Stupid Geek Tricks: Convince Your Friends You’re a Hollywood-Style Hacker with These Tools

Hacking in the movies is crazy exciting: fingers fly across the keyboard, and the screen is an ever flashing array of cryptic characters. It’s all so…interesting. Real hacking, sadly, isn’t that intense. However illegal what you’re doing may be, you’re still just someone sitting at a computer. Most the time you’re just trying to get people to use a fake Google sign-in page.

How to Check a Video’s Bitrate In VLC

A video’s bitrate is a key piece of information in determining the quality of said video. Even if two videos have the same resolution, a lower bitrate is going to result in less detail and clarity. Here’s how to see the bitrate of any video you’re playing in real time with VLC.

How to Fix Windows and Linux Showing Different Times When Dual Booting

Your computer stores the time in a hardware clock on its motherboard. The clock keeps track of time, even when the computer is off. By default, Windows assumes the time is stored in local time, while Linux assumes the time is stored in UTC time and applies an offset. This leads to one of your operating systems showing the wrong time in a dual boot situation.

How to Connect an Xbox One Controller to Windows with Bluetooth

The latest version of the Xbox controller—the one included with the Xbox One S and the upcoming One X—includes Bluetooth! Microsoft finally included Bluetooth along with the older proprietary Xbox wireless connection, so Windows users can hook it up without an extra dongle. Here’s how to connect it to your Bluetooth-equipped laptop or desktop.

Four Simple Timers That Remind You to Take Breaks from Your Computer

Whether you work at your computer or just enjoy the occasional long gaming session, it’s important to take breaks regularly. Getting up to take a walk, grab a coffee, or do some stretches helps reduce eye strain, prevent repetitive strain injury (RSI), and is otherwise just plain good for you. And one study from the University of Illionoise at Urbana-Champaign shows that breaks might even enhance productivity by increasing focus.

How to Play Any Windows Game In Full Screen Borderless Windowed Mode

If you’re a regular PC gamer, you know that playing a game in full screen mode can sometimes be a frustrating experience. Switching to a background program, using a second monitor, or suddenly getting a notification that takes focus can mess up your game. Playing the game in a window fixes these problems, but it’s less immersive and doesn’t use your monitor’s full space effectively.

How to Automatically Mute New Tabs in Chrome and Firefox

Let’s say you’re trying to be quiet, browsing the internet at home, work, or a public space. You’re secretly filled with dread that anything you click will open a new tab with an autoplay video or blare an obnoxious audio ad. End that fear forever by keeping all your new tabs muted by default.

How to Open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint in Safe Mode

Microsoft Office applications have a built-in Safe Mode feature. This helps when you can’t use Office normally. Perhaps Word crashes every time you open it, or maybe Excel crashes when you open a single file. You can start the application in Safe Mode and there’s a good chance it will work normally.

How Long Do Solid State Drives Really Last?

When large-scale flash storage first came to the consumer market as an alternative to conventional hard drives, the biggest concern (aside from price) was longevity. Tech fans had a pretty good idea of the general reliability of hard drives, but SSDs were still something of a wild card.

How to Create a Full-Disk Backup of Your PC with Macrium Reflect

Microsoft announced that System Image Backups will be deprecated in Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update. The feature is still available, but it is no longer actively being developed and may be removed in a future release of Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft recommends you use a third-party tool to create full system images of your PC.