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Christian Cawley

Deputy Editor / Joined 2 December, 2011

Deputy Editor for Security, Linux, DIY, Programming, and Tech Explained. He also produces The Really Useful Podcast and has extensive experience in desktop and software support. A contributor to Linux Format magazine, Christian is a Raspberry Pi tinkerer, Lego lover and retro gaming fan.

1386 Articles
2038 Comments
Using A Tiny SSD? Slim Down Windows 7 With Minimal Installs

Windows

Using A Tiny SSD? Slim Down Windows 7 With Minimal Installs

How big is your hard disk drive? 80 GB? 300 GB? 5 TB? You might well have more than enough space, but if you own a device with a small SSD – perhaps a netbook, for instance – there is very little to worry about. There are several tools and tricks that you can use to make sure that the OS runs efficiently and without filling your SSD (or indeed any other small storage device).

14-09-2012
Using A Tiny SSD? Slim Down Windows 7 With Minimal Installs
How To Setup Gmail Accounts On Windows Phone

How To Setup Gmail Accounts On Windows Phone

Due to a severe spam issue (and to take the storage load away from my PC) I decided to migrate my email accounts to Google Mail. This has had an interesting effect on my ability to collect messages on my Windows Phone. While it isn’t a problem to set up a Gmail account if your email address ends in @gmail.com, the situation is a little different for Windows Phone users if they’re trying to access an email service that uses Google Mail but has its own domain name.

13-09-2012
How To Setup Gmail Accounts On Windows Phone
How To Make Your Raspberry Pi Into a Home Theater System

DIY

How To Make Your Raspberry Pi Into a Home Theater System

Four weeks on and I’ve been playing with my Raspberry Pi in various ways, from using it to browse the web and standard day-to-day computing tasks to playing around with the various configurations that are possible for networking (Ethernet vs USB wireless). But is there an ultimate point to this device, or will it remain a curiosity on my shelf, to be switched on whenever a useful purpose rears its head?

12-09-2012
How To Make Your Raspberry Pi Into a Home Theater System
Things You Should Keep In Mind Before Taking Your Laptop Or Smartphone To Tech Support

DIY

Things You Should Keep In Mind Before Taking Your Laptop Or Smartphone To Tech Support

Given that some of these employees were among the most intelligent people in the country, the way in which they misused their devices was astonishing, from general irresponsible behaviour concerning the devices (drops, scratches, broken screens, etc.) to leaving material saved or even open on the desktop that you certainly wouldn’t show to your grandmother. As for the confidential information that sat open an ALT+TAB away…

07-09-2012
Things You Should Keep In Mind Before Taking Your Laptop Or Smartphone To Tech Support
Windows 8 In Daily Use: What Is It Really Like?

Windows

Windows 8 In Daily Use: What Is It Really Like?

You hate Windows 8, don’t you? You’ve never used it, you haven’t even seen it in action (other than via a few YouTube videos) but you hate it. It’s pointless, it’s ugly, it’s unwieldy… you know all of these things, yet you haven’t used it. Perhaps, just perhaps, you’ve been misinformed. I’ve been running Windows 8 for several months now in its various pre-release versions and I can tell you right here, right now, that it really isn’t all that bad.

06-09-2012
Windows 8 In Daily Use: What Is It Really Like?
Armed! Futuristic Real Time Strategy for Windows Phone 7

Internet

Armed! Futuristic Real Time Strategy for Windows Phone 7

Gaming for Windows Phone is an interesting experience. While there are a whole host of great independent titles that don’t have Xbox Live integration, those that do are the ones that tend to be the most popular – for obvious reasons. One game that remains fascinating despite the lack of Xbox Live integration, however, is Armed!, a sci-fi themed RTS with three modes of play and an armada of futuristic weaponry.

05-09-2012
Armed! Futuristic Real Time Strategy for Windows Phone 7
A Day in the Life of a Videogame Scriptwriter [Feature]

Gaming

A Day in the Life of a Videogame Scriptwriter [Feature]

If you’ve ever played a videogame that you really enjoyed, chances are you haven’t noticed the characters or any speech in the game – or if you have, you probably won’t have considered that they’ve been created, fleshed out and given dialogue by a videogame scriptwriter. One such writer whose stock is pretty high right now is Dean Wilkinson, responsible for the wonderful instructional dialogue spoken by Stephen Fry in LittleBigPlanet and more recently the pen behind the words of Matt Berry’s Don Keystone in the forthcoming Worms: Revolution. We went out to meet Dean at his office, and see what it’s really like to write scripts and content for high-profile videogames.

31-08-2012
A Day in the Life of a Videogame Scriptwriter [Feature]
Why Won’t My Windows 7 Updates Install?

Windows

Why Won’t My Windows 7 Updates Install?

Windows Update is one of the key elements of Microsoft’s operating system for keeping your computer working and up to date. Without it, your computer would freely collect malware, unpatched security holes would be exploited and generally things would run pretty slowly. Fortunately, your computer does have Windows Update, capable of adding new functionality, fixes, service packs and device drivers to your Windows 7 PC or laptop. But what happens when Windows Update goes wrong?

30-08-2012
Why Won’t My Windows 7 Updates Install?
How To Get Windows 8 For The Lowest Possible Price

Windows

How To Get Windows 8 For The Lowest Possible Price

Whether the mixed reviews of the preview releases of Windows 8 have influenced pricing or Microsoft are simply taking a leaf out of Apple’s book isn’t quite clear, but the price of a new copy of Windows 8 will be noticeably lower than a comparative copy of Windows Vista or Windows 7. Indeed, there is a chance of purchasing Windows 8 for under $15!

23-08-2012
How To Get Windows 8 For The Lowest Possible Price
What You Need to Know About Getting Started with Raspberry Pi

DIY

What You Need to Know About Getting Started with Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi computer is the latest in a line of compact, multi-function devices, shipped as a barebones package so that end users can use the hardware for virtually any computing project that comes to mind. For instance, the device – designed originally to aid school children learn programming skills – is ideal for media streaming, or using as the key element in a MAME gaming unit.

22-08-2012
What You Need to Know About Getting Started with Raspberry Pi
Hotmail Account Blocked? Here Is How to Fix It

Internet

Hotmail Account Blocked? Here Is How to Fix It

Over the last few years, Microsoft has expanded the Hotmail/Windows Live services to include a dazzling array of browser-based services. With so many features offered for free you might think that this is a pretty good deal – and it is. But what happens to your emails and data when your account is blocked? How might this happen, and is there a way of overcoming it?

17-08-2012
Hotmail Account Blocked? Here Is How to Fix It
The Top 5 Amazing Uses For Your Raspberry Pi Computer

DIY

The Top 5 Amazing Uses For Your Raspberry Pi Computer

I’ve recently received my Raspberry Pi after a long wait – and I’ve got quite a few plans for it. The problem is, I’m not totally sure which project I want to attempt first. While the idea of a carputer is a compelling one, my mobile phone and GPS unit seem to fulfill this purpose already. Meanwhile, I’ve long had ambitions to build a MAME arcade machine unit, but never quite got around to it.

16-08-2012
The Top 5 Amazing Uses For Your Raspberry Pi Computer
How To Prevent Updates On Your Rooted Kindle Fire

Android

How To Prevent Updates On Your Rooted Kindle Fire

If you’re one of the many Kindle Fire owners that have rooted their device in order to add functionality (such as access to Google Play) then you will want to prevent the update being sent to your Kindle Fire. Once an update is applied, it undoes the root! Fortunately, several apps can be installed on your Kindle Fire that can be used to prevent future Kindle Fire updates.

10-08-2012
How To Prevent Updates On Your Rooted Kindle Fire
The Secret Of Designing & Building Custom Paper & Card Models With Pepakura

Windows

The Secret Of Designing & Building Custom Paper & Card Models With Pepakura

Recently on MakeUseOf we showed you how to find, download, print and build your own card models. This got me thinking about just what card models I would enjoy printing out and building. After all, when you’re downloading templates, you’re accepting a prescribed design and method of construction. Like me, you might prefer to create different models, preferably with a better focus on building rather than a heavy bias on the end product.

09-08-2012
The Secret Of Designing & Building Custom Paper & Card Models With Pepakura
How To Connect Your Wiimote To Your PC

DIY

How To Connect Your Wiimote To Your PC

How do you prefer to interact with your computer? Sometimes a mouse and keyboard just isn’t enough. Depending on what you’re doing, a completely different interface method is required for you to get the most out of your computer. Personally, I use a trackball and keyboard, for gaming as well as standard use, and there are many Windows computer owners who prefer to do the majority of their work using a graphical tablet and stylus.

08-08-2012
How To Connect Your Wiimote To Your PC
How To Print & Build Your Own Free, Beautifully Detailed 3D Models

Web Culture

How To Print & Build Your Own Free, Beautifully Detailed 3D Models

Having been enthused by the continuously dropping prices of 3D printers, I was recently checking out the latest models and making a decision on which one to choose when I had a moment of what can only be described as a nostalgic epiphany. There I was, wishing I could build toy boats and planes and cars with a new 3D printer when I suddenly realised that it was already possible to do all of this and more with my existing printer!

02-08-2012
How To Print & Build Your Own Free, Beautifully Detailed 3D Models
How To Fix Nokia Lumia 800 And Zune Connectivity Issues

Internet

How To Fix Nokia Lumia 800 And Zune Connectivity Issues

Syncing this Windows Phone requires – as with any – the Zune software on your PC and a USB cable (Mac users can use the Windows Phone 7 Connnector for Mac). However for some of us this won’t work out of the box. The impact of this is that syncing your phone to your PC is prevented, which means that photos and videos can’t be saved to your computer and music can’t be copied to your phone. Fortunately there is a way around this, one that is easy to implement.

01-08-2012
How To Fix Nokia Lumia 800 And Zune Connectivity Issues
How To Deal With Post-Root Kindle Fire Syncing Issues

Android

How To Deal With Post-Root Kindle Fire Syncing Issues

Amazon is very keen for the Kindle Fire to not be rooted – after all, this breaks the walled garden that they have set up for installing apps, etc. – and regularly push out updates that are intended to prevent or undo rooting. Meanwhile, problems accessing your Kindle books can also occur after rooting. Fortunately, all of these issues can be resolved, relatively quickly.

27-07-2012
How To Deal With Post-Root Kindle Fire Syncing Issues
How To Make the Most of Your Kindle Fire’s 8GB Storage

Android

How To Make the Most of Your Kindle Fire’s 8GB Storage

I almost ran out of space on my Kindle Fire last week. Sadly, I was away from my computer, which meant I couldn’t simply move data off the device – I would have to delete it! Fortunately, this didn’t cause much of a problem as I was able to connect to my cloud storage account, upload some bulky data and then download the new book to my device. I should add here that not all of the storage on my Kindle Fire was taken up with eBooks!

25-07-2012
How To Make the Most of Your Kindle Fire’s 8GB Storage
Pornography Addiction: The Hidden Struggle & How to Break Free [Feature]

Internet

Pornography Addiction: The Hidden Struggle & How to Break Free [Feature]

Anon22 discovered Internet porn when he was just 12 years old. For around 10 years, Anon22 has enjoyed pornography using his computer once or twice a day, a compulsion that he claims ruined his social life and limited long-term employment opportunities. We’ve gone out to learn more about this phenomenon, and discovered an amazing group of Internet users trying to kick the habit together.

24-07-2012
Pornography Addiction: The Hidden Struggle & How to Break Free [Feature]
What You Should Know About Resolving Issues In The Zune Player

Windows

What You Should Know About Resolving Issues In The Zune Player

As a Windows Phone owner, I make a lot of use of the Zune application. When it went belly up recently and stopped playing some of my music, something had to be done. If you’re a Windows Phone user, the chances are that you make use of the Zune software on Windows 7 (or Windows Vista). Required by Windows Phone owners to sync data to and from their PCs, Zune is also a multi-purpose media management application.

20-07-2012
What You Should Know About Resolving Issues In The Zune Player
Official Methods To Refresh Your Windows Phone’s Appearance

Internet

Official Methods To Refresh Your Windows Phone’s Appearance

I’ve been using Windows Phone since its first week of release in the UK, back in October 2010. Since then I’ve enjoyed the tiles, the slick UI, the smug satisfaction of owning a phone that isn’t using the same UI five years after its initial release….and the pleasure of portable media and the ability to top up my Xbox Live score while I’m on the move. Of course, there are downsides to owning a Windows Phone, notably the lack of customization options.

19-07-2012
Official Methods To Refresh Your Windows Phone’s Appearance