26 Following

soft key for your life

soft key for your life

How to Use Handwriting Input on Windows 10


Windows 10's handwriting keyboard allows you to enter text into any application with a pen or other stylus. It even works on old desktop applications.

This feature is separate from the Windows Ink Workspace, which directs you to applications with special support for pen input. The handwriting keyboard allows you to use a stylus in any application.

Finding the Handwriting Keyboard

This feature is built into Windows 10's touch keyboard. To open it, tap the touch keyboard icon next to the clock on your taskbar.

If you don't see the keyboard icon on your taskbar, right-click or long-press on your taskbar and enable the "Show touch keyboard button" option in the context menu.

Tap the keyboard button at the bottom right corner of the touch keyboard.

Tap the handwriting keyboard icon, which looks like a pen over an empty panel.

To test this, you'll have to get your computer's software fixed for your windows 10. If you're lucky, one of these steps may fix your software problem and allow you to boot Windows normally. If you can not find the previous activation code, you can click softkeyhome.co.uk to buy genuine windows product key with the lowest price.

The handwriting input keyboard appears. By default, it spans the entire width of your display. To shrink it, tap the "Undock" button to the left of the "x" on the top right corner of the panel.

Touch the title bar of the panel with your stylus or finger to drag it around your screen and position it wherever you want it.

Once you switch to the handwriting input panel, it will automatically appear whenever you tap or click the keyboard icon on your taskbar. You'll need to tap the keyboard button at the bottom of the touch input keyboard to select the default touch keyboard if you want to use it.


Disable WPAD in Windows to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi Networks

"Don't do your online banking or anything sensitive on a public Wi-Fi network." The advice is out there, but why can using a public Wi-Fi network actually be dangerous? And wouldn't online banking be secure, as it's encrypted?

There are a few big problems with using a public Wi-Fi network. The open nature of the network allows for snooping, the network could be full of compromised machines, or - most worryingly - the hotspot itself could be malicious.


Encryption normally helps protect your network traffic from prying eyes. For example, even if your neighbor at home is within range of your Wi-Fi network, they can't see the web pages you're viewing. This wireless traffic is encrypted between your laptop, tablet, or smartphone and your wireless router. It's encrypted with your Wi-Fi passphrase.

When you connect to an open Wi-Fi network like one at a coffee shop or airport, the network is generally unencrypted - you can tell because you don't have to enter a passphrase when connecting. Your unencrypted network traffic is then clearly visible to everyone in range. People can see what unencrypted web pages you're visiting, what you're typing into unencrypted web forms, and even see which encrypted websites you're connected to - so if you're connected to your bank's website, they'd know it, although they wouldn't know what you were doing.

This was illustrated most sensationally with Firesheep, an easy-to-use tool that allows people sitting in coffee shops or on other open Wi-Fi networks to snoop on other people's browsing sessions and hijack them. More advanced tools like Wireshark could also be used to capture and analyze traffic.

What Is a VPN, and Why Would I Need One?

Protecting Yourself: If you're accessing something sensitive on public Wi-Fi, try to do it on an encrypted website. The HTTPS Everywhere browser extension can help with this by redirecting you to encrypted pages when available. If you frequently browse on public Wi-Fi, you may want to pay for a VPN and browse through it when on public Wi-Fi. Anyone in the local area will only be able to see that you're connected to the VPN, not what you're doing on it.

Compromised Devices

Keep Your Windows Computer Secure on Public Wireless Hotspots

To test this, you'll have to get your computer's software fixed for your windows 10. If you're lucky, one of these steps may fix your software problem and allow you to boot Windows normally. If you can not find the previous activation code, you can click softkeyhome.co.uk to buy genuine windows product key with the lowest price.

Compromised laptops and other devices may also be connected to the local network. When connecting, be sure to select the "Public network" Wi-Fi option in Windows and not the Home network or Work network options. The Public network option locks down the connection, ensuring Windows isn't sharing any files or other sensitive data with the machines on the local network.

It's also important to be up-to-date on security patches and use a firewall like the one built into Windows. Any compromised laptops on the local network could try to infect you.

Protecting Yourself: Select the Public network option when connecting to public Wi-Fi, keep your computer up to date, and leave a firewall enabled.

Malicious Hotspots

Most dangerously, the hotspot you connect to itself may be malicious. This may be because the business's hotspot was infected, but it may also be because you're connected to a honeypot network. For example, if you connect to "Public Wi-Fi" in a public place, you can't be entirely sure that the network is actually a legitimate public Wi-FI network and not one set up by an attacker in an attempt to trick people into connecting.

Is it safe to log into your bank's website on public Wi-Fi? The question is more complicated than it appears. In theory, it should be safe because the encryption ensures you're actually connected to your bank's website and no one can eavesdrop.

In practice, there are a variety of attacks that can be performed against you if you were to connect to your bank's website on public Wi-Fi. For example, sslstrip can transparently hijack HTTP connections. When the site redirects to HTTPS, the software can convert those links to use a "look-alike HTTP link" or "homograph-similar HTTPS link" - in other words, a domain name that looks identical to the actual domain name, but which actually uses different special characters. This can happen transparently, allowing a malicious Wi-Fi hotspot to perform a man-in-the-middle attack and intercept secure banking traffic.

The WiFi Pineapple is an easy-to-use device that would allow attackers to easily set up such attacks. When your laptop attempts to automatically connect to a network it remembers, the WiFi Pineapple watches for these requests and responds "Yes, that's me, connect!". The device is then built with a variety of man-in-the-middle and other attacks it can easily perform.

Someone clever could set up such a compromised hotspot in an area with high-value targets - for example, in a city's financial district or anywhere people log in to do their banking - and attempt to harvest this personal data. It's probably uncommon in the real world, but is very possible.

Protecting Yourself: Don't do online banking or access sensitive data on public Wi-Fi if possible, even if the sites are encrypted with HTTPS. A VPN connection would likely protect you, so it's a worthy investment if you find yourself regularly using public Wi-Fi.

If you use public Wi-Fi connections regularly, you may want to invest in a VPN. As a bonus, a VPN will allow you to bypass any filtering and website-blocking in place on the public Wi-Fi network, allowing you to browse whatever you want.


How to Install Windows on a Mac With Boot Camp


Thanks to the switch from PowerPC to Intel many years ago, a Mac is just another PC. Sure, Macs come with macOS, but you can easily install Windows alongside macOS using Apple's built-in Boot Camp feature.

Boot Camp installs Windows in a dual-boot configuration, which means both operating systems will be installed separately. You can only use one at a time, but you get the computer's full power in each.

Do You Actually Need to Use Boot Camp?

5 Ways to Run Windows Software on a Mac

Before you install Windows, stop and think about whether or not Boot Camp is the best choice for your needs. There are a couple of drawbacks to consider.

When you use Boot Camp to install Windows on your Mac, you'll need to re-partition your drive, which is going to take up quite a bit of your available drive space. Since storage on a Mac is fairly expensive, it's something you should really think about. In addition, you'll need to reboot every time you want to use Windows, and reboot again when you want to switch back to macOS. The benefit of Boot Camp, of course, is that you're running Windows directly on the hardware, so it'll be a lot faster than a virtual machine.

If all you need to do is run a few Windows applications on your Mac, and those applications don't a lot of resources (like 3D games), you might consider using a virtual machine like Parallels (there's a free trial), VMware Fusion, or VirtualBox to run that software instead. The vast majority of the time you don't actually need to use Boot Camp, and you'd be better off using a virtual machine. If, however, you're looking to play Windows games on your Mac, Boot Camp might be a good choice.

How to Seamlessly Run Windows Programs on Your Mac with Parallels

If you want to rotate the screen in Windows, first you must be a Windows system user and have activated it. If you need you can check softkeyhome.co.uk to find windows product key online with the lowest price.

For most people, though, Parallels makes running Windows on your Mac dead simple. It's something we use at How-To Geek every single day for testing software and running Windows. The integration with macOS amazingly well done, and the speed blows away Virtualbox. In the long run, the price is well worth it. You can even use Parallels to load your Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine while you are in macOS, giving you the best of both worlds.

How to Install Windows on Your Mac

Ready to install Windows? It's probably a good idea to back up your Mac before getting started, just in case. Odds are nothing will go wrong, but any time you're partitioning things there's always a chance. Done? Let's get started.

You'll use the Boot Camp Assistant application that comes on your Mac. Open it by pressing Command+Space, typing Boot Camp, and pressing Enter.

The Boot Camp Assistant will walk you through partitioning, downloading drivers, and starting the installer for you. Click "Continue" and you'll be asked which ISO file you'd like to use and how big you'd like your Windows partition to be.

How you should allocate the space depends on how much space you want for your Windows system and how much space you want for your macOS system. If you want to resize your partitions after this process, you'll need to use a third-party tool, so choose carefully now.

Note that, if you're installing Windows 7, the order here is slightly different: Boot Camp will first guide you through setting up your installer USB disk, then ask you about partitioning.

When you're ready, click "Install" and Boot Camp will start downloading drivers, which it calls "Windows support software."

The installer will also partition your disk, copy the installer to that partition, and place the drivers so they'll run after installation. You can keep using your Mac while all this is running, though things will slow down a lot during the partitioning phase.


Expert tips on getting the most from windows server essentials

While many small businesses utilize the cloud for running their apps and services, there can still be some advantages to deploying your own on-premises server solution. For these businesses, Windows Server Essentials (WSE) may be just the ticket they need. The latest incarnation of WSE, Windows Server 2016 Essentials edition, is a cloud-connected first server that is ideal for small businesses having up to 25 users and up to 50 connected client devices. To help you get the most out of using this product, I've asked an expert to share his secret tips and tricks that he's learned from his own hard-earned experience helping his customers deploy, configure, and troubleshoot WSE. Sam Garcia started working with computers way back in the 1970s when Fortran and Cobol were kings. Sam holds A+, Network+, MCSE, DCSE, HPCP, and other certifications and has 45 years of practical experience in the computing field. He has always liked the hardware side of computers and has worked as a technician setting up and repairing desktops and laptops in Texas, California, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia and now D.C. Metro. He says he has worked at one time or another for all the big boys including Dell, HP, Apple, IBM, NCR, and so on. These days, Sam designs, implements, maintains, and repairs network systems for under 25 workstations in retail, legal, scientific, medical and automotive environments. Most of his business is via word of mouth, enough to make a living and give him free time to pursue his various interests in computers. Let's now learn from Sam's top tips and best practices working with Windows Server Essentials.

Plan before deploying

Perhaps the most important piece of advice I'd offer is to think everything out and write it down before you start. Things like membership in user groups, compatibility of applications with the platform, support phone numbers, printers and MFP's, BYODs, backup, UPS, choice of antivirus, mobile devices, and so on are all part of the master plan.

Avoid the gray market

I buy the 2016 Windows Server Essentials direct from Microsoft online only. One of my customers found it somewhere for $99 and is regretting it as it won't validate: It's a blocked volume license, not retail. Also Microsoft offers technical support with the product, which is really a lifesaver when setting up some of the new more advance services like Anywhere Access connectivity.

If you want to rotate the screen in Windows, first you must be a Windows system user and have activated it. If you need you can check softkeyhome.co.uk to find windows 10 pro key online with the lowest price.

Once you buy Windows Server Essentials from the Microsoft Store (currently $567) just download it and either burn it to a DVD or save it to a flash drive. But if using a flash drive, first verify that your server can boot up from an external USB device beforehand. Many older servers do not boot from external USBs, which means you will need to burn the DVD instead.

Change the workgroup name

Boot up from the DVD or external flash drive and follow the icons to set up the user name and password and, in my specific case, the domain or workgroup. Do not use the default "workgroup" as the name; change it to anything but "workgroup" because hackers know that "workgroup" is the default. In my case I use the name of the business as the domain name, or the last name of the CIO, owner, community, street name, or whatever.

Populate AD but do so privately

Now use Server Manager to add all of the computers that are going to connect to the 2016 Windows Server Essentials, which is up to 25 computers. We use either the same password (generate a password using Windows password generator, enforce the minimum password requirements, no weak passwords) for all the workstations or by choice in different groups like accounting, production, legalities, doctors, sales, technicians, engineers, mechanics, and so on. This makes it easier to create groups and use AD to assign to the group what apps the group can access and which they cannot access. Keep a list of each user and their login password because people do quit their jobs, and a full restore is not something to look forward to. And very important: Be sure there is not one prying eye during setup.

Disable IE ESC

Temporarily disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration (IE ESC) so you can download all of the drivers, programs, and so on that you need. One of the earlier beta editions of WSE allowed you to add each website on the fly, but the final edition does not do this and it can be very frustrating and time consuming to add each website to the Trusted Sites list in IE. But don't forget to enable IE ESC again at the end of the setup after all programs are working!

Prepare for emergencies

All the workstations need to join the same domain/workgroup. Do so after adding them as users in the specific group (e.g. accounting, production, etc.) in WSE using Server Manager. It is just easier to set up the groups and populate them than to have up to 25 users and no real way to identify them. I use the computer name as in that way I can 100 percent identify it and assign it to a specific group. The computer name can be acquired by physically going in front of the workstation and right clicking on the properties. An easier way is to use the applications login, which is specific to the applications (e.g. QuickBooks, All Data, Shop Manager, etc.) as that way all users will at least be able to "see" all the apps. It's up to you to decide which approach to follow after presenting this easier alternative to the owner or CFO and getting their approval. My experience has shown me that the alternative method is preferred as it allows anyone with the proper credentials to access all apps from any workstation in case of an emergency.

Choose a backup solution

2016 WSE offers cloud-based Microsoft Azure backup. 1TB of data storage is $20 plus the disk usage, which comes out to about $30 per month. Some businesses go for it, but some still have reservations. It's up to you to explain the benefits of encryption, secure connections, and be able to fully restore everything including the apps and any workstation that fails. But learn to respect the decision of the owner/CFO and implement whatever path is decided upon. One of my customers bought an external 2TB drive from Seagate for $69 at a local store and I attached to the server and it works just fine as a backup solution.

Let's get physical

Physical security and ventilation of the server are both very important and need to be included in your master plan. As a practical example, one of my customers had their server installed in a closet with no ventilation. It got to be more than 130 degrees and the server failed and I had to reinstall it in a room with ventilation. Another customer bought a mini-cage with a fan built in for which he paid about $400. The cage locks and is secure. A third customer installed their server in an unoccupied office that has a deadbolt lock. Whatever type of security you are going to use needs to be approved, so don't forget to contact your insurance company for the extra coverage!


How to Take A Screenshot in Windows 7, 8, and 10

Not a week goes by that I don't have to take a screenshot for an article I'm working on. As someone who covers Windows that's the nature of my job, but I'm not the only one who needs to take screenshots. There are many reasons you'd want to do this such as quickly show what's on your desktop to someone you're chatting with on Slack or Hipchat. You might also see something online you want to save for posterity, or you want to catch an error message to help tech support.

Whatever the reason Windows can help. Here's how to take screenshots if you're running Windows 7 and up. Anyone running Windows XP or Vista can check out our earlier look at screenshots to see what tools are available.

The classic: full screen

The most common screenshot allows you to capture the full screen. On all versions of Windows, this is accomplished by clicking the PrtScn key. What this does is it puts the entire screen capture on your system clipboard. Then you have to paste whatever's there into a graphics program such as Microsoft Paint or Gimp for Windows. The easiest way to paste is to tap Ctrl + V at the same time. If you'd rather use the mouse, Gimp stores the paste command under Edit > Paste, while Paint offers a clipboard icon under the Home tab.

If you want to rotate the screen in Windows, first you must be a Windows system user and have activated it. If you need you can check softkeyhome.co.uk to find Windows 10 Enterprise Key online with the lowest price.

Windows 8 and Windows 10 users have an additional trick that is a little faster. Tap the Windows key + PrtScn and your display will "blink" as if the shutter of a camera just closed and opened.

That indicates that a screenshot has been taken. This time, however, you don't have to paste it into another program. Instead, the shot is automatically saved in Pictures > Screenshots.

If you're using a Windows tablet, you can also use the auto-save screenshot feature by tapping the Windows button + volume down.

Keep in mind that if you are using multiple displays then the full screenshot will capture all working monitors.

A single window

This method hasn't changed much since it first debuted. If you want to take a screenshot of a single window, first make it the active window by clicking its title bar (the top). Once it's ready to go tap Alt + PrtScn at the same time. As with hitting just PrtScn this copies the active window as an image to your clipboard. It's then up to you to paste it into a program as with the regular PrtScn trick.

The tools

If you want to get a little more specific--a section of a particular window, say, or a shot that encompasses two windows without grabbing the whole screen--then you need a specialized tool.

Microsoft includes a built-in utility for Windows called Snipping Tool that is relatively easy to use. There are two versions of the Snipping Tool. The original works the same in Windows Vista, 7, and 8/8.1, but the Windows 10 version has a new feature that we'll talk about later.

To use the original Snipping Tool, all you need to know is that you can take a rectangular snip right away just by clicking the New button. This freezes the screen (active visual elements like a video will appear as if paused) and then lets you frame your screenshot just how you'd like it.

Snipping Tool is a little finicky, however, as clicking the New button will dismiss context menus, the Start menu, and other pop-up menus you might be trying to capture.

If you want a different shape such as a free-form snip, a single window, or full-screen snip click the downward facing arrow to the right of New. This will let you select the type of screenshot you want.

Once the screenshot is taken the Snipping Tool automatically pastes the image into a new Paint window. If you'd rather use a different program the screenshot is also copied to your clipboard.

That's how most users will experience the Snipping Tool, but Windows 10 users have an added delay feature.

The new delay lets you set-up your desktop just the way you'd like it before the program freezes your screen. This is very helpful if you're trying to capture a pop-up menu that disappears the moment you press the New button in the Snipping Tool.

To get started with the new feature click the Delay button and then select the amount of time you'd like Snipping Tool to wait up to a maximum of five seconds. Once that's done click the New button and then set-up your screen the way you want before the timer runs out. The Snipping Tool doesn't have a live timer to show you how much time you have left. To be on the safe side it's best to give yourself five seconds for each shot.

More tools

If you don't want to use the Snipping Tool another handy way to grab screenshots is to use the built-in clip tool that comes with the free program OneNote for the Windows desktop. Be sure you don't use the Windows Store version as that program, while nice to use, doesn't offer the same tools as the desktop build.

The OneNote clip tool sits in the system tray of the taskbar. To find it in Windows 10 (other versions of Windows will follow a similar process), click the upward-facing arrow to the far right of your desktop. In the window that opens look for a purple icon that includes a pair of scissors.

Now right-click the icon and then select Take screen clipping from the context menu. Similar to the Snipping Tool, your screen will then freeze and allow you to line up your shot.

Once you've taken the shot, OneNote will pop-up a small context window allowing you to choose whether to copy the new screenshot to your clipboard or paste the image directly into an existing or new notebook.

As if that wasn't enough, Windows 10 users have one final tool they can use for screenshots in Microsoft Edge. In the upper right corner of the new built-in browser for Windows, you'll see a square icon with a pencil in it. This is called Edge's "Web Note" feature. Click on that icon while visiting any web page and a new OneNote-style menu appears at the top of the browser window. The screen will also freeze if a YouTube video is playing,

On the upper left side, you'll see an icon with a pair of scissors. Click that and once again you'll be able to line up and take a rectangular screen snip inside the web page. Once the snip has been taken you'll have to click Exit in the upper right corner to dismiss the Web Note feature. Now just paste that screen clipping into your image editor of choice or OneNote.

There are numerous ways to take a screenshot in Windows, which one you choose depends on what you're trying to achieve for that particular screenshot. One thing's for sure we're certainly not lacking for options.

Get a one-year subscription to Office 365 Home for $80

This deal from Thrifter should help you save money on your Office 365 subscription!

This deal is just a nice, easy, reminder that you should never pay for an Office 365 subscription straight from Microsoft. Amazon has a one-year subscription keycard to the family-friendly Microsoft Office 365 Home edition for only $80. The normal price for a one-year subscription is $100 at Microsoft, and that's the price it goes for at other retailers as well.

You can also get a bundle with 365 Personal for just $50, but 365 Personal is limited to just one user. Best Buy does have a bundle that can get you one year of Home for $80 but it includes some other stuff that you may or may not need. This bundle for the same price is also available.

If you want to rotate the screen in Windows, first you must be a Windows system user and have activated it. If you need you can check softkeyhome.co.uk to find office professional plus 2016 product key online with the lowest price.

The keycard means this is a digital product. There is no physical disc. Once you buy the product, you will download everything from office.com. Home is designed for people that need Office on more than one PC and can be used by up to 5 different users. If you go for the 365 Personal bundle at Best Buy, that's limited to just one user on one computer, tablet and phone.

This subscription has a lot of value built right in, and you can read all about just why it's so good in this article on Windows Central. Not only do you get access to the five main Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote), you can also get access to certain PC-only programs like Publisher and Access. The subscription comes with 1TB of cloud storage on Microsoft OneDrive, regular updates for all your programs as long as your subscription is good, and mobile apps for working on your tablet or phone.

This deal can be used to extend a current subscription in addition to starting a new one. Office 365 works with Mac OS X 10.10 or later and other Apple products as well, like the iPad.

How to optimize the space on the taskbar on Windows 10

Are you running out of space on the taskbar? Use these tips to make more room to pin all your favorite apps on Windows 10.

The taskbar is perhaps one of the most useful features on Windows 10. It gives you easy access to the Start menu, apps, notification area to figure out the time, and much more. But alongside the useful functionalities, if you work with a lot of apps on a regular basis, you can quickly run out of space to pin more of your favorite apps.

Luckily, the taskbar is also very customizable, and there are a number of ways you can optimize the space and make room to fit more icons.

If you want to rotate the screen in Windows, first you must be a Windows system user and have activated it. If you need you can check https://www.softkeyhome.co.uk/office-2013-product-key-c-65/ to find windows product key online with the lowest price.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll show you several ways you can optimize the space on the taskbar whether you want to pin more apps, or you just want to keep it as minimal as possible.

Optimizing the space on the taskbar

Whether you want to fit more apps or you want to keep the taskbar with no clutter, here are several things you can do to customize the experience.

Dealing with the search box

Windows 10 integrates a search box on the taskbar that you can use to interact with Cortana and to find anything, but while this feature can be useful, the box takes up a lot of room. (In fact, the search box takes up seven pin slots on the taskbar.)

If you don't have much use for the search box, it's possible to remove it, or show only a button to access the experience, which only takes up one pin slot.

To remove the search box, you can right-click the taskbar, select Cortana, and click the Hidden option, or you can also select the Show Cortana icon option.

In the case, you're worried about losing the ability to search on Windows 10, remember that you can always open Start (Windows key) and begin typing to invoke a search. It's one-click away, just like before.

Removing the Task View button

Task View is another feature new to Windows 10 that allows you to switch apps and access virtual desktops, but if it isn't a feature you use on a regular basis, or you use the Windows key + Tab keyboard shortcut to access the experience, the icon is just wasting space.

To remove the Task View button, simply right-click the taskbar and make sure to clear the Show Task View button option.

Minimizing the space used by notification icons

On the far-right side of the taskbar, you'll find the notifications area, which provides status, quick access to controls for certain features and apps, and of course, it displays the current time and date. However, depending on your system configuration, the number of icons can grow large taking up valuable space.

To select which icons appear in the notification area, right-click the taskbar, select Taskbar settings, click the Select which icons appear on the taskbar link. Then you can decide which icons will appear in the experience, but they're always accessible clicking the up-arrow button.

In the Taskbar page, you can also select the Turn system icon on or off link, where you can decide which system icons appear on the taskbar, including Clock, Volume, Network, Power, Action Center, and others. Just turn off the toggle switch for the icons you don't want to see.

Using smaller icons

Windows 10 also includes an option to show smaller icons on the taskbar that can help make more room to pin additional apps.

To show smaller icons, right-click the taskbar, select Taskbar settings, and turn on the Use small taskbar buttons toggle switch.

Unpin apps you don't use

While it might be obvious, another way to optimize the space on the taskbar is to simply remove apps that you rarely use.

To unpin an app, simply right-click the icon you don't want and click the Unpin from taskbar option.

Extend the taskbar

If you happen to have a multi-monitor setup, you can extend the taskbar across all your monitors to gain more room.

To show the taskbar across all your screens, right-click the taskbar, select Taskbar settings, and under "Multiple displays," turn on the Show taskbar on all displays toggle switch.

In addition, using the "Show taskbar buttons on" drop-down menu you can select Taskbar where window is open, which allows you to off load pins of running apps to the display where the app is currently open.

Use VirtualBox virtual PC to run Windows XP

We show one reader how to keep running Windows XP on his Windows 7 PC, even after Microsoft stops supporting XP.

QUESTION My desktop computer runs on Windows 7 64-bit, which has caused me very few problems with existing peripherals and software. However, I was unable to sync my elderly Palm Tungsten E2 PDA with windows 7 to enable me to print a hard copy. I resolved the problem by installing Oracle VirtualBox and installing Windows XP within it.

If you want to rotate the screen in Windows, first you must be a Windows system user and have activated it. If you need you can check https://www.softkeyhome.co.uk/ to find windows product key online with the lowest price.

Now as April 2014 looms ever larger over the horizon [the date that Microsoft is set to stop supporting XP], I'm left wondering where do I go from here? I've explored the option of a smartphone, but this doesn't meet my needs. I've tried Ubuntu, too, but the software I need to use won't install on this Linux system. If I continue to use Windows XP within VirtualBox, but find a way to have no internet connection at all within VirtualBox, will that prevent me putting my computer as a whole at risk?

We don't have a Palm Tungsten E2 to test, but according to the Palm website, you can download a newer version of Palm Desktop, version 6.2, which some users have reported works with Windows 7.

Assuming that this option doesn't work for you, you can indeed set up a VirtualBox virtual PC without an internet connection. Don't expect the arrival of April 2014 to cause your XP system to spontaneously delete your files, infest your computer with viruses and wire the contents of your bank account to Nigeria. You'll probably be quite safe for some time to come, especially as you're only using XP as a way to print out from your Palm PDA. If you're not downloading software or doing any e-commerce from XP, there'll be little damage that could be done.

We recommend taking a snapshot from within VirtualBox, so your XP system can be returned to precisely the state it is in now, should something go wrong. This would have the same effect as erasing your hard drive and reloading it with an image backup containing all your installed software. Any malware would therefore be erased each time you restore the snapshot.

For added security, you could edit the settings for your virtual XP PC and disable the virtual network adaptor. Open Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager and, with the Virtual PC powered off, right-click on the icon for your virtual PC and select Settings.

Click on 'Network' in the left-hand column and then, in the right-hand pane, untick the box next to 'Enable Network Adapter.' Repeat this for any additional virtual network adaptors you may have configured.

This will also disable any network sharing between your virtual XP PC and your Windows 7 PC. If you wish to retain this functionality, you can keep the network enabled, but change the type to 'Host-only networking'.


How To Fix Windows Service Error

What is Service Error 1053

The service error 1053 message may be displayed and it may take you much longer than normal to stop or pause a managed Microsoft Windows service:

What Causes Service Error 1053

The service error 1053 usually occurs when there are problems between the actual application service you are trying to stop or pause and the Advapi32.dll file. This DLL file is part of one of the advanced API services library that supports several APIs that include several security and registry calls.

How to Fix Windows Error 1053

1. First, make sure you obtain the latest service pack for the Microsoft .NET Framework. Download Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 (see the link in "Additional Resources," below).

2. You will be asked if you want to save the file to the computer. Select "Save File" and the service pack will now be downloaded onto your computer.

3. Open the downloaded icon (it will be on the desktop or in your specified downloads folder).

4. Follow the steps to complete the installation. Once the updated service pack is installed you should no longer see the Error 1053 message appear when you try to start, stop or pause a Windows service.

Other Optional Fixes:

Some users have reported solving error 1053 by:

1. Downloading a top-grade registry cleaner to remove any orphan registry entries.

2. Once ensuring the registry is cleaned and optimized, increase the Windows Service Timeout from the set default time of 30 seconds and bumping it up to 2 minutes using a registry hack found here:

(located in section 3 of the article).