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+.

NAS stands for “Network-Attached Storage.” Basically, it’s a way to attach a hard drive to your network and make it accessible to all your devices for centralized file-sharing and backups.

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Linux newbies have probably heard a lot about Ubuntu, but it isn’t the only Linux distribution. In fact, Ubuntu’s standard Unity desktop is still controversial among long-time Linux users today.

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We’ve been banging on about the horrific and broken Windows software ecosystem for a long time now. Rather than installing applications from and every other freeware site, you should just switch to Linux if you want to download freeware safely.

about 10 months ago - by  |  39 Replies

iPhones come with a cable that can connect your phone to your PC or Mac, but you don’t actually have to use it for that. You don’t even have to use the cable for charging if you buy into wireless charging (or just get a dock).

about 10 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

We were supposed to be living in a wireless future, but we’re not quite there yet. Still, many things we do with cables don’t actually require cables anymore — you can go wire-free with just a few tweaks.

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At CES 2015, smart home products were everywhere. With Apple’s new “HomeKit” system and Google’s acquisition of Nest, smart home products are becoming more mainstream than ever.

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Windows, Mac OS X, and most Linux desktops have built-in tools for quickly renaming multiple files. Use a batch-rename tool rather than fixing them one by one.

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Mirroring your laptop or desktop PC’s display on your TV is actually pretty simple, assuming you know what you’re doing. There are several ways to do this, both wired and wirelessly.

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The big push for consumer 3D TVs is mostly over, and most manufacturers are pushing other technologies like 4K, quantum dot, and even questionable curved displays. But 3D TV could yet make a comeback — maybe.

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Well, it’s noon and your phone’s battery is already at 37 percent. There are ways to avert this disaster, adding more battery capacity to your favorite smartphone.

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Point-and-shoot cameras have gone the way of the dodo. Sure, expert photographers may turn to DSLR cameras, but most of us are just getting by with the camera on our smartphone.

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Apple’s Health app arrived in iOS 8, and it’s now on every up-to-date iPhone. This app appears simple at first glance, but it hides a lot of data and advanced functionality.

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To make things even more confusing, manufacturers often don’t call this feature “HDMI-CEC”. Like with Miracast, every manufacturer wants to call it their own branded name, even though it’s an interoperable standard.

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Wearables were everywhere at CES 2015, which is no surprise — even “normal people” are already walking around with activity-tracking bands. An avalanche of wearable products is coming your way.

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TV manufacturers are in a constant race to add new “features” so they can convince you to buy a new TV. Next up after 3D, 4K, and curved displays: Quantum dots!

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CES 2015 was packed with different virtual reality headsets, and it feels like we’ve been on the cusp of consumer VR for years. Oculus Rift hasn’t released their consumer version yet, and other companies are trying to beat them to market.

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Curved TVs were everywhere at CES 2015. We’re not exaggerating: Almost all the TVs being shown off were curved instead of flat! But what’s the advantage of a curved TV, anyway?

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You’re guaranteed to stumble into an occasional error page while browsing the web. This guide will help you understand exactly what each error page means and what to do when you see them.

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DNS cache poisoning, also known as DNS spoofing, is a type of attack that exploits vulnerabilities in the domain name system (DNS) to divert Internet traffic away from legitimate servers and towards fake ones.

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Manufacturers are pushing “Ultra HD” 4k TVs hard here at CES 2015. By the end of 2015, half of all TVs in stores may be 4K TVs. They’re cheaper than ever, too. So, when should you buy one?

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We all want the replicator from Star Trek: a machine that can create any object we desire. 3D printers, which create objects from plastics and other materials, are the closest things we have. And they’re getting cheaper every year.

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As with TVs, a 4K computer monitor has a display resolution of 3840×2160. This is about four times as many pixels as a typical 1920×1080, or 1080p, display.

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So it’s the end of the road for your PC, tablet, or smartphone. Before letting go, be sure to follow this quick check list to prepare your device for its new owner.

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Windows 8 (and now 10) no longer comes with Windows Media Center by default. To get it, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro and purchase the Media Center Pack. And Windows 10 doesn’t have it at all.

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When you sign up for cable Internet service, you need a modem. You’re often asked to choose between renting the modem from your Internet service provider for a monthly fee or buying it outright.

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