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 8’s new touch-first Modern interface includes quite a few apps. Before you start looking at the Windows Store to find new apps, take a look at the included apps and what they can do.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (27)

Windows won’t allow you to modify files that open programs have locked. if you try to delete a file and see a message that it’s open in a program, you’ll have to unlock the file (or close the program).

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (24)

Screen savers are a left-over solution from a previous technology. In spite of their name, screen savers no longer “save” anything – all they do is waste electricity. Screen savers are not necessary on modern, flat-panel LCD displays.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (60)

Aero Glass is gone in Windows 8. If you really miss Aero Glass, there’s a trick you can use to re-enable the transparent window title bars and borders – although Microsoft doesn’t want us to.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (33)

Google only supports running Chrome OS on Chromebooks, but don’t let that stop you. You can put Chrome OS on a USB drive and boot it on any computer, just as you’d run a Linux distribution from a USB drive.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (33)

Computers can sleep, hibernate, or shut down. Sleep allows you to quickly resume using your laptop at the cost of some electricity. Hibernate is like shutting down your computer, but you can still resume working where you left off.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (29)

Windows RT and Windows 8 aren’t the same thing. While Windows RT has a desktop that looks just like Windows 8’s, Windows RT’s desktop is very limited. The difference doesn’t just matter to geeks; it matters to all Windows users.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (27)

Want to try out Ubuntu, but not sure where to start? There are lots of ways to try out Ubuntu – you can even install it on Windows and uninstall it from your Control Panel if you don’t like it.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (25)

Whatever you think of it, Windows 8 isn’t just a new interface slapped on top of Windows 7. Windows 8 has seen a lot of security improvements, including an integrated antivirus, an application reputation system, and protection from boot-time rootkits.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (56)

Is Windows, Linux, Android, or another operating system using a lot of RAM? Don’t panic! Modern operating systems use RAM as a file cache to speed things up. Assuming your computer is performing well, there’s nothing to worry about.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (30)

It’s easy to focus on how Windows 8’s new interface doesn’t feel at home on a traditional desktop PC or laptop. But that’s only one part of Windows 8 – the Windows 8 desktop includes a variety of useful improvements.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (28)

With Google’s new Chromebooks out at just $249, many people who once wrote them off as too expensive for their limited functionality are giving them a second look. But will you really find Chrome OS useful?

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (24)

The CC and BCC fields when sending email work similarly. CC stands for “carbon copy,” while BCC stands for “blind carbon copy.” While these terms may have been immediately obvious when email was invented, they’re antiquated today.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (29)

Upgrade to Windows 8 and you may be surprised to find that you can no longer play video DVDs. Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 doesn’t include built-in support for playing DVDs.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (33)

Windows 8’s Modern interface includes support for running two Windows 8 apps side-by-side. This feature, named “Snap,” isn’t explained in the tutorial – you’ll have to know it exists to make use of it.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (21)

You can change the default search provider in the Modern version of Internet Explorer 10, but Microsoft hides this option well. You won’t find it in IE’s Settings charm – you’ll have to change this setting from the desktop.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (3)

The modern (or “Metro”) version of Internet Explorer in Windows 8 supports Flash, but only for some Microsoft-approved websites. You can add your own favorite websites to Microsoft’s whitelist to view Flash on any website.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (22)

Want a Start menu on your Windows 8 desktop? While Microsoft no longer includes the Start button, opting instead for a click in a hidden corner and a new Start screen, there are quite a few Start menu replacements you can choose from.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (69)

Several programs can prevent the app switcher and charms from appearing when you move your mouse to the corners of the screen in Windows 8, but you can do it yourself with this quick registry hack.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (22)

Windows 8 opens many types of files in the Windows 8 interface formerly known as Metro by default. If you’re at the desktop and double-click many types of media files, you’ll see a full-screen media viewer.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (6)

If you don’t have a touchscreen computer and spend all your time on the desktop, Windows 8’s new interface can seem intrusive. Microsoft won’t allow you to disable the new interface, but Classic Shell provides the options Microsoft didn’t.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (31)

Some people think that task killers are important on Android. By closing apps running in the background, you’ll get improved performance and battery life – that’s the idea, anyway. In reality, task killers can reduce your performance and battery life.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (38)

Tabs allow you to open multiple web pages in a single browser window without cluttering your desktop. Mastering tabbed browsing can speed up your browsing experience and make multiple web pages easier to manage.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (19)

There are a wide variety of Linux distributions, but there are also a wide variety of distributions based on other Linux distributions. The official Ubuntu release with the Unity desktop is only one of many possible ways to use Ubuntu.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (42)

File extensions can be faked – that file with an .mp3 extension may actually be an executable program. Hackers can fake file extensions by abusing a special Unicode character, forcing text to be displayed in reverse order.

about 2 years ago - by  |  Comments (33)