Tech & Gaming
Windows Help & Advice

Windows Help & Advice February 2020

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.

Hello, and welcome to Windows Help & Advice issue 171. This month, we’ll show you what to do if your PC just won’t switch on, no matter how hard you hammer the button. From wiggling RAM sticks to make sure they’re seated correctly to opening up your PC’s BIOS to check settings, our step-by-step guides start on p11. There are more hardware fixes in the Explore section, where we show you how to get an old or unsupported scanner working (p36), and install and use a printer (p40). We don’t skimp on the software advice, though, with replacement email clients (p24), photo organising (p27) and video editing (p42). Elsewhere, you’ll find reviews of the latest Alienware laptop, a printer with cartridges that last three years, and Sony’s latest high-end camera. Whatever you do with…

2 min.
organise files quickly, easily and for free

We’re all guilty of being a little lazy sometimes. That file you downloaded three years ago is probably still sitting in your downloads folder. You’ve saved countless documents to your Desktop for want of anywhere better to put them. Those Windows libraries, the ones that are there for you to easily organise your music, photos, videos et al? Empty. But when it comes to finding those crucial files, this becomes a problem; Windows search will only take you so far. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your files well sorted. Windows search can only take you so far – keep your files well sorted But why rely on yourself to do the job? There are plenty of apps out there which will put your files where they’re supposed to be. Take DropIt…

1 min.
rise of the robocat

Robots are a hotter topic today than they’ve been for some time. But while Boston Dynamics’ backflipping Atlas humanoid might never see a place in our homes, Elephant Robotics’ strangely endearing MarsCat might. A bionic feline made to behave like a real cat – right down to selectively ignoring you when you call it – MarsCat is made for equal parts entertainment and comfort. It’s not cheap, with an asking price of around £1,000 when it launches, but at least it won’t bring in any mice.…

1 min.
the knowledge…

Goodbye Windows 7 What’s going on? Windows 7 has finally been put out to pasture. On January 14th, Microsoft dropped support for the aging operating system. This wasn’t exactly a surprise – we’ve talked about it in these pages before – but the time has come: Windows 7 is officially no more. So will my computer stop working? Nothing that extreme. If you’re still using Windows 7, your PC will continue to function, but unless you’re a corporate customer paying an exorbitant amount for the next three years of support you’ll no longer receive any security patches or other upgrades. Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7 for consumers. So I need to upgrade? We’re not going to tell you that you absolutely must upgrade. But let us be clear: without security updates, a Windows 7…

2 min.
planned obsolescence

If you’re the owner of a Sonos smart speaker and you fancy picking up an upgrade, Sonos will offer you a discount if you recycle your old device. That’s great, isn’t it? You get a cheaper speaker, and your old model moves on elsewhere. What isn’t so great is Sonos’ method: the company flips a virtual switch which throws your existing speaker into ‘recycle mode’, effectively disabling it forever. It doesn’t matter whether the hardware was working perfectly beforehand, or might be useful for a charity or second owner; once the deed is done, it’s destined for the local e-waste bin. There are many logical reasons for this. Sonos estimates that over 90% of the hardware it has ever sold is still in use. Those with older hardware miss out on…

1 min.
download this…

Mousotron blacksunsoftware.com/mousotron.html Perhaps you’ve glanced at question five of our 60-second quiz and chuckled at the unbelievable answer. How can a mouse cursor possibly travel that far? Let’s prove it with the help of Mousotron, a freeware application that does indeed track how far your poor cursor has been forced to move over time. You can set it to give you statistics in metric or imperial, depending on your preference, and it’s incredibly light – install it, leave it in your system tray, and open it up to marvel at your mousing prowess every now and then. It’s also able to track your clicks, so you can see (for instance) how many times you’ve used the right mouse button, and it’ll also make a rather worrying tally of the number of keystrokes you’ve…