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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+.

Linux systems aren’t as light on disk space as they could be. For example, the APT package manager keeps package files around even after you install them — a waste of space unless you plan on uninstalling and reinstalling them.

about 9 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Chrome OS is based on desktop Linux, so a Chromebook’s hardware will definitely work well with Linux. A Chromebook can make a solid, cheap Linux laptop.

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Safari is easy to use, but you may never find all of its useful features unless you go looking for them. iPads have many useful navigation tricks you may never stumble across, and Safari has its own tricks.

about 9 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

PC manufacturers are now beginning to create all-in-one Android desktop PCs. They also sell Android laptops and convertibles that transform from a laptop-with-keyboard to a tablet. But should you buy one?

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More Internet service providers are now providing their customers with modems that function as routers — and those units may also be public hotspots. This sort of feature is common in Europe, but it’s now arriving in North America.

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Macs offer excellent built-in encryption support, whether you want to encrypt your entire hard drive, removable drives, or just create an encrypted container for only your most important files. It’s all built in.

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Hard disks, USB drives, SD cards — anything with storage space must be partitioned. An unpartitioned drive can’t be used until it contains at least one partition, but a drive can contain multiple partitions.

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Enterprise Mode is a new feature in Internet Explorer that allows businesses to use old web applications in modern versions of IE. This feature is designed to help businesses who still need Internet Explorer 8 for some reason to upgrade to a more modern, secure browser.

about 9 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade to Windows 8. It’s what the original Windows 8 should have been, with important improvements for both desktop and tablet users. So why are more people using Windows 8 than Windows 8.1?

about 9 months ago - by  |  47 Replies

With Windows XP reaching the end of its long support life, many businesses and individuals are avoiding Windows 8 and upgrading to Windows 7 instead. If you’re a latecomer to Windows 7, here are the basics you need to know.

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iOS supports third-party browsers, but not like you might expect. Third-party browsers will always be inferior to Apple’s own Safari on iPhone and iPad — at least until Apple relaxes their restrictions.

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Do you regularly erase your browsing data, run CCleaner, or use another temporary-file cleaning tool? You’re probably clearing your browser cache, and it’s slowing down your browsing.

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Windows 8.1 Update 1 offers some crucial improvements for mouse and keyboard users. Windows will now automatically detect whether your computer has a touch screen and do the right thing. It also provides better mouse and keyboard support in “Store apps.”

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Microsoft won’t be releasing new security patches for Windows XP come April 8th, 2014, and they’re making sure all Windows XP users know it. You’re on your own after this point — no more security updates for Windows XP!

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It’s 2014, shouldn’t we stop worrying about disk space? Nope, not at all! A modern MacBook might have a solid-state drive with just 64 GB of space. You’ll want as much space for your important data as you can get.

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Game-streaming services like Twitch TV are becoming bigger and bigger. Whether you want to let your friends watch you play a game or try to build up a larger audience, streaming is easy.

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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.

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Botnets are networks made up of remote-controlled computers, or “bots.” These computers have been infected with malware that allows them to be remotely controlled. Some botnets consist of hundreds of thousands — or even millions — of computers.

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Microsoft makes much more money from Android than Windows Phone. Every time you buy an Android smartphone or tablet, Microsoft is likely receiving $5 to $15. They likely make at least $2 billion per year from Android.

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Windows 8.1 integrates OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) everywhere, even on the desktop. You may want to save all your personal files to OneDrive so they’ll be accessible everywhere, but Windows doesn’t always save to OneDrive by default.

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We’ve come a long way since the days of infected floppy disks moving between DOS computers. Malware isn’t about messing with you, joking around, or just causing damage — it’s all about profit.

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Mac keyboards have Option and Command keys where standard PC keyboards have Alt and Windows keys. The keyboards are otherwise pretty similar, but new Mac users will need to understand these different keys.

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Thanks to the frequent sales, PC games just cost less than console games. If you’re patient and know the tricks, you can save quite a bit of money. Almost every game seems to regularly go on sale.

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Your iPhone or iPad automatically backs up to your iCloud account by default, but you can also create more comprehensive, local backups from iTunes. Apple only offers 5 GB of iCloud space for free, so you may need to manage your iCloud backups.

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Yet again, someone wearing Google Glass was assaulted and had the gadget ripped off their face. People are upset they’re being recorded by Google. But that’s not how Google Glass works — it’s not always recording you and it’s not always on.

about 10 months ago - by  |  11 Replies