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Ryan Dube

Senior Writer / Joined 13 December, 2008

Ryan has a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering. He's worked 13 years in automation engineering, 5 years in IT, and now is an Apps Engineer. A former Managing Editor of MakeUseOf, he's spoken at national conferences on Data Visualization and has been featured on national TV and radio.

989 Articles
1442 Comments
Using Microsoft Word? Here’s How To Become a Time-Saving Ninja

Windows

Using Microsoft Word? Here’s How To Become a Time-Saving Ninja

Over the years, Microsoft Word has become one of the best word processors in the world. I’m sure there are people out there that disagree – particularly Linux or Mac folks who would really rather not give Microsoft so much credit. But, lets face it, Microsoft has established a very large foothold in this area, and they’ve evolved Microsoft Word over the years to the point where it is extremely efficient and easy to use.

06-12-2012
Using Microsoft Word? Here’s How To Become a Time-Saving Ninja
Become a Wolfram Alpha Expert With These Useful Search Techniques

Internet

Become a Wolfram Alpha Expert With These Useful Search Techniques

Wolfram Alpha. For anyone that has never used it or heard of it, it sounds like the name of one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For people familiar with it, it’s like having access to that magical hand-held device Dr. Sam Beckett had in the popular TV show Quantum Leap, that was linked to the computer known as Ziggy. In fact, it’s almost identical to Ziggy. In the show, Ziggy was ultra-specific to the point of being too literal at times.

05-12-2012
Become a Wolfram Alpha Expert With These Useful Search Techniques
6 Tech-Savvy Charities To Give Back This Holiday Season

Internet

6 Tech-Savvy Charities To Give Back This Holiday Season

Regardless of religion or belief, the one common theme that runs throughout all of the end-of-the-year celebrations throughout the world is the idea of slowing down a little bit and showing the fellow humans who we share this planet with, that the world still contains people who care.

30-11-2012
6 Tech-Savvy Charities To Give Back This Holiday Season
What Is a Web Server? [MakeUseOf Explains]

Technology Explained

What Is a Web Server? [MakeUseOf Explains]

If there is one thing that causes the most confusion for people that are new to the web design game, it’s the concept of a web server. When most people think of a “server”, they think of a physical machine like a big computer system sitting in some chilled computer room somewhere, or at the very least some computer system sitting in the basement of some hackers house. The truth is that a server in this sense is technically software.

29-11-2012
What Is a Web Server? [MakeUseOf Explains]
3 Reasons Why You Never Forget Your First Computer

Web Culture

3 Reasons Why You Never Forget Your First Computer

I think for geeks, that first computer is a little bit like a first love. You remember it longingly, even though it isn’t anything that would make you at all happy today. It has nothing that you need at this point in your life, but you still remember all of those feelings. Those emotions that felt so strong and so powerful back then. Yes, for geeks, our first computer is just like that.

28-11-2012
3 Reasons Why You Never Forget Your First Computer
Five Fascinating Uses for Google Maps & Earth

Internet

Five Fascinating Uses for Google Maps & Earth

I think there can be little doubt that writers here at MakeUseOf really love Google Maps and Google Earth. We’ve written about them extensively, such as John’s Google Maps mashups article or Ann’s article on historical mashups using Google Maps. There are a lot of really cool things that programmers can do with Google mapping tools. This was the case over five years ago, and it’s still the case today.

23-11-2012
Five Fascinating Uses for Google Maps & Earth
Keep Log & Temp Files Under Control With This Windows Script

Windows

Keep Log & Temp Files Under Control With This Windows Script

I’ve spent a lot of time helping out friends and family with their computer issues, and I have to say that above all other problems, the one issue that I see come up again and again are temp files and log files eating up shrinking disk space and eventually bogging down the system. The temporary Internet files folder is a common culprit, but that’s one that has an easily solution.

21-11-2012
Keep Log & Temp Files Under Control With This Windows Script
How To Easily Track Your Incoming Links With PrettyLinks

Wordpress & Web Development

How To Easily Track Your Incoming Links With PrettyLinks

Having a popular blog or website can be fantastic, and one of the most popular ways that many people opt to inject a bit of adrenaline into their traffic numbers is by either purchasing advertising space on other websites or ad networks, or otherwise getting either an ad or a banner published on other websites throughout the Internet.

16-11-2012
How To Easily Track Your Incoming Links With PrettyLinks
Run Your Own Bustling Apartment Building With Tiny Tower [Android & iOS]

Android iPhone and iPad

Run Your Own Bustling Apartment Building With Tiny Tower [Android & iOS]

One game that I stumbled upon and almost passed by is a vintage-looking game called Tiny Tower. Picture the sort of animation that you probably would have seen on a Nintendo-era game, but with a sort of fast-paced and mind-challenging organizational challenge of any number of Facebook games of today. It is clearly a time management game. It’s like Diner Dash meets Sim Tower, and it is highly addictive.

15-11-2012
Run Your Own Bustling Apartment Building With Tiny Tower [Android & iOS]
Is Bing Better Than Google Search? We Find Out

Internet

Is Bing Better Than Google Search? We Find Out

By many accounts, Bing is really giving Google a run for its money. On November 6th of this year, the Guardian reported that Google’s search share in the UK dipped under 90% as Bing’s share continued to climb. Now, I’ve always been one to cheer for the underdog, mostly because I never like the see the formation of a monopoly. However, is this really about real competition? Does Bing really have what it takes to go head-to-head and win against Google?

14-11-2012
Is Bing Better Than Google Search? We Find Out
Which Big Company Has The Best Tech Support? MakeUseOf Finds Out

Internet

Which Big Company Has The Best Tech Support? MakeUseOf Finds Out

There are few things in life that bother me more than bad customer service. Between suffering through automated menus, trying to communication with people whose accent is undecipherable, and voice recognition systems that make me feel as though I must be talking in a foreign language – I dread calling customer support, I really do.

02-11-2012
Which Big Company Has The Best Tech Support? MakeUseOf Finds Out
3D Design for Daily Life: How to Plan a Home DIY Project With Sketchup

Windows

3D Design for Daily Life: How to Plan a Home DIY Project With Sketchup

Doing a home improvement project on your own isn’t always a simple matter. Sometimes it seems simple enough when you get started, but before you know it, you realize that if you had just taken proper measurements and planned out your renovation in a little more detail ahead of time, it would have saved a whole lot of headache. Since I happen to have a DIY project that I’m planning out this year, I needed a program that would help me plan out the entire project.

31-10-2012
3D Design for Daily Life: How to Plan a Home DIY Project With Sketchup
Help Make The World Better With These Amazing Distributed Computing Projects

Internet

Help Make The World Better With These Amazing Distributed Computing Projects

Years ago, I wrote an article about donating your CPU time to science – taking advantage of an Internet computing model known as distributed computing. In that article, I discussed some of the cool projects you could devote your computer’s CPU time to, including things like defending against bio-terrorism, fighting cancer, and supporting nanotechnology. In fact, I ran a few of those projects for quite a while after writing that article.

26-10-2012
Help Make The World Better With These Amazing Distributed Computing Projects
Interesting World Simulations For Predicting The Future & Understanding Society

Internet

Interesting World Simulations For Predicting The Future & Understanding Society

Lots of people are very concerned about issues that affect their local communities, and maybe even their country, but are you the kind of person that’s actually also very concerned about the entire world itself? It is very clear to people how certain things like the economy, industry, pollution and population directly affects elements of the local community.

25-10-2012
Interesting World Simulations For Predicting The Future & Understanding Society
How To Automate Your Android Smartphone To Do Just About Anything

Android

How To Automate Your Android Smartphone To Do Just About Anything

Having a smartphone can make your life a whole lot more convenient. When you’re lost, it can help you find your way home. When you’re in a strange town that you don’t know and want to find a good restaurant or a gas station to fill your tank, your smartphone is there. With all of its wonder and conveniences, sometimes smartphones and tablets can also be a little bit clunky to use.

24-10-2012
How To Automate Your Android Smartphone To Do Just About Anything
Track & Predict The Path Of Satellites Live Using Gpredict [Windows]

Windows

Track & Predict The Path Of Satellites Live Using Gpredict [Windows]

I have to admit that I’m a sucker for cool, high-tech displays that constantly update with interesting data in real-time. It’s one reason that I wrote about real-time display widgets and tried to use those to create a whole page filled with cool looking do-hickeys with data and graphics scrolling across. My obsession with visual data also transformed into the article on visualizations.

17-10-2012
Track & Predict The Path Of Satellites Live Using Gpredict [Windows]
How To Make Sure Windows System Restore Works When You Need It

Windows

How To Make Sure Windows System Restore Works When You Need It

System restore is not an automatic feature in Windows 7. Usually it is enabled when you’ve purchased a new system, but after running updates, installing system tools or running any other list of tasks that might turn it off – you could very well be running your computer without any restore protections whatsoever. So, how can you be absolutely certain that your Windows system restore utility is working as intended? Read on.

12-10-2012
How To Make Sure Windows System Restore Works When You Need It
6 Steps You Need To Take To Fortify Your Online Presence

Internet

6 Steps You Need To Take To Fortify Your Online Presence

These days, online safety feels like an overwhelming and complicated endeavor. Whether you’re answering e-mails, browsing the Internet, downloading music or buying things online, it seems like there are dangers everywhere you turn. You’ve got hackers trying to install keyloggers on your computer, shady characters attempting to intercept your Internet traffic, and criminals attempting to hack into your bank or Paypal account. With all of these threats, what on Earth is a regular user to do?

10-10-2012
6 Steps You Need To Take To Fortify Your Online Presence
Take Handwritten Notes Online or Offline With SuperNote for Android

Android

Take Handwritten Notes Online or Offline With SuperNote for Android

I tested out a number of device-based note-taking apps, and eventually settled on the one that I consider the best of the best, called SuperNote. Don’t bother checking Google Play for the app – it was originally rolled out with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime as part of the Android 3.2.1 Honeycomb update. Other devices running the latest Honeycomb have the exclusive SuperNote app. It is very cool, and in many ways it actually blows even Evernote out of the water.

06-10-2012
Take Handwritten Notes Online or Offline With SuperNote for Android
Comparing Evernote to OneNote on an Android Phone

Android

Comparing Evernote to OneNote on an Android Phone

It’s no secret that folks at MUO really like note-taking apps. Evernote in particular has become a favorite for a lot of people. It’s constantly mentioned around the net as one of the best note-taking apps both for the desktop platforms as well as the various mobile platforms out there. You can get it for Windows, Mac and for iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone. But is it the be all and end all note taking app? Is it really best for everything?

04-10-2012
Comparing Evernote to OneNote on an Android Phone
The Internet & The World Wide Web Are Not the Same Thing [MakeUseOf Explains]

Internet

The Internet & The World Wide Web Are Not the Same Thing [MakeUseOf Explains]

The two terms “Internet” and “World Wide Web” have been used interchangeably ever since the Internet itself became a household “utility” as common as electricity or cable TV. People talk about “surfing the web” and “searching the Internet” like the two terms are one and the same. Are you one of those people? It may be surprising for a lot of people to learn that the basic foundation of the two terms are very distinct.

03-10-2012
The Internet & The World Wide Web Are Not the Same Thing [MakeUseOf Explains]
How To Video Chat Between An Android Phone And A PC

Android

How To Video Chat Between An Android Phone And A PC

Chatting with mobile phones is nothing new. Folks have been using instant messaging on their mobile phones almost as long as there have been mobile phones. When it comes to video chatting, you’re looking at a whole different set of choices. I’ve run through about 5 different apps that promise to deliver video chatting well, but narrowed it down to two that actually do.

29-09-2012
How To Video Chat Between An Android Phone And A PC
In Danger? No Phone Signal? Using Morse Code with Your Smartphone [Android]

Android

In Danger? No Phone Signal? Using Morse Code with Your Smartphone [Android]

Getting lost in the forest is a scary feeling. Yes, I speak from experience. When I was about twelve years old, my dad and I got turned around in the forest behind our house, just after twilight set in. We ended up about 150 yards from the ATV we’d driven into the woods with, as well as the trail that would lead us home. We made it home that night, but ever since then I never forgot the feeling of realizing that I was lost.

27-09-2012
In Danger? No Phone Signal? Using Morse Code with Your Smartphone [Android]
The Internet Isn’t Really Free – Who Is Censoring It & Why

Internet

The Internet Isn’t Really Free – Who Is Censoring It & Why

In any free, democratic society, citizens take pride in the fact that they have free access to information. This is true in many countries, where citizens have won hard-fought battles for independence. It is something that is sacred here in the U.S. where I live. However, the idea that the Internet is completely free – a wide-open source of all sides of any argument – is actually a farce.

26-09-2012
The Internet Isn’t Really Free – Who Is Censoring It & Why