Google’s Chromecast allows you to launch videos and control them from your phone, cast your entire screen to your TV, and generally use a smartphone instead of a remote. You can do a lot of this with your Roku, too.
Roku devices recently gained a “screen mirroring” feature. With a few clicks or taps, you can mirror a Windows 8.1 or Android screen to your Roku. It works a bit like Apple’s AirPlay or Google’s Chromecast screen-mirroring.
Your Roku can do more than just stream from the web. Use it to watch video files you’ve downloaded or ripped yourself, or even play your personal music collection. You can do this with a USB drive or over the local network.
Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite introduced a new Notification Center. It’s similar to the notification center found in iOS, bringing together widgets and notifications into one location.
Computers normally have a single operating system installed on them, but you can dual-boot multiple operating systems. You can have two (or more) versions of Windows installed side-by-side on the same PC and choose between them at boot time.
Unlike most other operating systems, Windows still doesn’t include first-class support for printing to PDFs. However, PDF printing is still fairly simple — you can quickly install a free PDF printer or use the support included in various programs.
Typically, people tether their laptops to their Android phones, using the phone’s data connection to get online from anywhere. But you may also want to “reverse tether,” sharing your PC’s Internet connection with an Android phone or tablet.
Macs can boot into a “Target Disk Mode” that causes them to function like an external hard drive. Connect one Mac to another Mac and you can access its files in the Finder.
Standard “tethering” involves connecting your phone, tablet, or other device to your smartphone, sharing your smartphone’s mobile data connection with your other devices. But you may sometimes want to get your iPhone or iPad online via your PC or Mac.
Windows can turn your laptop (or desktop) into a wireless hotspot, allowing your other devices to connect to it. With Internet Connection Sharing, it can share your Internet connection with those connected devices.
Your Wii U’s GamePad will automatically turn itself on, play a sound to get your attention, and display advertisements for games you might want to buy. It does this when you’re not using the Wi U at all, and that can be a big distraction.
You don’t need third-party virtualization tools like VirtualBox and VMware on Linux. KVM (Kernel-based virtual machine) is an open-source virtualization technology built into the Linux kernel. GNOME Boxes provides a pretty front-end that makes it easy to use.
Why manage a collection of audio CDs, DVDs, some videos on VHS tapes, photos, and other documents in physical form? Go digital to get all your stuff on your PC — and on your other devices.
Modern CPUs include hardware virtualization features that help accelerate VirtualBox, VMware, Hyper-V, and other virtual machine applications. But Intel VT-x isn’t always enabled by default.
Many hotels still limit you to one or two devices per room — a frustrating limitation, especially when traveling with someone else. Connection restrictions can apply anywhere you have to log into a Wi-Fi network via a portal instead of a standard passphrase.
Windows needs manufacturer-provided hardware drivers before your hardware will work. Linux and other operating systems also need hardware drivers before hardware will work — but hardware drivers are handled differently on Linux.
Wi-Fi hasn’t completely taken over the world yet. Some hotels may offer wired Ethernet connections and spotty or unavailable Wi-Fi, for example. But you can turn that wired Ethernet connection into a Wi-Fi connection all your devices can use.
Need to replace a word with another word, or quickly remove bits of text from a document? Just use search-and-replace — whatever application or browser you’re using, you already have an easy find-and-replace tool available to you.
Practically all smartphones can tether, sharing their data connection with your other devices. You can do this over Wi-Fi, a USB cable, or Bluetooth — if your carrier lets you. You might have to pay extra.