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How To Sign Into Skype Without Using A Microsoft Account, A Solution

How To Sign Into Skype Without Using A Microsoft Account, A Solution

If you have recently purchased a laptop or computer with Windows 8 or 8.1 installed you would have noticed you get the Skype application or "modern Skype" already pre-installed. If you attempt to sign into this version of Skype you are prompted to create a Microsoft account and there is no option to sign in using your existing Skype account details. This can be particularly frustrating for a number of reasons; by creating a new account you lose your existing contacts, data and Skype credits which you may already have. Not to mention the ethical questions raised by forcing someone to create a new account and giving them a lack of choice when using a pre-installed operating system application.

Do not despair, there is a solution and fortunately a very simple one. Rather than use the version of "modern Skype" that is shipped with Windows 8 machines, you need to download and install the Skype desktop client version.

Click here to download the Windows 8 compatible version -
https://www.skype.com/go/getskype-full

Once installed you will be able to sign into Skype (as usual) without have to create and use a Microsoft account.

I hope you found this article helpful, we welcome any comments below.



Options For Life After Windows XP End Of Support

Options For Life After Windows XP End Of Support

Support from Microsoft for the Windows XP operating system ends on April 8th, 2014.  Here we explain what this means to you and which options you have available.  Windows XP was a very popular operating system from 2001 to 2006, and most PCs manufactured during that time had Windows XP pre-installed.  Even after 2006 many people chose to install XP on machines as it was considered more stable than Windows Vista.


There are some people this will affect more than others. The worst case scenario is those that use applications that will only work on Windows XP, and are not compatible with newer OS versions.  Thankfully the number of these applications is very low, but if you are in that situation then your only option is to stick with Windows XP and perhaps consider dual booting, so that you only use Windows XP for that particular application and a different OS for day to day computing.


Windows XP users will start to see this message when they boot their machines...


Windows XP End Of Support



Do I have to move to a new operating system after April 8th 2014?


No you do not.  XP will continue to work, but if you use this machine on the Internet then as time goes by your computer may become more unstable and insecure due to lack of support and patches from Microsoft.  You should also be aware that many hardware manufacturers will also be dropping support for Windows XP after this date.  This means that any new hardware devices you buy may not be compatible with Windows XP.  This is likely to also affect new software releases too. 



What are my options?


  1. Stick with Windows XP and use additional 3rd party software to help secure your PC.  You may be able to extend its life then for another year or two, but be aware that if a serious security flaw appears in the OS you may be forced to move.
  2. Upgrade to Microsoft Windows 8.  As most machines currently with Windows XP installed are likely to be quite old, Windows 8 probably wont work, so this is as an unlikely option. You can check if your PC is compatible here. There will be a cost involved too, so if you want a free option see option 3 below.
  3. Install a different operating system.  The best option would probably be a Linux OS, such as Ubuntu, which is completely free. Ubuntu can do everything that Windows can, and arguably more, so it should do the job nicely, whatever your requirements.  Hardware support is very good now on Linux, but you might want to check any external devices you have such as scanners, webcams & printers to ensure they will work on Ubuntu before taking the plunge.  A new long term support version of Ubuntu v14.04 is due for release around April 17th 2014.
  4. Buy a new computer.  New Windows PCs come with Windows 8 installed, or depending on your needs, you may prefer to switch to a Tablet device.


Which option would you advise?


Firstly you should not panic.  You should be fine using Windows XP at least for another few months without any noticeable problems.  If you want to move away from XP for free, then your only option is to install Linux.  We would recommend Ubuntu as it has a large following and is easy to install and use. To learn more about Ubuntu click here.. If you have the money spare then the sensible option is to buy a new computer.



Why Use Microsoft Office When There Is A Free LibreOffice

Why Use Microsoft Office When There Is A Free LibreOffice

This is not so much a review, more of a heads up to those that have not heard of LibreOffice yet. Many of us at LearnByCam have been using the Microsoft Office suite of applications since the start way back around 1990. But for the past couple of years we have been using LibreOffice and now wonder why anyone would want to use anything else.

Microsoft Office users have had to keep paying vast sums to upgrade to the newer versions over the years to maintain compatibility with other users. 

LibreOffice is open source and completely free for everyone to use. LibreOffice can read and write to the Microsoft Office formats such as 97/2000/XP/2003 or 2007/2010 formats. LibreOffice can also export to PDF format as well as saving to the new international standard OpenDocument format. So compatibility wise it’s absolutely fantastic.

LibreOffice is available for all the major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux. We ourselves run it on several Windows versions as well as Ubuntu Linux. It’s also available in a large number of languages. A mobile Android version is also being developed as well as a cloud based ‘online’ version.

The LibreOffice suite comprises the following applications:


  • Writer – For creation of documents like ‘Microsoft Word’.
  • Calc – Spreadsheet application like ‘Microsoft Excel’.
  • Impress – for creation of presentations like ‘Microsoft PowerPoint’.
  • Draw – All purpose diagramming & charting tool like ‘Microsoft Visio’.
  • Base – Database compatible with MySQL, PostgreSQL & Microsoft Access.
  • Math – A simple equation editor for mathematical & scientific equations.


There are also a large number of extensions available, including dictionaries, tools, import export filters etc.

LibreOffice does a very good job of doing what the Microsoft Office suite does but it does it completely for free, so for us its a classic no brainer.

Some may ask what about OpenOffice? LibreOffice was created as a fork from OpenOffice a few years ago so they are similar to a large extent. The difference is that OpenOffice has had a rocky ride over recent years due to Oracle/Sun Microsystems attempt to over manage the project. To cut a long story short that didn’t work out well and the name OpenOffice now resides under the ‘Apache Software Foundation’ and is licensed by them. The original OpenOffice community of developers that were fired or left went on to create LibreOffice. So LibreOffice contains most if not all of the great developers that originally created OpenOffice. OpenOffice although now returned to the ‘community’ doesn’t seem to be as active in its development, which is why we prefer LibreOffice.
   
You can read more about LibreOffice and download it for free from the following link: https://www.libreoffice.org



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