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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+.

Do you regularly erase your browsing data, run CCleaner, or use another temporary-file cleaning tool? You’re probably clearing your browser cache, and it’s slowing down your browsing.

about 6 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Windows 8.1 Update 1 offers some crucial improvements for mouse and keyboard users. Windows will now automatically detect whether your computer has a touch screen and do the right thing. It also provides better mouse and keyboard support in “Store apps.”

about 6 months ago - by  |  24 Replies

Microsoft won’t be releasing new security patches for Windows XP come April 8th, 2014, and they’re making sure all Windows XP users know it. You’re on your own after this point — no more security updates for Windows XP!

about 6 months ago - by  |  27 Replies

It’s 2014, shouldn’t we stop worrying about disk space? Nope, not at all! A modern MacBook might have a¬†solid-state drive¬†with just 64 GB of space. You’ll want as much space for your important data as you can get.

about 6 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Game-streaming services like Twitch TV are becoming bigger and bigger. Whether you want to let your friends watch you play a game or try to build up a larger audience, streaming is easy.

about 7 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Macs don’t need third-party utilities like TrueCrypt to create a secure, encrypted container for your sensitive files. You can create an encrypted disk image using the built-in Disk Utility.

about 7 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Botnets are networks made up of remote-controlled computers, or “bots.” These computers have been infected with malware that allows them to be remotely controlled. Some botnets consist of hundreds of thousands — or even millions — of computers.

about 7 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Microsoft makes much more money from Android than Windows Phone. Every time you buy an Android smartphone or tablet, Microsoft is likely receiving $5 to $15. They likely make at least $2 billion per year from Android.

about 7 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Windows 8.1 integrates OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) everywhere, even on the desktop. You may want to save all your personal files to OneDrive so they’ll be accessible everywhere, but Windows doesn’t always save to OneDrive by default.

about 7 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

We’ve come a long way since the days of infected floppy disks moving between DOS computers. Malware isn’t about messing with you, joking around, or just causing damage — it’s all about profit.

about 7 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Mac keyboards have Option and Command keys where standard PC keyboards have Alt and Windows keys. The keyboards are otherwise pretty similar, but new Mac users will need to understand these different keys.

about 7 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Thanks to the frequent sales, PC games just cost less than console games. If you’re patient and know the tricks, you can save quite a bit of money. Almost every game seems to regularly go on sale.

about 7 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Your iPhone or iPad automatically backs up to your iCloud account by default, but you can also create more comprehensive, local backups from iTunes. Apple only offers 5 GB of iCloud space for free, so you may need to manage your iCloud backups.

about 7 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Yet again, someone wearing Google Glass was assaulted and had the gadget ripped off their face. People are upset they’re being recorded by Google. But that’s not how Google Glass works — it’s not always recording you and it’s not always on.

about 7 months ago - by  |  11 Replies

If you read any tech news, you’ve probably seen “the Internet of Things” mentioned over and over. It’s supposedly one of the next big things — but what exactly does it mean? Isn’t the Internet already made up of things?

about 7 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Reports of the PC’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. We’ve all heard that everyone’s just buying tablets and throwing out their keyboards and mice. But if you live in the real world, you see people using PCs every day.

about 7 months ago - by  |  29 Replies

Microsoft’s Office Online is a completely free, web-based version of Microsoft Office. This online office suite is clearly competing with Google Docs, but it’s also a potential replacement for the desktop version of Office.

about 7 months ago - by  |  17 Replies

You can easily reset your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to factory default settings. If you’re experiencing problems — even if it won’t boot — you can reinstall the entire iOS operating system.

about 7 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Screencasting can seem a bit daunting at first. Open Broadcaster Software is a powerful, free program that will do everything you need, but you’ll need a few minutes to learn its interface.

about 7 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

There’s no need to huddle around the same computer or send files back and forth over email if you want to collaborate with other people. You can all edit the same copy of the document — you can even edit it together in real time.

about 7 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Computers generate random number for everything from cryptography to video games and gambling. There are two categories of random numbers — “true” random numbers and pseudorandom numbers — and the difference is important for the security of encryption systems.

about 7 months ago - by  |  8 Replies

Do Android phones and tablets slow down over time? Many people seem to think so. We’ll look at the reasons why devices slow down and how to battle slow downs.

about 7 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Dedicated GPS devices are going the way of the dodo, and for good reason. That smartphone or tablet you have can be a capable GPS with turn-by-turn navigation. This works even if you don’t have a data connection.

about 7 months ago - by  |  12 Replies

The Internet is complicated. Never mind net neutrality — peering agreements can affect services like Netflix and YouTube, slowing down their traffic. Issues with peering agreements may be indistinguishable from an ISP throttling some types of traffic.

about 7 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Windows Activation, introduced in Windows XP, checks in with Microsoft when you install Windows or get a new Windows PC. This is an anti-piracy feature — it’s designed to annoy you if you’re using a non-genuine copy of Windows.

about 7 months ago - by  |  14 Replies