The Hi-Tech Redneck ® has 20+ years of IT and Technical Trades experience. Working with people, or on my own, I strive to do the best job possible in the best manner possible. Keep in touch: Twitter - Google+ GuyMcDowell.com
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Guy's Latest Posts
With the resurgence of the Graphics Interchange Format in its animated incarnation, the HOT debate about how to pronounce that gem of an acronym has also come to the front again. There are two fighters in the ring, here. One that is coached by the man most credited with bringing the GIF to the world, Steve Wilhite and his soft-G approach. The other fighter goes by the name of Vox Populi.
Fellow reader Dado asked us, “How can I run multiple operating systems from a single USB?” This becomes practical if the different operating systems are Live CDs, i.e. designed to access a PC from outside of the computer’s own operating system. This can be handy if the native operating system is corrupted through misuse, poor maintenance, or worse, malware. There are several tools that can help you create your multiboot USB stick. We tested three of them: XBoot, MultiBootUSB, and YUMI.
I often joke about being the only IT guy with a 36-inch pipe wrench in his toolbox. Funny, but also probably true. But I do carry one IT tool in my kit that is just as powerful and hefty as that pipe wrench – the Windows System Control Center on my Tools USB flash drive. The WSCC is an interface that gives you access to the SysInternals and NirSoft suite of tools. It’s like having a 3 foot pipe wrench in your back pocket! Only considerably more comfortable.
Various magazines and TV shows have been dedicated to the finer things in life, or at the very least the more expensive things in life. Are these things really worth that much, or is that just the price they put on them because they know rich people do stupid things too? Who knows. But here at MakeUseOf we’ll keep our extravagant spending somewhat useful. Let’s take a look at the Most Expensive iOS Apps available to those with caviar dreams and champagne wishes.
You’ve got your trusty USB flash drive plugged into your computer, and you go to copy some files to it. Then you get this – “The disk is write protected. Remove the write protection or use another disk.” Then you say, “Whaaaaaa….?!?!” How did this happen? This is your USB stick, you should be able to read, write and do whatever you want with it! Deep breath and stay calm. It is just an error message.
Finally, the season is upon us where we get the really cool storms! And by ‘cool’ I mean ‘deadly’. Tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, oh freaking my! Okay, I’m not really sure when tsunami season is, but I’ve been through a few tornadoes and hurricanes. And I LOVE THEM! When no one gets hurt of course. That […]
Some people might say that having Facebook and Stupid in the same title is a bit redundant. They may be correct. There are definitely a lot of things that qualify as stupid on Facebook, and the harsh reality is that there are a lot of stupid people on Facebook. Come on folks, there’s over half a billion people on Facebook, some of them, statistically speaking, have to be stupid! In fact, at least 49% of us on Facebook are below average intelligence.
This is by no means a legal document and don’t think that this substitutes for the opinions of an officer of the court. Let me be clear – I’m going to present to you the research that I’ve done and what it means to me. It is NOT legal advice. Now that is out of the way, lets get to the heart of the matter on whether buying second-hand software legal or illegal.
I’m not frugal or thrifty, I’m cheap. My food comes only in yellow and black packaging. My Dad would say that I was “so cheap, he’d skin a fart for the grease.” I will stop in the middle of crossing the road to pick up a penny, and we don’t even use them in Canada anymore. So when I wanted a holder for my Samsung Whizzbang Z 28 and our office budget didn’t really cover that, I got to thinking about using paper instead.
Good PC ownership is a lot like good car ownership. You do more than just use it, you learn something about how it works. You don’t need to be a PC technician or a mechanic, but you should be able to identify certain signs of trouble so you can get your rig in for maintenance. Unfortunately, checking out your PC for failing hardware isn’t quite as hands-on and easy to do as checking your car for worn tires or dirty oil.
Using your computer seems like a purely visual experience, but the aural experience is surprisingly important as well. You may not notice how important it is until the sounds disappear suddenly. Then, there’s a sudden recognition that something is not quite right, or if you’re playing a game, that something is terribly wrong. Half of your computing experience just vanished! There’s no sound coming from your speakers. What happened? Where’d it go? Don’t panic.
We’re going to talk about taking something that you’ve written or read, and putting it into sounds so that you can either listen to it yourself, or share it with others. You may want to take on the formidable, if not rewarding, task of creating an audiobook. As surely as I sit here and type directly to you, as surely as you read this on technology that could have ended Word War II in its infancy, this task IS within your reach.
Okay, let’s take a deep breath and deal with the emergency first. Any emergency requires us to take a moment or two and assess the situation. That way we aren’t just reacting, we are acting with intent. Usually, that works out better in the long run. Time is precious in emergencies, but so is rational thinking and that’s what you came here for, isn’t it? So take another calming breath and answer the following questions.
Ever heard that quote about trying to explain how a television works to an ant? I’m not calling you an ant, even though you are hard-working and enjoy the occasional sip of aphid milk. What I am saying is that I’m going to explain how Windows BitLocker works, without you having to have a degree in computer science and cryptography experience.
There are a great number of websites where you can put your life experiences to good use helping other people out. Some you get paid for – those aren’t going to be covered here because this article is about altruism not consumerism. Giving back – not getting, except maybe that warm fuzzy feeling inside. With a lot of these sites, you just volunteer and do what you can.