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Computeractive 574

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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
R 39,96
R 602,18
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

Growing up, I’m sure we all knew someone who was always first to get the latest technology. For me, it was my school friend Matthew. His dad was the first in our street to get an Atari games console, a video recorder and a home computer. But seeing Ceefax on his (bigger-thanaverage) TV left the biggest impression. I rushed home and told my dad about the “magic words” that appeared on screen. Those words may have gone, but TVs are capable of more now than even Matthew’s dad would’ve imagined. And yet do we realise their full potential? We know we can watch Netflix and iPlayer on them, but how about connecting it to your PC or NAS drive to play your own videos? Jonathan Parkyn explains how to do this and…

2 min.
microsoft pulls windows 10 update after it crashes pcs

Microsoft has removed a Windows 10 security update that was freezing computers and causing problems when booting. The update, named KB4524244, was released as part of the company’s ‘Patch Tuesday’ updates on 11 February. It was meant to fix a potential security flaw with the UEFI, which is the modern replacement for BIOS, but started to backfire within hours. Microsoft confirmed online that it will not re-release the update (see www.snipca.com/34104), saying it was causing problems with the ‘Reset this PC’ feature (also called Push Button Reset). It said that when restarting their PCs affected users might enter recovery mode with various options listed at the top of the screen. They may also load the desktop but see the error message, ‘There was a problem resetting your PC’. Microsoft added that it was working…

1 min.
what we think

Microsoft has been criticised in the past for taking ages to acknowledge problems caused by updates, so we’re pleased it yanked this blighter (KB4524244) within days of it appearing. But why hasn’t it said more about the KB4532693 problem? This kind of inconsistency is maddening. Microsoft needs to create a more effective way of telling users what to do. It could start by finding a better way to label updates because these numbers mean nothing to the average person. Why not include the year and month in the code to make it feel more relevant?…

1 min.
windows 7 users can’t shut down their pcs

A new Windows 7 bug is preventing users from shutting down their PCs, with an error message, “You don’t have permission to shut down this computer”. It’s not known what’s causing the problem, nor whether Microsoft will release a fix for it. The company has already released one fix for Windows 7 after ending support, to address a problem with desktop wallpaper (see Issue 573, page 6). Some users say you can fix the problem by creating a new temporary account each time you want to shut down your PC. To do this, type add or remove other users in Windows Search or the Start menu then click ‘Add user’ and follow the instructions. Next, log into the new user account, then log back out. Now log back into your main…

1 min.
half of 10-year-olds use phones as parents’ fears rise

Half of the UK’s 10-year-olds now own a mobile phone even though more parents than ever think the internet does their child more harm than good. The figures, from Ofcom’s 2019 ‘Children’s Media Use and Attitudes’ survey, also show that nearly a quarter of three and four-year-olds have their own tablet, while 15 per cent of them are allowed to take it to bed. After interviewing 3,500 children and parents, Ofcom has declared 10 as the age when children gain “digital independence”. “The mobile phone is the device of choice for children”, said Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s strategy and research group director. He added: “I’m conscious that for these children who have never known a world without the internet, in many respects their online and offline worlds are indistinguishable”. The survey also found that 27 per…

1 min.
get more accurate broadband speed estimates

You’ll soon get a more accurate estimate of your new broadband speed when you change provider, under rules being introduced by Ofcom. At the moment, estimates are based on data from customers whose homes have similar characteristics, such as size of property or distance from the exchange or street cabinet. This method was designed for copper broadband lines, where signals can get slower over distance, particularly between the street cabinet and the home. But it can lead to misleading results because there are various environmental factors other than the broadband connection that can affect speed. Ofcom wants to revise the rules to reflect the increasing number of homes that can get full-fibre connections. The accuracy of a speed estimate is crucial because it lets you cancel your contract without a fee if speeds…