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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+.

Once a month, a new version of the Malicious Software Removal tool appears in Windows Update. This tool removes some malware from Windows systems, particularly those systems without antivirus programs installed.

about 9 months ago - by  |  8 Replies

The Mission Control feature in Mac OS X allows you to arrange windows into several different screens you can quickly switch between. This feature was formerly known as Spaces, and is called virtual desktops or workspaces on Linux.

about 9 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Not all Wi-Fi networks are created equal. Wi-Fi access points can function in either “ad-hoc” or “infrastructure” mode, and many WI-Fi-enabled devices can only connect to infrastructure-mode networks, not ad-hoc ones.

about 9 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

A keylogger is a piece of software — or, even scarier, a hardware device — that logs every key you press on your keyboard. It can capture personal messages, passwords, credit card numbers, and everything else you type.

about 9 months ago - by  |  9 Replies

Bill Gates famously said “two years from now, spam will be solved” back in 2004. It’s now ten years later and more than 70% of emails are spam, according to Kaspersky. Why is spam still such a problem?

about 9 months ago - by  |  18 Replies

Windows 8′s desktop hasn’t seen many improvements for touch use, but even 8-inch Windows tablets have a desktop.┬áIf you have to use the desktop with your finger, these tips will help you avoid frustration.

about 9 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Spam seems to arrive in every single email account we use, no matter how careful we are. How are spammers getting all our email addresses? And can we do anything to hide our email address from spammers?

about 9 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Many laptops now include a combined headphone and microphone jack instead of two separate audio jacks. This trend started with smartphones and tablets, but has spread to MacBooks, ultrabooks, and convertibles like Microsoft’s Surface Pro.

about 9 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Intel x86 or x64 processors have traditionally been found in laptops and desktops, while ARM processors have been found in lower-power embedded devices, smartphones, and tablets. But you can now buy laptops with ARM chips and smartphones with Intel chips.

about 9 months ago - by  |  14 Replies

Are you having a problem with your Internet connection or Wi-Fi? Whatever the problem — from a flaky connection to Wi-Fi troubles or even no access to the Internet at all — some router troubleshooting could fix things.

about 9 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Malware isn’t the only online threat to worry about. Social engineering is a huge threat, and it can hit you on any operating system. In fact, social engineering can also occur over the phone and in face-to-face situations.

about 9 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

A false positive is a mistake that happens occasionally — the antivirus thinks a download is harmful when it’s actually safe. But malicious people may try to trick you into downloading malware with this assurance.

about 9 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Windows 8 was very different from Windows 7, but change is only speeding up — Windows 8.1 has seen quite a few changes since Windows 8. You’ll have new things to learn, whichever which version of Windows you’re upgrading from.

about 9 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Chrome 32 now offers a new feature on Windows 8: A full-screen, Chrome OS-style desktop mode. The Chrome app launcher can bring Chrome OS to the Windows desktop, but Chrome can now replace the Windows desktop entirely.

about 10 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Steam Machines, also known as Steamboxes, are Valve’s attempt at bringing PC gaming to the living room. In a way, they’ll compete with game consoles like the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U.

about 10 months ago - by  |  18 Replies

Do you prefer Google Chrome to Microsoft’s Windows 8 apps? Well, you’re in luck, even if you have a Windows 8 PC. You can swap the entire “Modern” environment for the Chrome OS desktop, hiding the Windows 8 interface entirely.

about 10 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Valve’s SteamOS is a living-room operating system you can install yourself, but it will start shipping on Steam Machines later this year. While SteamOS is intended as a living-room operating system, it actually has a full Linux desktop.

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New computers have now been coming with USB 3.0 ports for years. But just how much faster is USB 3.0? Will you see a big speed improvement if you upgrade your old USB 2.0 flash drives?

about 10 months ago - by  |  8 Replies

Intel is now interested in pushing “Dual OS” PCs — devices with both Windows 8 and Android on them. But you don’t have to buy a new PC to do this — you can run Android apps and even the Android operating system on your current PC.

about 10 months ago - by  |  13 Replies

If you have Internet access, you probably have a router — and your router has its own settings screens full of options. Everyone should know how to use their router’s web interface, if only to configure their Wi-Fi security settings.

about 10 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Android updates don’t matter anywhere near as much as they used to. Most Android devices don’t get timely operating system updates, but Google is updating more and more of the Android operating system in the background.

about 10 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

What happened to Windows Update in 2013? Quality control seems to be suffering as Microsoft scrambles to update their software faster than ever. They’ve released quite a few buggy and broken Windows Updates this year.

about 10 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign is wrong about Chromebooks. Chromebooks definitely aren’t for everyone, but they’re not completely useless either. And Chromebooks have more in common with Microsoft’s vision than Microsoft wants to admit.

about 10 months ago - by  |  30 Replies

Valve’s SteamOS is a living-room gaming operating system based on desktop Linux. It’s currently in beta, but you can install it yourself on almost any computer thanks to Ye Olde SteamOSe, a modification of the SteamOS installer.

about 10 months ago - by  |  13 Replies

Browser plug-ins are on their way out. Apple’s iOS has never supported plug-ins, Flash is long-discontinued for Android, and the new version of IE for Windows 8 doesn’t support most plug-ins. Chrome will soon be blocking traditional NPAPI browser plug-ins.

about 10 months ago - by  |  9 Replies