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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+.

After Windows users have watched smartphones, tablets, and even Mac laptops get high-density displays, they’re finally arriving on new Windows laptops. But be careful what you wish for — many desktop apps have problems on high-DPI displays.

about 9 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

New Windows 8 PCs don’t include the traditional BIOS. They use UEFI firmware instead, just as Macs have for years. How you go about doing common system tasks has changed.

about 10 months ago - by  |  12 Replies

New Windows PCs come with UEFI firmware and Secure Boot enabled. Secure Boot prevents operating systems from booting unless they’re signed by a key loaded into UEFI — out of the box, only Microsoft-signed software can boot.

about 10 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

PC games offer seemingly endless screens of graphics options to fiddle with. Each involves a trade-off between graphical quality and performance, but it’s not always clear what each option does.

about 10 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

IPv6 is extremely important for the long-term health of the Internet. But is your Internet service provider providing IPv6 connectivity yet? Does your home network support it? Should you even care if you’re using IPv6 yet?

about 10 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Have you ever noticed how slow Steam’s built-in web browser can be? Do you struggle with slow download speeds? Or is Steam just slow in general? These tips will help you speed it up.

about 10 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Are the photos you take with your iPhone or iPad backed up in case you lose your device? If you’re just relying on iCloud to manage your important memories, your photos may not be backed up at all.

about 10 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Apple makes it easy to synchronize bookmarks between the Safari browser on a Mac and the Safari browser on iOS, but you don’t have to use Safari — or a Mac — to sync your bookmarks back and forth.

about 10 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

PC games usually have built-in graphics options that you can change. However, you’re not limited to the options built into games — the graphics control panels bundled with graphics drivers allow you to tweak options from outside PC games.

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If your computer is infected with malware, running an antivirus within Windows may not be enough to remove it. If your computer has a rootkit, the malware may be able to hide itself from your antivirus software.

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The Developer Options menu in Android is a hidden menu with a variety of advanced options. These options are intended for developers, but many of them will be interesting to geeks.

about 10 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Viruses and other types of malware seem largely confined to Windows in the real world. Even on a Windows 8 PC, you can still get infected with malware. But how vulnerable are other operating systems to malware?

about 10 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

iTunes isn’t an amazing program on Windows. There was a time when Apple device users had to plug their devices into their PCs or Macs and use iTunes for device activation, updates, and syncing, but iTunes is no longer necessary.

about 10 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Android phones — and tablets, too — display animations when moving between apps and screens. These animations look very slick, but they waste time — especially on fast phones, which could switch between apps instantly if not for the animations.

about 10 months ago - by  |  8 Replies

Most people seem to call every type of malware a “virus”, but that isn’t technically accurate. You’ve probably heard of many more terms beyond virus: malware, worm, Trojan, rootkit, keylogger, spyware, and more. But what do all these terms mean?

about 10 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Keyboard shortcuts are practically essential for using any type of PC. They’ll speed up almost everything you do. But long lists of keyboard shortcuts can quickly become overwhelming if you’re just getting started.

about 10 months ago - by  |  13 Replies

Let’s be honest: The Windows desktop is a mess. Sure, it’s extremely powerful and has a huge software library, but it’s not a good experience for average people. It’s not even a good experience for geeks, although we tolerate it.

about 10 months ago - by  |  40 Replies

If your computer becomes infected with a virus or another piece of malware, removing the malware from your computer is only the first step. There’s more you need to do to ensure you’re secure.

about 10 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Before Windows 8.1, it was possible to sync any folder on your computer with SkyDrive using symbolic links. This method no longer works now that SkyDrive is baked into Windows 8.1, but there are other tricks you can use.

about 10 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

The WinSXS folder at C:\Windows\WinSXS is massive and continues to grow the longer you have Windows installed. This folder builds up unnecessary files over time, such as old versions of system components.

about 10 months ago - by  |  16 Replies

Apple loves to criticize the state of Android tablet apps when pushing its own iPad tablets. But just how bad is the Android tablet app situation? Should you avoid Android tablets like the Nexus 7 because of the apps?

about 10 months ago - by  |  17 Replies

Bloatware is still a big problem on new Windows 8 and 8.1 PCs. Some websites will tell you that you can easily get rid of manufacturer-installed bloatware with Windows 8′s Reset feature, but they’re generally wrong.

about 10 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Many people swear by multiple monitors, whether they’re geeks or just people who need to be productive. Why use just one monitor when you can use two or more and see more at once?

about 10 months ago - by  |  12 Replies

Android allows developers to replace its keyboard with their own keyboard apps. This has led to experimentation and great new features, like the gesture-typing feature that’s made its way into Android’s official keyboard after proving itself in third-party keyboards.

about 10 months ago - by  |  18 Replies

Android allows you to customize your home screen, adding widgets, arranging shortcuts and folders, choosing a background, and even replacing the included launcher entirely. You can install icon packs to theme your app icons, too.

about 10 months ago - by  |  3 Replies