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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+.

App extensions allow you to extend iOS’s Share menu with any service you like, add browser actions to Safari or Chrome, use custom photo-editing tools in the Photos app, and integrate cloud storage services with any app.

about 20 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

iPhones and iPads can now use widgets thanks to iOS 8. In fact, you probably already have some widgets installed — they’re all just disabled by default. Here’s how to enable and use those widgets you already have.

about 21 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

If you’ve purchased a “System Builder” OEM copy of Windows 8.1 from Amazon, Newegg, or another online retailer, you’re probably violating the Windows license agreement. That means you technically have a “non-genuine” copy of Windows.

about 21 days ago - by  |  28 Replies

With iOS 8, Apple added a way to see which apps are draining your battery the most. This includes apps that drain your battery in the background — something that’s possible on iOS thanks to iOS 7′s “background refresh” feature.

about 22 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Your smartphone — and other devices that use Wi-Fi — broadcast a unique number when they search for nearby Wi-Fi networks. A device’s unique MAC address is sent along with “probe requests” that search for nearby Wi-Fi networks.

about 23 days ago - by  |  8 Replies

Windows doesn’t offer a built-in way for users to make a window always-on-top. There are many third-party tools for this, but they’re often bloated and clunky. Some just don’t work well on the┬ámodern 64-bit version of Windows.

about 24 days ago - by  |  7 Replies

Linux’s GRUB2 boot loader can boot Linux ISO files directly from your hard drive. Boot Linux live CDs or even install Linux on another hard drive partition without burning it to disc or booting from a USB drive.

about 25 days ago - by  |  8 Replies

You probably shouldn’t update your BIOS, but sometimes you need to. Here’s how to check what BIOS version your computer is using and flash that new BIOS version onto your motherboard as quickly and safely as possible.

about 26 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Microsoft’s Windows To Go feature installs Windows as a live system on a bootable USB drive. It’s officially only for Enterprise editions of Windows, but we’ve found a way to do it with any edition of Windows 8 or 8.1.

about 27 days ago - by  |  16 Replies

Ubuntu doesn’t offer the Safe Mode and Automatic Repair tools you’ll find in Windows, but it does offer a recovery menu and a reinstall option that keeps your files and programs.

about 28 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

When Windows blue-screens, it creates memory dump files — also known as crash dumps. This is what Windows 8′s BSOD is talking about when it says its “just collecting some error info.”

about 29 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Ubuntu and most other Linux distributions now use the GRUB2 boot loader. You can change its settings to select a default operating system, set a background image, and choose how long GRUB counts down before automatically booting the default OS.

about 29 days ago - by  |  6 Replies

Google introduced Google Drive on April 24, 2012 and promised Linux support “coming soon.” That was nearly two and a half years ago. There’s now a somewhat “official” Google Drive client for Linux, but it’s probably not what you want.

about 30 days ago - by  |  24 Replies

When you buy a new laptop or tablet, you’ll often be able to “customize” it by paying extra for a faster CPU. But this may not be a good idea — the higher-end CPU might be a worse fit for the device!

about 1 month ago - by  |  5 Replies

Not all solid-state storage is as fast as an SSD. “eMMC” is the kind of flash storage you’ll find in cheap tablets and laptops. It’s slower and cheaper than a traditional SSD you’d find in more expensive computers.

about 1 month ago - by  |  1 Reply

Ubuntu and practically every other Linux distribution use the GRUB2 boot loader. Unless you have multiple operating systems installed, this bootloader is normally hidden — but it provides options you may sometimes need.

about 1 month ago - by  |  2 Replies

Until recently, you needed to spend hundreds of dollars — often $649 or “$199 with a two year contract” — to get a smartphone with good performance that could run the latest apps. Solid smartphones are now much cheaper.

about 1 month ago - by  |  18 Replies

Cloud storage isn’t just for your own personal files. You can use it to easily share files without any hassle. Share files back-and-forth with your friends and colleagues, or make them available to the entire Internet.

about 1 month ago - by  |  3 Replies

Microsoft once claimed the original 64 GB Surface Pro would have only 23 GB of usable free space — that’s more than half used for system files! But Windows now fits on 16 GB drives.

about 1 month ago - by  |  11 Replies

Keyboard shortcuts are a crucial way to do almost anything on your computer faster, whether it’s browsing the web, working with text, or just getting around your desktop. Among its other useful features, VLC is packed with keyboard shortcuts.

about 1 month ago - by  |  2 Replies

The cloud storage wars are heating up. Microsoft now offers 1 TB of cloud storage along with Office 365, and both Dropbox and Google are offering 1 TB at just $10 per month. Flickr even offers 1 TB for free.

about 1 month ago - by  |  7 Replies

Every Windows user is fighting a constant war against junkware that legitimate application installers try to sneak onto our systems. Here’s everything you can do to protect yourself from obnoxious browser toolbars and all that other junk.

about 1 month ago - by  |  5 Replies

According to an old rule of thumb, your page file or swap should be “double your RAM” or “1.5x your RAM.” But do you really need a 32 GB page file or swap if you have 16 GB of RAM?

about 1 month ago - by  |  19 Replies

Free, public Wi-Fi access points are popping up in more and more places around the world. They’re extra useful when travelling, as you won’t have your home Wi-Fi network and may not want to pay for international mobile data.

about 1 month ago - by  |  2 Replies

Hyper-V is a virtual machine feature built into Windows. It was originally part of Windows Server 2008, but made the leap the to desktop with Windows 8. Hyper-V allows you to create virtual machines without any additional software.

about 1 month ago - by  |  5 Replies