It’s no exaggeration to say we keep our lives on our PCs — that career-making report, those plans for Fiji, a thousand kid photos — and you can lose it all in the blink of a hard-drive crash.
Windows comes with apps for backing up that data, but there’s free, third-party software that’s more flexible and easier to use.
Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook — these days it’s common for PC users to have multiple e-mail accounts on multiple e-mail systems.
With a bit of tuning, Microsoft Outlook can become Central Station for all those accounts.
Not so long ago, computers were for work and television was for entertainment — not so anymore.
Microsoft’s Windows Media Center transforms the PC into an easy-to-use, remote control–friendly entertainment center; a few tricks can make the experience even better.
The most daunting task for digital photographers of all types, from snapshooter to pro, is organizing the hundreds or thousands of images they’ve captured.
You can put your images into simple folders, but free or inexpensive photo organizers are a better way to wring order from chaos.
On most PCs, the Windows notification area, originally meant for small apps you always want running, is choked with all sorts of programs that shouldn’t be there.
Putting some order back into the notification area will remove app clutter, plus it might help your PC boot faster and possibly fix those previously unexplainable system problems.
Using Windows system rescue CDs isn’t practical if your machine isn’t equipped with an optical drive.
Fortunately, a clever solution may be sitting on your desk: take a flash drive you have at hand, add some software, and create a custom, USB-based, bootable Windows recovery toolkit!
Microsoft hid an interesting option on the Office 2010 DVD — a 64-bit version of the company’s new suite.
But before you go looking for it, understand why you’re better off with the 32-bit version — Microsoft hid Office x64 for a reason.
While there’s much to like about Gmail, there’s also much that’s missing — such as multiple signatures, hierarchical tags, and the ability to embed pictures as part of your mail.
You might be surprised to learn that Gmail actually does support those features, and about 50 more, in a beta program called Gmail Labs.
Protecting yourself from the criminals of the Internet shouldn’t cost you a fortune. In fact, it doesn’t have to cost you anything.
Firewalls and antivirus programs can’t do all the work of safe computing — small, targeted utility apps that encrypt your files, keep your passwords safe, and clean up your PC add to your protection.
Few things are scarier than installing a new version of Windows — at least, few things you can do while sitting at a desk.
The safest route to a successful Windows 7 upgrade is a dual-boot configuration on your PC, letting your old OS and Win7 coexist during the transition.