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Sally Brown


Guides to Office 2010

There are plenty of books about MS Office 2010 on Amazon, but none of them have been reviewed or rated yet, and I could find no review elsewhere either. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the software was only published in mid-June, but it does make it difficult to make any firm recommendations. However, I was able to find some 'likely suspects, listed below.
  1. Two online books can be downloaded from Learn Office 2010 with Two Free Books . The second book  - 'Getting Started with Microsoft Office 2010' - looks good. Despite my reservation about reading online, this may be worth a shot. For one thing, it's free! For another, the books are made up of short chapters, only a few of which would be of interest to you, and you can have a quick read through them and if need be, print those chapters only.
  2. Easy Microsoft Office 2010 (£8.38) . From what I can see on Amazon, the book looks OK, and if nothing else, it's short!.
  3. Microsoft Office 2010 Plain and Simple (£15.94). The title and information about it are promising.
  4. Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student Edition Step by Step (£16.09). This book is part of a well established series published by Microsoft. While I'm not particularly fond of the style of these books, they are popular and they do 'work'. If the options above are not to your liking, you can try this one.

Microsoft Outlook 2010

Outlook 2010 on its own costs around £90! See, for example, the price on Amazon. I shall talk to Marilyn and see if there is some other way to obtain the licence.

Additional tasks for Oron to carry out

  • Recommend Office 2010 book
  • Set up a backup 'task' using either Windows 7 backup or Packard Bell's software
  • Explain how to use CCleaner (computer cleaner) and
    Megabytes (anti-spyware package)
  • Install SpywareBlaster (another form of spyware protection), My Defrag (a disk defragmenting solution).

Ink cartridges foryour printer (Pixma MP560)

The cartridges are named CLI-521C, CLI-521M, CLI-521Y, CLI-521K (for cyan, magenta, yellow and black respectively) and PGI520 (double-sized black cartridge).
You can order original Canon cartridges for around £10 each, or cheaper 'compatible' ones. In my experience,  the compatible ones listed below work very well.
  1. Two complete sets: . These are direct replacements to the Canon cartridges, and the complete double set costs around £25. 
    Amazon also sell  single cartridges of the same make for around £4 each.
  2. Unchipped cartridges: these can be bought from (search for CLI-521) for less than £0.50 each! The quality of the cartridges and the ink is perfectly good, but they require 'minor surgery' to transfer the electronic chip which identifies them to the printer. Furthermore, the chip will now report that the cartridge is empty, so you will need to override the warning. All in all, best avoided unless you need to print a lot and have someone who is happy to 'chip' the cartridges for you.

Summary of equipment purchase 15/7/2010

The original list of recommentions was as follows:

Recommendations for laptop, screen and accessories

The laptops listed below are of a similar type and specification. However, the differences in design, build quality and warranty can be important. The best makes in terms of reliability, Asus and Toshiba, have an average failure rate of around 15% over three years, compared to around 25% for the worst ones (which are naturally not listed below!). Common features unless otherwise specified:
  • Screen size - 15.6 in - 1366 x 768
  • Optical Drive - DVD±RW  / DVD-RAM
  • Operating System - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32 Bit
  • 3 GB RAM
  • Webcam - Integrated
  • Warranty - 1 year 
  • Approximate size - 372 x 250 x 37.5 mm (W x D x H)
  • Approximate weight - 2.7 kg 
Processor types and  notable features or deviations from the above  listed as bullet points beneath each laptop model.


  • Intel Pentium Dual Core T4400 2.2GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • 250GB HDD
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 4 x USB 2.0 ports
  • 1.3mp Webcam
Note: this laptop is on special offer and has received rave reviews from purchasers. Apparently it is very quiet and stays
cool for hours on end. Many also noted image quality. A few people said that the sound quality is not all that it could be, and one person one person (out of 50) said his keyboard lost a key within 6 months (but it is notoriously difficult to judge such problems unless there's a large number of complaints).

K51AE SX040V - £480

  • AMD Athlon II M520 - 2.3 GHz
  • 320 GB HDD
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Optical Drive - DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM
  • Graphics - ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200
  • Warranty - 2 years warranty

Toshiba Satellite Pro L500-1VW - £480

  • Intel® Core™2 Duo processor T6570 (2.10 GHz)
  • 160 GB HDD
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 32 bit / XP Professional downgrade
  • DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM

Packard Bell 
Easynote J74-RB-050 Red - £387

  • AMD Athlon II Dual-Core M300 (2.0 GHz), Windows® 7 64-bit, 3GB RAM/250 Gb HDD
  • DVD-RW DL rewriter
  • Graphics card - ATI Radeon HD4200 
  • USB - 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • Wi-Fi - WiFi 802.11b/g/n
: This is
the model of Laura's laptop. I like it!

Packard Bell Easynote TJ75-JN-070UK - £519
  • As above except Core i3 330M 2,13 GHz/4 GB RAM/640 GB HDD

R520-JA01UK - £500

  • Intel Centrino Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 - 2.1 GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • 500 GB HDD
  • DVD±RW (+R double layer) / DVD-RAM


These are simply a few examples of screens, intended to give an idea of size, resolution and price.

LG E2250V 22" LED Monitor 1920 x 1080p HDMI DVI 5ms Blk - £148.16

Asus 24" VH242H Wide Gaming LCD TFT Monitor (5ms, Full HD, HDMI, Black) - £175


As with the screens, there are plenty of other models and suppliers available. Do not feel bound to this list by any means!


I would recommend a comfortable (full size) wireless mouse.

MICROSOFT Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000 Special Edition - ruby red - £16.90

Docking Station

This allows you to connect your printer, keyboard, Ethernet network, and possibly your screen with just one plug. However, because of the advent of wireless networking and USB, you may not need to connect more than two cables even without a docking station!

Belkin Docking
Station -  £76.70 

Sweex USB2 Docking Station - DS001UK - £14.90 

Kensington Notebook Docking Station SD100 USB 33419EU-  £30

Microsoft Office

You may be entitled to purchase Office through the University for around £40 (you will need to enquire with the University about that). However, if not, you can buy the following product:

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 English DVD (3 PC) - 79G-01900 - £


As discussed in the email, the two printers below are very similar. They both use the same ink cartridges (and by implication have a similar print mechanism), but the MP640 has a slightly higher specification. The bullet points indicate the differences between the two.

Canon Pixma 560 - £94.50

  • Connectivity: USB, Wireless
  • 10x15cm borderless photo in approx. 39sec
  • 5cm TFT display
  • 2400dpi scanner
  • Print photos directly via PictBridge, memory cards or optional Bluetooth
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 453 cm x 368 cm x 160mm. Weight: 8.1 kg

Canon Pixma MP640 - £134.20

  • Connectivity: USB, Wireless, Ethernet
  • 10x15cm borderless photo in approx. 20sec
  • 7.5cm TFT display
  • 4800dpi 
  • DVD/CD print
  • Easily clip, combine, edit and print from the web with Easy-WebPrint EX
  • Dimensions (W x D x H) 450 x 368 x 176mm. Weight: 8.8 Kg