Many Mac users have taken a quick look at Automator and decided it's too complicated. Although you can do complicated things with it, you can also do simple things too. Let's look at a simple use for Automator.
You don't have to completely replace Windows 7 though and you can run both Windows 7 and 8.1 side by side on the same PC on the same disk drive. Providing you have around 20GB of disk space free on the hard disk drive, you can install Windows 8. You just need to do two things. Install Windows 8.1
If you are looking for a photo for your ebook, blog, Facebook page or website, there are countless images available the web. The problem is that most are copyright. You could get in trouble if you copied someone else’s photo. Here's how to find legal images.
Searching for items in Windows 8 should be easy, but it can trip you up. Sometimes it does not show you what you are looking for. Here's how to use Windows 8 search.
Some of the tiles on Windows 8's Start screen show personal information. If you want to hide the details, there is a quick command to clear the contents of all tiles at once. Clear all Windows 8 tiles.
You should regularly check who and what can access your Google account and revoke permission for anything that shouldn't have it. It is important to keep on top of your Google account security.
If you switch ISPs you might lose your email account. Here is the best way to keep your email when you switch ISPs.
When iOS 7 was launched it brought a radically new interface that is very different to what we had previously seen on Apple's mobile devices and tablets. For the most part, the changes are good, but it isn't perfect and there are a few annoyances. Fix iOS 7's screen display.
If you have a tablet, you may have wondered whether it is possible to make phone calls with it, particularly if you have a 3G model with a SIM card. Surely there can't be that much difference between a 3G tablet and a phone with 3G? Make phone calls on your tablet.
How quickly does your Mac start up these days? Is it still as fast as the day you bought it or does it seem to take longer to get to the desktop than it used to when you first bought it? Lengthening startup times are a common problem. Why is this and what can be done ? Here are some tweaks to speed up the boot process and restore the Mac's original performance.
Most people know they should create a backup of the disk drive, so why is it that so few people bother? Macrium Reflect is a popular backup utility and there is a free version. Some features are disabled, but there are enough working features to back up and restore whole disk drives. Use it!
Android Cleaner is a free app that lets you view the storage and cache used by apps, to erase caches, remove apps, discover adware and more. A cleaner running device will use less battery, will run faster, and have fewer problems.Android Cleaner reviewed.
Smart phones and tablets never seem to have sufficient memory or battery life and we are always running short. AVG, the company famous for its free anti virus software, has some useful Android apps and one you should take a look at is AVG Battery Saver & TuneUp.
For many people though, the Start screen is not a good alternative to the Start menu. If you have Windows 8 or are thinking about getting it, IObit's Start Menu 8 adds a Start menu that is just like the one you are used to.
All Android phones and tablets have built in facilities for uninstalling apps of course, but which apps should you uninstall? AVG Uninstaller makes the decision easier to make by enabling you view a list of apps in different ways. See what AVG Uninstaller can do.
A common problem when starting the computer is a message or a pop-up window appears, an error occurs, or something equally irritating happens. People frequently say, "How do I stop X appearing every time I start Windows?" Here's how...
As you add bookmarks to Safari's bookmarks menu, they are stored in the order you add them. This is random and it makes finding bookmarks awkward when there are a lots. Here is a work-around to sort Safari bookmarks into order.
One of the nice features of modern computers is the way that they can be put into sleep mode or hibernation instead of being switched off completely. They can be woken by touching them and withing a few seconds they are ready to use. Occasionally they won't wake. Solve sleep and hibernate problems.
Quick Look enables you to view the contents of a file without opening it. Wouldn't it be really useful if you could copy information out of the Quick Look window? This tweak will enable you to copy text from Quick Look, saving you time and effort.
There are an awful lot of iPads in the Apple refurb store at the moment. Is this an indication that new iPads are coming soon? Probably. Get a bargain iPad.
The number of stories about Microsoft's Surface are growing and most of them have a similar theme - how poorly it has performed. Why have so few people bought the Surface when clearly tablets are really hot sellers right now? Surface vs iPad vs Nexus 7.
Apple’s low-cost smartphone, now labelled as the ‘iPhone Lite,’ is rumored to be in its production stage and set to hit the stores this September. Here is some of the information we’ve gathered about the upcoming new Apple phone.
The large number of Windows PCs makes it a tempting target for malware authors and it is hard to avoid when using the internet. Security software is a help, but it's useful to have a security backup. Panda Cloud Cleaner cleans malware from the disk drive.
Diskpart might not be the first utility that springs to mind, but some command prompt tools are worth getting to know.
Hardly a week goes by without there being a story in the news where a child has racked up a bill of £1,000 on a tablet or smartphone that has been given to them. To prevent children from accessing things they shouldn't, like expensive apps and other content in the store, you need to configure the parental controls.
The PDF file format is widely used for distributing all manner of documents over the internet and it is very popular. Do you need Adobe Reader to view and print them? No. Uninstall it and your disk will be over 300MB lighter, and what's more, you can still view and print PDFs.
Have you ever had a poor mobile phone signal? Have you tried to use a Wi-Fi hot spot, but you are too far away? The solution is to walk towards the mobile phone transmitter or Wi-Fi access point. But which direction? OpenSignal tells you.
The chances are that if you use Wi-Fi there will be two or more wireless networks within reach of your computer. Which should it connect to? How do you make sure yours at home is the one you connect to and not your neighbour's? With a MacBook in a public place and there might be several Wi-Fi networks. How do you choose which one to use? Set the default Wi-Fi network.
Most software is distributed as executable files (.exe) or as compressed archives (.zip), but some is designed to run from CD and these are distributed as .iso files, which are images of CDs. Windows 8 has functions for handling .iso files.
MadAppLauncher is a free utility that works on any version of Windows, but it is probably most helpful for Windows 8 users. It isn't like the Start menu, but it is useful for starting applications quickly and easily. You may prefer it.
Mail displays the contents of email attachments whenever possible and if someone sends you an email with a photo attachment, you can see the photo in the message. The same is true of PDF files too. If you get a PDF document, you can see it within the message. You may find it quicker to deal with lots of email by preventing mail from showing attachments.
There are some things you can do to improve the performance Internet Explorer and here is one simple method that focuses on improving the speed at which the web browser starts up. So if Internet Explorer starts too slowly, speed it up.
There are many ways to run programs in Windows and the simplest of course, is to click an item on the Start menu in Windows 7 and earlier, or click and app on the Start screen in Windows 8. There is another way that you may not have thought of and in some circumstances it is more convenient than the standard methods. You can use Explorer.
Have you ever sat looking at your phone wondering where all the memory has gone? There never seems to be enough and after taking a few photos and downloading a handful of apps, there seems to be hardly anything left. Whatever size phone you get it doesn't seem to have enough memory. Where does it all go to?
There are many ways to prolong the battery life of your phone and one of these is to disable 3G when it is not being used. You'll get more out of your battery.
Google Mail uses labels rather than folders to organise email messages. There are two buttons, one of which says Label as and the other says Move to. They are almost identical. Should you label or move emails?
Google is one of the biggest advertisers on the web and is perhaps the biggest. The adverts are generated on the fly and the question is, what type of advert should Google display? Set your Google ad preferences.
One of the great features of smartphones is the way information can be pushed out to them. You can be notified when there is a new email, when someone posts something on Twitter or Facebook, bids on your auction and so on. The defaults aren't always the best, so here's how to filter the notifications you don't want.
When you want to browse the disk drive and see what files are stored on it you open a Finder window and it displays them. Or does it? Well, it actually only displays some of the files and it does not show all of them. The reason is that some files on the disk are hidden. A simple tweak is all it takes to make hidden files visible.
My Windows PC was running fine and there were no problems, then one day for no apparent reason at all, it wouldn't shut down. What was wrong? Here is the solution to the slow shutdown problem on my PC. It might solve yours too.
It is very tedious renaming a group of files individually and giving them descriptive filenames. Wouldn't it be much easier if there was a batch rename utility that could do the job for us and rename files sequentially, or based on the date or time? If you have always wanted such a tool then here's where to get a great multi-file rename utility for free.
Search for MacKeeper on Google and there are many links to sites discussing this controversial software. A few pages claim or report on claims that it is malware and a scam. This does seem at odds with my experience and while I wouldn't say that it's the absolute best software around, it's not bad and it can in fact, be quite useful. MacKeeper reviewed
Take control of the data used by your Android phone and set limits and warnings so you aren't charged extra by your mobile service provider. Limit bandwidth usage.
USB disk drives are getting smaller, lighter and more portable. There are also USB flash memory drives or thumb/pen drives as they are sometimes called. They are easily lost or stolen and then the thief has access to all your files. It is essential to use security that prevents thieves and people who simply find your lost drive, from gaining access to the contents. Use BitLocker.
We've all saved a file and the next day, week or month, we can't find where it is. Gremlins seem to move files around while we're asleep! Spotlight is a great tool for finding files, but you might not want it to index everything. Build an exclusion list.
One of the most irritating features of the iPad is limited support for printers. It is fair enough that it only supports wireless printers and I don't expect to be able to plug in a USB cable, but why does it not support more wireless printers? Make it work with any printer
The screen on the Samsung Galaxy S4 is superb and you might think that it could't be better. However, a few simple tweaks might enhance the display and turn it into an amazing one. You just need to change a system setting.
When you are listening to your favourite music on your Samsung Galaxy S4 or other Android phone or tablet, you might want to share it with your friends. How to share music.
There are two types of playlist in the Google Play Music app on Android phones and tablets and there is the standard type, plus one called Instant Mix.
If you are feeling abandoned by Google's closure of RSS Reader, there is always Microsoft. If you have a recent edition of Outlook you can add RSS feeds to it and it's a useful alternative. Add RSS feeds
The Start screen enables you to run tablet-like full apps like News, Weather and People. Unlike desktop programs, they don't have window controls or regular menus. How do you close Windows 8 apps?
Ubuntu 13.04 has a few new features that are welcome, but you might also experience a few glitches too. For example, you can't upgrade from 12.04 to 13.04, some people have had performance problems running Ubuntu in VirtualBox and so on. A better way to run Ununtu.
Each year brings a heap of technology, which we either love, loath or simply don’t care about. It’s perhaps a token of humankind’s technological progress, that we have so much to browse through when it comes to spending our hard earned money on a few technological treats. To make your job as a consumer somewhat easier, here are the tech must-buys of 2013... so far.
Mail on the Apple Mac looks very straightforward and it is easy to send and receive messages. Even dealing with email attachments looks simple. However, there is more than meets the eye and there are some features related to attachments that you may not be aware of. Here is a guide to enable you to take control of Mail attachments.
Facebook Home has split people's opinions and some love it while others hate it. The problem is that more people hate it than love it. In fact, it could be called a disaster for the company. Instead of ushering in a new mobile era for the company, it has turned people off. Thoughts on Facebook
A recent UK Watchdog TV programme featured the Samsung Galaxy S4 and it was airing a few people's complaints about the lack of memory on the new phone, asking Samsung where all the memory has gone. Is there a problem or are people asking the wrong question?
If you are running Ubuntu 13.04 there are new and updated features. One of these concerns social networking and other online accounts and you can add Facebook Twitter, Google and so on to the system. Other apps can then access the information you have on these services. Here is how to add them and how to control which Linux applications can access them.
The obvious way to access Chrome's settings is to go to the menu button and select Settings. There are many more settings, but they are hidden and you won't find them unless you know the secret command to access Chrome settings.
The first thing you learn when you switch to Google Mail is to use labels to tag messages. That is useful, but what you may not be aware of is the way that labels can be used in the search box to perform advanced Gmail filtering.
There is a missing feature in Android that I wish it had. It is in the iPhone and a really miss it on the Samsung Galaxy S4 (and any phone or tablet running the latest version of Android). It is lock screen notifications. What you need is NiLS
Double clicking a file opens it in the default app. If you want to open it in a different app you right click it and select Open With. It's a great feature, but the Open With menu fills with duplicates. Clean up the Open With menu.
Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 13 megapixel camera. Do we need all these pixels in a phone camera? Are more pixels better?
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All content written by Roland Waddilove. Need articles for your website or magazine? Mail me!
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