Q: I usually embrace technology upgrades, but have hesitated to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for one reason: I will miss using Windows Media Center (WMC).
I have two tuners installed in my Dell XPS desktop and a roof antenna that captures all of the local over-the-air channels broadcasting in my region. In WMC, I can schedule, record and playback, all for free, but only until February when Win 7 will go unsupported.
Can WMC be reinstalled after upgrading to Win 10? Are there other options?
— Dan Martin
A: Microsoft no longer supports Windows Media Center. That said, you can install a version of WMC to Windows 10. I’ve done so myself and have encountered no problems.
Since Microsoft doesn’t support this, however, there’s no guarantee that everything will work as you want it to. You’ll find detailed instructions for installing WMC to Windows 10 on How to Geek.
By the way, you’ll still be able to use your computer running Windows 7 and WMC after support for Windows 7 ends. It’s just that Microsoft won’t be offering support for Windows 7 and won’t be issuing security updates.
You may want to consider keeping Windows 7 on that computer and dedicating it to processing broadcasts. Just don’t connect it to the internet, where it would be increasingly vulnerable to hacking and malware.
Q: I just subscribed to Ad Remover and now I am questioning whether it is legitimate. Does it really block ads and is it safe to use?
My computer recently crashed and so I am wondering if I should use this product on my new computer. I had it on my old computer but it never blocked ads in my Gmail, so how do I know if it worked anywhere else?
I searched online and it is not listed as being a scam, but there aren’t any recommendations for it either.
— Fran Lewis
A: Ad Remover is a free program that is sometimes bundled with third-party software. It is also available on browser-related “stores,” including Google Play. I’m not aware of any indications that it is unsafe to use.
But if you’re concerned about the program, there are lots of other programs available to use that have a far larger user base and a higher rating by those users, which may indicate that you’ll have a happier experience. (As of Dec. 4, the Google Play store reports only 247 users of Ad Remover and it has a user rating of 3.5 stars out of 5.)
That said, ad-blocking programs don’t block spam emails or advertisements in emails. They only block advertisements on Web pages. To block ads in emails you’ll want to use the spam filter (or junk mail) feature of your email program. It will reduce the amount of spam you get, but don’t expect email programs’ spam filters to block all ads.
Note: In a recent column I replied to a reader who shares an email account with his wife and wanted to know how to configure the account to allow him to delete emails on his computer without them being deleted on his wife’s computer.
The problem arose after Comcast changed emails accounts from POP to IMAP. IMAP is popular with many users because it automatically syncs multiple computers such that if you delete an email on your laptop it won’t be there when you check email on your smartphone.
I suggested that he and his wife would need to either use separate IMAP accounts or open a POP account with another service provider.
Another reader, however, has alerted me that Comcast allows you change your IMAP account to a POP account. Indeed, I found the instructions for doing so here: st.news/comcastemail