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

170 Posts Published
938 Comments Posted
110 Answers

Guy's Latest Posts

How To Test Your PC For Failing Hardware

26th April, 2013

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.

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No Sound? Don’t Worry! Troubleshooting Tips For Your Computer Speakers

23rd April, 2013

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.

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How To Record Your Own Audiobook

19th April, 2013

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.

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You Just Spilled Water Or Coffee On Your Laptop – Here’s What You Should Do

15th April, 2013

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.

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Free Military-Grade Privacy For Your Files: How Bitlocker Works [Windows]

12th April, 2013

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.

The Power of Giving - Volunteering Online

3 Websites Where Your Experiences Can Help Your Fellow Humans

9th April, 2013

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.

Ransomware Locked Computer

Don’t Pay Up – How To Beat Ransomware!

5th April, 2013

Just imagine if someone showed up on your doorstep and said, “Hey, there’s mice in your house that you didn’t know about. Give us $100 and we’ll get rid of them.” This is the Ransomware Scam in its original form. There actually used to be people that would go around, let pests into your house and then knock on your door and point them out to you. “Good thing we saw them while driving by!” This scam must be making someone some good money because it’s still going on.

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How To Pick The Best Printer For Your Budget & Workload

2nd April, 2013

So much for the paperless office! The integration of information technology has seemingly increased the amount of paper printing we have to do. So pretty much everyone with a computer needs a printer at some point in time. The problem is figuring out which printer is the best one for your budget AND workload. Laser, colour, inkjet, large format, photo quality, all-in-one, WiFi enabled, monochrome…there are a lot of jargon words around printers.

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Keep In Touch With The Big Game On Your Android

29th March, 2013

Just recently, I was doing some research on TV Show Apps to Stay In Touch with Your Favourite Characters, and the last thing I included was an app to track my favourite NHL team, the Edmonton Oilers. That might have been a reach as far as the title of the article goes, but sports is definitely full of characters and a large portion of our television watching time is dedicated to sports.

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Don’t Let Them Scan You: Blocking RFID Chips

26th March, 2013

Every convenience in life comes at a cost. That’s why things are so expensive at the corner store compared to the grocery store. They aren’t selling you a carton of milk, they’re selling you a way out of a mistake in not remembering to pick up your milk early at the supermarket. That kind of convenience has a readily tangible cost – more money out of your wallet. The convenience cost of other things, such as technology, might not be so readily apparent.

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Top TV Show Apps To Stay In Touch With Your Favorite Characters

22nd March, 2013

If the Paris’, Lindsay’s and Kim’s of Hollywood have taught us anything, it’s that we just don’t get tired of them. The fact of the matter is that we continue to follow these people on television, then we follow them on Facebook, then Twitter, then, then…what next!? How about apps that are dedicated to helping you stay in touch with your favorite characters?

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Not All Are Made Equal: Using The Right Batteries For The Job

19th March, 2013

Batteries are batteries right? Sure, and computers are computers, and tires are tires. Oh, what’s that? You say there’s a big difference between a Mac and PC, and tractor tires and car tires? Well, so too there are big differences between the different types of batteries that are available. Obviously the physical sizes are different like your AAA’s and your D’s, but the differences go deeper. The construction and composition of the charge generating materials can be significantly different as well.

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Gamer Droid: Video Game Themed Wallpapers For Android

15th March, 2013

I love video games! You love video games! The difference between you and I is that you probably actually play with them while I admire them from afar. Fact is, I’m still playing Icewind Dale. But that’s not the point. The point is I can still enjoy the presence of my favourite video games in new and exciting ways on my Samsung Android phone. And you can too! When I first went looking for video game wallpapers for my phone, I was vaguely aware of what a Live Wallpaper was.

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How To Get The Most From Your Earphones

12th March, 2013

The quest for getting the most from your earphones begins well before you ever buy them. You might be swayed by the fact that such-and-such musician has their name on a certain pair of headphones, or that these particular earphones looks really cute, or dashing, or whatever. Those things just aren’t important and won’t enhance your music listening pleasure. This is all about the sounds and how they move you.

Be a Chrome Ninja

Use Google Chrome Profiles For Greater Productivity & Organization

8th March, 2013

I have the way to make your online activities more productive, more organized, and even safer. That sounds like the beginning of a pitch for some sort of infomercial product, but I’m telling you, this is a fact! With just one piece of software, you can make a good part of your life easier…and possibly more profitable. This is a big deal and best of all, of course, it is free. That’s right – FREE! Just like my favourite kind of meal. Whatever is free.