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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+.

Google’s Chromecast allows you to send anything you can view in a Chrome browser tab to your PC. You’re not limited to just web pages, as Chrome can play local videos and music files and display PDFs and Office documents.

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Linux users often want to run Windows software on Linux, but Windows users may want to run Linux software, too. Whether you’re looking for a better development environment or powerful command-line tools, you can run Linux software without leaving Windows.

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Tasker for Android allows you to automate almost anything you can think of on your phone. It’s even popular on Android in spite of only having a paid version, which shows just how powerful it is.

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Traditional mechanical disk drives need to be defragmented for optimum performance, although Windows now does a good job of doing this automatically. Some software companies claim that their tools can “optimize” SSDs, just as disk defragmenters could speed up mechanical drives.

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There are a million and one remote tech support options out there. We’ll look at the best ones here, whether you need to walk them through downloading one over the phone or want to set up remote access ahead of time.

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Google’s Chrome OS includes a shell environment known as Chrome Shell, or “crosh” for short. Crosh includes several terminal commands that can be used on all Chromebooks, even if developer mode isn’t enabled.

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We recently covered how to let people use your computer without giving them access to all your stuff using your operating system’s guest mode feature. A faster alternative would be to give them their own, isolated web browser.

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Sure, your smartphone’s camera can be used for photos and video chats, but it can do much more than that. Your phone’s camera is a powerful tool you can use for everything from finding better prices to navigation and translation.

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Tethering is the act of sharing your phone’s mobile data connection with another device — such as your laptop or tablet — connecting it to the Internet through your phone’s data connection. There are several ways to tether on Android.

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Whether you want to store sensitive data on a USB drive, securely email it, or just add an additional layer of security on your hard drive, there are a variety of ways to protect your files with a password.

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PCs are all about backwards compatibility, but this can lead to problems. Games designed for DOS or even just earlier versions of Windows may not work properly on modern versions of Windows without some tweaking.

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Tablets are great devices to leave on a coffee table and share, but they’re intensely personal. They provide direct access to your email, signed-in apps, and even your Chrome browser history from your PC.

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If you let someone use your computer, they could gain access to your saved passwords, read your email, access all your files, and more. Instead of looking over their shoulder, just use your operating system’s guest account feature.

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Whether you’re building your own computer, installing new RAM, or upgrading your PC’s components, you’ll be opening it up and touching sensitive electronics components. While doing this, you should be careful of static electricity, which can harm your computer.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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