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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+.

Your Internet service provider probably wants to sell you a faster Internet connection. Pay more money every month and you’ll get faster Internet speeds — sounds simple. But do you even need those speeds, and when would you notice them?

about 3 days ago - by  |  14 Replies

Want to turn any old computer into a Chromebook? Google doesn’t provide official builds of Chrome OS for any old computer, but there are ways you can install the open-source Chromium OS software or a similar operating system.

about 3 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

If there’s something everything seems to agree on, it’s that Google’s Android is more “open” and Apple’s iOS is a more “closed” operating system. Here’s what that actually means to you.

about 4 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Run out of space and your iPhone will inform you your storage is almost full. You won’t be able to install new apps, take photos, sync media files, install operating system updates, or do anything else that requires space until you make some.

about 5 days ago - by  |  Leave a reply

Wi-Fi is obviously more convenient than wired Ethernet cables. But Ethernet still offers advantages — faster speeds, lower latency, and no wireless interference problems.

about 6 days ago - by  |  26 Replies

You don’t have to hold up a microphone to your computer’s speakers to record its audio. Even if you don’t have a Stereo Mix option on your PC, you can easily record the sound coming from any Windows PC.

about 7 days ago - by  |  11 Replies

The PowerCfg command is a hidden tool on Windows. Beyond just tweaking power-management settings, it can generate some sophisticated HTML reports on Windows 7, 8, and 10.

about 8 days ago - by  |  4 Replies

Macs aren’t immune to software and hardware problems. A Mac may sometimes not respond to the Power button at all, or Mac OS X may crash or otherwise fail to start up properly.

about 9 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Microsoft added a hidden “Battery Report” feature to WIndows in Windows 8. Generate a report to see health information about your battery, how its capacity has decreased over time, and other interesting statistics.

about 10 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Your Mac has built-in anti-malware (or antivirus) functionality. It works an awful lot like antivirus software on Windows, examining applications you run and ensuring they don’t match a list of known-bad applications.

about 10 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Batteries don’t last forever — they only have so many charge cycles. As you use your battery, it will degrade over time and you’ll get less and less battery life from it. Eventually, you’ll want to replace a device’s battery — or get a new device with a new battery.

about 11 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

You turn on your Android phone or tablet by pressing its power button — simple. If that button won’t work, your device isn’t necessarily broken — there are ways to bring it back to life.

about 12 days ago - by  |  4 Replies

iPhones and iPads are supposed to “Just work,” but no technology is perfect. If you’ve pressed the Power button and the screen won’t turn on or you see an error message, don’t worry. You can probably make it boot again.

about 13 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Geeks often immediately reinstall Windows on their new PCs to get a completely clean system. Thanks to a change in Windows 10, you can get a fresh copy of Windows on any PC without downloading an ISO file and reinstalling Windows.

about 14 days ago - by  |  22 Replies

Online streaming services are usually considered an alternative to pricey cable subscriptions for cord cutters. But TV networks have been trying to change that for years, and they’ve released more and more services that give you free access to on-demand video if you have a cable subscription.

about 15 days ago - by  |  9 Replies

After years of use in other countries around the world, chip-enabled credit cards are coming to the USA. Credit cards with only magnetic strips are being phased out ahead of an October 1, 2015 deadline.

about 16 days ago - by  |  41 Replies

Your Mac’s menu bar can start to look a lot like the Windows system tray after you install a few programs. Here’s how to declutter the menu bar and get those icons under control.

about 17 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Systemd is now used by default in most Linux distributions, from Fedora and Red Hat to Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE, and Arch. The systemctl command allows you to get information about systemd’s status and control running services.

about 17 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Roku’s line of streaming boxes are still the most popular, beating out Google’s Chromecast and the Apple TV. Roku recently refreshed their hardware, but there are still four different options to choose from — not the single option you get with competing devices.

about 18 days ago - by  |  5 Replies

You can capture video (or screenshots) from any device with an HDMI cable or composite video outputs with a basic device. You could live-stream gameplay on Twitch TV with such a device, too.

about 19 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Mac OS X has built-in support for connecting to most common types of VPNs. If you want to ensure your Mac automatically reconnected to your VPN or connect to an OpenVPN VPN, you’ll need a third-party app.

about 20 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Windows doesn’t have an integrated too like Preview for Mac OS X — it doesn’t even come with a PDF printer. Here’s how to split, merge, reorder, sign, and mark-up PDF files with the least obnoxious software possible.

about 21 days ago - by  |  12 Replies

VPN setup can be complex, especially for less experienced users. It may involve installing various certificate files as well as configuring server settings. Create a configuration profile and this will be as easy as downloading and tapping a file.

about 22 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Apple’s Time Machine typically backs up to an external drive or wirelessly to a Time Capsule. But, if you have a spare Mac, you can turn it into a Time Machine server. All your other Macs can back up to it over the network, just as if it were a Time Capsule.

about 23 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Chrome isn’t the minimal web browser it once was. Originally named Chrome because it was designed to get out of your way, Chrome is no longer just a minimal browser — it’s an entire application platform.

about 24 days ago - by  |  9 Replies
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