. but it’s also an arms race. Its low-tech graphics look a bit drab in screenshots. this low-tech survival game really ramps up the horror Price £9 Developer Test3 Projects Publisher Paradox Interactive Multiplayer None DRM Steam Web http://diemore. we can use the empty can to make metal plate.WorldMags. and your melee attack is next to useless rounds of your precious shotgun pellets on them. you see – even beyond your initial limit of 100 – but that’s not the best part. GeForce 6600 Ammo conservation is crucial. Teleglitch. The best part is. Old familiar Teleglitch has just made us pray – no.

This month’s packed CD-ROM features great programs to help you get the best from your computer. exclusive to Windows 7 Help & Advice.exe’ to start up the disc interface. To try out an app.com 44 Create your own customised shortcuts with AutoHotKey 48 Use TweetMyPC to control your home machine via Twitter Step-by-step How to use your free disc AutoPlay prompt should appear on your screen and once this has happened.WorldMags. plus essential resources for every Windows user. A new window appears. started 1 Get Place your free disc into your computer’s disc drive. then click on ‘I agree’ to continue.net . telling you some important information. the categories 2 Browse Click on one of the categories in the menu underneath the 98 | Help & Advice | December 2013 WorldMags. We’ve brought you a selection of tools and utilities to create a network that suits your every need. just click the ‘Install Now’ button.arblaster@futurenet. click ‘Run OWV. Full commercial products usually have information about how to register. Read it.net FULL PRODUCTS Your disc HANDPICKED TOOLKITS ESSENTIAL RESOURCES 30 Call or message your friends with the Viber for Windows tool 40 Convert a whole host of video formats with VLC Media Player Hello and welcome to your free disc. This month’s disc is all about creating the perfect home network. Simon Arblaster Disc editor simon. Simply click on an app’s name to find out more about it. We also show you how to control your PC with a quick tweet and how to convert video files with VLC. The magazine logo to discover all the programs that are contained in each.

Each one of these is different – just follow the prompts until you get a message telling you that the installation is complete. To contact our reader support team. disc brings up another message window to take you through the installation process. We are only able to provide help with this disc.com/support. quoting the magazine name and issue.FIND THE SOLUTION! How to get your disc to play If the disc doesn’t start automatically. Your disc WorldMags. Now it’s time to try out your free apps – have fun! the program 3 Install When you begin to install your chosen applications.net Make the most of it! BlueLife Hosts Editor CloseTheDoor Portable DNS Jumper Fast Software Audit HTTP File Server inSSIDer Network Activity Indicator Network Stuff NetWorx RawCap Remote RebootX Simple IP Cong SoftPerfect WiFi Guard TamoSoft Throughput Test Bad Peggy FotoMix Fotor Hornil StylePix ImBatch Paint. then click Computer. not the software contained on it. hit the Windows key. futurenet. the WorldMags. Now double click the DVD drive to get going.net December 2013 | 99 .NET PhotoFiltre PhotoScape The GIMP XnRetro Back4Sure DriverMax EaseUS Partition Recovery EaseUS Todo Backup Free Horodruin Iperius Backup Freeware Macrium Reect Free Paragon Backup & Recovery Free AutoHotKey BleachBit Digsby Firewall App Blocker And more! Help & Advice | If you have a problem… Please visit www.com or call 01225 822743. email support@futurenet.

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