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Posted on Jul 13, 2013 in Newsletter | 0 comments

TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 2 – Travel safe, chat secure and more!

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Top Windows Tutorials
TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 2

Welcome to the July 2013 TWT Newsletter

We hope you’ve all been enjoying the new look Top-Windows-Tutorials.com! While we still have work to do on the site behind the scenes to bring all our videos up to date, we think you will agree that the new layout is much better than before. Remember we’d love to hear what you think about the new design. See the last section of the newsletter for all the ways you can get in touch with us.

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:-

  1. What’s new at Top-Windows-Tutorials.com?
  2. Has Windows 8’s new interface been a flop?
  3. Windows 8.1 preview now released
  4. Tip of the Month – Travel safely with your laptop
  5. Free Utility of the Month – Jitsi
  6. Great ways your PC and smartphone can work together this summer

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

While we have been busy with improving our video content, especially for mobile users, there have been several new tutorials added to our site too.

 

 

picture Bitdefender antivirus tutorials

We’ve added three tutorials for this award winning antivirus and internet security solution. Our tutorials cover installation, configuring the program and manually scanning for viruses. Check out the first tutorial here.

 

 

picture Fix save game problems on older games by changing folder permissions

Have you ever played an older game on your PC and found that you couldn’t save your progress? How about an older program where you couldn’t save program settings or output? The problem may have been folder permissions. This tutorial explains how to reconfigure folder permissions to allow older software to run properly.

 

pictureSave big bucks in our super new site sale

To celebrate our great new site launch, we’ve slashed the prices of our most popular premium training products, in both digital download format and physical media. Hurry, these offers all end on the 10th August 2013.

  • We’re cutting $10 off the price of our Windows 7 Gigaguide. This complete guide to Windows 7 is now just $30. Learn the basics then unlock the full potential of your Windows 7 PC, save on PC repair bills or technician time, you won’t find a better guide to Windows 7 anywhere else on the net. Click here to get your copy now.
  • We’re slashing $5 from the price of our Windows 8 Superguide. If you’ve been frustrated with Windows 8, this guide can come to your rescue! Covering both the new, tile interface and the traditional desktop, whatever kind of Windows 8 machine you have and however you want to use it, this guide will help. Click here to get your copy now.
  • Windows 7 Superguide and Windows 7 Superguide 2 are also reduced by $5 each.

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Has Windows 8’s new interface been a flop?

We’ve talked a lot about Windows 8 in our newsletters and for good reason, Windows 8 is still one of the most controversial releases of the operating system to date. One of the initially most bewildering aspects of Windows 8 is the hybrid nature of the OS. While the old desktop is still there, Microsoft would love for us all to start using touchscreens and therefore its Windows store apps.

However, it just doesn’t look like this is happening. According to data collected by Soluto, who make PC management and optimisation software, only around 40% of Windows 8 users who are running desktops or laptops open any Windows 8 tile applications more than once a day. For those lucky enough to have Windows 8 tablets, the statistic is still high, a staggering 44.38% of Windows 8 tablet users are still using desktop apps for all their day-to-day computing activities.

These figures for desktop PC’s aren’t terribly surprising. You would be hard pressed to find a Windows tile app in the store that does a better job than the equivalent desktop app. For work PC’s and powerful laptops, the desktop is likely to remain the standard for the foreseeable future. Working with the tiles with a keyboard and mouse isn’t a lot of fun and offers no advantages whatsoever over working with the desktop.

The figures for Windows 8 tablet users are somewhat more alarming however. While working with a keyboard and mouse on the desktop has always been a pleasure, trying to poke the tiny, mouse optimised UI elements with a finger is a lot less fun. Using a stylus the situation improves some, but it’s far from optimal, so why are so many Windows 8 touch screen users still shunning the touch optimised tiles? It’s difficult to say without knowing the exact models of Windows tablet being used. Windows 8 machines were designed to be flexible and many allow you to work either in touch mode or in a more traditional laptop mode. Perhaps these users are simply using their new tablets at their desks? A lack of compelling Windows 8 tile software could also be to blame, though Microsoft is working hard to encourage more developers to publish their software in the Windows store.

So have the Windows 8 tiles been a flop? It really depends who you ask. Microsoft want to create a version of Windows that will run on all future computing devices, from convenient, lightweight tablets to monster, multi-screen desktops. Arguably, we’re not yet at a future where a tablet the size of an iPad has enough computing power to run the same operating system as a laptop, though of course it’s very possible that we soon will be. Some experts even believe that in the longer term future, many users will simply have a smartphone with a desktop or laptop dock as their singular computing device. Clearly there will never be a “post-pc” future, as different users have different needs, but there will be more convergence between computing devices, in this future, Microsoft’s much maligned Windows 8 UI might make a lot more sense.

 

pictureWindows 8.1 Preview now released

Those of you who are itching to try out the latest version of Windows might want to know that the official public preview of Windows 8.1 has now been released. Users in the United States can download the preview through the Windows store by following the instructions here.

For users in the rest of the world, we recommend using the ISO of Windows 8 and recording it to a blank DVD. Our attempts to download the preview through the Windows store here in the UK were fruitless, despite following the various workarounds that other users had come up with around the web.

Remember that this is a preview, we do not recommend installing Windows 8.1 over your existing, working Windows installation. One way to try out the preview is to use software like Virtualbox, which creates another, virtual PC on your desktop, allowing you to safely try the OS with no risk to your PC. You can download VirtualBox for free here.

 

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Tip of the Month – Travel safely with your laptop

If you are planning to go away this summer and you simply have to take your laptop, remember we have a great article about travelling with your laptop available here. Remember that public Wi-Fi hotspots in particular carry significant risk to use, and you should only ever consider logging into a site on a public hot-spot if the page is using SSL. You can check if this is the case by looking for the https at the start of the pages web address.

 

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Free Utility of the Month – Jitsi

If you’ve ever tried video chatting on the internet with friends and family, chances are you used Skype. Skype offers great audio and video quality, but there are little safeguards for your privacy. Several security experts have warned that you should expect no privacy at all when using Skype and that Microsoft can monitor everything you do.

If this concerns you, you should check out Jitsi. Jitsi is an open-source instant messaging and video conferencing program with security built in. Not only can you have secured instant messaging conversations, you can also use Google Talk or Jitsi’s own Jabber servers and have fully, end-to-end encrypted video conversations too. With revelations about government snooping, corporate snooping and hackers constantly in the news lately, it’s a great idea to take matters into your own hands and use software that builds in privacy. After all, the means to securely encrypt e-mail, instant messaging and video chat has been around for many years. Sadly, although Jitsi supports Yahoo and Windows Live chatting too, we cannot recommend it for this purpose as it wasn’t reliable in our tests, but it comes highly recommended for VOIP/video chatting and is certainly a program to watch. Jitsi works on Windows as well as Macintosh and most flavours of Linux too, with mobile versions in development. Check it out here.

 

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Great ways your PC and smartphone can work together this summer

For those of us in Europe, America, Canada and anywhere in the northern hemisphere, the weather should hopefully be getting sunnier and the days and nights warmer. Hopefully that means some time away from our desks to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. While some of us will be forced to lug our laptops on the longer journeys, many of us will, of course, make do with the mini-computer in our pockets, the smartphone. Now that many phones have internet access too, your PC and smartphone can work together naturally, both extending the capabilities of each other. Here are a few neat ways that you can benefit from being a PC and a smartphone user this summer.

Taking pictures – Smartphones are great for snapping pictures, while PC’s are much better at editing and manipulating them. Snap pictures on your smartphone while you are out and about then use one of the many internet connected services to upload them and share them then download them again later on your PC. Many users use Facebook for this, but there are lots of alternatives. Flickr, for instance, is run by Yahoo and has recently given its service a massive one terrabyte storage increase. Photos stored on Flickr can be shared with anyone, no Facebook account needed. Find the Flickr app in your phones app store and the Flickr website here.

Synchronise your browsing – Nothing beats the web-browsing experience on PC, but of course you can’t keep your PC in your pocket. If you have an Android phone, try out the Chrome web browser on your PC and on your phone too. Using your Google account, your bookmarks and Google services are synced between desktop and phone. You could plan a walk on your PC using Google Maps and then transfer the information effortlessly to your phone, for instance.

Fine dining – If you love to eat out, then you should definitely check out the Evernote Food application. Available for Android and iOS devices, this software lets you save notes about meals. By snapping a photo of each course, you can remember which dishes you have particularly enjoyed. When you are back at your PC, use the Windows version of Evernote to view the notes or copy them into a blog, Facebook post or anywhere you desire. Being a professional food critic just got a whole lot easier.

Twitter text messages – Love sending text messages to your friends? Did you know that Twitter supports private messages too? If your friends all have Twitter on their phones, use the Direct Message facility to send them a private message (this message is not encrypted, but cannot be viewed on anyone’s timeline). On most phones this message will appear on the phones lock/notification screen. This is a good alternative to SMS messaging especially if your mobile operator charges you per message. Of course, if you are at your PC, reading and sending tweets is easy and fast on your keyboard. You can either use the Twitter website directly or a program such as Tweetdeck or Yoono Desktop.

 

That concludes our second new look newsletter! On behalf of the team here at TWT, I’d like to thank you for reading and for your continued support. We’re back on our regular delivery schedule now and the TWT Newsletter will return on the 10th August 2013 and will bring you more tips, tricks and techniques to help you get the best out of your PC, be it Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8. 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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