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Computeractive 594

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Computeractive is the UK’s best-selling computer magazine and your friendly guide to PCs, gadgets and the web! It includes regular news updates, project ideas, help and advice on popular reader queries, articles on anti-virus software, features on consumer rights, and a whole lot more to help you get the very best out of your computer. Get PC advice in plain English today – get Computeractive!

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

After the year we’ve had, we all deserve a treat. A fortnight in the tropical sun seems unlikely at the moment, so how about a brand new computer instead? I have a hunch thousands of people will decide that the money saved from staying indoors for much of 2020 will be best spent on a new PC or laptop. But choosing the right computer is second only to house-hunting in complexity. Just considering which processor you need propels you into a mystifying world of clock speeds, cores and threads – and that’s before you move on to graphics, memory and storage, not to mention price and type of device (laptop, PC, mini PC, all-in-one?). Fortunately, Will Stapley has faced this dilemma many times over the years. In our Cover Feature he uses…

1 min.
’tis the season for no updates says microsoft

Microsoft has suspended all optional Windows updates for December because many of its staff will be on holiday for Christmas and New Year. Writing online (www.snipca.com/36699), the company said “preview releases” will resume in 2021. Preview releases are updates that arrive after the compulsory security updates released on the second Tuesday of each month (informally called Patch Tuesday). They are optional updates, meaning you don’t need to install them. They normally contain non-urgent security fixes and updates for Office tools. December’s Patch Tuesday (on 8 December) will go ahead as scheduled, but all other updates have been cancelled until 2021. Preview releases are different from preview ‘builds’ of Windows 10, which are new versions of the operating system being tested by users signed up to the Windows Insider Program (https://insider.windows.com/en-gb). It’s the second time this…

1 min.
what we think

Has Microsoft been peeking at our letter to Santa? Just under socks and slippers we’ve got ‘no more updates’, so we’re delighted by this decision. We’ve long suspected that Microsoft releases more updates than it needs to, and this summer seemed to prove it. Our PCs ran fairly smoothly between March and July, as Microsoft turned off the update taps. 2020 has forced many businesses to try new ideas that have turned out to have unexpectedly positive outcomes. We hope Microsoft learns this lesson and rations updates throughout 2021.…

1 min.
play old flash content safely for years to come

The Internet Archive is preserving Flash games, videos and animations so they live on after Adobe stops supporting the unsafe plug-in at the end of the year. It’s using a Flash emulator called Ruffle, so you won’t need to have Flash installed to play the content. In its blog (www.snipca.com/36709), the Archive says it has saved over 1,000 pieces of content. To browse it, visit www.snipca.com/36710 and scroll down. You can search the content in the search bar at the top left, or sort the results by different criteria, including how many times it’s been watched and when it was created. The Archive has “handpicked” some of the most famous animations in their own section (www.snipca.com/36711), including the ‘Badger Badger Badger’ dance (pictured). • Uninstall Flash now – see page 62 You’ll like this… Vodafone has…

1 min.
microsoft suggests fix for ‘password log-out’ problem

Microsoft has finally released a temporary solution for a six-month problem that was causing computers to forget the username and passwords for essential programs, including Outlook. It has admitted that the glitch was caused by the May 2020 Update for Windows 10 (version 2004). On its Support pages (www.snipca.com/36704), Microsoft says the problem occurs “when some Windows 10 Task Scheduler tasks are configured in a certain way”. It recommends that until it releases a proper fix, users having problems should try “a workaround to disable these tasks using Task Scheduler”. To do this, right-click the Windows 10 Start button then select Windows PowerShell (Admin). Next, type the following command into PowerShell and press Enter (you can copy it from our Pastebin account www.snipca.com/36706): Get-ScheduledTask | foreach { If (([xml](Export-ScheduledTask -TaskName $_.TaskName -TaskPath $_. TaskPath)).GetElementsByTag…

1 min.
search your open tabs in new chrome

You can search your open tabs in the new version of Chrome (87), released in November. To do this, click the new down arrow in the browser status bar (or press Ctrl+Shift+A) and type your search term in the box that appears. When you type, the results box will show you which tabs the search term appears in (see screenshot below left). If you click the result you’ll be taken to the relevant tab – watch how it works at www.snipca.com/36691. Google said this feature is being added to Chromebooks first, before coming to Windows versions of Chrome soon. Also new in Chrome 87 is a redesigned PDF viewer that has a sidebar on the left showing previews of all the pages (1 in the screenshot above). The zoom buttons 2 are…