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More How-To

  • How-Tos: On the road with a camera, an iPad, and a Hyperdrive

    A quick iPad tip: Turkish Dolmuses—van-sized mini buses that provide inexpensive regional travel—are too shaky and bumpy for accurate typing on an iPad. I know this because I’m trying to type this while riding on a Dolmus.

  • How-Tos: What to do when your laptop speakers don't work

    Here's what to do if the speakers and audio jack stop working on a Windows laptop.

  • How-Tos: How to change your name on Facebook

    When you sign up for social network's such as Facebook you're required to include your name on your profile.

  • How-Tos: How to troubleshoot a slow booting PC

    I upgraded my PC's motherboard, CPU and hard disk. Windows 7 64-bit now takes four minutes to load. By booting into Safe mode, I found that it's hanging at Windows\System32\Drivers\ClassPnp.sys.

  • How-Tos: Deal With Yelp Disasters

    Customers aren't always right, but their opinions almost always count. Glenn Reit discovered this the hard way when his New York dental practice got a single negative review from an anonymous user on Yelp. According to Reit's legal filings, his business dropped off drastically, from 10 to 15 new appointment calls per day to a mere 4 or 5. By any standard, the result of that one bad review nestled among ten good ones was disproportionately devastating.

  • How-Tos: How to set an out of office in Hotmail

    An Out of Office Assistant is a great email function. It automatically responds to any emails received with a pre-written message.

  • How-Tos: What to do when an online PC purchase goes wrong

    With the reports today that MESH Computers is in difficulties, many PC buyers will be concerned about making an online purchase, and what to do when it goes wrong. Here's how to protect yourself when an online purchase appears to have gone wrong.

  • How-Tos: How to shop safely online

    PC Advisor explains the selling regulations that exist to protect your purchase online, and what to do if you are unhappy with a product you have purchased over the web.

  • How-Tos: How to set an 'Out of Office' in Gmail

    There's nothing worse than sending an email to someone, but it goes unanswered. You can never be sure if they've overlooked it or they're away on holiday and without access to email.

  • How-Tos: Automator workflow of the month: Create to-do items anywhere

    One of the main reasons Mac users avoid Apple's automation utility, Automator, is because they believe that to do anything worthwhile with it, you have to create complex workflows. If you count yourself among this group, allow me to disabuse you of the notion by providing you with a one-step-yet-useful workflow that allows you to create iCal to-do items from within any application. This workflow makes it a cinch to keep track of all the little things you need to do, but might otherwise not take the time to enter into iCal.

  • How-Tos: Take Night Photos, Understand Focal Lengths, and More

    Have a question about digital photography? Send it to me. I reply to as many as I can--though given the quantity of e-mails that I get, I can't promise a personal reply to each one. I round up the most interesting questions about once a month here in Digital Focus. For more frequently asked questions, read my newsletters from January, February, March, and April.

  • How-Tos: Preview the print queue with Quick Look

    When you print documents with your Mac, they show up in your printer's queue. You can view that queue by clicking the printer icon in your Dock. Sometimes, though, it's difficult to tell exactly which documents are which in that queue--especially if you're printing a bunch of untitled or similarly-named files. Hints reader ppinheiro76 figured out a delightfully simple way to get quick previews of the files you're printing.

  • How-Tos: Can I Wirelessly Connect My PC to My HDTV?

    Ernest Valdez, Jr. asked how he could wirelessly send a video signal from his computer to his HDTV.

  • How-Tos: Keep Your Data in Sync Across Platforms and Devices

    People are no longer tied to any specific location or device as they roam about getting work done on laptops, tablets, or even smartphones. The challenge is to keep everything synced so you can access the same data from each of those platforms.

  • How-Tos: Acer Iconia A500 Tablet Pairs Nicely with Any USB PC Keyboard

    I'm writing today's post on my Android-based Acer Iconia A500 tablet. But no, I'm not tapping slowly around an on-screen keyboard. Instead, I grabbed an old USB keyboard that was laying at the bottom of a junk drawer in my closet, and I'm typing as fast as I would on my desk-bound machine. For tablet-based productivity, this is an awesome experience.

  • How-Tos: Solve printing problems with Preview

    Sometimes documents just don't print properly. My latest example: After filling out an expense report in Microsoft Excel, I tried to print it, but the document came out cut off on all four sides. I tried printing it again, specifying in the printer dialog that I wanted to scale the document to fit on one page; it still didn't work. I didn't know where the fault lay: Was it an Excel issue, a printer issue, or something else? But I didn't have time to investigate; I needed to get that expense report in the mail. My solution: I remembered a recent hint about opening two copies of a PDF at once, and used a variation on that to get the report to print.

  • How-Tos: How to prevent Windows Security Center switching itself off

    I'm having problems with Windows Security Center, which keeps switching itself off. I get a warning flag pop-up in the Taskbar, but when I try to activate the service Action Center reports that 'The Windows Security Center service can't be started'. When I restart it in Control Panel Services, Action Center immediately reports it's off again.

  • How-Tos: How to create an email signature in Hotmail

    We've already shown you how to access the signature function, which allows the same piece of text to be automatically pasted that the end of every email created, in Google's Gmail. However, Microsoft's rival webmail service, Hotmail, also offer the same function. Here's how to add signatures to any emails you create in Hotmail.

  • How-Tos: How to reinstall Windows

    You've tried everything, and only one option remains: reinstall Windows and start from scratch. Here's how to do it.

  • How-Tos: How to spring clean a dusty PC

    If you allow your PC's case to get dirty over time, grime can clog the fans that keep the internal parts cool. Here's how to avoid disaster.


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