PC gaming is different from console gaming. Consoles run a stripped-down operating system optimized for games, but PCs run a general-purpose operating system like Windows that may be doing other things in the background.
Email inbox gimmicks keep popping up. First Google introduced Priority Inbox, and now it’s using category tabs. Dropbox purchased Mailbox, which turns your inbox into more of a to-do-list. Microsoft’s Outlook.com has a Sweep feature that automatically cleans your inbox.
We’ve said it again and again: Registry cleaners don’t speed up your PC. At best, they’re a waste of time — and often money. At worst, they can cause problems by removing registry entries they shouldn’t.
Linux users can use LibreOffice, Google Docs, and even Microsoft’s Office Web Apps, but some people still need — or just want — the desktop version of Microsoft Office. Luckily, there are ways to run Microsoft Office on Linux.
Your computer’s RAM is still faster than even modern solid-state drives. RAM disks take advantage of this, using your computer’s RAM as a lightning-fast virtual drive. But you probably don’t want to use a RAM disk, anyway.
Notifications are a distraction, especially for email. Email is supposed to be asynchronous — most people don’t need their phone to ping them for every email that arrives. However, sometimes you want instant notifications for important new emails.
You can virtualize Windows XP with almost any virtual machine program, but we’ll cover a solution that gives you Windows XP-mode like desktop and taskbar integration on Windows 8.
Many companies want to sell you “memory optimizers,” often as part of “PC optimization” programs. These programs are worse than useless — not only will they not speed up your computer, they’ll slow it down.
The reality is that password database compromises are a concern. However, if you use unique passwords everywhere, you shouldn’t need to worry too much.
Many email servers refuse to accept email attachments over 10MB in size. While attachment sizes haven’t kept up with the times, there are other easy ways to send someone large files over email.
VirtualBox is packed with features that you may have never used, even if you frequently use it to run virtual machines. VMware keeps many of its best features to its paid versions, but all of VirtualBox’s features are completely free.
Virtual machines generally run guest operating systems and their programs in a single window. However, both VirtualBox and VMware have features that allow you to free virtualized programs from their prison, running them on your host desktop.
Blocking a phone number from calling you should be fairly simple in 2013, but it still isn’t. Android doesn’t have a completely integrated blocking solution, and carriers don’t generally offer this basic service for free.
Android’s Daydream feature is an “interactive screensaver mode” that can activate automatically when your device is docked or charging, keeping your screen on and displaying information. Daydream mode can give your device an always-on information display.
Google Voice has been out for years, but many people in the US still haven’t given it a try. Google Voice offers many features you can’t get elsewhere, and almost all of them are free.
You’re sitting at your PC and you receive a text message, so you pick up your phone, unlock it, read the message on the small screen, and type one back using the touchscreen keyboard. Why not use your PC instead?
Google’s Chromecast allows you to send anything you can view in a Chrome browser tab to your PC. You’re not limited to just web pages, as Chrome can play local videos and music files and display PDFs and Office documents.
Linux users often want to run Windows software on Linux, but Windows users may want to run Linux software, too. Whether you’re looking for a better development environment or powerful command-line tools, you can run Linux software without leaving Windows.
Tasker for Android allows you to automate almost anything you can think of on your phone. It’s even popular on Android in spite of only having a paid version, which shows just how powerful it is.
Traditional mechanical disk drives need to be defragmented for optimum performance, although Windows now does a good job of doing this automatically. Some software companies claim that their tools can “optimize” SSDs, just as disk defragmenters could speed up mechanical drives.
There are a million and one remote tech support options out there. We’ll look at the best ones here, whether you need to walk them through downloading one over the phone or want to set up remote access ahead of time.
Google’s Chrome OS includes a shell environment known as Chrome Shell, or “crosh” for short. Crosh includes several terminal commands that can be used on all Chromebooks, even if developer mode isn’t enabled.
We recently covered how to let people use your computer without giving them access to all your stuff using your operating system’s guest mode feature. A faster alternative would be to give them their own, isolated web browser.
Sure, your smartphone’s camera can be used for photos and video chats, but it can do much more than that. Your phone’s camera is a powerful tool you can use for everything from finding better prices to navigation and translation.
Tethering is the act of sharing your phone’s mobile data connection with another device — such as your laptop or tablet — connecting it to the Internet through your phone’s data connection. There are several ways to tether on Android.