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+.

Black colors may look washed out and gray if you connect your PC to its display via an HDMI cable, and it’s not your display’s fault. This is due to the way your graphics card is converting data to colors, and there’s an easy fix.

about 26 days ago - by  |  9 Replies

Crackling, popping, and other sound problems can occur for a variety of reasons. You may be able to fix the problem by adjusting your audio device settings, updating your sound driver, or pinning down another hardware device that’s interfering. Here are some things to try.

about 29 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

In the Creators Update, Windows 10’s Bash shell now allows you to run Windows binaries and standard Command Prompt commands, right from Bash. You can run both Linux and Windows programs from the same Bash shell, or even incorporate Windows commands into a Bash script.

about 1 month ago - by  |  Comments (0)

PPAs, or “Personal Package Archives”, offer software that isn’t available in Ubuntu’s software repositories. Some PPAs offer newer versions of software packages that hasn’t made it to Ubuntu’s repositories yet. Installing software from a PPA is easier than compiling the software from its source code, so it’s good to know how to do it.

about 1 month ago - by  |  1 Reply

The latest version of NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience software brings a new in-game “Share” overlay that replaces the old “ShadowPlay” feature. Install GeForce Experience 3.0, sign in, and you’ll see a “Press Alt+Z to share your gameplay” popup and icons at the bottom right corner of your screen every time you launch a game.

about 1 month ago - by  |  4 Replies

Facebook’s Android and iPhone apps aren’t great. The iPhone app has had bugs that cause it to drain battery in the background, and it could be using up to 20% of your battery on Android. What’s more, Facebook once even reportedly made its Android app crash on purpose once.

about 1 month ago - by  |  28 Replies

Windows 10 now signs you into Skype automatically, making you available so you’ll always receive messages and incoming calls. If you’d rather not be signed into Skype all the time, here’s how to sign out.

about 1 month ago - by  |  4 Replies

Windows automatically connects you to wireless networks you’ve connected to in the past. If you’re near multiple networks you’ve previously connected to, Windows uses a priority system to choose a Wi-Fi network.

about 1 month ago - by  |  3 Replies

The reality is that password database compromises are a concern, no matter how a company may try to spin it. But there are a few things you can do to insulate yourself, no matter how bad a company’s security practices are.

about 1 month ago - by  |  17 Replies

Windows 10’s built-in Game DVR feature helps you record your gameplay, capture screenshots, and share them online. But it can interfere with your game’s performance, too. Background recording requires some of your GPU power, and some gamers will want all the GPU power they can get.

about 1 month ago - by  |  3 Replies

Hotspot 2.0 networks are a new wireless standard designed to make it easier and more secure to connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots. They’re supported in the latest version of Windows 10, macOS 10.9 or newer, Android 6.0 or newer, and iOS 7 or newer.

about 1 month ago - by  |  1 Reply

After axing Flash for Linux in 2012, Adobe revived the Flash plugin for Firefox and other browsers on Linux in 2016. But Ubuntu still installs the old version of Flash by default, unless you go out of your way to get the new one.

about 1 month ago - by  |  5 Replies

Password managers like LastPass are the most secure way to generate and store passwords for all your favorite sites. And, if you want to make them a little easier to use, you can log into your LastPass vault instantaneously using just your fingerprint.

about 1 month ago - by  |  5 Replies

In most states, Comcast now imposes a 1TB per month data cap on your Internet connection. You’ll want to keep an eye on your data usage meter, especially if you have no idea how much data you regularly use every month.

about 1 month ago - by  |  6 Replies

Modern PCs that shipped with Windows 8 or 10 have a feature called Secure Boot enabled by default. It keeps your system secure, but you may need to disable Secure Boot to run certain versions of Linux and older versions of Windows. Here’s how to see if Secure Boot is enabled on your PC.

about 1 month ago - by  |  1 Reply

A Linux live USB drive is normally a blank slate each time you boot it. You can boot it up, install programs, save files, and change settings. But, as soon as you reboot, all your changes are wiped away and you’re back to a fresh system. This can be useful, but if you want a system that picks up where you left off, you can create a live USB with persistent storage.

about 1 month ago - by  |  6 Replies

When it comes to hard drives, everyone seems to have a horror story about one brand or another that failed them. But are some brands really more reliable than others?

about 1 month ago - by  |  26 Replies

Web browsers normally save your private data—history, cookies, searches, downloads, and more—and only delete it when you ask. If you are constantly clearing it, you can have any browser automatically clear private data when you close it.

about 2 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Getting a good PDF viewer is easier than ever. Modern web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge can all read PDFs out of the box, so you may not even need one. But if you want a separate PDF viewer, perhaps for the advanced PDF features some documents require, we have some options.

about 2 months ago - by  |  21 Replies

LinkedIn allows you to delete your account, completely erasing your profile from the website. If you’d rather leave your account open and just make those annoying emails stop, you can put a stop to LinkedIn’s emails—but this is the truly nuclear option.

about 2 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

On some volumes, you may see a new folder called FOUND.000 with a file in it using the .CHK extension. Here’s where those come from, and what they’re for.

about 2 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Deleting your Amazon account is the only way to completely erase your purchase history. If you want to delete your account for good, here’s how to give yourself a clean slate.

about 2 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Most of our browser data isn’t too important—cookies expire, and histories eventually get cleared. Bookmarks are different, though, which is why browsers allow you to import and export your bookmarks—ideal for creating backups and migrating between browsers.

about 2 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Web apps have been replacing desktop apps for everything from email and document-editing to playing videos and music. You don’t have to keep your web apps confined to a browser window—they can become first-class citizens on your desktop.

about 2 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

The lost+found folder is a part of Linux, macOS, and other UNIX-like operating systems. Each file system—that is, each partition—has its own lost+found directory. You’ll find recovered bits of corrupted files here.

about 2 months ago - by  |  2 Replies