Practical Help Library

  • My Computer crashed! Tons of warnings about problems! What do I do?

    My Computer crashed! Tons of warnings about problems! What do I do?

    A member asks… Help Chris! All of the sudden, I’m getting tons of warnings that my computer is malfunctioning! Some refer to hard drive errors, some to memory errors, and lots of warnings I just don’t understand. They just started today, has my hard drive crashed and my data is toasted? One of our worst nightmares when dealing with our technology is the dreaded “OMG, I shouldn’t have clicked on that!” Consumers beware of: System Check – a program that many […]

  • Digital Minute #001: Keep Your Computer Up-to-Date

    Digital Minute #001: Keep Your Computer Up-to-Date

    In this Digital Minute®, Your Tech Coach gives you a quick shot of Practical Help and covers the basics for keeping your computer (Mac and PC) up-to-date to help prevent computer problems from turning your computer into an expensive paperweight. This Digital Minute® is part of our video series, Practical Help for Your Digital Life® (PHYDL). In this series, Your Tech Coach gives you practical and helpful tips, hints and advice on how to get the most out of the […]

  • PHYDL Promo

    PHYDL Promo

    This is the promotional video for our iTV series, “Practical Help for Your Digital Life”. Your Tech Coach gives you practical and helpful tips, hints and advice on how to get the most out of the consumer technology you already own. Geek-free help for everyone on the most common problems we all have using our computers, tablets, smartphones, smart appliances, digital devices, online services, social networking and more. Let Your Tech Coach help you get your technology working for you, […]

  • Results of our Annual Security Suite Face-off: 2012

    Results of our Annual Security Suite Face-off: 2012

    Every year about this time, we do a comparison of selected internet security suites, and review the results of other trusted testers. See our testing mode below the fold. We don’t test everything that’s out there, but we do test top-contenders, both free stuff and what’s sold by for-profit companies. For the 3rd year in a row, Norton Internet Security Suite has won overall. The current version is 2012, and that’s what you should buy. If you already have Norton […]

  • Help! I can’t get the cycle I want on my LG Washer!

    Help! I can’t get the cycle I want on my LG Washer!

    A member asks… Hi Chris, I don’t know if you do this, but I have an LG TrueSteam washing machine. Real hi-tech! So I have a rinse and spin setting. But, I can’t choose cold water only, the button won’t let me choose cold/cold. Can you help me? Yes, if it’s consumer technology, we can help! Looking at your particular washing machine, you’ve picked the rinse and spin cycle from the big wheel. To the right is your Wash/Rinse button, […]

  • Global Warming – head in sand?

    Global Warming – head in sand?

    We seem to be having a serious dialogue about global warming with one disconcerting ingredient – folks who deny that human activity is driving it (or that it even exists). They appear to have their heads in the sand. Opinion seems to be winning against fact in this and so many other areas. Every time I read the news, I see reporting that follows the format of reporting the results of a poll to give credence to a notion. If […]

  • Can’t Log into my WordPress Site!

    Can’t Log into my WordPress Site!

    A member asks… Hi Chris, trying to edit my WordPress site, I can’t login to it. Cookies seem to be blocked on my PC, even though the setting shows that cookies are enabled. I’m using Google Chrome. Could my security software (your recommended NIS 2012) be blocking them? Is there is a simple way to fix this? Thanks! Google Chrome has a few quirks about it that can sometimes trip you up. One of those quirks are how it deals […]

  • A new and faster way to do Fast Fourier Transforms – who cares?

    A new and faster way to do Fast Fourier Transforms – who cares?

    Eventually, everyone. FFT is an algorithm for calculation that is used in lots of what you see online. It’s used to compress the video and audio streams on the internet, as well as to your TV. One of the problems with ‘broadband’ is that the more we get, the more we need. Now that so many people have a high-speed, always-on connection to the internet, we are now watching more high-bandwidth types of content, like Youtube video, listening to high-fidelity […]

  • Complicated Electronics in our lives

    Complicated Electronics in our lives

    So my wife is totally put off by the complexity of technology in our daily lives. She serves as a great sounding board for how I should configure things – if it takes more than 30 seconds to explain, or involves more than three steps, it’s too complicated. This is not to say my wife is dumb – far from it! She’s one of the smartest people I know. But her attention is rightfully towards the things she considers important […]

  • Consumer Electronics are Everywhere and in Everything

    Consumer Electronics are Everywhere and in Everything

    So at this point, we see advanced electronics embedded in just about everything. The obvious places are our computers, smartphones, digital cameras and video cameras, etc. Less obvious are things like our washing machines, refrigerators and other major appliances, our sprinkler systems, alarm systems, and even the cold water bottle holder! Some of them are smarter than others. I just (last Sunday) went around the house resetting clocks. There were: clock radios by the bedside oven clocks water bottle dispenser […]

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