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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+.

Have you ever saved a password in your browser — Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or another one? Then your passwords are likely viewable by anyone with access to your computer while you’re logged in.

about 12 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

People talk about their online accounts being “hacked,” but how exactly does this hacking happen? The reality is that accounts are hacked in fairly simple ways — attackers don’t use black magic.

about 12 months ago - by  |  9 Replies

The Windows Task Manager is an important tool for every Windows user. It can show you why your computer is slow and help you deal with misbehaving and resource-hungry programs, whether they’re draining CPU, RAM, disk, or network resources.

about 12 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Android allows you to create app shortcuts, but you can also create special shortcuts that link directly to screens within an app. For example, shortcuts could link to the Navigation screen in Maps or any screen in the Settings app.

about 12 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

We often fixate on smartphone battery life, but most laptops still don’t have all-day battery life. Rather than always using your laptop tethered to an outlet, here are some ways to squeeze more life from your laptop’s battery.

about 12 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Batteries need to be cared for properly — they’re a critical part of our mobile devices and battery technology hasn’t advanced as fast as other technologies. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of incorrect information about batteries out there.

about 12 months ago - by  |  21 Replies

Windows installation disc-customizing tools are always useful. They allow you to add Windows updates to your installation media, streamline the installation process by filling in your product key and other information, and customize Windows’ default settings.

about 12 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Some people’s networked printers, cameras, routers, and other hardware devices are accessible from the Internet. There are even search engines designed to search such exposed devices. If your devices are secure, you won’t have to worry about this.

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It’s happened to most of us. You delete a file and realize you need it back. This guide will explain when you can get that file back and how to go about it.

about 12 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Google is now pushing Chrome packaged apps, but many Chrome apps are still shortcuts to websites. You can make  your own custom web apps that function as shortcuts if the website you want isn’t available in the Chrome Web Store.

about 12 months ago - by  |  11 Replies

Sandboxing is an important security technique that isolates programs, preventing malicious or malfunctioning programs from damaging or snooping on the rest of your computer. The software you use is already sandboxing much of the code you run every day.

about 12 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Browser extensions extend your web browser with additional features, modify web pages, and integrate your browser with the other services you use. This guide will introduce you to the world of browser extensions and help you get started.

about 12 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

PC gaming isn’t quite as simple as console gaming. If you have a laptop with weak graphics hardware or an older PC, it’s important to check whether your computer can support a game before you spend your hard-earned cash.

about 12 months ago - by  |  28 Replies

There are some things you can only do from the command line, even on Windows. Some of these tools don’t have graphical equivalents, while others are just plain faster to use than their graphical interfaces.

about 12 months ago - by  |  25 Replies

Some slow-moving businesses and government agencies may not accept documents over email, forcing you to fax them in. If you are forced to send a fax, you can do it from your computer for free.

about 12 months ago - by  |  10 Replies

Remote printing doesn’t have to be hard, whether you want to print to a printer down the hall or half-way around the world. We’ll cover some simple ways you can print without being directly connected to your printer.

about 12 months ago - by  |  9 Replies

There was a time when we had to worry about manually updating desktop applications. Adobe Flash and Reader were full of security holes and didn’t update themselves, for example — but those days are largely behind us.

about 1 year ago - by  |  18 Replies

The web is littered with traps for novice users when downloading software, from fake “Download” buttons that are actually advertisements to installers full of bundled toolbars and other junk software. Learning how to avoid the junk is an important skill.

about 1 year ago - by  |  28 Replies

The Windows desktop is the sole platform without an app store-style software installation process. Smartphones, tablets, Macs, and Linux PCs all allow you to quickly install multiple programs — but this is more complicated on Windows.

about 1 year ago - by  |  12 Replies

When you leave the country, you don’t just have to worry about different currencies and languages — you also have to worry about different plug shapes and electricity voltages. There’s no one standard socket shape or voltage.

about 1 year ago - by  |  3 Replies

For many people, Windows seems to slow down over time. Quite a few people fix this by regularly reinstalling Windows. But do you really need to regularly reinstall Windows? And, if so, how regularly do you need to reinstall it?

about 1 year ago - by  |  19 Replies

Your wireless router has a variety of useful options you can configure. These are practically hidden — you wouldn’t know these features exist unless you were digging through your router’s configuration pages.

about 1 year ago - by  |  5 Replies

You don’t really need a full Internet security suite. However, many people like having them — and they pay dearly with subscription fees. But you can assemble your own security suite for free.

about 1 year ago - by  |  17 Replies

Whether you’re switching to a new PC, reinstalling Windows, or just ensuring you don’t lose hours of gameplay if your hard drive dies, you’ll want to make sure your save games are properly backed up.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Like other smartphones, Android phones use an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust your phone’s display brightness. This often doesn’t work too well.

about 1 year ago - by  |  6 Replies