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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.

1305 Articles
2040 Comments
How To Read Magazines On Your Android Phone Or Tablet

Android

How To Read Magazines On Your Android Phone Or Tablet

I love reading. Given the amount of research I find myself doing here at MakeUseOf that’s not a bad thing, but recently I’ve found my office space becoming encroached with more and more magazines. The obvious solution is to bin them, but then I lose a potentially valuable resource. So it’s time to think outside of the box and choose the second most obvious solution – digital alternatives.

07-11-2012
How To Read Magazines On Your Android Phone Or Tablet
Are Your USB Ports Too Close Together? Here’s How to Fix It!

DIY

Are Your USB Ports Too Close Together? Here’s How to Fix It!

If you’re like me, you probably make good use of USB on your PC, from connecting keyboards and printers to smartphones, USB flash memory, Bluetooth, 3G or Wi-Fi dongles, headsets, game controllers and more. USB is a versatile and easy-to-use connection format, but there is one thing that bugs many people (including me) about it.

02-11-2012
Are Your USB Ports Too Close Together? Here’s How to Fix It!
Can’t Stand The Slowness? The Top 10 Reasons for Poor PC Performance

Windows

Can’t Stand The Slowness? The Top 10 Reasons for Poor PC Performance

Has your computer loaded this webpage yet? If it has, you’ll be halfway toward working out just why it seems to be running so slowly. There are many reasons for desktop and laptops to chug along at their own, slow pace, defying the system specs and performing more like a relic from the 1990s. Where you’re browsing the web, word processing or gaming, poor performance will cause problems.

31-10-2012
Can’t Stand The Slowness? The Top 10 Reasons for Poor PC Performance
Not Enough Juice? Squeeze Your Raspberry Pi By Overclocking

DIY

Not Enough Juice? Squeeze Your Raspberry Pi By Overclocking

If there’s any hardware released in 2012 that you’re likely to fall in love with, it’s the sweet-as-sugar Raspberry Pi, a mini computer designed and built in the UK that has shipped all around the world. Equipped with an ARM processor and capable of running various operating systems, the Raspberry Pi is small enough to fit into a cigarette box and powerful enough to run a home server, media centre and much more.

26-10-2012
Not Enough Juice? Squeeze Your Raspberry Pi By Overclocking
Recycle Old Computer Motherboards As Placemats, Jewellery, Notebook Covers & More

Web Culture

Recycle Old Computer Motherboards As Placemats, Jewellery, Notebook Covers & More

How do you dispose of your old computer hardware? Some people take their old PCs to the local landfill; others wipe the devices and donate them to schools or relatives. I prefer to make as much use as possible from the components. Some can easily be reused, such as optical drives, switches, USB devices, and slot cards. Power packs can also be repurposed after a clean, while fans and heatsinks can often find their way into other computers.

24-10-2012
Recycle Old Computer Motherboards As Placemats, Jewellery, Notebook Covers & More
Optimize The Power Of Your Raspberry Pi With Raspbian

DIY

Optimize The Power Of Your Raspberry Pi With Raspbian

As befits a man with too much tech on his hands, I’ve been playing with my Raspberry Pi recently, configuring the device so that it works to its fullest potential. It continues to run as a media center, although I have no doubt that this use will be added to it in the very near future. However, installing an OS and adding XBMC is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using the RPi.

18-10-2012
Optimize The Power Of Your Raspberry Pi With Raspbian
How To Enjoy Video Game Soundtracks While You Work

Web Culture

How To Enjoy Video Game Soundtracks While You Work

I’ve recently been enjoying the new Guild Wars 2 MMORPG, with its fantastic graphics, overdue revision of the mechanics of RPG combat, thrilling tasks, quests and dungeons and of course the amazing soundtrack by the unrealistically talented Jeremy Soule (once described as the “John Williams of video game music”). His list of credits is immense, covering not only the Guild Wars games but also World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls and Harry Potter.

17-10-2012
How To Enjoy Video Game Soundtracks While You Work
How To Install More Operating Systems On Your HP TouchPad

Android

How To Install More Operating Systems On Your HP TouchPad

Several months ago I turned my very nice tablet, the HP TouchPad, from a pleasant-to-use device into a handheld computing god thanks to the Android CM9 port of Ice Cream Sandwich. Since then, the device has gone from strength to strength, enabling me to enjoy movies and TV with Netflix, listen to the radio and of course play games and even do some work while I spent a week in the south west of England.

12-10-2012
How To Install More Operating Systems On Your HP TouchPad
How To Build Great Video Or Photo Studio Gear With Cheap Household Items

DIY

How To Build Great Video Or Photo Studio Gear With Cheap Household Items

YouTube – it sits there, in your browser, throwing new videos at you from big stars like Rihanna, clips from classic comedies, trailers for new movies and the thoughts of Evelyn Smythe, a history professor from Oxford likes to share her thoughts with the world. It is in this last type of YouTube video that the future of television is at stake.

11-10-2012
How To Build Great Video Or Photo Studio Gear With Cheap Household Items
How To Convert, Rotate & Edit Mobile Phone Videos

Internet

How To Convert, Rotate & Edit Mobile Phone Videos

I was recently searching my hard disk drive looking for a specific video clip recorded at a Christmas party a few years ago. While browsing the resulting clips, I noticed that some wouldn’t play back; others were at the wrong orientation for viewing on a computer, while others needed some serious editing. Fortunately there are many tools available online that can help overcome these problems

10-10-2012
How To Convert, Rotate & Edit Mobile Phone Videos
Some Crazy Ideas for Homemade Cases For The Raspberry Pi

DIY

Some Crazy Ideas for Homemade Cases For The Raspberry Pi

As the owner of a Raspberry Pi, I’ve spent a bit of time looking for a suitable case for my versatile miniature computer. For a time I settled on the popular “punnet” design that other RaspPi users can download, print out and construct from card, but this wasn’t the most ideal solution. While useful, the punnet case wasn’t quite what I was looking for. Instead, I hit the web.

05-10-2012
Some Crazy Ideas for Homemade Cases For The Raspberry Pi
How To Speed Up Steam & Get Games Now

Gaming

How To Speed Up Steam & Get Games Now

I’ve been using Steam for game delivery for some time now. Even when I own physical copies of the games I use the service to download them, safe in the knowledge that the original media is safe. As I write this, I’m fortunate that I have a high speed Internet connection – 50 Mb/s – however it wasn’t always this way. The benefits of optical cables aside, the distance from my home to the local telephone exchange meant that ADSL was never going to offer more than 2 Mb/s.

04-10-2012
How To Speed Up Steam & Get Games Now
Updating Your HP TouchPad: The Next Step

Web Culture

Updating Your HP TouchPad: The Next Step

Over the past few months we’ve looked at how to get the most out of your HP TouchPad, something that invariably means installing Android on the device. This is made possible thanks to the development work of the CyanogenMod team, to whom the many TouchPad owners running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich are all eternally grateful. However, there are a couple of problems with the build as it stands.

28-09-2012
Updating Your HP TouchPad: The Next Step
The Car Of Tomorrow – Today: Top Tools To Put a Computer In Your Car

DIY

The Car Of Tomorrow – Today: Top Tools To Put a Computer In Your Car

It is becoming an increasingly popular pastime to add a new element to cars, a new hub for entertainment, GPS and communications. The carputer seems to have been inspired partly by TV shows such as Knight Rider and movies from the James Bond series as well as the progress of technology in the modern age. But now, anyone can build a car computer!

21-09-2012
The Car Of Tomorrow – Today: Top Tools To Put a Computer In Your Car
How To Make Sure Windows 7 Will Boot After Changing The Motherboard

Windows

How To Make Sure Windows 7 Will Boot After Changing The Motherboard

How many times have you installed copies of Windows on a computer following a major hardware change? A case in point is probably Windows XP – although flexible, popular and easy to use, the operating system wasn’t great at dealing with hardware changes, in particular new motherboards. This shouldn’t come as any surprise, really.

19-09-2012
How To Make Sure Windows 7 Will Boot After Changing The Motherboard
Using A Tiny SSD? Slim Down Windows 7 With Minimal Installs

Windows

Using A Tiny SSD? Slim Down Windows 7 With Minimal Installs

How big is your hard disk drive? 80 GB? 300 GB? 5 TB? You might well have more than enough space, but if you own a device with a small SSD – perhaps a netbook, for instance – there is very little to worry about. There are several tools and tricks that you can use to make sure that the OS runs efficiently and without filling your SSD (or indeed any other small storage device).

14-09-2012
Using A Tiny SSD? Slim Down Windows 7 With Minimal Installs
How To Setup Gmail Accounts On Windows Phone

How To Setup Gmail Accounts On Windows Phone

Due to a severe spam issue (and to take the storage load away from my PC) I decided to migrate my email accounts to Google Mail. This has had an interesting effect on my ability to collect messages on my Windows Phone. While it isn’t a problem to set up a Gmail account if your email address ends in @gmail.com, the situation is a little different for Windows Phone users if they’re trying to access an email service that uses Google Mail but has its own domain name.

13-09-2012
How To Setup Gmail Accounts On Windows Phone
How To Make Your Raspberry Pi Into a Home Theater System

DIY

How To Make Your Raspberry Pi Into a Home Theater System

Four weeks on and I’ve been playing with my Raspberry Pi in various ways, from using it to browse the web and standard day-to-day computing tasks to playing around with the various configurations that are possible for networking (Ethernet vs USB wireless). But is there an ultimate point to this device, or will it remain a curiosity on my shelf, to be switched on whenever a useful purpose rears its head?

12-09-2012
How To Make Your Raspberry Pi Into a Home Theater System
Things You Should Keep In Mind Before Taking Your Laptop Or Smartphone To Tech Support

DIY

Things You Should Keep In Mind Before Taking Your Laptop Or Smartphone To Tech Support

Given that some of these employees were among the most intelligent people in the country, the way in which they misused their devices was astonishing, from general irresponsible behaviour concerning the devices (drops, scratches, broken screens, etc.) to leaving material saved or even open on the desktop that you certainly wouldn’t show to your grandmother. As for the confidential information that sat open an ALT+TAB away…

07-09-2012
Things You Should Keep In Mind Before Taking Your Laptop Or Smartphone To Tech Support
Windows 8 In Daily Use: What Is It Really Like?

Windows

Windows 8 In Daily Use: What Is It Really Like?

You hate Windows 8, don’t you? You’ve never used it, you haven’t even seen it in action (other than via a few YouTube videos) but you hate it. It’s pointless, it’s ugly, it’s unwieldy… you know all of these things, yet you haven’t used it. Perhaps, just perhaps, you’ve been misinformed. I’ve been running Windows 8 for several months now in its various pre-release versions and I can tell you right here, right now, that it really isn’t all that bad.

06-09-2012
Windows 8 In Daily Use: What Is It Really Like?