Tip o’ the Week 365 – Throttling applications’ network perf

If you ever wonder why your home network is apparently bogging down, the blame may not be just down to your broadband provider. As we increasingly use multiple devices on the home network, any one of them may be causing issues for all the others. If you’re using an ADSL connection, the Asymmetric nature means…

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Tip o’ the Week 364 – F is for Function

PC keyboards have always had Function Keys, just as mainframe terminals did before them – thank IBM for cementing F-keys on the modern keyboard, though. Even Apple Macs had function keys, though the latest fad is to replace them with a Touch Bar – among other things that were replaced. Some terminal keyboards had up…

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Tip o’ the Week 363 – Erasing past mistakes

Using a Windows PC with Office presents many opportunities to make it easier to do things repeatedly – from shortcut keys which speed up regular tasks, to remembering things you’ve done before or accessed recently, so you can easily repeat them. Sometimes, however, they remember stuff you do mistakenly, and thereafter clutter up the system…

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Tip o’ the Week 362 – Working with symbol characters

One of the coolest things about the PC as it developed from the earliest days, was the ability to represent “foreign” symbols through expanding beyond the 7-bit ASCII character set, meaning it’s feasible to use all sorts of exotic symbols, accents, icons and the like (without resorting to art). As well as “Dingbats” fonts (like…

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Tip o’ the Week 361 – Music streaming choices

Happy New Year! Fingers crossed, 2017 will be slightly less momentous than 2016, whether your measure of panic is political upheaval or celebrities ceasing to be. Some people even think 2016 was a real horror movie. News just in, though, is that 2016 saw a resurgence in sales of vinyl LPs; in the UK, over…

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Tip o’ the Week 360 – Seasonal online goodies

If you’re still planning on completing your holiday gift-buying towards the end of the shopping period, you may want to turn your attention to some online offers that will go down well with some – if not all – members of your extended family. EMEA-based ‘softies can get an online equivalent of the North American…

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Tip o’ the Week 359 – How to win at auction

Auctions are big business, and seemingly growing, fuelled by the internet in no small part. Many traditional auctioneers (purveyors of objets d’art, toby jug knick-knacks, old shotguns, that kind of thing) have moved online, and you can buy all sorts of stuff, even watching the auction streamed live and to bidding in real time. It’s…

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Tip o’ the Week 358 – MSPAINT becomes Paint 3D

Some Windows apps have been around, in one form or another, for donkey’s years. If you press WindowsKey+R to bring up the Run command, you can delve into some real 1990s history with the likes of CALC, NOTEPAD, WRITE and until recently, MSPAINT. Budding artist and man of culture, Andrew Fryer, has more to say…

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Tip o’ the Week 357 – Launching Windows Apps

How do you like to start your applications? In Windows 3.x days, you double-clicked on an icon in Program Manager (or PROGMAN aka Program Mangler) and you got to manage groups of icons to help you organise your applications. There was an accompanying File Mangler too, that might still be usable on modern OSes if…

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Tip o’ the Week 356 – How not to send mail accidentally

An ohnosecond is the small measure of time between a luser doing something seemingly innocuous, then realising the true magnitude of what you’ve done. Frobbing a scram switch without knowing. The dawning reality that a protest vote might actually result in that thing actually happening. Sending an email to someone you didn’t mean to, that…

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