It’s near the end of 2010, and we’ve put together a list of the 20 best “Explainer” articles of the year—where we answer a question and teach you a little more about the topic. Enjoy!
Image by sfxeric
Why Do So Many Geeks Hate Internet Explorer?
It’s common knowledge that almost every single geek hates Internet Explorer with a passion, but have you ever wondered why? Let’s take a fair look at the history and where it all began… for posterity, if nothing else.
Debunking Myths: Is Hiding Your Wireless SSID Really More Secure?
Seems like every guide to securing your wireless network tells you to keep your SSID from broadcasting to make your network more secure, but is that really worthwhile? Let’s take a look at one of the silliest myths out there.
What is Cloud Computing and What Does This Stupid Buzzword Mean?
The other day a reader wrote in asking if cloud computing could help save his hard drive space, which made me realize that it’s time to talk about exactly what this moronic buzzword really means.
What’s Wrong With Writing Down Your Password?
Recently a reader asked me why she wasn’t supposed to write down her passwords—which is a very good question. Ignoring all the geeky password manager talk, why can’t a home user write down passwords? Let’s examine this topic more closely.
Why Do Application Installs Make You Reboot and Close Other Apps?
It’s happened to everybody at some point—you go to install a new application, and Windows tells you to reboot first. Or reboot after. Or it asks you to close out of every other application first. Why does it do that?
What’s the Difference Between JPG, PNG, and GIF?
As we keep building on old image technology, types of file formats keep piling up, each with their own nuances and uses. JPG, PNG, and GIF have become the most common, but what sets them apart from each other?
Is Your Desktop Printer More Expensive Than Printing Services?
While many users see desktop printers as the best way to print photos, compared to cheap printing services, they may be more expensive. In this simple How-To, learn how to compare the cost per print to commercial options.
LCD? LED? Plasma? The How-To Geek Guide to HDTV Technology
With image technology progressing faster than ever, High-Def has become the standard, giving TV buyers more options at cheaper prices. But what’s different in all these confusing TVs, and what should you know before buying one?
Which Linux File System Should You Choose?
File systems are one of the layers beneath your operating system that you don’t think about—unless you’re faced with the plethora of options in Linux. Here’s how to make an educated decision on which file system to use.
Why Does Photo Paper Improve Print Quality?
So you’ve shelled out the money for a fancy inkjet photo printer, only you’re not impressed with the images you’re getting out of your standard office paper. Have you ever wondered why that photo paper works so much better?
What is the Best Office App for my iPhone or iPod Touch?
Want to see what all of the major Office apps for iPhone and iPod Touch offer without wasting money purchasing them all? Here’s our definitive guide to the best iOS Office apps, so you can learn before you buy.
What’s the Difference Between Desktop and Professional Printers?
The device you use to print your mapquest directions has more going on inside it that you’d give it credit for—in fact, it’s practically a miracle. What goes on inside one, and what’s different about professional printers?
What is the Linux Kernel and What Does It Do?
With over 13 million lines of code, the Linux kernel is one of the largest open source projects in the world, but what is a kernel and what is it used for?
What’s the Difference Between Pixels and Vectors?
As the basis of nearly every image format worth using, Pixels and Vectors are the broad categories of modern 2D image files. But what are they exactly, and how are they different?
What’s the Difference Between HDMI and DVI? Which is Better?
Are you confused by the barrage of video cables available today? Let’s take a look at the most important video cables today, HDMI and DVI, and see what’s the differences between the two.
How Do You Make Upside Down Text?
Have you ever seen somebody use upside down text on the web? Ever wonder how to do it? Let’s take a quick look at how the characters are actually put together, and show you an easy generator that will do it for you.
How to Understand Typography Like a Professional Designer
Typography is so overwhelmingly ever-present we hardly notice it there anymore. As elemental as it is to our culture, it’s actually bizarre to think it has a history at all. This article will serve as a condensed education on the basics of typography, including typographic terms, proper usage of fonts, unusual characters, and history.
What Files Should You Backup On Your Windows PC?
Everybody always tells you to make sure that you are backing up your PC, but what does that really mean? And what files do you actually need to backup? Today we’ll walk you through the basics of backing up your PC, what you should back up, and why.
The How-To Geek Guide to Computer Microphones
With Gmail adding the ability to make free calls within the US and Canada, now is a great time to invest in a quality computer microphone. We’ll take some of the guesswork out of that process, and give you some tips on setting up your microphone once you get it.
How Can I Tell What is Listening on a TCP/IP Port in Windows?
Whenever an application wants to make itself accessible over the network, it claims a TCP/IP port, which means that port can’t be used by anything else. So if you need to use an in-use port, how do you tell what application is holding it?