Many computers give you the option to set a “hard disk password” along with operating system passwords and BIOS passwords. This is different from encryption — a hard disk password doesn’t actually encrypt your files.
Macs can automatically download and reinstall their operating system. This process normally keeps your personal files, but you can choose to erase them. You can also create USB installation media to speed up installing OS X on multiple Macs.
You can reinstall Windows from scratch using the product key that came with your PC, but you’ll have to find installation media yourself. Microsoft offers free Windows ISO files — if you know where to look.
Windows XP isn’t dead and buried yet. Microsoft will be creating security updates for XP for years to come, but those updates won’t be available to normal users. No, they’re just for large businesses and governments with money to burn.
The numbers in the title will vary from carrier to carrier and phone to phone, but we show how we came up with these numbers below. They illustrate how you’re paying more when you buy a phone on contract, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first.
Microsoft is done supporting Windows XP. If you want security patches, you’ll have to buy an new boxed copy of Windows or a new PC — or you can switch to Linux and get free security updates for years to come.
Video chat was once the future. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the video phone was supposed to be an awe-inspiring example of future technology. Well, that future is here — video chat has been with us for many years.
Go anywhere people are taking photos and you’ll see someone taking photos with an iPad or some sort of Android tablet. Everyone’s already pointed out how silly this looks — but is it really a bad idea?
A Windows, Linux, or Mac password just prevents people from logging into your operating system. It doesn’t prevent people from booting other operating systems, wiping your drive, or using a live CD to access your files.
We all know we should create secure passwords. But, for all the time we spend worrying about our passwords, there’s a backdoor we never think about. Security questions are often easy to guess and can often bypass passwords.
Chrome is a powerful browser, whether you’re using a desktop PC, smartphone, or tablet. These tips will help you browse faster and take advantage of Chrome’s features on the go.
Microsoft’s OneNote is now free. Once a Windows-only note-taking application included with Office, it’s now a free cross-platform note-taking service for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and the web. This is Microsoft’s free Evernote competitor.
If you’re buying a new laptop for Linux, you shouldn’t just buy the Windows laptop you like and hope for the best — you should plan your purchase to ensure it will work well with Linux. Thankfully, Linux hardware compatibility is better than ever.
UltraViolet is a “digital locker” for your movies designed by the big movie studios. It’s a response to iTunes — studios don’t want all their customers using iTunes with Apple being the single company in control.
Microsoft’s Games Explorer — also known as the Games folder — is only a single click away every time you open Windows 7′s Start menu. It’s Microsoft’s interface to your PC games, but not every game appears here — and what is a “Game Provider,” anyway?
Cable TV is an outdated concept. You pay an ever-increasing bill every month for thousands of shows you’ll never watch. When you do want to watch, you have to organize your life around the TV schedule or set up your own DVR.
Linux systems aren’t as light on disk space as they could be. For example, the APT package manager keeps package files around even after you install them — a waste of space unless you plan on uninstalling and reinstalling them.
Chrome OS is based on desktop Linux, so a Chromebook’s hardware will definitely work well with Linux. A Chromebook can make a solid, cheap Linux laptop.
Safari is easy to use, but you may never find all of its useful features unless you go looking for them. iPads have many useful navigation tricks you may never stumble across, and Safari has its own tricks.
PC manufacturers are now beginning to create all-in-one Android desktop PCs. They also sell Android laptops and convertibles that transform from a laptop-with-keyboard to a tablet. But should you buy one?
More Internet service providers are now providing their customers with modems that function as routers — and those units may also be public hotspots. This sort of feature is common in Europe, but it’s now arriving in North America.