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More How-To

  • How-Tos: Convert video for free using Freemake

    Video is rarely in the format you need, but there's a great free application - Freemake Video Converter - which does a great job and is easy to use.

  • How-Tos: How to Convert an Old PC into a Modern Server

    Your old desktop PC gave you years of reliable service, but eventually it couldn't keep up with modern tasks and applications; so you went out and bought something newer and faster. Now you need to decide what to do with the old clunker.

  • How-Tos: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Top 5 Clingiest Online Services

    Increasingly, online services act like roach motels: They make it easy to check in, but nearly impossible to check out. By hiding their opt-out pages deep within their settings menus, by using deliberately confusing graphic design, and by presenting emotional appeals that declare how much the site will "miss you," these services make the simple process of deactivating your account a complicated trial.

  • How-Tos: Fine-Tune Google Searches, Send Texts With Google Voice

    A couple weeks back I told you about getting started with Google Chrome and Google Voice--and that went over pretty well. So this week, more Google tips.

  • How-Tos: Create an RSS feed of a YouTube search

    There used to be an RSS button on YouTube that allowed users to create RSS feeds of YouTube searches with a single click. Even though that is no longer the case, creating an RSS feed of a YouTube search is straightforward. Our Helproom Expert explains how.

  • How-Tos: Sync Gmail contacts with Thunderbird automatically

    Need to know how to sync Gmail contacts with the Thunderbird email client? Let our Helproom Expert explain.

  • How-Tos: How to Partition Your Hard Drive to Optimize Performance

    Solid-state drives are all the rage lately, thanks to their high transfer speeds and ultrafast access times, but most people still use cheap, spacious mechanical hard drives. Unfortunately, mechanical hard drives also constitute one of the most significant performance bottlenecks in modern computer systems. Even when paired with the fastest processors and lots of memory, a slow hard drive will drag down the a system's overall performance and responsiveness, which is why upgrading to an SSD usually yields such significant performance gains.

  • How-Tos: Manage your passwords with KeePass

    Everyone has to remember scores of usernames and passwords these days. We show you how a simple free utility - KeePass - can store and manage them safely for you.

  • How-Tos: Resources for Building Your Facebook Storefront

    As giant retailers such as Gamestop, JC Penney, and Nordstrom opened--and quickly shuttered--Facebook storefronts over the past six months, many analysts declared Facebook's e-commerce effort to be a failure. People come to Facebook to catch up with family and friends, they reasoned, not to shop for goods and services.

  • How-Tos: How to Control Your Facebook Privacy Settings

    Facebook's privacy settings are confusing by design, often hiding similar settings in totally different menus and defaulting to unnerving levels of public sharing. Ensuring that you share the right information with the right people can be difficult, and Facebook even has a few specialized settings that will override your other privacy settings if you aren't careful. Luckily you can take control of your privacy on Facebook fairly quickly once you know what you're looking for.

  • How-Tos: Speed Up Searches--And Reduce Typing--With Drag and Drop Search

    Drag and Drop Search is a free Chrome extension that offers an elegant solution to a common problem: Searching on the website that will give you the answers you need. Google is a great engine, but there is no reason to go through it for everything. If you're after quick facts and figures, you might be better off searching Wikipedia directly; if it's videos you're after, then a direct YouTube search might let you find them faster. If you'd like to get a sense for a place, searching for it on Flickr will show you what it's like. With Drag and Drop Search installed, you only need to select a term, then drag and drop it on the name of the search engine you'd like to use.

  • How-Tos: 6 Ways to Use Multiple Displays With Your Laptop

    Dual monitors improve productivity, but it can be hard to get laptops to use multiple displays. It's not impossible, though. Check out these six tips for connecting laptops to external monitors.

  • How-Tos: Motherboard Port Guide: Solving Your Connector Mystery

    If you've ever opened a PC case and stared inside, or looked at a bare motherboard, you may be taken aback by the number and variety of connectors, pins, and slots that exist on a modern PC motherboard. In this guide I'll identify some of the most common (and a few uncommon) connectors on motherboards used in most home PCs. I won't cover server- or workstation-class boards here, just what you might find in a typical midrange or high-end home PC.

  • Video: Video: Sharp's new robot vacuum talks back, takes pictures, streams video to your phone via Wi-Fi

    The "Cocorobo," which goes on sale in Japan from June for about 130,000 yen, or £1,012, navigates with three ultrasonic sensors and includes Sharp's Plasmacluster air filtering technology. The company plans to develop hardware add-ons so it can interact with other appliances.

  • How-Tos: Protect Yourself From DNSChanger

    In July the Internet Systems Consortium will permanently shut down DNS servers deployed to serve as temporary surrogates for rogue DNS servers shut down as part of Operation Ghost Click, an FBI operation that brought down an Estonian hacker ring last year. If your PC is one of the more than 1 million computers infected that carry DNSChanger you might unknowingly be relying on one of the FBI's temporary servers to access the Internet, and if you don't eliminate DNSChanger from your PC before the FBI pulls the plug on its servers, you'll be left without Internet access. Read on to learn how to discover whether you're infected with DNSChanger, and what you can do to eliminate it from your system.

  • How-Tos: How to Deal With Tech Distractions

    Having trouble focusing on your work? You're not alone: The advent of smartphones, tablets, and Twitter has made staying connected to the flow of information seem seductively simple. All you have to do is leave your email inbox open in one tab, have Facebook or Twitter open in another, and set your phone to beep whenever you have an appointment to ensure that you stay productive without missing a single meeting or status update.

  • How-Tos: PC Tips: Use Sleep Mode to Save Money, Skip 'Safely Remove'

    Every now and then I come across great PC tips and share them with you. A few months back I told you how to put Linux on a USB drive (and why you'd want to), and how to bypass Windows Updates. Today I've found some interesting research on using Sleep Mode (vs. leaving a PC running), plus a great tip on how to quickly remove USB devices without hassling with the "Safely Remove Hardware" routine.

  • How-Tos: Beam photos in iPhoto for iOS

    Whether it's using Brushes, adding special effects, or simply making basic edits, iPhoto for iOS offers a great degree of flexibility for editing photos on your iPad or iPhone. But aside from the ease with which you can edit photos, the mobile version of iPhoto offers users an unusual advantage when it comes to sharing.

  • How-Tos: 5 Essential iOS Apps for Photographers

    My friends call me a camera snob because I prefer digital SLRs and typically turn my nose up at camera phones. But lately, I've fallen in love with my iPhone's camera; more and more, I find myself snapping photos with my phone. One obvious advantage that a smartphone like the iPhone has over a traditional camera is portability. I've always got my iPhone in my pocket, while my Nikon often languishes at home. But another great advantage is apps: It's easy to add new features and capabilities to your iPhone by installing a free or inexpensive app. To do the same thing with a traditional camera, you'd need a degree in electrical engineering. Last year, I told you about five reasons photographers should love the iPhone. The apps I mentioned back then are still great, but this week, I've rounded up five more iOS apps that I highly recommend.

  • How-Tos: Restore data from a backup

    Everyone hopes they won't suffer a hard disk crash, but it pays to know in advance how to restore files from your backup should you find yourself in that position.


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