Archive | July, 2013

What’s Windows 8.1?

21 Jul

Hi everyone, it’s Techspert Krista sailing through the Med on the ms Noordam!

If you follow tech news at all you might have heard of Windows 8.1.  If you don’t, you might be thinking “what!  They’re changing Windows AGAIN?”

Well, hold on a second, because I think you’re going to like what you see here.  Windows 8.1 is an update to Windows 8.  So yes, there will be changes.  But guess what?  It’s a FREE Update!  Later this year, if you’re using Windows 8, your computer will let you know that an update is available, and you can just follow the instruction to install it.  Super easy, and FREE!

Until then Windows is giving us lots of info on what to expect with Windows 8.1.  When I first read about the additional features, I was thrilled.  So many things that I already love about Windows 8 are going to get better and easier.  I could tell you all about it, but instead I’ll let you take a look at the video below where they walk you through some of the cool new features that you’ll get with Windows 8.1!

 

Now, if you watched all the way to the end of that video, you saw that the 8.1 Preview is already available, and has been since June 26th.  However, unless you feel really comfortable with making big changes to your PC, I’d recommend that you wait until 8.1 is released officially later this year.

Hope you enjoyed that video! And remember, next time you’re sailing on a HAL cruise, stop by the Digital Workshop!

 

Techspert Krista, ms Noordam

Windows 8 Includes a Free Antivirus Application

17 Jul

Did you know that every copy of Windows 8 comes with a free antivirus application? The application is called “Windows Defender” and is quite similar to the “Security Essentials” program available for Windows 7, Vista and Windows XP. This is what it looks like when you search it out;

clip_image001

How does this free application stack up with other more costly alternatives, when it comes to protecting your computer from virus and malware attacks?

One reviewer stated ‘ defender provided more than acceptable protection for your computer when compared to….’  Many of our guests who have purchased new Windows 8 computer found that the store added on another Antivirus program at an additional cost. Don’t let this happen to you!

If you do currently have an other Anti Virus on you computer, when the subscription is up you can remove it by going to “control panel” and then activate Windows Defender by going to the following address, windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/windows7/Using-Windows-Defender and follow the easy directions to activate.

Additional Security Features;

ELAM or Early Launch Anti Malware, is a feature that prevents classic malware from activating in Windows 8. How? It simply boots around the potential threat bypassing the “start menu”. This also allows Windows 8 to start up in seven seconds or less.

UEFI’s Secure Boot, a feature that combats low-level malware by avoiding activation by bypassing memory and start menus. Windows 8 goes directly to the Operating System. Again this also allows Windows 8 to load up really fast. But it also keeps you really secure.

I hope that you will use Windows 8 knowing that Microsoft has worked very hard to build in new and effective protection into this operating system.

Frank Barcelona Techspert for the Holland America Digital Workshop sponsored by Microsoft Windows, aboard the MS Nieuw Amsterdam.

Windows 8 Includes a Free Antivirus Application

17 Jul

Did you know that every copy of Windows 8 comes with a free antivirus application? The application is called “Windows Defender” and is quite similar to the “Security Essentials” program available for Windows 7, Vista and Windows XP. This is what it looks like when you search it out;

clip_image001

How does this free application stack up with other more costly alternatives, when it comes to protecting your computer from virus and malware attacks?

One reviewer stated ‘ defender provided more than acceptable protection for your computer when compared to….’  Many of our guests who have purchased new Windows 8 computer found that the store added on another Antivirus program at an additional cost. Don’t let this happen to you!

If you do currently have an other Anti Virus on you computer, when the subscription is up you can remove it by going to “control panel” and then activate Windows Defender by going to the following address, windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/windows7/Using-Windows-Defender and follow the easy directions to activate.

Additional Security Features;

ELAM or Early Launch Anti Malware, is a feature that prevents classic malware from activating in Windows 8. How? It simply boots around the potential threat bypassing the “start menu”. This also allows Windows 8 to start up in seven seconds or less.

UEFI’s Secure Boot, a feature that combats low-level malware by avoiding activation by bypassing memory and start menus. Windows 8 goes directly to the Operating System. Again this also allows Windows 8 to load up really fast. But it also keeps you really secure.

I hope that you will use Windows 8 knowing that Microsoft has worked very hard to build in new and effective protection into this operating system.

Frank Barcelona Techspert for the Holland America Digital Workshop sponsored by Microsoft Windows, aboard the MS Nieuw Amsterdam.

Convert Any File

11 Jul

Have you ever found that now and then there’s a computer file—such as an audio file, a video or a document—which is in a format that you can’t open? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to easily convert it to something you can use? Videos are a great example: sometimes you may receive or download a Flash video, but don’t have a media player that can handle it. Or maybe you have a Microsoft Word document that you want to view on your tablet, but don’t have Word installed there. Or perhaps a friend sent you a type of picture file that won’t work on your computer, even though you can usually display pictures with no problem.

If so, there are a number of web sites that you can use to convert files from one format to another and many of them are free. Online-Convert.com is one that I’ve had good experience with and it’s very easy to use. You can use it to convert almost any type of file from one format to another, including documents, ebooks, images, video files and more. It can even generate QR codes to use in transferring videos to a mobile phone! It’s like a universal translator for computer files.

You can also convert almost anything to a PDF file. Portable Document Format (PDF) files can contain pretty much any type of information and the great thing is that they can be read on any computing device using the free Adobe Reader application. This has become a very common way of preparing files of any type without having to be concerned about compatibility. Everybody can use it, so it takes the worry out of sharing.

Here’s how Online-Convert.com works:

  • Simply select the desired output file type from the appropriate converter on the home page of Online-Convert. There are many output formats to choose from, including those for a large number of portable devices.
  • You will then be prompted to select the file from your computer that you want to convert.
  • The converted file will then automatically download to your computer. Easy!

The basic service is free and allows conversion of files up to 100 MB in size. For a small fee, the size can be increased up to 1 GB per file.

I’ve used it many times and I’m glad it’s there. Converting any file to an e-reader format is really handy. Check it out!

– Techspert John, ms Maasdam