Tips and Tricks Tips and Tricks

The Truth About Four Graphics Card Myths by Kelly Lynn

  Graphics cards tend to be mysterious things to many casual gamers. They can't ever be quite sure how to judge their speed or their features. If you'd like to understand your graphics card better, here are four common myths to consider, and a little clarity on each topic. Upgrading your graphics card will help with lag If you find yourself getting creamed in a game, you might want to believe that it's your graphics card taking too long to process images. For anyone not at the highest levels of professional gaming, though, delays in processing by the graphics card and LCD display rarely cause lag serious enough to matter. Upgrading these components wouldn't help. In nearly every case that a gamer finds himself outclassed, he should think about his … Continue reading

How Does Professional Data Recovery Work for Broken Flash Drives? by Kelly Lynn

  It is common knowledge that when a hard disk fails, you take it to a recovery service. They take out the magnetic platter and read data off it in various ways. What if a thumb drive, SD card or solid-state drive were to fail, though? The data on these drives is stored on little chips; how do data recovery services get anything out of those? The encryption problem When flash drives first became common more than a decade ago, they were as large as the human thumb, and contained discrete parts. When a drive failed, assuming that its main memory chip was okay, recovery services would swap out the other parts to get it working again. Every high-capacity modern thumb drive comes with some kind of inbuilt hardware encryption. … Continue reading

Little Windows Tricks That Make Life Tolerable by Kelly Lynn

  Windows is chock-full of handy little tricks that help you get useful things done. Here are several tips that remind you where the fun is in Windows. Dial Win+x for mobility Windows Vista and 7 have something called a Mobility Center that can be reached with the keyboard shortcut Windows key + x. Mobility Center is a graphical control panel with shortcuts to a number of useful features - brightness, external display, volume, battery level and Wi-Fi connections among others. It can be useful to have all these shortcuts in one place. Keystroke-log yourself The term keystroke logger is usually used in connection with hackers who try to learn your passwords as you type them out. Keystroke logging software, though, can be useful in troubleshooting as a way to … Continue reading

Is Your Microsoft Office Document About the Rat You Out? by Kelly Lynn

  Each of the programs included in Microsoft Office maintains a metadata record that is kept hidden from plain view. The record on each document includes information on the name of every person who has worked on it, the amount of time that has been spent on it, information about every version of the document that has ever existed and the comments and changes inserted, among other things. Anyone who needs to send an Office document to someone else would do well to think about this additional information appended to it. It could get them into trouble. What could possibly go wrong? Many people take the risks involved in Office document metadata lightly and only wake up to the dangers involved when they actually get into trouble. A few examples … Continue reading

Fun Keyboard Shortcuts for Your Browser by Kelly Lynn

  You can use your mouse to do everything you need on your browser. Yet, using a mouse can often slow you down. If you can click a couple of keys for every common browser-related task, you can usually work far more efficiently. Here are several keyboard shortcuts that you can use on most popular browsers in Windows. S+Right-click on a web image Holding down the S key on your keyboard and right-clicking on any web image does different things in different browsers. On Chrome, it opens a new tab with a reverse image search for the image on Google. While you could do the same thing with a right-click and selecting Search Google for this image , the keyboard shortcut is faster. On Firefox and Safari, the same keyboard … Continue reading

Registry Edits for Better Taskbar Button Behavior and Better Disk Cleanups by Kelly Lynn

  Some of the behaviors programmed into Windows can seem fun at first, but can quickly get tiresome. Fortunately, all it takes to fix them is a simple registry edit or two. For both fixes described below, you first need to open Windows Registry Editor. To do so, you can either search for it on Windows Search or open the Run utility (press the Windows key and R) and type in the word regedit . The last active window When you have a number of Internet Explorer tabs, Word windows or Windows Explorer windows open, Windows still represents them on single taskbar buttons -- one for each program. To go to a specific window of an open program, you need to hover your mouse over its taskbar button, wait a … Continue reading

Larger Preview Windows and Control Panel Cleanups Through Simple Registry Hacks by Kelly Lynn

  Knowing how to use Windows registry to customize your installation of Windows can give you a great sense of control over your computer. Here are two simple changes to help make Windows easier to use. Make your preview windows larger Windows pops up little preview panels when you place your mouse over the buttons of open programs in the taskbar. These Windows, though, are often too small for any detail to show clearly. Happily, there's a way to make these preview panels more useful: you can apply a registry hack to make them larger. Press Win+R to open the Run dialog, type in the name regedit and click on OK . When Windows Registry Editor opens, navigate through the items in the left panel, taking the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER … Continue reading

3 Simple Windows Registry Hacks to Help You Personalize Your Windows by Kelly Lynn

  A few simple changes to Windows registry is all it takes to personalize your operating system and set it up just the way you like it. You can take away annoyances and add new amenities. What follows are simple guides to three registry hacks that address common concerns in Windows. To perform any of these hacks, you first need to open Windows Registry Editor. To do this, open the Windows Run feature, type in Regedit and hit OK. Taking away the forced Windows reboot When Windows Update automatically installs updates, often, it needs to reboot to properly apply them. Sometimes, the reminders are insistent, but ask you for permission. At other times, they simply inform you that Windows is about to reboot shortly. Fortunately, a registry hack can disable … Continue reading

4 Start Menu Replacements for Windows 8 by Kelly Lynn

  Windows 8 was a mixed bag, both for users and Microsoft. The UI worked better for touch screens, but left people who were using PCs and preferred the desktop in the cold. However, you can return to normalcy with these tips. Turn Off Charms Charms appears when you move your mouse toward the edges and corners of your screen or swipe in from those edges. Charms are intended to provide quick access to the time, opened apps and settings, but they can simply be frustrating. To turn off Charms completely, you'll need to disable trackpad gestures. To do this, change "Mouse Settings" from the Control Panel. Secondly, you'll need to disable hot corners from the Taskbar. Right-click the Taskbar, choose "Properties" and click "Navigation." Uncheck the option that enables … Continue reading

Color Temperature Adjuster Programs for Better Sleep by Kelly Lynn

  Doctors and sleep researchers often point to out-of-control computer, mobile phone and gadget use as a potential contributor to the insomnia that affect a third of all people in the developed world. Bright sunshine during the day and relative darkness at night helps the brain know when it is time to wake up or go to sleep. Researchers believe that constantly staring at a bright screen makes it difficult for the brain's sleep center to know how to time its sleep rhythm. It mistakes the bright screen for the sun. Some computer monitors and even phone models come with ambient light sensing to help adjust screen brightness to the time. This feature, though, does nothing about color temperature. The character of the light that comes from the screens on … Continue reading