This doesn't blow Jota editor out of the water but it is much easier to use and doesn't require multiple downloads to be compatible with cloud storage.
iA Writer has come to Android. The minimalist writing app has been a high-profile favorite for iOS and OS X users looking to write without distraction, but since its release in 2010, it's only been on those two platforms. That changes today with its release on Android, where it's now available for $4.99. iA Writer appears to be very much the same on Android, sticking you with one font, no substantial formatting options, and only the sparsest of menus. Despite the spartan aesthetic, the app still adopts Android's style where appropriate, so it looks right at home on the new platform. It appears to be optimized for both phones and tablets.
Because we already know where Harry, Hermione and Ron ended up. But not everyone can be the Boy Who Lived, the Boy Who Lived’s Best Friend, or The Girl Who Had To Do Most Of The Thinking. So, what happened to the rest of them?
Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley)
Bonnie has done very well out of her Harry Potter experience, appearing in all eight movies and then marrying the hero (if you’re lost in the Potterverse). JK Rowling referred to her as being one of the “Big Seven”—her term for the most significant of the younger cast members, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis and Evanna Lynch. And she very quickly began to line up roles, including the young Agatha Christie in 2004′s TV movie Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures, After The Dark (which came out in February 2014), Before I Sleep and The Sea. In 2013 she made her stage debut at London’s Southwark Playhouse as the Girl in Peter Ustinov’s The Moment of Truth, and she’s currently working on a film called Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg.
Then there’s her sideline career as a model and director of music videos, her screenwriting and directorial work on the short film Know Thyself, and the movie Separate We Come, Separate We Go (her graduation project which starred David Thewlis and premiered at Cannes) and her own production company Bon Bon Lumiere.
James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley)
Bonnie’s screen elder brothers, James and Oliver have the option of working together—as they did in a 2009 episode of Stephen Fry‘s Norfolk drama Kingdom—or apart, with James appearing in 2012′s Ward 3 and working as a runner on the film sets of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Da Vinci Code. Oliver’s solo credits also include a short film called Ears.
Both brothers are currently working on a British production called Own Worst Enemy, playing golf with their former wizarding schoolmates and touring the world in support of various Harry Potter-related experiences.
Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom)
Matthew regularly features in the news pages of gossip magazines, primarily because he has become quite such a handsome young man after what appeared to be a less than promising start (his Neville costume involved a fat suit, false teeth and deliberately stuck-out ears, so it’s not that much of a miracle after all). A working actor since the age of five, Matthew had appeared in British TV shows such as Heartbeat and Where The Heart Is before Harry Potter happened, and has continued to work diligently ever since. In 2011 he took the role of Lester Cole in a touring production of Agatha Christie’s Verdict. The following year he appeared in the five-part BBC TV drama The Syndicate, took the role of Dodd in the movie Wasteland, and made his West End debut in Our Boys alongside Arthur Darvill. He has since joined the cast of the BBC3 comedy drama Bluestone 42, playing part of an army bomb disposal unit in Afghanistan.
He is also the only person in history to have suffered a ruptured eardrum at the hands of Helena Bonham Carter, who accidentally jabbed it with her wand during filming.
Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)
Another seasoned pro even before he got his Hogwarts call-up papers, Tom started out making commercials for Barclaycard and Commercial Union, and had even been in movies before the first Harry Potter. He played Peagreen Clock in The Borrowers in 1997, and filmed his contribution to Anna and the King (alongside Jodie Foster) before shooting began on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Since the final fall of the Dark Lord, Tom has busied himself with music, releasing several songs on YouTube and iTunes, and an album called In Good Hands.
He also took the lead role in the 2010 movie White Other, playing opposite Imelda Staunton, and played one of the humans in 2011′s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He can currently be seen appearing in the TNT crime series Murder in the First, and will be playing Dr. John Seward in Fangs of War, a wartime re-setting of the story of Dracula.
Alfie Enoch (Dean Thomas)
Alfie (or, more recently Alfred) stands at the meeting point between three titans of British popular culture. Popping up as Dean Thomas in all eight Harry Potter movies, he went on to take the role of the soldier Bainbridge who died under mysterious circumstances in the Sherlock episode “The Sign of Three.” And his father is William Russell, who played Ian Chesterton, the very first of the Doctor’s companions in Doctor Who.
And if that wasn’t enough, he appeared in the first episode of Broadchurch, and played Titus Lartius in the Donmar Warehouse production of Coriolanus that starred Tom Hiddleston and Mark Gatiss. He can currently be seen playing law student Wes in the ABC legal drama How To Get Away With Murder.
Devon Murray (Seamus Finnegan)
Like Tom Felton, Devon’s career was already well established by the time of his first appearance in Harry Potter. At the age of 10, he appeared in the film This Is My Father alongside Stephen Rea, John Cusack and James Caan, which led to a role in Angela’s Ashes the following year, and then the TV movie Yesterday’s Children a year later. However, he’s not quite managed to maintain the same level of success since.
Daniel Radcliffe’s revelation that Devon was something of a serial prop mistreater—he holds the record for wand breakage after managing to destroy 10 in one movie—won’t exactly have helped.
Katie Leung (Cho Chang)
Having attended an open audition for the role of Cho Chang, won the part and then found herself the subject of worldwide press and fan attention, Katie took her time deciding whether a career in acting really was for her, preferring to focus on art and design. In the end, it took a drama course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to really light the blue touch paper and in 2011, she accepted the lead role in Jung Chang’s autobiographical play Wild Swans. It premiered in Cambridge, Massachusetts the following year, eventually moving to London. That year, she also appeared in a four-part Channel 4 drama called Run, in which her character is beholden to a criminal syndicate called the Snakehead gang (any relation to any real Dark Lords is entirely coincidental).
Last year she appeared in The World of Extreme Happiness at the National Theatre, and as well as appearing in the BBC crime drama Father Brown, she has spent much of this year working on the BBC Drama production One Child, about a girl adopted into an American family from China.
Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)
In contrast to some of the names on this list, Evanna was not from a theatrical family and did not have extensive acting experience. But she was a die-hard Potter fan, sending JK Rowling fan letters and even receiving replies. As a result of her fandom, she attended an open audition for the role of Luna Lovegood and got the role against stiff competition (some 15,000 girls auditioned). After Harry finally did for Ol’ Snake-nose, Evanna took a few guest roles, including the Sky1 series Sinbad and the short film Apex. She appeared in the teen comedy G.B.F. and played Bess Houdini, the wife of Harry, in a touring British stage production of Houdini, the story of the great escapologist’s life.
She also has taking a campaigning role in promoting a healthy body image, after admitting her own experiences with anorexia from the age of 11. More recently, she took the lead role in My Name Is Emily, an Irish production about the relationship between a teenage girl and her mentally ill father.
Clémence Poésy (Fleur Delacour)
In contrast to some of the actors in this list, Clémence’s role as the visiting Fleur Delacour is not the defining moment of her career. In fact, since her 2005 appearance in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, she went on to star in In Bruges (alongside fellow Potter veterans Brendon Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes), 127 Hours with James Franco, and appeared in CW’s Gossip Girl as Chuck Bass’s French girlfriend Eva. There was also her modeling career for Chloé, Gap and G-Star, and a 2012 Broadway run as Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac.
Oh, and she made an appearance singing on “Happenstance” from Miles Kane‘s 2011 album Colour of the Trap. Last year she took the lead role in the Sky Atlantic/Canal+ detective series The Tunnel.
Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley)
Harry Melling in ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ and at the 2012 opening of the Warner Bros Harry Potter studio tour.
OKokok, technically Dudley Dursley is not a classmate of Harry’s, but Harry Melling counts as a Hogwarts graduate in every other respect, appearing in five of the eight movies even if he never got to hold a wand. Harry comes from a similarly distinguished line to Alfie, as his grandfather was Patrick Troughton, the Second Doctor. Which means his uncles are the actors David Troughton, Sam Troughton and Michael Troughton.
Harry has divided his time between TV roles—he was Gilli in the Merlin episode “The Sorcerer’s Shadow”, and appeared in the BBC’s 18th century legal drama Garrow’s Law—and stage performances, including a stint earlier this year playing the Fool in a Brooklyn Academy of Music production of King Lear.
British/American Couple Create Magical ‘Harry Potter’ Wedding
Daniel Radcliffe: “We Could Have Done with an Acting Coach for ‘Harry Potter’”
Why You Never Saw Rik Mayall in a ‘Harry Potter’ Movie
New ‘Harry Potter’ Shop Opens On An Actual Platform 9 3/4
Perfect advice for a wannabe published author.
Get someone — or more than one someones — whose opinion you respect to read the book. Then ask them to tell you when they lost interest, what parts of the plot confused them, who they didn’t care about, where they decided they didn’t care to finish it, etc. Then use that as your guide to rewriting. (You can also pretend you’ve never read it before and try to read it as an audience, and work out where YOU feel frustrated or bored.)
Or you could put that book aside and use everything you learned writing it as you write your next book. Then go back to this book when you are ready and a more experienced writer.
This is good to know..
Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014)
Via the US National Weather Service comes this staggering footage of a lightning bolt making matchsticks of a tree in Upstate New York.
You've undoubtedly seen this trick on the internet or from your beloved Italian nonna: balance a wooden spoon across a pot of cooking pasta to prevent the water from boiling over and creating an unsightly, sticky mess all over your stovetop. It's almost magical, that's how easy it is. The most popularly held belief is that the wooden spoon prevents heat from building up too much at the center of the pot, thus preventing the liquid from boiling too high—but this is not true. The Wooden Spoon Trick Works in Two Ways First, bubbles are unstable forms. When something hydrophobic (i.e. unable to... more
For all of the redheads out there,
Google introduced the new Immersive Mode in Android 4.4 KitKat that automatically hides the status bar and the navigation bar for certain apps, letting you view the app in full screen mode while still being able to bring up either of the system bars by swiping down from the top edge or swiping up from the bottom one. However, this mode works only in apps that have it enabled by their developers, giving users no control over the apps for which it gets enabled. Though thanks to Immerse Me Xposed Module by XDA Senior Member MohammadAG, you can now enable the full screen Immersive Mode for all your apps, as long as you have a rooted Android 4.4+ KitKat device with the Xposed framework installed.
In case you are unfamiliar with the Xposed framework, take a look at detailed guide on installing and using Xposed Framework, which will also guide you through the process of installing any Xposed module. To start using Immerse Me, simply install and enable the module as per the instructions in our guide, and restart your phone or tablet.
After you restart, you will notice that every single app (including your home screen launcher) is showing up in full screen by default, just the way it would in Immersive Mode. And you can bring the system bars by swiping from either of the top or bottom edges.
At the moment, Immerse Me applies Immersive Mode to all your apps when enabled, but the developer has promised to add the ability to selectively enable it for apps of your choice in a future update.
While something like this has been possible in custom ROMs like Paranoid Android, CyanogenMod and AOKP for quite a while in form of the Expanded Desktop feature, it wasn’t a native implementation of the AOSP Android itself, and wasn’t available on stock Android. With this mod, it is now possible for anyone with a rooted Android phone or tablet running Android 4.4 KitKat or later to put this native feature to use for all their apps.
To learn more about immerse Me, report bugs, stay up to date on development, and request features, head over to its XDA forum thread at the link below.
Although many Mac users now prefer using third-party options such as Chrome and Firefox over Safari, Apple’s Safari browser for OS X offers a well-integrated and easy option for viewing web content on a Mac. To further enhance your experience using Safari, we’ve compiled a list of a few tweaks that should help you out.
The most important factor of a web browser is what you will see when you open up a new tab/window, and the settings required to tweak this appearance are located in the “General” section of the Safari preferences. Over here, you can choose to open new windows and tabs with an empty page, Safari’s Top Sites view, the same page that was loaded on the last active tab or window or a custom home page you specify in the Homepage field. In addition to this wide-range of features, you can choose to load an organized folder of tabs when you open up a new windows, which can be set up in Safari’s bookmarks organization interface.
If you use the Top Sites feature, you can also set the number of previews to show in the same preferences pane. By default it shows 12, but you can select either six or 24, depending on your needs.
Older versions of Safari had a famous option to block pop-up windows in the program menu. Apple has removed this option from the menu, but the feature is still available. All you need to do to now is to check the appropriate box in the Security pane of Safari’s preferences. With it enabled, web site will be prevented from launching new browser windows/tabs, which will stop spam sites opening too many windows and cluttering your display.
Web sites that you often visit store site-specific settings in cookies and caches. Most sites mention this on the top of their web pages to make the user aware of the fact that settings are being stored in your cookies/caches which will help your browsing experience. If this data is corrupted, then sites may not load properly, or they may show odd behaviour like not accepting log-in credentials. Often when websites have such problems, you can try clearing cookies and other site-specific data. But if this also does not work, the ultimate fix is to use the Reset Safari option, which will clear data from all of your websites, and thus will not be preferable. Instead, go to the Privacy section of Safari’s preferences and click “Details,” under the option to remove all Web site data. In the panel that appears, you can search for a site you’ve visited to remove data for that site only.
Similar to the management of site-specific data, the plug-ins that Web sites uses to display content (such as Java) can be managed on a per-site basis. While Safari has an option in its Security Preferences to allow or block plug-ins, next to this option is a “Manage Website Settings” button that will allows you to specify not only how Safari handles each plug-in globally, but also how Safari will do so for specific Web sites.
To do this, after clicking the button, you can select a plug-in and choose the restriction level to use for other Web sites. This will bring up the global settings for the plug-in, as well as individual options for sites listed.
The last option that we have for you today is to be able to tab through all items on a page with which you can interact. By default, on most browsers, the Tab key will shift focus through various text fields and buttons. If you press the “Option” key together with “Tab”, Safari will highlight links and other objects, and pressing Enter will activate that link. While this is the default setup, you can reverse this behaviour in the Advanced section of Safari’s preferences by enabling “Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage.”
Have any more useful tips? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.
The post Six Settings To Enhance Your Safari Experience On OS X appeared first on Make Tech Easier.
The world according to Bill Watterson.
Just when you think you know everything.
Reading books on tablets or phones is awesome. There, I said it and I'm not taking it back. While the biggest advantage of reading on a mobile device is convenience and a huge portable library, there are a ton of features that make the experience awesome.
Crucial may be too strong a word, but important never the less.
Here at Mashable we use Skype on a daily basis. It's part of a suite of essential online tools that keep us connected to our friends, families and colleagues
As regular users, we've picked up a few handy tips and tricks we thought we'd share with you. From customizing Skype sounds to setting up a called ID, we think you'll find our selection useful
See also: 10 Skype Chat Tricks for Power Users
Take a look through our top tips in the gallery. In the comments below, please share any of your Skype tricks to make using the VoIP service better.Microsoft, Skype, Voip, Software, and How To
This applies to anyone who looks at any screen for entertainment.
Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey, who this year starred in Netflix's online-only original series House of Cards, chided the TV industry for not doing more to cater to changes in people's viewing behaviors that have spawned from tech changes and social media growth.
Spacey delivered the keynote speech at the Edinburgh International TV Festival on Thursday, on the heels of House of Cards earning nine Emmy nominations — the first time the TV academy has given nods to a series hosted online instead of on cable or network TV.
"Clearly the success of the Netflix model — releasing the entire season of House of Cards at once — proved one thing: The audience wants the control, they want the freedom," Spacey said. "If they want to binge as they've been doing on House of Cards and lots of other shows, then we should let them binge. I can't tell you how many people have stopped me on the street and said, 'Thanks, you sucked three days out of my life.'" Read more...More about Entertainment, Netflix, Tv, Streaming Video, and House Of Cards
The pro version is expensive, but the free version works very nicely for me.
Chrome/Firefox/Safari: Grammarly's webapp provides an easy way to proofread your text for writing errors, but the full features require a pro subscription. The free Grammarly Lite browser extensions, however, are available to everyone for instant spelling and grammar checks, as well as dictionary and thesaurus lookups.
As someone who has looked for kids in crowds bigger than most cities, this is a GREAT idea.
No parent wants to think about losing track of their kids in a crowd, but it's best to be prepared just in case.
This one works.
Android: There are plenty of great ways toback up your Android phone, but the new Avast! Mobile Backup makes it easy for anyone to do scheduled backups of their apps, settings, and data, and then sync all of that information to the cloud where you can quickly use it to set up a new phone.
I could have skipped all those English classes if they just gave of this.
This can tell you where the email REALLY came from and how to spot scammers.
Email headers still remain a mysterious part of email transfers. Those with a basic understanding of how email works still have trouble deciphering headers. When you look at an email, all you usually see is the message body, subject line, sender, and recipient. When you dig into the header, you see a large amount of enigmatic text that can be very confusing. However, headers tell you a lot about a message and could possibly prevent you from falling into trouble.
Whenever you send a message, it gets relayed across different servers until it reaches its final destination. To keep record of the entire transaction (and to verify whether the information within it coincides with the email sent), a header is created. An email header is the full record of everything that happened from the time the email leaves the sender until it arrives at the recipient’s inbox. They will give you all the routing information, showing you where the email message has been before it arrived. It’s a rather useful tool for determining whether an email is a scam or not. Servers like Google and Yahoo sift through headers and use the information to help them find scams and spam ahead of time. A typical email header looks like this:
It can look a little intimidating, but it stops being confusing once you read each line carefully.
When looking through a header, you’ll notice several IP addresses (four groups of numbers from 0 to 255 separated by dots). These addresses represent either the sender’s or the relay server’s IP address. To read a header, you have to look from the bottom to the top. A header will show the oldest information at the bottom. So, the IP address you see at the oldest “Received:” between two brackets (“[" and "]“) represents the sender’s IP address. If the person isn’t using a proxy to send emails, this is most likely the IP address his/her computer used at the time the email was sent.
When determining if a sender is trying to scam you, you have one significant advantage: Scammers don’t usually try to hide their IP addresses, since they know most people don’t pay attention to email headers. Once you get the scammer’s address, just pop it into a blacklist checker like the one from What Is My IP Address or the MX Toolbox. Both of these are highly reliable and check many blacklists that major email providers use.
You still have to use your eyes. Watch out for the obvious ones that tell you about large sums of money you weren’t even aware of inheriting or receiving. There are even others that are creative enough to imitate major credible companies such as FedEx, PayPal, and UPS. Blacklists have some difficulty catching up with scams because they operate on an “innocent until proven guilty” premise. That gives new scammers time to set up shop and email tens of thousands of unsuspecting victims, most of which won’t even think about looking through the email header.
If you’re trying to get to a header, you might have some trouble finding it. Gmail has a guide for many different email clients and webmail providers that’s updated and consistent with any changes that providers may make. Since email interfaces are always updating, it’s always better to use Gmail’s guide, since it will compensate for any changes.
For Gmail, you just have to click the “Down” arrow in each email and select “Show original”. This will load the original email, including its header, in a new tab.
If you’re trying to understand email headers and still have trouble, post a question in the comments below and someone will be with you shortly. If you feel like you’ve got enough know-how to show us some cool new way to use email headers to detect troublemakers, go ahead and post it! Everyone benefits when we teach each other.
Going to university involves a lot of surprises. Doing your own washing. Buying your own clothes. And, of course, no longer being able to borrow every software package you need off your parents. If you’re finding this something of a shock, don’t worry. Software publishers might be control freaks who’d like nothing more than to stop people installing their programs entirely, but even they realise that there’s value in getting students hooked on their software before they head out into the working world.
Yes, if you’re a student (university or otherwise) who wants to buy what would normally be a rather costly software package, you’re in luck. Publishers do offer an alternative to shelling out your hard-earned loans and grants: the educational licence.
As the name suggests, educational-licence software is available to students (and anyone working in the educational sector) at a hugely reduced discount. The idea is that companies can treat the sales as loss-leaders: getting software into the hands of the next generation of workers so that, when the time comes, they’ll want to use it in their workplaces. The publisher’s endgame is to sell fat, commercial licences off the back of cheaper student sales!
Student editions are, for the most part, identical to retail versions in every way and entirely unrestricted. At most, expect multimedia tools to contain a restriction on any commercial use of their output, but this will be a digital watermark at most, rather than one which is visible on the video or pictures. The intention of these is to prevent companies and large organisations using educational copies rather than the fully licensed versions, rather than prevent students from profiting from their software purchase.
You may be wondering what measures there are to prevent non-students from buying educational editions at the reduced price and using those at home in a non-commercial manner. The answer, really, is nothing. There are checks along the way, but these mostly end at the point where you receive your product key with no follow ups.
That said, if non-students buy educational editions, the licence on the software is effectively invalid. By buying a licence for which they are not eligible, people who do this have effectively committed software piracy. This applies even if they’ve done so in such a way that ensures that the traditional supply chain receives some money in the process. A piece of software bought under false pretenses is no more legal than if it had been torrented from Pirate Bay!
It’s also worth pointing out that student editions tend not to be returnable, in order to prevent people getting refunds if they discover they can’t swindle the eligibility requirements. Non-students, buy these copies at your own risk!
Buying educationally licensed software isn’t particularly difficult - the only real hurdle is proving your eligibility to buy it! If you’re already enrolled in an educational institution, most will have some kind of on-site retailer (whether self-owned or franchised) that will be able to sell student editions to you over the counter. In most cases all you need is your student ID as proof. A number of websites also allow you to purchase software editions online. These will be retail boxed copies, which arrive in the post, rather than downloads. In some cases when buying online, you might not actually need to provide student ID, although some organisations insist that you provide digital proof at point of sale, for their records.
Most publishers have a dedicated student reseller program that allows you to perform a postcode-based search on retailers in your area who stock boxed student editions. This is ideal if you’re buying at short notice. Such retailers may require proof of your student status, as they could lose their ability to participate in the reseller program if they are found to be selling student software to people who are ineligible.
Although you may be able to find student software for sale at independent high street retail outlets, a simpler way of getting hold of academic editions is to buy them online. This can mean one of two things - either direct from the publisher or from online resellers. In the case of the former, you will probably find that the costs are higher and the postage considerably larger, but if you’re looking for specialist software there may be no other stockist around. If you go directly to the manufacturers, you may also be able to get download-only versions of software not available from other retailers.
In many cases, you’ll be required to provide a digitised copy of your student ID and proof of enrolment in order to receive the necessarily product activation keys for a student licence. This is done to prevent ineligible buyers from trying to save money by buying student editions. If you do not have a student ID, you should be able to get a certificate of enrolment from your institution’s administrative office, similar to those used to exclude yourself from council tax, although some photo ID - a passport or driving licence - might be necessary alongside this.
For those interested in boxed versions only, we’ve put together this short list of places to find the student discounts you’re entitled to:
A clean and accessible website with reasonably low prices and a decent range of software - although don’t expect anything in the way of hardware (the clue’s in the name). The on-site blog is a nice touch, too, featuring a variety of student-related content: reviews, competitions and ‘Top FIve’ lists, all of which help keep customers engaged with the products and the site itself. Web Of Truse ratings for this site are all 90%+, so even though are student days are well behind us, and we’ve never shopped here, we’re confident recommending the site as a top choice.
The National Union of Students doesn’t sell software directly, but its website offers a reasonably helpful description of the software discounts students are entitled to with links to places where you can buy the relevant software. As well as 15% off at the Apple Store, NUS Extra ISIC card holders can get 90% off Microsoft software and discounts on hardware from Dell.
Amazon’s virtual shelves contain a huge number of student-licensed editions of many popular packages, including the likes of Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite. Student verification for its purchases are mostly done through the publisher, rather than the retailer - you’ll still have to activate the software online before it can be used! The discounts are reasonable, but as with most things Amazon-related, it’s really the selection that it’s worth turning up for.
The wide range of software available for students does beg one question: of all the wide variety of options out there, what do you actually need? Plenty of packages are optional, and if you really are committed to keeping your outgoings to a minimum, then if truth be told there are free alternatives available for most. There are, however, some distinct advantages to shelling out some money, so to help you make some decisions we’ve listed our top student software packages. Load your computer up with these and you’ll have everything you need to conquer the world of academia. Or, at the very least, set you on the path to blagging a 2:2!
Office 365 is Microsoft’s subscription-based online Office suite, offering access to a number of convenient services and cloud-based versions of popular Microsoft applications. As well as online versions of the 2010 editions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Publisher, buyers receive 20GB of cloud storage provided by Microsoft’s own SkyDrive Service and 60 minutes of international Skype calls a month - making it especially attractive to international students studying here. The University edition is near-identical to the Home Premium edition, although the licence is only four years in length and it can only be used on two devices (PC or Mac) by a single user.
Amazon is currently selling it for £6 less than Microsoft is, but beware – the retail copy is just a download code, rather than a physical disc.
Although it’s now been superceded by Office 365, those who want a student edition of Microsoft Office on disc can still buy the 2010 release from various suppliers. This academic edition of Microsoft Office comes with Word 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010, Publisher 2010, Access 2010, as well as access to the Office Web Apps and is licensed for installation on two PCs. Notably, it’s restricted to ‘higher-education’ owners only, meaning it’s an offer that’s only applicable to university or college students and the staff of those institutions.
Eligibility is verified online rather than through a generic product key, meaning your going to need an International student identity card or academic email address to activate the software and begin using it.
The bad news is that, unlike previous versions of the operating system, there’s no Student-only edition of Windows 8 (at least, not yet). That means that student discounts are purely limited to those offered by the retailer. The cheapest price we can find the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade edition online is £49.50, a measly 49 pence cheaper than it’s available for if you buy it direct from Microsoft. Many high-street retailers will give NUS members somewhere between 10-20% discount, though, so if you’re looking for a new Operating System, it might be worth scoping out some bricks-and-mortar stores instead.
One word of warning: Windows 8.1 is due out within the next few weeks, so if you can stand to wait you might be able to get a fresher version by doing so. The 8.1 update should be free, though, so don’t worry too much!
It might sound pricey, at almost £300, but the non-academic version of CS6 costs several times that amount, so this is actually quite a good deal - especially when you consider what you get. The package contains CS6 versions of Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop Extended, Audition, SpeedGrade, Prelude, Illustrator, Encore, Flash Professional, Media Encoder and Bridge. It is available for students, teachers, school staff and any other educators who meet the eligibility guidelines, at any level of education, from primary school to university.
Eligibility for students is ascertained by providing digital proof of enrolment using a photo ID, (students under 18 do not need to provide a photo), while academic staff can use a payslip or a letter from the registrar. The software takes two days to activate, though you should be able to use it freely for a month before proof is required. The only restriction is that Student and Teacher editions of Adobe software can’t be upgraded (although you do qualify for discounted purchase on upgrade editions).
QuarkXPress is a WYSIWYG publishing program that runs on Mac OS X and Windows and can help users create a huge variety of layouts, from single-page flyers to the multi-media projects required for magazines, newspapers and presentations. Although surpassed by Adobe InDesign as the industry standard, QuarkXpress is still widely used, so students have good reason for wanting to buy a copy.
Educational editions are sold without a validation code and proof of educational enrolment is required in the form of an academic email address or a student ID showing school name, student name, a photo and the enrolment date AND either a tuition bill, transcript, letter of enrolment or report card. The software is available to university and college students, secondary school students, homeschooled students and the faculty or staff thereof.
A fully featured 3D modelling program, SketchUp Pro is available to student users at a significant discount - the Pro version normally costs $590! Although the student version is available direct from Google, you do need a ‘.edu’ address to buy it, which is only a likely situation in the US. In other countries (including the UK) you can only buy the student edition through a reseller, although there are no further checks and the software can be activated immediately. Licences are valid for one year after the date of purchase and the educational edition of the software can be upgraded for free. You can install the software on two machines simultaneously and the only eligibility requirement is that you are enrolled at an accredited educational institution. Notably, the student edition of SketchUp Pro 2013 cannot be used for commercial purposes.
A security suite like this one is an essential purchase, especially if you’re going to be hooked up to a university network alongside hundreds of other computers containing who knows what sort of viruses and malware. Offered to students at a discount, Kaspersky internet Security 2013 contains the latest versions of both its antivirus and internet security suites. Available as a download, this edition comes with a one device/two year licence and can only be purchased from authorised student resellers. There are no other checks or restrictions on usage.
It’s hard enough being a student without expecting to pay for software as well, so to try and help you out further, here’s our list of essential free alternatives that you might want to use instead.
Undeniably the student’s best friend, LibreOffice is a fully Microsoft-compatible office suite with a word processor, spreadsheet application, PowerPoint-style presentation creator and more besides. If you want to save the best part of £100 on the most commonly needed types of software, LibreOffice is the way to go!
If you’re not already using Skype, it’s an essential communication tool for students, making it easy to collaborate on work right from your university room and phone your relatives back home for free, no matter what country they (or you) are in. The only hard part is getting other people to install it too!
If you’re looking for audio-editing tools, why let yourself get tricked into shelling out for Adobe’s high-end software when this open-source alternative is just as good and costs absolutely nothing to download and install? You can even use it to quickly convert and edit audio, which is especially useful if you have a lecture recorded that you want some or part of recorded to listen to again later on!
Juvenile name aside, GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Project, if you were wondering) is a fantastic piece of software that has many of the image-editing capabilities of Adobe’s Photoshop package but doesn’t cost anywhere near as much. Image editing is an essential skill these days, whether you’re touching up images for presentation or just trying to make your Facebook photo albums look vaguely acceptable!
Any new college students out there?
With student loan debt at an all-time high, the high costs of text books hurt even more. This year, save yourself a ton of money by buying your textbooks the right way.
Between constant password breaches and the NSA looking in on everything you do, you've probably got privacy on the mind lately. If you're looking for a little personal privacy in your communications with friends and loved ones, or you just want to trust that the documents you email to your accountant or client aren't being intercepted and read, you'll need to encrypt those messages. Thankfully, it's easy to do. Here's how.