DEALING WITH MICROSOFT

A reader wrote in to say he’s frustrated with Windows Live Mail, which is part of Windows 7, and would like to have Windows Mail back, which was part of Vista.

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AIR SHOT

AirHelp.eu will sue the airline for you if you get bumped without proper compensation and they overbooked the flight (which is common). Awards for this in the U.S. can go as high as $1,300. You pay nothing and they get 25 percent of whatever you receive.

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PESKY PROGRAMS

Readers were glad we wrote about CCleaner, a free program from Piriform.com; it has a tool for shutting off programs in the background that slow your machine.

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SPEEDING UP THE MAC

We often hear from readers with slow Windows computers. But what about Mac owners? Their machines can get slow too. Let’s hear it for slow Macs!

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TIPS AND TRICKS

– If you find the daily load of email as overwhelming as we do, try this trick: Instead of deleting messages you don’t want, one by one, check the box that selects them all. Then go down the list and uncheck the ones you want to look at. Dump the rest.

– Pulling a snapshot from a movie DVD can be done with…

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A SLOW COMPUTER

We installed the 2014 version of Tune-Up Utilities, $50 from tune-up.com. A new feature called the “deactivator” was a huge help. It stopped programs from running in the background and slowing down our test computer.

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EASY READING

You don’t need Adobe Reader to read PDF files if you have a Windows 8 computer. But you may want to download it anyway; it can make reading easier

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KNOW YOUR COMPUTER AND KEEP IT CLEAN

“Belarc Advisor” is a free program that will analyze your computer and let you see all the information about hardware, software and security. Its detailed report lists everything: model numbers, serial numbers and software license keys for many installed programs. If your computer needs a security update, it will tell you that too.

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KEEPING IT CLEAN

“Clean Master” is a free app for clearing out junk files and restoring privacy to your Android phone.

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WINDOWS 8.1 HAS MANY THINGS TO LIKE

The reviews covering the new Windows 8.1 missed the thing we like best about it: the return of the “all programs” list. But there are lots more goodies than that in the new upgrade.

You need to have Windows 8 to get the 8.1 upgrade, and you do have to go get it — it’s not automatic. To get it, tap the Windows key (looks like a flag) and type “Store.” Then click on the free download link. If you get an error message like we did, try again. It took us several tries, perhaps because the servers were busy.

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