A rather big snag – but only if…

By | February 1, 2016
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February. Can you believe we’re already one month into the year? I’m not sure I can. It’s been a very busy month, though I’m not betting February will go any slower…

Anyway, if you have Windows Vista, you might have spotted a snag in what I talked about last time. And if you didn’t happen to spot it, I’d best tell you about it… and about the solution:

A rather big snag if you have Windows Vista
I talked last time about how if you have Internet Explorer you’ll have to upgrade to version 11 to get the most recent version – which you need to be safe on the internet.

The only snag (well, I say only snag – I should know never to say that as it’s always entirely possible something else could be a snag with it – but let’s say the big snag…) is that if you have Windows Vista, you can’t run Internet Explorer 11.

So if you have Vista, you’re stuck with an old version of Internet Explorer that won’t be getting security updates. It’s a bit surprising, since Vista itself is still getting security updates until April next year, but that’s what Microsoft have decided to do.

I’d never recommend using a browser that isn’t getting security updates, so I’d suggest switching to either using Google’s Chrome browser or Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. They do much the same thing, but they are being kept up to date.

They aren’t too big a change from internet Explorer – it all works in much the same way. Personally I tend to prefer them as I find they work a little quicker.

Of course, if you’re thinking of upgrading your version of WIndows to Windows 10, then you avoid this – you can carry on using Internet Explorer or use the new Edge browser instead. But upgrading to Windows 10 from Vista isn’t free, unfortunately – so my advice for most people is to switch to using Chrome or Firefox. You can download them here: Chrome or Firefox.

Tablets and upgrading
All this talk about upgrading has made me think. And the other day I was using a bang up to date iPad. Now I have an iPad at home but it’s a few “versions” out of date. Not a problem, it still works fine.

But it occurred to me that I’ve never really talked about updates and tablets – and how much you need to do them.

In fact a lot of people seem to replace their actual tablet every year or two – upgrading to the latest version of their device. If that’s what they want, fine, but I don’t think you need to do that. I certainly don’t, personally.

On the other hand, every so often, Apple and Google bring out new versions of the operating system – that’s the program that actually runs the device (like Windows on a PC). And these updates I would recommend you get.

Sometimes they might be updates to make it less likely to crash, to make it run a little faster or smoother or to add new features.

And some of these updates will download and install automatically – so you don’t need to worry about them.

But by and large, if it tells you there’s an update coming, I’d do it.

In fact both Google and Apple tend to work to much the same pattern. Through the year there’ll be small updates. Generally they’ll be fixing bugs of some kind.

Then once a year, usually in the Autumn, they’ll bring out a big update. That’ll fix some bugs but also make some bigger changes, adding features and so on. I’d usually recommend doing these as well, but when they happen I’ll write about it in this newsletter, to explain what some of the changes are and whether there’s anything in particular you need to know about that update.

So in a nutshell, when through the year it asks you to update on a tablet, I’d recommend it. And when there’s a big update happening, I’ll mention it and talk about what the differences are.

Busy times…
I mentioned earlier that there’s lots going on – that’s always seems to be the case, with new versions of tablets coming out, new bits of kits, new devices and websites…

But I’ve also been busy working with Ellen and Claire, who helped me write the iPad and Android tablet books. We’ve been working on something new that might give even more help for people with tablets… I’ll tell you a bit more about it next time.

14 thoughts on “A rather big snag – but only if…

  1. Trevor

    You understandably say “I’d never recommend using a browser that isn’t getting security updates”, yet you then suggest those still on Vista should switch to “using Google’s Chrome browser” (or Firefox) despite the fact that Google announced last November that they will be terminating support for Chrome on Vista from April 2016. That seems rather contradictory!
    (This was yesterday the subject of a question in the Inner Circle to which I responded – but having terminated my membership of that from February, I can no longer access it!)


      I too am on Vista and have been on Chrome for some time. I should welcome your advice.

  2. Kenneth Cliff

    Thank you for your newsletter. I am in a dilema. I have Windows 7. and everything is working 100% All the information about updating to Windows 10 suggests doing it sooner rather than later. What would you advise. I believe I have until July to update free. Regards Kenneth

    1. Tim Post author

      yes – any of Apples devices that use FaceTime can connect to each other using it. (But not a PC or an Android based devices)

  3. Jill Lacey

    Thanks for the recommendations on updates. As a newish slightly nervous iPad user, I shall now have more confidence in accepting them !

  4. Barrie Hodgson

    This is not strictly a comment,more a question. I have recently bought a Hudle 2 iPad and I would like to be able to plug in my Picture Saver.The problem is,it is a standard size usb plugin but the tablet only has a mimi usb socket.I’ve tried everywhere I can think of to buy an adaptor but they don’t seem to make such simple things.Have you any ideas please?

    1. Tim Post author

      You might be able to do it using the cable that comes with the Hudl, that ends in a USB plug, and a “female to female” USB adaptor, like this one:
      That should get the two connected – I can’t say without trying it whether the Hudl will be able to work with the Picture Saver, but at least the adaptor’s usually only cost a pound or so.

  5. John Potter

    Hi Tim. Thanks for the advice about Internet Explorer and Vista. I have version 9, and knew that i could’nt run version 11.
    I now have an alert from Google, that my computer will soon stop receiving chrome updates because Wiindows XP and Vista will no longer be supported. In the light of this, and your advice, i will switch to Firefox
    John P

  6. Tim Post author

    Thanks to everyone for the comments and corrections – Brian and others, you’re quite correct. I’ll send out a message correcting it for people who don’t spot this note… watch this space.
    Thanks again

  7. Moreen

    I have a newer laptop on windows 7 and am content to stay with it. The latest electronic gadgetry scare me to death. It seems that we are forever playing catch up

  8. John Potter

    Many thanks again Tim for todays information on Vista/Internet Explorer.
    Keep up the good work


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