Ask HTG: Understanding Sandboxing, Defragmentation On an SSD, and Archiving Tweets

By Jason Fitzpatrick on April 30th, 2012


Once a week we round up some of the reader questions we’ve answered and share them with everyone. This week we’re looking at sandboxing, defragmenting and SSD, and archiving your Twitter account.

What’s The Deal With Sandboxing?

A sandboxed application running in Windows

Dear How-To Geek,

I saw your trivia question about sandboxing the other day and I’m interested to learn more about it. How exactly does sandboxing work? Could you give me a more in depth explanation about this whole sandboxing thing? How might I use it on my home computer?


Box Curious

Dear Box Curious,

If you’re looking for a great overview with excellent accompanying diagrams, we’d recommend checking out this post from Ask Leo! entitled “What’s the Difference Between a Sandbox and a Virtual Machine?”; it’s a very informative articles that should help clear up things about sandboxing and virtual machines in one swoop.

Why Can’t I Defrag My SSD?

Dear How-To Geek,

I bought a new Windows 7 machine with an SSD and I’ve run into the weirdest thing. I can’t defrag the machine? I don’t get it? I’m on an administrator account! Do I need a special program?


New Computer Dude

Dear Dude,

That’s a feature, not a bug. Unlike traditional platter-based hard drives you don’t need to defragment an solid state drive. Doing so, in fact, is a sure fire way to shorten the life of your drive. Since you’re new to SSD ownership, we strongly suggest you check out HTG Explains: What’s a Solid State Drive and What Do I Need to Know?—make sure to look at the Care and Feeding section for tips on keeping your SSD happy.

How Can I Save My Tweets?

Dear How-To Geek,

I’m using Twitter more and more these days. Since I use it both for work and play, I’m interested in getting more out of the experience. Is there any way I can do stuff like archiving my tweets and possibly analyzing the results? I think it’s be really neat to get a big-picture look at my Twitter experience.



Dear Tweeter,

Last year we took an in-depth look at ThinkUp, a pretty cool application that does what you’re asking. You can use it archive your tweets, analyze patterns, and more. Definitely check out our article for a quick overview and then check out the ThinkUp site—the app was in beta when we played with it and we’re sure it’s even better now.

Have a pressing tech question? Shoot us an email at and we’ll do our best to answer it.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/30/12
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