Monthly Archives: February 2005

Readers Questions Part 16

This week I think I will once again take the time to answer a few readers’ questions:

I have tried to download the FREE things your article specified as they sounded good.

Not free - they want $19.99 for the pop up blocker alone????

Have removed all from computer now, but thought you aught to know, as what you stated was wrong

John, via e-mail

I thought I’d publish this letter exactly as it was received in order to illustrate some of the tactful, well constructed and grammatically correct e-mails that I receive from time to time.Sarcasm aside, I’m assuming this reader is talking about the free Firefox browser I recommended a few weeks back as a viable alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Contrary to what John states above this browser is indeed completely free of charge and available from so I would suggest that he has a piece Read the rest

Windows XP Service Pack 2 Part 3

A question I recently received from one of my readers has prompted me to recap on the advantages of upgrading your Windows XP system to Service Pack 2.

Hello Chris,

Although I live in Leicestershire, I read the Herald Express on the Internet daily and enjoy your weekly column.I wonder if I could ask your advice as I haven’t yet upgraded to Windows XP SP2 after hearing dire warnings about it completely jiggering computers and in particular laptops.Should I leave it well alone or be brave?

Dave Kitto, via e-mail

Before we start I should explain to those who haven’t been listening over the previous months that Service Pack 2 is a huge collection of bug fixes for the Windows XP Operating System which aims to increase stability, security and in some cases speed.These are all features I will elaborate on shortly.

In an attempt to discover more about these Read the rest

Windows XP Powertoys

Years ago I used remember downloading a suite of programs designed to allow Windows users to add functionality to their Operating System as well as alter more advanced settings not readily available so whilst searching for something to write about today I thought I’d check that these products were still available free of charge from the Microsoft website.Fortunately the group of products known as ‘Windows Powertoys’ are not only still available but they have also recently been updated and so it seemed obvious that I should mention their existence in this article.

All these products designed for Windows XP were created after the Operating System had actually been released and can be downloaded from the rather uncatchy website address

Below I have listed what I believe to be the most useful PowerToys available along with a brief description of the functionality they will add to your Windows XP machine Read the rest

MSN Search

As those of you who read my columns regularly will testify, I am a great supporter of the underdog.There’s nothing I like more than when a company comes out of no where and provides real competition against one that has been established for a long period of time and is considered to have a monopoly in their particular market.

There is one primary reason for this way of thinking which is that it almost always benefits the consumer.Companies like AMD who produce processors and were once relatively small are now seriously competing against Intel which is resulting in technologies being continuously pushed forward and prices lowered as the two companies battle it out for market share.Had Intel retained its monopoly I’m sure that PC’s would not be at the level of speed and affordability they are today and the fact that AMD managed to eat into this market on what Read the rest