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Posted on Sep 14, 2017 in Newsletter, Welcome | 0 comments

TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 52 – Looking back at our top tips for students and another Windows 10 update

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TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 52

Welcome to the September 2017 TWT Newsletter

Another summer sadly draws to an end here in the UK and the prospect of even a single sunny day gets ever more unlikely. September is the month when students in most parts of the world either reluctantly or enthusiastically go back to school, university or college and as usual for our September newsletter we will have a few tips for choosing your IT equipment for the new school year.

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?
Back to school again – Looking back over our top tips for students
Tip of the Month – Beware e-mail scams
Free Utility of the Month – Mega Sync
Windows Store App of the Month – Khan Academy
Next Windows 10 Update expected October 17th!

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

Continuing our refresh of our recommended antivirus and security packages, we’ve added two new tutorials for Bitdefender Free Antivirus.

picture Bitdefender Free Antivirus – 2 tutorials

In these tutorials we will show you how to download and install Bitdefender free antivirus, scan your computer with Bitdefender and also explain the quarantine and exclusion options. Click here to see the first tutorial.

 

Back to school again – Looking back over our top tips for students

Hard to believe we’ve been writing TWT Newsletters in one form or another since 2007, making this year our 10th anniversary! Since computers are an essential part of most students life, we usually run an article this time of year with tips, free software and advice for new or returning students. This year, we thought we’d look back over some of the recommendations we’d made over the years.

September 2007 – Free software! – Back in our September 2007 issue, we recommended three free software packages/services, namely OpenOffice, Google Calendar and Diigo. We’d now recommend LibreOffice over OpenOffice (specifically the mature or “still” version), but Google Calendar is still a great service for keeping track of important appointments, and Diigo is still brilliant for organising and cataloguing research you do online.

September 2008 – Get with the “modern” age – In September 2008 we told students to “get with the modern age” and ditch their floppy disks for USB flash drives. How times change! Now USB flash drives are considered old fashioned and cloud storage services like OneDrive, Dropbox or Mega are often used instead. If you need to transport files to and from campus, you could use a USB stick or simply store the files in the cloud, where you can access them from any internet connected computer. The downside to cloud storage is, of course, security, since your files are permanently stored on someone else’s computer on the internet. Then again, it’s very easy to lose a USB stick too, which could mean your precious files could end up with a rival student on campus who could plagiarise your precious essay!

We also recommended students purchase a good pair of headphones and a VOIP headset. VOIP headsets in particular are good because they let you make phone calls over the internet. You may find that your student accommodation has free internet but expensive telephone lines. Rather than not calling home when you feel lonely, use a service like Skype to stay in touch for free.

September 2009 – Don’t forget to back up! – This year we reminded students of the importance of having a backup strategy. Our old article here is still relevant, if you don’t back up you will regret it. “My computer crashed and lost my work” is as poor an excuse as “the dog ate my homework”.

September 2011 – Cloud arrives – In 2011 cloud storage services were already mature and reliable and we recommended them for students. Obviously, that recommendation still stands.

September 2013 – Money saving tips – This year we talked about our usual recommendations like OpenOffice/LibreOffice and cloud storage, but also mentioned Evernote. Evernote is a system for storing your notes in the cloud. It’s great for students as it means you cannot lose your notes as they are always backed up. However, Evernote have drastically reduced the functionality of their free offering in more recent years, so we’d recommend Microsoft OneNote instead.

September 2014 – OpenOffice or Microsoft Office? – Many students choose OpenOffice or LibreOffice because it’s free, but the one drawback to this is that your school/college/university may have Microsoft Office on their lab PCs. Normally this isn’t a problem, but on more complex documents with pictures and drawings, things can break when moved between Microsoft Office and Libre Office, so keep that in mind.

September 2016 – Choosing a new PC for a student – Last years newsletter talked about how to choose a new PC if you need one for school, college or university. Still relevant a year later, this article will show you how to avoid common pitfalls when choosing a new laptop and talks about issues such as on-campus use/charging, insurance and other things you might not have considered.

Phew! Looking back that’s a lot of information we’ve given for students over the years. If you’re heading off to start or continue your studies this September, let me take this opportunity to wish you the best of luck with your academic endeavours!

Tip of the Month – Beware e-mail scams

Over the last few weeks we’ve seen and heard of an increase in scam e-mails. These aren’t your usual Nigerian prince offering you vast sums of money, or e-mails purporting to be from your bank telling you to “restore access to your account”.

Instead, these e-mails look far less suspicious, usually they pretend to be from a friend (the spammers may have done a cursory search for you on Google and turned up some of your friends names) and simply contain a single link.

How dangerous can a single link be? It depends, sophisticated cyber criminals have been able to design web pages that, when run on a vulnerable computer or web browser, can deliver a virus or malware payload with little or no interaction from the user.

If you receive a link from a friend in an e-mail, it’s a good idea to check with your friend via another means of communication (telephone, instant messaging, etc) before opening the link, especially if there’s no explanation as to what the link is contained in the e-mail.

Free Utility of the Month – Mega Sync

It’s our back to school special so how about even more free cloud based storage? Mega Sync is another service similar to Dropbox and OneDrive that can store your files in the cloud and also synchronise them with your desktop PC and mobile devices. The usual cloud caveats apply (be careful what you store since cloud storage does sometimes get hacked) but if you need even more online storage for your school or university projects, this handy little tool provides just that.

Get started with Mega Sync and the Mega cloud storage system by clicking here.

Windows Store App of the Month – Khan Academy

We’ve featured this cool little application before, but given it’s our back to school special, we thought it was time to give it another outing. Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan with a goal of creating a set of online tools that help educate students.

With the Windows app, you can access this content comfortably and easily on your Windows 10 device, another valuable educational resource at your fingertips!

Download your copy of Khan Academy from the Windows store here.

Next Windows 10 Update expected October 17th!

Microsoft certainly aren’t slowing down when it comes to Windows 10 updates, with yet another update scheduled for October. The “Fall Creators Update” (Fall is what those of us here in the UK call Autumn, of course) promises even more new features for the OS.

It’s expected to be a smaller offering than the recently released creators update, though those of you who were following closely will have noticed some features that Microsoft promised for the creators update were strangely absent in the final build.

So, what features can we look forward to this time? According to Microsoft, some of the new features include:-

Improvements to stylus and inking – “Smart Ink” will recognise and smarten up shapes you might have tried to draw.

Improvements to gaming – A new dedicated gaming mode will wring every last drop of performance from your PC. A new game bar will give more options and features in-game and Xbox Play Anywhere games (buy once, play on your PC or Xbox console) will be available.

Windows Defender improvements – The antivirus supposedly “gets smarter” and includes more protection against ransomware and exploits.

Windows Mixed Reality – Remember those Hololens headsets? If not, have a look here. The update will include support for mixed or augmented reality headsets, though exactly how this will work remains to be seen.

Overall then, this looks like an interesting update for enthusiasts and gamers but for other users the most significant feature is the improvements to security and Windows Defender. Either way, we hope for a smoother Windows Update process this time (we’ve been hoping for that from the very start) and we’ll be on hand if any updated tutorials are required.

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 2017 for more tips, tricks and techniques to help you get the best out of your PC, be it 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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