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` 120 Windows XP Survival Guide Get a Faster Home Network EXTRA FEATURES EXTRA PAGES

` 120

Windows XP Survival Guide

Get a Faster Home Network

EXTRA FEATURES EXTRA PAGES MORE VALUE FOR MONEY
EXTRA
FEATURES
EXTRA
PAGES
MORE
VALUE
FOR MONEY
EXTRA FEATURES EXTRA PAGES MORE VALUE FOR MONEY April 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 4 YOUR PC
EXTRA FEATURES EXTRA PAGES MORE VALUE FOR MONEY April 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 4 YOUR PC

April 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 4

YOUR PC

CAN GO EVEN

FASTER

Best speed tips no one ever told you about

GO EVEN FASTER Best speed tips no one ever told you about Make old PCs last

Make old PCs last longer

tips no one ever told you about Make old PCs last longer Stop things taking ages

Stop things taking ages

Remove hidden junkyou about Make old PCs last longer Stop things taking ages Fastest hardware, cheapest prices Oh,

PCs last longer Stop things taking ages Remove hidden junk Fastest hardware, cheapest prices Oh, and

Fastest hardware, cheapest prices

Oh,

and you can get faster broadband too!

cheapest prices Oh, and you can get faster broadband too! PLUS LENOVO YOGA TABLET 8 Lenovo’s
PLUS
PLUS

LENOVO YOGA TABLET 8

Lenovo’s First Multimode Yoga Tablet born

too! PLUS LENOVO YOGA TABLET 8 Lenovo’s First Multimode Yoga Tablet born LG G FLEX A

LG G FLEX

A curvy smartphone from the future

too! PLUS LENOVO YOGA TABLET 8 Lenovo’s First Multimode Yoga Tablet born LG G FLEX A
too! PLUS LENOVO YOGA TABLET 8 Lenovo’s First Multimode Yoga Tablet born LG G FLEX A
Brought to you in India by MEDIAMAN INFOTECH PVT. LTD. 14 th floor , Goldfilled

Brought to you in India by

Brought to you in India by MEDIAMAN INFOTECH PVT. LTD. 14 th floor , Goldfilled Tower
Brought to you in India by MEDIAMAN INFOTECH PVT. LTD. 14 th floor , Goldfilled Tower
Brought to you in India by MEDIAMAN INFOTECH PVT. LTD. 14 th floor , Goldfilled Tower
Brought to you in India by MEDIAMAN INFOTECH PVT. LTD. 14 th floor , Goldfilled Tower
Brought to you in India by MEDIAMAN INFOTECH PVT. LTD. 14 th floor , Goldfilled Tower
Brought to you in India by MEDIAMAN INFOTECH PVT. LTD. 14 th floor , Goldfilled Tower

MEDIAMAN INFOTECH PVT. LTD.

14 th floor , Goldfilled Tower B , Sion Bandra Link Road ,Sant Rohildas Marg, Sion , Mumbai 400017. Tel.: +91-22-24061200 E-mail: sales@mediaman.co.in

website: www.mediaman.co.in Facebook:

Welcome From the Editor Microsoft will be ending support for windows XP from 8th April.

Welcome

Welcome From the Editor Microsoft will be ending support for windows XP from 8th April. In

From the Editor

Microsoft will be ending support for windows XP from 8th April. In a three part survival guide starting this issue, we explain what’s happening and what it means for you. On other pages, find

out what’s making your computer run slowly and then speed it up.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue, as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

Amit Tewari, Editor

a.tewari@nextgenpublishing.net

p52 p56 p42 p32 p30
p52
p56
p42
p32
p30

Branch offices

Ahmedabad 305, 3rd Floor, AEON Complex Near Angira Society, Vijay Cross Roads, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad 380009 Tel: + 91 79 26405061/2/3 Bengaluru Unit No. 509, 5th Floor ‘B’ Wing, Mittal Towers, MG Road, Bangalore -560001, India Tel: +91 80 66110116/17 Fax: + 91 80 41472574 Chennai Unit No. 20, 3rd Floor, Modern Towers, No. 35/23 West Cott Road, Royapettah, Chennai 600014. Tel: + 91 44 39149889 Fax: + 91 44 39149892 Hyderabad Richard G.C., Territory Sales Incharge (Circulation) Mobile no. 09949217127

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Visit our website: www.computeractive.in Vol. 9 Issue 4 Editor & Publisher Amit Tewari Senior

Vol. 9 Issue 4

Editor & Publisher Amit Tewari

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DISCLAIMER Readers are reminded that the opinions expressed, and the results published in connection with reviews and/or laboratory test reports carried out on computing systems and/or related items, are confined to, and are representative of, only those goods as supplied and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase. Whilst every precaution is taken to ensure that reliability and good business practices prevail, the Publisher cannot be held responsible for the overall trading activities of any supplier referred to, or advertising within, this publication.

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© 2013 Dennis Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Published with the permission of Dennis Publishing Ltd. Reproduction in any manner in any language in whole or in part without prior written permission from Dennis Publishing Ltd & NGPL with regard to their respective content is prohibited.

Printed by Amit Tewari Next Gen Publishing Ltd., 2nd Floor, C Wing, Trade World, Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai 400013. Published by Amit Tewari on behalf of Next Gen Publishing Ltd., 2nd Floor, C Wing, Trade World, Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Mar, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai 400013. Printed at Kalajyothi Process Pvt. Ltd, 1-1-60/5 RTCX Roads, Hyderabad - 20. Published at Next Gen Publishing Ltd., 2nd Floor, C Wing, Trade World, Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai 400013.

Editor : Amit Tewari

Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai 400013. Editor : Amit Tewari 4 Computer active
Contents April 2014 Issue 4 In this issue… YOUR PC CAN GO EVEN FASTER Find

Contents

April 2014 Issue 4

In this issue…

YOUR PC CAN GO EVEN FASTER Find out what’s making your computer run slowly, then
YOUR PC
CAN GO EVEN
FASTER
Find out what’s making your computer run slowly, then get it going faster than
ever before with our’s expert tweaks and upgrades

42 YOUR PC CAN GO EVEN FASTER

Find out what’s making your computer run slowly, then get it going faster than ever before with our’s expert tweaks and upgrades

48 Play all your music anywhere you like

Enjoy your entire music collection on any device whenever you want

50 The 10 stupidest things in Windows

Windows is riddled with unfriendly controls. we explain how to avoid Ctrl+Alt+Del and other idiotic flaws

52 Windows XP Survival Guide-Part 1

In the first of a three-part series on how you can survive the end of support for XP

56 Get a faster Home network

Don’t pay for a new router. we show you how to get nippier network connections without upgrading

58 Scariest new ways to get hacked Hacking now comes in lots of different

forms. we find out the 14 worst things hackers can do – so far

62 Control your PC’s power and save money

Energy prices may have skyrocketed, but you can cut your bills by reducing how much power your PC wastes. we explains what you should do

In every issue…

Get a faster Home network p56

Get a faster Home

network

p56

4

Welcome

87

Problems Solved

8

Letters

93

Fast Fixes

10

News

94

Jargon Buster

24

Protect Your Tech

95

The Final Straw

27

Best Free Software

97

IMS QUIZ

61

What’s All the Fuss About?

WindowsWindows XPXP SurvivalSurvival Guide-PartGuide-Part 11 p52p52

WindowsWindows XPXP SurvivalSurvival Guide-PartGuide-Part 11

p52p52

Contents Asha 502 p29 LG G Flex p32 Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 p30 Sony Xperia

Contents

Asha 502 p29

Asha 502

p29

LG G Flex p32

LG G Flex

p32

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 p30

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8

p30

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact p39

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

p39

Reviews

28 HP DeskJet 2520hc

29 Asha 502

ASRock H61 Pro BTC Motherboard

30

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8

31

LaCie Rugged Triple USB 3.0 HDD

32

LG G Flex

33

Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti GPU

34

D-Link DCS-825L Baby Camera Epson EH-TW5200 Projector

36

SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive Strontium 64GB microSDXC card

38

Sony VAIO Flip 13

39 Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

40 Google Chromecast JBL Flip 2

Workshops 22 pages of brilliant workshops

 

65

Get a free tablet office suite with CloudOn

78

Make a private social network with Path

68

Read your webmail offline with Thunderbird

80

Learn how to create a tilt-shift photo

70

Master the new iOS 7 on iPhone and iPad

PLUS
PLUS

72

Send huge files with Hightail

81

Readers’ Tips

73

Hack Windows Media Player to share

82

Tablet & Phone Tips

your media

84

Make Windows Better

76

Master Chrome on iPad and iPhone

85

Make Office Better

 

86

Secret Tips For

OneNote

Windows Better 76 Master Chrome on iPad and iPhone 85 Make Office Better   86 Secret
Windows Better 76 Master Chrome on iPad and iPhone 85 Make Office Better   86 Secret
Windows Better 76 Master Chrome on iPad and iPhone 85 Make Office Better   86 Secret
Windows Better 76 Master Chrome on iPad and iPhone 85 Make Office Better   86 Secret
Windows Better 76 Master Chrome on iPad and iPhone 85 Make Office Better   86 Secret
Letters Tell us what’s on your mind Email: ca@nextgenpublishing.net Post: Letters,CA, Next Gen Publishing Ltd.,

Letters

Tell us what’s on your mind

Email: ca@nextgenpublishing.net Post: Letters,CA, Next Gen Publishing Ltd., 2nd Floor, C Wing, Trade World, Kamala Mills Compound, S. B. Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai 400013.

We cannot offer technical assistance or reply personally to correspondence but all letters are read by our staff. Letters and emails may be edited for publication on this page. Please mark your message ‘not for publication’ if you would prefer it not to be shared.

This is with reference to the article that appeared in computer active December 2013 issue.

that appeared in computer active December 2013 issue. What’s the best OS ever? And the comment

What’s the best OS ever? And the comment by a reader Mr.Peter Goms.

I am a hobbyist and interested in old

vintage Hindi Music and so are my other old vintage music lover friends.

Most of this category people are old senior citizens. The old music is a past time for us.

I am using windows XP for the last couple of years. I find it very useful tool. I can load my music files at any of the PCs hard disc drives without having any problem and can open the same from any of the music player of my choice. But I think this is not the case with Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Once I opened a Window Media Player in Windows 7 which pointed to organize the music files as per the default of Window Media Player. (I may be wrong also). In Windows XP OS it is simple to operate the music files in a simple way without having unnecessary complication. People like us are deterred to use advance Windows 7 or Windows 8 OS for such music hobby purpose. The advance system will be useful for other users but not us. At the most we may use the computer to load the photos to PC from digital camera. For that Microsoft should keep the option to users to use either of the Operating Systems rather than totally rejecting Windows XP. They may charge for updating the XP file.

Those customers who have purchased the new computers on the basis of XP OS will be in troubles.

I think one more suggestion if

Microsoft slashes the cost of the Windows XP software instead of closing it, there would be thousands

8 Computer active April 2014

STAR LETTER

Chromebook’s battery is ‘puny’

STAR LETTER Chromebook’s battery is ‘puny’ I notice that Google has launched another Chromebook – the

I notice that Google has launched another Chromebook – the HP 11

(www.snipca.com/10274).

They say it’s “for everyone”. I’d say it’s only for people who don’t mind recharging their laptop every couple of hours. People say it’s cheap. I’d say it’s a false economy because you’ll probably end up spending more than that on electricity. I bought a Chromebook last year and now wish I hadn’t. It simply has the puniest battery of any laptop I’ve ever used. Yes, it’s fast and simple. It’s good for people

whose web life revolves around Google’s services, and it’s stylish

life revolves around Google’s services, and it’s stylish and light. But you can’t rely on a

and light. But you can’t rely on a single charge to last all day, for example. So be warned before you fall for Google’s tempting marketing.

Deepak More

of users who would be opted to purchase the genuine software from the Microsoft Company.

The nero media player is also one the best music player for hobbyists. nero informs users to purchase Nero mp3 PRO software for mp3 music. However, when enquiry is made to them on line for the purchase, they offer a very advance version of software for music, videos and photos etc. which may not be much useful for us. Even the recording of cassettes music as

provided in the old version of nero media palyaer. is available or not available in the new version, is not known.

Windows OS has also withdrawn the facility of License for playing cda. format of music files in Window Media Player and the other music players.

There are very good computer engineers and technicians in our country, would anybody be kind enough to guide us in the matter.

and technicians in our country, would anybody be kind enough to guide us in the matter.
and technicians in our country, would anybody be kind enough to guide us in the matter.

Last month’s winner: Jay singh

N e w s Round up of the top stories of the month GioneelaunchesWorld’sSlimmestSmartphone ELIFES5.5

News

Round up of the top stories of the month

GioneelaunchesWorld’sSlimmestSmartphone ELIFES5.5 in India

G ionee, the leading global designer and manufacturer

of mobile devices launched the World’s Slimmest Smartphone - ELIFE S5.5 in India. Named after its biggest feature a 5.55mm slim body. The path breaking innovative smartphone ELIFE S5.5 is going to hit India market by mid April 2014. The ELIFE S series is a new product category developed through Gionee’s deep understanding of customers’ desire for a slim and powerful smartphone to also act as a fashionable accessory. The ELIFE S series products will incorporate an emphasis on design without compromising

the hardware and software of a smartphone to create a whole new user experience. The phone specifications include 5.0” Super AMOLED Plus display, Octa- Core 1.7GHz CPU,Single SIM, 13.0MP AF rear and 5.0MP AF front Camera, AMIGO OS 2.0 (based on Android OS, V4.2) 16GB on board memory with 2GB of RAM. The phone measures 145.1 x 70.2 x 5.55mm and comes with a non-removable 2300mAh Battery. The GIONEE ELIFE S5.5 is available in Black, White, Blue, Pink, and Purple. ELIFE S 5.5 will be available at the price of INR 22, 999 in India.

5.5 will be available at the price of INR 22, 999 in India. Sony brings large

Sony brings large screen Xperia T2 Ultra at an affordable price

Sony India has launched Xperia T2 Ultra. Designed specifically with customers from emerging markets in China, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific rim in mind, Xperia T2 Ultra brings together the best of Sony’s imaging and display technologies with ground-breaking design efficiency to produce a stunning Android smartphone at a mid-range price point. Xperia T2 Ultra’s stunning 6” HD IPS TRILUMINOS display extends to within 2.5 mm of the phone’s edges. This means that it has a screen to phone size ratio of 73.6%, both making the most of the space available and ensuring that the phone is no wider than a standard credit card. It is also both slim (7.6 mm) and light (weighing only 173 ± 1g depending on variant differences), fitting easily in a

1g depending on variant differences), fitting easily in a generation of dual SIM mobile technology. Users

generation of dual SIM mobile technology. Users can set up both SIM cards independently with custom ring tones and one-touch switching between SIMs before making calls or sending texts.

jacket pocket. Big, bright screens can often use a lot of power, but that’s not a problem with Xperia T2 Ultra, Sony has ensured that it is ready to go the distance by incorporating a battery-efficient processor and massive 3000 mAh battery. Xperia T2 Ultra features a 13 megapixel camera. Xperia T2 Ultra dual (the only variant available in India) offers a new experience through the incorporation of Sony’s latest

First Android-poweredNokiaX nowavailable in India Nokia has announced that the Nokia X, part of the

First Android-poweredNokiaX nowavailable in India

Nokia has announced that the Nokia X, part of the new Nokia X family of affordable smartphones that run Android™ apps, will begin selling in India. The new Nokia X family that includes Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL is the perfect introduction to the world of Android apps, coupled with signature Nokia experiences, and the most popular Microsoft services. Nokia X comes with Fastlane, a screen which lets people switch between their favorite apps more smoothly. People can access curated, quality-tested apps from Nokia Store, more than a dozen third- party app stores and by side loading. All devices are also pre-loaded with a variety of very popular third-party apps and games such as BBM, Twitter, Facebook, Plants Vs. Zombies, etc. Out of the box, consumers can enjoy signature Nokia experiences including

free HERE Maps, with true offline maps and integrated turn-by-turn navigation, and Nokia MixRadio for free music streaming and downloadable playlists. The Nokia X is also an affordable introduction to popular Microsoft services, including 7GB free cloud storage using OneDrive and additional 3GB if consumers enable camera back up. Nokia X, a beautifully crafted smartphone with Nokia’s signature design approach and bold, bright colours. At only 10.4mm thin, the slim, durable monobody design features a 4” scratch- proof display and exchangeable back covers that come in a variety of statement colours. Inside, the device runs on the Nokia X Software Platform and is powered by a1Ghz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The dual SIM Nokia X will be available in India starting at Rs. 8599 MOP.

X will be available in India starting at Rs. 8599 MOP. Canon new EOS 1200D targets

Canon new EOS 1200D targets families and first time users

Canon new EOS 1200D targets families and first time users Canon India Pvt. Ltd., has launched

Canon India Pvt. Ltd., has launched the EOS 1200D in the Indian market. This entry-level DSLR offers advance control, images with sharp details, a host of easy-to-use features giving consumers the option of exploring Canon’s repertoire of more than 70 EF lenses. The new EOS 1200D is targeted at newcomers to the world of DSLR cameras, including families who want to capture their memories with superior quality, budding amateurs and even hobbyists looking to work on their photography skills with a user-friendly DSLR. By combining Canon’s powerful DIGIC 4 imaging processor and an 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, the EOS 1200D produces stunning photographs with a combination of sharp details and attractive background blur.

A key difference between taking photos on a smartphone or compact camera and on a DSLR is the availability of an optical viewfinder in the latter. The EOS 1200D has a highly-accurate 9-point Auto Focus (AF) system with center cross-type AF point enables accurate and rapid focusing on both horizontal and vertical planes. The EOS 1200D captures Full HD movies at up to 30 fps. Videos are shot with beautiful background blur effects and incorporate a higher dynamic range, a capability that a smartphone cannot achieve. Even in low light situations, the EOS 1200D is able to shoot videos at ISO speeds of up to 6400. The EOS 1200D will be available at all Canon Image Squares and leading retail outlets at a price of INR 30,995 (MRP) for the body only.

News HTC unveils One (M8) smartphone HTC unveiled the highly anticipated new HTC One (M8),

News

HTC unveils One (M8) smartphone

HTC unveiled the highly anticipated new HTC One (M8), the ultimate evolution of the award-winning HTC One (M7). Launching in Gunmetal Gray with the all-new HTC Sense 6, the new HTC One (M8), boasts a high quality metal unibody with a Smart Sensor Hub that anticipates your needs and uses Motion Launch controls to make everyday tasks easier. New Duo Camera technology delivers creative, professional- looking photos and amazing effects, and HTC BoomSound again sets new standards for audio quality on a smartphone. The new HTC One’s body has been re-crafted to create an even more stunning yet approachable look. The beautiful, durable, high quality metal unibody flows right up to the 5-inch, full HD (1080p) display, tapering to thinner edges, with softer curves for a smooth, more natural grip. Supported by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2.5 GHz quad-core Krait CPUs and running Android 4.4, KitKat, the latest version of the Android OS, the new HTC One (M8) features the all-new HTC Sense 6, available on the device and as an upgrade from the Google Play store. Completely redesigned with a cleaner, more striking visual style, HTC Sense 6 features bold, customisable colour themes and delivers a more intuitive, personalised user experience The new HTC One (M8) brings a totally

different dimension to mobile imaging by combining the world’s first smartphone with a Duo Camera that features HTC’s innovative HTC UltraPixel module, a dual colour flash and full 1080p HD video recording. A 5-MP wide-angle front facing camera also captures superior selfies with ease. With the introduction of HTC Sense 6, the new HTC One (M8) boasts capabilities that give the product a sixth sense. For example,

that give the product a sixth sense. For example, Motion Launch is immediately able to detect

Motion Launch is immediately able to detect its position and movement, thanks to built-in motion sensors that allow you to interact with the phone without turning on the screen. A simple swipe will activate the device, Auto Answer allows you to answer a call by putting the phone to your ear without

touching the screen – a handy tool if the phone rings when you are digging the garden or washing the dishes – and a double tap turns the lock screen on and off. Taking that sixth sense functionality one step further you can extend Motion Launch by double tapping the dot view case, in addition to checking the time, weather, new

texts, emails and calls - without touching or revealing the screen. The innovation doesn’t end there, as we are also changing how people use their phone battery. With the original HTC One (M7), HTC optimised power consumption so that you could get the most out of your phone. The new HTC One (M8) takes this to

a whole new level making the battery

power last 40% longer. Whilst normal power saving mode delivers a great experience, we have also included an Extreme power saving mode that makes

your battery last even longer. Fully charged

it will deliver 14 days’ worth of battery

power, whilst still allowing you to receive calls, texts and emails – perfect for when you are travelling. Activated either manually or automatically,

it delivers 60 hours of extra standby time at

20% power, 30 hours at 10% power and 15 hours at 5% power so, whether you are out late at night or hiking in the mountains, you never have to worry about running out of battery again. The HTC One (M8) will be available globally in Gunmetal Gray, Glacial Silver and will be rolled out in the South Asia region in the coming weeks.

Glacial Silver and will be rolled out in the South Asia region in the coming weeks.
News BenQ debuts two new short-throw classroom interactive projector solutions BenQ, an internationally renowned provider

News

BenQ debuts two new short-throw classroom interactive projector solutions

new short-throw classroom interactive projector solutions BenQ, an internationally renowned provider of Interactive

BenQ, an internationally renowned provider of Interactive Classroom IQ solution and a leader in the global DLP projector market introduces their energy efficient and eco friendly classroom projectors MX823ST&MW824ST. The MX823ST & MW824ST feature

LumenCare Mode, which adjusts projector lamp power in gain steps until full power is reached. It is the first and only projection feature on that ensures three years of consistent image brightness for optimal learning and teaching. Along with the same,the LampSave Mode is designed to adjust the lamp power dynamically by content brightness level to extend projector lamp life significantly by 50% giving the total lamp hours of upto 10,000. The lamp replacement frequency is also reduced by up to 50% to lower the replacement costs. The wide range of connectivity options and availibity of PointWrite and QWrite interactive features make MX823ST& MW 824ST complete classroom interactive projector solution. Through PointWrite and QWrite interactive features teachers can get

up to 4 students to come up to the board and collaborate simultaneously with PointWrite pens to solve Quizzes, board work, presentations and games. The ultra-sharp contrast ratio of 13000:1, 3200 ANSI Lumens brightness and long lamp life guarantee vibrant, reliable visual performance time and again. Both MX 823ST & MW824STcomes with DLP technology that supports 3D functionality, ensuring an immersive learning experience to their students with a simple preparation of 3D glasses and 3D content from your blu-ray player. The MX823ST has a native resolution of XGA (1024 X 768) while the MW824ST has a native resolution of WXGA (1280 X 800).MX 823ST & MW824ST are available at a retail price of Rs 60000 & 65000 respectively.

Motorola launches Moto X, exclusively on Flipkart

Moto X represents the best of Motorola and Google, and it’s available to Indian customers exclusively through Flipkart.com from 19th March, 2014. Moto X has a unique curved back, designed to fit your hand. With Google Now, Moto X tells you what you need to know when you need to know it. With two flicks of your wrist, Moto X becomes your camera and captures the shots you used to miss. It’s ready when you are. To use your Moto X, you only need your voice. Without touching it at all, you can get directions, set an alarm or do just about anything— just by talking. Moto X is always ready to tell you what you need to know. Instead of a uselessly blinking light, Moto X gives you useful info at a glance with Active

light, Moto X gives you useful info at a glance with Active Notifications, which appear right

Notifications, which appear right on screen. Moto X knows you need a camera, and it’s always ready to go. Just twist your wrist twice and it’s ready. Touch anywhere on the screen, and you’ll get the shot. All in just a few seconds. Continuous shooting capabilities, as well as a ten megapixel camera, mean the photos you do take are the ones you want.

Moto X will be available in Woven Black and Woven White starting 19th March for INR 23,999. In early April, there will be three more color variations (Cherry Red, Royal Blue, and Turquoise Green) and two wood-finish editions (Walnut finish and Teak finish) would be priced at INR 25,999.

News SeagatelaunchesnewBackupPlusPortable Drives inIndia Seagate Technology has announced the second generation of its

News

SeagatelaunchesnewBackupPlusPortable Drives inIndia

Seagate Technology has announced the second generation of its sleek external storage lineup, Seagate Backup Plus Slim. With a svelte compact design and superspeed USB 3.0 interface, the Backup Plus Slim drive is the ideal storage solution to aggregate and back up valued photos, videos and other files despite being spread across numerous devices, social networks and personal computers. This new offering includes the backup software, Seagate Dashboard, which made the first generation of Seagate® Backup Plus drives so popular. The Seagate Dashboard software provides an easy one-click backup solution, but can also be set as a scheduled backup up as needed. Additionally, the Dashboard software will back up Facebook and Flickr albums to ensure that even video and photos shared through these networks are backed up

video and photos shared through these networks are backed up Seagate Backup Plus storage is available

Seagate Backup Plus storage is available in stores by capacity: for Backup Plus Slim portable: 500GB Slim - INR4,250, 1TB Slim - INR6,000, 2TB Slim - INR10,500 and the 4TB Fast - INR25,000 MSRP.

and easy to find. Use the Save and Share features to download and upload content from these social media networks. Even all the photos you have been tagged in can be backed up from your social networks to the drive. Backup Plus external storage is available in a range of capacities to fit every size of job. The USB 3.0-powered, 2TB drive is the highest capacity drive fitting into a 12.1mm form factor. The metal-top case of these drives, available in red, blue, black and silver, is designed to resist scratches and ngerprints.

SATranscend Launches SDXC/SDHC UHS-I Cards that support 4K Video Capture

Transcend Informationhas launched SDXC/SDHC UHS-I cards featuring full support for the Ultra High Speed Class 3 (U3) specification . Capable of reaching incredible read and write speeds of up to 95MB/s and 85MB/s, Transcend’s SDXC/ SDHC UHS-I U3 cards provide the performance necessary to harness the full power of UHS U3-compliant digital recording equipment. Recently released by the SD Association, the Ultra High Speed Class 3 specification guarantees a minimum constant write speed of 30MB/s to facilitate cinema-quality video recording. Transcend’s SDXC UHS-I U3 and SDXC/

SDHC UHS-I U3X “Extreme” cards, however, can achieve at least double this performance with blazing-fast write speeds of up to 60MB/s and 85MB/s respectively. When used with today’s advanced camcorders, such as

When used with today’s advanced camcorders, such as the Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4,

the Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, and Canon EOS C500 Cinema Camera, these cards ensure smooth 4K video capture in stunning color and clarity.

In devices that do not support the UHS-I specification, Transcend’s SDXC/SDHC UHS-I U3 cards offer constant write speeds of at least 10MB/s (SD Speed Class 10 performance), which makes them perfect for Full HD video recording as well as fast-action consecutive shooting. Pairing the new UHS-I U3 cards with Transcend’s RDF8 USB 3.0 multi-card reader or the handy RDF5 USB 3.0 card reader with built-in USB port significantly reduces the time it takes to transfer data from card to computer with read speeds of up to 95MB/s. Featuring capacities ranging from 32GB to an enormous 128GB, for added value, each Transcend memory card includes a free download of Transcend’s exclusive RecoveRx photo recovery software. All Transcend memory cards are fully tested for compatibility and reliability, and carry Transcend’s Lifetime Warranty.

News Lenovo unveils Thinkcentre m73 tiny desktop Lenovo, one of India’s leading PC players has

News

Lenovo unveils Thinkcentre m73 tiny desktop

Lenovo, one of India’s leading PC players has unveiled the new ThinkCentre M73 Tiny, a compact, high performance desktop, perfect for modest workspaces. Starting at INR 28,500 plus taxes, the affordable desktop comes with VESA mount support, which allows the M73 Tiny the flexibility to fit anywhere in the workspace—on the desk, or behind a monitor.

The 1L sized desktop weighs 2.9 pounds (1.3Kgs onwards), and is equipped with 4th generation Intel Core i processors that improve performance by 10%. The PC Cloud Manager 2 offers failure warnings, troubleshooting and power consumption reports to keep the PC healthy and green. The Intelligent Cooling Engine (ICE) 3.01 allows for working in hotter temperatures and enables system monitoring with thermal alerts that preempt overheating possibilities.

with thermal alerts that preempt overheating possibilities. Kingston Launches MicroDuo Dual Interface USB Drive Kingston

Kingston Launches MicroDuo Dual Interface USB Drive

Kingston has announced the launch of its DataTraveler microDuo in India. In a small form factor, the microDuo is a combination of USB and microUSB Flash drive that allows consumers to expand the storage of their Android tablets and smartphones on-the-go.

DataTraveler microDuo uses the microUSB port on devices – often used for charging – to expand

port on devices – often used for charging – to expand storage up to 64GB. This

storage up to 64GB. This is especially helpful as more and more smartphones and some tablets come without a microSD card storage expansion slot. The drive can be used with any USB On-The-Go compatible device and the dual interface allows users to transfer files without plugging into a PC. Smartphones and tablets shoot hi-res photos and HD video, and with some devices now shooting 4K video, consumers can easily move large files, photos, videos and music off the device to free up space just like a normal Flash drive.

videos and music off the device to free up space just like a normal Flash drive.
News Samsung unveils Galaxy S5 Samsung Electronics has introduced the Galaxy S5, blending features that

News

Samsung unveils Galaxy S5

Samsung Electronics has introduced the Galaxy S5, blending features that matter most to consumers. The new Galaxy S5 offers consumers a refined experience with innovation of essential

features for day-to-day use. The Galaxy S5 combines an advanced

camera, the fast network connectivity, dedicated fitness tools and enhanced device protection features as consumers stay fit and connected in style. The Galaxy S5 blends iconic Samsung design with modern trends to appeal to a range of consumer tastes and interests. The Galaxy S5 features a perforated pattern on the back cover creating a modern glam look. Its new sleek, contoured shape comes in an array of vivid colors, including charcoal Black, shimmery White, electric Blue and copper Gold, to complement the style of the individual consumer. The new Galaxy S5 offers superior camera functionality, featuring a 16 megapixel camera with an enhanced menu and user interface that allow consumers to effortlessly take, edit and share photos. The Galaxy S5 offers the world’s fastest autofocus speed up to 0.3 seconds and the advanced

High Dynamic Range (HDR) reproduces natural light and color with striking intensity at

any occasion. The Galaxy S5 offers the fastest Wi-Fi performance available today, ensuring blazing fast data speeds for unrivaled media consumption and productivity. The Galaxy S5 supports fast 3G speeds at 42Mbps and it comes with a powerful Octa-core processor, capable of

operating all 8 cores at the same time, to deliver a seamless experience on the Galaxy S5. With the enhanced S Health 3.0, the new Galaxy S5 offers more tools to help people stay fit and well. It provides a

locking feature. The Ultra Power Saving Mode turns the display to black and white, and shuts down all unnecessary features to minimize the battery consumption. Expanding its industry-leading wearable line,

Samsung has launched three incredible devices – Gear Fit, Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo that blend style, fitness and convenience to provide ultimate connectivity for the active mobile consumer.Samsung Gear Fit, the industry’s first curved Super AMOLED wearable device, empowers consumers to stay physically active without sacrificing personal style or mobile connectivity. The Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are designed to take the freedom, convenience and style of wearable technology to the next level. The Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo offer consumers enhanced connectivity and a completely integrated approach for the most personal wearable experience. Both devices offer a lightweight design with a premium finish that reflects modern

trends. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is priced between Rs. 51,000/- and Rs. 53.000/-. Galaxy Gear 2 is priced at Rs. 21,900/- and both Galaxy Gear 2 Neo and Galaxy Gear Fit are priced at Rs. 15,900/- each. These devices will be available across India through Samsung’s retail stores and e-commerce sites on April 11, 2014.

retail stores and e-commerce sites on April 11, 2014. comprehensive personal fitness tracker to help users

comprehensive personal fitness tracker to help users monitor and manage their behavior, along with additional tools including a pedometer, diet and exercise records, and a new, built-in heart rate sensor. The Galaxy S5 is IP67 dust and water resistant. It also offers a Finger Scanner, providing a secure, biometric screen

Protect Your Tech Scams and threats to avoid, plus new security tools WATCH OUT FOR…

Protect Your Tech

Scams and threats to avoid, plus new security tools

WATCH OUT FOR…

 

Security flaws in D-Link routers

What happened?

A

in

thought hackers could have used the

researcher found security flaws

seven D-Link router models. It’s

devices such as routers and set-top boxes looking for vulnerabilities that companies should fix.

What should I do?

weaknesses to take remote control

of

people’s online activity. Writing on his blog (www.snipca. com/10334), Craig Heffner said the DIR-100 (pictured), DI-524, DI-524UP, DI-604S, DI-604UP, DI-604+ and TM-G5240 models were at risk. He also claimed two models made by Japanese company Planex (www.planex.net) were affected. The flaw, known as a backdoor, lets hackers bypass normal security authentication while remaining undetected. Fortunately, there’s no evidence it’s been exploited by hackers. Craig Heffner belongs to a group of hackers called /dev/ttys0 (www. devttys0.com), which delves into

a router and modem and spy on

), which delves into a router and modem and spy on any of the routers listed

any of the routers listed you should install the update now. We go along with D-Link’s advice, especially that you should ignore emails that claim your router is in danger of being hacked and prompt you to click a link. These emails will definitely be scams. You should also disable remote access to your router if you don’t need it.

If you use any of these routers you should install D-Link’s firmware updates to fix the flaws. At the time of going to press, the company said these would be available by the end of October. In a statement posted on its website (www.snipca. com/10335), D-Link wrote: “We are proactively working with the sources of these reports as well as continuing to review across the complete product line to ensure that the vulnerabilities discovered are addressed”. On the same webpage you’ll also find firmware updates to fix other vulnerabilities identified earlier this year. If you use

New tools

Ashampoo Anti-Virus 2014

www.ashampoo.com/antivirus

Ashampoo has launched its first antivirus software since 2009, using malware- blocking technology from Bitdefender and Emsisoft. The program, which works with every version of Windows from XP to 8.1, contains all the necessary tools you need to stay safe, such as real-time protection, which thwarts attacks as they happen. What’s really impressive, though, is that it also contains two privacy tools from Ashampoo’s

WinOptimizer software

(www.snipca.com/10363):

File Wiper to erase files and folders, and Internet Cleaner to delete your browsing history. Ashampoo Anti-Virus comes in one, two and three-year packages, priced £29.99, £39.99 and £54.99 respectively. There’s also a free trial which lasts 10 days if you don’t register (30 days if you do). Helpfully, you don’t need to provide your credit-card details to sign up for the free trial.

(30 days if you do). Helpfully, you don’t need to provide your credit-card details to sign
you don’t need to provide your credit-card details to sign up for the free trial. 2
CD Contents April 2014 From the Editor Dear Readers, This month’s CD contains a multitude

CD Contents

April 2014

From the Editor

Dear Readers,

This month’s CD contains a multitude of productivity software. For music lovers, this month’s full software will be a treat. Enjoy.

EDITOR

PS:-Please reach us on ca@nextgenpublishing.net with your suggestions. Some of the software provided on this disc requires a product key from the publisher.

Full Software

MP3 COVER FINDER

OS : Windows XP/2003/2008/Vista/7/8/8.1

Productivity :

Utilities :

Multimedia & Entertainment :

OS : Windows XP/2003/2008/Vista/7/8/8.1 Productivity : Utilities : Multimedia & Entertainment : 2 6 April 2014
OS : Windows XP/2003/2008/Vista/7/8/8.1 Productivity : Utilities : Multimedia & Entertainment : 2 6 April 2014
Best Free Software Brilliant new programs that won’t cost you anything website checker WOT www.mywot.com

Best Free Software

Brilliant new programs that won’t cost you anything

Brilliant new programs that won’t cost you anything website checker WOT www.mywot.com What you need: Internet

website checker

WOT

www.mywot.com

What you need: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera

Printing

Primg 1.2.1.2

www.snipca.com/10134

What you need: Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8

What you need: Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8 Voice and video chat ooVoo www.oovoo.com What
What you need: Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8 Voice and video chat ooVoo www.oovoo.com What

Voice and video chat

ooVoo

www.oovoo.com

What you need: Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8

Reviews HOW WE TEST Computeractive’s reviewers follow strict guidelines to ensure the opinions expressed in

Reviews

HOW WE TEST

Computeractive’s reviewers follow strict guidelines to ensure the opinions expressed in the magazine are fair, accurate and independent. Every product or service we review is thoroughly examined and tested by experts. The manufacturer has no involvement in our tests and is never told the result of a review prior to publication. Please note that our reviews grade products, not customer service. We welcome feedback on our reviews – send us an email to ca@nextgenpublishing.net

OUR STAR RATINGS

We provide a clear verdict for every product we review. Each verdict is accompanied by a star rating. Here’s what those stars mean:

An excellent purchase

A good purchase

★★★★☆

OK by us

★★★☆☆

Below average quality ★★☆☆☆

Very poor quality

★☆☆☆☆

BUY IT! ★★★★★
BUY IT!
★★★★★

OUR STAMP OF APPROVAL

Our Buy It! stamp of approval is a sign that a product has exceeded our high expectations in

both quality and value. If you see the Buy It! logo you know we were impressed with the product and we think you will be too. The Try It! Stamp is our equivalent award for software and services that are free of charge.

PRICES

The prices we print are the suggested retail prices set by the manufacturer. Products can often be found much cheaper on the internet or in shops.

TECHNICAL TERMS AND JARGON

While we try to keep our reviews free from technical language or jargon, it is sometimes unavoidable. See the Jargon Buster column for concise explanations of highlighted words.

PRINTER

HP DeskJet 2520hc

A simple and efficient printer

The HP DeskJet 2520hc has a simple yet elegant design. It is a good looking all-in-one with premium touches all over. Finished in pristine matte black plastic, steeply raked at the front, it has surprising good looks for a budget printer. The beige bezel, a chrome striped gradient on the top lid, neatly designed control panel and the well concealed paper input and output trays, make it surprisingly compact. Despite the compact size, the two cartridge slots are easy to access.

4x6in photo took 24seconds at 300DPI. Scan quality was good with ample details and colour.

While printing photos, it took 1.03mins to print 4x6in image at best quality settings. The photo quality is acceptable. The colours are natural with limited grains, however the black level is not cent percent accurate, this may be due to the dual colour cartridges. But at this price, you should not expect more than this.

A single USB 2.0 socket at the rear is the only means of connecting, the printer does not have HP’s ePrint or Mobile Printing ability.

The installer package is very interactive and is a detailed step-by-step process, it starts with an online check for the latest installer file. In our case it downloaded a 54.45MB installer file. The installation process took around 15-25 minutes, this may vary based on your computer’s configuration.

Printing quality is not bad at all. We started with printing a 8 page PDF in Draft mode, the job was completed in 49 seconds. The quality was paler than usual, but this is common with most printers. We them printed 9 pages of different font sized text in normal quality, it took 1.09 minutes to print the entire document. To test the printer at best quality, we used a PDF that had different font sizes, graphs and images. The speed achieved was five pages a minute.

Scan and copy speed is better. Scanning a

pages a minute. Scan and copy speed is better. Scanning a The printer retails at Rs.

The printer retails at Rs. 8300 (at the time of review), it is available on HP online store and others. The cartridge costs Rs. 546 each, and lasts 750 pages (colour) or 1500 pages (Mono).

VERDICT: A compact efficient home MFP

★★★★☆

INFO: hp.com/in/

New Products tested by our experts impressive. On a full charge, the phone easily lasts

New Products tested by our experts

New Products tested by our experts impressive. On a full charge, the phone easily lasts more

impressive. On a full charge, the phone easily lasts more than a day. Asha 502 is a good device that improves on many things that Asha 501 lacked or could not deliver smoothly. But if you’re looking for 3G support, you’ll have to go for Asha 503 as the Asha 502 does not support it.

VERDICT: Good phone for the price, but the lack of 3G is a dampener

★★★☆☆

INFO: www.nokia.co.in

PHONE

Asha 502

Nokia improves on the Asha 501 with a new Asha phone

Nokia launched the Asha range with an aim of bringing smartphone-like features to entry-level devices, making the Asha 501 an instant hit. Following in the footsteps is the Asha 502, which we looked at, this month. Design is more or less similar to it’s predecessor. It has a similar candybar form factor but differentiates itself with a glossy but clear plastic body, giving the phone a crystaline effect. Moreover, the phone is small but has a decent width that offers a good grip. Asha 502 is essentially a feature phone but Nokia has spruced up the device to integrate smartphone-like features. Nokia has made no changes in the display department, which remains at 3-inches along with QVGA (240x320) resolution Unlike Android where the selling point of the device is the processor and RAM it packs, Asha range’s highlight is the software and its ability to give smartphone-like features. The Asha 502 runs on the Asha Platform 1.1 and has

something called as Fastlane. A simple swipe on the main screen shows the Fastlane, which lists recent activities on the phone, enabling users to quickly access them. However, the limited processing power and memory does come with some drawbacks. There are times where you’ll notice some lag and slow performance. Nokia 502 is also packed with Nokia services like HERE Maps, Music, Xpress Browser and even supports third-party apps like Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter. The camera on the Nokia Asha 502 is a step up from its predecessor. The phone comes with a 5 megapixel fixed-focus camera and LED flash that produces some good pictures, provided you shoot in good lighting conditions. However, the camera takes below par pictures in inadequate lighting. Asha 502 is a dual-SIM phone and despite two cellular networks continuously searching for network coverage, battery life on the Asha 502 is

HARDWARE

ASRock H61 Pro BTC Motherboard

This new motherboard mines Bitcoins

Use of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies have increased in the last few months and to cash in on the opportunity, ASRock has introduced a motherboard that makes mining Bitcoins easy. For the uninitiated, Bitcoin, also known as BTC or is a peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency introduced as an open source software in 2009. It is called a cryptocurrency because it uses cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money. Bitcoins also take a lot of computational power to mine a single Bitcoin. This is where ASRock’s latest motherboard comes into play. ASRock’s BTC motherboards like this one are equipped with six PCI expansion slots. In short, a Bitcoin

miner can install up to six graphics cards that can be used simultaneously to mine a Bitcoin. The motherboard also offers stable voltage considering it comes with two extra 4-pin power connectors for users to connect their graphics cards safely. The ASRock motherboard is also equipped with a High Density Glass Fabric PCB, which means the motherboard is protected from water, humidity, thus, drastically reducing the chances of it being affected by humidity. Furthermore, the H61 Pro BTC supports second and third generation of Intel Core, Pentium and Celeron processors, supports Dual-channel DDR3 RAM, 4 SATA ports, 10 USB 2.0 ports and D-Sub and HDMI for video out options. It also

VERDICT: Decent motherboard for Bitcoin GPU miners

★★★ ☆ INFO: www.asrock.com
★★★
INFO: www.asrock.com

comes with ASRock Extreme Tuning Utility (AXTU) – an all-in-one software to fine-tune different features like Hardware Monitor, Fan Control, Overclocking, OC DNA, IES and XFast RAM; Intel Smart Connect Technology that keeps refreshing the content like email, social networks etc. automatically updated even when the system is asleep; Intel Rapid Start for quick boot; ASRock OMG (Online Management Guard) that acts as an internet filter and lots more. ASRock has an interesting hardware to offer. GPU mining may not be cost efficient and fast like ASIC mining but it certainly is useful if you want to dabble on the cryptocurrency craze. If not, it’s still a good motherboard for your regular computing needs.

April 2014 Computer active

2929

Reviews TABLET Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 Lenovo’s First Multimode Yoga Tablet born Lenovo’s Yoga range

Reviews

TABLET

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8

Lenovo’s First Multimode Yoga Tablet born

Lenovo’s Yoga range of devices first broke cover as convertible notebooks based on Windows OS and now the Chinese PC maker has set its eyes on the burgeoning tablet market with its first multimode Yoga tablet. The Yoga tablet from Lenovo is also the first range that has been created after the appointment of Hollywood star, Ashton Kutcher as Lenovo’s Product Engineer. While we’ve reviewed many tablets in the past, Lenovo’s Yoga Tablet 8 is the first one to take a different approach in terms of design. It’s the cylindrical design at the bottom that gives the Yoga Tablet 8 a distinct touch. This design makeover however, serves many purposes – more importantly, Yoga tablet’s Multimode feature. The cylindrical handle enables the tablet to be used in three modes – Hold, Tilt and Stand. The handle makes it easy to hold the tablet and is particularly useful while reading. Pop out the side cylinder 90° to make the tablet stand on a tablet or use it as a kickstand for a better viewing angle. As far as the rest of the design goes, Yoga Tablet 8 is stylishly designed device with clean aluminium finish and laser etched back to prevent scratches. In short, Lenovo wins full marks for making the design of the Yoga Tablet 8 innovative and attractive. The tablet features an 8-inch HD (1280x800) display and produces good colours with decent colour accuracy. The viewing angle is excellent as well. The Yoga Tablet 8 runs Android 4.2.2 with Lenovo’s custom user interface that really transforms the Android we know. The interface fuses the app drawer and home screen into a “hotseat” for apps that enables

quick access for up to 6 apps. The interface also supports few gestures like a top swipe that reveals the launcher menu or a bottom swipe that shows recently used apps. Powering the tablet is MediaTek’s 1.2GHz MT8389 processor and 1GB RAM, and to put it frankly, this combination for the tablet is not enough. While most of the things work as intended, there’s an obvious lag and stutter when you try to scroll through the interface. The tablet supports 3G and just like majority of the Android tablets, Yoga Tablet 8

We mentioned at the start that the cylindrical handle serves many purposes and one of them is that it hosts dual batteries. Lenovo claims the dual batteries in the Yoga Tablet 8 are generally found in laptops and in our tests, with a mix of watching movies, using 3G data and Wi-Fi, Yoga Tablet 8 easily went over two days, making it one of the best tablets if you’re looking for prolonged battery life. To sum things up, Lenovo offers a great looking tablet with a stellar battery life at an

a great looking tablet with a stellar battery life at an supports voice calling. It also

supports voice calling. It also comes with 16GB internal memory with support for expansion via microSD up to 64GB. On the multimedia front, the tablet fares really well as it plays everything you throw at it. There’s Dolby support as well that adds to the overall audio quality. The Yoga Tablet 8 features a 5 megapixel camera at the back and 1.6 megapixel on the front. Both cameras perform well in good lighting conditions, support HD video recording and continuous image support.

attractive price. The only shortcoming is the mediocre processor choice that makes the tablet lag a bit. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 sells for Rs. 22,000.

VERDICT: A good looking tablet with excellent battery life, bogged down by an average CPU

★★★★☆

INFO: www.thedostore.com

New Products tested by our experts MONITOR LaCie Rugged Triple USB 3.0 HDD Heading: Rugged

New Products tested by our experts

MONITOR

LaCie Rugged Triple USB 3.0 HDD

Heading: Rugged Protection in a compact chassis

There are many portable hard drives in the market but very few boast the military- grade protection to protect the data from any untoward accident. LaCie is one of the few with their Rugged Triple USB 3.0 drive that gives decent storage and protects the drive from accidental drops and hacking. The LaCie Rugged Triple USB 3.0 is designed by renowned designer, Neil Poulton based in France but we’re not talking about its aesthetic appeal but its four layers of protection. The portable drive boasts an orange, rubberized, shock-resistant rubber sleeve with an aluminium anti-scratch protective shell. There are internal rubber bumpers to save from shocks and a shock-resistant hard drive

capable of handling up to 1000G of shock. In short, the drive adheres to the 810-F military specification and can even withstand drops of up to 2 meters when not in use.

can even withstand drops of up to 2 meters when not in use. Performance-wise, the LaCie

Performance-wise, the LaCie Rugged Triple USB 3.0 supports USB 3.0 and FireWire 800 interface. It’s backward compatible as well, which means if you’ve got a PC supporting USB 2.0 or FireWire 400, the drive will still work but will give lower transfer speeds. In our tests with USB 3.0, the LaCie Rugged Triple USB 3.0 reached a transfer speed of around 90MB/s. The drive also supports AES 256-bit

software encryption that enables users to create a password-protected area on the drive to save all the data from prying eyes. But that’s not all. LaCie bundles an Easy Setup assistant and automatic backup software and 10GB of Wuala secure online storage for free for a year. The 1TB version of LaCie Rugged Triple USB 3.0 is priced at around Rs. 12,000 and if you’re serious about preserving data with the best in class protection, LaCie’s HDD is good to have in your arsenal.

VERDICT: Combo of rugged protection with high-speed interface support gives the drive an edge over others

★★★★☆

INFO: www.lacie.com

protection with high-speed interface support gives the drive an edge over others ★★★★☆ INFO: www.lacie.com
Reviews SMARTPHONE LG G Flex A curvy smartphone from the future With the processor and

Reviews

SMARTPHONE

LG G Flex

A curvy smartphone from the future

With the processor and memory advancements in the mobile phone industry reaching maturity, companies are

looking to innovate on the form factor front. One such case is LG who announced the G Flex earlier this year for the Indian market.

A glance at the G Flex, and you’ll know

something’s different with the phone. That’s because LG has integrated the

world’s first 6-inch curved OLED display. The curve adopted by LG is a vertical curve, which according to the Korean company is ergonomically designed to suit the human face’s curvature. Another good thing about the design is the can flex! Apply some pressure on the back of the device to see the G Flex straighten itself and return to its original curved form.

G Flex has a clean design with just the

screen dominating the front side of the phone while the physical keys like power/ lock button and the volume keys are placed at the back. Speaking of back, LG also touts G Flex to have a ‘self-healing’ back. No, we’re talking sorcery here but in fact the back of the G Flex comes with an elastic coating that can heal light and small scratches automatically. Display on the G Flex is a 6-inch curved Plastic OLED display. While there are little complaints when it comes to colour accuracy and contrast, the biggest bane we feel is the 720p resolution. HD resolution would have been better with a display as large as on the G Flex, there are times when noise is pretty evident in the image. The situation is slightly different when it comes to performance. G Flex is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 2.26GHz quad-core CPU and 2GB RAM, making it more than enough for the device to run smoothly, including heavy processing during games and few other apps. The phone runs LG’s custom UI atop

and few other apps. The phone runs LG’s custom UI atop Android 4.2.2 and though most

Android 4.2.2 and though most of the things are borrowed from LG’s top-end device, the G2, there are a few things exclusive to the G Flex. The phone has something called as Fluid Lock Screen that moves the wallpaper according to the tilt of the G Flex. There’s also QTheater that flaunts a curved UI for images and videos and Dual Window that enables to use two apps at once. G Flex also features KnockOn that locks/unlocks device with just two taps on the screen, Slide Aside that enables to run three apps simultaneously, QSlide, Quick Remote, Guest Mode. On the camera front, G Flex has a decent 13 megapixel camera at the back and 2.1 megapixel on the front. Camera produces some good pictures and even

has the ability to record videos in UHD (4K) resolution. G Flex’s display is just one part of the curve. It also sports a non-removable curved battery rated at 3500mAh that easily gives more than a day of run time. LG gets full marks for G Flex’s innovation but the phone’s success is hampered with its price tag. It’s priced at Rs. 69,000, which makes it appealing for a very limited set of consumers.

VERDICT: Good performing curved smartphone with an expensive price tag.

★★★★☆

INFO: www./lg.com

issues of screen tearing, stutter, input lag on the supported monitor; and Gamestream that enables

issues of screen tearing, stutter, input lag on the supported monitor; and Gamestream that enables Nvidia Shield users to stream their Steam games from handheld gaming console.

GeForce GTX 750 Ti offers a good set of features at an asking price of Rs. 11,990 and with the compact size, GTX 750 Ti opens a subset of gamers who wouldn’t think to upgrade their rig due to their small PC chassis.

PC to the

VERDICT: Good performance with low power consumption and price.

★★★ ☆ INFO: www. nvidia.in
★★★
INFO: www. nvidia.in

HARDWARE

Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti GPU

Nvidia’s latest GPU is powerful and small

There are over 600 million gamers worldwide or about twice the population of US and with PC gaming on the rise, Nvidia released their new GeForce GTX 750 Ti GPU with a promise to improve performance at an affordable price. Nvidia has made the GeForce GTX 750 Ti really compact. It’s just 5.7-inches long that makes it ideal for gamers who have PCs with just the integrated graphics or PCs with small chassis. One of the good things is that it does not need an internal power connector, which means it also saves on power. GeForce GTX 750 Ti is Nvidia’s first GPU based on Maxwell architecture and is based on 28nm process, 640 CUDA cores and 1GB or 2GB GDDR5 memory, depending on the GPU add-in partner. As for performance-per-watt goes, GTX 750 Ti boasts 4 times the power efficiency compared to Fermi-based GTX 550 Ti or double the

efficiency when pitted against Nvidia’s Kepler-based GTX 650 Ti. It also consumes about 60W of power compared to AMD R7 260X’s 115W. Nvidia also offers the freedom to overclock the GPU and can be safely pushed to over 10 to 12 percent from its original boost clock of

1020MHz.

The GPU is targeted at gamers who want to enjoy gaming at Full HD 1080p resolution and Nvidia’s offering is optimised to give a better performance than AMD’s R7 260X in titles like Battlefield 4, BioShock Infinite, Call of Duty:

Ghosts, Batman: AO, Crysis 3 and Far Cry 3. GeForce GTX 750 Ti also packs in some Nvidia technologies like GPU Boost 2.0 that enables the graphics card to run at the highest clocks possible for the best gaming performance; ShadowPlay to record their games; G-Sync support that helps to resolve the

possible for the best gaming performance; ShadowPlay to record their games; G-Sync support that helps to
Reviews CAMERA D-Link DCS-825L Baby Camera Check on the baby from your smartphone There are

Reviews

CAMERA

D-Link DCS-825L Baby Camera

Check on the baby from your smartphone

DCS-825L Baby Camera Check on the baby from your smartphone There are times when you want

There are times when you want to check on your newborn while you’re slogging at work and the latest gadget from D-Link helps to fulfil this objective. The Wi-Fi Baby Camera (DCS-825L) is not a regular baby monitor but in fact, it enables the parent to check on their loved one remotely on their mobile device. The D-Link Baby Camera has a really simple design. It comes with an interchangeable blue and pink colour rings to add some personalisation and a matching stand where the circular shaped camera can be placed or mounted to a fixed position. The top side of the camera features controls like power and volume while the AC adapter, microSD card slot and speakers are placed at the back. Setting up the Wi-Fi Baby Camera is really easy. Just download the free mydlink Baby app for iOS and Android and follow on screen instructions. Once the camera is connected to the Wi-Fi network, all a user needs is the app to monitor their child. Here is where it gets more interesting. The camera supports up to 720p quality and even night vision, which activates the infra-red LEDs

when the ambient light gets dark. It can also detect motion, sound and integrates a temperature sensor. All this information comes in handy when you’re using the app as the simple UI relays all the information along with the video feed for you to act on. For instance, you can remotely play lullabies (up to 5) or even use your own voice to calm your child. The app also notifies if it detects any sound or motion and displays the room temperature to notify if it’s too hot or cold. The D-Link Wi-Fi Baby Camera packs in some good features giving you the freedom to finish some chores while keeping an eye on the newborn all the time. The camera is priced at Rs. 9,000.

VERDICT: Great camera with an easy-to- use app

★★★ ☆ INFO: www.dlink.co.in
★★★
INFO: www.dlink.co.in

PROJECTOR

Epson EH-TW5200 Projector

Affordable projector with 3D playback

Epson has a wide range of projectors that cater to different segments of the market, and the latest projector that promises to give decent features at an affordable price, is the

EH-TW5200.

Epson goes for the home users and gamers with the EH-TW5200, given the target market, Epson has made the projector compact in size and easy to lug around. Placement-wise, the lamp and the vents are located on the front, keystone adjuster and controls on the top and input ports like HDMI, VGA port, RCA port, RS232c, USB port, 3.5mm headphone jack at the back along with 2W monoaural speaker. The projector uses 3LCD technology that brings out good colours but gets affected by the lower contrast when watching a scene

with dark background. The brightness for the colour light as well as the white light is 2000 lumens, supports Full HD resolution playback and has an estimated lamp life of up to 4,000 hours. The lamp can last up to 6,000 hours if the projector is used in Eco mode. TW5200 is one of the cheapest projectors to support 3D playback and since its first objective is to be cost efficient, Epson does not bundle any 3D glasses. Consumers will need to buy new 3D RF glasses to watch 3D content. The projector also supports 480Hz Drive that helps to give an improved 3D and gaming experience. One of the HDMI ports supports MHL, which is a technology that enables users to mirror their smartphone devices to the projector. The projector works well with MHL

devices to the projector. The projector works well with MHL and can even stream content from

and can even stream content from an Android or an iOS device wirelessly with an option Wi-Fi dongle and iProjection app. Epson EH-TW5200 can project content up to 300-inches in size and with Full HD and 3D playback added to the mix, the EH-TW5200 makes a good buy.

VERDICT: Good Projector for home users with 3D support

★★★ ☆ INFO: www.epson.co.in
★★★
INFO: www.epson.co.in
Hi Tech ‧ Trend Setters ‧ Top Prospects ‧ Home Base of ICT COMPUTEX TAIPEI
Hi Tech ‧ Trend Setters ‧ Top Prospects ‧ Home Base of ICT COMPUTEX TAIPEI
Hi Tech ‧ Trend Setters ‧ Top Prospects ‧ Home Base of ICT COMPUTEX TAIPEI
Hi Tech ‧ Trend Setters ‧ Top Prospects ‧ Home Base of ICT COMPUTEX TAIPEI
Hi Tech ‧ Trend Setters ‧ Top Prospects ‧ Home Base of ICT COMPUTEX TAIPEI

Hi TechTrend SettersTop ProspectsHome Base of ICT

‧ Trend Setters ‧ Top Prospects ‧ Home Base of ICT COMPUTEX TAIPEI is going to
‧ Trend Setters ‧ Top Prospects ‧ Home Base of ICT COMPUTEX TAIPEI is going to
‧ Trend Setters ‧ Top Prospects ‧ Home Base of ICT COMPUTEX TAIPEI is going to

COMPUTEX TAIPEI is going to feature such themes as Touch-Enabled Applications, Cloud, Wearable Technology, 3D Printing,Vehicle Telematics/Auto Multimedia and IoT.This ICT mega event and world’s leading procurement platform will run from June 3-7, 2014 in Taipei.

This year’s show will build on the success of last year’s show, which accommodated 1,724 exhibitors using 5,042 booths and welcomed 38,300 international visitors.

Two new exhibition areas will join the already rich lineup- Touch Applications & Display Products and Smart Tech & Applications – spotlighting products and services that reflect new technology and market trends.

All buyers attending COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2014 will receive a buyer’s badge that combines buyer identification with unlimited four-day free Taipei Metro transportation. In other words, the badge not only allows buyers to visit the tradeshow, it also enables them to travel around the city for free.

Reminder:

Deadline for pre-registration is May 28 th .

After that date, registration can only be made at on-site counters.

For more details on COMPUTEX TAIPEI or to pre-register on the

official website: www.ComputexTaipei.com.tw

Pre-register NOW!

3 easy steps let you shape the future at this amazing ICT event!

1. Go online: www.computextaipei.com.tw

2. Click: “Visitors Pre-registration” and complete registration form and survey.

3. Click “SEND” and it’s done!

Have your badge delivered to your hotel

International visitors may choose to have badge

delivered to designated hotels. Requests will be

accepted 1 month prior to the show.

Unlimited FREE Metro for 4 days (June 3 rd – 6 th )

First time EVER! International visitors get a FREE

4-day metro pass embedded into their upgraded

visitor badges. It provides FREE unlimited rides on

the Taipei Metro from June 3 rd to 6 th .The

just-opened Xinyi Line Metro runs right to the front

door of TWTC Hall 1.

For the ease and comfort of the international

visitors the organizer even offers FREE shuttle buses

that zip between airports to show venues, and

between the show venues and major hotels.

even offers FREE shuttle buses that zip between airports to show venues, and between the show
Reviews CAMERA SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive Use the same flash drive on PC and

Reviews

CAMERA

SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive

Use the same flash drive on PC and a Smartphone

We reviewed the Transcend OTG USB Drive last month and this month we have SanDisk’s USB OTG solution known as the Ultra Dual USB Drive. USB On-the-Go or simply, USB OTG enables users to use the regular USB flash drive on a device with a full size USB port and on a smartphone or a tablet. The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive has been designed a bit differently when you compare it with the Transcend offering and quite frankly, we like it. There is no cap to lose that hides the microUSB port as the Ultra Dual USB Drive comes with a sliding plastic to hide the normal-sized USB port or microUSB port, when not in use. Using the USB Drive is pretty simple. Just pop in the USB 2.0 drive to a PC to copy the contents like you usually do with a normal USB flash drive or if you’re trying to copy or

backup content from your mobile device, make sure the device supports USB OTG function. A full list of compatible devices can be found here – http://bit.ly/1jk1IEz. Although the drive works with any file manager in the mobile device, SanDisk’s Memory Zone is highly recommended as it makes manoeuvring through the content really easy. The app also makes it easier to copy or move content back and forth from the mobile device to the Dual Drive and even supports variety of online services like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Facebook etc. The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive is a handy tool for users who are always in a space crunch on their mobile devices. The drive comes in capacities from 16GB and goes up to 64GB with the price starting from Rs. 1,199.

and goes up to 64GB with the price starting from Rs. 1,199. VERDICT: Good performance omplemented

VERDICT: Good performance omplemented with a decent software support

★★★★☆

INFO: www.sandisk.com/dualdrive

HARDWARE

Strontium 64GB microSDXC card

SDXC card with huge storage with promise of a good speed

With consumers creating and consuming Full HD content, storage for devices has become one of the deciding factors during the purchase of a new gadget. Use of microSD cards has proved instrumental to give the freedom to expand the storage to consumers and at the same time, keep the price of the mobile device low. This month we try out Strontium’s microSDXC UHS-1 card that boasts storage of 64GB. This card from Strontium is classified under UHS-1 and Class 10, which makes it one of the high-speed rated cards available in the market. A clean formatted card gives about 59GB of storage and in our tests, we tried the card on a Lenovo Android tablet running Android 4.2.2 and on a Dell notebook running Windows 8.1. The results were surprising to say the least. In

8.1. The results were surprising to say the least. In the three random tests on the

the three random tests on the Android tablet, the card managed to give a write speed of about 15.1MB/s while the read speed stood at 12-15MB/s. On the other hand, card when used with the bundled SD adapter gave a write speed in the range of 20MB/s and read speed

to up to 56MB/s. Achieving Strontium’s 85MB/s read speed is a bit of a task since it’s tested under certain conditions but getting a read speed of more than 50MB/s in real world conditions isn’t bad either. Another advantage is that the card works with variety of Android devices as well as Windows Phones and digital cameras. It even bundles a full version of the MyBackup Pro app for Android devices worth Rs. 312. Strontium sells the card for around Rs. 2,800.

VERDICT: Price and decent speed makes it a good value for money accessory for mobile and camera owners

★★★

speed makes it a good value for money accessory for mobile and camera owners ★★★ ☆

INFO: www.strontium.biz/

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Reviews LAPTOP Sony VAIO Flip 13 A laptop that turns into a tablet with a

Reviews

LAPTOP

Sony VAIO Flip 13

A laptop that turns into a tablet with a flip of a finger

The Sony VAIO Flip 13 Multi-flip Windows 8.1 laptop is nothing if not a head-turner. Although the Multi-flip looks like just another ultra portable laptop, it’s a little different because you can flip the screen 180 degrees back on itself so it can be laid flat on the keyboard, allowing the Multi-flip to be used as a tablet. The flippable screen is mounted on a pivoting hinge halfway up the back of the lid, which

provides a fair amount of flexibility. When the screen is flipped back on itself, the computer can be turned upside down and positioned V-shaped, like a tent. Alternatively, the screen can be tilted forwards, partially covering the keyboard, which makes it more comfortable to use the touchscreen when seated at a desk or table. If you just want to use the Multi-flip as a laptop, the screen can be locked in place using the switch built into the hinge so it doesn’t come loose accidentally. These flexible screen modes are surprisingly useful and the ability to tilt the screen forwards in particular makes using touchscreen apps on the Multi-flip much more bearable. Although its 1.3kg weight is light for a laptop, it’s heavy for a tablet, so holding and using the Multi-flip as a handheld tablet for even short periods of time, quickly becomes

tablet for even short periods of time, quickly becomes tiresome. Our model came equipped with 4GB

tiresome. Our model came equipped with 4GB of memory and a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 4200U processor, which makes it fast enough to be used as your main computer. Battery life was good too at about 6 hours and 37 minutes, although we’ve seen other laptops last even longer. Using the Multi-flip as a laptop is very comfortable thanks to the large keyboard. The keys have enough travel and give plenty of feedback when pressed. The keys also light up for use in dark rooms. The touchpad is large and accurate with firm, clicky buttons built into the bottom of the pad itself. The touchscreen is accurate and very responsive. Disappointingly, image quality is poor. Despite the laptop boasting a Triluminos display technology by Sony, we found the screen

to be not very bright. Colour accuracy isn’t great and becomes even worse when you shift seating position because the viewing angles are quite narrow. VAIO Flip 13’s another shortcoming is the noise and the heat. Even when handling undemanding tasks such web browsing and word processing, the cooling fan is irritatingly noisy. Despite the ventilation at the side, the bottom of the device gets unbearably hot after sometime, making it uncomfortable to use it on the lap. The device earns full marks on the design front. It looks

premium, thanks to the brushed aluminium finish. It also has a diamond-cut logo and curved edges that makes it really easy for the VAIO Flip use in all 3 modes — Laptop, Viewer and Tablet Mode. Usefully, the charger has a USB port for charging your smartphone.

Included with the VAIO Flip 13 are

several useful extras. Pre-installed on the 128GB SSD is a host of useful Sony software including PlayMemories Home, VAIO Movie Creator, Xperia Link, Norton Online Backup and a few more. Sony also bundles MDR-XB8910A headphones worth Rs. 12,990 and Sony Jive music download and streaming service for three months with every purchase of the Sony Flip series notebook. The Sony VAIO Flip 13 is a good touchscreen laptop, but it’s let down by its poor screen quality. We’d expect far better at this price and this flaw make the VAIO Flip 13 only fair value. It sells for Rs. 84,990.

VERDICT: A potentially excellent touchscreen laptop spoiled by disappointing image quality.

★★★★☆

INFO: www.sony.co.in

New Products tested by our experts PHONE Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Power packed phone in

New Products tested by our experts

PHONE

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Power packed phone in a small size

Devices with large display maybe in vogue these days but there are many who still vie for the same hardware found on flagship phones, with a smaller display. The ‘mini’ range put out by some mobile phone manufacturers don’t do justice to this demand, but Sony’s newly launched Xperia Z1 Compact is looking to buck the trend. As the name goes, Xperia Z1 Compact is a compact version of Sony’s flagship phone – Xperia Z1. The design too, is inspired from the Xperia Z1 with clean glass design on the front and back and anodised aluminium sides for a premium look. The phone is also certified IP58 compliant, keeping the phone protected from dust and water. The compact variant of the Xperia Z1 features a 4.3-inch display supporting a 720p resolution (1280x720). Despite the current trend of going with Full HD resolution, we feel 720p is more than enough on this size of display. The display reaches a respectable 342ppi that results in sharp, clear text and images. Furthermore, the phone is also equipped with Sony’s TRILUMINOS display tech and to be honest, we were not big fans of Sony’s display tech but the difference in the Xperia Z1 Compact is quite evident. Colour accuracy, contrast ratio and even the legibility under direct sunlight are great on the Xperia Z1 Compact. As we mentioned before,

this phone is the compact variant of the flagship and not the mini version, which means it packs in all the good hardware from a larger-sized Xperia Z1. The Xperia Z1 Compact is powered by Qualcomm’s 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB RAM, ensuring amazingly smooth performance, including while gaming and doing other processor intensive tasks. Battery life is decent as well on its 2300mAh battery. The phone runs Android 4.3 and comes with Sony’s customer user interface. Good thing about the interface is that it’s unobtrusive and clean like Android’s original user interface. You get multiple lock screen support along with widgets, home screen and Small Apps support. The Xperia Z1 Compact is equipped with a 20MP Exmor RS camera sensor that promises better quality pictures on a mobile phone. There are a lot of options to play with for users to take a good shot. Sony has also integrated features like Info-eye that recognises the text or other content in the captured image to search and display related information. As far as camera quality goes, we would say it’s good but not the best. The colour accuracy, contrast and white balance are good but the picture shows some amount of noise. The camera can record in Full HD resolution but are a

noise. The camera can record in Full HD resolution but are a bit surprised that it

bit surprised that it does not support 4K video recording despite the Qualcomm chipset supporting it from the outset. Admittedly, there are not many devices to play 4K content but it would have been a good

thing to have. Xperia Z1 Compact is a great little device and there’s little to complain if you want a superior hardware and performance in a small size.

VERDICT: It’s compact phone, but packs a punch

★★★ ☆ INFO: www.sony.co.in
★★★
INFO: www.sony.co.in
Reviews DEVICE Google Chromecast Chromecast brings multimedia streaming to the big screen There are many

Reviews

DEVICE

Google Chromecast

Chromecast brings multimedia streaming to the big screen

There are many devices that transform your regular HDTV to a Smart TV, one of the most interesting and inexpensive solution, comes from the house of Google. Google calls it Chromecast, the basic premise of the device is to stream content to the HDTV from your smartphone, tablet or PC. Design-wise, Chromecast is a compact, flash drive-like device that houses a HDMI connector and a microUSB port that is used to power the device. Google does the job of explaining how to setup the device well, and once set up on

the same wireless network as your mobile device or PC, everything is just tap and watch. Best part of using Chromecast is that a user does not have to

YouTube will automatically show a ‘Cast’ button to instantly stream content on to the big screen. Currently, there are a limited number of apps that support the Cast functionality but given the fact that Google recently released the Google Cast SDK for all developers, the support for Google’s device is bound to expand exponentially each passing day. Another interesting feature is the ability to cast Chrome tabs. With the help of an extension on the Chrome browser for Desktop, users can cast any open tab with a

browser for Desktop, users can cast any open tab with a download a dedicated app to

download a dedicated app to make it work. When Chromecast is connected, a supported app like

single click, thus giving rise to a possibility of casting virtually anything. In summary Chromecast may be a little raw around the edges and might have a dearth of supported apps currently, but Google by opening up the platform has signalled of good things for future. Plus, at $35 (~Rs. 2,500), it doesn’t really hurt the pocket.

VERDICT: Easy to setup and use, Inexpensive.

★★★★☆

INFO: www.google.com/ chromecast

SPEAKERS

JBL Flip 2

Wireless Speakers with a dash of colour

SPEAKERS JBL Flip 2 Wireless Speakers with a dash of colour Bluetooth portable speaker options are

Bluetooth portable speaker options are available aplenty for consumers. But how many offer a good audio quality at an affordable price? JBL’s tries to address this with their Flip 2. But does it deliver? We take a look. The Flip 2 features a cylindrical design with two 6W speakers facing the front. The sides has volume, power, Bluetooth pairing controls, while the back has a microUSB port for charging, Aux in and battery indicator. Users can pair their device via Bluetooth, or use the integrated Near-Field Communication (NFC), if it’s supported by the mobile device. Although NFC will ultimately use bluetooth for

pairing, it’s faster as it requires just a tap. All in all, Flip 2 is designed with portability in mind, which is why JBL also packs in a premium looking carrying case for better portability. Speaking of performance, JBL Flip 2 offers top notch audio quality. Despite its size, the Flip 2 is surprisingly loud and boasts crystal clear sound without distortion even at the highest volume. We found the bass a bit lacking though! The Flip 2 also comes with a built-in microphone that enables to receive calls and talk through the speaker. The call audio quality is pretty good and supports noise cancellation technology. JBL has equipped Flip 2 with a 2000mAh

rated battery that takes about 3 hours to charge through the bundled AC adapter. The rated battery life is up to 5 hours, it lasted nearly 4.5 during our test. The Flip 2 is a great compact speaker from JBL that offers quality sound along with a choice of colours. It retails for Rs. 6,499 and comes in black, white, red, blue and yellow.

VERDICT: Good sound quality at an affordable price

★★★★☆

INFO: www.jbl.com/

Launching AUTO COMPONENTS INDIA

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YOUR PC

CAN GO EVEN

FASTER

Find out what’s making your computer run slowly, then get it going faster than ever before with our’s expert tweaks and upgrades

A lmost as soon as you get a new PC it starts to slow down. Eventually, parts wear down and your computer gets filled up with

files, folders and endless bits of software. But there’s no reason for everyday PC use to result in system slowdowns. Nor should you need to do anything complicated to make your computer run as fast as – or even faster than – when you bought it. Here we look at how to boost your PC speed quickly and easily and how spending a bit of money can get your computer running faster than ever.

Find out how fast your computer is now

KEY POINTS

42 Computer active April 2014

is now KEY POINTS 4 2 Computer active April 2014 Run the Windows Experience Index to

Run the Windows Experience Index to find weaknesses in your computer setup

You can’t start improving things without knowing what you’re up against, so first find out how well your computer is really performing and what areas are holding it back. You can get a quick overview of your computer’s particular strengths and weaknesses using the built-in Windows

Experience Index tool in Windows 7 and 8. Go to Control Panel, ‘Performance Information and Tools’ and click ‘Run the assessment’ (or ‘Re-run the assessment’ if you’ve run this test in the past). Windows will show you scores for the processor, graphics, memory, hard drive and gaming graphics, ranging from 1.0 to 7.9. The lowest score indicates the weakest area of your computer. For a more in-depth idea of your computer’s performance run the PassMark Performance Test

(www.snipca.com/10113).

You can use this professional benchmarking test in a free trial for 30 days. PerformanceTest 8.0 gives you a comprehensive picture of what’s inside your PC, showing the processor, motherboard, graphics card, memory, hard drive and CD/DVD drive. To get an accurate benchmark score, close down everything else that’s running

on your computer including your web browser, email software and Skype. Start PerformanceTest, click Run Benchmark, then Yes. The test takes several minutes, during which time the screen flashes on and off as it measures how well your PC handles 2D and 3D graphics, how fast the memory operates and the condition of your PC’s hard drive. PerformanceTest’s scores go up to around 12,000. As with the Windows Experience Index tool, you can use PerformanceTest’s results to analyse your computer’s weak spots. Your PC’s score will be added to Passmark’s results database. This will help provide more accurate figures for how everyone’s components compare. One of our oldest test computers, replete with three-year-old processor and 4GB of RAM, scored a measly 877.8. If we wanted to play games on this PC, for example, we can see that we’d need to upgrade the graphics card. Your computer will probably fare better. Click Summary to compare each component’s performance compared with others in the Passmark database.

performance compared with others in the Passmark database. Note your benchmark score, then check for improvements

Note your benchmark score, then check for improvements once you’ve tweaked your PC

For instance, CPU Mark shows results for processors from a Core2 Duo to a high- end Core i7. The green bar indicates your computer. If your benchmark tests show a low score for memory you’ll be able to add more quite cheaply. But if the processor rating is also low you may want to consider buying a

Your PC can go even faster

you may want to consider buying a Your PC can go even faster Compare the speed

Compare the speed of your computer components to see what’s slowing it down

newer, faster computer because processors are neither cheap nor easy to upgrade. However, a new processor will provide a massive increase in speed. Once you’ve made changes to your PC based on our tips and the benchmark-test results, run PerformanceTest again to see how much its speed has increased.

FIX THE MOST ANNOYING PC SPEED PROBLEMS

Even without running a performance test, you’ll probably have a good idea of which parts of your computer aren’t working as well as they could. Here’s how to fix the most common speed problems.

Your PC starts up very slowly

There are very few programs that need to load when Windows starts. To prevent unnecessary programs running at startup and slowing everything down, open a Run box by pressing Windows key+R, type msconfig and press Enter. Click Startup and untick all unwanted items.

Don’t disable your antivirus software or any programs you don’t recognise. Click OK to confirm the changes and restart the PC. In Windows 8, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete then click Task Manager, startup. To stop an item starting whenever you switch on

the PC, click its name, then Disable. Click Apply, then OK. You can claw back more seconds by disabling unused hardware so Windows doesn’t bother loading

unused hardware so Windows doesn’t bother loading Switch off unused hardware items so Windows isn’t slowed

Switch off unused hardware items so Windows isn’t slowed down loading their drivers

category by clicking the small arrow on the left then the specific hardware device. For example, to disable Bluetooth, right- click it in the list and click Disable. Only disable hardware items that you know you’ll never use. To reverse the process, click Enable to turn those items back on should you need to use them. If Bluetooth or floppy-disk-drive options aren’t shown, it means your PC doesn’t have these items installed. The more operating memory Windows has, the less it needs to use the hard drive.

memory Windows has, the less it needs to use the hard drive. Make your PC start

Make your PC start faster by disabling programs that don’t need to start up

the drivers to run them. For

example, it’s unlikely you use a floppy disk drive. Unless you use wireless headphones or a wireless keyboard and mouse, you probably don’t use Bluetooth on your Desktop PC either. To disable these items and other unused hardware open the Run box, type devmgmt. msc and press Enter to launch Device Manager. Click the relevant hardware

April 2014 Computer active

43

Your PC can go even faster

Your PC can go even faster Use Crucial’s System Scanner to find out what type of

Use Crucial’s System Scanner to find out what type of memory to buy

System Scanner to find out what type of memory to buy Install new RAM modules to

Install new RAM modules to vastly improve performance

If you add more RAM you’ll significantly improve its overall performance. In particular, adding RAM speeds up memory-intensive tasks such as photo and video editing. Your PC should come with at least 2GB of RAM already installed. If you’ve got a 32bit version of Windows (which is the case on most XP and Vista PCs), you can install up to 4GB of RAM. The limit is determined by the motherboard. Older 64bit motherboards can accommodate up to 8GB of RAM. But if you can afford it, install 16GB. However, you’ll probably need to replace the existing RAM modules, because they need to run at the same speed and have the same amount of memory bandwidth. The only problem is working out how much and which type of memory to buy. It’s easiest to check if you know your computer’s exact model. You can download and install the Crucial System

Scanner tool (www.crucial.com/uk/ systemscanner). This will check your system and show you the results in your web browser. Under Quick Configurations Crucial displays a list of compatible memory modules. The advantage of this, is that memory modules are guaranteed to be compatible. To install new RAM modules, switch off your computer, disconnect it from the mains and discharge any static by touching the metal case. Next, remove the side panel furthest away from the connectors (it may have a fan grille on the side). Gently lay the computer on its side and unclip either end of the RAM modules that are currently installed. Grip the module firmly at the top edges and rock it from side to side to release it. Keep the old modules in a safe place in case you need to reinstall them. Next, carefully push the new module into place

and secure it using the retaining clips at either end. Reassemble the computer and switch it on. As long as the memory modules are correctly seated and are the correct type, the computer should simply start up as normal and perform much faster from now on. Another excellent way to speed up your computer’s overall performance and its startup time is to exchange the hard disk for an SSD (solid- state drive). SSDs can access data almost instantly and, because they don’t have any moving parts, you don’t need to wait for a disk to spin up and access the files you want. The best way to use an SSD is to install Windows on it and keep all your documents and other software on your existing hard drive. You’ll need a spare hard-drive bay and the DVD or installation code for Windows. For guidance on installing an SSD watch this video tutorial: www.snipca.com/10096.

an SSD watch this video tutorial: www.snipca.com/10096. A d d a n S S D t

Add an SSD to get an immediate and significant speed boost

g n i f i c a n t s p e e d b o

Use Defraggler to comprehensively defragment your hard disk

44 Computer active April 2014

Your PC can go even faster

Your PC can go even faster Turn off caching to stop Windows pointlessly limiting the speed

Turn off caching to stop Windows pointlessly limiting the speed of your hard disk

Windows pointlessly limiting the speed of your hard disk Uninstall unwanted add-ons to make browsing faster

Uninstall unwanted add-ons to make browsing faster

Your programs take ages to load

Once your computer has lots of files, photos and music stored on it, the hard drive takes longer to retrieve stored items because they’re scattered all over it. This condition is known as fragmentation. You can claw back some speed by using defragmentation software to reorganise everything. Windows has its own disk- defragmentation tool. To use it, right-click your hard drive in Windows Explorer, click Properties, Tools, ‘Defragment now’ (or Optimize in Windows 8). Next, click Defragment, ‘Defragment now’, ‘Defragment disk’ or Optimize (depending on the Windows version

you’re running). Repeat this process every few weeks to keep your PC organised and running quickly. Windows Vista, 7 and 8 will defrag automatically, but your PC needs to be on for it to happen, so it’s worth defragging manually from time to time. For comprehensive disk defragmentation use the excellent free Defraggler (www.piriform.com/ defraggler). Windows uses a cache to speed up hard-drive performance, but by default the settings are designed for safety rather than maximum speed. Open a Run menu, type devmgmt. msc, then press Enter to open Device Manager. Click the arrow next to the Disk Drives entry to expand it. Double- click your hard drive, then click Policies. Make sure both boxes on the page are

ticked, then click OK. Don’t do this for USB or other removable drives as you could lose your data when the drive is unplugged.

It takes forever for your PC to open documents

Windows indexing is a common culprit here. It indexes hard drive to enable faster searches, but the process can slow down your PC. Opening Word documents, for example, can take several seconds because of indexing. In XP, indexing is worse than useless, so you’re better off disabling it. In My Computer right-click your hard drive, choose Properties then untick the box labelled ‘Allow indexing service to index this disk for fast file searching’. In Windows Vista, 7 and 8,

BOOST YOUR SPEED WITH OVERCLOCKING Overclocking is the process of making computer components run faster
BOOST YOUR SPEED WITH OVERCLOCKING
Overclocking is the process of making
computer components run faster than
their factory settings. The procedure
for overclocking your graphics cards is
quite straightforward, but overclocking
your processor is a much more advanced
undertaking that many computer
experts shy away from. It will void any
warranty covering your computer and,
if not done correctly, could cause
irreversible damage. Incorrect settings can
cause data loss or stop your
computer working altogether.
Most cheap computers can’t be overclocked
in any case. You can find out whether your
processor can be overclocked by searching
for its model number on the Intel or AMD
site. To find your processor model click
Computer, System Properties. Only the
most expensive processors let you overclock
and you will only find these in premium
computer models.
If you decide to attempt to overclock your
processor you should proceed with extreme
caution. Some motherboard manufacturers
provide tools to safely overclock your
system. Try Intel’s Desktop Control Center
(www.snipca.com/8792) or AMD’s
OverDrive (www.snipca.com/8793), but
don’t change any settings if you’re unsure.
Check which processor your PC uses in System
Properties, then look online for information
about whether you can overclock it

April 2014 Computer active

45

Your PC can go even faster

BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT USING TUNE-UP TOOLS

 
   

There’s a long list of companies offering dubious ‘tune-up’ software, which make spurious claims about cleaning up and speeding up your PC. Often, you’ll find enticing online adverts for programs that purport to make your computer faster and to fix problems you probably don’t even have. Never click on these seductive

links – they’ll often download malware or ask you to pay for non-existent PC improvements that their pseudo-system scans have unearthed. You should certainly never pay to download these programs as few of them do anything useful. It’s much better to spend money on extra memory because this provides an easy

and almost guaranteed boost to your PC’s speed. If you want to use software to tweak your computer settings, try the free Defraggler (www. piriform.com/defraggler) and CCleaner (www.piriform.com/ ccleaner) or the useful – and also free – IObit Advanced SystemCare (www.snipca.

The best antivirus products also provide useful speed tweaks because they remove unhelpful files and programs and help keep your computer running faster and more efficiently. The latest version of AVG Free (www.free.avg.com), for example, will tell you how much faster your computer starts up after it is installed.

com/10108).

open Control Panel, then type indexing options in the top-right search box. Click Indexing Options, then click Modify, and untick all locations that don’t need indexing. If Word is very slow to load, it might be that the default document template is very large. To shrink this template and speed up Word’s startup, open a blank document, then click File, Open, Templates. If the size of the Normal template is more than 20KB, it needs fixing. To do this, open the Normal template, click File, Options then Save. Ensure ‘Embed fonts in the file’ is not ticked, then click OK. Click anywhere in the text part of the document, then press space, and then backspace to delete it. Save and close the Normal template.

Your web browsing is slow

Firefox and Chrome add-ons are handy, but they can begin to weigh your browser down and it’s likely there are several you don’t even use. If you regularly clear

out unused add-ons and plugins, your browser will run much faster. In Chrome, type chrome://extensions into the address bar to see a list of installed extensions, then click the rubbish bin next to the extensions you want to remove. In Firefox, select the Add-ons option in the main menu. Select Extensions and click Remove to banish any unwanted extensions. Firefox makes it difficult to delete Plugins, but the default option to disable them is just as effective. You can

also use IObit Uninstaller (see Best Free Software, page 17) to get rid of any surplus add-ons. You can claw back even more browsing speed by turning off Flash. Doing this will make most webpages load faster, and it makes sense because you only need Flash to watch YouTube videos or BBC iPlayer. To get rid of Flash in Chrome, type chrome://plugins into the address bar, go to Adobe Flash Player, then click Disable. In Firefox click Add-ons, Plugins and click Disable next to Shockwave Flash. You can

Flash Object, then click ‘Remove all sites’, Close, and Close again. Now, when you load a webpage that has Flash on it, you can just enable Flash for that page.

Your Wi-Fi connection is slow

If your laptop runs Windows Vista, 7 or 8, you can increase the battery life by reducing the range of the wireless adapter, although this means your Wi-Fi won’t be as powerful as it could be. To check this, click Windows key+R to open the Run box, type control.exe powercfg.cpl, then press Enter. The ‘Balanced (recommended)’ power plan should be selected. Click ‘Change plan settings’, then ‘Change advanced power settings’. Scroll down to Wireless Adapter Settings and click ‘+’, then also click ‘+’ next to Power Saving Mode. Click Media Power Saving next to ‘On battery’, change it to Maximum Performance, then click OK. This will reduce the battery life of your laptop but will also make the wireless

battery life of your laptop but will also make the wireless always enable Flash again if

always enable Flash again if its absence causes you problems. Internet Explorer lets you disable Flash on a site- by-site basis, so you can block it on every website except BBC iPlayer or YouTube, for example. To block Flash, click Tools, Manage Add-ons, double- click Shockwave

Disable Flash to make sites load quicker, but you’ll need it for sites like BBC iPlayer

quicker, but you’ll need it for sites like BBC iPlayer T w e a k a

Tweak advanced settings to increase Wi-Fi range

46 Computer active April 2014

Your PC can go even faster

Your PC can go even faster Switch your home Wi-Fi network to a clearer channel where

Switch your home Wi-Fi network to a clearer channel where it isn’t competing for a connection

clearer channel where it isn’t competing for a connection Speed up your graphics card using free

Speed up your graphics card using free overclocking software

internet connection faster and more reliable. If there are lots of available networks shown when you connect to your Wi-Fi network, the other networks are probably using the same Wi-Fi frequency as yours and could be seriously slowing down your Wi-Fi. It’s easy to switch your Wi-Fi to a less crowded (and therefore speedier)part of the spectrum if you use the free inSSIDer software (www.metageek.net/support/ downloads - click inSSIDer HOME to start the download). Click Channel in the list of Wi-Fi networks and check which channels your network is using. If it’s on the same channel as lots of other networks you need to change channel. Select one at least five channels away from the most populated channel in order to escape any interference. For example, if your Wi-Fi network uses channel 11 and lots of other networks are also on channel 11, you should move your Wi-Fi network to channel 5 or below. To change channel, you need to go to the settings menu of your router. Press Windows key+R, then type ipconfig in the Run box and press Enter. Note down the numbers shown next to ‘Default gateway’ (such as 192.168.1.2). Type these numbers into your browser’s address bar and click Enter. This will take you to the admin login page for your router. You’ll find your router’s login details either on the router itself or in the instruction manual that came with it. If you can’t find them try looking up your router on www.routerpasswords.com. Now look for the ‘wireless’ section in the router settings menu and find the radio channel option. Switch it to the wireless channel that looks least busy and apply the changes. Not all PCs are configured

to make the most of broadband internet connections. The free, easy-to-use TCP Optimizer tool (www.speedguide.net/ downloads.php) can give your internet connection a real speed boost. Once installed, you need to run TCP Optimizer as an administrator. Select your network adapter from the ‘Network Adapter selection’ list, click Optimal, ‘Apply changes’, then restart your computer if prompted to.

Your games run sluggishly and the graphics are juddery

Games make big demands on a PC’s resources. If your processor and graphics card aren’t up to scratch, you’ll end up with a miserable gaming experience in which scenes play out in a stuttering fashion. To instantly improve gameplay, close all other running programs. As long as it’s not a game that requires internet access, switch off your antivirus software too. Dismiss any items in the Notification Area by right-clicking them and choosing Exit or Close. In the game’s settings menu, minimise the graphics’ quality settings (resolution, texture quality and so on). Gradually turn up the quality settings until you notice frame rates and gameplay slow down again, then turn the settings back down a notch. Next, try tweaking your graphics cards to improve its performance (and your gaming experience). This process, known as overclocking, is relatively safe. Your graphics card has special tools in the driver settings for this. You should only make small changes to your graphics card clock – major changes can lead to overheating and possible damage. Although the process of tweaking your

graphics card is simple, it should only be attempted by fairly confident computer users. For ATI/AMD cards, download the latest driver and Catalyst Control Center utility (www.snipca.com/10056). Follow the instructions in the AMD Overdrive section to determine the safest overclocking parameters for your card. For Nvidia cards you’ll need a free tool such as EVGA Precision (www.evga.com/ precision) or MSI Afterburner (www.

snipca.com/10057).

It takes ages to copy items to an external hard disk

If your backup drive connects via USB, it might be this connection that’s making copying to your external drive slow. However, you might speed things up simply by switching to a different USB port. One that’s directly connected to the motherboard will almost certainly offer USB 2.0 transfer speeds. The USB ports on the front of your computer will probably be USB 1.1. This slow version of USB is best used for transferring small amounts of data. If you’ve switched to a USB port on the back of your computer but copying still takes ages, consider upgrading to a faster type of USB. If you install a USB 3.0 port you’ll be able to copy files at up to 10 times the rate of USB 2.0. You may already have a USB 3.0 port on your computer. If you do you’ll recognise it by the bright blue colour inside the connection. You’ll need a USB 3.0 hard drive to take advantage of the faster speeds. If you don’t have USB 3.0 ports on your PC, you can install a USB 3.0 add-in card. Into a spare slot on your motherboard.

on your PC, you can install a USB 3.0 add-in card. Into a spare slot on

April 2014 Computer active

47

Set your songs free

Play all your music anywhere you like

Enjoy your entire music collection on any device whenever you want

N ow that we mainly buy music digitally, we often find ourselves locked into using whichever service we bought it from. iTunes,

Google Music and Spotify all offer excellent services but they force you to use them the way they want – Apple limits the number of PCs you can use with the same iTunes account to five, for example. But as long as the MP3 tracks stored on your computer – either those you’ve ripped from CDs or bought from online stores – aren’t protected by DRM, the truth is that you can access your entire music collection from just about anywhere and play all your music on almost any computer or portable device. Here we’ll show you how to do it for free.

Play all your tracks anywhere

One way to get the tracks off your PC is to burn them to CD – iTunes has a built-in tool for doing this. But most people would need a huge amount of discs to carry their entire collection, so this isn’t a convenient method. Another answer would be to copy the music files from your PC directly to a second device, such as another computer, tablet or smartphone. But, again, it may not be possible to fit all your music onto your

it may not be possible to fit all your music onto your portable device and having

portable device and having multiple copies of the same music library isn’t the most elegant solution. Apple has come up with a way to listen to all your music wherever you are via the internet. Its iTunes Match service (www.snipca.com/9895) costs Rs. 1200 a year. It works by scanning your computer for music and importing it into your library, so you aren’t limited to listening to tracks you’ve bought through iTunes. To set up iTunes Match launch iTunes, go to Store, click Turn On iTunes Match, type your Apple ID

and password and click Subscribe. iTunes Match compares your music

with the iTunes database. Songs it recognises are added to your iCloud account. You can store up to 25,000 songs in iCloud. Albums that haven’t been synched with your iPad or iPhone, but are stored in iCloud and accessible through iTunes Match, have a cloud icon next to them. Click this to download the album to your iOS device.

Store all your music for free in your Google account

device. Store all your music for free in your Google account Use Google Music Manager to

Use Google Music Manager to store 20,000 songs online for free, then download them and play them on any device you wish

Google Play Music also lets you store and play thousands of songs online, however, unlike iTunes Match, you don’t have to pay for it. Google’s Play Music web-based storage service will hold up to 20,000 of your songs. There’s no need to pay for the accompanying £7.99-per-month All Access Music subscription streaming service that Google launched this summer. Sadly it yet to launch in India. To store your music with Google, create or

launch in India. To store your music with Google, create or iTunes Match can store 25,000

iTunes Match can store 25,000 songs from your CDs as well as from iTunes

can store 25,000 songs from your CDs as well as from iTunes Songs and albums stored

Songs and albums stored in iCloud have a small cloud symbol next to them

Google Play Music Manager automatically scans for new tracks and adds them to your Google

Google Play Music Manager automatically scans for new tracks

and adds them to your Google Play Music library

log in to your Google account and click Play, Music, My Music. Download and install Google Music Manager, then click ‘Upload songs to Google Play’. Choose iTunes, Windows Media Player, My Music or Other as the storage folder on your computer, then either click ‘Upload all songs and playlists’ or ‘Select songs to upload by playlist’. If you wish, click the option to automatically upload songs in the future. Click Finish and Music Manager will upload all your songs. You can listen to music stored in your Google Play Music library on just about any device. Using the Google Play Music app – which comes with Android devices – you can stream songs whenever you’ve got a Wi-Fi connection, or download them to play on other devices. To do this click or tap a song, album or playlist and select the

drawing pin icon next to it. This will ‘keep’ the selected music on your phone or tablet so you can listen to it offline. You can even listen to all your Google Play Music on an iPod touch, iPad or iPhone. To listen over Wi-Fi, go to play.google. com and log into your Google account. If you want offline listening, install the £1.49 gMusic app from www.snipca.

com/9902 or the less polished, but free, App4.G (www.snipca.com/9932) and log into your Google account on your iOS device. If you haven’t already forked out for iTunes Match, this setup should prove a good free or nearly free alternative.

Access your own music library through Spotify

You’ll pay £9.99 per month to be able to access unlimited tracks through Spotify

Premium, or £4.99 per month for the Spotify Unlimited option. This lets you listen to Spotify music on two devices – a laptop and a PC, but not a tablet or phone. However, with all but the ad-supported free version you can import your own music from your hard drive to play via Spotify on other Spotify-registered devices. Again this

is not currently available in india.

devices. Again this is not currently available in india. Tap the drawing pin icon in Google

Tap the drawing pin icon in Google Play Music on your Android device to download songs to your device

Listen to music stored on your PC via your Android device

If you set up a HomeGroup network on your

computer, you’ll be able to share music with everyone within this home network. You’ll be able to access music stored on your computer from any other device, but also on other computers and hard drives on the network. Right-click the folder where your music is stored, click ‘Share with’ then ‘Create or join

a homegroup’. Tick any folders you want to

share – Pictures, Videos, Music, etc – then click Next. Windows will generate a password that you must enter in order to connect to other computers. To stream music from your PC to your Android device, download ES File Explorer (www.snipca.com/9912). Open the app, tap the globe, then tap ‘Network and LAN’. If your homegroup has been created successfully, the IP address of your PC should appear. To find your IP, press Windows key+R, type cmd, press Enter, type ipconfig

Set your songs free

into Command Prompt. Your IP is on the line IPv4 Address. Back on your Android device tap the icon that matches your IP address, click Users, your username then click Music. All music is displayed as

it’s stored on your computer – tap a specific song to play it. To download the songs to your Android device, press and hold to select and tap on all the songs you want to copy, tap More, ‘Copy to’, Music and OK. To access music stored on your home network from an iOS device, download the free media:connect (www. snipca.com/9913). Log on to the same network as your computer on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch then launch the app. Tap the refresh button to scan for available servers. When your computer appears, tap it and navigate to your music folder. You can now stream your music via media:connect.

folder. You can now stream your music via media:connect. Connect your Android device to a shared

Connect your Android device

to a shared folder in Windows to stream and download your

music library

folder in Windows to stream and download your music library Use the free media:connect app for
folder in Windows to stream and download your music library Use the free media:connect app for

Use the free media:connect app for iPhone and iPad to stream music from your Windows network

The 10 stupidest

things in Windows

Windows is riddled with unfriendly controls. we explain how to avoid Ctrl+Alt+Del and other idiotic flaws

explain how to avoid Ctrl+Alt+Del and other idiotic fl aws Having to press Ctrl+Alt+Del Microsoft co-founder

Having to press Ctrl+Alt+Del

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently said he never intended the awkward-to- use Ctrl+Alt+Delete key combination to become a part of Windows. Use the Ctrl+Shift+Escape key combination instead and you’ll at least be able to launch Task Manager with one hand. You can also launch it by right-clicking an empty area of the Taskbar and clicking Start Task Manager.

Deleting files only moves them

When you right-click a file and click Delete it goes to the Recycle Bin, but it isn’t actually deleted. To permanently delete files, right- click the Recycle Bin then click Empty Recycle Bin. You can change delete options in Windows 8 if you right-click the Recycle Bin, click Properties then select ‘Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted’. Tick ‘Display delete confirmation dialog’, then click OK.

Dragging drive icons to the Recycle Bin to remove them

It’s more logical to right-click an external drive in Windows Explorer or in the Notification Area and then click Eject than to drag it to the Recycle Bin to remove it.

click Eject than to drag it to the Recycle Bin to remove it. Right-click and eject

Right-click and eject USB drives rather than drag them to the Recycle Bin

New items interrupt you

When you insert a disc or USB drive or download new software, Windows assumes you want to use it immediately, but launching the program or displaying

use it immediately, but launching the program or displaying Set AutoPlay to ‘Take no action’ when

Set AutoPlay to ‘Take no action’ when you insert a disc or USB device

the drive’s contents interrupts what you’re doing. To change this, amend AutoPlay settings for the drive or the content type. Go to Start, Control Panel, ‘Hardware and Sound’, AutoPlay, scroll down to the item type and click ‘Take no action’.

Booting to the Modern interface in Windows 8

You needn’t be forced to use the ‘Modern’ Windows 8 interface if you prefer the more familiar Desktop view. To get rid of the tile view, install the free Skip Metro Suite (www.snipca.com/10231), tick the options to Enable Skip Modern Suite and Skip Start Screen.

Windows resize and get stuck behind the Taskbar

Windows sometimes jump to maximised view, but then can’t be resized because their edges are inaccessible beneath the Taskbar. To fix this, drag the window to the extreme left or right of the screen to fit it within half of the screen. This will free the borders so you can resize the window to suit you.

Clipboard only saves one item

Windows is perfectly capable of storing more than one clipboard item. Replace Windows’ clipboard tool with the free ClipX (www.bluemars.org/clipx) and you’ll be able to copy and save up to 1,024 items side by side and access them from the Notification Area.

Windows hides

your documents

If you click away from a document (perhaps to check something online), Windows won’t automatically take you back to your document. Instead it ‘groups’ open documents on the Taskbar as thumbnails. To make Windows 7 show documents by name so you can locate the correct one more easily, right-click the Taskbar, click Properties and, next to ‘Taskbar buttons’ click ‘Never combine’ or ‘Only combine when taskbar is full’, then click OK.

Things are organised into Libraries rather than by type

Libraries in Windows 7 and 8 are collections of links to items stored on your computer. To hide the Library view go to Explorer, click Layout and untick the Library view.

User Account Control keeps querying your actions

UAC can be over-protective and query everything you try to install or change on your PC. To adjust the number of alerts in Windows 7 or 8, go to Control Panel, click ‘User Accounts and Family Safety’, ‘User Accounts’, ‘Change User Account Control settings’. Drag the slider up to increase alerts or down to increase what you can do without triggering a warning.

to increase what you can do without triggering a warning. Change User Account Control settings to
to increase what you can do without triggering a warning. Change User Account Control settings to

Change User Account Control settings to alter how Windows responds to installations

Cover Story Tried Workshops News and Tested Features Contest Net Chart
Cover Story
Tried
Workshops
News
and Tested
Features
Contest
Net Chart
GUIDE TO PCS + GADGETS + THE WEB YOUR FRIENDLY
GUIDE TO PCS + GADGETS + THE WEB
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Windows XP 2001 2014 -Part 1
Windows
XP
2001 2014
-Part 1
Windows XP 2001 2014 -Part 1 What’s happening - and what it means for you In

What’s happening - and what it means for you

In the first of a three-part series on how you can survive the end of support for XP, we look at Microsoft’s reasons for pulling the plug and examine your options we explain what you need to do before switching to another operating system

S o, you bought your PC about 10 years ago. It cost an arm and a leg at the time, but it was worth it because it was an investment and

it was going to last more than a decade, right? Wrong. As it turns out, the copy of Windows that came with your PC had a ‘best before date’ and it’s about to go off. Windows XP first graced our Desktops back in 2001 and it’s easily the most successful operating system Microsoft has ever produced. At its peak in 2007, it’s estimated that XP was running on 80 per cent of PCs. Even now – incredibly – it’s thought that as many as 30 per cent of PCs worldwide still run it. Sadly, all good things come to an end. On 8 April this year Microsoft will terminate its support for this much-loved

OS, putting many in an awkward – and potentially expensive – situation. But why is Microsoft cutting XP adrift and what does it actually mean for those still using it? Will your PC still be safe to use after 8 April? Will you have to splash out on an expensive upgrade, despite having paid a pretty penny for your PC all those years ago? Over the next three issues of Computeractive we’ll explain how you can move on from XP smoothly and safely. We’ll also outline the security risks of sticking with XP, and how you can minimise those risks if you decide to stand by the operating system. So, while Microsoft may have given up on XP, we’ll make sure you’re not left in the lurch. First, let’s look at the reasons for Microsoft’s decision.

Why is Microsoft dumping XP?

Like it or not, most paid-for software has a life cycle and, for Microsoft’s operating systems, this is usually about 10 years. The fact that XP has been going for almost three years beyond that is a testament to its popularity. To make way for new operating systems, Microsoft phases out its older products in stages. The company stopped selling copies of XP to the public in June 2008 after launching Vista in early 2007, but continued to sell it to PC manufacturers right up until the end of 2010. ‘Mainstream’ support for XP actually ended in April 2009, at which point the company stopped making design changes to the software and adding new features. XP then entered the ‘extended’ support

WINDOWS XP 2001-2014 Life and times of an operating system

21 OCTOBER, 2001

25 AUGUST, 2004

30 JUNE, 2008

Windows XP launches worldwide with a much improved user interface compared to its predecessors and updated Start menu and taskbar

Windows XP Service Pack 2 arrives, adding the Windows Security Center. It also provides better Wi-Fi support and an ad-blocker for Internet Explorer 6

Microsoft stops selling copies of XP to the public

14 APRIL, 2009

Microsoft triggers the slow demise of XP by transferring it from ‘mainstream’ support to ‘extended’ support

8 APRIL, 2014

9 SEPTEMBER, 2002

6 MAY, 2008

Windows XP Service Pack 1 is released, containing a number of security fixes, compatibility updates and support for USB2

Windows XP Service Pack 3 is released as a cumulative update. It also backports tools from XP’s successor Windows Vista, which it launched in November 2006

Microsoft will end all support for XP

Windows XP Survival Guide

Windows XP Survival Guide phase of its life cycle and all updates from that point focused

phase of its life cycle and all updates from that point focused on fixing problems or patching security vulnerabilities. The big problem will come when that extended period ends, because the problem-solving updates and security patches dry up.

update to 8.1 directly from XP). The standard edition of Windows 8 costs about Rs.7000/- and can be bought over the counter on disc or from Microsoft’s online store (www.microsoftstore.com). Because XP users can’t install the downloadable version of Windows 8, they’ll have to perform a ‘clean’ install, which wipes all existing files, programs and data before installing a fresh copy of Windows 8. As such, you’ll need to back up all your personal files before you begin the process, and you may find that many of the programs you used in XP no longer work in 8.1. Your PC must also meet the system requirements needed to run the latest OS – check www.snipca. com/11044 or download and run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant to find out.

OPTION 2: WINDOWS 7

HOW LONG DID PREVIOUS VERSIONS LAST?

HOW LONG DID PREVIOUS VERSIONS LAST? WINDOWS 1.0 Launched 20 Nov, 1985 Supported to 31 Dec,

WINDOWS 1.0

Launched 20 Nov, 1985 Supported to 31 Dec, 2001

WINDOWS 2.0

Launched 9 Dec, 1987 Supported to 31 Dec, 2001

WINDOWS 3.0

Launched 22 May, 1990 Supported to 31 Dec, 2001

WINDOWS 95

Launched 24 Aug, 1995 Supported to 31 Dec, 2001

WINDOWS 98

Launched 15 May, 1998 Supported to 11 July, 2006

WINDOWS ME

Launched 14 Sept, 2000 Supported to 11 July, 2006

are free. Linux can take a bit of getting used to, but some versions, such as Ubuntu (www.ubuntu.com/desktop), use an interface that should be reasonably familiar to anyone who has used XP. The

What does this mean for you?

All versions of Windows require updates

– if you don’t keep your computer up to date, then it quickly becomes unsafe.

Throughout an operating system’s life cycle, Microsoft is constantly playing cat and mouse with hackers, malware makers and identity thieves out to exploit previously undetected weaknesses in Windows. This means Microsoft have to issue updates to plug those holes. When support for XP ends, the software on your PC won’t suddenly evaporate – it’ll still be there and will continue to work as normal. But without Microsoft’s updates, XP is likely to become very dangerous very quickly. It’s precisely this situation that millions of XP users will find themselves facing in April. It’s interesting to note that Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle Policy (http://support. microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy) states that, in certain circumstances, the company may offer support for products beyond the extended support phase, which “may include assisted support and hotfix support”. It’s hard to know what this will mean for XP users but, given that the operating system has – in Microsoft’s eyes

– already outstayed its welcome by

at least five years, it’s unlikely that

much in the way of significant support will be offered after April’s cut-off point. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s decision means that if you want to carry on using your PC, the only truly safe option is to switch to another operating system – one that will continue to receive security patches and fixes. And, if you adopt this point of view, there are really only three options available.

of view, there are really only three options available. The main problem with making the leap

The main problem with making the leap straight to Windows 8 is that it’s so radically different to XP. Consequently, many XP users may feel more comfortable moving to Windows 7

instead, which has a more traditional XP-style interface. Mainstream support for Windows 7 ends in January 2015, but Microsoft recently announced that it would

January 2015, but Microsoft recently announced that it would The Wired2Fire Hal 1000 PC still runs

The Wired2Fire Hal 1000 PC still runs Windows 7

it would The Wired2Fire Hal 1000 PC still runs Windows 7 Ubuntu is a free alternative

Ubuntu is a free alternative to Windows

one big drawback of Ubuntu is that its support cycles can be relatively short. The current version (13.10), for example, will only be supported until July 2014. However, a long-term support (LST) edition is also available (version 12.04), which provides guaranteed security and support updates until April 2017.

continue its extended support until January 2020, which gives you at least another six years of

security updates and fixes. Microsoft officially stopped selling Windows 7 in October 2013, but you can still get hold of

it if you shop around. Amazon is currently selling Windows 7 Home Premium Edition.

OPTION 3: LINUX

selling Windows 7 Home Premium Edition. OPTION 3: LINUX If you don’t want to spend extra

If you don’t want to spend extra money to keep your computer going (and, after all, why should you?), then there’s a third option: install Linux. There are several different versions of Linux available and almost all of them

OPTION 1: WINDOWS 8

Linux available and almost all of them OPTION 1: WINDOWS 8 Switching to the latest version

Switching to the latest version of Windows means installing Windows 8, then updating to Windows 8.1 (you can’t

XP

Windows

2001 2014

XP W indows 2001 2014 Back up files and prepare your PC for a new OS

Back up files and prepare your PC for a new OS

A s we explained in the previous

section Microsoft’s decision to

end support for Windows XP on

8 April means that millions of

computer users around the world will need to upgrade to a new operating system, either by buying a copy of Windows 7 or 8, or by installing a free OS, such as Ubuntu – a Windows-like version of Linux. Those who don’t face all manner of security risks (see Safety Issues box below). As well as being potentially costly

upgrading from XP to an alternative OS is

a major undertaking that requires you to

wipe your hard drive. In the process, it’s all too easy to lose precious personal documents, files and settings forever, which is why you need to take every precaution possible before you start to ensure the transition goes smoothly. To this end, we’re going to recommend

a three-step approach as you prepare to migrate to a new system. It may seem like overkill but, assuming you have several years’ worth of documents, photos, music and more on your computer, it’s better to be safe than sorry. All these tasks can be carried out using free software and services, but you’ll also need a large external USB hard drive, one that’s capable of storing just over double the amount of data you have to copy. A 500GB Toshiba drive should do the trick. You could even borrow one from

a friend if you don’t already have one.

You will also need at least one blank CD or DVD. Ideally, you’ll already have some kind of regular backup system in place. If so, your

SAFETY ISSUES

SAFETY ISSUES Windows XP becomes unsafe to use after April 8 because Microsoft will no longer

Windows XP becomes unsafe to use after April 8 because Microsoft will no longer provide security patches or fixes for the operating system, meaning that your PC will suddenly become a sitting duck for hackers, malware writers and identity thieves. Microsoft recently pledged to continue providing XP users with updates to its free antivirus tool Microsoft Security Essentials until July 14, 2015, but this alone won’t offer sufficient protection.

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STEP 1: BACK UP YOUR PERSONAL FILES

rst step will be a lot easier, as you can simply run your normal backup process and take the most up-to-date copy of all your important files and folders before proceeding. Remember, you’ll need to back up not only the files from your own user account, but also those belonging to any other people who log into your PC because these will also be wiped during the upgrade. If you haven’t been making regular backups of your data up to this point, then now’s the time to start. Your best option is to use a free online

log into the website then click ‘Connect Drive to your desktop’ to download and install the app. Free online storage accounts have limited capacity – Google Drive lets you store 15GB, SkyDrive offers 7GB and Dropbox only provides 2GB. If that’s not enough storage space, you could consider paying for extra space (Google Drive’s prices start at around 81.993 per month for 100GB) or you could use a tool like Jolidrive (www.jolicloud.com) to combine all your various free

( www.jolicloud.com ) to combine all your various free cloud storage accounts into one enormous online

cloud storage accounts into one enormous online drive. Those with large digital music collections should consider using Google Play Music, which lets you upload up to 20,000 songs to the cloud free of charge – this is on top of your standard 15GB Google Drive allowance. Go to http://music.google.com and select the Standard (free) option.

Use a large USB hard drive – such as this 500GB Toshiba model - to back up your PC’s contents

storage service – such as Google Drive

(https://drive.google.com), Microsoft SkyDrive (https://skydrive.live.com) or Dropbox (www.dropbox.

com). This way you can keep copies of your most valuable files in the cloud, which is better than saving them to a DVD or flash memory drive, because physical media can easily get damaged or lost. All three services provide desktop apps that synchronise folders on your hard drive with your online storage. With Google Drive, for example,

with your online storage. With Google Drive, for example, Use Macrium Reflect Free to create an

Use Macrium Reflect Free to create an image of your PC’s system drive before attempting to upgrade

Windows XP Survival Guide

Windows XP Survival Guide Synchronise folders on your hard drive with Google Drive by installing the
Windows XP Survival Guide Synchronise folders on your hard drive with Google Drive by installing the

Synchronise folders on your hard drive with Google Drive by installing the Google Drive Desktop app

STEP 2: MAKE A DISK IMAGE

Making a disk image is a sensible precaution in case anything goes wrong with your upgrade. It makes an exact copy of your PC’s system drive in its current state. This can then be restored in the event of a disaster, meaning you can always return your computer to exactly the way it was before attempting the upgrade a second time.

There are several good free image backup tools available. One of the best is Macrium Reflect Free (www.macrium.com/ reflectfree.aspx), which is reliable and easy to use. Attach the large external hard drive mentioned earlier, thendownload, install and run the program. Next, select your C: drive, click ‘Image this disk’, select your external drive from the Destination Folder menu, then click Next and follow the remaining prompts. The process may take a while if you have a lot of data on your hard drive. Once it’s finished we also recommend inserting a blank CD or DVD into your disc drive, then selecting Create Rescue Media from the Other Tasks menu. Select the Windows PE option and click through the remaining screens, selecting your CD/DVD drive when prompted. This will burn a disc you can then use to boot your PC and restore your image backup if the computer no longer starts properly.

STEP 3: TRANSFER YOUR FILES

Transferring all your personal files – documents, photos, videos, music, etc

– from XP to your new operating system essentially requires you to copy them to an intermediary storage device – such as an external hard drive – prior to the upgrade, then copying them back once the new OS has been installed. This process is made somewhat simpler if you’re moving to a newer version of Windows, because Microsoft provides a handy tool called Windows Easy Transfer, which can automate the process to a certain degree and adds the ability to transfer many user settings, such as browser bookmarks. Windows Easy Transfer doesn’t come with XP but you’ll find it on the Windows 7 or 8 DVD. Insert the disc, dismiss the prompt to start installing the OS, then right-click your DVD drive in My Computer and select Explore.

PREPARING YOUR HARDWARE

In addition to preparing your files, you’ll need to make sure your PC is physically up to the task of running a new OS before you install it. Check system requirements for Windows 7 (www.snipca.com/11151), for Windows 8 (www.snipca.com/11152) and for Ubuntu (www.snipca.com/11150). Both Windows 7 and 8 require at least 1GB of memory. Adding extra memory is a simple task you can carry out yourself. To check what type of memory modules you need, use the online tool at www. crucial.com/uk/systemscanner, then make a note of the details and compare prices with other retailers. A processor that isn’t up to scratch, however, is harder to upgrade and we’d recommend reviewing your options at this point. Buying a new PC will almost certainly be a better idea than trying to replace an ageing CPU.

Open the ‘support’ folder, then open the ‘migwiz’ folder and double-click migwiz.exe to start the procedure, making sure your external hard drive is attached and switched on. Those moving from XP to Ubuntu will have a harder time because there’s no automated tool for porting your files and settings directly across. Instead, you’ll need to manually copy all personal files and folders for each user account to your external hard drive in preparation to copy them back once Ubuntu has been installed. There’s plenty of room for error here, but if you’ve already made online and image backups, as we suggested, then you’ll be able to to recover any files you accidentally miss.

be able to to recover any files you accidentally miss. Use Windows Easy Transfer to move
be able to to recover any files you accidentally miss. Use Windows Easy Transfer to move

Use Windows Easy Transfer to move all your files from XP to 7 or 8

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GET A FASTER

HOME NETWORK

G E T A FASTER HOME NETWORK without upgrading Don’t pay for a new router. we

without upgrading

G E T A FASTER HOME NETWORK without upgrading Don’t pay for a new router. we

Don’t pay for a new router. we show you how to get nippier network connections without upgrading

B ooting up your home computer to check something on the internet has become second nature to all of us, but we’re going online with

more and more devices and they’re all competing for the same connection via Wi-Fi. But we don’t just use Wi-Fi to surf the web. We also stream music from room to room, view slideshows of photos stored on our network drives and watch YouTube and iPlayer on our laptops. No wonder some of these activities can seem so slow. Thankfully, you don’t have to tolerate flaky Wi-Fi when you share music, files and photos around your home network. Here we look at how you can ease your Wi-Fi congestion, make network sharing more efficient, and share items between computers in places where the Wi-Fi signal is poor.

Set up your router to maximise your home network

Your broadband connection dictates the speed at which you load webpages and download files to your PC, but it’s the router that shares the web connection with all the devices on your home network. The faster the type of Wi-Fi it supports, the faster you can copy files between computers or send documents to print. If you’ve got a dual-band router, make sure the fastest 802.11n devices are on the 5GHz spectrum and the slower 802.11g or b devices are on the 2.4GHz band. This stops older devices slowing down ones with faster Wi-Fi.

Find the strongest Wi-Fi signal in your home

You can use a phone or tablet app, such as the 69p Network Multimeter app for iOS (www.snipca.com/10353) or the free 3G/4G/

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Wi-Fi Coverage Maps app for Android (www.snipca.com/10354), to help you choose the best place to use your laptop or tablet and connect to the home Wi-Fi network. In Network Multimeter tap the red button to look for a Wi-Fi signal, then tap the lines at the bottom of the screen to bring up a graph which displays the variations of signal in your home. The sensor locates the strongest signal, while the graph helps you retrace your steps if you start moving away from the strongest Wi-Fi signal.

if you start moving away from the strongest Wi-Fi signal. Use Network Multimeter to check the

Use Network Multimeter to check the Wi-Fi strength at various places around your home

You can use the same tools to find the best place for your router. Position your router where you’d prefer it to be (ideally on a shelf, at head height, with plenty of room to splay its antenna) then check the connection by tapping the app. If the signal is poor, move the router or adjust the antennas to see whether the Wi-Fi signal improves.

Don’t share your router

Although a router can comfortably share your broadband connection with up to 40 devices simultaneously, the more devices that are connected, the less bandwidth each will have. You can limit the number of devices that can log on at any one time in the settings menu of your router. To get to the settings page, press Win+R to

bring up the Run box, type

ipconfig
ipconfig
page, press Win+R to bring up the Run box, type ipconfig cmd, then type and press

cmd, then type

and press Enter. Make a note of the

You can now explicitly

number listed in the Default Gateway line. Type this number into the address bar of your browser and you’ll go to a login page

for your router.

allow devices (excluding all others) by

for your router. allow devices (excluding all others) by Add devices to your router’s Wi-Fi filter

Add devices to your router’s Wi-Fi filter list to specify which ones can connect to it

adding their MAC address to the Wi-Fi filter list in your router’s advanced settings menu.

Use Ethernet wherever you can

HomePlugs are a fantastic way to connect devices via your mains electricity circuit, but it can be expensive to connect all your laptops and printers this way. You also need to make sure that any new HomePlugs run at the same speed as your existing ones because the network as a whole will only run at the speed of the slowest element. You may not need to buy more HomePlugs at all. Many other devices accommodate an Ethernet connection and come with Ethernet cables in the box. You can use any spare cables to connect your laptop or printer directly to your router, which will ensure much faster network access.

Send large files using AirDrop

If you have a fourth-generation iPad or newer, or an iPhone 4s or newer, you can use a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to send files to other Apple devices within range using AirDrop. Both of your iOS devices need to support AirDrop and have it switched on in the Control Center. To send files this way, tap the photo or file you want to send, then tap AirDrop as the transfer method, and wait for your iPad or iPhone to search for other AirDrop devices within range. Next, tap the device you want to send the file to. Tap the photo again to send it. You can also use AirDrop to send files to your Mac computer if you have one on the same network. Just choose AirDrop rather than iMessage or email as the transfer method.

rather than iMessage or email as the transfer method. Send large files wirelessly between Apple products

Send large files wirelessly between Apple products on the same network using AirDrop

between Apple products on the same network using AirDrop Get a faster home network without upgrading

Get a faster home network without upgrading

Use Wi-Fi Direct to copy files

Wi-Fi Direct is a brilliant way to quickly share files between devices that are near to each other. Despite the name, you don’t use the wireless network at all. Instead, the two devices connect to each other and form a temporary peer-to-peer network. Wi-Fi Direct copies files between connected

network. Wi-Fi Direct copies files between connected Use Wi-Fi Direct to transfer files between devices, which

Use Wi-Fi Direct to transfer files between devices, which is much faster than Wi-Fi

devices at up to 250Mbps and, because they’re the only two devices on the network, there shouldn’t be interference. You can use Wi-Fi Direct to send files over 500 metres. You can find out whether your laptop, phone or tablet can use Wi-Fi Direct at snipca.com/10364 (or type the device name plus ‘Wi-Fi Direct’ into a search engine). To use Wi-Fi Direct on an Android phone, go to Applications, Settings, ‘Wireless and Networks’, the More menu, then tap the slider for Wi-Fi Direct to On. You won’t find Wi-Fi Direct on all your gadgets, but only one of your connecting devices requires the technology in order to transfer files between the two.

Make an old printer available via your PC

If your printer uses an older, slower version

of Wi-Fi than the other devices on your network, make sure you plug your printer into the router directly so it can be shared wirelessly. If you don’t have any spare router ports, take it off the home network so it doesn’t slow everything else down, then connect it to the PC you use for printing. If you want to share that printer, you can make it available to anyone on the network via your HomeGroup. HomeGroup-sharing works in Windows 7 and 8 and is a great way to connect your devices and share what’s on them without having to set up a

and share what’s on them without having to set up a Share your printer on the

Share your printer on the network using HomeGroup, so other devices can use it

separate server or a NAS (network-attached storage) drive. To switch on HomeGroup sharing, click Start, Control Panel then, under ‘Network and Internet’, click ‘Choose homegroup and sharing options’. Decide whether you want to share all your music, videos, photos and documents, and whether to share your printers and the contents of any attached devices.

Share your printer via the web

You can also make your old printer available to other PCs on your network using Google’s free online Cloud Print service (www.google.co.uk/cloudprint/ learn). It works with Windows XP Service Pack 3, Vista, 7 and 8, but you need Chrome installed and a Google account. We recommend you create a Chrome account for the printer so you can share the login details. Next, launch Chrome, go to the Settings menu and click ‘Show advanced settings’. Scroll down to the Google Cloud Print option, then click ‘Sign in to Google Cloud Print’. Click the printer name, then ‘Add printer(s)’. Now, when you’re signed into Chrome you’ll be able to use this printer.

signed into Chrome you’ll be able to use this printer. AprilApril 20142014 ComputerComputer activeactive 5 7

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Scariest new ways to get hacked Hacking now comes in lots of diff erent forms.

Scariest new ways

to get hacked

Hacking now comes in lots of different forms. we find out the 14 worst things hackers can do – so far

H acking usually involves your computer being taken over via Trojan software that was hidden inside another program you

downloaded. It records your passwords and your credit card number when you buy things online and sends them to the hacker, so they can steal from you. But for the latest hacks, scammers don’t wait for you to visit a dodgy website so they can cram your computer with viruses. Now they target your phone and your webcam or even try to steal the data from your passport while it’s still in your pocket. You might even get phone calls aimed at nabbing your mobile phone or bank details. Thankfully, most hacks can be thwarted by using up-to-date antivirus programs and keeping your firewall switched on and your wits about you. We’ll show you the best way to avoid the scariest new hacks and what to do if you get caught.

You receive a phone call warning you your PC is infected

Many readers have received phone calls purporting to be from Microsoft support staff informing them their version of Windows is infected. Now scammers are telling Windows XP users their computer is no longer supported and they’d better upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. Helpfully, the caller offers to sort it out over the phone. Of course, the person on the other end of the phone isn’t from Microsoft and if you let them access your computer you’ll end up with a virus on it. The caller wants remote access to your computer so they can capture your passwords and bank account login details. Sometimes callers ask you to pay for a new, clean version of Windows that they’ll install for you. Of course, whatever’s downloaded will be

riddled with spyware and you’ll have given the bogus caller your bank account details. Needless to say, your computer was never at risk, so report the scam call to the police. They should be able to trace the call (though it may be from overseas or a prepaid mobile-phone number). Microsoft India doesn’t have a dedicated reporting line for these scams but offers some useful advice on avoiding them (www.snipca. com/10348).If you’ve been duped you should tell the bank and cancel your cards and put a block on your account. Change the password on your computer to stop the hacker remotely accessing it too.

Things start happening randomly on your computer

Random pop-up messages on your computer usually indicate malware. This is certainly the case if the messages contain security warnings from an antivirus program you don’t even use. Don’t click on the pop-up message. Instead, close down all your other programs and scan your computer using your antivirus program. You should also run Spybot Search and Destroy (www.safer-networking.org) or a second antivirus program in case your main one has been compromised.

program in case your main one has been compromised. If you see pop-ups from a security

If you see pop-ups from a security program you don’t use, scan your computer for spyware

You’ve ended up on a porn site you can’t close down

Sites containing links to free software, music and films are sometimes riddled with viruses while others take you to porn sites against your will and then won’t let you leave. When you try to close the browser or go to another website, a message pops up saying your PC has been locked and you need to pay to unlock it. If you reboot your computer, a similar message appears onscreen saying there’s porn on your PC and you’re locked out. Don’t search online for a fix to this hack as sites claiming to remove porn are often riddled with malware too. Instead, boot into Safe Mode on your PC (press F12 before the Windows logo appears), then run a virus scan. It’s likely that your antivirus pr