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Posted on Jan 30, 2017 in Newsletter, Welcome | 0 comments

TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 44 – CES 2017 roundup

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Top Windows Tutorials
TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 44

Welcome to the January 2017 TWT Newsletter

Happy New Year! We hope all our readers had a great festive period and that Santa brought you all the Windows related treats you wished for. January means it’s time once again for the Consumer Electronics Show, so we’ll have our usual quick round up of gadgets and announcements that are relevant to Windows users. Of course, we’ll have another free tip and utility of the month for you too.

Important! A number of our subscribers have had difficulty receiving our newsletter. At Top-Windows-Tutorials.com we never send out unsolicited e-mails. To make sure your TWT newsletter reaches your inbox, please add topwindo@top-windows-tutorials.com to your contacts, buddy list or white list.

In this months issue:-

What’s New at Top-Windows-Tutorials.com?
CES 2017 – New Year New Gadgets
Tip of the Month – Find a Programs Location
Free Utility of the Month – Wire
Windows Store App of the Month – Instagram

What’s new at Top-Windows-Tutorials.com?

A couple of new tutorials last month that look at the File History backup utility in Windows 10.

picture Windows 10 File History Backup – Two tutorials

Windows 10 comes with a kind of “Time Machine” style backup program. If you accidentally change or edit a file in your personal folder, you can use the Windows 10 File History backup to restore a copy from earlier. This protects your files not only from accidental deletion, but accidental changes too.

If you’ve not set a backup up yet then there’s no time like the present! If you don’t get around to it, you will lose your data eventually. Click here to go to the first tutorial.

Windows 10 Superguide – Anniversary update

We’re continuing to work on our update to the Windows 10 Superguide to incorporate the changes Microsoft introduced with the anniversary update. Apologies to our readers that this is taking longer than anticipated. We’ve done all but a small number of the videos now and will be working on the text/book part of the guide this month. We hope to have it finished soon and our plans to release it as a free upgrade for anyone who purchased the existing guide are unchanged.

CES 2017 – New Year, New Gadgets

January is typically a time that gadget geeks get excited for the grand Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, USA. Unlike years gone by, this event isn’t quite so significant for Microsoft any more. Rather than having a grand booth showing off all their wares, the company now only has a modest presence, concentrating instead on a private booth area where they meet with other manufacturers to discuss Windows licensing and integration.

Of course, Windows runs on a whole range of hardware, most of it not manufactured by Microsoft at all. Just like 2016, 2017 had a huge range of Windows hardware on show, in tablet, laptop and desktop form factors. Here are our picks of the best machines on show this year, in each form factor.

Tablets

Tablets that can easily convert into laptops by quickly clipping on a keyboard continue to be popular with manufacturers and consumers. Lenovo continues to give the Microsoft Surface a run for its money with its excellent Lenovo Miix 720. The machine features a pressure sensitive stylus driven screen with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. It’s no slouch with computing power either, sporting a seventh-generation Intel processor. You can read more about this tablet on CNET here.

At the budget end of the market, RCA announced the Windows 2-in-1 12.2-inch, a convertible for those of us without such deep pockets. While it lacks the high specs of Microsoft’s Surface or the Lenovo machine, it’s relatively capable and reports from the show floor said it felt robust. Read more about the machine on Tablet PC Review here.

Laptops

Typically for CES, the laptops on show ranged from practical and affordable to extravagant, expensive and barely believable. In the former category, we were particularly impressed with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga. The laptop is packed with useful features like a 360-degree hinge, built-in, 802.11ad/Wi-Fi and wired Gigabit Ethernet. Check out the hands-on over at TrustedReviews.com to learn more.

Longstanding PC manufacturer Hewlett Packard had some impressive looking hardware on display too. It’s stylish looking Spectre line of laptops were on show in both full HD and 4K varieties. WindowsCentral.com has a great little look at the range, so click here to learn more.

What’s the worst thing about working on your laptop? If you said “the fact I can’t take my two extra monitors with me”, then I salute you. Finally, it looks like there’s a solution for multi-monitor junkies that need the portability of a laptop. Extravagant PC manufacturer Razer showed off a prototype laptop that featured two additional screens which folded out to the left and right of the centre screen. It’s currently unknown if this prototype will make it into a final, finished consumer product. TheVerge.com has more information, if you’re curious.

Desktops

We’ve long maintained that the traditional desktop PC is far from dead and CES 2017 proves that point once again. Desktop PCs were on show in all form factors, from traditional towers to tiny PCs that fit in the palm of your hand. Some PCs that turned our heads were

HP Sprout – HP announced a new version of it’s innovative machine. Sprout has been around for a couple of years now and it’s a really interesting product and one that shows just how versatile Windows is. Aimed squarely at creators and artists, the Sprout eschews the traditional keyboard for a huge, pressure sensitive touchpad, that also doubles as a second screen. What’s more, the computer has a 3D scanner built in, allowing users to hold and scan objects into the computer with ease. HP have more information on this innovative PC on their website here.

HP Envy – Also from Hewlett Packard was this super stylish looking all in one PC with a 34 inch curved screen. The machine comes in a variety of configurations, sporting Seventh-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 CPU options and fancy-pants Bang and Olufsen speakers.

Intel NUC and Compute Card – PC processor manufacturer Intel also released several new machines in its NUC (Next Unit of Computing). These mini-PCs are designed to be used, well, anywhere you might want a mini PC. They can be a small but powerful little desktop system for an office or bedroom, or they can be re-purposed to act as network firewalls, storage controllers or much more. The new versions come with a new chassis and faster Intel CPUs. ZDNet has the low down here.

If you thought the NUC was small, you will be amazed at the new Intel Compute Card. This tiny PC is barely bigger than a credit card, but manages to cram in a full PC with an Intel CPU. Aimed primarily at the “Internet of Things” and smart device markets, the Compute Card launches later in the year. Intel have more information here.

Elsewhere on the show floor

CES wouldn’t be CES without some weird and wonderful gadgets and 2017 was no exception. Robots were big at this years show, with robotic assistants, dogs, lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners all present. Our favourite device in this category was the “Laundroid”, a robot that automatically folds your laundry, you can see it in action here.

Tech savvy PC gamers were rejoicing at the announcement of the new HDMI 2.1 spec. Apart from support for insanely high 10K resolutions, the standard adds (long overdue in our opinion) support for gaming specific features. Game Mode VRR, to give it its official name, offers a “variable refresh rate”. When playing a game, the scene you see on your screen is being created by your PC in real time. Often this means that the PC or games console needs to draw an image that isn’t quite in sync with the TV, resulting in a tearing type effect. Technology has existed for a while that will counter this effect, but this is the first time it’s been standardised to work on consumer televisions rather than just expensive PC gaming monitors.

Speaking of gaming, there was a slew of virtual reality and augmented reality headsets on display too, with headsets from Lenovo, Intel and Dell, amongst others. Microsoft have promised extensive VR support in their next Windows 10 update, so it seems inevitable that many PC manufacturers will have a crack at this market. Whether the tech finds an audience outside of the hardcore PC gaming communities remains to be seen however.

Overall, CES 2017 found Windows and PCs in general to be in fine health. In these days of smartphones, smart watches and other portable tech, it’s clear that for many people the traditional PC isn’t the all in one social and internet hub it may have been a few years ago, but nevertheless, Window’s PCs certainly aren’t going away any time soon.

Tip of the Month – Find a Programs Location

When you want to launch a program, usually you load it either by searching for it or by clicking its icon on the desktop or on the Start menu. Icons on the Start menu are called “Shortcuts”, because they point to the programs actual location, saving you the bother of actually browsing to the program in File Explorer/Windows Explorer.

Sometimes, you need to know where a program is really installed. Maybe you’re troubleshooting a technical problem with it, or need to delete some temporary files. Either way, if you need to know where a program is, here’s a quick way to find out.

1) Search for your program in the usual manner.

2) Right click on the programs icon that appears in the search results and choose “Open file location”.

3) In Windows 7, this will take you directly to the programs installation folder. In Windows 8 and 10 it will take you to the location of the programs shortcut instead. So right click on the highlighted icon in the new File Explorer window and choose “Properties”.

4) Click on the “Open File Location” button that appears in the properties window. This will take you to the programs true location on your PC.

Note that this technique doesn’t work with Windows Store apps. Furthermore, be careful when changing files within a programs directory, as you can cause your program to malfunction if you edit or delete the wrong files.

Free Utility of the Month – Wire

If you’ve made video or audio calls using your PC and the internet, chances are you used a program called Skype. Skype is very popular and works well for the most part, but it’s not without it’s problems. Most notably, it doesn’t have a great track record for protecting its users privacy.

Wire is a VIOP (voice over IP) program that is similar to Skype. it lets you make video and audio calls across the internet to friends or distant relatives. It works cross platform (PC/Mac and Linux and Android and iOS phones/tablets). Unlike Skype however, Wire includes strong privacy safeguards and full end-to-end encryption, meaning your private conversations stay private. It’s also (at least partially) open source, meaning IT professionals from all around the world can inspect the programs code and find bugs or mistakes. It’s not ad-supported either, meaning your privacy won’t be compromised by any advertising deals.

If you want better privacy for your conversations, or just need a good alternative to Skype, give Wire a try by visiting the homepage here.

Windows Store App of the Month – Instagram

The popular photo taking social network finally gets an official Windows Store app. The official Instagram app for Windows lets you access all the social networks features, including Stories, Direct Messaging and basic photo editing.

It’s not all great news though. Bizarrely, the app only allows you to upload photos if your device is equipped with a touch screen, meaning users on desktop PCs are limited to using the app for viewing photos only. The app also makes poor use of bigger screens, with lots of wasted space around your photo feed on wider displays.

Nevertheless, with official support the Instagram app is useful and may prove more reliable than the third party apps Windows users have been limited to until recently. You can get the official Instagram app from the Windows store here. If you need an app to upload photos to Instagram, try Instapic instead.

That concludes our newsletter for January. On behalf of the team here at TWT, I’d like to say thank you to all our readers, new and old for your continued support and wish you all a happy and prosperous 2017. The TWT Newsletter will return on the 10th February 2017 for more tips, tricks and techniques to help you get the best out of your PC, be it Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10. We hope that you found this newsletter informative and useful. If you did not then please let us know why, you can contact us by visiting this page. If you have enjoyed this newsletter, feel free to pass it on to all your friends and family, or better still encourage them to sign up for their own copy. Until next month, keep checking Top-Windows-Tutorials.com and enjoy happy, safe and stress-free computing!

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