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Headshot of MakeUseOf Writer, Chris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman

/ Joined 8 December, 2011

Chris Hoffman is a tech blogger and all-around technology addict living in Vancouver, BC. Connect with him on Google+ or Twitter.

365 Articles
2198 Comments
How To Safely Clean Your Tablet Or Smartphone’s Touchscreen

Android iPhone and iPad

How To Safely Clean Your Tablet Or Smartphone’s Touchscreen

Cleaning a touchscreen is simple. You don’t need a special cleaning kit or cleaning solution to safely clean your tablet or smartphone’s touchscreen – you can do it with materials you probably have on hand. However, you do need to know what to avoid – many common types of cloths and cleaning solutions can damage a touchscreen. Once you understand what to do and what not to do, you can safely clean a smartphone or tablet’s touchscreen in just a few seconds.

Chris Hoffman November 16, 2012 16-11-2012
How To Safely Clean Your Tablet Or Smartphone’s Touchscreen
Why Do Chrome Plugins Need Access To ‘All My Data’ and ‘Browsing Activity’?

Browsers

Why Do Chrome Plugins Need Access To ‘All My Data’ and ‘Browsing Activity’?

If you’ve installed Chrome plugins, you’ve probably seen a warning that they can access your data on all websites, your tabs and browsing activity, or even all the data on your computer. This warning can be scary, especially if you’re installing a simple browser extension that looks harmless. Unfortunately, the way web browsers and web pages work means that extensions must ask for quite a few permissions to do simple things.

Chris Hoffman November 14, 2012 14-11-2012
Why Do Chrome Plugins Need Access To ‘All My Data’ and ‘Browsing Activity’?
How To Test Windows 8 On A Tablet

Windows

How To Test Windows 8 On A Tablet

It’s no secret that Windows 8’s new interface is a “touch-first experience” – Microsoft said it themselves. If you’re curious about upgrading to Windows 8, you can try Windows 8 on your PC – but unless you’re using a PC with a touch screen, it just isn’t the same. Assuming you have an iPad or Android tablet lying around, you can test Windows 8 with a touchscreen before you purchase a new Windows 8 PC or tablet.

Chris Hoffman November 12, 2012 12-11-2012
How To Test Windows 8 On A Tablet
Linux Gaming, an Overview: What You Can And Can’t Expect

Linux

Linux Gaming, an Overview: What You Can And Can’t Expect

While desktop Linux may be a tempting platform, there’s one thing stopping a lot of people from making the plunge: PC gaming. Like it or not, Windows is the de facto platform for PC gaming. You can’t count on Linux supporting your favorite games, but you may be surprised: some Windows games work on Linux using the Wine compatability layer.

Chris Hoffman November 9, 2012 09-11-2012
Linux Gaming, an Overview: What You Can And Can’t Expect
Updating Ubuntu OS & Applications: The Essentials Any Ubuntu User Should Know

Linux

Updating Ubuntu OS & Applications: The Essentials Any Ubuntu User Should Know

Updating your Ubuntu operating system and its installed applications is a fairly simple process, but it works very differently from Windows. All the software you install from the Ubuntu Software Center comes from Ubuntu’s software repositories, so you can get updates in one place – think of it like an app store for your computer. When a new version of Ubuntu is released, you’ll be able to upgrade right from within Ubuntu.

Chris Hoffman November 7, 2012 07-11-2012
Updating Ubuntu OS & Applications: The Essentials Any Ubuntu User Should Know
Are You Getting The Broadband Speed You’re Paying For?

Internet

Are You Getting The Broadband Speed You’re Paying For?

How fast is your Internet connection, really? Your Internet service provider quotes you speeds, but how do you know if you’re actually getting the speed you’re paying for? You can find out using one of these free tools. And, if you’re not, there are some things you can do to increase your Internet connection speed.

Chris Hoffman November 5, 2012 05-11-2012
Are You Getting The Broadband Speed You’re Paying For?
Missing Or Broken Mouse? Operate Windows Completely From Your Keyboard

Windows

Missing Or Broken Mouse? Operate Windows Completely From Your Keyboard

Your computer’s mouse may seem like an essential peripheral, but it’s not – it’s just nice to have. If you don’t have a working mouse around – or if you just feel like learning some new keyboard tricks – you can use your Windows computer entirely from the keyboard. These keyboard tricks can help make you more productive even if you have a mouse.

Chris Hoffman November 2, 2012 02-11-2012
Missing Or Broken Mouse? Operate Windows Completely From Your Keyboard
How To Use a Digital Camera With Linux

Linux

How To Use a Digital Camera With Linux

The days when working with digital cameras and other common consumer hardware on Linux was a chore that involved fiddling with terminal commands are over. Using a digital camera with modern Linux distributions like Ubuntu is an extremely simple process. In fact, the built-in software on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions is better than Windows for this, as it allows you to easily do basic photo-editing and upload your photos to web services.

Chris Hoffman October 31, 2012 31-10-2012
How To Use a Digital Camera With Linux
Get More from Windows 7 ALT+TAB App Switching: Tricks You Didn’t Know About

Windows

Get More from Windows 7 ALT+TAB App Switching: Tricks You Didn’t Know About

There’s more to Alt+Tab than just pressing Alt+Tab to switch between windows. There are a variety of hidden keyboard shortcuts that make the Alt+Tab switcher quicker and easier to use. There are also ways to customize the Alt+Tab switcher, reverting to the old-style, classic Alt+Tab switcher or disabling the window previews that appear while Alt+Tabbing. You can even go beyond the Alt+Tab switcher that comes with Windows.

Chris Hoffman October 29, 2012 29-10-2012
Get More from Windows 7 ALT+TAB App Switching: Tricks You Didn’t Know About
Automatically Shut Down Your Computer After Downloading Has Completed [Windows]

Windows

Automatically Shut Down Your Computer After Downloading Has Completed [Windows]

Leaving your computer on to download files can be a smart move, but what happens when the download completes? Your computer will stay powered on, doing nothing but wasting electricity and costing you some money. If you want to leave your computer on to download files, you can have it automatically shut down after the download process completes.

Chris Hoffman October 26, 2012 26-10-2012
Automatically Shut Down Your Computer After Downloading Has Completed [Windows]
Before The Windows Store – Package Managers & Software Repositories [Windows]

Windows

Before The Windows Store – Package Managers & Software Repositories [Windows]

App stores are everywhere these days. Whether you’re using iOS or Android, you can get all your apps from a single location and have them automatically update in a consistent way. If you’re using Mac OS X, you can use the Mac App Store to get your software. Linux users use package managers with large software repositories to easily install all the software they need. There’s just one platform that seems untouched by time: the Windows desktop.

Chris Hoffman October 24, 2012 24-10-2012
Before The Windows Store – Package Managers & Software Repositories [Windows]
How To Install Windows 8 From A USB Stick

Windows

How To Install Windows 8 From A USB Stick

If you’re looking to install Windows 8 and your computer doesn’t have a DVD drive, you’re not alone. Whether you have a Windows 8 DVD or a Windows 8 ISO file you’ve downloaded from Microsoft, you can use a free Microsoft tool to copy the Windows 8 installation files to a USB drive and install Windows 8 from the USB drive.

Chris Hoffman October 22, 2012 22-10-2012
How To Install Windows 8 From A USB Stick
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