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Lori Kaufman

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

When you install an add-on in Firefox, a confirmation dialog box displays with a countdown on the Install button. Many people find this annoying and would like to disable the countdown. However, it is there for good security reasons.

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Most browsers are moving towards a minimalist approach and are consolidating menus, toolbars, and other program elements. If you want to maximize the website viewing area, and you use Firefox, there is an option for optimizing the space available in your browser window.

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Last week, we published a list of websites for sharing photos with friends and family. Of course, you can also share your photos by emailing them, but many email services impose a limit on the size of files you can send.

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Need to send sensitive information through email? Normal email messages can be intercepted or hacked before reaching the recipient. However, you can use a free extension for Google Chrome, called SafeGmail, that allows you to send encrypted emails to anyone.

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Now that the holidays are over, you probably have a lot of photos taken of family and friends. Want easy ways to share those photos? Facebook is a popular option for photo sharing, but what if your family and friends are not on Facebook?

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We at How-To Geek appreciate all our readers and hope you have learned new and interesting things from our many articles. We’ve collected the top 25 articles published on How-To Geek in 2012.

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Are you a writer? Or a word geek? If you write anything or play word games, dictionaries, thesauruses, and other reference tools can come in handy. We’ve found some useful offline and online tools for looking up words, finding synonym, or building words in Scrabble.

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Robocopy, or “Robust File Copy,” is a command line directory replication tool from Microsoft. It is available as part of Windows 7 and Vista as a standard feature, and was available as part of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit.

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If you often open a lot of applications at once, a virtual desktop program can help you keep all those windows on your desktop organized. A virtual desktop program allows you to put open applications into separate virtual desktops, cutting down on your desktop clutter.

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We’ve all had programs crash on us in Windows at one time or another. You can take the time to manually start the program again, or you can have a simple program like ReStartMe restart it automatically for you.

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If you’ve used Linux, you’re probably familiar with the virtual desktop feature. It provides a convenient way to organize programs and folders open on your desktop. You can switch among multiple desktops and have different programs and folders open on each one.

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Note: We write and schedule our articles far in advance. We certainly didn’t specifically mean to publish this post a day after yet another shooting. That said, video games don’t cause these incidents.

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We’ve published a lot of articles about Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 and the programs in the suite. This article compiles many useful tips for Office, Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote, and a few links to articles about the latest version, Office 2013.

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The hosts file in Windows contains mappings of IP addresses to host names, like an address book for your computer. Your PC uses IP addresses to find websites, so it needs to translate the host names into IP addresses to access websites.

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With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to pull out the holiday card list and get writing. However, how would you like to save some money this year and also help save the environment?

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If you use iOS or Android devices, you’re familiar with the drag-and-drop method of creating folders. If you like that method of grouping files, you can get the same functionality on your Windows PC using a free utility, called Smart Folders.

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One of the new features in Windows 8 is the improved Task Manager, which provides access to more information and settings. If you don’t want to upgrade, there is a way you can use a simple Windows 8-like Task Manager in Windows 7, Vista, or XP.

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A mind map is a diagram that allows you to visually outline information, helping you organize, solve problems, and make decisions. Start with a single idea in the center of the diagram and add associated ideas, words, and concepts connected radially around the central idea.

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RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” or “Rich Site Summary.” It’s a document specification that allows you to easily collect and organize web-based news and information from websites. RSS reader applications allow you to follow your favorite websites without having to visit each one separately.

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The Windows Task Manager is a built-in tool that allows you to check which services are running in the background, how much resources are being used by which software programs, and the all-to-common task of killing programs that are not responding.

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If you need to install Windows or Linux and you don’t have access to a CD/DVD drive, a bootable USB drive is the solution. You can boot to the USB drive, using it to run the OS setup program, just like a CD or DVD.

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Windows 8 ships with built-in apps available on the Modern UI screen (formerly the Metro or Start screen), such as Mail, Calendar, Photos, Music, Maps, and Weather. Installing additional Modern UI apps is easy using the Windows Store, and uninstalling apps is just as easy.

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Windows 8 has a new feature that allows you to automatically run scheduled daily maintenance on your computer. These maintenance tasks run in the background and include security updating and scanning, Windows software updates, disk defragmentation, system diagnostics, among other tasks.

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The Windows clipboard is like a scratch pad used by the operating system and all running applications. When you copy or cut some text or a graphic, it is temporarily stored in the clipboard and then retrieved later when you paste the data.

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The Windows Store is similar to the app stores for Apple iOS and Android devices and Windows phones. It allows you to buy and download both free and paid Metro-style apps for Windows 8.

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