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Headshot of MakeUseOf Writer, Christian Cawley

Christian Cawley

Deputy Editor / Joined 2 December, 2011

Christian Cawley is Deputy Editor for Security, Linux, DIY, Programming, and Tech Explained. He also produces The Really Useful Podcast and has extensive experience in desktop and software support. A contributor to Linux Format magazine, Christian is a Raspberry Pi tinkerer, Lego lover and retro gaming fan.

1157 Articles
2041 Comments
The 10 Best Twitter Feeds To Follow

Internet

The 10 Best Twitter Feeds To Follow

There are an awful lot of guides out there listing the so-called best feeds to follow on Twitter. Narrowing down a list of the ten best feeds can be tricky. There are so many users, so many fascinating topics – presenting only ten is barely scratching the surface of Twitter utopia. So my approach has been this – I like MakeUseOf, you like MakeUseOf – so there is a very good chance that you’ll like some or all of these Twitter feeds.

23-05-2012
The 10 Best Twitter Feeds To Follow
Why I Haven’t Repaired My Xbox 360 and Probably Won’t

Gaming

Why I Haven’t Repaired My Xbox 360 and Probably Won’t

In the corner of my room, collecting dust, sits the component pieces of my Xbox 360. Purchased as a Christmas present for me and my better half in mid-2007, it has been in a state of disrepair since Christmas 2011 when it decided that – for one reason or another – it didn’t want to play anymore. As most of you reading this will know, most Xbox 360s from that era came with certain… “issues”.

18-05-2012
Why I Haven’t Repaired My Xbox 360 and Probably Won’t
How To Restore Data Following A Failed Windows Phone Update

How To Restore Data Following A Failed Windows Phone Update

Updating a Windows Phone should be a pretty straightforward process. Sadly, however, the process doesn’t always work as intended; updates can fail. In most cases when an update fails and with no usable data on the device, your phone will be more or less bricked.
Fortunately, there is a way around this problem.

17-05-2012
How To Restore Data Following A Failed Windows Phone Update
Steps To Downloading & Managing Your Podcasts With The Zune Client

Windows

Steps To Downloading & Managing Your Podcasts With The Zune Client

Have you ever run into problems using iTunes or any other podcast-downloading app, concerned that they either do too much or seem to take a while to load up? Perhaps you use Windows Media Player or a different desktop application and have been looking for an alternative? You might even be using a Windows Phone and are already familiar with using Zune. But did you know that Zune can also be used for managing podcasts?

16-05-2012
Steps To Downloading & Managing Your Podcasts With The Zune Client
How To Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HP TouchPad In Minutes

Android

How To Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HP TouchPad In Minutes

As slick, smooth and functional as webOS is on the HP TouchPad, and wherever the future of the platform may lie, there remains a problem – the shortage of apps. The fact remains that there are a whole host of application types and games that could run on the HP TouchPad, if only the developers had a mind to do so. HP TouchPad owners (and there are a lot of us!) have one alternative…..

10-05-2012
How To Install Android Ice Cream Sandwich On The HP TouchPad In Minutes
The Top 10 Free Or Very Cheap Inspirational eBooks [MUO Book Club]

Internet

The Top 10 Free Or Very Cheap Inspirational eBooks [MUO Book Club]

Reading novels and manuals on your favourite eBook reader is a great way to relax – but what if you need something with an empathising quality that can help you to get out of a rut? Inspirational and motivational books have been big business since the 1960s, illustrating to readers how to take control of the lives in various ways from sexuality and self-sufficiency to getting ahead of the 9-5 pack and weight loss.

09-05-2012
The Top 10 Free Or Very Cheap Inspirational eBooks [MUO Book Club]
How To Add, Receive, Create & Manage Custom Ringtones For Your Windows Phone

-HIDDEN

How To Add, Receive, Create & Manage Custom Ringtones For Your Windows Phone

One of the most frustrating things for users of the Windows Phone platform upon its first release was the inability to set custom ringtones. Fortunately this is one of the areas in which the Mango update (officially known as Windows Phone 7.5) was able to improve the operating system, and as a result it is now possible to add ringtones for incoming calls. There are several ways of doing this.

04-05-2012
How To Add, Receive, Create & Manage Custom Ringtones For Your Windows Phone
How To Connect To Your Terminal Server With Windows Mobile

Windows

How To Connect To Your Terminal Server With Windows Mobile

One of the benefits of using operating systems from the same company is that they have a certain level of compatibility. What this means is that it should be an easy task to connect to a Windows server with a Windows computer and check what is going on, using Terminal Services or its successor Remote Desktop. This compatibility goes beyond desktop devices however.

03-05-2012
How To Connect To Your Terminal Server With Windows Mobile
The Easiest Way To Scan Old Slides With A Flatbed Scanner

Web Culture

The Easiest Way To Scan Old Slides With A Flatbed Scanner

Everyone enjoys a good photograph, but over the last few years, images have migrated from paper to screen as portable electronic devices have become more popular. It is now quite unusual to find anyone viewing a physical photo album, and many have spent hours scanning photographs to save to disc. In the furious rush to digitize everything that was once physical, you will probably find that slides are particularly difficult to deal with.

02-05-2012
The Easiest Way To Scan Old Slides With A Flatbed Scanner
6 Things You Can Do To Secure Your WordPress From Hackers

Wordpress & Web Development

6 Things You Can Do To Secure Your WordPress From Hackers

Somewhere out there is a list with your blog’s name on it, where it sits, waiting to be targeted by hackers. When they get around to your blog, they’ll try various tactics to gain access to it. Fortunately, there are various ways in which you can protect your WordPress blog from hackers.

27-04-2012
6 Things You Can Do To Secure Your WordPress From Hackers
How To Force An Update On Your Windows Phone

Internet

How To Force An Update On Your Windows Phone

When it was first released, Windows Phone was a new mobile platform that looked and felt great, but wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders. Despite the then current state of the smartphone market, the decision was made to release a mobile operating system that was missing a few key features and APIs. If your Windows Phone hasn’t been blessed with the NoDo or Mango updates as yet, then you’re clearly missing out on some excellent functionality.

26-04-2012
How To Force An Update On Your Windows Phone
Do Nigerian Scam Emails Hide A Terrible Secret? [Opinion]

Internet

Do Nigerian Scam Emails Hide A Terrible Secret? [Opinion]

Another day, another spam email drops into my inbox, somehow working its way around the Windows Live spam filter that does such a good job of protecting my eyes from all of the other unsolicited bobbins. Naturally, the message comes from a Nigerian citizen, a legal representative of a deposed prince who would like to pay me to hide some ill-gotten gains in my bank account.

19-04-2012
Do Nigerian Scam Emails Hide A Terrible Secret? [Opinion]
Easily Automate Bulk Screen Captures With The Free KMPlayer

Internet

Easily Automate Bulk Screen Captures With The Free KMPlayer

As the editor of several TV and movie-based websites, it often comes in handy to be able to grab images from video clips. Now of course there are many ways to do this (using VideoLan’s VLC Player is my favourite) but so far I’ve only found one method in which to grab tens, hundreds or even thousands of captures from a clip with a single mouse click. Fortunately, the results are spectacular.

18-04-2012
Easily Automate Bulk Screen Captures With The Free KMPlayer
4 Great Free Multimedia Cloud Apps [Windows Phone 7]

4 Great Free Multimedia Cloud Apps [Windows Phone 7]

Cloud computing is becoming ever more popular and important to desktop and mobile operating systems alike. We’ve previously looked at how Windows 8 will integrate with cloud services, but how does its mobile brother, Windows Phone 7, deal with this method of storage? Remarkably well, in fact. By default, Windows Phone owners must set up a Windows Live account with their phones.

13-04-2012
4 Great Free Multimedia Cloud Apps [Windows Phone 7]
Begin The Fight Back Against Toolbar Installer Bloatware! [Opinion]

Browsers

Begin The Fight Back Against Toolbar Installer Bloatware! [Opinion]

Recently I had cause to install some free video conversion software and was amazed to find so many attempts to fool me into installing additional software, not to mention attempts to upsell at the end of the installation wizard. It’s getting to be beyond a joke now, with every other free (and sometimes trial) app or utility having these irritating options built in. But what is worse is the presumption that I want to install these options by default.

12-04-2012
Begin The Fight Back Against Toolbar Installer Bloatware! [Opinion]
The Top 10 Free Or Very Cheap eBook Thrillers [MUO Book Club]

Internet

The Top 10 Free Or Very Cheap eBook Thrillers [MUO Book Club]

You’ll be hard pressed to find any long distance journey where none of the passengers are reading a thriller. This type of novel – packed with suspense, tension and excitement – has become a staple of literature over the past 100 years, with crime thrillers, political thrillers, mystery, psychological and paranoid thrillers all vying for attention on bookstore shelves.

11-04-2012
The Top 10 Free Or Very Cheap eBook Thrillers [MUO Book Club]
5 Signs That Twitter May Be Over Capacity

Internet

5 Signs That Twitter May Be Over Capacity

Twitter’s amazing ability to connect people through a browser, custom application or even SMS text messaging is an amazing and compelling aspect of online life. With Twitter you can promote websites and bands, find a job, even generate income in various ways. Its limit of 140 characters forces brevity and relevance among its serious users (although this doesn’t stop people spouting rubbish!).

06-04-2012
5 Signs That Twitter May Be Over Capacity
3 Methods To Extract The Audio From Video Files

Windows

3 Methods To Extract The Audio From Video Files

Perhaps you’re podcasting or your requirements for ripping the audio from a video clip might be rooted in a more artistic activity such as video editing. Either way, the matter of isolating the audio track from video files can be tricky to achieve. Fortunately there are various approaches you can take, either using your PC or employing a second device.

05-04-2012
3 Methods To Extract The Audio From Video Files
The 5 Top Windows Phone Instant Messaging Options

The 5 Top Windows Phone Instant Messaging Options

One of the most important uses for a mobile phone is messaging. Whether you’re thinking of SMS text messaging, email or online instant messaging networks, being able to communicate with others by typing rather than speaking has been an essential feature since the 1990s. Windows Phone has several instant messaging options available.

04-04-2012
The 5 Top Windows Phone Instant Messaging Options
A Brief Guide To The Secrets Of The Windows 8 User Interface

Windows

A Brief Guide To The Secrets Of The Windows 8 User Interface

For most users, Windows 8 will come as something of a surprise when it is released, thanks to the unusual implementation of the Metro UI. If you’re not inclined to make use of whatever methods are available to disable Metro, you will be left with attempting to understand the tile-based user interface.

30-03-2012
A Brief Guide To The Secrets Of The Windows 8 User Interface
A Case For Putting An End To Low Quality, Third Party Mobile Accessories

Product Reviews

A Case For Putting An End To Low Quality, Third Party Mobile Accessories

The threats facing mobile phones have become so numerous that manufacturers have started providing cases with the devices. Sadly these are little more than an afterthought – something that is particularly ridiculous when you consider the importance of these accessories. Which begs the question, why do manufacturers bother giving us free but useless, cheap cases?

29-03-2012
A Case For Putting An End To Low Quality, Third Party Mobile Accessories
Accessing The Cloud With Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Windows

Accessing The Cloud With Windows 8 Consumer Preview

One of the key aspects in which Windows 8 differs from previous releases is its provision of access to cloud storage, particularly SkyDrive. While earlier versions of Windows require you to access SkyDrive via your browser or Windows Live Mesh, in Windows 8 you can browse it as readily as you would any local drive.

23-03-2012
Accessing The Cloud With Windows 8 Consumer Preview