FEATURED ARTICLES / THE BEST OF HOW-TO GEEK
The 2nd generation of Philips Hue smart light bulbs have been out for quite a while now, but you can still buy 1st-generation Hue products at some stores. Here’s what you need to know about the 1st- and 2nd-generation Philips Hue hubs and bulbs, and the big differences between the two.
Tools like FRAPS and NVIDIA’s ShadowPlay are great for monitoring your game performance on Windows, but they don’t work with Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) games. Thankfully, a few tools will let you monitor your framerate and benchmark games made for Windows 10’s new application platform.
If you’ve ever scrolled through your list of installed programs in Windows, wondering why there are so many versions of the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable on there, you’re not alone. Join us as we take a look at what these things are and why there are so many installed on your PC.
Ever since Windows 10 came out, Windows 7 and 8 users have been bombarded with upgrade notifications, thanks to a little Windows icon in their system trays called GWX (“Get Windows 10”). Here is how to remove that icon and avoid the pushy notifications.
Nexus OTA updates are a bit of an enigma—they come straight from Google, but they also depend on carrier approval before they can be sent to devices on certain networks. Getting the latest OTA update meant either waiting a few weeks, or manually flashing a full factory image, which can be a bit janky. Now, however, the process is more streamlined, so you can flash the latest update with one command, no waiting necessary.
Sony encourages you to use “Rest Mode” on your PlayStation 4 instead of completely powering it off. Rest Mode is a bit like sleep mode on your PC–it goes into a low-power mode instead of turning off entirely, so you can get to your games faster when you wake it up. The only downside to using Rest Mode is that it uses more energy than turning your PS4 off–but how much more, and how much does it cost?
Microsoft has finally released a “Convenience Rollup” for Windows 7 that combines updates from the past few years into one package (like a service pack). Microsoft doesn’t offer ISO images with these updates integrated, but you can create your own in a few simple steps.
When you install Windows 7 on a new system, you traditionally have to go through a long process of downloading years of updates and constantly rebooting. Not anymore: Microsoft now offers a “Windows 7 SP1 Convenience Rollup” that essentially functions as Windows 7 Service Pack 2. With a single download, you can install the hundreds of updates at once. But there’s a catch.
The Xbox One has integrated TV features and support for streaming media apps like Netflix and Hulu, but that isn’t where it ends. You can play video and music files you’ve ripped or downloaded by plugging in a USB drive or streaming them over your local network.
If you’re running your own router alongside the modem/router combo your ISP gave you, there’s a good chance you’re inadvertently giving yourself a huge headache and a host of difficult-to-pin-down network problems. Let’s look at why these issues arise, how to detect them, and how to fix them.
Parental controls allow you to restrict child accounts on an Xbox One. You can restrict access to games, media, and apps by age rating, filter the web, and control online privacy and chat features. This works similarly to the parental controls in Windows 10.
Even if you use the Windows Command Prompt a lot, you might be surprised at the number of useful keyboard shortcuts it supports. You can use them to streamline everything from selecting and manipulating text to repeating commands you’ve already typed. And we’ve got the full list for you.
While setting up your Xbox One, you’ll be asked whether you want to use “Instant On” mode or “Energy Saving” mode. You can also change this option at any time. We’ll show you how to calculate exactly how much Instant On mode costs in your area, so you can make an informed decision.
When it comes to video playback, the cross-platform application VLC is a veritable Swiss Army knife. It’s been popular on Windows, Mac, and Linux for a long time, but now you can get that same great plays-anything-under-the-sun power on your Apple TV.
Microsoft’s Xbox One allows you to easily capture a screenshot or record the last thirty seconds of gameplay as a video. You can also use the Game DVR app for more fine-grained recording options. All video clips are saved in 720p resolution at 30 frames per second.
Nova Launcher is an unofficial fan favorite for Android power users, and with good reason—it’s chock-full of nifty customization features to help users make Android look how they want. But it’s also full of useful time-saving features that can make your life easier. Here are five of our favorites.