Tips and Tricks Tips and Tricks

Free Windows 10 for All by Kelly Lynn

  In Italy, approximately 50% of all computer users use pirated computer software. South Korea is at 43% and Canada is at 33%. While it might seem as if software piracy wouldn't be as high in the US, it is surprisingly rampant -- 20% of computer users are fans (see: nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Software-piracy-rate ). Another study is even less charitable -- it places the US in the top three of all countries for software piracy (see: vilabs.com/resource-section/stat-watch ). For years, Microsoft has fought piracy in name only: allowing piracy has been a part of its business approach. The company knew that if they truly fought piracy, their share of the market would shrink to nothing as people switched to free alternatives like Linux. Now, they've begun to get even more creative. Microsoft … Continue reading

Do You Need USB Type-C Connectors on Your Computer? by Kelly Lynn

  When Apple announced its latest MacBook Pro in March, its ultra-sharp Retina display and force-sensing trackpad certainly did get plenty of press. Those were simply features on a specific laptop, though. The MacBook Pro comes with something that is so big that it is likely to change the way computers and smartphones are made in the near future: USB-C. To those who haven't yet upgraded to even USB 3 (leave alone the much faster 3.1 standard), it's something to think about. While USB-C is not an Apple-only standard, experts believe that Apple did indeed develop it before handing it over for use by the industry in general. The company hopes that it will become a worldwide standard. It can (but doesn't have to) offer speeds similar to USB 3.1 … Continue reading

Here’s Why the Mac is No Longer Safe from Malware by Kelly Lynn

  For decades, Windows was the only operating system around with a major malware problem, something that Mac users have often pointed out. In the past, though, most malware was created to break computers, and to make them unusable. The Macintosh, which runs on a UNIX-based operating system, has certainly always been fundamentally better protected against such system-breaking attacks. The problem is that modern viruses and other malware aren't usually aimed at breaking systems down. Rather, they are made to make sure that everything runs well while they do their mischief in the background -- insert advertising, spy on you and steal your money. Malware now comes in with your permission Modern malware gets on your computer by piggybacking on legitimate free software -- usually, the kind available on any … Continue reading

Microsoft is Killing Internet Explorer; Here's What Takes Its Place by Kelly Lynn

  A good reputation, once ruined, can be hard to revive. Microsoft found out about this the hard way. For years, the company tried to put its Internet Explorer browser in good standing with users by building it up into a powerful, solid and secure program that could go head-to-head with anything by the competition, but found that it was laughed at as much as always. At this point, Internet Explorer is considered the leading browser in use only in South Korea, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Lesotho and Guinea-Bissau. In Windows 10, then, Microsoft has made a bold move -- it will be axing Internet Explorer once and for all. There will be no Internet Explorer 12 (users will still have access to an old version of the browser). The … Continue reading

You Have a Fast Internet Connection; but is It Quick? by Kelly Lynn

  If you had a 15 Mbps Internet connection, you wouldn't think it capable of ever feeling slow; anything higher than 8 Mbps usually only feels snappy and responsive. Yet, 15 Mbps can feel slow in some circumstances -- such as when you have a satellite Internet connection. The problem is latency. What is latency, and how is it different from speed? Broadband connections are usually simply advertised with the speeds at which uploads and downloads happen. If you're simply comparing wired connections, these numbers are all you need to know. When it comes to wireless connections, though, you need to know more; latency becomes an issue. Latency is the time that a full cycle between stimulation and response takes. With wired connections, the moment you click on an on-screen … Continue reading

Finding a Computer on Your Network by Kelly Lynn

  The Windows workgroup concept has been around for a long time. While it may not seem very relevant to modern operating systems such as Windows 7 or 8, learning to use them can simplify home networking and the sharing of files. What exactly is a workgroup? A workgroup is a collection of computers that exist together on one network as equals, without controlling one another. When you place a computer in a workgroup, Windows automatically makes sure that all of them detect one another. Printers, resources, files and folders are easily shared. A workgroup can only include computers that are on the same local network, in the same physical location, of the kind that you might find in a home or small business. To make sure that workgroups aren't … Continue reading

Understanding and Troubleshooting Print Spooling in Windows by Kelly Lynn

  Printers, especially networked ones, often need to deal with multiple print jobs at the same time. They handle such tasks with something called print spooling -- a queue system that helps printers store multiple print jobs one after the other in their memory. Real-world problems tend to get in the way While print spooling works admirably in simple situations, real-world complications often make the system seem very inconvenient. . One-page print jobs often have to wait in line behind longer print jobs. . When you have a print job going, you may suddenly need to stop it because you want to make a change to the document. . You may need to start a print job at a particular time, say at night, so that it's ready when you … Continue reading

Three Neat Moves on Microsoft Word by Kelly Lynn

  Microsoft Word has a great many features and shortcuts that most of its users never learn about. The three handy features described here are among the most useful on the program. Go To (for quick skipping about within a document) The Go To feature in Microsoft Word is one of the program's most ignored. It can be of particular value if you work on multiple-page documents where you repeatedly move back and forth between specific points. The function appears as a tab on Word's Find and replace feature. It's easy to directly access, too. You only need to use the Ctrl + G shortcut or simply press F5 from within Word. Once you have the Go To dialog box open, you simply need to select Page in the Go … Continue reading

Should You Stop Buying Computers With Pre-Installed Operating Systems? by Kelly Lynn

  Most laptops and desktops sold today come with the latest version of Windows or Linux loaded. Selling computers with pre-installed operating systems did start off as a good idea -- users could get up and running the moment they took their new machines out of their boxes. Over time, though, manufacturers began to see an opportunity worth exploiting in each unit that they sold: they realized that they could sell all that empty hard disk space to any software vendor who wished to put in a trial of their software in return for payment. This has proven to be an annoyance to users. If you buy such a laptop, you need to spend time clearing up the space-hogging software that you don't need. These days, computer makers have moved … Continue reading

Try Breaking into Your Own Computer to Test How Safe You Are by Kelly Lynn

  If a login password is the only thing that keeps your computer safe from prying eyes, how confident can you be that you are safe? The answer is, in most cases, with the right software, it takes no more than a couple of minutes to break into a computer. If you'd like to find out how vulnerable your computer is, you should try the following methods on it. If they easily work, you'll know that you need to raise the level of protection that your computer gets. The easiest way - getting a live Linux disc The usual way to run an operating system is to obtain a CD with an installer on it, and to install it on the computer's internal storage. It's possible to skip the installation … Continue reading