Saturday 21 October 2017

Ask Adrian: Tech expert Adrian Weckler addresses your trickiest problems with technology

Transferring files over to a new laptop can seem daunting
Transferring files over to a new laptop can seem daunting
PCMover Home
Kodak PixPro 360
Valkee HumanCharger

Q: I've recently bought a new Lenovo Ideapad laptop to replace a six-year-old Lenovo that is still up and running but a little slow in its age. However, the prospect of transferring apps like Photoshop, plus all my photos, documents and music seems a little daunting. Is there an easy way to transfer all my stuff over to my new machine?

A There are a number of ways to do this. Moving photos and documents is relatively straightforward to do, especially if you're comfortable using a cloud service like OneDrive or Dropbox. While the basic versions of these (as little as 5GB) probably won't be enough for all the photos and files you have, you can temporarily upgrade to premium options for the purpose of transferring the files. For example, 1,000GB of space costs €7 per month on OneDrive and €8.25 on Dropbox. Simply upload your photos, videos and files from your old laptop, log in on your new laptop and download them to the new machine.

The same principle obviously applies if you have an external hard drive - just plug it into your old laptop, drag and drop as much as you can into it, and then plug it into the new laptop to get the files. However, the problem most people have is twofold. First, they have thousands of files, often spread out (or hidden) randomly with hundreds of folders and other digital nooks and crannies on their machine. So manually dragging and dropping things could take ages and some files might be overlooked in the process.

Secondly, dragging and dropping programs or applications (like Photoshop) often doesn't work. For obvious anti-piracy reasons, many applications are designed not to be simply duplicated and installed on new PCs. Sometimes, they need to be manually de-authorised and re-authorised, or product codes (which may be hard to find) need to be resubmitted.

This is where some specialist programs come in. There are apps you can download that do much of the heavy lifting for you, resulting in all your old files (and many of your programs or applications) being copied from one PC to another with the same user profile and locations without you having to manually oversee everything.

The obvious one is Laplink's PCMover (laplink.com/pcmover). The basic version (€23.95) will move all your old files to your new computer. A more advanced version (€31.95) will do the same and also move most or all of your applications.

The top consumer package (€47.95) will complete those tasks and also make almost everything on your new laptop look and feel like your old laptop (within the confines of any change in operating systems, such as moving from Windows 7 to Windows 10). PCMover does all of this via a cloud link, so you'll need a reasonably good broadband connection.

However, in the case of Adobe Photoshop, you may still face additional hurdles of re-entering a product code or even manually installing the program again because of its heavily-guarded nature.

RECOMMENDATION: PCMover Home (€31.95 from Laplink.com)

Email your questions to caomahony@independent.ie

Two to Try

Kodak PixPro 360  (€460 from PC World)

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Kodak PixPro 360
 

I recently had the chance to try one of these, a video camera that records footage in all directions at once. Or, rather, it does on top - to get complete 360° (including the sky, your feet and everything around you), you need to buy two of them and stitch the footage together. The quality of the video (4K) is decent and you can pull 8-megapixel still images from it. You can then upload to YouTube or Facebook or watch playback using a budget VR headset.

HumanCharger (€180 from Amazon.co.uk)

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Valkee HumanCharger
 

If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, this gadget from Finnish company Valkee claims to help by beaming light into your inner ear canals (via earbuds). Apparently, this triggers photosensitive receptors on the surface of the brain which can detect such light. Serotonin and dopamine are then supposedly released to improve mood and energy levels.

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