Articles tagged: bestof

How to Monitor Network Activity and Speed up Your Machine’s Connection

Process Monitor is a powerful tool and it can be used to track down exactly what program on your machine is responsible for internet activity.

Why won’t some files defrag?

When you defrag files the pieces of the file are physically arranged for quicker access. But you can’t defrag some files. At least, not easily.

Do I Need a Computer Memory Upgrade?

A computer memory upgrade can be an easy and inexpensive way to improve system performance, but how do you know if an upgrade is called for?

How Do I Boot from CD/DVD?

Most computers with a CD or DVD drive can boot from that drive, but it frequently takes a small configuration change in the computer’s BIOS.

What for-pay email providers do you recommend?

People often use free email providers for critical data only to lose everything when a problem occurs. So what do you look for in an email provider?

How can I find out what program keeps popping up in my taskbar and disappearing before I can click on it?

It’s not uncommon to see programs quickly come and go. There are a few ways to try and capture what they are; some technical, and some innovative.

How can I make my computer run faster?

The most effective way to speed up a system is to clean it up, have it run fewer programs, and give it more resources like RAM.

Why Would a Website’s Automatic Sign-in Suddenly Stop Working?

A website’s automatic sign-in may suddenly stop working when cookies are deleted from your machine.

I’ve Lost the Password to My Windows Administrator Account. How Do I Get it Back?

It turns out that resetting your Windows account password is frighteningly easy as long as you have physical access to the machine.

What Are ISO files, and How Do I Open Them?

ISO files are a common disk image distribution format. We’ll look at the best ways to open ISO files, as well as a couple of ways to create them.

I’m Drowning in Spam. What Can I Do?

Sometimes, it seems like spam is a tidal wave of junk that threatens to make email completely unusable. While you can’t stop spam, you can manage it very well with a good spam filter.

What’s the Difference Between Memory and Hard Disk Space?

The difference between the various types of things we might call “memory” is a fundamental concept that’s often confused. I’ll review the basics.

I Don’t Have Installation Media for Windows. What If I Need It?

At some point, you’re going to need your Windows installation CD/DVD. If you don’t have it, you could be severely out of luck. I’ll review alternatives.

How Do I Deal with One Email Account on Two Machines?

There are various options to access one email account from multiple computers, and there are pros and cons to each.

How can I track what programs come and go on my machine?

Windows is constantly starting and stopping programs as part of its normal operations. You can see exactly what programs are being run using a Windows technique called process auditing.

My webmaster left. What do I do?

If your webmaster leaves unexpectedly, you can have a lot of trouble getting access to your own website. I’ll review some of the things that you need to do to prepare – just in case.

Why do some people get 60 copies of messages I forward?

We’ll try to isolate the reason your forwards are getting multiplied, and then look at the only way to really stop the problem once and for all!

How Can Newsletter Senders Tell that I Haven’t Opened a Newsletter?

It is not reliably possible to determine if an email has been read or opened. They keyword there is reliably. There are techniques that get some information, but it’s impossible to be 100% accurate.

Where is my Outlook “PST” file located?

Outlook’s PST or Personal STore is a single file that holds your email, contacts, and more. You can use Outlook itself to find the location of the file.

Is There Software that Will Transform Poor Quality Images and Videos?

You can’t add data to an image to make it better, but there are some tricks that can make it visually more appealing.

Monitoring Your System with Resource Monitor

Resource Monitor is a helpful little system resource examination tool that doesn’t get nearly the press it deserves. I’ll review what it can do.

Are Silent Background Updates a Good Thing?

In my opinion, background updates are awesome. I love that Chrome is always up to date without my ever even having to think about it. Let’s look at why.

What’s the difference between an ad and your recommendation?

Advertisements, just like in newspapers or magazines, are nothing more than rented space on a page and should never be confused with recommendations.

I Have Constant Disk Activity and I Don’t Know Why. How Can I Tell What Program Is Doing It?

Unexplained disk activity turns out to be fairly easy to identify with the right tools. We’ll use Process Monitor to track disk activity.

Checking and Repairing a Disk with CHKDSK

The Windows system utility CHKDSK is a powerful and useful tool in diagnosing and repairing certain types of disk problems. I’ll review several ways to run it, and try and describe what it does.

How Do Those Ads Know Where I Live?

There are several ways websites can reasonably approximate your location and serve up ads specific to locale. We’ll look at each.

Uninstalling Software You Don’t Need

One way to reclaim space (and occasionally even performance) is to uninstall software you don’t need. I’ll review two important places to help you do just that.

What is DHCP?

DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, and is how computers request and receive “dynamic” IP addresses as well as additional configuration information.

Should I Use Windows File Compression?

Windows File Compression automatically compresses files so they take up less space. In the best of circumstances, it can free up a lot of space, but all too frequently it’s not as much as you might expect, and there is a cost.

Why Shouldn’t I Forward this Email Asking Me to “Forward to Everyone I Know”?

Every few days, we get forwarded email warning us about everything from lost children to free money. They’re mostly bogus, and known as urban legends.

How Can I Find a Good Web Host?

Where to host your website depends on what kind of a website it is. Options range from free to expensive based on your needs.

What’s a .DAT File?

DAT files are used by many different applications. To know what to do with a DAT file, you need to know which application created it.

Just What Are Windows 7’s “Libraries” and How Do They Work?

Libraries are a feature added to Windows 7 that allow multiple folders to viewed as if they are one. It’s not new, but it can be very confusing.

Do Desktop or Laptop Platforms Really Matter any More?

As platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux have all matured, the differences in fundamental capabilities are getting smaller – in many cases, small enough that which one you choose can often boil down to simple personal preference.

How Does NAT Work?

NAT is a fundamental technology used by routers allowing you to share internet connections and stay safe. I’ll give a conceptual overview.

Why is my email being immediately deleted?

Every so often, anti-malware software can go a little nuts, thinking that every email that you get is spam or a virus. Turn that scanning feature off.

How Do I Protect My Email Address Book?

With email account hacking on the rise, it’s important to understand what it takes to keep your account (and its address book) safe from compromise.

Is My Information Safe in the Cloud?

‘The Cloud’ is the latest buzzword for internet-based services. Before diving in, it’s important to understand a few things about cloud security.

Why Are Electronic Greeting Cards a Bad Idea?

Electronic greeting cards, or ecards, seem like a nice idea, but often end up giving the recipient more than you intended, in the form of spam or worse.

Someone’s Sending Email that Looks Like it’s from Me to My Contacts, What Can I Do?

If your contacts are getting email from you that you didn’t send, then it’s very likely that your email account has been compromised.

How Do I Get Wireless Internet?

You hear a lot about the wireless internet, but it’s not something you can just connect to anywhere. It’s more often something you purchase and set up.

Thunderbird – A Free, Open Source, and Powerful Email Client

Thunderbird is a robust and powerful email program that can meet the needs of both light and power users. I use it all day every day.

What’s the Difference Between “Plain Text” and “HTML” Email?

Email can be sent in several formats, the most common being plain text and HTML. We’ll look at the difference, and which might be preferable.

Could the Microsoft Servers be Infected?

It’s tempting to blame the mail service for account hacks and vulnerabilities, but in fact that’s rarely the case. Much more likely is that hackers gained access to individual accounts through more traditional means.

Can I Check a Download for Viruses before I Download It?

Files cannot be checked for viruses before being downloaded, but there are precautions you can and should take.

Why are internet petitions a bad idea?

Internet and on-line petitions seem like a quick and easy way to make a statement. Unfortunately at best they’re ineffectual, and at worst they do real harm.

Why shouldn’t I post my email address in a public forum?

Spammers and internet trolls harvest email addresses via a variety of means. One of the most common is to simply surf the web and look for anything that might look like one.

What Is Javascript and Why Do I Need It?

Javascript is a programming language that operates important features on many websites.

How do I resolve my problem with appcompat.txt?

Here’s what to do when you see appcompat.txt.

Why do the changes I’ve made to a document that was emailed to me disappear?

Due to complexity of attachments in emails, changes you’ve made to a document that was emailed to you can disappear.