TWT Newsletter, Issue #024 –, – Get more out of your broadband
Another month and another feature packed TWT newsletter lands right into your inbox. Summer is coming around once again, but don’t think your PC needs to sit idly by while you enjoy the sunshine. Regular readers will know that your Windows PC is versatile enough to help you enjoy summer in style! In this months newsletter we’ll show you how to get more out of your broadband internet connection, as well as bring you our regular monthly tip and free software recommendation as well as the low-down on an interesting new Windows 7 feature.
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In this months issue:-
1) What’s new at Top-Windows-Tutorials.com?
2) Getting more from your PC and your internet connection
3) Tip of the Month – Uninstall your unused programs
4) Free Utility of the Month – HashOnClick
5) Windows 7’s latest new feature is… Windows XP?!
What’s new at Top-Windows-Tutorials.com?
Then, we showed you how to reconfigure your computers BIOS to boot from a CD or from a removable drive. You can see that tutorial here.
After that, we brought you a tutorial on the free hard disc copy utility, Easeus Disc Copy.
To round off the month, we started our new section on Windows Troubleshooting, which already includes a tutorial on how to uninstall software and how to use the task manager. You can view those tutorials here.
You can expect some great new content in May too, including more PC maintenance articles and tutorials.
Getting more from your PC and your internet connection
Here at Top-Windows-Tutorials.com, we love broadband internet connections. We designed our site for those of you with faster connections and while we certainly don’t shun the dial-up user, we don’t ever compromise the experience for those of you on faster connections.
Now that broadband internet is available to more and more people, the number of exciting things we can do with our computers keeps increasing every day. Rich content on the web and in our inboxes is just the start of the possibilities, are you making the most of your broadband connection? Here are a few ideas on how you can get more bang for your buck from your internet pipe.
Chat to friends overseas, with Skype and Skype video chat – If you have friends or relatives overseas, the cost of calling them on the phone can be high. Why not use the internet instead? You can even see your friends or family at the same time you talk, if you have a compatible webcam. You can find out about Skype and other messaging services in our Instant Messaging Tutorials section.
Connect with friends and family using Facebook – Social networking is one of the more recent phenomenons on the web. Having a page where you can keep all your photos and thoughts and share them with your friends is really convenient. Out of all the social networking sites available, we still prefer Facebook. Remember to be careful who you share your personal information with, don’t just accept friend requests from strangers!
Share photos with friends, using Photobucket – Speaking of sharing photos, no site does that better than the venerable Photobucket. You can upload photos and videos, create public or private galleries, explore other users content and use the photos on discussion forums or blogs.
Store important files using Idrive – We’re always telling our readers to backup their valuable data, but most users still put it off indefinitely. Now that broadband internet connections are commonplace, online backup is a viable solution for home users who want to safely backup a small amount of data. We covered online backup services back in TWT Newsletter 10. Our favourite service is still Idrive.
boost your online gaming experience with Raptr, XBList and Xfire – Do you play games online? If you do, there are three services you might be interested in. Raptr is a social networking site for gamers, where you can let your friends know what you are playing and what you think of the latest games. XBListis a handy desktop application that lets you see what your friends are doing on Xbox Live or Games for Windows Live. Xfire is a superb service for PC gamers that allows you to IM or websurf while gaming, take and share screenshots and videos and much more.
Build your own online business with SBI – There are lots of ways to build your own website on the internet, so what sets SBI apart from the crowds? SBI gives you the tools and techniques to build a commercially successful website. If you have a passion or a hobby that you think others would want to read about and you have the brains and motivation to write about it, then SBI could be for you. Want to learn more? Click this link!
So, as you can see, a broadband connection opens up a lot of new possibilities and we only scratched the surface in this article! We’ll bring you more articles on internet enabled software in the future, so keep reading our site and remember to subscribe to our blog/RSS feed!
Tip of the Month – Uninstall your unused programs
We all love to try out new software on our Windows PC’s. Having such a huge range of software to choose from is one of the best things about being a Windows user. Eventually though, those seemingly cool programs that you only end up using once can start to consume disc space and maybe even computer resources if they run in the background.
Time to spring clean your programs! Uninstalling programs is easy. If you are a Windows XP user, you can learn how to uninstall programs by following this tutorial here, Vista users should follow this tutorial here.
Free Utility of the Month – HashOnClick
What is a file “hash”? You can think of it a little like a fingerprint for a file. Imagine you downloaded a file and wanted to check to see if it had downloaded correctly. Using HashOnClick, you can quickly verify the hash number against the one on the website. Have two large files and want to see if they are the same? Compare the hash value of them both. With HashOnClick, you can do this with a simple right-click of your mouse. HashOnClick is part of the OnClick utilities suite from 2BrightSparks Software, you can download it and several other useful utilities here.
Windows 7’s latest new feature is… Windows XP?!
Tuesday, May 5 saw the launch of the first Windows 7 Release Candidate. A release candidate version is different to a beta test version in that unless a serious problem is found, the release candidate will be the one that eventually hits the shelves. One of the most talked about new features that Microsoft has unveiled for Windows 7 is the Windows XP Mode. In a nutshell, Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate edition users will be able to download a fully functioning copy of Windows XP with service pack 3, that will run inside Windows 7 and provide backwards compatibility for older applications. This feature does not come bundled with the operating system however, but it will be available as a free download for Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate edition users and possibly as a paid-for extra on other editions.
This feature is great news for fans of Windows XP, right? Well, maybe. Before we get too excited, there are some things to keep in mind. Firstly, the technology which will drive Windows XP within Windows 7 requires a certain type of CPU with support for a technology called hardware-assisted virtualization. Some processors support this some do not, but it’s unlikely it was on your check-list the last time you bought a PC.
Secondly, expect Windows 7’s Windows XP Mode to feature only very limited support for multimedia and games software. Because of the way the underlying technology works, supporting 3D accelerators and gaming peripherals is difficult at best. We imagine that running one of your favourite older games is the main reason why home users would want this feature, but Windows XP Mode was not designed for the home, more for businesses who need to run older legacy business applications.
Finally, although Windows XP Mode will look almost transparent to the user, in actual fact underneath the technology is a full installation of Windows XP, which brings with it concerns about security and updating, especially after 2014 when support for Windows XP is due to stop altogether.
So, it looks like Windows XP Mode is nothing to get excited about, at least for home users. If you require XP compatibility, it is still possible to set up a dual boot system, where you choose which operating system to start when you first power up your computer. Setting this up can be problematic but doing so does allow for 100% backwards compatibility (as long as you are willing to reboot whenever you want to change operating systems!).
We’ll keep you posted on Windows 7 developments here and on the site, so keep checking back!
Thank you for reading, that’s all for another month. We hope that you enjoyed our newsletter, if you didn’t 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!