Archive for the ‘PC Training’ Category

Windows 8 – What’s it all about?

Windows 8 has now been available on new computers since October 2012 and the general feedback that I am hearing is not great.  Especially for Laptop and Desktop users as the Windows 8 platform was designed for the Touch Screen generation.


First off, users are greeted with a wall of Tiles that constantly change.  This is the part where if you have a touch screen, you can flip between pages of tiles to get fast access to your Apps.  However, if you are using a PC then it is like a web page that is too big for the screen and you have to find the scroll bars at the bottom to move the screen to the right.  Not very pretty.

Now I may be proved wrong here in the future but the main Apps that Laptop and Desktop users may use is the Mail, Contacts, Calendar and Internet Apps. 

Now from a personal point of view, what are the point of these Apps??  When you access them they only seem to give you half the usability of the full version you get when you go to your main Desktop.  Let’s take Mail for example.  The emails all come through ok – Great!  And you can see your Inbox etc – Great! But if you want to add a folder or move stuff around you come a cropper.  Now maybe I just haven’t used this App enough to find out the way to manage your Mail to the full but why is everything hidden in the Apps when on the full program you get full functionality.

Personally, if I owned a PC with Windows 8 I would either Change all the Tiles for ones that linked to the actual programs and not the Apps or format the PC and reinstall Windows 7.

Finding your way around Windows 8  WindowsStartButton

There’s no more lovely Start Button.  It’s all about the corners with Windows 8.  In the Tiles screen, move your cursor to the bottom right hand corner and a Menu appears for your Settings and Personalization.  This also is where you need to go to shut the PC down as the Power settings are hidden in here now.

The bottom left hand Tile should show a picture of your Desktop.  If you click this you will be taken to a more familiar screen that you used to see in previous Operating Systems.  Surely there will be a Start button here…

Nope! Remember it’s all about the corners. If you move your cursor to the bottom left corner of your screen, a small image of the Tiles will appear.  If you left click you will be taken to the Tiles screen.  If you right click here you will be greeted with a Menu which holds File Explorer and Control Panel.

Now File Explorer is where you would go if you used to click on “My Computer”.  This will show your C:/ Drive and any other Internal or External Drives you have attached to your PC.  Control Panel still works the same way as it was set out in Vista and 7.

Contatcs is another fun App that’ll get you fired up.  You open the App and see that there is nothing there so you want to add some addresses…  There’s no Add sign, and nothing to suggest you can add a contact here. But wait…  Let’s bring into the mix the “Right Click”.  With a swift click of the right mouse button and another menu appears at the bottom of the screen where you can click Add.


Did you know that 1.5 Million Windows 8 users have downloaded Freeware to enable the Windows 7 Start button and remove the “Metro” Tile screen altogether?  Doesn’t this tell Microsoft something?  I know millions more people are probably using it quite happily but to make such a radical change when people are not even 50% moved over to touch screen is a mistake in my view.

So anyway, as time will tell, just like with Vista, we will see how the world copes with Windows 8, but if you are thinking about getting a new Desktop or Laptop, pause for a second and take the time to view You Tube clips and other forums about this new Operating System so that you are fully aware of what to expect and whether you will be ready for it.

If you need advice on Windows 8 or any other IT related subject you can contact me at via email or Live Chat.  I will be happy to help and assist where I can.

Many thanks for your time

Mark Cooper

Easy PC Advice

Email Clients vs Webmail

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A few years back the options for receiving email were small and Microsoft took a large chunk of that with their Outlook and Outlook Express Clients.  Now it’s all change and there are a lot more options available.

You Have Mail

Web mail is a large growing trend as having the power to receive your emails from any computer or mobile device gets more and more important.  Programs like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo are some of the big names out there.

In this Blog we come up against another related question of what to use in POP3 vs IMAP.  More on that in a bit.

There is one significant bonus about using Web mail that stands out a mile and that’s the fact that it is Web-based so you can login to you email from any PC in the world as the emails are stored on a central server.  Great – Are there any downsides??  Not many but the one downside with Web mail if you are a heavy user of it is that you are probably limited on how many emails can be stored whereas Outlook for example saves the emails to your PC and therefore the storage limit is limitless or at least to the size of your Hard Drive which are normally pretty large these days.

I often get asked about what people should use and to be honest the answer is dependant on your situation and lifestyle.

If you travel a lot then my suggestion would be to go for Web mail as this can be easily integrated with IMAP which means you can get your email on several different devices at once, for example, a Desktop, your Laptop and your Mobile Phone.  All synced together.

As I said above, with IMAP your emails are stored on a central server so when you delete an email it is deleted from all your devices as they are all viewing the same thing.

Here’s an analogy for you that may explain this better:

Let’s say you and 2 friends can all see a tree that has 3 leafs on it.  If one of your friends pulled a leaf off the tree you would all only see a tree with 2 leafs.  In this case the tree is the server, the leafs are the emails and you and your friends are the devices.  This is how IMAP works.

POP3 is slightly different where using the analogy above your friend would remove a leaf and keep it to view later so you and your other friend would not get to see the leaf (email).  This is more for the person who uses one computer at home and wants their email downloaded when they click Send/Receive.

If you need more detail or a better analogy for this then please do comment and I’ll come up with something else.

At Easy PC Advice we can advise you for FREE and setup your email accounts to suit you.

Learning the Basics – PC Advice for Beginners

In today’s  digital world we forget that it was only 10 – 15 years ago that computers started taking over our lives let alone mobile phones with all the Internet gadgets on it.  But how are some of the over 50’s who didn’t grow up with all this technology supposed to get to grips with this when they haven’t learnt it from their school days?

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Well… at Easy PC Advice we do have the answer so don’t be scared !!

I personally have been to many homes where I have been asked to show people over 70 how to use a computer.  The great thing is that there seems to be a revolution where people of this age want to know how to get connected to the web.  The main reason seems to be that they are fed up with not getting all the best deals that get offered online as going into a shop or buying over the phone seems more expensive these days.

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One of the main problems for new starters is EMAIL.  Tell me a site on the net where you don’t need an email address to sign up??Exactly!!

So when I get round to a customers home and they say they just want to learn about a certain site etc, I have to inform them that email will be a big part of their online experience and in all cases so far, they then realise how it helps them whether it be a logon needed or online receipts or even boarding passes etc.

The great thing is that once email has been mastered, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to use the web.  Many features in online email accounts are used elsewhere on the web.

So you see, we have things all under control and there is nothing that we can’t teach a beginner of any age.  The web is a vast portal of information and it’s easy to feel swamped.

Give us a call and see how we can help you.