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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.

1387 Articles
2038 Comments
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
Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HTC HD2 In Minutes

Android

Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HTC HD2 In Minutes

Last week I was challenged to install Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the HTC HD2 in as little time as possible. The reason? It was my client’s lunch hour; she was sick of Windows Mobile and she wanted to play Angry Birds. The request came as no surprise; the setup and installation time for Android on the HP TouchPad is easily inside 30 minutes, so I happily accepted the challenge.

18-07-2012
Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HTC HD2 In Minutes
Backup, Restore, And Update Android On The HP TouchPad

Android

Backup, Restore, And Update Android On The HP TouchPad

While webOS has a slick and pleasing user interface, the platform is sadly lacking in applications. As time progresses, developments to the drivers for these devices will result in a fully functioning Ice Cream Sandwich for the HP TouchPad; but how can you easily upgrade your existing Android installation?

12-07-2012
Backup, Restore, And Update Android On The HP TouchPad
Strip Down & Recycle Old Garden Solar Lamps For Tech Projects

DIY

Strip Down & Recycle Old Garden Solar Lamps For Tech Projects

Costing just a few dollars each, garden solar lamps are a low-cost solution to night-time illumination – and they might just give you a useful piece of equipment for completing a tech project. Whether you’re looking for a rechargeable battery, an LED or even the solar panel itself, these devices contain a wealth of components that can be repurposed.

11-07-2012
Strip Down & Recycle Old Garden Solar Lamps For Tech Projects
Some Great Pinhole Camera Projects You Can Try At Home

Web Culture

Some Great Pinhole Camera Projects You Can Try At Home

Can you imagine life without cameras, with no way to record memories of faces and places? Modern photography has been with us since 1839, and in that time has become increasingly sophisticated, moving away from special chemicals and paper in favour of digital technology. We no longer need to carry around Polaroid instant cameras, yet we still try to recreate the look and feel of these images using filter tools for desktop and mobile apps.

06-07-2012
Some Great Pinhole Camera Projects You Can Try At Home
How To Build Your Own Smartphone Document Scanner

Android iPhone and iPad

How To Build Your Own Smartphone Document Scanner

Have you ever tried to take a photo of a document with your smartphone camera, hoping to convert it using OCR software into a PDF or Word document later on? Perhaps you’ve attempted to take a photo of an existing photograph, only to find your angle was slightly out. No matter how hard we try, it seems you can never take the perfectly-aligned photograph with a smartphone.

04-07-2012
How To Build Your Own Smartphone Document Scanner
Where To Find Non-Marketplace Apps For Your Windows Phone

Internet

Where To Find Non-Marketplace Apps For Your Windows Phone

The standard method of installing a Windows Phone app is currently threefold – the Marketplace via your phone or browser, or via the Zune desktop client. But what if the type of app you’re looking for doesn’t exist? The answer, then, is to look for homebrew apps, software developed by Windows Phone enthusiasts.

29-06-2012
Where To Find Non-Marketplace Apps For Your Windows Phone
What You Should Know About Rooting Your Kindle Fire & Getting Access To Google Play

Android

What You Should Know About Rooting Your Kindle Fire & Getting Access To Google Play

Like any Android-based tablet, the Amazon Kindle Fire can be rooted. This in turn offers several advantages to the user, such as an increase in functionality via previously restricted apps. Unfortunately, the process of rooting isn’t as simple as it is with other Android devices. While apps such as Z4root can be used with phones and some tablets, the process involved in rooting a Kindle Fire at is a little more complicated.

27-06-2012
What You Should Know About Rooting Your Kindle Fire & Getting Access To Google Play
How To Update Your Nokia Lumia And Fix The Screen Blackout Bug

Internet

How To Update Your Nokia Lumia And Fix The Screen Blackout Bug

For Nokia Lumia users, there are various issues with the initial release of the Lumia 710 and 800 phones that have waited several months for resolution. Most notorious of these is the continued lack of Wi-Fi tethering, available in other Windows Phones (including the Nokia Lumia 900) and the “screen blackout” which occurs during phone calls.

21-06-2012
How To Update Your Nokia Lumia And Fix The Screen Blackout Bug
Easily Play, Convert, And Edit MTS High Definition Video

Windows

Easily Play, Convert, And Edit MTS High Definition Video

There are a multitude of video formats currently in use, both online and in digital cameras and mobile phones. The sheer number of these means that anyone hoping to convert, edit, share online (or all three) any footage recorded in one of the various non-standard video formats has to scrabble around the World Wide Web looking for a suitable converter. MTS is no different.

15-06-2012
Easily Play, Convert, And Edit MTS High Definition Video
Improve Text Entry On The HP TouchPad – Use a Bluetooth Keyboard!

Android

Improve Text Entry On The HP TouchPad – Use a Bluetooth Keyboard!

One of the things that becomes increasingly apparent the more you use an HP TouchPad (or any tablet computer) is that a software keyboard is only good for so much writing. After a while, you need a hardware keyboard to take the strain – many errors can be made with a software keyboard, regardless of how good your multi-touch display might be.

14-06-2012
Improve Text Entry On The HP TouchPad – Use a Bluetooth Keyboard!
Listen To Free Music & Get Entertainment News At Bing Music

Internet

Listen To Free Music & Get Entertainment News At Bing Music

Streaming media has become big business in the past few years, with YouTube, Hulu and BBC iPlayer all great examples of how the web has changed the way we enjoy music, TV and film. Many of these new companies have rode the back of the founders of the Internet age, companies such as AOL, Microsoft and Apple. But where does this leave Microsoft?

13-06-2012
Listen To Free Music & Get Entertainment News At Bing Music
Why The World Doesn’t Need A Facebook Phone [Opinion]

Internet

Why The World Doesn’t Need A Facebook Phone [Opinion]

Over the past year or so, rumours have continued to surface concerning the idea of a Facebook phone, a portable handset that will give the user direct mobile access to the popular social network. The idea is simple – from the comfort of your Facebook phone you’ll be able to upload photos, send messages, and even play games.

08-06-2012
Why The World Doesn’t Need A Facebook Phone [Opinion]
The Top 5 Best Third-Party Apps To Customize Your Skype App

Internet

The Top 5 Best Third-Party Apps To Customize Your Skype App

Skype is a great way to communicate with friends, family and colleagues across the Internet using its text, voice and webcam chat features. But it can all get a little bit dull, using it in the same way, day after day. But Skype is thankfully equipped with all of the necessary hooks for third party apps to customize and improve the experience.

07-06-2012
The Top 5 Best Third-Party Apps To Customize Your Skype App
Why Microsoft Sucks – Again (Opinion)

Internet

Why Microsoft Sucks – Again (Opinion)

In 2011 I wrote an op-ed piece (for a different website…!) about how I felt that Microsoft had moved away from being the many-tentacled corporate beast with no interest in providing a solid, working operating system and every interest in raping dollars out of customers. I argued that after the failure of Windows Vista, Microsoft had emerged as a company in touch with its user base, listening and almost caring.

31-05-2012
Why Microsoft Sucks – Again (Opinion)
How To Create Valid MP3 Files With Audacity

Windows Linux

How To Create Valid MP3 Files With Audacity

One of the more popular open source audio applications, Audacity, has recently upgraded to version 2.0 and is now no longer in Beta. Audacity has some great tools and effects that can be used to deliver great results. However, despite the facility to save your audio in a number of different formats, Audacity doesn’t natively allow you to export data as MP3.

25-05-2012
How To Create Valid MP3 Files With Audacity