Please note these pages were originally compiled back in early 2000's, when XP was still primarily the flavour of the day, and hence were based around that Operating System (OS).
Since then we've had Vista, Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and now Windows 10, not to mention Apple and Linux, neither of which get a mention in these pages as I have no experience of them.
I now run Windows 10 on an HP laptop and a generic desktop and find it quite good, having sorted a few teething problems on the HP laptop, with the Generic Desktop proving the easiest machine to upgrade.
It is for the above reasons and the amount of help one can get on the web today, I have decided to suspend/rework this section.
If you find broken links then these pages have been discontinued and hence removed. Other pages may not yet have been updated and you can tell from the date displayed in the centre of the page, a few lines from the top. If this is from September 2018 then the page will be upgraded or in the process ....
Earlier versions will have the old header bar rather than what is at the top of this page!
There's so much help out there on the web these days that you should find answers to your questions by doing a simple web search?!
If at first you can't find a solution to your question try re-phrasing it because the UK and USA say things in different ways.
When this site was first put together I don't think the web search facility was so well developed as it is today, so it should now be easier to search for a solution to your question!
Got PC or other computer problems you could do with some answers to?
Then as a first resort, try using a web search.
These days whenever I come across a problem I do a Google Search. You may not succeed at your first attempt and may have to try using several different words as there are 'country' differences in the way things are expressed.
The web is a very useful source of information!
Have you seen the BBC Technology programme, Click on the BBC News Channel?
In addition, there's the BBC Technology web page that's well worth a visit if you're interested in techy type stuff. There's some interesting articles on there, well worth a look!<
Open Office software (OOS)
As you may or may not know, the Office software is converging such that the output files will move towards the HTML (or XML) format, which is known as the Open Office Format.The idea behind this is that anyone should be able to read the documentation without necessarily having the original software and possible amend/modify accordingly.
There is currently a format where documents can be passed around and literally anyone with the suitable PDF reader can view it but not necessarily change/modify it and Acrobat is proprietary software rather than Open software.
You don't have to buy proproetary software as a private individual as there are several "free" versions like Libre Office and Open Office for 2 such packages.
At this moment in time my preference would be Libre Office as it can open & save documents in MS Office formats, which is a bonus with so many MS users out there!
Keeping your PC system running smoothly
I'm assuming you have the latest antivirus software and firewall updates installed which are a priority, along with additional spyware software like Malwarebytes for example - you can find these utilities by a web search.
Another useful piece of software to download and run is adwcleaner. Download it to say your desktop and then just run it by double clicking the icon and follow the onscreen instructions. Id it finds anything it will reboot your system to remove it so make sure you save any work you have open at the time.
Have you been keeping your system clear of rubbish and removing temporary and log files on a regular basis?
Have you been adding and/or removing software on your system?
Well if you've not been doing any sort of regular maintenance on your system you might not have noticed the possible reduction in performance and storage space on your system.
For starters, I would suggest you install ccleaner and remove all unnecessary 'junk' from your system like tmp and log files for instance and you can set the various parameters to suit your requirements. Experiment with the settings to suit your requirements as you might not want to remove all the cookies you have set up and so on.
Read the article on using CCleaner here
For further information and links to downloads, visit the websites;-
Finally, having done the above run Disk Defragment to finalise the tidying of your Hard Disk Drive.
The best advice here is to run these utilities about once a month, depending on how often you use your PC System.
Have a look at PCdross.htm for more help and advice on keeping your system clean of unnecessary rubbish.It might just help you to improve your system.
Report Spam email
Are you suffering with Spam Email?
If so, report it to Information Commissioners Office
Spam emails are emails sent to you without your knowledge or consent, which often contain marketing. It is email that you don’t want and didn’t ask for, and its content can cause annoyance, embarrassment and even distress. However, it’s worth remembering that the sender generally doesn’t target recipients personally. The same spam email can be sent to millions of people at the same time and the addresses can often be guessed.
The biggest problem with the ICO is that they can only deal with UK generated SPAM and most of it these days seesm to originate on foreign shores!
Most ISP's and email companies these days have Spam filters that will trap a lot of this but if some gets through, DON'T open it but mark it as Spam, and in no circumstances should oyu respond to it.
Excessive Fonts! Try pruning for efficiency.
Did you know that Windows has no limit as to the number of fonts you can have! Did you also know it's best to keep the numbers down as not only do they take up disk space but also slow down the boot up process!
Before deleting fonts, you need to know what's safe to delete. Anything with an A against it should NOT be deleted as it's a system font. It's also a good idea not to delete any fonts that were shipped with Windows.
If you are trying to identify a font from a printed or screen sample then here's a resource from Identifont you can use.
By visiting the Microsoft Typography site one can immediately see what fonts are provided with what application.
Making backups - more simply and easily
Do you find backing up your data, email address, messages etc daunting or painful such that you don't even attempt to backup your precious work?
It's always best to keep backups of important documents and photos, etc., independent of the working PC in case anything happens to the PC and you then lose these items. With the costs of say a portable HDD then it makes sense to purchase one and backup these important items to the drive when it can then be removed from th ePC and kept safe.
If you really want to retain these iems then you really should invest in a backup drive.
Tired of long url's (web addresses)?
Are you sick of posting URL's in emails only to have it break across lines when sent causing the recipient to have to cut and paste it back together? Wish you could shorten it? Well you can!
There are sites out there that will shorten it for you such that just by entering in a URL in the text field shown, they will create a tiny URL that will not break in email postings and never expires.
One such company is TinyURL.com.
I use TinyURL myself and I find it very good.
Why not give it a go?
Security Software - Still to be updated!
There is an increase in spying software being installed onto PCs and equally there are several ways of protecting yourself against them but this entails you installing some additional software such as adwcleaner and malwarebytes or similar software.
By being careful of the websites you visit you can minimise the risks of downloading malware as it's referred to.
A Firewall will offer a fair deal of protection and will generally stop people from looking in at your PC and contents whilst on line hence affording some fair degree of protection. Windows has it's own built in version of Defender which is adequate for the home user. There are other products out on the web if you prefer.
Whichever software you use ensure it's kept up to date!
New Virus Threats
Remember it's important to keep your Anti-virus and Firewall software up to date! There are free versions of these software packages available online or oyu could use the inbuilt windows version which is vastly improved these days.
Remember, it's other people's computers you put at risk besides your own!