SEARCH

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+.

Windows Activation, introduced in Windows XP, checks in with Microsoft when you install Windows or get a new Windows PC. This is an anti-piracy feature — it’s designed to annoy you if you’re using a non-genuine copy of Windows.

about 1 year ago - by  |  14 Replies

If there’s one complaint nearly everyone seems to have about Windows, it’s that it wants to reboot so frequently. Whether it’s for Windows updates or just when installing, uninstalling, or updating software, Windows will often ask to reboot.

about 1 year ago - by  |  17 Replies

The Xbox 360 controller has become the gold standard for PC gaming. Yes, the specific type of controller is important — you don’t want another brand of controller or even an Xbox One controller.

about 1 year ago - by  |  9 Replies

You don’t need Microsoft Office to put together a professional-looking resume. Google Docs is completely free and offers a variety of resume templates, so you can focus on highlighting your skills instead of fiddling with formatting.

about 1 year ago - by  |  6 Replies

Gaming mice are advertised with high DPIs and polling rates. But what do these specifications actually mean, and are higher values actually useful?

about 1 year ago - by  |  3 Replies

Most operating systems can be grouped into two different families. Aside from Microsoft’s Windows NT-based operating systems, nearly everything else traces its heritage back to Unix.

about 1 year ago - by  |  8 Replies

HTTPS, which uses SSL, provides identity verification and security, so you know you’re connected to the correct website and no one can eavesdrop on you. That’s the theory, anyway. In practice, SSL on the web is kind of a mess.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply

Microsoft has been called late to the party for not offering Microsoft Office for the iPad, other tablets, and smartphones. The truth is, Microsoft does make quite a few different versions of Office for mobile devices, although they aren’t full versions of Office.

about 1 year ago - by  |  4 Replies

There are two types of mixed content — one is worse than the other, but neither is good. Mixed content warnings are in indication that something is wrong with a web page you’re visiting.

about 1 year ago - by  |  2 Replies

HTTPS, the lock icon in the address bar, an encrypted website connection — it’s known as many things. Knowing what it means is important, as it has serious implications banking online, shopping, and¬†avoiding phishing.

about 1 year ago - by  |  3 Replies

Have you ever noticed that it’s C:\Windows\ in Windows, http://howtogeek.com/ on the web, and /home/user/ on Linux, OS X, and Android? Windows uses backslashes for paths, while everything else seems to use forward slashes.

about 1 year ago - by  |  9 Replies

Many people say they use Hibernate instead of Sleep mode because Hibernate draws no power. Unfortunately, when it comes to desktop PCs, they’re wrong. Desktop PCs still use some power even while they’re shut down.

about 1 year ago - by  |  20 Replies

You’re playing a game and you Alt+Tab to use another program, but there’s a problem. The Alt+Tab process may be extremely slow, the game may crash or freeze, or you may see graphical corruption.

about 1 year ago - by  |  9 Replies

Can you not see your laptop’s screen in a bright room, or do you think the colors on your desktop computer’s display look dull and lifeless? Maybe you chose the wrong type of display coating.

about 1 year ago - by  |  11 Replies

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you have a choice of different Internet service providers in your area. Don’t just trust the advertised speeds — look at the data to find the fastest ISP near you.

about 1 year ago - by  |  2 Replies

Windows has quite a few features for automatically arranging windows, placing them side by side or tiling them on your screen. These features are a bit hidden, so you may not have noticed them.

about 1 year ago - by  |  7 Replies

If the paperless office isn’t here for you yet, you can print from your iPad or iPhone. Sure, you can’t directly connect a printer to your iPad, but there are plenty of ways to print wirelessly.

about 1 year ago - by  |  3 Replies

There are two big choices when it comes to reading eBooks. You can go with either a dedicated eReader, like a Kindle Paperwhite, or a tablet with an LCD screen, like an iPad — but which is best?

about 1 year ago - by  |  3 Replies

When you don’t have unlimited mobile data on your Android or iPhone, every megabyte counts. Mobile browsers like Google Chrome and Opera offer a built in data compression feature, allowing you to browse with less data.

about 1 year ago - by  |  5 Replies

There is a huge number of antivirus programs to choose from, so how do you find the best one? Do you use what came with your computer or what your friend recommended? How do you know if it’s any good?

about 1 year ago - by  |  29 Replies

Many computer users were trained never to turn their PCs off by pressing the power button on their desktop PC’s case. This used to cause problems in the previous millennium, but it’s now perfectly safe to shut down with the power button.

about 1 year ago - by  |  15 Replies

Apple sells Apple Remote Desktop on the Mac App Store for $80, but you don’t have to spend any money to remotely connect to your Mac. There are free solutions — including one built into your Mac.

about 1 year ago - by  |  3 Replies

Microsoft Office saves hidden metadata in your Office documents, including how long you’ve been working on them, the name of everyone who’s worked on the document, when the document was created, and even previous versions of the document.

about 1 year ago - by  |  3 Replies

Once a month, a new version of the Malicious Software Removal tool appears in Windows Update. This tool removes some malware from Windows systems, particularly those systems without antivirus programs installed.

about 1 year ago - by  |  8 Replies

The Mission Control feature in Mac OS X allows you to arrange windows into several different screens you can quickly switch between. This feature was formerly known as Spaces, and is called virtual desktops or workspaces on Linux.

about 1 year ago - by  |  1 Reply