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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+.

There are many different websites for creating web-based surveys, but all you need is a Google account and Google Docs. Easily create a survey with Google Forms, sending the results directly to Google Sheets.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Apple Pay is shiny, new, and getting a lot of press. But Android users have had their own similar payment system for years: Google Wallet. Google Wallet isn’t limited to a small number of phones anymore.

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Your Mac’s Preview app doesn’t just contain PDF-editing features. It’s a great little image editor, too. Preview offers basic tools for cropping, resizing, rotating, annotating, and otherwise tweaking images.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

If you have a single media file you want to rearrange, you can also use QuickTime for that Open the media file, and then drag the “play head” on the playback bar to a location in the file. Click Edit > Split Clip and the currently selected clip (the full media file, by default) will be split into two halves. You can continue doing this to create multiple, smaller clips.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

The Preview app included with Mac OS X is much more powerful than its humble name implies. In addition to simply viewing PDFs, it contains the basic PDF features an average user might need.

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Google Apps Script is a surprisingly powerful scripting language often implemented using Google Sheets. It allows people to develop lightweight web applications, and those scripts run in the cloud on Google’s servers.

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Ninite is a free tool that automatically downloads, installs, and updates various Windows programs for you, skipping past the evil toolbar offers. For Windows users, Ninite is arguably the only really safe place to get freeware.

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Search for a duplicate-file-finder and you’ll find yourself bombarded with junkware-filled installers and paid applications. We’ve put together lists of the best free duplicate-file-finders so you can save some time.

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Whether you’re using Linux on your desktop or a server, there are good tools that will scan your system for duplicate files and help you remove them to free up space. Solid graphical and command-line interfaces are both available.

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Duplicate files are a waste of disk space, consuming that precious SSD space on a modern Mac and cluttering your Time Machine backups. Remove them to free up space on your Mac.

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Duplicate files waste precious space on your computer’s hard drive — especially if you have an SSD — and make your computer’s backups bigger for no good reason. Here’s how you can free up some disk space.

about 7 months ago - by  |  17 Replies

Miracast is a wireless display standard included in Windows 8.1, Android 4.2, and newer versions of these operating systems. With a Miracast receiver plugged into a TV or another display nearby, casting your screen should be easy.

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Miracast is a wireless display standard designed for mirroring a smartphone, tablet, or PC’s screen to a television without requiring any physical HDMI cables. It’s becoming more widespread with each passing day.

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It’s time to compress some files, so what format do you use? Zip, RAR, 7z, or something else? We performed some benchmarks to determine which format gives you maximum compression.

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It’s worth noting that both Windows Phone and Windows RT also offer a “device encryption” feature. It works similarly to the feature that made its way over to the desktop version of Windows with Windows 8.1.

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Connecting a PC to your TV is dead simple. All you’ll usually need is an HDMI cable, and then you can access every media service, streaming site, and PC game — on your TV.

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You don’t need any specialized hardware to record a phone call, Skype conversation, or any sort of other voice chat. All you need is the right software and a few minutes setting it up ahead of time.

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Application-specific passwords are more dangerous than they sound. Despite their name, they’re anything but application-specific. Each application-specific password is more like a skeleton key that provides unrestricted access to your account.

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Game-streaming solutions have evolved from the “cloud gaming” services we examined last year. Many new solutions allow you to stream a game from a computer in your house to a device in another room.

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Many companies want to sell you “memory optimizers,” often as part of “PC optimization” programs. These programs are worse than useless — not only will they not speed up your computer, they’ll slow it down.

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We recently discovered OneGet, a package management framework included with PowerShell and Windows 10. We’ve learned a lot more about OneGet and its future since then.

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More operating systems are including encryption by default, which is fine. But, if your operating system doesn’t, you probably don’t need to start encrypting everything with third-party software.

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Chromebooks aren’t the ideal Minecraft laptops, that’s for sure. There’s no web-based or Chrome app version of Minecraft, which is written in Java. But Chromebook owners aren’t completely out-of-luck if they want to play Minecraft.

about 7 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Microsoft does offer a web-based version of Skype, so you can chat with your friends on your Chromebook. There’s no official voice or video support yet, but there are ways around that.

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Forget the Windows Store. Microsoft is working on a Linux-style package management framework for Windows, and it’s included with Windows 10. It’s being tested with Chocolatey’s existing packages, and allows you to easily install desktop applications and other software.

about 7 months ago - by  |  13 Replies