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Posted on Mar 10, 2020 in Newsletter, Welcome | 0 comments

TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 77 – Valentines special, Windows 10 search issues and more!

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Top Windows Tutorials
TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 77
Hi, welcome to the February 2020 TWT Newsletter!

Time for another TWT Newsletter and we apologise as this one has turned up a day late. Love is in the air, everywhere we look around! February the 14th is Valentines day and in all the years we’ve done the newsletter I don’t remember ever doing a Valentines day special. Then again, computing is often considered a solitary activity so perhaps that’s why.

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In this months issue:-

Valentines – Can Windows really make you more romantic?
Tip of the Month – Backspace and Delete, do you know the difference?
Free Utility of the Month – TestDisk
Microsoft Store App of the Month – TIDAL
Windows 10 search issues remind us of the bad old days

Valentines – Can Windows really make you more romantic?

Your PC can do many things, but making you into a more desirable partner is probably not one of them, nevertheless, just like any other occasion, your PC can help things go with a bang, if you know how.

Valentines shopping – Ok, so we’ve gone into lots of online shopping tips back in our November newsletter, so if you need some general security pointers, be sure to check that out. 

If you’re shopping for a really special gift for someone, particularly someone who you share your home with, then remember to keep things secret. Some web browsers have so called incognito modes, but the best way to keep things on the sly is to create a separate user account for each person. Not only that, but you get a boost to your PCs security if you create a separate administrator account and then a day to day standard user account.

Creating user accounts is easy. Here’s how to do it in Windows 10.

If you think your partner might get suspicious, you can delete the new account as soon as you’re done using it too. Windows will always require you to have one administrator account, but you can add or remove user accounts as often as you like. 

Sneaking away for the weekend? Maybe you should pack the laptop after all – If you’re getting away from it all with your loved one this weekend then it might be best to leave the laptop behind. The temptation to check your work e-mails or messages might get too much. However, if you’re going away and want to make sure you don’t get bored, remember your Windows PC offers a way to watch both the Netflix and Amazon Prime services. The TV in the hotel might be restricted to just broadcast television rather than the selections available on these streaming services. 

You can watch Netflix on your PC by downloading the app in the Windows store. For Amazon Prime, you will need to watch in your web browser.

Online dating  dos and don’ts – If you’re single this Valentines day then you might be tempted to try one of the many online dating services. These services can and do work for some people, but not everyone. Curb your expectations and consider it as a possible way to meet someone, rather than something that will automatically find you Mr or Mrs right. We don’t have any specific recommendations for any particular service, there are several around that cater for all kinds of preferences, so do some checking before you subscribe!

If you do dip your toes into the waters of online dating, be careful not to lose your head. Did you know that “Romance Fraud” is on the increase? Criminals and con-men pray on lonely hearts, at first chatting and flirting normally, then convincing them to send money or expensive gifts. A sob story from your new crush might be what you want to believe, but would someone who cared about you really want you to send them money before you even met?, probably not. Think long and hard and ask the advice of a friend before you get involved with anyone like this. 

As with anyone you meet online, be careful with what information you share. It’s extremely easy to make a mistake when you start regularly corresponding with someone you like. Send a photo from your smartphone, for instance, and on many phones the location is tagged on the image. Now, a stranger on the internet has your street address, accurate to within one house number usually.

Keep in mind too that anything you share online has the potential to stay online forever. If you share intimate pictures with someone, even on a private, encrypted messaging service like Whatsapp or Wire, there’s nothing to stop them copying the messages and posting or sharing them elsewhere. Depending on what you shared it may actually be illegal for them to repost it, of course, but it still has the potential to be embarrassing and even damaging. 

Have teenage kids? – Teenagers often share things they shouldn’t, with Valentines around the corner they may be more tempted than ever to do so, so talk to your teen about what’s safe to share and what isn’t. So called “sexting”, the sending of intimate pictures, can land teens in serious legal trouble. If you’re under the age of consent, you cannot consent to such things, even with yourself.

Meeting an online crush – Whether you meet on a dating site or just by chance somewhere else online (yes, people even meet their significant others on forums or online gaming services!) then eventually of course, you will need to take those first steps towards meeting in the real world. For a first meeting, always meet somewhere public and always tell someone where you are going. The media sometimes paints a dark picture of online dating and strangers on the internet, but in reality it’s no more or less likely to land you in trouble than any other way of meeting new people.

Playing together – You might not realise, but there are actually some couple friendly video games you might want to check out, if you’re both into that sort of thing of course! The super popular farming simulator Stardew Valley lets two friends cooperate growing crops, raising animals and exploring the valley. You will each need a PC (you can’t play split screen) and a copy of the game.

The cutesy “Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime” lets two (or three or four!) players cooperate and take on the evil forces of “anti-love”, just remember to work together and play nicely! Check it out here.

Whatever you get up to this year, or if you’re skipping the whole thing and staying happily single, we hope you have a fun day!

Tip of the Month – Backspace and Delete, do you know the difference?

It’s a simple little tip this month, but mastering the keyboard is an important skill if you want to get the most out of your computer. Have you ever noticed that there are two delete keys on your keyboard? The backspace key is usually at the top right of the main bank of keys, and is labelled with a big arrow pointing to the left. The ‘Del’ key is usually to the right of return on a full sized keyboard. What is the difference between the two? Pressing backspace will delete the character you have just written, while the ‘Del’ key will delete the character in front of the cursor, which is useful if you’re editing text.

So there you have it, the next time you are editing an e-mail or other important text, and you realise you made a mistake, don’t delete chunks of information, simply click with your mouse where you want to make an edit and use the ‘Backspace’ or the ‘Del’ key to alter the text accordingly!

Free Utility of the Month – TestDisk

Here at Top-Windows-Tutorials, we repeatedly bang on about the importance of making backups. Your hard drives will eventually fail, that’s just a fact of life, and if you don’t have a backup you’re going to lose all your data.

We’re sure most of you have been paying attention, but just in case you have a friend or family member who’s not been so careful, you might want to know about this handy tool.

TestDisk is a file recovery program that can extract files that have been corrupted or deleted. It can work on hard drives that are near death, and extract files from them. 

If you’re lucky, this utility might just save the day. It should go without saying though, it’s no substitute for a proper backup.

If you want to give it a shot, download TestDisk from the website here.

Microsoft Store app of the Month – TIDAL

There are a lot of music streaming services, like Spotify and Deezer, so why should you consider TIDAL? We like TIDAL because we’re lucky enough to have our PC connected to a really great sound system. TIDAL focuses on delivering you the very best quality streaming possible, in studio quality. Can we really tell the difference? Well, it certainly sounds great to us and given the service is good value anyway and has this handy Windows app, it’s definitely worth checking out.

You can also take TIDAL with you on your phone, for when you’re not able to use your super fancy hi-fi system. Pair the service with a mobile contract that offers unlimited data and you really do have a pocket music player out of a science fiction movie.

Download the TIDAL app from the Microsoft Store here.

Windows 10 search issues remind us of the bad old days

Were you one of the millions of users affected by the Windows 10 search glitch this month? On many PCs, the desktop search simply stopped working, returning nothing but a blank grey square for any search query. Microsoft were quick to fix this issue and for most users a simple reboot was all that was required, in other words, try turning it off and then back on again.

At least one of our PCs here at TWT HQ was affected by the issue and honestly we were pretty lost without the search function. Remember when Windows 8 first came out and everyone started bemoaning the loss of the Start button? When is the last time you actually used the start button to launch an app? Personally, these days, we launch all of our apps by searching for them.

Back in the Windows XP days, we used to use an app called “Launchy”, which would appear when summoned by a keyboard shortcut and provide an app search function, just like we are now used to in modern versions of Windows. Launchy’s website still exists but it doesn’t look like it has been updated in more than a decade. Perhaps, if Microsoft are going to take away our search function, we should try re-installing this old relic just in case!

Maybe back in the Windows XP days we all had less apps on our PCs, or maybe we just had better memories, but one things for sure, we cartainly missed search a lot more than we missed the Start button!

That concludes the newsletter for February. On behalf of everyone here at Top-Windows-Tutorials, I’d like to thank you all for your continuing support. The TWT Newsletter will return on the 10th March 2020 and will bring you more tips, tricks and techniques to help you get the best out of your PC, be it 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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