Monday December 22, 2008

Safer Surfing and Recording Christmas TV On Your PC

'Tis the season to update your browser...

by SoftwareGuru
Friday 19th December 2008

Last week we announced new software discount eligibility details to include 3rd level education students.

So if you're getting a new laptop or PC this Christmas, even more people can now take advantage of the Software4Students programme.

Important Security Announcement!

As a Microsoft partner, we are passionate about software and doing everything we can for our customers. With that in mind, we'd like to highlight one of the week's top web stories which concerns a serious security flaw found in the Internet Explorer browser.

For more info you can read the BBC News article on the matter but we do recommend you install the patch to fix the issue as quickly as possible.

The easiest way to get the patch is to run Windows Update via Start > Windows Control Panel on your computer. You will have to restart your machine to complete the update process so remember to save any work you have first.

Be Safer Online


Protect yourself from net nasties!

Safer Surfing

There is no doubt that keeping your computer error free is becoming trickier. Spam, Viruses, Adware and Malware can get you where you least expect it.

It used to be email attachments that we were told to be wary of.

Now with JavaScript and ActiveX controls built into website code, simply viewing a site can infect your machine and compromise your personal and financial details.

Once again, it's imperative to use a genuine copy of Windows so that you can avail of the free weekly security and software updates.

Software4Students also recommends our security partner Kaspersky for AntiVirus, Firewall and general internet security software. We offer digital downloads so that you can install your software immediately and enjoy peace of mind.

Christmas Telly

At this time of year the TV networks pull out all the big hitters from movies to Christmas specials. However, between visiting friends and all the usual Christmas happenings I end up missing the few good programs that I would want to watch!

Thankfully there are now a few solutions available for this dilemma. Firstly, it's possible to use Windows Vista Media Center to record programs if I connect my digital TV receiver to my PC.

This essentially does the same job as a separate hard disk recorder. A standalone hard disk recorder or even a Sky+ box might be the easier (but more expensive) option for less tech minded telly addicts.

Alternatively, many stations now offer their programs online for free via the likes of BBC iPlayer (PC/Mac) or Channel 4's 4oD service.

When it comes to streaming TV programs online, the speed and quality of what you are viewing will be affected not only by your overall connection speed but also by any other programs you are using. Households will need to consider if other family members are using the connection for downloading or online gaming.

So if say, you have a 1mb or 2mb connection and it's taking forever to stream shows or perhaps constantly pausing, check for other programs or machines leeching your overall household bandwidth.

If you're downloading something, using MSN and have several IE windows open, a slow connection is going to really struggle to stream properly.

Your speed is also affected by your contention ratio which is the number of other local users using the same ISP as you. This is why you may find the internet slower at peak times from around 6pm - 9pm in the evening.

Enjoy Your Christmas Telly!