|This month we look at:
Using Windows Gadgets
One of the most interesting aspects of Windows Vista and Windows 7 is the introduction of gadgets. These are little programs that sit on your computer screen and do useful or just fun things.
I have a clock, a currency converter and the weather for where I fancy taking my next holiday. There are thousands more, such as translators, hardware monitors, slideshows and more.
Gadgets let you personalise your Windows experience and have easy access to those useful little things.
Just right-click on your desktop and select 'gadgets'.
Do you wonder why what you see on your screen is never what comes out of the printer? Or your web site looks different on another computer?
Well, it's primarily down to monitor calibration. Every screen has a different way of interpreting the colours that it is told to display. This is called the gamma curve. To make your monitor accurate, you adjust the gamma curves. Then you set a colour temperature of D65 in your monitor's menu.
That sounds a bit daunting. Not really. If real accuracy is important to you, then there are plenty of hardware devices that will do it for you. I personally use the Pantone Huey Pro, available for well under £100. Or you can use some free software systems. I like Monitor Calibration Wizard. It's self-explanatory and does make a difference.
Where did I put it?
Worried that you might lose your laptop or your phone? Want to know where it is or zap it? Well, you can. There are several products around, but the one that I am testing is called Prey at www.preyproject.com. It's a free open source product that sits on all your devices and is free for up to three gadgets.
When you send the activation code, Prey can:
if you have just lost it, make the device beep;
turn on the GPS to find the location of the device;
optionally lock the device with a password;
hide emails and cookies to secure data;
use the camera to try and take a picture of the thief.
Seems pretty good to me but I haven't lost any of them yet!
Windows vista and windows 7 have a method where the security can be passed from an existing computer to a new one.
The most recent is PBC or push-button configuration. On this, one presses a button on the router and a real or virtual one on the device that we wish to attach, which then sorts everything out. Pity it isn't all that widespread.
In brief, use WPA security and if you have to set up your own password, make it a strong one (By I mean long, using letters, numbers and punctuation).
People that I'm working with
I spent an enjoyable time with Farmhouse Catering at Standlake in West Oxfordshire. It made me realise how inventive and complex the sandwich and buffet industry can be. They also hold a five star food hygiene rating. 01865 300196.
My washing machine broke down recently and I called in Oxford Domestic. I was impressed by the response and their business values - just like the Flying Doctor's!
The flying doctor is looking for other enthusiastic individuals who enjoy working with computers, whether as a job or for fun. You can help them change their lives by running their own business and turn their passion into profit!
Think of the people you know who would like this opportunity then get them to:
call the flying doctor on 01865 748197
visit the website
to start on their success.