Microsoft Edge Wants to Give You a Loan

Microsoft is always trying new stuff with its Edge browser, and its latest move is rather interesting. Rather than going through a retailer, Edge will offer a buy now, pay later (BNPL) option on the browser level. | Continue reading | 11 days ago

Windows 11 Makes It Hard to Change Your Default Web Browser

Windows 11 comes with Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft really doesn’t want you using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or anything else as your default web browser. Sure, you can still change your default browser—if you want to jump through some extra hoops. | Continue reading | 11 days ago

Microsoft making it difficult to set default browser

Windows 11 lets you choose your default browser, but it takes a lot of clicks and Microsoft sometimes forces you to use Edge, anyway. Firefox had a workaround, but Microsoft calls it “improper” and will soon block it. | Continue reading | 13 days ago

First commercial video game 50 years ago (October 15, 1971)

Fifty years ago—on October 15, 1971—Nutting Associates debuted the first-ever commercial video game for sale: Computer Space, a coin-operated arcade machine. Unlike arcade games before it, it utilized a TV set for a display—and it launched the video game industry. Here’s what it … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Firefox Now Sends Your Address Bar Keystrokes to Mozilla

Firefox now sends more data than you might think to Mozilla. To power Firefox Suggest, Firefox sends the keystrokes you type into your address bar, your location information, and more to Mozilla’s servers. Here’s exactly what Firefox is sharing and how to control it. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Firefox is getting ads in your search bar

In a move that’s sure to make no one happy, Firefox is getting sponsored address bar suggestions. This is sure to upset many Firefox users, and it’ll be interesting to see what the move does to Mozilla’s market share in the browser space. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Mozilla Says Chrome’s Latest Feature Enables Surveillance

Chrome 94 has officially dropped. As is always the case with a new browser version, there’s plenty to be excited about. However, there are also some items to be skeptical about, including a feature Mozilla claims enables surveillance on you. | Continue reading | 2 months ago

How to Take Full Page Screenshots in Google Chrome Without Using an Extension

Google Chrome has a hidden feature tucked away inside Developer Tools that lets you take full-sized screenshots of any web page. This feature captures the entirety of a page, similar to a scrolling screenshot, without the use of a third-party extension. | Continue reading | 2 months ago

Why Linux Doesn’t Need Defragmenting (2016)

If you’re a Linux user, you’ve probably heard that you don’t need to defragment your Linux file systems. You’ll also notice that Linux distributions don’t come with disk-defragmenting utilities. But why is that? | Continue reading | 2 months ago

The EU Wants a Universal Mobile Charger, but Apple Doesn’t

According to a report from Reuters, the EU is proposing legislation that all devices come with a common mobile charger in September. This move would affect Apple the most, as it uses Lightning cables, while most Android phones use UBC-C. As you might expect, Apple objects to this … | Continue reading | 3 months ago

“The Print Shop” Turned People into Banner Wizards in the 1980s

In 1984, Brøderbund Software released “The Print Shop,” a pioneering desktop publishing app that allowed anyone with a PC to easily make large banners, signs, and greeting cards at home for the first time. Here’s what made it special. | Continue reading | 4 months ago

From Idea to Icon: 50 Years of the Floppy Disk

Fifty years ago, IBM introduced the first-ever floppy disk drive, the IBM 23FD, and the first floppy disks. Floppies made punched cards obsolete, and its successors ruled software distribution for the next 20 years. Here’s a look at how and why the floppy disk became an icon. | Continue reading | 4 months ago

How to Install Windows 3.1 on an iPad

Thanks to a MS-DOS emulator called iDOS 2 on the App Store, you can install Microsoft Windows 3.1 on your iPad—then play classic Windows games or simply shock your friends. Here’s how to set it up. | Continue reading | 4 months ago

Quake Shook the World: Quake Turns 25

After revolutionizing PC gaming with Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, id Software pulled off a hat trick with Quake, released on June 22, 1996. Quake mixed polygonal 3D graphics, networking, and grunge into a groundbreaking hit with wide influence. Here’s what made it special. | Continue reading | 5 months ago

A Successful Failure: The TI-99/4A Turns 40

In June 1981, Texas Instruments released the TI-99/4A, a 16-bit home computer and gaming platform that became a huge cultural success in America after selling 2.8 million units, although it resulted in a business loss for TI. Forty years later, here’s what made it special. | Continue reading | 5 months ago

How to opt-out of Amazon Sidewalk

Amazon Sidewalk is a wireless standard that has advantages over a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. However, there are privacy concerns, as it enables your smart home devices (such as Echo and Alexa speakers) to communicate with others outside of your home. Here’s how to disable and … | Continue reading | 5 months ago

How to Install Hardware Drivers on Linux (2017)

Windows needs manufacturer-provided hardware drivers before your hardware will work. Linux and other operating systems also need hardware drivers before hardware will work — but hardware drivers are handled differently on Linux. | Continue reading | 6 months ago

The First PC to Sell Millions: Commodore Vic-20 Turns 40

In 1981, Commodore released the VIC-20, a low-cost mass-market home computer that served up great video games and taught a generation of kids how to program. It sold millions of units and inspired a generation of programmers. Here’s what made it special. | Continue reading | 6 months ago

What Was CP/M, and Why Did It Lose to MS-DOS?

Before Microsoft and Intel dominated the PC market with a common platform, the CP/M operating system did something similar for small business machines in the late 1970s and early 1980s—until MS-DOS pulled the rug out from under it. Here’s more about CP/M, and why it lost out to M … | Continue reading | 8 months ago

A Private Alternative to Google Maps: DuckDuckGo Maps

DuckDuckGo isn’t just a private alternative to Google and Bing’s web search. It has a built-in online mapping solution designed with privacy in mind. If you want to leave Google, you don’t have to stick around for Google Maps. | Continue reading | 9 months ago

Before Fortnite, There Was ZZT: Meet Epic’s First Game

Thirty years ago—on January 15, 1991—an American college student named Tim Sweeney released ZZT, a low-key adventure game with a revolutionary element: It shipped with a free, built-in game editor. ZZT’s success spawned Epic Games, Unreal Engine, and most recently, Fortnite. Here … | Continue reading | 9 months ago

How to Transfer Your LastPass Passwords to Bitwarden

LastPass offers a free version of its password manager, but it’s limited to only one device type at a time. If you’re looking to switch password managers, Bitwarden offers a free, open-source service with no limits. Here’s how to transfer your LastPass passwords to Bitwarden. | Continue reading | 9 months ago

From Keen to Doom: Id Software’s Founders Talk 30 Years of Gaming History

On February 1, 1991, John Romero, John Carmack, Tom Hall, and Adrian Carmack officially founded id Software. The group went on to revolutionize the game industry with franchises such as Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake. Here’s a look back at id Software over the last 30 years, with a … | Continue reading | 9 months ago

The Origin of Comic Sans

There’s one font that is almost universally reviled. Just the sight of it causes people to cringe in disgust. You know exactly what font I’m talking about (even if you ignore the title.) Why does everyone hate Comic Sans? | Continue reading | 10 months ago

25 Years of Making Connections with USB (After Three Attempts)

Version 1.0 of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard was released in January 1996. 25 years and three attempts later, we’ve gone from USB 1.0’s 12 Mbit/s speeds to USB4’s 40 Gbit/s speeds. Here’s how USB conquered the world. | Continue reading | 10 months ago

30 Years of Vorticons: How Commander Keen Changed PC Gaming

On Dec. 14, 1990, Apogee Software released Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons. It was the first in a series of PC shareware games that brought fluid, Mario-like platforming to the PC. It also launched legendary developer id Software. Here’s why it was special. | Continue reading | 11 months ago

35 Years of Microsoft Windows: Remembering Windows 1.0

Microsoft released Windows 1.0 on Nov. 20, 1985. Starting as an environment that ran on top of MS-DOS, Windows became the most popular desktop operating system in the world. Let’s travel back in time, and take a look at what the original Windows 1.0 was like. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Before Mac OS X: What Was NeXTSTEP, and Why Did People Love It?

Launching with Steve Jobs’ NeXT Computer in 1988, NeXTSTEP advanced desktop operating systems. It became the technological bedrock for Apple’s macOS, iOS, and others. Let’s look at what was so special about NeXTSTEP. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

I Still Use a 34-Year-Old IBM Model M Keyboard

In a world where rapidly changing technology feels increasingly disposable, one thing remains constant in my computer setup: my 34-year-old IBM 101-key Enhanced Keyboard, commonly known as the Model M. Here’s why I’ll never give up its clicky keys and ideal layout. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

A Vintage Atari Is a Weather Terminal in 2020

That old Atari eight-bit computer (like the Atari 800, XL, or XE series) you have is useful for more than just retro gaming. If you pair it with the new FujiNet network adapter and a weather program, you can get live local weather info on it. Here’s how it works! | Continue reading | 1 year ago

What Was BeOS, and Why Did People Love It?

In the mid-1990s, Be Inc. had the audacity to create a brand-new personal computer operating system from scratch. It gained critical acclaim for its ahead-of-its-time features, but failed to capture significant market share. It’s still a cult favorite 25 years later, and here’s w … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

30 Years of ‘Minesweeper’ (Sudoku with Explosions)

On Oct. 8, 1990, Microsoft put a dent in global productivity when it released Minesweeper as part of the Microsoft Entertainment Pack for Windows. It was aimed at those who used Windows 3.0. For the last 30 years, Minesweeper has thrilled millions with its simple, but deep, strat … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

What Was IBM’s OS/2, and Why Did It Lose to Windows?

IBM’s OS/2 operating system, first released in 1987, occupies a strange place in PC lore. If you were around back then, you probably heard that it was once better than Windows, yet few people used it. So, what was the deal with OS/2? Let’s find out! | Continue reading | 1 year ago

How to Play Mozilla Firefox’s Hidden Unicorn Pong Game

It seems like every browser has a hidden game these days. Chrome has a dinosaur game, Edge has surfing, and Firefox has . . . unicorn pong? Yep, you read that right—here’s how to play it. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

How to Paste a Phone Number into the iPhone’s Phone App

If you use an iPhone and see a telephone number in a note or on a website, you can often tap it directly to place a call. But if that special link doesn’t show up, you can also “Copy” the phone number and “Paste” it directly into the Phone app. Here’s how. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Remember BBSes? Here’s How You Can Visit One Today

These days, social media gets all the attention, but the Bulletin Board System (BBS), a relic from a kinder, gentler time in computer communications, persists. Each BBS is its own retro-flavored community with messages, text-based games, and files you can download. And you can st … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

I Still Use an Old PowerPC Mac in 2020

Last month, I bought myself a “new” Mac, and it only cost me $50. How is this possible, when the cheapest Apple computer (the Mac Mini) costs $799, or 16 times what I paid? | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Optical Disc Data Rot: Burned CDs going bad

If you used a computer between 1997 and 2005, you probably burned valuable data to at least one recordable CD (CD-R) or DVD-R. Unfortunately, these have a limited lifespan, and many have already become unreadable. That’s why it’s important to back up your recordable discs before … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Virtually Forgotten: Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, 25 Years Later

In 1995, Nintendo released an unusual stereoscopic game console called Virtual Boy. It capitalized on the early ’90s media hype for virtual reality, but delivered on none of its promises. Here’s what made the Virtual Boy unique—and why it failed. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

The Web before the Web: a look back at Gopher

Before the rapid growth of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, a protocol called Gopher briefly made the internet easy to use by combining the world’s online resources. Here’s what made it special, and why it was quickly eclipsed by the web. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Why Linux’s Systemd Is Still Divisive After All These Years

systemd is 10 years old, but feelings about it in the Linux community haven’t mellowed—it’s as divisive now as it ever was. Although it’s used by many major Linux distributions, the hardcore opposition hasn’t relented. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Remembering Windows 2000, Microsoft’s Forgotten Masterpiece

Twenty years ago, Microsoft released Windows 2000. A rock-solid, 32-bit business-oriented alternative to Windows 98 and Windows Millennium Edition, it paved the way for future consumer versions, including Windows 10. Here’s why we remember it so fondly. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Use Vimium to Browse with the Keyboard in Chrome and Firefox

The mouse is a great invention, but don’t sell the keyboard short—even for web browsing. Thanks to a very effective browser add-on called Vimium, you can browse the web without ever touching your mouse. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Is UPnP a Security Risk?

UPnP comes enabled by default on many new routers. At one point, the FBI and other security experts recommended disabling UPnP for security reasons. But how secure is UPnP today? Are we trading security for convenience when using UPnP? | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Even 25 Years Later, the Iomega Zip Is Unforgettable

The year is 1995. You’re stuck with slow floppy disks that only hold 1.44 MB of data. But there’s an exciting new technology: Zip drives, which can hold 100 MB and free you from floppy disks! | Continue reading | 1 year ago

How to See All Your Saved Wi-Fi Passwords on macOS

Having a complex Wi-Fi password increases your security, as well as your likelihood to forget a long chain of letters and numbers. Fortunately, there are two quick methods for retrieving your home Wi-Fi password quickly and securely. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

New Readability Tool in Google Chrome

Chrome 75 has a hidden “Reader” mode that strips web pages down to the bare minimum to make them easier to, well, read. But it’s not enabled by default—here’s how to get it now. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Yes, You Can Download Software from SourceForge Again

This article had the headline Warning: Don’t Download Software From SourceForge If You Can Help It when we published it back in 2015. Since then, much has changed. SourceForge was sold to a new company that immediately stopped the DevShare program in 2016. We’re leaving the rest … | Continue reading | 1 year ago