Question: I would like to be able to copy some old DVDs that I have on to blank DVDs. I have one drive on my laptop that I can insert a DVD or CD into. My laptop's operating system is Windows 7 Home Premium. Could you tell me what to do?
- Brendan Murphy, via email
First of all, a gentle reminder that Windows 7 is no longer supported for security by Microsoft - you should really change to Windows 10 as soon as possible if you want to avoid viruses, ransomware and the like.
As to your request, I'm assuming you mean your own home video DVDs. (As you'll know, it's illegal to copy DVDs with feature films on to blank DVDs.) If this is the case, it's fairly simple. Just insert the disc into the drive you have on your laptop. You may see a window open up to tell you what's on that disc. If not, click the 'Windows' symbol in the bottom left corner of the screen and then 'computer' or 'this PC'. You should see the disc drive folder there.
Once you open that folder, highlight the item(s) you see there. Now simply drag and drop them on to the 'desktop'.
Eject the first disc. Now put in your blank DVD. Once again, if a window doesn't automatically open, repeat the steps above to find it.
Now just drag and drop the items you placed on the desktop into the blank DVD's window. You might then see a notice saying 'ready to burn'. Click that and it should start burning your DVD. When that's done, you have your copied DVD.
My wife had an iPhone 5C for many years and really liked it. Last week, she dropped and smashed it. She wants a new iPhone but doesn't need or want the latest super model. She doesn't do anything like gaming, and the camera is not a big issue - although she does use it a little for FaceTime. She's retired so she doesn't need it as a work tool. She is happy to pay for the right phone but I feel that there is no point paying for gadgets that she would never use. Any suggestions would be most welcome.
- Noel McC, via email
She has two options. The new iPhone SE is perfect for what you say she needs. It is Apple's newest model, but also its cheapest (by far, at €499 outright, or for free on contract with an operator).
It has a good screen, good camera and plenty of storage (64GB) for what you describe as your wife's typical usage. And because it has Apple's latest, most powerful engine in it, it should reliably last her four or five years, so she won't have to chop and change again in two years' time. Despite being Apple's smallest iPhone, it is a little larger than the iPhone 5C. However, believe me when I tell you that this would be a big bonus when it comes to things like FaceTime.
The second option would be to look for a guaranteed refurbished iPhone that is the same shape and size as your wife's old 5C model. You might find one of these through retailers such as Mint.
The problem here is that because they stopped making these phones a few years ago, you'll be lucky to get a year or two out of it given the limitations on battery and lack of available updates. So I would definitely opt for the iPhone SE.
Recommendation: iPhone SE (€499 from Apple Ireland online store or retailers)
I just bought a new Panasonic TV. It has Netflix and Amazon Prime Video smart apps built in but not Disney+ or Apple TV+. My kids would like to watch these channels. Is there an easy way to get them on to the telly?
- Damien M, via email
You can cast Disney+ through Chromecast quite easily from almost any smartphone or tablet. Apple TV+ is a slightly trickier affair. You can cast it via the Chromecast dongle if you're doing so on a laptop, an Android smartphone or an Android tablet using the Chrome browser (go into settings and you'll see 'cast' as an option).
If you want to do it from an iPhone or an iPad, it's a lot trickier. Some apps (like those from AirBeam) promise that you can wirelessly 'mirror' your device on to the telly, meaning that you can see on the TV whatever you see on the iPhone or iPad. But while they will let you see your photos, home videos and web pages, they usually won't let you mirror a movie streaming service such as Netflix or Apple TV+.
While they make great TVs, Panasonic has been much slower than other major brands for compatibility with new streaming apps - Samsung, LG and Sony already support Apple TV+. So to watch this particular service on your Panasonic telly, you may have to get something like an Apple TV unit (from €159).
Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Need an ultra-budget smartphone that does all the basics well? It's hard to overlook Nokia's new 1.3. It has a bright 5.7-inch screen, decent entry-level cameras front and back and reasonable battery life. Its main weakness is a paltry 16GB of storage, but that won't bother everyone.