Apr 30

If you’ve ever installed or reinstalled Windows, you’ll know how long it can take to track down and reinstall all your favourite apps afterwards. Well that’s all a thing of the past now with the advent of software installers which allow you to pick your favourite apps in one place online and install them all at once saving valuable time. You just check the apps you want, download the installer and away it goes working through your list.

I used Ninite to reinstall my apps after moving to Windows 7 but I’ve come across a couple of other installers recently and was interested to see which had the most apps available and just how many of those I’d actually want to install.

Ninite

ninite

They currently have 73 apps on their website of which I would install 28. No registration is required. Ninite Pro allows you to save and reuse your installer so you can set up multiple PCs but this is currently $20/month.

AllMyApps

AllMyApps

They have the best choice by far with 117 apps just now and I would install 31 of these. You have to register for free to download a bundle and you can save your list for future installs. Great for PC technicians who are regularly setting up PCs.

Smart Installer Pack

SIP

This one is slightly different. You download the complete pack then check the apps you want to install. Currently, Smart Installer Pack has 51 apps and I would have installed 17 of these.

So for me, AllMyApps is currently the best choice with 31 apps I’d want to install and a great selection. It’s also a great choice for those who will be doing multiple installs. If you know of any other great software installers, drop a comment below.

Speed up a Windows install or reinstall with a software installer is a post from Tech and Life. If you’re reading it in full elsewhere, it’s been copied without consent. Please go to Tech and Life to read the original post and many others in the archive.


Apr 28

SnowLeopard Ubuntu plain logo windows 7 logo

With the latest version of any operating system, there’s often a lot of hype around its release with many eager to upgrade straightaway. Whether you’re running Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 or Windows 7, you’ll know all about this. But do we really need the latest OS?

I was reading the Lifehacker Editors’ Favorite Software and Hardware the other day and what really caught my attention was not so much the apps they used, but their operating systems. You would think these guys at the cutting edge of tech would demand the latest OS on their systems, but no. Here’s what they’re running:

Gina Trapani: Mac OS X and Windows XP and thinking about Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

Adam Pash: Mac OS X

Kevin Purdy: Windows Vista and Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

Jason Fitzpatrick: Windows XP, Mac OS X and Linux

Tamar Weinberg: Windows XP and Fedora 9

So no Windows 7, 6 months after its release. Not even Ubuntu 9.10.

Which just goes to show that maybe we just don’t need the latest version. I upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 recently, because I got a good pre-release price on the upgrade and my XP install was badly in need of a refresh. But I have to confess I did succumb to all the hype – the general consensus was that Windows 7 was awesome. But in all honesty, Windows XP was just fine. What can I do now in Windows 7 that I couldn’t do in Windows XP….let me think…nothing! I’m running just the same desktop software and web apps and services.

And I seem to recall a bit of disquiet over the Mac Snow Leopard release – some felt the upgrade from Leopard just wasn’t worthwhile. And I guess the interest in Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron rather than the latest release is because it was a Long Term Support version (LTS) with 3 years support on the Ubuntu Desktop.

So you might say there really is no need to upgrade your OS. They are becoming more mature and more stable with each release and software vendors are going to find it increasingly hard to get us to upgrade in future. If you’re system is performing well and doing what you want, that’s the main thing. But it’s probably worth reinstalling your OS every couple of years to blow away your old bloated registry (Windows users) and the apps you never use, and you’ll likely see an improvement in performance. Eventually however, you’ll find that new hardware and software won’t be supported on the very old OS versions and technical support will be withdrawn so you may have to upgrade then.

Do you run the latest OS? If you have upgraded, was it worth it? Drop a comment below.


Apr 27

If you follow as many tech blogs as I do in your RSS reader (currently about 160 tech blogs in my Tech folder), a good number will probably be tech news blogs. When a big tech story breaks, the news can get blogged to death as each site puts up their own post rather than linking to or just tweeting someone else’s story. Understandable really, they all want to meet their daily quota of posts to maintain page visits and pagerank, and don’t want to miss out on big tech news stories.

Tech and Life isn’t a tech news blog. We concentrate more on blogging about useful web apps and services, and tips and tricks for Windows, Linux and WordPress. If I do come across some interesting tech news, I’ll generally tweet a good link, rather than adding yet another post to the blogosphere. Follow us on Twitter at @techandlife. I try and tweet the best 5 or 6 tech links I see each day.

I’ve noticed that Microsoft stories are particularly prone to reblogging. I’m thinking of Windows 7 ‘God Mode’ a few months back – everyone seemed to carry that story. More recently, it’s been Microsoft Fix It Center and just a couple of days ago, the Microsoft/FaceBook Docs.com story. Here’s the 16 posts on Microsoft Fix It Center gathered together in my Google Reader feed

Fix it

This reblogging can really clog up your feed reader so here’s what you could do. Read the story on one of the bigger blogs like Download Squad, ghacks or Lifehacker, bookmark it if you like, then set up a filter in Google Reader to suppress that story from your feed in future. I’ve blogged about the awesome Google Reader Filter before and using it to filter out stories you just don’t want to appear in your RSS feed. After about a week, the surge over that particular item of tech news will have subsided and you can remove the keyword from your filter.

Incidentally, if you’re interested in following some good tech blogs in your RSS reader, there’s a few good ones there to get you started.

Quick tip: Filter out tech news stories being reblogged to death is a post from Tech and Life. If you’re reading it in full elsewhere, it’s been copied without consent. Please go to Tech and Life to read the original post and many others in the archive.


Apr 22

There was a time when my printer was an absolute essential in the home office. Back in the early 1990s, my Epson dot matrix printer was regularly printing out letters to mail or fax, or stuff to file in folders. Since then I’ve had a series of inkjets which I’ve also used to print out photos, lists, colour flyers, etc.

But times have changed here. In these days of digital communication, my latest Epson inkjet rarely gets used – brought home to me as I tried to print something out last week and found the nozzles were seriously clogged through lack of use. Haven’t been able to clear it yet – but there’s no rush; nothing pressing for it to do. In hindsight, I should have been printing off a test page or two each week, but these things creep up on you. Besides, why should I have to print out test sheets just to keep the thing serviceable? Waste of paper and ink. Wish there was a way to seal inkjet cartridges and nozzles when not in regular use.

Interestingly, I’ve seen an inverse relationship between the printer and my Epson scanner. Although I don’t have a paperless office here, nothing like it, I do find I’m scanning more and more stuff into notebook apps like Evernote and Microsoft OneNote rather than printing stuff out on paper. I stopped printing out photos years ago. Makes a lot of sense to me to store digitally rather than on paper.

Well that’s what I thought. While I was thinking over this topic, I did a Google search and came across a post The slow demise of the printer by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes at ZDNet. Here’s a short excerpt:

Another indication of how rarely I use my printer is the fact that the last few times I’ve used it, I’ve had to clean the print heads because some of the nozzles had dried out. I change ink cartridges so rarely now that not only do I not know the part numbers, I’d even forgotten what make of printer I had!

…I’m not alone when it comes to using my printer less. It’s a pattern I see all around me. In fact, I’d say that the decreased use of the printer is also responsible for fewer home users/small office users buying and using suites such as Microsoft Office. As people create fewer paper documents (and in my opinion spend less time fussing over formatting, fonts and layout), they also realized they could do without expensive tools to create and format their documents.

While the desktop printer isn’t dead, it sure is en route to retirement.

I broadly agree with his post, but the blog comments were worth reading. There were 91 comments and only about 20 were in agreement with Kingsley-Hughes. Seems that business is still consuming paper at an alarming rate and many others who commented felt that printing and printers are not dead yet.  Some had worries over the risk of digital storage and would like a hard copy, just in case. And as to my problem, looks like I should research a laser printer rather than inkjet next time. I guess I should have some kind of printer in the home office, at least for a while yet.

Do you feel that the home printer is on the way out or will it be around for years to come? Drop a comment below.

The gradual demise of the home printer is a post from Tech and Life. If you’re reading it in full elsewhere, it’s been copied without consent. Please go to Tech and Life to read the original post and many others in the archive.


Apr 15

Swiss Army knife

In the first part of this two-part series, I looked at some basic precautions that would be really worthwhile implementing in preparation for a major PC problem. Here’s some advanced precautions aimed at those who want to roll their sleeves up and try and sort out the problem themselves. Bear in mind that this is written by a non-PC repair specialist but I hope it gives a reasonable round-up of suggestions at a more advanced level.

Don’t forget the utilities you already have on your PC. When trouble strikes, it’s easy to forget what’s already in place on your PC. Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 all have a built-in Event Viewer for viewing event logs. This may help to identify your problem. Here’s a good overview of Event Viewer. Vista and Windows 7 also have a Reliability Monitor and here’s a post about that on How-to Geek.

Turn off automatic reboot so you can read ‘Blue Screen’ (BSOD) error messages. When Windows XP crashes with a Blue Screen it will automatically reboot, often too fast for you to read any error message. Turn this off now to avoid automatic reboots when you have problems. Here’s how to turn it off in XP so you can read the error messages and here’s the Vista instructions.

Bookmark Windows error messages. So you don’t have to go hunting around when you have a problem. Here’s a site for searching for error messages.

Bookmark Windows stop messages. Have a look here or search stop codes here.

Print out beep codes for your BIOS. In Part 1, I discussed how to access your BIOS. Make a note of your BIOS manufacturer and print out a list of beep codes for your BIOS. As with the earlier info you gathered on your system, put this in your folder in case you can’t access the internet when you need this info. Or put Beep Code Viewer on your USB stick.

Load up your USB stick with portable repair tools. Get a suite of portable repair apps on your USB drive, just in case. Here’s a ready-made Portable Repair Utility Kit with a whole bunch of great repair apps to give you a head start. Currently, it’s a two-part download of 102MB and 77MB so may take a little time to download on your system. And for good measure here’s another selection from TechRadar. Technibble is a great resource for PC repair technicians and they have been highlighting a repair tool each week for a couple of years now. Beef up your repair kit even further with a selection of these on your thumb drive. For example, BlueScreenView for analysing what caused a ‘Blue Screen of Death’ crash. I’ve set up a Google search here to list the repair tools recommended on Technibble.

Tool up with some rescue CDs. In the first part, we talked about having a Linux rescue disk on hand in case of emergency. Knoppix is another good Linux rescue disk for disaster recovery. Here’s a post on Computer first aid using Knoppix.  The Ultimate Boot CD is also worth getting hold of. Here’s a quick tutorial on UBCD. Podnutz have released an audio podcast on UBCD for Windows and Technibble have a great video showing some uses for UBCD: Recovering Windows from Common Errors that Prevent it From Booting.

Flowcharts for PC repair. There are flowcharts at Foner Books and Boing Boing for PC repair. Print them out and put them in your folder ahead of any trouble.

Save time in a reinstall after a disaster by slipstreaming OS updates and service packs into an updated install disk. Use nLite (for Windows XP) or vLite (Windows Vista) to create a customised Windows install disk before disaster strikes.

Invest in a spare power supply unit and RAM. If you don’t have access to a backup laptop or PC and you rely heavily on one machine, you might do well to invest in a backup power supply unit (PSU) and memory (RAM) for peace of mind. If you run into boot problems, Memtest86 will check out your PC memory and you can have new sticks installed straight away if this is the cause of your problem. Get a PSU with the same (or better) specs as your currently installed one so that if your PC suddenly dies (and replacing memory doesn’t help), then fit the new PSU. Okay, Sod’s law, it may be a motherboard failure but hopefully not, and your spare hardware may have done the trick. If not perhaps later when you do buy a new PC, you can replace the hardware in your old machine at some stage with the new PSU and RAM to extend its life as a backup machine.

Listen to some PC repair podcasts. If all this had whetted you appetite for PC diagnostics and repair, I can highly recommend the archive of Podnutz Daily PC repair podcasts. A fascinating insight into the detective work involved in PC hardware troubleshooting, virus/spyware removal and life in a PC repair shop.

Further reading

The Complete PC Recovery Toolkit

Expert guide to preventing PC disasters

How to fix Windows 7 when it fails to boot

If I’ve missed anything important in these two posts, please drop a comment below. What steps do you take to prepare for a PC disaster?

Some tips on preparing for a PC disaster is a post from Tech and Life. If you’re reading it in full elsewhere, it’s been copied without consent. Please go to Tech and Life to read the original post and many others in the archive.

Image credit: herzogbr


Apr 12

Preparing for disaster1

There may be trouble ahead. Sooner or later your PC or laptop may die and if you rely on it to earn a living you could be in some immediate trouble. If you have a second PC or laptop with all your essential apps and your data is safely backed up regularly, this won’t be too much of an urgent problem but if you rely on that one PC to bring in the bacon, then this post is aimed at you. So what happens one day when you boot your machine and nothing happens, or you’re working away and suddenly it just stops, no LEDs lit, no hard disk spinning, no fans, nothing. Or your hard disk suddenly starts making an ominous clicking sound. Or you open that dodgy email attachment and realise instantly that you’ve done the wrong thing. What would you do? Have you thought about it? Would you panic, or have you anything in place to help you out of this potential PC disaster.

Obviously, depending on your computer experience and your willingness to roll up your sleeves and sort it out, you may be able to recover your PC on your own. But if it’s your only machine you’re still going to lose some time and you mightn’t have that. So what should you do so you’re best prepared for this type of PC emergency? Let me say straight off, I’m not a PC repair guy so I’m not an expert on PC troubleshooting and recovery but I’ve read around enough to know the precautions you should take – just in case disaster strikes.

I’m going to tackle this subject in two parts. This first post is for those who don’t really want to open up their PC and change a hard drive or power supply, but who want to have everything at hand so they can be back up and running as quickly as possible. For brevity, I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of each aspect. There’s enough out there on the internet that I’d just be duplicating stuff. No, it’s going to be essentially just a quick checklist but I’ll try and point you in the direction of some good posts to help you on your way. And it’s a bit belt and braces –  you won’t have to do everything on the list. You’ll need an old fashioned folder, notepad or notebook for some of the notes you’ll need in an emergency – you obviously mightn’t be able to refer to notes on your PC! A couple of screwdrivers would be useful and a digital camera. And you’ll need a safe place for rescue CDs/DVDs.

Backup your system now

Backup your data now – Yes, yes you’ve heard it all before probably until you’re sick of hearing it but it’s simply the single most important thing you can do to prepare for a PC disaster. Backup your data to an external drive, and/or to the cloud. There are lots of free and paid imaging tools out there to do the job including the free Easeus Todo Backup and Macrium Reflect, and the paid Acronis True Image. Windows 7 also has a good backup facility to image to an external hard drive. Here’s a good article on Windows 7 backup. You could even backup your data to say a 16GB USB stick and an external hard drive for good measure. It’s always a good idea to try and keep one backup drive off site – just in case. There are lots of paid and free online backup services but if you do choose one make sure your data is encrypted there for security.

Better still, clone your hard drive – this is essentially making a mirror image of your hard disk onto a new replacement drive and backing up your data to it regularly. I’ve blogged about it before in my post about Preventing a hard disk disaster. In my opinion, this is the ultimate way  to achieve peace of mind knowing that if your hard drive dies, you (or someone capable) can replace the old drive and be up and running again in no time with an exact copy of your old drive. Easeus Todo Backup or Acronis True Image will also clone your drive for you.

Backup your drivers. It’s always a good idea to backup your drivers just in case some day you get a missing device driver warning or you do a driver update which doesn’t work out. Here’s an article on backing up and restoring drivers with DriverMax. You can restore individual drivers from DriverMax.

Backup all your browser bookmarks to the cloud using XMarks. In the event you have to reinstall your browser after a PC disaster, all your precious bookmarks can be safely restored.

Safely store all your passwords in a secure password manager such as LastPass. Don’t rely on your browser to store your passwords. If you ever have to reinstall your browser after PC meltdown, all you’ll have to remember is your LastPass master password to access all the others. Oh, and don’t use dictionary words as passwords. Use mixtures of letters, numbers and symbols if possible. Here’s a great tip from Lifehacker: Shift your fingers one key to the right for easy-to-remember but awesome passwords.

If you have one, make sure your second machine is up to date and ready to take over. If you’re lucky enough to have a second PC or laptop, make sure that it’s always ready to take over with all software you need already installed and data synced to it with, for example, DropBox.

General disaster precautions

Make sure system restore is turned on and is making regular restore points just in case you have to roll back your system files in the event of a malware attack. Here’s a post on Using system restore to recover your Windows 7 computer.

Know the key to press to access the BIOS when booting. You may need to access the BIOS to set your PC’s boot order. Your PC should be set to boot first from a DVD if this is inserted when booting. Try booting with your Windows DVD in place. If it doesn’t boot from the DVD you will have to go into the BIOS to change the boot order. Unfortunately, PC and laptop manufacturers use different keys to access the BIOS. Here’s a good guide at Tech Geek and More. Make a note of this key in your folder.

Know the key to press to boot into Safe Mode. When you boot into Safe Mode the operating system only loads the minimum software that is required for the operating system to work. Often the PC will boot into Safe Mode when normal mode is impossible. Generally it’s the F8 key for Windows systems but here’s a great guide at Bleeping Computer. Make a note of this key in your folder.

Make a Windows Recovery Disk. Here’s some instructions for making a Windows 7 recovery disk. If Windows won’t boot, this may help you to repair your Windows install. It’s obviously important to do this before you run into problems because you can’t burn a rescue disk or Live CD if your PC won’t boot!

Make a Linux rescue disk. If your system won’t boot into Windows, and you can’t find your Windows install disk (and you haven’t made recovery disks) and you haven’t backed up your data, you may be able to access your drive and data by booting up with a Linux disk in your DVD drive. As before, make the Linux rescue disk before you run into problems. There are lots of helpful posts out there but here’s a good one on backing up data from a computer that won’t boot. And here’s a great one from Lifehacker on using a thumb drive to recover your system.

Make a note of where you’ve stored your Windows install disk and all your rescue and recovery disks in your folder and a PC organizer like OneNote (if you have MS Office) or Evernote.

Take a photo of the back of your PC in case you ever have to open it or take it to a repair shop. You may need to reconnect everything again afterwards and a photo is a great way to capture the layout of all the cables. Again, store it in Evernote and your folder.

Label your cables and the back of your PC to make it easier to reconnect them.

Find a screwdriver which opens the back of your PC – you may have to reseat/replace memory sticks or reseat your video card if your PC won’t boot.

Clean out dust to avoid future overheating. Now you have a photo of the back of the PC and you can open it up, if any dust has built up around the fans, etc, clean it out using a can of compressed air. Dust can clog up your fans and reduce air circulation in your box leading to overheating, so hopefully this will ward off any future overheating problems which can stop a PC from booting.

Make an inventory of your PC’s hardware and software. If you do have to do a reinstall it’s nice to have an inventory of your system before disaster strikes. Run SIW or LookInMyPC for a complete PC audit including hardware specs, installed software, licence info and Windows product key; print out to your folder. Here’s some info on LookInMyPC.

Be prepared to recover accidentally deleted files. Install Recuva for file recovery.

Check your hard drive for possible problems with CrystalDiskInfo or SeaTools.

Monitor the temperature inside your box. Get advanced warning if your machine is running hot with HWMonitor.

PC security

Install a good security package. I’ve used AVG Free for years but switched to Microsoft Security Essentials when I upgraded to Windows 7. Looks like they’ve finally produced a top notch security package to protect their OS. If you want an extra level of security then install ThreatFire. You really shouldn’t have to pay for a good security package.

Keep software up to date: Install JavRa to keep Java up to date; Install and run Secunia to patch vulnerabilities in old versions of software by installing newer versions.

Prepare for a malware attack. Install software to help you to recover from any future malware attacks. This will save time later and you mightn’t have an internet connection after a PC disaster. I would recommend: SuperAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes Anti-Malware.

Install a website security advisor plug-in in your browser. Get advanced warning if you’re going to a dodgy website. Web of Trust and McAfee SiteAdvisor are two possibilities. I use McAfee and it doesn’t seem to slow down browsing appreciably.

Bookmark Bleeping Computer – a great site for instructions on malware removal. Bookmark it now, just in case.

PC won’t boot at all

It may seem obvious but if your PC isn’t booting at all, no LEDs are lit and no fans are spinning, check your power cable is connected and power is on. Check for a poor or loose connection. Try a spare power cable if you have one or check the fuse in the plug.

If your machine was working, suddenly stopped and won’t reboot, is the case hot? You could check for dust build up inside the case. If this is the cause of the problem, take your PC outside and blow out all the dust with a can of compressed air. If dust build up wasn’t the problem, check your video card and memory sticks are properly seated.

Router problems

Know your router IP address so you can access the router set-up screen. To get this Click Start, Run, type cmd and click okay. Type ipconfig at the command prompt and press enter. Look for the Default Gateway, it’s probably something like 192.68.1.101. Then type exit to leave the command prompt. If you type this number after http:// in your browser address bar you will reach your router set-up screen (after entering your router username and password). If you can’t remember your router username and password, try the default username and password which the router was supplied with. You’ll find it here. If that doesn’t work because you changed these details, you can reset it back to the factory default values. Here’s a good post about resting your router password. But be sure to choose your own router username and password again later. Make a note of the router IP address and your router username and password in your folder for future reference.

Take a photo or screen shot of the router set-up screen. Store it in Evernote and your folder. Also do this before you upgrade your router, if the old one still works. Keep hold of the old router as a backup in case you need it again. You’ve now captured the router set-up details and can reset the information if you run into router problems.

Use WPA encryption. Now that you are in router set-up, check that you are using WPA and not WEP encryption for added security.

Further help

Identify a good PC repair shop in your area – Do this before you run into problems. Perhaps a friend can recommend a good shop in your area. Find out their rates, turnaround time, etc.

Sign up to some tech forums ahead of any problems so you are ready to ask advice to help you recover from your disaster. Podnutz and Tech Support Guy are good.

Additional disaster precautions for a laptop

Make a note of your laptop serial number in your folder in case of theft.

Install Prey to help track down your stolen laptop in case of theft.

Further reading

How to survive the worst PC disasters

Prepare for disaster – assembling a PC first-aid kit

Hopefully I’ve covered all the bases here at the basic precautions level. If you follow these tips and you don’t feel able to recover your own machine, your repair tech will love you as you walk in with a driver backup disk, backup external hard drive or cloned hard drive and PC inventory. Hopefully this will make his job easier and cut your repair bill.

The next part of this look at preparing for PC recovery will be slightly more roll your sleeves up, but again from the point of view of a non-PC repair technician. If I’ve I missed anything important at the basic level drop a comment below. What steps do you take to prepare for a PC disaster?

Some tips on preparing for a PC disaster is a post from Tech and Life. If you’re reading it in full elsewhere, it’s been copied without consent. Please go to Tech and Life to read the original post and many others in the archive.

Image credit: M.V. Jantzen


Apr 6

I’ve been using Windows 7 on my desktop PC for a couple of months now after upgrading from Windows XP. So far I’ve had no real problems and am quite satisfied with the OS but I have two minor annoyances:

Date and time display in the status bar

I’m not a great lover of the new full size taskbar. For me, the icons are too large and the bar takes up too much real estate at the bottom of my screen. So I changed to small icons (right click on taskbar, Properties and choose Use small icons) which I like better but the problem is that the two-line time-date display in the system tray now just shows the time, which is a pity because I find myself constantly referring to the date (and day of the week for that matter!). Yes, you can see the date and day of the week if you hover your mouse over the time but I’d rather just be able to glance there and see the date. I’ve tried changing the display format, looked around online, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to get the time and date to display on the same line. Which is a pity because it’s the default display in Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my Acer Aspire One netbook:

Ubuntu date and time

I don’t know why the single line date-time option wasn’t included in Windows 7. It would surely be a nice option for those who don’t want a two-line display. But date display in the system tray has always been a problem in Windows for some reason. I used to use the TClockEx utility in XP to get the date in the system tray. Unfortunately, TClockEx hasn’t been updated for Windows 7. Update (6 March 2012):  T-Clock 2010 works with Windows 7 so you can now display date and time on a single line. There’s a good write-up of T-Clock 2010 here.

Still, I have some kind of a workaround. My Rainlendar desktop calendar shows the date in the system tray as you can see:

Windows date and time

And I have found a Firefox extension (Date Picker/Calendar) which displays the date and time (and a pop up calendar) in the bottom left corner of the status bar in the Firefox browser window:

Firefox date and time

But what a pity Microsoft couldn’t follow Ubuntu’s lead on this one – or at least give us the option.

Bare bones snipping tool

Microsoft have included a snipping (screenshot) utility in Vista and Windows 7 which is fine as far as it goes. But it’s just a basic capture and save tool with no facility for annotation of screenshots with text and symbols – a must for bloggers. And that’s a great pity because, as with Windows XP,  I have to download a third party app to do the job properly. So it’s back to FastStone Screen Capture for me, at least until Microsoft improves the functionality of their tool.

Do you have any gripes or niggles with Windows 7? Drop a comment below.


` `