Chris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

If you encrypt your Windows system drive with BitLocker, you can add a PIN for additional security. You’ll need to enter the PIN each time you turn on your PC, before Windows will even start. This is separate from a login PIN, which you enter after Windows boots up.

about 18 hours ago - by  |  Leave a reply

Do you know how to use the Command Prompt? If you do, you can write a batch file. In its simplest form, a batch file (or batch script) is a list of several commands that are executed when you double-click the file. Batch files go all the way back to DOS, but still work on modern versions of Windows.

about 2 days ago - by  |  5 Replies

Wine is an open source program for running Windows software on non-Windows operating systems. While it’s most often used on Linux, Wine can run Windows software directly on a Mac, too–without requiring a Windows license or needing Windows running in the background.

about 3 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Which of your hard drives is the fastest, and is it really as fast as the manufacturer promised? Whether you have a desktop PC or a server, Microsoft’s free Diskspd utility will stress test and benchmark your hard drives.

about 4 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Move a file to the trash, empty the trash, or take a screenshot of your Mac’s desktop and your Mac will play a sound. If you’re sick of those paper crumpling and camera shutter sounds, you can disable them by changing a single option.

about 5 days ago - by  |  Leave a reply

The free Windows 10 upgrade offer ends on July 29, 2016. After that, you’ll have to pay at least $119 if you ever want to upgrade to Windows 10 on your computer. You should seriously consider upgrading to Windows 10 before July 29, if you haven’t already done so.

about 5 days ago - by  |  48 Replies

Chromebooks include ports that allow you to connect them to a computer monitor, television, or other display. You can mirror your desktop across multiple displays, or use the additional displays as separate desktops to gain additional screen space.

about 7 days ago - by  |  Leave a reply

Enable BitLocker encryption, and Windows will automatically unlock your drive each time you start your computer using the TPM built into most modern computers. But you can set up any USB flash drive as a “startup key” that must be present at boot before your computer can decrypt its drive and start Windows.

about 8 days ago - by  |  Leave a reply

With the arrival of Windows 10’s Bash shell, you can now create and run Bash shell scripts on Windows 10. You can also incorporate Bash commands into a Windows batch file or PowerShell script.

about 9 days ago - by  |  Leave a reply

Chromebooks include only a small amount of internal storage. However, they support external storage devices like USB flash drives, external hard drives, and microSD cards. Use an external storage device to expand your Chromebook’s storage or transfer files between Chromebooks and other computers, including Windows PCs and Macs.

about 9 days ago - by  |  Leave a reply

Macs don’t need third-party utilities like TrueCrypt to create a secure, encrypted container for your sensitive files. You can create an encrypted disk image using the built-in Disk Utility.

about 10 days ago - by  |  5 Replies

Solid Internet connections aren’t available everywhere. If you want to watch streaming movies and TV shows on an airplane, on the subway, or somewhere out in the wilderness away from cellular towers, you can download them ahead of time.

about 12 days ago - by  |  11 Replies

Windows 10 includes an underlying “Windows Subsystem for Linux” to run Linux applications, but it’s only accessible via the Bash shell. However, there is a way to run Linux applications without first launching a Bash window.

about 13 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Get ready for another format war! The next big thing in TV is HDR. But “HDR” isn’t just one simple feature–there are two different, incompatible HDR standards. That means not all HDR videos and games will work with every TV.

about 14 days ago - by  |  4 Replies

Install Windows 10’s Ubuntu-based Bash shell and you’ll have a complete Ubuntu environment that lets you install and run the same applications you could run on an Ubuntu-based Linux system. Just like on Ubuntu, though, you’ll need the apt-get command to install and update software.

about 15 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Windows 10’s Bash shell doesn’t officially support graphical Linux desktop applications. Microsoft says this feature is designed only for developers who want to run Linux terminal utilities. But the underlying “Windows Subsystem for Linux” is more powerful than Microsoft lets on.

about 16 days ago - by  |  6 Replies

I saw the “Family Hub” fridge at CES 2016, and was assured by a Samsung representative that it wasn’t a joke. It is a serious product you can now buy in stores, but it probably shouldn’t be.

about 18 days ago - by  |  12 Replies

By default, Windows will automatically put your PC to sleep after several minutes of inactivity, or when you close the lid. It will hibernate your computer a certain number of minutes later, but if you’d rather it hibernate more often, the settings are a bit tricky to find.

about 19 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

When you first install the Ubuntu Bash shell on Windows 10, you’ll be asked to create a username and password for the Bash environment. Bash will automatically sign into that user account whenever you launch the shell, but you can change it–and its password.

about 20 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Windows 10’s “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows” environment contains a few different components. The first time you run the bash.exe program, it will download and install an entire Ubuntu user space environment. You can access these files in File Explorer or other Windows programs, if you know where to look.

about 21 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Can you transfer your Windows license between PCs? It depends–the answer isn’t so cut and dried.

about 21 days ago - by  |  8 Replies

Microsoft Office allows you to add more functionality through add-ins. Many modern add-ins also work with Office for iPad, Office Online, and Office for Mac–not just traditional desktop versions of Office for Windows.

about 22 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Windows 10’s new Ubuntu-based Bash shell doesn’t function like a normal program. To uninstall it or reset its state to get a fresh Linux environment, you’ll need to use a few special commands.

about 22 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Various tests–like this one at PCWorld–show Windows 10’s Movies & TV app offering more than double the battery life of VLC and other video players. This is because Movies & TV uses hardware acceleration, though, and VLC can too–you just have to enable it first. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy the advanced features of your favorite video player without the battery hit.

about 25 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Microsoft’s Xbox One includes a 500GB hard drive, but games are getting larger and larger. Halo: The Master Chief Collection takes up more than 62GB alone, even if you have the game on a physical disc. Here’s how to free up space so you have room for more games.

about 26 days ago - by  |  2 Replies
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