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+.

Whether you’re using Windows 7, Windows 8, or an older version of Windows, Windows contains a variety of system utilities that are well-hidden. Some are buried deep in the Start menu, while others can only be accessed via a command.

about 2 years ago - by  |  18 Replies

So you’ve got all your data stored on servers somewhere — your emails at Gmail, photos on Facebook, and passwords in LastPass. But what if one of these services failed and lost your data?

about 2 years ago - by  |  8 Replies

Google didn’t announce any shiny new Chromebooks at Google I/O. Instead, they highlighted their two big “platforms” — Chrome and Android. Whether you’re using Windows, Linux, or Mac, Google will be bringing the Chrome OS experience to you.

about 2 years ago - by  |  25 Replies

Everyone seems to be complaining about their Nexus 7 tablets slowing down over time. Sure, this is anecdotal — but there are a lot of anecdotes. We’ll cover a variety of ways to speed it up.

about 2 years ago - by  |  14 Replies

We’ve looked at the reasons why your Android phone probably isn’t getting updates before, and one of the reasons why is because each carrier must subject each update to a testing process before releasing it — if they ever release it.

about 2 years ago - by  |  12 Replies

So you’ve just picked up your first Android phone, or perhaps you have an Android phone that you don’t take full advantage of because that’s the only type of low-end phone your carrier is offering these days. This guide will help you understand and adapt to life with an Android.

about 2 years ago - by  |  6 Replies

Android’s openness is a big reason for its success, but cellular carriers and phone manufacturers often use this openness to make the experience worse for its users. Android’s openness gives carriers and device manufacturers the freedom to do bad things.

about 2 years ago - by  |  16 Replies

Roaming data can cost as much as 300 times the price of domestic data, leading to bill shock. Some of the more extreme examples of roaming bills have been for tens of thousands of dollars.

about 2 years ago - by  |  4 Replies

The blue screen of death — or BSOD — is always an unwelcome sight. BSODs appear when Microsoft Windows encounters a critical error it can’t recover from, requiring a reboot and possibly resulting in lost work.

about 2 years ago - by  |  7 Replies

So you’re using Windows 8 on a desktop or laptop. Microsoft goes out of their way to make this more awkward, scattering the tweaks you need to turn Windows 8 into a serviceable desktop operating system all over the OS.

about 2 years ago - by  |  47 Replies

You may not have noticed, but Firefox now includes a “Social API” that allows Facebook and other social networks to integrate with your browser. Firefox is providing Facebook a way to integrate with your browser and stay with you everywhere on the web.

about 2 years ago - by  |  2 Replies

Windows 8 no longer comes with Windows Media Center. To get it, you’ll need to purchase both the Pro Pack and Media Center Pack upgrades from Microsoft for a total of $110. Consider using a free, Linux-based media center system instead.

about 2 years ago - by  |  19 Replies

There’s no one true desktop environment for Linux. Unlike competing operating systems like Windows, Linux users have a choice of many different desktop environments, all with their own styles and strengths.

about 2 years ago - by  |  72 Replies

Sure, everyone involved can come up with a variety of excuses — they aren’t technically misleading customers, it’s all in the fine print, and these are the standard ways the industry operates — but hardware has been advertised in many misleading ways.

about 2 years ago - by  |  25 Replies

Whether you’re using a Chromebook or you’re just interested in switching from installed desktop apps to browser-based ones, web-based software can replace many of the programs people use on their computers — and can often improve on them.

about 2 years ago - by  |  17 Replies

A laptop is a marvel of engineering. So much work goes into designing and manufacturing all the individual pieces of hardware before combining them with software that’s taken decades to build. After going through all this work, laptop manufacturers are paid to make their laptops slower and more frustrating to use.

about 2 years ago - by  |  55 Replies

So you want to buy a tablet — you have a choice between the iPad, Android tablets, and now Windows 8 or Windows RT tablets. Windows tablets are often the most expensive. Software availability is crucial when using a tablet.

about 2 years ago - by  |  17 Replies

Whatever happened to the digital wallet? We’ve been hearing that smartphones are on the verge of replacing our credit cards and eliminating our physical wallets for years, but it never seems to happen.

about 2 years ago - by  |  7 Replies

You may have noticed a new command-line environment in Windows since Windows 7 — PowerShell. PowerShell is a much more powerful command-line shell and scripting language than the Command Prompt is, giving Windows system administrators a useful command-line environment.

about 2 years ago - by  |  9 Replies

The “paperless office” we were promised never seems to arrive for many people. The reality, however, is that a paperless office is here today if you want to take advantage of it.

about 2 years ago - by  |  16 Replies

You don’t need a task killer because Android can normally manage processes better on its own. However, this all falls apart if there’s a buggy app hogging your resources and running when it shouldn’t be. But how do you identify these misbehaving apps?

about 2 years ago - by  |  5 Replies

Leave the paper maps, outdated travel guides, and thick dictionaries at home when you go traveling — all you need is an Android smartphone. You can do everything offline with features built into Android and free apps.

about 2 years ago - by  |  6 Replies

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the recently-released Ubuntu 13.04 is that it isn’t remarkable at all. Ubuntu 13.04 contains the latest versions of software and additional polish, but there are no must-have features that will make you rush to upgrade.

about 2 years ago - by  |  13 Replies

PC cleaning apps are digital snake oil. The web is full of ads for applications that want to “clean your PC” and “make it feel like new.” Don’t pull out your credit card — these apps are terrible and you don’t need them.

about 2 years ago - by  |  75 Replies

RAID allows you to combine multiple physical hard drives into a single logical hard drive. This allows you to mirror your data across two hard drives, ensuring you always have your important data stored in multiple places.

about 2 years ago - by  |  9 Replies