Thursday, 29 December 2016

Resize any file without losing quality

Resize any file without losing quality

Files are sometimes too large to store or share easily. Wayne Williams reveals the best ways to shrink images, videos and other files without affecting their quality

Friday, 23 December 2016

Is VR Finally Becoming A Reality?

Is VR Finally Becoming A Reality?

PlayStation VR units are flying off the shelves while Google Cardboard is a cheap-as-chips VR headset. Sarah Dobbs finds out if this means that virtual reality is finally here

Imagine virtual reality and you probably think of the 90s. You might think of The Lawnmower Man, the daft Pierce Brosnan sci-fi movie. Or maybe you think of the clunky graphics and even clunkier helmets of CITV’s Knightmare. But virtual reality (VR) has moved on, and with some of the biggest names in technology getting behind it, it might finally be its time to shine.

The Rise Of Online Shopping

The Rise Of Online Shopping

How did the enormous online shopping market come to be? Let’s find out

You probably think nothing of going online and browsing through places like M&S, Next, BHS, Boots, or Argos. Other high street stores, and sites like Amazon and eBay, have long been household names – even shopping for groceries at outlets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s has become a staple of online commerce, such is the massively online world we live in. The Internet and practically every company you can think of is there, all willing to sell you their wares without you even having to leave your chair. There’s practically nothing you can’t buy online, if you know where to look.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Fast Fixes for Plex

Fast Fixes for Plex

Rename incorrectly labelled content, fix sign-in problems, rearrange your Plex library and add missing media

Windows 10 in 2017. The changes you need to know about

Windows 10 in 2017. The changes you need to know about

Microsoft has laid out its plans for yet more major updates next year. Mike Plant explains what they are and how you’ll be affected

There are few certainties in life. Taxes, death, and as one year ends another will begin, which leads us to another sure-fire certainty: Microsoft will update Windows 10 again in 2017. We’re not talking about a little polishing and tweaking either, rather a major overhaul as the so-called Creators Update sees the light of day.

Muscling its way on to your PC in Spring, it’s likely to cause the same level of upheaval as the Anniversary Update. But hopefully it’ll all be worth it. We examine the changes, both confirmed by Microsoft and strongly rumoured (see below).

Make Your PC UNHACKABLE in 2017

Make Your PC UNHACKABLE in 2017

Hackers are devising cunning new ways to steal your files and money in 2017. Jane Hoskyn reveals next year’s big threats and what you must do to stay safe

The biggest security story of 2016 is that we’re all fed up with security stories, apparently. According to certain newspaper reports, we’re all so bored of being warned about malware and hackers that we’ve stopped caring. This supposed epidemic of ‘security fatigue’ – based on a study by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology – neatly fits the “down with experts” narrative of recent months.

However, this isn’t what we’re hearing on doorsteps (figuratively speaking). Judging by your letters and emails, you’ve never been more attuned to the dangers of email scams, dodgy software installers and even Wi-Fi hijackers. Of all the security tools we’ve mentioned over the past 12 months, your favourite is an online tool that scans your router for dodgy DNS activity (F-Secure Router Checker: www.snipca.com/22682). Security fatigue? Not among our readers, that’s for sure.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Is The X86 Era Coming To An End?

Is The X86 Era Coming To An End?

Mark Pickavance looks at the shifting relevance of Intel's X86 technology, and if it will soon be a thing of the past

The origins of X86 go back to 1978 when Intel released the 8086 processor, a 16-bit extended version of its previous 8088 series design. It wasn't an overnight success, because there were lots of chip makers then, and many of them had more popular support than Intel.

Early computer makers preferred the chips like the Z80 from Zilog, 6501 and 6502 by MOS technology, the 6800 series by Motorola, among others. But what propelled Intel's technology was IBM's choice to use it in its IBM PC in 1981 and the subsequent success of this platform in standardising Intel instructions and initially the MS-DOS operating system.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Building A PC For The Future

Building A PC For The Future

Mark Pickavance talks about things you might well want to consider if you're considering building a PC in the next six months

There was a time that choosing the parts for a new PC was remarkably simple, because the choice was so limited. When Intel launched the i486, it only made two versions initially: 25MHz and 33MHz models.

These days, the opposite is true, and you're the confronted with a relatively huge range of processors, memory, GPU and motherboards that are widely available.

With so many options, it's difficult to know where to start. I created this small feature to show people preparing to build a new PC what things they might want to consider including and the things they could probably leave out. My suggestions won't fit every scenario, but they should help anyone building something new to strike a decent balance between what’s useful now and what could be ideal further down the road.

But first, let's talk about processors and the best choices for those who want longevity for their system.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Download Without Being HACKED

Download Without Being HACKED

How can you be sure that the file or program you want to download is exactly what it seems? Mike Plant explains how to avoid nasty surprises

The internet is bursting with all kinds of downloadable content. PC programs, videos, music, photos, games and more are all just a click away. But with hackers using legitimate-looking downloads to smuggle viruses and malware on to your PC, will you get more than you bargained for when you hit the download button? Thankfully, there are ways you can make sure the file or program you’re about to download won’t damage your PC. In this feature we’ll introduce you to the tools you need and the habits you should adopt to thwart the hackers.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Are Millennials More Likely To Fall For Tech Support Scams?

Are Millennials More Likely To Fall For Tech Support Scams?

Younger people know what they're doing with technology, right? A Microsoft survey suggests that might not entirely be the case. Sarah Dobbs finds out more...

There's a stereotype for the kind of person who falls for tech support scams. You know the one: when you think about tech support scams, you imagine the person picking up the phone as nervous, not particularly tech-savvy, and probably in an older age bracket. Old enough not to have grown up with computers and the internet, but old enough to have learned to use a computer at work, probably. The kind of person who has a PC at home, but probably has their password written down on a Post-It note stuck to the monitor, because they don't use it often enough to have committed it to muscle memory. You definitely wouldn't think of the so-called 'digital natives'. The generation who grew up using computers every day at school would know better, surely?

California Streams

game streaming

...and so does half the world, it seems. Kevin Pocock skims a gaming phenomenon

Whatever the future of media creation, it's fairly likely there'll be someone sitting at home, broadcasting to the world while receiving support, followers or some sort of income. In a sense, the die is cast: YouTubers can earn millions and command book deals. So what's next? If I had to wager. I'd place my polymer notes at the feet of streaming. Not the streaming of on-demand services, or the watching of 'professionally created' content. No. I'd bet that streaming of games is where the money, mass entertainment, and next surge of interest leads. I'd be cheating a bit as well, because it's already happening.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Fake your online identity

Fake your online identity

Sharing your real personal info over the web leaves you open to spam and scams. Hayden Parkes (aka Robert Irvine) explains how to be someone else online

Secret New Tools For Google

Secret New Tools For Google

Think you know Google inside out? Well, think again. David Ludlow lifts the lid on 30 of the search giant’s newest and most useful hidden features in the services you use every day

Google tools such as Maps, YouTube, Chrome, Drive and of course search have become so integral to our lives - both online and off - that it’s hard to imagine how we’d survive without them. And although there are valid concerns about what Google does with our data, no other company can claim to offer so many sites and so much software of such good quality and ease of use.

Much of Google’s success is down to the fact that it never stops improving its existing tools and developing new ones, so there’s always something new and useful for us to try. Over the following six pages, we round up our favourite new and lesser-known features from the search giant, spanning all its most popular products and a few that have launched more recently.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Battle Of The Virtual Assistants — Microsoft vs Apple vs Google

Battle Of The Virtual Assistants — Microsoft vs Apple vs Google

As predicted by Star Trek, it looks like we‘ll be talking to our computers soon. Or, more specifically, an AI personal assistant. Roland Waddilove compares the current crop

The digital personal assistant would appear to be one of the next big battlegrounds in tech, and many companies are pouring a lot of money, time, and talent into developing them. These are apps and services that are intelligent, interactive, can perform tasks that make life easier, and keep you updated with the latest information on things that interest you. The names are now pretty well-known: Microsoft has Cortana, a key component of the Windows 10 operating system; Google has Now on Android and iOS, and also Assistant in the latest Pixel phone; Apple has Siri, which is on iOS and also in macOS Sierra, the latest Mac operating system. Other companies are getting into digital personal assistants, too, such as Amazon with Alexa.

Bagging A Bargain

Bagging A Bargain

It’s time to whip out the credit card: Black Friday and Cyber Monday are back

If you have snapped up this copy of Micro Mart on the day it made it to the shops – that is, 24th November 2016 – then let us be the first to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. It may seem odd for us to do that given we don’t actually celebrate this particular American festival here in the UK. But it’s getting to the point where it’s just about the only US event that we don’t mark. Not yet, in any case.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Fantastic new uses for your old laptop

Fantastic new uses for your old laptop

You may struggle to teach old dogs new tricks, but that’s not true of old laptops. Mike Plant explains how to get more out of a laptop you thought you’d never use again

Many of us have an old, long-forgotten laptop squirreled away in a cupboard or the loft gathering dust. It probably became too sluggish for everyday use, prompting you to replace it with a swankier, speedier model. Perhaps you put your laptop through our recent ‘When will your PC die?’ benchmark tests and realised it was on its last legs.

Before you send it off to your nearest landfill site, why not try giving it a new lease of life? Read on as we explain how to convert it into anything from a second PC screen to an amplifier.

Stop online advertisers tracking you

Stop online advertisers tracking you

The web is tracking you without you even knowing. Mike Plant explains how to shield yourself from online advertisers that want to sell your browsing habits to the highest bidder

Are you being watched right now? Probably not because you’re reading this! But the next time you go online your activity will be closely monitored. Every website you access employs trackers designed to see how you reached it, which bit of the site you interacted with, how long you stayed put and what site you leapt to afterwards.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Samsung 960 Pro 1TB

Samsung 960 Pro 1TB

Samsung makes some scorching hot hardware, but not in the Galaxy Note 7 way

Dо you recall when the PC transitioned from IDE to SATA? Then most motherboards came with both ports, and I recall looking at IDE and wondering why they still existed.

SATA was so superior that, other than for legacy reasons, IDE became pointless practically overnight. I'm saying this since the new Samsung 960 Pro M.2 makes me view SATA ports in precisely the same way.

Have Router, Will Broadband

Have Router, Will Broadband

What's the best approach to a new ISP if you already have a modem/router?

If you've spent any amount of time browsing around for a new broadband package or leafing through the endless bits of junk mail that contain the most recent broadband deals you'll notice one thing: all broadband suppliers seem to be very keen to throw in a new modem/router with the deal. Sometimes these units are off-the-shelf models you'll see in you local computer store, and others are bespoke models designed specifically for certain vendors.

Secure Your Online Banking (And Personal Data)

Secure Your Online Banking (And Personal Data)

Tesco Bank customers were powerless to prevent hackers stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from accounts, but there are still ways you can secure and protect your money and data

There was a time when people implicitly trusted banks. They certainly seemed to be a far better alternative to stuffing your cash under the mattress, and they had an air of authority about them. How how times have changed, though. Many of the grand old branches of yesteryear have long gone, and we've lived through a period of such great insecurity that many banks have had to be restructured. One - Northern Rock - even collapsed after becoming the first in 150 years to suffer a run.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Mini Doom

Mini Doom

A tiny version of a much loved classic this week

Doom is quite possibly one of the most infamous games in the PC's history. When it was released, it took the world by storm and generated both controversial news pieces as well as scores of pages of hints, tips, secrets.

The game catapulted the PC into the mainstream gaming market, where once the PC was a niche gaming platform, post-Doom found a PC in nigh-on every bedroom in the connected world.

Keeping Your Smartphone Charged On The Move

Keeping Your Smartphone Charged On The Move

Struggling to keep your phone charged all day? Sarah Dobbs finds ways to give it some extra juice when you're not at home

If you could talk to your 2006-self about your mobile phone, Past You would probably be pretty amazed. The phone in your pocket today probably has a touchscreen, no keyboard, the ability to surf the web, GPS, and all sorts of other awesome things. On at least one count, though. Past You probably has a phone that outperforms yours: battery life.

Yup, while mobile phones like the old Nokia 3210 or even the swanky-at-the-time Motorola Razr V3 could go days without needing to be charged, your smartphone is probably starting to struggle by mid-afternoon if you've dared to actually, you know, use it. Make a few calls, check Twitter, use Google Maps to find your way somewhere, play a bit of Candy Crush, and you're probably looking at 40% battery left at best.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

How to use an old PC and webcam to create a home-security hub

How to use an old PC and webcam to create a home-security hub

Wayne Williams shows you how to set up a home-surveillance system that stores its footage in the cloud

The most sophisticated home-security cameras don’t only alert you when an intruder is detected - they also save the footage they record to the cloud. This means you can view it from any device at any time, and your evidence is safe, even if thieves make off with your security cameras and other hardware.

There are plenty of great security-camera systems to choose from, but you don't have to spend a fortune on the latest setup if you already have an old computer and a camera or two to build your own.

In this article we look at the hardware and software you need to put together your own, modern cloud-based security system.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Are Cheap SSDs A False Economy?

Are Cheap SSDs A False Economy?

Is it wise to stick to the cheaper side of the expensive solid-state market?

Although prices are dropping for SSDs and have dropped quite some way over the last couple of years, compared to the prices of traditional spinners or HDDs, solid state is still very expensive. This isn’t by a small margin, either. The price difference is large, and you can buy spinner hard disks with three or four times the capacity as a same-priced SSD. If you’re looking for storage, this makes the older hard disk option by far more attractive.

Do Non-Gamers Need Discrete GPUs?

Do Non-Gamers Need Discrete GPUs?

We all know that gamers need graphical power, but what about other users?

If you visit any graphics card website you’ll quickly be bombarded by images and screenshots from all sorts of games and gaming-related media. Specifications for graphics cards are usually focused entirely on how well they can deliver the latest graphical performance in the latest games, and many of the features of a card are designed to appeal to those who play games on a daily basis. Even a card’s physical appearance these days is often made to look sleek and attractive, much like something out of one of the games to be run using it.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Ultimate Phone Photos: Part 2

Ultimate Phone Photos: Part 2

In the second part of this series, Mark Pickavance looks at different photographic techniques and how to best achieve them using your phone

Last week, I covered generally taking better pictures and video with your phone. Building on that, I’ll be talking about special situations this week.

What’s really interesting about some of the methods is that because of the software technology of the phone, it is easier to do some of these things on a phone than with an actual camera.

If you’ve ever wanted to move beyond the occasional family snap and selfie stage of phone photography, then you might want to consider trying some of these alternatives.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Say! Goodbye! To Yahoo!

Say! Goodbye! To Yahoo!

After the massive hack in 2014 that saw millions of customers’ personal details stolen, has Yahoo betrayed your trust for the final time? Mike Plant explains what you need to do before ditching the email service for good

Yahoo has been in hot water of late. First, it admitted – after two years – that hackers had breached its security and stolen the account details of 500 million of its customers in 2014. Then there were allegations that the company secretly scanned its customers’ emails on behalf of US intelligence (www.snipca.com/22184).

These two calamities have seriously dented users’ faith in Yahoo – to the point where many are closing their accounts (www.snipca.com/22191). If you are a Yahoo customer and have decided you want to move to another email service you might be concerned that you’ll lose all your emails and contacts. You needn’t worry. Here we’ll explain how to close your Yahoo account, while transferring your emails, contacts and calendar entries to an email service of your choice.

Who's Hacking Your Wi-Fi?

Who's Hacking Your Wi-Fi?

Is someone secretly hacking your home Wi-Fi connection? Jonathan Parkyn shows you how to block the leeches and make your Wi-Fi hackproof

Have you ever checked your mobile phone while parked in front of your house, and noticed that you’re still connected to your home Wi-Fi network? The irony is that, even if you suffer from wireless black spots inside your own house, it’s often still possible to access your network from neighbours’ houses and gardens, or from outside on the street. And thatmeans somebody could be hacking into your Wi-Fi right now, without you ever knowing.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Refurbished Laptops Guide

Refurbished Laptops Guide

How can you get the best deal on used systems?

Buying a refurbished system or refurbishing your own, is fairly simple when you’re talking about desktop PCs or simple consumer electronics like tablets and phones. But what about if you’re after a cheap laptop? They’re harder to repair and clean, and virtually impossible to outfit with new hardware outside of a few small elements. So what can you do, and what should you look for?

Over the next few pages, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about getting your hands on a refurbished laptop – and what you should expect to find if you want one.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Ultimate Phone Photos: Part 1

Ultimate Phone Photos

In the first of a two-part feature on phone photography, Mark Pickavance looks at taking better pictures and choosing the right phone

I remember when cameras first appeared on phones, and while most people were impressed that it was even possible, the results weren’t great. Early sensors had low resolution and very poor low light capability, and they were usually borrowed from cheap compact cameras that produced equally abysmal results.

But as new phone generations appeared they got better, driven mostly by social media, and the compulsion of capturing important moments to share with others. Soon phones had better sensors, then built-in flashes and eventually decent optics and image stabilisation.

Understanding Graphics Cards

Understanding Graphics Cards

If you’re thinking of buying a new graphics card, it pays to understand all of that jargon

One of the most high profile upgrades in the PC market has to be the graphics card. If you’re into games it’s an essential purchase, and one that requires inevitable upgrades as the technology and games become more and more advanced. Other users like graphic designers and animators also need good visual hardware, albeit often specialised, and not the same breed as most consumer models.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

31 Chrome Add-Ons (That Are Actually Useful)

31 Chrome Add-Ons (That Are Actually Useful)

Mark Oakley rounds-up the Chrome extensions that make a difference

Google Chrome has become the go-to web browser for much of the Internet-using world. Such is its dominance, it is now used by over half of all desktop users. For the longest time, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was the browser of choice for desktop users but as Microsoft dabbled close to the Edge, so Google Chrome surpassed all its rivals.

Chances are, then, that you’ll be using Chrome, but are you making the most of Google’s browser? Here are 31 of the add-ons that will genuinely make a difference to your browsing experience. Find all of them over at the Chrome Web Store, of course.

Nitro Concepts E200 Gaming Chair

Nitro Concepts E200 Gaming Chair

Ergonomics, comfort and style. What’s not to like?

We’ve seen and sat on a fair number of computer, workstation and gaming chairs in our time, some of which have been constructed from rich Corinthian leather or boasted a fascinating array of technical additions. One thing we have learned in that time, there’s more to a computer chair than just a list of features.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

How to make your old tablet last longer

How to make your old tablet last longer

There’s no need to upgrade your tablet with every new release. Wayne Williams shows how to extend the life of an old tablet

Every year, tech manufacturers like Apple and Samsung release shiny new tablets to tempt us to upgrade, but there’s often no need to ditch your old model for a fancy new device. An iPad you bought years ago will run the same apps as today’s hardware, and may even run iOS 10, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Some older, cheaper Android tablets might not fare so well but with a bit of care and attention, they should still provide a few more years of use. Here’s what you need to do to extend your tablet’s lifespan.

Take your free software with you

Take your free software with you

Saving your favourite software as portable apps to a USB means you can use them on any PC. Edward Munn rounds up the best ones

Beat EVERY Web Restriction

Beat EVERY Web Restriction

Websites seem to take a perverse pleasure in blocking what you can see and do online. Wayne Williams is having none of that. Here, he explains how to beat unreasonable restrictions

There’s nothing more frustrating than coming up against a brick wall when you’re browsing the web. We’ve all been faced with videos “unavailable in your country”, ISPs blocking websites and warnings that “your IP address has been banned”. Sadly, this is becoming increasingly common as web companies decide exactly what we can and can’t access online. In this feature, we reveal how to beat unfair blocks so you can do whatever you want (within reason!) on the web.

We’ll show you how to access sites blocked by your ISP, watch your favourite iPlayer programmes from abroad, download apps not yet available in your country, overcome geographical video restrictions, and more. We’ll also show you how you can get locked forum and social-media accounts reinstated, and read news stories that Google has removed links to.

Monday, 31 October 2016

What Specification Is Required For Gaming?

What Specification Is Required For Gaming

Games really push today's PCs, so we look at what even the most modest gamer needs to have in their system

Games have always been a great benchmark of home computing power. Although the mighty CG mainframes we read about or powerful servers with multiple CPUs may take the cake in terms of pure mathematical muscle or rendering capability, when it comes home PCs, it's videogames that often push the platform. Indeed, the advance in PC power in general may have never come as far as it has without gaming pushing the envelope. Thanks in part to this entertainment hobby, we're graced with powerful video cards, masses of RAM and much better audio quality, so much so that many believe the home PC is the ultimate gaming platform. Indeed, in terms of technology, that really can't be denied.

Swift Playgrounds For The Apple iPad

Swift Playgrounds For The Apple iPad

David Briddock reviews Apple's new interactive coding experience for the iPad generation

For many, the act of creating apps simply by typing code statements into an editor can seem somewhat magical. Yet coding isn't just for software wizards or a gifted minority. With modern tools and computing platforms, it's something anyone can do.

The importance of coding as a fundamental skill is finally being realised by the educational community and government bodies. Indeed, coding is now a key part of the educational curriculum. It's also an essential ingredient in the 'constructional thinking' movement - something that encompasses computing systems and electronic hardware hacking.

Friday, 28 October 2016

36 Low Cost Ways To Speed Up Your PC

36 Low Cost Ways To Speed Up Your PC

Is your PC running slower than a snail? Here's what you can do

Your PC is running slowly, stuttering to a halt every now and then, and taking ages to load apps. Your games are moving at a snail's pace, and you feel at your wits end as simple tasks take far longer than they should. It's time, you think, to throw the machine in the bin and get yourself a new one. But is that drastic measure really the answer? In many cases, no, it's not. You could simply look at ways to enhance the speed, and the best news is that is won't cost you that much money to do.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

When Will Your PC Die?

When Will Your PC Die?

No matter how healthy it seems now, your PC will eventually grind to a halt. Mike Plant explains how to calculate its life expectancy and put a few extra miles on its clock

Time and tide wait for no man, they say, and sadly the same is true of your PC. After years of use even the most robust of PCs will start to feel its age and succumb to errors, freezes and the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. Each new setback brings it inexorably closer to the scrapheap.

We always show you how to breathe new life into your PC. But there comes a time when even our advice can no longer keep your trusty PC up and running. Sadly, there will always come a day when you’ll have to pull the plug one last time and think about a replacement.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

37 Reasons Why Your Computer Might Be Crashing (And What To Do About It)

37 Reasons Why Your Computer Might Be Crashing (And What To Do About It)

Freezing, weird noises and the blue screen of death Is your PC gasping its last breath?

Imagine spending hours on an important document or presentation, getting towards the end and then watching in horror as the computer seizes, the screen goes blue and the machine resets. With non-autosaving programs that could easily spell disaster, and yet most of us have been there at some point in the past, with our computer seemingly giving us no warning of the impending doom it’s about to bring upon us.

10 Totally Free Photo Editors You Should Be Using

10 Totally Free Photo Editors You Should Be Using

Roland Waddilove shows you how to supercharge your photo editing, with these great apps for PC and mobile

Most people have at least one photo editor on their PC. It’s most likely one of the wellknown favourites like Photoshop, Gimp or Paint.Net, but there are many more great programs available. Alternative applications often provide different ways of working, new tools and exciting effects, so it’s a good idea to expand your toolkit with a few freebies.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Who owns your online data?

Who owns your online data?

What happens to your data when online services are snapped up by bigger rivals? Nicole Kobie exposes the truth behind the web’s biggest buyouts

Multi-billion dollar tech acquisitions may seem to have little relevance for us humble users, but there’s no question that they affect our lives online. When the big fish snap up smaller fry, it may be because they’re after their technology or aiming to wipe out competition, but in many cases, they’re most interested in vacuuming up your data.

Best Android apps for scanning documents

Best Android apps for scanning documents

Edward Munn rounds up the best apps for turning your smartphone into a pocket scanner

Uninstall anything completely

Uninstall anything completely

Your PC is stuffed with junk – including programs you thought you’d seen the back of. Jane Hoskyn reveals how to remove every trace and reclaim your space

Computers (like people!) slow down when they’re full. If you’ve had your PC for a while, it’s likely to be crammed with programs you no longer use, Windows apps you never used, defunct hardware drivers and all sorts of stuff you can’t budge, even when you right-click and choose Delete.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Download for free!

Download for free

Getting exactly what you want from the web without paying for it isn’t as easy as you might think. Mike Plant explains how to download TV, music and more that you can keep forever

Let’s face it, free online stuff is ten a penny. Enter just about any noun into a search engine followed by the word ‘free’ and you’ll be inundated with web pages all promising the perfect free version of whatever you want. But there are two tricks to this. The first is distinguishing the best options from the sub-standard, the fake and the downright dangerous. The second, much harder trick is to circumvent the restrictions placed on free content.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Overcloking your GPU

Overcloking your GPU

It's not just your CPU you could be getting more from!

Just as overdocking your CPU can help you inch your gaming performance ahead slightly, overclocking a GPU is one way to squeeze extra frames out of a graphics card, whether that's because it's starting to flag with age or because you know it can do better than the manufacturers think is fair.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

The Time-Saving Apps That Want To Free Up Your Day

The Time-Saving Apps That Want To Free Up Your Day

Rob Leane checks out apps that save time, not steal it...

Technology is meant to make our lives easier, but it doesn't always feel like it. Replying to messages across a zillion different platforms, searching endlessly for something you can only half remember, and getting lost in the procrastination-friendly wasteland of the web are all ways that having a phone in your pocket or a computer on your desk can actually make your life more complicated and crowded.

Our technology regularly becomes a sinkhole for time, making the modern age a difficult place to be productive and stay on schedule with work, personal projects, and anything else that you should be doing instead of faffing around online. A few brave apps are standing up to this status quo, however, by actually attempting to save you some time rather than stealing it away from you. With these guys on your side, you may be able to rescue some of the spare minutes that have seemed so elusive lately...

Search deeper THAN THE WEB

Search deeper THAN THE WEB

Typing search queries into Google only gets you so far. Robert Irvine explains how to find information, people and content that doesn’t appear in web search results

Use multiple accounts on the same device

Use multiple accounts on the same device

Using the same service on more than one account is easy on a computer, but much trickier on a phone or tablet. Edward Munn reveals a few simple ways to double up