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More Software How-To

  • How-Tos: How to erase data from an Android phone or tablet

    We show you how to wipe an Android phone or Android tablet so that you can pass on the hardware without giving away your details.

  • How-Tos: Six unexpected uses for the Application Switcher

    You’ve probably got the basics of the Application Switcher down pat by now: press Command-Tab to see a bar full of running-application icons and keep Command down as you tap the Tab key to quickly switch to the application of your choice. But, as with everything on the Mac, the Application Switcher can do more than you might guess.

  • How-Tos: How to secure a Google Android phone or tablet

    Whether you paid a small fortune for the hottest Android device or got it for ‘free’ with a modest contract, it’s a good bet that the data stored on your mobile is at least as valuable as the hardware itself. If your phone or tablet is ever lost or stolen, you’ll either be glad you took precautions to protect all your content, or you’ll sorely wish you had. In this article, we’ll walk you through setting up Android’s built-in security tools and suggest a few third-party extras that can add valuable safeguards for your personal information.

  • How-Tos: How to make cheaper calls on an Android smartphone

    Why pay for voice minutes on your smartphone tariff when everything else is carried over the mobile data connection? It’s a good question, and the answer is you don’t have to, if you install one of the growing number of apps that lets you make calls using VoIP (voice over internet protocol). Calls to users of compatible services are free, subject to your data plan, and even those to phones get cheaper. We'll take a look at a UK-based option, Truphone.

  • How-Tos: Quickly delete iPhone photos from your Mac

    It's easy to take lots of photos with your iPhone. But when you're ready to wipe the slate clean—without wiping out other photos you've synced to your device—there's no obvious way to completely (or even selectively) use your Mac to delete the photographs you've taken with the phone.

  • How-Tos: How to use a QR code

    You may have started to notice square, barcode-like boxes scattered throughout adverts, magazines and so forth. These are QR Codes, and they are only going to get more popular. Here's what QR Codes are, and how to use them.

  • How-Tos: Convert audio to other formats

    Audio files come in a number of different formats. Some are lossy, such as AAC and MP3; they save space compared to the original files, but some of the original data is lost during compression. Some formats are lossless, such as Apple Lossless, FLAC, and SHN; these files can be converted back to their original form without the loss of a single bit. Finally, some are uncompressed, such as WAV and AIFF; they represent the exact data from a CD or a master.

  • How-Tos: How to get rid of error messages in Microsoft Outlook 2010

    Every time I launch Microsoft Outlook 2010 on my new Microsoft Windows 7 PC I get an error message reporting an invalid Office add-in. I've tried to accept the option to delete the add-in, but the error message still appears. The errors don't actually seem to affect the functionality of Outlook 2010, but it would be nice to get rid of them.

  • How-Tos: How to surf the web more quickly in Windows 2000

    I run Windows 2000 and Ubuntu on a dual-boot machine. In Ubuntu, using Firefox 3.0, my download speed is around 6 megabits per second (Mbps); in Windows 2000, it's just 0.9Mbps. The upload speed isn't affected, and I get about 0.7Mbps from both operating systems. I've checked these figures repeatedly over several days. I use the TalkTalk Essentials package and a wired connection. Can you offer a fix?

  • How-Tos: Create Free Custom Motivational Posters with Motivator

    You know those motivational posters you often see in offices, the ones with the signature black border and pithy sayings like, "Possibilities: Today the sidewalk, tomorrow the sky"? (You have to imagine a skateboarder catching some air in that one.)

  • How-Tos: Remove Windows Defender

    Windows Defender isn't in Control Panel's list of uninstallers. Spiritchaser asked the Answer Line forum how to remove it.

  • How-Tos: Smartphone Video Tips: Shooting, Editing, and Sharing

    A few decades ago, even a short, amateur film cost hundreds--or thousands--of dollars to make. And your friends couldn't see it unless you invited them over and set up the 16mm projector.

  • How-Tos: How to Install Ubuntu 11.04 'Natty Narwhal' With Wubi

    Ubuntu 11.04, or "Natty Narwhal," has been out just a few days, but already it's being billed as possibly the most accessible and user-friendly Linux distribution ever. With its new Unity interface, the open-source operating system mimics what many people are used to in the mobile arena to create a simple, intuitive way to get things done.

  • How-Tos: How to roll back a faulty Windows Update

    I'm trying to start up a C-Media AC 97 audio device as downloaded from Windows Update. I've got the device enabled as advised by the Startup menu, but it doesn't start and I now have no sound on my computer. The computer is an Advent 7012 running Windows XP Service Pack 3

  • How-Tos: How to install Windows on an SSD

    My computer dual-boots Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 on two one-terabyte hard drives. The XP drive contains many programs that I use frequently, but it often reports problems with applications not responding properly. To overcome this, I bought a 128GB solid-state disk (SSD) on which I'd like to install XP Professional and a few selected programs. The new disk has a drive letter and is ready for use, but I'm not sure how to set about it.

  • How-Tos: Dealing with iPhone duplicates

    Reader Michael Beaudoin is frustrated with an iPhone that has too much information on it. He writes:

  • How-Tos: How to upgrade from Windows 98 and keep the same printer, scanner, software

    I'm keen to replace my Windows 98 computer, but I want to be sure that I can continue using my software and peripherals before I do so. I have an HP 940c printer, an Epson Perfection 1200 scanner, Fujifilm and Olympus cameras with software that's compatible with XP and Vista, plus Microsoft Office 2007. Will I be able to continue using these in XP or Windows 7?

  • How-Tos: Use Automator to shoot a time-lapse movie

    Movies created through time-lapse photography can be stunning. And for some people in the sciences they can also be a useful tool. While there are a variety of applications that allow you to create time-lapse movies of your own, none of them are built into the Mac OS save this one: Automator. The following workflow allows you to automate not only the shooting of your images, but their conversion into a movie.

  • How-Tos: How to arrange and order files in Windows 7

    I have transferred a large number of slides on to my new Windows 7 laptop. In XP, I was able to sort them into a logical order in several different folders by dragging-and-dropping photos into their required position. Windows 7 seems to want to auto-arrange them. How can I continue to arrange them as I wish? I don't feel comfortable tweaking the Registry, as some forums have recommended.

  • How-Tos: How to email images and documents with Windows Live Mail

    I am unable to send pictures or documents to Windows Live Mail using the 'Send to' instruction. Live Mail is the default program, but the options are greyed out and can't be altered. I have tried using Windows Live Photo Gallery and Word.


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