Computers and hardware

How to customize the Dock position in OS X

The Dock in OS X serves as a launcher for commonly-accessed programs, as well as folders and documents that you drag there, and as an indicator of running programs. In addition, it holds the trash and the smiling Finder icon since this program as the default file browser is not usually quit.

Since the Dock is regularly accessed, it is always present in some form on the edge of the screen; however, while Apple by default places it at the bottom of your display, there are several options available to you for its position.

The first options are those Apple … Read more

Use your mobile device with the Xbox One and PS4

The Xbox 360 was released in the fall of 2005 and the PlayStation 3 a year later. Back then smartphones weren't all that smart, the mobile market was dominated by players like BlackBerry and Nokia, and gaming was split between consoles and PCs.

Everything changed, however, when Apple released the iPhone; and once again with the release of the iPad. The mobile revolution has changed the way we share, consume media, and play games. You would be hard-pressed to find someone without a cell phone these days, let alone a smartphone.

To take advantage of the increased adoption rate … Read more

Six settings to enhance browsing in Safari

Among third-party options like Chrome and Firefox, Apple's Safari browser for OS X offers a well-integrated and easy option for viewing Web content on a Mac. However, there are some default settings in Safari that, with a few tweaks, can offer some enhancements to your browsing experience.

Set homepage options The first options are those you will see whenever you create a new Safari window or tab, and these are located in the General section of the Safari preferences. In here, you can choose to open new windows and tabs with an empty page, Safari's Top Sites view, … Read more

How to set up an external hard drive for use with OS X

When you first attach a new external hard drive to your Mac, it should mount and be ready to use; however, before relying on it, consider first taking a couple of precautionary steps to ensure that the drive continues to work as expected.

One of the first things to take into account is that the drive is likely preformatted to FAT32 instead of a more OS-specific format. Since FAT32 is readable and writable on both Windows and OS X systems, this is quickest way for a drive to work on each platform; however, it does have some limitations, including the … Read more

How to upgrade or replace your PS4's hard drive

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are both equipped with a 2.5-inch 500GB hard drive that spins at 5,400 revolutions per minute. Only the PlayStation 4's hard drive, however, can be replaced or upgraded.

Sony previously allowed gamers to upgrade their hard drives in the PlayStation 3, and with some games taking up more than 50GB of space, we are thankful the company kept the same philosophy with the PlayStation 4.

The process is relatively simple and should only take you a couple of minutes to complete.

Here's what you need to know:

The tools The … Read more

How to manually edit defaults plist files in Mavericks

The main preferences and settings-storage system in OS X is the "defaults," which saves values in binary- or ascii-encoded XML property lists. These are commonly seen in the user account's "Preferences" folder, but they exist in other locations and for other purposes in the OS.

The defaults for programs and system services are usually modified from within the program or OS settings panel, but common practice is to modify them by hand and then reload the relevant service or program to invoke the change. This can be done for standard settings, but is also useful … Read more

Navigate the spotlight search in OS X

Spotlight is the indexed search routine Apple includes with OS X, which allows you to quickly locate documents, folders, and other items on your system both by name and by relevant content. While convenient for finding items on your computer, sometimes the search results may be a bit large.

To manage search results better, you can enable or disable categories in the Spotlight System Preferences, or rearrange them so that those you more commonly use are in a more accessible location. For example, if you use Spotlight as an application launcher, then moving the Applications category to the top of … Read more

How to enable guest browsing in Chrome for Windows

Have you ever gone back to your computer after letting someone use it for "just a second" and found it in disarray? Maybe they logged you out of all your accounts because they wanted to check Facebook or their e-mail. Or perhaps they did a little window-shopping on Amazon and now you're getting strange product suggestions on the home page. To help you and your guests maintain some sense of privacy while sharing the Web, you can use Chrome's guest browsing mode.

Guest browsing was first available in Chrome OS as a way to let Chromebook … Read more

Use the Xbox One and Kinect sensor as a universal remote

Voice commands are a large part of what makes the Xbox One unique, the other, of course, being its deep TV integration. Both of these features utilize the new Kinect sensor, which Microsoft bundled with the Xbox One; a decision that resulted in a $100 premium over the PlayStation 4.

In addition to supporting facial recognition and gestures, the accessory can be used to navigate the console's user interface, open games and apps, and even control your TV, cable box, and home theater system using only your voice.

Here's how you can set up the Xbox One as … Read more

Resize windows like a pro in OS X

Starting with OS X 10.7, Apple changed its method for resizing windows. In the Classic Mac OS and through the first six releases of OS X, you had to resize windows using the tab at the bottom-right of the window; however, with OS X Lion Apple changed this behavior to give resizing controls along all edges of application and document windows.

What this means is in most cases, instead of having to move the left and top sides of a window to a desired location and then resize the rest accordingly, you can simply resize from the left, from … Read more