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Posts from the ‘Software’ Category

Firefox: why it’s my web browser of choice

January 19th, 2016


I’ve been using Mozilla Firefox since version 0.9 way back in the prehistoric era of 2004. Back then Internet Explorer 5 was by far the dominant web browser, and I admit I was just keen to buck the trend. But it quickly became clear that supporting alternative browsers was (and is) healthy for the growing Web. It’s still my opinion that the Web would not be the thing it is today if not for Firefox and the developments and standards it allowed.

I’ve dabbled with the Google Chrome, and as a web developer I need to keep copies of other web browsers around. But why have I come back to Firefox again and again, and why do I stay? Read more

Don’t get trapped in the Clouds

January 6th, 2016


The New Year is the time when I like to look at new beginnings, and renewal, with all things technology. I’ll be writing about a few topics which you should think about over the coming weeks, and this week it’s focussed on a problem which arises with new computers.

You may have been lucky enough to get a new PC or laptop for Christmas, freeing you up from that dusty old box which you were ready to exile to the landfill. With all that shiny new gear, you’ll be speeding ahead with everything from gaming to everyday office work!

But you might also be running straight into a trap. Read more

Escape Outlook Express and Windows 8 Mail

October 28th, 2015


If you’ve upgraded, or moved PCs, from Windows XP to Windows 8 or even Windows 10, then you may have lost one of your crucial pieces of software: Outlook Express. Read more

Protect and rejuvenate your PC: use obscure software

March 4th, 2014


In many of the homes I visit I see the same programs being used: Windows, Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office, iTunes, and so on. For many of my customers, these names are synonymous with the tasks they do, and occasionally I’ll hear someone refer to a ‘Word document’ that has never been near a copy of Word, and doesn’t have the .doc file ending to suggest that Word was used to make it. Read more

Know Your Screen: Web Browser

November 1st, 2013


The Web Browser is one of the – if not the – most-used tools on a modern computer. But I’m finding, when dealing with many customers, that it’s also the most misunderstood. So here’s a guide to understanding exactly what your browser is, and what it does. It’ll help you stay safe, make fixing problems so much easier, and perhaps even make your computing life that little more fun… 😉 Read more

Talk21 and BT Basic Emails: how to save yours

September 2nd, 2013


The venerable free email service Talk21 (also known as BT Basic Mail) is being shut down by BT, and its users being asked to stump up £1.60 a month to access BT’s new ‘Premium Email’ service or, to keep things free, link their old address to their BT Broadband account. Of course, if you’ve not got a BT Broadband account, “why not sign up?” Read more

What to do about Windows 8

December 4th, 2012


Windows 8 has been out for a little while now, and I’ve already done some repair work on Windows 8 PCs and laptops! It’s also cheap (less than £45 on Amazon), and promises the latest in Windows technology (whatever that is). But is it something you should put on your Christmas list?

I’m not going to be reviewing Windows 8 in detail here. There’s plenty of others doing that now. What I want to do is give you an overview of what it means to upgrade from earlier Windows versions, so you can decide whether to do it now, later, or skip this one altogether. Because, be honest, in this world there’s no getting away from Microsoft’s juggernaut in one form or another. Read more

The Beginner’s Guide to Free Software (part 1)

November 26th, 2012


Everyone loves a freebie, and the World Wide Web has provided us with limitless freebies in the form of news, books, music, video and software. The Internet (on which the Web, and other things, runs) has spawned whole new ways of collaborating to produce this free stuff. This is especially true as collaborative tools have become more sophisticated in the last decade.

So with all this free stuff floating around, why pay for any of it? Is it possible to run our entire computer on free software? I want to have a quick look at this question here, so that you can start to make up your own mind. Read more