TWT Newsletter, Issue #37 – More Oops Backup winners, shakeups at Microsoft and Facebook privacy
Hello once more from Top Windows Tutorials HQ. It is the 10th of June and that means it is time for the latest TWT Newsletter to drop into your inbox. This month we announce more lucky winners from our Oops Backup competition. We report on a little drama that has been going on behind the scenes at Microsoft and take a brief look at Facebook privacy settings. Of course we still have our regular tips and free utilities for you too.
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In this months issue:-
1) What’s new at Top-Windows-Tutorials.com?
2) Announcing more lucky competition winners
3) Shake-ups and drama at Microsoft, will it affect you?
4) Tip of the Month – Using the Task Manager
5) Free Utility of the Month – Teracopy
6) Keeping your Facebook privacy – Too confusing?
What’s new at Top-Windows-Tutorials.com?
May started with a look at Trillian Astra, a powerful and popular multi-protocol instant messaging program. We brought you three tutorials for this super software, you can view them by clicking here.
We continued the Instant Messaging fun with our next set of tutorials which looked at plugins and enhancements for the Pidgin Instant Messaging program. Find out how you can pimp your Pidgin experience with Guifications and the Purple Plugin Pack by visiting this link.
For our next article and tutorial, we took an in-depth look at a reader submitted application that promises to make it easier to keep all the software on your PC up-to-date. Software Informer is a program which checks software on your system against an online database. The program checks the version number of the software installed and then informs you of any software that appears to be outdated. That’s the idea anyway, but does it work? Find out in our Software Informer Review by visiting this link.
We also produced some tutorials for Software Informer, you can view them by visiting this page.
For our last tutorial in May, we looked at the often discussed topic of reinstalling Windows. Firstly, we discussed the whole topic in our guide to reinstalling Windows, you can view this article by following this link.
If you’re a Windows XP user who needs to reinstall your operating system, this tutorial will show you how.
We also launched our Top-Windows-Tutorials Offline Archive April 2010 DVD. If you’ve ever been frustrated with slow loading times, or wished you could get our website content to friends or family without broadband internet, this DVD is the answer. To find out more, visit this link.
Announcing our lucky competition winners
A big thank you to everyone who entered our Oops Backup competition again this month. The correct answer to the question was:-
Which of the following best describes Oops Backup? – A Time Machine for Windows!
Congratulations to the following readers who got the question right and will receive a free Oops Backup license in their e-mail:-
Ira Langer (United States)
John Sorby (United Kingdom)
Maysie Simes (Australia)
Robert (United States)
Eric Brayshaw (New Zealand)
Steve ( United States)
George Brown ( United Kingdom)
Barry Whitlock ( United Kingdom )
Adolph Lodoiska ( Mauritius )
Winners should receive their license keys today (10th June 2010). If your name was on the winners list and you did not receive your key within three days of this date, please double check your spam folder and if you still cannot find your e-mail, contact us immediately.
There are still a small number of licenses left to win this month, so visit this page and enter now if you haven’t already.
Shake-ups and drama at Microsoft, will it affect you?
The big news at Microsoft this month was the sudden departure of two of the companies biggest names in the entertainment and devices division. Robbie Bach, who has been president of the Entertainment division since its creation, and J Allard, chief experience officer are now officially no longer employees of Microsoft. Both Bach and Allard were responsible for introducing the highly successful Xbox live games service and the Xbox and the Xbox 360 games consoles. The entertainment and devices division also deals with Games For Windows and Windows Mobile, including the upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices.
While these departures will not have an affect on Windows itself, losing two key figures like this may have a knock on effect on some of the interesting new Microsoft products that are due to launch around Christmas, namely the new Windows Phones and the interesting new Project Natal, a super new gesture based controller that will work with both the Xbox and Windows computers. Some have speculated that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer could take over a more direct role in the entertainment and devices division, what is for sure is there is some serious restructuring to be done.
More woes for Microsoft came from their biggest competitors, firstly Apple, who announced that their shares were now worth more than Microsoft’s. Some news and blog sites were quick to publish stories of how Apple was now bigger than Microsoft, but in reality Microsoft still makes more money and controls more assets. The second swipe came from Google, who announced rather publicly that due to security and efficiency concerns they would be dropping Windows on all their corporate desktops. The rumour was that the move was prompted by the recent security breach that Google suffered in China, however more cynical individuals accused Google of simply taking a swipe at the competition, particularly with their new Chrome OS currently in development.
It’s not all bad news for Microsoft however, Windows Seven continues to be the fastest selling Microsoft OS ever and is quickly replacing XP and Vista on many desktops, as well as erasing the bitter taste in some peoples mouths that Vista left. If you’ve just made the switch to Windows 7, don’t forget to order your Windows 7 Superguide to help you get the best out of the operating system. These kinds of events are little more than foot-notes in the ongoing Microsoft saga, we’ll keep you up-to-date with any events at Microsoft HQ in our newsletters, but you can relax and keep on using and enjoying Windows, Microsoft aren’t going anywhere any time soon!
Tip of the Month – Using the Task Manager
An essential skill for Windows users is to master the use of the Task Manager. When programs stop responding to normal input, the Task Manager can be used to shut them down, saving you from rebooting your computer and allowing you to carry on working with your other programs.
Accessing the Task Manager is really easy, you can either open up the Start Menu and search for “Taskmgr”, or, press and hold the Control, Alt and Delete keys together. For a more detailed look at the Task Manager, see this tutorial.
Free Utility of the Month – Teracopy
At Top-Windows-Tutorials this month we’ve been reorganising some of our servers and network storage devices and that has involved copying a lot of files. One utility that has helped this process is Teracopy. Not only can Teracopy copy files faster than Windows can on its own, it can also be paused temporarily, has clever error recovery routines and can integrate fully into Windows Explorer. A great Windows enhancement that we’ll be covering in more depth in the future. To learn more about Teracopy or to download a copy for yourself, visit this link.
Keeping your Facebook privacy – Too confusing?
Facebook, the social networking site, is incredibly popular. From it’s roots as a tool for students to share notes, it has grown to become a hugely popular tool for networking and socialising with both friends and colleagues. By default however, a great deal of personal information is shared with other Facebook users, and with millions of users worldwide, this can be a serious threat to your privacy. Facebook only recently overhauled its privacy settings, but with so many different menus and options to set, most users are simply overwhelmed.
Now it seems that even governments are taking notice, with US government officials from the house of representatives committee officially writing to Facebook HQ asking them to explain how and when the company shares user data “without the knowledge of the account holders” (see this link for more information).
If you or your family regularly use Facebook, setting privacy settings can be long-winded but needn’t be too complicated. Our friends at Ars Technica regularly update their guides and tutorials on setting Facebooks complicated privacy controls, you can view their latest article here. Younger users of Facebook are afforded some extra privacy by default, but web-savvy parents could still benefit from reviewing their children’s settings.
That rounds off our newsletter for June. As always, we’d like to send a big thank you to all our readers for your support. The TWT Newsletter will return on the 10th July 2010 to bring you more tips, tricks and techniques to help you get the best out of your PC, be it Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7! 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 and enter our competition! Until next month, keep checking Top-Windows-Tutorials.com and enjoy happy, safe and stress-free computing!