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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+.

There are several reasons why you might end up with a protected partition you can’t delete on a drive. For example, Macs create 200 MB partitions at the start of an external drive when you set up Time Machine on it.

about 9 hours ago - by  |  1 Reply

So you’ve got a nice big widescreen TV and an amazing home theater setup. Your speakers offer excellent sound — there’s just one problem. You want to use it while people are sleeping or otherwise busy. That means turning to headphones.

about 1 day ago - by  |  9 Replies

You generally don’t need to install hardware drivers on Linux. It’ll automatically detect the hardware in your computer and set it up for you — that’s the goal. But printers can be a different story.

about 1 day ago - by  |  2 Replies

YouTube has an integrated remote-control feature. Pair the YouTube app on your phone or the website on your computer with YouTube on any streaming box, smart TV, or game console for easy, Chromecast-style browsing and playback controls.

about 2 days ago - by  |  Leave a reply

Google’s Chromecast makes it easy to browse for videos and watch them on your TV, but what if you want to quickly pause playback without reaching for your smartphone or computer? You can now do this right from your TV’s built-in remote.

about 3 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Google’s Chromecast allows you to launch videos and control them from your phone, cast your entire screen to your TV, and generally use a smartphone instead of a remote. You can do a lot of this with your Roku, too.

about 4 days ago - by  |  Leave a reply

Not every Roku channel appears in the channel store. There are quite a few hidden “private channels” you have to go out of your way to find.

about 5 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Roku devices recently gained a “screen mirroring” feature. With a few clicks or taps, you can mirror a Windows 8.1 or Android screen to your Roku. It works a bit like Apple’s AirPlay or Google’s Chromecast screen-mirroring.

about 6 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Your Roku can do more than just stream from the web. Use it to watch video files you’ve downloaded or ripped yourself, or even play your personal music collection. You can do this with a USB drive or over the local network.

about 7 days ago - by  |  6 Replies

Wi-Fi is becoming more common in desktop computers, but not all desktop computers have it. Add Wi-Fi and you can connect to the Internet wirelessly and host Wi-Fi hotspots for your other devices.

about 8 days ago - by  |  9 Replies

Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite introduced a new Notification Center. It’s similar to the notification center found in iOS, bringing together widgets and notifications into one location.

about 8 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Linux is often best installed in a dual-boot system. This allows you to run Linux on your actual hardware, but you can always reboot into Windows if you need to run Windows software or play PC games.

about 9 days ago - by  |  16 Replies

Computers normally have a single operating system installed on them, but you can dual-boot multiple operating systems. You can have two (or more) versions of Windows installed side-by-side on the same PC and choose between them at boot time.

about 10 days ago - by  |  12 Replies

Typically, people tether their laptops to their Android phones, using the phone’s data connection to get online from anywhere. But you may also want to “reverse tether,” sharing your PC’s Internet connection with an Android phone or tablet.

about 11 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Macs can boot into a “Target Disk Mode” that causes them to function like an external hard drive. Connect one Mac to another Mac and you can access its files in the Finder.

about 12 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Standard “tethering” involves connecting your phone, tablet, or other device to your smartphone, sharing your smartphone’s mobile data connection with your other devices. But you may sometimes want to get your iPhone or iPad online via your PC or Mac.

about 13 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Wireless devices with Bluetooth radios must be “paired” with each other before they can communicate. This involves making them discoverable and potentially entering a PIN.

about 14 days ago - by  |  5 Replies

Windows can turn your laptop (or desktop) into a wireless hotspot, allowing your other devices to connect to it. With Internet Connection Sharing, it can share your Internet connection with those connected devices.

about 15 days ago - by  |  8 Replies

Your Wii U’s GamePad will automatically turn itself on, play a sound to get your attention, and display advertisements for games you might want to buy. It does this when you’re not using the Wi U at all, and that can be a big distraction.

about 15 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Your Mac can function as a wireless hotspot, allowing you to connect your other devices to it and share its Internet connection. It’s just like tethering to your phone.

about 16 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

You don’t need third-party virtualization tools like VirtualBox and VMware on Linux. KVM (Kernel-based virtual machine) is an open-source virtualization technology built into the Linux kernel. GNOME Boxes provides a pretty front-end that makes it easy to use.

about 17 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Why manage a collection of audio CDs, DVDs, some videos on VHS tapes, photos, and other documents in physical form? Go digital to get all your stuff on your PC — and on your other devices.

about 18 days ago - by  |  13 Replies

Modern CPUs include hardware virtualization features that help accelerate VirtualBox, VMware, Hyper-V, and other virtual machine applications. But Intel VT-x isn’t always enabled by default.

about 19 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Many hotels still limit you to one or two devices per room — a frustrating limitation, especially when traveling with someone else. Connection restrictions can apply anywhere you have to log into a Wi-Fi network via a portal instead of a standard passphrase.

about 20 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Windows needs manufacturer-provided hardware drivers before your hardware will work. Linux and other operating systems also need hardware drivers before hardware will work — but hardware drivers are handled differently on Linux.

about 21 days ago - by  |  4 Replies
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