Lowell Heddings

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

This year’s CES unveiled a ton of new gadgets, but most of them aren’t that interesting. Here are the ones that we liked the best — just the most interesting gadgets and gear that we looked at.

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The other day we wrote a guide to help people choose a battery pack for recharging their mobile devices, but we never considered that some people might want to also use it as a jump starter for their car. Well, we came across one that can do just that.

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Windows 8 infamously removed the Start Button, and then Windows 8.1 brought that button back — but maybe you are the kind of person that got used to it being gone. So now you can remove it again.

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We had no idea that a company could pack this much power into a really slim laptop, but they’ve managed it — with dual NVIDIA GTX 765M graphics cards, no less. 17.3″ display, Intel Core i7, up to 32 GB of RAM, and dual SSD drives in a package that is 0.9″ thick. We’re guessing the battery doesn’t last very long.

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It’s been a while since we’ve been impressed with anything Yahoo has to offer, but they’ve definitely been making a comeback lately. The Yahoo Weather app is beautiful and functional, and today at CES they announced a very interesting and visually impressive News Digest app for iPhone.

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Toshiba announced their first Chromebook at CES yesterday, and it’s the first one with a 13.3-inch display, priced under 300 bucks. Haswell processor and nine hours of battery life make it an interesting choice.

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CES, the annual Consumer Electronics Show, is happening right now in Vegas, and How-To Geek has boots on the ground. The Pebble Smartwatch has launched a new version made from stainless steel instead of plastic. It’s stylish, sturdy, and does everything the old version did.

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Ever since switching to OS X there has been one tiny annoyance bugging me, and it really is a small one: My SSH sessions will hang whenever my VPN times out, and then I have to close out of the Terminal to get it to disconnect, because SSH takes forever to time out for some reason.

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If you are using Windows 8.x for any amount of time, you will quickly get to the point where your Start Screen becomes a giant mess of nonsense tiles. Want to reset them to default? It’s easy!

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Over the years, readers have written in asking how to download Windows and make a bootable install disk, and we’ve always had to tell them that there isn’t a great way to do that. Microsoft has finally fixed this problem in Windows 8.x, and here is how to do it.

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Windows 8.1 has the new Start Screen, but what if you don’t want to bother with it, and prefer seeing the list of applications installed on your computer instead? Thankfully, you can easily change this setting in the Taskbar Properties.

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If you’ve used Windows Vista for more than 3.7 minutes, you know what UAC (User Account Control) is.. it’s the obnoxious, nagging popup window that will be your life for the next 3-5 years unless you switch back to XP in frustration, or to a better OS like… OS X, Suse, Ubuntu, or even XP.

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Windows 8.1 adds many improvements to the Windows 8 experience, both for classic PC users and users with hybrid devices or tablets. These 10 features will be appreciated by users with touch screens in Windows 8.1, so if you have a tablet or a hybrid device with Windows 8, here’s what’s exciting about Windows 8.1.

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I’ve previously written about a way to enable or disable UAC from the command line. This is an easier method that you can use to do the same thing from the GUI interface in either Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 or Vista. To recap my earlier article, UAC is ANNOYING.

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Have you ever wondered how much time is added to the boot process by your anti-virus solution? This handy chart shows you the answer, with some surprising results.

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Deleting the cache is definitely something you’ll want to do if you are worried about your privacy. Just keep in mind that deleting the cache will only sorta delete those files — unless you overwrite the free space, you aren’t really deleting anything permanently. All you have to do is run a few utilities, and those deleted files are most likely going to be recovered.

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If you live in an apartment complex you’ve probably noticed more than just the passive-aggressive network IDs that your neighbors use—very likely you’ve had problems with your wireless connections dropping out, or just not being as fast as you’d like. Here’s a quick fix.

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When it comes to hidden gems in Windows, nothing beats the Reliability monitor tool, hidden behind a link inside of another tool that you don’t use either. Why Microsoft doesn’t shine more light on this really useful troubleshooting tool, we’ll never know.

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Windows users have been able to minimize every window on their desktop ever since keyboards with the Win key started showing up — just tap WIN + M on your keyboard, and every window is minimized. For Mac OS X, it’s not quite as simple.

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After switching to OS X when I got a new MacBook Air, one of the first things I needed to duplicate was my extremely customized AutoHotkey setup — the most important of which is using the J and K keys to navigate throughout tabbed windows easily. Yeah, I’m a Vim user.

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Microsoft released a preview of their update to Windows 8 today, and we’ve got all the details, starting with how to get your hands on it.

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This guide explains how to configure a Windows Server 2008 machine to push out a static Ubuntu image that can be picked up by diskless terminals, so that you can have any number of machines running a fully-functional instance of Ubuntu without having a hard drive, as long as they are capable of PXE booting.

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You’re no doubt reading this article because there’s a gigantic hiberfil.sys file sitting in the root of your drive, and you want to get rid of it to free up some space… but you can’t!

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Are you one of those people that loves to see the screensaver come on when you get up from your computer? Here’s an easy way to make the screensaver show up as soon as you lock your PC.

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The All Apps view in Windows 8 is quite useful, considering many of the applications a geek might want to use won’t be pinned to the Start Screen – but it is a pain to get there. We set out to find a better solution.

about 3 years ago - by  |  6 Replies