Justin Pot

Justin Pot is a technology writer and enthusiast who lives in Portland, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.

Siri is finally on the Mac, but unlike the iPhone version, you can’t launch the virtual assistant with your voice. Sure, there are dock and menu bar icons to click, and you can set a keyboard shortcut, but  you can’t just say “Hey Siri” to start giving commands.

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You love technology, but not everyone does. For many people computers are confusing, even scary. Malevolent actors know this, and try to deliberately trick people online. From ads that look like download buttons to ransomware pop-ups, the web is full of deception-based design, intended to take advantage of the less technically inclined.

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Newer isn’t always better, and the wget command is proof. First released back in 1996, this application is still one of the best download managers on the planet. Whether you want to download a single file, an entire folder, or even mirror an entire website, wget lets you do it with just a few keystrokes.

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You can do a lot with the macOS Terminal, but the commands tend to be obtuse. A free program called m-cli bills itself a Swiss Army Knife for macOS, and it makes a lot of these hidden commands a lot easier to learn and discover.

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Keyboard shortcuts save you a lot of time, but only if you learn them. On a Mac, that means constantly interrupting your workflow, switching to the mouse or touch pad, then clicking the menu bar to find the correct key combination. Isn’t there a faster way?

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Curious about the new MacBook Pro’s touch bar, but not sure if it’s worth paying extra for? Touché, a free Mac app, lets you preview how Apple’s touchscreen replacement for the top row of keys works, and it runs on any Mac running the latest version of macOS Sierra.

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Twitter launched in March 2006, which is crazy: that’s over a decade ago! Even weirder: all the old tweets from that pre-historic era are still out there.

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Maybe you haven’t actually used Gmail for years. Maybe you want to take a stand against Google in general. Maybe you’re not sure why you created a Google account in the first place. Whatever your reason, Google makes it surprisingly easy for you to delete your account.

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Plenty of Mac users grew up with DOS machines, and as such have fond memories of playing classic DOS games. Maybe you’ve even got some old CDs in a drawer somewhere. But your Mac won’t run old games like that out of the box.

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Dead hard drives are stressful. Your files might be gone forever, which is bad enough, but you also can’t use your Mac until you install a new one. If you’re working on a deadline, that’s a problem.

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Can’t get your Mac to boot, even into macOS Recovery mode? Whether you’re replacing the hard drive or have a corrupt recovery partition, sometimes Apple’s repair tools won’t boot, which makes it hard to install a fresh copy of macOS or access other utilities.

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You used to love Reddit, but it’s just not fun anymore. The jokes aren’t funny, the tips aren’t useful, and everyone is constantly fighting about internal drama or identity politics.

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The touch bar on Apple’s new MacBook Pro makes sense. The top row of keys have served specific functions on Macs for over a decade; why not let those specific functions change depending on which application you’re using?

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Switch to a new operating system and there are all sorts of little difference to get used to. The way macOS sorts folders and files is one of those things for migrating Windows users.

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Press the “up” arrow in the Mac or Linux command line and you’ll see the last command you ran. Keep pressing “up” and you’ll see more commands; you can go back days, months, or even years.

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Does someone you follow on Twitter retweet constantly, flooding your timeline with nonsense? Do particular accounts you never want to hear from keep popping up anyway? Here’s how to quickly filter that stuff out, without unfollowing people you otherwise like.

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You closed the only Safari window that’s open, but on the dock you see the browser is still running. Are you going nuts?

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When you close the lid of your MacBook, it goes to sleep. There’s no system setting you can tweak, and no command you can run, to change this. But there is a major exception to this rule, and another third party program that gives you control.

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You’ve seen it. Maybe it was on an airplane, maybe it was at a friend’s house, but you saw people playing old Nintendo, Sega, or even PlayStation games on their computers. And yet, when you searched for those particular games in Steam, nothing comes up. What is this witchcraft?

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Why spend $300 on an AirPort Time Capsule when you can make one yourself with a Raspberry Pi and an external hard drive? It takes a little tweaking, but once it’s all set up, your Mac will back up automatically, without any effort on your part. No more having to plug a drive into your computer.

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Can hackers really record your webcam during “private” moments, then blackmail you with the footage? This idea, from the latest season of Black Mirror, is downright nightmare inducing. It’s no wonder Mark Zuckerberg and FBI director James Comey both put tape over their webcams.

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At this point, you probably think you know all about the new features in macOS Sierra. So did I, but it turns out there are a few new things that didn’t get much press–especially when it comes to managing all your windows.

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App Nap, added to macOS back in 2013, is not a feature that made headlines. So there’s no shame in admitting, three years later, that you still have no idea what it does.

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Ever wish you could send YouTube and other web videos from your phone or laptop to your TV? It’s a trick you’ve probably seen Chromecast and Apple TV users pull, but don’t feel left out: you can get it working in Kodi too.

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Let’s say you start a big download, then go to bed. When you wake up, you realize your Mac went to sleep before finishing its job. Isn’t there some way to stop this?

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