Microsoft made headlines when it stripped support for SafeDisc and SecuROM DRM from Windows 10 Recent security updates to Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 have also removed support for these DRM schemes from older versions of Windows.
Disc images have become more useful than ever on modern PCs that often lack CD and DVD drives. Create ISO files and other types of disc images and you can “mount” them, accessing the virtual discs as if they were physical discs inserted into your computer.
PCs don’t have to be power hogs, but they often are. High-powered desktops with gaming-focused dedicated graphics hardware are the most thirsty for energy, but older PCs are typically less energy-efficient than modern ones.
Apple just opened iOS up a little bit. It’s now possible to sideload open-source apps — emulators, for example — onto an iPhone or iPad without paying $99 per year for a developer license.
The Task Manager in Windows 8 and 10 has been completely overhauled. It’s easier-to-use, slicker, and more feature-packed than ever. Windows 8 may be all about Metro, but the Task Manager and Windows Explorer are better than ever.
Install Windows 3.1 in DOSBox to run old 16-bit Windows games on 64-bit versions of Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and anywhere else DOSBox runs. This is particularly useful as only 32-bit versions of Windows can run those 16-bit applications.
Apple wants to keep your iPhone and iPad up-to-date. But you may want to go back to an older operating system. This is especially true if you’re trying out a beta version of iOS on your iPhone or iPad.
New versions of Windows don’t fully support classic DOS games and other old applications — this is where DOSBox comes in. It provides a full DOS environment that runs ancient DOS apps on modern operating systems.
The Safari web browser likes showing the websites you frequently visit when you open it. On an iPhone or iPad, it shows “frequently visited sites.” On a Mac, it shows your “top sites.” You can disable this to prevent your browser from advertising the websites you frequently visit.
To use the Linux terminal like a pro, you’ll need to know the basics of managing files and navigating directories. True to the Unix philosophy, each command does one thing and does it well.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a great security tool that’s particularly effective against “potentially unwanted programs (PUPs)” and other nasty software traditional antivirus programs don’t deal with. But it’s intended to be used alongside an antivirus and doesn’t replace one entirely.
ImageMagick is a suite of command-line utilities for modifying and working with images. ImageMagick can quickly perform operations on an image from a terminal, perform batch processing of many images, or be integrated into a bash script.
Apple added a new “low power mode” to the iPhone as part of iOS 9. You’ll be prompted to activate it each time your phone reaches 20 percent battery, but you can also enable it before that point to stretch your battery power further.
Apple’s iCloud Drive normally just works in the background on an iPhone or iPad. iOS 9 makes iCloud more accessible and useful, providing a new iCloud Drive app that lets you browse, view, and manage all the files stored in iCloud Drive.
Your web browser is under attack. Aside from simply tricking you into downloading and running malicious software, attackers mainly target flaws in your browser and its plug-ins to compromise your PC.
Mozilla has been making a lot of changes to Firefox recently. Mozilla’s own Firefox Hello video chat service and the Pocket read-it-later service are now integrated and appear on Firefox’s toolbar by default.
Spotlight search isn’t just for Macs. Powerful web and on-device search is just a quick swipe away from your iPhone or iPad’s home screen. It’s a convenient way to launch apps, search the web, perform calculations, and do lots more.
Go shopping for a PC display and you’ll see ones advertising support for technologies like NVIDIA’s G-Sync and AMD’s FreeSync. These work in concert with modern NVIDIA and AMD GPUs to provide a smoother image.
Physical disc drives are going the way of the dodo. Modern laptops — and even many modern desktop PCs — are dropping disc drives. If you still have discs with software, music, videos, or anything else on them, there are still ways to use them.
Thanks to modern smartphones, it’s possible to know where your family members and friends are at all times. Apple, Google, and Microsoft all have their own solutions for sharing your pinpoint location in real time.
Programs you install often add themselves to the startup process on Windows, Mac OS X, and even Linux. But you can also add your own favorite programs to the startup process and have them launch automatically after you log into your computer.
Knowing when and where it’s going to rain is one of the big reasons people bother with weather apps. Instead of “it will rain sometime today,” why not get weather forecasts more like “heavy rain starting in five minutes, and lasting for 45 minutes?”
If you haven’t ripped your music CDs to audio files on your computer yet, it’s not too late. All it takes is a CD drive and a bit of time. When you’re done, your physical music collection will become your digital music collection.
Mozilla Firefox is due for some big changes soon. By the end of 2015, Firefox will move to a more Chrome-like multi-process design. And, in a year to a year and a half, Firefox will abandon its current add-on system for one largely compatible with Chrome extensions.
How often do you load a web page on your phone only to be confronted by awkward layouts, ads that get in the way, and heavy pages that stutter as you scroll them? “Reader mode” is a one-tap solution to reading web pages without the frustration.