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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+.

You can buy a laptop or Wi-Fi tablet and use it on Wi-Fi anywhere in the world, so why are cell phones and devices with mobile data not portable between different cellular networks in the same country?

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Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will “form the basis of the first commercially available Ubuntu tablets,” according to Canonical. We installed Ubuntu Touch 14.04 on our own hardware to see what those tablets will be like.

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Steam’s In-Home Streaming is now available to everyone, allowing you to stream PC games from one PC to another PC on the same local network. Use your gaming PC to power your laptops and home theater system.

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A Mac’s Recovery Mode is for more than just reinstalling Mac OS X. You’ll find many other useful troubleshooting utilities here — you can use these even if your Mac can’t boot normally.

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Your operating system provides each user account with its own folders when you set up several different user accounts on the same computer. Shared folders allow you to share files between user accounts.

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No need to wait for Valve’s Steam Machines — connect your Windows gaming PC to your TV and use powerful PC graphics in the living room today. It’s easy — you don’t need any unusual hardware or special software.

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In 2012, Google’s Dianne Hackborn threatened to revoke CyanogenMod’s access to the Android Market if they moved forward with adding “Cornerstone” multitasking to their custom ROM. Samsung has since created their own multi-window multitasking feature.

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Backups on Windows can be confusing. Whether you’re using Windows 7 or 8, you have quite a few integrated backup tools to think about. Windows 8 made quite a few changes, too.

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Netbooks — small, cheap, slow laptops — were once very popular. They fell out of favor — people bought them because they seemed cheap and portable, but the actual experience was lackluster. Most netbooks now sit unused.

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Web browser bookmarklets allow you to perform actions on the current page with just a click or tap. They’re a lightweight alternative to browser extensions. They even work on mobile browsers that don’t support traditional extensions.

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Android still doesn’t offer proper multi-window multitasking, but you can get it with a third-party tweak. All you need is root access — you don’t have to install a custom ROM.

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Keyboard shortcuts are essential on any device with a hardware keyboard, whether you’re using a Windows PC, Linux system, Mac, or even a Chromebook. Chrome OS and other operating systems share quite a few shortcuts, but many are unique to Chrome OS.

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QWERTY — so-called because the letters at the top-left corner of the keyboard begin with QWERTY — is the most common keyboard layout. But some people think alternative keyboard layouts like Dvorak and Colemak are faster and more efficient.

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Boot Camp can be annoying. Both Windows and Mac OS X can see each other’s files, but they can’t write to the other operating system’s partition.

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This is Microsoft’s attempt to give Windows 8 and 8.1 the “always-on” state people get from iPads, Android tablets, and smartphones. A PC with Connected Standby can’t use other power-management states like Sleep and Hibernate.

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Windows software downloads are a mess. Many programs try to drag adware and other malicious junk onto your computer. Even safe programs we test sometimes turn to the dark side and start bundling junk later.

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Troubleshooting a Mac is different from troubleshooting a PC, but not all that different. Use your Mac’s built-in startup options to test your hardware, boot in safe mode, reinstall Mac OS X, and perform other system tasks.

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Routers are basically little computers. By default, they run a manufacture-provided operating system, or firmware, to route network traffic and provide you with various settings and features. But you can often replace this firmware.

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Android may be based on Linux, but it’s not based on the type of Linux system you may have used on your PC. You can’t run Android apps on typical Linux distributions and you can’t run the Linux programs you’re familiar with on Android.

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Chrome is gradually becoming more of a platform, and some of the best features of Android are making their way to Windows. With voice search and Google Now support, Google beat Microsoft’s own Cortana service to Windows.

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Consumer PCs didn’t always run Windows. Before Windows arrived, PCs came with Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating system. Here’s what the command-line environment was actually like to use.

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Have you heard? Antivirus software is dead — at least according to Symantec, maker of Norton Antivirus. But they’re still making Norton Antivirus and want to sell it to you, so what does this statement even mean?

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Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is the latest release of Ubuntu. Like other recent releases, there are no flashy big new features. Canonical has made some important changes, but they’re very easy to miss.

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Keyboard shortcuts are essential for being productive on any device with a keyboard, whether it’s a Windows PC or a Mac. Use these keyboard shortcuts to get around your Mac more quickly.

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Yes, some Android apps can be malicious — Apple, Microsoft, and the media seem happy to remind us about this. Take a few basic precautions and you can avoid these potentially dangerous apps.

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