Clear Web Cache and Moving Browser Cache Folder

How to Clean Up The Web Cache and Move The Cache Folder

Normally you do not even need to think about the browser’s cache. You may not even know what the web cache does. The web cache stores some of the web pages you have visited on the PC, so that when you visit the same site it does not need to get all the data from the Internet again. Thus the web cache uses space on the hard disk.

The web cache automatically clears out old items and adds new items as the user browses. In day-to-day usage the cache operates in the background with the user not needing to worry about it. However, if the disk drive the cache is stored on runs low on space then the cache may need to be cleaned out to free some space. It can also be moved to another disk to help with disk space management. Finally it can be moved to another disk, including RAM disks, if that other disk is faster, to help improve the performance of the system.

Clear Web Cache in Internet Explorer

Access Internet Explore Settings to Clear Web CacheTo clear web cache in IE open the settings and chose Internet options. On the General tab under Browsing history select the Delete button. The default options are normally OK. As a minimum Temporary Internet files and website files must be checked. Select Delete and the web cache will be cleared. A message will appear on IE when the process has finished and you can close the Internet Options dialog. It is also worth running a third party cleaner, such as Piriform’s CCleaner (Computer Cleaner), to clear more cache items that cannot be cleared while IE is open.

Move Browser Cache in Internet Explorer

Close all open programs except for IE. Clear the IE cache as above then select the Settings button. In the Web Data Settings box on the Temporary Internet Files tab select Move folder. Select a new location, preferably on a different drive. For example the folder D:\Temp was created using Windows File Explorer, D:\Temp was then selected from the Move folder button so that the new cache location became D:\Temp\Temporary Internet Files. Click OK and accept the message to confirm the move, the PC may need a restart. Read on to see how to clear and move the cache for Chrome, Firefox and Opera. Continue reading

Outlook Alternative With Free Thunderbird and Lightning Replacement

Switch to Thunderbird to Help Move Away from Microsoft Office

With the move to cloud based systems there is less of a reason to pay for expensive desktop software. However, having desktop software to work offline, where there is no Internet connection or when the Internet is down is still a priority for many. Microsoft Office has been the main productivity program for many people over the years. But why pay for new versions, upgrades or to move it to a new computer when there are free alternatives.

Microsoft Office Alternatives

The most common reasons to use Microsoft Office are to be able to create, save and open documents in Microsoft Office format. Because that is what everyone else does. For most documents that can be achieved using free open source programs.

With Microsoft Office the most popular programs are Word (to write reports, letters and other documents), Excel (to generate and use spreadsheets) and PowerPoint (to make presentations). These three functions are supported in the free office productivity suites LibreOffice and OpenOffice. Another alternative is the Kingsoft Office suite which has a free version. If you just need to create the occasional small document then Windows has WordPad and that can save to the Word Office format (docx).

The Alternative to Outlook for Email, Address Book, Calendar and Notes

Unfortunately LibreOffice and OpenOffice do not come with a personal organiser. Switching away from Microsoft Office also means switching away from using the desktop Outlook. Windows 8 has its own email and calender clients. For many people these will be fine. Other users will want a program that has more features and tools. Deciding to replace Microsoft Office means finding an Outlook alternative. A good choice is Thunderbird, which can import emails from Outlook and has calendar and note taking add-ons.

To Begin Outlook Replacement First Install Thunderbird

Thunderbird an Outlook AlternativeThunderbird is made by the Mozilla Foundation, Mozilla also do the Firefox web browser. First download and install Thunderbird. If your email is all on a web server then Thunderbird will see it when it is configured.

For help on email account set up see Thunderbird email Account Setup in an online Thunderbird manual. Your email provider can give you the required settings. For some email providers Thunderbird knows the settings and only the password is required.

If some or all the email is stored on your computer (e.g. the email is accessed using POP and pulled off the server), you will probably need to transfer some old emails into Thunderbird, it they are to be kept. One reason Thunderbird is used as an Outlook alternative is that it can import old emails from Outlook. Thus if moving to a new PC then install Thunderbird on the old PC, that has Outlook, to grab old POP emails. This is covered below.

Tidy Up Outlook Prior to Importing to Thunderbird

There is no need to carry across items you no longer need. Open Outlook and go through all the email, folders, calendar, contacts and tasks to remove anything that is no longer required. You can also execute the Compact option on a Outlook Personal Folder to reduce the folders size once unwanted items have been removed (under Advanced in the properties of the top level).

Import Outlook Items into Thunderbird

If setting up Thunderbird on a new computer and you want access to the emails stored in Outlook there are options available. If using Thunderbird on the same computer as Outlook you can import items directly into Thunderbird, see Switching from Outlook 2007 to Thunderbird on the Thunderbird support area. If the email accounts use IMAP to communicate with the server then you do not need to import the email from Outlook. It will be shown in Thunderbird when the email accounts are added.

If Outlook is configured with more than one account, some POP based and some using IMAP. Then if only a few POP based emails need to be transferred they can be dragged over to the IMAP account in Outlook. Outlook will load them onto the IMAP account’s server. The emails will then appear in Thunderbird. To check if an account is using IMAP or POP see the account’s settings in Outlook or check with the email provider.

Move Outlook Emails Imported to Thunderbird to Another Computer

The imported emails are stored under Local Folders in Thunderbird. This is a folder stored in the Thunderbird Profiles directory. In Windows Profiles is buried in the logged on users hidden AppData directory. Open the logged on users folder (via the desktop or C:\Users). Use the View menu option in file Explorer to show Hidden items. In AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles open the Mail directory in the default profile. Close Thunderbird and from Local Folders copy all folders and files starting Outlook Import (unless it was renamed in Thunderbird then use the new name). It will be three or four files:

  • Outlook Import.sbd (directory and all its contents)
  • Outlook Import (a file with no extension)
  • Outlook.Import.msf (a file)

and possibly:

  • Outlook Import.mozmsgs (directory and all its contents)

Place the copy of these files into the same location on the new PC. Open the Thunderbird in the new location and the mail messages will be in Local Folders.

Import Outlook Address Book

To import the Outlook address book click on Address Book in Thunderbird, choose Tools then Import and select Address Books. Click Next, select Outlook and Next again.

To transfer the Address Book to another Thunderbird on a new computer use the Tools menu. Select the Address Book, select Tools then Export. Select the location for the file and give it a name. Move the LDIF file to the new computer and then use the Tools option in the new Address Book to do an Import.

Add the Lightning Calendar and QuickFox Notepad to Thunderbird

In Thunderbird open the right hand menu and select Add-ons. Select the Lightning add-on. Select Add to Thunderbird to install it. If the Lightning add-on is not shown use the search facility and select Install.

Do the same to add QuickFox to Thunderbird if you need to save notes. Search for QuickFox and install Notepad (QuickFox).

Thunderbird, Lightning and QuickFox Documentation

Enjoy emailing without Outlook, here’s some links if looking for help on working with Thunderbird, Lightning and QuickFox.

While Thunderbird is different to Outlook it is very capable as an email client and makes a very good Outlook alternative.

Medion Akoya Review (Medion Akoya P5351 F)

Our Review of a New Medion Akoya PC That’s Landed in The Office

The Medion Akoya P5351 F is one of a trio of desktop Medion Windows 8 PCs that have the Intel i7-4770 CPU, available from the Medion web site (as of October 2013). The three Medion PCs with the i7-4770 CPU are the Medion Akoya P5356 F, Medion Akoya P5351 F and Medion Akoya P5353 F. They are all the same PC and only vary in the amount of memory and the graphics card fitted. The model numbers are a bit strange, P5356F has the highest model number but has the lowest specification. Likewise the P5351F, the Akoya reviewed here, has the lowest model number but is in the middle of the three in terms of specification. Which means the highest specified Akoya, the P5353F has the middle model number! So be careful if buying one and do not go by the model number alone. So what is the difference between the three i7-4770 sporting PCs?

Medion Akoya ReviewYou can chose between a 8GB (Akoya P5356-F) or a 16GB (Akoya P5351-F) machine both with a Nvidia GTX 660 graphics card. Alternatively go for a PC with a Nvidia GTX 680 graphics card (Akoya P5353-F) which has a 128GB SSD instead of a 64GB one. It is the different memory, graphics card and SSD options that result in the price differences. Everything else is the same. All come with a one year warranty.

Who are Medion?

Medion is a Germany company producing electronics products. It is owned by Levono the chinese electronics company. Both companies have a reputation for building quality products.

The Medion Akoya P5351 F

The Akoya arrived from Germany in a plain white no frills box. Trapped and suspended between two large foam supports. Much needed with the way today’s parcel handlers shift boxes. The PC appears well built and solid. The functional case has a contoured gloss front with three doors. One for the CD, one for a hot-swap drive bay and one to cover the card reader, front 2 USB ports and front microphone and headphone jacks. There is a large triangular power button towards the bottom. The case is a compact 185mm wide, 380mm high and 410mm deep.

It is supplied with a standard mouse and branded Medion keyboard. They are OK for occasional use but heavy users will need to get better quality ones. Especially the mouse, it is a little on the small side so those with large hands would want to upgrade it. Plenty of USB ports at the rear. It is running Windows 8 64-bit.

CPU and Memory

The socket 1150 LGA i7-4770 CPU is one of the fastest consumer CPUs available. And if you a not interested in overclocking then it is ideal, because it can’t be overclocked, unlike the slightly more expensive i7-4770K. At the same clock rate they give the same performance. In this Akoya the i7-4770 CPU is running at 3.4GHZ. It is a 4 core CPU with 8 threads. It is supported by 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory. When powered up Task Manager is showing 1.5GB of memory in use, a bit high but that’s Windows 8. Some optimization of the start-up programs and services is possible but it doesn’t reduce it buy much. Fortunately there is 14.5GB of free memory left.

Storage and DVD Drive

The boot disk, C: drive, is a 64GB SSD, it is a below average performing Micron unit (C400-MTFDDAC064MAM). It is supported by a Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200 RPM hard disk (ST2000DM001-1CH164). Both are SATA III at 6 Gb/s. The Seagate disk has two partitions, a 60GB recover partition showing as a F: drive, this has 43GB free. The D: drive is empty with 1800GB of formatted space available for data. The DVD drive is a TSSTcorp (Toshiba Samsung) SH-216BB unit.

One of the first thing a user needs to do is move their work folders to the D: drive. The 64GB drive will fill up quickly, Windows 8 already hogs over 30GB. With plenty of space on the D: drive placing all data there will make better use of the storage. It also means that if the system drive breaks down it can be replaced knowing that the data is safe on the D: drive (data should also always be backed up elsewhere in case the D: drive fails, this is where the hot-swap drive bay becomes useful). Any large software programs, especially games, should also be installed to the D: drive. E.g. create a Programs file on D: and point installers to it. It is worth using the space free on the recovery partition when installing utilities.

BIOS

To enter the Akoya BIOS set up screens use the delete key as the system is booting. The Akoya uses an American Megatrends BIOS. It supports a temperature controlled fan so the PC runs nice an quietly in normal operation.

GPU, Sound and Network

The 1.5GB Nvidia GeForce 660 GTX graphics card is a good performer. It has two DVI-I sockets allowing for dual displays. Which means you can plug analog monitors into the card with the appropriate DVI-I to VGA adapter. It also has a HDMI port.

Sound is provided by a standard Realtek High Definition Audio chip, as well as multiple speaker output it supports digital output. The GPU card also supports NVIDIA High Definition Audio for the HDMI playback.

Realtek also provides the standard wired Ethernet network interface.

Bloatware

Unlike some suppliers there isn’t a lot of extra software that never gets used and just hogs space and slows down the PC. There is some recovery software, media handling software, a Medion media portal and Kaspersky security suite. The media portal can be removed as it is has a German bias. The security suite is only a ninety day licence, so unless paying to keep on using it remove it and use your preferred anti-virus package. or the Windows Defender package built in to Windows 8 (which becomes active if Kaspersky is uninstalled).

Medion Akoya Review Summary

Thumbs up, overall 3.5 stars out of 5. This Medion is compact, stylish, well built, quiet and good value. With any Medion Akoya review you will never get a perfect score. They are built for reliable operation, hence the use of an Intel i7-4770 CPU that cannot be overclocked, rather than trying to out gun the top performers. The 64GB SSD could be a better performer but is adequate. The D: drive must be put to good use as there is no real space on the C: drive. A novice would need help changing the layout of the folders for best long term storage. There is little bloatware but some trimming of the start-up configuration is possible, though it has little effect on the start-up memory footprint which is high for Windows 8.

Android Menu Vs Action Bar with Example Code

An Android Menu in Your App

When a new Android App project is created in the Eclipse or Android Studio IDEs there is the option to create a default activity (the Create Activity option in the New Android Application wizard). If the option is checked and Blank Activity is chosen a simple App ready to run is generated. This App simply shows the message Hello world! on the device screen (see Your First Android Hello World Java Program).   This simple App has a menu with one item called Settings. On devices with a physical (hardware) menu key, the Settings menu option appears at the bottom of the screen, when the key is pressed:

Basic Android Menu Option

On devices without a hardware menu key, Android Version 3.0 and later devices (API level 11+), an icon in the Action Bar shows the Settings menu item. This icon is referred to as the action overflow. However, due to it’s stacked appearance in this article it will be referred to as the menu icon:

Action Bar with Basic Android Menu

The above two screens show the older Android menu vs Action Bar menu, i.e. pre-Honeycomb using the physical menu key, and post-Honeycomb menu using the Action Bar icon (3 small stacked boxes icon know as action overflow). Further differences in use are examined in this article with code examples. Here is the code for this basic App: Continue reading