Monthly Archives: February 2017

7 Free Apps to Install on a New Windows PC

You just bought a new Windows laptop, built a new desktop, or are simply clean installing on a new SSD. Gotta love the smell of a fresh new machine, but now you have to get back to productivity zen by recovering your files and installing programs.

Not sure which ones? Well, let us help. We’ve compiled a list of essential programs to get you started. From browsers to productivity tools and lots of suggestions for the areas in between, and as usual with a special emphasis in great free options you can download right away.



Windows 10 offers Edge which is a serviceable browser, nothing wrong with it but you’ll rarely find power users favoring it over Chrome or Firefox. The default choice for most is indeed Chrome, a great browser that is very extensible. Although it’s been suffering from some performance hiccups as of late, Google is hard at work correcting those. Chrome is great for Android users, too for natively syncing across devices.

Then there’s Firefox which is long time contender that has never stopped evolving and arguably every bit as good browser as Chrome.

If you’re up for a little experimentation, Opera remains a slick and feature rich browser that is based on Chrome’s engine. Same goes for Vivaldi (from the original makers of Opera), the new kid on the block, it’s not as polished as Opera on the UI front, but is very customizable and offers many power user friendly features.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage and services are a must-have in your toolbox. There is nothing more convenient than accessing data from any place or device, and having that data sync across devices.

Backing up and restoring information has never been smoother either, and even though there’s a huge array of options we’ve long been spoiled by Dropbox’s ease of use. Major alternatives include Google Drive and Microsoft’s own OneDrive, which is integrated into Windows 10. Odds are you already rely in one (or more than one) of these three, but if not, I’d start by picking one and making the most of the free storage you get to sync and backup important documents.


Information is power but having the right information at the right time is even more important. For video calls there’s Skype. The most ubiquitous messaging platforms are Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, though only the former offers a native desktop application which comes super handy when you’re working on your PC.

It’s always fun to stay in touch with family and friends, but if you need to collaborate in a workgroup then Slack, Spark or Hipchat are the most likely platforms you’ll be using. And if you’re interested in having all your different communication services in one place you could try Franz.



If you know what you’re doing, Windows 10 comes out of the box with more than decent security. Common sense and Microsoft’s built-in tools should be enough for most users, but if you want to go the extra mile and add another layer of protection that won’t turn into a burden for your system, you should install Malwarebytes. A veteran specializing in preventing malware and rootkits attacks, it’s good and free for personal use. There’s also which you can use to scan downloaded files for threats before you open them.


For gaming we have to recommend Steam. Valve’s platform does an awesome job at being a one-stop shop for all PC gaming. It’s a great hub and gaming communication platform, also known for its killer sales. Do note however that certain franchises are absent from Steam, namely games from the likes of EA, Ubi and Blizzard. So here are download shortcuts for Origin, Uplay and GOG Galaxy.


For watching your favorite movies and series there’s VLC Player. It just works, but if that’s not enough it has great support, a wicked equalizer, and simple controls. To be fair, Windows 10’s built in player works well and supports a variety of formats, too. Last time we checked it saves you battery when playing movies on a laptop, so we certainly wouldn’t discard it.

It’s not uncommon for PCs to act as hubs to stream movies or serve as HTPCs. If you are looking for more than a player, something that offers streaming and can organize your library there is Plex, which is very popular, and Kodi, less known but just as capable alternative.


Personally I’m a big LibreOffice fan. It’s the first thing I install for productivity. It offers all the basics (and then some) you’ll need from Microsoft Office but at no cost. Not everyone agrees on my choice — there are other free alternatives as well as Google Docs if you can’t justify paying for the Office suite.

For note-taking there’s OneNote, which Microsoft now offers as a free cross-platform, cloud connected app. If you’re more of a visual person you can use Monosnap for taking screenshots with annotations.

We all need an image editing tool. Windows 10 users can rely on Adobe’s Photoshop Express for basic editing, free of charge.

Finally, for coders and developers we have to give a shout out to Sublime Text, possibly the best text editor you’ll find.


11 Facebook Tips, Tricks and Facts You Probably Don’t Already Know


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1. How to edit your Facebook ad preferences

Have you ever seen a random ad appear in your timeline and wondered why Facebook is showing it to you?

It probably has something to do with your Advert Preferences – a selection of topics Facebook believes you’re interested in based on your profile, Pages you like or engage with, ads you click on and apps and websites you use.

It’s super interesting to understand more about what topics Facebook believes you’re interested in and within your Facebook settings, you can view and even edit these preferences.

To take a peek at your preferences, click on Settings in the top right corner of Facebook:


Then select Adverts, and click ‘Edit’ next to ‘Ads based on my preferences’:


You’ll then see the below screen, click ‘Visit Ad Preferences’ to view and edit your preferences:


Now, you’ll be taken to the page where you can view and edit all of your ad preferences:


It’s fascinating to dive into each category and check out the topics listed within your preferences. If you’d like to remove any of your preferences, and not receive ads targetted to that topic, you can do so by hovering over and clicking the ‘x’ button:


(h/t to Katie Notopoulos over at Buzzfeed for this tip)

2. Images posted via Instagram receive more engagement than native Facebook image posts

A Buzzsumo study of over 1 billion Facebook posts from 3 million brand pages found that images posted to Facebook via Instagram receive more engagement than natively published images:


This is particularly interesting, as often, cross posting from one platform to another results in less engagement (native Facebook video vs. embedding a YouTube video on Facebook, for example).

However, with Instagram being owned by Facebook, there could be some benefits for Facebook by making posts from Instagram more visible in the timeline.

Have you tried posting images to Facebook via Instagram? I’d love to hear if you noticed any difference in engagement in the comments below.

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3. The six degrees of separation are shrinking

Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone in the world is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person. However, thanks to social media, it appears the six degrees are now shrinking.

According to a Facebook study, the six degrees of separation has now become the three-and-a-half degrees of separation, as Facebook explain on their research blog:

Each person in the world (at least among the 1.59 billion people active on Facebook) is connected to every other person by an average of three and a half other people.

The majority of the people on Facebook have averages between 2.9 and 4.2 degrees of separation as the below graph shows:

degrees of seperation

This highlights how social media, and Facebook, in particular, is making us more connected. You can find out more about this and find your degrees of separation over at the Facebook research blog.

Below are my degrees of separation and those of a few Facebook employees:


4. How to download all of your Facebook information

Almost everyone who uses Facebook has lots of information, content and memories stored within the social network.

If you’d like a backup of all your Facebook data – including photos – you can download everything in a few simple steps:

  1. Head over to your Facebook Settings page
  2. Click Download a copy of your Facebook data below your General Account Settings
  3. Select ‘Start My Archive’ to get your download going


Pro tip: The data that you download from Facebook contains a lot of sensitive information like inbox messages, photos and more. It could be a good idea to keep it all saved in a safe location.

For a full list of what’s included when you download your information, check out this page on the Facebook Help Center.

51klrck3ail-_ac_ac_sr9895_Become a Facebook master: Facebook for Dummies from Amazon. $ 18.30

5. Posts with hashtags receive less engagement than those without

Buzzsumo’s study of over 1 billion Facebook posts discovered that posts on Facebook that include a hashtag receive less engagement than those without hashtags, as illustrated in the below graph:


Hashtags have become a default way to categorize content across Twitter and Instagram, but not made much impact on Facebook. Do you ever use hashtags on Facebook? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below this post.

This also highlights the importance of sharing a different message across each social media platform. For example, here’s how I might share the same post on Twitter and Facebook:

Share on Buffer

6. How to save links for later

Often, when I browse my Facebook Newsfeed, I spot something that grabs my attention but don’t immediately have time to read a post or watch a video.

If you’re even in this situation, Facebook has a really neat feature allowing you to save a link to come back to later. Here’s a snapshot of my saved content:


If you see something in your timeline that you’d like to save for later, you can click on the drop-down menu in the top right corner and click ‘Save Link.’

Here’s how it looks on desktop:

save link

And on mobile:


To find your saved posts again you can head to and on mobile tap ‘More’ from the navigation and then you should see an option for Saved:


51klrck3ail-_ac_ac_sr9895_Become a Facebook master: Facebook for Dummies from Amazon. $ 18.30

7. Almost half of Facebook’s users are mobile only

Facebook now boasts more than 1.5 billion users, more than 1 billion of which use the service daily.

What’s even more interesting is that nearly half, around 46%, of Facebook’s users never log in to the desktop site and use Facebook only on mobile devices.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 12.01.08


8. How to sync your Facebook Calendar with Google Calendar

I find this one is extremely helpful. My calendar is like my personal assistant, and I use it to plan and organize both my work and social schedules.

If you use both Facebook events and Google Calendar, combining the two is amazingly useful and pretty simple. Here’s how to do it:

Head over to Events on Facebook, and click on one of your ‘Upcoming events.’ Once you’re on the event page, click on the ‘Options’ button and select ‘Export Event’ from the dropdown, as shown below:


Next you’ll see the below lightbox popup. Here you’ll want to copy the URL under ‘Subscribe to all upcoming events on your calendar.’


Once you’ve copied the URL, open up Google Calendar and on the left-hand side you’ll see an option called ‘Other Calendars.’ Click on the drop down next to ‘Other Calendars’ and choose “Add by URL” as shown below.

Once the lightbox opens up, insert the URL you copied from Facebook and your Facebook events will now sync with Google Calendar.


9. How to search your video library

Video has become an excellent way to reach and engage your audience on Facebook.

If your brand uploads a lot of video content to Facebook, there’s a useful Video Library feature that gives you a list of all the videos you’ve uploaded as well as multiple ways to filter them.

To find your Facebook Page’s Video Library, head over to your Page and click ‘Publishing Tools.’

publishing tools

From the Publishing Tools page, then select the Video Library option on the left-hand side:


This is a great way to filter through all of your Facebook videos and discover your most successful content at a glance. You could consider re-sharing some of your most highly viewed content or using it as a blueprint for future video posts.

10. Facebook’s audience is growing up in Western markets

Facebook was founded in 2004, and as its twelfth birthday approaches, it’s not just the social network that has matured. So have its users – in Western markets, at least.

As AdWeek reports:

Millennials make up a smaller share of Facebook’s users in Western markets than in developing nations. In the U.S., for instance, there are 17 percent more people over the age of 40 using the social network than their younger counterparts. Additionally, 33 percent of Facebook’s audience is under age 30. By comparison, in India and Indonesia, 75 percent of its users are millennials or younger.

11. Messenger has over 800 million users (is social media becoming more private?)

2015 was a huge year for Facebook Messenger and the app now has over 800 million monthly active users.

The below graphic shares some more of Messenger’s 2015 highlights:


On Facebook’s Newsroom, David Marcus, VP of Messaging Products at Facebook explains that the Messenger team’s mission is to “make Messenger the best place to communicate with all the people and businesses in the world.

As Messenger, and more private social media and communication platforms boom, it feels like social media is becoming a little less about sharing our lives publicly, and more about connecting on a personal level with the people closest to us.

In their Digital in 2016 report, We Are Social note that they’re seeing an increased number of ‘private’ accounts on Instagram too, again backing up the feeling that social media is heading in a more private direction.

As marketers, this could also lead to a shift in the way we approach social media. Moving more towards value-led marketing that helps enhance customer experience and generate more favorable mentions and recommendations between individuals.

To succeed in this more personal social media environment, we need to get better at listening to individuals. Not just using social media as a way to share and promote marketing messages and campaigns.

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Source: Buffer Social

How to Organize Your Desktop With Windows 10 Snap Assist

Hidden Tricks in Windows 10

Since Windows 7, Microsoft has offered a handy feature for re-sizing windows: snap and resize to the left or right side and top or bottom side of the screen or maximize by dragging and dropping. Windows 10 continues that tradition but improves the feature by letting you arrange up to four windows at the same time as well as display and open or close any window from a thumbnail view.

Buy Windows 10310xz-rnrgl-_ac_ac_sr9895_

Let’s say you have two windows on the screen, one in the foreground and one in the background, and you want to view them both fully at the same time.

How to Arrange Your Windows via Windows 10's Snap Assist

Drag one window by the title bar to the left or right side of the screen until you see a transparent outline or boundary. Release the window, and it snaps to the side you chose, taking up exactly half the screen (below, left). The other window shrinks into a large thumbnail (right).

How to Arrange Your Windows via Windows 10's Snap Assist

Snap the second window to the other side by clicking anywhere on it; it will take up the other half of the screen, and the two windows will appear side by side.

Snap Assist

If you want to temporarily maximize the window on the left to see it full screen, grab it by the title bar and drag it to the top of the screen until it fills up all of your available screen real estate.

v\How to Arrange Your Windows via Windows 10's Snap Assist

To arrange the same window so both windows are again side by side, drag the window by the title bar and move it back to the left side of the screen until you see the transparent outline. Release the window, and both windows again appear side by side.

HP Mini 210-1010NR 10.1-Inch Black Netbook – 4.25 Hours of Battery Life

Arrange 4 Windows

This maneuver is easier using keyboard shortcuts than using your mouse. Click on the window on the left side and press Win Key + Up Arrow Key. The window appears in the upper-left corner.

v\How to Arrange Your Windows via Windows 10's Snap Assist

Click on the window on the right side and press Win Key + Down Arrow Key. The new window appears in the lower-right corner.

v\How to Arrange Your Windows via Windows 10's Snap Assist

Open a third app window and press Win Key + Right Arrow Key. Make sure the window is still selected and then press Win Key + Up Arrow Key. The new window appears in the upper-right corner.

v\How to Arrange Your Windows via Windows 10's Snap Assist

Open a fourth window. Press Win Key + Left Arrow Key and then Win Key + Down Arrow Key. All four windows now appear at the same time in their own corner.

How to Arrange Your Windows via Windows 10's Snap Assist

Play With the Size and Position

Click on the window in the upper-right corner. Press Win Key + Down Arrow Key so the window takes up the full right side of the screen. Press Win Key + Down Arrow Key again so the window takes up the lower right portion of the screen.

How to Arrange Your Windows via Windows 10's Snap Assist

Press Win Key + Down Arrow Key so the window is minimized and no longer appears on the screen.

How to Arrange Your Windows via Windows 10's Snap Assist

Drag and drop the window in the top left corner to the right side until it takes up half of the screen. You’ll see the minimized window appear as a large thumbnail. Click on the X button to close it.

How to Arrange Your Windows via Windows 10's Snap Assist

Select the window in the lower-left corner and press the Win Key + Up Arrow Key to display it side by side with the window on the right.

How to Arrange Your Windows via Windows 10's Snap Assist
Source: PCMag

Cheap cellphones tested

Cheap “burner” cellphones tested

When you go camping, hiking, to a concert, or any location which might involve you making hard contact with the floor, you don’t want your R12,000 smartphone getting damaged.

You still need to stay in contact with the world, though, so what is the solution?

Costing less than dinner for two at a decent restaurant, the answer is a “burner” phone.

A burner phone technically means you use the device then dispose of it afterwards, but in this case it is a cheap cellphone which can make a call and send an SMS, is relatively tough, and you don’t mind if it is kicked into a fire by a drunk friend.

We visited Takelot, found three of the cheapest phones it had on sale, and shipped them to the office. Once paired with a prepaid SIM, the trials began.

The tests were simple: send an SMS, make a call, drop it from 2 metres onto a road, and throw it into a body of water.

MobiWire Atohi – R399


The most expensive device was the MobiWire Atohi at R399.

It has a 2.8-inch screen and 1,000mAh battery, along with Bluetooth connectivity and a headphone jack.

The device takes a standard (large) SIM card, charges via Micro-USB, and supports FM radio.

  • SMS – Messaging in and out worked perfectly.
  • Call  Calls in and out worked as expected.

Mint M1 32MB 2G – R179


The cheapest device was the Mint M1.

It sports a 600mAh battery, 1.8-inch screen, and an FM radio.

Bluetooth connectivity, a headphone jack, and Micro-USB are also standard on the phone.

The standout feature: an annoying start-up tone which plays when the device is switched on.

  • SMS – Messaging in and out worked perfectly.
  • Call  Calls in and out worked as expected.

Mobicel Vibe 32MB 2G – R249


Sitting in the middle of the pack was the Mobicel Vibe.

The phone features a 1.77-inch screen, 800mAh battery, FM radio, headphone jack and Micro-USB port, and Bluetooth connectivity.

  • SMS – Messaging in and out worked perfectly.
  • Call  Calls in and out worked as expected.

Drop and Water tests

Like the phones, our tests were cheap and simple. First up, we dropped each phone from 2 metres onto a tarred road.

All the phones got a decent bounce height and were left with minor scratches, but worked fine afterwards.

Next up was dropping each device into a sink filled with cold water. Each phone was dropped in the water, while on, left for a few seconds, then removed.

Not only did the devices stay on, they were functional following the test – with phone calls working as before.

We took out the batteries to see the extent of water infiltration, and all the phones had water inside their casings.

It’s been several days since the tests, and the phones are still on and functioning. They have also not required any charging.


Compared to a modern smartphone

The images below show how the burner phones compare to the iPhone 6S.

Their screens are much smaller, while their bodies are slightly thicker. The plastic used to make the cellphones is obviously low-cost, which left them feeling like a kid’s toy compared to the iPhone.

What they lack in feel and style, however, they make up for in ruggedness. The three phones passed all the tests and kept on working – making them good candidates for that camping trip you have been planning.



Source: MyBroadBand

3D television is dead – Here’s what’s next

This year, LG and Sony said they will no longer produce 3D-capable televisions.

Source: 3D television is dead – Here’s what’s next

BREAKING: Joost van der Westhuizen dies | Sport24

A Rugby Legend – R.I.P.

Former Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen has lost his battle with motor neuron disease.

Source: BREAKING: Joost van der Westhuizen dies | Sport24

Nokia phones 2017 specs, price, release date: Nokia Edge, C1, D1C, E1 high to low-end offering

Buy Nokia Lumia Here

The iconic logo and tagline of Nokia is displayed along with the potential look of the upcoming Nokia…

Source: Nokia phones 2017 specs, price, release date: Nokia Edge, C1, D1C, E1 high to low-end offering


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