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Posted on Sep 29, 2016 in Newsletter, Welcome | 0 comments

TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 40 – Anniversary updates, unlimited storage and back to school bonanza

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TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 40

Welcome to the September 2016 TWT Newsletter

September already and another summer has passed us by. As the days get shorter, there’s no better time to cosy up with your PC and sort through all those summer photos and videos.

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In this months issue:-

What’s new at
Windows 10 Anniversary Update – Downloading, troubleshooting and more
Tip of the Month – Get unlimited cloud backup with Amazon Drive
Free Utility of the Month – Telegram
Windows Store App of the Month – OneNote Web Clipper
Back to School PC Essentials

What’s new at

It turns out Microsoft have changed and moved around quite a bit in the Windows 10 anniversary update! Because of this all our efforts have been focused on updating our Windows 10 tutorials for this new update.

picture Windows 10 Basics – Six updated tutorials

If Windows 10 threw you a curve ball in its latest update then fear not, we’ve begun updating our existing Windows 10 beginner tutorials to accommodate the new update. Click here to check out which tutorials we’ve already updated and keep an eye out over the next few weeks for several more.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update – Downloading, troubleshooting and more

The Windows 10 anniversary update is now well and truly upon us. Rather than a simple update to fix bugs and errors, the anniversary update is a major update, similar to a “service pack” that older versions of Windows used to get. As we said in the section above, we’re currently reviewing all our tutorials and updating as necessary, since Microsoft did shuffle a lot of settings and features around.

We discussed some of the new features of the update in last months newsletter, so check that out if you want to know what’s in store. If you’ve already got the update, or you’re wondering why you haven’t got it yet, this section is for you.

Do I have the update already?

You can easily tell if you already have the update by looking for the action centre icon. Its the icon that looks like a speech bubble. If you see this icon in the very bottom right of your screen (to the right of the clock on your taskbar), you have the anniversary update already. If not, then you don’t yet have the update.

How do I get the update?

If the update isn’t downloading for you automatically, you can manually get it instead. Visit this page then simply click on the “Update now” button near the top of the page. Follow the on-screen prompts and you will be up and running in no time.

Should I get the update?

Good question! The update has been well received by the IT press in general and makes some welcome improvements, but it’s not without its problems either, as we will discuss in the next section.

Have there been any problems?

Yes, quite an alarming number actually. Problems ranged from freezing, log on issues to broken web cameras and issues with Powershell. Microsoft has already patched most of the problems, but if you just want to avoid the hassle for now, you can delay the update for the moment. To do this, search for “update settings” on the search bar and then click on “Advanced options”. You should now see the option “Defer feature updates”. Select this option to hold off on installing the update for now. Note that this option isn’t available in every edition of Windows, though given the problems with the anniversary update, we think that perhaps it should be.

If you do download the update, we recommend manually checking for further patches as soon as the update is installed. Follow our tutorial here for details of how to do that.

A number of older printers, scanners and peripherals are incompatible with the new update too. Remember, you can go back to your previous build by searching for “Recovery options” on the search bar and then clicking on “Get started” under “Go back to an earlier build”.

We’ve talked at length about reliability problems in Windows 10 back in newsletter issue 36. We aren’t the only ones concerned either. Popular technology website Ars Technica ran a piece expressing similar concerns after it emerged that the anniversary update could break webcam compatibility. The problem seems to be that Microsoft is relying too much on it’s insider program testers. These are enthusiasts who typically download an early development version of the operating system onto a spare PC. Because these enthusiasts rarely trust the development build on their main PCs, features like webcams don’t get tested. We have to question if this approach is really the best one in light of all the recent problems we’ve seen.

Tip of the Month – Get unlimited cloud backup with Amazon Drive

Backing up is hard to do and often expensive, that’s why so many users don’t get around to it until it’s too late. If you’ve amassed a large collection of photographs, videos, documents or other files you may be interested to know that Amazon have launched an unlimited cloud storage service called Amazon Drive. Back up as much as you like for a fixed fee of £55 per year. With your backups stored on Amazon’s cloud, you’re protected against fire, theft and regular data loss too. You even get three months free!

Remember, storing backups in the cloud does make your data more vulnerable to hackers. If this is an issue, choose a backup solution that can also encrypt your data. Arq backup is one such package that can do this and it works well with Amazon Drive.

Free Utility of the Month – Telegram

Telegram again? We may have featured this app as recently as April, but we have some extenuating circumstances for featuring it again. First of all, what is Telegram? Telegram is an instant messaging application. Using Telegram you can send messages, pictures, videos and other files to your friends all around the world. The app works on almost everything, including Windows, Linux, Mac and Windows Phone, Android and Apple iOS. The program features end to end encryption too, though some security experts have voiced concerns as to how well this is implemented.

Why are we telling you about it again? Well, there have been been two significant changes in the world of instant messaging. First of all, the venerable Yahoo Messenger has closed its doors to users accessing the service through Trillian, Pidgin or older desktop clients. Now, you must download the dedicated Yahoo Messenger app, which is probably reason enough to abandon the creaky old service and switch to something more modern. Secondly, Telegram’s biggest competitor, Whatsapp, has started introducing advertising into IM conversations. Since Whatsapp is owned by Facebook, much of this advertising is done by scraping all that valuable information from your Facebook feed, not something many Whatsapp users are particularly happy with.

Assuming you can convince your friends too, Telegram makes for an ideal instant messaging solution that’s perfect for the modern, multi-device world.

Windows Store app of the Month – OneNote Web Clipper

With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft have added a much needed feature to the Microsoft Edge browser. Now you can add plugins and extensions to customise your browsing experience. These extensions are downloadable from the Windows Store, just like regular apps.

If you’ve been following our site you will know that we’ve been covering Microsoft OneNote recently. Now, you can add a “web clipper” to Microsoft Edge, allowing you to capture notes and pictures from the web instantly into your OneNote notebooks. This is ideal for students or anyone who needs to research on the web and keep all their notes together. Grab the OneNote clipper by clicking this link.

Back to School PC Essentials

With many students heading back to the classroom or setting off to a new university around this time of year, we like to run down the essential software and services for new students. Having your own PC for school, college or university is a definite advantage. Computer labs on campus often get full very quickly, so having access to your own machine is a huge plus.

Choosing a new PC? Here are some things you may not have considered – It’s tempting to get the biggest, most powerful PC you can afford for when you’re living and studying away from home. After all, who wouldn’t want to play all the latest and greatest games between lectures and homework? Think carefully however, if you’re carrying your laptop around campus you will want something that’s light weight. You will also want something that’s durable, university campuses can be busy and you will find yourself bustled between buildings on a regular basis.

Battery life is also important. Think that you can charge your laptop on campus? Don’t be so sure. Many universities will not allow this outside of your own dorms unless you have your laptop fully tested for electrical safety (known as PAT testing in the UK).

So, what kind of PC should I get? – For most students we’d still recommend a traditional laptop, but it does depend a lot on what course you are planning to take. Perhaps if your course is in advanced mathematics or 3D modelling, In this case you might want to consider sacrificing portability in exchange for a traditional, desktop PC since you need the extra “bang for your buck” in terms of computing power.

The range of Windows 10 machines just keeps on growing. While we’d normally hesitate to recommend a tablet PC for productivity tasks, Lenovo’s new Yoga Book looks like it could be just the ticket for busy students, check out the preview of this innovative little PC here.

Get insurance! – If you’re buying a particularly expensive laptop, you should consider some kind of insurance. Not only can your laptop be stolen or damaged when you’re on campus, student halls of residence are a prime target for thieves too. If you’re leaving your PC in your room, store it somewhere out of sight or, better still, in a locked cupboard.

No excuse for not backing up – Having your PC stolen is bad enough, but if you leave all your work on your PC and it’s taken, it’s unlikely the thieves will think to mail you a copy back. These days however, there’s really no excuse. Back up your assignments to one of the many free online cloud storage services. Microsoft now give 5GB of free space with OneDrive, which is integrated into Windows 10. You can also get 2GB from Dropbox and a whopping 15GB from Google Drive.

In the UK? You may need a TV license – Students in the UK should be aware that if they watch TV broadcasts through the BBC iPlayer, either live or recorded, they are supposed to have a TV license. Exactly how broadly this will be enforced is unclear, but the fines for flouting the law can be significant.

Bought a new PC? De-clutter it now! – We discussed why you should set about de-cluttering a new PC that you buy in our June newsletter.

Top software picks for students

Of course, you’re going to want to load your PC with some useful software before to help you study, so here are several of our top picks.

LibreOffice – There aren’t many students who don’t need a word processor for typing up essays and assignments. LibreOffice gets our pick as the best free office software. Microsoft’s own Office 365 Student edition and the web/cloud based Google Docs are also worth a look of course.

OneNote – We recommend Microsoft OneNote for note taking. OneNotes long running competitor Evernote now requires a premium subscription to work on more than one device. No such restrictions on OneNote, meaning you can create, access, edit and save notes no matter which device you have to hand.

Diigo – There’s nothing more frustrating than finding a great reference online and then forgetting the address later. Avoid this situation by signing up to Diigo. Diigo stores your bookmarks and associated notes in the cloud. You can log in on campus, save important web pages then access them back at your dorm.

If you’re going off to university, we hope you have a great time and build friendships and experiences that stay with you for the rest of your life. There will be stressful times and times you wish you could quit, but for most of you it will be a very worthwhile experience, so have fun!

That concludes our newsletter for September. 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. The TWT Newsletter will return on the 10th October 2016 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 and enjoy happy, safe and stress-free computing!

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