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Ask HTG: Smartphone Credit Card Apps, Resizing Partitions, and Android Tethering

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Once a week we dip into the reader mailbag and answer your tech questions. This week we’re looking at mobile credit card processing for Android, resizing hard drive partitions, and tethering your Android phone to your laptop.

Mobile Credit Card Processing for Android

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Dear How-To Geek,

I am an independent business owner that does all of my work in the field. I currently can only accept cash and checks as payment from my clients. I think being able to accept credit cards would help expand my business. I was wondering what the best, most secure and cost effective app for Android is that will allow me to accept credit cards over my phone?

Sincerely,

Seeking Better Business Strategies

Dear Seeking,

Since we don’t use mobile credit card readers around the HTG office, this would be a great time for readers with field experience to sound off with their Android-based solutions. That said, we can point you in the right direction.

While there are a smattering of credit card processing applications in the Android Market we’re going to direct you towards Square. Square, Inc. has been making waves for years now in the mobile payment processing market with their iPhone app + free mobile reader combo. They’ve brought the same application and reader to the Android market. Not only can you accept credit cards through the mobile interface but with the free reader you can even swipe them. The fee structure is a basic and straight forward 2.75% per transaction with no additional fees, service charges, or other maintenance costs. You can download the Android app here and read more about the service on their main site here.

Resizing Your Windows 7 Partition

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Dear How-To Geek,

I’ve outgrown the primary partition on my Windows 7 machine. Is it possible to resize it and it and siphon some of the space off the secondary data partition?

Sincerely,

Squeezed in Syracuse

Dear Squeezed,

First, make sure all your data is properly backed up. Fiddling with partitions has gotten easier over the years, but better safe than sorry. After that you can opt to approach the problem one of two ways. You can use the built-in partition resizing tools in Windows or you can use the GParted Live CD to enjoy finer control over the process.

Use Your Android Phone as a Data Modem

Dear How-To Geek,

My buddy just got a new Android phone with a built-in Hot Spot feature. I’m jealous… my phone has no such feature. I don’t really care about the whole “can serve up to 8 Wi-Fi devices” bit he’s bragging about, I just want to hook my Android phone to my laptop when I’m out and about without having to void any warranties or break anything. What can I do?

Sincerely,

Mobile Data Envy in Delaware

Dear Envy,

You’re in luck. If you wanted to emulate the Wi-Fi Hot Spot functionality you’d need to root your device in order to enable it. Since all you want to do is tether your Android device to your laptop all you’ll need is to do is get a USB cable sync cable for your phone and follow along with our guide to tethering Android phones using PDAnet.


Have a pressing tech question? Send us a email at tips@howtogeek.com and we’ll do our best to answer them.

 

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/15/11

Comments (5)

  1. trinity343

    These are all great tools to use. i do have more more suggestion for the partition resizing though. i use Easeus Partition Manager and it’s very easy to use. there is a free version for home use as well which makes it even better ^^

  2. Pat G

    Been using Square all summer at shows and it works great. Have the money in my account in 2 business days. The ONLY charge is when you have a transaction…no monthly billing or gateway fee. You can either scan the credit card or type in all the credit card info if you get an order over the phone. Really a good deal.

  3. Camden

    Just seconding Easus. Install it on your machine slide and drop whatever you want your partitions to be and then reboot. Very easy, very quick and free for home use.

    I use it all the time at work when I get an old Desktop/Laptop dumped on my desk as the only IT person they can see in the vicinty and told “I’ve run out of space please fix it, i’ll buy you sweets and chocolates”

  4. Alan Weitz

    Hi, I am Alan Weitz. You have written indeed a nice post on credit card industry.. I really enjoy reading online blogs on this subject as I myself is from the same veritcal. Thanks for writing such a good post and I have subscribed to your blog with a view to have more good.

  5. brandon weitz

    Thanks for writing such a good post. I am Brandon Weitz and came with the same business vertical of credit card processing. I love to read the latest posts on this particular topic and came across your blog. I just subscribed to the same and hope you will be posting nice stuff like this over the coming days.

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