Posts filed under ‘Software’
I will be introducing a new category in Tech Help Videos called ‘Screenshot Gallery’. What it basically is a gallery of screenshots of a particular software or web service. Most likely, there will be a brief summary of the particular software and web service.
About one month ago, I introduced ‘Companion Guides’ which are aim to help you understand certain parts of technology and computing. I have had a huge success with that and have received many emails telling me how useful it was.
Here is a Companion Guide about Internet Security
- Security Guide Series: Intro – The risks and dangers
- Security Guide Series: How to protect your PC
- Security Suite Comparison
- Extra Protection and Freebies
Also, you may wish to email suggestions and topics on what I should written about.
I have created a new toolbar for Tech Help Videos. The toolbar works for both Firefox and Internet Explorer Version 5+. You will be required to have Windows 2000 or XP or Vista.
The toolbar features:
- Search function powered by Google
- RSS Feed Updates
- Email Notifier
- Weather Updates
- Links to ‘Tech Help Videos’ and ‘Tech Centre’
- Messaging feature
- Customizable Widgets
This toolbar will allow you to get the latest tips and tricks from Tech Help Videos, received secret messages and tips, received email notifications, weather reports and forecast, quick access your favourite technology help website – Tech Help Videos! and customize your toolbar with widgets of your choice.
I would appreciate some feedback on this toolbar for version 1.1.
Keeping your computer clean is not just wiping the dust of it with a cloth. What I mean is that it is very important to not let your computer get infected with virus and spyware and also to not install a lot of junk unless if you have no choice. Viruses and Spyware can be avoided with a good Security Suite. However, there is no program that prevents you from installing a program. It is up to you. I recommend installing the software that you really need and the ones that you trust. Installing more and one security suite and anti virus program can cause them to not function properly and to conflict each other. Also, although you uninstall a security suite or anti virus program, compartments of that software can still be stored in the back ground of your PC. That is why it is better to stick with one Security Suite than try out a different one each year. Another important point is to prevent installing trail out software and betas. Installing too much of these can cause your computer to slow down. Take this real example, When I first bought this ASUS laptop, I upgraded to Vista and then installed nearly everything I could. I kept the trial software, installed five web browsers and all these other freebies and performance enhancement utilities. When I start-up the laptop, it took about 3 minutes and 3 minutes to shut-down and 70% of RAM were already used up. So then I wanted to install Windows Live OneCare and it was a total nightmare. (Read my nightmare story here)
After reinstalling Windows, I was too scared to install any other junk on my laptop. Although some performance enhancement software does help your PC’s speed, they may conflict your Windows default settings and too many of them can cause your computer to crash. So, I do not want you to experience my nightmare and having to reinstall Windows. I have done it and I have experienced it, so you don’t!
A lot of software is shipped with our operating system. I find the most comes from Windows XP. However, apart from all those junk trail software where you can’t really use them without purchasing them, there are actually quite a lot of really useful programs. Most of these useful ones are not third-party programs, they are from Microsoft. One great example is ‘Paint’. Paint comes standard with Windows 2000, XP and Vista. Although it does not offer any serious pro tools but it is very easy to use and is enough for a lot of purposes. I use Paint all the time for doing Print-Screens and then copying it into Paint and then do a bit of editing with Paint and sometimes with Windows Live Photo Gallery. You can also do this job is Adobe Photoshop. However, you will have to spend a few hundred bucks and for starters, Photoshop can be very complicated to use and learn. So if you are one of those people who write-off simple applications like Paint that comes standard with your PC, I want you to try using them for some simple purposes and see how you go.
Although there are quite a lot of significant changes to Microsoft Word 2007, the main one is the Ribbon. As you probably know, the Ribbon is new to any Office application and replaces the previous ‘File’, ‘Edit’…etc with a set of new menus called ‘Home’, ‘Insert’, Page Layout’, References’, ‘Mailings’, Review’, ‘View’ and ‘Add-ons’.So basically the Ribbon is a new Menu with visual icons of features and functions. If you still don’t understand, then take a look at this screenshot of the Ribbon. The second screenshot is of the old Word 2003 menu. Take a look at the difference. (Click to enlarge)
The Ribbon is absolutely excellent to use and work with, especially for less computer literate users. With the Ribbon, you can now visually see the features and functions that you can use. A lot of basic users will probably say ‘Wow, Microsoft must have added a lot of new features to Word 2007’. But actually, there aren’t many new features at all. Most of them were already there is Word 2003. But the problem was that many people do not realize that the features were even there. And that’s exactly what the Ribbon is for; to show users the features available. Personally, I think Microsoft has done a very good job with the Ribbon.The Ribbon is not only present in Word 2007 but also across many other Office 2007 applications such as PowerPoint.
If you have used previous Adobe products, then you will notice a big difference between the old versions and the new versions. It is the size of the software. I just don’t get it. Of course there are new features and functionalities, but I am sure that those extra features won’t be that big. For instance, Adobe Acrobat which is a PDF creator is 1GB. This means that installing on Acrobat will take up 1GB of your hard drive. Of course PCs with a large hard drive will not matter much for those with a hard drive that is less than 80GB, there aren’t much space left for other purposes. Personally, I think this 1GB Adobe acrobat should be reduced to less than half of its current size. A 400MB Acrobat will be more sensible for a wide range of users. Currently, I do not use Adobe Acrobat to create PDF files. What I do is create a word document and then use an online PDF maker to convert the Word document into a PDF file.
This goes the same with other Adobe products. Another example is Photoshop. Let’s compare version 6 with the current CS3. Although there are some new features and better user interface, the size of the application has increased from 100MB to around 300MB. This is a 300% increase!
I understand that Adobe are continually trying to add new features and functionality and better user interface to their products but if you are listening, please try to not bloat your software to a gigantic size where a lot of normal users have to suffer and buy new machines. Please do keep in mind that not all people have new and modern technology!
Question: Should I upgrade to Microsoft Office 2007? Is it a worthy upgrade? What should I know before I upgrade and is my computer capable to run it?
Answer: There wasn’t much difference between Microsoft Office 2000 and 2003/XP. The user interface was very similar and only slight improvements in functionality. However, Office 2007 is a big change. In fact I think it is the only Office suite that is worthy to upgrade. Personally, yes, I do think you should upgrade. But please make sure that you qualify for the system requirements. I personally recommend 1GB of RAM and a minimum of 10-15GB of space hard drive space.
However, if you are a happy with what you have and don’t need anything more, you don’t have to upgrade. But I do recommend you to take Office 2007 for a test drive. This test drive is not a trail and you do not have to download anything. The free test drive is an online version of Office 2007 in which you can learn and test out the features and what you can do. This is the best way to determine whether you should upgrade or not. Click HERE to take the test drive.