Simon Slangen

Joined June 2008

I'm a writer and computer sciences student from Belgium. You can always do me a favor with a good article idea, book recommendation, or recipe idea. You'll also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Feel free to contact at simon@makeuseof.com

480 Posts Published
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Simon's Latest Posts

clean-mac

How To Reinstall Mac OS X For A Fast, Squeaky-Clean Mac

8th July, 2013

Just like Windows, prolonged use of a Mac slows down the operating system. When you’ve been hoarding data and applications for over a year, the difference in performance starts to show. It just doesn’t run as smoothly as it once did. A lot of users are hesitant to reinstall their entire operating system. There are plenty of advantages to a fresh install, especially performance-wise, but it’s a much bigger undertaking to start over from scratch. In this article we will run through the process from start to finish.

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6 Awesome FPS Games For Your Browser

17th June, 2013

Most people spend ninety percent of their time on a computer in the web browser. Office and productivity suites might tempt you enough for the occasional trip to the desktop, but even there a shift to the browser is evident with tools like Google Docs. With the capabilities of modern browsers growing ever more, there’s a convergence of web and traditional application technologies. But however evident, I never expected games to make the leap as eloquently as they did.

digital-authentication

3 Ways To Electronically Sign Documents

10th June, 2013

Paperwork doesn’t have to be a chore, if it can be handled swiftly and efficiently. In the case of signing documents, it usually isn’t. It’s a hopelessly convoluted process, all for getting a single squiggly on a single document. It’s time for document signing to enter the digital age and with electronic signatures, it has.

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How To Prep Your Videos For Playback On The Roku 3

3rd June, 2013

Although I’ve had the pleasure of using an Apple TV these past few months, I was immediately sold on the Roku 3. You can read more about the product (and whet your appetite) in Danny’s Roku 3 review. For me, it was the combination of on-demand media and easy access to my own extensive media library that made Roku’s case, not to mention an attractive price tag. In fact, I mostly use the Roku 3 as a top-up box for my Plex media center.

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3 Great Ways To Enjoy Your Own Media On The Roku 3

3rd June, 2013

Regular television sets are a thing of the past. These days, if you set out to get a new TV, it’ll likely be a smart TV. That TV will be ‘smart’ the same way your smartphone is – it’s connected and it’s extendable. Just like your smartphone, a lot of new televisions tune in to a sizable application ecosystem, adding the imaginings of third-party developers to your television’s standard feature set.

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Keep Your Secret Files Out Of Sight With MacHider [Mac OS X]

27th May, 2013

If you’re using Mac OS X, you don’t even need specialised third-party security software to keep your precious data out of nefarious hands. Coupled with a strong user account password, the FileVault option in the System Preferences automatically encrypts your entire disk. However, the strength of your security doesn’t matter if everyone looking over your shoulder can see this sensitive data. This is one of the main reasons why I keep my precious files hidden from sight by using tools like MacHider. It’s security through obscurity.

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3 Cool Dashboard Apps For Your iPad [iOS]

27th May, 2013

Despite the effort I put into keeping my Mac tidy, the thing that most helps me to quickly glean information from my computer is its clutter. Open up the lid and everything you could possibly need is there: my inbox, still open. Facebook in the menu bar and the Calendar app in the background. For the iPad at least, this is on possible using a form of structured clutter using dashboard-like apps. There aren’t too many of these for iOS, but we’ve managed to find a few gems nonetheless.

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Byword Offers Fullscreen Distraction-Free Writing Pleasure On Your Mac

20th May, 2013

Taking your pen to hand – or more often keyboard, in these times – is not always a simple undertaking. That’s not to say writing is bothersome. No, rather the opposite. Writing is wonderful, awesome, enchanting, and a hundred other things. The problem then is that there are too many distractions. Loud noises, flashing lights….not just outside of your window, but on your computer as well.

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5 Interesting Calculator Alternatives For Mac OS X

20th May, 2013

Compared to other standard calculators, Mac OS X users definitely can’t complain. The Calculator app that ships with Macs by default is diverse and incredibly powerful. However, you simply can’t build an app as general as a calculator to satisfy all possible user scenarios. For different users, different apps will always come out on top. Luckily, there’s no shortage of calculator alternatives in the Mac App Store.

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5 Daily iPad Crossword Apps To Do While You Wait [iOS]

13th May, 2013

Crosswords are one of the world’s favorite pastimes. Sudoku has gained a lot of ground these past few years (although the real sudoku craze has largely calmed down) but this old time-waster isn’t going anywhere. It’s one of the big puzzle totems, and it’s here to stay. As with newspapers and magazines, crosswords are going digital. You might miss your coffee-stained, pencil-marked newspaper friends at first, but the iPad is a crossword wonder.

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What Is a DDoS Attack? [MakeUseOf Explains]

13th May, 2013

The term DDoS whistles past whenever cyber-activism rears up its head en-masse. These kind of attacks make international headlines because of multiple reasons. The issues that jumpstart those DDoS attacks are often controversial or highly political. Since a large number of regular users are affected by the attacks, it’s an issue that plays with the people. Perhaps most importantly, a lot of people don’t know what constitutes a DDoS attack.

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Keep a Digital Diary with Day One for Mac OS X and iOS

6th May, 2013

Everyone has a story to tell. It’s not always a story in need of an audience, sometimes a story just needs to be told. You may want to continue the journal you started when you were just a kid, or keep a weekly account of your travels around the world. Maybe it’s thoughts, not events that need writing down. Day One is a great application aching to serve as your digital scribe, across platforms on OS X and iOS.

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Share Files Easily Between Computers With AirDrop & Two Similar Applications [Mac]

6th May, 2013

How often have you sent an email to yourself, simply to move a picture or document between computers? Often, the only obvious alternative is clear overkill, like setting up a temporary FTP server on your jailbroken iPad. For these kind of scenarios – moving small files quickly and efficiently – Mac OS X’s own AirDrop is the ideal tool for the job.

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How to Access Region Locked Video on Your iPad or iPhone [iOS]

29th April, 2013

People are willing to go to great lengths to access video content, and great lengths are indeed required when content often doesn’t become available for a big part of the world until months after its initial release. More so, even though there are websites like Hulu and Netflix boasting the infrastructure to offer that media globally, they actively work to keep people out. If you want to watch region-blocked content on your iPhone or iPad you’ll have to take matters into your own hands.

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How To Mirror The iPhone Or iPad To Your TV [iOS]

29th April, 2013

The iPad (or even the iPhone) is a great device to enjoy apps and video while you’re on the road, or in bed. In fact, you can enjoy your media wherever you are. However, sitting a small distance from your big television set, some of this media might be wasted on the small screen of your iOS device. Instead, you could switch to your computer, or a media center hooked up to your TV. But if you want to enjoy the content from your iPhone or iPad, there’s a third option.