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Posted on Oct 24, 2018 in Newsletter, Welcome | 0 comments

TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 65 – October updates and spooky fun

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TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 65

Hi, welcome to the October 2018 TWT Newsletter

Time for another Windows 10 update already?, you bet! As per usual we have our run-down of the most interesting new features in the latest update. October also means Halloween (and bonfire night for those of us here in the UK) and we’ve got our round up of tips and ideas so that you can use your PC to help these holidays go with a bang.

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In this months issue:-

What to expect in the next Windows 10 October update
Tip of the Month – How restart is different to shut down
Free Utility of the Month – Windows 10 media creation tool
Microsoft Store App of the Month – Ubuntu
Halloween fun with your Windows PC

What to expect in the next Windows 10 October update

It’s that time again! Another Windows 10 update is due to roll out, bringing new features, bug fixes and enhancements. The Windows 10 October 2018 update will be making an appearance on PCs this month via Windows update. What new features are worth looking out for?

Your Phone app – We took an in-depth look at the potential of this app back in our August 2018 newsletter. These days, most of us use a smartphone as well as a Windows PC. Getting data between your phone and your computer is more complicated than it should be. Just doing something as trivial as sending a web page from your phone to the big screen of the PC takes more taps and clicks than it needs to. The Your Phone app aims to eliminate that, making it easy to send photos, text messages and URLs between your phone and your PC. At the moment the app works best with Android phones, with only limited functionality available to those who prefer iOS. In the future this app will be expanded and could even allow for you to run your Android phone apps on the PC too.

Snip and Sketch – Sometimes it’s important to take a screen shot of what you’re doing on your PC. Perhaps to send to a friend or family member if you need some technical support. Screenshotting gets better in the latest update with the Snip and Sketch app, which is now built in. By pressing the Windows key, shift key and S at the same time, you can take a shot of the entire desktop or just the active window. The app then lets you add annotations as necessary.

Clipboard – There are two major enhancements to the Windows clipboard. The clipboard is the area of the computers memory that is utilised when you use the copy and paste functions. Firstly, you can now sync your clipboard with the cloud, though we’re not sure we’d like every scrap of text we copy and paste to be uploaded to Microsoft’s servers. Secondly, you can now access a clipboard history feature, that lets you recover a snippet of text you may have copied earlier, for instance. This functionality was previously only available through third party apps like Ditto and is a welcome feature for power users.

Cortana and Edge – Both Cortana and Microsoft Edge get updates in this new build. Cortana can now search files in your OneDrive and emails from Hotmail/Outlook.com. Edge gets several tweaks and overhauls including design enhancements, a re-arranged options menu and a new toolbar.

Any problems this time? – Yep, you betcha. We can’t seem to have a Windows 10 update without something going wrong. Reported problems include compatibility issues with some Intel sound cards and, more alarmingly, cases of files being deleted from users documents folders. While this is rare, we strongly recommend backing up your system before applying the update. Although you can rush out and grab the update now, by visiting the page here, we’d recommend waiting until Windows update offers it to you, since that gives more time for these teething problems to be worked out.

Stop press! We’ve now been reliably informed that the roll out of the October 2018 Windows 10 update has been postponed due to the bug which is causing some users to lose files in their documents folder. This is yet another reminder to always have a backup of your files.

Tip of the Month – How restart is different to shut down

Did you know that restarting your PC is different to shutting it down? Apart from the obvious fact that shutting down turns the computer off, while restarting simply, well, restarts, there is one other key difference in Windows 10. By default, when you shut down a Windows 10 PC it preserves the state of your desktop and other apps so that you can start it up again quickly. However, there may be times when you simply want a fresh start. Perhaps an app has crashed catastrophically, or the system just isn’t behaving itself. In this case, do a restart instead. Restarting will close down all apps, system services and low level processes, giving you a fresh desktop following the reboot.

Free Utility of the Month – Windows 10 media creation tool

Since we’ve talked extensively about Windows 10 updates, now might be a good time to make everyone aware of this useful tool. Back in the days of Windows XP, if you needed to reinstall a computer, you often faced a nightmare when it came to finding the original XP installation disc. If you borrowed one from a friend, it may not accept the product key present on your PC.

Now Microsoft has made this easier by making the Media Creation Tool. No longer need you scrabble around looking for the correct media for a PC with a fresh hard drive. Simply use this tool, build the version of Windows you need and install. You can also use it to install the latest Windows 10 update, meaning you don’t have to reinstall an ancient version of Windows and spend the whole afternoon patching and updating the system.

While it won’t be a tool you need every day, or one for inexperienced users to play with, the Media Creation Tool will come in handy at one time or another for all those of you that act as IT support for the rest of your family. You can grab the media creation tool here.

Microsoft Store App of the Month – Ubuntu

Ubuntu?! Isn’t that Linux? Yes in fact it is. Ask many Linux users what they miss most when using Windows 10 and they will tell you it’s the powerful command line that Linux boasts. Now you can get access to this command line and many programs that run on it, without having to have a separate Linux PC or a virtual machine (note however that GUI based Linux applications are not compatible).

Sure, this particular Microsoft Store app isn’t going to be for everyone, but for the niche crowd that do crave their Linux apps, it’s a real time saver. You can get Ubuntu for Windows 10 by visiting this link

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Halloween fun with your Windows PC

It wouldn’t be an October TWT newsletter without the obligatory Halloween article and this year is no exception. We’ve gone back over our previous years articles to dig out and update our favourite tips for the spooky holiday.

Decorate your PCs desktop – If your family uses your PC most days, why not surprise them with this amazing, fully animated Halloween themed desktop skin? GraveStone is the latest “master skin” from WinCustomze.com. You will need to be a WindowBlinds user and pay $5.95, but the results are spooktackular! Get the GraveStone theme here.

Paint, colour and create – Kids love to colour pictures, but rather than just printing them and wasting paper, why not let them colour them in on your PC? If you have a touch screen PC this can be even more fun, but it’s still pretty fun with a mouse too. Using the child-friendly paint program Tux Paint, kids can get super creative. Try this site for some Halloween themed colouring pages. If you want to add those to Tuxpaint, we made this quick tutorial to show you how.

There are some great colouring apps on the Microsoft Store too. One of our favourites is Fresh Paint which is a super fun painting package especially if you have a touch screen PC like a Microsoft Surface. You could even try painting and modelling in 3D with Microsoft’s new Paint 3D, which came as part of the Windows 10 creators update. There are plenty of spooky Halloween objects in the Paint 3D library to create scenes with.

Spooky games – We’ve looked back over our game selections for the past few years and picked out our three favourites for kids, teens and adults. Any of these spooky games will give you plenty of fun this Halloween.

Best Halloween game for adults – Alien Isolation – Alien Isolation is a first-person perspective game. Unlike most games of this type, you don’t play as a space marine or soldier armed to the teeth with weaponry. Instead, you’re stalked by a single, powerful alien creature that you cannot kill. You will need to outwit the creature by hiding and running and staying one step ahead. A very frightening experience. You can get Alien Isolation on the popular Steam distribution platform here.

Best Halloween game for teens – Camp Keepalive – When Camp Keepalive is invaded by monsters, it’s not the dim-witted campers who fight back. No, that’s left to the unlucky camp counselors. Hey, the kids parents are paying us well, so keep them all alive! Camp Keepalive is a turn-based strategy game set in a camp straight out of an 80’s horror movie. Save the helpless and dull-witted campers from an onslaught of monsters with a team of counselors, each with a special power. You can get the game directly from the authors here.

Best Halloween game for Kids – Haunt the House – Terrortown – A fun, child friendly little game where you play the part of a ghost who must go to various locations around the town and spook the people who are there. Moving the ghost with your mouse or your finger on a touch screen, you can possess different objects and frighten the poor townsfolk who happen to wander by. A charming little game ideal for Halloween play! Grab the game for just five bucks direct from the authors here.

Honourable mentions should also go out to The Evil Within (Adults only), Freddi Fish 2 – Case of the Haunted School House (particularly suitable for younger children), Slender – The Eight Pages (free – suitable for older teenagers and adults only)

Overdone the Halloween candy? – If you are worried your children ate too many sweets and chocolates this year, how about a PC game that encourages them to get more active? Stepmania is the PCs best dancing and exercise game. What’s more, the game is entirely free! Download a copy with some starter songs by visiting this page. Playable on virtually any PC, all you need is a dance controller which can be purchased here. For best results, hook your laptop up to a big screen TV, you can even buy two dance controllers and let your kids have their very own dance off, just be considerate of the neighbours!

Worried about child safety this Halloween? – Millions of kids will go trick or treating this year and just like every other year 99% of them will come back safe and well. If you’re worried about your child wondering off, why not treat them to a smart watch with a built in GPS tracker? That way, you can track their whereabouts on your PC using a web browser or via your smartphone. Some watches even let you make calls to your kids, just like Michael Knight in Knight Rider! (like any child today will know who that is). Back in 2016 we recommended the LG GizmoPal 2, and this remains one of the highest rated smart watches for Children. The device comes in kid friendly colours that most little trick or treaters will love to wear and at around $30 it won’t break the bank either. Check it out here.

Whatever you get up to this year, we hope you have a fantastic time. Stay safe and don’t have nightmares!

That rounds off our newsletter for October. On behalf of everyone here at Top-Windows-Tutorials, I’d like to thank you all for your continuing support and we hope you all have a fun Halloween, Bonfire night and/or Thanksgiving. The TWT Newsletter will return on the 10th November 2018 and will bring you 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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