Guy McDowell

Joined December 2008

With 20+ years of experience in IT, training, and technical trades, it is my desire to share what I've learned with anyone else willing to learn. I strive to do the best job possible in the best manner possible, and with a little humour. Keep in touch: Twitter - Facebook - Google+.

Feel free to contact at guy@makeuseof.com

180 Posts Published
1221 Comments Posted
110 Answers

Guy's Latest Posts

mdma

3 Sites To Help You Identify Unknown Drugs

30th July, 2009

Really, I’m not sure how this topic came to mind. Perhaps it was listening to a story on talk radio about the scourge known as MDMA, also known as Ecstasy. Nasty stuff. Most of it is also filled with meth, in case you were wondering. I guess that got me to thinking,  “If I found […]

satellite_dish

How Satellite Internet Works? [Technology Explained]

28th July, 2009

Satellite Internet service appears to be becoming more and more popular. Once the exclusive domain of exploration companies and war journalists, there are now thousands of people with an extra dish on the home or RV. Part of the reason for this is that certain technologies have increased the bandwidth and decreased the cost. Now, […]

ipodaudiobook

Convert eBooks to MP3 Audio With Spesoft Text to Speech Software

25th July, 2009

Learning skills to increase our income or just having a moment to read a book for fun is hard to do when you put almost two-thirds of your day toward paying yesterday’s bills. Or am I the only one that feels like that? I’m trying to get through my Instrumentation Technician apprenticeship as fast as […]

radiotower

How Does Wireless Internet Work? [Technology Explained]

22nd July, 2009

In my role supporting SCADA units in the field, I’ve often been asked how does Wireless Internet work. I usually answer with the question, “Which kind of wireless Internet?” Some people say that WiFi is wireless Internet, some think of radio-based Internet access as wireless, some even think of satellite Internet access as wireless. Then […]

ZoomCloud

5 HTML Tips to Create a Fast Loading Free Website

19th July, 2009

My HyperText Markup Language (HTML) skills are rusty for certain, but perhaps that qualifies me for this article. Back in the day when Friends was still on TV and AOL was sending out free coasters and mini-frisbees daily, I was creating websites to load on dial-up modems. As time went on, I had the nerve […]

a_pirates_tale

Publish Your Own Book For Free With Some Help From PublishAmerica

18th July, 2009

Just before a trip, I went into Wally World to get some stuff, and was thinking of getting a book to read while I was on downtime. Lo and behold! There was a man in a pirate suit selling a pirate book called, wait for it, “A Pirate’s Tale”. The man with the eye-patch is […]

old_telephone

9 Free Ringtones That Sound Like Real Phones

15th July, 2009

You’re pitching the business case for your great money-making-and-saving idea. All the C-Level types are there. Then all of a sudden, you and everyone else can hear the strains of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. You didn’t turn the phone off before the meeting. Who knew that your career would end to the song you moonwalked […]

roblox_logo

Roblox – A Cool Lego-Based Free Virtual World for Kids

29th June, 2009

My darling wife was volunteering at the world-famous Ponoka Stampede (props to my cowboy homies). She saw a kid playing some cool games and asked what they were. “It’s Roblox!”, I imagine the child said. “Your husband should check it out and write about it on MakeUseOf.com. His article will go straight to the front […]

too_many_computers

3 Beginner Computer Tips That Are Often Neglected

27th June, 2009

To get more out of your computing, you don’t really need newer equipment or fancier software packages. To do your computer work faster, there’s not always a lot of sense in going out and buying more RAM or a new CPU. All you have to do is become a better user. After all, a good […]

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How To Find Totally Free Unlimited Internet Access Almost Anywhere

24th June, 2009

This is no joke. There are still Internet Service Providers (ISPs) out there offering free service. We’re going to look at a few ways to find totally free unlimited Internet access, legitimately and legally. There are two routes to go here. You can go the WiFi route, which is far more popular and usually in […]

gypsy_fortune_teller1

3 Fun Programs For Free Fortune And Tarot Readings

22nd June, 2009

Let me make a disclaimer here – I don’t really believe in fortune telling. Even more so, I don’t believe in fortune telling via a computer program. If the universe could somehow be tapped into by playing cards or marked stones, I fail to see how a program under 5MB could emulate that kind of […]

downloadhelper

How To Download Streaming Video with DownloadHelper

20th June, 2009

Have you ever wanted to watch a longer video clip or documentary online, only to suffer frequent pauses in playback? Me too. What I prefer to do is download the streaming video and then watch it non-stop on my computer. If the file is local, there’s no lag and no annoying blips. It used to […]

itunesexperience

How Do I Download Songs onto iTunes – A Tutorial

17th June, 2009

I have to put this out there to get it off my chest. I hate iTunes. In my opinion, the interface is not intuitive, and the labeling of controls is misleading. Whew, I feel better. Now I’ll just wait for Steve Jobs to storm into my house and neutralize me. If I have problems with […]

socrates

3 Sites To Help You Change Your Life

15th June, 2009

I hate it when people start an article or essay with a quote. It’s so trite. Yet here I go with one. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Yep, good old Socrates.  But for every axiom like this there is a corollary one, and I believe it is from the other great philosopher, Anonymus, […]

workinginternet

How To Restrict Access to Websites with Privoxy [Part 2]

13th June, 2009

Did you get Privoxy set up? Put together a good white list of sites? If you haven’t, head on back to How To Restrict Access to Websites with Privoxy [Part 1] before continuing with this tutorial. Part Two is all about locking down Internet Explorer so it can only connect to the Internet through the […]