A tip from a reader – following on from last time

By | March 1, 2010
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In the Computers newsletter this month:

  • A tip from a reader – following on from last time
  • A new website for watching TV online (the best one in my opinion)
  • Another handy website tip
  • How to help friends who struggle with PCs from time to time


This time, you’ve got another tip from a reader (you know, if this carries on I might not have to actually write much next time, just take all the tips from readers!), a new website for watching TV online (the best one in my opinion) and another quick webpage tip.

Oh, and a way to help any friends of yours who struggle with PCs (and no, I’m not trying to talk you into buying them my books – though you can if you like!)

Another quick tip – Ctrl and + or – in other programs

I mentioned last week a reader’s tip that you can hold down the ctrl key and tap + or – to make the writing in a web page bigger or smaller.  Another reader mentioned that you can also use this in some other programs as well – PhotoShop was the one he mentioned in particular.  Worth knowing – if you want to increase the size of the view in a program and you’re not sure how, give it a try.  It doesn’t work in all programs (Word, for example) but it works in some, so it’s worth a try.

TV on the internet – new website

I’ve written before about how you can watch TV on the Internet – the BBC put most of their progammes up and ITV and Channel 4 also have a good selection.

It’s handy because you can watch programmes after they were on TV.  So if you miss something, you can go back and watch it – usually up to 30 days afterwards.  Great for when someone tells you about a programme that was on last night and you think “I’d have liked to have seen that”

Now there’s a new website, www.seesaw.com.  It pulls together TV programmes from different channels.  At the moment it has the BBC, Channel 4 and Five all involved – ITV aren’t right at the moment.  Channel 4 and Five are including all their online programmes and the BBC are including lots as well.  They also have a deal to include a fair bit of Sport and there are some BBC programmes from the archives as well, not just current programmes.  Some of the BBC series even have the full series up, even when the BBC’s own website only has the recent episodes.

So you can watch programmes from all those channels in one place and also know that if you keep using the SeeSaw website, then when they add new channels, you’ll get access to them automatically, without having to know when a new channel is being added to the web, what its web address is and so on.

I’ve given it a try (it’s hard job this, having to watch TV to “test” it!) and I found the website nice and easy to use – less confusing than some of the websites the actual channels have create.  It’s simpler because it only lists what you can watch online, whereas the channels show you information about their other programmes, that you can only watch on “normal” TV.

I also found the picture worked better than some of the other websites you can watch TV on, with a good sharp picture that kept moving well – not jerky like others sometimes are.  Of course, how well it works depends on how many people are watching it at once and how well they keep it up to date, but when I tried it, it worked well.

The programmes are split into Comedy, Drama, Factual, Lifestyle, Entertainment & Sport or you can search for a particular program.  Apparently there are more than 3000 hours of TV on the site, so there’s a good chance there’ll be something you’re interested in!

A quick tip – refreshing a webpage

When you’re on the web, whatever web browser you’re using (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox…) you can press the F5 key to “refresh” the web page you’re currently looking at.

That makes it reload that webpage from scratch.

There are a couple of reasons why it’s handy.  First of all, it you’re on a webpage with up to the minute news (say of a football match) and you want to update it to see if they have anything new.  But it’s also useful sometimes when a webpage doesn’t load properly – it looks all jumbled.  Sometimes that’s because there’s a problem with the webpage, sometimes it just means your computer got confused as it was loading it and jumbled it all up.  When that’s happened, just pressing F5 reloads it and sorts out the problem.

Help your friends

If you have any friends who struggle with their PC from time to time, you can pass on this newsletter to them so they can sign up as well.  During March, if they sign up at www.helpfulbooks.co.uk/a> , they’ll also get a ebook copy of “Staying Safe on the Net” – covering how to protect yourself from Viruses, Spyware and other internet nasties. (If you haven’t got a copy yourself, just reply to this email to ask for it and we’ll email it to you)

All they need to do is go to www.helpfulbooks.co.uk/freenewsletter.htm and put in their name and email address (or you could forward this email on to them and tell them about it).  They’ll get the free ebook and then twice a month, they’ll get the newsletter as well. We never pass on email addresses to other companies and if they ever want to stop getting the newsletter, they can do so with no fuss and hassle.

But best of all, they’ll get all the help you get in the newsletter – and like you, they never have to pay a penny for it.

(If you’re curious why I’d give this away, it’s because quite a lot of the people who get this newsletter, once they know about me, then buy one or more of my books at some point.  There’s no obligation to, though.)


I’d already written this newsletter but thought you ought to know about a screen you’ll probably have pop up, asking you to choose a browser.  Read about it here:



That’s all for this time – bye for now.


Tim Wakeling

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