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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+.

Android 4.0 and newer include an easy-to-use, built-in screenshot feature. You can take a screenshot and send it off your smartphone or tablet in just a few seconds. This feature was introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0).

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There’s no built-in way to take screenshots if your device is using a 2.x version of Android, such as Gingerbread or Froyo. However, you can take screenshots by connecting your Android phone to your computer and using Google’s Android SDK.

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The Ubuntu App Showdown resulted in the development of 133 new applications for Ubuntu. Soon, you’ll be able to install these apps from the Ubuntu Software Center and vote on your favorites – the voting decides which apps win.

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Want to play videos from your computer on your Android, without the hassle of copying them to your device’s internal storage? Share a folder over the network with Windows. You can copy files back and forth over Wi-Fi, too.

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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is the slickest, fastest, most responsive release of Android yet. Here’s a list of the great features you have to look forward to when you get your hands on Android 4.1.

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Try to install an extension from outside the Chrome Web Store and Chrome will tell you that extensions “can only be added from the Chrome Web Store.” However, this message is incorrect – you can still install extensions from elsewhere.

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For years, Android enthusiasts have been rooting their devices to do things that Android doesn’t allow by default. Google has added many features that once required root to Android, eliminating many of the reasons for rooting.

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Use the Nexus Root Toolkit to quickly root your Nexus devices, whether you’ve got a Nexus 7, Galaxy Nexus, or even a Nexus S. Rooting allows you to use powerful apps that don’t work in Android’s default sandbox.

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Flash may not be important in the future – but a lot of websites want it today. If you’re not ready to give up Flash just yet, you can install Flash on your Nexus 7, even if Adobe doesn’t approve.

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VLC is full of powerful features, including the ability to record your desktop. VLC is great for quick captures, although it doesn’t necessarily have the more advanced features of a dedicated screencasting application.

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Unlike other tablets, the Nexus 7’s home screen is locked in portrait mode by default. If you’re using an app in landscape mode and hit the home button, you’ll have to flip your tablet around to read the home screen.

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If you’re a Linux user, you may have seen zombie processes shambling around your processes list. You can’t kill a zombie process because it’s already dead – like an actual zombie.

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Have you ever noticed that your browser sometimes displays a website’s organization name on an encrypted website? This is a sign that the website has an extended validation certificate, indicating that the website’s identity has been verified.

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Windows 8 allows third-party browser to replace Internet Explorer in the Metro environment — except on Windows RT. You can use Google Chrome in Metro today, and Firefox for Metro is on the way.

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IPv4 addresses on the public Internet are running low. Microsoft paid $7.5 million for Nortel’s 666,624 IP addresses when Nortel went bankrupt in 2011 – that’s over $8 an IP address. IPv4 has technical problems, and IPv6 is the solution.

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Install Ubuntu’s new web app feature – included by default in the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 – to see unread email in your messaging menu, control music playing on websites from the sound menu, and more.

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We’ve recently been hearing about tracking cookies and laws in the European Union forcing websites to explain their use of cookies to their visitors. If you’re wondering what cookies are and what all the fuss is about, you’re not alone.

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When a Linux system boots, it enters its default runlevel and runs the startup scripts associated with that runlevel. You can also switch between runlevels – for example, there’s a runlevel designed for recovery and maintenance operations.

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The X server on Linux provides your graphical desktop. If it crashes, you’ll lose all unsaved work in graphical programs, but you can recover from the crash and restart the X server without restarting your computer.

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Many Linux users reboot into Windows to watch Netflix, but you can watch Netflix on Linux without rebooting. Unfortunately, the solution here is inefficient – while Linux geeks have explored a variety of other clever solutions, none of them work.

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On Linux, the magic SysRq key can send commands directly to the Linux kernel. You can use it to recover from freezes or cleanly restart your system, even if nothing appears to be responding.

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You’ve probably heard that it’s important to use your display’s native resolution – assuming you’re using an LCD flat-panel monitor instead of an ancient CRT monitor. With a LCD, using a lower resolution will result in inferior image quality.

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When you put your PC into sleep mode, it normally waits until you press a button before it wakes from sleep – but you can have your PC automatically wake from sleep at a specific time.

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If you’ve used Ubuntu a while, you might remember GNOME applets – icons that sat on your panel and gave you access to controls and information. If you miss panel applets, try installing third-party indicator applets for Ubuntu’s Unity desktop.

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By default, Ubuntu uses a two-finger tap for right-click and a three-finger tap for middle-click on laptop touchpads. You can swap this behavior, but Ubuntu doesn’t provide a graphical utility for configuring it.

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