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Boulder Computer Maven Newsletter - January 2008

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! I hope that 2008 will be a great year for you and your family. This is my customer newsletter, containing information that I hope you'll find interesting and helpful.

This month's topics are Using Your Computer to Watch and Record TV, End of Support for Ad-Aware SE, and Windows Home Server.

If you don't want to receive this newsletter, just let me know and I'll remove your name from my mailing list. Previous issues are available on the newsletters page of the Boulder Computer Maven web site. If you change your E-mail address, please send me your new one.

Please call me at 303-444-8247 with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Best Wishes,
Steve Winograd

Helping People Use Computers in Boulder for Over 20 Years

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Using Your Computer to Watch and Record TV

Many people use a TiVo or other brand of Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to record TV programs and play them back at a more convenient time. But did you know that you can use your computer as a DVR? Computers that run Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows Vista Home Premium, and Windows Vista Ultimate have built-in Windows Media Center software that lets you watch TV, view a program guide, schedule recordings, pause and rewind live TV, burn programs to DVD, and more. And, unlike TiVo, there's no monthly subscription fee.

Many recent computers have a built-in TV tuner, and you can add an inexpensive TV tuner to other computers. Then, just connect your TV antenna or cable to the tuner and run an easy setup procedure. I can help you determine whether your computer can run Windows Media Center, install a TV tuner, set it up, and show you how to use it.

End of Support for Ad-Aware SE

Every computer that connects to the Internet needs a program to protect it from spyware. I've installed Lavasoft's free Ad-Aware SE antispyware program for many of you. Lavasoft has now ended support for that program. If your computer uses Ad-Aware SE, replace it with a current program to maintain protection against spyware.

If your computer runs Windows Vista, you don't need to do anything, because Windows Vista includes Microsoft's free Windows Defender antispyware program. For computers with Windows XP, I recommend that you download and install Windows Defender by clicking here, then clicking the Continue button. For computers running Windows 2000 or XP, you can download Lavasoft's Ad-Aware 2007 Free program by clicking here.

Windows Home Server

Microsoft's Windows Home Server is a new type of computer with many useful features for families with multiple computers:

HP's MediaSmart Server is available now from several vendors, and more computers with Windows Home Server software pre-installed will be announced.

You can even create your own Windows Home Server computer by installing the Windows Home Server software on an old computer that meets these modest hardware requirements: 512 MB of RAM, 1 GHz Pentium III (or equivalent) or faster processor, 70 GB hard drive, DVD drive. You can download a free 120-day evaluation copy of the Windows Home Server software from Microsoft, or buy the software from vendors such as Newegg or TigerDirect.

I have extensive experience with Windows Home server (first as a beta tester, and now with the released product) and can help you evaluate, buy, install, and configure it to serve your family's needs.