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

338 Posts Published
2180 Comments Posted
166 Answers

Chris's Latest Posts

windows 8.1

Upgrading Your PC for Windows 8.1? Prep It First!

23rd September, 2013

Windows 8.1 makes significant changes to Windows 8 and it’s a worthy upgrade on any device. How you’ll upgrade depends on which version of Windows you’re upgrading from. This article has all the details.

modern internet explorer launch screen

Make Internet Explorer 11 Work for You With These Tips

20th September, 2013

Internet Explorer 11 isn’t terrible! In fact, if you’ve got a Windows tablet and have bought into the whole Metro — sorry, “Modern” — interface, it’s probably the best touch-based browser out there.

android phone and laptop tethering

How to Get a Tethered Android Connection On Any Carrier, Anytime

19th September, 2013

There are ways to tether on any Android phone, even if your carrier has disabled tethering. The first method we’ll be covering here doesn’t require root (though rooted users have more options).

androids

How to Automatically Download Anything to Your Android Device

16th September, 2013

Your Android device can fetch the content you want to view while it’s charging and on Wi-Fi, saving you valuable battery power and mobile data. It’s simpler than you think.

windows 8 problem

How Can I Install Hardware with Unsigned Drivers in Windows 8?

11th September, 2013

To protect the average user, Windows 8 requires all hardware drivers have a digital signature before you can install them, making it more difficult to install malicious drivers. Hardware drivers have low-level kernel access, so malicious or just badly programmed drivers could cause crashes and open gaping security holes. However, some hardware drivers without digital signatures — […]

camera on table

3 Ways To Remove EXIF MetaData From Photos (And Why You Might Want To)

10th September, 2013

Did you know that your photos contain hidden information, including the GPS coordinates of the location they were taken at, the date and time, camera shutter setting details, and possibly even the name of the program you used to edit them? This type of metadata can be useful, but you may want to remove it from your photos before sharing them online. Cameras — both standalone digital cameras and smartphone cameras — add this metadata to the photo when they create it. You can easily view this metadata and erase it.

windows-explorer

Hack Windows Explorer for Efficiency Boosts

10th September, 2013

Windows Explorer — known as File Explorer on Windows 8 — is an application that you probably spend a good amount of time in. Even Windows geeks that avoid using any other Microsoft program tend to use Windows Explorer instead of a third-party file manager. But, while we spend time customizing our browser with extensions, we often don’t think about hacking our file manager. There are a lot of ways you can customize Windows Explorer to make your file management experience faster and more efficient.

glowing router in the dark

What Do Gaming Routers Do And Does It Really Matter

9th September, 2013

Hardware companies target gamers with all kinds of special gaming hardware. There are gaming mice, keyboards, headsets, sound cards, and more. There are now even “gaming routers” — routers specially marketed towards gamers offering an improved online gaming experience. But what exactly do these gaming routers do differently from standard routers, and do their features really matter?

facebook-dollars

Facebook Makes Money Out Of Your Data – Why Shouldn’t You?

7th September, 2013

There are so many free services online because companies can profit from the data you provide. Companies like Facebook sell (or buy) your data to third parties, while ones like Google use your data to target ads directly at you. As the saying goes, if you’re not paying for something, you’re the product, not the customer. But if these companies can make money from your data, why can’t you make money from your own data?

windows 8 start screen

Ooops! 10 Common User Errors & How To Fix Them In Windows 8

5th September, 2013

Try as it might to be an easy-to-use, simplified operating system, Windows 8 is still Windows at heart. If you’re using Windows 8′s desktop, you’ll still be facing many of the issues you faced on previous versions of Windows. We’ll cover some common problems users will face and how to fix them on Windows 8. Some of these tricks may work on previous versions of Windows, but Windows 8 adds many new tools to help with these sorts of problems. For example, Windows 8 includes a built-in antivirus.

sunset

Change the Way Windows Runs Depending on the Time of Day

2nd September, 2013

Every day, the sun rises, marches through the sky, and then sets. The world changes with it as people wake up, go about their business, and then rest. But your computer just sits there all day, only acknowledging the change in time by updating its clock. There are a variety of third-party tools for Windows that can automatically adjust your computer’s settings as the day goes on, from changing your screen’s color temperature to setting desktop wallpapers, tweaking sound levels, and blocking websites.

microsoft surface start screen

10 Windows 8 Start Screen Hacks

30th August, 2013

Windows is moving towards a more locked-down direction with Windows 8 and its Start screen and “Modern” app environment. There’s no denying this — you can’t even set a custom Start screen background without installing a third-party utility. Luckily, Windows hasn’t completely shed its legacy of customizability, yet. There are many different hacks you can perform with the Start screen, although most of them should have been included with Windows 8 itself. This article reveals them all.

cleaning-android

The 1-2-3 Guide To Spring Cleaning Your Android Smartphone

26th August, 2013

Android smartphones fill up over time with apps, photos, media, and even leftover app data. Worse yet, if your smartphone is nearly full, the write performance of its flash memory will decrease, slowing everything down. Luckily, cleaning up your smartphone and freeing up files should be fairly easy: You can do this all yourself with tools built into Android, no extra apps needed. The steps here were written for Android 4.3 on a Nexus 4 and should be very similar on devices running Android 4.0 and newer.

samsung chromebook

Looking For A New Laptop? Get A Chromebook Instead!

23rd August, 2013

Google’s Chromebooks are surprisingly good laptops. They’re cheap — only $249 for what’s probably the best one at the moment — lightweight, portable, and quick-to-boot. They may not be the ideal computer for a PC gamer or heavy-duty desktop software user, but they can be great portable web browsers to drag to class. Chromebooks have […]

email

Why Email Can’t Be Protected From Government Surveillance

21st August, 2013

“If you knew what I know about email, you might not use it either,” said the owner of secure email service Lavabit as he recently shut it down. “There is no way to do encrypted e-mail where the content is protected,” said Phil Zimmermann as he suddenly shut down Silent Circle’s secure email service. The reality is that email is fundamentally insecure and can never be protected from government surveillance in the same way some other communications can.