Monthly Archives: June 2005

Windows XP Themes

A popular pastime for many users of Windows XP has been to customize their Operating System so it looks more like something they are comfortable using.Such customisations include changing the loading screens, start menu, dialog box appearances, icons, wallpaper which makes your machine just a little more individual than the standard Windows XP blue desktop theme which millions of users all have.

Personally I have always stayed away from participating in this kind of customisation because the majority of software on the market is either supported by advertising, costs money or is extremely bloated and slows down your machine. As you know I hate software that loads when you start the machine and a lot of the theme managers that I encountered sat continually in memory managing your themes.That attitude of mine changed recently when researching software that I could write about for this weeks article when I found a Read the rest

Rogue Diallers

The subject of ‘rogue diallers’ has been popping up a great deal in the media recently so I thought it was about time I recapped on exactly what a rogue dialler was and how you can protect yourself against them.

The idea behind a rogue dialler is surprisingly simple; you inadvertently download a small piece of software which alters your dial up settings so instead of dialling your normal freephone or local call rate number to access the Internet your computer starts using a premium rate number instead.Whilst you are blissfully unaware that you are now paying a couple of quid a minute to access the Internet someone is getting rich by exploiting you.It is worth bearing in mind that those of us with broadband aren’t susceptible to these problems as a Broadband modem doesn’t ‘dial out’ as such and so it is impossible for a rogue dialler to change Read the rest

Xbox 360

I must be honest in saying that I am not a big player of computer games; to be honest after spending all day using one for work I rarely want to continue using it for recreation.Having said that we do have a couple of Xbox consoles in our flat and they have always been a decent distraction when there is nothing better to do!

For those of you who don’t know what an ‘Xbox’ is I should really fill you in as obviously you’ve had your head in the sand for the last couple of years - The Xbox is a games console designed by Microsoft which competes against those released by rivals Sony and Nintendo.To be honest the Xbox has been pretty much trounced by the Sony Playstation 2 in terms of market share as not only was it unknown when it came to market but it was also Read the rest

Readers Letters

This week I’ll be publishing a selection of letters that have arrived in my mailbox over the last few days.

I read your article in Herald Express every week and thought you may be interested to know of the existence of our Computer Club in Marldon, a village situated just off the Torbay ring road.We presently have 41 members which we think is excellent since we have only been going for just over 12 months.Our members are mostly elderly who prefer informal, local guidance, rather than attending professional teaching establishments.

We, in fact, provide a service to the community and meet every month in our village hall, and our club is available to people from all areas.Demos are carried out, usually by me, and shown on a large screen using a digital projector. Do have a peep at our website ( where you will see our programme.

During our last Read the rest