Windows 10 Creators Update. Out Now!

Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Windows 10. As Windows Vista officially comes to an end on extended support today, the Windows 10 Creators Update has officially been released!

The Windows 10 Creators Update is the first major update for Windows 10 this year, and this update follows on from the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that was released on the 2nd August 2016. As another major Windows Update is set to be released in the coming months, I wanted to give you a run-down of the features I have discovered in the Windows 10 Creators Update, considering that I made the jump to the Windows 10 Creators Update a week early ahead of today’s official release:

  • Night Light / Just like f.lux and Apple’s Night Shift feature that comes bundled with all iOS devices, the Creators Update brings this feature to the table and is useful for power-hungry users like me who don’t want to strain their eyes whilst looking at the computer or laptop screen for hours on end. This feature is beneficial if you want to sleep better at night.
  • Speed & Performance / There is a noticeable change in speed and performance after installing this update, as the Windows 10 Creators Update appears to have fixed any problems I may have come across before in previous updates, not to mention the operating system itself appears to be a lot faster than before.
  • Microsoft Edge / Microsoft’s Edge Browser is more responsive and has a new tab preview option, with the ability to set aside tabs that you can revisit later on. Web Notes come bundled with the browser as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update.
  • Custom Colours / Custom Colours comes to the Windows 10 Creators Update, so if you’re looking to customise the colours of the title bars, including the Start Menu, the Taskbar and Action Centre in the Creators Update, head to Start –> Settings –> Personalisation –> Colours.
  • Storage Sense / Similar to Disk Cleanup, Storage Sense in the Windows 10 Creators Update allows you to optimise your system storage by allowing you to free up space by deleting temporary files and anything else that may be cluttering your system’s memory.
  • Windows Defender Security Centre / Windows Defender Security Centre comes bundled with the Creators Update, which gives you more control over security; App & Browser Control, Family Options, Firewall & Network Protection, Device Performance & Health, Virus & Threat Protection, Settings & Home.
  • Windows Settings / As part of the Creators Update, Windows 10 gets more hands-on with gaming, and in some / most software programs now, a Game Bar, which was present in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update but wasn’t often shown in the Anniversary Update now appears more frequently in the Creators Update, which is beneficial if you are someone who loves playing games on a Laptop / PC.
  • Themes / Custom Themes are now a part of the Creators Update, so if you want to change the background on your Laptop / PC, the colour of the theme, including the sounds and the Mouse Cursor, you can now change those in the Creators Update.
  • Taskbar / You now have the options of hiding the taskbar in desktop and tablet mode while also being given the option to show badges on taskbar buttons, with the added option of being able to replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when you right-click the Start button or press the Windows Logo Key.
  • Mobile Hotspot / Mobile Hotspot is now in the Creators Update, as you can now connect 8 devices to your Laptop / PC’s Internet, even if your laptop is connected to your standard Wi-Fi connection.
  • Troubleshoot / If something doesn’t work properly in the Creators Update, then it’s worth using Troubleshoot, as you can troubleshoot any internet connection problems, fix any problems with audio, even problems with printing wirelessly and even resolve problems that prevent you from updating Windows. The Troubleshoot category also allows you to fix other problems, such as the Blue Screen of Death, Bluetooth, Hardware and Devices, HomeGroup, Incoming Connections, the Keyboard, the Network Adapters, Power, the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter, Recording Audio, Search and Indexing, Shared Folders, Speech, Video Playback & Windows Store Apps.
  • Cortana / The Microphone button has been redesigned along with other notable changes and has been improved for better use with the Creators Update.
  • Picture in Picture / Just like iOS, the Windows 10 Creators Update now supports Picture in Picture mode, so if you want to watch a music video, a film or footage you may have captured whilst seeing your favourite musician, author or film actor on tour, then Picture in Picture mode will be useful for you whilst you work on something else.
  • Dynamic Lock / If you own a Windows Phone that runs on the latest software build of Windows 10 Mobile and your Windows Phone is away from your Laptop / PC running the Windows 10 Creators Update, Dynamic Lock will automatically lock your Laptop / PC when your Windows Phone goes out of the Laptop / PC’s range.
  • Inking / Inking is a new feature that has come to the Photos app, which is useful if you want to annotate a photograph or design you have created.
  • Windows Hello / Microsoft have improved the recognition process for facial scanning, making the login process faster for users who have Windows Hello Support on selected Laptops / PCs.
  • Improved Control Over Privacy & Updates / You are now able to pause updates you don’t want to download for up to a week, and you can set the Active Hours on Windows 10 up to 18 hours, which is useful for if you want to install any updates outside of work hours. Privacy controls can now be changed, so if you want to turn off or review certain features in Windows 10, such as diagnostics, location, speech recognition, as well as relevant ads, you can now do so thanks to the Windows 10 Creators Update.
  • Paint 3D / Paint officially goes 3D in the Creators Update, which, for the first time, modernises the old with the new and you can now design something in Paint 3D and share it with community members of Remix 3D and if you want to see any work that other Remix 3D community members have produced, you can do so now with the Creators Update. If you want to share your creations to the Remix 3D website or you want to use it on a Windows Mixed Reality Headset or Microsoft HoloLens, thanks to the Creators Update, this is now possible.

What are my thoughts on the Windows 10 Creators Update?

Personally, the Creators Update is a remarkable improvement on Windows 10, because I have noticed the update has made my old HP Stream 11 much faster, and I didn’t think the Creators Update would be so fast on the HP Stream 11 but it surprisingly is and I have noticed that this update has fixed problems I had with my HP Stream 11 initially and made it a whole lot faster and much easier to use. Of course, I installed the Windows 10 Creators Update early on the HP Notebook 17 I currently use, which as it happens, is the current laptop I have used to write this review and I must say that Microsoft have done such a good job with this update because I’ve noticed that my HP Notebook 17 is a lot faster and easier to get around, and not only that, but I’ve noticed that Windows 10 has become a whole lot faster and much easier to get around.

Is the Creators Update more hands-on?

Of course, it is. The Creators Update has allowed me to be more productive in the work I want to produce and has come as a boost in speed and performance for me. In terms of playing games, such as Sonic CD, I have noticed that there are absolutely no drops in the frame rate and the Creators Update has made sure to keep Windows 10 fast and consistent and as it doesn’t require as much RAM (Random Access Memory), I have noticed that Windows 10 has become a lot faster as each major update has been released.

Conclusion

I strongly believe that the Windows 10 Creators Update has fixed a lot of problems and even given me a boost in speed and performance. I’ve noticed an improvement in productivity as well as being able to be more creative with any work I produce, as well as any articles that I love to write and publish and thanks to the Windows 10 Creators Update, I can work much better now than before.

If you haven’t downloaded and installed the update, I strongly recommend you update your Laptop / PC to the Windows 10 Creators Update. Also, if you have a Windows Phone running Windows 10, the Windows 10 Creators Update for Windows Phone will be released on the 25th April. The Windows Phone Devices that will support the Windows 10 Creators Update for Mobile are:

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL
  • HP Elite x3
  • Lenovo Softbank 503LV
  • MCJ Madosma Q601
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
  • Microsoft Lumia 640XL
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
  • Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
  • Trinity NuAns Neo
  • VAIO VPB051.

If you own one of the 13 Windows Phone Devices listed above, then your Windows Phone is eligible for the Windows 10 Creators Update once it is released to Windows Phone on the 25th April.

If you enjoyed this review and found this review helpful, please let me know. I would love to hear your response.

Alex Smithson

© Microsoft Corporation, 2017

© The official Windows 10 Wallpaper, including the official Windows 10 Trademark are all copyright of Microsoft Corporation. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Windows 10 Creators Update Rating: 10 / 10

Monthly Roundup: July 2016

To mark the end of a very productive month, I will now take a look back on the articles that were published over the course of this month.

1.7.2016 – As this day would kick off a long Summer holiday for me and everyone else, I welcomed you all to July on Mother Nature. I mentioned that despite two months of less productivity, I was pleased to announce I would return to publishing articles on a frequent basis considering I would have the huge bag of free time available. I also mentioned the news of the fourth book’s name being changed as I wanted to make sure that the fourth book wouldn’t be based around photography, but around the topics I have covered over the course of this year, as well as other things I have talked about on Mother Nature.

3.7.2016 –  On the 1st July, I took the opportunity to get some photos of the raindrops after a downpour of rain, as the calm before the storm came and went, and then the calm after the storm came after the storm passed. This photo set: “A Splash of Vividness” was quite well received and attracted a lot of good attention after I shared this photo article I published with some Facebook groups.

On the same day, I thought it would be a good idea to inspire you all by talking about being unique, as well as it being who we are and being unique, including taking control of how we choose to present ourselves to others.

I also published 5 of my Weekly Logs from the Stop-Frame Animation Project on this day, which would document the kind of skills I would develop, including the research, practical tasks and Critical Analysis I had done over the course of this project.

5.7.2016 – 6.7.2016 – Over the course of these two days, I published the final set of weekly logs which came from the most recent Final Major Project which I finished and passed, which helped me to pass the first year of my two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, but my second year at Croydon College.

10.7.2016 – It was a long time coming, but on this day, I finally did away with the Motif theme altogether by switching to the Karuna theme, with a warm welcome to you all on the all-new look for Mother Nature.

I also published a large photo set on this day, which were of the photographs I took on Wednesday 6th July 2016, in which this photo set was titled: “The Truth About Summer? It’s Sweet, Serene, Stunning & Gorgeous!“.

Also on this day, I celebrated publishing 400 articles on Mother Nature by publishing my fifth artistic interpretation, but this time, on the famous Hello musician, Adele.

11.7.2016 – Exactly one year ago to this day, the gaming world lost an iconic gaming legend. Satoru Iwata, who was best known for being the man behind the iconic gaming consoles, such as the Game Boy Series, the Nintendo DS Series, the Nintendo Wii Series, the Nintendo 3DS Series and the Nintendo Wii U Series, sadly passed away on the 11th July 2015 following a bile duct growth, which Nintendo officially announced in a statement they published on the same day the news of his death was announced.

13.7.2016 – It is painfully distressing when we all hear the news about a certain event or events that are always talked about around the world. Just recently, and even now, the news of the shootings in Minnesota, Dallas & Louisiana have caused a mass fruition which has sparked protests in America, as well as in other places around the world. This article I did was based on whether everyone’s lives really mattered regardless of who we are.

15.7.2016 – Given the most recent and devastating events that occurred in Nice in France, in which over 80+ victims lost their lives as a result of the deadly massacre, with 100+ that were also injured, I announced that I wouldn’t publish any articles until the following Monday, as I would pay tribute to all those that were killed during the Bastille Day Celebrations.

20.7.2016 – On this day, I published an article which was based on looking at life through a lens, and what would make each photo tell a story.

23.7.2016 – It’s hard to think it was exactly five years ago on this day that we lost the iconic music legend, Amy Winehouse. The time has flown but it doesn’t really feel like it has when you consider the news of Amy’s death was announced on this day five years ago, it just feels unreal. I was actually heartbroken when I found out she died because it’s like the musician we all came to know and love over the years had gone within a flash. I paid tribute to Amy Winehouse by publishing a tribute article which would reflect on her music career, as well as the iconic songs that I felt really got to the bottom of what life can be like from anyone’s perspective as well as her own.

28.7.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on life after Mother Nature, and it was based on whether I would be able to live without the use of a computer, to which I gave certain reasons as to what life would be like for me without a computer.

29.7.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on Mother Nature and why I started up this website, and how it gave me the chance to come up with all-new ideas, all-inclusive and exquisite ideas that would help me to develop and even improve on certain things that I wasn’t so good at before.

Also on this day, I published an article regarding how political correctness affected modern society, as I wanted to talk about how it’s affected us, including certain words that we could say before that we can no longer say now.

Thanks so much to all of you for a fantastic and productive month and I’ll see you all in August.

Alex Smithson

Security in the Digital World: Are We Really Safe?

Security is the major key factor that plays its part in the digital world, but at the same time, we are left with the question that we sometimes ask ourselves or other people, and that is: “Are We Really Safe?“.

Our security in the digital world matters to us the most, as we expect for our credit card details, debit card details, including phone numbers, pin numbers and our email addresses to be kept safe, including our Laptops/PCs, and smartphone devices. This, however, can be compromised on all if our information is put into the wrong hands, and when that happens, we will almost instantly suffer at the hands of those who intend to steal our personal information.

Hackers are just a prime example of why some major organisations and users end up losing all their data, because they have been known for holding users and organisation’s ransom for a demand of money in order for those users and organisations to be able to use something again. In the digital world, there have been teething problems with security in certain core areas, for instance, ransomware, adware and malware are just the few that compromise our security on what we use on our computer, what we save on our computer, but most of all, the personal information and other things we store on our computer.

Most recently, I was the victim of a malware and virus attack after some viruses and malware got past my security software, which resulted in me having restore problems, until I was advised to create storage media on one of my USB’s using the Media Creation Tool (provided by Microsoft) which actually helped, as I was able to completely wipe my laptop of any viruses, malware and even any other kind of general virus attacks.

You can all be rest assured that none of the files I had on my laptop were infected, as I backed them up beforehand, and I scanned them all after successfully restoring the laptop with the Media Creation Tool, and all my files were safe, so I was extremely lucky that none of my files were infected.

At the end of the day, we need more security not just in the real world, but also in the digital world too, and our lives are only going to get better if our security is kept tight, but most of all, kept well and truly under wraps.

The more that viruses, malware, trojans and even adware are squashed, the better life becomes for all of us, because we don’t want to be kept in the dark with a computer that has become unusable as a result of either of these. The more we are protected with security, the better our lives will become.

If you strongly believe in full security, no matter what the situation or outcome, then please feedback your opinions and thoughts. All feedback of your opinions and thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Life Experience | My First Ever Ear Infection | Have You Ever Had an Ear Infection Before?

As you might recall, I took the rest of last week off from blogging and from college as I was off sick due to a diagnosed ear infection in my right ear, which left me in nothing but untold pain. To talk further in detail about my life experience, I will give a run-down as to what I experienced over the course of last week when I had the ear infection.

On Monday 30th November, my ear started to ache after using the cotton buds, which I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to use to clean your ears with, and it started to feel more painful during my English lesson, and by the time I got home, my ear was in pain, and I couldn’t hear pretty much almost anything.

The following day (Tuesday 1st December), I felt a lot worse than I did, as the pain didn’t go for a while, and just continued to get worse, and whilst I was in college, I had been in so much pain that I couldn’t concentrate on one of the things I needed to do with my group, so I took a 15-minute break at 10:45 AM, which is our first break, and that kind of helped me to forget the pain, but after the first break finished, the pain got a lot worse and was too much to handle, and as a result, I was advised to go home, to take some paracetamol or ibuprofen, and to have a lie-down even if it meant using Olive Oil in my ear. I left college early as advised, and I got home, but as the pain got too much for me, I ended up falling asleep on the sofa, and I didn’t wake up for the best part of two hours because the pain just got to me. My parents had to nudge me to wake me up as I was in so much pain.

As a result of the amount of pain I was in, I had to go for an emergency appointment down at my local doctors, and my doctor looked in my right ear to see if I had an ear infection, and the inside of my ear was inflamed, to which my doctor diagnosed me with an ear infection, and I was prescribed an antibiotic Otomize Ear Spray, which I would have to use up until yesterday.

Because I was home for the rest of the week as a result of the ear infection, I did find that having this ear infection put a drain on my energy, as I wasn’t able to concentrate on most things properly, and the ear infection felt like as if someone stuck up to 5-10 warm pins in my eardrum, to cause me so much pain.

For the rest of last week, into this week, I continued to use the Otomize Ear Spray and the Olive Oil, and although my ear infection was completely gone before this Monday, I continued to use the spray and olive oil until early Friday morning just to be on the safe side, to make myself absolutely sure that it would never come back again.

I feel 100% better now, as my ear infection is gone, and I don’t have any pain, which is the result I wanted, and I must admit, I can hear a lot clearer now after almost two weeks.

The only tip I can give to those of you who might use cotton buds on a regular basis, don’t use cotton buds, because it will push whatever you’re trying to get rid of further into your ear, and is not the advisable method to use. Always use Olive Oil or Otex, whichever one you think is more preferrable. Also, and this was a contributory factor to the ear infection I recently got rid of, don’t have your music on too loud as it will cause more of a buildup that can, if your ear is left untreated for a certain period of time, cause an ear infection. I’m only relaying this as this is what my local doctors advised me.

Before I conclude, I will leave you with three questions:

  1. Have you ever had an ear infection before?
  2. Is this the first time you have ever experienced having an ear infection?
  3. How long did your ear infection last for?

Alex Smithson

© Full Credit: Ear Emoji Created & Designed by The Unicode Consortium, who specialise in designing Emojis for all major companies, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Ubuntu).

10 Weeks with Windows 10

Exactly 10 weeks ago today, Microsoft Corporation released the last version of Windows to the entire world, and that last version of Windows was Windows 10. Windows 10, in the 10 weeks since it was released, has been installed on up to almost 100 million Laptops and PCs across the world.

Also in that 10 weeks, Windows 10 has revolutionised the way we use our computers, and not only that, but also alongside Windows 10 comes the most recently released version of Microsoft Office 2016, which has seen quite a large overhaul in its UI (User Interface) across all editing software programs, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel. Since Microsoft Office 2016 was released on the 22nd September, the UI has been given an overhaul to match the design specifications of the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch versions of its Office apps.

I have had absolutely no problems with Windows 10 at all, I have found that getting around the Windows OS is a whole lot better than before, and not only that, but the idea of automatic Windows Updates (which I must admit I wasn’t too sure about at the time) actually sounds like a good idea. I have noticed that for every cumulative update that has been applied, I have noticed quite a lot that Windows 10 is getting faster and faster than before, but to make things even better, having Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 2016 work perfectly together. I can craft documents and alter them to how I want them to look, and not only that, but I have noticed that in the time that I’ve used Microsoft Office, every bit of Windows and Microsoft Office just keeps evolving and becoming something a whole lot better.

The whole user interface of both Windows 10 and Microsoft Office is much better now, and for both the OS and Microsoft Office to be reworked entirely from the ground up, I’d say that Microsoft Corporation have done a fantastic job with the best of both. It has taken a while for Microsoft to get to this point, and I must admit, the very long wait has absolutely been worth it for them.

The Start Menu came back with a bang, after three years of being away from the scene, and was also given a near-complete overhaul, as the metro app design has been taken from Windows 8 and merged with Windows 10, and as well as that, much of the design aspects from Windows 7 have been put together with Windows 10, which combines the best of both Windows 7 & Windows 8.

Also introduced in Windows 10 was the ability to create clean and new desktops while on the same account. This meant that if you wanted to spread out the software applications that you wanted to use, without it cluttering up on just one desktop, you are now given the ability to click: “+ New Desktop”, which adds the ability to declutter your current desktop, while using the specific software applications on other desktops, all on one Microsoft account.

With Windows 10 also came the alternative voice assistant to Apple’s Siri, and that was Cortana. Cortana is mostly known for being the voice assistant on any Windows Phones, and is often a useful voice assistant for those who may be on the go, or if that person is just simply looking up information about a person, whether that person may be a musician or not.

A top feature of Windows 10 that just couldn’t be left out was Microsoft’s all new Edge browser. Microsoft Edge is the newborn alternative of Internet Explorer, with some, if not a lot of familiar features you may have known or used with the classic style Internet Explorer browser.

How as Windows 10 been on me? Windows 10 has been completely reliable on me, I have had no problems with the speed of the OS, and not only that, but I have found that Windows 10 has become much easier to use, as the OS is quite easy to access. In the space of 10 weeks alone, I have found Windows 10 to be really accessible, easy to use, and also powerful to work with, as you can work on something whilst doing other things as well. Microsoft have most definitely redefined multitasking with Windows 10.

Aside all of the new features comes the all-new Action Centre, which is like the notification system that Apple have made for their Notification Centre, but this Action Centre is useful if you are willing to keep an eye on certain things, such as the emails you receive, the notifications you receive from the likes of apps, such as Facebook or Twitter, or if you are someone who is security conscious when it comes to laptop and PC security, then Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS will notify you of any app notifications or problems via the Action Centre. Also included in the Action Centre is the ability to use Tablet Mode, so if, for example, you have a laptop, PC or tablet that has touchscreen support included, then Tablet Mode will be very useful and beneficial for you to use.

Quiet Hours is also a new feature in the Action Centre, which is useful if you don’t want to be bothered by the sounds of notifications, though these notifications won’t be shown, but will instead show up in the Action Centre once you click on the Action Centre icon near the clock’s time.

My final thoughts on Windows 10 after 10 weeks? In contrast, I think that it has absolutely been worth upgrading to Windows 10, because I’ve not come across any of the small problems that I had with Windows 8, and I have found that the jump to Windows 10 from Windows 8 has absolutely been worth it. Windows 10 is every bit amazing, as it hits all the right notes with some of the classical features from Windows 7 and Windows 8.

My question to all of you: How has Windows 10 performed for you over the course of 10 weeks?

My overall rating of Windows 10 altogether: 10/10

Alex Smithson

© Microsoft Corporation 2015

© The Official Windows 10 Home/Pro Wallpaper, the Windows 10 Logo and the Microsoft Logo used in the Featured Image are courtesy of Microsoft Corporation. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Microsoft Edge | Your no-fuss online browser for doing.

Ten weeks ago next week, Microsoft Corporation released Windows 10 to the world. In the short space of almost two months, Windows 10 was installed on almost 100 million devices across the world.

It’s absolutely amazing how in just the short space of almost 10 weeks, Windows 10 has been changing people’s lives for the better, as it has been helping to make your way of using Windows much better than you think. Before, the possibilities of being able to smile at your webcam to log on to your account are now a thing of the past, as Intel and Microsoft have since joined forces to create an all-new type of technology called Intel RealSense, which is designed for you in mind, meaning only you can smile at the Laptop or PC’s webcam and it will log you in without you needing to type your password in the minute your computer boots up.

The birth of Microsoft Edge blossomed and Internet Explorer was starting to say goodbye after 20 long years of being on our PCs, as Internet Explorer was what revolutionised Windows and Microsoft in the style that they are both in today. Check below to find out why Microsoft Edge is now your no-fuss browser for doing.

In just a short time since Windows 10 was released, Microsoft Edge has been given much more of a wide-birth, which is much better, as this brings new life into the Windows OS, with Internet Explorer being partly the reason for why the Edge browser was made. Without Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge wouldn’t have even been a browser, but it’s because of the fact that the frameworks, the breadcrumbs and the design aspects of Internet Explorer made up for Edge to be a much better browser.

What do I think of Microsoft Edge? I think Microsoft Edge is actually spot-on, because I can access things quicker than I could before, and if I’m looking at or using websites, such as the Metro, WordPress or YouTube, Microsoft Edge remembers the sites I regularly visit by adding that site to the “Top Sites” section underneath the address bar.

In a typical sense, I have noticed quite frequently with this browser that it can get to pages instantly without the hassle, which is a really good sign as this can save me from worrying about the amount of time website pages take to load. Also, I have noticed that by using this browser, I can get around things a hell of a lot more than I used to. It’s actually a lot quicker now to get around things that I initially thought wasn’t possible before.

Give credit where it’s due, Microsoft do try their absolute hardest to try and make a browser like this better, it doesn’t matter if the browser suffers a few teething problems, that happens to any browser, it’s an entirely normal thing, and is nothing new to Microsoft, but you have to give them credit though, they work their socks off to make sure their Windows 10 OS and Microsoft Edge browser is better.

Things are starting to look up now as Microsoft released Microsoft Office 2016 to the whole world on the 22nd September, and if you’re an Office 365 account holder, and you own Office 2013, which is bundled with Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, OneNote and Outlook, then you will be able to upgrade Office 2013 to the all-new Office 2016. This is good if you’re an Office 365 user, and if you want to install Office 2016 now, you have to go to the website listed on the packaging of the Office 365 product card provided. If you already have Office 2013 on your computer in your Office 365 subscription, but can’t find the link if you’ve lost the packaging that includes the product card, then click here to be directed to the Office Setup Page.

(Note: If you already have Office 2013 with the 365 subscription and want to upgrade without needing to put a 25-digit pin in, then go to the link highlighted above, and then click on this link to follow the instructions on how to install it without the hassle.)

Moving back to the subject of Microsoft Edge, indeed, Microsoft Edge is most definitely the no-fuss online browser for doing, as it packs a punch, and is also most certainly the browser that shouldn’t go amiss to the naked eye.

At the end of the day, this browser, although it’s been out with Windows 10 for the upmost part of ten weeks, is still being updated with bug fixes and improvements, and not only that, but the accessibility of the browser is being upgraded also to make things better and a lot easier for everyone to access.

My general overview and final thoughts? I absolutely love Microsoft Edge, I’ve had no problems with using it to get to certain websites that I want to get to, and not only that, but I’ve been able to access websites and watch videos quicker and a lot better than I used to. On all grounds, Microsoft has certainly taken all of the ideas it could gather from it’s predecessor, Internet Explorer, and put them all into one browser that is much faster than the first one.

I love using Microsoft Edge, as it is fully functional, the speed is absolutely amazing, and as I am someone who likes to use the internet a lot, I can also get around certain news websites quicker, such as BBC, Sky & ITV. With the new reader feature that is a part of the browser, this means I will be able to read any articles, whether they are blog or website related, without the pesky ads that often pop up on pretty much every website around with ease.

If you make the jump to Windows 10, I strongly suggest that you use Microsoft Edge, it’s a fantastic browser, and it will benefit you in many more ways than one. Microsoft have decided that it’s now time to open the window for everyone to experience a new way to browse.

Alex Smithson

© Microsoft Corporation 2015

© The Microsoft Edge logo, Edge’s “E” Logo, the Microsoft Logo and the tagline used in the Featured Image are courtesy of Microsoft Corporation. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Welcome to August!!! A Relaxing, Peaceful & Joyous Month Awaits!!!

Welcome to August on Mother Nature!!! With this month being set to be the most relaxing month, despite the scorching hot weather that will be impacting the UK soon, it’s safe to say that this month will be full of joy and relaxation, given just how lovely the weather has been so far.

In light of recent events however, I will be making a tribute article soon to pay my respects to the Formula 1 Racer, Jules Bianchi, who recently passed away on the 17th July 2015, coming just 9 months after a racing accident that left him with severe head injuries.

I will be making sure to make the most of the free time I still have before I re-enrol for my second year at Croydon College, as I want to make sure that I can get as many articles published on Mother Nature before I go back to college next month.

It’s hard to believe how this past year has gone so fast, it’s really scary, don’t you think? Though, truth be told, they always say that time flies when you’re having fun, working hard and enjoying yourself, and having laughs with many of those that you know. The time element has gone way too fast for my liking, though I just hope that the time element slows down for now.

You might have heard in the past 24 hours about everyone installing Windows 10 on their computers, well, in almost the past 72 hours, Microsoft have managed to reach 14 million downloads, due to unprecedented demand of those, like myself, who have reserved and downloaded the free copy of Windows 10, courtesy of Microsoft Corporation.

I must admit, I prefer Microsoft Edge over Google Chrome & Mozilla Firefox, because I’ve been using the all-new browser since Wednesday, and it is actually better than the semi-active Internet Explorer, which has always been slow. Give credit where it’s due, Internet Explorer had a good time whenever I used to use it, but it’s journey, as we all know it, has reached the end. Microsoft Edge…Welcome!!! We need you.

Moving on from the subject, with this month being set to be a relaxing, peaceful and joyous month ahead, I can’t wait to get some articles published on Mother Nature for all of you to read.

Until then, welcome to August on Mother Nature!!! A Relaxing, Peaceful & Joyous month awaits!!!

Alex Smithson

HP Stream 11 | A Laptop Worth Every Penny.

This article comes hot on the heels of the HP Stream 11 laptop that I purchased a few weeks back, which is the HP Stream 11, which has recently been advertised alongside the HP Stream 13.

With a built-in 32GB Hard Drive and plenty of accessibility to ports, this laptop is perfect for college studies, and is compact and easy to use for everything else, even for parties and anything else that this computer best suits for you.

The ability to save and synchronise your documents with Microsoft’s OneDrive storage service is a bonus, because, if you use Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium, all the features are included, and as well as this, you get up to 10TB of OneDrive storage if you have signed up to their waiting list.

After a month of having this laptop, I am absolutely delighted with the fluidity of the HP Stream 11, as it is fast, and it also suits to my needs. The HP Stream 11 by Hewlett Packard packs a punch, as it comes with the relevant features needed for a small laptop.

The colour of laptop like the one you have seen in the featured image of the photo I took was of the Horizon Blue HP Stream 11. I picked Horizon Blue because Blue is my favourite colour, given the fact that this colour laptop has a tranquil, and relaxing appearance.

Since I purchased this laptop from PC World, I have optimised it to fit my own viewing comfort, and I’ve also adjusted it carefully to what I need to use for it. It’s always responsive, and because the HP Stream 11 comes with Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 with Bing, this gives me the chance to use the HP Stream 11 to my own advantage.

I use this computer mainly for my college studies, for listening to music via Spotify, to create images for this website using the free open-source software, GIMP, Steam for playing games, such as Pivvot by Whitaker Trebella, for watching videos on YouTube, for writing articles for Mother Nature and also for adding further information to my latest book: “My Journey Through a Lens”.

This computer alone also comes with a built-in HDMI port, which is perfect if you want to watch music videos or movies on the big screen in High Definition.

HP - Usable Ports

The HP Stream 11 comes packed with an Intel Inside Processor, which makes the usability and performance of this computer much, much faster than you could possibly imagine. I love using the HP Stream 11 because of the fact it’s compact, it’s the right size of computer for me, and it is also a handy computer that will keep me going for many years to come, should the main computer that I use goes wrong. Make sure to buy this laptop whilst you have the chance, because you won’t regret it, and you certainly won’t be disappointed.

HP - Intel Inside Processor

Packed with the HP Stream 11 is the SD Card port, which is perfect if you want to listen to some music that you have stored on those SD Cards that may be lying around somewhere in your house. SD Cards are also handy for those of you who are looking to upload your photos and videos to Microsoft’s OneDrive storage service. The SD Card function on the HP Stream 11 is perfect if you want to free up the storage space on those SD Cards you may have kept for a long time. By freeing up the storage on your SD Cards using Microsoft’s OneDrive storage service, this means that you won’t have to worry, as all your photos and videos will be available online via your OneDrive account storage, with peace of mind.

HP - Further Usability of Ports

A streamlined, yet smooth keyboard layout for the HP Stream 11 defines just how well this laptop performs overall. Packed with the usual controls needed to make the HP Stream 11 function, this makes accessibility and functionality ten times as easier to use.

HP - Keyboard Design - Close-Up

HP - Keyboard Design

The front-facing camera is perfect for the HP Stream 11, for example, if you intend on taking selfies to share with your friends, you can via the camera apps that are provided with this laptop, or, if you use Skype, this will be perfect for you to use if you want to keep in contact with your friends via message and via video and audio calls.

HP - Built-in Camera

To top it all off, what would this laptop be without a beautiful, streamlined design? The HP Stream 11 in Horizon Blue is absolutely beautiful, because the streamlined design makes and also defines how laptops and notebooks should be made. Hewlett Packard have absolutely served me well and fully with such a fantastic laptop. The HP Stream 11, with a £179.99 price tag, packs a punch, as it comes with all the things that you need to get yourself started. The HP Stream 11 also counts as my first ever laptop, and for the price of this laptop, it is absolutely worth every penny.

HP - Streamlined Design

Overall Rating for the HP Stream 11: 10/10

Overall Performance: 10/10

Reliability: 10/10

Screen Design: 10/10

Overall Design for the HP Stream 11: 10/10

Battery Life: 10/10

Please make sure to buy the HP Stream 11, as it will help you go further in your studies, and even for when you are doing your reports for work. I recommend the HP Stream 11 all the way.

Alex Smithson

© HP 2015 | All credit goes to Hewlett Packard

All photos present in this article were taken on the Nikon D3300 DSLR.

Monthly Roundup: September 2014

Hello everyone, as today marks the final day of September, before we all journey into October, I wanted to take a look-back over September as it unfolded.

On the 1st September, I published my 2nd book, A Year in Photography, which is packed with a lot of information, and is also bigger and much better than my first book: “My Journey Through Photography”. Despite recurring problems with Microsoft Office Word 2013’s server claiming that it went down, I was still able to publish the book with no problem whatsoever.

A few short days after the release of the 2nd book, I updated you all, notifying you that an updated copy of the book was available to download via Dropbox, which meant that you would need to delete the old copy that was released on the 1st September in favour for the new copy that was updated.

Aside from this, I also mentioned in the same article that there were some small changes that would be made to this blog, such as a few small additions of some new social buttons, which were Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook and Tumblr.

During the course of the month, I wrote an article based on the Mount Tavurvur volcano that recently erupted a couple of weeks ago. This volcanic eruption that was captured on camera by Phil McNamara also caught a Sonic Boom, which makes a sudden banging noise that is almost loud enough to perforate your ear-drums. This resulted in Phil saying on the recording of the video: “Holy smoking Toledos.”. The shock-wave also changed the cloud formations in the Earth’s atmosphere, as the volcano had erupted bad enough to blow almost everything out of all proportions. The video that Phil McNamara recorded of the volcanic eruption instantly went viral across the whole of the internet after he published it.

To mark the beginning of college life, I began my first day at Croydon College on the 8th September, and I absolutely loved it. After my first week was over, I published a second article which would round off what was a perfect first week. The atmosphere at Croydon College has been absolutely peaceful, and has also been fun as well, as everyone treats each other with respect, which just goes to show how much of a massive impact college life can have, it leaves such a positive impact not just on me, but also on everyone else.

After 5 years since their 12th studio album, No Line On the Horizon, was released, U2 came back with a bang as they announced their 13th studio album: “Songs of Innocence”, which is now available for free until the 13th October. This album was announced at Apple’s Media Event, which took place at the Flint Centre on the 9th September, where they would also go on to unveil the two new iPhone’s, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Also, after a long while, Apple finally redesigned their whole website to make sure their website had the same metro-matching appearance to iOS.

For 4 days, the Invictus Games took place in London, which would give all of our soldiers, and many other soldiers from around the world the chance to compete, which was such a fantastic opportunity for our soldiers. This gave the soldiers from the UK and all of the other soldiers from around the world the chance to prove to everyone that even if they may have been unable to do the things they used to do, they would still carry on with sheer determination no matter what, to make sure that they could get the chance to be able to do something again that they may have missed for such a long time.

When iOS 8 was released on the 17th September, everyone was absolutely on it to install the new update, which to me was also a relief, as this update fixed the battery woes that I had to put up with for a whole year, considering the fact that the iOS 7 ecosystem in terms of the battery was absolutely poor. iOS 8 fixed all of the problems that I had with iOS 7 completely. The battery life was absolutely fantastic, because, just like iOS 6, the battery would last for more than one day, possibly a week. This, however, made me think that it’s always the even number updates that tend to make all iDevices last for a long time, but it’s the odd number updates that always tend to drain the battery the most.

iOS 4, iOS 6 and iOS 8 are the 3 main updates that have made the battery life on almost all iDevices last for a long while, whereas, for iOS 5 and iOS 7, the battery life for iOS 5 and iOS 7 would continually drain non-stop.

Overall, this month has been perfect, I couldn’t have asked for a perfect start to life as a college student, and for everything else, I will always keeping fighting the good fight to make sure I can get to where I want to be in the future, and that is to become a professional photographer.

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for making my life special in blogging, and also for supporting me along the way when it came to my exams, I shall make sure to keep up the good work…again, thank you :-).

Alex Smithson

A Year in Photography | Out Now. Welcome to September!!!

Hello everyone!!! Welcome back for an exciting month ahead. To start the month off with a bang, I finally managed to get the problems sorted with Microsoft Office Word 2013’s servers going offline, and just in the nick of time, I have managed to upload the book to its own Dropbox folder, and as of now, it is out now and is available for free as a standalone download.

The small change I have made are the buttons for both books. As I renamed the Widget: “Free Book (s)” to: “Free Books”, I thought it would be nice to make the buttons feel flat and retro, as a metro-looking, 80s-retro style for the buttons feels more of an appealing approach.

This book is well over 60 pages, and has just crossed the 70-page mark as I added a few photos to round off the whole book, though you might notice a few of the photos are the same for the front cover, and also throughout the book.

I opted for a lighter blue for the back cover as I thought it would make it feel more like a book. This would make the book feel more like a proper book, and not like as if it was carved. Since college is just around the corner, I wanted to notify you all that I may be posting at least a few articles over the next couple of weeks, as the workload I’ll receive while I’m at college may be double the amount of work I used to get when I was at school, though I’ll try my best to publish some articles as best as I can.

To conclude, I would like to announce that Mother Nature is now on Facebook, so please feel free to like my Facebook page at any time.

Thank you for reading this article, and I guarantee you’ll love the book. Enjoy!!!

Alex Smithson