Guy McDowell

Joined December 2008

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+

Feel free to contact at guy@makeuseof.com

161 Posts Published
728 Comments Posted
105 Answers

Guy's Latest Posts

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Myth Debunked: 5 Gadgets You Don’t Actually Need For School

28th August, 2013

Need. Want. One is a four letter word and the other is a necessity. Listen up and heed this old man’s words as I get you set to go back to school, do some real learning, and save thousands of dollars by not buying into this computer fad. Look at me! I got an iPhone! Look at me! I can film my lectures! Look at me! I made a spreadsheet that does my arithmetic for me!

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What Can You Learn From An Email Header (Metadata)?

13th August, 2013

Did you ever get an e-mail and really wondered where it came from? Who sent it? How could they have known who you are? Surprisingly a lot of that information can be from from the e-mail header, or by using info from the email header to do some detective work. Today, we’re just going to focus on how to unhide the header in Gmail, and then look at what we can glean from the header.

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3 Baby-Proofing Tips to Stop Babies and Toddlers from Ruining Your Tech

13th August, 2013

Did you read our article, At What Age Should Kids Be Exposed To Technology? You should. Dave Parrack did a great job of compiling the results. Here’s the thing – kids going to introduce themselves to technology, and chances are it’s going to be when you aren’t looking! If you’ve got kids, you know that […]

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3 Ways To Make Your Smartphone Communications More Secure

12th August, 2013

Total privacy! Or so we think, as our words and information went flying through the air. Not so: First it’s word of warrantless wiretapping, then it’s word of newspapers, lawyers, insurers and more hacking your communications, who’s next? How do we stop this? Unfortunately, laws are very after the fact, so you need to take some measures right now. This is where we look at how to secure your smartphone communications to make cherry-picking your information a lot harder.

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4 Alternatives To The Pebble Watch

8th August, 2013

The Pebble E-Paper Watch (which we’ve just reviewed and will be giving away) has a lot of interesting functions, is highly customizable, and raised over $1 million within 28 hours of being put on Kickstarter. Maybe the Pebble isn’t exactly what you want though. Maybe you’d like a different look or functionality. Money talks, and these other smartwatch innovators are ready to listen. Some of these are concepts and some are already on the market! Which one do you want? Maybe all of them?

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Cyber Bullying Unmasked – The Tragic Case Of Cassidy

24th June, 2013

Kids can be cruel. Almost as cruel as so-called grown-ups. That cruelty has found its way on to the web and into the lives of countless young people who thought they might be able to escape the harassment by enjoying their on-line pursuits. It is very likely this is the story of an untold number of girls and boys the world over.

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Cover Your Tracks With These 3 Unmissable Data Removal Tools

21st June, 2013

Personal privacy is the hot topic these days, at least in the news. It should also be the hot topic in your computing life, as well! What you do online and on your computer says an awful lot about you and, in the hands of the wrong people, can prove disastrous. Oh, fine, at least we have a password on our computers. But let’s say we are doing something where privacy really does matter. Imagine we had a benevolent reason to cover our tracks. On to some tools that will help us do just that!

How To Encrypt Data on Your Smartphone

18th June, 2013

With the Prism-Verizon scandal, what allegedly has been happening is that the United States of America’s National Security Agency (NSA) has been data mining. That is, they have been going through the call records of Verizon’s approximately 99 million users looking for, well, anything! If the thought of the occasionally overzealous government official isn’t enough reason to encrypt your smartphone, then all the identity thieves and scammers out there ought to be. Today, I’m going to show you a few things you can do to make that information a bit more secure.

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The Web Hidden On The Web – FreeNet

14th June, 2013

Last week it was officially announced that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) has been mining data from cellular service provider, Verizon. People were, and are, freaking out! How could the government do such a thing? What kind of totalitarian state are we really in?

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Trouble Getting a GPS Signal for Your Satnav? Try These Tips

7th June, 2013

Possibly the biggest boost to the male ego since chest hair, GPS Satnav units have saved us from having to “pull over and ask for directions!!!” Nuh-uh sweetie-pie, I got this with my GPS. Don’t give me directions, just give me an address and I’ll be there! Oh technology, we all love you, keeper of peace […]

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How To Use Your Smartphone To Protect And Uphold Your Civil Rights

4th June, 2013

Can you imagine how much quicker the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950′s and 60′s would have come to a head if they had the power that we hold in our pocket? Some would say that the Civil Rights Movement is still going on, and The Arab Spring shows us that it is. Here’s how you can document the challenge and make a difference with just a smartphone, some courage, and compassion.

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Which Weather Widget Would You Use? 3D Weather vs. AccuWeather.com [Android]

31st May, 2013

Since the dawn of media, the weather has sustained publishers of almanacs, sold newspapers when nothing was happening, tuned listeners into the radio, and viewers into the television news. Today, we carry all of this media in the form of our smartphones, yet something as primal as our need to know the weather is still important. Today I want to share with you two ways to get the weather, the 3D Weather widget and the AccuWeather.com widget.

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GIF – The Final Word On How To Pronounce It

28th May, 2013

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.

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How To Install Multiple Bootable Operating Systems on One USB Stick

24th May, 2013

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.

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Get a Head Start On Your USB Toolkit With Windows System Control Center

21st May, 2013

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.