Archive for the 'Tips' Category

Dealing With a Window That’s Outside the Display Area

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Tip JarSome time ago, I had a computer program that would occasionally glitch and set its location to be somewhere off the screen. The program would run fine and would show up on the taskbar, but I couldn’t access it with my mouse because it was outside the visible area of the Windows desktop. Eventually I discovered the technique described in the linked article. This is a command that’s been around for a long time but isn’t obvious to the casual user, especially the part about using the arrow keys to perform the movement.


Tech Gadgets You Shouldn’t Buy

Monday, December 5th, 2011

ShoppingHere’s a list of tech gadgets that you probably should NOT purchase during the Christmas season, many of them because smartphones and tablets already have the gadget’s functionality. The linked article does allow for exceptions, but generally recommends against purchasing these types of items:

  • Feature Phones (non-smartphones)
  • Standalone GPS Units
  • Netbooks
  • Pocket Camcorders
  • Portable Gaming Consoles
  • Portable Media Players (think iPod)
  • Point-and-Shoot Cameras


Use Nautical Rope As Replacement Shoelaces

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Tips JarThin nautical rope can be a nice replacement for the shoelaces on your sneakers. I got a pair of work boots a few months ago, and the laces are already starting to fray (update: one of the laces broke, just hours after I wrote this post). Nautical rope is more rugged and should last longer. Of course, this isn’t something you can pick up at any department store—you’ll probably need to go to a marine store.


Fixing a Stripped Screw Hole

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Tip JarDid your metal screw strip out the wooden hole? There are many ways to fix it, but a quick and easy method is to line the hole with toothpicks. Depending on the size of the hole, a golf tee may also do the job.


Five Useful Microsoft Word Tips

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Tip JarIt’s been my experience that most lists of Word tips aren’t all that useful. The linked article, however, is an exception. It explains, for example, how to perform a vertical text selection, undo automatic changes, and move table text up or down.


Use Zinc To Treat That Cold

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Tip JarThe mineral zinc, which can be purchased inexpensively in pill form, is very effective at treating the common cold. Take it as soon as symptoms start to appear. This will reduce both the length of the cold and the severity of the symptoms.

(via Lifehacker)

Speed Up SATA Hard Drives by Enabling AHCI

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Hard DriveFor Windows Vista and 7 users, you may be running your SATA hard drives at sub-optimal performance. For compatibility reasons, the default settings on your computer may cause the drives to be accessed in an outdated (and slower) method. The linked article explains how to enable AHCI in Windows with a registry change, and you may also need to enable it in your BIOS setup.


Google Chrome Tips and News

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Google LogoHere at the Chad’s News network command center, Firefox is still the browser of choice. Google Chrome, however, is still improving and trying to become a contender for that top spot. There is the useful Chrome Toolbox extension, which adds functionality and configuration options that have been needed for a long time. Also, Chrome now has a built-in PDF viewer, which appears to be in the latest release version. Lifehacker has a tip on how to refresh the thumbnails shown for your “most visited” sites on the new tab page. Another tip from Lifehacker explains how to configure Chrome such that embedded Flash content is played on demand (versus the default auto play). This change has not yet made it to the release version. And finally, the linked article discusses Google’s decision to drop direct browser support for the popular H.264 video codec. This only affects HTML5 videos—Flash content will still play with no problem.

(via Kim Komando)

BIOS Passwords Are Ridiculously Easy to Circumvent

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Computer SecuritySetting the BIOS password on your laptop may seem like a smart idea, but it turns out that you can easily reverse engineer the password from information displayed by the laptop. The linked article has scripts that will do this for a variety of manufacturers and models. Of course, it’s not that difficult to reset the BIOS password using other methods—my motherboard, for instance, has a jumper that will reset the BIOS settings to their defaults.

(via Lifehacker)

Hiding Your Wireless Network’s SSID May Be More Effort Than It’s Worth

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Computer SecurityWi-fi networks have an identifier, known as the SSID. The default setting for many routers is to broadcast the SSID—thus making it easier to find and connect to the network, but most wireless security tutorials recommend disabling the SSID broadcast. Lifehacker, however, suggests this may be more trouble than it’s worth. Any hacker with a minimum amount of knowledge can easily determine the SSID, regardless of whether or not it’s being broadcast.


How to Remove Your Internet Presence

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

InternetFor those who value their online privacy, the linked article has tips on how to delete your online presence.

(via The Consumerist)

Windows Now Has True File System Links

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Tip JarUNIX and Linux users have long been familiar with file system links, both symbolic and hard, which act for most purposes as if they were the files they point to. Windows came late to the game with shortcuts, that are akin to symbolic links but only really work in Windows Explorer. Microsoft, however, has seen the error of its ways and added true links to Windows starting with Vista. The linked article explains how to create them via the mklink tool.