How-to: Rid your inbox of spam – almost (Outlook)

Difficulty: 2

PieChartSpam plagues our Inbox each day. Emails advertising Rolex watches, penis enlargements, viagra and emails from Nigeria offering me vast amounts of money for doing nothing, are all very annoying, but we are able to get rid of most of them automatically.

Email servers often have spam protection built in. These cull the majority of spam, but they have to allow a fair chunk of spam through so as to not restrict legitimate emails. Sometimes if they are unsure, they may add a spam tag to the subject. It is scary looking at server stats, just how much is stopped at the server level.

In our email client we are able to setup rules to remove the majority of remaining spam from our Inbox. I regularly find myself doing this on computers where I work and have found this method to be very reliable.

This article will show you how to setup basic email rules which will check mail as it is received. The rules will look for keywords in the body and the subject of you emails to decide if they are spam or not. We are then able to move these filtered emails to a folder of our choice.

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How-to: Connect your PC to your television and stereo.

Difficulty: 2

PC to TVFor many years now, I have had my computer connected to my television and stereo so that I can watch films from my computer, sitting comfortably on my couch, or to set the mood with winamp visualisations and music when people are coming around. I have not seen many home setups which take advantage of this. It is so much nicer hearing your MP3 collection, pumping out the big speakers in your house.

It is very easy to set up and it can be done very cheaply, and in some cases free. The cost comes in with cables and adaptors which are cheap unless you need to buy an extra component. It should be possible for everyone to acheive for well under $100.

This article will show you how to connect your computer to your television and stereo. We will cover lots of different scenarios so I hope by the end of this article, everyone will have successfully been able to acheive this.

This theory is identical to if you want to hook your computer up to a projector so if that is what you use, this article is also appropriate for you.

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How-to: Tidy up your Start Menu programs in Vista

Difficulty: 2

NewstartI have been using Vista for only two weeks and my Start Menu programs are cluttered and messy, requiring me to scroll through them to get to what I want. When I first played with Vista, I thought this may be a problem as you get to scroll through your programs folders, rather than hover over them and the menu open automatically. It is possible to go back to the classic start menu and use the menus as we used to, but Vistas Start Menu looks nice, so I want to tidy up my programs to make it more usable.

The most commonly used programs menu is still available and I will use this most the time, but I have more than 8 applications I use regularly so I am forced to go into the “All Programs” cesspit. I came across similar problems with previous versions of Windows, where user guides and uninstallers are all thrown into the Start Menu, when these can be accessed in the program directory itself or using by using “Add/Remove Programs” within the Control Panel.

This article will show you how to tidy up your “All Programs” menu to make it more usable. There are many different ways to file your programs away, so you will need to find out what works best for you. This article will show you how I organise my programs and hopefully give you ideas of how you can best tackle your own.

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Vista Gaming: Will your games work under Vista?

GamesOne of the big questions for people interested in moving over to Vista is “Will my games work under Vista?”. I have tried out 10 of my games and had quite a successful adventure into Vista Gaming. I was able to get all the games below up and running, but it wasn’t without its difficulties.

To be fair to Vista, most of the problems I came across were related to video card drivers which have nothing to do with Vista itself. I started off this experiment using the drivers that came with my video card. I soon found that an update was required and this allowed most games to work without any other tweaking.

This article will look at a broad range of games which have been popular over the last 8 years. I will also explain my successes and difficulties installing each of these. All games are legitimate copies and cross many genres.

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How-to: Buy a new computer – Part I

Difficulty: 1.5

rocceforte3.jpgOne of the most frequent questions I am asked by friends and family which have little computer experience, is what type of computer they should buy. Due to the huge range available, and the multiple uses that may or may not be involved, there can be no simple answer. It is very easy to go to the shop and spend a lot of money on a computer. But this may well be more powerful than you really need and a waste of your hard earned dollars. You can buy complete computer systems for under $1000, and you can also spend well over $10,000; but what will the benefits be? In any case, this is never going to be a small investment, so it’s important to make sure you get what you want.

Back to the basics: Part one of this article will cover some initial questions you should ask yourself when planning the purchase of a new PC. Part two gives you a brief rundown of the individual components that make up a computer system itself.

This article is written for Australian consumers though I expect much of the information would be relevant for people from around the world. The main difference would be what computers are available from the different shops.

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