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Many hardcore computer users might think themselves above learning new tricks, but there's always new things to learn that will help improve your skills. Our bet: you will find at least one useful thing here that you didn't know before.
We’ve compiled some of the most handy computer tricks you might not be taking advantage of. Our ultimate goal is to help you become more productive by shaving valuable seconds off your workflow. Of course, you can always pass along these tips to your not-so-savvy friends and family to help them become better PC users as well.
Tech Tip of the Week An old Windows fix for an equally ancient Windows issue that unfortunately is still present in the latest versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8. This unresponsive/slowdown behavior is typically seen when browsing the "Downloads" folder, so it's very likely it's happened to you as well.
Windows 8 received a decent amount of enhancements on the desktop side that I tend to appreciate versus running Windows 7. One such area of improvement is notification management and how it handles updates and system restarts. Running the final version of the OS for a few months now, it’s been a painless affair until this past weekend.
Unable to boot all of sudden, after some troubleshooting I settled on the idea that it wasn't a hardware problem. With a long history of dual booting different versions of Windows over the years, finding a corrupt MBR, boot sector, or Boot Configuration Data (BCD) is nothing new, but it took me longer than usual to come to a solution.
Besides not offering a way to bypass the new Windows 8 Start screen (not without the help of third-party utilities), surprisingly Microsoft is also limiting your options when it comes to customizing its appearance. You can choose from a couple color schemes and 10 stock background images, but that's about it. We've seen some workarounds before but they are cumbersome and the results are less than optimal.
Enter Decor8. Stardock’s Windows 8 customization app removes this limitation by giving users the ability to pick any picture they want as the Start screen background.
IFTTT (If This Then That) lets you automate tasks between popular web services such as Dropbox, Twitter, Evernote, Facebook, Instapaper, and many others. IFTTT works by telling it what task you want carried out, what will trigger this task, and it will put it into action for you.
A common example would be to have your Instagram pictures automatically backed up on your Dropbox or Box account. Certainly useful, but there's also more specific things you can do with it. For example, say I want to keep up with how a certain country is doing in the London 2012 Olympics.
I've been running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for a few months and although I'm okay with Metro replacing the Start Menu, I hate seeing the new interface by default every time I reboot. When Windows 7 starts, you hit a login screen (assuming it's enabled) and then you're brought straight to the desktop.
When Windows 8 starts, it displays a lock screen that you have to move out of the way before entering your credentials, and then you have to dismiss the Metro interface before accessing the desktop. Like I said, I'm cool with Metro, but I have no desire to see a full-screen Start Menu when I log into my PC.
Whether you just bought a new system with bloatware or you're just seeking greener pastures, you'll eventually have to uninstall security software. Shady business tactics aside, making security software tricky to remove increases the chances that clueless users don't mistakenly scrap their protection.
It can also wreak havoc if the same inexperienced user installs new security software without removing their previous solution. Fortunately, most companies provide tools and guides on properly uninstalling their products and we thought it'd be handy to provide a consolidated resource with links to removal tools and/or removal instructions.
Back when the Windows 8 Consumer Preview hit the Web, we offered a basic guide on configuring a virtual machine. With Windows 8's Release Preview available and the final version inching toward completion, we figure it's a great time to offer a similarly easy step-by-step walkthrough on installing Windows 8 with a USB drive.
If you're familiar with the process, there isn't much for you to see here, but this should serve as a quick confidence booster for anyone who hasn't installed an operating system recently.
Windows 8 CP cracked 1 million downloads shortly after launching last Wednesday and I'm sure many of you have tried it already. Whether you went with a dual-boot, upgrade, clean install or virtual machine, if you're coming from Windows 7 you'll notice significant changes immediately, while others may not be as obvious.
With change comes good and bad -- at least until you learn some tricks that get you back up to speed. Without further ado, here's a shortlist of Windows 8 shortcuts and useful quick tricks I've gathered thus far.
Remote Desktop in server editions of Windows by default supports two concurrent connections to remotely troubleshoot or administer a computer. However, there are a few reasons why concurrent sessions would come in handy for power users not necessarily running a server.
For example, if you have a dedicated Media Center PC running in the living room, you'll be able to remotely access all files on the machine without interrupting the person watching TV. Or if you are sharing a computer with other users, concurrent Remote Desktop sessions will allow more than one person use that system under a different or even the same user account, without kicking each other off.
There are many reasons why you'd want to check if an unauthorized party is using your wireless network. It may be that you're experiencing a slow Internet connection or you simply don't want anyone getting a free ride while you pay the bill.
This brief guide is aimed at novice users in need a hand to find out if their Wi-Fi is being stolen. We've also thrown in a couple of suggestions on how to get something in return if you don't actually mind sharing your Wi-Fi.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg yesterday announced a complete reconceptualization of profile pages on the popular social network with the introduction of Timeline. As Zuckerberg puts it, Timeline is the story of your life.
Gone is the wall of posts with the most recent updates telling '15 minutes of your story.' Instead, as the name suggests, you'll see a timeline of life events containing photos and other updates that stretches back to when you joined Facebook.
For most users a good wireless router is the one that you set up in a few easy steps and forget about it as long as it gets you online. But beyond the stock features that came with your router, there are many things that the hardware you bought might be capable of.
Luckily for you, people have been working on ways to get the fancy stuff running on your average $60-$100 device. After a relatively simple upgrade to a free third-party firmware, you'll be able boost your wireless signal, prioritize what programs get your precious bandwidth, and do lots of other stuff usually reserved for pro-grade wireless routers.
Dropbox is an invaluable tool for my daily computing needs, and with a little ingenuity you can use it to do much more than just backing up stuff, like autostarting torrent downloads from any location or device, sending and receiving files, or synchronizing application data on applications that don't even have that functionality.
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