Login: The essentials

The number two Phillips head screwdriver is a powerful beast. I remember, as a wee lad, watching my father encounter a problem and reach straight for the little green handled wonder, with its chrome steel shank.

The number two Phillips head screwdriver is a powerful beast. I remember, as a wee lad, watching my father encounter a problem and reach straight for the little green handled wonder, with its chrome steel shank. Fridges, televisions, cars -- everything in our house had somehow been tweaked by its six millimetre head. I remember the first time he sneezed, back in the late 70's, and he reached for the screwdriver. Mum herded me out of the room, so I'm not sure what happened, but that was the first and last time he sneezed.

That, right there, is the spark that set off this issue. We all have our essential tools that we use over and over, for many different tasks. This issue is devoted to the 'can do', 'fix it' attitude that drives us to magazines like PC Authority.

Experienced PC users apply this logic to their PCs and through trial and error, come up with a small set of tools that can fix and tweak any part of Windows. To coincide with this, we've included Microsoft's latest tool right here on our third bonus CD -- the long-awaited Windows XP Service Pack 2. It's got some foibles in it, so we've also included a 72 page installation and setup guide to go with it, so you can make sure. Don't forget to check out http://support.microsoft.com for any incompatibilities it might have with your software.

In addition to this, you might notice something different about the mag this month (apart from the bonus CD and extra magazine that is). We've bumped up the page count to a total size of 160 pages, which includes around 50 percent more editorial pages than last month.

So what did we do with those pages? The Labs boys have managed to pack in four full Labs comparisons tackling all things storage, and then made their way into photo editing software. We've also pulled apart a virus on page 126; popped the hood on some next generation RAM; and rounded it all up with a guide to getting all your old software running on Windows XP.

It goes beyond the pages, too -- www.pcauthority.com.au has just been relaunched into something bigger and better. All content from past issues is now unlocked, and the current issue will still be a subscriber-only exclusive. Our daily news service is also up and running with breaking news from our journos. Finally, we've added a couple of new sections, which you'll just have to see for yourself.

The changes at PC Authority are only just beginning, and the next stage is our annual reader survey. Tell us what you like, what you don't like, and who you are, and we'll build the magazine that you want to read. The survey is live as we speak, and you can get to it at www.pcauthority.com.au.

Don't stop at the survey, though -- surveys only come once a year and anything can change during that time -- so send me an email tell me what you think at any time.

This Feature appeared in the October, 2004 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine

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