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More Software How-To

  • How-Tos: How to Make Windows and Mac OS Play Nicely Together

    About nine months ago, I acquired a 13-inch MacBook Air. At that point, the first Ultrabooks had been announced but were not yet shipping. Even so, I might have waited, except that the Ultrabooks I'd previewed to that point seemed uninspired--with clunkier hardware than the Air offered and various odd compromises. Some missed the boat on the trackpad; others had lower-quality displays. So I bought a 13-inch MacBook Air configured with a 256GB solid-state drive.

  • How-Tos: Install Windows 8 Release Preview

    Microsoft has made available for download Windows 8 Release Preview. This free operating system is the final, feature complete version of Windows 8, which is set to launch to consumers later this year. Here's how to install Windows 8 Release Preview.

  • How-Tos: Manually configuring an iCloud email account

    Reader Matthew Hansman and his iCloud account need to come to a more mutually satisfactory understanding. He writes:

  • How-Tos: How to Create Advanced Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets

    Looking to become an Excel power user? Excel has a number of features that will make it easier for you and your colleagues to enter data into your spreadsheets. If you're developing a spreadsheet that you'll use over and over again, inserting a spin button or scrollbar will allow you to choose from a predefined range of values using your mouse, instead of typing numbers in with the keyboard. Or, if you wish to limit a spreadsheet user to selecting from a few preset choices, a set of option buttons will do.

  • How-Tos: Ditch Your Contract, Save Money With Red Pocket Mobile

    While I was in Europe last year, I brought along an unlocked phone and purchased refillable SIM cards as I hopped from one country to the next. It was incredibly simple: I bought a SIM card from a carrier such as Orange or Vodafone, picked a voice-plus-data plan, and paid for the SIM card, and I was out the door with a fully functional smartphone. A few SIM-card-only vendors are here in the United States, but I've never been satisfied with their plans, their coverage, or their small data caps--until I tried Red Pocket Mobile.

  • How-Tos: How to Use Plex to Get Media From PC to Roku Box

    Here's how to use Plex, a free tool for streaming media from a PC to a Roku set-top box. And if your PC seems to be too sluggish to play media promptly, I'll give you some tips to decide when it's time to reinstall Windows.

  • How-Tos: How to personalise a Windows 8 PC

    Here's how you can give a more personal touch to your Windows 8 PC or laptop, using the Windows 8 PC settings.

  • How-Tos: Fix the error message: 'Operating system not found'

    If when you boot your PC you receive the error message 'Operating system not found', it's probable that Windows has lost partition information. Our Helproom Editor explains how to deal with 'Operating system not found'.

  • How-Tos: Automator workflow of the month: Add Spotlight comments

    As we waltz through our digital lives, we tend to accumulate files and folders, and folders full of files. While a portion of this accumulation is the kind of effluvia that we won't need next week, much less five years from now, for many of us a large chunk of it is data that will be as important tomorrow as it is today. Think long term business projects, financial files, and databases, for example. If you're an organized person, you've created a logical file structure that allows you to locate files many years from now. If you're not so organized, you have to search for what you want.

  • How-Tos: How to Use Microsoft Word as a Desktop Publishing Tool

    High-end desktop publishing programs, such as Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress, feature lots of tools to help designers produce stunning pages. But these programs are expensive, and novices require training to use them, factors that render their acquisition difficult to justify for most small businesses.

  • How-Tos: Adding RSS feeds to Outlook

    If you are having trouble adding an RSS feed to Outlook, our Helproom Editor can help.

  • How-Tos: Scanning Negatives, Shooting the Moon, Fixing the Colors in a Photo

    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.

  • How-Tos: Flash and Lighting Tips From the Pros

    Cameras are like sunflowers: They thrive on light. And when there isn't enough light to go around, you need to add some of your own--that's where your camera's flash comes in. Looking for ways to take better flash photos? You should learn to master your flash's various modes and settings, of course. But it's also important to understand how your flash works--the "physics" of flash photography, as it were. I've rounded up nine ways to improve the often harsh and contrasty photos that happen when your flash fires.

  • How-Tos: Import IE Favorites into Firefox

    Changing to a new web browser can offer benefits in terms of speed and customisation. And with our Helproom Editor's expert guidance you can import bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, options and other data from one browser to another. Here's how to import IE Favorites into Firefox.

  • How-Tos: Manage your browser's Auto-Complete to secure private data

    Auto-Complete records information you put into web forms, then fills in forms on the fly. As with so many online conveniences it creates security risks: if someone else gets on to your PC or laptop they can quickly see your personal details. Our Helproom Editor explains how to manage Auto-Complete.

  • How-Tos: How to dual boot Windows 8

    By running Windows 8 alongside your existing OS, you can check out its new features without committing to it. Here's how to dual-boot Windows 8.

  • How-Tos: Stack overflow error when sending webmail

    One reader found that every time they sent an email via a webmail client, they received the error message: ‘Stack overflow at line:158', although the email went through. Our Helproo, Error explained the issue, and how to fix it.

  • How-Tos: PC logs me out after only a few minutes

    If your PC or laptop is regularly locked after only a few minutes of inactivity, it's likely that you need to change the Screen Saver settings. Our Helproom Editor explains how.

  • How-Tos: Sync services gone crazy!

    Reader Dale Creekmur has been ferreting around in Activity Monitor and finds an entry that concerns him. He writes:

  • How-Tos: How to Build an Energy-Efficient and Quiet Gaming PC

    Are you a gamer with a big electricity bill every month? Are you looking to build a great gaming PC that doesn't sound like a jet engine every time you start playing Diablo III? This build guide is for you.


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