Chris Hoffman

Joined December 2011

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

Feel free to contact at choffman@makeuseof.com

369 Posts Published
2180 Comments Posted
165 Answers

Chris's Latest Posts

boxcryptor-giveaway.jpg

Secure Your Dropbox, Google Drive, or SkyDrive With BoxCryptor [Giveaway]

2nd August, 2012

Cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and SkyDrive are slick and easy-to-use, but security is always a concern. If someone gained access to your account, they could view all your files. Encrypting your files protects them from prying eyes – if your account gets hacked or one of the service’s nosy employees snoops around, they won’t be able to view your files without your encryption password. Encryption can be hard to use, but BoxCryptor makes it easy. This week we’re giving away 25 copies of BoxCryptor’s Unlimited Business edition – that’s $2500 worth of software licenses!

notepad-logo.jpg

Quickly Edit CSV Files With Advanced Find & Replace Tools In Notepad++

1st August, 2012

Notepad++ is an extremely powerful (and free!) text editor. Its find and replace tools can do everything from a simple search and replace in a single file to a regular expression-based search and replace across thousands of files at once. Notepad++ is particularly ideal for quickly editing and changing data in CSV files, but it’s also amazing for editing HTML, CSS, TXT – or any other type of file that can be opened and edited as text.

woman-squinting-at-computer.jpg

How To Make Text Easier To Read In Windows

30th July, 2012

Most of us spend hours reading on the computer every day, but our computers probably aren’t optimized for reading. The text on our monitors may not be sharp enough or may be too small, especially if we have high-resolution monitors. Websites usually aren’t optimized for reading long-form articles either – they’re cluttered with too many navigation elements, flashing advertisements, and often use text that’s too small.

android-defrag-pro-icon.jpg

How To Make Android Faster: What Works, And What Doesn’t

27th July, 2012

Everyone wants their devices to run faster and scammers prey on that. Recently, a scam app named Android Defrag Pro popped up on Google Play. Android doesn’t need defragmentation, but many users installed it anyway and left positive reviews. Android isn’t like Windows and doesn’t require as much maintenance — still, there are some things you can do to make your device perform faster.

computers-around-globe.jpg

What’s Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), & Why It Is A Security Threat

25th July, 2012

Cross-site scripting vulnerabilities are the biggest website security problem today. Studies have found they’re shockingly common – 55% of websites contained XSS vulnerabilities in 2011, according to White Hat Security’s latest report, released in June 2012. While most people have heard of computer viruses and other such problems, XSS vulnerabilities remain unknown to the average person.

device can perform faster warning bubble2

Resolving USB Speed Issues, “This Device Can Perform Faster” Error

23rd July, 2012

Have you ever seen the “this device can perform faster” message when you connected a USB device to your computer? This message is Windows’ way of telling you that you’re missing out on the theoretical speed of your hardware, but it may not be clear how to fix the problem. Like many computer issues, particularly with hardware, this problem has a number of possible causes and solutions.

virtual-machines-in-cloud.jpg

Turn Your Old Mission-Critical PC Into A VM Before It Dies

20th July, 2012

If you’ve got an older PC running important software, one of the best ways to give that software a new lease of life is by ditching the hardware entirely – you can convert your existing system to a virtual machine and run it on another computer. The process is fast, and at the end you’ll have an image you can use in VMware or any virtual machine program that can import VMware disk images.

fun with vmware icon from flickr

What Is a Virtual Machine? [MakeUseOf Explains]

18th July, 2012

Virtual machines allow you to run other operating systems within your current operating system – the operating systems will run as if they’re just another program on your computer. Virtual machines are ideal for testing out other operating systems – like the new Windows 8 or alternative Linux operating systems. You can also use virtual machines to run software on operating systems it wasn’t designed for.

cctv-cameras.jpg

You Are The Product, Not The Client: The Personal Data Economy Explained

16th July, 2012

As Andrew Lewis once said “If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold”. Think about the implications of that quote for a moment – how many free services do we use online every day? When we use Facebook, make a search on Google, or check our Gmail, we like to think that we’re the customer. But we’re rarely the customer online – instead, we’re the product being sold to advertisers and tracking networks.

skydrive-icon.png

How To Sync Any Folder To SkyDrive, And How To Use SkyDrive On Windows XP

13th July, 2012

Microsoft’s new SkyDrive is a great entry in the cloud storage wars — it competes toe-to-toe with Dropbox, Google Drive, and the rest. However, it has some limitations. We’ll show you how to overcome these limitations and use SkyDrive the way you want to.

Steam_Logo_300

How To Migrate Steam To a New Hard Drive

11th July, 2012

Unlike most Windows applications, Steam can be easily moved between hard drives without redownloading or reinstalling anything. If you want to put Steam on a new hard drive – say, if you’ve bought a new computer or a larger hard drive for your games – you can copy your games over without going through a long download process. This is just one of the things that makes Steam awesome.

bitdefender-mobile-security-giveaway-logo.jpg

Protect Your Smartphone With Bitdefender Mobile Security for Android [Giveaway]

11th July, 2012

Whether you think Android needs an anti-malware program or not, Bitdefender Mobile Security for Android is a useful security app for any Android smartphone or tablet. Want a premium copy? We’re giving away 25 premium copies of Bitdefender Mobile Security and Antivirus worth a total of $250 this week. Read on for your chance to win!

handcuffs-on-laptop.jpg

From The Web To Jail: 6 Types of Computer Crimes You Can Get Arrested For

9th July, 2012

Governments across the world have tried to tame the Internet as a tempest of new technology threatens everything from strict government censorship and control over the media to entrenched media conglomerates and old concepts of acceptable speech. Like King Canute commanding the tide to turn back and not disturb him, governments have put up laws against everything from forwarding emails and commenting online in an attempt to stop the inevitable.

new-updates-available-icon.jpg

Why Do Apps Nag Me To Update & Should I Listen? [Windows]

6th July, 2012

Software update notifications seem like a constant companion on every computer. Every app wants to update regularly, and they nag us with notifications until we give in and update. These notifications can be inconvenient, especially when apps pester you with them while you’e busy, but keeping your installed applications updated is important for a variety of reasons – especially security.

the_pirate_bay_300

Avoiding Censorship: How Blocked Websites Stay Online and Accessible [MakeUseOf Explains]

4th July, 2012

We’ve been hearing a lot about website-blocking recently, particularly with anti-piracy organizations forcing Internet service providers to block access to The Pirate Bay in the UK and elsewhere. However, when UK Internet service provider BT blocked The Pirate Bay, the block was only in effect for a few minutes before The Pirate Bay bypassed it.