Tech & Gaming
Windows Help & Advice

Windows Help & Advice May 2019

Windows Help & Advice features all the best ways to get more from your Windows PC, along with in-depth advice on new hardware, the latest technology and the internet. And it's 100% jargon free!

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
Back issues only
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in this issue

1 min.

One of the best things about Windows is that it’s incredibly customisable – enabling you to tweak its look and feel, options and settings so it works for you all the time, every time. In our huge tips feature, starting on page 11, we reveal 60 ways to do just that. Some will serve as useful reminders; others will be surprising – but every one will be useful, and so make your PC easier and more fun to use. The tips, tricks and secrets continue on page 55, where we show you how to optimise your system for a smoother, faster-running PC. While on page 48, we’ll also reveal the ways you can ward off hackers – and keep your online accounts secure. Finally, our Explore section (page 23) is packed with step-by-step…

1 min.
feed your mind and learn something new

“There are paid-for sites that offer full university-level courses” There’s never a bad time to pick up something new. And with only your PC, an Internet connection, and bit of personal effort, you can do just that right now. Where you head first depends on what you want to know. If it’s a new language you’re after, Duolingo (www.duolingo.com) should be your first port of call. It’s entirely free, unless you want to pay to remove ads, and there are a host of languages to choose from. You learn by a combination of repetition, constant grading, and a game element which tracks how often you visit and practice. BRAIN GAMES To improve your maths, science, and more, the completely free Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org) is an invaluable resource. It is, admittedly, geared around the…

1 min.
simple rift next-gen vr makes things easy

Oculus’ Rift S, its latest VR headset, makes plenty of strides in terms of technology, with sharper screens and even better response times, but it’s the upgrades in its tracking that impress most. It’s ready for room-scale VR, which means your body movements are mapped in-game, but it pulls it off without needing any external sensors, instead using built-in cameras. It’s still wired to the PC, though: for full freedom, the Oculus Quest show most promise.…

1 min.
windows’ calculator

Calculator? Are you quite alright? Yes, OK. Windows’ calculator has been a part of the operating system literally since the very beginning – there was a calculator in Windows 1.0, released in 1985. But it’s far from just an app that adds and multiplies numbers: Windows 3.0 added scientific functionality; Windows 7 brought separate programmer, statistics, unit conversion, date calculation and worksheets modes. Windows 10’s big update so far has been currency conversion – but it’s about to get a whole lot more complex. In what way? Now building on the scientific functionality introduced 28 years ago (at last) Microsoft is set to tack a graphing mode on to the Calculator app, so you’ll be able to visualise all those equations you have bouncing around your head. Great for students, then? Absolutely…

2 min.
google goes gaming

Hardware is a problem. It makes the PC the best thing going for games, but also makes it by far the most expensive way to play them. Google’s newly-announced Stadia service suggests that doesn’t need to be the case. Why stock up on your own pricey parts when you could run your games on a powerful PC somewhere else in the world, owned, administered, and upgraded by the web giant, and have them beamed into your home? The idea behind the subscription-based Stadia isn’t new; both Microsoft and Sony already offer similar services for their consoles, and game streaming service OnLive did much the same thing until it shut its doors in 2015. But the hardware here is a little different. SUPER-FAST STREAMING? The special Stadia controller connects directly to the Internet through…

1 min.
classic media player homecinema

http://mpc-hc.org Many of our readers are VLC diehards, for good reason – it’s just about the best free media player out there. If that’s you, fear not. We’re not about to tell you that there’s anything wrong with VLC. But the Homecinema variant of Media Player Classic deserves your attention, not just because it is remarkably easy to use (and similar to the no-frills Media Player of the old Windows days) but because it’s lightning fast, too. There’s basically no load time, either when launching the program or when loading up a movie, and it’s compatible with everything we’ve thrown at it. If you have video or audio, MPC-HC can play it. Try it installed alongside VLC. You don’t need to change anything other than that. It might not keep up with…